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In Brazil, Trees To Call For Help If Illegally Felled

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the do-you-read-me-over dept.

Communications 130

Damien1972 writes "The Brazilian government has begun fixing trees in the Amazon rainforest with a wireless device, known as Invisible Tracck, which will allow trees to contact authorities once they are felled and moved. Here's how it works: Brazilian authorities fix the Invisible Tracck onto a tree. An illegal logger cuts down the tree and puts it onto a truck for removal, unaware that they are carrying a tracking device. Once Invisible Tracck comes within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of a cellular network it will 'wake up' and alert authorities."

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I've fallen and I can't get up! (4, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#42699659)

Fell Alert! [youtube.com] (0:30)

Tree phone home (3, Insightful)

Andrew Rembrandt (141535) | about 2 years ago | (#42700103)

Ripe for plenty of gags...

Humour aside, this is a good use of technology, and much needed. I've seen what happens when deforestation is left un-policed (it doesn't take long for a developing nation to clear one, given the amount of money that it can generate). Seeing what's left of the 'Amazon of the southern hemisphere' as they call it in Borneo, was very sad. Less than 2% is left, and you can imagine the natural habit that's also gone. Not to mention the global impact on climate. The next 30 years will be a challenging time imho - unfortunately, the required action will no doubt after things have really gone downhill, as is usual when government and regulation is involved (e.g. someone has to die before safety regulations are improved).

Re:Tree phone home (3, Informative)

AxeTheMax (1163705) | about 2 years ago | (#42700223)

Anyone who calls Borneo the 'Amazon of the southern hemisphere' hasn't got much idea of geography. Both are near the equator, but if anything Borneo is overall slightly further north than the Amazon basin.

Re:Tree phone home (2)

xclr8r (658786) | about 2 years ago | (#42700605)

"Good use of technology" but the question in my mind is how much land are the tearing up mining resources for this device. I'm sure it comes out ahead (hopefully) but it is an interesting aspect to look at how much are we using the earth + environmental impact to save the other parts of earth. There must be some type of battery, what resistance does it have to corrosion? Will it leak any contaminants.. etc etc.

Re:Tree phone home (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#42702139)

I doubt they're taggin every tree. One per 5 acres would be *more* than enough.

Re:Tree phone home (2)

strikethree (811449) | about 2 years ago | (#42701157)

Seeing what's left of the 'Amazon of the southern hemisphere' as they call it in Borneo, was very sad.

If you would like to see an extreme representation of different forestry practices, zoom in on Haiti and Dominican Republic. No, that is not a "taken at different times" picture artifact. One half of the island is indeed utterly deforested. Just wow. Haitians should be ashamed.

HELP ME !! I HAVE FALLEN AND CANNOT GET UP !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699671)

Life Alert Bracelets have unlimited uses !!

we should fit microphones (5, Funny)

ozduo (2043408) | about 2 years ago | (#42699699)

so when a tree falls in the forest we will know if it makes a sound.

Re:we should fit microphones (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#42699715)

Nice try, but if you've wired it for sound, that's no different from someone actually being there to here it.

Re: we should fit microphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699881)

But in space, no one can hear you scream.

Re: we should fit microphones (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#42700711)

Swing, and a miss.

As all good Misties know, that's "In space, no-one can hear you sue".

Re:we should fit microphones (5, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#42700477)

Nice try, but if you've wired it for sound, that's no different from someone actually being there to here it.

No, it is different. We wont be there. We'll be hear hereing it.

Also, don't humanize small electronics.
They hate that.

Re:we should fit microphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699743)

But only because we actually looked.

In other cases, it's a Schödinger's cat problem.

Re:we should fit microphones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699823)

Nothing nearly as sophisticated as Schrodinger here; the classic case is that it simply comes down to the definition of the word "sound": Is it when acoustic waves in the range of frequencies detectable by the human ear travel through the air, or is it when they hit a human ear and are detected? Of course, as Great Questions That Make You Think go, this one's always been pretty lame, since the answer is obviously the first one; just thinking about animals with different acoustic sensitivities and even various humans with differing sensitivities makes it obvious.

Re:we should fit microphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699889)

Yep, the old sound in the forest problem should probably be rephrased to go better with the modern age.
I suggest "If you allow someone to speak freely but only where no-one can hear him, it it still censorship?"

