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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 Cog » Fri 22 Dec 2017, 18:03:53

I'm outside the blast radius of either, depending on how accurate the guidance systems are that the Clinton's gave them.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 22 Dec 2017, 20:53:38

Do the Trump Administration Hawks Understand the Difference Between North Korea's Nuclear Capability and Its Intent?

... Mattis is prepared to launch a preventive strike on North Korea if the regime is “shown to be a capable threat against us.” Mattis’ suggestion was that capability could be the Trump administration’s trigger to abandon deterrence and diplomacy in favor of military intervention.

That is a dangerous and foolhardy position, and a surprising one coming from a strategist of Mattis’ experience. What matters — or rather, what should matter — in Washington’s policy toward North Korea is not only capability but also intent.
... To conflate nuclear capability and threat is to disastrously misunderstand the demented game Kim Jong-un is playing.

No one of good conscience wants the Kim Jong-un regime, infamous for its internal cruelty and external bluster, to have the nuclear capability Kim seeks. But capability alone is not a threat to America. It is certainly not a threat that justifies starting an avoidable nuclear war.

The error in conflating capability and threat is instantly evident when we consider other nuclear-capable states with which Washington has tense relations.

Russia and China, hardly close American allies, have substantial nuclear arsenals and far more reliable means of warhead delivery than North Korea possesses. Both nations have the capability Mattis describes, but because they show no evidence of intent to use it against the United States, Mattis would no doubt agree a preventive strike against either would be preposterous.


US Nuclear Tests Killed Far More Civilians Than We Knew

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When the US entered the nuclear age, it did so recklessly. New research suggests that the hidden cost of developing nuclear weapons were far larger than previous estimates, with radioactive fallout responsible for 340,000 to 690,000 American deaths from 1951 to 1973.

The study, performed by University of Arizona economist Keith Meyers, uses a novel method (pdf) to trace the deadly effects of this radiation, which was often consumed by Americans drinking milk far from the site of atomic tests.

From 1951 to 1963, the US tested nuclear weapons above ground in Nevada. Weapons researchers, not understanding the risks—or simply ignoring them—exposed thousands of workers to radioactive fallout.

The emissions, however, did not just stay at the test site, and drifted in the atmosphere. Cancer rates spiked in nearby communities, and the US government could no longer pretend that fallout was anything but a silent killer.

When cows consumed radioactive fallout spread by atmospheric winds, their milk became a key channel to transmit radiation sickness to humans. Most milk production during this time was local, with cows eating at pasture and their milk being delivered to nearby communities, giving Meyers a way to trace radioactivity across the country.
The National Cancer Institute has records of the amount of Iodine 131—a dangerous isotope released in the Nevada tests—in milk, as well as broader data about radiation exposure. By comparing this data with county-level mortality records, Meyers came across a significant finding:

“Exposure to fallout through milk leads to immediate and sustained increases in the crude death rate.” What’s more, these results were sustained over time. US nuclear testing likely killed seven to 14 times more people than we had thought, mostly in the midwest and northeast.

When the US used nuclear weapons during World War II, bombing the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, conservative estimates suggest 250,000 people died in immediate aftermath. Even those horrified by the bombing didn’t realize that the US would deploy similar weapons against its own people, accidentally, and on a comparable scale.

Like the spike in mortality figures from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, only spread over several years.

The Forgotten Downwinders

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... Unfortunately, Hughes perfectly fits the prototype of an Idaho fallout victim. Her rural upbringing, her childhood during the Nevada Test Site's atmospheric heyday of 1951 to 1962 and her fondness for fresh, unprocessed milk made her an ideal target for exposure to the radioactive byproduct Iodine 131. Ten years ago, her doctors discovered a metastasized tumor in her thyroid gland, the organ that most bears the brunt of I-131. The cancer has since spread to her lungs, kidneys and spleen. After consulting numerous doctors, Sarah came to believe, like an increasing amount of Idaho cancer victims, that fallout from Nevada is to blame for her condition--and that governmental compensation is a step toward redressing the wrong.

Evidence supporting claims like Hughes' has exploded in the last decade. In 1997, the National Cancer Institute released a study concluding that rural counties in Idaho and Montana had the highest exposure rates to I-131 to be found anywhere in the nation. The reasons for these high numbers have been well documented, and are not mere coincidence, according to Snake River Alliance Executive Director Jeremy Maxand:
"[Nuclear technicians] would wait until the wind was blowing north toward Idaho to detonate these devices," he explains, "because they wanted to ensure that there weren't plumes of radiation heading toward urban centers."

Once in the sky, the I-131 (whose half-life is a mere eight days) would follow weather patterns north to farmlands, settle on grass, be eaten by cows and goats and contaminate their milk. In Ada County, the radiation levels were slight, due to the age of our shelved milk. But in rural areas like Gem, Blaine, Custer and Lemhi Counties, an inhabitant could easily be exposed to several hundred times the normal or background levels of radiation. In children and women, the effects on thyroid glands were more concentrated, leading to many modern-day cancer patients who may be fallout victims without realizing it

Radiation didn't stop at the Canadian border. We probably killed a few thousand Canadians, too.

A study of hundreds of thousands of deciduous teeth, collected by Dr. Louise Reiss and her colleagues as part of the Baby Tooth Survey, found a large increase in Strontium 90Sr levels in through the 1950s and early 1960s. The study's final results showed that children born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1963 had levels of Strontium 90Sr in their deciduous teeth that was 50 times higher than that found in children born in 1950, before the advent of large-scale atomic testing. Commentators on the study said that the fallout was likely to cause increased cases of diseases in those who absorb strontium-90 into their bones


Stopping Armageddon

Top Marine General: 'There's a War Coming'

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, told troops Thursday that "there's a war coming" and urged them to be prepared.

"I hope I'm wrong, but there's a war coming
," Neller told Marines stationed in Norway, during a visit there, according to Military.com. "You're in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence," he added.

The commandant pointed to Russia and the Pacific theater as the next major areas of conflict, predicting a "big-ass fight" in the future.
“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 28 Dec 2017, 12:15:46

Documents Shed Light on North Korea’s Startling Gains in Sea-Based Missile Technology

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... “The question that has long been raised is: Did North Korea get this missile technology from a [Russian] fire sale? said David Wright, a missiles expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Did they get plans years ago and are just now at the point where they can build these things?”

North Korea is known to have relied on Russian parts and designs for its older missiles, including the Scud derivatives that had dominated its stockpile since the 1980s. Now, newly uncovered documents offer fresh clues about the possible origins of those technical advances, some of which seemed to outside observers to have come from nowhere. The newly uncovered documents include technical drawings for much more advanced missiles — designs that include features seen in some of the newest missiles in North Korea’s expanding arsenal.

