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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 » Wed 20 Sep 2017, 15:20:05

drone [drohn]: from a West Germanic verb meaning ‘resound, boom’; related to Dutch dreunen ‘to drone,’ German dröhnen ‘to roar,’ and Swedish dröna ‘to drowse.’

A whirling buzz overhead, constant and pervasive. Before the drone, the sky was silent, now silence is redefined as drone. The sky is white noise.

Bugsplats and Jackpots. US Military Drone Operators Enjoy Gamers’ Delight

What is unique and disturbing about the US’ contemporary drone wars is the manner in which gaming technologies have now become effectively enmeshed within the operational field of war.

Remarking on the crossover between gaming technologies and drone operations, Predator sensor operator, Staff Sgt. Nicolette Sebastian, explains:
... “drone operation is a lot like Play Station … ‘Oh, it’s a gamer’s delight.’”

The drone console here becomes interchangeable with that of a computer game, as drone pilots upload their own civilian computer games into the same system. A continuum between civilian gaming technologies and lethal military systems is thereby established that signals the increasing gamification of war.

The US military, in fact, has modelled the design of drone flight controls on key aspects of computer game technologies : “The flight controls for drones over the years have come to resemble video-game controllers, which the military has done to make them more intuitive for a generation of young soldiers raised on games like Gears of War and Killzone.”
Image ... .gif?w=800
Collateral Damage

US Navy Will Use Xbox Controllers to Steer Submarine Periscopes

The Pentagon might have to buy Xbox controllers en masse in the future if the military ends up using them to control its laser weapons and other equipment. In fact, the US Navy will begin stocking its modernized Virginia-class submarines with them, starting with the USS Colorado that's expected to be commissioned in November. Sailors aboard the high-tech submarine will use the Xbox controller to maneuver its periscope. See, unlike periscopes in movies, wherein a single person has to peer through an eyepiece, the high-tech version of the instrument uses high-resolution cameras and displays images on big screens.

It's been replaced with two photonics masts that rotate 360 degrees. They feature high-resolution cameras whose images are displayed on large monitors that everyone in the control room can see. There's no barrel to peer through anymore; everything is controlled with a helicopter-style stick.

Sounds cool, right? Problem was, the joystick and the control panel Lockheed Martin developed to steer it cost around $38,000. Plus, the joystick was heavy and clunky, and it takes hours to train a sailor to use it. When the military contractor tested the Xbox controller as a replacement, sailors were able to figure out controls on their own within a few minutes. Considering each controller will only set the Navy back $30, scrapping the pricey specialized joystick and panel was a no-brainer.


The idea to switch to gaming peripherals comes from Lockheed-Martin’s classified research lab in Manassas, Virginia, which is lovingly referred to as “Area 51.”

Russia's Unmanned Aircraft Are Getting Lethal New Munitions

Russian engineers have designed munitions specifically for the nation’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fleets, according to RIA-Novosti news agency. The weapon’s combat weight is up to fifty kilograms (110lb). In effect, Russians have built precision-guided weapons for their UAVs. According to RIA, the developers are designating these weapons as “air-borne delivery vehicles.” This family of missiles is weighing fifteen, twenty-five, fifty and one hundred kilograms, and is intended for warhead delivery of up to fifty kilograms for a range of twelve to twenty kilometers (seven to thirteen miles) in the “glide mode,” and up to one hundred kilometers (sixty-two miles) when powered by the engine.

Although Russian military may have used such simple payload delivery in combat zones like Syria, the recent RIA announcement about guided munitions will greatly extend Russia's reach in its military area of operations. However, there is a major caveat—such weapons must be carried on larger and heavier UAVs that Russia currently does not have in its arsenal.


The New Dogs of War: The Future of Weaponized Artificial Intelligence

Destabilization is well-known as a tactic for weakening traditional organizations. From economic destabilization to terror attacks, adversaries try to instigate or capitalize on the destabilization (of troops, communication, sustenance, etc.) of an enemy to gain strategic advantage. Each destabilization
can ultimately threaten the national security of the impacted country.

Several of the threats modeled in this report ultimately brought about a destabilization of trust for the United States including a decrease of trust in the economy, trust of the accuracy of technology, or trust that a citizen has in their government and societal structures. Destabilizations like these may be brought about by job loss, economic downturn, and failure of medical infrastructures to adequately give care.

Current conversations regarding the potentially destabilizing effects of rampant AI represent a bleak view of the future. A massive terror attack is not the only way to undermine the normal functioning of American society. A threat actor could target the destabilization of trust, nudging, swaying and ultimately
convincing citizens that we are socially or biologically doomed and that the government will be of no help.


Destabilization events have already begun to occur on smaller scales. Equifax?

UK Scientists Edit DNA of Human Embryos

Roboticists Just Passed a 'Final Barrier' for Lifelike Robots

A new synthetic muscle developed by researchers at Columbia University in New York looks to be the next step toward smooth-moving machines becoming part of our reality. In a study published in Nature Communications, research group leader Hod Lipson, Ph.D., and his team explain that synthetic muscle can change in elasticity and volume because the muscle made of a silicone rubber matrix contains ethanol-carrying microbubbles. The results are robotic muscles like this:


Engineers from the school’s Creative Machines Lab announced Tuesday that they have developed a 3D printable synthetic soft muscle that’s three times stronger than actual human muscle. This material is the first synthetic muscle able to withstand both high actuation stress and high strain, a breakthrough that means the team has “overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots.”


This synthetic muscle can push, pull, bend, twist, and lift weight, which makes it the closest match to natural muscle that’s ever been created.

This bubble-filled mixture can be 3D-printed into the desired shape, then electrically actuated — that is, brought to life — by inserting a thin, resistive wire. With a strain density that’s 15 times larger than natural muscle, robots equipped with this muscle could hypothetically lift 1,000 times their own weight.

Robot Security Guard Maker Knightscope Shows Off New Multi-terrain Model

Knightscope hires out its bots to companies for around $7 an hour (although the price for the new K7 is not yet known). That’s half the cost of a human security guard, but Knightscope’s bots offer a pretty limited service by comparison.

They can patrol, detect intruders, and scan license plates, but can’t apprehend someone, and nor can customers program the bots themselves. They’re more like advanced, mobile CCTV cameras, with their technologically-impressive presence acting as an extra deterrent. Just a shame none of the new robots float.


Fired: Prudential Center Robot is Escorted Out

Thank You for your service!

NXT Robotics Unveils Scorpion 2

San Diego-based NXT Robotics has introduced Scorpion 2, a rugged all-terrain and all-weather outdoor security robot designed to provide organizations with round-the-clock physical security monitoring and reporting capabilities. The first version of Scorpion was rolled out earlier this year at West 2017 in San Diego.


Scorpion 2, according to CTO/Founder Jeff Debrosse, is an autonomous security patrol that lowers costs while maximizing physical security surveillance capabilities. Scorpion 2 is designed for places such as military facilities, power plants, borders, parking structures, farms and ranches, and seaports.

Robots 'could take 4m UK private sector jobs within 10 years'
“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 » Thu 21 Sep 2017, 13:02:03

Nuclear Blast Preparations (BOKYAG): Inside Legislators’ Secret Meeting

Relax! According to EMA the explosion shouldn't be much larger than 8 miles. 8O ... t-meeting/

HONOLULU — As North Korean missiles soar over the Pacific and seismographs keep vigil for tremors in the vicinity of Pyongyang, officials in Hawaii are doing what they must: preparing for the possibility of a nuclear attack.

But it’s a delicate task, especially when word gets out, as it did this week, about a “secret meeting” in which officials and legislators looked at slides on the probable impact of a nuclear blast at “at various altitudes above” Pearl Harbor, as Honolulu Civil Beat reported.

Rep. Gene Ward said Tuesday’s meeting was held behind closed doors because slides in the EMA’s presentation were marked “for official use only” and some showed “where (North Korea) might target or what the impact might be” regarding fatalities. “I think it’s because they didn’t want to spook any of the public (... or tourists).”

The military doesn’t have the capacity to handle thousands of casualties, Ward said, and there aren’t enough hospital beds available. Ward said EMA officials stressed that people would need to stay indoors for 48 to 72 hours after a nuclear blast.

It seems to me that primal instincts are going to just overwhelm nearly everybody,” said Sen. Gil Riviere, who then repeated the advice given out recently by the EMA: “Get inside, stay inside, stay tuned.”

“People are just going to be fleeing, they’re not going to stay in,” Riviere added.

EMA Executive Officer Toby Clairmont said Thursday’s public presentation would stress the importance of emergency preparedness, like keeping enough food on hand for 14 days.

He noted that the EMA will be testing the “wailing sound” of sirens that would warn people of an impending attack.

Those tests will begin in November. In the event of an actual emergency, the siren would indicate people have 12 to 15 minutes to seek shelter.

There are no current plans to build nuclear fallout shelters, but it’s important to inform people so they can decide how to prepare, Nishihara said.

Jeff Sachs Warns "Nuclear War is a Real Threat" as Trump Threatens to "Totally Destroy" North Korea


On Tuesday, President Trump gave his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, boasting about the size of the U.S. military and threatening to "totally destroy" North Korea.
"[N]uclear war is a real threat," ... "It’s not some idle imagination right now. You have two leaders—both seem unstable—yelling at each other. Both have nuclear arms."

- Jeffrey Sachs, leading economist and director - Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University

My, how far we have fallen ... ... 30610.aspx
... Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy--or of a collective death-wish for the world.

- President John F. Kennedy, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963

...I have chosen this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived--yet it is the most important topic on earth: world peace.

... What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children--not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women--not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

... surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles--which can only destroy and never create--is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.

I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men. I realize that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war--and frequently the words of the pursuer fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

... it is also a warning--a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.

Today, should total war ever break out again--no matter how--our two countries would become the primary targets. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours.

... if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.

Stanislav Petrov, 'The Man Who Saved The World,' Dies At 77

Stanislav Petrov was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces, and his job was to monitor his country's satellite system, which was looking for any possible nuclear weapons launches by the United States.

He was on the overnight shift in the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 1983, when the computers sounded an alarm, indicating that the U.S. had launched five nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"The siren howled, but I just sat there for a few seconds, staring at the big, back-lit, red screen with the word 'launch' on it," Petrov told the BBC in 2013.

Petrov had to act quickly. U.S. missiles could reach the Soviet Union in just over 20 minutes.

"There was no rule about how long we were allowed to think before we reported a strike," Petrov told the BBC. "But we knew that every second of procrastination took away valuable time, that the Soviet Union's military and political leadership needed to be informed without delay. All I had to do was to reach for the phone; to raise the direct line to our top commanders — but I couldn't move. I felt like I was sitting on a hot frying pan."

The system was telling him that the level of reliability of that alert was "highest". There could be no doubt. America had launched a missile.

"A minute later the siren went off again. The second missile was launched. Then the third, and the fourth, and the fifth. Computers changed their alerts from 'launch' to 'missile strike'," he says.

Petrov sensed something wasn't adding up.

He had been trained to expect an all-out nuclear assault from the U.S., so it seemed strange that the satellite system was detecting only a few missiles being launched. And the system itself was fairly new. He didn't completely trust it.

After several nerve-jangling minutes, Petrov didn't send the computer warning to his superiors. He checked to see if there had been a computer malfunction.

