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Michigan police 3-D printing murder victim’s fingers to try to unlock his phone

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Police in Michigan used 3-D printing to reproduce a murder victim’s finger in order to unlock his phone.

Fusion.com reported Thursday that lab director Anil Jain of Michigan State University was approached by police in June and asked for his help unlocking a dead man’s cell phone.

Jain is a computer science professor who specializes in biometric identifiers like “facial recognition programs, fingerprint scanners and tattoo matching.” His job is to try and make these identifiers as difficult to fake as possible.

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Fusion’s Rose Eveleth said that police confidentiality prohibits her from revealing the name and exact details of the case, but “(T)he gist is this: a man was murdered, and the police think there might be clues to who murdered him stored in his phone. But they can’t get access to the phone without his fingerprint or passcode. So instead of asking the company that made the phone to grant them access, they’re going another route: having the Jain lab create a 3D printed replica of the victim’s fingers. With them, they hope to unlock the phone.”

Ph.D. student Sunpreet Arora explained to Eveleth that the police had the murder victim’s fingerprints, which were taken when he was alive. Using scans of the prints, Arora created 3-D replicas of all 10 fingers.

“We don’t know which finger the [victim] used,” Arora explained. “We think it’s going to be the thumb or index finger — that’s what most people use — but we have all ten.”

Normal reconstructions of fingerprints are insufficient to unlock a phone because the phone’s fingerprint reader is what is known as “capacitative.” They rely on the closing of tiny electrical circuits. When your fingers touch the capacitative circuits, their ridges cause the circuits to come together and conduct a charge, generating an image of the fingerprint.

Plastic 3-D printing material doesn’t carry electrical charges like human skin, so Arora coated the artificial fingerprints in a thin layer of metallic particles, enabling the scanner to read them.

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Arora and Jain have yet to hand over the artificial fingerprints to the police. More testing is currently in order, Arora said.

Since the domestic terror attack in San Bernardino, California last year, the topic of cell phone privacy and security as pertaining to police investigations has been hotly debated. One San Bernardino shooter’s phone was locked with a passcode, which the FBI sought Apple’s help in breaking.

Legal expert Brian Choi told Fusion, “The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination. Here, the fingerprints are of the deceased victim, not the murder suspect. Obviously, the victim is not at risk of incrimination.” This makes the case different from situations where an accused party owns the phone.

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‘Why do we need camo in space’: Trump’s Space Force ridiculed for woodland camouflage uniforms

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On Friday, the United States Space Force released an image of their new uniforms on Twitter.

The image shows a Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) for a four-star general in a woodland camouflage pattern, with a matching camo nametape.

https://twitter.com/SpaceForceDoD/status/1218335200964464650

However, many people were confused as to why the Space Force would use uniforms designed to blend in on earth.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/PostCultRev/status/1218351691021484032

Sorry for the question but why do we need camo in space?

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BUSTED: National Archives caught doctoring exhibit to remove criticism of President Trump from women

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The National Archives were caught editing an artifact from the Trump administration to remove criticism of the president, according to a bombshell new report in The Washington Post.

The newspaper reported on a "large color photograph" at the National Archives exhibit marking the centennial of women's suffrage.

"The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement. But a closer look reveals a different story," the newspaper noted.

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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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