How to protect your smartphone from being tapped using encryption tools

Defending your privacy on smartphones or other mobile devices from hackers and data thieves is not easy, actually not even impossible if you have decided to take advantage of special hardware contrivances as well as to install the right tools on. That’s the reason why we are going now to …

Mobile phone spy software: all you need to know before starting to spy on a cell phone

Why should anyone ever want to spy on a cell phone at a distance? Well, there could be a lot of reasons for that, actually as we said so many times, to spy on someone’s mobile is illegal. However there are extreme situations, related to the personal sphere, requiring an …

How to choose the best spy bugs without getting tricked

Lately searching for a valid product on the Internet has become a very difficult task. For example, in the case of spy bug transmitters or any other electronic device commonly used in the investigation field, you will note that along with those few old companies, come also across a lot …

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

A fatigue detector for mining workers

maggio 25, 2010 Technology No Commenti

What at first sight looks just like your ordinary baseball cap, might actually save lives among those who, for their work, are engaged in conditions of extreme stress and heavy fatigue, that is, inside the tunnels of a mine.

Developed in Australia, where incidents among miners and truck drivers are unfortunately quite common even in our technological era, SmartCap is designed for truck drivers who carry material to and from the mines, and on the inside it houses an array of stress detectors, that is, small sensors which, without using a gel but rather by means of contact with the human hair, are capable of assessing the level of fatigue and strain suffered by the brain.

The brain waves picked up by the sensors are read and transmitted through a Bluetooth connection, and the relevant data is displayed on a screen inside the truck and on a computer at the main base, in order to enable the driver or his boss to take the appropriate security measures before having unpleasant consequences.

Thanks to its convenient location inside the cap, this technology is absolutely not intrusive, avoiding problems at an emotional level for the drivers who might feel a bit like a guinea pig or under surveillance.

On the contrary, during the test phase (after the project started in 2008), this system has received a very favorable feedback from the drivers it has been tested on, with a long line of volunteers who happily gave their consent to try a new tool which could dramatically improve their working condition. Therefore, such a similarly enthusiastic response is also expected by the time it will be launched on the market, at least in Australia.

Defense from chemical attacks comes from your mobile phone

maggio 25, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Modern mobile phones are always smaller, and packed with features and functions which make them very different from the first generation of mobile phones, heavy and used only to call or send messages. Modern smartphones are intelligent devices that allow us to take our office with us, along with all features we need for our work even when we are not in the office.

For those who are not working in an office or as managers, but as military personnel, and are engaged in first line combat in hostile areas, the functionalities of a “normal” cellphone may not be so necessary, while they could be very interested in the result of a research project carried out by the US National Security Agency, in cooperation with San Diego-based Rhevision Inc.

This research project is working on a sensor that would detect toxic gas, made up of a silicon flake which changes its color when it detects certain chemical agents. Inside the chip which houses the flake, there is a microcamera, smaller than the tip of a pencil, which capture the image of the color and displays it on the phone screen.

In order to analyze color shades, which can determine the kind of chemical agent encountered, the project is using a super macro lens, developed by Rhevision, of liquid consistency which allows it to rapidly change its shape and its focus.
By teaming up several flakes capable of detecting different chemicals, it is possible to recreate some kind of “nose”, to be placed on a mobile phone for instant detection of chemicals or toxic gases.

This sensor might turn out very useful not only for military personnel caught by a chemical attack, but also, once the sensor is developed properly, for firefighters who may be able to detect the presence of the deadly and odorless carbon monoxide during a fire, and don a gas mask before it’s too late.

A GPS based rescue system to save a life in danger

maggio 25, 2010 Technology No Commenti

As explained in our previous post, the GPS network now gives the opportunity to take advantage of an extreme precision in locating places, people or objects.
One of the most useful applications of the GPS network is called DASS, which stands for Distress Alerting Satellite System, that is, a system, managed by NASA, which quickly identifies the position of people in danger, thus reducing risk for rescuers and dramatically increasing the odds of a successful rescue operation.

