Intro of brand-new innovation for deal processing

We sat down with our CTO, Matt Collinge, for some insights into this new innovation we are introducing on Monday 17th of September, which will allow us to pass more details in real time to your payment card issuers, about the transactions you have actually made with us.

How are deals processed?

When you make a payment, in addition to the amount the products or services expense, merchants send out through an MCC, or Merchant Classification Code, to your payment card processor. Every transaction that’s made with a credit or debit card will be designated an MCC, which represents the classification the particular merchant or business suits, in addition to the level of danger.

For more details on how we process deals see here:

How will this new technology change the way Curve procedures transactions?

We are altering the method we send out MCCs to our consumers’ hidden payment card issuer. Curve imitates a merchant during part of the transaction processing flow. Formerly, we sent the very same MCC for all transactions, that made sense as most merchants only suit one category. Curve is clearly not a ‘normal’ merchant so we discovered a way to innovate that enables us to send out more precise information on a transaction-by-transaction basis.

How will it impact our customers?

This has numerous advantages for Curve clients. For the large bulk the acceptance rate will improve, as the choice to accept or decline a deal will be made with more complete information. For clients who utilize other FinTech business, you will have the ability to see more info regarding your deals on your underlying payment cards’ statements, as we will now be passing more precise MCC info to your banks. Another benefit is that your purchases with Curve might make you card rewards for certain qualified payment cards.

Some transactions might result in charges being imposed by certain companies, reliant on their own terms of service. Your card provider will be able to identify money withdrawals from your payment card, therefore withdrawing cash from a credit card is not recommended.

Why now?

We are continuously working on discovering methods to simplify our clients’ monetary lives. This is a little, yet extremely amazing action towards understanding this vision.

Source

https://blog.imaginecurve.com/introduction-of-new-technology-for-transaction-processing/

California Just Banned Stupid Default Passwords That Are Easy To Guess

California, not content with stopping bots from pretending to be human, has passed a law to basically make stupid passwords illegal.

From January 1, 2020, the “Information Privacy: Connected Devices” bill will ban default passwords on new devices. That means things like “password” or “123456” will no longer be allowed – instead, all new passwords must be unique.

This doesn’t mean that if you use a password like that you’ll need to change it – although you really should. It actually applies to device manufacturers, telling them that any Internet-connected device can’t come with an easy-to-guess password installed.

“This bill… would require a manufacturer of a connected device… to equip the device with a reasonable security feature or features that are appropriate to the nature and function of the device,” the bill states.

The idea is this will enable a crackdown on botnets that prey on weak passwords to break into devices. If a device is pre-loaded with a weak password, then it makes it all the more vulnerable.

However, the bill has been criticized for not going far enough. The Register notes that it is a “massive missed opportunity”, and highlights a “dangerous lack of decent technical knowledge in the corridors of power.”

The main problem, they say, is that passwords are the “lowest-hanging fruit” to fix. The bigger problem is failing to update software, something people often have to manually do. And if they won’t change their password, then there isn’t much hope they’ll install updates when prompted.

As noted by Engadget, it’s also unclear how the bill will affect older devices from the 1980s or 1990s, which have passwords that are difficult to change.

But Tech Crunch said the bill was “better than nothing”, even if there was “room for improvement”. They highlighted previous attacks, like the Mirai botnet, which was able to use default passwords to take down various sites including Twitter and Spotify.

The bill comes just a week after California passed another bill to beef up digital security, with the state passing a law that prevents online bots from pretending to be human. This bill was designed to tackle bots that swung the 2016 US Presidential Election in favor of Trump – and now they’re taking on passwords, too.

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/technology/california-just-banned-stupid-default-passwords-that-are-easy-to-guess/

New Technology Yields Cheaper Ultrasound Maker

A group from the University of British Columbia has actually produced a portable, wearable ultrasound transducer that could reduce the cost of ultrasound scanners to about $100.

Standard ultrasound scanners utilize piezoelectric crystals that have the ability to create pictures of the within of the body and send them to a computer to create sonograms.

However, in the brand-new transducer, the scientists changed the piezoelectric crystals out with small vibrating drums made from a polymer resin– polymer capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers (polyCMUTs), which are less costly to manufacture.