Re:we should fit microphones (2)

kdemetter (965669) | about 2 years ago | (#42700063)

If someone is only allowed to speak 'freely' in a specific area, it's not "speaking freely" .
Freedom of speech means freedom to speak about anything, in any place, by anyone .

So yes, it's still censorship.

Re:we should fit microphones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699829)

Time to ruin the joooke.

It only makes a sound if someone or something is around to hear it because Sound is a sensory media conveyed by vibrations in the air and interpreted by the ears and brain.
However, it will vibrate the air a little, regardless of ears being around or not.

Tune in next time to Slashdot, where we throw Timothy in to an Electric Fence!
Brainiac - electric fences [youtube.com]

Re: we should fit microphones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699891)

Are you going to soulskill him when he's samzenpushed into the fence?

Re:we should fit microphones (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42699983)

Time to ruin the joooke.

It only makes a sound if someone or something is around to hear it because Sound is a sensory media conveyed by vibrations in the air and interpreted by the ears and brain.
However, it will vibrate the air a little, regardless of ears being around or not.

Tune in next time to Slashdot, where we throw Timothy in to an Electric Fence!
Brainiac - electric fences [youtube.com]

So if I put a microphone in the forest which transmits to a speaker close to me, and a tree falls close to the microphone causing me to hear the sound of the falling tree on my speaker, does the falling tree actually make a sound, or does only my speaker make a sound while the falling tree only causes air vibrations to be turned into electrical signals by the microphone?

Re:we should fit microphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700495)

“Thank you. Now...tell me...”
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HADN’T SAVED HIM?
“Yes! The sun would have risen just the same, yes?”
NO.
“Oh, come on. You can’t expect me to believe that. It’s an astronomical fact.”
THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN.
She turned on him.
“It’s been a long night, Grandfather! I’m tired and I need a bath! I don’t need silliness!”
THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN.
“Really? Then what would have happened, pray?”
A MERE BALL OF FLAMING GAS WOULD HAVE ILLUMINATED THE WORLD.

And here is the solution (2)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42699719)

http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/how-to-for-emp-weapon-stunningly-accessible/ [wnd.com]

What makes RF weapons so dangerous is their compactness and ability to be powered by hand-carried energy sources. Experts say that their range of intensity is from 200 meters to 1,000 meters, or from some 656 feet to 3,281 feet.

Re:And here is the solution (5, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | about 2 years ago | (#42699757)

Anything that raises the hassle level to untracably do illegal/harmful activity will probably either catch or deter a reasonable chunk of the would-be criminals. We live with knowing that the locks we use in our homes could be picked, and if someone *really* wanted to take the time and the risk or spend the money, they could probably get in in various ways, just like we never achieve 100% safety from other crimes. That doesn't mean our safety measures are worthless though.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42699787)

True. But the question is, how expensive is such an EMP device really? How much profit is in an illegally felled tree? The risk of being caught using such a device in a rainforest is probably pretty low. And I suppose felling, transporting and selling trees is nothing some 3rd rate would be criminal can easily do. It is a business, which probably has enough money and manpower to pull something like that trough. If there isn't even a cheaper methods to get around the tracking devices.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699855)

I would imagine a device disrupting cellular communications would somehow attract some attention, especially if the authorities were on the lookout for such a thing.

Re:And here is the solution (2)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42699941)

Somewhere deep in a rainforest? Really?

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#42702211)

That makes it so much easier to triangulate. Better brush up on your forensics, pal.

Re:And here is the solution (5, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42699913)

Illegal timber is big business, there are huge profits and people are prepared to get violent about it. A single hardwood tree can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, particularly fine furniture species. I imagine they would attach these things to the most valuable trees. There are other schemes to track where legal logs come from but they require a lot of manpower to police since each log needs to be checked to find unregistered logs. This idea certainly won't catch everyone but as you say these illegal loggers are a businesses with heavy equipment, a tree that calls home will expose the entire company behind the operation.

BTW: How would one use an EMP without also frying the electronics in the trucks and bulldozers?

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42699931)

BTW: How would one use an EMP without also frying the electronics in the trucks and bulldozers?

Setup EMP charge. Bulldozers wait outside 'blast range'. Clean area. Move bulldozers in. Profit.

Of course everything depends on how feasible such an EMP device really is. Probably some sort of cell phone jammer would be totally sufficient.