The documents from the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau include marketing brochures for an array of top-of-the-line Soviet missiles that were able to deliver nuclear warheads to U.S. cities. Initially designed for the Soviet navy’s nuclear submarines, some of the models offered for sale could be launched from a large boat, a submerged barge, or a capsule dropped into the ocean, negating the need for a modern submarine fleet.
The missile could be floated and ignited without any need for a launch platform,” recalled Kyle Gillman, the former executive vice president of the U.S.-Russian joint venture known as Sea Launch Investors. Gillman, who negotiated the business agreement with Russia’s Makeyev scientists, reviewed and authenticated the documents obtained by The Washington Post.


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The Americans who founded Sea Launch Investors in 1992 believed that their project could help prevent the poaching of Russian weapons experts by terrorists and rogue states, at least from the community of rocket scientists at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, the premier Soviet manufacturer of submarine-launched ballistic missiles headquartered in Miass, a small city in Russia’s southern Ural mountains.
... On November 25, 1993, in the city of Turku, Finland, NPO Energia, Boeing and the Norwegian company Kvaerner Maritime, which owned Odyssey, signed an agreement on the development of the sea-based missile lauch system. Boeing promised to take responsibility for the organizational and marketing side of the project, while Kvaerner would outfit the platform for its new role.

“We not only help the Russians to pay their bills and stabilize their country by showing them how the free enterprise system works,” John E. Draim, a Navy pilot and engineer, wrote in the company’s business plan in 1993, “but we also help those Americans who are looking for an economical way to get satellites into orbit.”
Unlike the consensus on the rocket, the choice of the launch platform led to a major quarrel, apparently threatening the very existence of the joint venture for the first but not last time. While the Russians and Norwegians voted for a converted oil rig platform, Boeing argued for a supertanker.

On July 27, 1998, the State Department suspended the Technical Assistance Agreement, TAA, which allowed Boeing's involvement in the development phase of the Sea Launch project. The suspension was a result of more than 200 violations of the technology transfer procedures admitted by Boeing representatives.

... some of the Makeyev drawings and blueprints apparently had gone out the door. The Russian scientists arrested at the Moscow airport acknowledged to investigators that they had been recruited as a group to assist North Korea in building rockets, ostensibly as space boosters for satellites. In “The Dead Hand,” David E. Hoffman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the last years of the Cold War, a Russian security official describes how the North Koreans systematically chose experts from across Makeyev’s entire production line, from fuels specialists to engineers who designed the nose cone and payload chamber. The salary offer, $1,200 a month, was 200 times as much as some of the scientists were earning at home. ...

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Up for sale were powerful missiles called “Calm” and “Ripple,” built to lob heavy nuclear warheads into space from a barge or a submarine tube, and a new model called “Surf” that could be rolled off the side of a ship and fired straight out of the water.

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A submarine-launched ballistic missile is displayed in Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea


North Korea Designed A Nuke. So Did This Truck Driver

Coster-Mullen is an unlikely judge of North Korea's nuclear progress. He works nights for a major trucking firm, delivering merchandise to big box stores. Before that, he worked as a photographer. He never graduated from college.

But for the past 24 years, he has had an extraordinary hobby. He has carefully re-created detailed designs of America's very first nuclear weapons: Little Boy, the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, and Fat Man, the one that fell on Nagasaki.
... "Nuclear weapons are not particularly 'hard' to design and build, ... Compared to what they do in manufacturing today for making a light bulb, these are simple. They really are"

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It would be easy to write him off as an eccentric, but experts do not. "He knows a lot," says Johnpierre Paglione, a physics professor at the University of Maryland who recently invited Coster-Mullen to give a lecture about the bomb as part of his class on the Manhattan Project.

"The impressive thing about the work, to me, is how much information he was able to curate over time," says Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
"Nobody leaked anything to me,"he says. "I found all this information was hiding in plain sight."

Like the time he went to a lecture by someone who'd worked on the development of the bombs. At the end of the talk, the man held up a special commemorative paperweight, which had been made using a mold. "The mold they poured the plastic into was the same mold they poured the plutonium into to make the cores," says Coster-Mullen.
The paperweight was a perfect copy of one hemisphere of a Fat Man-type bomb's nuclear core.


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Coster-Mullen ran up after the lecture, made a few quick measurements and got what was once highly classified information.

... Lewis says Coster-Mullen's odyssey shows that nuclear weapons just aren't that hard to understand. "If a truck driver from Milwaukee can roughly replicate one, then that tells you that there is nothing mysterious about them," Lewis says.

"Anyone who thinks that ignorance is going to be an effective prohibition on a small nation attaining nuclear weapons should take heed of John's work," agrees Wellerstein. "There's more information out there than most people realize. And it has been out there for a long time."


Why ‘5027’ is a Number You Should Know: How War in Korea Might Unfold

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... How would Korea turning hot unfold? U.S. military planners have thought about this for decades, especially over the last 20 years as North Korea has sought to develop a nuclear weapon and long-range missiles capable of carrying such a warhead. Indeed, there are multiple “Operations Plans,” and I remember being given quiet briefings on some of them.

OPLAN 5027 (OPLAN 5027 Major Theater War - West) had the U.S. military deploying to the theater of war over about 90 days hundreds of thousands of troops, plus half the U.S. Navy and over 1,000 aircrafts. There’s also OPLAN 5029, for dealing with a sudden collapse of the Pyongyang government and doing things like securing nuclear and biological weapons stocks. Each of these plans have had multiple iterations as commanders have come and gone, and also as global circumstances have changed.

OPLAN 5015 reportedly incorporates the South Korean military’s concept of a “kill chain,” which refers to making a preemptive strike against North Korean nuclear bombs or missiles within 30 minutes of detecting signs of an imminent launch. A decapitation strike is the idea of preventing a nuclear attack during a crisis when there are indications that an enemy is preparing to use a nuclear weapon by eliminating the person with the authority to approve the attack.

But there are some big and difficult questions.

First, there is the problem of a preemptive strike. Could the U.S. military conduct airstrikes that blow up the missiles and warheads? No. Those almost certainly are tucked away in tunnels carved away deep into hard rock. (The North Koreans are big on tunneling. I was once in a the southern end of a tunnel they dug under the DMZ. It was impressive, and it was said to be just one of many. On the same foggy day, our Army UH-60 helicopter pilot, flying north from the capital, got lost and so landed the aircraft at a U.S. outpost just short of the DMZ. Red-faced, he glumly informed us that there are two types of helicopter pilots: Those who get lost, and those who falsely claim they don’t.)

But U.S. airstrikes, launched from bases in the South, or from Japan, or even Guam, combined with heavy jamming and cyber ops, could probably severely degrade North Korea’s ability to launch anything. Their internal communications would almost stop. And if you are going preemptive, there’s a good chance you are going to conduct a decapitation strike aimed at destroying Pyongyang’s ruling elites. Drones could loiter overhead to provide warning of any launcher rolling out of a tunnel. Being a North Korean launcher operator would become the world’s most hazardous job, but with plenty of opportunity to move up the ladder.

