Sunday, October 14, 2007

Learning from The X-Files

I've mentioned before that I am an idiot when it comes to modern technologies related to computers and the internet. I always find myself in awe whenever I witness what computers and cyber techonlogies can do for us. One such occasion was when I was watching The X-Files some time ago.

Just for the record, I don't spend a lot of time watching TV. I am NOT one of those creatures who would wait for a favourite TV program to come on air on Sundays, just to be disappointed when that weekly program had to be cancelled to make way for Sure Heboh.

Anyway, coming back to The X-Files, there was one episode where Agent Mulder obtained a lead from a tape recording of a CCTV. I found myself in awe of the state-of-the-art video-enhancing software the FBI uses in its investigative work. From a blur footage, the said software was able to "enhance" the images to the extent that Mulder was able to determine that the person on the tape was Agent Skinner! The "video enhancement" process also took no more than 5 minutes to complete. Did you ever wonder why the FBI is respected and envied the world over?

And what have we learned from The X-Files? Well, we have learned to get their experts to help us out whenever there is a need for the so-called video-enhancement tasks. Such was the case of the gruesome murder of Nurin Jazlin. Our police force, due to its brilliant investigative skills, had managed to get hold of CCTV recordings. Unfortunately, as in the X-Files, the images found in those recordings were blur. So we sought help from the FBI. The tapes were sent over to the States for video-enhancement. I am sure everyone was kept in suspense over the last 2 weeks or so while waiting for the outcome of those "enhancements".

Finally, the video-enhancement was completed and sent back to our police. The Malaysian police in turn decided to publish those enhanced images to the public. Quite an amazing journey for those tapes, really. They've travelled thousands of miles...

From the front page of The Star, now we know that:

1) Man in a long sleeved T-shirt parks his Modenas Kriss motocycle in front of the Jalan PJS 1/48 Petaling Utama three-storey shoplot.

2) He removes his helmet and makes a phone call.

3) The man, still on the phone, goes and checks out the shoplot before returning to his motorcycle.

4) The man takes the bag that had been placed between the motorcycle seat and front basket.

5) He coolly walks to the shoplot with the bag.

6) The man returns to his motorcycle minus the bag and speeds away from the scene.

Now get this: neither the face of the bagman nor the registration number of the motorcycle could be seen clearly.

I didn't get to see the CCTV tapes before the so-called "video-enhancement". But I have a feeling that had I been shown those tapes before the FBI had a hand at it, I would have been able to give the police those information 1 to 6 above. Now with these information, I am confident that our police would soon lay their hands on the murderer(s).

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