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Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 14:19:42

New N.S.A. Breach Linked to Popular Russian Antivirus Software

Russian hackers stole NSA cyber tools via that pesky Kaspersky anti-virus software. The NSA contract employee “had taken classified material home to work on it on his computer, and his use of Kaspersky Lab antivirus software enabled Russian hackers to see his files,” ... “The case, which dates to 2015 and has not been made public, remains under investigation by federal prosecutors.

The highly classified material involved the agency’s techniques for breaking into foreign computer networks to collect intelligence, the officials said.

The employee involved was a U.S. citizen born in Vietnam and had worked at Tailored Access Operations, the elite hacking division of the NSA that develops tools to penetrate computers overseas to gather foreign intelligence … He was removed from the job in 2015, but was not thought to have taken the materials for malicious purposes such as handing them to a foreign spy agency,” according to officials

Contractors account for close to 30 percent of agency staff, and 60 percent of their budgets. He sees the three recent breaches as evidence that those massive payouts aren’t accompanied by proper oversight. “They’re leaving way too much authority to the contractors to police themselves and it’s clear that system is failing,” Shorrock says. “There needs to be some kind of mechanism to police the contractors.”

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Several former agency officers said the breach might not necessarily require complicity on the part of Kaspersky Lab. Antivirus software routinely scans files to hunt for malware and even uploads files to the cloud for particular study. By redirecting data between the employee’s computer and Kaspersky back to their own servers, via a “man in the middle attack,” or hacking Kaspersky’s software and adding a back door, Russian operators could have potentially downloaded the employee’s files without Kaspersky’s knowledge.

“Antivirus software could totally be used for espionage,” said Jake Williams, a former officer at the agency and the founder of Rendition Infosec, a cybersecurity contractor. “It looks damning for Kaspersky, but we don’t yet know the whole story.”

The concerns about Kaspersky Lab date back many years, in part because its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, attended a K.G.B. technical college and served in military intelligence. Tim Evans, a former National Security Agency lawyer, said that in 2008 he was dispatched by the agency to the United States Patent Office to retrieve every patent application filed by Kaspersky so that the agency could study the names of its employees for known officers of the F.S.B., the K.G.B.’s successor.
“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

― George W. Bush

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Capability 10 years ago (included decryption capability) ...
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Pentagon: We’ll Keep Buying Software That Russian Spies have Looked Through

In June, Reuters reported that several defense contractors, including IBM, Cisco, and Germany’s SAP, had allowed the FSB to inspect key aspects of the source code for various software products. In October, Reuters added to the list an HP Enterprise product called ArcSight, described as “a cybersecurity nerve center for much of the U.S. military, alerting analysts when it detects that computer systems may have come under attack.” Reuters quoted a former senior Commerce Department official saying, “It’s something we have a real concern about.

Concerns aside, the Pentagon says there was no specific policy or rule to prohibit buying consumer-of-the-shelf equipment or products inspected by the FSB, according to Pentagon spokesman Army Maj. Jamie Davis. “There is no plan at this time for a review or investigation, and there is also no plan at this time to require that contractors reveal the source code they have shared,” Davis said.


WH Chief of Staff John Kelly's Personal Cellphone Was Compromised, White House Believes

White House tech support discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to tech support staff this summer.

The discovery raises concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have had access to data on Kelly’s phone while he was secretary of Homeland Security and after he joined the West Wing.

Kelly told the staffers the phone hadn’t been working properly for months, according to the officials.


Murdoch’s News Group Admits Benefiting from Hacking of Army Officer's Emails

LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper group said on Friday one of its titles had hacked the computer of a former intelligence officer, an admission which critics said showed why his takeover of European broadcaster Sky should be blocked.

In a hearing at London’s High Court, Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers admitted “vicarious liability” for the hacking of computers belonging to Ian Hurst, who worked for British military intelligence.


Latvia’s Cellphones Stopped Working. Russia’s War Games may be to Blame.

BRUSSELS — Latvia’s intelligence services are examining a partial disruption of the nation’s cellular network and emergency-services hotline that may have been a fresh example of Russia’s ­electronic-warfare capabilities, Latvian and NATO officials said.

The break in cellphone service in western Latvia and the 16-hour outage of the country’s equivalent of 911 came around the time of recent major Russian war exercises that were a powerful demonstration of the Kremlin’s ability to wage modern war. A communications jammer aimed towards Sweden from Russia’s Baltic outpost Kaliningrad may also have been used.

“If confirmed as attacks, the electronic breakdowns would show another capability in the Kremlin’s arsenal…the capacity to disrupt civilian communications remotely” ... Such a tool could severely hamper Western authorities’ ability to organize a quick civilian response in case of war.

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 14:43:09

Get Lasers Into the Field Faster, Lawmakers Tell the Pentagon

The Senate’s version of the annual defense bill provides $200 million for rapid prototyping of directed energy weapons.

“It is not happening quick enough,” says Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. “And I think we’ve had a culture of simply always chasing the perfect technology instead of saying, ‘A lot of this stuff is ready for primetime now, and there’s a use for it in the field we need to meet now.’”

The House’s version does note, multiple times, its support for directed energy weapons and “encourages the Department of Defense to make greater efforts to utilize these technologies where appropriate.” It also provides its own plus-up for directed energy, but that $55 million goes to prioritizing the technology in ballistic missile defense.

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Though the $200 million the Senate bill provides could be used to prototype various directed energy weapons at the assistant secretary’s discretion, it highlights several “specific missions in which directed energy could provide solutions to capability gaps,” including fighting off UAVs, rockets, artillery, and mortars.

“We’ve done a lot of microwave work on the side of being able to send in a cruise missile that knocks out electronics,” Heinrich said. “That is just as important as the counter-UAV mission. Both of them are pretty critical at the moment.”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other labs are making moves to test directed energy weapons to tackle these solutions. DARPA just announced a competition to demonstrate systems that could take down swarms of drones a kilometer away.


Army to Unveil New Major Land War "Operations" Doctrine

The Army will release a new combat “FM 3.0 Operations” doctrine designed to better position the service for the prospect of large-scale, mechanized, force-on-force warfare against technologically advanced near-peer rivals – such as Russia or China - able to substantially challenge US military technological superiority.

Authors of the new doctrine explain that while many elements of the Army's previous "Full Spectrum" doctrine are retained, updated and expounded upon in the new doctrine -- FM 3.0 Full Spectrum was written when the Russians had not attacked Ukraine, the Army was fully immersed in war in Afghanistan and the current tensions in the South China Sea had not yet emerged to the extent they do today. (Don't forget a nuclear war with North Korea & Iran)

While the emerging “operations” doctrine adaptation does recognize that insurgent and terrorist threats from groups of state and non-state actors will likely persist for decades into the future, the new manual focuses intently upon preparedness for a fast-developing high-tech combat environment against a major adversary.

Advanced adversaries with aircraft carriers, stealth aircraft, next-generation tanks, emerging hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, robots, drones, long-range sensors and precision targeting technology present the US military with a need to adjust doctrine to properly respond to a fast-changing threat landscape.


Army Tests Strykers With Artificial Intelligence

Video - Army weapons developers recently completed a "proof-of-principle" exercise with Stryker vehicles using wireless devices, faster computer processing speed, cloud technology and artificial intelligence to expedite vehicle health monitoring and anticipate future needs for the platform.

The initiative is tied to the Army’s recent $135 million Army Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) renewal deal with IBM, the firm contracted to continue providing cloud services, software development and cognitive computing, constituting the technical infrastructure.

“We see huge potential benefits with cloud computing from artificial intelligence,” Col. John Kuenzli, LOGSA commander, told Warrior.

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The Army is working closely with both IBM and Stryker-maker General Dynamics Land Systems to implement, assess and prepare this technology.

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The entire Stryker lethality initiative is operating on a massively accelerated acquisition timeline in order to address fast-moving threats and circumvent or shorten certain acquisition procedures at times thought to encumber the development and deployment of new technologies.

Overall, the fast-moving threat environment in Europe, in light of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and activity in the Ukraine – was by no means lost on Pentagon and Army leaders. Army statements said the need became increasingly evident to the Army given increased aggression in that region against a backdrop of limited U.S. Armored Forces remaining in Europe.


Bell's Blackhawk Replacement Turns Its Rotors for the First Time

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The Bell V-280 Valor is the first new American tiltrotor since the MV-22 Osprey and a candidate to replace the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. First flight is scheduled for later this year.


Future Drones Stealthier, More Lethal Weapons - 2030s

... The processing speeds of computers and algorithms aimed at increasing autonomous activities have continued to evolve at an alarming rate, creating a fast-moving circumstance wherein drones will increasingly take on more and more functions by themselves, Zacharias explained.

Computer algorithms will enable drones to conduct a much wider range of functions without needing human intervention, such as sensing, targeting, weapons adjustments and sensor payload movements, ranges and capabilities, he added.

Developments with “artificial intelligence,” (AI) will better enable unmanned platforms to organize, interpret and integrate functions independently such as ISR filtering, sensor manipulation, maneuvering, navigation and targeting adjustments. In essence, emerging computer technology will better enable drones to make more decisions and perform more functions by themselves.

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One of the largest consequences of AI will likely lead to a scenario wherein multiple humans will no longer need to control a single drone – rather multiple drones will be controlled by a single human performing command and control functions.

The ability for a single human to control multiple drones could bring a number of implications, such as an ability to effectively use a swarm of small drones. Air Force scientists have explained that emerging algorithms are increasingly able to allow large numbers of small, mini-drones to operate in unison without hitting one another. For instance, they could collectively work to jam or overwhelm an enemy radar system, act themselves as weapons or munitions, or cover an expansive area with ISR video feeds.

In addition, drones will become more capable of air-to-air maneuvers and attacks and no longer be primarily engineered for air-to-ground attacks. In fact, early conceptual renderings of 6th generation fighter jets and the Air Force’s in-development Long Range Strike-Bomber are being engineered for unmanned flight as well as piloted flight.


General Motors Wants to Disrupt the Military Truck Market

Building on its hydrogen fuel cell-powered pickup truck for the Army, the automaker will soon unveil a self-powered mobile chassis.

Called SURUS, for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, the vehicle resembles a flatbed truck trailer or even a railroad flatcar. Powered by two electric motors and four-wheel steering, it is designed to be flexible enough to be reconfigured for various missions, powerful enough to replace the trucks that drag heavy things around today’s battlefields, and agnostic about whether it is driven by a human, remote control, or an autonomous driving module.
“We’re not just doing this for military,” ... “This is part of our electrification strategy for General Motors. We see the future as being a combination of batteries and fuel cells and that’s the pathway that we’re on.”

The goal is ground vehicles that travel 10 times as far as traditional ones on a single “fill-up.” And beyond that, they even see potential for submarines and undersea drones.


Boeing Acquisition Bets on Robotic Pilots, Self-Flying Taxis

Russia Just Unveiled 'Star Wars' Combat Suit

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The "next-generation" suit comes with a "powered exoskeleton" that supposedly gives the soldier more strength and stamina, along with "cutting-edge" body armor, and a helmet and visor that shields the soldier's entire face, RT said.

The suit also has a "pop-up display that can be used for tasks like examining a plan of the battlefield," Andy Lynch, who works for a military company called Odin Systems, told MailOnline. There's also a light on the side of the helmet for inspecting maps or weapons.

Russia hopes to produce the suit "within the next couple of years," Oleg Chikarev, deputy chief of weapons systems at the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Building, which developed the gear, told MailOnline.

It should be noted, however, the video only showed a static display of the suit, and it's still an open question of whether it actually has any of the capabilities that are claimed.

The US hopes to unveil its own Tactical Light Operator Suit, also known as the "Iron Man" suit, in 2018.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 14:51:10

Waltzing Toward a Two-Front Global War

The U.S. just might be one step away from a war with North Korea, and two from a fight with Iran.

A few years ago, a Heritage Foundation analysis argued that the sine qua non of a superpower was the ability to fight two major campaigns in different regions of the globe nearly simultaneously. That same report noted that reduced defense investment and a decade of counterinsurgency campaigns had left the U.S. military unprepared to do so.

Nonetheless, the U.S. finds itself one step away from war on the Korean Peninsula and perhaps two from military confrontation with Iran, dancing an uncertain waltz in which a misstep would be catastrophic. (Don't forget the rest of the Middle East, Ukraine, Afghanistan & China)

Both of these dangerous scenarios could unfold nearly simultaneously, and not just because tensions are rising at the same time. Either one could ignite the other. Leaders in Pyongyang and Tehran are already convinced that the true goal of U.S. policymakers is regime change. U.S. military strikes against either Korea or Iran will convince other endangered authoritarian regimes that developing nuclear weapons remains their sole effective deterrent.


‘Save Your Energy, Rex’: Trump Tweet Undermines Sec. of State Tillerson on North Korea Talks

President Donald Trump on Sunday diverged from the US State Department and said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting him time" opening up talks with the North Korean regime.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump wrote, using a derisive nickname he has created for Kim.

“Save your energy, Rex. We’ll do what has to be done!” Trump added, once again injecting a measure of instability into the fraught relations with the isolated, nuclear-armed country — and with his own secretary of State.

Later Sunday, Trump did not let up. “Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now?” he tweeted. “Clinton failed, Bush failed and Obama failed. I won’t fail.”

It apparently escaped Trump’s attention that Kim Jong Un was 8 years old in 1992 — 25 years ago — though he is the heir in a dynastic ruling family.

In a White House known for chaos and mixed messages, Trump has also clashed repeatedly with other top aides, including Mattis and economic advisor Gary Cohn; on Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was pushed to resign. But belittling the Cabinet member who is traditionally first among equals is remarkable.


Rex Tillerson Has Lost His Primary Reason for Being the Secretary of State

In a stark repudiation of the Trump administration, lawmakers on Thursday passed a spending bill that overturned the president’s steep proposed cuts to foreign aid and diplomacy. Folded into the bill are management amendments that straitjacket some of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s efforts to redesign the State Department.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $51 billion for the State Department, foreign operations, and related programs in its 2018 appropriations bill — almost $11 billion above President Trump’s request. …

Among other things, the bill provides over $6 billion for humanitarian assistance — almost $1 billion above the administration’s request. The panel is also restoring $10 million in U.S. funding for the U.N. climate change agency, overruling Trump’s call to end spending on it. In a surprising move, the committee also passed an amendment overturning Trump’s policies limiting funding and access to women’s reproductive healthcare and family planning abroad


Rex Tillerson Must Go
If he does remain, it will be yet another sign of the collapse of self-respect among those who are now willing to serve in senior positions in government.