Here’s the first big problem with preemption: North Korean artillery. They have a lot — I mean, thousands — of artillery pieces along the DMZ. And the moment they got a whiff of what was going on, they’d probably start firing shells into Seoul. I don’t think they could keep it up for long — the tubes are probably shoddy, they’d have a lot of duds, and they’d find that keeping them firing is hard when the other side is firing back and probably cluster bombing every tunnel door that opens. The prospect of artillery shells landing around the greater Seoul area, with a population of over 20 million, is grim, even if the shelling can’t reach the southern part of the city, and even if it lasts only a few days. But it still wouldn’t be the “sea of fire” that Pyongyang a few years ago promised to rain down on Seoul.

And then there’s the Pottery Barn problem:
The more you remove the Kim family monarchy in the North, the more you own the problem — and are responsible for, among other things, feeding and policing the population.

Even if you can persuade the UN to put in peacekeepers, the United States is going to have to provide the logistics — few other nations are capable of doing even a fraction of it. There almost certainly would be major humanitarian relief operation, at the very least.

And what if not everyone in North Korea is happy with this turn of events? I think most of them would be delighted to see the absolutist Communist monarchy gone. But some will not. I remember being told that U.S. military planners were especially concerned by the northeastern part of the North, up near Russia. What if that chunk held out, declined to agree to a cease fire, and insisted it was carrying on the great traditions of the Kim family? Then you are going to need more than peacekeepers. And we all know what the warnings about getting bogged down in a land war in Asia are.


The Nightmare Aftermath Of A Nuclear Bomb

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... “Now not many people walked in the streets, but a great number sat on the pavement, vomited, waited for death, and died.”


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Catastrophic Climatic Consequences of Nuclear Conflict

Growing seasons in the middle latitudes would immediately be significantly shortened, completely eliminating some crops that had insufficient time to reach maturity.

The studies predict climatic consequences significantly greater and more persistent than those which resulted from greatest volcanic eruption of the past 500 years, the 1815 Tambora eruption in Indonesia. Tambora lofted enormous amounts of volcanic smoke particles into the stratosphere, which blocked and scattered enough sunlight to cause the 1816 “Year Without Summer,” when killing frosts disrupted agriculture every month of the summer in New England and widespread harvest failure and famine occurred in Europe.

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Modern agriculture is finely tuned to the present climate and would be severely impacted by rapid average temperature declines of even a few degrees Celsius.

Computer simulations of the regional nuclear conflict predict a global average surface cooling of 1.25º C which would persist for three years, with the global average temperature still 0.5º C below normal a decade after the war. One year after the smoke injection there would be temperature drops of several degrees Celsius within the grain-growing interior regions of Eurasia and North America. There would be a corresponding shortening of growing seasons by up to 30 days and a 10% reduction in average global precipitation – which would have major impacts on global food supplies.

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

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 30 Dec 2017, 14:21:47

Homeland Security's Airport Facial Scans Are Buggy and Possibly Illegal, Report Finds

Airports for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C., have begun using the technology to identify accused criminals of attempting to exit the U.S. on fake identities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the federal agency deploying the technology.

The software was funded with more than a billion dollars in congressional appropriations for fighting crime and terrorism, but the report called the technology’s use on American citizens legally questionable.

Released by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology on Thursday, “Not Ready for Takeoff: Face Scans at Airport Departure Gates” makes a very clear first argument: The DHS simply doesn’t have the authority to force anyone to hand over their biometric data. Congress has passed legislation permitting DHS to collect face data from foreign nationals, “but no law directly authorizes DHS to collect the biometrics of Americans at the border,” the report reads. Additionally, the report argues that mandating face scans is such a huge expansion of the DHS’s authority it should have been scrutinized during a public comment period before implementation, as required by federal law. Perhaps just as troublingly, the researchers found a number of technical flaws in both the software itself and how it’s tested for accuracy.
This, the report says, is like hiring a bouncer without knowing how well he can spot fake IDs. As one of the report’s co-authors told The New York Times, “It’s telling that D.H.S. cannot identify a single benefit actually resulting from airport face scans at the departure gate.”

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Russian Authorities Seek Access to Biometric Data as Law Enforcement Surveillance Increases

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A draft bill to require Russia’s state telecom to provide the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB) with bank customers’ biometric data without their consent is being considered by the State Duma, The Moscow Times reports. The proposal coincides with the expansion of a municipal surveillance program powered by facial recognition in Moscow.

Rostelecom is operating a project by Russia’s Communications Ministry and Central Bank to remotely verify bank account applications with personal biometrics, including facial images and voice recording, by late 2018. The program could be expanded to include iris, palm, and fingerprint recognition.

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The Guardian View On Surveillance in China: Big Brother is Watching

"Orwellian” is a much-abused word; but in the case of Xinjiang, in China, its use is entirely apposite. Authorities’ grip on the resource-rich, violence-stricken north-western region – and most of all on the lives of its Uighur Muslims – grows tighter by the day. Orwell would recognise the relentlessness of surveillance, the innovative means employed, and the linguistic distortions that underline rather than disguise the exercise of power.

“The happiest Muslims in the world live in Xinjiang,” a propaganda official there claimed this year. Beijing points to high investment in the region and, for example, extra points for Uighur students in college entrance exams. But a series of recent reports have unveiled a digital police state. Technological advances such as facial recognition software and biometric data collection are married to a vast and expanding security apparatus, a bureaucracy that inserts itself into all parts of life, and traditional hard power: shows of force by heavily armed police.

Officials have collected DNA from millions of residents this year under what they describe as a free Physicals for All healthcare programme. It follows a regional security directive urging the collection of “three-dimensional portraits, voiceprints, DNA and fingerprints”. At checkpoints, armed police use handheld devices to check smartphones for banned apps. At petrol stations, machines scan drivers’ identity cards and faces. One prefecture requires each car to have a GPS tracking device. At knife shops, machines etch the identity details of the buyer on to each blade. Official forms ask householders about their prayer habits.

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... The region is unique in China in the level of repression. But it has become a laboratory for measures then used elsewhere. And as Chinese global ambitions grow, these techniques are likely to be exported: Beijing knows that parts of its vast One Belt, One Road infrastructure scheme will be vulnerable to militant attacks. What happens in Xinjiang is unlikely to stay in Xinjiang.


China’s CCTV Surveillance Network Took Just 7 Minutes to Capture BBC Reporter

It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology.

This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be. It’s a stark example of the type of monitoring that China has invested heavily in over recent years with the aim of helping police do their job more efficiently.

Such systems are also used in private organizations, for example to monitor workers and processes in factories, but government critics have warned of the potential for abuse in the hands of the state.

