Computational creativity and the future of AI

Spy Gear

Citroën 2CV, For Your Eyes Only (1981)

In some interesting news for Bond fans, the build-up to the latest film release in the long-running franchise has resulted in a photo-shoot featuring the largest number of genuine 007 cars ever captured in one location. The 19-page spread in the November issue of Octane magazine showcases nine cars that appeared in films shot between 1964 and 2008. Not surprisingly, the Aston Martin marque features heavily staring with the DB5 from 60's classics Goldfinger and Thunderball.  Read More

The stylish Miguel Caballero bullet-proof polo shirt.

For those occasions when a bullet-proof gentleman’s square just won’t do, there is the bullet-proof polo shirt. The US$12,000 anti-ballistic shirt from Columbian designer Miguel Caballerois is made of ultra-lightweight, bullet-proof fabric and features removable ballistic panels designed to offer protection from weaponry ranging from a 9mm pistol to an Uzi.  Read More

The Bullet-Proof Gentleman’s Squares - a must for any wardrobe.

Where would any discerning gentleman be without the humble handkerchief? They provide a fashionable place to deposit one’s nasal excretions, are a convenient place to dry one’s hands when caught without a towel, and are able to deflect bullets when one is caught in the middle of a gunfight. That’s right, the invention we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived with the release of the ‘Bullet-Proof Gentleman’s Pocket Square’.  Read More

StealthVue PennyCam

It’s frustrating when sophisticated surveillance technology is circumvented by robbers who use a not-so-sophisticated baseball cap to shield their face. Retailers can reclaim the edge with StealthVue’s PennyCam, a hidden camera that provides upwardly-angled pictures of anyone who approaches the counter, delivering a clear, identifiable view of their face.  Read More

ZRAD covert digital video recording pen

Vavolo has released this pocket digital video recorder hidden inside a functional pen. The pen has a 1/3 inch CMOS camera that captures AVI video in 360 x 280 resolution and stores it on the built-in 2Gb flash memory. While it can record for more than six hours, the built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery limits recording to three hours per session, which is still likely to be more than adequate in most circumstances. When you’ve done your covert recording, you simply screw apart the pen and plug it into the USB port on your computer for playback. It functions in any recent Windows environment with no set up necessary, and the high fidelity microphone can capture audio from around 2-3 metres, ensuring you’ll get clear audio over a table or in near proximity to your target.  Read More

Pen-shaped DVR

November 6, 2007 Details are still scarce on this upcoming DVR pen that crams a wireless, low-power, digital video recorder - including microphone – into a 0.55 x 5.7inch (1.4 x 14.5cm) form that also works as - yes - a pen. Although the specs are not yet finalized, the device is expected to capture real-time video at 30 fps (320x240) with the ability to activate based on a motion detection system that allows for five different sensitivity levels along with the ability to select specific areas and send an alarm wirelessly to a remote site in the event that motion is detected. There’s also an audio detection capability that triggers the sound recorder and the media is flash memory or Micro SD, with Bluetooth wireless transfer back to PDAs or PCs included.  Read More

Video Investigator screen

September 19, 2007 We’ve all seen the seemingly ubiquitous eye in the sky cameras watching us from store ceilings and most of us have probably wondered if anyone actually monitors those things. In an effort to improve the efficiency of such surveillance, Intellivid has developed a Computer Aided Tracking (CAT) tool that incorporates a newly patented adjacency algorithm. The technology uses sophisticated video analytics to streamline video surveillance, giving the ability to seamlessly track in-store movements and create complete end-to-end footage.  Read More

August 13, 2007 A new software technology available only to law enforcement officers allows officers to listen to room conversations even when a phone is switched off. Known as "Phone Dead", the technology requires just ten seconds physical access to the phone to configure it and subsequent management can be achieved via SMS.  Read More

Formal education for cybersleuths

May 4, 2007 The University of Portsmouth (UK) has announced a unique degree for hi-tech gadget gurus and cyber sleuths of the future. The degree - BSc in Securities Technology - is based on the security needs of today's world, but is nonetheless ahead of its time. It's the first degree course in the UK to combine online encryption with the study of the underpinning technologies behind surveillance and security gadgets. Students will get to use cutting-edge equipment and will be taught to master techniques such as retinal scanning, through-wall radar imaging, infra-red surveillance and detection, and online encryption.  Read More

It’s Apple Mac-Guyver: pocket sized detective tool hacks into computers

May 4, 2007 SubRosaSoft’s MacLockPick is a USB sized gizmo that can extract passwords, e-mail addresses, recently accessed files, search strings, bookmarks and internet history from running or sleeping computers. But the US$499 device can only penetrate the defences of Macs running OSX – apparently, anyone who manages to build an empire of crime using Windows deserves to keep it. The “live forensics tool” is based on Flash drive technology and is available only to law enforcement officials - amateur gumshoes will have to tread the mean streets of the internet superhighway without it.  Read More

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