July 21, 2004

Wearable Investment

chrtsrv.gifXybernaut, wearable computer manufactuer, is being touted as a good investment according to Michael Bush of MSN Money. While I personally would be more likely to put money into a new pair of boots or buy wearable computer parts, I do agree that this company will likely do well in the upcoming year, but then again I'm a cyborg-fanboy so I'm tainted.

The interesting thing about all of this, is just what I've been previously seen in this "post nine-eleven world", that Xybernaut is riding the government money train. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. I believe all police should be recording both their point of view, and everything they say. After all, situations like Abu Ghraib don't happen when everyone is accountable.

shortguy2.jpg

"Xybernaut devices also are being used by police departments and emergency responders. They consult pre-loaded architectural plans when responding to a fire at a large building or a shopping mall, for example. That way, they´┐Żll know the building layout and what materials are inside. This application makes Xybernaut a homeland defense play, of sorts." [MSN Money]

[Link via news.google.com: wearable computer]

Posted by nym at 09:01 AM | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

ACLU Bust Card for Photographers

Reader Len Norton wrote in with a great tip in response to the uncamera'd post describing a pdf/palmbook similar to the ACLU's Bust Card but released by Attorney Bert P. Krages. The free document is a quick and well written guide for photographers who want to know where and when they legally can snap their photos.

From the front page of their distribution site:

"The right to take photographs is now under assault more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples include photographing industrial plants, bridges, and vessels at sea. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has contributed to improvements in civil rights, curbed abusive child labor practices, and provided information important to investigating crimes. These images have not always been pretty and often have offended the sensibilities of governmental and commercial interests who had vested interests in a status quo that was adverse to the majority in our country."

From "The Photographer's Right":

bustcard.gif"Who Is Likely to Violate Your Rights

Most confrontations are started by security guards and employees of organizations who fear photography. The most common reason given is security but often such persons have no articulated reason. Security is rarely a legitimate reason for restricting photography. Taking a photograph is not a terrorist act nor can a business legitimately assert that taking a photograph of a subject in public view infringes on its trade secrets. On occasion, law enforcement officers may object to photography but most understand that people have the right to take photographs and do not interfere with photographers. They do have the right to keep you away from areas where you may impede their activities or endanger safety. However, they do not have the legal right to prohibit you from taking photographs from other locations."

...

"Despite misconceptions to the contrary,
the following subjects can almost always be photographed lawfully
from public places:"

  • Accident and fire scenes
  • Children
  • Celebrities
  • Bridges and other infrastructure
  • Residential and commercial buildings
  • Industrial facilities and public utilities
  • Transportation facilities (e.g., airports)
  • Superfund sites
  • Criminal activities
  • Law enforcement officers

Other sections include: "They Have Limited Rights to Bother", Question, or Detain You", "They Have No Right to Confiscate Your Film", "Your Legal Remedies If Harassed", and "How to Handle Confrontations". All of which is on one small reference page that you can fold up and put in your wallet.

Makes me want to print up a bunch for my photography and photojournalist friends.

JWZ and the livejournal crowd have this to say on the subject.

Update: "the whole photographic freedom debate just annoys me...it seems so clear to me :-)" [Rich_Gibson]

[Link thanks Len!]

Posted by nym at 12:47 AM | TrackBack

May 21, 2004

Be vwery vwery quiet...

dupe.jpgWell, if it's your interest to be sneaky and take other people's information, then the Forensic MD5 is just what you've been waiting for.

This is a hard drive duplicator designed for spies, law enforcement, and other devious types. I amost wanted one just for the spy-tech factor until I saw their website, which made me gag, which lables it as the "ULTIMATE WEAPON AGAINST CYBER-CRIME".

These spy devices are already being used by the police, FBI and auditors to duplicate hard drives in order to collect forensic evidence.

...The handheld has built-in USB connectivity and slot access to PCMCIA for laptops. It can also search for hundreds of words while capturing at full speed.

[from engadget]

Posted by nym at 02:12 PM | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

Steal this Bike

AmsterdamBike.jpgAmsterdam Police are taking a proactive approach to nicking bike theives by use of GPS emitters of some sort. Hopefully this approach to theft prevention will be effective. On the other hand, maybe the bike isn't neccessary, as one stupid bloke proved by stealing a GPS emmitter designed for house arrest.

Now I wonder if we can find some cheap GPS emitters for bikes at Burning Man. Every year I hear rumors of trucks being filled with stolen bikes on the night of the burn. Maybe the police force would even be up for helping. I hope they're not only interested in sex and drugs.

Read [via Gizmodo]

Posted by nym at 10:19 AM | TrackBack