Underage-liquor-store-blogA surveillance system can be anything from an innocent baby monitor to a more sinister, invasive government spying program. This past week unveiled security news stories from every side of the surveillance spectrum. We’ve highlighted some of our favorites (for better or worse) below.

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Surveillance security systems and smart DVRs have come a long way in the past decade with the invention of features such as motion detection, scheduled recording, and live video streaming over the web. The lastest development, however, not only surpasses these features in usefulness, but downright puts their technological breakthroughs to shame.

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northern-watch-camp2009The Canadian Military has surveillance systems set up in the Northwest Passage to watch for foreign vessels traveling through the waterway from the east. The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America. Part of the responsibility of the Canadian Northern Watch Program is to test these surveillance devices. But testing the equipment has proven both difficult and dangerous in the harsh environment of the arctic.

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37-starface1With five stars more than the flag, the true face of a teenage girl is finally revealed.

Claiming that she had mistakenly been tattooed with 56 stars on her face, 18 year old Kimberly Valminck recently admitted that she had lied about the whole ordeal. Valminck blamed tattoo artist, Toumaniantz, for ruining her face and turning her into a “freak” while she was asleep under his needle. Toumaniantz adamantly insisted that she had asked for the stars despite what Valminck was telling her parents and the press. Valminck promised to sue Toumaniantz for 9000 euros, the cost of the surgery needed to remove the stars. Even though Toumaniantz maintained that she had asked for the stars, he agreed to pay for half of the surgery because he felt bad that his client was so unsatisfied.

Recently, Valminck said that she had indeed asked him for the 56 various size and shaped stars to be tattooed on her face and that she was awake the whole time he tattooed them onto her face. She made the whole story up because when she showed her father he was “furious.”

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_45999503_deb_royCatching criminals in action isn’t the only thing surveillance cameras can do– now they are starting to answer hundred year old questions.

Recently, surveillance cameras were used to conduct The Human Speechome Project, an experiment designed to map the way humans acquire speech.  The age old question of speech acquisition has been tackled by famous researchers including Noam Chomsky and Eric Lenneberg.  From devices in your brain to critical periods there only remains theories about how humans develop language skills.

With the help of surveillance cameras, professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hope to provide some of the first conclusive, data based answers to what seems to be the unsolvable question. Stunted by the limited availability to thoroughly track a child’s language acquisition process, previous studies were only given snapshots of a child’s development in weekly or monthly meetings.  Considering the fast paced nature of child development, missing a week, day, and even an hour can mean missing a crucial moment in the child’s development.

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