Tillerson Doesn't Deny He Called Trump a 'Moron'

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... “To think a guy’s a moron and then be forced to publicly say he’s smart. I guess when your name is Rex, you’re gonna be good at rolling over. Good boy, Rex! Good boy!”



Trump May Look to Replace Tillerson with CIA Director Pompeo after 'F**king Moron' Report

... According to Axios, Tillerson's relationship with Trump is badly damaged. Earlier this week, Ian Bremmer, a political scientist who runs the Eurasia Group, tweeted that Tillerson had taken to deriding Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, as "the royal family."


Trump Plans to Declare that Iran Nuclear Deal is Not in the National Interest

Mattis: In US National Security Interest to Stay in Iran Deal

... During a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Angus King asked Mattis: "Do you believe it is in our national security interest at the present time to remain in the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)? That is a yes or no question."

Mattis replied, "Yes, senator, I do."

"The point I would make is if we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interests then clearly we should stay with it," Mattis added. "I believe at this point in time absent indications to the contrary, it is something the President should consider staying with."


Trump’s Cryptic Warning Ahead of Iran Decision: ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ – Video

At a meeting of military leaders and their spouses, Trump says they are witnessing 'the calm before the storm'. When asked by reporters what he means, the US president says: 'You’ll find out.'


In Ukraine, the US Trains an Army in the West to Fight in the East

... Since Crimea was annexed in 2014, the U.S. and partner militaries have helped grow Ukraine’s forces from just over 100,000 troops to nearly 250,000 today. Just since January, Capt. Christopher’s unit of 250 soldiers has added another 3,000 or so Ukrainian soldiers to Kiev’s ranks.

“Our overall goal is essentially to help the Ukrainian military become NATO-interoperable,” Christopher said.

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The Ukraine conflict, since 2014:
- At least 10,225 soldiers and civilians have died.
- Another 24,500 have been injured.
- Some 1.6 million have been displaced.


2019 Could Be a Very Bad Year for Ukraine

For several years, Russia has been warning—consistently and clearly—that it intends to stop using Ukraine as a transit country for sending its energy to Western markets. If Russia stops using Ukraine as a transit country for energy exports a major hole will open in the Ukrainian economy which Europe and the United States do not appear prepared to fill.

The real shock will come when Russian transit fees cease. The Ukrainian state energy company will be left with a network of lines, storage depots and pumping stations which will need to find new customers. Perhaps some energy from the Caucasus could be sent via the Odessa-Brody route from the Caspian to Europe, but that will not produce enough replacement income. Ukraine may be able to increase its own domestic energy production, but foreign firms will not want to invest until there is a durable peace settlement in the east and the Crimea question is settled.


Report: China Has Secret Plans to Invade Taiwan by 2020

The plan, which is the subject of a forthcoming book by the Project 2049 Institute think tank, was first made public by Taiwan's Defense Ministry in 2013. The book draws upon official Chinese People's Liberation Army documents, both public and leaked, and will paint a picture of what an invasion would look like. The invasion plans are known as the "Joint Island Attack Campaign" and would involve all arms of the People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, the Navy, the Army Air Forces, and the Marine Corps. It would also involve the Rocket Force, responsible for the country's conventional and nuclear ballistic missile forces.

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The invasion itself would last anywhere from four to seven days and involve up to 400,000 People's Liberation Army troops. The first phase, loading the invasion transports, would take one or two nights. The actual seaborne invasion, including making the 90 mile crossing from the mainland to Taiwan, sweeping for mines, and landing the first of two waves of troops, would take a day. Consolidating the beachheads and pushing inland would take one to three days, with Taiwan's government apparently falling at the end.


Spike in Airborne Radioactivity Detected in Europe

The source isn't known, but calculations indicate it came from Eastern Europe.

Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection said Thursday that elevated levels of the isotope Ruthenium-106 have been reported in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France since Sept. 29. Ruthenium-106 is used for radiation therapy to treat eye tumors, and sometimes as a source of energy to power satellites.

https://cryptome.org/2017/10/DTW.273.RD.secrets.pdf
https://cryptome.org/2017/10/DTW.Pu.Oy.core.weights.pdf
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 07 Oct 2017, 12:25:48

The Eyes Expose Our Lies. Now AI is Noticing.

Video - The pupils of our eyes are terrible liars.

Scientists have long known this. Our pupils widen ever so slightly when we're being deceptive. The change is so minor -- fractions of a millimeter -- that the average person would never notice.

But now a Utah-based company called Converus has a test that uses a camera to track eyes and sense deception. The technology, called EyeDetect, is gaining popularity as a more affordable, less biased version of a polygraph exam, which has long been the gold standard for detecting lies.

EyeDetect relies on an algorithm that weighs a variety of factors. The key indicators are if a person's eyes dilates while reading a question, and how fast they read questions. The Utah researchers found that a deceptive person will generally take longer to answer questions on a test, as they're being careful. But on the specific questions they're lying on, they will respond faster.

A person taking an EyeDetect exam sits at a desk and answers true-or-false questions on a tablet. An infrared camera tracks eye movement, blinking and pupil dilation. After 30 minutes, an algorithm scores their deceptiveness on a scale from zero to 100.

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Holden: Reaction time is a factor in this so please pay attention. Answer as quickly as you can.
...
Holden: Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother.
Leon: My mother?
Holden: Yeah.
Leon: Let me tell you about my mother. - Blade Runner (1982)


Airport Face Scans Could Be a Dry Run for a National Surveillance System

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First comes the airports ...

Sixteen years after Sept. 11, we’re all well-aware that in order to go through security at an American airport, we will have to use a driver’s license or passport to identify ourselves. But Congress is quietly laying groundwork to take things much, much further—to build out a face scanning system that identifies you when you walk into an airport and tracks your every move, until you board the plane.

The TSA Modernization Act is scheduled to be marked up in the Senate Commerce Committee this week. From the title it sounds like a harmless bill to get the airport security agency new computers. But an alarming section in the bill would give the Trump administration a green light to begin using biometrics to identify people in airports nationwide. And right now there’s only one technology fit for a biometric surveillance system: automated, real-time face scans.

This could mean scans of every person’s face throughout the entirety of every American airport—“at checkpoints, screening lanes, bag drop and boarding areas, and other areas.” Basically, it could go anywhere the Department of Homeland Security determines that the technology could improve security.

Imagine, for example, how such a system would affect would-be protesters. In January, Americans converged on airport terminals nationwide to stand up against Trump’s Muslim ban. Journalists have already uncovered that DHS photographed airport protesters. What if DHS were able to identify some of those protesters in real time, running those images against a target watch list? Especially in light of the Trump administration’s reputation for going after its detractors, a lot of people might think twice before speaking up.

Before you shrug your shoulders and say you have nothing to hide, consider that face recognition is an imperfect technology, prone to making mistakes. Suppose you’re running to make your flight and are misidentified as a person of interest or someone on the no-fly list. What then? You’re delayed—and TSA is going to shrug its shoulders when you miss your flight. You may even be subject to the same mistaken identity each time you fly. (your forbidden to see the list)

There’s no reason to trust the government to limit real time face recognition surveillance to airports, either. Surveillance programs have a tendency to expand beyond their initial design. In fact, the airport-wide face scanning program foreshadowed by the TSA Modernization Act would itself be an expansion of the “biometric exit” program already in use at some international terminals. Back in August, DHS disputed that that program would be made interoperable with terrorist screening databases. But another bill advancing in Congress would require just that. Also in August, DHS denied that face scans would be used in domestic airports. Now the TSA Modernization Act would enable that as well.

DHS already uses other powerful surveillance technologies like cellphone trackers and automated license plate readers

Americans who feel immune to this dragnet shouldn’t get too comfortable. In 2004, Congress instructed DHS to begin collecting biometric data from foreign nationals leaving the country, but 12 years later DHS started collecting biometrics from Americans leaving the country, too. If Congress gives its blessing for DHS to develop a real time face recognition surveillance system, pretty soon it will be your mug being scanned in public.


What Google Clips Means for Privacy and Constant Surveillance

Apple’s FaceID Could Be a Powerful Tool for Mass Spying

Following the Erdoğan playbook ... Welcome to AMERIKA

DOJ Demands Facebook Information about 'Anti-Trump Activists'

Trump administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant, according to court documents

The warrants specifically target the accounts of three Facebook users who are described by their attorneys as "anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration's policies."
"What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting"

The warrant would require the disclosure of non-public lists of people who planned to attend political organizing events and even the names of people who simply liked, followed, reacted to, commented on, or otherwise engaged with the content on the Facebook page. During the three-month span the search warrant covers, approximately 6,000 Facebook users liked the page.

The agency initially sought the IP addresses of anyone who had visited disruptj20.org, which amounted to 1.3 Million addresses. That didn't work out for the DOJ, but in August a court in the nation's capital ordered DreamHost — a web-hosting company — to hand over information about the people who run the website.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

- Constitution of United States of America 1789 - Amendment I


Pence’s Chief of Staff Floats ‘Purge’ of Anti-Trump Republicans to Wealthy Donors

In remarks at a Republican National Committee event at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington on Tuesday morning, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff railed against congressional leaders in closed-door remarks to wealthy donors and called for a “purge” if GOP lawmakers don’t quickly rally behind President Donald Trump’s agenda. Ayers said, according to an audio recording of the remarks:
... “Just imagine the possibilities of what can happen if our entire party unifies behind him? If — and this sounds crass — we can purge the handful of people who continue to work to defeat him”


World First Autonomous Dental Implant Robot Put into Use in China

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 11:49:16

Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military

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The president spoke on July with his national security team at a Pentagon review of worldwide U.S. forces and operations. Officials present said that Trump’s comments on a significantly increased arsenal came in response to a briefing slide that outlined America’s nuclear stockpile over the past 70 years. The president referenced the highest number on the chart — about 32,000 in the late 1960s — and told his team he wanted the U.S. to have that many now, officials said.

The United States currently has about 4,000 nuclear warheads earmarked for use in its military stockpile, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Mr Trump's request surprised those present, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Rex Tillerson. Mr Trump also called for additional US troops and military equipment.

Two senior administration officials said the president’s advisers outlined the reasons an expansion of America’s nuclear arsenal is not feasible. They pointed to treaty obligations and budget restraints and noted to him that today’s total conventional and nonconventional military arsenal leaves the U.S. in a stronger defense posture than it was when the nuclear arsenal alone was larger.

Some officials in the Pentagon meeting were rattled by the president’s desire for more nuclear weapons and his understanding of other national security issues from the Korean Peninsula to Iraq and Afghanistan, the officials said.

That meeting followed one held a day earlier in the White House Situation Room focused on Afghanistan in which the president stunned some of his national security team. At that July 19 meeting, according to senior administration officials, Trump asked military leaders to fire the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and compared their advice to that of a New York restaurant consultant whose poor judgment cost a business valuable time and money.

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Trump Sees Power as Military Strength — and Nukes as the Apex of that Power

On Wednesday, NBC News reported that President Trump sought a dramatic increase in the number of nuclear weapons in the United States’ arsenal. It’s a position that runs contrary to recent presidential administrations, during which international treaties were developed with the aim of reducing nuclear weapon stockpiles around the world. But a request to boost our nuclear capabilities fits squarely with Trump’s understanding of power.

There’s an anonymous quote in Dexter Filkins’s recent overview of Rex Tillerson’s State Department that does a lot to explain this idea.
... As the Trump Administration pushed for cuts in diplomacy, it was proposing to increase defense spending by fifty-four billion dollars—roughly equal to the entire budget of the State Department. The choice seems to reflect a sense that force is more valuable than diplomacy in international affairs, and that other countries, even allies, respond better to threats than to persuasion. “All of our tools right now are military,” a former senior official in the Obama Administration told me. “When all of your tools are military, those are the tools you reach for.”

This, in a nutshell, is Trump’s theory of presidential power

... Trump understands the brute force of military power. It’s less clear that he has an appreciation for the nuances of what the State Department does.

So we get to Trump in that meeting asking why the arsenal can’t be substantially larger instead of being winnowed into nothing. Reducing the number of nuclear weapons is, when extrapolated outward, a reduction of the central source of power Trump seems to understand.

This was the meeting after which Tillerson reportedly referred to Trump as a “F—king Moron.”

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Trump Threatens Broadcaster NBC After Nuclear Report

... Last week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders assured reporters that Donald Trump was an "incredible advocate" of constitutional free-press protections. This week, the president is contemplating - just wondering! - whether a broadcaster could be forced off the airwaves because he doesn't approve of its news coverage.

Taking pot-shots at journalists is one thing. Contemplating the use of government coercion to stifle a broadcaster because of its news content is another.

Even if such an outcome is unthinkable in the US at the moment, there are places in the world where press freedoms aren't as deeply entrenched. Their leaders are watching the president, too.

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A Hypothetical Nuclear Attack on Seoul and Tokyo: The Human Cost of War on the Korean Peninsula

... At various times over the past few weeks, US President Donald Trump and other members of his administration have threatened to use military force to prevent North Korea from conducting additional nuclear or ballistic missile tests. The US carrying out any military option raises a significant risk of military escalation by the North, including the use of nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan.

According to the calculations presented below, if the “unthinkable” happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries.

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Donald Trump and the 'Madman' Playbook

... The Nixon-Kissinger madman strategy failed because Soviet, North Vietnamese leaders, and Mao Zedong in China, recognized that the United States had much more to lose than gain from turning the Vietnam War into a nuclear conflict. Nixon could make Indochina unlivable, but he could not save the South Vietnamese government, or America’s reputation as a bulwark of freedom, by feigning madness. All the major actors saw through Nixon’s bluff.

President Donald Trump seems not to know this history, nor do most of his advisers. He appears, however, drawn to the same strategy as Nixon. Trump has many incentives to try and convince foreign adversaries that he is “mad,” in hopes that they will back down from long-standing defiant behaviors without heavy costs to the United States. He wants big victories with small sacrifices—a good “deal”—and nuclear threats call out as the obvious instrument.

