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Shadow Analysis Could Spot Terrorists 245

Posted by kdawson
from the made-in-the-shade dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "An engineer at Jet Propulsion Labs says it should be possible to identify people from the way they walk — a technique called gait analysis, whose power lies in the fact that a person's walking style is very hard to disguise. Adrian Stoica has written software that recognizes human movement in aerial and satellite video footage by isolating moving shadows and using data on the time of day and the camera angle to correct shadows that are elongated or foreshortened. In tests on footage shot from the sixth floor of a building, Stoica says his software was indeed able to extract useful gait data. Extending the idea to satellites could prove trickier, though. Space imaging expert Bhupendra Jasani at King's College London says geostationary satellites simply don't have the resolution to provide useful detail. 'I find it hard to believe they could apply this technique from space,' says Jasani." Comments on the article speculate on the maximum resolution possible from KH-11 and KH-12 spy satellites.
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Shadow Analysis Could Spot Terrorists

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  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:26AM (#24886551)
    the terrorists start taking dance, yoga, and other lessons to change their walking style.

    Go ahead, develop more technology, there's always around it.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:29AM (#24886581) Journal

      OK students, today we practice 'Ballet of the Bombs', everyone have their 6-pack strapped on?

    • by meringuoid (568297) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:29AM (#24886595)
      The British government were way ahead of the game on this one. To avoid just this kind of analysis, they established an entire department dedicated to the development of unusual gaits [youtube.com].
    • How exact is this? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:35AM (#24886673)

      Will old people at the bus stop be killed by predator drones because their walk is 95% similar to OBL's?

    • by Zuato (1024033) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:36AM (#24886687)

      How does it account for any type of foot, ankle, or leg injury that doesn't require crutches?

      How about someone throwing a handful of rocks in the shoe to forcibly change their gait?

      How about someone that is conscientious enough to change their gait at every new location?

      (I cannot lay claim to these ideas myself - I read Cory Doctrow's "Little Brother" - a very good novel that is licensed under the Creative Commons model and is available at http://craphound.com/littlebrother/ [craphound.com] )

      This just reeks of wasted money and more governmental control.

      • When I'm tired (after running miles) or carring heavy bags I walk differently. Sometimes I even sometimes realise I'm not walking 'normally' when I'm going along the corridor at work. Either I am a perambulatory schizophrenic (and will end up in Gitmo for impersonating a terrorist) or this is all just nonsense.

        Although I do know that my running style is pretty constant (I have running shoes fit for my gait), but I can walk with varying purpose and my gait matches that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078)

        Well, what you do is put everybody in a database and if they do not find you in that database, you must have something to hide and thus are a terrerist.
        This is just one more parameter to let less terrerists slip through the mazes of the net.

        Only once the non-negatives of that list are equal to the amount of people in the world will we be completely safe from terrerists. (Or so they want you to believe)

        • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:28AM (#24887225) Journal

          Yes, but that still doesn't answer his objections.

          Let's say you've got nothing to hide, are on the database, then you get an abcess in your foot. I had one, for example, thanks to some retarded shoes which did that much damage and it got infected. Next thing I knew, my walking style could belong in a "ministry of funny walks" sketch, except for me it was more painful than funny.

          Would I suddenly be outside the database, and thus a suspect, in that scenario? Or what if they entered a criminal in the database when he had a similar injury, and then I have a similar injury two years later and suddenly I look like the re-appearance of Abdallah ibn Jihad, wanted for arson, genocide and jay-walking in East Bumfuckistan and Elbonia? (Made up name, btw. Means IIRC slave of Allah, son of jihad, or enough to get your average anti-terrrist spook get his panties in a knot by itself.)

          It's not like you can choose when you'll have such an injury.

          What is the degree of confidence in such an identification, anyway? How fine you can slice a gait and still leave room for normal daily variations? (E.g., account for stuff like today I'm feeling chippy and walk a lot livelier, while yesterday was a shitty day and my walk probably reflected that. E.g., today I walk on grass in the woods, yesterday I was walking on wet concrete, and a month ago I was walking on sand at the beach.) As they say, "if you're one in a million, there are 6000 exactly like you." Will it be able to positively identify said Abdallah ibn Jihad, even when he's walking uphill through the snow with a pebble in his boot, or will it be more like "it's one of 6000 people, one of which is Abdallah ibn Jihad"? Again, that's the number if it could positively and unerringly distinguish between one million different gaits.