Re:And here is the solution (5, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42700007)

Or maybe just make your own cellular signal near where you want to cut the tree (it's not as if anyone else in the middle of the rain forest will notice), and look for the signal of the device trying to phone home in order to find and remove it. Bonus: It even helps with finding the valuable trees, because those will be the ones equipped with the device.

Re:And here is the solution (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#42700581)

Obviously the solution is to arm the trees. Forget about these 'dead tree switches' (those logs aren't calling for help, they are already dead at that point, they are calling for revenge), since tree is calling for revenge at least give it a chance, arm it with a machine gun and an automatic turret, a few cameras, trip wires, some other sensors.

Now a tree can defend itself, give the guns to enough trees and you have a 'well regulated militia'.

At this point the tree can call home and tell the cops to come and pick up the bodies.

Re:And here is the solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42701573)

EMP the chip?

Re:And here is the solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42701641)

Bonus: It even helps with finding the valuable trees, because those will be the ones equipped with the device.

In order to preserve battery life, the sensor must have to be tilted off of vertical in order to activate, so your probe would get no response until you chopped the tree down.

Re:And here is the solution (3, Insightful)

maeka (518272) | about 2 years ago | (#42700503)

Setup EMP charge. Bulldozers wait outside 'blast range'. Clean area. Move bulldozers in. Profit.

This isn't an attempt to stop industrial-scale illegal logging. There are much easier ways to track and trace activity on that scale.

This is an attempt to stop "sustinance" logging. Literally poor individuals poaching timber.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#42701119)

As soon as the devices don't report home anymore, someone will go look for them. So EMP is just the very loud sound of "Here I am going to start illegal logging".
If you don't want to notice anyone and still cut down trees, don't tamper with the signal!

Re:And here is the solution (1)

afxgrin (208686) | about 2 years ago | (#42700261)

The whole device is kind of ridiculous to begin with, you operate an illegal radio jammer off your truck and after taking the tree down actively look for the tracking device. If a tree is worth tens of thousands then obviously its worth the time to fish it out.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 years ago | (#42701005)

The whole device is kind of ridiculous to begin with, you operate an illegal radio jammer off your truck and after taking the tree down actively look for the tracking device. If a tree is worth tens of thousands then obviously its worth the time to fish it out.

Of course, given cheap enough technology the authorities could keep making the game more difficult -- hide multiple transmitters on each tree, and have each transmitter only activate at random intervals. The cost of verifying that a tree is "clean" would rise proportionally, hopefully to the point where it was no longer worth the poacher's time to deal with it.

Of course that would likely get pretty expensive, and we'd end up with forests full of electronics, which probably isn't what we want either...

Re:And here is the solution (1)

PartyBoy!911 (611650) | about 2 years ago | (#42699991)

Remember this is a rain forest. You would need quite a lot of energy as the water absorbs the EMP and a big tree will act as grounded antenna

http://www.set2survive.com/EMP_survivors_notebook_1.html

External antennas will also absorb EMP energy and the larger
the antenna the more it will absorb. Any large metal structure will collect or absorb EMP energy; if it is
grounded such as a water tower might be, then the energy will dissipate into the earth

trivial (1)

nten (709128) | about 2 years ago | (#42700203)

They won't use an EMP or anything, they will just buy and install a GPS jammer on their trucks. The Tracck will call home but it will have no idea where it is. Truckers already use them in various parts of the world to bypass rules about how many miles they can drive in a day. This came to /. attention some time back when driving by airports was causing airliners to make hands on landings rather than automated ones on a regular basis.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#42701735)

We live with knowing that the locks we use in our homes could be picked, and if someone *really* wanted to take the time and the risk or spend the money, they could probably get in in various ways, just like we never achieve 100% safety from other crimes. That doesn't mean our safety measures are worthless though.

Well said. Often when there is a story about some security solution in /. someone comes up with a method to work around it. However that does not automatically mean that the invention is useless! It might still be a nice addition to the pack of tools.

Re:And here is the solution (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#42699817)

1) wingnut daily, really?

2) if true, setting up a few EMP detectors would provide real time info on where illegal loggers are operating

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42699971)

1) wingnut daily, really?

Just one result, which popped up when I googled for 'EMP device'. I heard more than once, that it isn't too difficult to build a small one. Might be a legend or not. If my multi million (billion?) business would depend on it, I'd seriously research it.

