mav As always, the military is working on creating smarter, smaller, stealthier, and more lethal weapons and tools. But from all the military drones that they have created so far, this latest class of drones beats all the others. This new class is the Micro Air Vehicle MAV. Designed to be the size of a bug or a bird, the MAV uses nature’s flapping wings method of flight to better get around an urban terrain and better adjust to the gusts of wind created by obstructions like building. Aside from flying like an insect or bird, the MAV will be designed to also look like them to avoid suspicion.

The MAVs will be used for many different purposes ranging from surveillance missions, marking threats and points of interest, and all the way to taking out targets by sneaking up on them and then detonating explosives built into them. Researchers say these drones will also be able to work in swarms and communicate with each other to better carry out missions and create a “big picture” of the mission they are on.

As for powering the MAVs, researchers say that they might be able to charge from the sun, wind energy, power-lines, or vibrating machinery, and be able to go on missions for days or weeks at a time.

(Via DesignWorldOnline)

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noradNORAD’s Santa Tracker for 2009 is finally live. People around the world can now track Santa as he makes his way around the globe. The tracker uses Google Earth to allow users to see where Santa is at the moment and where he was previously. NORAD’s map even has some videos of Santa making his way through the sky on his sleigh.

Check out the official NORAD Santa Tracker site for the up-to-the-minute map. Alternatively, you can also use get updates on Santa’s whereabouts via Twitter and Facebook.

But Santa isn’t the only person that folks have been trying to track down lately. Recently, one of Santa’s elves went rogue, stole Santa’s sleigh with all of the children’s toys and ran away with them! BrickHouse Security promptly launched a contest asking people to help track down the Elf Gone Rogue by sending in photo clues, and fortunately the Elf Gone Rogue was caught just in the nick of time for Christmas. Check out the contest entries here with all of the neat photo clues that were sent in. If not for everyone’s help, NORAD might not have been able to track Santa’s sleigh at all this Christmas!

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bludotA few months ago we reported that Blu Dot, a Minneapolis based design firm planned to plant their signature chairs around New York City, and to use GPS technology to see what would happen to them. Would people grab them? Would they adopt them into their homes? Would they sit on them? Using a combination of GPS technology and covert surveillance, Blu Dot found out.

“The key to this idea was involvement,” Michael Hart, founder of Mono, said. “Not just them taking the chairs, but the whole community with this notion of an experiment and ‘Where will the chairs go?’”

The design firm hired video company Supermarche to document the entire operation – complete with code names, hidden video cameras, and treetop perches where they would videotape unsuspecting people interacting with the chairs. Some chairs were sat in, others were nabbed, others were adopted in homes. The videographers found that colorful chairs were snatched up more quickly, while plain chairs were considered institutionalized and therefore sat in, but not taken as often.

Check out the video and see what people have to say about  curb mining!

(Via The Wall Street Journal Blog)

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blackwater Surprising to the general public, it has just been revealed that a private army contracted by a private American security firm formerly known as Blackwater (now known as XE) has been carrying out missions in Pakistan with the CIA. They have been carrying out raids, the executions of terrorist leaders, and many other types of spy missions. This comes as a major surprise to the general public who had no idea there was any kind of problem between the US and Pakistan, let alone a private army infiltrating their country. The private firm denied all of this and their involvement with the CIA in Pakistan.

Some sources say that it was set up under the Bush administration to keep law makers in the dark so that the war on terror can be won at almost any cost.

(Via: LA Times)

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freakaptWhile trying to find out who had been eating all his food, a NYC man set up a hidden camera in his kitchen. He was thinking that it was his girlfriend that took his food while he wasn’t around, but what he ended up finding out was much more devastating then that.

It turns out that while the man went out or went to sleep, a very strange and crazed woman was living in his house, eating his food, watching his TV and living as if it was her own apartment dwelling. When he was around in the apartment, she would hide in a storage loft/area that was pretty roomy and even set up a bit of a home of her own in there. The police say that she was there for at least a couple of weeks, and probably broke in to rob him, but ended up deciding to stay.

(Via NakedApartments)

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sgr1A new robot system being developed by Samsung Techwin is slated to be the new generation of defense technology. It’s called the SGR-1 Security Guard Robot. It uses state-of-the-art surveillance technology and an optional ‘lethal weapon,’ to make it as powerful as having a super soldier standing guard all the time, that never gets tired or needs a break.

The SGR-1 uses many different surveillance technologies together including low light, high resolution and thermal cameras, alongside a Laser Range Finder and ‘suppression’ systems – offering the use of an ‘acoustic device,’ which emits a tone powerful enough to make intruders nauseous and drop to the ground. This optionally comes with machine guns equipped with real or rubber bullets.

“Unexpected intrusions often call for immediate action… The remote controlled system is unparalleled for quick response and all systems are designed for superior protection solutions. The lethal or non-lethal weapon is installed for various missions”, the product’s sales literature says.

Samsung Techwin suggests that the system could be used for border security, transportation nodes such as airports and seaports, critical infrastructure, including power plants, pipelines, dams and historic sites, and military bases.

(Via Info4Security)

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nunPolice are hoping that they will find a criminal responsible for robbing two nuns by releasing video footage of the crime.

The two nuns were doing some grocery shopping when they were approached in a parking lot by a man asking for money. One of the nuns, named Sister Mary De Leon, refused to give the man money and instead referred him to many of the town churches for help. However, the suspect had other things in mind, as he snatched De Leon’s purse and jumped into a van that was circling the lot. The two nuns attempted to chase the crook, but where unable to stop the vehicle.

Luckily the whole thing was caught on tape by the parking lot security camera. Police have released the footage of the crime in the hopes that someone will help bring these heartless men to justice.

(Via ABC News)

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car-thief-crimeAfter a series of car break-ins in the Thomasville, GA area, Grant Carney and his wife finally decided to set up their trap to catch the thieves. Carney planted a phony purse in his truck that was stuffed full of paper, and an empty wallet with a single dollar sticking out as bait. There was also a sensor in the car, that when broken, would alert Grant of the break in and a motion detecting camera.

“So I’m looking out the window getting a description of him while my wife is on the phone with 911 and the whole time I see the flash going off in the truck,” laughed Carney.

Grant knew that once the thief got his picture taken, he would try to take the camera with him to avoid getting caught. This is why they chained the camera to the car, giving the police enough time to arrive there before he finally got it off.

“Right now we’re charging him with seven counts of entering autos. We have more we’ll probably tie him to soon,” said Carney.

All the vehicles investigators say Harper stole from were unlocked. A reminder to keep your car doors locked.

(Via WALB)

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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.


Featured Product Review PDF Link

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This week, the Today Show showcased “over the top” gadgets for Halloween and ways to keep your kids safe while they’re out trick-or-treating. Showcasing the BrickHouse Child Locator, they explained how the devices helps you locate your child even when in costume or a group of kids.


They also showed a GPS tracking device for your older kids that are out on their own. This second tracker is the Spark Nano Real-Time GPS Tracking Device. The great thing about this one is that the battery lasts on it for 5 days on a single charge and it can be tracked from anywhere through the Internet. This is different from the BrickHouse Child Locator since it uses GPS to locate your kids instead of RFID, which is more used for directional guidance.  Whatever age your kids are, make sure that they are safe this Halloween.

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