          • by PyroMosh (287149) on Friday September 05, 2008 @01:49PM (#24890745) Homepage

            Your gait isn't so much like a fingerprint.

            A little background. I am not familiar with this research specifically, but I have exposure to a very similar concept.

            I used to do ground search and rescue in New Jersey. A big portion of what we did was woodland SAR for missing persons. Because of this, there was a lot of emphasis put on tracking.

            There is a man named Tom Brown Jr. who is basically considered the modern foremost expert on the subject. He learned the basics from a young age from an old Apache scout who was his best friend's grandfather. It sounds incredible, but the man has written several books, both technical, and biographical. The technical ones aren't of much interest to folks who don't have an interest in tracking, but the biographical ones I would highly recommend. He currently runs a school in Toms River, NJ [trackerschool.com].

            The organization I did SAR with put a lot of stock on Tom Brown's methods and incorporated them into their training schools. Eventually we opened up a dedicated tracker school, though I never participated in that level.

            There is a technique known as pressure release tracking, where one looks at the characteristics of a track in a soft medium like sand, mud, or to a lesser extent, gravel or such. Within the track exists a whole environment that was created by the state of the organism that made it. Most people can figure out that if you shift your weight to your left, or favor your right foot, or are limping, that you'll see that in a track. But you can also see other things. Is the subject hurt? Is it hurt somewhere other than the legs? Is it tired? Is it male or female? Is it pregnant? How much does it weight? How tall is it? Is it carrying something? Does it have to urinate? Is it sexually aroused?

            I know people who have reached the level where they can infer these things accurately. To me, it's not a stretch to believe that there are other ways that this could be done (this shadow technique for instance).

            A good tracker can tell a lot by looking at your tracks, so I'd so I don't know how they plan to use gait data in a useful way, but I'm willing to entertain the idea.

      • by kklein (900361)
        Cory Doctorow has enough publicity for his shitty books, thanks.
    • by Tx (96709)

      Just put a stone in your shoe before your suicide bombing mission - it may be a little uncomfortable, you won't have to put up with it for long!

      • A sure-fire (sorry) way of getting rid of the irritation that is so poetically referred to as a pebble (or pinch) in the shoe.
    • Wouldn't a long overcoat totally change my shadow? Isn't that what spies always wear anyway?

    • by LoyalOpposition (168041) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:19AM (#24887863)

      Actually, there is no shadow analysis. This is just one of dozens of counter-intelligence announcements meant to cause a response by the terrorists. DHS figures if terrorists are out taking dancing lessons, learning the bagpipes, practicing synchronized swimming, and growing herbs then they'll have far less time to make bombs and blow stuff up.

      -Loyal

  • Geostationary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meringuoid (568297) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:27AM (#24886569)
    geostationary satellites simply don't have the resolution to provide useful detail

    Who puts a spysat in geostationary orbit? It's way too high, you'd need a telescope that dwarfs Hubble to get a decent view. You put spysats in the lowest orbit you can get away with, and you make sure that you have enough of them that any target of interest will be covered frequently enough for your purposes.

    • Re:Geostationary? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by raddan (519638) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:50AM (#24886841)
      It still doesn't matter. It's speculated that the finest resolution a spy satellite can get is in the 5-10cm range, and that's probably using many digital imaging tricks. TFA doesn't say what kind of resolution the software requires, but I doubt that 5-10cm is fine enough-- when I walk, there's probably, what, 2-3cm of bounce in my step?

      Still, this is clever idea. Attention conspiracy theorists: make sure to walk outside only at noontime. At the equator.
      • It still doesn't matter. It's speculated that the finest resolution a spy satellite can get is in the 5-10cm range, and that's probably using many digital imaging tricks.

        The spy agencies probably fell for the same tricks as consumers at Best Buy. The sticker on the demo satellite said:

        Store even more spy shots with twice the onboard storage! With a breathtaking 5-10cm zoom**, you won't miss a single detail!

