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Jan. 22nd, 2018 – Domestic Travel Now Requires “REAL ID” or Passport!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

No change today can happen without the involvement of technology. Technology has grown to be an everyday use which has become the core function of everything that we do as a species. For this reason, the Federal Government has embraced this reality much faster than everyone else. One of the ways that the government has managed to implement technology based solutions and now laws, is through changing the way how everyday functions are completed or accepted. An example of this is the government standard for acceptable identification. Most people think of an ID as going down to your local DMV and getting a state issued ID or using your Driver’s license. Well, thanks to the Real ID Act of 2005 which was signed into law by President Bush over 12 years ago.

Many people are unaware of the Real ID act of 2005, but as January 22nd, 2018, most anyone traveling in the United States on an airplane will know the Real ID act of 2005 and how it affects them.  How will everyone that takes an airplane become aware? Well that is a good question, and IT GURUS OF ATLANTA has the answer. As of January 22nd, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer accept Drivers Licenses or State issued IDs that are not part of the REAL ID system as acceptable forms of identification to travel domestically from state to state. This means that if you are traveling from New York to California, you will need to have a passport, or some other federal government issued ID to be able to travel.  With this now being December, most people already have tickets to travel to various destinations domestically in January by now or months after.  So, for all airline travelers that travel on or after January 22nd, 2018, this applies to you.

The change will go into effect for 25 out of the 50 states immediately. The states that still allow travel domestically with a state issued ID that are not REAL ID compliant will be under a strict guideline to comply to the mandated law.  It is highly advised that for those that do not have a passport, that getting one should be at the top of the agenda prior to boarding an aircraft. People may find that they can board an airplane into a destination, but they cannot board their flight going home or connecting flight due to the mandated law.  With getting a passport not being a mandatory requirement, few people have a passport to travel. This law forces the hand of Americans to now get a passport to be compliant.

President Bush in 2005 signed this $82 billion-dollar military spending bill which required all American IDs to be electronically readable and federal approved.  Today, all state IDs are different including driver’s licenses. Each state has their own standard for how their IDs look and how they are deemed compliant for that state.  With so many different IDs available per state, going from state to state makes the validity of an ID hard to determine.  The focus behind Real ID is to put an end to this current state of no standard.  This action was derived from the commission report recommendation after the attack on the United States on 9/11. More secure IDs is the determining factor to reduce terrorism.

All state issued ID cards will be required to have a minimum amount of data backed up by verifiable documents. This data contained on the ID cards must be accessible by other states including the federal government.  For a state to be compliant, the ID must contain the person’s full name, signature, date of birth, gender, ID number, physical address, front-facing photograph, and all this data should be machine readable via a barcode scanner.  Facial recognition is a requirement for the IDs to be compliant for the government to link the data to individuals.  Does this sound like RFID? Well it does, but fortunately for now, RFID requirements are not on the table, even though these activities seem to be priming society for its introduction as a mandatory requirement.

 

The states that are currently compliant with Real ID are as follows:

Nevada

Utah

Arizona

New Mexico

Colorado

Wyoming

South Dakota

Nebraska

Kansas

Texas

Arkansas

Iowa

Mississippi

Tennessee

Alabama

Georgia

Indiana

Ohio

West Virginia

Florida

North Carolina

D.C.

Maryland

Delaware

Connecticut

Vermont

All other states either have an extension to become compliant or are under review. Acceptable forms of Real ID are a Green Card, Passport, Military ID, or a State Issued Real ID. No other license or IDs will be accepted for domestic travel starting January 22nd, 2018.

 

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Real-Time Facial Recognition – Dash Board and Body Cams!

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

The criminal element seems to get smarter and smarter by the moment. For these reasons there are several advancements in technology that law enforcement does not share to stay ahead of the criminal mind, while not fully disclosing what their capabilities are.  One technology in law enforcement that has become public knowledge is their facial recognition software which allows them to use pictures or sketches of individuals to check their criminal, warrant, missing persons, and illegal immigrant databases.  The software connects to several different databases and can take some time if all it has is facial recognition. It takes that much longer if it is a partial image, if its blurry, or no description is added such as name, address, dob, etc.  For this reason, people are detained to allow the software time to run and fully check the various databases and ensure the records being displayed are the records for the person law enforcement is seeking or already has in custody.

Another new technology which has been added to the law enforcement arsenal is the use of body cams. This addition has come not only to recognize the criminal element, but also to lawfully protect civilians and officers in the event of a negative interaction. The footage can be viewed and used once the camera is recovered and the images downloaded into the system. Officers and civilians alike have new found confidence in knowing that interactions with each other now have a historical map for others to see the event as it unfolded. This technology is still being introduced to all aspects of law enforcement and is rapidly becoming the standard for all to follow.

With both facial recognition software and body cams, law enforcement has a greater edge at continuing to spot criminals and their activities. But, there is more.  A Boston based startup company called Neurala specializing in Artificial Intelligence, has teamed up with Motorola build what they call “real-time learning for a person of interest”. The “real-time learning for a person of interest” is a term they are using to describe an “unnamed” system that incorporates both body cam and facial recognition.  The founder of the startup company, Massimiliano Versace, already has patents pending on this AI version of facial recognition software.

Versace developed a technology which is based on using AI to rapidly go through codes which are developed through facial recognition software.  By using AI to go through the codes, the information is processed faster and can be harnessed from even smaller computers.  By using smaller computers, Versace’s intent is to place the micro-computers into body cams.  Some may say a smaller computer is not a big deal, but for world of technology and computing, that is a very big deal. The ability to utilize bulky applications on a smaller computer means less storage space and less processor requirements to complete complex jobs that larger machines are used to complete today.

