New IBM Services Target Security And Disaster Recovery | TechCrunch

IBM has seen the technology world changing as much as any other vendor and that’s part of the reason it bought SoftLayer last year –to broaden its cloud offerings. Today, the company has built upon that, announcing new security and disaster recovery services that could make the cloud more attractive to companies that remain skeptical.

One area the cloud excels in is disaster recovery because it stores your applications and data outside your data center. When a weather event, fire or other disaster strikes, your data is protected in the cloud and your operations can go on.

And that’s the idea behind IBM’s Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR), which will keep virtualized instances of your most critical applications and data in the SoftLayer cloud, regardless of whether your services are run primarily in SoftLayer or in your own data center or private cloud. As IBM, pointed out, downtime is expensive and if you have a virtualized cloud insurance policy, you could keep going even while your center was in tatters.

New IBM Services Target Security And Disaster Recovery | TechCrunch

IBM has seen the technology world changing as much as any other vendor and that’s part of the reason it bought SoftLayer last year –to broaden its cloud offerings. Today, the company has built upon that, announcing new security and disaster recovery services that could make the cloud more attractive to companies that remain skeptical.

One area the cloud excels in is disaster recovery because it stores your applications and data outside your data center. When a weather event, fire or other disaster strikes, your data is protected in the cloud and your operations can go on.

And that’s the idea behind IBM’s Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR), which will keep virtualized instances of your most critical applications and data in the SoftLayer cloud, regardless of whether your services are run primarily in SoftLayer or in your own data center or private cloud. As IBM, pointed out, downtime is expensive and if you have a virtualized cloud insurance policy, you could keep going even while your center was in tatters.

How prepared are American cities for increased natural disasters? Over the years, Americans have insisted on expanding and building cities and suburbs in locations that are clearly threatened by natural hazards. This week’s monster tornado in Oklahoma demonstrates this. Cities and states have encouraged people to live in these areas through city planning, architectural design, and the so-called need for “economic development.”
Thus, instead of encouraging people to not live in these hazard zones, city leaders have created methods to help people survive relatively normal lives there. Houses in California must meet specific earthquake design standards, buildings in Oklahoma have “safe rooms,” and countless structures must be stable enough to handle floods and erosion along American coastlines. These are adaptations. Not good adaptations (I believe people should not be encouraged to live in these areas), but there it is.
With the climate changing, the impacts on communities are likely to increase. Incidences of natural disasters are expected to rise, costing many lives and causing a need for an endless stream of disaster aid.
Researchers at MIT teamed up with the non-profit ICLEI to survey cities around the world. The goal was to compare how they were adapting to climate change impacts, or preparing for future impacts. Progress, the researchers found, is very slow in the US, while cities around the world are far more advanced. 
It’s a great read, very visual so if you don’t have time you can skim it.
Survey: U.S. Cities Report Increase in Climate Change Impacts, Lag Global Cities in Planning

How prepared are American cities for increased natural disasters? Over the years, Americans have insisted on expanding and building cities and suburbs in locations that are clearly threatened by natural hazards. This week’s monster tornado in Oklahoma demonstrates this. Cities and states have encouraged people to live in these areas through city planning, architectural design, and the so-called need for “economic development.”

Thus, instead of encouraging people to not live in these hazard zones, city leaders have created methods to help people survive relatively normal lives there. Houses in California must meet specific earthquake design standards, buildings in Oklahoma have “safe rooms,” and countless structures must be stable enough to handle floods and erosion along American coastlines. These are adaptations. Not good adaptations (I believe people should not be encouraged to live in these areas), but there it is.

With the climate changing, the impacts on communities are likely to increase. Incidences of natural disasters are expected to rise, costing many lives and causing a need for an endless stream of disaster aid.

Researchers at MIT teamed up with the non-profit ICLEI to survey cities around the world. The goal was to compare how they were adapting to climate change impacts, or preparing for future impacts. Progress, the researchers found, is very slow in the US, while cities around the world are far more advanced. 

It’s a great read, very visual so if you don’t have time you can skim it.

Survey: U.S. Cities Report Increase in Climate Change Impacts, Lag Global Cities in Planning

(via urbnist)

Patent No. 8229853. 2012.   Real-time fraud prevention.    
This patented system stops fraudulent credit and debit card purchases before they happen. The locations of the purchases must match what you have indicated in your travel itineraries, and if they don’t, the system will recognize that something’s up and stop the transaction before you fund someone’s extravagant designer-handbag shopping spree.
Download the print

Patent No. 8229853. 2012.   
Real-time fraud prevention.    

