School Student Arrested For Bringing Homemade Clock To School

The current world climate is one of placing people into narrow pre-perceived boxes which are based on current world stereotypes. A person is judged solely on their looks, dress sense and their social standing within society among others. Are these connotations correct? No, not really considering an individual could have 6 tattoos and a perception of being a wild character, yet could be kind and gentle.

This notion of stereotyping has sunk to a whole new level after a 14-year-old boy was arrested in Texas on suspicion of constructing a “hoax bomb.” Was it a real or counterfeit bomb? No… it was a clock. Officials at MacArthur High School in Irving alerted police because they thought the device was a threat to the education facility.

The teenager’s name was Ahmed Mohamed’s and below is an image of the homemade clock which was conveyed by Irving Police Department at a press conference. Perhaps it would have been better to ask the teenager concerning the device instead of ringing the police. The teen was subsequently placed in handcuffs and fingerprinted but later released after it was determined there was no threat.

To protest against this ludicrous situation a hashtag by the name #standwithAhmed was born and immediately garnered support from powerful individuals, these included NASA scientists, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and US President Barack Obama. Mr Ahmed’s family have arrived at the conclusion that his detainment was down to his name.

So, what is the response from the school? According to them, they have “always asked students and staff to immediately report if they observe any suspicious items”. MacArthur High School would argue that it’s better to be safe than sorry, but, in this instance could this not have been handled by someone asking him concerning this device? After all, Ahmed said that he had made a clock at home with the view to convey this to his engineering teacher.

I do feel suspicion has risen to the point of hysteria, yes there are many instances which have tragically occurred over the decades that have highlighted failures in legislation, but to roll out an overused phrase, would there have been the same reaction if this individual had been of a different ethnicity? It’s a shame that society has reached such a juncture to where even school goers are on the look out for potential terrorists and gun wielding people, one has to wonder as to how far this could go, the only thing I was afraid of at school was algebra, not suspected terrorists.

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“Smart Car” May Be The Future For Police Cruisers

The New York Police Department is testing a prototype “smart car” from a program called NYPD2020 that can do a lot more than helping officers patrol in a comfy manner. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal (via Tech Spot), the high-tech cruiser can record license plate numbers and addresses through infrared monitors mounted on its trunk, and has air sensors and surveillance cameras capable of sending real-time information to police headquarters.

The data scanned through infrared monitors will be checked against a crime database that contains records of vehicles that are stolen, involved in crime, or the ones that have outstanding infractions. At present, the data collected is stored for an indefinite period, “though that will likely change”, according to Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, who is in charge of the program.

The prototype car is also capable of printing reports and scanning barcodes, The Verge reported. According to del Pozo, the future cruisers might include facial recognition sensors and fingerprint scanners, though he did not explain how these technologies would be used. Although some of these technologies are already present in some squad cars, the idea behind the prototype is to test all of them in conjunction.

The smart car is one of the dozen projects included in the program, which was prepared in November for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Though the department has been testing the prototype for about a year now from the city’s 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights, it’s up to incoming police commissioner William Bratton, who will take charge on Jan 1, 2014, how the program moves forward.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot