cow blog imageIn the century since Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, journalists and activists alike have incited political change by exposing injustice and negligence — a trend that could be threatened by new legislation in six states.

Nebraska, Indiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and California are all currently looking to ban or limit the use of hidden cameras by non-law enforcement groups (including animal rights activists) on agricultural facilities. These six states are part of a larger group of nine states that have proposed similar legislation in the past year. There are currently five states that already have such legislation on the books.

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After a series of break-ins in Hockley, Birmingham, UK that all seemed to be carried out by the same serial burglar, local authorities decided not to leave his arrest up to chance and to instead set a trap. We’re not sure exactly how the police knew that this trap would work or just how quickly it would catch the crook, but it sure did get the job done.

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There have been a rash of child abuse cases lately that have been foiled by well-positioned nanny cams. We recently ran a story about a New York babysitter caught on camera drugging an infant girl to get her to “calm down”. In the past week there have been two cases, one in Chicago and one in Columbus, Ohio, that have reiterated the importance of hidden cameras as a bulwark against abusive babysitters.

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nightvisionYour surveillance system is only as strong as the camera that powers it. If you plan on recording video surveillance in anything but sunlight, it’s important to consider your camera’s ability to work in a variety of lighting conditions. Will the camera work in low light? Will it work in the dark? These are all important factors to consider when purchasing a surveillance system.

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early_show_logo_jun08Today, with all the new advances in technology, anyone can be a spy, or can be spied on, all without anyone even noticing. There are tiny cameras and microphones that can be worn on your body, that even if someone knew that you were recording them, they wouldn’t have a clue of what you’re using to do it. CBS News Correspondent Daniel Sieberg of “The Early Show” tested this body worn spy technology, covertly hiding a camcorder watch, tie, and DVR pen on himself and daring the anchor to locate the devices.

Sieberg also described how people can protect themselves when they’re not at home. Some of these options include covert hidden cameras that can double as home surveillance systems. Among those are the Tissue Box Wireless Camera and Clock Camera Hidden Camera. These two devices look like standard fixtures on a night table or bedroom but are actually wireless. And you don’t have to go back to the original camera to gather the footage. There are options available that let you view all footage online from any computer with Internet for added peace of mind no matter where you are in the world.

Aside from the cameras that can do the spying, are the camera finders to help you locate the hidden cameras that could be watching you. For example, the Hidden Camera Detector automatically finds any cameras that are around you, and even catches the signal that the camera might be sending out. Lastly, Sieberg mentioned GPS tracking to unleash you inner security agent. As an ongoing series to monitor the spies that could be spying on your, CBS offers Early Show viewers the ultimate in both surveillance counter surveillance options.


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blu-dot-chairBlu Dot, a Minneapolis based design firm will carry out a new and never before tried way of marketing. The design firm that specializes in high end chairs, will be placing their chairs throughout Manhattan, one by one, with no promotional or sales material attached with them. The firm expects that people will take these chairs and adopt them into their homes or lack thereof.  What these people don’t know is that they’re being watched.

The chairs will be equipped with GPS tracking devices that will update their location in real-time on the company’s website, and may also be projected on the wall of the Soho Store (whose one year anniversary inspired this event). And if this wasn’t enough, each chair will have it’s own Twitter feed and report the new location every time it is moved.

“Where does great design end up in New York? What sort of a person invites these chairs into their homes?… It’s all an experiment, but in our experience consumers appreciate brands that come up with new ways of interacting.” says Michael Hart, co-founder of Mono, a Minneapolis advertising firm that developed the project with Blu Dot.

A few months from now, the video crew will use the GPS tracking devices in the chairs to track them down, in hopes to get an interview with the people who took them, no matter who it is: homeowners or the homeless. They will ask why they took them and how they are using them and hopefully learn some ways to make them better.

(Via FastCompany)

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hotel_rooms_sxc-iboffIn the wake of the recent Erin Andrews case, hotels everywhere are beginning to revamp their security policies. Until now, requests for adjacent rooms have been handled inconsistently throughout the hotel industry. If you ask for a room next to another guest, some hotels will call the other guest for consent, but many will simply go ahead and book it without confirming with the other party.

“This is a wake up call for the hotel industry,” said Peter Greenberg, author of Hotel Secrets from the Travel Detective and CBS travel editor.

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