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In Wake of Riots, British PM Proposes Social Media Ban

CNN - August 11, 2011

       

Suspected rioter David O'Neill leaves court Thursday in London after posting bail on charges, including aggravated violence.

British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he's found some culprits to blame in the recent riots that have rocked London and other cities -- Facebook and Twitter.

Saying the "free flow of information" can sometimes be a problem, Cameron's government has summoned those two social-networking sites, as well as Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, for a meeting to discuss their roles during the violent outbreaks.

"Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media," Cameron said Thursday during an address to Parliament. "Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them."

Cameron said that government officials are working with authorities "to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK on Riot Control

BBC News - August 12, 2011

Widespread violence broke out across Los Angeles in 1992 following the Rodney King trial

Prime Minister David Cameron is to consult US "supercop" Bill Bratton on how to deal with city rioting. Mr Bratton, the former New York and Los Angeles police chief, is credited with dramatically reducing crime after the 1992 riots in LA.

The burning buildings, looting, and clashes with police in Britain this week have brought back some vivid memories in Los Angeles.

In 1992, riots sparked by a row over racism spread across the city and for six days the fires burned and the violence raged.

Until a week ago they were the defining images of urban rioting etched on the public memory here and around the world.

Now David Cameron is turning to the man who is credited with restoring law and order in the city - former LAPD chief Bill Bratton - dubbed a "US Supercop" by the British newspapers.

Mr Bratton, having earlier served as the head of the NYPD in New York, took over the LAPD a decade after the 1992 riots.

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Video Demonstration - LACS Magnum

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Indian Firm Launches $99 Android-Based Tablet

submitted by Luis Kun

The Wall Street Journal - August 19, 2011

       

NEW DELHI – A little-known, privately held company Friday launched a tablet computer for $99 in India, adding to competition in a market where local players are bringing in low-cost versions of the device to take on the likes of Apple Inc.'s iPad and Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Tab.

Industry experts expect many Indians, especially in rural areas, to buy tablets instead of laptop and desktop computers to access the Internet, just the way they embraced mobile phones over fixed-line phones.

Internet penetration is still very low in the world's fastest-growing telecom market where more than half the population of 1.2 billion people has access to mobile phones.

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Video - Reuters - Making News Through Social Media

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Innovative Disaster Communication Tech Developed

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Homeland Security Newswire - August 18, 2011

      

Communication networks typically collapse when they are needed most -- during and in the immediate aftermath of massive disasters; researchers have developed a -- an innovative wireless system called LifeNet designed to help first responders communicate after disasters; LifeNet is a mobile ad-hoc network designed for use in highly transient environments that requires no infrastructure such as Internet, cell towers or traditional landlines.

In the aftermath of most disasters — from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to this year’s earthquake in Japan — communication systems have been overwhelmed, leaving people without phones and Internet when they need these tools the most.

Georgia Tech College of Computing researchers have developed a possible solution. It is an innovative wireless system called LifeNet designed to help first responders communicate after disasters. LifeNet is a mobile ad-hoc network designed for use in highly transient environments that requires no infrastructure such as Internet, cell towers or traditional landlines.

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Researchers Develop Controversial Earthquake Detection Network

Homeland Security Newswire - August 18, 2011

       

A QuakeFinder network installation // Source: newsvine.com

Researchers at a Silicon Valley company are hard at work developing an experimental network of electromagnetic sensors that could predict large earthquakes as much as two weeks in advance; the theory behind the research is disputed, but Tom Bleier, the inventor and chief engineer behind project QuakeFinder, hopes to prove seismologists wrong.

Researchers at a Silicon Valley company are hard at work developing an experimental network of electromagnetic sensors that could predict large earthquakes as much as two weeks in advance.

The theory behind the research is disputed, but Tom Bleier, the inventor and chief engineer behind project QuakeFinder, hopes to prove seismologists wrong. Under the project, engineers will install roughly 200 five-foot tall sensors near fault lines in California to measure changes in underground magnetic fields and to detect electrically charged particles in the air.

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Facebook Becomes Divisive in Bahrain

Voice of America - August 17, 2011

      

A Bahrain woman looks at pictures of victims of the February 14 uprising, displayed at an exhibition during a gathering held by the Al Fateh Youth Union in Isa Town, south of Manama, Bahrain, July 28, 2011

It has been six months since anti-government protests inspired by the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt first erupted in Bahrain. And as in Egypt, many Bahrainis used social media Internet sites such as Facebook to help organize the protests. The Bahraini government is now using Facebook, too - apparently to track down and arrest the protesters.

It is questionable whether the Arab Spring ever would have amounted to much without social media on the Internet. In most cases, as more and more frustrated youths turned to their computers to express their discontent, an increasing number of people left their homes to publicly demand change.

The term “Facebook Revolution” was coined after the successful ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. And in Bahrain, the social networking site also played a role in encouraging people to participate in the nation’s “Day of Rage” protests on February 14, and in the pro-democracy demonstrations that followed.

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Britain Debates ‘Slow-Motion Moral Collapse’

by John F. Burns and Alan Cowell - The New York Times - August 15, 2011

               

LONDON — Divided over Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to bring in a retired American police officer after last week’s riots, politicians staked out competing positions Monday for both the causes of the violence and the cures for what the British leader called his country’s “slow-motion moral collapse.”

The speeches by Mr. Cameron and the Labour opposition leader, Ed Miliband, seemed to signify a further retreat from a cautious consensus as the riots flared and some politicians were forced to return early from vacations after apparently underestimating the fury of the arson and looting.

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