Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) has unveiled a TrialWatch app in an effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply barbaric. CFJ’s TrialWatch program, which formally launched this year, aims to monitor trials around the world that pose a high risk of human rights violations: trials that oppress vulnerable groups, silence speech, or target political opponents. Through the program, a small group of trial lawyers and activists are trained to report on legal proceedings, boiling a trial down to a series of facts that can be easily recorded and ultimately compared.
The new app aims to augment the ability of TrialWatch’s monitors, making it easier to document happenings in a courtroom. It offers a platform to record audio and take pictures of people and documents, which are then uploaded to the cloud. Having a backup of these documents should serve to protect trial monitors.
Two engineering students from Oregon State University allegedly ripped off Apple out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in iPhone replacements and are now facing criminal charges in federal court, as first reported by The Oregonian. Authorities allege the students pulled off a convoluted scheme in order to wring Apple of the cash by using counterfeit devices and exploiting Apple’s return policy.
Beginning in 2017, the two men allegedly smuggled thousands of counterfeit iPhones into the US from China and then sent them in for Apple to repair or replace, claiming the fakes wouldn’t power on. In many cases, Apple did replace the counterfeit goods with real iPhones, which cost the company an estimated $895,800.
The Douglas County Georgia Emergency 911 Center is the latest department using technology that’s like FaceTime for 911 dispatchers, and the company behind it says the lifesaving tool is long overdue.
Seconds count in any emergency and one of the hardest parts of the job for dispatchers is pinpointing a caller’s exact location for first responders.
The technology helps 911 dispatchers immediately locate where an emergency is unfolding, but that’s not all.
The software, aka Patternizr, allows crime analysts stationed in each of the department’s 77 precincts to compare robberies, larcenies and thefts to hundreds of thousands of crimes logged in the NYPD’s database, transforming their hunt for crime patterns with the click of a button. Rebecca Shutt,(in photo) who works in the New York Police Department’s Office of Crime Control Strategies, speaks in New York. Shutt utilizes a software called Patternizr, which allows crime analysts to compare robbery, larceny and theft incidents to the millions of crimes logged in the NYPD’s database, aiding their hunt for crime patterns. (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP)
Claimed to be much faster than the old method, which involved analysts sifting through reports, racking their brains for key details about various crimes and deciding whether they fit into a pattern. It’s more comprehensive, too, with analysts able to spot patterns across the city instead of just in their precinct.
The department disclosed its use of the technology only this month, with Levine and Chohlas-Wood detailing their work in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics in an article alerting other departments how they could create similar software. Speaking about it with the news media for the first time, they told The Associated Press recently that theirs is the first police department in the country to use a pattern-recognition tool like this.
“The goal of Patternizr, is to improve public safety,” said Levine, an astrophysicist by academic training. “The more easily that we can identify patterns in those crimes, the more quickly we can identify and apprehend perpetrators.”
Levine and Chohlas-Wood were inspired by the work of a New York University team that studied a similar approach to pattern recognition but never produced a workable version.
The two trained the program on 10 years of patterns that the department had manually identified. In testing, it accurately re-created old crime patterns one-third of the time and returned parts of patterns 80 percent of the time. The NYPD says the cost was minimal because the two developers were already on staff.