Fingerprint Analysis Pilot

Posted: 05 Apr 2014 08:00 AM PDT
Fingerprint analysis has been used to identify suspects since the late nineteenth century by Police departments around the world. With today's modern technology, the Police and forensic scientists still can't reconstruct a smudged print though. Also the Fingerprint patterns are also of little or no use when the suspect is not even in the database!
With these issues surrounding the use of fingerprint analysis in mind, a pilot study in the UK has been unveiled that has the potential to gather a large amount of new information from a fingerprint, from gender recognition to what the suspect has eaten.
Mass Spectrometry Analysis
This new research is being conducted by scientists at Sheffield Hallam University, who are working closely with the West Yorkshire Police Department. The researchers are interested in what substances may have been on the suspect's fingers when the print was left at the scene. Tiny traces of proteins and pharmacological compounds are capable of being identified using the team's mass spectrometer.
Mass spectrometry is a process that sorts the molecules, which are present in a sample by mass, technically known as; mass to charge ratio. The process involves ionizing the sample and then accelerating the molecules in a magnetic field obtains the chemical signature of it. The output can then tell the team what mixture of proteins was excreted through the skin to determine the gender of the person or the presence of certain diseases. Pharmaceuticals and certain foods may be detected in the subject's system by searching for traces in the fingerprints.
Neil Denison, lead scientist, says the study is producing results with the necessary level of accuracy that can be used in criminal investigations.  Further testing will be required before this kind of fingerprint examination will be officially recognized as evidence in court. Neil Denison thinks that it may happen in the next few years, but it will not be used often due to costs, as mass spectrometry is much more expensive than normal fingerprint analysis, so it will probably only be used to solve major offences.
As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
[Image via laboratoryequipment]
SOURCE: http://www.geek.com/science/fingerprints-can-reveal-gender-drug-use-what-was-recently-eaten-1589905/
The post Fingerprint Analysis Pilot Study Reveals More Data Than Ever appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 05 Apr 2014 07:00 AM PDT
You may have been one of the hoards of people who snapped up the Rapsberry Pi when it first came out. I know my husband was. And for just $35, it really did create a stir at the time, providing a low-cost platform that could be customised in countless ways. However it does have limitations and some have started to search for something of the same ilk but with perhaps a little more hardware.
Enter the Novena; the open source laptop. “I’ve been a hacker of consumer electronics,” said Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, Novena’s creator. “I find myself typically designing products I don’t use. I decided I wanted to design something I wanted to use.”
Novena
The Novena is a Linux-powered laptop, which allows the user to modify each and every component, tailoring the machine to their specific needs. You can literally re-wire and re-program the individual components, thanks to the housing that has been designed to be opened up, allowing you access to the heart and soul of the machine.
Novena Open source laptop
It’s meant to have an easy and accessible approach to electronics on the inside,” Huang says. “You can actually download the design source. You can understand the intent of every component.”
Novena is likely to appeal more to hackers due to the nature of the laptop and Huang thinks that researchers, engineers and product developers will take an interest in the product, as well as those who have security concerns, due to the “enhanced level of inspectability”.
Huang is running a crowdfunding campaign through Crowd Supply and has a target of $250,000. However at $2,000 each, Huang doesn’t think he’ll be shifting very many. The campaign runs until May 18th.
[Image via Bunniestudios & Makezine]
SOURCE: http://mashable.com/2014/04/02/open-source-laptop
The post Novena: The Open Source Laptop appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 05 Apr 2014 06:00 AM PDT
I hate to be Debbie Downer here, but while it seems that Cortana might just have what it takes to put Siri in the backstage, users who live in Asia will have to wait till next year to enjoy Microsoft’s new personal digital assistant. While the latest Windows Phone 8.1 update will be rolled out to most devices in the following months, Asians will need a little patience.
This news shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as experience has taught us that not all features (and devices, for that matter) are released in all parts of the world simultaneously. Indeed, even Apple’s Siri was rolled out in stages worldwide.
cortana
On another note – and this is not to make us Asians pout in disappointment because we won’t have Cortana this year – Microsoft’s personal digital assistant seems to have a personality all of her own; a personality that really just might get the people behind Siri thinking twice.
The story is that Microsoft has consulted with and used screenwriters to come up with Cortana’s responses. Canned they may be, but witty they surely are.
Try asking Cortana who her daddy is, and she’s supposed to say, "Technically speaking, he's Bill Gates. No big deal." (Source)
Nice quip, sure; and I have a feeling Bill Gates has a smile on his face.
More than silly quips, though, Cortana actually has a backstory. We already know that she’s derived from Halo, but the team went further to work on this Cortana’s character so they actually found a balance between fun and useful.
Putting together the best of both worlds – Siri and Google Now – surely was not easy for the team, but the results should be very interesting. The potential of Cortana actually makes me want to try out a Windows Phone, and that is saying a lot!
Windows Phone users, how do you feel about Cortana and her potential?
[Image via The Verge]
The post Cortana Not Coming To Asia Till 2015 appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 05 Apr 2014 05:00 AM PDT
Manchester City has become the first Premier League football club to introduce free WiFi throughout their stadium.  The Etihad Stadium now has high-density broadband and it marks an ongoing digital initiative at the club, which includes apps that are aimed at visiting fans to help them navigate the area.  The connection at the stadium is capable of providing 30MB download speeds.
