Future Shock: Voice Recognition Identification Technology

Backgrounder: Kay Hughes, flight attendant for today's non-stop coast-to-coast flight is busy checking her catering order and prepping the cabin. Bob Harmon is the captain and Jeff Mortowski is his first officer. Both are located in the cockpit going over the pre-flight checklist. The pax are from various companies in the New York area or individuals on personal business who have bought seats on his flight.

The Story: Kay woke up with a start as the alarm on her clock radio blared. Reaching across her pillow, she noticed the time, 5:15, and hammered the snooze button in the hopes of grabbing another five minutes of sleep. Tired as she was, her mind began to race as she considered the day ahead. In less than four hours she would be enroute to LA with an aircraft full of passengers. Slowly the thought of additional sleep became less important as she considered all that she had to do before leaving Teterboro. Quietly she slipped on her robe and slippers, poured herself a cup of coffee, and slinked into the shower.

As Kay walked across the tarmac, she saw the fuel truck pulling up to her aircraft and the cater at the gate waiting for a security clearance. It was 6:48 and already she could feel the heat lifting off of the pavement. Another scorcher she thought; at least LA will be cooler.

Kay greeted Jeff who was busy extending the fuel delivery; she then climbed onboard the GV and brave a similar greeting to Bob who was occupied with updating paperwork. Bob finished what he was doing and briefed Kay with the day's schedule. Minutes later Kay turned to assist the approaching caterer with the day's order. Within the hour, the first of the passengers began to arrive. Each sat in the lobby of the FBO waiting to be boarded. At precisely 8:00 am, Kay left the aircraft and walked down the ramp to the FBO. She whispered to the waiting security agent who signaled to the FBO customer service representative to make the boarding announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Jet Aviation Flight # 001 departing TEB for LAX is now boarding. flight. "

Kay turned and left the FBO and walked back to the aircraft. Both pilots were onboard completing their preflight preparations. Kay stand at the bottom of the steps leading up to the aircraft waiting for the security agent to bring the passengers to the plane. She knew that with fourteen passengers the security clearance would take a bit longer than normal.

Kay considered waiting inside the cabin to keep cool, but knew that it was important that she greeted the passengers at the base of the steps in case one of them needed assistance climbing up. "" It must already be 85 degrees out here, "she thought as she watched the heat vapors rise off the pavement.

After what seemed like an inordinate delay – Kay's hair was slowly losing style in the heat – Bob poked his head out of the cockpit and said, "Sorry for the delay, but we used another one." Startled, Kay stammered, "You mean one of the passengers failed security clearance?" Bob replied, "Not only that but he is on the FBI's wanted list of suspected terrorists." The remaining passengers checked out okay, but we'll be delayed until the agents finish interviewing them to see if they know the guy. " Despite the heat, Kay shivered as she thought of the potential chain of events a terrorist onboard the aircraft might unleash.

Her fears graduated subscribed when Jeff reminded her that the VOICE RECOGNITION IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY (VRIT) unit in the FBO was flawless in the near six months of use. Over that time, twenty-six people with a criminal element were dropped, most of which had been charged previously with petty crimes [such as tax evasion] and were either on the run or would be in violation of their parole restrictions had they left the state. Today marked the first time that a suspected terrorist was caught and as the squad car sirens wailed, Kay knew that this day would be anything but normal.

The above account is fiction , but it pre-supposes a couple of things that could occur in the intervening years that would bring about similar results, ie, additional and more widespread terrorist attacks being a preliminary consideration. In addition, a change in the way we do business, ie, selling seats to individuals instead of selling the entire flight to a company or an individual would have to occur – no longer would you have a lead passenger who could identify all of the other passengers. VRIT is now within reach and will, more than likely, become the norm of the day. Essentially, it works this way: a person speaks into a device that immediately matches the voice pattern with one in the database. The database identifies the person and when a match is made, the person is clear [unless the database turns up a warrant for their arrest].