This patented system stops fraudulent credit and debit card purchases before they happen. The locations of the purchases must match what you have indicated in your travel itineraries, and if they don’t, the system will recognize that something’s up and stop the transaction before you fund someone’s extravagant designer-handbag shopping spree.

Download the print

The Crazy Accurate Thermal Images That Saw Dzokhar Tsarnaev Through a Boat Tarp
There was no small amount of technology that went into the capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev, but perhaps none was more impressive than the helicopter-mounted, forward-looking infrared camera that confirmed once and for all that there was someone hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. And that he was almost certainly Dzokhar Tsarnaev.
Here are the pictures that sky-high camera took, just released a few hours ago by the Massachusetts State Police. They’re incredible.
The shot above gives the cleanest look taken by state police’s Air Wing, after being tipped off by the boat’s owner that there was a man smeared with blood (Tsarnaev) hiding inside. You can see Tsarnaev’s legs extended almost to the wheel, and his right arm outstretched. The boat itself looks almost like an X-ray. And that’s no surprise, given the capabilities of the technology involved. As we wrote last night, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras are equipped with special sensors that can detect infrared radiation, such as that caused by a heat source. Specifically, in this case, caused by a heat source belonging to a human body.

The Crazy Accurate Thermal Images That Saw Dzokhar Tsarnaev Through a Boat Tarp

There was no small amount of technology that went into the capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev, but perhaps none was more impressive than the helicopter-mounted, forward-looking infrared camera that confirmed once and for all that there was someone hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. And that he was almost certainly Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

Here are the pictures that sky-high camera took, just released a few hours ago by the Massachusetts State Police. They’re incredible.

The shot above gives the cleanest look taken by state police’s Air Wing, after being tipped off by the boat’s owner that there was a man smeared with blood (Tsarnaev) hiding inside. You can see Tsarnaev’s legs extended almost to the wheel, and his right arm outstretched. The boat itself looks almost like an X-ray. And that’s no surprise, given the capabilities of the technology involved. As we wrote last night, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras are equipped with special sensors that can detect infrared radiation, such as that caused by a heat source. Specifically, in this case, caused by a heat source belonging to a human body.

Facial Recognition Tech Could Help Identify the FBI Identity Suspects | MIT Technology Review
The FBI could use software to help identify suspects, and more advanced techniques are around the corner.

The FBI appealed to the public Thursday for help identifying two men shown in pixilated photos and video footage who are suspected of involvement in Monday’s bomb attacks in Boston.
Experts say the FBI may be able to use other images from the scene—together with facial recognition software—to search through identity databases. The approach is likely to become more common in the future as new technology makes using facial recognition on surveillance and bystander imagery more reliable.
Deploying facial recognition software in the Boston investigation isn’t straightforward because the images available are very different from the evenly lit, frontal, passport-style photos stored in law enforcement databases. Such mug shots can be matched with about 99 percent accuracy, says Anil Jain, a professor at Michigan State expert who works on facial recognition, a figure that falls to about 50 percent for images of good quality but with added complications such as a person wearing a hat or glasses.

Facial Recognition Tech Could Help Identify the FBI Identity Suspects | MIT Technology Review

The FBI could use software to help identify suspects, and more advanced techniques are around the corner.

The FBI appealed to the public Thursday for help identifying two men shown in pixilated photos and video footage who are suspected of involvement in Monday’s bomb attacks in Boston.

Experts say the FBI may be able to use other images from the scene—together with facial recognition software—to search through identity databases. The approach is likely to become more common in the future as new technology makes using facial recognition on surveillance and bystander imagery more reliable.

Deploying facial recognition software in the Boston investigation isn’t straightforward because the images available are very different from the evenly lit, frontal, passport-style photos stored in law enforcement databases. Such mug shots can be matched with about 99 percent accuracy, says Anil Jain, a professor at Michigan State expert who works on facial recognition, a figure that falls to about 50 percent for images of good quality but with added complications such as a person wearing a hat or glasses.

Hacker Shows How To Attack An Airplane’s Systems—Using A Phone
A German security researcher has demonstrated how easy it can be to hack into the digital systems of an airliner in flight using the right coding knowledge and hardware that’s not hard to get—including a Samsung smartphone.
Here’s the story.