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Shanghai Subway Surveillance AI Has Database of 2 Billion Faces

Germany Extends Facial Recognition Test at Rail Station

BERLIN — Germany’s top security official is extending tests of automatic facial recognition technology after an initial six-month trial showed the system had a good success rate.

The tests used high-quality pictures of more than 200 volunteers to identify them as they passed through Berlin’s Suedkreuz railway station.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Friday that cameras spotted the volunteers more than 70 percent of the time, with the wrong person flagged in less than 1 percent of cases.


Australia Trials World First City Surveillance System

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Australian cities will be a test bed for ‘next generation security’ systems that will combine live video with advanced real-time analytics for a level of surveillance impossible with current technology.

NEC describes it as a “ground-breaking intelligent live video streaming security system enabled by real-time analysis of footage captured from fixed cameras and mobile camera sensors in body cams, smartphones, and drones.”

The company says this is a significant improvement on current video surveillance and facial recognition system, which rely predominantly on footage captured from fixed cameras. “Live, intelligent video footage combined with efficient transmission of data from mobile camera sensors enhances the impact of NEC’s facial recognition technology, NeoFace.”

The technology uses Internet-connected mobile cameras and NEC’s biometrics. “This is the future of public safety,” said NEC Australia in a statement. “Smart cities can now use mobile camera technologies to improve the safety of public spaces and the capabilities of first responders.

NEC says this will enable first responders to aim smartphones, wearables, or cameras at a shared point of interest in order to triangulate its position. A command centre can then direct a drone to the shared point of interest without knowing its exact location.

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Drones Among Devices to Be Integrated with New Surveillance Technology

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Bucharest’s Main Airport Wants Facial Recognition Surveillance System

Tokyo 2020 Olympics could deploy facial-recognition tech on a huge scale

... Developed by NEC Corp., the committee said the system would aid security by eliminating the problem of forged or stolen ID cards, and also speed up the flow of athletes, officials, and media personnel entering the venues. It’s estimated the system will manage up to 400,000 people, marking the biggest ever deployment of facial recognition technology at an Olympic Games.


Louisiana Police Say Surveillance Boxes Not Linked To the Department of Homeland Security

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How Your Body's Unique Biosignatures Are Used For Surveillance

Burger Joint Teams Up With Surveillance Giant to Scan Your Face for Loyalty Points

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CaliBurger is currently testing out kiosks equipped with facial recognition at its Pasadena location, giving customers who sign up for their loyalty program the option to link their faces to their past preferred orders, which will pop up automatically on future visits. Starting next year, the company will even let customers pay with their faces ... the kiosks are a step in the company’s plan to “replace credit card swipes with face-based payments.
... “We do not generate any new visual data that is not already being captured by CCTV’s in retail locations around the world”

To bring the brick-and-mortar world into the face-collecting digital future, Cali Group is working with NEC Corporation of America, which created the NeoFace facial-recognition tech used in CaliBuger’s kiosks. NEC’s technology powers facial recognition systems around the world—including, notably, those used for population surveillance.
NEC Europe equipped South Wales Police with its flagship facial recognition software, allowing the police force to locate individuals on watchlists using real-time surveillance on its CCTV cameras. NEC USA rolled out a similar surveillance system throughout major cities in Georgia, using the company’s NeoFace Watch video facial-recognition software to check for “suspicious individuals” in real-time via CCTV footage. And NEC Australia recently teamed up with a vision analytics firm to enable real-time facial recognition from both fixed and mobile cameras, including body cams and drones.

... “If a database of faceprints were compromised, it would have a ripple effect on authentication systems that used the faceprint, as well as possibly allow unauthorized parties to make use of the faceprint for surveillance.”
“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 30 Dec 2017, 15:56:08

New York Removes Old Nuclear Fallout Shelter Signs in Move That Seems Premature

Experts on nuclear confrontation say that a nuclear war is a very real possibility here in the 21st century. The US and North Korea are just one misstep away from nuclear destruction. But that hasn’t stopped New York City officials from beginning to take down outdated nuclear fallout shelter signs posted at public schools. And even though it might be a practical decision, removing the signs somehow feels premature.

As Reuters reports, many of the old nuclear shelter signs you see on buildings around New York are from the 1960s and direct you to areas that are no longer nuclear fallout shelters.

Back in the 1960s, there were serious debates about whether the government had any responsibility to protect the public with shelters meant for large numbers of people. These days, Americans seem resigned to the fact that if nuclear war comes, everyone is on their own.

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The Doomsday Diet

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It’s been decades since most Americans have thought seriously about nuclear war, although we’re regularly entertained with reality TV shows about “preppers” readying themselves for it, or a zombie invasion. What if, though, it turns out that they’re the smart ones? If, in the coming months or years, the standoff with North Korea turns hot and we confront a nuclear holocaust, and millions of people flee toward long-forgotten fallout shelters, one of the first questions we’ll face is the simplest: What do you eat when the world ends? It’s actually a question that the government has spent a lot of time — and millions of dollars — struggling with. The answer, though, may not encourage you to survive.

... All told, during the peak of the fallout shelter craze, from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, the government tallied that some “7,000 volunteers had participated in over 22,000 man-days of shelter living in occupancy tests ranging from family size to over 1,000 people.”

These experiments ultimately produced enduring national standards for underground shelters, such as a minimum of 10 square feet of space per person — which, while only half the space allotted inmates in crowded jail cells, was more than three times the amount of space given to prisoners at the Nazis’ Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and six times as much space per person as inside the notorious Black Hole of Calcutta, the government explained helpfully in one report on shelter life. The tests also zeroed in on answers to fundamental questions that had plagued doomsday planners for more than a decade: What’s the minimum level of sustenance one needs to survive the apocalypse, and how do you get that to some 50 million hungry survivors?

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The Eisenhower administration embarked on the quest to develop the perfect “Doomsday food.” The requirements were stark: America’s Armageddon ration needed to be nutritious, cheap, easy to eat, shelf-stable, and reproducible at mass scale. Taste, visual appeal, quality, packaging, and all the other attributes that normally come with designing a successful, mass-produced consumer good would be discarded in favor of the simplest food the government could design.

That coldly logical approach, combined with an extensive 1958 study by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, led the government toward a single commodity as the foundation for its plan to feed a nation: The “parched wheat form known as Bulgur,” one of the simplest ingredients known to man. “Bulgur was selected for this investigation because it is processed from a basic agricultural commodity, whole-grain wheat, which is plentiful in the U.S., low in cost, highly palatable, and reportedly very stable,” one government report explained.

That last thing stood out in particular, because it would need to hold up for years inside fallout shelters, awaiting the apocalypse. “Indeed a long shelf life may well be the single most important criterion for choosing bulgur in a stockpiling program,” the government reported. As part of its research, the USDA eventually landed on crackers as the best medium for bulgur-wheat rations in a bunker scenario; after 52 months of storage it reported merely a “discernible but inconsequential decrease” in flavor.

