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Shadow Analysis Could Spot Terrorists

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the made-in-the-shade dept.

Privacy 245

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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Upon deployment.... (5, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Upon deployment.... (4, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886581)

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

Re:Upon deployment.... (5, Funny)

dwarg (1352059) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887233)

I never go anywhere without a six-pack and a strap-on.

Re:Upon deployment.... (5, Funny)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887441)

(Score:2, Insightful)

I never go anywhere without a six-pack and a strap-on.

Insightful?? I shudder to think what that mod considers funny.

Re:Upon deployment.... (5, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#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].

Re:Upon deployment.... (5, Informative)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887381)

Aye, well the Scots have them all beat:

University of West Scotland research reveals that a woman's gait may reveal her orgasmic ability. [physorg.com] - A new study found that trained sexologists could infer a woman's history of vaginal orgasm by observing the way she walks. The study is published in the September 2008 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the official journal of the International Society for Sexual Medicine and the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health.

Combine that with satellite-based shadow analysis, and... Giggity!

Re:Upon deployment.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887443)

You, sir, are a comedic genius.

How exact is this? (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886673)

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

Re:Upon deployment.... (5, Interesting)

Zuato (1024033) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Evidence to back up parent. (1)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886837)

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:Upon deployment.... (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886865)

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)

Yes, but that still doesn't answer his questions (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887225)

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.

Re:Upon deployment.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886871)

How about? How about? How about? You see, America already won. We have forced the terrorists to change their walking lifestyle. Now, perhaps if Osama were to stumble down a Pakastani cliff and break his leg because of the limestone padding in his sandals, that would be a plus, right. We'd never even have to fire a shot. But, I digress. I'm not wearing pants while I type this.

Not perfect does not mean useless. (-1, Troll)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887277)

The Nirvana fallacy is the logical error of comparing actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives. It can also refer to the tendency to assume that there is a perfect solution to a particular problem.

By creating a false dichotomy that presents one choice which is obviously advantageous--while at the same time being completely implausible--a person using the nirvana fallacy can attack any opposing idea (reformed social welfare programs, for example) because it is imperfect. The choice is not between real world solutions and utopia; it is, rather, a choice between one realistic possibility and another which is merely better.

An example of the nirvana fallacy would be opposing a policy that reduces poverty because it does not completely eliminate poverty.


Also, what control does this give the gov't? To make you walk funny? "Better that a thousand terrorists go freely about their bloody business than for one free person to have a recorded gait"?

While we're at it, we should remove all the wire taps we're using against the mafia and gangs, 'cause we're violating their privacy. They should be able to conduct their business without the prying eyes and ears of big brother.

*groan* i can't wait for Obama to swear in so all this paranoia and ego-centrism might go down a notch.

Also, not all slopes are slippery... or sloped.

Re:Upon deployment.... (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886699)

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!

Re:Upon deployment.... (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886909)

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.

Useful data? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886559)

Is "useful data" a euphemism for "give us more money"?

Re:Useful data? (2, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886697)

No shit. Next they'll be saying they can identify terrorists by their haircut. Or the school they went to. Or the colour of their front door. Or the explosive vest strapped to their chest. Oh....wait.....

Re:Useful data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886979)

No shit. Next they'll be saying they can identify terrorists by their haircut. Or the school they went to. Or the colour of their front door. Or the explosive vest strapped to their chest. Oh....wait.....

They aren't claiming that "all terrorists walk like this." They're claiming that an individual's gait is very unique and can be used like a fingerprint, DNA, or facial recognition to identify an individual. And apparently it is possible to use arial photography to extract useful gait information from the shadows on the ground. So, theoretically, you could use a spy satellite with high enough resolution to track an individual virtually anywhere (outdoors) on the planet. So they could input gait information about a known terrorist and then track their movements world-wide.

Now, whether this is actually good or practical is an entirely different discussion... But it certainly sounds like it could possibly be useful.

Geostationary? (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886617)

I think the greater worry is from CCTV footage than satellites.

Re:Geostationary? (3, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Geostationary? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887001)

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? (5, Interesting)

mencomenco (551866) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Finally, the truth! (5, Funny)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Finally, the truth! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886937)

Well how else are they supposed to protect our parrots from terrorists planning their untimely demise?

Defeated (5, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886615)

Defeated by a simple 2 inch lift in one shoe.

Re:Defeated (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886655)

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.

Re:Defeated (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886991)

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

Re:Defeated (3, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887169)

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.

Obviously... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Ha! That's not what it's for! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886639)

The global-warming deniers are going to use it to track Al Gore from orbit, since he now casts a shadow that can be detected from space.

Well, that's easy. (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886651)

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:Well, that's easy. (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886973)

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!

Re:Well, that's easy. (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887345)

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.

Time for some classes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886663)

at the Academy of Silly Walks

ok (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886671)

how does this affect my rights online?


GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886771)

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/02/nations-spies-w.html [wired.com]

Choose your walking animation carefully.

Re:MMORPGs (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887519)

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 way or the other!

I did some work on this a few years back (5, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles instead of satellites (2, Informative)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886685)

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...

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886695)

"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:What could possibly go wrong? (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887115)

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'.

So if it.. (2, Funny)

pkboy (864629) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886713)

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..

Re:So if it.. (4, Funny)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886787)

taste and smell..

"Excuse me,natalie portman, you have been selected for a random terrorist check, step behind the screen while our terrorism expert tastes you. "

"Does she taste like hot grits?! "

Re:So if it.. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886793)

We should find a way to see how they taste and smell..

