• Exploring the unique relationship between fire and mankind

    Fire has been an important part of the Earth System for over 350 million years, but humans are the only animals to have used and controlled fire. The complex interrelationships between fire and mankind transcend international borders and disciplinary boundaries. The specter of climate change highlights the need to improve our understanding of these relationships across space and time.

  • ISIS conducting chemical experiments on its prisoners

    In the ace of sustained attacks by coalition forces, ISIS has moved its chemical weapons labs to densely populated residential areas in Mosul — and is testing homemade chlorine and mustard gas on its prisoners held in different facilities in and around the city. ISIS has been working in chemical weapons for a while, relying on the expertise of scientists who served in the chemical weapons complex of Saddam Hussein, but also on Europeans with chemical degrees from leading European universities.

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  • Japanese-language MyShake app crowdsources earthquake-shaking information

    UC Berkeley scientists have released a Japanese version of an Android app that crowdsources ground-shaking information from smartphones to detect quakes and eventually warn users of impending jolts from nearby quakes. The app, called MyShake, became publicly available on Sunday. Since it was first released in English on 12 February 2016, more than 170,000 people have downloaded the app from around the world, and on any given day 11,000 phones provide data to the system.

  • Body-worn cameras associated with increased assaults against police

    Preliminary results from eight U.K. and U.S. police forces reveal rates of assault against officers are 15 percent higher when they use body-worn cameras. The latest findings, from one of the largest randomized-controlled trials in criminal justice research, highlight the need for cameras to be kept on and recording at all stages of police-public interaction – not just when an individual officer deems it necessary – if police use-of-force and assaults against police are to be reduced.

  • France to employ anti-drone technology to protect Euro 2016 soccer games

    France will employ anti-drone technology to interfere with and take control of any flying machines breaching strict no-fly zones over stadiums where the games of the 2016 European Soccer Championship will be played. The technology is part of broad and unprecedented security measures taken to secure Europe’s biggest sports event. French security agencies have been training for some time for the possibility of drones used to disperse chemical agents over crowds.

  • “Cold War warriors”: Sandia’s decades in nuclear weapons

    “Cold War Warriors,” a 32-minute historical documentary, traces nuclear weapons testing from the first nuclear detonation in southern New Mexico in 1945 to the final test in September 1992. The story is told largely by forty-four Sandia Lab field testers, the people video producer Myra Buteau calls “game changers in the evolution of nuclear weapons testing.”

  • Seismic networks can serve as the backbone for 21st century firefighting

    The same twenty-first century communications network used for real-time seismic monitoring in Nevada and parts of California can provide high-quality images to help first responders catch fires before they grow costly and dangerous. Experts say that seismic networks in place to provide earthquake early warning, if designed to sustain multi-hazard monitoring, can provide a robust data backbone for fire cameras that pan, tilt and zoom as they monitor wildfires and other extreme weather events like remote floods.

  • Assad's forces use sarin gas for first time since 2013 killing of 1,400 civilians

    The Assad regime has used sarin gas for the first time since 2013, dropping a sarin-filled bombs on ISIS fighters outside Damascus, a senior Israeli official has said. On 21 August 2013 the Syrian military used sarin and VX to kill 1,400 Sunni civilians in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. In the wake of the attack, Russia and the United States pressured Assad to give up his chemical weapons arsenal and dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons manufacturing capabilities. Western intelligence services say that Assad likely disposed of his mustard and VX, in accordance with the deal, but that he chose to keep the sarin, the most lethal agent at his disposal.

  • Telephone metadata can reveal surprisingly sensitive personal information

    Most people might not give telephone metadata – the numbers you dial, the length of your calls – a second thought. Some government officials probably view it as similarly trivial, which is why this information can be obtained without a warrant. Researchers show, however, that telephone metadata – information about calls and text messages, such as time and length – can alone reveal a surprising amount of personal detail. The work could help inform future policies for government surveillance and consumer data privacy.

  • Active shooter exercise evaluates tactics, technologies

    The New York Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) took part in an active shooter exercise early Sunday at a Brooklyn high school to evaluate tactics and technologies for responding to and containing rapidly escalating shooting incidents.

  • Prison population can be reduced substantially without endangering public safety: Study

    A new study addresses one of the most important crime policy questions in America: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public? The studytested the impact on public safety of California’s dramatic efforts to comply with court-mandated targets to reduce prison overcrowding. The results showed that California’s Realignment Act, passed in 2011, had no effect on aggregate violent or property crime rates in 2012, 2013, or 2014.

  • DARPA Demo Day 2016: Game-changing technologies for the military services

    DARPA on Wednesday hosted DARPA Demo Day 2016 at the Pentagon, providing the Defense Department (DoD) community an up-close look at the agency’s portfolio of innovative technologies and military systems. DARPA program managers and numerous academic and private-sector project leaders demonstrated their ongoing work on more than sixty current DARPA programs.

  • Harnessing thousands of network cameras for public safety

    Researchers have developed a prototype system that could allow law enforcement and public safety agencies to tap into thousands of cameras located in numerous venues including parking garages, college campuses, national parks and highways. In addition to applications in law enforcement, the system can be used to quickly find damage, plan rescues, and other operations during natural disasters.

  • Japan’s successful earthquake early warning system offers lessons to U.S. high-speed rail

    As California and other states move forward with high-speed rail plans, some have questioned the system’s ability to withstand earthquakes. This is especially critical in California, an active quake zone. A recent research report says that valuable lessons are easily adapted from Japan’s successes with its early earthquake warning (EEW) systems. This was most recently demonstrated during the series of violent quakes that shook Japan in mid-April, 2016.

  • U.S. police departments can clear more homicides

    Only about 65 percent of homicides in the United States are solved — down 15 percent from the mid-1970s — but a new examines how some police departments are getting it right. Bottom line: There is no silver bullet to reversing the steady decline in the homicide clearance rate.