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Tuesday
Jan082008

Smokers, Cell Phone Users, Foot Drivers Beware!

Traffic cameras in the UK are now being used to fine drivers who are caught engaging in prohibited or dangerous behavior…you know things like driving with your feet.


Monday
Jan072008

Camera Plans Hits Red Light

A New Jersey State Senate vote on a red light camera funding bill fell short of the votes needed to pass Monday. The Garden State is the only one to see its traffic camera plans go awry lately, however.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox declared use of red light and speed cameras
to be illegal. And the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down red light cameras,
ruling it was wrong for police to ticket the car owner, regardless of who was
driving.
Surveillance cameras used in crime-fighting seem to avoid most of these challenges, however, and catch actual bad guys.. There has got be a reason folks are so fixated on traffic cameras.
Monday
Dec172007

Popular Mechanic’s Panopticon

This month’s Popular Mechanics features a video camera on its cover and asks the question as to whether our “surveillance society” has gone too far.

James Vlahos, writes:


We have arrived at a unique moment in the history of surveillance. The price of both megapixels and gigabytes has plummeted, making it possible to collect a previously unimaginable quantity and quality of data. Advances in processing power and software, meanwhile, are beginning to allow computers to surmount the greatest limitation of traditional surveillance—the ability of eyeballs to effectively observe the activity on dozens of video screens simultaneously. Computers can't do all the work by themselves, but they can expand the capabilities of humans exponentially.


I think Vlahos does a pretty interesting job exploring both the benefits and pitfalls of some of our nation’s security initiatives and new technologies…and I am not just saying that because of his mention of my company, 3VR Security.

Here is what he had to say about us though:

Used by banks, hotels and retail stores, 3VR’s “searchable surveillance” systems automatically create a template of every face that passes in front of security cameras (it caught our author here at a Chicago hotel check-in counter). The system creates a mathematical model based on the geometry of each person’s face that can be compared to a central list of known suspects for instant alerts. The technology can also automatically log events based on an automated object recognition analysis of an entire scene—for example, Frank Jones met with Doris Meeker at 12:45 pm; Meeker arrived in a blue sedan. Because all events are cataloged, several months’ worth of data can be analyzed in minutes.
One point Vlahos doesn’t make in his article, however, relates to the dual-benefit of many of these new surveillance technologies. While traditional security approaches are not particularly effective or conducive to privacy, new more effective technologies don’t necessary bring with them even greater privacy issues. For instance, the use of search engines and video analysis greatly increases the chance of catching bad guys before they strike. But, these same technologies can be used to help audit surveillance monitoring efforts and generally limit their abuse, as well.
Saturday
Dec152007

Hollywood’s New Look

It seems that video surveillance has become so prevalent that even movie producers are depicting life from the eye of the camera. Whether this is a hit or a flop doesn't really matter--the film itself is a statement of how pervasive cameras have become.



Movie director Adam Rifkin poses in New York, Monday Oct. 29 , 2007. His new film "Look," was created entirely from the perspective of surveillance cameras. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Thursday
Dec132007

Look!

The new trailer is out: