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Tuesday
May052009

Daily Headers: May 5, 2009

Retail Survey Shows Crime Continues to Rise Amid Troubled Economy
PRNewswire
  • Today, RILA released a survey conducted of America's largest retailers that indicates an increase in retail crime associated with an economy in distress over the past four months.
  • Respondents included 32 of the largest and most successful retailers in the U.S., from all segments including grocery, mass merchant, specialty store, apparel, electronics and appliances, and fabric/craft retail.
  • Of the reported statistics:
    • 61% of retailers surveyed report having experienced an increase in amateur/opportunistic shoplifting in the last 4 months.
    • 55% have experienced an increase in financial fraud.
    • 72% of respondents report that they continue to see an increase in organized retail crime (ORC).
    • No retailers reported a decrease at all in amateur/opportunistic shoplifting since last surveyed.
  • Looks like the holiday trend I blogged about in December has kept its momentum into the late winter and early spring months.
Uproar over face scan for foreign students
WAToday.com
Cameron Houston
  • Melbourne colleges are considering the introduction of facial recognition technology at classroom doors to curb abuse of international student visas.
  • The proposal has angered civil libertarians and overseas student organizations, which said the new measure has discriminated against foreign students and could threaten Victoria's $3.9 billion international education industry.
  • Three Melbourne colleges or TAFE schools said they would consider the software, which requires overseas students to have their faces scanned. Cameras would then identify students entering or leaving classrooms and automatically record attendance.
  • Looks like Aussies are following in Mother England's footsteps in implementing biometrics for attendance-taking purposes?
Robot Animals Snare U.S. Poachers
National Geographic
Maryann Mott
  • Researchers have designed turkeys that are actually robotic decoys designed to catch such outdoor outlaws. Other robots include a swimming moose, white-tailed deer and black bear.
  • For nearly 20 years, the Oregon State Police Department's Fish and Wildlife Division has run a decoy operation targeting violators who hunt off-season from their cars and roadways or at night with the aid of a spotlight.
  • Molded-fiberglass animals are wrapped in genuine hides obtained by government officers through donations or illegal kills.
  • Inside the bodies are radio-controlled motors—the same type found in toy cars or planes—allowing wildlife officers to remotely move a decoy's head, ears, and tail. Special reflective eyes glow at night when light is shined on them.
  • The robots don't come cheap: Prices range from $500 for turkey to $5,500 for a grizzly bear.
  • Not sure which I'm more afraid of -- the actual mammals or the robotic version. Do know I won't be caught poaching either of them anytime soon.

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