He says he was the only officer in his team who had received a civilian education. "My colleagues were all professional soldiers, they were taught to give and obey orders," he told us. So, he believes, if somebody else had been on shift, the alarm would have been raised.
“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 22 Sep 2017, 12:43:47

Congress Asks Merck for Information on Cyberattack


Merck & Co. has been guarded with the details of how extensive the effects of the Petya malware attacks were on its manufacturing operations, but now it is going to have to come clean. Worldwide disruption from a cyberattack on pharmaceutical giant Merck this summer has led Congress to request a formal briefing with the company’s CEO and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The inquiry stems from the June 27 “NotPetya” malware infections which interrupted Merck’s worldwide operations, including its manufacturing, research and sales divisions.

When the malware attack in late June infected unprotected computer systems across the globe, Merck confirmed on Twitter that it was among those hit, providing no other details.

A month later in its second-quarter earnings call, Merck acknowledged that its manufacturing network worldwide had been badly affected by the attack and that it was still working to restore all of its manufacturing. It said its API processing was still not operational. It said through significant effort it had been able to keep clinical trials on track.

The company insisted that it could continue to supply its top products, including its highly successful cancer medication Keytruda, but warned it may have temporary delays in fulfilling orders for certain other products in some markets.

The malware may have, also interrupted the supply chain of certain hepatitis B formulas. Whether this actually occurred will be the focus of the requested Oct. 4 hearing.
Widespread reports of the damage inflicted on Merck in the days after the attack raised alarm bells for the committee. But it was a more recent update on the national vaccine supply from the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention that brought the committee’s request for a briefing.

... “While it is unclear whether this [supply chain interruption] is related to the NotPetya disruption, and much of the supply can be filled by other manufacturers, it does raise questions about how the nation is prepared to address a significant disruption to critical medical supplies,” the letter states.

The Congressional committee has made (PDF) essentially the same request of Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, asking what he is doing to protect life-saving medicines from future disruption. (...
flying to corporate conferences on private jets at taxpayers expense)

NotPetya Cyber Attack On TNT Express Cost FedEx $300 Million

Falling victim to the Petya cyber attack cost FedEx around $300m during the last quarter of the financial year, the company has revealed in its latest earnings report.

Combined with the impact of Hurricaine Harvey, the cyber attack "posed significant operational challenges" said Fred Smith, FedEx chairman and chief executive officer.

SEC Says 2016 Cyberattack May Have Led to Illegal Trading

A statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says its software was patched quickly after the hack was uncovered in 2016, but the possibility attackers may have used it to make illegal profits was only discovered last month.

Clayton’s statement also mentioned that a 2014 internal review was unable to locate some agency laptops that may have contained confidential information. The agency also discovered instances in which its personnel used private, unsecured email accounts to transmit confidential information.

Fed Agency Urging Corporate Cybersecurity Upgrades is Hacked

Hack of US regulator a Blow to Confidence in Financial System

"A lot of our financial systems particularly online systems are based on trust, and if that trust is violated people could opt out of these systems,"

Prepare for major cyber-attack, warns National Cyber Security Centre

The technical director for the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, has warned about the possibility for an unprecedented cyber-attack within the coming years.

Speaking at an event hosted by security software company Symantec, Ian Levy said he was “reasonably confident” that a major attack will happen, and that organisations should be prepared.
“Sometime in the next few years we're going to have our first – what we would call – category-one cyber-incident; one that will need a national response.”

Levy said that in the approximate 11 months since the National Cyber Security Centre came into existence, it has seen more than 500 incidents. Most of these are classed as category three, which means only a single organisation has been effected in some way, but 30 were category-two incidents – including the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit the NHS.

CCleaner Malware Outbreak is Much Worse Than It First Appeared

The recent CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it initially appeared, according to newly unearthed evidence. That evidence shows that the CCleaner malware infected at least 20 computers from a carefully selected list of high-profile technology companies with a mysterious payload.

Previously, researchers found no evidence that any of the computers infected by the booby-trapped version of the widely used CCleaner utility had received a second-stage payload the backdoor was capable of delivering. The new evidence—culled from data left on a command-and-control server during the last four days attackers operated it—shows otherwise. Of 700,000 infected PCs, 20 of them, belonging to highly targeted companies, received the second stage, according to an analysis published Wednesday by Cisco Systems' Talos Group.

Because the CCleaner backdoor was active for 31 days, the total number of infected computers is "likely at least in the order of hundreds," ...

The second stage appears to use a completely different control network. The complex code is heavily obfuscated and uses anti-debugging and anti-emulation tricks to conceal its inner workings. Craig Williams, a senior technology leader and global outreach manager at Talos, said the code contains a "fileless" third stage that's injected into computer memory without ever being written to disk, a feature that further makes analysis difficult. Researchers are in the process of reverse engineering the payload to understand precisely what it does on infected networks.

"When you look at this software package, it's very well developed," Williams told Ars. "This is someone who spent a lot of money with a lot of developers perfecting it. It's clear that whoever made this has used it before and is likely going to use it again."

Some of the code in the CCleaner backdoor overlaps with a backdoor used by a hacking group known both as APT 17 and Group 72. Researchers have tied this group to people in China. Talos also noticed that the command server set the time zone to one in the People's Republic of China. Williams warned, however, that attackers may have deliberately left the evidence behind as a "false flag" intended to mislead investigators about the true origin of the attack.

The picture coming into focus now looks serious. Attackers gained control of the digital signing certificate and infrastructure used to distribute a software utility downloaded more than 2 billion times. They maintained that control with almost absolute stealth for 31 days, and, during just four days of that span, they infected 700,000 computers. Of the 700,000 infected PCs—again, believed to be a fraction of the total number of compromises during the campaign—a highly curated number of them received an advanced second-stage payload that researchers still don't understand. It's almost inevitable that more shoes will drop in this unfolding story.


CCleaner Malware Had a Specific Target: Tech Titans

The Cyber Threat To Germany's Elections Is Very Real

One afternoon in early September, a small group of journalists, policy makers, and visitors in Berlin gathered for a lunch panel discussion, titled “Who’s hacking the election—how do we stop the attackers?” In his remarks, he warned of the dangers of what’s known as “white propaganda”: information illegally collected and disseminated by hackers with the intent of manipulating public opinion against the German government and disrupting its upcoming parliamentary elections.

Maassen assured his listeners that Berlin was prepared for whatever may be in store in the weeks ahead. But two days after the lunch in Berlin, Die Zeit published a deep investigation into PC-Wahl, a widely used vote-counting software system in Germany. A team of reporters and three IT analysts uncovered alarming security holes that could allow hackers to manipulate results on local and state levels with ease. The Chaos Computer Club (CCC), a Berlin-based hacker association tasked with confirming the investigation’s results, outlined myriad weak links in PC-Wahl, which is owned by the company vote iT. For one, CCC found a username and password for PC-Wahl’s internal service area that gave the hackers unobstructed access to the software code. PC-Wahl also collects results on an unencrypted spreadsheet-like file , opening the door for hackers to falsify numbers. While some flaws in the software’s security architecture were to be expected, these vulnerabilities were gaping, numerous, and easily exploitable.

In another investigation published earlier this month, Der Spiegel revealed a hodgepodge of software providers employed by different regions, with PC-Wahl believed to be in use in at least half of Germany’s 16 states.
“The software we looked at is so easy to hack that if you were a major adversary, it wouldn’t take you long to hack the other software, too” ... “Germany used to joke about the U.S. and its election technology as being so chaotic, but it turned out … when it comes to vote tallying software, the same holds true here.”

Infrared signals in surveillance cameras let malware jump network air gaps

Video - Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and from attackers.

The malware prototype could be a crucial ingredient for attacks that target some of the world's most sensitive networks. Militaries, energy producers, and other critical infrastructure providers frequently disconnect such networks from the Internet as a precaution. In the event malware is installed, there is no way for it to make contact with attacker-controlled servers that receive stolen data or issue new commands. Such airgaps are one of the most basic measures for securing highly sensitive information and networks. -

Nunchuck Robots? There’s More Than One Reason To Be Worried About Them

Robots. We make them pick up our trash, beat Captcha, solve Rubik’s cubes, and pass the butter. We probably shouldn’t teach them how to wield weapons, lest our uppance come, and yet humans are still teaching robots how to stab us, and now roboticists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have taught one the martial art of nunchaku. Oh. Good. Great. We needed that.


Wang’s team sought to quickly teach a robot a skill by having it use motion-reading sensors to learn from a human practicing the same skill. Wang spent two months learning how to flip nunchucks, then let the robot watch, and the robot was performing the same skill within hours.

One thing not accounted for by this research is the likelihood us humans would go full Luddite and smash the robots if our boss told us, “Let this robot watch you work so I can fire you tomorrow.”

Robot Composite Learning and the Nunchaku Flipping Challenge
“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 23 Sep 2017, 15:54:56

North Korea Says Strike On US is 'Inevitable' as Pentagon Flies Bombers Off Coast

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday targeting the U.S. mainland with its rockets was "inevitable" after “Mr. Evil President” Donald Trump, "a mentally deranged person full of megalomania", called Pyongyang’s leader “Rocket Man”, further escalating rhetoric over the North’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Trump called Kim a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” (... Score 2-0 for Kim)

Nuclear War Isn't North Korea's Only Threat

North Korea has invested heavily in cyberattack operations to disrupt its Western enemies. Western Intelligence services blamed the 2014 attack against Sony on North Korea's spy agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

Pyongyang's cyberspies conduct low-cost, high-impact, deniable attacks around the world to harm enemies, disrupt the West and steal money. Financial institutions are particularly at risk of theft as North Korea bleeds funds to support its nuclear program.
The goal for North Korea's cyberattack operations, beyond flying under the radar, is to inflict death by a thousand cuts -- a deliberate and organized disrupt-and-attack approach in line with the country's national strategy.

Arguably, the more money and resources North Korea can steal via cyberattacks, the stronger its kinetic military can become.


No Safe Place In Next War: The Army’s Expanded Battlefield

The Battlefield is 'Everywhere' & 'Everyone' is a Combatant

What if the next war starts, not with a gunshot, but with a tweet? As tensions rise, US troops discover their families’ names, faces, and home addresses have been posted on social media as they prepare to deploy, along with exhortations to kill the fascists/imperialists/infidels (pick one). Trolls call them late at night with death threats, a mentally ill lone wolf runs over a soldier’s children, fake news claims the military is covering up more deaths, and official social media accounts are hacked to post falsehoods. The whole force is distracted and demoralized.

Meanwhile, defense contractors discover the networks they use to deliver supplies to the military have been penetrated. Vital spare parts go missing without ever leaving the warehouse because the serial number saying which crate they’re in has been scrambled in the database. As railways and seaports prepare to transport heavy equipment, they discover key railroad switches, loading cranes, and other equipment – civilian-owned but vital to the military operation – now malfunction unpredictably, forcing prolonged safety inspections.

Imagine a future urban operation where one of the hundreds of people watching out their windows is an enemy informant using a cellphone — and maybe a cheap commercial drone — who sends ambush teams the exact strength and GPS-precise position of a US patrol. Imagine an outraged local — or a calculating propagandist — recording and then posting video every time American troops do something that looks bad. And a great deal of combat just looks bad on camera because it is. ...