“Transducer drums have usually been constructed out of stiff silicon products that need expensive, environment-controlled manufacturing processes, and this has obstructed their usage in ultrasound,” research study lead author Carlos Gerardo, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer system engineering at UBC, stated in a statement. “By utilizing polymer resin, we were able to produce polyCMUTs in less fabrication actions, using a minimum amount of devices, leading to significant cost savings.”

The device features low operational voltage and are extremely delicate, partially due to a pre-biasing condition on the membrane. The fabrication used easy devices with a minimized variety of fabrication steps required.

The sonograms it produced were at least as sharp and sometimes more in-depth than conventional sonograms produced with piezoelectric transducers.

“Considering that our transducer requires just 10 volts to operate, it can be powered by a mobile phone, making it ideal for use in remote or low-power locations,” co-author Edmond Cretu, a teacher of electrical and computer system engineering, said in a declaration. “And unlike rigid ultrasound probes, our transducer has the prospective to be constructed into a versatile product that can be twisted around the body for simpler scanning and more comprehensive views– without dramatically increasing expenses.”

The researchers now prepare to establish a number of various prototypes and eventually check the device in a clinical setting.

“You could miniaturize these transducers and use them to look inside your arteries and veins,” co-author Robert Rohling, a teacher of electrical and computer system engineering, stated in a declaration. “You might stick them on your chest and do live continuous monitoring of your heart in your every day life. It opens many various possibilities.”

According to the research study, the forecasted development for the ultrasound market went from $4.6 billion in 2012 to almost $7 billion by 2019.

The study was released in .

Source

https://www.rdmag.com/article/2018/09/new-technology-yields-cheaper-ultrasound-machine

AAA teaches older drivers new innovation in cars and trucks

Present

3-Day Forecast AAA teaches older drivers brand-new innovation in cars


Cropped picture of senior woman putting cars and truck type in ignition lock

Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights booked. This product may not be released, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

BALTIMORE (WMAR)- On Monday the AAA dealt with older drivers to teach them how to use new technology in cars.They also showcased new automobiles that might assist them drive much safer, aiming to keep senior drivers on the roadway as long as it is safe. The Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and

Education also highlighted low-cost devices that can be added to vehicles, for those who are not wanting to purchase a new vehicle. Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights booked

. This product might not be released, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Print this post Back to Top

Source

http://abc2news.com/lifestyle/travel/aaa-teaches-older-drivers-new-technology-in-cars

Next-gen Jaguar XJ to use more interior space and new technology

The current Jaguar XJ was among the very best designed full-size high-end saloons when it showed up in 2009. Among its disadvantages is that it does not have a really spacious cabin. According to a report from CarAdvice, Jaguar will repair this with the introduction of the next-gen Jaguar XJ.The next-gen Jaguar XJ bring the next wave of in-car technologies from Jaguar.Speaking to the media at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director, revealed that the Jaguar XJ will grow in size with the next lifecycle transformation.”It(next-gen Jaguar XJ )will have more space inside it,”Mr. Callum said. “Among the biggest criticisms XJ has actually had is that a lot of individuals believe the room inside the car is not big enough, “the design chief admitted.The totally revamped Jaguar XJ will bring with it the next wave of in-car technologies from Jaguar.

“It will certainly have new tech and it will be a flagship, and it will probably be the next vehicle we highlight now that I think of it,”Mr. Callum stated.”It’ll be constructed to match the innovation that will be reflected at that time,” he added.Like the present design, Jaguar will pitch the next-gen XJ as more of a driver’s vehicle than a typical European( read: German )luxury automobile bought to get chauffeured in.” A Jaguar is a sportier entity and it ought to show that. Yes it will take four(individuals )to market in comfort and high-end, however that’s where the similarities(with the Mercedes S-Class) stop. It will still be a motorist’s cars and truck.”The Jaguar XJ will go pure electrical in the fifth generation.While the current Jaguar XJ followed the design language presented by the

then newest Jaguar XF, the next-gen Jaguar will supposedly debut a brand-new design language. It is said to share a brand-new aluminium architecture with a brand-new Range Rover design internally described as the ‘ Variety Rover Road Rover’. While the existing design has a 4-door layout, the next-gen design will have a 5-door layout. Jaguar will release it as an electric cars and truck offering Tesla Design S-like dual-motor AWD setup.The brand new Jaguar XJ is anticipated to arrive around completion of 2018. Jaguar XJR575– Image Gallery Add to IAB Custom Mods on your flight? Get it featured on IAB
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Source

https://indianautosblog.com/2018/04/next-gen-jaguar-xj-offer-interior-space-new-technology-300743

