Cobra comes up with a new concept for radar detectors--GPS that warns you of existing driving hazards. Along with its 15-band detection, Cobra's XRS 9960G correlates your current location with a database of known red-light and speed cameras, as well as potentially hazardous driving areas. In our testing, we found the system works perfectly, although its alerts come a little too frequently, especially in an urban area like San Francisco, which has plenty of red-light cameras.
We always appreciate when an application takes all the guesswork out of using it. That's the case with the well-designed Max Spyware Detector, which smartly guides you through the process of detecting spyware. Our only reservation was a stability issue that one Windows XP tester encountered.
Max Spyware Detector's compact interface holds a lot of information and controls, but manages to keep it organized. Colorful icons across the top lead to the main functions and settings. The left-hand sidebar and viewing pane change depending on what you're doing. Initially, the left-hand sidebar shows the number of threat … Read more
We occasionally run across online postings and get questions about whether radar-based cruise control and collision prevention systems being rolled out in new cars will set off radar detectors. Car radar systems work just like police radar guns, sending out a radio signal and detecting how that signal gets bounced back. Both radar systems use Doppler shift to figure out the speed of the vehicles in the path of the radio signal. Car radar systems use the data to match your speed to the car in front, while the police radar can get you a ticket. Because of this similarity, … Read more
My first radar detector only had a row of green and red lights and beeped when you got close to being nailed by a radar gun--awfully quaint in comparison to all that Cobra's 2009 radar devices can do. There are six new units in the line priced from $59.95 to $339.95, but the flagship models have all the new fun-fun features.
The XRS 9960G (pictured) and the XRS R10G can be used right out of the box with a GPS locator the size of a thumbdrive that plugs into a USB port on the side of the … Read more
As anyone who watches Dr. Phil has surely learned, standard polygraph tests measure responses such as blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate to detect anxiety associated with guilt or lying. But a new kind of lie detector test could skip the psychophysiological gauges and head straight to the brain for answers on a subject's veracity.
New Scientist pointed us to a patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization that proposes detecting lies via near-infrared spectroscopy. Basically, a device would shine near-infrared light through the scalp and skull into certain parts of the brain. Seeing how much light reflects back would indicate oxygenation levels, which vary depending on how active the brain is at a given point and could yield information on the neural pathways underlying the cognitive as well as the emotional aspects of deception.
To measure the light, the patent filers, headed up by Dr. Scott Bunce, a professor of psychiatry at Philadelphia's Drexel University College of Medicine, have come up with a flexible sensing device that would fit around the head. Neural activity could be transmitted to a processor through wired or wireless means, according to the patent, and results could be made available after post-test averaging, or in real time, while the subject is being tested.
The inventors cite heightened reliability as the main advantage of their method. Conventional polygraphy, they say, suffers from a lack of specificity in differentiating guilt from fear or anxiety, and that can contribute to an unacceptably high level of false positives. … Read more
We really don't know what to make of this gadget, for a variety of reasons. First there's the odd combination of features--memory card reader, flash drive, USB charger, and a UV counterfeit money detector, of all things. Then there's the $9.99 price, which can barely buy a keychain these days. But weirdest of all is the design: a ladybug.
One can't help but wonder what goes through the mind of an engineer who comes up with something like this. Actually, it's probably just as well that this twisted thought process isn't applied to … Read more
If you're one of those Wi-Fi moochers who's always looking for a discreet way to score a free connection, this gadget may be a perfect solution. Rather than having to boorishly whip out a obvious detector, you can pretend to be checking the time while surreptitiously looking for the nearest hot spot on a "Wi-Fi Detecting Watch."
This handy gadget promises to detect signals within a radius of more than 100 yards--an American-style football field--while featuring a full complement of wristwatch features such as a chronograph, alarm, calendar, and water resistance up to 328 feet. The … Read more
This idea is so obvious, no one thought of it until now. Uniden is launching a line of interoperable GPS devices and radar detectors. Uniden's Trax line of GPS devices offer standard functionality, such as route guidance, text-to-speech, and either a 3.5- or 4.3-inch screen. The Trax line uses NavTeq maps, and has what Uniden says is the fastest satellite acquisition among its competitors. Uniden's line of radar detectors is the LRD series, which detects X, K, KA, VG2, Laser, Ultralyte Laser L2, and Pro Laser 3 guns. Apparently, you will be able to plug the … Read more
Given the fascination that gadget makers have always had with the pen, something like this Wi-Fi detector was probably inevitable. After all, we've certainly seen stranger combo writing instruments, including everything from cameras and DVRs to SD card readers and, our personal favorite, aromatherapy.
The latest is a natural progression from the "Auto Detective Pen," which warns when you're in the vicinity of a wireless signal that could be used to operate a spy cam or other surveillance equipment. (Chinavasion makes both devices, but at least the hot-spot-finding version isn't based solely on paranoia.)
Using … Read more
The Transportation Security Administration has purchased a dozen cameras that use millimeter wave technology and sophisticated algorithms to screen crowds of rapidly moving travelers for weapons from up to 20 meters away.
The SPO threat detection system made by QinetiQ measures waves "naturally emitted by the human body," exposing "cold" objects such as metal, plastic, or ceramics concealed under clothing. A red light on the system's display alerts the operator if you're packing, so there's no need to rely on interpreting images on a screen. It also means no one is ogling your … Read more