Follow up on Merck - It was a 'Targeted Attack'! ...


... Merck claims software patches were installed. At the time they said, government authorities working with us have confirmed that the malware responsible for the attack contained a unique combination of characteristics that enabled it to infect company systems despite installation of recent software patches.” ... ged-merck/

Russia Sees ‘Full-Scale Cyberwar’ as Bomb-Threat Wave Continues


A wave of fake bomb threats across Russia has entered its second week in what a senior lawmaker called a “full-scale cyberwar” against the country that authorities are ill-equipped to fight.

About 400,000 people have been evacuated from more than 1,000 shopping malls, airports, and government and other buildings around the country since the surge in hoaxes began last week, according to the official Tass news agency. RIA Novosti said more than 100,000 people were affected on Monday alone. The calls are coming from outside Russia using the Internet, making them difficult to trace, officials said.
“It’s a full-scale cyberwar using telephone terrorism,” said Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the Defense Committee in the upper house of parliament, said in a telephone interview. “We will respond.”

Among the latest targets: a Stalin-era bomb shelter near Moscow’s Garden Ring road, now a Cold War museum, along with several shopping malls and government offices, according to the state-run Tass news service. The headquarters of Internet company Yandex NV was targeted just hours after a visit by President Vladimir Putin, according to an unnamed security source cited by the official Tass news agency. The company later said a fire alarm had been triggered.


“No other country in the world has experienced something like this. It’s an extraordinarily dangerous situation,” said Nikolai Kovalyov, a member of the lower house of parliament and former head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet KGB. “It all started as a hacking attack via Internet-telephony and now ordinary crazies have joined the wave.”

Security Firm Links Iranian Hackers to Malware Attacks


WASHINGTON — A private U.S.-based security firm is linking an Iranian government-sponsored hacking group to cyber-attacks targeted at organizations across the world.

The security firm FireEye said Wednesday the Iranian hackers used malware to attack aerospace and petrochemical firms in the United States, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

The hacking group, dubbed APT33 (advanced persistent threat) by the FireEye researchers, used phishing emails and fake domain names to gain access to computer systems of the targeted companies.

The report suggests the hackers target the companies in an effort to “enhance Iran’s domestic aviation capabilities or to support Iran’s military and strategic decision making vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia.”

The FireEye report says the hackers retained access to the companies’ computers for between four and six months at a time, during which the hackers were able to steal data and drop off malware that could potentially be used to destroy the infected computers.

One of the droppers used by APT33, which we refer to as DROPSHOT, has been linked to the wiper malware SHAPESHIFT & SHAMOON. Open source research indicates SHAPESHIFT may have been used to target organizations in Saudi Arabia.

Georgia Man Set Off ‘Logic Bomb’ In Army Computer, Costing Taxpayers Millions


In November of 2014, Army personnel began noticing unusual issues with a national computer program that handles pay and other data for nearly 200,000 reservists. After troubleshooting servers in Fort Bragg, N.C., investigators uncovered suspicious code and referred the case to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.

The Army had contracted with an outside company to manage the system, which had in turn subcontracted Mittesh Das to give him lead responsibility for the system. But when the Army decided to switch companies, Das planted a “logic bomb” in the software that would begin destroying data starting the day after the changeover.

The total costs to remove the code and recover the information cost taxpayers more than $2.5 million.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 11:33:37

Microsoft Makes Play for Next Wave of Computing With Quantum Computing Toolkit

An 8-qubit quantum processor built by Rigetti Computing

Microsoft announced its moves to embrace the next big thing in computing: quantum computing. Later this year, Microsoft will release a new quantum computing programming language, with full Visual Studio integration, along with a quantum computing simulator. With these, developers will be able to both develop and debug quantum programs implementing quantum algorithms.

Microsoft's quantum programming language—as yet unnamed—offers a more familiar look to programming quantum computers, borrowing elements from C#, Python, and F#. Developers will still need to use and understand quantum logic gates and their operations, but they'll be able to use them to write functions, with variables and branches and other typical constructs. As an example, a program to perform quantum teleportation is offered as a kind of "Hello, World!" for quantum computing:


This snippet of code has a couple of functions, EPR and Teleport, along with a third function, TeleportTest to test that the Teleport function works. EPR creates an EPR pair of entangled qubits, using a Hadamard gate (H), which generates a qubit with an equal probability of being a 1 or a 0, and a controlled-NOT gate, which entangles two qubits to make the EPR pair. The Teleport function entangles two qubits and then measures (with M) the value of one of them. Measurement forces the qubits to take a specific value instead of both values in superposition.

It will have quite significant memory requirements. The local version will offer up to 32 qubits, but to do this will require 32GB of RAM. Each additional qubit doubles the amount of memory required. The Azure version will scale up to 40 qubits.

First Quantum Computers Need Smart Software

How Future Quantum Computers Will Threaten Today's Encrypted Data


The era of full-fledged quantum computers threatens to destroy internet security as we know it. Researchers are in a race against time to prepare new cryptographic techniques before the arrival of quantum computers, as cryptographers Tanja Lange (Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands) and Daniel J. Bernstein (University of Illinois at Chicago) describe today in the journal Nature. In their publication, they analyze the options available for a post-quantum cryptography future.

In their Nature publication Lange and Bernstein explain that a certain quantum algorithm, namely Shor's algorithm, breaks all cryptographic techniques that are currently used to establish secure connections on the internet.

The expectation is that quantum computers will be built some time after 2025. Such computers make use of quantum-mechanical properties and can therefore solve certain problems more quickly than current computers. This will be useful for calculating weather forecast models or developing new medicine. However, these operations also affect RSA and ECC cryptographic protocols. With today's technologies, these systems are secure, but a quantum computer would break these within days or hours.

This even jeopardizes encrypted data today:
"An attacker can record our secure communications today, and break it with a quantum computer years later. All of today's secrets will be lost"

This concerns private data, bank and health records, and state secrets. "Fairly recently, we're seeing an uptake of post-quantum cryptography in the security agencies, e.g., the NSA, and companies are now demanding solutions."

Intelligent Machines are Teaching Themselves Quantum Physics

..."The thing about quantum physics is it's highly complex in a very precise mathematical sense. A big problem we face when we study these quantum systems [without machine learning] is how to deal with this complexity,"

Machine learning is the modern version of the “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” parable. Instead of hard-coding programs for a specific singular task, we can now teach machines to learn and adapt themselves for different tasks at hand. This advance in programming philosophy makes a computer capable of beating a human at Go, but compared to the future advances, these achievements are still child’s play.

One small breakthrough in condensed-matter physics could change everything.

So just how will machine learning be able to help us solve some of the biggest problems in physics? Researchers are already re-purposing existing machine-learning algorithms to “learn” features of phases of matter, just as algorithms learn to recognize features in a photograph. With this knowledge, we can adapt them to handle other complex problems arising in condensed matter, especially in cases where quantum mechanics plays a role. To condensed-matter physicists, solving these notorious complex problems is a holy grail, on par with beating a human at a game of Go.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 12:54:54

Somebody's Going to Get Hurt: 'Declaration Of War' Means North Korea Can Shoot Down U.S. Bombers, Minister Says

North Korea's foreign minister says President Trump's tweets about the Korean nation amount to a declaration of war and that under international law, his country can legally shoot down U.S. military planes — even if they're not in North Korea's airspace.

"For the past couple of days, we had earnestly hoped that the war of words between North Korea and the U.S. would not lead to action," Ri Yong Ho said in remarks translated for NPR by journalist Jihye Lee. "However, Trump had ultimately declared war again last weekend, by saying regarding our leadership, that he will make it unable to last longer."

The foreign minister said that Trump, as America's current leader, had issued a "clear declaration of war."

What is North Korea Trying to Hit?

Image ... c9336b72a9

Honolulu, HI: The State Emergency Management Agency provided a briefing on what residents and visitors should do in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack targeting Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. The estimated time available from a North Korean missile launch to impact in Hawai’i is 20 minutes.

Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi says an attack on Hawai’i is unlikely but it cannot be ignored.

“What we’ve picked as a planning scenario for us is a one-hundred kiloton weapon. This is similar to the Hiroshima one.” (.. he's clueless; it's actually 7 times the strength of Hiroshima)
Slide 15 Planning Assumptions

1. North Korea (DPRK) is developing ballistic missile technology and a nuclear payload that can target Hawaii.
2. Launch would likely occur without prior warning.
3. USPACOM will detect a launch, however may not be able to destroy a missile launched at Hawaii with absolute certainty.
4. Honolulu most likely target however impact on a neighbor island cannot be ruled-out
5. No relocation of residents and visitors is planned or will be attempted in advance of a missile launch – Launch to Impact only 20 Minutes
6. Missile payload ranging from a low-yield (< 15 kT) nuclear device to a mid-yield (100 to 200 kT). Using 100kT at 1,000 feet AGL.
7. As the threat grows to include CONUS states, federal guidance may emerge requiring alignment.

When the missile launches, “Pacific Command would take about fives minutes to characterize a launch, where the missile is going, which means the population would have about 15 minutes to take shelter,” said Vern Miyagi, administrator for Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency. “It’s not much time at all. But it is enough time to give yourself a chance to survive.”

Hawaii is working on how to warn its 1.4 million residents.

Emergency management officials are working on reinstating an attack warning system similar to the air raid sirens that blared during the Cold War. Tests of that attack warning system haven’t happened since the 1980s.

The message is simple: Take shelter immediately after a warning is issued.
“You can’t take time to call your wife, your kids, your husband to pick them up and try to find a shelter,” Miyagi said. “There is no time for that.”

One small Problem:
• Warning less than 20 minutes
• No relocation plans
• No designated fallout shelters
• No shelter supply caches


“What we can expect from the blast itself, is there’ll be an area approximately one to one-and-a-half mile radius that’s highly impacted. Those in proximity to the impact site would surely die, along with anything else in the blast path. The initial detonation may be in the neighborhood of approximately 15-thousand casualties. For a fallout scenario it may be on the order of 40-thousand to a hundred thousand.”
slide 12 - Consequences of a 100 kT nuclear weapon at 1,000 feet AGL (Above Ground Zero)

• Up to 15,000 casualties
• 45-60% of survivors exposed to initial radiation or fallout experience Acute Radiation Syndrome
• Severe damage to critical infrastructure (airport, harbor, power plants, hospitals, highways, other) and surrounding areas
• Widespread structural fires and building collapses
• Loss of critical emergency services – fire, police and EMS units and their communications
• Loss of electrical and water utilities
• Loss of land mobile radio, broadcast radio, television, cellular telephone and internet services related to EMP

If you’re in your car, don’t make a run for it. You have only 20 minutes. Toby Clairmont is the executive officer for emergency management.

“If you remain in your vehicle, we know that the effects of the weapon would be actually amplified. This was validated during testing at the Nevada test site. Your best scenario is, you get out of the vehicle and lay flat on the ground or if you can pull over right next to a concrete or other substantial structure, head for it.”

Residents should also have food, water and supplies for 14 days and have a plan for each family member and disabled relative. With only 20 minutes to prepare for impact, emergency management says “shelter in place” is the best option.

The agency's new campaign is causing concern among some in the tourism industry, who worry visitors could choose other destinations for fear of a North Korea attack.

