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Sport technologies: Sky dreams micro cameras on the players

novembre 28, 2013 Technology No Commenti

Spidercam, flycam, hypersensitive microphone and powerful cameras. The evolution of recording techniques applied to the football and sport in general seems to have no boundaries and continually acquires new words and ideas to improve production. The applications are renewed from year to year endless. There is no limit to the imagination and some product takes its cue directly from the superpowers. For now you can listen what athletes whisper or observe the smallest details of a goal through micro cameras placed on the goalposts.

“They’re all applications that result from the use of military money and research” recalls Angelo Carosi, Sky director, considered the Guru of the sport recordings; he follow from years the league from his cab in front of twenty monitor.

In recent years, the matches seem to have become almost marginal, the difference is the details. “Now a match has become a movie”, said the Sky director years ago.

Have not been found yet valid solutions for professional use of drones. In addition to special permission to fly over the heads of the spectators, the times seem still very limited (only 7-8 minutes of battery life) as well as the action range in the air that reaches 40 meters maximum, and there is also the dependence by weathering. At the moment the technology more “evolved” just seems to be about sound and HD video. Meanwhile, Sky, is stimulated by his talent Vialli who dreams about micro cameras on players. “On players is complicated – said the director – but about the referees is more feasible. The problem is the collaboration of stakeholders, which currently doesn’t exist”.

Drones and night visors to fight illegal immigration

ottobre 21, 2013 Technology No Commenti

Amphibious ships, but also drones and helicopters with night visors. Technologically advanced devices to fight illegal immigration and prevent tragedies such as Lampedusa. In the operation of surveillance and rescue in the Mediterranean Sea, called “Mare Nostrum”, promoted by the Italian Government, will primarily be used unmanned aircraft and infrared optical tools.

Among others vehicles involved, two units of type frigate, each with a naval helicopter and two patrol type naval units, two helicopters EH101 of the Navy, boarded onto the San Marco or usable from Lampedusa, an aircraft type P180, equipped with infrared  optical instruments and radars for surface search. Also, a naval unit for logistic support, an Atlantique Air Force, based in Sigonella, a Predator (drone) used for maritime surveillance. And the coastal radar network and stations of AIS-automatic identification system of the Navy.

The drones allow to have maximum surveillance in the sea area affected by the migration routes. “Mare Nostrum” will be a military and humanitarian operation which provides for the strengthening of the surveillance devices and rescue in the seas in order to increase the level of safety of human life. The goal is to bring the emergency service nearest to the ports of departure of the ships of the sea, so as to avoid more victims.

Infrared camera for smartphone

settembre 9, 2013 Technology No Commenti

As we know, we always want more from the smartphone: cameras increasely powerful, very high resolution for perfect images at your fingertips. But it’s still not enough. The new frontier of smartphone photography is the infrared sensor.
It’s called Quark, the first infrared camera for mobile devices, presented by the American company Flir, during the annual fair of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), dedicated to robot and drones.

The camera is similar to the models of drones, helmets and military viewers, but smaller. The first prototype consists of a cover for iPhone that follows the contour of the phone sticking out a few inches over the top, where is the lens. Because the device doesn’t transform the iPhone camera but has a lens about two inches wide. At the moment the quality is low, only 0.3 megapixel, the prototype aims to estimate the space that could have on the market.

In professional and military field, infrared photography is already used and popular. There are several systems able to observe through small everyday objects easily concealable. Also other sectors are taking advantages. In construction industry is used to detect water seepage or leakage from tubes, in the medical field for the diagnosis of breast cancer and in electronics to identify faults within an electrical circuit.
At the moment the experimental project can be accommodated only if the demand will be high allowing the reduction of costs, now too high. In addition, the very low quality doesn’t allow you to take great pictures to show. However, the infrared have taken the first steps.

Google announced the algorithm for preventing online crimes

luglio 16, 2013 Technology No Commenti

The authorities use, as we known, a great number of micro-devices to monitor discreetly pc, smartphone and technological tools. Through them circulate every day millions and millions of informations. In this way, everything that is written is intercepted: email, sms and e-texts of all kinds. Now it seems that Mountain View want to patent an algorithm able to capture also what has not yet been written, that is, read the user’s mind while using Gmail, to block the spread of ideas in case of infringement of laws or if the system believes that the contents are dangerous.

It’s called Policy Violation Checker. An idea that could turn Google into a controller without respite, a kind of self-censorship digital unit for the thoughts in order to avoid that the user writes wrong contents. The Policy Violation Checker want catch the criminal before that he commits the crime. Indicting the thought made ​​up of words potentially dangerous, the algorithm would be ready to lock before the user presses the “Send” button. Protecting him from breaking laws or compromise relationships.

