Editorial: Another Trip Around the Sun

Well, it's 2018, and that can only mean one thing: Evidence Technology Magazine is getting ready to turn 15 years old. While it's difficult to believe that much time has passed, just look at what has changed in a decade and a half:

1) There were no iPhones in 2003. Today, there's a whole range of ubiquitous smartphones, and they're posing an ever-changing range of challenges to mobile forensics experts (see "5 Enduring Challenges of Mobile Forensics")

2) Camera phones had only been introduced in 2002, and their quality was questionable. Today, video and photos captured by civilian smartphones offer an opportunity for "crowd-sourced" evidence gathering when crimes happen in public places-and digital solutions have been launched to deal with all of that potential evidence.

3) In 2003, law enforcement agencies were still debating the viability of ditching 35mm film cameras for digital cameras. Today, of course, the main debate is all about digital file formats: JPEG or RAW?

4) CDs and DVDs were the primary media for backing up digital evidence. Now, your agency is probably utilizing the cloud… or at least, you're probably thinking about it.

5) In 2003, no one had heard of Brandon Mayfield.

6) In 2003, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward wasn't even a glimmer in the National Academy of Sciences' eye.

7) If you wanted to get an aerial view of a crime scene in 2003, you could rent a lift, get a really tall mast for your camera, or take a ride in a helicopter. Now, we have quadcopters for that job (see "Enhancing Crime Scene Capabilities with Quadcopter Systems").

8) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was only in its third season, but the term CSI Effect was already becoming a well-used term around laboratories and courtrooms.

9) Rapid DNA technology has taken DNA profiling from a day, week, or month-long process that often needed to be outsourced, to a 90-minute process that can be completed in-house.

10) The FBI's IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) gave way to NGI (Next Generation Identification) System-and it's not just about fingerprints anymore.

Throughout all these changes, we've been here providing you the latest information on crime scene investigation and forensic science. And we plan to still be here in another 15 years.

— Kristi Mayo, Editor
Evidence Technology Magazine

This article appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Evidence Technology Magazine.

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ONE OF THE CHALLENGES of writing and editing a magazine is telling a story in a relatively small amount of space. Sometimes it seems like there is never enough room to say everything that needs to be said. I find myself making tough decisions about what parts stay and what parts go.