Chinese Scientists Have Found A Way To Hide Secret Government Messages Using Sperm Whales

A team of Chinese researchers say they have developed a method to camouflage secret military communications in the sounds emitted by sperm whales in an effort to help the country’s submarines avoid detection, reports Hong Kong newspaper of record South China Morning Post (SCMP).

In a nutshell, the researchers can edit and embed audio signals into recorded whale sounds, then build a coding system around these signals to make them more secure. While the technology is new, the concept of hiding secret messages within a bigger picture is not. Steganography has been used since ancient times, such as when Da Vinci painted a hidden code in the Mona Lisa or when British and American armies sent communications using invisible ink during the revolutionary war. In a more modern twist, hackers have taken to the ancient warfare tactic by hiding malicious codes in benign software.

In today’s oceans, submarine reconnaissance systems are constantly scanning and sweeping underwater areas for submarine signals, but in the process they are filtering out the sounds of sperm whales and other marine mammals. Since sperm whales are found in oceans around the world, using their signals is a perfect Trojan Horse. Toothed whales (Odontocetes) like sperm whales use echolocation to hunt and navigate in light-deprived areas in a similar way to how blind bats can “see” the world around them; the sound is emitted from the whale’s melon (forehead) and reflects off of objects. Submarines use sound navigation and ranging (SONAR) in the same way, emitting pulses of sound waves that reflect off an object and come back to the ship to indicate where a target might be. 

Lead researcher Jiang Jiajia told SCMP that submarines can keep their sound pulses and other communications off enemy radars in one of two ways. They can either alter certain audio characteristics that essentially turn them into a difficult-to-crack code or send weaker signals that are harder to pick up – both strategies have their downfalls. First, encrypting audio signals could tip off listening enemies who are looking for unnatural sounds. On the other hand, weakened signals get weaker as they travel longer distances, creating the potential of missing their target.

Steganography, Jiajia says, is advantageous over encryption and other camouflage methods simply because it does not attract attention. Technology that encrypts the messages can further make underwater communication more secure, so that even if these secret signals are detected, they are more difficult to crack.

However, echolocation is an extremely sensitive process and it’s not clear how (or if) these altered sounds would impact whale populations.

[H/T: South China Morning Post]

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/chinese-scientists-have-found-a-way-to-hide-secret-government-messages-using-sperm-whales/

ODOT getting prepared to strike the roads with salt, plows and new innovation

COLUMBUS (WCMH)– With the potential for bad, snowy weather condition on the method, the Ohio Department of Transportation is preparing yourself to hit the roadways with rakes, salt and some new technology.ODOT is beginning to utilize

new tracking gadgets and cameras connected to their trucks to become more effective.”You’ve got electronic cameras

and telemetry that tell us speed of the car, how much material (e.g. salt)they’re dropping at any offered time, “said ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning. “It also offers us a map of where they were, so we can inform what area of highway had been raked or dealt with at what time.”Bruning stated so far there are 4 snow rakes in Licking County that are utilizing this brand-new technology.”This is all stemming from a research project we finished with the University of Akron where they actually looked at ways we might optimize our routes to be more effective, be more efficient with the salt and the product that we utilize and attempt to improve and eventually, that’s what we want to do year after year is to improve at our task,”he said.He stated these new tools will enable ODOT to make decisions on the road within seconds instead of minutes.” For instance, if we were seeing much heavier snow in eastern portion of a county, possibly we would move some of the plows from the western portion of the county over to the eastern part of the county to assist with where we’re seeing one of the most snow, “said Bruning.Currently, there are 234 trucks that are utilizing this brand-new technology across the state. ODOT’s hope is to have all 1,500 snow rakes geared up by winter season 2019 and Columbus geared up by winter 2018.

