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CBC News - Ottawa - Canada's airlines fear violating privacy under new U.S. rules

Canadian airline companies are in a bind regarding passengers in flights that pass through US airspace, even if the plane never lands on US soil. The US Secure Flight program requires that they provide the name, gender, and birth date of all passengers so that they can be vetted against a security watch lists; however, doing so violates Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. The US has agreed to drop the requirement to disclose passenger information if an equivalent system were created in Canada. The airline companies favour this approach but don't want to have to pay for it.
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CBC News - Technology & Science - Better airport scanners delayed by privacy fears

It is believed by some that millimetre wave and backscatter X-ray machines might have foiled the Christmas Day bombing attempt, but implementation of these machines is hampered primarily by concerns about privacy arising from the fact that these machines are able to show body contours under clothing with a high degree of clarity. Where they have been implemented, passengers have been given the option of using the machines or submitting to a pat-down. The US House voted to prohibit the use of these devices for primary screening, and the European Union has requested more study regarding privacy issues before making a final decision.
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CBC News - Ottawa - Carry-on baggage subject to strict new rules

In order to alleviate delays at security checkpoints, Canadian airline passengers are not permitted to bring carry-on baggage on board US-bound flights with the exception of medication, medical devices, small purses, cameras, coats, items for infant care, laptop computers, musical instruments, and diplomatic bags.
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CBC News - World - Flight delays expected after foiled attack

A 23-year-old British engineering student was arrested for attempting to detonate an explosive on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight.
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Chink Found In Armor Of Perfect Cloak - Science News

Even though a working invisibility cloak has never been made, scientists are theorizing how to beat one, should it become possible to produce. They theorize that showering an area with charged particles, like electrons, would reveal the presence of "something", even they can't tell what, exactly, it is. In essence, it would be away to detect the existence and location of a cloaked entity.
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Video: Airborne laser test | The Daily Planet

Boeing has released videos of tests using the Advanced Tactical Laser, mounted on an airborne C-130H Hercules transport, to burn a hole in the hood of a truck. Embedding the video doesn't work so you'll have to visit the site.
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Can airport technology halt a pandemic? - tech - 25 May 2009 - New Scientist

At a recent ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) meeting in Montreal, a spin-off company from Belgium presented an acoustic cough detector to detect people with persistent coughs, one of the symptoms of a flu. Once located, the people can be quietly escorted aside to be checked for the virus.  The system can distinguish between a person clearing their throat and an actual cough. In pigs it was able to detect infected swine "82 percent of the time within3 hours of infection."

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BBC NEWS | Programmes | Who's Watching You? | Camera grid to log number plates

British police forces expect to soon see the completion of a national network of cameras that automatically recognize vehicle plate numbers. According to the BBC, the thousands of cameras already in place have resulted in a 40% increase in arrests.
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Warren Ellis » Your Moment Of Swine Flu Zen

The BBC reports that Jakarta International Airport is using thermal imaging scanners to identify passengers that might have swine flu.

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Design Engineering Features | Motion Control | DESIGNENGINEERING - Robotic arm extend authors' signatures over cyberspace

The LongPen was originally designed to help author Margaret Atwood sign books. While on a multi-city, multi-country tour, the thought came to her that she should be able to do some of her signing from a distance so contacted Matthew Gibson and the LongPen was born. I has recently been adopted by the Government of Ontario for signing documents in situations where faxed or mailed copy is not legally viable. The device reproduces the shape, pressure, and cadence of a person's signature under direct control by the signer. Check out the video below for a demo.

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Our ears may have built-in passwords - tech - 13 April 2009 - New Scientist

UK researchers are examining the potential of using otoacoustic emissions, sounds generated by the cochlea, as a way of verifying a person's identity. The sounds are only detectable by ultra-sensitive microphones and additional work is required to determine if the method can be used to identify individuals with any degree of accuracy.
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3-D light system revolutionizes way fingerprints are taken | NetworkWorld.com Community

University of Kentucky researchers have developed a system that can automatically acquire 10 fingerprints in high resolution in less than 10 seconds using a structured light system. The system captures a 3-dimensional image of the surface of each finger, then flattens them into a 2D virtual fingerprint. It can also capture fingerprints from the 5% of the population who have fingerprints too warn down to be reproduced using traditional ink-rolling.
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Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Acoustic superlens could cloak objects from sonar

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method for bending sound waves using metamaterials that holds the promise of being adapted for a sonic cloaking device. The device was originally developed as a sonic superlens, but the approach can, in principal be adapted to cloak an object from sonar.

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globeandmail.com: Operation tarmac: Politicians go undercover to expose security flaws at Pearson

Liberal Senator Colin Kenny and Conservative Transport Minister John Baird walked onto the tarmac of Pearson airport in disguise but unchallenged. The spent half an hour chatting up refuelers and baggage handlers and were only once asked by a pilot to stop taking photos of his plane. The pair had been issued passes by the GTAA and were followed by plainclothes RCMP officers, but they were never once asked to produce documentation showing that they belonged there. The GTAA responded by revoking the escort privileges of the RCMP officers involved. Transport Canada is investigating whether this constitutes a security breach, although the GTAA concedes that aird has a legal right to inspect airports.
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Canadian research uncovers cyber espionage network

Canadian researchers, investigating allegations that computers used by exiled Tibetans were hacked by the Chinese government, stumbled upon a far larger espionage network involving four servers, three in China and one in the US, and more than 1,295 infiltrated computers, many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices. The infiltrated computers had malware installed that allowed the servers to gain root access the computers. With this, they were able to read files, check email, even remotely activate microphones and web cams. Most of the infected computers appeared to have been infected for more than a year by what is being described as a Trojan that it undetectable to current firewalls and anti-virus technology. The spy network has, for now, been dubbed GhostNet.
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3D-based Captchas become reality | Crave - CNET

Sofware developers at YUNiti.com have developed a new Captcha test based on the identification of 3D objects rather than identifying letter-number combinations.

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Slashdot | IBM Files Patent For Bullet-Dodging Bionic Armor

IBM has filed a US patent for armour designed to administer tiny shocks to the appropriate muscles of the wearer to get them to move out of the way of an incoming bullet. This would only work for long-distance shots, such as those made by a sniper.

January 2010

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