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Stalker, an iPhone app whose name says it all

giugno 12, 2012 Technology No Commenti
iphone stalker app

Suppose a friend asks you to spy her unfaithful boyfriend. Besides having him shadowed and see with your eyes as a witness, you also need to support your claims with evidence, perhaps taking photos without him noticing. Suppose, also, you only have your iPhone with you. What can you do? Now there’s a new application that lets you take pictures without attracting attention to yourself or to your phone and that allows to quickly disguise the screen as an innocent text message, in case someone decides to watch on your phone.

This new application, called “Photo Stalker Secret Spy App”, has a name that speaks volumes and can also take pictures discreetly hiding the flash, or any type of sound, and shooting at preset intervals, from every 1 to 5 seconds .
Installation is very simple and it only takes one touch to activate the application that will allow you also to instantly upload photos to blogs and social networks.

The app designer has already underlined that the application has been created for artistic purposes and amusement, and that under no circumstances it should be used for illegal purposes. But these, of course, are only good intentions. Soon, moreover, also a version for Android will be available.

And in case you do not have either an iPhone or a smartphone, but, however, you need to record what’s going on around you without getting caught? On the market you can find a variety of devices suitable for this purpose, but certainly the most used and most “cool” are the spy glasses, containing a tiny camera and a 4GB memory, so you can record what is ging on not only in dangerous situations, but also in leisure time, be it a bike or a “Candid Camera” addressed to a friend.

Definitely a more dicreet device than the “Stalker app” (it looks like an usual pair of glasses), spy glasses are ideal for filming a meeting at work and in all those occasions that require you to have both hands free to do other things.

From the United States, a scanner to frisk without physical contact

giugno 11, 2012 Technology No Commenti
body scanner

Among new technologies, useful either for personal and civilian defense or espionage, we have already heard about tools like a scanner pen that can scan documents and send them via Bluetooth or email, or devices like a through wall radar, useful to find kidnapped people or survivors in natural disasters like earthquakes.

A new instrument is cornering the market and is showing its usefulness in American police forces. The New York Police Department, in collaboration with the Department of Defense of the United States began, three years ago, to develop a portable scanner that can detect from a certain distance the presence of a gun, or any other weapon, on a person’s body.

The system, which uses infrared rays to detect the radiation emitted from the body of a person, each time that a solid object made of metal prevents the rays to reach the body, makes it appear on the scanner screen the shape of the identified object.

The body scanner works from a distance of about one meter (three or four feet), although Commissioner Ray Kelly of the New York Police Department hopes that the range will be extended up to 25 meters (82 feet).

The device should be mounted on police cars and would be used whenever there is the need to frisk someone without putting hands on him. It is a really useful tool for law enforcement, as it allows people to be body searched at a distance without the police officer coming into contact with potentially dangerous weapons. Of course, a biggest step would be to extend the range, as already recommended, but, even in its present condition, the scanner is a big step forward for the safety of people and police officers that everyday face difficult and dangerous situations and cases. And last but not the least, this device would take away the embarrassment of touching a person to frisk him/her.

A phone that immobilizes the attacker, a new frontier in self-defense?

giugno 7, 2012 Technology No Commenti
immobilizer mobile phone

Have you ever experienced, walking alone in a dark place or in a park, the anxiety that someone might hurt you? And have you ever thought of using blunt objects in your bag for any purpose of self defense?

You are probably thinking about the keys, something that you surely always carry with yourself and always like to hold in between the fingers thinking you could hurt someone with them . But you never thought about a cell phone or, better, to something that looks like a phone but that actually is a real weapon, an object to immobilize any attacker, without them thinking you are on the offensive.
The attacker will think you’re unarmed, but you can be sure of having the best stun gun at your side while walking back from work, the gym or while playing sports outdoors or taking the dog for a walk.
Immobilizer Cell Phone Stun Gun, this is its name, is really like a mobile phone and, looking at its design, nobody would realize that it is something other than a phone. This device, operating with a compact lithium-ion battery, also has, of course, a safety switch so that you do not use this weapon against yourselves.
Looking like a normal phone, however, analyzing it more closely, it is easy to see what it actually is. It should be remembered, moreover, that you are not allowed to bring it in certain locations. That is why, perhaps, instead of this tool, in dangerous situation you can rely on an anti-robbery and personal safety alarm which, with its particularly acute sound, is able to put on the run not only aggressors, but also rabid dogs or other dangerous animals.
If you also fear that the safety lock of the immobilizer phone-gun could not work properly and that this so powerful weapon could hurt you, then it would be better to buy a self defense indelible spray which, unlike the common pepper sprays, not only dims the attacker’s view, but indelibly stain his face for three days allowing, in this way, an easier identification.

