Earlier we had an article about how police are using online alerts to local people and businesses to notify them to look out for certain criminals. Now, it appears that Jay Walker, of Priceline fame, is looking to take a similar idea much further - and use web surfers to spot intruders at secure facilities. Here's how the system works: the facilities place cameras at locations where no humans are supposed to be. The cameras repeatedly send still images over the internet to any "spotters" who sign up for the system - and who would be paid $8 to $10 an hour. Those web surfers click on a button to say whether or not the see anyone in the picture. The same pictures are sent to multiple people for the sake of accuracy. If someone says that there is someone where they shouldn't be, the pictures are immediately sent to more people for verification. Within 30 seconds, they believe there could be plenty of evidence that someone is where the shouldn't be - and the proper authorities can be alerted. The system would also send regular "false" images with people, just so they're not always staring at pictures of empty rooms, and get used to noticing whether or not there's someone where there shouldn't be. It's an interesting idea, though, I wonder how much of the threat is really about someone being in a place where nobody should ever be? I figure the real threat is more about someone being in a place with lots and lots of people... and for that situation, this system is useless.
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