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back to article Skeletal scanner would ID terrorists from 50 meters

Scientists are developing an identity verification system that would spot terrorists and pedophiles by scanning their skeletal features and comparing them against a database of stored images. The system could be deployed in airports, sporting events, and other settings vulnerable to criminals and ideally will be able to …

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Title

Yeah, we must be crazy tinfoil hat people to reject this!

How about the harmful radiation that this would be emitting? From that far away, who knows how many people you'd be hitting at once.

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WTF?

Hmmmm...

Ionizing radiation at 50 meters.

I'm gettin' some barbecue!

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Big Brother

Health and Safety?

Will everyone be issued lead shielding like that we get given at the dentist when our teeth are being x-rayed? Or will we just have put up with the risk of cancer in our own interest? Potential for class action lawsuit methinks.

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Unhappy

Not to mention...

...pregnant mothers.

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a53

Oh

So only terrorists and pedophiles have unique bone structures??

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Big Brother

Only always

Especially when you're trying to upsell the general public to support a frivilous technology from which you'll be able to greatly profit and for which you can extort large lump sums from both sides (those peddling the kit and those wishing to remain at large).

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Not as far fetched as you might think

'So only terrorists and pedophiles have unique bone structures??'

Latest research (Morris, Fox et. al. (2001)) suggests that paedophiles have 'have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you and me.'

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Boffin

Now that is scientific fact.

There's no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact.

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WTF?

WTF?

Care to point a published reference to that paper, Google throws a blank (except to your comment). Well unless your on about female orgasm research, but that was in the 60's & 70's

Oh 2001 is not latest research. it's almost decade old research.

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Anonymous Coward

me also

I'm not a terrorist or a paedo but since my motorcycle accident a year ago I have a unique bone structure. Plenty of fractures, pins and a damaged shoulder.

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Of course! What do you think?

They were created that way. Through Intelligent Design.

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Black Helicopters

@So only terrorists and pedophiles have unique bone structures??

apparently paedophiles share crab dna too!

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It's not research

I mean there's no scientific basis for those claims, it's just FACT.

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FAIL

Don't worry about it

From the tone of your post it's probably better if you just let this one pass you by. seeing as both the comment and the immediate reply went straight over your head, I would just suggest that the post has value to other people whose aforementioned heads are less pointy.

hold on, "Well unless your on about female orgasm research"? any chance you're available to come to parties as entertainment?

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Re: WTF?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_Eye#Paedophilia_special_.282001.29

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a53

Not as far fetched as you might think

Latest research (Morris, Fox et. al. (2001)) suggests that paedophiles have 'have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you and me.'

Last I heard you couldn't get much DNA from an Xray or similar...

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Stop

Re: WTF?

Anonymous Coward@08:50 25 August 2010: "Oh 2001 is not latest research. it's almost decade old research"

Point of order, kind sir - if no research has been done on the subject since 2001, then it *is* the latest research. Just not very fresh.

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Ummmm

Wouldn't the terrorist have to have been captured in order for the authorities to have a scan of his bones to compare?

In the case of suicide bombers this is hardly likely to happen, is it?

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No good scanning suicide bombers after the fact

You'd need a very big scanner, or maybe a bin bag.

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Can't disguise their bones?

They "can't disguise their bones" has to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard a researcher say - but is a typical justification for yet another technology that will exclusively track people who aren't trying to hide.

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Boffin

Easy enough to disguise your bones...

Simply break your arm/leg after the plod have uniquely identified your bones.

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WTF?

Er..

Ok you go ahead and break your own bones but I'll just get some animal bones sewn into the inside of my cloths.

On an unrelated note... if body scanners = ghost porn does this me soon we shall have skeleton porn?

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Coffee/keyboard

New keyboard please

Oh Err... Look at the Femur's on that one Guv!

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Joke

Bringing a new meaning

to the term "boning"

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Or for extra irony-

get them to do it for you.

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FAIL

A Brilliant Mind (not)

Where have we heard this before? It's just Security Theater - it's not so long ago that we were going to ID the bad lads by the way they walked ... except that didn't work and anyone in the gait community could have told them that the idea was a loser from the start.

Now it's "bones" - like that's going to work? Have any of these idiots even bothered to figure out the resolution needed to ID a skeletal abnormality at 50m? Maybe you could get the resolution needed to distinguish one person from another reliably at a couple of metres but that's not going to be anything close to good enough to tell one ankle break from another.

What's next? We can ID people by listening to the sounds they make in the crapper? Slurping noises in noodle shops? I've got it - I'm off to patent a foolproof way to ID terrorists by they way they pick their noses while waiting in the security line at the airport...

No, on second thoughts I'm heading for the crapper - we're all obviously surrounded by idiots.

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Happy

Now /that's/ a brilliant mind.

If I could upvote this post more than once, I would gladly do so.