Hacker Shows How To Attack An Airplane’s Systems—Using A Phone

A German security researcher has demonstrated how easy it can be to hack into the digital systems of an airliner in flight using the right coding knowledge and hardware that’s not hard to get—including a Samsung smartphone.

Here’s the story.

Can GPS Trackers Help Stop Prescription Painkiller Theft? | Fast Company
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly hopes tricked-out fake bottles will lead to popping illicit pill poppers.
Police in New York City are planning to use fake prescription painkiller pill bottles with GPS trackers to try to curb the theft of highly addictive prescription pills, police commissioner Ray Kellyreportedly outlined yesterday in a speech at Bill Clinton’s Foundation’s conference on health issues in La Quinta, Calif.
Under the plan, which has been adopted by a few police departments across the country, police would ask pharmacies to store the fake bottles among the real prescription pills. When one is stolen (or removed from its home), it will emit a special signal that will allow police to track it.

Can GPS Trackers Help Stop Prescription Painkiller Theft? | Fast Company

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly hopes tricked-out fake bottles will lead to popping illicit pill poppers.

Police in New York City are planning to use fake prescription painkiller pill bottles with GPS trackers to try to curb the theft of highly addictive prescription pills, police commissioner Ray Kellyreportedly outlined yesterday in a speech at Bill Clinton’s Foundation’s conference on health issues in La Quinta, Calif.

Under the plan, which has been adopted by a few police departments across the country, police would ask pharmacies to store the fake bottles among the real prescription pills. When one is stolen (or removed from its home), it will emit a special signal that will allow police to track it.

Augmented reality growing popular with U.S. military - QR Code Press
The practical applications of augmented reality are gaining more attention, however, especially amongst military and security organizations. A new report from Mind Commerce, a research organization, shows that augmented reality is, indeed, becoming a popular topic within the U.S. military. 

Augmented reality growing popular with U.S. military - QR Code Press

The practical applications of augmented reality are gaining more attention, however, especially amongst military and security organizations. A new report from Mind Commerce, a research organization, shows that augmented reality is, indeed, becoming a popular topic within the U.S. military. 

Scientists have designed a car seat which can recognise the ‘bottom-print’ or the way people sit to identify the driver. Scientists at the Tokyo’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology have designed the chair which measures 360 pressure points to build a 3D profile of how a person sits.

The discovery could replace car keys and the researchers say it could even be used in offices instead of computer passwords. Scientists say that the system is 98 percent accurate.

It’s a simple matter of fitting pressure sensors inside a normal car seat - so it could be in production cars as early as 2014. The team says that the bottom-scan is actually less intrusive than other forms of biometric scans, such as the face recognition currently in use by Britain passport control.

Accel Debuts $100M Fund To Invest In Disruptive Big Data Companies | TechCrunch
Accel Partners has steadily been  making investments in infrastructure and companies looking to manage big  data for the enterprise, including funding Cloudera, CouchBase, and even Fusion-IO.  But there’s no doubt that more and more startups are launching to help  businesses manage massive amounts of data as technologies like Apache  Hadoop become more popular. Today, Accel is launching a $100 million  fund dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs who are building disruptive  big data companies.
This is actually the first dedicated fund to a specific vertical in  Accel’s history as a venture firm. The fund, which is made up of Accel’s  existing capital, will be devoted to funding innovation across entire  “big data stack” from infrastructure (storage, security, management,  etc.) to enterprise applications (business intelligence, collaboration,  mobile, vertical apps, etc.).

Accel Debuts $100M Fund To Invest In Disruptive Big Data Companies | TechCrunch

Accel Partners has steadily been making investments in infrastructure and companies looking to manage big data for the enterprise, including funding Cloudera, CouchBase, and even Fusion-IO. But there’s no doubt that more and more startups are launching to help businesses manage massive amounts of data as technologies like Apache Hadoop become more popular. Today, Accel is launching a $100 million fund dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs who are building disruptive big data companies.

This is actually the first dedicated fund to a specific vertical in Accel’s history as a venture firm. The fund, which is made up of Accel’s existing capital, will be devoted to funding innovation across entire “big data stack” from infrastructure (storage, security, management, etc.) to enterprise applications (business intelligence, collaboration, mobile, vertical apps, etc.).