Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Internet Eyes: Combing live CCTV footage to catch shoplifters

A new website gives people the opportunity to become online store detectives by watching CCTV footage - plus the chance to win cash if they spot a theft. Giles Turnbull reports

If you have ever wanted to join the fight against crime, a new website called Internet Eyes might be the one you've been looking for - but be prepared to pay for the privilege.

The site says it wants to help police and private security services with the task of monitoring thousands of CCTV camera feeds from shops and other premises all over the country.

When you sign up at Internet Eyes ( http://interneteyes.co.uk/), you are offered the chance to watch hours and hours of live CCTV footage.

You don't get to choose which cameras you see, they are picked at random - but you won't see any from your postcode area.

If you see something suspicious, you click on an alert button and the owner of the premises will be sent a text message and a freeze-frame picture from the camera feed.

Everything is kept anonymous: you don't know which shops you're looking at - and they don't know who is watching. But if you send an alert that turns out to help prevent crime, you earn points - and points mean prizes.

Every month, the Internet Eyes viewer who scores the most points wins £1,000 in cash.

There are some buts, though: you can only raise the alarm five times in one month - so you have to be sure.

And you have to pay to take part. It costs £1.99 per month, or £12.99 for a whole year. There's no guarantee, of course, that you'll ever see anything suspicious.

So is this crime-fighting for the modern age, or is it a strange new form of online gaming? What really motivates people to sign up for something like this - the chance to make our streets safer, or the chance to win a grand?

PLAY CHESS FOR FREE

Fancy a game of chess? Lichess is a great new web-based chess game made by people who truly love the game. There are no adverts and there's no need to sign up or register. You can play against the computer, or against a friend. Every game has its own web page and a chat room if you enjoy taunting conversation while you play. Make your first move at http://lichess.org/

LET IT SNOW

Fast becoming as seasonal as Slade's classic Christmas song Merry Xmas Everybody, the UK Snow map (www.uksnowmap.com) grabs data from Twitter and turns the nation's snow moans into a map. If you see snow and you have a Twitter account, you can join in by tweeting your postcode, the hashtag "£uksnow" and a score out of 10. The site aggregates all this information and shows an almost real-time view of how much snow is falling across the UK. Even if the snow near you has melted, it's worth bookmarking this site now, before the next snowfall comes.

THE ROCKS BENEATH

Ever wondered what your house is built on? The British Geological Survey knows - and has published huge piles of geological data on the internet for everyone to see. Go to www.bgs.ac.uk/opengeoscience/ and click the maps link - from there you can drill down to your street and see exactly what kind of rock your home is built on. If you want more geological information on the move, there's even an iPhone app.

BROWSING AROUND ... THE NATIVITY IN SCHOOLS

:: The Nativity story for children

www.topmarks.co.uk/christianity/nativity/

:: How to make Nativity costumes

www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-nativity-scene-costumes

:: An online advent calendar

www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Xmas/calendar/

:: Print-your-own Nativity colouring sheets

www.activityvillage.co.uk/the-nativity-story.htm

:: Festive knitting patterns

knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/christmas.php

:: And for Nativity on the go - here's an app

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/jesus-comic-nativity/id342964098?mt=8

THING OF THE WEEK

:: Remember the touch computers in Star Trek? Someone's made one

www.youtube.com/user/klapstoelpiloot£p/a/u/0/2vOvDFxn76g

Giles Turnbull has a website at gilest.org

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