A new spherical robot for video surveillance.

giugno 6, 2012 Technology No Commenti
robot for video surveillance

Remote-controlled unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have proven very useful in military applications, but several industry studies show that they can also be applied to civil security.

A good example of these tools is the GroundBot, produced by a Swedish company. Able to roll in the mud, in sand, snow and even float on water, this particular robot has a spherical shape and has a couple of cameras that allow the remote operator to see everything that is happening around in 3D.

Remotely controlled or programmed through an indipendent system, based on GPS technology, GroundBot can be equipped with cameras that allow a 360 degrees and night vision (IR), microphones and speakers, as well as sensors for the detection of radioactivity, gases, moisture, fire, heat, smoke, biological materials, explosives or drugs.

GroundBot has all its sensors and cameras well protected inside the sphere sealed to prevent sand, mud, gas and water from entering. This makes it particularly suitable to detect gas leaks. Also resistant to overturns, drops and knocks. It can move and rotate in multiple directions with acceleration and deceleration. GroundBot is driven by a patented system with a pendulum mechanism. To start the rotation, the built-in motor raises the pendulum located inside the sphere, thereby changing the center of gravity. This brings the spherical robot to roll in the desired direction.

With a speed up to 10 km / h (6 mph), the robot can be used on any type of ground or surface, even on a smooth and paved one. It can run up to 8-16 hours, while it takes 3-4 hours to recharge the battery. Equipped with a housing made of polycarbonate with a high friction coating, the size of this instrument is comparable to a car tire, measuring 60 cm (23.6 inches) in diameter, while the weight of 25 kg (55 lbs).

An instrument, therefore, that joins to other surveillance systems of this nature, such as robots equipped with wireless webcam, or of any other nature, such as the 3G spy cameras, more discrete and with a slightly different use. The robot, infact, is best suited for surveillance in places such as airports, railway stations, power plants and warehouses, and for applications such as perimeter protection and monitoring of events at the stadium, that is for all those places or events that require monitoring on the move.

Bulletproof underpants protect your privates.

giugno 5, 2012 Technology No Commenti
bulletproof underpants

Soldiers patrolling the streets of Afghanistan on foot usually face a number of dangers that surely they would not find if they were in a tank. One such risk is posed by improvised explosive devices (or IED), which often cause the loss of limbs or damage to the “boy parts” of the body.

For this purpose a system of pelvic protection has been developed which comprises two layers: an under-garment, called “PUG” and a protective outer-garment, called “POG”. Both components can be worn as shorts. The PUG is easily worn under pants instead of underwear. It looks very similar to cycling shorts but it has, of course, a level of military protection. The POG, instead, is worn over the PUG and is even more protective and resistant.

Although it certainly can not completely protect these men from something like a IED explosion, this special underwear not only protects the femoral artery, thereby preventing loss of blood that can be fatal, but it also helps to reduce infections, often caused by particles of the explosives material.

The PUG is made of a breathable, moisture-wicking material along the outer thighs. The inner thighs, instead, are made with a knitted Kevlar to protect the flashy parts and the aforementioned femoral artery. Over the groin there is another layer of knitted Kevlar. These clothes are washable, weigh in at just under three pounds and they probably will be sold for about $ 95. We don’t know anything about available colours yet.

These garments are surely very useful not only for soldiers, but also for those who find themselves in situations that require some protection for the flashy parts of their body, while allowing perfect mobility and agility. No longer, therefore, only bulletproof clothing and dresses with rubber shock absorbing pad that allow you to secure rigid parts of the body, but also more security for the soft parts, easy targets in contexts of armed clashes or other.

Application transforms your smartphone into a bomb detector.

giugno 4, 2012 Technology 2 Commenti
bomb sniffer

Unexploded ordnance and landmines planted in what were once battlefields are a serious global problem. About 2000 people every month are involved in accidents due to explosion of mines, a victim every twenty minutes, many of them are children. NATO experts extimate that demining the areas affected by conflicts around the world could take up to 100 years.

Many have been the efforts to develop new technologies to detect these dangers, such as the use of terahertz waves and inkjet-printable sensors. But, instead of relying on the development of new technologies, some students of the Military University of Technology of Warsaw tried to use an existing one in a new way, developing an application called “Saper” to detect explosives with smartphones.