Image ... 08/photo/1 ... detonation

Frequently Asked Questions with Answers Ballistic Missile Preparedness ... T-2017.pdf

2. Q: I have heard that planning for a nuclear attack from North Korea is futile given most of the population will be killed or critically injured. Is that true?
A: No. Current estimates of human casualties based on the size (yield) of North Korean nuclear weapon technology strongly suggests an explosion less than 8 miles in diameter. More than 90% of the population would survive the direct effects of such an explosion. Planning and preparedness are essential to protect those survivors from delayed residual radiation (fallout) and other effects of the attack such as the loss of utilities and communication systems, structural fires, etc.
- The population of Honolulu is estimated at 402,500, up from 390,700 at the last official census. At least 360,000 might survive. Not so good for the remaining 40,000. Indirect effects might take out another 75-100,000

3. Q: How will the public learn of a possible missile launch from NorthKorea?
A: Approximately 5 minutes into the launch sequence, the U.S. Pacific Command will notify the Hawaii State Warning Point (SWP) that a missile is en route from North Korea. The SWP is staffed on a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week basis by skilled emergency management professionals. Upon receipt of the notification, the SWP will activate the ‘Attack-Warning’ signal on all outdoor sirens statewide (wailing sound) and transmit a warning advisory on radio, television and cellular telephones within 2 minutes
8. Q: Are there public shelters (blast or fallout) designated in our communities?
A: No. There are currently no designated shelters in the State of Hawaii at this time. The short warning time (12 to 15 minutes) would not allow for residents or visitors to locate such a shelter in advance of missile impact.

Time Machine (1960):Remember, Wait for the 'All Clear'

“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 Cid_Yama » Mon 25 Sep 2017, 16:58:48

'Deep web search' may help scientists
What you see when you do a basic Web search is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the information is buried in the "Deep Web." JPL is collaborating on a DARPA initiative called Memex, which explores the connections between bits of information hidden in this vast ocean of content.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been developing tools as part of its Memex program that access and catalog this mysterious online world. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have joined the Memex effort to harness the benefits of deep Web searching for science.

Additionally, a standard Web search doesn't get much information from images and videos, but Memex can recognize what's in this content and pair it with searches on the same subjects. The search tool could identify the same object across many frames of a video or even different videos.

The video and image search capabilities of Memex could one day benefit space missions that take photos, videos and other kinds of imaging data with instruments such as spectrometers. Searching visual information about a particular planetary body could greatly facilitate the work of scientists in analyzing geological features. Scientists analyzing imaging data from Earth-based missions that monitor phenomena such as snowfall and soil moisture could similarly benefit.

Memex would also enhance the search for published scientific data, so that scientists can be better aware of what has been released and analyzed on their topics. The technology could be applied to large NASA data centers such as the Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center, which makes NASA's ocean and climate data accessible and meaningful. Memex would make PDF documents more easily searchable and allow users to more easily arrive at the information they seek.

All of the code written for Memex is open-source. JPL is one of 17 teams working on it as part of the DARPA initiative.

Memex is related to DARPA's previous Big Data initiative called XDATA, managed by DARPA Program Manager Wade Shen. That research effort is also aimed at processing and analyzing large amounts of data, with defense, government and civilian applications. JPL was one of 24 groups involved.

"We are developing open source, free, mature products and then enhancing them using DARPA investment and easily transitioning them via our roles to the scientific community," Mattmann said.


NASA is indexing the 'Deep Web' to show mankind what Google won't
There is a part of the Internet—most of it, in fact—that is hidden from Google. It is private, or illicit, or simply unknown.

Now, NASA's mission to explore the universe includes the furthest reaches of cyberspace. “It’s uncharted territory," Chris Mattmann, NASA's lead on the project, told Fusion in a phone interview. In a press release, NASA explained that it will help DARPA with its Memex program, which is working to “access and catalog this mysterious online world.”

Much of the Deep Web—which accounts for about 96 percent of the Internet—has nothing to do with TOR and is inaccessible for more mundane reasons. Some sites aren't linked to by Google because they're private—behind paywalls, for example, or simply not worth Google's efforts to index, like scientific data. That's the kind of information in which NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is interested, because that's where the information its spacecraft send back to earth winds up.

The idea is to organize access to the Deep Web’s content, and build a search engine alternative to Google, that will give NASA a better way to access data being uploaded by their machines. A not unintended byproduct of this will be, eventually, allowing everyone more access to the hidden parts of the Internet.

When NASA spacecrafts send information to Earth, it's in a file format that Google isn’t very good at understanding. "[Those files] get in the second class of the web, that normally we call the Deep Web…if you go to Google, you’re probably 10-30 clicks away from the science data—the actual information.”

NASA data is dumped in this murky, unreachable (but not inaccessible) part of the web because the data sets make sense to humans but not to the web crawlers that index the Internet. With Memex, Mattmann said, Web surfers will be “just one to four clicks away from the science data.”

It won't be easy. Mattmann explained that “most people are good at [building search engines for] their specific domain but aren’t able to pivot.” Searching the Deep Web across several domains is much more complicated.

And, Mattmann said, Memex is going through “the same kinds of search engine growing pains” as all search engines. “Being able to understand which sites are relevant, where to start crawling from. A lot of these crawl operations can take days or weeks…Google didn’t develop rank initially.”

There are other simpler versions of Memex already available. “If you’ve ever used the the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine," which gives you past versions of a website not accessible through Google, then you've technically searched the Deep Web, said Mattmann.

But once Memex, launched in September of 2014, is fully realized, it could be a viable alternative to Google—maybe. “I don’t know if any government program could be a competitor to a commercial entity,” Mattman said, but Memex is doing something Google has no interest in. “It’s not in their bottom line," Mattmann explained, to do the type of web crawling DARPA and NASA are prepared to do.

For DARPA, this is coming full circle: Previously known as ARPA, the agency developed something called ARPANET in the late 1960s. ARPANET was an early version of the Internet as we know it. Now DARPA will help make it easier to mine.

“What Arpanet was to the Internet,” Mattmann said, “this is to search and search engines."

If that's the case, we might be on the verge of a search revolution.


Currently it is available to Government agencies and law enforcement but the Memex search technology has been open sourced.

Watch Out Google, DARPA Just Open Sourced All This Swish 'Dark Web' Search Tech
Google appears to be an indomitable force. But, with today's release from the US military's research arm of its Memex search technologies and Europe's competition investigation into the Mountain View giant, it might be a propitious time for tech-minded entrepreneurs to start building a Google killer.

DARPA's Memex search technologies have garnered much interest due to their initial mainstream application: to uncover human trafficking operations taking place on the "dark web", the catch-all term for the various internet networks the majority of people never use, such as Tor, Freenet and I2P. And a significant number of law enforcement agencies have inquired about using the technology. But Memex promises to be disruptive across both criminal and business worlds.

Christopher White, who leads the team of Memex partners, which includes members of the Tor Project, a handful of prestigious universities, NASA and research-focused private firms, tells FORBES the project is so ambitious in its scope, it wants to shake up a staid search industry controlled by a handful of companies: Google, Microsoft MSFT -1.55% and Yahoo YHOO +0%.


Add a quantum decrypter and the 'Dark Web' is dead, but the Deep Web becomes available to all. Unfortunately, banking transactions will have to find a better way.

The FBI, DOJ, and the Treasury Dept. have been using it to track international money laundering. You can bet the NSA has a quantum decrypter already.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 26 Sep 2017, 15:19:45

California Is Already Preparing for a North Korean Nuclear Attack

Image ... acted.html

Noting the heightened North Korean threat, the Los Angeles-area Joint Regional Intelligence Center issued a bulletin last month warning that a nuclear attack on Southern California would be “catastrophic” and urged officials in the region to shore up their nuclear attack response plans.

The report cites North Korea’s late July test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could, in theory, reach the West Coast of the United States. “North Korea’s propaganda videos feature ruins of San Francisco and Washington,” the document says.

The 16-page “Nuclear Attack Response Considerations” bulletin is dated Aug. 16 and marked for “official use only.” It was circulated last month to Los Angeles-area local, state, and federal agency personnel and also throughout the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies across the country.

Citing figures from the Rand Corp., the report says a nuclear blast at the Long Beach Port could cause more than $1 trillion in damage, including loss of life and destruction of homes and infrastructure.

“The consequences of a nuclear attack in Southern California would be catastrophic,” the report says. “Nonetheless, government entities and first responders are expected to remain operational to preserve human life, maintain order, and aid in the recovery process.”

The report, which is largely directed at local, state, and federal agencies and first responders located in the Los Angeles region, notes that the federal government will likely be of limited help immediately after a nuclear blast.
(U//FOUO) CONTINUITY: Continuity of government/operations (COG/COOP) plans will be activated, but basic government, first response, and emergency operations will be threatened by significant casualties and destruction of critical infrastructure and key resources.

[T]here will be no significant federal assistance at the scene for 24-72 hours following the attack,” the bulletin says
(U//FOUO) TRIAGE: The large number of casualties and requirements for immediate shelter to protect from fallout, followed by evacuation (when it is safe to do so), triage, casualty assessment, and medical care needs will quickly overwhelm the JRIC, AOR and the State of California.

It also warns of the difficulties government authorities would likely encounter in dealing with the aftermath of a blast. The public will need to evacuate, the report says, but with “limited understanding of radiation risks, they will experience high anxiety and may be non-compliant.”
(U//FOUO) There is currently no federal or international consensus on medical triage systems for radiation mass casualty incidents. Life-saving tasks will take precedence over external radiation decontamination from fallout or visible debris. Conventional clinical standards of care will be modified to contingency and crisis standards of care to maximize the number of lives saved. Responders will encounter blast, radiation, and heat (or secondary fire) injuries.

The disposition of human remains will be complicated by internal and external radiological contamination. Special considerations for personnel handling and processing remains, waste, and final disposition may be required.

It might be time to re-read "Canticle for Leibowitz" ... nation.pdf
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 27 Sep 2017, 14:04:23

The Future the US Military is Constructing Today: a Giant, Armed Nervous System


Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: Connect Everything to Everything.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

In recent months, the Joint Chiefs of Staff put together the newest version of their National Military Strategy. Unlike previous ones, it is classified. But executing a strategy requiring buy-in and collaboration across the services. In recent months, at least two of the service chiefs talked openly about the strikingly similar direction that they are taking their forces.

... The idea borrows from the “Network Centric Warfare” concept that seized the military imagination more than a decade ago. But what leaders are today describing is larger by orders of magnitude. It’s less a strategy for integrating multiple networks into operations more efficiently than a plan to stitch everything, networks within networks, into a single web. The purpose: better coordinated, faster, and more lethal operations in air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.

So the Air Force is making broad investments in data sharing. Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Crider, the service’s first data officer, is setting up a series of experimental tests in the Nevada desert at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, seeking to better understand “what happens when we actually connect into this resilient and agile network said Goldfein.

Nellis Air Force Base/Groom Lake/Area 51

... The Air Force Science Board is also launching a study into how to control a constellation of objects, some in the air, some in the sea, some on land, some piloted by humans and others more autonomous. James Chow, the board’s new head, said the study would also consider how to connect to other services.

Importantly, although the study would come out of the Air Force, it wouldn’t stop at just Air Force equipment but would extend to other weapons and vehicles in the battlespace, like Navy destroyers, said Chow.