        **Included SurveillanceMaster® imaging program provides maximum software zoom of 5-10cm. Actual maximum optical zoom: 30cm.

      • Re:Geostationary? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mencomenco (551866) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:28AM (#24887223)

        5-10 cm is 1985 resolution, dude. About the time they got bought by Bournes (now Recon/Optical, Inc.), engineers from Chicago Aerial Industries were bragging at MIT meetings in Chicago that we'd never know the resolution of the Keyhole series. Recon, the successor to Chicago Aerial Industries now HQ'd in Virginia, has dominated the industry ever since CAI cameras detected Soviet missiles in Cuba in October, 1962.

        And from the same sources, the original Hubble "mirror flaw" occured because they shipped a Keyhole part by mistake. Not hard to believe since they built both systems. Left unsaid was how similar the Hubble/Keyhole airframes were.

        23 years later, after spending gadzillion bucks inventing & perfecting adaptive/active optics and instant digital signal processing we certainly are being observed even more closely.

        Go ahead, ding a Senior Citizen for trolling... I'll soon be dead anyway.

  • by kvezach (1199717) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:30AM (#24886601)
    An engineer at Jet Propulsion Labs says it should be possible to identify people from the way they walk -- a technique called gait analysis, whose power lies in the fact that a person's walking style is very hard to disguise.

    I knew it! The Ministry of Silly Walks is really just a subdivision of MI6!
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Well how else are they supposed to protect our parrots from terrorists planning their untimely demise?
  • Defeated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:30AM (#24886615)

    Defeated by a simple 2 inch lift in one shoe.

    • Depends if they trained their spysats on your 2inch lifted walk, or your natural walk ;) You'd probably have to vary it each day to be any use.

    • by bobdotorg (598873)

      Hell - you don't even need that. Adding lead weights to my tinfoil hat worked just fine.

      • by dargaud (518470)

        Hell - you don't even need that. Adding lead weights to my tinfoil hat worked just fine.

        Your post, sir, is underrated. Adding weight on the shoulders of a woman is enough to have her gait appear to be that of a man. It's a well known trick of appearance change: you also need to change the center of gravity in addition to more apparent body appendage. And the opposite is true also: add some weight to... the lower part of the body... to give it a more feminine gait. Leaded thong anyone ?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Yungoe (415568)

      So every one that leans to one side is also a suspected terrorist.

    • by squoozer (730327)

      Defeated by a simple 2 inch lift in one shoe.

      Or simpler than that just chop one foot off.

    • by Don_dumb (927108)

      Defeated by a simple 2 inch lift in one shoe.

      Or some good old fashioned Dutch-courage.

    • the terrorists even more easily. They will be the ones with bad backs.
    • A simple long skirt or coat would also do a good job of keeping your gait out of your shadow.
      • Re:Defeated (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ngarrang (1023425) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:23AM (#24887169) Journal

        A simple long skirt or coat would also do a good job of keeping your gait out of your shadow.

        I am thinking there is more to this gait analaysis than watching the shadow of your legs. Think of your whole body and how it moves. Think about your arm movements, your head movement and your greater body movement, things that don't change easily with bulky clothes. Does your send you slightly side to side, do you keep one foot on front of the other...there are a lot of factors in this and I imagine the very smart people who came up with this already thought about the very things Slashdotters are suggesting here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:31AM (#24886625)

    An engineer at Jet Propulsion Labs says it should be possible to identify people from the way they walk -- [...]

    Obviously, but this isn't exactly rocket science.

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:33AM (#24886651) Homepage

    Just point at the screen and say "Enhance this part!" There you go. If there's something in the way, like a rock, tree, or the roof of a building, just say "Enhance it again" and you'll get all the resolution you need.

    If that isn't good enough for you then maybe you could create a GUI interface using Visual Basic [youtube.com] to do the job for you.

    Would TV lie to me about this kind of thing?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Don_dumb (927108)

      Would TV lie to me about this kind of thing?

      Does TV say its lying to you?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      If it will help them stop a bomb with a big red countdown display and color-coded wiring, then I'm willing to give up *my* privacy for it!
      • by catwh0re (540371)
        I remember watching a cartoon of teenage mutant ninja turtles when I was young.