A deeper look at how the system works is that, the AI would essentially network between each other in the various body cams the same a hive would operate. They would constantly be on in a camera going through a stream of images and rapidly sharing the information between databases and each network of body cams. In this case, the AI would and could capture an image that a law enforcement official might not have or alert an official of the presence of a criminal or missing person that is nearby caught by another body cam.  More importantly, the AI would constantly be updated in real-time, which means that the minute a criminal is apprehended, or a missing person is found, the image would be removed, and the databases would be instantly updated. The same scenario would take place for new criminals or new missing persons.

There are many possibilities for this new technology that it will change the face of how not only law enforcement detects criminals and missing persons, but also how computers interact. Artificial Intelligence is a technology which is rapidly gaining momentum as we integrate it into homes, smartphones, computers, and the way we live. IT GURUS OF ATLANTA will steadily provide updates concerning Neurala, Motorola, and how they plan to deploy this evolving technology. Clearly Artificial Intelligence is changing the landscape of how we interact with each other. Just how far we go, stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter as we explore and learn together.

IT GURUS OF ATLANTA LLC

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3355 Lenox Road Atlanta, GA 30326

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(888) 511-0143 OR (706) 406-5914

“As a registered SAM.gov company, we service government entities across the entire US and Canada”

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Project Loon – Internet and Phone Access without Towers or Cables!

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Sometimes disaster brings out the opportunity for technology to take that first step for it to become mainstream. However unfortunate the disaster may be, the technology provides the solution to allow communications to continue that the disaster struck areas can get the assistance that they need. Even though we are at the cusp of breakthroughs and our technology is state of the art, detecting people or their ability to let the world know that they need aid can be limited in a disaster. A perfect example is Peru and recently Puerto Rico.  Both countries have been ravaged by natural disasters which has left the countries with very little ability to communicate with the outside world. Families have been dissipated and homes have been destroyed due to these events. With families that are in other countries that could provide vital aid or governments that need to view the damage, communication and the internet is key.

IT GURUS OF ATLANTA brought to light the steps that different industry leaders such as Facebook, Google, and X (owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet) are taking to bring internet to the rest of the world that don’t have the sophisticated towers of major cities through giant balloons. Many major organizations such as Facebook have tested the possibilities and are still vetting approval for testing to take place in major cities, but are getting pushback due to ISP providers have not collaborated with these companies and the state/federal restrictions, not to mention FAA guidelines for this type of technology to be dispersed. One company out of the masses was granted approval to service another country during their disaster. That country was Peru and their ISP has been allowing testing to be done with X.  The telecommunications carrier called Telefonica (TEF) has been working with X for months prior to their disaster to get ahead of other countries with this technology. Fortunately for Peru, their gamble to allow X to perform their tests gave them the optimal coverage that they needed to communicate with the rest of the world by providing the much-needed internet and voice services during their disaster. The testing which was done and the disaster usage of this technology has catapulted X to new horizons and pushed this technology to the forefront of not only disaster recovery, but also stretching the barriers of communication out to rural areas.  The possibilities of this technology and its uses are endless.

X has dubbed the name of this project as “Project Loon”. Project Loon has become ever increasingly visible with all the hurricane activity which has been hitting the US coastlines and islands with devastating results. One of the major islands for the US which is currently suffering is Puerto Rico. After damaging floods from Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria again hit the island. Since the aftermath of these two disasters, the island is still having power issues, and typical communication methods such as cell phones or the internet are incapable of being used. Power for much of the island is still out and families within the US are devastated by not knowing the fate of loved ones that have been living in Puerto Rico during the storm. Fortunately, the US government has been keeping an eye on Project Loon and noticed its benefit to Peru. Due to the devastation and the success that Peru had with Project Loon, the US government has granted an experimental license for X to provide communications to Puerto Rico.

This approval by the Federal Communications Commission is exactly the type of boost that X has needed to make its mark in the US. It is the opportunity for X to show that Project Loon can support disasters and give the visibility that the world needs to communicate with disaster struck countries. Alphabet, which owns X and Google is has conquered the first hurdle with the approval by the government. However, the approval is only the first barrier that had to be overcome. Unlike Peru, Puerto Rico had not been testing Project Loon before the disasters took place. The problem is Project Loon extends the coverage of a local telecommunications company and distributes those signals through the balloons hovering over the island. Without the testing and collaboration of a pre-designated telecommunications provider, testing and integration must be done with both systems. These tests are vital to ensure that the system works successfully with the designated telecommunications carrier. Even though the system has been proven to work in Peru with Telefonica, these are two different systems, with one that has already been tested and one has not. Despite the hurdles and barriers in front of Project Loon, they have assured that they are making steady progress to successfully launch communications.

Disasters are horrific and never good for people, neighborhoods, cities, or countries.  As unpredictable as natural disasters are, it is the responsibility of the country to ensure that the people enduring this hardship can communicate at the bare minimum. The US is trying to get Puerto Rico back in good standing through the Loon Project which can not only help Puerto Rico, but also connect parts of the country and the world that are in lack of internet and voice. We at IT GURUS OF ATLANTA commend X with their efforts to bring this technology mainstream and look forward to their continued growth to help countries such as Puerto Rico get and stay connected to the rest of the world.

IT GURUS OF ATLANTA LLC

“All Your Company Information Technology Needs Under One Company”

3355 Lenox Road Atlanta, GA 30326

www.itgurusatl.comcustomerservice@itgurusatl.com|

(888) 511-0143 OR (706) 406-5914

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