... The U.S. Army, too, is investing big dollars into figuring out how to connect everything on the battlefield. An Army Research Lab program called the Internet of Battle of Things will be led by researchers at the University of Illinois, with help from the Universities of Massachusetts, multiple California State branches, Carnegie Mellon, and SRI International.

The Army is currently revising its Operating Concept for itself and the Marine Corps for 2025-2040. The Marines are already conducting experiments along these lines. In April, the Corps’ Warfighting Lab staged a beach assault, linking together robots, ships, satellites, amphibious assault vehicles to share targeting info and other situational intelligence.

... Navy leaders, too, are eager to connect every object on the sea, land, air, space and cyberspace. This is no exaggeration. As Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, put it during the Navy’s Future Force Expo in Washington, D.C., in July: Networking everything is the way to WIN that competition.
“I want to network everything to everything.” ... “When you start linking these platforms together, [the rate of progress is] not exponential…it’s factorial”

Artificial intelligence will play an important supporting role in helping commanders and operators makes sense of what’s happening on with all of these inter-linked devices and weapons, even as it steers and operates burgeoning fleets of near-autonomous drones, unmanned tanks, robot boats, and the like. And it is the direction that the United States military is moving with both determination and speed.

Move Towards 'Holy Grail' of Computing by Creation of Brain-like Photonic Microchips

Scientists have made a crucial step towards unlocking the "holy grail" of computing - microchips that mimic the way the human brain works to store and process information.

A research team, including Professor C. David Wright from the University of Exeter, have made a pioneering breakthrough by developing photonic computer chips - that use light rather than electricity - that imitate the way the brain's synapses operate.

Crucially, their photonic synapses can operate at speeds a thousand times faster than those of the human brain. The team believe that the research could pave the way for a new age of computing, where machines work and think in a similar way to the human brain, while at the same time exploiting the speed and power efficiency of photonic systems.
"Electronic computers are relatively slow, and the faster we make them the more power they consume. Conventional computers are also pretty 'dumb', with none of the in-built learning and parallel processing capabilities of the human brain. We tackle both of these issues here - not only by developing not only new brain-like computer architectures, but also by working in the optical domain to leverage the huge speed and power advantages of the upcoming silicon photonics revolution."

... "Since synapses outnumber neurons in the brain by around 10,000 to 1, any brain-like computer needs to be able to replicate some form of synaptic mimic. That is what we have done here."

Intel’s New Self-Learning Chip Promises to Accelerate Artificial Intelligence


Intel announces a self learning chip designed to work like the human brain. The chip is codenamed Loihi.

Loihi mimics how the brain functions; it uses data to learn and make inferences; it gets smarter over time and it does not need to be trained in the traditional way. The chip was reported as extremely energy-efficient. Mayberry said, "it is up to 1,000 times more energy-efficient than general purpose computing required for typical training systems."

Harri Valpola Dreams of an Internet of Beautiful AI Minds

... “It will look like one huge brain from our perspective,” ... “in much the same way that the internet looks like one big thing. That impression will be an illusion, but we will think it all the same. It is only way our limited human brains will be able to comprehend an internet of connected artificial intelligences.”

The Finnish computer scientist says he has solved AI's fundamental problem: how to make machines that plan

Humans are extremely good at this (as, incidentally, are many animals). You do it every time you want something, then ask yourself, “How do I make it happen?” You might just be debating whether to send your boss an email about holiday or speak to her in person, but in that moment you’re summoning an entire mental model of the world and its nature. Neural networks can absorb current situations and planned actions and use them to make predictions about what will happen. But they can’t, from that, turn around and say, “If you want this, the best thing to do is this.” They are inexorably linear.
“This is really really important for any intelligent decision making,” ... “And we have solved the problem. We are able to invoke neural networks that are able to generate speech. We're able to generate actions that will result in desired outcome.”

The research has not been released, but Valpola argues that will published shortly. “We have it,” he says.
I don't think that people realize the implications. But I think that over the coming year we are going to make very interesting developments in that department.”


Army Turns to Plan X to Defend Against Cyber Threats


DARPA has been partnering with Invincea Labs LLC, Arlington, VA, to create Plan X since 2013. Their partnership was formed out of the military’s need to expand their cyber capabilities to protect U.S. military networks from more advanced attacks.

The main concept of Plan X is to create a general AI battle-command platform, across all departments, so the Army can defend itself against cyber attacks. Plan X compiles cyber battle concepts, including a network map, operational unit, and the capability to plan, execute, and measure the activity of military operations in cyberspace.

The Plan X platform also includes an advanced form of machine learning, called deep learning. This enables the program to recognize malware—even new variants—in one department, learn the defenses necessary to block the threat, and then communicate that information across the entire platform in real-time, creating one Common Operating Picture and providing the next-generation of antivirus defense.

Creators emphasize that this project is not for developing offensive cyber technologies; it is explicitly being developed for defensive purposes.

With the D3000, China Enters the Robotic Warship Arms Race


It's triple-hulled, autonomous, and armed. The D3000 is a 98-foot-long, stealthy robotic trimaran warship designed to operate autonomously for months. From available pictures, the D3000 has significant stealth shaping and likely displaces about 100-150 tons. While the model shows that the D3000 is armed with three Type 730 Gatling cannons (two stern, one aft), the conceptual nature of the robot warship suggests that we shouldn't take that armament fit seriously.

Royal Navy Submarines of the Future Conceptualised

The new concepts were dreamed up by scientists from BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Lockheed Martin and the Ministry of Defence, who were asked to envisage submarine warfare in 50 years' time.

The challenge was to design craft that are cheap to run and deadly in battle.

Based on a hybrid between a whale shark and a manta ray, the mothership's hull would be 3D-printed and built from super-strong alloys and acrylics, with surfaces that can morph in shape. With tunnel drive propulsion similar to a Dyson bladeless fan, it could travel at 150 knots, sucking water through the bow and expelling it from the stern. A crew of 20 would live on board, and the vessel could dock at underwater stations based around the world.


Launched from weapons bays on the mothership and themselves armed, these submarines would travel hundreds of miles in near-silence using sine wave propulsion. Their main purpose would be to eject individual sensor pods that use lasers to communicate with each other, forming an underwater communication network.


Lockheed Martin Destroys Drones in Latest Laser Weapons Demo

ATHENA Laser Weapon System vs Unmanned Aerial Systems

Video - The tests were conducted by Lockheed in conjunction with the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command and destroyed five Outlaw drones. The drones have a 10.8-foot wingspan and the laser destroys them by using its own fuel source against them.

Air Force Plans to Test Gunship Laser Next Year, Top Commando Says

Laser Weapons Not Yet Ready for Missile Defense
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 28 Sep 2017, 14:57:49

Deus Ex Machina: Former Google Engineer is Developing an AI god


Way of the Future, a religious group founded by Anthony Levandowski, wants to create a deity based on artificial intelligence for the betterment of society.

Anthony Levandowski, who is at the center of a legal battle between Uber and Google’s Waymo, has established a nonprofit religious corporation called Way of the Future, according to state filings first uncovered by Wired’s Backchannel. Way of the Future’s startling mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.

Maybe we can get the answer to "The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything"


Naturally, Levandowski is a big believer in the Singularity, that moment in the future where AI surpasses human intelligence, abruptly triggering runaway technological growth. After all, he was instrumental in the development and rollout of autonomous vehicles for both Google (now Waymo) and Uber. It’s that involvement that now has him facing possible criminal charges, after Waymo accused Uber of stealing its self-driving secrets.

The Way of the Future team did not respond to requests for more information about their proposed benevolent AI overlord, but history tells us that new technologies and scientific discoveries have continually shaped religion, killing old gods and giving birth to new ones.
“That is why agricultural deities were different from hunter-gatherer spirits, why factory hands and peasants fantasised about different paradises, and why the revolutionary technologies of the 21st century are far more likely to spawn unprecedented religious movements than to revive medieval creeds.”

-Author Yuval Noah Harari

Religions, Harari argues, must keep up with the technological advancements of the day or they become irrelevant, unable to answer or understand the quandaries facing their disciples.

OMM: ... You are a true believer. Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses. Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy more and be happy. THX-1138 - (1971)

... “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon,” Musk said at a conference in 2014. “In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out.”
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby GASMON » Thu 28 Sep 2017, 17:15:47

World War 3 threat: Russia plots to build 'drone swarms' capable of making decisions ... nald-trump

The truth is sometimes incorrect
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 29 Sep 2017, 12:46:46

Thanks Gas & Cid :)

As Tim the Enchanter would say ...

“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 Plantagenet » Fri 29 Sep 2017, 12:57:32

US to have more combat robots then human soldiers by 2025


And there won't be any Jedi Knights around to save us when the robot soldiers go rogue.

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 29 Sep 2017, 14:38:31

World Economic Forum Warns of 'Vast Numbers of Jobs' Being Disrupted by Automation and Robots

Global economies remain at risk from further shock and are "ill-prepared" for the next wave of "automation and robotization," according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest global competitiveness report.

Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on the part of leaders and policy-makers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity, according to data from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.

Heralding what the organization has called the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, WEF urged governments to adopt more flexible labor markets as an era of automation and robotization approached.


Automation to Improve Insurers’ Earnings by 37%, Reduce Staff Numbers Significantly

Robotic Process Automation is expected to improve insurers’ earnings by about 37 percent with staff numbers falling 20 percent in back office functions, according to a base case scenario by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can mimic the steps of a rules-based process and can replace many repetitive, data entry and reconciliation type processes, according to an RBC research note. For example, Zurich’s use of computers to evaluate medical reports has reduced the average time taken from 58 minutes by person on average to 5 seconds by machine. The immediate advantages of this technology are lower costs; a licence for a 'robot' costs in the region of €5k per annum compared to the cost of an onshore employee of €40k. Additionally, companies should see improvements in speed, accuracy and continuity of processing.

According to a McKinsey study, a significant proportion of the insurance workforce is in operations roles. In property/casualty (P&C) insurance, this can be as high as 70 percent with 59 percent of roles in life insurance in these functions. As a result, the insurance workforce could reduce by between 15-25 percent due to the high level of operations roles, with many of these set to be replaced by RPA.

Automation will lead to a 2.1 percent expense ratio reduction and an increase in the return on equity of 4.4 percent, according to the RBC study. The analysts’ bull case scenario yields a 49 percent improvement in profit after tax with a bear case of a 15 percent reduction in costs still leading to a 24 percent pick up in earnings.

Microsoft AI in use at Macy's, handling service requests

Microsoft has created a virtual assistant that can be used by companies to respond to customer service requests.

CEO Satya Nadella said Monday that Macy's and Hewlett-Packard have already begun to use the technology, which emerged from the company's research into artificial intelligence.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is reportedly laying off 5,000 workers globally

The layoffs will affect about 10% of HPE's workforce, including employees both in the US and abroad, according to the report. HPE will start making the cuts before the end of the year, Bloomberg said. CEO Meg Whitman " ...investors would see fatter profit margins toward the end of this year."

Rise of Robots: Automation Hitting Labor Economy


Between 1998 and 2013, business output in the United States increased by 42 percent to $3.5 trillion. The population increased by 40 million. But the number of labor hours in 2013 was 194 billion — the same as 15 years before.

“What I’ve found is that, at least among those technical people, there is something of an emerging consensus that maybe we really are heading toward this big disruption,” ... “Or maybe we’re even poised to enter an entirely new era, a time when things are going to start to operate according to fundamentally different rules.”

