The government of Mexico is RFID-tagging police in order to combat record high levels of kidnapping and disappearances. About 170 officers are said to have been subcutaneously tagged in their arms with microchips about the size of a rice grain of rice. The chip grants them access to a crime database and becomes a tracking tool in case they're kidnapped.
The first-of-its-kind step shows the lengths to which the Mexican government will go to try to bring safety to the streets. Crime - and how to fight it - has long been a challenge here. Kidnapping is spreading, reaching beyond traditional wealthy targets to the middle class. And in a country where only a quarter of all crimes are reported because of fear that bribed cops will expose informants, securing access to sensitive documents has become a priority.
The chip comes from VeriChip, a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions of Palm Beach, Fla. The device is nonremovable (though it can be deactivated) and is slipped under the skin in seconds via a syringe-like device. The chip costs $200, plus $50 a year, in addition to the scanner and software. The technology has existed for years and was originally developed to let pet owners identify stray animals.
The chip sits dormant under the skin and is only "awakened" by a scanner using radio- frequency identification, or RFID. The scanner emits a signal that powers the chip, allowing it to send its identification number. Then, depending on the configuration of the database that is hooked up to the scanner, a door is opened or a database unlocked, the way an ID card allows employees into the office.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]