Many observers consider the Google idea a double edged sword. A tool that could certainly be very useful to curb the spread of dangerous digital contents. But also a system of assisted reasoning, a limit that should at least be optional. From Google says that the algorithm, once patented, not will adopted for its products. In the future, we don’t know.

It could be another additional tool, verified the reliability and trustworthiness, but for the moment it’s more appropriate to rely on concrete actions. Already adopt valid devices tested, professional and highly reliable to block criminals on the web, it would be a big step forward for both the authorities and citizens that will cooperate with law enforcement.

3D scanner capture images also from a kilometre away

maggio 6, 2013 Technology No Commenti

A team of physicists from Edinburgh promise an imminent revolution in the security field and not only. At the center of their project there is a device able to analyze a vehicle or a particular subject also at a kilometer away.

The technology employed is called the “time of flight” and it has already been adopted for the systems “driverless cars”, but there were problems in perceiving the most distant objects. And the precision at long distance is just the characteristic of pride of the new product that exalts the probabilty of error at most an millimeter.

Let’s see how it works: the object that you want to investigate is hit by an infrared laser beam at low-voltage and according to the “time of flight”, so to the lightspeed of return (in addition to an image processing software), it makes a very accurate reconstruction.

The creators hope to develop a range of action of 10 km, if they will obtain the permission to proceed, and clearly also the necessary funding. Always the scanner designers believe that, thanks to future corrections on the image processor, it will possible to measure the speed and the direction of an object. The tool will certainly have uses in the military field, in areas of war or to prevent the risk of terrorism.

There is still a limit in the use of the scanner: it doesn’t detect the human skin because it reacts differently once it has hit by a laser, compared to other materials, leaving an image unclear. So to keep under control at long-distance humans and their movements will we have to make use of GSM bugs, tools that allow you to listen from any distance and that, through powerful software, also offer the possibility of eliminating any external noise. In short, the field of security and surveillance no longer knows boundaries of both time and space.

The e-reader that controls if you have studied

aprile 29, 2013 Technology No Commenti

The desire to monitor their children in the digital age is becoming more insistent. With the opening of virtual borders in the life of a child come many opportunities, but also many threats. Monitoring tools for pc as key recorder or key hunter, for example, help parents to verify what happens in the virtual life of their children, often avoiding episodes of bullying.

An American company specialized in digital texts in the last months has launched a software that “spy” study habits through the e-reader. These tools are becoming increasingly common in the education world, but can lead to unpleasant implications for the privacy of the students going to control their habits of reading and underlining.

The software operates on the cloud, so every time a student access to the text, the pages read are recorded and tracked as in the case of the pages of a website. The “Big Brother of education” provides to the teachers the average length of the time spent on virtual books and can tell if the subject underlines or takes notes on the tablet or e-reader.

In this way, the control screen will show if a member of the class is behind and what are the topics on which he has had problems. The instrument meets the needs of big classes where the teachers cannot monitor individual pupils and however doesn’t replace tests and queries. On the other hand we must also recognize that everyone has their own method of study and there are those who is able to assimilate in a short time or those who prefer integrate more with the sheets of paper and then penalize them would not be fair. And you can also leave open a page without really reading it.

In short, the system still leaves some shadow areas and cannot find an application to 360°. Regarding the tracking of the habits and preferences of the readers on web browsing, this is an operation already done by giants like Google or Amazon.

From the password to the “passthought”

aprile 15, 2013 Technology No Commenti

Data leaks, confidential information solds to competitors, patents missed for the fault of unfaithful employees: This is the current situation in many companies in the world. The strong crisis “obliges” every day millions of employees to sell themselves to competitors in exchange for large sums of money or favors professional.

At the other side, the smartest companies have adopted valid surveillance systems both for the environmental monitoring of what is happening in the company, and as regards the informatic security. Through invisible pc devices you can monitor the work of your employees and prevent intrusion attempts. In fact, shouldn’t be underestimated even the threats of hacking. In unnoticed way, through sophisticated algorithms, it’s possible enter into business Pcs and stealing information and important data. It isn’t useful now constantly change passwords.

To give an answer to the need for informatic security, in addition to powerful tools previously mentioned, could come in the next years a computer that is controlled by gestures. And that’s not all. It seems that it will no longer need to type the password because this will be read directly from the user’s mind; for this reason, the name “passthought”.

The project of the UC Berkeley School of Information explores the feasibility of brainwave-based computer authentication as a substitute for passwords. The research team used a device, an helmet, already tested, that works through the non-invasive EEG features. The device is connected via Bluetooth to a computer that can decipher the brainwaves. During the test has been asked to several people to imagine to make a specific actions, such as moving a finger or sing a song. In all cases (with an error level of less than 1%) it was possible use the brain waves to identify the actions accurately. Clear, at this point, the possible application in the world of passwords.

This type of research lies in the biometric authentication field which already offers wide applications in various areas. Just think of the locks to fingerprints. Going beyond the physical tools and the classic alphanumeric combinations it will be possible a higher level of security, at least for now!

