How to prevent wireless data theft from your contactless credit card (and not only)

If you are used to pay for your purchases with a contactless card, be careful: your money could be in a serious danger! The blame is on the new electronic pickpockets of contactless cards, who are skilled in money data theft from wireless card without you noticing it. Does that sound …

How I spy on you in the office or in any other places using an ordinary calculator

At the present time gossip seems to be trendy and self-protection from those people who may damage our reputation can reveal a winning strategy. Just think about your work environment where envy and rise to fame often push the people to discredit their colleagues. And what about those ones who …

Attention to the new gadgets of thieves

This may be the last discover of ingenious thieves who don’t hesitate to resort to the technology to hit unsuspecting victims. The news of recent months shows several cases where someone complains of being robbed, at home or in the company, after agreeing to unknowns small gadgets, deployed on the …

The new frontier of biometric access: the body odor

The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has added to the biometric recognition tools already on the market, another ingredient: the body odor. Identification parameter that, according to the researchers may soon be used for a reliable recognition through personal characteristics and biological properties. So we’ll be able to filter people based …

Microregistratori digitali

The biometric scanners arrive at school

ottobre 12, 2012 Biotechnology 2 Commenti

Access control systems that use the biometry are becoming more and more part of institutions and companies because they allow a high degree of safety and the reduction of physical control procedures.

From some days, no badge or card for teachers and staff of the high school “Plinio Seniore” in Rome. The school principal has imposed on the employees the use of biometric scanners to signal the entry to and exit from the building. The trade unions together with the interested have been moving to contest the use of these tools because they cast doubt on the effective functioning of the same and, first of all, they criticize the lack of an official informative that authorizes the school princypal to use their fingerprints, appealing to the Privacy Act. Very questionable visions.

In England are the same students to be recipients of these new technologies. The protagonists are the children of a school in Berkshire that, since the beginning of the year, enter and leave the school using fingertips. In fact, was introduced a biometric system of identification through fingerprints. At the beginning and in the end of lessons, each student places his thumb on a sensor, installed at the entrance of the institute, to allows his identification. The school principal was reached much consensus by parents of children given the increase of security that this entails. The teachers had no hesitation, thanks to this system they save valuable time required by the roll call in classroom. For now, the project is an experiment, it lasts one year.

In Pennsylvania, instead, for some years now is in use a system that allows to the students to pay the cost of meals at the school, simply using fingerprints and accumulating a debt paid periodically by the families.

Elsewhere, for example in the schools of the New Jersey, are in function more complex biometric systems that involve the iris scan to allow access to the institute, only to authorized personnel and to members.

The biometric control is a good example of how technology is combined with safety.

Save data for millions of years

ottobre 9, 2012 Technology No Commenti

The Japanese company Hitachi in collaboration with the laboratory Kiyotaka Miura of Kyoto University is working on a project that will allow substantial development in the field of saving and preservation of digital data. At the base of this new idea, squares of quartz.

The data will be sculpted with a laser on the highly stable and resistant glass that has been tested and subjected to a temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius for a couple of hours and still remain functional. It’s result also resistant to water and to radio waves and in case of breakage, the data were recoverable. So, according to the company, it could be capable of storing data for millions of years. If we think that the actual media store for a maximum of 100 years, the new technology could be a revolution in the field. Furthermore, the advantage would occur even in less waste of materials: they don’t deteriorate and so they don’t need to be replaced, reducing the physical parts and the wastes.

The quartz glass slides used are about the size of 2 cm for side and 2 mm thick, and the language used for writing is the binary code. The storage capacity is approximately 40 MB per square inch, higher than a CD, but still much lower compared to a modern hard disk able to store up to one terabit per square inch. The burning takes place as for CDs and DVDs with a laser, while it’s necessary an optical microscope to reading.

Hitachi’s new technology will not be on the market before 2015, and the costs will tend to be high. Essentially, the aim of this project is to store data of great importance that need to be passed on to posterity, such as the artistic and cultural information.

