Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #243
December 7th, 2008

Interpol taps into the YouTube generation

Interpol has already nabbed two prolific paedophiles after unprecented public appeals netted hundreds of tip-offs, and has video clips of Rwandan war criminals on Facebook, Myspace and YouTube — sites it regularly monitors. But at a recent conference on tracking fugitives in South Africa, Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said the agency needed to find more ways to harness the Internet.
Source: AFP, December 1, 2008

YouTube launches its own symphony, with players auditioned via the Internet

A new YouTube Symphony Orchestra project promises to set classical music on a far larger stage than before: YouTube’s global video platform. The plan is to create, via the Internet, a new orchestra with 100 members from around the world.
Source: Richard Scheinin, Mercury News, December 1, 2008

Learning by blogging

The researchers of iCAMP (Intercultural learning campus), a three-year project funded by the European Union, wanted to create software tools that would let university students and teachers work together on structured, self-directed learning projects no matter where they were or what kind of social networking systems they were using.
Source: ICT Results, December 3, 2008

Vietnamese security firm: Your face is easy to fake

Regardless of what some people seem to think, we Asians do not all look the same. But according to the current face recognition algorithm used in laptops, our faces are all about as flat as a piece of paper. That’s according to BKIS, the Vietnamese Internetwork Security Center that makes the antivirus software I mentioned in a blog post Monday. At a press conference here Tuesday, the company demonstrated vulnerabilities in laptops’ face recognition-based authentication mechanisms that let anyone log in to a computer easily with a “special” photo of the legit owner, even at the highest authentication level.
Source: Dong Ngo, CNET’s Crave, December 2, 2008

The Extensible Obama

The transition team is testing Web tools that could power the next presidency. After President-elect Obama nominated Tom Daschle for health secretary, Obama’s team — in a first for a presidential transition — invited people to post comments regarding health policy on his Web site,, attracting more than 3,700 responses. Then they had Daschle and a policy aide to record a video earlier this week to directly answer those citizen comments online.
Source: David Talbot, Technology Review, December 5, 2008

Doctor amputates boy’s arm using SMS instructions

A British surgeon has performed an arm amputation on a 16 year-old boy, using instructions sent to him by text message. David Nott, a volunteer for the French medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres came across the boy in the Congo, Africa whose arm went gangrenous after it was bitten by a hippo, according to a report by CNN.
Source: James Sherwood, The Register, December 5, 2008

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