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Among serious strategists, “madmen” are not afraid to fail, or blow up the world and themselves. That is not their preferred outcome, but they are prepared to take massive risks for specific purposes. To be mad is not to be irrational.

There is a steely rationality in the willingness to combine extreme force with potential suicide. The madman strategist is ready to press the nuclear button if the adversary doesn’t back down.


Like Nixon, Trump wants his adversary to fear he might be mad. He hopes that will prompt Kim to back down. As in the past, however, there is no reason to believe that will happen. Trump has too much to lose in starting a nuclear war that would result in hundreds of thousands of immediate deaths, probable conflict with China, likely attacks on American bases and territory, and prolonged, costly occupations. Nuclear war in East Asia will make the last two decades of military conflict for the United States in the Middle East feel tame.

Kim will continue to defy Trump and make the president look like a “dotard”—a wise word choice. A failed bluff is indeed worse than no bluff at all. Trump will not be willing or able to follow through on his nuclear threats, but he will divert attention with new threats in other places, perhaps in Iran. That is his standard mode of behavior. The president will continue to make empty promises, fail to deliver, and then start again. That is his true madness.


Trump Could Start World War III Because He Treats Presidency Like the Apprentice, Says GOP Senator Bob Corker

President Donald Trump could put the U.S. “on the path to World War III” because he treats the presidency “like he’s doing The Apprentice or something said a senior Republican Sunday.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee capped a week of insults he traded with Trump by saying he knows “for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain” the president.

Trump’s behaviour “concerns me,” said Sen. Corker, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during an interview with The New York Times . “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”


Mattis Warned the Military to 'Be Ready' for What Trump Decides to do About North Korea

Sen. Chris Murphy: it's Time to Take Trump's Threat of War Against North Korea Seriously

Industrial Base Too ‘Brittle’ For Big War: Dunford

Trump suggests he's smarter than Rex Tillerson, says 'compare IQ tests'

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest - and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's not your fault
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/sta ... 1321425920


Notes from the Future; Worth the Read ...

The Post-Trump "Restoration"

(Boston, October 5, 2035) The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alexandra Corker’s much-awaited "The Restoration Years: America in the Post-Trump Era" jumped to the top of the best-seller lists almost immediately. The Harvard professor and I spoke in her Cambridge home about the revelations in that volume. ...
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 12:10:41

Israel Hacked Kaspersky, Then Tipped the NSA that its Tools had been Breached

In 2015, Israeli government hackers saw something suspicious in the computers of a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm: hacking tools that could only have come from the National Security Agency.

Israel notified the NSA, where alarmed officials immediately began a hunt for the breach, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an investigation by the agency revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government.

Israeli spies had found the hacking material on the network of Kaspersky Lab, the global anti-virus firm under a spotlight in the United States because of suspicions that its products facilitate Russian espionage.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security instructed federal civilian agencies to identify Kaspersky Lab software on their networks and remove it on the grounds that
“... the risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.”

The directive followed a decision by the General Services Administration to remove Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors. And lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering a governmentwide ban.

Concerns about Kaspersky have also emerged in the cybersecurity industry, where some officials say that the firm’s software has been used not just to protect its customers’ computers but also as a platform for espionage.

Kaspersky is also the only major anti-virus firm whose data is routed through Russian Internet service providers subject to Russian surveillance. That surveillance system is known as the SORM, or the System of Operative-Investigative Measures.
“The strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are very alarming.” ... “Whether Kaspersky is working directly for the Russian government or not doesn’t matter; their Internet service providers are subject to monitoring. So virtually anything shared with Kaspersky could become the property of the Russian government.”

The firm is likely to be beholden to the Kremlin, said Steven Hall, who ran the CIA’s Russia operations for 30 years. He said that Kaspersky’s line of work is of particular interest to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and that because of the way things work in Russia, Eugene Kaspersky “knows he’s at the mercy of Putin.”

“Antivirus is the ultimate back door,” Blake Darché, a former N.S.A. operator and co-founder of Area 1 Security. “It provides consistent, reliable and remote access that can be used for any purpose, from launching a destructive attack to conducting espionage on thousands or even millions of users.”


The Mystery of Duqu 2.0: a Sophisticated Cyberespionage Actor Returns

North Korea Cyber Army Hacked U.S.-South Korea Plans To 'Decapitate' Kim Jong Un, Seoul Lawmaker Says

A cache of secret U.S.-South Korean military files including plans to taken down North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could have been stolen by hackers last year, a lawmaker for South Korea's ruling Democratic Party said Tuesday.

Rhee Cheol-hee said hackers broke into the Defense Integrated Data Center in September 2016 and stole a number of classified documents, citing defense ministry officials.

The news first emerged in April, with local newspaper Chosun Ilbo quoting anonymous defense ministry sources and noting that the ministry had previously downplayed the seriousness of the hacking.

According to Rhee, the ministry still has to identify the content of about 80 percent of the 235 gigabytes of data that was stolen. "The Ministry of National Defense has yet to find out about the content of 182 gigabytes of the total (stolen) data," the lawmaker said in a statement quoted in the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

He also said that among the stolen files were Operation Plans 5015 and 3100. The operation plans are classified to the point that South Korean lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties protested about the superficial briefing received by defense officials when they were introduced in 2015.

It later emerged that OPLAN 5015 includes a pre-emptive strike on the North’s nuclear and missile facilities, as well as “decapitation attacks” against Kim and the rest of the North Korean leadership.

While OPLAN 5015 is seen as a blueprint for a limited war, OPLAN 3100 instead deals with Seoul’s response to possible North Korean localized provocation or commando infiltration.

According to Rhee, the hackers have also gained infortmation about state-of-the-art military facilities, power plants and the joint military drills with the U.S. as well as reports meant for U.S. commanders.

Under their mutual defense treaty, the United States takes operational control of South Korean troops in the event of war on the divided Korean Peninsula. The two sides hone their war plans through annual joint military exercises. The plan containing the so-called decapitation operation, Operations Plan 5015, had been updated in 2015 to reflect the growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea. Its details remain classified.

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In an attack in September last year, later code-named “Desert Wolf” by anti-hacking security officials, North Korean hackers infected 3,200 computers, including 700 connected to the South Korean military’s internal network, which is normally cut off from the internet. The attack even affected a computer used by the defense minister.


North Korea Targeted U.S. Electric Power Companies

WASHINGTON — The cybersecurity company FireEye says in a new report to private clients, obtained exclusively by NBC News, that hackers linked to North Korea recently targeted U.S. electric power companies with spearphishing emails.

The FireEye report comes on the heels of an NBCNews.com report in August that U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly worried that North Korea will lash out against enhanced U.S. pressure by using its cyber capabilities to attack U.S. infrastructure.


Docs ran a simulation of what would happen if really nasty malware hit a city's hospitals. RIP 8O

... The group ran a simulation exercise with the authorities in Phoenix, Arizona, that revealed alarming results. The three-day simulated cyber-disaster involved one hospital in the city being infected by destructive malware that crippled essential services, followed by other digital assaults on hospitals across the city on the second day, and then a physical attack similar to the 2013 Boston marathon bombing on day three.

To their surprise, the simulations calculated deaths would occur almost immediately on day one. With elevators and HVAC systems out, and no refrigeration for medicines, patients had to be shuttled to other medical facilities and some were not making it there alive.

By day two, doctors switched from standard to disaster triage due to the sheer volume of patients not being treated. Typically, people are triaged so that the sickest or most seriously injured get treated first, but instead doctors had to switch to prioritizing those they could realistically save and left the more seriously sick to die.
“Governments aren’t ready for this and hospitals certainly aren’t – 85 per cent of US hospitals don’t have any IT security staff”


Facebook and Instagram are down in parts of the US and Europe

Outages are still ongoing at the time of this reporting. The areas experiencing the most problems appear to be the West and East Coasts of North America, and various parts of Europe, although parts of South America and Southeast Asia are getting errors as well.

Users experiencing the outage on Facebook say that they can’t access the site

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 12:47:35

Nvidia Unveils Computer to Drive 'Fully Autonomous Robotaxis'

The company claims the new system, code named Pegasus, will handle Level 5 driverless vehicles — vehicles that can be operated entirely by sensors and computers, with no human interaction.

The new iteration of the GPU maker’s Drive PX platform will deliver over 320 trillion operations per second (TOPS), which amounts to more than 10 times its predecessor’s processing power. Pegasus contains an amount of power equivalent to “a 100-server data center in the form-factor size of a license plate,” Shapiro said.

Nvidia has continued to push its tech further with the introduction last year of Xavier, a complete system-on-a-chip processor that is essentially an AI brain for self-driving cars. And Pegasus is the equivalent of two Xavier units, plus two next-generation discrete GPUs, Nvidia says.

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Xavier

"It is designed for truly level 5 driving," meaning no steering wheel, no gas or brake pedal, Nvidia automotive senior director said Danny Shapiro on a call with reporters on Monday. The system’s software can be updated over the air — similar to how a smartphone’s operating system is updated — making the car become smarter over time.

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This --- Pegasus --- replaces all this ...

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Intel Accelerates Its Quantum Computing Efforts With 17-Qubit Chip

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Intel says it is shipping an experimental quantum computing chip to research partners in The Netherlands today. The company hopes to demonstrate that its packaging and integration skills give it an edge in the race to produce practical quantum computers.

The chip contains 17 superconducting qubits—the quantum computer’s fundamental component. According to Jim Clarke, Intel’s director of quantum hardware, the company chose 17 qubits because it’s the minimum needed to perform surface code error correction, an algorithm thought to be necessary to scaling up quantum computers to useful sizes.

For the new quantum chip, Intel adapted so-called flip chip technology to work at millikelvin temperatures. Flip chip involves adding a dot of solder to each bond pad, flipping the chip upside down atop the circuit board, and then melting the solder to bond it. The result is a smaller, denser, and lower inductance connection.


Google Reveals Blueprint for Quantum Supremacy

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Today, Charles Neill at the University of California Santa Barbara and Pedram Roushan at Google say they know how quantum supremacy can be achieved, and have successfully demonstrated a proof-of-principle version of the machine for the first time. The work raises the prospect that the first demonstration of quantum supremacy could be just months way. ...


Memristor-Driven Analog Compute Engine Would Use Chaos to Compute Efficiently

“No one had been able to show chaotic dynamics in a single scalable electronic device,” says Suhas Kumar, a researcher at Hewlett Packard Labs, in Palo Alto, Calif. Until now, that is.

He, John Paul Strachan, and R. Stanley Williams recently showed that a particular configuration of a certain type of memristor contains that seed of controlled chaos. What’s more, when they simulated wiring these up into a type of circuit called a Hopfield neural network, the circuit was capable of solving a ridiculously difficult problem—1,000 instances of the traveling salesman problem—at a rate of 10 trillion operations per second per watt.

(It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but the world’s most powerful supercomputer as of June 2017 managed 93,015 trillion floating point operations per second but consumed 15 megawatts doing it. So about 6 billion operations per second per watt.)


TSMC Aims to Build World’s First 3-nM Fab

TAIPEI — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) will build the world’s first 3-nM fab in the Tainan Science Park in southern Taiwan, where the company does the bulk of its manufacturing.

The announcement lays to rest speculation that the company might build its next chip facility in the U.S., attracted by incentives offered by the administration of President Donald Trump to bring more manufacturing to America.

About a year ago, TSMC said it planned to build its next fab at the 5-nm to 3-nm technology node as early as 2022. A 3mn fab being planned by chip foundry giant TSMC is likely to cost more than $20 billion to build and equip.

Earlier this year, TSMC logged its first revenue from 10nm products, trailing Samsung, its main rival in the foundry business, by nearly four months.

TSMC said its 7-nm yield is ahead of schedule and it expects a fast ramp in 2018. The company plans to insert several extreme ultraviolet (EUV) layers at 7 nm, but declined to provide details. The company plans to offer a 7-nm plus node that it expects will allow customers easy migration from 7 nm.

TSMC has also said its 5-nm roadmap is on track for a launch in the first quarter of 2019.


Monolithic 3D ICs are Now Practical
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 12:58:52

Armed Ground Robots Could Join the Ukrainian Conflict Next Year

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Video - Ukrainian military leaders and defense industry officials showed off their experimental Phantom robot on Monday at the Association of the U.S. Army show in Washington, D.C. It has an extendable frame that can be outfitted with treads like a tank or with six wheels, and armed with anti-tank weapons, grenade launchers, or machine guns. Currently in testing, the Phantom could be sent into action against Russian-backed forces as early as next year, they said.

Russia, too, has a wide array of ground bots it could dispatch to the conflict, though Moscow has not signaled its readiness to do that. But Russian drones of the flying variety have been used to tremendous effect there. They identify enemy positions to target fires. They hijack cell-tower signals to deliver false messages and texts, an effect experienced by Ukrainian soldiers and even NATO soldiers outside the country.


This Unmanned ATV Could Become the U.S. Army's Robotic Pack Mule

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Polaris's MRZR-X robotic vehicle could help infantrymen carry the extra supplies into battle—beans, bullets, and gadgets—that will help them survive on their own longer.

The Squad Mission Equipment Transport, or SMET, is designed to provide soldiers with a robotic tag-along vehicle that functions much like a pack mule. Under SMET, each infantry squad would be assigned its own pack mule, which could carry food, water, extra ammunition, casualty litters, and other mission-important gear like anti-tank weapons. This would lighten the load for individual soldiers who could travel greater distances and tackle more difficult terrain. In the past, the Army has explored but ultimately rejected other robotic mules, with wheels and legs alike. Perhaps the SMET will be different.

According to Polaris MRZR-X provides "squad overmatch"—basically, the ability for U.S. forces to bring more firepower and stuff into battle than their opponents, and claims that their vehicle exceeds Army requirements in key areas. To top it off, the MRZR production line is already open and running.


AUSA 2017: US Army Advances Robotic Mule Use

Video - Ten unmanned systems will be taking part in the US Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program with trials currently taking place at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Based on the outcome of that event, which is set to conclude on 14 October 2017, the US Army will select up to four platforms and award production orders for up to 20 of each platform for phase two.


