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Hope against Alzheimer disease can come from the eyes

gennaio 17, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s disease, the terrible and subtle illness which slowly kills brain cells, is currently incurable. The population affected by this disease worldwide amounts to approximately 30 million people, but will reach a 100 million peak within the next 40 years.

In the last few days, some therapies and options have been made public, which might help cure the disease, slow down its process and, hopefully, prevent its development.
For example, a simple and cheap eye test might help diagnose the illness in its early stages, while a cocktail of common use medicines might improve our memory and its response in fighting the subtle Alzheimer, which hurts patients not only in their bodies but also in their pride, hampering their personal relations with their peers.

The research carried out by London University College has shown how a common eye checkup may help measuring in real time the speed at which brain cells are degrading, by simply measuring the same speed on retinal cells.
In fact, the retina is a direct extension of the brain, and the health of our retinal cells is proportional to that of brain cells; therefore with a simple visit to out optician, we will be able to obtain answers to a broad range of question on our conditions, and will also be able to provide an accurate diagnosis in due time to cure neurodegenerative diseases.

Death of nerve cells is a key factor in studying this kind of diseases, and so far it was not possible to measure its velocity in real time. Thanks to this technique, doctors will be able to follow and observe it at any given time, without complicated and expensive tests, and by diagnosing the disease in its early stages, it will be possible to try and reverse it, and measure the effect of therapies in real time.

Use augmented reality to repair your car

gennaio 17, 2010 Technology No Commenti

ARMAR

Modern cars have become less and less easy to repair, even for the savviest driver, because of the high technological contents and the huge amount of computerized systems installed, which make our mechanic’s job look more and more like a software programmer’s.

Fortunately, it is the very technology that makes our cars increasingly complicated (but much safer) that lends us a hand when it comes to fixing them, thanks to the usage of augmented reality.
In fact, researchers from Columbia University have created a system called ARMAR (Augmented Reality for Maintenance and Repair).

The system consists of a helmet similar to those used in virtual reality based videogames, which would display virtual images on top of the real ones, according to the augmented reality principle. The graphics are controlled through a mobile phone equipped with Android operating system.

In short, the system is guiding its user towards the damaged area, and by displaying 3D animations, it guides him step by step towards solving the problem. It has recently been successfully tested by the US Marine Corps on an armored turret, and repair time was cut by 50% compared to a normal manual job.

In the future, should this device enter the commercial vehicles market, it might be a real breakthrough, and allow almost all car drivers and users to take a shot at repairing their own car.

In the latest years, augmented reality is being used in an increasing number of applications: generally it is used to add details to satellite maps, or for leisurely purposes. ARMAR is one of the first systems to use augmented reality to carry out a specific and specialized task, and might me a spearhead towards introducing this technology in production and maintenance of complex systems.

The advantage lies in the fact that, along with solving the problem, ARMAR also teaches him how to do it, so one day, augmented reality might even chance educational programs in our schools…

A micro camera hidden inside a cap

gennaio 17, 2010 Technology No Commenti

SpyCap

Miniaturization of video technologies allows us to have micro video recorders with an embedded camera, so small that they can be concealed inside objects that we use every day, such as watches, pens, or even car key holders.

In this case, what at a first glance might be mistaken for a key holder is actually the remote control of our micro camera, as the recorder is concealed inside a baseball cap, and what looks like normal holes on top of the shade are actually concealing a tiny video camera and an equally small microphone.

It is a device for amateur use, powered by a rechargeable battery and capable of recording footage with a 640×480 resolution at 27 frames per second, storing it on a built-in 4 Gb memory card. By pressing any button on the remote control, the cap will slightly vibrate in response.

The characteristics of this micro recorder make it more suitable for a young audience, as it can be used in leisurely occasions, for example to shoot movies during a ride on a bicycle or a motorcycle, from the rider’s point of view, or to tape a university lesson instead of taking notes, to be able to review it later at home.

The fact that it is targeted to non-professional users is also reflected on price, as it would set you back a mere 55 dollars, a price range non comparable to digital micro recorders designed for professional use, aimed at surveillance and gathering of evidence to be used before a court of law.

Protection from eavesdropping

gennaio 16, 2010 Technology No Commenti

BugSweeper

When the information which is being circulated on our workplace is confidential, and when getting to know it might mean an advantage position and a substantial financial gain, one must make sure that all necessary measures are taken to make sure that our words are not being listened to by prying ears, who might have planted some hidden microphones and bugged our office.

For this reason, it might certainly be useful to address yourselves to a bug sweeping expert who, by using the appropriate systems for detection of covert listening devices, can reveal a threat that could otherwise be invisible.

In order to identify a hidden transmitter, these detection systems flood the area with radio waves, and can thus detect radio transmission sources hidden in the less accessible corners of our working room, for example in the back of a drawer, behind a pot of flowers, or even inside objects of everyday use, such as for example table calculators, key rings and fountain pens.

The most advanced bug sweeping systems can detect not only bugs or microphones, but also hidden video cameras or sources of Bluetooth or WiFi transmission. When you are searching for hidden transmitters, the main problem comes when trying to detect bugs which are either turned off or disabled, and may not be located after a first search.

