Business

  • Yarn passes in-vehicle flame test

    Fire in an enclosed space, such as an aircraft, is extremely dangerous as occupants can die from smoke inhalation before there is any danger from the flames. Flame-retardant materials delay the spread of fire, but these typically contain halogenated substances that emit thick black smoke and toxic gases; new material developed which meets halogen-free flame-retardant regulations

  • Marine camera, integrated software offer improved underwater surveillance, security

    Underwater surveillance is one of the more difficult tasks for security personnel; darkness, humidity, murkiness, low temperature all make it difficult for camera equipment to capture clear images of elements in water; a new marine camera with integrated software offers a solution

  • South Africa says visitors to World Cup will be safe

    The World Cup tournament will not give South Africa the economic bounce it was hoping for; the organizers were hoping for between 1.2 and 1.5 million visitors, but only 250,000 foreign soccer fans decided to make the trip; at least, the organizers say, the visitors will be safe; South Africa leads the world in all categories of violent crime (the murder rate in the country is eight times higher than that of the United States), but South Africa has poured $180 million into World Cup security preparations, including $89 million on equipment such as helicopters, water cannons, patrol vehicles, and body armor

  • Combining tiny cave camera, iris recognition technology for military, homeland security

    Researchers are developing new miniature camera technology for military and security uses so soldiers can track combatants in dark caves or urban alleys, and security officials can unobtrusively identify a subject from an iris scan

  • U.S. to expand freight congestion tracking initiative

    The worst traffic bottleneck in the United States is the I-290 interchange with I-90 and I-94 in Chicago, where the average speed at 5 p.m. drops to 15 mph; the average peak hour speed is 23 mph, and the average non-peak hour speed is only 33 mph; data gathered from trucks identifies bottlenecks, and could help steer infrastructure planning

  • Worst-case scenario now appears likely

    The failure of the top kill technology on Friday to cap the gusher for more than a few hours led both BP and the administration to say that the wellhead will continue to release oil and gas into the Gulf until sometime in late August; this means a spill of between 30,000,000 and 40,000,000 gallons (Exxon Valdez released 10.8 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound); Now officials and scientists are worrying that the environmental disaster could be compounded by a natural one. the hurricane season starts today and runs through November, and forecasters expect one of the most turbulent seasons ever

  • BP changes tack on oil spill yet again

    After five different approaches to cap the gusher failed, BP will be trying a sixth method: lower a containment cap over the well to pipe the leaking oil to a drill ship on the surface; so far, approximately 30,000 claims have been submitted and more than 15,000 payments have already been made, totaling some $40 million. BP has received more than 110,000 calls to its help lines to date

  • Carbon Motors’ revolutionary E7 police car already has 14,000 reservations

    Carbon Motors offers law enforcement what it describes as the first purpose-built police interceptor; the company says that it already has 14,000 orders for the new cruiser — even though the price for the car has not yet been set; the company says that with the help of more than 3,500 U.S. law enforcement professionals from all fifty States representing the local, state, and federal levels, it wrote the groundbreaking specifications for such a vehicle

  • New surveillance software knows -- and comments on -- what a camera sees

    Software developed which offers a running commentary on CCTV’s images to ease video searching and analysis; the system might help address the fact that there are more and more surveillance cameras — on the streets and in military equipment, for instance — while the number of people working with them remains about the same

  • BP's top kill effort stops oil flow

    BP, using a top kill device, last night managed to stop the flow of gas and oil from the wellhead into the Gulf; commander of U.S. Coast Guard says the company managed to “stabilize the wellhead”

  • Experts call for uniform testing standards for interoperable communications gear

    There are no uniform product testing programs for emergency communications equipment; this means that first responders could buy radios they believe are interoperable but fail to deliver during a disaster

  • Grid in western U.S. can handle more renewable energy

    A new study says 35 percent of electricity in the western United States could come from solar and wind — without expensive new backup power plants; the findings provide a strong counterargument to the idea that the existing power grid is insufficient to handle increasing amounts of renewable power

  • Transport Canada turns inspection of air freight over to shippers

    Transport Canada initiates a new air cargo security system requiring all companies involved in a supply chain to be part of inspecting the goods; critics say the program means that companies will be policing themselves; says once critic: “It’s like me showing up at an [airport inspection] line and saying, ‘Hey guys, there’s no change in my pockets and I don’t have any fluids, so I’m okay to get on the plane.’ I don’t think they’d let me on”

  • Private security gets big play at World Cup

    Rampant crime and corrupt and ineffective police force have created a huge private security sector in South Africa; with trained bodyguards available for around 300 Euros a day, those who can afford it are turning to the country’s parallel private army for protection; there are more than 4,700 registered security firms in South Africa, employing more than 300,000 people to guard homes and businesses — and even police stations; this private security army is gearing up to protect the World Cup

  • Private security companies flourish

    Private security is a booming business in Harris County, Texas; private security experts say guards are better trained, but the job is more dangerous than ever. They often confront the same violent suspects as police but without advanced training and enforcement power