2) if true, setting up a few EMP detectors would provide real time info on where illegal loggers are operating

So now it is tracking devices AND EMP detectors? Somewhere deep inside the Brazilian rainforest? What possibly could go wrong.

;-)

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#42700047)

EMP detectors could be very sparse, the power level required to destroy devices vs the power level required to be detected by a tuned antenna. you could probably get away with placing three or four detectors in the whole country.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42700087)

And if you had three or four detectors in the whole country, how fast could you pinpoint the location of the EMP and react to it? The devices are added to track the felled trees on the transporting truck. So there is no real pressure to react fast. When you detect an EMP you have to be there before the truck and the tree is gone. I am really not convinced of this solution.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#42701025)

intensity comparison should locate the source right away, and if someone is setting off EMP bombs it's fair to respond with helicopters and missiles

Re:And here is the solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700591)

Wouldn't it be easier to just build a device that can detect the presence of the tracking chips, so they can leave the specific tagged trees alone?

I honestly don't know if that would be easier.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#42701091)

They will likely tag the really valuable ones. If you could make placing one an eco-tourist thing you'd have crowd sourced your tree finding. Then all you need is a fake cell tower hack on a phone, a way of scanning the trees and a tesla coil to fry the electronics.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

nickol (208154) | about 2 years ago | (#42700749)

Why use EMP ? Aluminium foil will do the job.

Re:And here is the solution (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#42700773)

From your link:

For $32,000, a would-be lone wolf or terrorist group can get the “Electromagnetic EMP Blaster Gun, Gen II,” capable of “shutting down a computer at a distance of 15 meters,” or almost 50 feet, and can “ignite highly explosive fuels in case of proximity or contact.”

Do you have any idea of the size of things on a rain florest? Even that 1000 meters maximum radius (for no known price) is ridicuslously small. And those numbers don't take into consideration the fact that the tree atenuates the pulse and that a portable has a single frequency antena that will lose some of the energy of the EMP. Making your radius smaller.

Pix or it didn't happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699731)

I don't believe that it's so invisible that you can't take pictures of it.

Show me something that makes me trust you that it is actually "invisible" when installed, even though it obviously can't be when not installed.

Re:Pix or it didn't happen. (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 2 years ago | (#42699783)

You could just drill the tree and put it inside.

Re:Pix or it didn't happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42701781)

That damages the tree too much.

Poor battery life ... (4, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 2 years ago | (#42699755)

Why do they need to be recharged in a year? Simply checking orientation with a microcontroller in deep sleep the rest of the time shouldn't take that much power.

Re:Poor battery life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699815)

well, duh! low battery life greatly increases the value of the government contract to provide and maintain the devices... brazillian government contractors have learned much from their american counterparts.

Re:Poor battery life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699879)

I'd assume they emit some kind of heartbeat signal, otherwise fellers could just disable them (say, with EMP as proposed in another thread) and go on about their business.

Re:Poor battery life ... (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42700045)

That would be great news for the tree cutters: They could use the heart beat signal to locate the valuable trees, and the device on the trees. Then it's just a matter of carefully removing that device and putting it on a nearby uninteresting tree before cutting the valuable one.

Re:Poor battery life ... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#42700795)

Why do they need to be recharged in a year?

Your worst case scenarios for a battery are:
really high temperatures
really low temperatures
cycling between really high and really low temperatures.

The Amazon rainforest happens to be one of those three worst case scenarios.

Re:Poor battery life ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42701815)

Citation needed.

Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699761)

I wonder how much such a device would cost.

Cheap GSM (GPRS) modems in Brazil cost around $30 USD for high volume. About 65% of that price are taxes.

Do you know what is depressing to me about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699789)

The fact is the government will probably have to resort to shooting dead each and every person in the truck and in convoy and throw the family of the driver out on to the street and bulldoze the house.

Why is that depressing?

Well, apart from ruining the lives of those unable to choose otherwise (the family), the real arseholes, the companies buying *suspiciously cheap* hardwood in the first world will get away scot free. THOSE are the ones who need to be shot, families homeless and all property taken.

Re:Do you know what is depressing to me about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700553)

Well, apart from ruining the lives of those unable to choose otherwise (the family), the real arseholes, the companies buying *suspiciously cheap* hardwood in the first world will get away scot free.

What makes you think this old-growth hardwood is being sold at knockoff prices when buyers are willing to pay a premium?