Source

http://nbc4i.com/2018/03/12/odot-getting-ready-to-hit-the-roads-with-salt-plows-and-new-technology/

New Innovation may Protect Soldiers From Blast-Induced Brain Injury

Researchers from theUniversity of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, a collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).

New technique to study of blast-induced TBI

Prior to this study, most research in this area focused on the results of rapid changes in barometric pressure, likewise known as overpressure. “This is the only research study so far to model the results of under-vehicle blasts on the occupants,” stated Dr. Fiskum. “We have produced new insights into the reasons for TBI experienced by vehicle occupants, even in the lack of considerable pressure changes.” The research has actually led to the development of materials and automobile frame style that significantly reduce injury brought on by under-vehicle explosions.Dr.

Fiskum and Dr. Fourney were the very first to show how the enormous velocity (G-force) that occupants of vehicles experience throughout under-vehicle blasts can trigger moderate to moderate TBI even under conditions where other important organs are untouched.

“Intense velocity can destroy synapses, damage nerve fibers, promote neuroinflammation, and harm the brain’s blood vessels,” said Dr. Fiskum. The researchers likewise clarified the molecular mechanisms accountable for this form of TBI.The findings are described in short articles released in the , with Julie Proctor, MS, UMSOM laboratory supervisor, as main author, and in Speculative Neurology, with Flaubert Tchantchou, PhD, UMSOM research partner, as main author, and in the Journal of Neurotrauma, with Rao Gullapalli, PhD, UMSOM professor of diagnostic radiology, as senior author.Mitigating G-force

experienced by car residents Dr. Fourney, Ulrich Leiste, PhD, assistant research study engineer in the Clark School’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, and doctoral researcher Jarrod Bonsmann, PhD, established highly advanced shock absorber develops that include polyurea-coated tubes and other structures to lower the blast acceleration experienced by car occupants by approximately 80 percent.” Essentially, it spreads out the application of force,” Dr. Fourney stated.

“Polyurea is compressible and rebounds following compression, leading to an outstanding ability to decrease the velocity.”These outcomes were combined with those of Dr. Tchantchou, who demonstrated that mitigation of g-force by the elastic frame styles virtually removes the behavioral changes in lab rats and loss of neuronal connections observed utilizing small scale automobiles with fixed frames, as released in the Journal of Neurotrauma.Peter Rock, MD, MBA, Martin Helrich Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, kept in mind,”The research team has actually dealt with an important scientific issue by recognizing a novel system to discuss TBI, crafted a service to the issue, and convincingly demonstrated improvements in morphology and behavior. This work has essential implications for enhancing outcomes in military blast-induced TBI and may be appropriate to causes of civilian TBI, such as automobile crashes.”Continued partnership between the labs of Drs. Fiskum and Fourney has the potential to lead to the next generation of armor-protected military lorries that will further secure occupants. An essential next action will be checking a bigger scale design.”If the information holds up for those, it will be true for full scale,”Dr. Fiskum said.Project advancement financing As part of MPowering the State, initial funding was provided by a 2009 UMB- UMCP collective seed grant awarded to Drs. Fiskum and Fourney. In 2013, the 2 were granted a$1.5 million

contract by the US Army to support their research study utilizing small models of under-vehicle explosions. An additional grant of $2.6 million was granted by the US Flying force, demonstrating that increasing the cabin pressure in aircrafts during air-evacuation of injury clients to a level higher than what is currently used improves outcomes following direct exposure of rats to TBI brought on by under-vehicle explosions, as published in the Journal of Injury and Severe Care Surgery.”Offered the complexities of today’s global health challenges, ingenious discoveries are significantly originating from the cooperation in between disciplines, such as medicine and engineering,”said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Teacher and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We are proud that the School of Medication is working in collaboration with other entities across the University System of Maryland, so that we can make the most of the effect we are having.”

