According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), 129,000 Americans are sent to hospital and 3,000 die each year from food poisoning. Currently, tracing contaminated food is largely a matter of record keeping and detective work, but Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, in partnership with DNATrek, have developed DNATrax, a DNA-based additive for directly tracking food from producer to consumer.
There are a number of systems out there designed to keep pirates from boarding ships, incorporating everything from lasers
to acoustic devices
to writhing water hoses
. However, what happens if the pirates get on board anyway? If the ship is equipped with the Marine Armor System, a series of ballistic blinds will roll down throughout the vessel, blocking access to its interior.
Today's ships are equipped with radar systems that let them identify other ships from a distance, and while that works well enough for collision avoidance, those systems aren't the greatest at detecting small watercraft ... such as the low-slung skiffs often used by pirates. That's where WatchStander comes in. It's a radar system that's designed to pick out such boats, and then deter their crews before they can attack.
As modern-day piracy continues to be a real threat to ships in some parts of the world, people are likewise continually coming up with new ways of projecting crews and passengers against attacks. While some anti-piracy systems have utilized things such as sound waves
, a new one uses something that is decidedly lower tech – flailing water hoses.
The Pirate Bay has announced that it may soon take to the skies in its ongoing efforts to avoid the authorities. Various governments and legal teams across the globe have had the file-sharing website in their cross-hairs for several years now, which has prompted the site in the past to relocate its main operations to a secret location and to switch to only hosting magnet links for torrents. Now the site is seriously considering sending out a fleet of drones fitted with server stations that will hover several kilometers above ground and broadcast through radio transmitters at all times, making it even more difficult to shut down.
Amongst countless other announcements in Apple's WWDC keynote today came official details on the long expected cloudification of iTunes. The famous "one last thing" this year was iTunes Match, which finally utilizes the scan and match technology Apple gained with its acquisition of Lala in late 2009.
The BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol was estimated by internet traffic management and analysis company ipoque
to account for roughly 27 to 55 percent of all internet traffic as of February 2009 – much of it pirated software, music and video files. While the distributed nature of P2P networks sees millions of users sharing files every day, a new study to examine the behavior of users responsible for publishing files on the Mininova
and The Pirate Bay
portals reveals that a small group of around 100 users is responsible for the majority of content published over BitTorrent.
Despite the commonly held view – among schoolboys anyway – of pirates as a bunch of peg-legged, eye-patch wearing scurvy dogs from the 1700’s (or thereabouts), maritime piracy continues to be a serious problem – and it’s on the rise. To combat this scourge of the seas BAE Systems
has developed a non-lethal laser designed to act as a deterrent against pirate attacks on commercial vessels, such as oil tankers and container ships.
Presently, most automated systems can only identify copyrighted video material if it’s a direct copy, still bearing the unique digital signature of the original. This can sometimes be circumvented by altering the copy, or creating the copy optically using a video camera to shoot a movie off the screen. A new anti-piracy technology called “video DNA matching,” however, sees past such deception.
The rise and rise of the Nintendo Wii continues unabated and we’ve seen all manner of weird and wacky accessories released over the last year. With everything from bowling balls
to exercise bikes
popping up to complement associated games, it’s no surprise the console is a big hit with those who like gadgets and gimmicks, but aside from the MotionPlus
we haven’t seen anything genuinely revolutionary since the original motion-sensitive controls... so it looks like it's up to the next-gen successor to truly re-imagine the Wii’s potential.