Ways to improve smartphone battery life

marzo 26, 2013 Technology No Commenti

The smartphone abandons you just when you need it? Once the battery was with us for weeks. It was the time when the mobile phone was used only for calls and sms. It isn’t so now: with the modern smartphone you can play, surf the internet, keep an eye on your home and monitor your partner. These among many other activities. It isn’t uncommon that the battery doesn’t arrive until evening.

There are some small tricks that help us to increase the autonomy of the mobile phone. They aren’t miraculous softwares or complex applications, but attentions to reduce the normal battery consumption.

Typically smartphones include a brightness sensor able to detect the light of the environment and consequently adjust the brightness of the screen. More light is stronger, the screen will be bright. In contrast, in a dark environment, the brightness will be weaker. The first precaution may therefore be to manually set the screen light choosing the best configuration for yourself, thus avoiding to strain the power source.

You should also know that when we don’t use the connections, it doesn’t mean that they are turned off. The Wi-Fi connections on making continuous connections consuming energy. Same thing goes for Bluetooth or GPS. So it would be profitable turn off the networks when they aren’t necessary.

An element that may be less known regarding the telephone connection. Every smartphone is set to use the 3G network, ie the data network. If you don’t surf the Internet, 2G network is perfect to manage phone calls and SMS and above all allows you to earn useful minute battery.

The same thing is valid for the setting of continuous data synchronization. If this setting is activated, the phone will check if there are email or notifications even when it’s in stand-by mode. Disabling automatic data synchronization, you can update your mail manually, when you desire.

Implementing these recommendations could be boring, but through shortcuts on the screen or facilitated menu configuration it may be easier than you think, especially useful if it comes to emergency situations where it isn’t possible to charge the phone.

Watches with thousands of functions

marzo 21, 2013 Technology No Commenti

The clock now no longer serves only to mark time. Today this type of equipment have many other features and applications. A watch can for example integrate a GPS locator, interact with PCs, tablets and smartphones, become a real spy complete with micro recorder and micro camera.

In this context, couldn’t miss the contribution of the giant Apple that has submitted a project for the iWatch, an object that will revolutionize the concept of watches. The device, in addition to mark the time and interact with the smartphone, will be a true digital “key”, linked to the user, which could be used as an element of access to personal devices. Infact iWhatch, thanks to special biometric sensors, only works in presence of the owner or with his fingerprints. Needless to steal it, in short.

The object will be transparent, made ​​of vitreous material, with iOS operating system and equipped with an NFC chip that will replace the Bluetooth connectivity. Don’t enclose itself many functions, but will represent an extension of tablets and smartphones that will manage the “hard works”. In this manner iWatch should have a long autonomy. It will howeaver be able to manage calls, messages, email, and basic applications of the device that is connected to, but above all to keep codes and passwords able to unlock electronic clock when it is near, thanks to software Passbook. The clock may be integrated with Siri, the voice assistant from Apple, so as to provide voice commands.

The watch evolution of Apple isn’t yet available on the market and in any case will be the first experiment of this kind for the company. Who should carry out professional tasks of survillance must rely on professionals in the field that guarantee efficiency immediately, as Endoacustica.

Smartphone in the freezer to discover all the secrets of Android

marzo 13, 2013 Technology No Commenti

Researchers of the University Friedrich-Alexander Erlangen, Germany have found an easy way to hack the encryption system adopted by the fourth version of Android.
Sophisticated algorithms and software every day manage to access to millions of informations contained in smartphones and electronic devices of all kinds. Behind there is always the work of teams of experts, hackers or not, that studying the characteristics of the systems and then violate them.

It didn’t go exactly in this way for the German researchers that have discovered an unusual flaw in the “Ice Cream Sandwich” system, that is, the data protection of the most advanced Android devices. It’s the cold to ease the encryption that substantially prevents access to the contents on the smartphone without having first unlocking the screen.

The test was carried out not so much to test the validity of the software, but to solve a problem that worries investigators and law enforcement: be able to trace the information contained in a smartphone for legal reasons. Most of the time they are used spy software that are installed in a few minutes on mobile phones of those who want to control and you have the opportunity to listen phone calls, view incoming and outgoing text messages, listen to what is happening around the device and check the position GPS.

More specifically, the researchers put a Galaxy Nexus in the freezer for an hour, bringing it to a temperature of -10°C, then they took it off, put back the battery and they managed to recover contacts, pictures, files and browser history . Hacking is done via software, activated in place of the operating system, able to send the collected data to another machine.

What has happened: when the chips are very cold thay keep longer the data and facilitate the deciphering of protection. The freezing is a technique already used in the forensic field on PCs and laptops, but nobody had applied to smartphones. The method was named Frost, Forensic Recovery of Scrambled telephone.

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