Trees on Facebook? (2)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 2 years ago | (#42699795)

So many bad jokes in my head. They are clogging my brain so much I can't get them out...

Re:Trees on Facebook? (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 2 years ago | (#42699837)

If a tree tweets in a forest, and no one get the tweet, can it still be retweeted?

Brilliant (4, Interesting)

RCC42 (1457439) | about 2 years ago | (#42699849)

Elegant solution to a complex and difficult situation, made possible by technological advance. This is progress (and what slashdot is all about)

Re:Brilliant (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#42700023)

It's a technical solution, but IMHO a brittle one.

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700687)

Until they make a faraday cage tarp to through over the logs on the truck. Opps, no signal sent.

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700955)

I find this solution far from brilliant. I have an even better solution for you.

Take a look at a map of the Amazon. Yes, it is an imense territory that is very hard to patrol. Imagine you want to cut trees illegally in there. Well... it should be easy to get away with it, right? There is one problem though. How do you get out of the rainforest with your loot? There is no way to truck the trees out of there. The table has turned against you now. The very same characteristics that made your crime so easy to hide in that landscape are now preventing you from actually making a profit out of it. There is only one way out of there. You have to put all the trees on a barge and reach for the Amazon River. And you will be forced to navigate far enough to the East in order to reach any harbours, roads, etc. It should be pretty easy to spot you and your loot now.

The solution is very simple. Make all the loging activity in the area illegal. After that, the navy can simply patrol the river with small power boats and confiscate 100% of these barges. If it is not possible to get out of the jungle with the loot, nobody will go in there to cut trees. It is as simple as that.

eTree Phone Home (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42699859)

elliot....

So, some dude with a badge shows up... (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#42699901)

...and gets his hundred bucks to ignore it.

-jcr

Re:So, some dude with a badge shows up... (0)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42700201)

...and gets his hundred bucks to ignore it.

Which is why property ownership is the only way the stated goals can actually be achieved. Allow a private owner to own n acres of rain forest, have him hire security to protect the resource, and then the economics becomes that of whether the bribe is worth losing the contract. The security company can be measured with success metrics, which the constable never will be. It's working for the elephants in Africa.

Re:So, some dude with a badge shows up... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 years ago | (#42700971)

Allow a private owner to own n acres of rain forest, have him hire security to protect the resource, and then the economics becomes that of whether the bribe is worth losing the contract.

So the private owner will get money for 'protecting' the trees, as well as money for cutting them down and selling them. Win/win!

Seriously, who is supplying the money that is to motivate the private owner to protect the trees, and can they afford to keep doing that indefinitely, even as the amount of money the owner could get from logging them rises?

Re:So, some dude with a badge shows up... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42701983)

So the private owner will get money for 'protecting' the trees, as well as money for cutting them down and selling them. Win/win!

Right, they're his property so he can do with the trees as he pleases, within the bounds of the land grant. Clearcutting the forest wipes out his asset so he doesn't do that. If somebody else tries to poach his trees, he defends them. Again, this model has been proven to work for elephant conservation.

Seriously, who is supplying the money that is to motivate the private owner to protect the trees, and can they afford to keep doing that indefinitely, even as the amount of money the owner could get from logging them rises?

The elephant model consists of a stipend plus the proceeds of controlled elephant culling. Some people are upset that any elephants are culled (I'd prefer none [youtube.com] as well) but the rate of elephant culling is dramatically lower in areas where property rights have been assigned to them.

Re:So, some dude with a badge shows up... (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 years ago | (#42702043)

Or they just use some sort of EM device tracker to find the bugs and remove them.

Perhaps they should use satellite images to locate these fellers. When the images between today and yesterday are significantly different in an area, you know that something is going on, and you might want to have a look there. This way, you force fellers to be quick and to operate in larger areas, which may make their business unprofitable, or at least less attractive.

What are they going to do? (1)

johnsie (1158363) | about 2 years ago | (#42699963)

The tree has already been cut down. All they can do is arrest the guy who is transporting the tree (low down in the business probably). All the bosses of the illegal tree fellers need to to is restructure their business a little, or probably buy a metal detector.