This is one of the oldest and most proven forms of food known to man,” Paul Visher, deputy assistant secretary of defense for civil defense, explained to Congress as he presented a plan to mass-produce the crackers. “It has been the subsistence ration for many portions of the earth for thousands of years. Its shelf life has been established by being edible after 3,000 years in an Egyptian pyramid.” After millions of dollars and years of research, it turned out that after a nuclear apocalypse, the remnants of the American civilization would survive by chowing down on whole-wheat crackers. The government dubbed its creation the “All-Purpose Survival Cracker.

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A day’s worth of crackers cost just 37 cents per person — an economic solution to feeding an entire nation following nuclear war.

The bulgur “survival crackers” were manufactured in truly mass quantities — ultimately more than 20 billion crackers were produced by the end of the program in 1964 — and then sealed in airtight tins that varied in size depending on the manufacturer, often over five pounds and holding about 400 crackers. The tins were rushed across the nation to fallout shelters, caves, and mountain bunkers where Americans might ride out nuclear war.

Plans called for shelters to stock 10,000 calories of food per person, which would have worked out to a little over 700 calories per person, per day over the expected two-week stay underground. Each government-run shelter was also to be stocked with 21-inch-tall fiberboard drums, lined with plastic, that would start out as water storage — containing just 3.5 gallons of drinking water per person for the entire duration of the internment — and then, once empty, be converted into toilets. Since there was little else to do in a shelter, the government literature encouraged serving six small single-cracker “meals” each day of precisely 125 calories. The cracker diet would also include stockpiled tins of mouth-soluble “carbohydrate supplements,” i.e., suckable yellow and red hard candy. As one official explained:
“Although this may seem somewhat austere, nutrition experts consider it adequate and in accord with minimal survival concept.”

That’s a bureaucratic way of saying that the crackers would provide the equivalent of a Doomsday starvation ration — you’d still be hungry, you’d still lose weight, but you wouldn’t starve to death.

Based on research conducted around the site of dozens of nuclear tests in the Nevada desert, planners estimated that few crops would be lost entirely in the first year after an attack and that by the following year, most agriculture could return to normal. Of course, according to the government planners, the lingering gamma radiation would limit the amount of time that workers could safely till the fields, but, according to the actuary tables, enough Americans would die in the nuclear attack that even short work days would suffice to feed the living.

Kansas, officials calculated they could probably provide two million pounds of food after an attack, and that if survivors reduced consumption to an “austerity diet” of 2,000 calories, the state’s food stocks could last nearly two months. (... after that you starve)
Besides the official stocks, Kansas’s wildlife could help too: Its forests, plains, and waters contained, officials believed, 11 million “man-days” of food — the amount of food needed to feed an adult for one day — in rabbit meat, 10 million man-days of wild birds, five million man-days of edible fish, and nearly 20 million man-days of meat in residential pets.

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After an attack, officials also planned to confiscate household vitamins for the good of the general population and ration carefully the state’s 28-day supply of coffee.

Everything would be fine.

If Not ... there's always long pig

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U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

Executive Summary
- North Korea is an oligarchy with Kim Jong Un as its supreme leader.
- The DPRK is a militaristic society with about 1.2 million active duty personnel in uniform out of a population of 24 million with another 7.7 million in the reserve forces.
- All military personnel serve under the umbrella of the Korean People’s Army (KPA); the Korean -
People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN) primarily support the KPA ground forces.
- The KPAF focuses on homeland defense and close air support to the KPA.
- The KPN’s primary mission is to protect the North Korean coastline and support the KPA special purpose forces (SPF) in mission execution.
- Much of the equipment in all military branches is old and obsolete, but the KPA has concentrated its modernization efforts on missile technology that may provide the means to successfully launch a nuclear warhead.
- North Korea possesses a nuclear weapon and is modernizing its missile fleet in order to increase the attack range for its nuclear arsenal.
- North Korea possesses both chemical and biological weapons.
- The KPA practices both passive and active camouflage to hide its units, headquarters, and other important resources from the air.

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Weaknesses
Although the North Korean military may feature some positive attributes as a fighting force, the KPA also suffers from many weaknesses as well. Much of the military’s equipment is old and obsolete. The North Korean military consciously refuses to rid itself of any equipment and still operate tanks that date back to World War II.

This wide range of military hardware from many generations of warfare also generates logistical issues. The KPA’s supply personnel must not only find the spare parts for a large variety of equipment, the KPA maintenance personnel must be well-versed in the repair of a great assortment of vehicles and weapons. In addition, the DPRK lacks the logistical capability to support the KPA beyond a few months.

Due to the shortage of fuel and the cost to operate vehicles for a cash-strapped country, many of the KPA soldiers find themselves involved in public works projects or helping farmers bring in their rice crops. Any time spent in non-military support is less time that the KPA soldiers can spend training for combat. Even the mechanized and armor forces, due to resource restraints, spend much of their training time doing light infantry training instead of mounted operations. While KPA soldiers may be well trained in individual skills or small unit tactics, the amount of time spent on larger exercises pales in comparison to most Western militaries.

Without adequate time and resources to practice large scale military operations, the KPA will always face a steep learning curve when the KPA is forced to perform them in actual combat for the first time.


Trump’s North Korea policy could trigger famine, experts warn

How Cheney and His Allies Created the North Korea Nuclear Missile Crisis

... The record shows that Cheney and his allies derailed diplomatic efforts to curb North Korean nuclear and missile development, not because they opposed "arms control" (after all, the agreements that were negotiated would have limited only North Korean arms), but because those agreements would have been a political obstacle to fielding the group's main interest: funding and fielding a national missile defense system as quickly as possible. The story of Cheney's maneuvering to kill two agreements shows how a real US national security interest was sacrificed to a massive military boondoggle that served only the interests of the powerful contractors behind it.

... When a 1995 CIA intelligence estimate said that none of the three "rogue states" would have ballistic missiles capable of threatening the United States for at least 15 years, the missile defense lobby got the GOP Congress to pass legislation creating a "national commission" on the ballistic missile threat that would contradict the CIA assessment. The commission, led by Republican hard-liner Donald Rumsfeld, asserted in its final report in July 1998 that either Iraq or North Korea might acquire long-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States in as little as five years.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was using the regime's missile development as a prod to get the Clinton administration to negotiate a deal that would include concrete steps toward normalization of relations. Kim Jong-Il even sent a personal envoy to Washington to present the outline of a new North Korean offer to give up the regime's quest for an ICBM, as well as its nuclear weapons capability. In October 2000, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright went to Pyongyang, and the two sides came close to a final agreement that would have ended North Korean missile development as well as its nuclear weapons program and led to normalizing relations.

