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theEweekly Wrap

Police of the future-3D duck foot-Ubisoft hacked

The Future of the Force

A recent report, The Future of the Force: Police, Technology and Serving the Public, has revealed that Greater Manchester Police use Twitter more than any other force to interact with the community. This includes running a community reporter scheme that allows local people to accompany an officer for a day and blog about it.

The most interacted with force is the Met; the number of tweets the Met received in May during the Woolwich murder investigation indicated that citizens were using Twitter to pass on important information, rather than dialling 999.

During last summer's Olympics the police used CrowdVision to monitor the vast numbers of people attending events, particularly at the sailing in Weymouth. A digital camera was attached to a local bar which ran software to assess movement in real-time.

We are already accustomed to the idea of electronic tagging, but what will the future of policing hold, will tagging evolve to become GPS tracking? Police in Sussex have already deployed similar technology for tracking dementia patients who account for a quarter of all missing persons reports.

Dave Allen, one of the report's authors said the reality is likely to be far more mundane:

"There is evidence that the more stress public safety workers are under, the less cognitive ability they can devote to technology.

"Therefore it is important to consider what information is supplied to police officers and account for how they can digest it and interact with it.

"Technology shouldn't mean that police lose their community focus, in fact it should mean that they can serve them more effectively."

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Lucky duck gets 3D foot

A duck in Tennessee has been made a prosthetic foot with the help of a 3D printer and some silicone.

The bird was born with his left foot facing backwards and has spent his life struggling to waddle and swim like the rest of his feathered friends.

However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology Buttercup the duck has become the latest to receive a 3D printed prosthetic limb. The 3D printing company NovaCopy, took an imprint of Buttercup's sister Minnie's left foot to make the silicone replica which he now wears over a nylon sock.

According to his owners at the Waterfowl sanctuary Feathered Angels, adjusting to his new change of gait has been a bit of a struggle but overall Buttercup's walk is more "duck-like".

The success of Buttercup's new high-tech foot has been felt keenly in the social media world; his Facebook page now has well over 11,000 fans after Feathered Angels posted a video of his first 'normal' steps.

The fortunate eight month old is not the first to receive a 3D produced limb; in June 2011 a woman in the Netherlands was made a 3D-printed lower jaw from Titanium.

In May 2013 a South African carpenter Richard Van As, used open source software to produce a replacement hand that was largely made using a 3D printer. The robo-hand helped people with missing fingers clasp objects.

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Ubisoft hacked

Assassins Creed creators Ubisoft revealed that its user-account database was hacked, and has urged all users to change their passwords immediately.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the game makers stated that the privacy breach has potentially affected up to 58 million users though no personal payment information was stored on the www.ubi.com site.

Ubisoft, who also created Far Cry 3, have yet to release any further details about the attack, only that they have taken steps to begin a thorough investigation with the relevant internal and external security authorities.

Tuesday's hacking is not the first to occur under Ubisoft's roof. In July 2012 a security vulnerability was discovered in Ubisoft's browser extension, which opened an advantageous gateway into the users systems for hackers. The Assassins Creed developers quickly released a statement to reassure gamers that the issue had been resolved.

Most recently in April this year, the company were subject to an attack which was picked up on by news site Gameranx. The site reported that software pirates had exploited a security vulnerability in Ubisoft's Uplay launcher which they used to access the Far Cry3: Blood Dragon title.

The code for the title was released onto torrent sites alerting users of the breach; Ubisoft's statement at the time said that "No personal information was compromised."

For Ubisoft their recent streak of security breaches could not have come at a more unfortunate time with the development of their new game, Watch Dogs, in the works; of which the central element is computer hacking.

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