The EMP-Proof Truck: AM General Doubles Down On Humvee

SOUTH BEND, IND.: The US military replaced its Humvees in Afghanistan and Iraq, with heavier, better armored vehicles because of the threat from roadside bombs. But that approach may not work In a high-tech conflict, argues manufacturer AM General. You might want to go back to the Humvee. Why? Because it’s simpler. There are no electronic engine controls, no electronic braking, no circuitry that a sophisticated enemy could hack with malware, scramble with directed microwaves, or fry with the electromagnetic pulse from an atomic bomb or other source.
“It’s essentially bulletproof to EMP,”

If you set off an electromagnetic pulse over South Bend, he said, the Humvees could continue to run, even as many more sophisticated vehicles glitch or go dead.

AM General proudly points to old-fashioned virtues it’s retained. The steering column turns the wheels using hydraulics – no electronic steering here. The brakes use a direct mechanical connection, without even any hydraulics (which can leak).


Urban Battles May Mean Fricking Lasers, EW, Networks For Air Force

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Two decades after the Marines predicted most warfare would be in urban areas, the Air Force is coming to the same conclusions. Simply put, the great majority of humans live in cities these days, and Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein has added urban warfare to his list of top focus areas.
“How do we design an Air Force for this kind of conflict?” Golden asked during his speech here. “Today, I think we are more designed for working in open spaces.”

By contrast, the Army and Marines are focused on urban areas like a, well, laser. The Marines had Fallujah — with the Army joining in to retake the city — and smaller versions in Afghanistan. The Army had Sadr City, Mosul (before ISIS), Samarra, and more. The largest service also has some institutional memories of urban battle from World War II but hasn’t trained for full-out war in cities for some time.

One of the greatest problems with urban warfare is limiting civilian casualties and leaving much of the city standing, as the latest battle for Mosul illustrates in Iraq. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, during a Q and A with reporters, pointed to directed energy weapons (think fricking lasers! and related technologies like electronics-frying microwaves) as potentially useful tools.

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GM Shows Off A New Autonomous Fuel-Cell Truck Platform Called SURUS

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SURUS has four-wheel steering, two motors, a LiON battery system as well as a fuel cell system for a total of 400 miles of range and uses chassis components from GM’s existing truck lines.

SURUS will deliver highly mobile autonomous capability and agility in unpredictable terrain. Operating multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration could reduce manpower needed. For future potential military uses, the system’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation offer benefits in environments to reduce detection and risks. TARDEC has been in discussions with GM evaluating the commercial SURUS concept as a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications.

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 11 Oct 2017, 13:14:16

Funeral Directors in New York City Furious Over Computer Switch Glitch

DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Funeral directors are furious over the NYC Department of Health's new computer system.

They say the new format to generate death certificates to get necessary burial and cremation permits failed to go online as scheduled Monday.
"It's going back to the stone-age" Aievoli said. "Many hospitals don't even have blank death certificates on file any more. We are printing out blanks and driving them around."

As a result, funeral directors told Eyewitness News they were threatened with postponing and canceling funerals because many cemeteries or burial sites will not accept bodies or remains without the burial permits from DOH.

"We had to go down there and get our pictures taken for the new facial recognition system they are moving to, but now the system crashed and we're kind of stuck", Aievoli said. The system for generating death certificates used to work by funeral directors using their thumbprints.


Computer Glitch Leaves Grieving Phoenix Families Waiting to Hold Funerals

Dozens of grieving families are being forced to wait to lay their loved ones to rest due to a glitch in new software just launched by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The software known as the Database Application for Vital Statistics or D.A.V.E for short was just launched by the state last Monday. State health officials said the program was intended to streamline the process to get death and birth certificates and put everything online so people would not have to physically go to government offices to get those documents

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"We really, really implored with the state, can you take a second look at this to avoid having a disaster on their hands. We sounded the clarion call, but clearly, it was not heard or fell on deaf ears, that's the way it feels," said Bueler.

He added that the problems caused since the launch date were much worse than anyone could have predicted.

A huge delay in getting death certificates issued meant many families were unable to plan burial or cremation services for loved ones.

"I keep on hearing the doctor can't get a password to get on the system. It really is a very emotional time for us. For them not to have a better handle on something as crucial and critical and as emotional as this in advance, and know for sure it's going to work, I can't imagine why they would try and implement something if they haven't tested it," said Peterson.


Amazon Alexa Can Now Be Used to Unlock a Nissan Car Remotely

Certain Nissan models made between 2016 and 2018 will be equipped with the technology that will allow drivers to tell Alexa to carry out tasks such as flashing the lights, unlocking the car remotely and honking the horn. Image


Adidas will finally start selling shoes made by its robot factory

The robot factory Adidas built in Germany is now fully functional and ready to start making the first Speedfactory shoe that will be sold to the public.

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Skype's Homeland Grapples With Dilemma of Robot as Legal Person

Estonia, the country which helped create Skype and hosts NATO’s cyber-defense center, is also trying to stay ahead of the pack in regulating robotics.

The Economy Ministry is working on legislation that would address the status of artificial intelligence in legal disputes, said Siim Sikkut, the official in charge of the government’s IT strategy. One proposal under consideration would create the term "robot-agent," which would be somewhere between having a separate legal personality and an object that is someone else’s property.

Sikkut said he saw advantages to elevating artificial intelligence to the same judicial level as natural and legal persons. Estonia still has many hurdles ahead. Giving robots personal rights and responsibilities "goes against Europe’s humanist history of law,” noted Triniti, the law firm that prepared a legal analysis for the ministry on the issue.

“We need to get plenty of myths and stereotypes out of the way early on," Sikkut said. "Like that robots are taking over everything or that we’re going too far with computerization. Of course, these questions need to be addressed with all new technologies.”


V-commerce: The $57 Trillion Reason AI Is Now Permeating Every Single Consumer Device

Every single consumer device that matters is now a trojan horse for the rapid introduction of AI assistants into our lives.

Think iPhone, Echo, Pixel, Chromebook, Pixel Buds with Google in your ear. Smart homes, smart cars, smart glasses, and smart robot vacuum cleaners. And all of them with a voice.

"By 2020, virtual assistants will participate in a majority of commercial interactions between people and businesses," Gartner analyst Marty Kihn said at a recent conference.

In other words, money is what's happening.

In 2015, consumer spending in the United States alone hit $51 trillion. Last year, it was $57 trillion and growing. And globally, of course, the number is many multiples of that.

One of the prices for v-commerce is some measure of privacy.

I currently have three devices within two feet of my body that are capable of listening to me. All three can also watch me, under certain circumstances. This is not without privacy concerns, as a woman who installed an internet-connected security camera in her home recently found out when it started whispering ‘Hola senorita’ to her, and began moving ... seemingly of its own volition.

... This is hardly the first time internet-connected cameras have been caught surreptitiously spying on their owners.

Back in 2016, US-based manufacturer Genesis Toys was accused of distributing toys that secretly recorded every sound they can pick up and later sold it to third-party advertising and marketing firms.

Obviously, things get a bit more troubling when the device is watching and recording your every move. Scary stuff.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 14 Oct 2017, 13:16:17

World Bank Chief Sounds Alarm Over Job Automation

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The world is on a "crash course" as people's hopes collide with a future in which millions of jobs are automated, the World Bank chief has said. The World Bank president was speaking in New York ahead of the group's annual meeting in Washington DC this week.

The remarks come amid wider concerns about political threats to economic growth.

The World Bank plans to publish a ranking of countries that measures investments in "human capital", such as education. The focus is a shift for the organisation, which was established after World War Two to spur infrastructure reconstruction. But Dr Kim said other kinds of investments are important to economic growth in the future, as robots displace millions of low-skill workers.

"The one thing you know for sure that you'll need in whatever the economy looks like in the future is people who can learn," he told the BBC.
"If your aspirations start to rise but then there's no opportunity it can lead to fragility, conflict, violence," Dr Kim said. "This is the crash course we're going down."

... Bankers from the IMF, World Bank and other organisations have warned that the progress is threatened by political movements that favour trade barriers, isolation, military aggression and other measures.

Political uncertainties are increasingly behind many of the risks identified by sovereign debt analysts, said Moritz Kraemer, managing director of S&P Global Ratings, which tracks economic and political
"We know what can happen if we let the moment pass," she said. "Growth will be too weak, and jobs too few. Safety nets will be unable to handle aging populations. Our financial system will be unprepared for future shocks."


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Deutsche Post DHL to Deploy Self-Driving Delivery Trucks by 2018

At Nvidia’s GTC Europe conference today, one of the company’s partners detailed plans to bring an autonomous delivery fleet to operational status starting in 2018. Deutsche Post DHL Group wants to put trucks on the road in partnership with auto supplier ZF by that time frame, using electric light transport vehicles equipped with ZF’s Nvidia-based ProAI self-driving system.

DPDHL will help make this happen staring now, by equipping its fleet of 3,400 electric delivery StreetScooter vehicles with ZF sensors, including video cameras, as well as LiDAR and radar. The data gathered by these vehicles will help inform ZF’s ProAI self-driving system, teaching the AI to be able to navigate itself along the delivery routes handled by DPDHL once its autonomous trucks are ready to come to market.

Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) is the world's largest mail and logistics company, with half a million employees servicing over 220 countries.

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The autonomous prototype shown in Munich is equipped with six cameras, one radar and two lidar systems feeding data to the ZF Pro-AI control box


Google pledges $1 Billion to Prepare Workers for Automation

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Shippers, Amazon Pushing Supply Chain toward Automation

... “The whole concept of how customers interact is fundamentally changing, and it’s all being driven by the iPhone and Amazon,” said Mike Seneski, director of corporate strategy at Ford Motor Company. He pointed to Carvana.com, the online marketplace for cars that enables consumers to shop “from their couch” and buy from “vehicle vending machines.”

“This is a serious race for complete and total disruption of the automotive industry over the next five to seven years,” Seneski said. A few years ago, Ford drew up a list of 47 assumptions about how its business and market would look in 2030. “All those assumptions we had about 2030, a lot of them are coming more quickly than we thought,” Seneski said.


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Android Employed

Android Employed is a comedy web series about what will definitely happen as robots enter the workforce.

Caramel the hamster was probably not harmed during filming.

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In Flesh-Cutting Task, Autonomous Robot Surgeon Beats Human Surgeons

In the paper, the researchers say the robot has real clinical potential. Today, surgeons often mark a tumor’s edges with ink, but they could easily switch to the infrared markers that would allow the robot to go to work. If physicians want to make STAR fully autonomous, the robot could draw information about the tumor’s location from a CT or MRI scan.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 14 Oct 2017, 13:37:29

US Navy Armada will Return to Waters Near North Korea

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Navy SEALs swim back to guided-missile submarine USS Michigan during an exercise for certification on SEAL delivery-vehicle operations in the southern Pacific Ocean.

The US Navy's USS Michigan attack submarine arrived in Busan, South Korea's southern port city, on Friday, and it looks like it will be joined by a US aircraft carrier in a bold challenge to a defiant North Korea, Yonhap news reports.

The Michigan, a nuclear-powered attack submarine, carries with it some 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles that experts told Business Insider could prove incredibly useful in a strike on North Korea's nuclear infrastructure.

Additionally, the submarine is known to sometimes carry special forces. In April, South Korean media reported that Navy SEALs aboard the Michigan had trained with a local force to decapitate North Korea's Kim Jong Un regime.

The USS Ronald Reagan, the US's forward-deployed aircraft carrier based in Japan, also should head to South Korea in the coming days, according to Yonhap.

Additionally, the US Navy has reshuffled some Arleigh Berke-class destroyers to bolster missile defenses in the region.


North Korea 'Preparing To Launch another Ballistic Missile' In Retaliation Over US Naval Drill

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A fresh missile test may be on the cards. The Donga Ilbo daily, citing a government source, reported on Saturday that satellite images showed ballistic missiles mounted on launchers being transported out of hangars near Pyongyang and in the North Pyongan Province.

The source said US military officials believe the movement could indicate preparation for a test launch of a missile comparable to the Hwasong-14 inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) or Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).

Another probability could be the testing of the new Hwasong-13 ICBM (solid engine) that has a longer maximum range than the Hwasong-14.

The USS Ronald Reagan will conduct the ten-day joint drills in waters east and west of South Korea. Starting on Monday, the exercise will check the allies “communications interoperability and partnership,” the US Navy’s 7th fleet said in a statement.

As many as 40 navy vessels, including the Aegis destroyer and attack helicopters will be deployed.

Meanwhile, the USS Michigan, an 18,000-metric ton submarine, which arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on Friday, is also expected to join the exercise.


The U.S. Navy Could Attack North Korea from Stealth Submarines

... While the vessels are normally hidden from view, the U.S. Navy recently allowed the Los Angeles-class (SSN-688) attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) to visit US. Fleet Activities Chinhae in South Korea on October 7.

Tucson’s visit is a signal to the North Koreans that while Pyongyang might not always be able to see American forces, the U.S. military can bring a significant amount of long-range precision strike capability to bear very rapidly. While Tucson’s visit is a signal to the North Koreas, the attack submarine’s visit to South Korea at a time of heightened tensions with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang is meant to reassure Seoul that the United States won’t abandon its allies. (... despite what tRump says)

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U.S. Military in South Korea Prepares Mass Civilian Evacuation Drills

... The exercises known as Courageous Channel and Focused Passage, which will be held from Oct. 23-27, are basically a dress rehearsal to make sure everybody’s ready to get out in a hurry in case of war or another emergency.

Both exercises are MANDATORY for all DoD family members and non-emergency essential DoD civilian employees. They are voluntary for U.S. embassy personnel, DoD retirees, contractors and their families, but highly recommended. Any other U.S. civilians with base access are also invited to participate.

“This year’s exercise is not uniquely connected to any specific elements of the current geopolitical situation,” according to a USFK spokesman.

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Bob Corker on Trump’s Biggest Problem: The ‘Castration’ of Rex Tillerson

So is Donald Trump really leading the country toward World War III?

