Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008 Technology

Software to Make Physical Keys Based on Images


Researchers from the United States managed to develop a software algorithm able to make a real key based on its image, regardless of the angle at which the key was photographed or distance. Scientists named their project Sneakey and its initial goal is to alarm people randomly placing their keys in the open or showing pictures of their keys online.

Professor Stefan Savage of University of California, San Diego (UCSD), noted that today a lot of people place the images of their credit cards online but with their name and the number of the card greyed out. He outlined that the same attention should be paid to keys. It is worth mentioning that Professor Savage played an important role in developing the algorithm.

Together with his students, Professor Savage surfed the Internet for free images of keys. The team gathered a collection of thousands of images, found on various photo sharing sites, including Flickr. All the pictures were clear enough to make copies of keys. The algorithm is also able to replicate keys using images taken by a cell phone camera.

In order to demonstrate the abilities of the software, scientists placed a camera with zoom on a distance of 60 meters away from a key. In the first attempt, the software was able to make an 80 percent accurate copy of the key from the picture. In just three tries (which takes about 5 minutes) scientists managed to open every lock. The replication procedure is rather easy. It takes the program about 30 seconds to figure out the ridges and grooves on a photographed key. However, it takes more time to actually cut the key, about 1 minute. Scientists were able to open locks that are most often used in the United States, reports ABC News.

"I think that this work would be really easy for someone else to reproduce. Someone familiar with signal processing, mat lab, and image transformation could do it in two days if they are good," said Savage.

Scientists proved that it is very easy to decode keys. Most keys that are sold, usually have only 4 to 6 different numbers. The number means how many ridges or valleys the key has.

"The premise is that a key holds some kind of secret that lets you unlock something. But it's a very funny secret; it's a secret that can easily be seen," the professor said.

According to Marc Weber Tobias, who works as an attorney and security expert and who dealt with locks since he was a boy, the current project is really important in outlining the disadvantages of conventional cylinder locks. However, he is concerned with the fact that today there are millions of cameras with high resolution and almost anyone standing at a distance of, let's say 1km, can take images of keys which would later be replicated.

"This isn't the biggest security threat that you might face. But you should only take your keys out when you are going to use them," outlined Savage.

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Expert Witness Says Utah Doctor's Wife Died of drowning

Though her man is on trial for her murder, A cause of death has never been decided on for Michele MacNeill. at this moment, A noted forensic pathologist and toxicologist testified that he believes the former beauty queen died consequent to drowning.

doctor. Joshua Perper, A retired medical examiner who was called as experienced witness at the murder trial of Dr. Martin MacNeill, Said that not only did he believe the mother of eight was drowned, But drugs could also played a role in her April 11, 2007 end.

He said the report that MacNeill regurgitated more than seven cups of water during the resuscitation process also played a role in assisting him reach his conclusion.

doctor. Martin MacNeill, 57, Is on trial for that April 11, 2007, end of his wife, Michele MacNeill, 50. Prosecutors allege MacNeill persuaded his wife to have plastic surgery so he could dope her up during her recovery and then drown her all so he could pursue a relationship with a mistress, Gypsy Willis.

MacNeill's defense lawyers said coronary disease were a contributing factor in her death. Perper said his athlean-x review MacNeill's case found no evidence that she died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.

Utah State Chief health Examiner Dr. Todd Grey testified on Thursday that a drowning scenario was possible.

dr. Maureen Frikke, A former associate medical examiner who died in 2008, Certified that MacNeill died of heart disease, high blood pressure and inflammation of the heart. That report was amended after Grey reviewed possible after Frikke's death and changed the ruling to "Undeterminable,

despite the amended report, Grey told legal court, "I did not feel I could reach a the verdict of homicide,

Doctor's Daughter faced Him About Over Medicating Mom

dads and moms before Michele MacNeill was found lifeless in the bathtub, One of her eldest children, Alexis Somers, Confronted her dad about allegedly over medicating her mom as she recovered from surgical treatment.

After Alexis Somers found her mum "totally sedated" One day after she came home from a healthcare facility on April 4, 2007, Somers, Who was then a medical student, Said she shared with her father, doctor. Martin MacNeill, "I'm taking over,

Somers said her mother was a reluctant plastic surgery patient who didn't like taking all of the drugs her physician husband insisted she take during her recovery.

Watch an entire '20/20' Report: lifetime of Lies

After choosing cocktail of pills that left her sedated, Somers said her mother told her she no longer wanted MacNeill to dispense her medication since she couldn't see your bandages on her face.

"She actually had me take out each and every pill from the pill bottles and she wanted to feel what the pills feel like in her fingers, So if my dad experimented with give her anything, She would know what he was giving her, Somers menti one d.

from April 10, 2007, Somers said she left her family's home in nice Grove, utah, To go back to medical school in Henderson, Nev.

Somers told the court her mother "Was feeling effectively" when you are she left.

morning, The mother of eight was found by her 6 year old daughter subconscious in a bathtub full of brown water. something like two hours later, Michele MacNeill was lifeless.

The demo, Which is in its third of five slated weeks, Has played out like a soap opera in a legal court room.

Willis, The mistress who prosecutors allege was MacNeill's motive for homicide, Testified that she moved into the household's home days after ukraine girls Michele MacNeill's death and that she was hired to work as a nanny.

Four of MacNeill's daughters told the jury that Willis never looked after your kids, And preferably instead was "Goo eye" At their pop, Who months in the evening, Proposed to her with a four and a half carat wedding ring.

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