- If this doesn’t terrify you… Google’s computers OUTWIT their humans (The Register, Nov 15, 2013):
‘Deep learning’ clusters crack coding problems their top engineers can’t
Analysis Google no longer understands how its “deep learning” decision-making computer systems have made themselves so good at recognizing things in photos.
This means the internet giant may need fewer experts in future as it can instead rely on its semi-autonomous, semi-smart machines to solve problems all on their own.
- Russia’s 5G stealth jet flies to test center (RT, Nov 21, 2013):
The fifth model of Russia’s 5G generation fighter jet, PAK FA T-50, has arrived at the Zhukovsky test range near Moscow, where four other prototypes are being fly-tested. The journey from the developer’s test range in the Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia’s Far East was performed in three intermediate stops. Its first-ever flight took place in January 2010.
- Nuclear Power, National Security And The Dirty Bomb (The Market Oracle, Nov 12, 2013):
Although severely damaged by the world public opinion fallout from the Fukushima disaster, the nuclear industry continues to claim nuclear power is the low carbon, oil saving energy of the future. Taking the lifetime of the civil nuclear power industry as starting in the late 1950s, however, it has already had a long period through the 1980s and 1990s when world reactor orders and completions were often zero per year. Public confidence is weak.
The recent so-called Nuclear Renaissance, based on recentering reactor sales to developing and emerging countries of the South, featured the hard sell of Chernobyl- and Fukushima-sized power reactors to countries that are often unstable and fragile. This was symbolized by Nicolas Sarkozy’s attempt at making French reactor sales to Libya’s colonel Gaddafi in
2007, offloading as many as two 1970s-vintage reactors for reassembly in Libya, and recycling petrodollar billions.
The global security risks of this strategy are hard to exaggerate, but since business is business they are almost totally ignored, except and only in specific cases like Iran. Continue reading »
- Caution: Your GPS Ankle Bracelet Is Listening (The Crime Report, Oct 25, 2013):
When defense lawyer Fermín L. Arraiza-Navas sat down with a prospective client in San Juan, Puerto Rico last April, he casually asked the man about the Global Positioning System (GPS) ankle bracelet that he was wearing as a condition for his bail.
The reply was just as casual.
“They speak to me through that thing,” the man said.
It wasn’t the first time the lawyer encountered GPS bracelets with apparently extraordinary powers. He told the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Reporting (CPIPR) that a previous defendant’s GPS ankle bracelet started to vibrate during a meeting with him.
- The Rise of the Decentralized Web Continues (LibertyBlitzkrieg, Nov 15, 2013):
I know I must sound like a broken record by now, but decentralization is without question the key to humanity’s future freedom and prosperity on planet earth. The good news is that many of our smartest minds are aware of this and are actively working on solutions at the grassroots level. It goes without saying that the Internet itself is one of the most revolutionary advances our species has ever achieved, and decentralization of this information flow and access must be one of our key objectives, particularly in light of NSA spy revelations.
One of the ways that communities across the world are fighting for ownership of the Internet is through localized meshnets, a topic I covered in my piece back in August: Meet The Meshnet: A New Wave of Decentralized Internet Access.
This has been one of the more interesting themes I have learned about in 2013, and one that is only likely to spread in the years ahead. The New York Times recently wrote an article on it with some great new information. Some key excerpts are below: Continue reading »
- Doctors Raise Red Flag: Young Children Should Avoid Using Tablets (CBS, Nov 14, 2103):
ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ) — Tablets and toddlers: A warning for parents of tech-savvy children. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children under two should avoid all screen time.
Jessica Kartalija reports doctors and therapists fear too much time on touchscreens could cause long-term damage.
Playtime for babies is far different in the 21st century. But parents could be making a big mistake putting touchscreens in the hands of toddlers and young children.
- US Drone Strikes Navy Ship By Mistake (ZeroHedge, Nov 16, 2013):
While hardly as dramatic as last week’s revelation that Syrian Al-Qaeda cannibals apologized after chopping off the head of one of their CIA-funded “rebels” by mistake, the news that a US drone struck a US missile cruiser during training off Southern California, causing two minor injuries is maybe even more embarrassing. After all, with Al-Qaeda one can at least make a legitimate case of a friendly fire, er, beheading incident. When it comes to the coast off SoCal, it will be difficult to suggest the Chinese (or Russian) navies were running sorties next to the surfers off Point Mugu.
The Navy says an aerial target drone malfunctioned and struck a guided missile cruiser during training off Southern California, causing two minor injuries.
- Robowar: The next generation of warfare revealed – a general’s dream, but are they also humanity’s nightmare? (Independent, Nov 15, 2013):
Rather like a dog with a rubber bone, the Crusher likes to toy with its prey. After first sizing it up, it leaps, rolling and gripping its target until it is sufficiently chewed up and “dead”. Unlike a dog, the Crusher is capable of performing this feat on a line of parked cars.
More disturbingly, this six-tonne, six-wheeled monster developed for America’s Department of Defence and otherwise known as the Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle, or UGV, can pounce without the intervention or say-so of a human operator. It is an ability which, in theory, can stretch to firing the machine-gun mounted on its roof.
The UGV is a forerunner of what many in the defence world believe is the next quantum leap in warfare – a generation of fully autonomous weapons which would be capable of crossing one of the great Rubicons of modern conflict by “deciding” for themselves when to take human life. In the words of one US general, they are the harbingers of an age where “death by algorithm is the ultimate indignity”.