That is the warning that lingers from the broadside delivered by Bob Corker (Tenn.) during his Twitter war with Trump. Most Americans already take for granted much of what the Republican senator said — that the president peddles falsehoods online and has to be corralled by the “adults” around him. But the notion offered by the silver-haired, sober-minded chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee that Trump might launch a catastrophic war invites sleepless nights even for those who have already resigned themselves to four years of domestic chaos.

Yet as Corker sees it, the biggest problem is that Trump is neutering his own chief diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and thereby inviting “binary” situations in which the United States will have to choose between war and a North Korea or Iran capable of threatening the United States with nuclear weapons.
“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” ... “The tweets — yes, you raise tension in the region [and] it’s very irresponsible. But it’s the first part” — the “castration” of Tillerson — “that I am most exercised about.”

- Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) - Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee


The Risks of Pakistan's Sea-Based Nuclear Weapons is Rising

The Navy’s First Carrier-Launched Autonomous Drone Will Be a Flying Gas Tank

Air Force to Fire New Next-Gen ICBM Prototypes in 2020

Pot Waivers Go Up, Testing Standards Go Down As Army Struggles to Meet Recruiting Quota
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 11:31:28

And if we don't blow ourselves up ...

Where We're Going, We Won't Need Roads

“We’re about to have a kid, and I don’t think she’s ever going to get her driver’s license,” says Scott Kubly, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation. “Based on where we are technologically, there just won’t be a need.” In August, right before Kubly went on paternity leave, his agency released a 48-page report titled “The New Mobility Playbook” (complete with 147 pages of appendices). In it, SDOT presents a comprehensive plan for dealing with a future in which cars autonomously pilot passengers to work right alongside the city’s buses, trains, and taxis.

... “It could start happening in two years,” says BCG partner Justin Rose. And by 2030, according to the firm’s research, half of the residents of the country’s 45 largest cities will have access to self-driving and car-sharing technologies.

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Washington State to Hear Presentation on I-5 Autonomous Lanes

The Washington State Transportation Commission will hear a new pitch for reducing congestion – building out autonomous vehicle lanes on Interstate 5.

Bruce Agnew, director of the Cascadia Center Discovery Institute, will make the pitch in Olympia, following a study by his Seattle-based think tank. He believes the state could transition existing HOV lanes to handle autonomous vehicles within the next eight to 10 years and says it would be more cost effective than other ideas of the past.

Basically striping and the condition of the pavement, we need to make sure the pavement is ready for machine readable sensors, $10 million range for Interstate 5,” he said.


Undaunted by Speederbike Crashes at Battle of Endor, Dubai Police will Use Russian Hoverbikes

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Video - The airborne police officers will be using the Hoversurf Scorpion-3, a hoverbike prototype built by a Russian drone start-up and revealed earlier this year. The police force has signed an agreement with the Hoversurf developers to produce a whole fleet.

The bikes will be programmed to fly at a maximum altitude of five metres (16.4 feet), and on one charge the electric motor can carry a person for 25 minutes at a maximum speed of 70 km/h (44 mph).

The new technology to be employed by the city's police was revealed at Gitex 2017, an international technology showcase currently happening at Dubai World Trade Centre.

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Driverless Cars Will Open the Door to a Building Spree (Not)

Waymo Training Cops How to Respond to Autonomous Car Crashes
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 12:06:24

North Korean Official: 'Nuclear War Could Break Out at Any Moment'

North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations warned that “nuclear war can break out at any moment,” as the crisis on the Korean Peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point.”

Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said on Monday that his nation had become a “full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges” and warned that “the entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range.” He also called North Korea “a responsible nuclear state.”

As long as one does not take part in the U.S. military actions against the DPRK, we have no intention to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any other country,” Kim said, referring to his country’s formal name. Pyongyang has the right to possess nuclear weapons to defend itself, he added.

... U.S. Undersecretary of State John Sullivan met his Japanese counterpart, Shinsuke Sugiyama, and told reporters that the State Department is still focusing on diplomacy to eventually denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

We must, however, with our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst should diplomacy fail,” he said.
“I don’t remember a situation when the feeling of a coming disaster is so clear,”

- Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday the president wants him to push forward on diplomacy with North Korea “until the first bomb drops.”


The Growing Danger of a U.S. Nuclear First Strike on North Korea

Trump’s options for dealing with Pyongyang seem increasingly binary: Either back down and accept the reality of a nuclear-armed North Korea while relying upon deterrence to prevent war, or conduct a first strike to remove the regime and its nuclear capabilities. To date, Trump and his top advisors have made clear that they cannot and will not accept a North Korean regime armed with nuclear weapons that are capable of striking the U.S. homeland — and will do whatever it takes to protect the nation from that threat. Moreover, Trump’s dangerously fiery rhetoric now make it incalculably more difficult for the United States to back away from its demands for Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal. A first strike that decisively ends the North Korean regime may well seem far more attractive to Trump than the personal humiliation of backing down and relying on deterrence.

The possibility of a first strike against North Korea has long been discussed as one way to address its growing nuclear threat. Yet very few understand the grim military logic that only an overwhelming surprise nuclear strike provides a decisive option. There is simply no other way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear capabilities while minimizing the risk of massive conventional or nuclear retaliation.

There are two crucial reasons why a conventional first strike cannot be effective. First, the logistics timelines involved are too long. It would require weeks or even months of preparation: building up troops, aircraft, and ships, as well as evacuating tens of thousands of U.S. citizens. ...

Second, and more important, a conventional first strike simply cannot destroy enough North Korean military capability to prevent a retaliatory second strike. North Korean nuclear weapons have been deliberately dispersed throughout the country, including on mobile launchers and in locations deep underground, to prevent this exact scenario. There is no such thing as an effective surgical strike in this case, because the United States does not have sufficient intelligence to guarantee that its conventional forces could locate, much less destroy, every single North Korean warhead. So either way, a conventional first strike against North Korea leaves open the possibility of nuclear retaliation against U.S. allies and possibly even the U.S. homeland — an outcome no American president would accept.

A surprise nuclear first strike, however, carries far fewer military risks. It would require only a modest increase in the number of ships, airplanes, and nuclear munitions in the region, which could all be shifted into forward bases with little attention. ...

A nuclear first strike, then, may seem like an attractive military option to a president who has vowed to end the North Korean nuclear threat once and for all. Yet its political, economic, and moral consequences would be so devastating that it would be hard for any American to imagine, in retrospect, why this ever seemed like a good idea. ...


U.S. Evacuation Drills in South Korea Heighten Fears of Military Action

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NATO Launches its Main Nuclear Drill, Showcasing Its Defenses

Daniel Ellsberg Warns of Nuclear Dangers in the Era of Trump

Daniel Ellsberg is known mainly for — or only for — the Pentagon Papers he leaked in 1971.
But, for some, the name Ellsberg not only evokes “Vietnam” but also “anti-nuclear.” And now he has written a book titled The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, to be published by Bloomsbury in December. In it he reveals that the 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers that he copied from his office at the Rand Corporation in 1969-70 were only “a fraction” of what he had borrowed from office safes. Much of the rest amounted to the “other” Pentagon papers — secret documents on US nuclear war plans and capabilities.

... From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.


Nuclear Fallout Shelters Were Never Going to Work

Dented and faded now, the Kennedy-era signs still cling to the sides of buildings across the country.They’re an enduring symbol of the Cold War,” says popular-culture historian Bill Geerhart, ... “They outlasted everything, including the Berlin Wall. They’re tangible artifacts of that era.And though their original purpose has vanished, the signs still have much to say. They are the products of an ill-conceived program, designed to appease a population with little faith in that program even working. ...

... Reflected Eric Green, keeper of the Civil Defense Museum website, whose personal collection of fallout-shelter artifacts includes over 140 signs. “That’s the most ominous looking sign—the black and yellow and those triangles. It looked like exactly what it meant: This is the end.”

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How to Survive a Nuclear Bomb in DC (Yes, Really)

You'll have about 10 minutes between finding out a nuclear bomb is heading for Washington on a ballistic missile and the moment it explodes over the city.

At least that's the best guess from experts. And that's really a best-case scenario if the bomb comes from a North Korean missile. If it's a Russian or Chinese missile carrying a nuclear bomb? Even less.
"The long and short of this is why Eisenhower was not a big fan of civil defense programs. There's not a lot you can do"

Let's just get this out of the way first: You're not going to run away from the bomb.

"It makes no sense to run," Nichols said. "You don't know how accurate the bomb is. For all you know, you're running toward it. That bomb could go off anywhere within a few miles."

If you work or live somewhere within a three-block radius of the blast, what you do is irrelevant.

"If you're close enough that the heat is a problem, there's not a thing you can do," Nichols said.

The scariest thing about a nuclear bomb blast is this may be the best place to be if you're going to fall victim to the bomb. Outside of that range, death is still nearly guaranteed, but it becomes far more horrifically and slowly.

"The worst place to be is going to be outside the area of immediate fatalities," Nichols said. "That's the unenviable place."

Outside of this area, many of the immediate deaths will be caused by windows shattering and sending bullets of glass through human bodies, lacerating flesh, and causing many to bleed out.


New York City: 1 Second After Detonation



What Happens If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan?

A computer model is in the works to simulate how New Yorkers would respond in the the first 30 days after a nuclear attack.

... The Center for Social Complexity was awarded a grant worth more than $450,000 last May to develop a computer model that simulates how as many as 20 million individuals would react in the first 30 days after a nuclear attack in New York City. The grant, which came from the nuclear-focused Defense Threat Reduction Agency, or DTRA, will fund a three-year project. In the simulation, individual “agents” will make decisions and move about the area based on their needs, their surroundings, and their social networks. (... or maybe we can just wait for the REAL thing)


This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave In Their Wake

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NatGeo - Berik Syzdykov, 38, sits at the kitchen table in the apartment he shares with his mother in Semey, Kazakhstan. Berik was born with birth defects after his pregnant mother was exposed to radiation from a nuclear test blast conducted by the Soviet Union in the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan. He is blind, and has had several operations to reduce the swelling in his face.

The site, known as the Polygon, was home to nearly a quarter of the world’s nuclear tests during the Cold War. The zone was chosen for being unoccupied, but several small agricultural villages dot its perimeter. Though some residents were bussed out during the test period, most remained. The damage that continues today is visceral.

Photographer Phil Hatcher-Moore spent two months documenting the region, and was struck by the “wanton waste of man’s folly.”
“Nuclear contamination is not something we can necessarily see,” ... “And we can talk about the numbers, but I find it more interesting to focus on individuals who encapsulate the story.”

The figures are astonishing – some 100,000 people in the area are still affected by radiation, which can be transmitted down through five generations. But with his intimately harrowing pictures, Moore sought to make the abstract numbers tangible.

... While some of Moore’s subjects are severely deformed, many suffer from less visible health issues like cancer, blood diseases or PTSD. And the hidden, insidious nature of the thing is what is perhaps most troubling. “For a long time there hadn’t been much nuclear development but it is a very real issue right now,” says Moore. “But we don’t talk about what it takes to renew these weapons. These people are legacy and testament to what was done to meet those ends.”
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 13:14:20

The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More.

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... Amid all the attention on Pyongyang’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States, the North Koreans have also quietly developed a cyberprogram that is stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and proving capable of unleashing global havoc.

Just as Western analysts once scoffed at the potential of the North’s nuclear program, so did experts dismiss its cyberpotential — only to now acknowledge that hacking is an almost perfect weapon for a Pyongyang that is isolated and has little to lose.
“Cyber is a tailor-made instrument of power for them,” said Chris Inglis, a former deputy director of the National Security Agency, who now teaches about security at the United States Naval Academy. “There’s a low cost of entry, it’s largely asymmetrical, there’s some degree of anonymity and stealth in its use. It can hold large swaths of nation state infrastructure and private-sector infrastructure at risk. It’s a source of income.”

The country’s primitive infrastructure is far less vulnerable to cyberretaliation, and North Korean hackers operate outside the country, anyway. Sanctions offer no useful response, since a raft of sanctions are already imposed. And Mr. Kim’s advisers are betting that no one will respond to a cyberattack with a military attack, for fear of a catastrophic escalation between North and South Korea.

Since 2012, government officials and private researchers say North Korea have dispersed its hacking teams abroad, relying principally on China’s internet infrastructure. Intelligence agencies are now trying to track the North Korean hackers in these countries the way they have previously tracked terrorist sleeper cells or nuclear proliferators: looking for their favorite hotels, lurking in online forums they may inhabit, attempting to feed them bad computer code and counterattacking their own servers.

There is also evidence Pyongyang has planted so-called digital sleeper cells in the South’s critical infrastructure, and its Defense Ministry, that could be activated to paralyze power supplies and military command and control networks.

... “Cyberwarfare, along with nuclear weapons and missiles, is an ‘[i]all-purpose sword’ that guarantees our military’s capability to strike relentlessly,”[/i] Kim Jong-un reportedly declared, according to the testimony of a South Korean intelligence chief.

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... While American and South Korean officials often express outrage about North Korea’s cyberactivities, they rarely talk about their own — and whether that helps fuel the cyber arms race.

Yet both Seoul and Washington target the North’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, its nuclear program and its missile program. Hundreds, if not thousands, of American cyberwarriors spend each day mapping the North’s few networks, looking for vulnerabilities that could be activated in time of crisis.
“Everyone is focused on mushroom clouds,” ... “but there is far more potential for another kind of disastrous escalation.”

At a recent meeting of American strategists to evaluate North Korea’s capabilities, some participants expressed concerns that the escalating cyberwar could actually tempt the North to use its weapons — both nuclear and cyber — very quickly in any conflict, for fear that the United States has secret ways to shut the country down.


Australia Jet and Navy Data Stolen in 'Extensive' Hack

Sensitive information about Australia's defence programmes has been stolen in an "extensive" cyber hack.

About 30GB of data was compromised in the hack on a government contractor, including details about new fighter planes and navy vessels. The hack was described as "extensive and extreme" by ASD incident response manager Mitchell Clarke.

It included information about Australia's new A$17bn (£10bn; $13bn) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme, C130 transport plane and P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft, as well as "a few" naval vessels, he said.

Mr Clarke told a Sydney security conference that the hacker had exploited a weakness in software being used by the government contractor. The software had not been updated for 12 months. The aerospace engineering firm was also using default passwords, he said.


