• DARPA looking for methods to freeze soldiers with brain injuries

    Traumatic brain injuries are caused by repeated exposure to blasts, specifically the “supersonic wave” of highly-pressurized air they emit; within a fraction of a second after impact, brain cells, tissues, and blood vessels are stretched, torn, and distorted; over the hours, days, and months that follow, altered brain processes create a snowball effect of damage — which is why symptoms often don’t show up until troops come home; in its solicitation, DARPA notes that a portable brain-cooling unit, deployed in the field, could “extend the golden hour of patient survivability and increase the chances for full recovery”

  • Israel to use cell phone alert system for rocket attacks

    The IDF says that, in two years, Israeli citizens will receive cell-phone alerts in case of a rocket attack by Iran, Hamas, or Hezbollah; sophisticated rocket sensor will calculate the trajectory of the rockets, predict the impact zone, and send a warning to all phones in that area

  • Winter Olympic private security force raises concerns

    A Canadian company has been awarded the contract to find 5,000 security guards for the Winter Olympics which open in Vancouver in 100 days; security experts say that “‘Certain facets of security screening can be overlooked in a rush”

  • U.S. Navy set to replace trained sea mammals with robots

    Since the 1960s, the U.S. Navy has trained hundreds of sea mammals — dolphins, sea lions, and seals – for various under water missions, including detecting explosives, interceding hostile swimmers, helping locate underwater cables, and general reconnaissance tasks; as these torpedo size underwater robots get cheaper and more capable, the sea mammal program will be phased out

  • Afghan insurgents have found ways to destroy MRAPs

    The Pentagon has spent more than $26.8 billion to develop and build three versions of the largest Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, totaling some 16,000 vehicles, mostly for the Army and Marine Corps; another $5.4 billion is being spent to produce 5,244 M-ATVs, the smaller version that U.S. defense officials contend offers as much protection as the large models do, but is more maneuverable and better suited to Afghanistan’s dirt tracks and narrow mountain roads; insurgents in Afghanistan have found ways to cripple, and even destroy, the vehicle

  • Iraqis use "magic wand" at checkpoints to detect explosives; U.S. officer: this is "laughable"

    The Iraqi government has spent tens of millions of U.S. aid dollars to buy thousands of “magic wands” which are supposed to detect explosives at checkpoints; one American officer says the device works “on the same principle as a Ouija board”; another officer says that to believe the claims of the British company which is selling the device, and of the Iraqi authorities that swear by it, “would be laughable” — except that people are dying as a result; “[the company and Iraqi government have] crossed an insupportable line into moral depravity” he says

  • Gait-recognition biometric technology to help soldiers manning checkpoints

    SET Corporation is developing a technology which directs low-power radar beams at people — who can be 50 yards or more away; early research indicates that this method could one day be augmented with video-analysis software that spots bombers by discerning subtle differences in gait that occur when people carry heavy objects

  • Black-market cigarettes could fund terrorism, RCMP fear

    Canadian authorities worry that the booming black market trade in cigarettes could be used to finance terrorism; many Indian reservations are used as bases for the illicit trade

  • New communication system to help protect soldiers in the field

    The new technology will use arrays of highly specialized antennas that could be worn by combat troops to provide covert short-range person-to-person battleground communications; the technology will lead to advanced wireless systems that would enable small squads of soldiers to share real-time video, covert surveillance data and tactical information with each other via helmet-mounted visors

  • Critics of dog-scent lineups charge such lineups are "junk science"

    Law enforcement has relied on dogs for many years for scent tracking or sniffing out drugs or explosives; dogs have become more and more popular in what is called dog-scent lineups, in which dogs are supposed to determine whether the scent of anyone in a police lineup was present at the crime scene; critics say this not much more than junk science

  • No acoustic detection system for Indianapolis housing project

    The Indianapolis Housing Authority secured a $100,000 grant and the Department of Public Safety had awarded a contract ShotSpotter in July; the vendor backed out of the contract, the grant expired, and the deal fell apart

  • FBI says facial recognition not ready for prime time

    An FBI expert said that facial recognition does not figure in the FBI’s biometric strategy; he said facial recognition could have been a killer application — but it cannot; “The algorithms just do not exist to deliver the highly reliable verification required. This is even though the FBI has been evaluating facial recognition technology since 1963,” he said

  • DHS in trials of next generation multiband radio

    Emergency communication interoperability is getting closer as the day of the single-band radio is coming to an end; DHS’ S&T is testing a multiband radio for emergency services

  • New device to "smell" human fear

    City University London’s researchers launch a project aims to develop two sensor systems that can detect the unique chemical signature of the fear pheromone, assessing the stress of an individual and interpreting it in security-critical contexts

  • Awareness of DHS's NECP is low, but its promise is high

    CDW-G reports finds that just half of public-safety communications professionals were familiar with the NECP, yet when briefed, almost all believe it could address their communications challenges