CALL FOR VOICE ID SYSTEMS
Top cops have raised doubts over the viability of "biometric"
ID cards and have thrown their weight behind calls for the rival
Voice Protocol Technograph system. Home Secretary David Blunkett
is set to go head to head with police chiefs who say the VPT devices
provide a cheaper and more stable identification system which will
not intrude on the civil rights of the general public. Chief Superintendent
Alan Steel of the Metropolitan police called for extra funding for
the VPT, which has already been piloted by forces in Switzerland
While the proposed ID card would have to be carried by all UK citizens,
the portable VPT devices are distributed only to police officers
and are used only to make formal identifications of anyone the police
wish to question.
How Does It Work ?
Suspect speaks into the onboard VPT aperture.
Voice is recorded as a waveform and uplinked to the nearest command
Waveform is checked against a database and returned within seconds
to the portable kit as a match or a query.
Said Steel, "Aside from the civil rights issue, there is a
practical problem because iris recognition systems are no good for
people who have two different coloured eyes, like David Bowie for
example, or for people who wear contact lenses".
SERIAL KILLER TARGETS SONGWRITERS
A third singer-songwriter has been killed in what police now concede
is the work of a serial killer. Jamie Brown, whose first album was
nominated for a Mercury music prize, was shot outside his home in
Brighton in the early hours of Saturday morning. It is understood
that he was killed by a single shot to the head in what detectives
describe as "a cold-blooded execution." Brown, whose most
famous song, "Help Me Put Together The Jigsaw Of My Heart"
was covered by Martine McCutcheon, had just completed a UK tour
and was due to begin recording a new album next week. His death
brings to three the number of singer-songwriters murdered in the
In January, acoustic artist Jake Fraser died in a hail of bullets
outside a recording studio in London and in May of this year Darrel
King was killed by two shots to the chest as he lay asleep in his
home. King's single "Look Martha, It's Raining Again",
subsequently reached number one in the UK charts.
Profiling expert Gillian Cross is helping in the hunt for the killer.
Said Cross, "We are talking about a single man, aged between
25-45, who has been through a failed relationships and whose parents
may have divorced while he was in puberty. We suspect that he buys
electronic music such as that by artists like Moby or indeed The
In the wake of police advice for thoughtful singers to take extra
security precautions, Damien Rice is said to have gone underground
and David Gray has been flown to a mystery island where, say his
record company, he is working on a concept medley as a tribute to
the slain artists.
A giant trumpet has been found embedded in the cliffs of Dover on
England's south coast. The trumpet is over 100 metres long and is
reckoned to weigh more than a ton. Baffled archeologists called
in music historian Gerard Keen who says the mystery horn dates from
the turn of the 19th century. The find was made after a land slip
last month pushed several tons of rock into the sea, revealing the
giant trumpet embedded in the cliff face.
Scot Lorne Walton was
visiting friends in the area and was one of the first on the scene.
He told wreckered "You ought to have seen this thing. Like,
it was massive. A right big trumpet it was."
Pop diva Britney Spears is pregnant.
Said to be overjoyed by the news,
the world's favourite babe has already decided on a name for the child.
"Whether it is a boy or a girl, she is going to name it Soul",said
Britney is keeping mum about the dad, but it is rumoured
that she became pregnant whilst on a secret love weekend with ex boyfriend
hunk Justin Timberlake. New beau James Brown is said to devastated
by the news and has refused Britney's appeal for him to be godfather.