How North Korean Hackers Stole 235 Gigabytes of Classified US and South Korean Military Plans

Security Flaw Puts Every Wi-Fi Connection at Risk

Thanks to a newly discovered security flaw, your home Wi-Fi is completely hackable, giving cyber thieves a front row seat to everything from your private chats to your baby monitor. And there's not much you can do about it — yet.

Bob Rudis, chief data scientist at Rapid7, a security data and analytics company, told NBC News this vulnerability was particularly troubling.
"When I woke up this morning and saw this one, I was taken aback," he said

It's a common practice in the security world to notify vendors of an exploit before it is publicly released. On their website, the researchers said they notified vendors of the products they tested on July 14. After realizing they were dealing with a protocol weakness instead of a set of bugs, the duo alerted the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), who began contacting vendors in August.

CERT disclosed the exploit on Monday and included a list of vendors, when they were notified, and whether they are affected. As of Monday afternoon, many were listed as "unknown."

It's difficult to determine if any cyber criminals have used the exploit "in the wild" or are currently using it, the researchers said on their website. A demo video showed how they were able to use the attack to hack into an Android 6.0 smartphone.

Since virtually every device in the world that uses Wi-Fi is vulnerable, he said it's crucial to stay on top of updates.


Did We Launch A Cyberattack Against N. Korea?

Two weeks ago, President Trump authorized United States Cyber Command to conduct a sustained Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack against North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB)

In an environment where activity often occurs covertly, this case provides an opportunity to explore the dynamics of signaling and coercion in cyberspace. In particular, what was the Trump administration seeking to achieve by leaking this operation to the media? And, what might it accomplish?


DHS Report Finds “Immeasurable Vulnerabilities and Attack Vectors” Against U.S. Critical Infrastructure

A Department of Homeland Security assessment released in April states that critical infrastructure throughout the U.S. faces “immeasurable vulnerabilities and attack vectors” due to the increasingly prominent role of information and communication technology (ICT) in critical infrastructure sectors. The strategic risk assessment, authored by the Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis within DHS, was obtained by Public Intelligence and describes the “convergence of cyber and physical domains” as a strategic threat to the nation’s infrastructure.

As ICT is increasingly depended upon in “all 16 critical infrastructure sectors,” there is an “inherent reliance on a network connection for functionality” that “creates numerous vulnerabilities” and makes “universal security extremely difficult and improbable, allowing cyber attackers to more easily exploit critical infrastructure.”

Similar concerns were expressed in a January 2016 intelligence assessment issued by DHS which found that nation-state cyber actors are actively “targeting US energy sector enterprise networks” to maintain “persistent access to facilitate the introduction of malware” in the event of “hostilities with the United States.”


EMP Attack by North Korea Could Shut Down the US Power Grid and Kill 'Millions of Americans' Within a Year, Experts Warn Congress

... The chilling warning comes from Dr William Graham and Dr Peter Vincent Pry from the EMP Commission, in a new paper titled 'North Korea Nuclear EMP Attack: An Existential Threat.'

The experts claim that an EMP bomb would be detonated from an altitude of 30 to 400 kilometres (18.6 to 250 miles) above a target, resulting in the loss of electricity to an enormous region.

This could have a range of devastating effects, including knocking out refrigeration for medicines and food, disrupting communication networks, and preventing water processing.
'The EMP Commission finds that even primitive, low-yield nuclear weapons are such a significant EMP threat that rogue states, like North Korea, or terrorists may well prefer using a nuclear weapon for EMP attack, instead of destroying a city.'

They wrote: 'With the development of small nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles by new, radical US adversaries, beginning with North Korea, the threat of a nuclear EMP attack against the US becomes one of the few ways that such a country could inflict devastating damage to the United States.'
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 18 Oct 2017, 16:49:48

AlphaGo Zero Shows Machines Can Become Superhuman Without Any Help

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NOT so long ago, mastering the ancient Chinese game of Go was beyond the reach of artificial intelligence. But then AlphaGo, Google DeepMind’s AI player, started to leave even the best human opponents in the dust. Yet even this world-beating AI needed humans to learn from. Then, on Wednesday, DeepMind’s new version ditched people altogether.

AlphaGo Zero has surpassed its predecessor’s abilities, bypassing AI’s traditional method of learning games, which involves watching thousands of hours of human play. Instead, it simply starts playing at random, honing its skills by repeatedly playing against itself. Three days and 4.9 million such games later, the result is the world’s best Go-playing AI.
“It’s more powerful than previous approaches because we’ve removed the constraints of human knowledge,”

- David Silver - lead researcher - AlphaGo

“Humankind has accumulated Go knowledge from millions of games played over thousands of years,” the authors write in their paper. “In the space of a few days… AlphaGo Zero was able to rediscover much of this Go knowledge, as well as novel strategies that provide new insights into the oldest of games.”

AlphaGo Zero’s alternative approach has allowed it to discover strategies humans have never found. For example, it learned many different josekis – sequences of moves that result in no net loss for either side. Plenty of josekis have been written down during the thousands of years Go has been played, and initially AlphaGo Zero learned many of the familiar ones. But as its self-training continued, it started to favour previously unknown sequences.

To test these new moves, DeepMind pitted AlphaGo Zero against the version that beat 18-time world champion Lee Sedol. In a 100-game grudge match, it won 100-0. This is despite only training for three days, compared to several months for its predecessor. After 40 days of training, it also won 89-11 against a better version of AlphaGo that had defeated world number one Ke Jie.

DeepMind hopes this method will have applications beyond Go. “The team are already working to apply this to scientific problems like protein-folding,” said CEO Demis Hassabis at a press conference on Monday. Climate science, drug discovery and quantum chemistry could also benefit, he said.

This approach might also solve one of the thorniest issues that has faced AI: the need for copious training data. “With this approach you no longer have to rely on getting expert quality human data,” says David Churchill at Memorial University, Canada.

(Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge Nature, https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v ... 24270.html ).


'It's Able To Create Knowledge Itself': Google Unveils AI That Learns On Its Own

... The feat marks a milestone on the road to general-purpose AIs that can do more than thrash humans at board games. Because AlphaGo Zero learns on its own from first principle, a blank slate, its talents can now be turned to a host of real-world problems.
“In hours it discovers some best plays, josekis, and then it goes beyond those plays and finds something even better,” said Hassabis. “You can see it rediscovering thousands of years of human knowledge in days.”

“For us, AlphaGo wasn’t just about winning the game of Go,” said Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind and a researcher on the team. “It was also a big step for us towards building these general-purpose algorithms.” Most AIs are described as “narrow” because they perform only a single task, such as translating languages or recognising faces, but general-purpose AIs could potentially outperform humans at many different tasks. In the next decade, Hassabis believes that AlphaGo’s descendants will work alongside humans as scientific and medical experts.


Self-Taught, 'Superhuman' AI Now Even Smarter

When AI Learns to Sumo Wrestle, It Starts to Act Like a Human

OpenAI, the artificial intelligence research lab backed by Elon Musk, found that AI pitted against another AI opponent could continuously learn and adapt to its foe, as well as explore new and different ways to capitalize on weaknesses.

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When the AI was humanoid, it figured out techniques that mirror how humans perform the activity, like crouching to gain better stability, without any coaching or prompting to do so. The AI even figured out how to deceive its opponents, luring them to the edge of the ring and then dodging out of the way as the opponent’s momentum caused it to fall.


Welcoming Our New Robot Overlords

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... For decades, the conventional view among economists was that technological advances create as many opportunities for workers as they take away. In the past several years, however, research has begun to suggest otherwise. “It’s not that we’re running out of work or jobs per se,” David Autor, an M.I.T. economist who studies the impact of automation on employment, said. “But a subset of people with low skill levels may not be able to earn a reasonable standard of living based on their labor. We see that already.” As automation depresses wages, jobs in factories become both less abundant and less appealing.

This process, Autor and other economists argue, can also exacerbate inequality. The labor market is built around the idea of labor scarcity: each person has a bundle of labor—his or her own capacity to work—that employers need and that she can sell in the job market through employment during the course of a career of thirty years or so. That model is eroding.

“It doesn’t mean there’s no money around, but it’s just accruing to the owners of capital, to the owners of ideas,” Autor says. “And capital is less equitably distributed than labor. Everyone is born with some labor, but not everyone is born with capital.”
“The winds are changing,” ... “I think part of the reason populism is rising around the world is that the gap is getting too big. Having so much inequality creates instability in a country. Maybe twenty years ago, we still had too many poor people, but they believed that they had a shot. I believe some of that is being sucked away.”

As plants have closed, displaced employees have sought work in fast-food restaurants or in big-box retail stores, where the pay and the benefits are substantially less attractive. And, increasingly, even those jobs are fading away. Storefront retail is fast losing ground to the online marketplace. McDonald’s is introducing “digital ordering kiosks” that are expected to replace human cashiers at fifty-five hundred restaurants by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, companies like Uber and Google are investing heavily in autonomous-driving technology, betting that such vehicles will reshape transportation.


The Next Wave of the Tech Revolution Will Wipe Out Millions of Jobs — Maybe Even Yours

Intel to ship new Nervana Neural Network Processor by end of 2017

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This morning Intel formally unveiled its Nervana Neural Network Processor (NNP) family of chips designed for machine learning use cases. Intel has previously alluded to these chips using the pre-launch name Lake Crest.

The technology underlying the chips is heavily tied to Nervana Systems, a deep learning hardware startup Intel purchased last August for $350 million. Intel’s NNP chips nix standard cache hierarchy and use software to manage on-chip memory to achieve faster training times for deep learning models.

Intel has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being completely leveled by Nvidia. By refocusing on the growing AI market, the legacy chip maker surely hopes to build on its industry connections to stay afloat. To this point, Intel has been actively chasing a goal of 100 times faster machine learning AI performance (compared to GPUs) by 2020.


Nvidia vs NXP—Whose Robocar Brain Will Win?

New AI Robot Analyst Slaps Sell Rating on Facebook and Google

While human analysts are still overwhelmingly bullish on Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc., a new robot analyst at Wells Fargo says it’s time to sell.

Late last month, Wells Fargo analyst Ken Sena introduced AIERA, short for artificially intelligent equity research analyst, a bot that does massive automated grunt work to support human analysts as they track stocks and make trade recommendations. And while analysts are known to skew toward buy ratings, the new bot doesn’t seem to share the bias.

“AIERA’s approach this week appears decidedly more conservative (than last week), as she places a ‘hold’ recommendation on 11 names and even going so far as to place Google and Facebook in the ‘sell’ category,” Sena says in a new note sent out to clients on Friday.

This is at odds with Wall Street’s outlook. Facebook, a stock that has climbed 48 percent this year, has 42 buys out of 47 ratings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Google parent Alphabet, up 24 percent in 2017, is similarly beloved, with 34 buys out of 41 ratings.

It’s also at odds with its inventors. AIERA’s pessimism isn’t enough to cause Sena and his team to remove their own outperform rating on both stocks.


Caterpillar Seals Deal on Autonomous Retrofit Project for Mining Trucks

PEORIA — Caterpillar Inc. this month publicly acknowledged its first major agreement to retrofit a mine operator’s mixed fleet of mining trucks with autonomous capabilities.

Approximately 100 Cat and Komatsu trucks at Fortescue’s iron ore mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia will be outfitted with the Cat Command for Hauling system.

Fortescue already operates 56 autonomous Cat 793F CMD trucks at one of the operations where the autonomous fleet will be expanded. The mining company has worked with Caterpillar to integrate the autonomous system since the first half of 2013 and reported 400 million tons of material safely hauled by the autonomous fleet in August.

Fortescue also claims the autonomous operation has increased productivity at the site by 20 percent.

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Bladerunner 2049: New Way to Prevent Genetically Engineered and Unaltered Organisms from Producing Offspring
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 11:08:58

'Rocket Man' must have got up in a good mood today ...

North Korea Threatens 'Unimaginable Strike' on US ship

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North Korea's official news agency described a US aircraft carrier patrolling off the Korean Peninsula as a "primary target" and said Washington should expect an "unimaginable" attack.

The latest threat on Thursday came amid massive joint US-South Korean naval exercises off the peninsula involving the American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

North Korea condemned Seoul and Washington's move to mobilise nuclear strategic assets near the volatile peninsula. Pyongyang has slammed the warship manoeuvres as a "rehearsal for war".

"The US is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones. The US should expect that it would face [an] unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time," said a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. (... I dont know; I've got a pretty good imagination)

USS Reagan complement: The whole crew complement numbers 3,200 personnel and includes all manner of levels - officers, enlisted, security, etc... The air wing comprises an additional 2,480 personnel for a grand total of 5,680 souls onboard at any one time - essentially a floating small American town.


Let’s Walk This Through: If North Korea Launches An ICBM, Then…

How good is America’s homeland ballistic-missile defense? If a war broke out tomorrow, could it stop an attack from North Korea?

It takes a lot of rosy assumptions to get to President Trump’s 97% chance of success. ...


... The resulting mental picture is something like a pair of punch-drunk boxers, each one barely able to stand. Whoever prevails might be a matter of blind luck.


Here's What Could Happen if North Korea Detonates a Hydrogen Bomb

Pentagon Scenario of a New Korean War Estimates 20,000 Deaths Daily in South Korea, retired US Admiral Says

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... "Right now it's still a lot of words, and it's a lot of words by two leaders that tend to bluster a bit," Williams said. "One of them, particularly Kim Jong Un, if he feels that conflict is inevitable ... then his strategic position is one where he would gain a lot by taking the first move."

Ret. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, put chances of a nuclear war with North Korea at 10 percent and the chance of a conventional conflict with the regime at 50/50, according to the Times.
... "We are closer to a nuclear exchange than we have been at any time in the world's history with the single exception of the Cuban missile crisis''

- Ret. Navy Adm. James Stavridi

The admiral told the paper a war could potentially start if North Korea fires a missile that strikes on Guam or lands near the U.S. territory. It could potentially result in the U.S. striking back against North Korea with Tomahawk cruise missiles, as it did on a Syrian government airbase after a chemical attack in April. And while Syria just took the blow, Kim Jong Un might respond more forcefully to avoid looking weak, including possibly firing artillery at U.S. military posts in South Korea.