Source

https://www.rdmag.com/news/2018/02/new-technology-may-protect-troops-blast-induced-brain-injury

new innovation is bringing a smile to dementia residents in Skegness

The faces of dementia residents living at a care home in Skegness have actually been illuminated by brand name brand-new technology.The care center has actually

been designed to help those at a later phase on their dementia journey to be more active and create moments of happiness.The Tovertafel-called the magic table in Dutch-has actually been introduced to homeowners at Meadows Sands in Skegness. It is an acclaimed development from the Netherlands which is renowned for its advanced technique to dementia care. It includes a series of interactive activities that are forecasted on a table. Have a look at a gallery below of the locals delighting in the Tovertafel … Dementia residents enjoying Tovertafel at Meadow Sands in Skegness

View gallery

The light activities motivate players to connect towards them and the lights subsequently respond to their hand and arm movements, permitting the residents to play with light, which is really magical.

Kelly Harrison, signed up manager at Meadows Sands, said: “I am beyond impressed at this great addition to our activities at the home.

“All my have enjoyed connecting with the magic table to see their faces light up is what makes my heart melt.

< meta itemprop=url material=https://i2-prod.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/incoming/article1768164.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Tovertafel.jpg >“Adding this activity for the homeowners and households is such a great thing as we are wanting to be the finest in supplying the method forward in dementia concentrated activities.”The Tovertafel creates a enjoyable, safe environment for all residents. The activities are formulated with the intent to trigger a sense

of reminiscence amongst gamers in order to motivate stimulation socially, cognitively and physically. As light simulations, activities are projected onto a

table and consist of gardening, fishing and popping balloons. Meadows Sands care home is situated on the seafront of Skegness boasting seaview rooms.It is a 26-bed family orientated care house that caters for those with dementia.Like our East Coast Facebook group Want to read all there is about Skegness, Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards?Well, you’re in luck, due to the fact that we have a Facebook group you

can follow to get everything directly into your newsfeed.You can chat with like-minded people, get involved in the area and share your stories.Give it a follow by clicking here.

Source

https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/first-lincolnshire-new-technology-bringing-1768061

As Making a Murderer returns, is the obsession with true crime turning nasty?

We cant get enough of cold-case shows such as Serial, especially when they lead to retrials. But while the genre has gone from lurid gore to upmarket investigations, an exploitative undertow remains

I didnt think all of these people would care, Steven Avery says, in wonder, at the beginning of the trailer for Making a Murderer: Part 2.

But people did care; they cared a lot. When the first series of Making a Murderer launched on Netflix in 2015, millions of people around the world were transfixed by the true story of Avery, a Wisconsin man convicted of murdering a local photographer, Teresa Halbach. There was a frenzy of interest about whether Avery had killed Halbach or whether he had been, as the series seems to suggest, a victim of police misconduct. Making a Murderer quickly became a bona fide cultural phenomenon, arguably the biggest true-crime documentary of all time.

Not everyone was thrilled by the documentarys success, however. Ive had 4,000 death threats since Making a Murderer first aired, says Ken Kratz, the prosecutor who helped put Avery behind bars. Ive had packages explode in my office. Ive had my car shot at. He sighs. I suspect all that craziness is going to be unleashed again. The sequel to Making a Murderer comes out on 19 October and Kratz is apprehensive about what news it could contain. Their tag line is something to the effect of: The case is not over yet, he says. Well, when is it over? From my perspective, this case is over.

Kratz may have had enough of Making a Murderer, but the rest of us clearly have not: the sequel has already drawn extensive press coverage. And its not just Making a Murderer. It seems as if many of us cant get enough of murder, full stop. In recent years, true crime has become a pervasive part of popular culture.

A lot of the credit, or blame, lies with the podcast Serial, which followed the case of Adnan Syed, convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000. When it launched in 2014, Serial smashed all podcast records. The first season has been downloaded more than 211m times and a third, which focuses on the Cleveland court system, launched last month. It has also been turned into an HBO show, The Case Against Adnan Syed, coming out soon.

Hae
Hae Min Lee. Photograph: Handout

True-crime successes continue to come thick and fast. Last year, for example, the LA Times podcast Dirty John, which details the violent web of deceit spun by supposed freelance anesthesiologist John Meehan, was downloaded more than 10m times in six weeks. It has also been turned into a TV show, starring Eric Bana, which will premiere next month.

