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Recreational and Non-Recreational Drones Are Becoming Increasingly Popular, But Are Cities Ready?

Recreational and Non-Recreational Drones Are Becoming Increasingly Popular, But Are Cities Ready?

Ever since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, city officials have been working on a way to ensure the safety of participants, observers and event volunteers and employees alike. They may have found their answer in the form of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This past April, the city employed drones with high definition cameras to float above the event and keep a proverbial eye out for threats. Though ground video cameras in place during the 2013 marathon were able to help authorities correctly identify the Tsarnaev brothers, the point of the drones, according to Hank Shaw of the Boston FBI, is to identify a threat before it happens. Prior to being sent out to scan the Boston Marathon crowd, UAVs were used in a demonstration that showed the public and investigators alike how the attached cameras could zoom in on people in crowds. With the potential to zoom in on suspects from over a mile away, law enforcement are able to spot detail that would otherwise be impossible for officers to see from the ground. For instance, a UAV can pick out people who are wearing hats and try to see if there is anything suspicious about their appearance. A normal ball cap might be no cause for concern, but a ball cap, sunglasses and a scarf might be. Being able to spot little details like this can go a long ways towards ensuring the safety of thousands of people.   Drones Are Becoming Mainstream, and Cities Need to Be Adequately Prepared Effective and simple to operate, cities across the globe are beginning to use UAVs for added...
High Tech Security Systems to be Installed on Busy Transit Systems in Boston

High Tech Security Systems to be Installed on Busy Transit Systems in Boston

According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 2015 saw a 7% increase in crime on city buses and railways. These crimes include theft, larceny, homicide, rape and assault, aggravated assault, robbery, auto theft and burglary. The only crime that decreased in occurrence was arson. The people of MA are tax paying citizens, and as such, deserve safer passage on their journeys. Whether they are commuters trying to get to and from work safely or they are infrequent city transportation users who just want a relaxing night out, they deserve adequate protection from criminals.   Massachusetts’ Proposed Solution In answer to the spike in crime on city subways and buses, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has begun to install security camera systems on each of its 225 buses, one step of many in its attempt to overhaul the lackadaisical surveillance system. The system includes monitors on which the passengers can view live footage of what is being recorded. Camera installation is funded by a $6.9 million grant, which was awarded in 2010, from the Department of Homeland Security.   The cameras and monitors on this new system will allow passengers to see what is going on in the driver’s cab by streaming live footage to monitors placed within the passenger compartment of buses and subway cars. The footage will also stream directly to monitors at the department’s dispatch center. If necessary, the footage can be recorded and stored for later use as an aid in criminal prosecution.   At least 225 of the city’s buses will be completely furnished with this new and improved surveillance system by the end of...
Facial Recognition Technology is Changing the Face of Video Surveillance

Facial Recognition Technology is Changing the Face of Video Surveillance

Imagine being able to identify a shoplifter or criminal as soon as they walk onto your premises. Imagine an era in which criminals cannot run and cannot hide, but are spotted and their plans thwarted before they can even think twice about doing something illegal. That era is upon us now.   Facial recognition technology is changing the face of video surveillance and loss prevention as we know it. Until recently, it was only possible to identify somebody as a criminal after they had committed a crime. While this is great for preventing future crime, it does nothing to help stop crime before it occurs. Well, NTechLab’s FindFace algorithm is about to change all that. This revolutionary technology gives us the capability to not only determine who someone is, but it also allows us to know where they’ve been, where they’re going, whether or not they have an outstanding warrant or unpaid parking ticket and if they have been caught shoplifting before, amongst other extraordinary capabilities.   In the past, retail security camera systems have been able to deter crime, but they haven’t been able to eradicate it completely. That may be about to change. With facial recognition technology and advanced CCTV surveillance systems working together to monitor retail locations and other businesses, criminal behavior has become a science that we are just now finally beginning to track and understand. And the results are phenomenal.   Using Facial Recognition to Anticipate Future Crime As more and more retail locations use facial recognition to identify criminals as soon as they enter the premises, criminal patterns are becoming more and more...
Request For Proposal (RFP): Your Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Request For Proposal (RFP): Your Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Many are familiar with the Request for Proposal or RFP. This involves a client that publicly seeks for a solution and makes everyone know their request. It includes the creation of a document that enumerates what they are trying to obtain, the management of the response, and the determination of the best solution. Individuals who work in a government agency or a technical product are familiar with RFP. In addition to that, other industries and products also utilize RFP. Major purchases must adhere to a set of checks and balances. Thus, it is required to have an RFP process. However, there are cases when the whole process defeats its purpose as being meticulous might result to missing the main goal.   Creating an RFP has its own set of obstacles. The question is if a group can conquer these problems and obtain the best solution for a specific situation. Here are the problems.   Proposal Versus Quote RFP, as the name implies, means proposal. It asks on what can an institution or individual help to solve a problem. One of the main challenges of an RFP is that they are utilized to purchase something instead of asking for solutions. It is a common mistake for companies to use an RFP when they already know what to buy and just need a quote. It is a senseless practice to use an RFP when what you really need is a Request for Quote (RFQ). An RFP’s purpose is to verbalize one’s needs and to obtain proposals from the target market on how one can solve it the best way. It is...