Also, the Times said there's a possibility the North Korean dictator could resort to more drastic action, including even smuggling a nuclear weapon aboard a ship to a location where it could cause massive casualties. He also could use an aircraft to drop the weapon.


General: ‘War by Next Summer’; North Korean Crisis at Perilous Point

DONALD Trump is “overloading” his military, undermining the world’s trust in the United States and pushing us towards an imminent war with North Korea, a respected retired general has claimed.

General Barry McCaffrey’s comments, made during a TV interview with NBC, come amidst a perpetually deepening crisis on the Korean peninsula, as Kim Jong-un escalates his threats against the United States and its allies — including Australia.
... “Something has to be said here. I think the president has lost almost all credibility with the international community. They’re going to wait him out. So I wouldn’t overstate the damage he’s doing,”

- Gen McCaffrey

“The problem is we’ve got so many crises going on now, potentially, that he’s overloading the diplomatic effort, as well as the US armed forces’ ability to deal with it.

“I don’t want us to take our eye off North Korea. The current language out of the administration, that lack of a diplomatic and serious engagement strategy, in my view, has us sliding toward war by next summer,”
the retired general said.

We should note that in the US, “next summer” would mean mid-2018.


Army Preps for Underground & Urban Warfare on Korean Peninsula

Are Russia and China Preparing for War?

The frozen tundra along Russia’s far-eastern border with China is becoming a hot zone as both nations deploy nuclear-capable missiles to the area. Are two of the world’s most advanced militaries preparing for war with one another?


This Nuclear Fallout Shelter was Untouched for 55 years. It Might Come In Handy Now.

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... We found first-aid kits. Tongue depressors, cotton swabs. A yellowing pamphlet with instructions for treating everything from skin rashes to “sucking-wounds in the chest.”

“These were the water barrels,” Blazich said, pointing to a wall of 17 ½ -gallon drums labeled “Office of Civil Defense.” “Think five people per barrel, and we could get a rough approximation of who would be down here.”

We counted: More than 100 people would have sheltered here to save themselves from nuclear apocalypse. The world outside, in this scenario? Annihilated.

“So, each person would get 10,000 calories for two weeks,” Blazich continued, blowing dust off a stack of tinned crackers. The crackers — “All Purpose Survival Biscuits” — would probably have been made of bulgur wheat, he explained. When the pyramids of ancient Egypt were excavated, archaeologists discovered unspoiled bulgur wheat; Cold War scientists figured the stuff must be indestructible.

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JFK urges Americans to build nuclear bomb shelters, Oct. 6, 1961

... on July 25, after the Soviets imposed a blockade on West Berlin, Kennedy said in a nationwide televised speech that “in the event of an attack, the lives of those families which are not hit in a nuclear blast and fire can still be saved if they can be warned to take shelter and if that shelter is available.”

He went on say: “We owe that kind of insurance to our families and to our country ... The time to start is now. In the coming months, I hope to let every citizen know what steps he can take without delay to protect his family in case of attack. I know you would not want to do less.”

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Ready for the Unthinkable?

Imagine a crisp, cool afternoon of sapphire sky, sidewalks and parks thronged all across New York. Suddenly, sirens wail statewide. Countless phones screech the emergency signal followed by a robo-voice stating a nuclear missile will strike New York City in 30 minutes; "seek shelter immediately." Newscasters on tiny phone screens look brave and terrified as they remind upstate viewers winds can push deadly fallout to the Capital Region within 20 minutes of detonation.

This bomb that's headed for Midtown is 3,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. When it hits, humans in a 22-mile radius are vaporized, an urban landscape — Empire State and Chrysler buildings, Central Park—obliterated. The fireball propels a radioactive mushroom cloud 50,000 feet high; seven million people die. Video

The ground shakes from Manhattan to the Adirondacks — and beyond. Electricity, cell and internet service fail. Folks in Albany see the southern horizon glow. An enormous faraway cloud seems to be racing toward them.

... The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists estimates 14,923 nuclear weapons currently exist, and Russia and the U.S. own 90 percent. Wellerstein believes both nations realize nuclear exchange between them could ruin the planet. He describes the 2017 menace as "irrational actors," nations with leaders too crazy or stupid to comprehend the widespread ruin of one nuclear strike.

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... Russia tested 130 nuclear bombs, including the world's biggest (nicknamed Tsar Bomba), near the Arctic Circle from 1954-1991 sending radioactive fallout across the polar ice into the Capital Region. The Atomic Energy Commission monitored the fallout with Geiger counters and told locals that radiation levels were much lower than they truly were. The commission lied when a hunk of a 44,000 tall radioactive cloud from a 1953 U.S. nuclear test drifted for 36 hours all the way to Troy. There radioactive fallout inundated Troy, NY with a thunderstorm's rain.

Albany journalist Bill Heller tells the story in "A Good Day Has No Rain." Nevada nuclear tests continued to contaminate upstate. Rochester-based Kodak threatened to sue the federal government because radioactive fallout was damaging its film. The commission placated Kodak by giving the company advance notice of nuclear tests. New Yorkers were never given this information. Some medical experts linked the radiation exposure to increased thyroid and childhood cancers here.

"The government protected rolls of film but not the lives of people," said U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, at a 1997 hearing about the Troy radioactive contamination. "Where were the warnings to parents of children?"

Heller's unsettling history can make Americans wonder about the trustworthiness of information from the government.


Nuclear War in the UK

Here we revisit movies that depict the onset of nuclear war and the immediate aftermath of annihilation. You know—for fun. Threads Video (1984)


JPMorgan Adds Plan for Nuclear War to Bylaws. But Don't Sweat It

Chairman of Nuclear Safety Board Secretly Proposes to Abolish It

The chairman of a panel charged with protecting workers at nuclear weapons facilities as well as nearby communities has told the White House he favors downsizing or abolishing the group, despite recent radiation and workplace safety problems that injured or endangered people at the sites it helps oversee.

Sean Sullivan, a Republican appointee and former Navy submarine officer, told the director of the Office of Management and Budget in a private letter that closing or shrinking the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board he chairs is consistent with President Trump’s ambition to cut the size of the federal workforce, according to a copy of Sullivan’s letter. It was written in June and obtained recently by the Center for Public Integrity.

The five-member Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, chartered by Congress in 1988, has a staff of 120, and its warnings have helped persuade the federal government to impose tighter safety rules and regulations at most of the eight nuclear weapons sites – employing more than 40,000 workers – where nuclear weapons and their parts are produced or stored.

In recent years, the nuclear weapons complex has repeatedly experienced alarming safety problems, including the mishandling of plutonium, a radioactive explosive; the mis-shipment of hazardous materials, including nuclear explosive materials; and the contamination of work areas and scientists by radioactive particles—shortcomings detailed in a recent Center for Public Integrity investigation.
Sullivan’s position is consistent with the longstanding preferences of the large private contractors that produce and maintain the country’s nuclear arms, most of which also contribute heavily to congressional election campaigns and spend sizable sums lobbying Washington. The board and its expert staff are now probing what it considers to be additional safety lapses or deficiencies that would cost weapons contractors millions of dollars to fix.

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Thu 19 Oct 2017, 12:39:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby ritter » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 11:51:43

Thanks, Vox. Horrifying reading, as always!
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 23 Oct 2017, 11:03:21

ritter wrote:Thanks, Vox. Horrifying reading, as always!

Yah. Sorry about that, but it looks like things are starting to get serious.

There will be Consequences.


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War - War - War by Country Joe McDonald

1. "Forward" 4:39
2. "The Call" 2:35
3. "Young Fellow, My Lad" 3:47
4. "The Man From Aphabaska" 6:28
5. "The Munition Maker" 4:22
6. "The Twins" 1:53
7. "Jean Desprez" 9:48
8. "War Widow" 2:02
9. "The March of The Dead" 6:27


It's Autumn ...

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I Paint What I See


US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert

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BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.
“I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM
“The world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks (like Trump) that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons,” ... “It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right.”

Gen. David Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat.

Barksdale and other bases with nuclear bombers are preparing to build storage facilities for a new nuclear cruise missile that is under development.

Asked if placing B-52s back on alert — as they were for decades — would help with deterrence, Goldfein said it’s hard to say. ...



Air Force May Recall Up To 1,000 Retired Military Pilots to Address 'Acute Shortage'

The United States Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired military pilots to active-duty service to address an acute shortage in its ranks.

By law, only 25 retired pilots can be recalled through voluntary programs to serve in any one branch. Trump's executive order temporarily removes this limit by expanding a state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001 as part of efforts "to mitigate the Air Force's acute shortage of pilots," according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Gary Ross.
"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," ... "The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come,"

Secretary of Air Force Heather Wilson has said the service was short 1,555 pilots at the end of the 2016 fiscal year, including 1,211 fighter pilots.

The new strategy in the 16-year-old Afghanistan war, unveiled in August by Trump, includes additional U.S. troops going to Afghanistan as well as increased U.S. air support for the Afghan military.

Admiral Josh Painter: This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.
...
[the Konovalov's own torpedo is about to strike the Konovalov]
Andrei Bonovia: You arrogant ass. You've killed *us* all!

- The Hunt for Red October (1990)


Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Southeast Asia

The Korea Crisis: When Human Politics Apes That of Chimps

... At the core of these chimpanzees’ political lives, as with the spat between Trump and Kim, were two recurring behaviors– 1.) bluff displays and 2.) alliance-building – while a third behavior – 3.) war – loomed constantly as a possibility in the event that de-confliction failed.

... “physical strength is only one factor and almost certainly not the critical one in determining dominance relationships”, there’s perhaps only one question needing to be asked where US alliances in Asia are concerned. The military might of the US notwithstanding, how is it that an oceanically-remote predominantly-English-speaking country maintains alpha status in the regional primate super-colony of Asian nation-states?

The answer, of course, lies not only in America’s “power” (that is, its ability to project military force) per se, but also in what a primatologist would call the US’ “formal dominance” – its ability to entreat potential allies into postures of deference in order that they do its bidding (or, as Jane Goodall might put it – its ability to solicit “pant-grunt greetings” from submissives in the colony).

For South Korea or Japan, the incentive to defer to America as alpha comes not from a position of fear that the United States will attack them but rather from a position of hope that the United States will protect them in the event of untoward aggression from North Korea.

... Ultimately then, the aim of separating interventions (as with “decoupling”), is to isolate the alpha from his traditional allies to such an extent that they are no longer willing to side with him for fear of repercussions from his competitors.

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Overthrow of the 'alpha' male

... Reflecting on the Gombe Chimpanzee War, Goodall describes being so disturbed by the cannibalistic infanticide she observed during clashes between the Kasakela and Kahama male groups that she would wake at night after “horrific pictures sprang unbidden to [her] mind”.

Such disruptions to ecological homeostasis – chimpanzee-caused, mushroom cloud-caused or otherwise – are often permanent, even if the territorial gains made by the Kahama males at war’s end were only transitory and ultimately arbitrary.


Matt Lauer to John Brennan: Will Military Leaders ‘Lock’ Trump ‘in A Room’ to Stop Nuclear War?

As talks of military confrontation between the US and North Korea continue to escalate, Today Show host Matt Lauer raised an incredible question: What if White House officials really did have to physically stop President Donald Trump from starting a nuclear war?
... When asked whether or not he would follow unethical orders from his authorities, Brennan said that in certain cases — such as a command to bring back waterboarding — he would choose getting fired over following directives.

As for the Mattis, Kelly, and H.R. McMaster, Brennan commended all of them, saying, “They’re patriots… They understand the gravity of this situation, and I don’t think Trump does.

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CIA Chief: North Korea 'On Cusp' of Nuclear Capability

CIA director Mike Pompeo has warned that North Korea is on the cusp of being able to hit the continental US with a nuclear missiles.

North Korea is "close enough now in their capabilities that from a US policy perspective we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective," Mr Pompeo said at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative Washington think tank, on Thursday.
"They are so far along in that, it's now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step."

He warned Pyongyang's missile expertise was now advancing so quickly that it was hard for US intelligence to be sure when it would succeed. "When you're now talking about months our capacity to understand that at a detailed level is in some sense irrelevant," he said.

He stressed Washington still preferred diplomacy and sanctions but said military force remained an option. North Korea claims it already has the capability to strike the US.

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Armageddon by Accident

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Just how close is the world to nuclear war? This offers a clue.

American international affairs news service Foreign Policy (FP) reports a US navy guided missile destroyer was in September issued a flash WARNO. The naval parlance translates to "warning order".


Its message? 'WARNO: Prepare Cruise Missile Strike.'
Prepare for a Tomahawk cruise missile attack on North Korea.

Tomahawk cruise missiles can carry conventional explosive warheads. Or nuclear ones.

"It's not unheard of to do that," a former senior defence official told Foreign Policy. "But I would say it is a fairly significant indicator that the possibility of using Tomahawks is rising."

A WARNO is essentially a battle-stations alarm: be prepared to take instant action.

It's a warning to be ready for anything, with fingers on triggers.

In the case of the Tomahawk cruise missile, it means the advanced weapon needs to be checked. Is it properly fuelled? Are its guidance computers - designed to fly through a window from its launch point hundreds of kilometres away after flying low through terrain to remain undetected - properly programmed?


In Case of Nuclear War - Pluristem Gets Orphan Drug Designation for its ARS Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. an orphan drug designation for its PLX-R18 cell therapy to prevent and treat acute radiation syndrome.

Acute radiation syndrome is the result of exposure to extremely high levels of radiation. Such exposure would be due to a nuclear attack or accident.

Earlier this year, Pluristen reported that PLX-R18 improved survival in animals exposed to high radiation levels. In a study with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) the survival rates in monkeys given high doses of radiation was 50% in the placebo group compared to 85% in the PLX-R18-treated group.

The Orphan Drug Designation provides numerous incentives for Pluristem in the development and potential marketing of PLX-R18, including orphan drug grants, tax credits, and 7-year market exclusivity if approved.


Growing Threat: Cyber and Nuclear Weapons Systems

... Given the frequency and scope of cyber threats and cyberattacks worldwide, it’s easy to imagine waking up one day to find even more frightening headlines. What if the targets compromised in a cyberattack were not just e-mail accounts or even banking systems, but nuclear weapons (or related systems)? What if:
- A nuclear watch officer’s computer screens indicated that nuclear missiles were on the way? Could the officer be sure that she wasn’t the victim of a cyber-spoof? How would she respond?