Meanwhile, there are true-crime TV channels such as Investigation Discovery, with a nonstop schedule of shows such as Evil Twins, Evil Stepmothers and Evil Lives Here. For those who prefer a more hands-on homicide experience, theres an annual convention, CrimeCon, where you can mingle with other murder aficionados at events such as Wine & Crime or test your mettle at an interrogation experience. You can also shop for serial killer swag on Etsy, which boasts a disturbing amount of murder merch, from coffee mugs decorated with names of famous killers to blood-splattered hair-ties.

Michael Arntfield, a former police officer who now runs a cold-case thinktank, notes that our interest in ripped from the headlines stories of depravity is not a modern phenomenon. The genre, Arntfield says, really crystallised in 1842 when Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Mystery of Marie Rogt, a short story based on a contemporaneous killing. Since then, Arntfield says, the genre has been intermittently influential and has come and gone generationally. There has been nothing quite like the quality and quantity of attention were seeing today, however.

Once a guilty pleasure associated with rubberneckers and cheap, gory magazines, true crime has moved out of the gutter, says Jean Murley, author of The Rise of True Crime: 20th-Century Murder and American Popular Culture. It hasnt necessarily become highbrow entertainment, but it has a lot more cultural cachet. People arent ashamed of liking it the way they were 10 years ago. In a virtuous circle, a rise in high-quality true-crime content has created a wide audience, which means that more high-quality content gets made.

Technology has also assisted the gentrification of gore. As Arntfield notes, new production platforms such as Netflix allow for greater experimentation with long-form storytelling. Rather than telling a whodunnit in an hour, shows like The Staircase and Making a Murderer have taken true crime in a new direction which is more experiential.

The Staircase covers the trial of the novelist Michael Peterson for the murder of his wife, Kathleen, who was found dead at the bottom of the staircase in their North Carolina home in 2001. Eight episodes on the original trial were released on French TV in 2004. Another two episodes followed in 2013. After a retrial, three new episodes, together with the 10 previous, were released on Netflix this year. A story spanning almost two decades was condensed into an extremely bingeable but also nuanced series.

As well as changing how true-crime stories are told, technology has democratised who gets to tell them. As Arntfield says, it is relatively easy for anyone with a knack for narrative and an internet connection to dig up an interesting cold case and turn it into a podcast. Access was always the issue before. Unless you worked on the original case, you didnt have access to the information you needed to tell these stories. Now, however, were realising how many stories are out there. Theres a limitless amount of material.

The
The Staircase. Photograph: Netflix

Should it all be used, though? These arent just stories they are real peoples lives. No matter how tastefully it is done, is it not unethical to transform personal tragedies into public entertainment?

It depends on how you define entertainment, says Christopher Goffard, the host and creator of Dirty John. My aim is storytelling that explores important psychological questions with a respect for human complexity and ambiguity To insist on hard lines between journalism and entertainment is to assume that journalism has to be boring or its not authentic, which I dont buy.

Goffard also notes that true-crime stories can sometimes be more powerful than traditional journalism. One issue at the heart of Dirty John is something called coercive control, which is a form of psychological manipulation that involves things like gaslighting, microsurveillance and isolation of a domestic partner control that masquerades as love. I could have done a story quoting a handful of people who have endured this, and found some experts to talk about it, and it would have been a respectable story and maybe sparked some conversation. But I think the effect is hugely magnified when the story takes you deep inside one familys experience, so you get to hear what it felt like to live it.

Others, however, seem to have spent less time pondering the ethics of true crime.Take Payne Lindsey, the host of another hit podcast, Up and Vanished. In the first episode, Lindsey explains the genesis of the series, which examines missing-person cases. Like a lot of people, I had been pretty obsessed with the podcast Serial, and the Netflix series Making a Murderer, and I thought to myself: What if I made one of those? he says. So I literally just went to Google and started searching.

The satirists of the Onion parodied this sort of self-absorbed approach in a podcast called A Very Fatal Murder. Released this year, it features David Pascall, a narcissistic Brooklynite who decides to parachute into Bluff Springs, small-town America, to solve the death of a pretty young girl called Hayley Price and maybe win some awards in the process. So, what happened to Hayley Price? Pascall asks. And how can I get in on it? Katy Yeiser, the head writer on A Very Fatal Murder, notes that among the many true-crime tropes ripe for mockery is the self-aggrandising host exploiting a young womans death.