Naturally, in order to get onboard a flight we would require passengers to be part of that database. This could occur if VRIT becomes as mandatory as holding a social security number or a driver's license. Foreign nationalities would have to be keyed into the same system to make it work, so the potential for a worldwide Orwellian-type system would be great.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Russ Cooper, a managing partner with COMPUTEK, a Wall Street company that has developed the latest generation of VRIT. He shared with me that both the FBI and CIA use an older generation of VRIT and his company is marketing the current one. Their customer base potential is impressive: government agencies, security firms, airports, airliners, automobile manufacturers, you name it. Wherever a positive id on a person is needed, their technology might be utilized.

According to Russ, the technology is fail-safe. When I mentioned that a voice impersonator like a Richard Little type could sneak by, he claimed that VRIT would still know who he was even with the "Richard Nixon" voice. Similarly, voice patterns are distinguishable even when disguised.

We did not discuss "price" as he was not marketing his product directly to me. I can only imagine that the costs involved would be significant, but then I began to think that they could possibly be offset by lower insurance premiums if insurance companies see the benefit of "guaranteeing" passenger security.

So what role could the flight attendant play in utilizing VRIT? Perhaps in lieu of a security agent [especially in an out of the way places like Bozeman, Montana], a VRIT unit would be assigned to your aircraft – much like a cardiac defibrillator monitor – and you would greet each passenger as they boarded the aircraft. Before the aircraft could be cleared for takeoff, the passengers would speak into the hand VRIT and be given a security clearance on the spot.

Let's return to our story and amend it with the security check being placed directly in the flight attendant's hands:

Kay walked down the GV's steps carrying her mobile VRIT device and waited as the passengers exited the FBO and made their way to the aircraft. She announced, "Welcome onboard Jet Aviation flight # 001 bound for Los Angeles. Please speak your name into the VRIT unit. if you need additional assistance, the captain will be glad to help you. "

One by one the passengers filed by, saying that their name and waiting for the green clearance light to flash. As they spoke, a signal was transferred to an orbiting satellite and then beamed to VRIT headquarters in Washington, DC. As the last of the passengers approached, Kay continued to greet each one and wait for clarification. Finally, when all passengers were cleared, she climbed the steps and had both pilots speak into the VRIT unit. At last, Kay laid the unit in the First Officer's hands in order to have him run clearance on her. Kay cleared her throat, spoke her name, but after an extended pause, the VRIT beeped loudly and signaled red. The color in Kay's face drained away and she turned to flee. Within moments several arms arrived forward to appreciate her as sirens wailed in the background.

All she could think about was running away …

Startled, Kay awoke from her dream as the snooze alarm blared away.

Basic Photography Tips for Beginners

So, you’ve bought a camera. But there’s this teeny little problem about the whole thing: you don’t know the first thing about cameras or the principles it functions on! Not to worry though, this article is here precisely for that purpose. To guide you through the basics of photography without sounding like a lecture in Physics. First things first, the camera is basically a device that captures the scene in front of you, using the same principle that applies to your eyes. Light enters your eyes, passes through the lens and forms a image on the retina.

Now, just hold that thought and think about the following points:

• Aperture: This is nothing but the function of the camera that regulates the amount of light coming in the camera. Think of it as your iris which adjusts according to the light outside. Don’t you experience a blackout of sorts when you enter a dark room from a brightly lit area? That’s what happens when the aperture of the camera is inappropriately set. So, lower the light, higher the aperture.

• Exposure: This is the amount of light that is allowed to fall on the film/sensor. Not much to explain here, but the correct manipulation of exposure can do aesthetic wonders for your photographs. Exposing your sensor for a long period, results in, more light falling on your sensor, making your picture brighter.

• Shutter-Speed: Simple. The camera is your eye. The shutter is your eyelid. It’s that easy. How to adjust shutter speeds to get awesome effects? Keep it fast if you want stop-motion photos. For example, sweat jerking off a footballer’s forehead as he kicks the ball. Or, keep it slow if you want a blurry effect.

