Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Robbery Suspects Caught Via GPS (

TechnologyResource writes: Apparently GPS isn't just for the geographically challenged anymore. Just last week, the FBI and local police were able to track down suspects in a suburban Chicago bank robbery thanks to two credit-card-sized Global Positioning System devices that had been stuffed in with the stolen cash. Debbie Jemison, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Bankers Association in Springfield, said she first started hearing about use of the GPS devices about two years ago, but this was the first time in Illinois "we are aware of" in which they were used to solve a bank robbery. Last week's robbery, according to the FBI affidavit, took place around 10:40 a.m. Dec. 30 at the TCF Bank on Torrence Avenue in Calumet City, Ill., in Cook County. One robber, about 6 feet tall, clad in a black hooded jacket, dark skull cap and scarf over his face, walked up to the teller with a small pistol and said, "Don't push any buttons," according to the eight-page affidavit. Moments later, a second robber, about 5-foot-9 and wearing a tight-fitting mask, jumped over the counter and gathered the money, which included two GPS devices, according to the affidavit. A third man was involved in the planning of the robbery, according to court papers. By 11 a.m., the FBI had "identified the approximate location of the tracking devices," the affidavit said. Police went to a home on Wabash Avenue in Dolton and spotted a dark-colored ski mask and dark clothing inside a car. The FBI then pinpointed a home with tracking devices and found one of the suspects inside. Another one had been picked up on the street a short time before, and a third was caught not long after, the affidavit said. Brad Borst, president of Rocky Mountain Tracking in Fort Collins, Colo., which sells the devices to banks for about $500 each, says he sees a promising future for sales. "I think there's a growing demand," he said.

Submission + - Inside The Google Chrome OS Security Model

Elphage writes: ZDNet reports that Google will use a combination of system hardening, process isolation, verified boot, secure auto-update and encryption to thwart malicious hackers from planting malware on its new Google Chrome OS. Much like the Google Chrome browser, the operating system will use process sandboxing as the key weapon in a series of anti-exploitation mitigations and attack surface reduction techniques. The end goal is to recover from a successful by simply applying an update and rebooting the infected machine.

Comment Re:Sgt is an idiot (Score 1) 369

You are 100% correct. It appears to me that Sgt. Ken Savano is trying to be a hero to every other law enforcement agency. What he fails to realize is that many other law enforcement agencies are in support of GPS tracking use for the safety of others. He also fails to realize that many other law enforcement agencies rely on GPS for surveillance and to track their own patrol vehicles to ensure that want-to-be heros, like Sgt. Ken Savano, are doing their job.

Comment Re:Radar Guns... (Score 1) 369

Radar Guns aren't completely accurate all of the time.

Not true. A radar gun relies on calibration, which is required once per year. In addition, before and after every ticket is written, the office should be checking the calibration with tunning forks. This confirms the calibration is still accurate. I have seen radar guns give innacurate readings due to some outside interference. For example, radar clocked the vehicle at 500 mph when I could visibly see the vehicle was traveling at a much slower speed, like 45 mph. Things that can cause interference are: fans in the patrol car, method employed (stationary or mobile radar), number of vehicles or a single vehicle in the target zone, hills and turns in the road. There are also a lot of human error factors than can play into this. For example, did the office stop the correct vehicle. The office MUST visually confirm the speed and correctly identify the vehicle speeding. Can't just rely on the radar.

Comment Re:Standard Calculus (Score 1) 369

My gps can tell me my speed at the exact moment

No, it does not. GPS only tells you your average speed between two GPS pings. Ping 1 - you are at X, ping 2 - you are at Y, your current speed is how fast you must move in order to get from X to Y in time between ping1 and ping2.

You are incorrect. With live tracking devices (like this one) the speed calculation between satellite and earth is transmitted at the speed of light. You can get ONE locate and still receive the exact speed. Accuracy is much less than 1 mph margin of error.


Submission + - Radar Beats GPS in Court - Or Does It? (

TechnologyResource writes: More than two years ago, a police officer wrote Shaun Malone a ticket for going 62mph in a 45-mph zone. Malone was ordered to pay a $190 fine, but his parents appealed the decision, saying data from a GPS tracking system they installed in his car to monitor his driving proved he was not speeding. What ensued was the longest court battle over a speeding ticket in county history. The case also represented the first time anyone locally has tried to beat a ticket using GPS.
The teen's GPS pegged the car at 45 mph in virtually the same location. At issue was the distance from the stoplight — site of the first GPS “ping” that showed Malone stopped — to the second ping 30 seconds later, when he was going 45 mph.

