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The Increasing Role of Predictive Analysis In Police Work 180

elucido writes "A growing number of law enforcement agencies, in the US and elsewhere, have been adopting software tools with predictive analytics, based on algorithms that aim to predict crimes before they happen. From the article: 'Without some of the sci-fi gimmickry, police departments from Santa Cruz, California, to Memphis, Tennessee, and law enforcement agencies from Poland to Britain have adopted these new techniques. The premise is simple: criminals follow patterns, and with software — the same kind that retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon use to determine consumer purchasing trends — police can determine where the next crime will occur and sometimes prevent it.'"

Analyzing Tweets To Identify Psychopaths 266

nonprofiteer writes "Researchers presenting at Defcon next week have developed a psychopathy prediction model for Twitter. It analyzes linguistic tells to rate users' levels of narcissism, machiavellianism and other similarities to Patrick Bateman. 'The FBI could use this to flag potential wrongdoers, but I think it's much more compelling for psychologists to use to understand large communities of people,' says Chris Sumner of the Online Privacy Foundation. Some of the Twitter clues: Curse words. Angry responses to other people, including swearing and use of the word "hate." Using the word "we." Using periods. Using filler words such as 'blah' and 'I mean' and 'um.' So, um, yeah."

Facebook Scans Chats and Posts For Criminal Activity 483

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook has added sleuthing to its array of data-mining capabilities, scanning your posts and chats for criminal activity. If the social-networking giant detects suspicious behavior, it flags the content and determines if further steps, such as informing the police, are required. Reuters provides an example of how the software was used in March: 'A man in his early 30s was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day. Facebook's extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police. Officers took control of the teenager's computer and arrested the man the next day.'"

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.