Hunting Down The Boston Bomber
I was shocked and dismayed that someone would bomb the Boston Marathon. The marathon is the ultimate example of how to triumph in Life by preparation, practice, true grit, determination and everything that makes us rise above the animals as human beings.
The second thought that ran through my mind, is that technology should and could be employed in the hunt to bring the Boston Bomber to justice. I am sure that the FBI and Homeland Security are doing this, but if it were me, I would start with the premise that the bombs were detonated remotely with cell phones. There was no suicide bomber here. Radio Control using Radio Shack remote controllers would be out of the question due to range and interference The easiest way for a sociopath to detonate the devices would be a throw-away cell phone.
So, going on that premise, I would data mine the cell tower data looking for numbers that didn't come back up after the bombings. I would narrow the gap to look for numbers that were not in existence a month before the bombing, and I would data-mine the records to show which cell phone numbers have not returned to active service after the bombing.
From there, I would have probably hundreds or even thousands of numbers. I would then program an auto-dialer to try and establish a SIP connection with the Subscriber Interface Modules of the numbers that came up in my search. If I was able to establish contact with the SIM card, they would be eliminated as suspects.
The net result of such a search could be a throw-away, over-the-counter cell phone, but it could be identified as to where it was possibly bought, the geographic area in which it was first turned on, and it would provide a possible starting point clues in bringing the bomber to justice.
If these anti-social, anti-human animals use technology to create terror, we have to use that same or better technology against them to take them out of this society that we live in.
Edit a day later: It appears that there was a crude electronic timer in the bomb. That still doesn't negate the idea of datamining the cell phone records at the time of the bombing.