The overall objective is to enhance the match day experience through the use of mobile technology. The club is encouraging fans inside the ground to engage with MCFC on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. MCFC has previously shown images on the big screens inside the ground, which have been posted to photo-sharing site Instagram.
MCFC WiFi
Director of marketing for media and fan development at the club, Diego Gigliani said, “The launch of high-density wifi allows us to offer free, high speed internet access to all our fans, marking an important step forward in Manchester City’s drive to become the most technologically and digitally advanced football club in the world…Mobile technology and social media in particular, play a key role in our fans’ match-day experience. It was, therefore, important for us to embrace this growing trend and enable our fans to share their passion for the club with fellow City supporters around the world, in real time, free of charge, all from the comfort of their seat.”
After an extensive and rigorous testing phase, the WiFi will be available to everyone inside the 48,000-capacity stadium on match days.  Liverpool FC previously tested WiFi in their 12,000-capacity Centenary Stand at Anfield, but has since stated that the club has no plans to roll out the service around the rest of the stadium.  The problem being; some supporters complained about the speed of the connection?
A 2013 report showed that the number of people accessing the Internet using their smartphone has more than doubled since 2006.  Social networking websites such as Facebook have large amounts of content posted from in and around football stadiums.
As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
[Image via MCFC]
SOURCE: http://www.mcfc.co.uk/news/club-news/2013/may/etihad-stadium-wifi
The post Free WiFi At Manchester City Football Club Stadium appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 05 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT
Amazon has announced that it will begin shipping its very own video streaming device, the Amazon Fire TV, for $99. According to Amazon’s Peter Larsen, Fire TV will not be affected by issues that plague other living room hardware and in his presentation focused on the problems with search, performance and a “closed ecosystem”.
“We need to invent and simplify on behalf of customers,” said Larsen.Amazon Fire TV
As for the device itself, Fire TV sports a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which Amazon claim makes it three times faster than any of the other recent set-top boxes from Apple and Roku. To get ahead of its competitors, Amazon is also promising to bring in numerous partners, with Larsen saying, “It’s got a ton of content.”
One feature of Fire Tv will be “best value buy box”, which will tell you where a movie or show can watched for the best price. However only Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus will be included in the results initially. As well as Hulu, you can expect to see Netflix, YouTube, NBA, Vimeo and MLB.tv. available on Fire TV.
Other features included are the ASAP feature, which “predicts which movies and TV episodes you'll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play,” and built in comprehensive parental controls, which allow parents to decide what content is displayed in a custom menu designed for children.
Larsen was keen to point out that Fire TV has a voice search feature “that actually works”. “There’s no shouting across the room at your TV, which is irritating,” he said.
Fire TV is not just for movie lovers, as Amazon also announced the much speculated gamepad for the device. It will cost $39.99 and will come with 1,000 Amazon coins, which can be used to buy games. Amazon says that as well as over 1,000 free-to-play titles, the average price of a game on Fire TV gamepad will be only $1.85, ideal for the casual gamer.
In the highly competitive market of living room tech, Amazon has its work cut out to stand out from the crowd that is made up of Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast but so far things are looking good for Fire TV.
[Image via Amazon]
SOURCE: http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/2/5573818/amazon-announces-fire-tv
The post Amazon Announces Fire TV, the $99 Set-Top Box appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 05 Apr 2014 03:00 AM PDT
Nest have just announced it will be bringing the Nest Learning Thermostat to the United Kingdom.  The Nest device gives you full control of your heating through a mobile app. It is a really useful piece of kit, which I have seen working in a real environment; my friend Nathan, who resides in Canada, has installed the Nest Hub in his home.
The Nest hub will, over time, learn what temperature you like your house and more importantly at what time of the day. Matt Rogers, Nest creator says, "It learns through a collection of sensors and algorithms. Since launching two years ago we have done extensive field trials. Nest is the complete system, we’ve thought about it end-to-end"
NEST
The Nest hub has made some bold claims; its thermostat can save some of your hard-earned money by heating your home during off-peak times, and it also uses motion sensors to work out whether anybody is actually at home.  One of the best features the Nest has is a feature that gradually decreases your home’s temperature by 1 degree over the period of a month, a change which Nest says could save you £75 a year.  You can pick up the standalone thermostat for £179.  If you want the Hub installed by professionals, then it will increase the cost by a further £70.  This is small change compared to the possible savings, which Nest say may reach up to £353 a year.
Currently the Nest thermostat was only available in the US and Canada, with the UK release taking time.  "Within five minutes of announcing the original Nest Learning Thermostat, someone asked us to bring it to the UK. Then two people. Then dozens…Every day since, we’ve been working hard to create a Nest Thermostat that will change the way our friends in the UK heat their homes…Staying warm shouldn’t be a hassle. And now it doesn’t have to be," writes Erik Charlton, Nest’s business blogger.
What do you think?  Would you be interested in a remote thermostat for your home heating?  As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
[Image via: waltonemcnaturalgas]
SOURCE: http://www.t3.com/news/nest-s-smart-thermostat-lands-in-uk
The post Nest Arrives in UK appeared first on TechBeat.
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