To date, there is often problem to recover lost data from PC or mobile phone. There are advanced systems for storing and retrieving these type of data on which we can rely, but paradoxically most of the historical sources of which we can still enjoy are ancient manuscripts on paper and etchings on stones. In the future, archaeologists might find the data of our civilization without problem through slides of quartz.

Place Raider, malware-spy on the smartphone

ottobre 3, 2012 Technology 1 Commento

It would seem an application created by expert thieves, but it has been studied at Indiana University and developed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center for scientific purposes. It’s a Trojans, PlaceRaider, which, hiding in photo apps similar to Instagram and Hipstamatic, is able to enter in smartphones, take pictures and create 3D models of environments in which the unfortunate live in or visit, with a precision that allows to observe in detail the objects. In addition, PlaceRaider would be able to listen live what is happening around, transforming the mobile phone into a real spyphone. So a prying eye might creep into our homes.

At the basis of the project there are the technologies that allow you to rotate images shown on the displays of smartphones. Some additional options would allow to the hackers to take and receive photos only when they are interested, to understand if smartphone is upside down or in the owner’s pocket, to automatically mute the sounds of shooting and to cover preview images of the photos just taken.
Collected data and images, the hacker, he will be able to create a 3D model of the environment in which the owner of the phone moved, calmly observe the objects and obtain valuable informations. For the moment, we can rest assured: this technology is guarded in the laboratory, but soon hackers engaged in industrial espionage or national security or common apartment thieves, could get hold and so it will be necessary take countermeasures.
In the domestic environment, have already been tested systems for bug sweeping that allow you to find microcameras, bugs and transmitters. Meanwhile, there is no danger for smartphones equipped with iOS and Windows Phone systems bacause at the moment the virus works only on Android.

Home with the GPS shoes

ottobre 1, 2012 Localization 4 Commenti

Dominic Wilcox, british designer, has created a fully functional prototype pair of shoes with a built-in GPS that will guide you home. The name of this extravagant invention is “No Place Like Home” and it’s inspired by the famous novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in witch the protagonist Dorothy, with her magic shoes, can go everywhere clicking her shoes together three times.

For Wilcox’s shoes, with expertly decorated sole, just beat the heels once. Infact, the shoes can be programmed by connecting to the computer. After uploading your required destination to the shoes with a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heel, is activated by a heel click. The GPS system is powered by a battery similar to those found in mobile phones. The shoes communicate with each of them and they have two different utility thanks to the microcontroller called “Arduninos”: the right shoe has a progress bar of lights to show to the wearer how close he is to the destination. Once you arrive at your destination the led will light green. Instead, the left shoes communicates via a ring of LED lights to point in the required direction.

The project, commissioned by the Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire, was exhibited at the London Design Festival 2012.
The uses of these shoes could be very numerous, we can think for example to Alzheimer’s sufferers or to those people who may have the habit of drinking a glass too or even to teenage children that are late at night and don’t want to go home or to the careless wife that continually loses the way.
GPS systems entered fully into our daily and now also in our shoes.

Deads alive…in the memory with the QR code

settembre 26, 2012 Technology 1 Commento

Companion of every moment of daily life, the technology doesn’t abandon us even after the death.

The idea comes from England by Stephen Nimmo, director of the funeral home “Chester Pearce” di Poole, that he thought to enclose the memory of the dead in QR Code (Quick Responses Code).
Invented in 1994 in Japan and circulated with ever-increasing frequency since 2005 with various uses and purposes, the QR Code are a special two-dimensional bar codes that contain within them information intended to be read through the use of a smartphone or other device able to interact with the modules of the square.

The code, place on the gravestone, when is scanned, connect the phone to a web page containing the biography, the pictures and even videos of the deceased.
Friends and close relatives, with passwords, can insert themselves contents and comments, making the memory of the their beloved, interactive and very social.
Those who subscribe the service can create a simple website, with few essential informations, or make it rich and meaningful.
In future, it may become a useful help to try to reconstruct own family tree.