        There was a nuclear reactor ready to explode.. fortunately April saved the day by unplugging it from the wall.

  • ok (Score:2, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269)
    how does this affect my rights online?
    • http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/02/nations-spies-w.html [wired.com]

      Choose your walking animation carefully.

      • by tbannist (230135)

        You realize that's just an excuse developed by some clever agents so they can get paid to play World of Warcraft.

        I'm only raiding Black Temple to make sure no one in this raiding guild is a terrorist. What have I discovered so far? I've vetted group 1 but there's a suspicious individual in group 2. I'm going to keep him under surveillance until after we down Illidan, if he attempts to sabotage the raid, then we'll know for sure and I'm willing to stay here and work over time until I'm fully satisfied one

  • by Nursie (632944) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:36AM (#24886683)

    My own was using lamberts cosine law to gather angular information on leg position by the light patterns reflected off the thigh of someone walking directly towards the camera.

    The problem with gait recognition is, AFIAK, it's not really been proven to be a decent biometric - i.e. I'm not sure it's really all that unique, not without measuring things at a very high resolution, which probably isn't going to be possible either from space or with the current install-base of cctv cams.

    Anyway, scary stuff if it does work.

  • Who needs a satellite? That technology could be interesting for any kind of reconnaissance aircraft, especially UAVs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle) that delivers high resolution pictures but should have the same problems (looking straight down from rather high altitudes) identifying someone in a crowd. And as you need video footage (MOVEMENT), i am not sure how many spy sats can provide that, never mind the resolution...
  • by Xian97 (714198) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:36AM (#24886693)
    I guess the Ministry of Silly Walks will be accused of aiding and abetting terrorists...
  • "Sorry our Predator drone blew up an entire family and 25 bystanders -- somebody in the crowd was walking like a terrorist we once saw."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      Sorry our Predator drone blew up an entire family and 25 bystanders

      That's terrorist talk. The correct way to say it is 'Our Predator drone blew up a terrorist cell and 25 collaborators'.

  • If Keyser SÃze could pull off the fake, then I'm sure bin Laden could as well.

  • So if it.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by pkboy (864629)
    So if it looks like a terrorist, talks like a terrorist, and now walks like a terrorist, it is a terrorist? We should find a way to see how they taste and smell..
  • "'I find it hard to believe they could apply this technique from space..."

    Well, you're welcome to find it hard to believe but, given what "they" are capable of seeing from space, seeing a shadow isn't terribly hard to imagine. And, if not now, guess what - technology has this tendency to improve as the years go by. If the technology isn't there today, it won't take long for it to get there. So, you might want to pull your head out of your butt and start believing. I'm just sayin'.
  • If my gait says anything, it's "I'm going to snap and kill everyone I run across until I'm stopped." Guys in black helicopters are going to abduct me and send me to Gitmo or one of the secret prisons in Afghanistan just because I'm really pissed off at everyone/thing. Thoughts are not a crime (or at least they shouldn't be).

    I guess I'll start wearing a kilt or really baggy pants to mess with the algorithm, or I could rollerblade everywhere, which should just make it look like I'm a fast-moving drunk.

  • I'm a bit duck-footed, and about anybody can recognize who I am before they're close enough to see my face. I'd probably have trouble fooling a human; if I held up a liquor store or a bank, a mask wouldn't help.

    But a computer? Who do these people think they're fooling? Computers are brain-dead simple to fool about anything whatever.

    As to resolution, well, this comes from my memory of a a newspaper article so take it with a grain of salt, but when Hubble was launched it was reported that if you put in in St

  • by TheLoneGundam (615596) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:47AM (#24886803) Journal
    Read the first chapter or two of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother [craphound.com] for some low-tech ideas on defeating gait analysis.
    • by kellyb9 (954229)

      Read the first chapter or two of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother [craphound.com] for some low-tech ideas on defeating gait analysis.

      Not to be that guy, but why would you want to?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:47AM (#24886809)

    I like how yet again ``spotting terrorists'' is an euphemism for ``spotting everyone else, too''. I habitually substitute ``spotting YOU'' and honestly think of all the good it would do.

    Yes, there's useful stuff in there, but again only if those watching you can be trusted. This has been said often enough before and still people score cheap headlines with the same fallacy.

    Anybody spot the shadow of a flying pig yet?

  • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:51AM (#24886855)

    So... um, you've got a "terrorist" under tight enough surveillance that you can build a "gait profile", but you're not arresting or just outright executing them?

    Admittedly, I support this effort. Once complete, the DHS can take its rightful place as the Ministry of Funny Names and Walks.

    c.

    • by darkmeridian (119044) <william.chuang@NOsPam.gmail.com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:49AM (#24889057) Homepage

      In Iraq, the US Air Force operates unmanned aerial vehicles to follow suspected insurgents. For instance, they will find a dude who just fired mortars and follow him around Iraq as he makes his getaway. He's unaware that he's being followed from the sky. Sometimes, he gets together with some other guys in a pickup truck with RPGs in the back. Then an Apache goes and blows that car up to hell. You can see videos like this at Liveleak.com. It's pretty fucking scary.

      I definitely wouldn't use gait analysis alone to make a kill call, but I'd definitely send ground troops to a guy's house if I had enough confidence in the gait analysis.

  • this has got to be the biggest load of bull$4!7 to ever come down the pike...

    it is shocking believe the morons in government wastes billions in tax dollars on horsecrap like this...
  • If "they" have satellites that can provide enough resolution and real-time tracking to analyze shadows, couldn't they just, I don't know, look at peoples faces? I mean track the subject and wait for them to look up, then send in a predator drone to do more recon...
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:01AM (#24886967)

    If I ever do something where I'm concerned about Big Brother watching me with their eyes in the sky, I'll just use one of the following:

    Bike
    Wheelchair
    Skateboard
    Electric wheelchair
    Segway

  • Now your identity?

    Study says [physorg.com] gait may be associated with orgasmic ability. Specifically they indicate something like an 80% success rate of identifying women who have vaginal orgasms based on their gait. There certainly seems to be something to the biomechanical structure of your body. I honestly wonder if its a unique fingerprint or if an entire family my be very similar.

  • Satellites not only do not have the resolution, but lack video capability. Low-flying electro-optical platforms (like Predator), however would be much more useful for this.
  • That's bad news for these people [youtube.com] who no doubt are the worst terrorists ever! Nuke them from orbit!

  • ... tell a woman's orgasmic history through gait analysis too. See here [physorg.com]. Maybe they could come up with software to tell how promiscuous a woman is by her walk.. Ohh the possibilities!
  • Incorrect summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:29AM (#24887255) Homepage Journal
    Shadow analysis could spot known terrorist, if we know who there are, and if we have sufficient information on them. That is nothing new. We can often spot terrorist if we know enough about them. Of course, we actually have to have the ability and desire to go to the caves where they are hiding and apprehend them.

    But the real issue is that to stop terrorism we have know before hand the people that pose a real and credible threat. And I am not talking about the people with video cameras who are going to prove the police force is lying in statements or beating people up. I am talking about knowing that Timothy McVeigh is going to kill almost 200 people, including children. Or that Eric Rudolf was going to mount a extended reign of terror killing a innocent woman and a police officer. How does the gait analysis going to save the babies that the next religious extremist is going to kill?

  • by tyler.willard (944724) on Friday September 05, 2008 @09:37AM (#24887325)
    Walk Fremen style and you can stay incognito and avoid Shai-Hulud all at the same time.
  • ...

    Am I the only one who thinks this article has absolutely nothing to do with gait analysis?

    They're talking about recognizing the fact that a shadow belongs to a person based on the shadow's movement. Not about identifying a particular person based on his shadow's movement.

  • OK, so it's a sort of new finger print, interesting. A few things though, why "terrorists"? Why not just every other wanted fugitive? Because that's what it's for, identifying fugitives, not telling who's a terrorist without knowing who we're looking for.

    And then this : "Extending the idea to satellites could prove trickier, though. Space imaging expert Bhupendra Jasani at King's College London says geostationary satellites simply don't have the resolution to provide useful detail. "I find it hard to believ

  • Overblown story (Score:4, Informative)

    by tooyoung (853621) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:39AM (#24888141)
    I've worked on gait-analysis, along with facial recognition and other computer vision techniques. Gait-analysis is done by training an algorithm to identify a person's gait using a large amount of video as training data. You can't just snap a single picture of a terrorist and recognize their gate, or train an algorithm using 10 seconds of video that you have. You have to have sufficient training data if you want any meaningful recognition rate. As it is, gait-recognition has a much lower recognition rate than other vision techniques.

    Making the training data useful for recognition is challenging enough. If you have footage of a person walking against a white wall at a controlled distance, it is easy to gather this data. However, if your training data is from a video of a person walking through city streets, much less a market place, there is an awful lot of human processing that needs to be done in order for the data to be useful for training. Also, as with facial recognition and other visual recognition techniques, gait-recognition is highly susceptible to changes in camera angle. If you train a gait-recognition algorithm on images of someone walking towards the camera, that doesn't mean that you can identify them with any reasonable success from the side or above. In essence, in order for this to work, you would need an ample amount of training data on a terrorist in a controlled environment. That probably isn't very likely. As you'll notice in from the article, these experiments were conducted in a specific controlled environment.

    This story strikes me as someone doing some interesting research, but I'd be curious if we get any meaningful results from this work, even 10 years down the road.
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:24AM (#24888743) Journal

    Well, IIACVS (a computer vision scientist), so here goes...

    No, this won't spot terrorists. Currently biometrics are pretty good at answering the question "is this person Mr. A?" where A is know, and providing a yes/no answer.

    They're OK at answering the question "Which of A,B,C,D is this person?", up to a fair number of people.

    What they suck at is "I A any of the potentially 6 billion people who might go past this camera?"

    The reason they're good at the first, is becaus eif you want to get entry based on biometrics, you don't generally hide your appearance. In the last case, hiding appearance s easy. Basically if you wear a large sack and sunglasses and gloves, your face, irises, fingerprints and gait are not accessible. No fancy camerawork will help with that and the system will not work.

    Then there's more minor things like beards/lack of for faces, and for gait, a stone in the shoe, leg injury, John Cleese, an embarrassingly placed itch, and so on which also throw off the system.

    Basically, Humans have had millions of years to perfect (and a large chunk of brain dedicated to the task of) identifying people we know. We're eally good at it, and can identify people we know very easily in a reasonable sized group.

    We still don't scale well up to very lage groups, probably because the problem is too ill poosed to be tractable.

  • by cellocgw (617879) <cellocgw@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 05, 2008 @01:03PM (#24890055) Journal

    With homage to "The Usual Suspects," all the posters discussing ways to change their gait when committing a crime have it backwards. Start out from the first time your "identity" comes into existence with a limp, and after the crime is done, go back to walking normally. The gait marked with the criminal no longer exists.

  • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Friday September 05, 2008 @01:35PM (#24890571)
    Watching 6-7 billion people walk is out of the question for the satellites to cover. So, they specialize in spotting certain gaits before zeroing in and analyzing. Specifically, long, low strides, with one arm out in front, bent at the elbow, sashing a cape (possibly hiding a round, long-fused bomb). The other hand, if twirling a long moustache or rubbing the front brim of a black fedora, will tip off the satellite that it is, in fact, looking at a villain. The tracking of shifty eyes and maniacal cackling were removed for technological shortcomings... and the satellites kept targeting congress.

    During testing, the engineers were proud to report the satellite alarmed them to several instances of women being tied to railroad tracks, banks being robbed, and suckers being stolen from infants. When a satellite makes a positive match to one of these terrorists, it will broadcast staccato piano music in a minor key to the area. Citizens are expected to boo and hiss these men if the satellites begin alerting them of their terrorist ways.
  • by poliopteragriseoapte (973295) on Friday September 05, 2008 @01:48PM (#24890735)
    Ha! I was sure to be right to wear a tinfoil hat! Now I just have to make sure it is wide-brimmed.
  • by damburger (981828) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:07PM (#24892015)

    People with non-standard body language will suffer constant harassment from the police, and as such people often have psychological/neurological issues they will find it harder to defend themselves from aggressive questioning techniques.

    The idea behind this is to filter people by 'normality' and assume that abnormality is evidence of criminality. Its a disgusting notion to me.

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