“Saper” is the Polish word for “minesweeper” and, at the same time, an acronym for “Amplified Perception Sensor For Explosives Recognition”. The application is based on the magnetometer, usually used for the compass-like functionality of your mobile, to detect disturbances in the magnetic field near an explosive material, allowing to detect forty different types of such materials, from a distance of 30 cm (11 , 8 inches).

Before the suspected area can be inspected the application, which was successfully tested on the field, needs a little time to calibrate the environment. Once done, all you have to do is shake the phone in the air as if you were painting a grid of up to 30 cm by 30 cm and not more than 30 cm away from the source of potential threat (the distance can be increased with the addition of a staff acting like an arm).

The application connects to a cloud-based server and compares the recorded signals of magnetic disturbance with other signals in the database. If a threat is detected, the application returns a warning message and identifies the probability of there beig some kind of explosive material in the sampled area. The GPS locator, then, identifies the site and immediately notify the authorities. The message of threat can also be automatically shared on social networks.

“We do not intend for SAPER to replace mine detection devices, but only to provide additional help when none are available ,” said Mariusz Chmielewski, the mentor of Polish students’ team.

Participant in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition, the application was developed exclusively for Windows Phone operating system but will soon be made available on other platforms. Other planned developments include a wireless external magnetometer which will increase the detection distance up to one meter (3.28 feet).

The group also plans to explore the possibility of using the magnetometer to monitor other types of disturbances of the magnetic field. Potential uses include the detection of cables inside a wall and detection of foreign bodies in the human body. In this way, the device will join other tools, already in use and certainly more professional, which allow to see through walls, thanks to a technology that uses radio waves of the UWB (ultra wide band) radar system.

Wi-Fi cufflinks for elegant secret agents.

giugno 1, 2012 Technology No Commenti
Wi-Fi Cufflinks

The 007 of modern times, as well as being brave, cunning, sly, must also be high-tech, if you want to keep up with the times and if you do not want to be confined in a film of the Sixties.

We have already heard about cufflinks that are actually usb pen drive, but we could never imagine to have these devices in a new version, to share a Wi-Fi network.

If a cufflink, in fact, behaves as a normal pen drive up to 2 GB, allowing to transport safely and in a discreet and confidential way files and documents of various types, the other cufflink is a mini WiFi router, able to turn any computer connected to the Internet in a hotspot for other devices.

Simple and easy to use, just plug it into a USB port of the PC with the connection you want to share, download the necessary program, which you actually could have ready on the other flash-drive cufflink, and wirelessly share the connection with other WiFi devices, whether laptops, smartphones and tablets.

While most places these days seem to have Wi-Fi available, these devices would be the ideal solution for situations where there is only a wired Internet connection and you want to share it with colleagues. Indeed, they allow you to create a fast and easy connection using only your PC and can be disconnected as soon as it is no longer needed.

In short, with USB Oval Polished Cufflinks offered by Brookstone, you can feel like if you were in a spy movie, with the secret papers hidden in one of the cufflinks at the wrist.
If, then, your need is to be able to crack existing Wi-Fi Network, it can be done quickly and securely with a wpa sniffer, a tool able to enter into all the password-protected wireless networks.

Connected to any device, looking like a simple router, it enables to connect to all wireless networks, whether protected by wep or wpa passwords, to surf the web freely without any contract and especially with a high speed connection.

Means that the modern James Bond can not and will not to ignore, if we consider that communication and information, whether public or secret, now pass through the Internet.

Turning the iPhone into a valuable night vision scope.

maggio 31, 2012 Technology No Commenti
iPhone Night Vision Adapter

Fans of Apple technologies probably already know. Now you can turn your iPhone (4 and 4S models) into a device for night video and image recording, allowing to spy what other people are doing in the dark.

A new application? No, there’s not an app for that! It’s not that simple and it’s not for everyone, since the costs are not exactly low. For those who would like to obtain this device simply because it is a “cool” gadget (and it is for real), you’d better keep in mind the quite prohibitive costs.

We are talking about a device, the iPhone USNV Night Vision Adapter. An adapter, in short, a kind of telescope to be connected to the iPhone which enables you to clearly see everything that happens in a night environment without any light. Once installed the external device, the iPhone offers, thus, a display for night vision and to record video and photos, zoom and adjust optic settings, geo-tag your footage, and send images to others.