But Clinton didn't go to North Korea to sign the deal in the final months of his presidency, and the election of George W. Bush in November 2000 was a major victory for the missile defense lobby. Bush named Rumsfeld, the primary political champion of a missile defense system, as his Secretary of Defense. And no less than eight figures with direct or indirect ties to Lockheed Martin, the leading defense contractor in the missile defense business, became policymakers in the new administration. The most important was Dick Cheney, whose wife, Lynn Cheney, had earned more than half a million dollars serving on the board of directors of Lockheed-Martin from 1994 to 2001.

Cheney set about killing the Agreed Framework and securing the missile defense system even before Bush entered the White House. Cheney chose Robert Joseph, a hardline supporter of missile defense and foe of an agreement with North Korea, as a key member of the transition team that Cheney led. Cheney then made Joseph senior director on the National Security Council (NSC) staff with responsibility for both missile defense and "weapons of mass destruction" proliferation policy.

Joseph's first project was to draft a National Security Presidential Directive that laid out a "new strategic framework," essentially built around a ballistic missile defense system. "His objective was first to kill the Agreed Framework and to make sure that nothing like it could ever get created again." ...

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A U.S. Attack on North Korea: Could China Retaliate Against Taiwan?

Quid pro quo?

... a decision to launch military strikes against North Korea would represent the most dangerous period for Taiwan’s survival, as this could prompt Beijing to seize the opportunity created by the American focus on North Korea to resolve its historical grievance. In other words, rather than join Pyongyang in a direct (and potentially disastrous) military conflict with the United States, Beijing could use the distraction to launch its own military strikes against Taiwan, only this time with little likelihood that Washington would order the Seventh Fleet to interpose itself the way it did in 1950 and 1995-6. Already hampered by China’s anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities, it is hard to imagine that the United States could spare sufficient capabilities to come to Taiwan’s defense at a time when it is undertaking major military action against North Korea—a daunting endeavor in its own right.

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CIA'S Lost Magic Manual Resurfaces

... Topics include working a clandestine partner, slipping a pill into the drink of the unsuspecting, and "surreptitious removal of objects by women." ... some of Mulholland's best tricks for the CIA: the shoelace pattern that means "follow me"; the hidden compartment to smuggle in an agent; the best ways to appear dumb and non-threatening. Because there's no better misdirection than appearing to be a fool.

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In the infamous Operation Midnight Climax, unwitting clients at CIA brothels in New York and San Francisco were slipped LSD and then monitored through one-way mirrors to see how they reacted. They even killed an elephant with LSD. Colleagues were also considered fair game for secret testing, to the point where a memo was issued instructing that the punch bowls at office Christmas parties were not to be spiked. *
“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 05 Jan 2018, 14:04:28



The CDC Wants to Prepare Americans for a Nuclear Strike

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has scheduled a briefing for later this month on how to plan and prepare for a nuclear detonation.

... The event, which the agency says it has been planning for months, is called “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation” and will be held at the CDC’s Roybal Campus in Atlanta, Georgia on January 16th. The Ground Rounds session will explore what federal, state, and local governments are planning to do in the event of nuclear detonation, particularly in regards to public health programs. In grossly understated tones, the CDC says that “planning and preparation efforts for a nuclear detonation are similar and different from other emergency response planning efforts.”

If by “different” the CDC means preparing for injuries sustained by 1,000 km/hr winds, along with treating severe burns, flash blindness, and radiation sickness, then the CDC is spot on. Indeed, the demands placed on healthcare workers and the health infrastructure would be several orders of magnitude greater than most disasters. In stoic manner, the CDC describes the challenges thusly:
... While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness. For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation. While federal, state, and local agencies will lead the immediate response efforts, public health will play a key role in responding.

Ah, it’s the Cold War all over again. Perhaps we’ll start teaching our kids how to hide under their desks again, and regularly suffer through programming interruptions as our TV calmly assures us it’s just performing a test of the emergency broadcast system. And maybe we’ll even start to litter our parks with nuclear warning sirens—oh, wait, they’ve already started doing that in Hawaii.

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Topics to be discussed include “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Public Health Resources to Meet Critical Components of Preparedness,” and “Roadmap to Radiation Preparedness.”

Non-CDC staff must have prior security clearance. US citizens must submit a request to the Grand Rounds Team. A US state-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, US passport) is required.

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And for when you're sheltering in place for those first few days, something to keep the kids amused ...

“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 » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 15:44:51

When All the World's a Toaster, According to Hallucinating AI

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... These pictures and patterns are known as “adversarial images,” and they exploit weaknesses in the way computers look at the world to make them see stuff that isn’t there. Think of them as optical illusions, but for AI. Unlike other adversarial attacks, they don’t need to be tuned based on the image they’re trying to override, nor does it matter where they appear in the AI’s field of view.

... Google researcher Tom Brown said, "Our adversarial patch is more effective than a picture of a real toaster, even when the patch is significantly smaller than the toaster."

As the researchers write, the sticker “allows attackers to create a physical-world attack without prior knowledge of the lighting conditions, camera angle, type of classifier being attacked, or even the other items within the scene.” So, after such an image is generated, it could be “distributed across the Internet for other attackers to print out and use.”

This is why many AI researchers are worried about how these methods might be used to attack systems like self-driving cars. Imagine a little patch you can stick onto the side of the motorway that makes your sedan think it sees a stop sign, or a sticker that stops you from being identified up by AI surveillance systems. “Even if humans are able to notice these patches, they may not understand the intent [and] instead view it as a form of art,” the researchers write. https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.09665

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Ooh! Shiny!


Researchers Show How AI Can Fake Way Through Conversations Just Like Humans

... Asking questions might be the best way for them to learn, but that doesn’t count for much if the barrage of questions is so irritating or tedious that the human wanders off. It’s not enough for the A.I. to know what it doesn’t know. It also has to know how to keep humans engaged enough to fill in the gaps in its knowledge.

Their newly devised method uses what’s known as lexical acquisition through implicit confirmation, which is basically a fancy way of saying artificial intelligence can now bullshit its way through conversations just as well as humans can. It pulls off this trick not by asking humans to confirm what something is but rather by saying something else that indirectly gets the conversation partner to confirm or deny the A.I.’s instinct is correct.

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Google’s Voice AI is 'More Human than Human'

Video - The paper, titled “Natural TTS Synthesis by Conditioning WaveNet on Mel Spectrogram Predictions,” highlights a new Google text-to-speech system called Tacotron 2, which is capable of a near-human level of AI voice reproduction.

To achieve this, Tacotron 2 uses a pair of neural networks: one to create a visual representation of specific audio frequencies and a second (called “WaveNet”) to recreate this visual data as sound. Google launched a website alongside the paper to show-off what this tech could lead to in practice; there, Google provides examples of how Tacotron 2 handles phrase semantics (like distinguishing between the noun and verb of “present”), intonation and difficult words that might trip some of us humans up like “otolaryngology.”