Not recommended. Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, I'm told, only bathe after sex. Which, come to think of it, probably explains why they aren't getting any.

Re:So if it.. (4, Funny)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886881)

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'm guessing - almonds.

Believe it (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886747)

"'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'.

I'm boned. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886763)

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.

again, just who was hitler's favorite 'enemy'? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886799)

it was of course, terrorists. nameless, faceless, something to be very afraid of. just what we need? greed, fear & ego are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.


is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.


dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);


the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;


whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;


& pretending that it isn't happening here;

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;


Legs legs legs and more legs (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886801)

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 Louis you could read the date on a dime in De Moines if it was focused properly. If they can aim Hubble up, they could aim another one down. Does anyboy have verification/rebuttal to this? I'm curious; as I said, I read it in the paper and they;re bad about getting science and technology wrong.

Defeating gait analysis (4, Informative)

TheLoneGundam (615596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886803)

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

Re:Defeating gait analysis (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887117)

damn you beat me me to the punch. who knew that putting a few pebbles in your shoe could be so useful.

Re:Defeating gait analysis (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887335)

Exactly the point of gait analysis. The terrorists are the ones grimacing when they walk.

Re:Defeating gait analysis (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887309)

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?

Wonderful euphemism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Solution in search of problem (5, Insightful)

c (8461) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.


Re:Solution in search of problem (1)

SecretSquirrel321 (1256326) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887097)

Going forward, if you are convicted of a felony in the US, in addition to submitting fingerprints and DNA, you will now be forced to take a turn on the catwalk - move it for the cameras!

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.


Maybe not from space.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886883)

...but how about from a Predator?

Or from your grocery store ceiling?

no way! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886885)

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...

Re:no way! (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887237)

It is really just millions of lines of code to obfuscate the fact that the software just looks for turbans and beards, because all terrorists have those, don't they?

But seriously, the medical community is also looking at this technology to spot hemorrhoid suffers from satellites.

in addition to (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886901)

I would say that this technology would only be good applied to in combination with somethnig else, but not by itself. I would never trust something this sketchy by itself, depending on the shadows and the sun and the moon and the stars....please...I see the addition of this to something like facial
or social netting, but not by itself.

Stating the obvious (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886947)

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...

How about wheelchairs? (2, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:

Electric wheelchair

First it was sexual capabilities (1, Redundant)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886989)

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.

Extrapolating..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887415)

So now we can identify terrorists based on their ability to have vaginal orgasms?

Satellites, no. Low-flying EO? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887011)

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.

Not going to work in Blighty (1)

hippo (107522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887037)

We've just had the dullest August on record, and I don't mean we've still got Gordon Brown.

Resolution capabilities of satellites (1)

tkjtkj (577219) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887071)

It was 30 years ago, or so, that i saw pictures taken from an orbiting satellite that peered down to a golf course. The final enlarged image was that of the golf-ball. I shall never forget what it displayed: " Titleist " !! And i suspect, after 30 years and trillions of dollars, that the capabilities are improved, to put it mildly!!!!!!!

Why use a satellite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887099)

A small aircraft manned or unmanned can do the same thing more cheaply and from much lower altitude, which also gets around atmospheric distortions.

As for disguising gait, I guess you can fool all the spy cameras some of the time and some of the spy cameras all of the time, but ...

Still don't you get a comforting glow knowing how well we are being "looked after" (evil cackle).

And sexologists can... (1, Insightful)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887221)

... 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 (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887255)

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?

step...slide....step step....pause... (2, Funny)

tyler.willard (944724) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887325)

Walk Fremen style and you can stay incognito and avoid Shai-Hulud all at the same time.

Shadow analysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887337)

It's weak against darkness! Use Mudo skills!

everytime i see these articles (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887379)

on new technology designed to determine whether we're all terrorists, i think back to the days when phrenology could determine whether we were all murderers.

to consider someone a terrorist based on their perceived actions is to, in a sense, insist upon the fact that all elements of emotion and kinematics are objective in human nature. discordians buck this trend, so do most sysadmins, libertarians, drug users, and anyone with a mental disorder.

without further adieu, an exploit for this system: before planning a terrorist attack, wear a shoe 1 size too large, or place something uncomfortable like a pebble in it. really, anything to alter your gait should take care of it.

Re:everytime i see these articles (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887495)

Yes, but discordians, sysadmins, libertarians, drug users and those with mental disorders are only slightly less unpopular than terrorists, and many people think that they are on the same level.

Actually, it's easy (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887409)

Just put a full-leg cast or brace on, and your gait will change without you even trying.

Scene at airport security:

"What are you hiding under that cast, sir? The metal detector can't find a knife or gun, but we think you are hiding a known terrorist's gait. Step aside and remove the cast and walk 50 paces."

I really love... (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887411)

how researcher are scamming governments and get founds for their projects using the word "terrorism"...

Shadow Alert! (1)

SableTek (963685) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887475)

The original post implies we should alert both Disney, in order to protect Peter Pan, and The Shadow [wikipedia.org]. As others have noted, if one has enough information to analyze the gait, shadow, etc. of an individual, even via satellite, then one most likely has the ability to arrest said individual. I am both amused and frightened that such a thing as 'shadow analysis' or 'gait analysis' is even remotely considered scientific. The scientific 'proof' that one's gait cannot be altered is 'thin' at best, as actors and con artists have been doing so for years.

Didn't the Bee Gees write a song about this? (1)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887523)

"You can tell by the way I move and walk I'm a terrorist, no time to talk..."
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