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Australia’s “Electric Nose” Sniffs Out Graffiti Vandals On Public Trains

The high-tech “Mousetrap” can sense when graffiti vandalism is taking place, allowing train conductors to watch and make arrests in real-time.

One of Sydney's vandalized trains, via Wikipedia Commons.

Forget drug-sniffing dogs, the new tool to fight broken-windows-style crime is a cyber miracle. Recently Sydney, Australia unveiled a high-tech system called Mousetrap that literally smells out graffiti crime in real-time on public transit. With a series of sensors embedded in trains and carriages, it has quietly been used to combat defacement on public systems for over a year. It works by sensing when a graffiti assault is underway via an “electronic nose” sensor that picks up on paint fumes. An alert is transmitted to railway security, allowing them to view live-stream video of the vandalism. The rail network control room is then able to track where the crime is taking place, and undercover police officers are sent to make the arrest. The sensors are so sophisticated they can even decipher whether marker, pen, or spray paint is the medium of choice.

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#IllRideWithYou Is an Exercise In Viral Empathy

Australians offer Muslims company during their commutes in the wake of the Sydney siege.

As it was revealed that the gunmen holding victims hostage at an Australian chocolate shop were possibly linked to Islamic State militants, Australian Muslims on Twitter expressed fears of retaliation from angered Australians. On Facebook, a woman named Rachel Jacobs wrote that she witnessed a Muslim woman on the train silently remove her hijab (headscarf) as news of the hostage situation spread. “I ran after her at the train station. I said, ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with u’. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute – then walked off alone,” wrote Jacobs.

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Spencer Tunick's Latest: 5,000 Nude Bodies at the Sydney Opera House

As you can see from this photo, some 5,000 naked people gathered outside of the Opera House in Sydney, Australia for Spencer Tunick's latest...

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