Update 1 on an old MBF Blog about policing and technology.
Now the world of law enforcement has GPS bullets that can track a suspect’s car over miles.
Allegedly designed to ‘make high-speed chases safer’ at the push of a button inside a police vehicle it will empower law enforcement agencies to track without endangering people’s lives.
That has to be a good thing.
Coming to a Crime Scene Near Us
According to BBC Technology News (29 October 2013) the system, ‘StarChase’ is already in us in four states in the US and now they are keen to bring it to the UK.
The BBC confirmed that it costs $5,000 (£3,108) to install and each bullet costs $500 (£312).
Police can pinpoint a suspect through the bullet rather than chasing it themselves, and all in real time.
Trevor Fischback, StarChase’s president gushed, ‘this is an important tactic for the police. We’ve already made a difference, from rescuing little girls from human trafficking to stopping drivers under the influence.’
Well, the BBC asked senior lecturer at Leeds University, Dave Allen, who co-authored a report into the future of technology and the UK police. He said, ‘this sounds like interesting technology and there is a clear operational use for it. I think the costs will fall rapidly and we will see them being used routinely in the not so distance future.’
Quite tellingly he added two points:
- there needs to be pause for thought to make sure technology is not just being used for technology’s sake,
- there are other ways to track vehicles and this could raise some civil liberties issues.
MBF Blogs on policing/technology matters:
How Policing Is Set to Enter the Words of Drones and Robocops, 24 October 2012
Cybercriminals Should Keep Us All Alert, Looking Over Our Shoulders, 22 October 2013
Update 2 on Bitcoin as a virtual/digital currency and how it is set to revolutionise global finances.
Well, already it’s making quite an impact.
Robert McMillan reported on Wired magazine (29 October 2013) that the world’s first bitcoin ATM, called Robocoin, has opened in Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, Canada.
Just to refresh the memory, via McMillan’s definition. ‘Bitcoin is a system controlled by a network of machines spread across the internet. When you buy a bitcoin, you’re essentially buying cryptographically protected numbers that you can then move around using a global, peer-to-peer network of computers. It’s money, but it moves as easily as email.’
This hole in the wall takes neither credit nor debit cards, it’s cash only. You can put money in and get codes to buy bitcoins. Or you can put them in if you have some already, scan a QR code and get other cash out.
McMillan wrote excitedly, ‘it’s yet another sign that Bitcoin, created just over five years ago, is moving out of the realm of computer geeks and into the mainstream.’ In another five years it could have become the prime internet currency, replacing existing well known brands like the dollar, pound and renminbi.
FOOTNOTE: A Norwegian man, Kristoffer Koch, bought £15 worth of the then new bitcoins in 2009. He has just realised his stake is now worth a staggering £430,000!
MBF Blog on digital currency: