Tag Archives: police

Police bees will hunt rogue geneticists

GO FORTH MY BUZZING SPIES AND FIND THE HIPPIES

Regine has a lovely interview with Thomas Thwaites 1 about a future where the police hunt growers of hallucinogenic plants via special bees.

How did the pollen forensics researchers react to your project?

In general the reaction was that it was almost believable… which is the reaction you want for a futures project I think. A plant geneticist, (who’s ‘Crash Course in Synthetic Biology’ I later crashed) saw the project and said he’d thought about taking genes from the Marijuana plant and putting them into a tomato plant (being a respected scientist I’m sure he wasn’t saying he’d thought about ‘doing it’, just ‘about it’).

And this gem of what’s actually happening now to translate pollen to crime:

Are the police in the UK already using pollen forensics?

Yes, and its been pretty instrumental in several very high profile cases. There’s this lady called Pat Wiltshire who is the police’s go-to person for pollen forensics. She can look at a sample of pollen from clothes or whatever, and visualise the landscape it’s from – a filed of maze, with a river next to it, and an oak tree in the middle – or something like that. The impression I got about police work when I was interviewing James, and a detective, was that it’s really arduous. Pollen forensics would be one detail in many that would lead to cracking a case, and as importantly, proving it in court.

This high weirdness is definitely part of the adjacent possible, one of those strange futures that hasn’t happened, but should.

  1. He’s the guy who tried to make a toaster out of raw materials, start to finish   (back)

Review: Makers by Cory Doctorow

I loved this book.
Forget my review and go get it now, it’s wonderfulIf you don’t have the scratch right now, that’s ok:  Cory Doctorow walks the talk and has published his book under a creative commons license.  You can get “Makers” for free at his site as a pdf, as html, ePub, or as an audiobook.  Just go get it and read it. Why?
The characters felt right and true and good and wonderful, like people you’ve always wanted to be friends with.  It’s the story of people playing around and doing the creative work that felt right to them, pushing to stay free and work on beautiful things.  Their hard work takes a damn beating from the world around them and they rise up after that beating.

I was sad closing it, because I wanted more from them, more for them, and another thing…

I always wanted to be Perry, but I looked in that book and I’m Sammy.

BangoWhatthehell

I am intrigued by this weird advisory on cryptome, keeper of, if not all, then at least exclusively, things you are not supposed to know. There’s no attribution, no explanation, and no other mention of this on the web.

The very short gist is:

Avoid the treacherous anonymous web browser, bangotango.com. It is harvesting unwary user addresses. It is operated by triumphpc.com as a law enforcement/intelligence sting.

It would be an interesting concept, if only because it has such problems with the idea of entrapment. The idea that the some agency could make the promise of proxied worry free browsing, even going so far as to include the text of the 4th amendment on the website, and then use evidence gathered there in court is boggling.