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Coat

a brilliant idea

I can identify Paedos outside schools by their breathing. Then again, maybe they jogged down and are picking their kids up!!

//Mines the one with John Merrick skeleton in the pocket.

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Go

Use my method...

... I use a divining rod to detect pedeos and terrorists, I can safely say I haven't found any in my area at the moment.

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Boffin

Re: Terrorist Divining Rod

Actually, that was a real product that sold for over $5,000 a pop - until someone finally got some sense in the audit office and kicked them out on their ear.

Was originally used for "detecting" bombs and drugs... but didn't do any better than random searches. Surprising, eh?

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system that would spot terrorists

No, it would only spot KNOWN terrorists that you happened to have an x-ray of (or what ever other boogy man they want to use to sell this). Your not going to have much luck spotting a suicide bomber since they are never repeat offenders (unless they are really bad suicide bombers).

And just how are they going to get what is in effect an x-ray from a distance?

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Coat

Someone's been watching too much Total Recall, methinks

mine's the one with five kids to feed

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Definitely an idea from Total Recall

This device plan sounds like it was ripped out of the pages of Total Recall. If only we would place more emphasis in copying the parts about travelling to Mars, instead of trying to make people look naked in public, we would probably have a better world for it.

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TWO

better worlds for it!

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Someone was watching Total recall

Get your ass to Mars!

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Anonymous Coward

Hip replacement anyone?

Scientist 1: I'm bored

Scientist 2: It's the silly season - let's thing up something unbelievably moronic and see if we can get a newspaper to run it.

Scientist 1: How about: "The large hadron collider has produced a mini-black hole that is swallowing the moon"?

Scientist 2: Done that.

<repeat for 5 hours>

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Big Brother

WTF is happening to our country!

Year 2000 - It wasn't perfect land of hope and glory and all that, but we had some freedom, privacy & liberty.

Year 2010 - Police State, they try to spy on us at every move, even being stripped naked by scanners is ok for them, and now they don't even care about our health!

The terrorists don't need to destroy our way of life, our own government is doing that for them!

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re WTF is happening to our country

One suggestion, though incomplete: NuLabour.

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Alert

Oh good.

A few gamma rays never hurt anyone, right?

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Joke

RAAAAARRRRR

Don't make me angry - you wouldn't like me when I'm angry!

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Joke

That could make a good

Banner headline...

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Anonymous Coward

In Paranoid America, the closet skelleton is yours

So instead of eating too much and you can't get back into Blighty because the turd at the turnstile doesn't recognise you from the face in your passport, you break a leg and you can't get back into Blighty because the turd of a machine at the turnstile doesn't manage to match your x-ray to the one broadcast by the RFID in your passport. Protest, repeat x-ray until cancer.

New technology and the NHS, a sure winner.

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Paris Hilton

So they can tell whose a terrorist by the shape of his bones.

All they've done is reinvented Phrenology.

Paris, she'll change the shape of your bone.

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Probably not Xray

I doubt that they plan to use Xrays, as that produces imagry /behind/ the subject, which means the subject has to stand between the Xray source and some sort of film / imaging device. Clearly that's a bit nuts at 50m.

So they're looking for a wave which will penetrate skin, cloth, etc, reflect off bone with a good resolution, and (probably) not cause any sort of permanent damage. I believe most forms of ionizing radiation wouldn't get past the first two requirements, and obviously not the third.

Good news is that they'd probably be broadcasting on a pretty specific wavelength, so all of those terrorists (I imagine that there must be crowds of them around everywhere by now, with all that people are spending to stop them) just need a pretty simple device to detect when there's a scanner in range. Like your average flashlight or search radar, it'll advertise it's presence to people that are far outside it's bonescan range.

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Alien

Probably not Xray

Backscatter Xray ... pervs^H^H^H^H^Hspooks have been using it to electronically undress you for years.

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Radiation/penetration

Apparently a backscatter xray scan gives about the same radiation exposure as 2 minutes of flying, so it's not a huge safety concern at airports.

However, neither backscatter xray nor millimetre wave scans reveal skeletal structure.

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Think again

The article linked to specifically says it could use x-rays or gamma(!) rays, though it does leave the door open to "other forms of body scanning". I guess some type of ultrasound might work, but that normally has a range of zero (bodily contact) not 50 meters.

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I was talking to someone knowledgeable recently

Apparently taking up martial arts will cause small changes to your bone density, as will any other sport which involves a lot of blunt trauma. No need for fractures, just tiny cracks that repair over time.

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... or weight training or calcium suppliments

or any change in exercise level. Pretty much anything targeting higher bone density in the aging, especially women.

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Joke

How about Adamantium?

At X-ray Station #1-

"Look at that! Metal bones!?!"

"Shhh! He might hear us!"

*schwingg*

"O crap- he did..."

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