Sci-Tech

  • More police departments use predictive analysis to predict where crime will occur

    The Chicago Police Department is teaming with a local university to develop a system that predicts where crime will occur; the policing approach, called predictive analytics, has gained momentum in recent years as law enforcement agencies have recognized that some types of crime follow patterns that can be predicted by software

  • Brite-Strike's LED-technology gloves saving officers' lives

    The Massachusetts company’s new product aims to help save officers’ lives: it is a pair of tactical, fingerless gloves that have a translucent, reflective, plastic octagonal stop sign on the palm, into which Brite-Strike puts a high-power LED that flashes with a range of up to a quarter of a mile; on the back of the glove are reflective translucent green strips, with two LEDs

  • Indoor locator device for firefighter, first responders on the horizon

    After several years of research and slow, halting progress, development of an indoor locator device to be worn by firefighters and other emergency response personnel could reach the production stage next year

  • New college program on food security

    The United States has avoided a major terrorist attack to its food chain, but a small vial of a lethal chemical, such as the nerve toxin ricin, could be introduced anywhere along the chain, injuring thousands directly and, like 9/11, affecting whole industries; Polk State College’s newest program, the Agriculture Business/Technology Institute, will address critical industry issues, including the need for greater security in the food chain

  • Russian researcher: Moscow's heat wave the result of secret U.S. "climate weapon"

    It has been unusually hot in Russia this summer, and a Russian researcher asks whether this heat wave is the result of a secret U.S.“climate weapon”; the author writes that “climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops, and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries”

  • Terrafugia redesigns Transition flying car

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowed Terrafugia to add 110lb of extra weight to the original design of the Transition —thus allowing for more car-safety features to be added while still allowing the Transition to qualify as a “light sport” aircraft; even with the redesign, though, the Transition is beginning to look more like a single-seat rather than a two-seat aircraft, and there may yet be more weight gains on the horizon as the new design is built

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  • Oil-eating bacteria responsible for oil plumes, dispersants vanishing

    The plumes of dispersant and oil in the Gulf’s deep waters that were causing anxiety among biologists have gone away; scientists say the reason is oil-eating bacteria; the bacteria in the Gulf’s deeper waters may have reacted so fast thanks in part to being primed by natural oil seeps along the sea floor; given that oil stopped flowing two weeks ago, scientists say it is not surprising that the plumes are now largely gone

  • Largest-ever Gulf dead zone spans from Galveston to Mississippi River

    The dead zone off the Texas coast is larger this year than scientists have ever measured, stretching offshore from the Mississippi River to Galveston Island; fish and shellfish often can swim away from these areas but immobile organisms, such as clams, simply die without access to oxygen

  • As demand for cybersecurity professionals grows, shortages are felt

    Federal agencies, contractors, and tech companies compete with each other for cyber security work force; measuring the size of the cyber security sector is difficult, but surveys show demand for technical expertise is skyrocketing; the number of jobs posted on ClearanceJobs.com by companies and recruiters looking for professionals with active federal security clearances has jumped 11 percent to 6,100 openings this year from fewer than 5,500 in the same time period last year; Maryland wants to become U.S. cybersecurity capital

  • New explosives detection technologies show promise

    An adversary who is willing to die trying to carry out a mission is one of the reasons why more conventional security organizations find it so difficult to pursue their protection mission effectively in an asymmetrical war — the kind of war terrorists engage in; new explosive detection technologies may be of help

  • High-tech opportunities of lab-produced silk

    Tougher than a bullet-proof vest yet synonymous with beauty and luxury, silk fibers are a masterpiece of nature whose remarkable properties have yet to be fully replicated in the laboratory; thanks to their amazing mechanical properties as well as their looks, silk fibers have been important materials in textiles, medical sutures, and even armor for 5,000 years; Tufts researchers are getting close to producing silk in the lab

  • The world (supposedly) safest locks easily defeated by paper clips, screw drivers

    Security experts demonstrate how locks which tout themselves as the safest lock available — fingerprints-based Biolock Model 333; Kwikset, a programmable “smartkey” lock , the innovative iLoq C10S which uses the action of a key being pushed into the lock to generate power for electronics that then checked data in a chip on the key to determine whether the user is cleared for access; AMSEC electronic safe Model es1014; KABA InSync deadbolt — can be easily defeated by using nothing more than wires, magnets, air, shock, paper clips, screw drivers, and other improvised tools

  • End to water-boarding: Using brain waves to reading terrorists minds about imminent attacks

    There may soon be no need for water-boarding or other “enhanced interrogation” to extract vital information about pending attacks from captured terrorists or terrorism suspects; Researchers at Northwestern university were able to correlate P300 brain waves to guilty knowledge with 100 percent accuracy in the lab

  • $1.4 million prize for best oil clean-up technology

    X Prize Foundation is offering $1.4 million in prize money for new technologies to clean up oil spills; competitors will be invited to test their technologies in 2011 in a 203- by 20-metre tank owned by the U.S. government’s Minerals Management Service (MMS); a moving bridge that simulates a boat pulling cleanup equipment and a wave generator create ocean-like conditions in the New Jersey-based facility

  • New funding, schedule agreed for nuclear fusion project

    The governing council of ITER, Europe’s fusion reactor project, reached the deal on the financing and timetable for the experimental reactor after a two-day meeting in Cadarache; Europe pledged to provide additional financing of a maximum €6.6 billion ($8.5 billion); the total estimated bill for the EU has doubled to €7.2 billion ($9.2 billion), with the overall cost now reckoned to be around €15 billion; the reactor will become operational in November 2019