- Military officials were unable to communicate with the men and women controlling US nuclear weapons during an international security crisis? What would they think had happened? How would they respond?

- Officials discovered malware on a nuclear-critical system—and suspected that it was just the tip of a cyber iceberg?

Unfortunately, these scenarios are all too plausible. ...


Even a 'Minor' Nuclear War Would be a Global Ecological Catastrophe

...The greatest concern derives from relatively new research which has modeled the indirect effects of nuclear detonations on the environment and climate. The most-studied scenario is a limited regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan, involving 100 Hiroshima-sized warheads (small by modern standards) detonated mostly over urban areas. Many analysts suggest that this is a plausible scenario in the event of an all-out war between the two states, whose combined arsenals amount to more than 220 nuclear warheads.

In this event, an estimated 20 million people could die within a week from the direct effects of the explosions, fire, and local radiation. That alone is catastrophic — more deaths than in the entire of World War I.

But nuclear explosions are also extremely likely to ignite fires over a large area, which coalesce and inject large volumes of soot and debris into the stratosphere. In the India-Pakistan scenario, up to 6.5 million tons of soot could be thrown up into the upper atmosphere, blocking out the sun and causing a significant drop in average surface temperature and precipitation across the globe, with effects that could last for more than a decade.

This ecological disruption would, in turn, badly affect global food production. According to one study, maize production in the U.S. (the world's largest producer) would decline by an average by 12 percent over 10 years in our given scenario. In China, middle season rice would fall by 17 percent over a decade, maize by 16 percent, and winter wheat by 31 percent. With total world grain reserves amounting to less than 100 days of global consumption, such effects would place an estimated 2 billion people at risk of famine.


Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future

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Choose Wisely

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Mon 23 Oct 2017, 12:54:41, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 23 Oct 2017, 11:33:33

Winter is coming! And Asymmetric Warfare is a funny thing. 20 folks with box cutters cost the U.S. thousands of lives, trillions of $$$ and a war that enters it's 17th year. N.K. can punch back, so don't be surprised if the electricity (or water, or other critical infrastructure) goes bye-bye this winter.

And should that happen; what a perfect excuse it would be to declare 'Martial Law' to protect our 'Homeland Security' ...

U.S. Warns Public about Attacks on Energy, Industrial Firms

(Reuters) - The U.S government issued a rare public warning about hacking campaigns targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest evidence that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure.

The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a reportdistributed via email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May.
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Alert (TA17-293A)

Advanced Persistent Threat Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors

This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This alert provides information on advanced persistent threat (APT) actions targeting government entities and organizations in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. Working with U.S. and international partners, DHS and FBI identified victims in these sectors. This report contains indicators of compromise (IOCs) and technical details on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by APT actors on compromised victims’ networks.

DHS assesses this activity as a multi-stage intrusion campaign by threat actors targeting low security and small networks to gain access and move laterally to networks of major, high value asset owners within the energy sector. Based on malware analysis and observed IOCs, DHS has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing, and threat actors are actively pursuing their ultimate objectives over a long-term campaign. The intent of this product is to educate network defenders and enable them to identify and reduce exposure to malicious activity.

Since at least May 2017, threat actors have targeted government entities and the energy, water, aviation, nuclear, and critical manufacturing sectors, and, in some cases, have leveraged their capabilities to compromise victims’ networks. Historically, cyber threat actors have targeted the energy sector with various results, ranging from cyber espionage to the ability to disrupt energy systems in the event of a hostile conflict.

Historically, threat actors have also targeted other critical infrastructure sectors with similar campaigns.
Analysis by DHS, FBI, and trusted partners has identified distinct indicators and behaviors related to this activity. Of specific note, the report Dragonfly: Western energy sector targeted by sophisticated attack group, released by Symantec on September 6, 2017, provides additional information about this ongoing campaign.

This campaign comprises two distinct categories of victims: staging and intended targets. The initial victims are peripheral organizations such as trusted third party suppliers with less secure networks. The initial victims are referred to as “staging targets” throughout this alert. The threat actor uses the staging targets’ networks as pivot points and malware repositories when targeting their final intended victims. The ultimate objective of the cyber threat actors is to compromise organizational networks, which are referred throughout this alert as “intended target.”

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA17-293A

The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage.
Homeland Security “has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign,” the report said.

U.S. authorities have been monitoring the activity for months, which they initially detailed in a confidential June report first reported by Reuters. That document, which was privately distributed to firms at risk of attacks, described a narrower set of activity focusing on the nuclear, energy and critical manufacturing sectors.

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Three of the observed .lnk files were SETROUTE.lnk, notepad.exe.lnk, and Document.lnk. These names appear to be contextual, and threat actors may use a variety of other file names within this tactic. Two of the remote servers observed in these .lnk files were 62.8.193[.]206 and 5.153.58[.]45.


Cyber Wars: Could the U.S. Stock Market Ever Be Hacked?

... Manipulating stocks higher is a time-honored game that routinely receives kudos from all around. The Fed printed nearly $4 trillion and cut rates to zero for eight years – no matter what the damage to the real economy – for the sole purpose of manipulating up asset prices including stock prices. “Wealth effect,” Ben Bernanke called it. Corporate executives and analysts exaggerate future earnings only to deflate them at the last minute, because stock prices are “forward looking” and fake future earnings is all that matters, even if reality now sucks. And on and on. Whatever it takes to push stock prices up, by hook or crook, is cool. These are our heroes.

But when some lonely dude might hack into high-speed stock trading systems or spook the trading algos, quant-fund managers, and high-speed traders and throw algorithmic trading off track to where prices might actually fall in a major way, all heck breaks loose, and the Pentagon feels empowered to step in.
“We started thinking a couple years ago what it would be like if a malicious actor wanted to cause havoc on our financial markets,” Wade Shen, a Darpa program manager since 2014, told The Journal. In his prior job, he’d researched artificial intelligence at MIT.

Hackers could cripple a widely used payroll system; they could inject false information into stock-data feeds, sending trading algorithms out of whack; or they could flood the stock market with fake sell orders and trigger a market crash.

Or hackers could publish “‘fake news’ to shake investor confidence.”

One scenario he fears: a hack of a US exchange in which the attacker sends a wave of fake sell orders to every firm offering to buy shares. That could potentially erase hundreds of billions of dollars of market value as prices drop and firms try to cover losses by selling on other exchanges, Mr. Narang said.

Trading by automated systems, such as used by quant funds and high-speed traders, is beginning to dominate stock trading. The risk of hacking into those systems or manipulating those systems in other ways is a real issue – but it should cut both ways.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), is working with “dozens” of high-speed traders, quant-fund managers, “people from exchanges and other financial companies,” executives, and “others” from Wall Street to figure out how hackers “could unleash chaos in the US financial system.”


Merck Cyber Attack May Cost Insurers $275 Million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurers could pay $275 million to cover the insured portion of drugmaker Merck & Co’s loss from a cyber attack in June, according to a forecast by Verisk Analytics Inc’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.

Merck, however, has not disclosed the magnitude of its uninsured losses from the “NotPetya” attack, which disrupted production of some Merck medicines and vaccines.
“Merck has not yet fully quantified its losses, much less given any of its insurers an estimate of the total amount of those losses”

Merck spokeswoman Claire Gillespie reiterated that Merck has insurance that would cover some costs, but declined to elaborate or say how much Merck expects to have to pay on its own.

The drugmaker said in July that it had suffered a worldwide disruption of its operations as a result of the malware. It was still in the process of restoring its manufacturing operations a month later.

Merck said then that it was confident it would be able to maintain a continuous supply of its top-selling and life-saving drugs, but warned of temporary delays in delivering some other products.


Recent Cyberattack on Merck & Co. Could Lead to Drug Shortage

... Although Merck noted it is still able to ship treatments, the lawmakers told Price they are now concerned about potential supply chain breaks. As an example, the legislators said the Centers for Disease Control noted recently that Merck would not distribute certain formulations of its hepatitis B vaccine.


McCain Threatens to Subpoena Trump's Cybersecurity Czar After He Skips Hacking Hearing

A clearly frustrated, bipartisan panel of senators today threatened to subpoena the Trump administration’s cyber czar, demanding to know how the White House plans to address "the disarray" that has embodied the U.S. government's response to cyber threats from Russia and other adversaries.

At the end of the hearing's witness table, sitting beside Defense Department Assistant Secretary Kenneth Rapuano, was an empty chair that had been set aside for White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce, who declined an invitation to appear before the committee today.

Republicans and Democrats alike mocked what they described as a confusing and compartmentalized distribution of authorities for government agencies, and McCain said it’s important that a single, high-level administration official coordinates the government-wide effort.

"Mr. Joyce’s absence here, whose job it is to do all this, is an example of the disarray in which this whole issue rests," said McCain, the committee's chairman.
"This is cyber warfare. Cyber is warfare," McCain told Defense Department Assistant Secretary Kenneth Rapuano. "Cyber is an attempt to destroy a democracy. That is what [Russian president Vladimir] Putin is all about. "It's the Department of Defense's job to defend this nation; that’s why it's called the Department of Defense," McCain added.

While Rapuano said he was not aware of any specific effort within his department to prepare a coordinated response to threats against upcoming elections, Krebs said DHS has "absolutely" been engaged in such an effort.

"There’s no question [foreign hackers] are going to come back, and we’re going to be fighting them every day," Krebs said.


Cambridge Analytica, the shady data firm that might be a key Trump-Russia link, explained

Why House investigators think this company might have helped Russia spread fake news.


Facebook Security Chief, in Leaked Audio, Suggests Facebook Should Boost Cyber Defenses

Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos said in a leaked audio tape that the company's cyber defense operations could be run more like a defense contractor.
... "We have the threat profile of a…defense contractor, but we run our corporate networks…like a college campus, almost," Stamos says in the audio

Stamos then went on Twitter to explain his remarks, calling his "college campus" reference "a figure of speech"

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“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 24 Oct 2017, 12:22:20

For Robotics and AI, Great Power Comes With Great Responsibility

With any new technology comes risk. For example, the ability to organize and edit human genes—while promising for personalized medical treatments—raises questions about how comfortable we are exerting control over our DNA. Cellphones make navigation, communication, and countless other aspects of life more convenient. They also collect an unprecedented amount of personal information, forcing society to rethink the importance of privacy.

As robots join the workforce and intelligent algorithms are weaved into daily life, are we ready for what comes next? ...

... there has been some concern recently that AI and learning algorithms might have the effect of putting us in information bubbles. Facebook, in order to show me content I like, might use an algorithm that learns to filter out the political views I don’t like or even news articles that I might not like. Doing so risks undermining the common ground we have to engage with one another on important issues. It can increase polarization. ...


Facebook's News Feed Experiment Panics Publishers

... the social media giant appears to be making it harder for users to see news stories, and it has caused something akin to panic.

The new feature Facebook is trying out is called Explore. It offers all sorts of stories it thinks might interest you, a separate news feed encouraging you to look further afield than just at what your friends are sharing.

Meanwhile, for most people, the standard News Feed remains the usual mixture of baby photos and posts from companies or media organisations whose pages you have liked.

Sounds fine, doesn't it? Except that in six countries - Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia - the experiment went further.

For users there, the main News Feed was cleared of everything but the usual stuff from your friends and sponsored posts - in other words, if you wanted to have your material seen in the place most users spend their time you had to pay for the privilege.
"[i]Biggest drop in organic reach we've ever seen", a Slovakian journalist Filip Struharik documented the impact. Publishers in his country were seeing just a quarter of the interactions they used to get before the change, he said. What had become a vital and vibrant platform for them was emptying out fast.[/i]

Now they know that Facebook is at least thinking about a future where news plays a smaller role in the social media experience.


AI, Paperclips and Exponential Growth; The Way the World Ends: Not With A Bang But a Paperclip

There’s a well-known thought experiment in the world of artificial intelligence that poses a simple, but potentially very scary, question: what if we asked a super-intelligent AI to make paperclips?

This may not sound terrifying at first, but as Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom explains, it all depends on how well we’ve trained the AI. If we’ve given it common sense, it might ask us: “How many paperclips do you want?” If it doesn’t know to ask, it might just make paperclips forever. And, if it’s a super-intelligent AI that we’ve accidentally forgotten to program with any human ethics or values, it might decide that the most efficient way to make paperclips is to wipe out humanity and terraform the planet into one giant paperclip-making factory.

Sound fun? Play the Game

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The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction

DeepMind has Bigger Plan for Newest Go-playing AI

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... Previously, AlphaGo was a combination of AI strategies. DeepMind’s first paper in Nature last year showed that the algorithm learned for a while from how humans played the game, and then started to play itself to refine those skills. The “learning from humans” part is called supervised learning, while the self-play is called reinforcement learning. DeepMind also built some code into how AlphaGo interpreted the game board, like which pieces were its own and whether like pieces were next to each other.
“It left open this question: Do we really need the human expertise?”

The team says they don’t know AlphaGo Zero’s upper limit—it got so strong that it didn’t seem worth training it anymore. It’s not brute computing power that did the trick either: AlphaGo Zero was trained on one machine with 4 of Google’s speciality AI chips, TPUs, while the previous version was trained on servers with 48 TPUs.

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Fiction That Gets AI Right

The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster, 1909

Humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. It had exploited the riches of nature too far. Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence, and progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine.

This short story takes place in a future chillingly akin to the Singularity as envisioned by Ray Kurzweil, except here it’s the final step before the end of the world rather than the epitome of computer-assisted enlightenment. Everyone sits alone in an underground room, listening to lectures from, or giving lectures to, friends who are always remote; they appear to each other in something like holograms, because life is now only about the endless discussion of ideas rather than physical experience. The Machine takes care of all their other needs—for a time, at least. ...


An AI has learned how to pick a single voice out of a crowd

Mind-Reading A.I. Might Understand Our Brains Before We Do, Says Scientist

Siri talks to HAL 9000 about A.I. sexism

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and from The Onion ...

AI Scientists Theorize Existence Of Numbers Greater Than 1
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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