In 1979, General Motors had $11 billion in earnings in 2012 dollars and 840,000 workers. In 2012, Google had more earnings — $14 billion — accomplished with a much smaller workforce of 38,000. ... 'I think that’s quite extraordinary, and what it suggests is that we should be careful about how we think about this”
... “A lot of things that right now we perceive as being uniquely human, things that are safe for people, jobs that are not going to be able to be automated, those assumptions are going to be challenged.”

Innovations in computing could threaten jobs now securely held by humans in the areas of visual perception and dexterity. The Silicon Valley company Industrial Perception is testing a robot focused on moving and unloading boxes, a task until now beyond their visual and dexterity capabilities.

AI Can Predict Whether Your Relationship Will Last Based on How You Speak to Your Partner


New research, just published in the journal PLOS ONE, has analysed the vocal characteristics of 134 couples undergoing therapy. Researchers from the University of Southern California used computers to extract standard speech analysis features from recordings of therapy session participants over two years. The features – including pitch, variation in pitch and intonation – all relate to voice aspects like tone and intensity.

A machine-learning algorithm was then trained to learn a relationship between those vocal features and the eventual outcome of therapy. This wasn't as simple as detecting shouting or raised voices – it included the interplay of conversation, who spoke when and for how long as well as the sound of the voices. It turned out that ignoring what was being said and considering only these patterns of speaking was sufficient to predict whether or not couples would stay together. This was purely data driven, so it didn't relate outcomes to specific voice attributes.

Interestingly, the full video recordings of the therapy session were then given to experts to classify. Unlike the AI, the experts made their predictions using psychological assessment based on the vocal (and other) attributes – including the words spoken and body language. Surprisingly, their prediction of the eventual outcome (they were correct in 75.6% of the cases) was inferior to predictions made by the AI based only on vocal characteristics (79.3%). Clearly there are elements encoded in the way we speak that not even experts are aware of.

The significance of this is not so much about involving AI in marriage counselling or getting couples to speak more nicely to each other (however meritorious that would be). The significance is revealing how much information about our underlying feelings is encoded in the way we speak – some of it completely unknown to us.

How a tone of voice can change the meaning of a few words.

This research takes matters further than just looking at the meaning conveyed by a sentence. It seems to reveal underlying attitudes and thoughts that lie behind the sentences. This is a much deeper level of understanding.

This may be one of the first steps in using computers to determine what we are really thinking or feeling. Imagine for a moment conversing with future smartphones – will we "leak" information that they can pick up? How will they respond?
Video - Sally (AI): There's been a pattern of insubordinate behavior recently.
Jack Harper: Yeah. I feel bad about that.
Sally (AI): Voice analysis indicates you are lying to me, Jack. Tell me why you are here. You have five seconds.


This Strawberry-Picking Robot Gently Picks The Ripest Berries With Its Robo-Hand


Video - In a greenhouse in Belgium, a small robot moves through rows of strawberries growing on trays suspended above the ground, using machine vision to locate ripe, flawless berries, then reaching up with a 3D-printed hand to gently pluck each berry and place it in a basket for sale. If it feels that a berry isn’t ready for harvest, the robot estimates the date it will be ready for it to return and pick it.

In California, where tough immigration policies plus broader economic conditions mean the number of immigrant farmworkers is decreasing (and native-born workers don’t want the job), strawberry growers are finding it harder to find workers to harvest fruit. In the U.K., Brexit is making farm labor less appealing for Eastern European workers who used to do the job. Most developed countries are facing similar challenges with agricultural labor shortages.

“Agricultural labor, at this point, is not sustainable, in the sense that it’s often people who come a long way–a few thousand kilometers–do that work, and after the season they go back, or people come over as immigrants and do that kind of job to get started, and afterwards move on to other, better jobs,” says Tom Coen, CEO of Octinion.

The robot is designed to work with “tabletop” growing systems, where strawberries are grown in trays, rather than in fields, because the industry is moving in this direction. In Europe, greenhouse-grown strawberries are already standard. In California, which produces most of the strawberries eaten in the United States, major producers such as Driscolls are also beginning to move to tabletop growing systems, because the height is better both for robots and for people who would otherwise hunch over low plants growing in a field.

As the world continues to become more urbanized, Coen believes that more vertical farming is inevitable, and the robot could help make it economical. “Something like 80% of the strawberry production in the U.S. comes from California, which means if you eat a strawberry in New York it has been on a truck for something like two days. So both ecologically and economically, that’s not really okay.”


A Farmer and His Robot Make the Ultimate Odd Couple in Charming Scifi Short Brian and Charles
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:34:55

$96 Billion Fund Firm Created a AI Hedge Fund, but Freaked Out When It Couldn't Explain How It Made Money

The AI system they built evolved autonomously, finding moneymaking strategies humans had missed. The results were startlingly good ... Sarcastically, he says the creation was kept on a separate server, as if it could somehow infect Man Group’s main computer system. “It used to sit in a nuclear bunker in the corner,” Ellis jokes
“Were we scared by it? Yes. You wanted to wash your hands every time you looked at it.”

- Luke Ellis - CEO Man Group Plc.

The firm has gone from viewing AI with skepticism to making it a cornerstone strategy. Among the company’s biggest expenditures now is computer equipment ...

Wall Street Firms to Move Trillions to Blockchains in 2018

When blockchains first appeared nearly a decade ago as the technical backbone of Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, they seemed to offer the masses a way to cut out the financial middleman. But now the big banks and other industry players are finding ways to spin the new tool to their advantage.

Their blockchains share a vision that is precisely the opposite of the one laid out in the Bitcoin white paper [PDF], published under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Like Nakamoto himself (or herself), you can own bitcoins without even stating your real name; nobody is in charge; and anybody can check the history of any given transaction. The financial industry’s blockchains, however, are closed or, in their jargon, permissioned; to join one you must reveal your identity to a system administrator, who must then approve you.

In the past two years, giants such as BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, ING, Santander, and UBS have explored dozens of blockchain projects, and some of those are now moving beyond the proof-of-concept phase. One of the first to be released into the real world will come from a little-known financial corporation Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) that mediates a US $11 trillion-a-year market for an arcane class of securities (Credit Default Swaps), the trading of which allows people to pay money to shed risk or make money by accepting it.

If all goes well, a far larger chunk of the quadrillion-dollar securities market, along with many of the administrative tasks performed by banks and brokerages, could soon be running on corporate blockchains.

Banks, credit card providers, and tech companies need help figuring out what blockchains can do for them. This chart shows membership in three leading blockchain consortiums, and which companies have worked with or invested in popular blockchain startups.

Special Report: Blockchains: How They Work and Why They'll Change the World

Bitcoin's Popular Design Is Being Exploited For Theft and Fraud

The very design features that make Bitcoin technology appealing to its users are also weaknesses being exploited for the theft of the cryptocurrency – new research reveals.

The blockchain technology on which Bitcoin is based is decentralised, pseudo-anonymous and unregulated and therefore attractive to many of its users. It offers alternatives to, what many users consider to be, key weaknesses of traditional models - where banks act as trusted third parties to mediate financial transactions.

These transparent design features are supposed to promote trust in Bitcoin. However, computer scientists at Lancaster University and Universiti Teknologi MARA (Malaysia) show that these features are presenting opportunities for fraud– undermining trust in the currency.

Problematic Bitcoin design features include:
- The risk of losing a password – a lost or forgotten password cannot be recovered so all bitcoins from an electronic wallet could be rendered unrecoverable.
- Insecure passwords can lead to bitcoins being stolen – for example through phishing scams.
- The irreversible nature of transactions means that stolen bitcoins diverted to another wallet, due to hacking or dishonest trading partners, cannot be reversed and recovered.
- The anonymous nature of bitcoin users, and their unknown reputations, opens up opportunities for dishonest traders to scam during transactions.

Design for Trust: An Exploration of the Challenges and Opportunities of Bitcoin Users. CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Bitcoin Worth $72M Was Stolen in Bitfinex Exchange Hack in Hong Kong

Hackers Have Stolen Millions Of Dollars In Bitcoin -- Using Only Phone Numbers

Just after midnight on August 11, self-professed night owl Jered Kenna was working at home in Medellin, Colombia, when he was notified the passwords had been reset on two of his email addresses.

He tried to set up new passwords himself by prompting the email service to send him text messages containing a code — but they never arrived.

So I called the company to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to pay my phone bill, and they said, you don’t have a phone with us. You transferred your phone away to another company,” he says. A hacker had faked his identity and transferred his phone number from T-Mobile to a carrier called Bandwidth that was linked to a Google Voice account in the hacker’s possession. Once all the calls and messages to Kenna’s number were being routed to them, the hacker(s) then reset the passwords for Kenna’s email addresses by having the SMS codes sent to them (or, technically, to Kenna’s number, newly in their possession).
Within seven minutes of being locked out of his first account, Kenna was shut out of of up to 30 others, including two banks, PayPal, two bitcoin services — and, crucially, his Windows account, which was the key to his PC.

While this would wreak havoc on anyone’s life, it had especially disastrous consequences for Kenna. “I’m an early bitcoiner,” he says. “I don’t think you have to say anything else.”
When asked how many bitcoins he lost, Kenna laughs. Confirming only that it was millions of dollars’ worth

The security weakness being exploited here is not one that only affects cryptocurrency industry players — they are simply being targeted first because such transactions cannot be undone. The security loophole these hackers are milking can be used against anyone who uses their phone number for security for services as common as Google, iCloud, a plethora of banks, PayPal, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. The hackers have infiltrated bank accounts and tried to initiate wire transfers; used credit cards to rack up charges; gotten into Dropbox accounts containing copies of passports, credit cards and tax returns; and extorted victims using incriminating information found in their email accounts.

In all these cases, as with Kenna’s, the hackers don’t even need specialized computer knowledge. The phone number is the key. (... and they just got that from Equifax)... Video

Aaand It's Gone ... Image ... It's All Gone

Deloitte Hit by Cyber-Attack Revealing Clients’ Secret Emails

One of the world’s “big four” accountancy firms has been targeted by a sophisticated hack that compromised the confidential emails and plans of some of its blue-chip clients, the Guardian can reveal.

Deloitte, which is registered in London and has its global headquarters in New York, was the victim of a cybersecurity attack that went unnoticed for months.

One of the largest private firms in the US, which reported a record $37bn (£27.3bn) revenue last year, Deloitte provides auditing, tax consultancy and high-end cybersecurity advice to some of the world’s biggest banks, multinational companies, media enterprises, pharmaceutical firms and government agencies.

So far, six of Deloitte’s clients have been told their information was “impacted” by the hack. Deloitte’s internal review into the incident is ongoing.

In addition to emails, the Guardian understands the hackers had potential access to usernames, passwords, IP addresses, architectural diagrams for businesses and health information. Some emails had attachments with sensitive security and design details.

The breach is believed to have been US-focused and was regarded as so sensitive that only a handful of Deloitte’s most senior partners and lawyers were informed.

Attack on U.S. Power Grid Could Cost $1 Trillion, Lloyd’s Says

Business Blackout: The Insurance Implications of a Cyber Attack on the US Power Grid

A cyber attack on the U.S. power grid could cost more than $1 trillion because of property damage, higher death rates and crippled infrastructure, according to Lloyd’s of London.

