• DHS grants Maine Real ID extension

    Unless a state received a Real ID extension from DHS, then the driver’s licenses it issues to its residents must be Real ID-compliant by 11 May or state residents will not be able to board a plane, open a bank account, or enter a federal building; Maine’s application was not to DHS’s liking, so the state missed the extension application deadline; DHS decided to give the state 48 hours to comply

  • "Intellectual vacuum cleaner": China's industrial espionage campaign, I

    In an effort to accelerate its rise to economic and technological hegemony, China is employing its military, intelligence services, trade missions abroad, students sent to foreign universities — and Chinese-born citizens who are sent to form espionage sleeper cells — in a massive industrial espionage campaign against Western companies

  • Miami police applie for FAA approval for UAV

    Bad guys in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan worry about U.S.-operated UAVs; the Miami Dade police wants to use Honeywell’s “hover and stare” drone to track bad guys in South Florida

  • New acoustic system locates snipers with accuracy

    System detects the sound of an initial gunshot then the shockwave from the muzzle of the weapon being fired; since sound travels faster than a shockwave, the system is able to pinpoint the position of the attacker

  • Fingerprint market to reach $2.1 billion by 2013

    The fingerprinting/biometrics segment will reach $940 million in 2008 and $2.1 billion by 2013; next five years will be a boon to forensic technologies

  • Bill would double cap on H-1B visas

    The United States allows millions of little-educated, low-skill immigrants to come to the country, while allocating a tiny number of visas to high-skill scientists and engineers; this is going to change, but critics complain that bill still leaves major problems — chief among them: setting wage floor for H-1B employees — unaddressed

  • Budget, staff cuts hamper FPS

    Since being absorbed into DHS in 2003, the Federal Protective Service’s budget and staff have been steadily cut, with DHS transferring many of the service’s assignments to outside contractors; critics say this has gone too far

  • FDA criticized for ignoring health problems in spinach packing

    You may want to think twice before ordering spinach next time: Inspections of sixty-seven facilities found inadequate restroom sanitation, litter piles, and indoor condensation posing a risk of food contamination by microorganisms; the bad thing is that the FDA has taken no action to correct these breaches

  • New nonlethal weapons uses light flashes to disorient adversary

    As the debate over nonlethal weapons continue — are they more humane because they do not kill? Are they instruments of torture? — DHS funds the development of flash-light-based system which incapacitates by flashing LED lights at several specific frequencies

  • Sea cucumber inspires new plastic for body armor, brain implants

    Sea cucumbers’ skin is usually supple, allowing them to slide through narrow spaces between rocks and corals; when touched, however, a defensive reaction makes their skin go rigid in seconds, thanks to enzymes that bind protein fibers together; researchers apply this process to clothing, creating garments which switch stiffness in response to a pulse of electricity

  • Congressional funding for campus security urged

    There are 17 million students who live in open environments on college campuses across the United States; a year after the deadly Virginia Tech shooting, there are growing calls for Congress to help fund campus security; high-tech alert systems, such as text messaging, are seen as crucial to warn students of possible threats

  • U.K. government lost more than 1,000 laptops in recent years

    The worries about how the U.K. government protects sensitive data continue: A report to parliament admits that the government has lost or had stolen more than 1,000 laptops in recent years

  • Snake-like robots to help in search and rescue missions

    Robots can perform many missions, but they have difficulties operating on uneven, obstacle-strewn surfaces; Norwegian researchers develop a snake-like robot, equipped with sensors, cameras, and communication gear, to slither under, over, and around the rubble of collapsed buildings in search of trapped victims, chemical and biological agents, unexploded munitions, and more — and report back to the command center in real-time

  • 3n, Medworxx show hospital incident management solution

    Simulation and virtualization are growing in popularity, and two companies compile their offerings to enable hospitals to simulate different scenarios and prepare for them; system also allows medical centers to mange these incidents

  • Avalanche of drugs, scarcely any oversight, II

    About $72 billion in drugs and active ingredients were imported into the U.S. in 2006; the FDA that year spent a mere $12.75 million inspecting foreign production plants; between 3,250 and 6,800 non-U.S. plants export drugs and drug ingredients to the U.S.(the FDA’s two main databases each gives a different figure), and are thus subject to FDA inspection; in the last five years the agency has conducted only 1,445 foreign inspections; main reason: In the face of growing drug and food imports, the Bush administration steadily cut the agency’s budget and resources since 2001