Last week, Commissioner Carla Bonilla ruled the GPS data confirmed the prosecution's contention that Malone had to have exceeded the speed limit and would have to pay the $190 fine.
“This case ensures that other law enforcement agencies throughout the state aren't going to have to fight a case like this where GPS is used to cast doubt on radar,” said Sgt. Ken Savano, who oversees the traffic division. However, Commissioner Bonilla noted the accuracy of the GPS system was not challenged by either side in the dispute, but rather they had different interpretations of the data. Bonilla ruled the GPS data confirmed the prosecution's contention that Malone had to have exceeded the speed limit.

Original Slahdot story:

Comment Re:Not the same, in several aspects (Score 2, Insightful) 451

This isn't new, and there isn't anything to stop your ISP from siphoning your emails in transit. Many companies are required to keep all email communications stored for an amount of time and have systems in place that capture and store for later discovery. Even deleting the message doesn't mean that it's really gone. The cold hard fact is that while your data is in transit on a system not owned by you, you don't own it. It's like your trash on the curb, the sanitation workers can (and probably do) go through it if it looks interesting enough. The best you can do is make it look boring.

I have a t-shirt (that I got from thinkgeek) that reads "I read your email" and it's absolutely true, in more than one respect. As an administrator for an ISP, the mail server, all accounts and subsequently all data stored in those accounts is in within my sphere of influence. I can legally read any message present on the server. Included in those numbers are mail accounts for several city and county governments as well as many businesses that host their domains on our server. As a forensic examiner, I also am given access to much information and many email messages, so I do indeed read your email.

At this point in the explanation of my t-shirt, is where I explain my personal ethics.

It is because I have no faith in the ethical boundaries of others that I have a private server for my personal email.

One note about one of the potential options listed above. Storing mail in an encrypted folder would be a great idea if the mail server didn't have to read and write to the mailbox. If the server doesn't have the key, then the incoming messages cannot be encrypted. You could always use PGP though.

Comment Re: Why upgrade? (Score 1) 179

Though, another killer feature would be something like the Wii Shop Channel for DS, to download virtual console games, or even DS games, and web browser for the DS. This would be best facilitated with a modest flash chip, say 4gb or 8gb.

It apparently has all this with online downloads, newer Opera web browser and enough memory to run it, and a card slot for flash storage. It isn't that nice to have to buy the GBA games again as files or use some piracy tool to play roms but the machine is capable of running them. I'd miss the slot-1 for guitar hero and even a pedometer that plugs in, plus others have rumble packs, extra ram or extra storage there. There's even a very cheap slot-1 CF card reader that will plug in and let you view photos from digital SLRs (GBA media player).
It does look as if the slot is gone forever.

Comment Re:Chromosomes? (Score 2, Insightful) 449

OK, so I need to remind everyone that males have more accidents than females? Greater injury rates? More traffic violation fines? Higher drink driving rates? (Even after controlling for greater time on the roads).

No, I probably don't because the fact that men are (on average) worse drivers than females on pretty much every measure is well known. Judging by the sexism of a lot of these posts (above and below), this really pisses some people off.

Men drive dangerously. Probably Y/testosterone. Women just can't drive.

Comment Re:DMCA? (Score 1) 234

Ouch! The dreaded "Offtopic" moderation...perhaps I should elaborate:

Others have already pointed out the "blackhats just got a new weapon" scenario, so I thought another possible (mis)use would be to patch software to which we do not have the source code.

  • Commonly used software w/o source code? Windows and DRM systems. Check.
  • Commonly used systems that inhibit user's systems? WGA and DRM. Check.
  • Software that rewrites/patches binaries without source? Clearwater. Check.
  • Obvious non-software response by corporations whose systems are getting hacked? DMCA letters...either to the Clearwater developers or anyone who distributes such a patch.

Just my inflation-adjusted 2 cents...

Comment Give it up and Use Paper. (Score 0, Troll) 823

Seriously. Just stop trying to type notes. We both know you're just dicking around on facebook. Just take notes with paper. You can write equations, draw graphs, and whatever else you want, including little stars and hearts next to your favorite equations.

If for some reason you really need to type your notes, do it after class. You have a problem of your own making.

Comment Re: Why upgrade? (Score 1) 179

The only reason to switch is if a killer app you really want comes out which won't work on your current DS. For me that's WPA wireless on the DSi etc, and a big screen would be nice, but I'm not touching it until somebody less lazy than me cracks it to allow homebrew software to run.
Perhaps they just want to expand their market and sell it to people that didn't buy a DS because they want bigger screens.

Comment Re:New Jersey Drivers (Score 1) 449

On a two lane road, is half a lane really an avenue of escape? On the highways they usually build these additional side parts shoulders... to be used in emergency situations... hint, hint.

I was driving back from my parent's this weekend late at night and I had some deer run out in front of me. It doesn't matter what side of the road you are on, or the middle, you are not going to dodge deer. They are highly unpredictable. If I would have swerved to go behind the deer, I'd be eating deer right now because it turned around and went back half way. I was better off in my lane and stopping in my lane like I did.

Slashdot Top Deals

Any given program will expand to fill available memory.