Company executives are worried about security breaches, but recent surveys suggest they are not convinced about the value or effectiveness of cyber insurance.

The report from the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and the Lloyd’s of London insurance market outlines a scenario of an electricity blackout that leaves 93 million people in New York City and Washington DC without power.
- The attackers are able to inflict physical damage on 50 generators which supply power to the electrical grid in the Northeastern USA, including New York City and Washington DC.
- While the attack is relatively limited in scope (nearly 700 generators supply electricity across the region) it triggers a wider blackout which leaves 93 million people without power.
- The total impact to the US economy is estimated at $243bn, rising to more than $1trn in the most extreme version of the scenario.
- Insurance claims arise in over 30 lines of insurance. The total insured losses are estimated at $21.4bn, rising to $71.1bn in the most extreme version of the scenario.

The hypothetical attack causes a rise in mortality rates as health and safety systems fail, a drop in trade as ports shut down and disruption to transport and infrastructure.


Flight Delays after 'Total Radar Failure' At Sydney Airport

In a recording, one air traffic controller could be heard informing a pilot there had been a "total radar failure" and there would be "no movements" until the system was "reliable" once again, after it went down early on Monday morning (late on Sunday UK time).

Airservices Australia said the incident was down to a software failure and not a cyberattack. (... or so they say)
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 13:50:30

Google's A.I. Has Nearly Twice the IQ of Siri; Doubles IQ Every 3 Years

Image ... ion-1.html

Google's artificial intelligence technology has a considerably higher I.Q. than Apple's Siri virtual assistant, according to a new academic paper attempting to compare the smarts of various artificial intelligence systems.

The paper — written by a trio of Chinese researchers, including Yong Shi, executive deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Research Center on Fictitious Economy and Data Science — says that in 2016 Google's AI had an IQ of 47.28. It came out ahead of Chinese search engine Baidu (32.92) and Microsoft's Bing (31.98) and had almost double the IQ of Siri (23.94).

The researchers have taken into consideration the systems' abilities around "knowledge mastery, learning, use and creation."
Google and Microsoft systems have been getting smarter. In 2014 Google's IQ score was 26.5, while Microsoft's was 13.5 - (... doubling nearly ever 3 years)

Notably, none of these systems currently has a higher IQ than a 6-year-old (55.5), much less an 18-year-old (97), the researchers found.

The new paper, published on Sunday, does touch on AlphaGo, the system for playing the Chinese board game of Go from Google parent company Alphabet's DeepMind group. While the researchers didn't give it an IQ score, they did conclude that its intelligence is below that of humans.

The philosopher Nick Bostrom adheres to a theory of Great Filters, or key phases of improbability that life everywhere must pass through in order to develop into intelligent species. Those which do not make it either go extinct or fail to evolve. In Bostrom’s view, the most distressing possibility is that the Great Filter is ahead of us—and tied to technological discovery.


Computer clocks beat much faster than human brains beat. So much faster. Potentially a million times. Since the intelligence is in software it can do all of the learning very quickly. Imagine getting the 4 most intelligent scientists all over history in one room for a millenia. Thousand years from now on…what will those scientists would come back to us? No clue! For a machine that is going to be…1 week.
... “I say this in no spirit of contempt, but look at you! The material you are made of is soft and flabby, lacking endurance and strength, depending for energy upon the inefficient oxidation of organic material. Periodically you pass into a coma and the least variation in temperature, air pressure, humidity, or radiation intensity impairs your efficiency.
You are makeshift.

I, on the other hand, am a finished product. I absorb electrical energy directly and utilize it with an almost one hundred percent efficiency. I am composed of strong metal, am continuously conscious, and can stand extremes of environment easily. These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.”
― Isaac Asimov ... 22-gif.gif ... o1_500.gif

Google's DeepMind Launches New Research Team to Investigate AI Ethics


Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind is getting serious about ethics. The UK-based company, which Google bought in 2014, today announced the formation of a new research group dedicated to the thorniest issues in artificial intelligence. These include the problems of managing AI bias; the coming economic impact of automation; and the need to ensure that any intelligent systems we develop share our ethical and moral values.

DeepMind Ethics & Society (or DMES, as the new team has been christened) will publish research on these topics and others starting early 2018. The group has eight full-time staffers at the moment, but DeepMind wants to grow this to around 25 in a year’s time. The team has six unpaid external “fellows” (including Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, who literally wrote the book on AI existential risk) and will partner with academic groups conducting similar research, including The AI Now Institute at NYU, and the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.

Honda's Disaster Recovery Robot Climbs Ladders


Video - Honda has unveiled a working prototype of its E2-DR disaster response robot -- first revealed in an R&D paper in 2015 -- and it can do a lot. At 1.68 meters high and weighing in at 85 kilograms, E2-DR can walk, step over objects, climb stairs and ladders, slink through narrow spaces and traverse piles of debris. It can even tolerate rain for 20 straight minutes, which is more than a lot of actual people can.

According to Honda, “the following functional items should be achieved for inspection, maintenance and first response for disasters in social infrastructures, such as plants”:
- Three dimensional movement such as stairs, stepladders and vertical ladders with minimum size cages including transitions between ladders and steps
- Moving in narrow free widths and narrow spaces
- Moving over pipes on the floor
- Passing through closed doors along corridors
- Able to absorb contacts while moving
- Moving upon scattered debris
- Perception of environment for planning and monitoring
- Prevention of catastrophic fall when robot loses power while moving in a high place such as stairs and ladders


Rio Tinto Completes First Driverless Ore Train Haul


MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rio Tinto is celebrating its first fully unmanned rail journey at its Pilbara iron ore operations as the mining giant targets a fully autonomous train network in the region by late 2018. Video

On Monday, Rio Tinto said it had completed a pilot run spanning nearly 62 miles with trains operated by individuals in an air-conditioned control room hundreds of miles away. The milestone puts it on track for a late-2018 commissioning of the so-called AutoHaul project, which has been dogged by software problems and repeated delays. Until now, Rio Tinto's trains have run about half of the miles across its Pilbara network in autonomous mode, albeit with drivers still on board to oversee operations.

"This successful pilot run puts us firmly on track to meet our goal of operating the world's first fully autonomous heavy-haul, long-distance rail network," said Chris Salisbury, chief executive of Rio Tinto's iron ore division.

Trains with AutoHaul technology will be able to operate continuously without shift changes and the company said they would improve safety, with trains responding automatically to speed limits and alarms. Across the Pilbara, several drills are already controlled remotely, and about 20% of the fleet of 370 haul trucks is run autonomously.

Robots and Autonomous Vehicles take Arizona Mining into the Future

... Autonomous mining is no longer science fiction, but a reality for some operations. Haul trucks are navigating from the loading shovels to the dumps and back without operators, while drills can navigate from hole to hole and set up and drill a quality blast hole with no operator.

... Technology has altered the mining workforce already. Nowadays, robots are helping to increase overall output and save money, but not helping to add jobs. At Silver Bell, we are considering installing robots capable of stripping cathodes. Asarco’s Amarillo refinery is currently using robotics technology for this purpose.

Robotic Farm Completes 1st Fully Autonomous Harvest
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 14:23:25

Russia Targets NATO Soldier Smartphones, Western Officials Say


The Russians are (still) hacking the phones (and Facebook accounts) of U.S., NATO soldiers deployed to Poland and the Baltic states, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning. “Troops, officers and government officials of North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries said Russia has carried out a campaign to compromise soldiers’ smartphones. The aim, they say, is to gain operational information, gauge troop strength and intimidate soldiers.”

One key indicator pointing to Russia: “the equipment used, such as sophisticated drones equipped with surveillance electronics, is beyond the reach of most civilians.”

How it was discovered, at least one time: “U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher L’Heureux, who took over as commander of a NATO base in Poland in July” says he was among the intended targets. “Soon after… he returned to his truck from shooting drills to find his personal iPhone had been hacked and reported lost. The hacker was attempting to breach a second layer of password protection through a Russian IP address, he said. ‘It had a little Apple map, and in the center of the map was Moscow,’ said Col. L’Heureux, stationed not far from a major Russian military base. ‘It said, “Somebody is trying to access your iPhone”.’”

Said Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings: “Russia [is] almost doing us a ‘favor’ teaching us about this vulnerability now, so we can adapt.”

HP Enterprise Let Russia Scrutinize Cyberdefense System Used By Pentagon


WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Hewlett Packard Enterprise allowed a Russian defense agency to review the inner workings of cyber defense software used by the Pentagon to guard its computer networks, according to Russian regulatory records and interviews with people with direct knowledge of the issue.

The HPE system, called ArcSight, serves 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. ArcSight is also widely used in the private sector.

The Russian review of ArcSight’s source code, the closely guarded internal instructions of the software, was part of HPE’s effort to win the certification required to sell the product to Russia’s public sector, according to the regulatory records seen by Reuters and confirmed by a company spokeswoman.

Six former U.S. intelligence officials, as well as former ArcSight employees and independent security experts, said the source code review could help Moscow discover weaknesses in the software, potentially helping attackers to blind the U.S. military to a cyber attack.
“It’s a huge security vulnerability“... ”You are definitely giving inner access and potential exploits to an adversary”

-Greg Martin - former security architect for ArcSight

The review was conducted by Echelon, a company with close ties to the Russian military, on behalf of Russia’s Federal Service for Technical and Export Control (FSTEC), a defense agency tasked with countering cyber espionage.

Echelon president and majority owner Alexey Markov said in an email to Reuters that he is required to report any vulnerabilities his team discovers to the Russian government.

FSTEC confirmed Markov’s account, saying in a statement that Russian testing laboratories immediately inform foreign developers if they discover vulnerabilities, before submitting a report to a government “database of information security threats.”

... Exploiting vulnerabilities found in ArcSight’s source code could render it incapable of detecting that the military’s network was under attack, said Allen Pomeroy, a former ArcSight employee who helped customers build their cyber defense systems.

“A response to the attack would then be frankly impossible,” Pomeroy said.

Russia in recent years has stepped up demands for source code reviews as a requirement for doing business in the country, Reuters reported in June.

U.S. government procurement records show ArcSight is used as a key cyberdefense bulwark across much of the U.S. military including the Army, Air Force and Navy. For example, ArcSight is used to guard the Pentagon’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), which is used to exchange classified information, according to military procurement records.

Today ArcSight is a virtually irreplaceable tool for many parts of the U.S. military, at least for the immediate future, Pentagon records show.
“HP ArcSight software and hardware are so embedded,” the Pentagon’s logistics agency wrote in April, that it could not consider other competitors “absent an overhaul of the current IT infrastructure.”

Soon, DHS Will Have Eyes on Computer Vulnerabilities Across the Government

The Homeland Security Department will begin standing up a dashboard in October that shows cyber officials what software is running across most of the civilian federal government and points out dangerous vulnerabilities, a top department official said Friday.

The dashboard will allow defenders at Homeland Security’s cyber operations center to pinpoint which departments and agencies are running vulnerable versions of software when they learn about a new digital virus or vulnerability, Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Communications Office, said.

The dashboard is part of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program, which supplies cyber protection services to federal agencies. Agencies participating in the continuous diagnostics program have stood up their own agency-level software dashboards over about the past year.