In the last section, Google provides side-by-side examples of a human voice alongside the AI created one — with, to my ear, outstanding results (in most cases I struggle to identify the computer-generated voice).

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This AI-Fortified Bot Will Build the First Homes for Humans on Mars

WHEN HUMANS ARE finally ready to relocate civilization to Mars, they won’t be able to do it alone.

They’ll need trusted specialists with encyclopedic knowledge, composure under pressure, and extreme endurance—droids like Justin. Built by the German space agency DLR, such humanoid bots are being groomed to build the first martian habitat for humans. Engineers have been refining Justin’s physical abilities for a decade; the mech can handle tools, shoot and upload photos, catch flying objects, and navigate obstacles.

Now, thanks to new AI upgrades, Justin can think for itself.

In a recent test, Justin fixed a faulty solar panel in a Munich lab in minutes, directed via tablet by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. One small chore for Justin, one giant leap for future humankind.

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Meet Your New Robot Co-Workers

For nearly a century large tractors literally have shaped farms around the world while making them increasingly more efficient. But that era is nearing an end, and in fact is hitting a wall, Blackmore suggested. Machines are now reaching their maximum size, and agriculture still uses far too much energy — in no smart part because farmers perennially have to use heavy equipment to cultivate soil that’s become compacted by … you guessed it, heavy equipment. Blackmore estimates 90% of the energy that goes into cultivation is to “repair the damage that is caused by the big machines in the first place.

“You cannot change the soil. You cannot change the weather. But you can change the tractor,” he said. “We need to move toward controlled-traffic farming for the big machines, and ultralight machines for the robots.”

Harvesting is due to become far more efficient too — all the way through the distribution chain, where anywhere from 20% to 60% of a harvested produce crop can be thrown away because individual pieces are too large or too small or don’t otherwise meet today’s grading standards.
http://www.growingproduce.com/citrus/ro ... on-inputs/

... The Electronic Farmhand

Since 2012, the Wonderful Citrus plant near Bakersfield, California, has automated the process of sorting and packing citrus—churning out more than 100 tons of packed fruit per hour, 20 hours a day and six days a week when oranges and lemons are in season. The relentlessness of that schedule is a key driver of what many experts see as the slow but steady automation of Big Agriculture.

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Engineers across the industry are now racing to test robot prototypes to perform tasks like fruit-picking in the field, which is still very much a human job, requiring sensory judgment about whether a fruit is ripe. That could mean machines will replace the cheap labor that’s traditionally worked these jobs but is already in decline. “There simply aren’t enough people, American or Mexican, who are willing to do this work,” says Gary Wishnatzki, of Florida’s Wish Farms, who also co-founded a robotics company. “The fruit’s not going to pick itself.”

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UK’s Poorest to Fare Worst in Age of Automation, Thinktank Warns

The rise of the machine economy risks social disruption by widening the gap between rich and poor in Britain, as automation threatens jobs generating £290bn in wages.

Jobs accounting for a third of annual pay in the UK risk being automated, according to the study by the IPPR thinktank. Warning that low-paid roles are in the greatest danger, it urged ministers to head off the prospect of rising inequality by helping people retrain and share in the benefits from advances in technology.

Mathew Lawrence, a senior research fellow at the IPPR, said: “Managed badly, the benefits of automation could be narrowly concentrated, benefiting those who own capital and highly skilled workers. The IPPR estimates that 44% of jobs in the UK economy could feasibly be automated, equating to more than 13.7 million people who together earn about £290bn.


The First Fully Commercial Robocar Will Be in Holland

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Actual self-driving cars—with no one behind the wheel—will enter commercial service in 2018.

You may now exhale. Yes, it’s true, but here’s the caveat: The service will be severely circumscribed. At most, we’ll see robocars serving as taxis in certain well-mapped suburbs. At least, we’ll see passenger-free robocars that reposition themselves by night so that commuters can have access to them come morning. But that’s still what experts call Level 4 autonomy.

Here’s the hierarchy: At Level 5, a car can do it all. At Level 4, the car does it all only in certain areas, under certain conditions. At Level 3, drivers must be prepared to take control after a 10-second warning. At Level 2, they must pay attention all the time. Level 1 helps with the braking. Level 0 has power windows.

Level 2 is available now from GM. Level 3 is supposedly possible for Audi’s newly unveiled A8, at least when the safety regulators in your city say so. And Level 4 is just about every car company’s goal—for 2021.

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How Artificial Intelligence Will be Used for Social Control

Mass surveillance and manipulation by powerful AI algorithms represent a much more imminent and tangible threat to our democratic values than killer robots.

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Pentagon Seeks Laser-Powered Bat Drones. Really.

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On Wednesday, the the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative, or DESI, announced a competition for basic science grants to build “new paradigms for autonomous flight, with a focus on highly-maneuverable platforms and algorithms for flight control and decision making.” An accompanying Broad Agency Announcement gets more specific: basically, they’re looking for bat-like drones that can be powered with directed-energy beams.

“The biological study of agile organisms such as bats and flying insects has yielded new insights into complex flight kinematics of systems with a large number of degrees of freedom, and the use of multi-functional flight surface materials,” the announcement reads. The Air Force believes that more and more naturalistic design — coupled with more powerful and smaller sensors to form a better picture of the outside world — should yield “significant improvements in maneuverability, survivability and stealth over traditional quadcopter or fixed wing designs.”

“Wireless power transmission could augment existing technologies and enable new paradigms for warfighter operations in denied environments, unmanned or autonomous surveillance and weapons systems,” the announcement reads.

From where would the power be beamed? The announcement leaves that up to the proposer, but suggests that it could be “transmitted either from the ground or from a high-altitude platform.” Read that to mean a plane overhead invisibly shooting power to the bird drone.

The other challenge: constructing a sensing, seeing, computing drone from something other than metal. The announcement also calls for new research into next-generation airplane skins that sense and even transmit data from the environment around them while also moving to allow high maneuverability. “To achieve robust, resilient, and energetically versatile agility and dexterity rivaling biological systems, robotic systems require breakthrough components featuring locally tunable material properties with embedded sensing and actuation.” - Video

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University of Victoria: The Science of Batman

Russia Is Developing a Mysterious Unmanned Strike Aircraft

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Russia has started development of a new unmanned strike aircraft in the same general class as the General Atomics Avenger. The Russian defense ministry awarded a contract to the Simonov design bureau late last year one day after Christmas on December 26.

According to the paper, the aircraft would be capable of speeds of 1000kmph or roughly 600mph. Very few additional details are available except that the Russians compared the aircraft directly to the Avenger design.