Re:What are they going to do? (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 2 years ago | (#42700101)

Clearly you have not watched practically every cop/law TV show ever made. Good guys set up scheme to catch small fry goombas. After intense interrogation where said goomba seems to have either waived rights or just is stupid they get he or she to flip on a big guy. Good guys then set up sting using goomba to lead them to big fish. After a quick gun battle or other dramatic scene big fish is caught, end of show...or is it. Just as they take Big Fish away he or she says "I can give your even Bigger Fish if you let me go". Now at this point it goes one of two ways. The first is that the really good guys say "lock em up" while the lesser more practical guys say "Okay talk, but you do jail time". The second is just as Big Fish starts to talk POW, bullet to the body, everyone scrambles and a mystery is left open.

Brazil is just putting into practice what American audiences have figure out long ago. If you want to save the rainforest, catch the goombas in action by making a great cover story as fish bait. I can't wait to see this series on TNT next year sandwiched in between Mentalist, Castle, Rizzoli and Isles (aka Tits and Ass), the defunct but fantastic Numb3rs, Law and Order*4, Monk...the list goes on. What ever happened to good SciFi shows...where was I?

Re:What are they going to do? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#42700197)

Where were you?

Apparently you were busy watching a crap network. You mentioned TNT yourself.

Re:What are they going to do? (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42700765)

Clearly you have not watched practically every cop/law TV show ever made.

Clearly, you have been watching to much TV based on (a misinterpretation of) US law enforcement. What happens when the Big Guy has the ethics of the Zetas? 20 years in prison for a stinkin' tree is nothing compared to what they'll do to you if you talk.

And its not much better in the USA (of course, your intestines don't end up hanging out). But corporations don't go to prison. They live forever. And they never forget.

Re:What are they going to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700109)

And then they go to the place where they know they placed that tracker, and bag the rest of the crew...

If nobody is willing to fell the trees (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700381)

then the middleman has to get the chainsaw out.

and how likely is that?

the problem is that they have to ramp up the punishment for the little guy.

fines and arrest haven't worked.

shoot them dead, summary justice.

if that doesn't work, throw the families (profiting from the crime) out of their homes.

if that doesn't work, then don't let logs get sold.

Re:What are they going to do? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#42700967)

Usually the "business model change" involves bribing politicians and the police.

E-Tree, Phone Home! (3, Funny)

xmark (177899) | about 2 years ago | (#42699985)

well, it's better than "First Post!"

To sound or not to sound (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700033)

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Re:To sound or not to sound (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42700085)

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If no one is in the forest, do trees actually fall? Because until you've answered this question with an affirmative "yes", your question doesn't even make sense.

Note that the fact that when you go into a forest and find trees which look as if they had fallen is no proof that they actually did fall. That's true even if on your previous visit they have still been standing.

Re:To sound or not to sound (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700809)

If no one is in the forest, do trees actually fall? Because until you've answered this question with an affirmative "yes", your question doesn't even make sense.

Note that the fact that when you go into a forest and find trees which look as if they had fallen is no proof that they actually did fall. That's true even if on your previous visit they have still been standing.

Quite right. Perhaps the trees were tired and needed to lie down.

Re:To sound or not to sound (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42700929)

If no one is in the forest, do trees actually fall? Because until you've answered this question with an affirmative "yes", your question doesn't even make sense.

Note that the fact that when you go into a forest and find trees which look as if they had fallen is no proof that they actually did fall. That's true even if on your previous visit they have still been standing.

Quite right. Perhaps the trees were tired and needed to lie down.

Are the trees there if nobody looks?

In other news (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#42700185)

Logging trucks in the rain forest will now be equipped with cell phone jammers.

Jamming & Signature (2)

pipegate (992856) | about 2 years ago | (#42700207)

Based on the weakness of the signal strength and the low cost of GPS jamming equipment (>$69 for something that actually works) how secure is this solution? Beyond that would there be significant electronic signature to detect such devices considering the lack of background interference? Is there such thing as a long distance metal detector? Not knocking progress, just interested.

A ten year old is going to defeat it. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#42700217)

Imagine what would happen if a precocious ten year old with enough skills to hack together a protocol droid out of junkyard parts or capable of building a pod racer decides to build a scanner to locate the invisible scanner hidden inside a living organism... It could happen? Right?

In Soviet Brazil... (1)

adnonsense (826530) | about 2 years ago | (#42700275)

... trees illegally fell you?

Numbers (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#42700293)

Apparently the people proposing this sort of thing lack the imagination to understand how many trees are in the forest.