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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

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 14:30:11

The US Navy Has Created Its First Ever Underwater Drone Squadron

The U.S. Navy has created its first ever dedicated underwater drone unit, Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron One, or UUVRON 1, splitting it off from a secretive submarine unit in the process. The decision highlights the steadily growing importance of unmanned craft within the service, which hopes to have dedicated operational unmanned undersea elements by the end of the decade, and across the U.S. military in general.


The Navy formally activated UUVRON 1 at a ceremony at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Washington. At the same time, the new organization replaced a smaller detachment that had been part of Submarine Development Squadron Five (DEVRON 5). This unit still contains a variety of unique elements, including the USS Jimmy Carter spy sub, which recently returned from a shadowy, but apparently successful mission, as well as the Detachment Undersea Research and Development, which has been associated with those covert activities in the past.

... The Navy is also working on a so-called Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV), as part of a program known as Snakehead. Detachment Unmanned Undersea Vehicles’s Large Training Vehicle 38 had been a surrogate for this vehicle, the first prototypes of which are expected to be in the water by 2019, according to USNI News.


Not surprisingly, UUVRON 1 is slated to receive the first experimental LDUUV. There are also future plans for extra large systems that could operate as either a remote controlled or autonomous mini-submarine or even have the ability to be optionally manned if need be. In 2015, a team of Huntington Ingalls Underwater Solutions Group, Bluefin Robotics, and Battelle demonstrated on such vehicle Proteus. The next year, Boeing showed off the huge Echo Voyager, claiming it could operation underwater for up to six months.


As of earlier in 2017, the Office of Naval Research was working on an unmanned flying craft that could hit the water and then turn into a subsurface vehicle, though purely as a proof of concept. A number of private companies are also working on similar convertible water craft that are both manned and unmanned.

Hypersonic SR-72 Demonstrator Reportedly Spotted at Skunk Works


Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, alluded to the SR-72 program at this week's SAE International Aerotech Congress and Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas. "Although I can't go into specifics, let us just say the Skunk Works team in Palmdale, California, is doubling down on our commitment to speed," he said, as reported by Aviation Week. Carvalho went on to say, "Hypersonics is like stealth. It is a disruptive technology and will enable various platforms to operate at two to three times the speed of the Blackbird... Security classification guidance will only allow us to say the speed is greater than Mach 5." (... Mach 6 = 4,500 mph)

Boeing Shows New Concept for Next-Gen US Air Force Fighter

DARPA-Funded Radar Lets Planes See Through Smoke and Clouds


For nearly a year, oil fires billowed smoke into the air above the Iraqi city of Mosul, set by Islamic State fighters to obscure their movements from coalition forces closing in on the city. Last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced a breakthrough in the decades-old quest to allow airborne observers to peer through smoke and haze to the ground below.

Current methods have too many drawbacks. Infrared cameras, of the sort used by military planes to track moving targets, can’t see through clouds. Synthetic aperture radar does the trick but it has a slow frame rate. SAR combines radar images to produce the effect of having a really long antenna, but it’s much better for still shots of a static target than continuous streaming video. Moving to higher frequency can increase the frame rate but that also makes the radar weaker against atmospheric conditions like clouds and smoke. Other, more experimental approaches to the cloud-and-smoke problem include the Army’s classified “Brown-Out Leap Ahead.”

DARPA’s Thursday announcement represents the most public disclosure of how far ahead the military is in seeing through atmospherics. In recent tests, researchers were able to take “uninterrupted live video of targets on the ground even when flying through or above clouds,” DARPA program manager Bruce Wallace wrote.“The [electro-optical / infrared] sensors on board the test aircraft went blank whenever clouds obscured the view, but the synthetic aperture radar tracked ground objects continuously throughout the flight.”

Drones Controlled With Brain-Computer Interface

“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 04 Oct 2017, 14:48:57

Facial Surveillance on the Cards in the Name of Australia's National Security

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to ask state and territory leaders to hand over citizen licence details at a special national security summit in Canberra on Thursday.

The prime minister told ABC radio on Wednesday that adding driver's licences to the federal government's database of passport and immigration information will allow authorities to more quickly identify people suspected of or involved in terrorist activities.

The technology could be used, for example, in surveillance at airports and shopping malls.

"We believe if we bring together driver's licences, then we can start to build up a national system that will enable us then more quickly to identify people, particularly to be able to identify people that are suspected of, or involved in terrorist activities.

"About half of the population have got a photograph in a federal government system of one kind or another."

Turnbull acknowledged there was a risk that such big and complex data could be compromised but said steps will be taken to ensure it is protected.

"You can't allow the risk of hacking to prevent you from doing everything you can to keep Australians safe," he added.


Facial Recognition Database Pushes Us Towards Orwellian Future

Moscow Deploys Facial Recognition to Spy on Citizens in Streets


Moscow is adding facial-recognition technology to its network of 170,000 surveillance cameras across the city in a move to identify criminals and boost security.

Since 2012, CCTV recordings have been held for five days after they’re captured, with about 20 million hours of video stored at any one time.

"We soon found it impossible to process such volumes of data by police officers alone," said Artem Ermolaev, head of the department of information technology in Moscow. "We needed an artificial intelligence to help find what we are looking for."

Moscow's Facial Recognition CCTV Network is the Biggest Example of Surveillance Society Yet

Now, the city of Moscow has finally announced that since February this year it has been using facial recognition technology from NTechLab in the 160,000 CCTV cameras across the city.

Moscow's Department of Information Technologies claims the city-wide surveillance system covers 95% of apartment building entrances in Moscow and it's the world's largest.

The system works just like any facial recognition network used by law enforcement in the world, just on a bigger scale.

And, In America, Land of the Free ...

Mystery Surrounds Metal Towers Popping Up In Tunnels & Bridges

CBS: ... Jose Lugo said the tall metal towers quickly appeared up after the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel tolls booths came down. “We don’t really know what’s the purpose of this,” he told Carlin.

It’s a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges. So what are they exactly?

The MTA’s man in charge of the bridges and tunnels, Cedrick Fulton, dodged Carlin’s questions Wednesday. “I said no comment,” he said.

Residents suspect there is much more going on in the towers than meets the eye and wonder if they’ll ever really know what’s going on inside of them. “I’m going to guess that it’s not just a decoration,” Alyssa Renkas, of the Upper West Side, said.

“It’s a bit mind-boggling that the MTA is approving $100 million for what appears to us to be big, decorative pylons,” says John Kaehny, the leader of the watchdog group Reinvent Albany. “What we’re asking for is transparency from the MTA.”

Lhota: “The base of these new pieces that are going up include whatever fiber optics are necessary for those Homeland Security items.” In other words, anti-terror technology. Could that one day include facial recognition? We don’t know and Lhota won’t say.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss that,” he told Carlin.

So as more of these expensive towers rise, the mystery is tucked away inside them. Lhota said all necessary Homeland Security technology remains in place at all crossings, even the ones that don’t have the new towers yet.

See Also: Smile, You're on Camera, and It Knows Who You Are

... A Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) memo obtained by Vocativ though a Freedom of Information Act request provides some more insight into how the city might look to track the people inside the estimated 800,000 vehicles that cross through MTA tunnels and bridges every day.

“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 » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 12:44:19

Japan Becomes First Nation to Undertake Large-Scale Deep-Sea Mining

Japan has successfully tapped into a deposit of mineral resources from a deep-water seabed off the coast of Okinawa, the economy ministry said Tuesday, the largest such extraction of its type.

It is the first time metals have been mined from the seabed in such quantities using ship-based extraction technology, according to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

The effort was undertaken after a series of recent discoveries of ore deposits off the coast of Okinawa, according to the ministry.

From mid-August through late this month, JOGMEC deployed excavators to access the ore deposit at a depth of about 1,600 meters, sucking mineral ore up to the sea surface.

The ministry believes the mined deposit includes an amount of zinc equivalent to Japan’s annual consumption. The ore deposit also includes gold, copper and lead.


World’s first Second Seabed Gold, Copper, Silver Mine to Begin Production in 2019

Canada’s Nautilus Minerals (TSX:NUS), one of the world's first seafloor miners, is on track to start operations at its Solwara 1 gold, copper and silver project off the coast of Papua Guinea in early 2019.

The Toronto-based company, which also is developing another underwater project, off the coast of Mexico, expects to have all its undersea mining tools ready to go by mid-next year, so it can kick-off operations at the Bismarck Sea-based project shortly after, chief executive Mike Johnston told


It’s estimated that the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is in charge of issuing exploration licences to both governments and companies has granted 26 such permits so far.

China Focuses on Deep-Sea Mining to Fuel Rare Metals ‘Gold Rush’

Experts Warn that Seabed Mining Will Lead to ‘Unavoidable’ Loss of Biodiversity

SETI Astronomer Says Alien Robots Could Be Hiding In Space

In a recent interview with Futurism at the the Worlds Fair Nano NY, SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak bet everyone in the audience a “cup of coffee” that we’d find intelligent extraterrestrial life in next 20 years. Now, he tells Inverse that maybe we should be thinking differently about what that alien “life” might be.
“The majority of the intelligence in the universe is probably synthetic intelligence,” Shostak tells Inverse. “So now if you ask where should we point antennas to find that, it becomes a very hard problem. It’s pretty easy to say ‘[Intelligent life] is gonna be biological, living on some world sort of like Earth. But it could be machines just hanging out in space.”

“Your smarts are contained in a three pound brain between your ears,” Shostak says. “What if you had a 3 million pound artificial brain, how smart could that be?”

Google Hardware + Assistant + Nest brings Star Trek like Computer Interaction

In Star Trek, you talk to the computer and it understands you and alters the ship and the environment in response. Star Trek also has universal voice translation.

Google is implementing this vision with the newly announced Google Pixelbook, Pixel smartphones when combined with home and building automation with Nest devices. Google is also a leader in language translation; it's new earphones promise on-the-go translations in 40 languages at the touch of a button.


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

Video - Nissan owners will soon be able to access their car by asking Amazon's voice assistant Alexa to unlock the vehicle for them.

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.


Dave: Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Raccoons Could Totally Overthrow Humans, Scientist Warns


As the world descends further into chaos, it might be time to consider a regime change — that is, humanity getting unseated by another species. Recent events across North America suggest raccoons have started a revolution against humans, and a wildlife biologist tells Inverse we might be doomed.

Over the last few weeks, raccoons have made it clear that they’ve had it with our bullshit. Late last month, a rogue raccoon jumped onto a Colorado Springs cop car as it raced to the scene of a car crash. While no one was hurt — including the raccoon — police were blown away by how long the critter was able to cling to the windshield.

Raccoons have also made it clear that they reject our capitalist institutions. Last week, a family of them broke into the ceiling of a Toronto bank, forcing it to temporarily shut down. The damage caused by the raccoons was so extensive that repairs won’t be finished until the end of October.

Clearly, raccoons have a (understandable) vendetta against humanity. According to wildlife biologist Imogene Cancellare, it’s just a matter of time until we all join their ranks — or else.

It’s basically a case of the trash panda army,” she tells Inverse. “The main issue is that raccoons are a generalist species, meaning they can meet their resource needs in a variety of habitats. They’re also urban-adapted.”

Image ... /tenor.gif ... /giphy.gif ... 9957-6.gif ... o1_500.gif ... -water.gif
“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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