In which we link out to the tech news from Philly and elsewhere (when it matters) that slips through the cracks and make it way fun. See others here.
You’re probably being watched in Lancaster.
This city of 54,000 in the middle of a rural county of the same name just may be the most closely scrutinized place in the country, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
As many as 165 closed-circuit TV cameras that will soon bring constant live surveillance of very nearly every street, park and other public space. That would be more outdoor cameras than cities as large as Boston and San Francisco.
Two more things are unique about the camera network, as the L.A. Times story suggests: it was built and maintained by a private nonprofit group and few seem concerned about the privacy implications.
The group, which hires civilians to move and follow the cameras and dispatch police to suspiscious activity, hasn’t found much public outcry.
“Years ago, there’s no way we could do this,” said Lancaster’s police chief Keith Sadler told the Times. “It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and ‘1984.’ It’s just funny how Americans have softened on these issues.”
There is some question as to the effectiveness of cameras, though. In what the Times report calls the largest U.S. study, US Berkeley researchers evaluated 71 cameras that San Francisco put in high-crime areas beginning in 2005. In December, they released a report that found “no evidence” of a reduction in violent crime, though it did note “substantial declines” in property crime near the cameras.
Hat Tip Philly Tech News.
After the jump, the continued spat over a state film tax credit, robot-loving high schoolers and eight more of the week’s tech stories you shouldn’t miss, including our best read story of the last seven days.
In order of importance for your ease.
- The San Jose Mercury News reports that a study from the Association for Computing Machinery released last week, says a sizable gap in technology interest remains between boys and girls. Forty-five percent of 13-17 year old boys thought a computer science degree would be “very good,” compared to just one in ten girls.
- Geekadelphia reports on a recently released free iPhone application that helps you find upcoming concerts in Philadelphia. They can be searched by date and venue, and include features that locate venues, offer audio samples from performing bands and sell tickets.
- Inquirer film critic Carrie Rickey reports that with the state budget deadline next week and a lingering $3.2 billion deficit, a real debate remains regarding Pennsylvania’s $75 million film industry tax credit. The film credit is never broached in Philadelphia without the mention of Shooters, the tech-savvy Old City production company we profiled earlier this year. Relatedly, the Inquirer reported on the first ever Philadelphia Film Market.
- Information Week rags on Northern Liberties marketing firm Razorfish pretty harshly for what it asserts to be an outdated Web strategy. As Philly Tech News suggested: ouch.
- PE Hub reports on $2 million in new VC funding and what that means for a possible resurgence from RedLasso, the King of Prussia-based video-aggregation site. Check the SEC filing here, and read an interview we did with the firm’s CEO and president in March.
- A pun-heavy press release alerts us to the fact that TastyKake Baking outsourced the hosting and management of its voice and data networks to EvolveIP during their headquarters move to the Naval Yard. We covered EvolveIP last month.
- The Associated Press reports that the Italian trial against four Google executives has been postponed. The executives, who are accused of defamation and violating privacy for hosting a video that showed the abuse of an autistic youth, say the trial a threat to Internet freedom.
- The Inquirer reports on the trend of regional high schools adding FIRST robotics curriculum to encourage the study of engineering and related fields. The acronym FIRST means “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”
- Our Most Trafficked Story of the Week: Google confirms Street View tricycle on UPenn campus, reader snaps first pictures
Every Friday morning we make sure you didn’t miss anything with Friday Tech Links.-30-