Sometimes, of course, true-crime programmes succeed where the authorities have failed and give a voice to victims who have been silenced. These stories arent just being told, they are being re-investigated. The internet allows people to trade theories, hunt down clues and influence the narrative.

One of the best examples was last years Netflix documentary The Keepers, which examined the unsolved murder in 1969 of a Baltimore nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik. The series follows two of her former students, now in their 60s, as they investigate how she was failed by patriarchal systems of power, from the Roman Catholic church to the Baltimore police force.

Sister
Sister Cathy Cesnik in 1969. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

The Grandma Nancy Drews Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub had been working with the journalist Tom Nugent to try to draw attention to the murder of Cesnik years before the documentary was made; only in 2014 did some film-makers came knocking. The current obsession with true crime, you could argue, helped propel Hoskins and Schaubs years of overlooked industry into the national spotlight.

Hoskins has worked hard to maintain the interest that The Keepers has sparked in the Cesnik case, using social media to crowdsource clues for the investigation. Shes in the middle of following a new lead when I call her at her Maryland home. There were supposedly two hunters hunting small game who found Sister Cathys body. Theyre only named in one article. I want to find them before theyre both dead. Hoskins has a team of about 30 volunteers, recruited via Facebook, trawling the internet in an attempt to identify these hunters.

Already The Keepers has led to important developments in the case. Shortly after the documentary was released, the Baltimore police department started to offer an online form for victims of sex offences related to the events it covered. Its surreal, says Hoskins. Im thinking Pope Francis probably knows who I am! Its hard for me to grapple with the fact that I have a voice now and that people are listening.

Australian podcast The Teachers Pet is another example of true crime making a difference. The podcast, which launched this year and has been downloaded more than 24m times, looks at the disappearance of 33-year-old Lyn Dawson from her home in Sydney in 1982. Nobody was charged in connection with the disappearance.

Hedley Thomas, the creator of The Teachers Pet, says the information that came in after episode one of the podcast aired changed the course of the whole series. Very quickly people started contacting me, wanting to share information and things theyd witnessed, so I had to rewrite the next two episodes. The fact that The Teachers Pet wasnt entirely scripted but unfolded week by week, he says, made a big difference to the material that I started to discover. It made listeners feel that they were an active part of the investigation.

When I first went to the police to see if theyd cooperate, he recalls, they didnt want to have anything to do with the podcast. But during the series, people were contacting me that the police hadnt heard about. Suddenly there was this change of attitude. The police commissioner himself knew he had to utilise the momentum of what was happening and get new information into the hands of investigators.

Lyn Dawsons family, says Thomas, are delighted by the success of the podcast. Lyns brother has said that the podcast has given them the best hope they have ever had that this case will lead to a prosecution, which should have happened years ago. However, not all victims families are so thrilled that old wounds are being reopened. While stories such as Making a Murderer, Serial or The Staircase, which seek to exonerate convicted killers, have been praised for exposing flaws in the criminal justice system, they have also been accused of exploiting the deaths of the women involved and preventing their families from getting closure.

In 2016, the public interest that Serial created in the Adnen Syed case resulted in his conviction being overturned and a judge ordering a new trial. While many Serial fans were ecstatic about this development, Hae Min Lees family lamented the fact that it had reopened wounds few can imagine. In a rare statement the family said: It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime when so few are willing to speak up for Hae.

Appeals by prosecutors have delayed Syeds retrial, but it is looking likely that it will happen soon. This will, no doubt, cause a new surge of media interest and make it even harder for Lees family to make peace with the past. The same is true of the sequel to Making a Murderer. While Halbachs relatives have largely remained quiet about the Netflix series, they have said the show traumatised the family all over again.

Whatever the ethical arguments about true crime, its popularity seems unlikely to run out any time soon. At some point down the line, using a podcast or serial documentary to tell true-crime narratives will become less trendy, A Very Fatal Murders Katy Yeiser says. But true crime will not go away. It will just be told through some other or new medium. We will never grow tired of murder.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/oct/16/making-a-murderer-is-our-obsession-with-true-crime-turning-nasty-serial