This satellite rescue system, since its inception approximately 30 years ago, has saved over 27000 lives. In its latest version, it will be possible to identify much faster the exact origin of an alert signal sent by a plane, a ship, a car or a truck connected to the satellite network, thus immediately sending a signal with the position to rescuers such as firefighters, first aid or police forces.

In fact, by using the higher precision provided by the GPS network, DASS will be able to determine the signal’s origin with an accuracy of up to 1cm, thus saving time which, in these occasions, might literally save lives.

Furthermore, the DASS is currently using a network of satellite orbiting at lower heights than the GPS, and are therefore able to cover a smaller portion of Earth, and the alert signal might be picked up with a potentially deadly delay. With the constant coverage provided by GPS, the alert is sent out in real time and with absolute precision, an improvement which is being evaluated also in other countries, for example in the European Union, where the same system should soon be introduced also on the Galileo satellite network, and in Russia and China, for a life-saving worldwide cooperation beyond ideological or political barriers.

The new GPS satellite network, precision up to 1cm

maggio 24, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Not everyone may be aware of it, but nowadays, the Global Positioning System network (or GPS, as the acronym goes) is one of the pillars that keep the world as it is, some sort of nervous system of our planet and of technology as a part of our everyday life.

The data transmitted over this network is used not only to find our way in a city we have never visited before, to define routes covered by ships or planes or to carry out military operations marking a sensitive target, which will later be brought down by high precision satellite-guided rockets, but also, for example, to regulate bank transactions and the New York Stock Exchange market.

In fact, the time at Wall Street (as well as in many ATM networks) is marked by an atomic clock, in order to ensure absolute precision in moving huge sums of money. And this atomic clock is managed, you guess it, by the GPS network, which guarantees the required precision, up to one millionth of a second.

From now on, this extremely precise system will become even more precise, providing for a total and absolute coverage of each centimeter of our planet. In fact, the United States, who own the GPS network, have just launched the first of 24 satellites which, one by one, will replace those which are already in geostationary orbit and that allow us to find our way home with a precision level up to a few meters.

This upgrading phase of the satellite network will give new generation navigation systems an accuracy up to only one centimeter, as already said. Basically, any object on the face of our planet will potentially be recognizable by the new GPS system.

Nowadays, by using the right GPS location system, it is already possible not only to obtain driving directions and road information, but also to track down Alzheimer patients who may lose the sense of orientation and inadvertently get lost, keep track of the location of your staff to make sure that they carry out their duties or that they follow a certain route, or to locate cattle which may get lost or end up in trouble.

GPS systems are also used in the military field and for satellite monitoring operations, in order to keep under control convicted criminals released on parole or under a strict surveillance. Thanks to the new version, their whereabouts can literally be tracked down to the inch, allowing detectives and law enforcement agencies to achieve perfect results during their surveillance ops.

Of course, the possibility that a satellite can track down our every movement with such a precision might alert not only those who have something to hide, but also the common man, who might see his privacy given away to an almost almighty “Big Brother” (no, it’s not the TV show we are talking about!) which can influence his life thanks to GPS data.

For example, on a theoretical basis, a service provider might track down movements and locations from your GPS-equipped mobile phone, analyzing the time you spend inside a shop when you visit it, in order to identify your taste and send you tailored advertising messages on your phone.

This is just an idea, but Big Brother is already here, all we can do is defend ourselves by using it to our convenience whenever possible, and our lives may only benefit from this!

A portable biometric scanner takes security everywhere

maggio 23, 2010 Technology No Commenti

It is nicknamed, with a little bit of boasting, the most powerful biometric identification device ever seen. In fact, HIIDE (which stands for Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment) has well deserved to be defined like this, thanks to the approximately 65 thousand units currently in use around the world, especially in areas like Iraq and Afghanistan, and thanks to a 10 million dollar order that the US Department of Defense has recently placed with Whipsaw, the factory which produces it.

What is it exactly? HIIDE is a portable biometric scanner, which looks not much different from a standard photo camera, which thanks to three different parameter (analysis of iris, of fingerprint and of facial features) is capable of establishing and verifying a person’s identity.
It can work either connected to a PC or stand alone, making it a perfect tool for identification in open areas.