The new system is designed to make known to those who visit the cemetery not only the name, the age and the date of death of who are buried, but a large quantity of informations. QR Codes are engraved on a small plate of granite or metal and then embedded or glued on the gravestones, monuments and commemorative plaques placed on the benches.

The service can cost up to £ 300, in addition to £ 95 for the creation and the hosting (unlimited) of the personal website.

The contents can really be infinite: movies of farewell or greeting, links to Facebook profile, writings and wills. In a not too distant future, it’s thought to a version in augmented reality, “live” thanks to an hologram of the deceased.

Technology doesn’t know more limits: see through the walls, open locks with our eyes and make revive the loved deceased, until not so long ago, were possibilities related only to the science fiction. It’s in any case essential use properly the new inventions that can help us, especially in the fields of surveillance and security.

One second to identify a person: the new FBI system

settembre 24, 2012 Biotechnology No Commenti

Its name is NGI, Next Generation Identification, the ultra-fast program that will allows to the FBI to identify in a very short time the americans offenders. How i twill do? It will do by connecting to a database containing photographs, iris scans, fingerprints, voice samples, DNA samples and much more. At the base, an efficient system for facial identifying. The recognition will start, in most cases, by a simple surveillance camera that captures images transferring them to the database.

FBI agents will be able to identify a wanted in the crowd through surveillance cameras or recognize him by the voice sound captured by a microrecorder or a phone with a spy software. But even with identifying marks such as scars, tattoos or skin blemishes. The reliability of the new system assumes a margin of error of 8% in the case in which NGI comparisons in approximately 1.2 seconds an image captured from any source, as surveillance cameras, with the database containing millions of criminals; while the reliability becomes 100% in the case in which the image to be compared comes from defined sources as in the case of mug shots.

The protection of privacy is the only obstacle to the project. Infact there is a high possibility that the image of an uncensured enters in the FBI system because it appears in the background of a criminal photo. It would also seem that the investigative agency intends to connect its database to the government sources.
This perspective has also aroused the interest of Anonymous who has already announced protests on 20 October. Of course, the group of protesters who are sensitive to issues of privacy, will catch the attention of many people.

The system, able to use new technologies for rapid feedback comparing the biometric data, about the press, is already in test phase in several U.S. states and it comes into operation in the summer of 2014. The cost seems to be around a billion dollars.

Coming soon the super smartphone batteries that will last 3 months

settembre 17, 2012 Localization 1 Commento

After the powerful GPS systems that have improved the use of our smarthphones, a dream could became reality. Not days, not weeks, but even months could be the battery life of our phone. Fantasy? No, it’s the product of a made in Italy project that, thanks to the nanotecnology exploitations, belives possible make higth autonomy batteries that can be used not only on phones, but also on other products and devices like as tablets, laptops, appliances and even electric cars.

The work, born from the collaboration between the nanotecnologies district, Veneto Nanotech, the Japanese Nagano Techno Foundation and the Japanese Shinshu University, will have public and private donations that will supports the development of “smart batteries”. The goal is make batteries able to despense the energy in a smart way, in order to drastically reduce the consumptions. How is it possible? Using the “coating”tecnique, that is a nanostructured covering that maximizes the life and the capacity of energy efficiency of batteries. The energy, infact, is crammed in some “stores” that are used one after the other, in sequence, so as to have many small batteries ready and efficient.

It’s difficult anticipate when these type of systems will be ready for the business: research and development of a technology has no precise timing. It’s hoped that as soon as possible could we forget at home the charger and make full use of our smartphones more and more advanced. So it will become more difficult to move away from our beloved smartphone which, however, has also become a real tool for detective or just curious. Infact, there are softwares able to control from a distance the movements of another telephone. These systems are used a lot for various kinds of interceptions and allow you to be notified of calls, messages and even environmental events. An easy and real time control system without excessive costs as is demostrated by one of the leader industries, Endoacustica.