“This adapter really is a game changer. By integrating their iPhones and night vision scopes, professionals in the field can take the individual situational awareness that they currently enjoy to the next level, team-based shared awareness. For command and control, shared awareness supercharges their ability to plan, direct and control a networked emergency response,” said Stewart Firman, the director of NightVisionExperts.com.

The Night Vision iPhone Adapter, then, is not for everyone. The average user, in fact, might find it of limited use and interest. Much more useful is, however, for first responders and other professionals who seek a means of sending critical data quickly and cost efficiently. Other potential users include sportsmen, surveillance professionals and broadcasters.

People who does not have an iPhone, instead, can now rely on other devices that allow a clear vision even in the darkest nights. They can acquire, for example, a thermal camera, the cost of which are no longer an obstacle for those who need to do night shooting in a discreet and, above all, accurate way. Thermal cameras, in fact, today are more and more silent, with no warning lights and they can really work in extreme environments, in a very wide temperature range, enabling you to take pictures even far away from the operator, with powerful zoom and very high resolution.

Social Shield, a new tool to control children’s activity on the Web.

maggio 30, 2012 Technology No Commenti
remote pc spying

The age limit imposed by Facebook to sign up is currently 13 years. Needless to say, of course, that there are many kids that go around this obstacle by declaring a false date of birth, often escaping the parental control. Moreover, parents are not always experts in new technologies and cannot monitor what their children do and say through the Web. Besides, thanks to the use of state-of-the-art mobile phones, such as smartphones, new generations have the opportunity to connect to the Internet everywhere, especially away from parents’ sharp look.

Often it is not enough to ask their friendship on Social Networks because, you know, by changing privacy settings the user can easily keep “hot” contents from some selected groups of people.

But today there are new tools to monitor the activities of your children. On the market there is a new system to control what is going on Social Media accounts. It’s called SocialShield and is suitable for parents who really want to see every movement of their children on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and so forth.

This product is able to monitor “social” activities of your children either on the computer or on mobile devices, retaining all the information in a permanent archive. The tool allows you to examine both new friends of your child and old ones, and enables to display, on a single platform and without wasting time in analyzing any single, questionable activities that your child is doing by notifying you each time something unsafe (like swearing or inappropriate images) appears on the Social Network account placed under surveillance.

If, for example, your son or daughter receives a message with inappropriate content, you will instantly receive a warning alarm.
The system is based on the “exception reporting” technology, which displays only the contents at risk, thus leaving room for the privacy and indipendence the kids need.

Clearly, however, this tool is not enough to make parents feel less worried about their children’s online activities. So, it could be useful for them to rely on remote PC spying systems or keyhunters, which record all the characters typed on the keyboard by children. E-mail, chats, visited web addresses, instant messages exchanged with their buddies, nothing can now escape parental control, while they will continue to feel “adult” and independent with their privacy, not noticing the hidden spy equipment.

New surveillance system identifies faces by scanning 36 million images per second.

maggio 29, 2012 Technology No Commenti
video surveillance

Privacy advocates, brace yourselves! Japan has developed a new surveillance device that identifies faces by scanning millions of images per second.
The Hitachi Kokusai Electric has demonstrated how this new system can compare an image captured with a mobile phone or from hidden cameras or other video surveillance systems, such as 3G spy camera, with 36 million images per second, until a perfect matching of faces.
While the minimum resolution required for identification is at least 40×40 pixels, the provided software allows facial recognition even in the case faces are inclined horizontally or vertically up to 30 degrees.
The software also enables to identify faces in already registered or old videos, which means that users will see what the wanted person was doing before and after the freeze-frame.
What does this mean? That the greatest barrier of video surveillance has been exceeded. No more need to watch gruelling hours of video recorded by hidden cameras to find what you want.
The power of this system lies in the ability of its algorithm to group similar faces together, returning the results as thumbnails arranged in a grid, from which you can easily remove results considered wrong, or which do not perfectly match.
It is easy to see how the scenarios that open for its use are endless. The police, for example, could find it useful to trap criminals from old videos, or find them in the midst of large crowds. Moreover it will be easier to catch in the act a thief which has committed several burglaries in the same business and to discover very quickly how many times that person has been in that store.
The company said that the product will be available by the next fiscal year and it will be up to the company itself to ensure customers make an appropriate use. Customized to specific customer’s needs , the product shall be restricted mainly to the police, shopping centers or large companies.
This news should make anyone concerned about privacy shudder, but the fact that competing systems like this will follow requires legislators to define how the technology can be used legally, as with other surveillance systems, like license-plate recognition cameras.


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