HIIDE can store up to 22000 different complete profiles, with two iris scans, a face picture, ten fingerprints and a full set of personal data of the identified person.
Just take a scan of the eyes, a face picture, ask the person being identified to pass their fingers on the fingerprint sensor, and the job is done.

At this point, the data gathered is matched against the database on the device, which can store up to 256 MB of names. If the name and details are not found, it is possible, through a wireless connection, to match it against an array of worldwide databases covering the entire planet.

Once the person standing before you is identified and recognized, they will gain access to the protected area or facility. Otherwise their data might be stored after the standard identification procedures, and added to the worldwide database.

New infrared micro lens for enhanced night vision

maggio 23, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Great news for those who are engaged with night surveillance and monitoring of sensitive targets… but the news are bad for those who hope that darkness might help them hide their activities, especially if they are illegal, from prying eyes.

In fact, a research team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State, is at work on a micro lens which might help in the creation of high power satellite cameras and night vision devices.

In order to augment the sensitivity to infrared light, researchers have been using a set of nanotubes coated with gold; thanks to the nanotubes’ capability of focusing the light which is picked up by the infrared detector, the normal sensitivity is doubled; by applying further modifications and improvement to the system, made up of myriads of gold-plated tiny holes, the researchers’ goal is to multiply the lenses’ sensitivity up to 20 times when compared to systems currently in use.

By applying this technology to satellite imaging systems, there would be benefits not only in satellite monitoring of military targets or sensitive areas, but also In scientific research, for example to keep under control the health level of our forests and, on a larger scale, to monitor climate changes.

In the video surveillance field, the benefits in terms of performance are immediate, as surveillance operations would find a new tool capable of dramatically improving the current night vision systems’ performance, providing absolute reliability to an evidence or intelligence gathering operation in low lighting conditions.

Furthermore, this technology might be put to good use in the military field, giving soldiers on a night mission on hostile areas or rough terrain one more device to easily detect hidden enemies.

A mobile phone controlled camera to keep your pets under control

maggio 22, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Many of us, and in particular those who have a dog or a cat at home, may be worried that, during their absence on a working day, their little friend might end up in trouble or cause some small (or big!) accident in the house, because of the curious and playful nature that makes us love our four-legged friends so much.

To meet this kind of needs, the latest novelty comes, needless to say, from Japan, a country where the love for pets goes together with that for technological innovation. In fact, the Japanese factory SoftBank has just launched on the market its Mimamori, a remote monitoring system which allows its users to see in real time what is going on at home, and to do it comfortably on their cellphone (of course, for those who have a video call-enabled handset and provider).

The camera is mounted inside a small dome, which vaguely resembles the R2D2 robot character from the Star Wars movies; the viewer can move within a range of just 35 degrees to the left or right, tilt 40 degrees upwards and 5 degrees down. By placing Mimamori in a corner, you should easily be able to cover an entire room with ease.

By sending a simple SMS from your cellphone, Mimamori will immediately take a snapshot, and send it right away back as a reply to your message. Also, its motion sensor allows it to automatically take pictures whenever it detects something, like for example a dog or a cat, within its operating range; the embedded Micro SD memory card allows for saving of the image stills, which can then be downloaded on your PC..

The price of this small Japan-made video camera has not been disclosed yet, therefore we will have to wait until September, when it is scheduled for launch on the Japanese market.

Boeing to launch its unmanned invisible Phantom Ray aircraft

maggio 22, 2010 Technology No Commenti

After a development phase which lasted a mere two years (a really short time in this particular field), Boeing has just introduced its Phantom Ray, a new unmanned aircraft or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) which brings together a variety of elements which make it one of a kind.

In fact, thanks to its video and imaging systems, and integrated satellite positioning, it can be used to gather information and intelligence from the sky, as well as for surveillance and enemy target reconnaissance operations. Furthermore, Phantom Ray can be equipped with conventional weaponry to attack targets on the ground, and can transmit radio waves in order to scramble enemy defense systems.

All of the above is combined with a Stealth type design, which makes it invisible for enemy radars, allowing it to fly undisturbed even at very long range, thanks to the possibility of using in-flight refueling.