Fortunately, there are some particular types of bug sweepers which can detect transmitters which are either turned off or even buried into a wall, allowing for a thorough cleanup of your premises, where you will soon be able to talk freely.

To obtain more information on systems for bug sweeping and find the most suitable option for your needs, we advise you to contact Endoacustica and its experienced staff, who will certainly be able to assist.

Internet-based home surveillance, wherever you are

gennaio 16, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Liveline

To keep a watchful eye on your loved ones, your home or even the situation in your office while you are away, there is a system for remote surveillance called LiveLine which, thanks to the installation of a video camera in the place to be monitored, allows its users to display images in real time over the Internet.

This convenient anti theft service has a monthly fee of only 10 dollars, on top of which you should add the cost for purchasing dedicated cameras (between 130 and 200 dollars.
During its launch phase, the cameras were supplied for free, while now this offer is no longer available, although the price of the cameras is within the reasonable range for surveillance cameras designed for home or office use.

Once the camera is installed, all you have to do is connect it to your home computer, and you will be able to activate it and display its images in real time, wherever you are, just by logging into your online account. Furthermore, images captured by the LiveLine system are stored on the provider server, and can thus be used at any time as evidence, in case someone should break into your home, or if you should prove a marital infidelity or a case of corporate espionage taking place in your office.

This system is convenient not only to protect your home during your holidays, but also for those who leave their home often due to business trips, or those who live alone and work night shifts, leaving their home unattended during dark hours.
The LiveLine camera is also equipped with a motion detection sensor, which starts recording immediately and sends a notification either via email or via SMS, allowing you to acct immediately in case of danger.

A Playstation for urban surveillance

gennaio 16, 2010 Technology No Commenti

PS

Last month, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper published a report according to which the U.S. Air Force has purchased something like 2200 PlayStation 3, to be connected together in form of a cluster to carry out some not further specified urban surveillance tasks.

It is not the first time that the popular videogame console is used, especially by researchers and universities, for tasks very different from what it was originally designed for.

In this case, the USAF research laboratories, based in Rome, New York State, are using the PS3 capabilities in terms of graphics and high speed calculation, along with the possibility of having Linux installed on it, in order to turn it into a real computer.
By doing this, the powerful PS3 Cell processor can achieve results better than a normal server in handling complicated calculations.

Furthermore, Playstation 3 gives the best of its potential if more than one console is connected together in a network or cluster, in order to exploit their calculation might, reaching speed peaks 3 or 4 times faster than a normal server.

And all this comes at a price definitely more attractive than the normal desktop computers, considering that a server would set you back something like 3500 US dollars, while a Playstation can be taken home with less than 600, and it also has a 35% faster calculation time.

At the current stage, details of the urban surveillance operations in which the US armed forces are planning to be using all this power, but as we all know, the common man is always the last one to be informed (if ever) about this…

3G encryption is in danger of being cracked

gennaio 16, 2010 Technology No Commenti

3G Encryption

Times are harsh for security and privacy of our mobile phone calls: just a few weeks ago we learned that a young German hacker has cracked the A5/1 encryption used by GSM operators, which now might be made public, with a severe risk for privacy of our conversations.

Today we learned that the encryption system which manages conversations according to the 3G standard, called Kasumi, can easily be attacked and cracked with a procedure that only requires a few hours from an ordinary PC, and that there have already been successful attempts to breach its security.

The 3G encoding technique, called Misty is quite complex, as it uses an array of multiple keys, but its complexity makes it quite heavy on processors. Therefore, the Kasumi system was applied on it, in order to make the encryption process faster and easier.

Unfortunately though, this latter step seems to have created problems in terms of security, and now third generation mobile phone users are starting to wonder whether their conversations are really secure and private.

To be really safe from eavesdropping and prying ears, it is highly advisable to equip yourselves with a second tier of encoding and encryption, by using an interception-proof encrypted mobile phone.

In fact, encrypted phones are equipped with one more 256-bit encryption key, much safer than the 128-bit one used by GSM networks; by using two phones that share the same encoding key, any unwanted access would be thwarted, as the unauthorized listener would only be able to hear a white noise.

So, even though the modern cellular networks are showing signs of weakness as far as security is concerned, there is still a way to keep our calls private!

Micro earpieces: stay in touch at any time

gennaio 16, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Earpiece

In the field of surveillance and not only, using a micro earpiece can often make the difference between success and failure.

A miniature earpiece, thanks to its extremely small size, can easily be placed inside the ear canal of its user, and remain unnoticed even after a thorough body check or inspection. In spite of its tiny size, it is equipped with high level technology, which includes a miniature battery, an antenna and a small loudspeaker, in order to make sure that its user can receive information and instructions sent from a remote operator.

In a few words, we are talking about a micro sized FM receiver, which can be connected via Bluetooth to other devices such as for example a GSM watch, in order to create a complete system for discreet transmission and receiving, even at unlimited distance, since the GSM watch is equipped with a SIM card concealed inside, just like your every day mobile phone, and thanks to this card it can transmit the intelligence gathered, in real time and with a simple phone call.