• Lens: Every camera has a lens. Digital, SLR, mobile phone, you name it. They are the basic components of the camera and can be very helpful in defining your particular style of photograph. If you’re a sports photographer, use a telephoto; for landscape, use wide angle and so on.

• Depth of field – could be used to describe sharp focused area in a photograph. We can shoot either way area focused is sharp focused and foreground and or background are blurred While we also choose to take a photo where every element is sharp and crystal clean

These were just the basics of photography. Though reading it doesn’t make you an expert, it sure will help you in understanding what those buttons on your DSLR are used for!

A Home Insurance Guide For New Home Owners

To cover your private home, you need the best insurance policy which is the home insurance policy. It offers personal insurance protections, and liability insurance for home accidents.

Home insurance policies work with time. This means it expires. This policy has 7 major types;
i. Major homeowners insurance: this covers both the home and property against losses caused by disasters like vehicles; fire (lightening, volcano eruption, aircraft, wind, vandalism, self damages, smoke, theft, explosion and others.
ii. Also the basic homeowners insurance covers damages done by falling objects, water, electricity and snow including the first coverage.
iii. This covers the above coverage and also special items.
iv. This plan is also called renters insurance coverage and it protects and covers personal items / properties.
v. This particular plan provides your building and property full risk coverage.
vi. Your personal property is covered from disaster and it is called cadmium coverage.
vii. This plan insures older homes with historic value and it is restricted to monetary values ​​and repairs of the items in question.

Without insurance, you can still legally own a house. But it will be hard to establish a business relationship with any mortgagor.

When you desire a home desire a house insurance policy, you will be asked to present information on your kind of house, the value of your possession, and the kind of coverage you want. Your premium rate will be determined by the kind of liability coverage you desire.

To get a policy with reduced rate you need homeowners' insurance quotes.

Where to get the cheapest quotes from a trusted websites?

Plastic Vs Cotton Shopper Bags

When it is about great shopping, you require a purse or a shopper bag which can all your essential items that you intend to carry along. For such need, shopping carriers play a vital role through out your shopping. This is why they are of so much importance to shopping lovers. The large shopping carriers are like big store bags and that is why people also refer them as easy to go bags. Try to avoid the plastic carry-offs as they can not be recycled and hence pose a threat to the environment. In spite of keeping the plastic bag a much better alternative is the normal size cloth carrier. It will help you in all your shopping plans and can be bring into the purpose of reuse.

According to the latest environmental research, many environmental related people have declared a large proportion of plastic carriers dispersed everywhere on the earth. The research tells that billions of plastic carriers have piled up in different states of United States. As they can not be recycled, more and more landfills are created each year. All these results in a less eco-friendly environment and causes the bad impacts on the surroundings.

Since two or three decades, the problem of wildlife is growing day by day. Environmental pollution and discharged wastes have taken away the charm of nature. To make matters worse, more industries are discharging their toxic effluents in the sea. According to a research concluded in 2000, around 80% of sea turtles have disappeared due to the pollution caused by raw plastic carriers. The study tells that the natural life of turtles is disturbed and that is why a lot died to the pollution of such large amount of waste material. When plastic carriers reach near the oceans, they are also going to disturb the life other water animals.

The making of plastic carrier is also very critical, as the chemical agents that are used for the purpose are really dangerous. Beside, these chemicals have drastic effects on our environment. Oil is the main ingredient for making plastic carriers. Billions of containers are being utilized every where in the world for the purpose. If we try to reduce our dependence on plastic carriers, we can benefit our environment and save the big inflation of oil reserves.

When one side is plastic carriers, the other is the cotton ones. The cloth carrier proves to be better alternative as compared to plastic. You can buy a big cloth carrier, which would be of low-cost and can serve you for a long period of time. As they are reusable, you can use them as many times as you want. After buying the cotton carrier, you do not have to buy it again and again. It will also prove to be environmental friendly as things will change a lot after using them.

When everyone starts using the cotton shopper bags, its production will increase many folds and the problems of environmental diseases can also be checked. If earth is our home, it is our responsibility to make it a better place for living.