Phantom ray has a wingspan of approximately 15 meters, and a length around 11, and has been developed by Boeing Phantom Works, a division of the Seattle giant dedicated to development of invisible aerial vehicles, and is based on a system which was created around 10 years ago for the J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Air System) in cooperation between the US navy and the US Air Force.

After the first test runs, which are supposed to take place during this summer, the Phantom Ray plane should start taking off before the end of the year, with the aim of becoming one of the standards in this particular field of military avionics, further increasing the automation of combat systems, thus increasing security (and diminishing risk) for ground personnel.

Your Spy Phone software? Check it carefully

maggio 11, 2010 Technology No Commenti

The ever increasing availability of diverse mobile phones on the market, with new and apparently incompatible operating systems, can sometimes end up creating small problems, for example when you are trying to export the data contained on your old phone towards a new one which works under a different platform.

As well, in the phone surveillance field, using a spy software for the different operating systems you can find on our common mobile phones, such as Symbian or Windows Mobile, or on phones with a proprietary system such as Blackberry or iPhone, might create problems if the management software of your spy cellphone is purchased from non certified or non reliable dealers, or if you are using an off-the shelf low cost product.

This kind of software, once it is installed on the spy handset used by the person you want to keep under surveillance, might create some problems in terms of stability, or function in an incomplete or unpredictable fashion, with the danger of raising suspicions or, ultimately, to thwart an entire surveillance operation which went on for months.

For example, a spy software can send you a copy of each text message, both incoming and outgoing, without leaving any trace on the phone on which it is installed. A low quality product might leave some sign, for example in the history of sent messages, and its user would have the opportunity to smell something fishy with his phone, and would start asking himself questions on what’s really going on.

In other situations, a software that has not specifically been tailored on your handset model might encounter some malfunctions, such as for example a sudden reset or power off, which might take place just when we are secretly in the middle of listening to an important conversation, which would then get lost.

The list of problems created by this kind of low cost software tools might go on forever, but the worst of all is that, when you find yourselves in this kind of situation and your phone starts acting weird, the reseller from whom you purchased it might easily blame any trouble on the phone manufacturer, leaving you with a useless product, which might have set you back a small fortune.

This kind of resellers can generally be contacted only via a website, an email address or via Skype (if only they were ever online…). On the contrary, those who have an urgent need in the surveillance field, need not only to be able to constantly monitor actions and conversations of the person under control, be it a family member, an employee or a business partner, but also to be able to get in touch at any possible time with the product supplier.

In such situations, it is absolutely mandatory to consult someone who not only gives you a virtual address, but first and foremost, a phone hotline you can reach almost anytime, and a real address that you can visit if you are around, where you will be able to find experts at your disposal to give you the suitable advice for your needs, because when we are talking about telephone surveillance, protection of your privacy and your security and so on, the issue is not saving money, but rather spending it well!

A small surveillance helicopter against pirates

maggio 10, 2010 Technology No Commenti

The Canadian aerospace industry Bombardier, more popular for its small to medium sized passenger aircraft, has decided to venture into the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) arena, with the prototype of an unmanned helicopter designed to be used as a protection against a possible pirate attack against private or commercial vessels.

Crows Nest, as it is named, sports a relatively small size (only 30 x 60 centimeters) but in spite of this, it is equipped with a high definition color video camera, with one in black and white to be used in low lighting conditions, and with a thermal infrared camera which can detect objects within its operating range by the heat they release (for example from the engine).

On top of all this, it is equipped with a GPS positioning system which allows to stay constantly in touch with the mother boat and operate around it. By flying circles around the boat, it creates a perimeter which is kept under constant surveillance, and as soon as it detects the movement of an object big enough to be considered as a possible threat for the vessel and the people on it, it will immediately inform them by sending an alarm on board, allowing everyone to get ready for a confrontation, or for an escape towards a safe harbor.

In times when pirates are taking advantage of modern technologies and techniques, and attack in swarms with light speedboats, it is important to be prepared and adopt a suitable defense system. Of course, the Crows Nest micro helicopter can also be used to defend sensitive targets on the mainland, for example by monitoring the territory around your home, especially for those who live in a villa with a large park around it and want to protect themselves against unwanted guests, not only pirates at sea, but also those swarming the city seas!

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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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