Surveillance and security, the robot that acts like a guard in the flesh.

agosto 1, 2012 Technology 1 Commento

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is launching a new humanoid robot called Petman that could be used for military or civilian use, in rescue operations, for example. The new robots would not only be able to walk and run, but also to climb stairs, get into a vehicle and drive it, open the doors, free environment from the rubble and save lives. Remote controlled, but only in part, will also be able to “take decisions” by itself to complete its task.

That’s not science fiction, but the result of a continuous competition between researchers at DARPA, which will finance six teams of hardware robotic and twelve other of software robotics. Who will give the best results will have a higher remuneration. A great way to give a jolt to the U.S. Robotics which currently is still a step back to the Asian technology.

Moreover, in Italy, at the University of Pisa, researchers are developing  a robot with facial expression identical to that of humans, (FACE is its name) opening up a movie scenario. Think about how these pieces of technology can be used in different occasions, from every day life, in particular dangerous situations or for surveillance purposes, as if you had a keeper in the flesh, to natural disasters, wandering through the rubble, for example, looking for signs of life, perhaps with the help of tools to see through walls.

All scenarios that are being transformed from imagination, or engineering, to a reality in which men increasingly interact with their robotic alter ego to improve the quality of life and personal safety.

Endoacustica Europe

From Spain a system to fool biometric scanners.

luglio 31, 2012 Biotechnology No Commenti

Researchers at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid and West Virginia University have discovered a way to mislead iris biometric scanners used for access control in certain places.

When security systems based on iris scan create an imprint of the iris itself, they do not store the image to compare it in future with the real iris each time a person try to enter the place put under control. They, in fact, transform the image into a code consisting of about 5000 bits of data. This code is usually based on approximately 240 points of the image and is unique. Each person has his owm and when someone stands in front of the scanner, the code given by his iris is compared with those in the database. If the system finds a correspondence, the door opens.

And what about if a hacker were to gain access to this database, could he somehow reconstruct through the code a sort of artificial iris able to fool the security system? Until recently, this was pure science fiction. Today, as shown by researchers of Madrid and West Virginia University, this is really possible, thanks to a genetic algorithm which allows to reconstruct, after about 200 attempts, the image of an iris very similar to the original one and able to enter in his place.

What was considered one of the safest security systems in the world, based on the uniqueness of each individual, today, thanks to this research, begins to show its weaknesses. And what about if these studies applied to the locks based on fingerprint scanners? Nevertheless, these biometric systems are still the most inaccessible…

Endoacustica Europe

USA, a robot creates a Wi-Fi network and performs reconnaissance.

luglio 30, 2012 Technology No Commenti
A robot that set ut Wi-Fi Networks

It is not a simple system for cracking Wi-Fi networks, but so much more. It is an robot made of aluminium with the shape of a tank and is able to create a Wi-Fi network and to extend it in potentially dangerous and hazardous places, where connecting to the network is almost always problematic.

Weighing 150 pounds, is strong enough to carry a weight of 200 pounds, but its purpose is not transportation. It is equipped with a Wi-Fi router, a night-vision camera, a satellite tracker, so it can always be monitored, and a lithium battery that lasts up to 12 hours.

It is controllable via a browser interface (this means that it can be monitored from any computer), and contains a series of long-range repeaters that can be deployed at strategic points to allow the connection.

The really interesting thing is that, in addition to extending wireless networks, it can also perform night reconnaissance, moving even on inaccessible terrain, as it is really similar to a tank. Researchers at Northeaster University are studying a system to increase speed and to allow the robot to climb stairs. It has been studied, moreover, a system that will enable it to return to the base if it loses its WiFi connection.

Designed especially for military use, think about how it would be useful in areas affected by natural disasters, where the physical network infrastructure is sometimes damaged!