Even if they only tagged a few trees like this figuring to seed the forest with trackers there is still the problem that this is easily hacked against. Anyone who's spending the money to cut illegal trees and haul them away (very expensive) will simply hire a good hacker to hack the trackers before the loggers hack the trees out.

Re:Numbers (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 2 years ago | (#42700327)

You're completely correct. There currently are too many trees for this to work. We'll just wait until a sufficient number of trees are illegally harvested before we put the plan into effect!

Re:Numbers (4, Insightful)

volmtech (769154) | about 2 years ago | (#42700613)

Brazil has to make up its mind, are the trees a natural resource, or national treasure? Trees are not immortal, they get old and die. Controlled harvesting can support the population and the forest. It's over two million square miles, does all of it have to remain pristine?

Re:Numbers (2)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 years ago | (#42701031)

It's over two million square miles, does all of it have to remain pristine?

It's not an all-or-nothing question, but rather how much needs to remain pristine, and which areas in particular are the ones whose health are vital to the ecosystem?

I don't think anyone has argued that the entire Amazon can be or will be preserved indefinitely. But presumably the areas marked as off-limits to logging are so marked because they are the ones that are important to preserve, and it is those areas in particular where illegal logging needs to be stopped.

Re:Numbers (1)

qwijibo (101731) | about 2 years ago | (#42700721)

This seems like a technical solution to a non-technical problem. Why not just pay people to hunt these guys down? Set high fines for illegal logging and use some of that money to pay rewards. That would provide small rewards to people who turn in the sustenance level loggers, and big rewards for large operations. A few reports of people getting $50k for reporting a big logging operation would create a lot of interest in stopping these people. Statistically, which approach is more likely to generate useful reports of illegal logging?

The Brazilan Rainforest patrol blimp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700569)

So to save these trees will they have a battalion of sky commandos who will desend from on high to aprehend the villians? All a simple theif needs is a hand held radio a quick scan, off with the GPS and away down the road they go!

:fp 5hit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42700643)

M=ORE STABLE

The Trees (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42700791)

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

-- Rush

The Age Old Question... (2)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 2 years ago | (#42701043)

If a tree is felled in the forrest, and no one is at the office to hear it, does it still call for help?

Will just help illegal loggers find valuable trees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42701065)

Assuming the Brazilian authorities only put these devices on the most valuable trees, just take a portable cell transmitter into the rain forest to set off all the devices, then track them down.

Bingo.

You just found the most valuable trees, and you know they have a transmitter on them.

Aren't government subsidies WONDERFUL?

Wonder if the Brazilian government personnel who thought this up are getting a kickback from the illegal loggers?

What about the mills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42701993)

How does this fit in with their enforcement? If I were in charge of this, I'd look at the mills first. Raw logs aren't worth much. They have to be milled. You make sure that raw logs arriving at the mill are from operators with licenses, under approved harvesting plans. If a huge region is exporting raw logs, that's a bit more complicated. Still, you have scales for trucks just like in the US. If they're not already weighing trucks down there, they can build weigh stations and kill two birds with one stone. Once again, any log truck gets a "your papers, please" moment with enforcement.

Don't go after the poor truckers of course. They just work for the man. Go after the business. Make sure every company knows that if you have a hot log on your truck, you're getting shut down.

Now you might end up with guerilla mills, which is more tricky. You'd probably end up with what you have in the US. Timber poaching occurs in the Pacific Northwest, but they aren't big operators. Instead you have the disgrace of some drug addict cutting down a huge old tree and turning into... fence posts. Yeah, fence posts; because you can mill them on site and carry them out. Pathetic; but it takes a long time to do that just so you can get a few more hits of whatever it is you're addicted on. It's slow enough and rare enough that the US's protected forests aren't threatened by it that much. Fires are a much bigger threat here. Cleared land being used to grow pot is also a big threat, due to water theft and fire.

The USA has, in some places, reached the limit of what public conservation can do. In some cases the land would be better protected if it were made private and zoned for low-impact development. A wealthy estate holder has a strong incentive to keep illegal grows and timber poachers off his land. He has the means to do it. The government? Less and less these days.

That's not to say that privatizing should be done will-nilly and absolutely. Also in some areas the private owners are no better off than the government. We have vast areas of land that are there for the taking by criminals. Gunslinging in the woods isn't for everybody, so even if you made the land tax-free and re-opened homesteading you probably wouldn't totally solve the problem.

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