Chicago Developing 'Suspicious Behavior' Monitoring System

Link: Chicago Developing 'Suspicious Behavior' Monitoring System

narramissic writes “Over the past few years, Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has been blanketing the city with a network of thousands of video cameras in an effort to remotely keep track of emergencies in real time. Now, with the help of IBM, the network is getting some smarts. IBM software will analyze the video and ultimately ‘recognize suspicious behavior,’ says OEMC spokesman Kevin Smith. ‘The challenge is going to be teaching computers to recognize the suspicious behavior,’ said Smith. ‘Once this is done this will be a very impressive city in terms of public safety.’”

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Linux Crashes the Mobile Party

Link: Linux Crashes the Mobile Party

superglaze writes “ has a fairly comprehensive feature on the progress being made by Linux for cellphones. Seems a pretty consumer deal for now, but there are some interesting hints of Linux eventually challenging Windows Mobile and Symbian in business use. The article also seems to suggest that the two big groups pushing mobile Linux could be amenable to a merger due to common interests.”

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Flat Rate Considered Harmful

Link: Flat Rate Considered Harmful

Lots of people, including for example
my CEO, say that the hand-held mobile
is going to be a crucial, maybe a dominant, way for people to
experience the Net; particularly on the other side of what we now call
the digital divide. Only there’s an economic problem.

I don’t know anyone who’s really satisfied with the quality of the
mobile Net experience; the iPhone seems to be pushing the edge of
tolerable, as long as you’re on WiFi. But still, where’s the rich menu of
multi-modal multi-media location-sensitive always-on exquisitely-personalized
applications that the hardware and the Net ought to deliver? Surely
there’s something more interesting than Blackberry-style mail?

Here’s one problem: fixed-rate data plans. With those, once the telco has
your money they really want you on the network as little as possible;
there’s no incentive to make it run faster or have better apps or lure you
into using it more. Some of the network operators have this idea that the way
to make money
is to control the relationship with the customer and extract a piece of unit of
payment that flows through a mobile device.

The conventional wisdom—and one I buy into—is that businesses ought to focus
on their core competences. For mobile network operators, those would be
bandwidth and billing. So, here’s a recipe for blowing up the mobile-network
business and making the world better and also a whole lot of money.

  1. Discontinue all flat-rate mobile data plans.

  2. Offer a-la-carte data at a price that seems obscenely, ridiculously,

  3. Radically open up the network. Let anyone connect anything to it.
    Sell phones that make it really easy to download apps from anywhere and run

  4. Build a developer ecosystem. Make it effortless to get in. Build a
    hot-new-apps social network; maybe in alliance with one of the big existing
    social nets.

  5. Don’t ask developers for any money. But sell the use of your billing
    system at a really attractive rate, so people can sign up for apps and have it
    billed to their phone plan. Do it at a scale that an app can charge a dime a
    month and still make money on scale.

  6. Duck and cover, because the explosion of creativity and new business
    models will cause some casualties.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

The Journey of Radios From Hardware to Software

Link: The Journey of Radios From Hardware to Software

An anonymous reader writes “The New York Times is carrying a story all about the process of replacing radios with software. The article tells the tale of Vanu Bose, son of the man who started the Bose company, and his quest to bring software to what was previously a hardware-only enterprise. He met a lot of resistance in the 90s to his ideas, because processor technology was not up to the task. Now that technology has caught up with Vanu, his software (and other products like it) are increasingly replacing now-outdated hardware components. ‘Well-established companies like Motorola and Ericsson now use elements of software-defined radio for their base stations. But Mr. Bose was the first to come to market with software that could handle multiple networks with the same equipment. Software radio appears to offer an elegant solution to what has been a vexing problem: how to have a single handset, like a cellphone, communicate across multiple networks. For instance, the G.S.M. standard, for global system for mobile communications, is used broadly in Europe, and most notably in the United States by AT&T.’”

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U.S. Airport Screeners Are Watching What You Read

Link: U.S. Airport Screeners Are Watching What You Read

boarder8925 writes “Be careful what you read when you fly in the United States. What you read is being monitored by airport screeners and stored in a government database for years. ‘Privacy advocates obtained database records showing that the government routinely records the race of people pulled aside for extra screening as they enter the country, along with cursory answers given to U.S. border inspectors about their purpose in traveling. In one case, the records note Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore’s choice of reading material, and worry over the number of small flashlights he’d packed for the trip. The breadth of the information obtained by the Gilmore-funded Identity Project (using a Privacy Act request) shows the government’s screening program at the border is actually a survelliance dragnet.”

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