Endoacustica Europe

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Relevant artilcle

Attention to the new gadgets of thieves

14 Feb 2014

This may be the last discover of ingenious thieves who don’t hesitate to resort to the technology to hit unsuspecting victims. The news of recent months shows several cases where someone complains of being robbed, at home or in the company, after agreeing to unknowns small gadgets, deployed on the street, particularly at the crossings or when the light is red. The hypothesis is that these gadgets (lighters, key chains …

Never lose things again with the geolocation tools

19 Set 2013

The geolocation is getting closer, at your fingertips. We’re all constantly losing things. Keys, bag, charger and many other tools of daily use are very often forgotten, lost. The hard part is finding them. This discomfort could be deleted with the help of geolocation devices. In particular, big companies and startups are trying to answer to the distraction effects with products that will come soon on the market. Their secret would be an accessory, …

Stop mobile phones theft

30 Lug 2013

One hundred twenty thousand a year, ten thousand a month are the mobile phones stolen (or loss). These are the numbers from the homeland of mobile phones, smartphones and tablets thieves: London. The Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the police are really troubled about the weight of these statistics and asked to the same companies devices producing to investigate about what is happening. In particular, they asked to Apple, Samsung and …

Locate a mobile phone with the technique used by bats and dolphins

4 Lug 2013

Locate the exact position of a cell phone in enclosed spaces may become possible thanks to an algorithm that allows us to reconstruct the 3D shape of a room, listening to the echo of the sounds produced inside, even simple ones like the snap of the fingers. The project was developed by a research group at the EPFL. The researchers were inspired by echolocation, the system by which some animals …

Fish-robot will patrol the Thames River

10 Mag 2013

It’s environmental surveillance, the new frontier crossed by the fish-robot that will be released, in the coming months, in the Thames in order to sniff out pollution. Scenes like science fiction movies are recorded during the tests in the water. The robots will be released in groups of five in order to provide a mapping of the critical points and pollutant elements. The search will rely to the sensors built-in …

At the supermarket with the navigator

17 Gen 2013

GPS technology has now numerous applications in daily activities. Keep an eye on the kids, monitor the pet, follow the partner’s car is a cakewalk if you have the right tools. Shortly, it will possible use a sophisticated development of GPS technology in a shopping center or on the shelves of the supermarket so you’ll save time and optimize the product comparison. To lead the tour will be our trusty …

Internet of things will revolutionize our daily

10 Dic 2012

Web 3.0 isn’t yet far away. All the big laboratories are working hard to develop new applications concerning the Internet of things. With this neologism has been named the last frontier of online technology. The strength lies in the possibility given to objects to interact with each other by capturing and exchanging information. The alarm clock may sound for example in advance once found, through the Internet, heavy traffic conditions. …

Hop! the suitcase that follows you

13 Nov 2012

Pack your bags is always a problem. Weather conditions, formal and informal dresses, comfortable and casual, but also suited to special occasions that may occur…In short, a grind. And what often we create is a baggage too heavy and almost entirely useless. About 25 years ago, a pilot of the Nortwestern Airlines tried to obviate to the problem of having to lift heavy luggage introducing the trolley as we know …

Even sharks tracked with GPS

22 Ott 2012

Until recently, GPS tracking systems were used for the control of small animals. Now the GPS challenges even the most dangerous animals. Indeed, it is in an experimental phase the scientific mission of the American non profit association, Ocearch, led by Chris Fischer. During the operation, the sharks are caught, mainly in North America, and to them is applied a GPS tracking device, then they come back to the sea. …

Home with the GPS shoes

1 Ott 2012

Dominic Wilcox, british designer, has created a fully functional prototype pair of shoes with a built-in GPS that will guide you home. The name of this extravagant invention is “No Place Like Home” and it’s inspired by the famous novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in witch the protagonist Dorothy, with her magic shoes, can go everywhere clicking her shoes together three times. For Wilcox’s shoes, with expertly decorated sole, …