Micro earpieces, furthermore, can be used to stay in constant communication with groups of people carrying out operations on a large area, such as workers on a construction site, rescue squads in large scale operations, and even with police agents during their struggle against crime, to avoid raising unnecessary attention while staying in touch.

Generally, a micro earpiece is equipped with a Zinc-Air type battery, with a very low energy consumption allowing for a power time ranging between 15 and 30 hours of operation. Furthermore, the earpiece can automatically switch to standby mode when it does not receive any communication for a certain amount of time, thus further reducing energy consumption while making it more difficult to detect for counter surveillance equipment.

For more information on earpieces available on the market, you can visit the Endoacustica website.

A micro camera hidden in a button

gennaio 16, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Thanko

One of the latest novelties in the miniature video camera field comes, needless to say, from Japan, where Thanko, a manufacturer specialized in miniature gadgets, has just released an improved and upgraded version of its micro camera concealed inside a button, which allows for recording of sound as well as images.

In fact, if the previous Camera Button version was capable of filming high definition videos and shooting image stills, this newer version has been improved by adding a microphone which makes it possible to add sounds to your footage, thus enabling you to use it for shooting of covert videos that can be used as evidence before a court of law.

This micro recorder is approximately 7 centimeters long, and a lens that looks like a common jacket button, and can therefore be easily concealed inside clothes without raising attention. The footage is then saved on a Micro SD type memory card, with a capacity of up to 16 Gb. Power is supplied by a Lithium-ion battery, which allows for continuous recording up to 70 minutes.

Recording is started by simply pressing a button, while the previous version was equipped with a remote control which made operations slightly easier. In any case, given its price range around 55 US dollars, we are talking about a quite reliable product.

Of course, if it is a professional micro camera we are after, or a real digital micro video recorder to be used in surveillance field, it is recommended to spend a bit more to provide yourselves with a product that guarantees a flawless performance; in order to do so, our advice is to visit the Endoacustica website.

Controlling a drone from your iPhone

gennaio 14, 2010 Technology No Commenti

AR Drone

There are iPhone applications to do basically anything that can come to your mind, and it was an easy bet that one day, the Apple phone could step into the radio controlled unmanned helicopters field. In fact, manufacturer Parrot has just introduced its AR.Drone, a small helicopter equipped with two digital video cameras, which can be controlled through your iPhone or iPod Touch.

The system is still in its early stages. And it should be available for retail sales in the second half of 2010. The helicopter sports 4 rotors, which can be covered by a hull to allow for indoor usage, and a flight stabilization system to guarantee high quality imaging, while controlling its route remotely thanks to the iPhone motion sensors.

Designed for a non-professional usage, but suitable both for leisure and for aerial surveillance operations, the AR.Drone miniature helicopter has a weight of approximately 400 grams, and a carbon fiber shell, and is powered by a built-in Lithium-ion battery, which can provide enough energy for 15 minutes of flight time.

Parrot, the manufacturer of this system, has designed it for usage within augmented reality video gaming systems, where AR.Drone can detect targets or other drones, and fire rockets (not real ones, of course!) while fighting a virtual battle.

Images captured by the front camera are displayed on your iPhone, while its motion sensors will transmit motion information from your phone to the drone, thus guiding it in a realistic way. When you take your fingers off the screen, an autopilot system will keep the drone hovering at approximately 1 meter height, and in case of lost connection, AR.Drone is automatically and softly landed.

At the moment, no information has been disclosed concerning the device’s price range, but sure enough some info will be given before launch.

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spyphone A Spy Phone or GSM spy cellphone is a normal mobile phone on which has been installed a software able to reply many crucial information such as: listening of all incoming and outgoing calls from the mobile, real time phone surrounding sounds, reading of all type of messages (SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber etc..) and GPS tracking. The spy software works on the most of Android, iOS, Blackberry smartphones.

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digital video recorder Micro digital recorder able to gather evidence or discover any kind of betrayals. Recording capability of up to 1200 hours in continuous. Long duration for those recorders using voice activation system VAS. Just for you the best micro digital voice recorders on the market in terms of efficacy and reliability at a low price.
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Wall microphones able to listen through walls thick even up to 70 cm. Ultra sensitive professional stereo microphone, suitable to pick up the lowest noises thanks to its very high sensitive ceramic microphone. Limpid and stable sound. Endowed with sockets for recorder and earpiece.
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The phone voice changers when interposed between handset and phone, will change your voice into another one. It transforms any voice into a masculine, feminine, adult or child one.The voice changer can be adapted to cell phones, cordless phones, speakers and microphones, recording systems, or connected to switchboards. The reproduced voice is not a robotic but a human one.
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Real time trackers are designed for those who need to keep their pets under control, while limiting the relevant cost, but also to locate precious objects or to remember where you parked your car.

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Anti-drowning defender is an alarm device which combines anti-drowning and anti-loss alarm, and works effectively as an electronic safety device for protecting children or pets from drowning and loss.

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