BIG BROTHER'S BIG MOUTH
"The city of Baltimore has had a tough winter. Thieves cut down and carried away 136 streetlights (police think it was for the aluminum), so the head honchos at the city decided they needed something that would deter this crime. The solution? Five $5,000 solar-powered digital imagers with speakers attached that shout when they sense motion. Any potential streetlight thieves, take note: if you hear, "Stop! We have just taken your photograph. We will use this photograph to prosecute you. Leave the area now!" that means they're on to you. Similar systems were installed in Cincinnati in 2004 and received noise complaints. Wouldn't the solar-camera-loudspeaker combination just make you want to steal them more?"
(Via: Treehugger < Wired.)
TOOL FOR ARMCHAIR ACTIVISTS
"Tool for armchair activists is a machine for remote protest. It can be strapped to lampposts next institutional buildings in front of which many protests occur.
Thanks to its embedded mobile telecommunication device, the machine is able to receive incoming sms messages and speak them out loud through its megaphones, thus allowing the armchair activist to shout out its rants and protests in the comfort of his sitting room."
Programming and electronic development: Moritz Waldemeyer.
CELL PHONE-JAMMING PAINT
NaturalNano is developing "a special high-tech paint that relies on the wizardry of nanotechnology to create a system that locks out unwanted cell phone signals on demand."
(Via: Smartmobs < Newsday.)
SUPER SMART PRIVACY GLASS
Enter the realm of self-tinting glass, that can be frosted at the flick of a switch. Inhabitat has the scoop on variations of this product and different uses. But, it goes without saying, the security implications are vast and ripened in the current climate. Intelligent fortress windows, chameleonesque panoptic glass, mood-shifting degrees of transparency, political sunshine vs. out-in-the-open clandestine, the glass window as eye into architecture's soul, yada, yada, yada. Check out Priva-lite, or "Privacy at will." Also, SwitchLite, and Landmark Glass.
HIS HOLY URBANISM OF THE DOMINO'S DIOCESE
What do you get when you cross a pizza-magnate turned land developer with a faith-based community, a Catholic university, and a whole mess of riled civil libertarians in Florida? Well, you get the town of Ave Maria, of course, "a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Roman Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control."
See this SF Gate article: Pizza Magnate Seeks Catholic-Governed Town
THE LAPD'S 'ARCHITECTURAL ARMOR'
Christopher hawthors in the LA Times tears into the new design for the LAPD HQ, which borderlines on obesessive when it come to security measures. "It incorporates a number of security requirements common to government projects after 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, including a 75-foot setback from the street to its base on every side. And although the main entrance will be framed by large expanses of glass, the building features a window arrangement on its longest façade, along Spring Street, whose irregular pattern is meant to thwart snipers hiding inside the offices of this very newspaper.
...Like the proposed Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, if at a more modest scale, the LAPD design finds itself torn between a growing national interest in architectural armor and a desire to symbolize the openness of public institutions in a democratic society: It tries to open up even as it hunkers down."
(Via: Planetizen < LA Times: LAPD Misfire.)