Is France’s Twin Rape Mystery Solvable?

Identical twins are being detained in the French city of Marseille for six rapes committed over six months. The victims have identified the twins’ face, and DNA evidence from a crime scene further identifies one of the brothers as the rapist. However, since the twins share almost the same DNA, prosecutors have no way of determining the true rapist among them. Therefore, the prosecutors are left wondering whether science can solve this mystery. A key discovery occurred in 2008, when geneticists at the University of Alabama determined that there are more genetic variations between twins than previously believed. The Alabama researchers reached that determination by looking at Copy Number Variations, a type of mutation that was not often studied. The team of researchers compared 19 pairs of identical twins and found that Copy Number Variations in all the twins were distinguishable. However, the technique for distinguishing between identical twin DNA is not yet ready for the courtroom in the United States or in France. No one has presented it in a forensic case because scientific expertise is only acceptable if the technique it relies on has been tested, subjected to peer review, has a known error rate and is widely accepted in the scientific community. Thus, for now, it is likely that having a twin can be an easy way out for suspects. To find out more information on twin DNA, please go to http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/dna-twins-rape?page=1

CrowdStrike Can Help U.S. Companies Identify Stolen Data Usage

Recently, many security companies and even some U.S. government officials have alleged that attackers in China and elsewhere are stealing company secrets from U.S. corporate computers. According to security companies, the Chinese Military is the infiltrator of U.S. corporate networks, however, they are acting on behalf of Chinese companies. CrowdStrike, a start-up company, has developed tools to assist in tracking the attacks in enough detail so that those benefiting can be recognized and accused. It is difficult to trace the hackers and display which companies are benefiting from the breaches. If CrowdStike can trace the companies benefiting, the U.S. companies being hacked can either take legal action or lobby for international trade sanctions. To find out more information on CrowdStrike, please go to http://www.technologyreview.com/news/511701/data-espionage-sleuths-aim-to-put-chinese-corporations-in-court/.

MYO One-Armed Gesture Control

Thalmic Labs has created an armband device, which senses gestures and sends the signal to a matching device. While Microsoft Kinect and others employ optical sensors, MYO uses a blend of motion sensing and muscular activity. The company maintains that the muscular detection can sense alterations in gestures from every finger. In a promotional video, the armband is utilized for such purposes as controlling iTunes tracks, playing Mass Effect 3, and giving boardroom presentations, all through hand gestures. The MYO armband will cost $149 and will be shipping in late 2013. To find out more information on the armband, please go to http://www.gizmag.com/myo-3d-gesture-control/26399/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=d3c2ca5094-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Justice Sotomayor Opposes Cameras in Court

Justice Sotomayor, who previously spoke favorably about cameras in high court, now believes it’s a bad idea. Justice Sotomayor opined that having cameras in court could be more misleading as many viewers would not understand the process taking place. The likelihood of confusion among viewers is expected to keep cameras out of court. Previously, Justice Kegan, who was also an advocate for cameras in court, switched her position due to concerns stemming from the fact that people might play to the camera. Advocates for cameras were hopeful that as younger, media-comfortable justices joined the court, there would be an embracement of cameras.

To find out more information on the Justices’ views of cameras in court, please go to http://www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleLTN.jsp?id=1360537618891&Sotomayor_Now_Opposes_Cameras_in_the_High_Court_&slreturn=20130121142757

Court Affiliates Conference 2013

This year’s Court Affiliates Conference is scheduled and registration is open!  It is being held at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal’s in New Orleans, LA, April 18-19, 2013. A “Welcome Event” will take place Wednesday evening, April 17th wit a tour of the Cabildo, followed by a reception at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal’s.

Topics include:

  • iPads in the Courtroom
  • How reducing litigation costs using modern technology will affect the courts
  • Remote interpretation from the perspective of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court (FL)
  • Impact of technology on evidence and ethics
  • Remote interpretation in regards to A/V Systems
  • Tours of the Supreme Court and Jefferson Parish Courthouse

Affiliate Court Members attend for FREE, and all other participants, $125.00. To register, click here

Stop and Frisk App

The New York Civil Liberties Union has created and released a new app for smart phones that allows users to record and document New York’s stop and frisk searches. The controversial New York program has come under heavy fire and public scrutiny. The NYCLU is attempted to get users to document stop and frisk searches with the app, so that the searches can be complied in a central database and sifted to find inappropriate police force. For more information about the app and its initial results, go to http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2013-02/can-app-stop-new-yorks-stop-and-frisk.

 

Eye in the Sky

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has now revealed information on its new surveillance camera that utilizes hundreds of smartphone image sensors to record a 1.8 gigapixel image.  The camera will be used in an unmanned drone and will permit commanders to guide forces in accordance with what the camera captures. Further, the camera will use four lenses, which allows it to escape gaps in the image when the 368 separate images are united into a master image. DARPA’s goal is to store 70 hours of imagery data within the ground station and thus, allow the commander to analyze an area that was ignored during real-time surveillance. To find out more information on the high resolution camera, please go to http://www.gizmag.com/argus-is-darpa-gigapixel-camers/26078/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=ae5f11a576-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Free Wi-Fi for Everyone in the Future?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a new plan that would construct a freely accessible wireless internet service available to all in the United States. While it would take a couple years to implement, the plan could replace the home broadband connections we currently pay for. The universal Wi-Fi would utilize a part of the wireless spectrum used by television broadcasts, which has more power than the current Wi-Fi spectrum. Naturally, companies that generate their profit from consumer telecommunications are not happy about the plan. However, Google and Microsoft are supporting the proposal. To find out more information, please go to http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-02/fcc-proposes-national-free-super-wifi-network