Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #180
September 16th, 2007

FBI data mining reached beyond initial targets

The FBI cast a much wider net in its terrorism investigations than it has previously acknowledged by relying on telecommunications companies to analyze phone-call patterns of the associates of Americans who had come under suspicion, according to newly obtained bureau records.
Source: Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times, September 9, 2007

Scientists Use the “Dark Web” to Snag Extremists and Terrorists Online

Terrorists and extremists have set up shop on the Internet, using it to recruit new members, spread propaganda and plan attacks across the world. The size and scope of these dark corners of the Web are vast and disturbing. But in a non-descript building in Tucson, a team of computational scientists are using the cutting-edge technology and novel new approaches to track their moves online, providing an invaluable tool in the global war on terror.
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) news release, September 10, 2007

China’s Eye on the Internet

The “Great Firewall of China,” used by the government of the People’s Republic of China to block users from reaching content it finds objectionable, is actually a “panopticon” that encourages self-censorship through the perception that users are being watched, rather than a true firewall, according to researchers at UC Davis and the University of New Mexico.
Source: UC Davis News, September 11, 2007

Harnessing the Internet to reinvent democracy

No one could accuse management guru Don Tapscott of being unambitious. The co-author of the bestseller Wikinomics wants to teach governments to harness the power of the Internet to reinvent democracy.
In Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, published this year, he and co-author Anthony Williams dared big companies to reveal their trade secrets on the Web in a gamble to collect the ideas they need from people outside the firm.
Source: Reuters, September 11, 2007

Image-search tool speaks hundreds of languages

A new multilingual search tool developed at the UW’s Turing Center makes the universal appeal of pictures available to all. PanImages, presented today at the Machine Translation Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, allows people to search for images on the Web using hundreds of languages.
Source: University of Washington News, September 12, 2007

How law enforcement uses Google Earth

When a Wisconsin man was arrested last October on suspicion of harvesting 18 pounds of marijuana, it was partly thanks to Google Earth. The sheriff’s deputies who pulled the man over found, in addition to what they estimated was at least $63,000 worth of pot, a GPS unit around his neck that was filled with a series of local coordinates, according to The Journal Times of Racine, Wis. After plugging those coordinates into Google Earth, the police were able to identify the location of several marijuana fields to which the man was allegedly connected.
Source: Daniel Terdiman, CNET, September 14, 2007

‘Wiki City Rome’ to draw a map like no other

Residents of Italy’s capital will glimpse the future of urban mapmaking next month with the launch of “Wiki City Rome,” a project developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that uses data from cellphones and other wireless technology to illustrate the city’s pulse in real time.
The project will debut Sept. 8 during Rome’s “Notte Bianca” or white night, an all-night festival of events across the capital city. During that night, anyone with an Internet connection will be able to see a unique map of the Italian capital that shows the movements of crowds, event locations, the whereabouts of well-known Roman personalities, and the real-time position of city buses and trains.
Source: MIT News Office, August 30, 2007

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