Based on the available information, it is likely that the aircraft would be an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform that would be used in moderately contested airspace or perhaps the maritime environment. Future developments might eventually evolve into machines capable of flying into anti-access/area-denial environments.

An operational Russian unmanned combat aircraft could offer Moscow significant new capabilities in the ISR realm and flying against A2/AD environments. Moreover, it would help to augment Moscow’s nascent non-nuclear strategic deterrent capabilities, helping to resolve the targeting and kill-chain problem.


Pizza-loving robot chef is being taught the craft by one of the masters

The goal of the project is to create a robot that can dynamically manipulate deformable objects, such as the pizza dough, making it able to undertake tasks that are typically considered as human-executed. According to Prof. Siciliano, the project is still under development and its expected year of completion is in 2019 when he wishes to showcase the robot at Naples' pizza festival.

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http://www.rodyman.eu/
“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 13 Jan 2018, 12:07:23

The World Population of Robots is Growing Fast

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China is driving the world's robot market, and suppliers in Europe and Japan who have "superior technology" are the winners, according to a deep dive report on "Global Robotics" by HSBC analysts Helen Fang, Michael Hagmann, Richard Schramm, and Anderson Chow.

They show just how dominant Asia is in terms of robotics usage. More than half the world's robots live in Asia, mostly China, the report says. The world robot population reached nearly 300,000 in 2016, based on the most recent numbers available, and HSBC estimates their population will grow to 414,000 by 2019. Currently, robot unit growth is running at 15% per year. The numbers track robotic assembly arms for factories and rail-guided vehicles, from companies such as Japan’s FANUC and Yaskawa, and Sweden’s ABB.

"China is the world’s largest market for industrial robots, accounting for about 30% of global demand. This growth story is being driven by powerful macro forces – higher wage bills, an ageing population, and supportive government policy ... We estimate robot production in China rose by 58% in 2017 alone, including the production of lower-tier robotics automation equipment," the HSBC team told its clients.

The demand has cut the robot world into two halves: China is the dominant buyer of robots globally, while Japan and Europe are the superior suppliers of machines. "Our conclusion is clear – the superior technology of Japanese and European companies is the decisive factor for winning the majority of the new business, which requires ever-greater levels of precision. Chinese robot makers remain strong in the low-to-medium segment of the market – e-commerce driven logistics is a good example – but competition is increasing all the time. In the meantime, the Chinese companies are trying to acquire the technology they need to narrow the gap."

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Fast-Food CEO Says 'It Just Makes Sense' to Consider Replacing Cashiers with Machines as Minimum Wages Rise

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Jack in the Box says it's considering swapping some cashiers with self-ordering kiosks and other tech as minimum wages increase.
"As we see the rising costs of labor, it just makes sense," Jack in the Box's CEO said.

Jack in the Box joins a growing list of fast food chains and restaurants experimenting with ways to replace humans. Comma’s comments eerily echo those of Andy Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees. In an interview with Business Insider, Puzder said he’s keen on replacing employees with robots because, unlike humans, they are “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Even mainstream fast food places like Wendy’s and McDonald’s are testing out ways to implement self-service kiosks, though they’ve been careful not to worry current employees. McDonald’s was even forced to deny any intention of replacing robots with humans, a move some speculated would result in mass layoffs.

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Comma made the remarks at ICR Conference, an investment conference currently taking place in Orlando.


Walmart is Abruptly Closing 63 Sam's Club Stores and Laying Off 9400 Workers

Walmart is closing 63 Sam's Club stores across the US, the company told Business Insider on Thursday afternoon, after reports of abrupt store closings began to emerge.

The closings will impact about 9,400 employees, a Walmart official said.

The closings came on the same day Walmart announced plans to raise starting hourly wages to $11, expand employee benefits, and offer workers bonuses of up to $1,000.

Some Sam's Club employees were informed of the closings via notices that were sent through FedEx on Thursday.

"FedEx showed up at my door with a package from Sam's Club and I was thinking that maybe it was my W-2," Nic Townsend, an employee of a Sacramento, California Sam's Club, told Business Insider. "It was a letter saying they are closing down... I'm unsure of what to do I have a baby and a mentally sick mother. I'm lost. I'm heartbroken. I'm scared."

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You're Fired!


Former Union Leader Calls Trump A ‘Con Man’ And ‘Liar’ As Carrier Lays Off 215 More Workers

Last night, at Sully’s Bar & Grill, which sits across the street from the Carrier Corporation’s furnace plant, on the west side of Indianapolis, and serves as the de-facto company bar, two of Carrier’s soon-to-be-laid-off longtime employees had a drink and talked about how they got there. Today, the profitable H.V.A.C. company, owned by United Technologies Corporation—a federal contractor whose climate, controls, and security division, of which Carrier is a part, reported $3,000,000,000 dollars in operating profit in 2016—is letting go of 215 employees in its second and final wave of Indiana-based layoffs, which began last July. In total, the company will be laying off about 600 hundred employees as it moves manufacturing jobs to Monterrey, Mexico. Many of those employees voted for Donald Trump, who made saving Carrier’s “big, beautiful plant” one of his most repeated campaign promises. It was part of his broader preëlection claim that “A Trump Administration will stop the jobs from leaving America.”

That promise is the main reason that the soon-to-be ex-Carrier employees Renee Elliott and Duane Oreskovic voted for Trump
“We took him serious”...

Elliott said, tearing up as she sat in a booth at Sully’s

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... Trump also announced that Carrier would invest $16 million to upgrade its Indiana facility for continued production. ... the plant said that some of the $16 million would be used to automate parts of the factory in order to save money, which would ultimately mean fewer jobs. The CEO of United Technologies, Greg Hayes, said automation and the tax incentives would not lead to as many savings as would a move to Mexico.

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Can Washington Be Automated?
Last edited by vox_mundi on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 13:45:18, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:10:05

US to Loosen Nuclear Weapons Constraints and Develop More 'Usable' Warheads

The Trump administration plans to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop a new low-yield nuclear warhead for US Trident missiles, according to a former official who has seen the most recent draft of a policy review.

The nuclear posture review (NPR), the first in eight years, is expected to be published after Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech at the end of January.

The NPR also expands the circumstances in which the US might use its nuclear arsenal, to include a response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties, or was aimed at critical infrastructure or nuclear command and control sites.

The final draft drops proposals to develop a nuclear hyper-glide weapon, and to remove assurances to non nuclear weapons states that the US will not use its nuclear arsenal against them.

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This Is One Of US Military Planners’ Greatest Fears In A War With North Korea

All the stakeholders know that, even with overwhelming U.S. might and decades of wargaming, an invasion involving the 28,500 U.S. troops currently stationed in South Korea could bring massive casualties for military personnel and civilians, including an estimated 20,000 South Korean deaths a day from North Korean artillery.

But according to a series of war games conducted last year at the Air War College on Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, the DoD also faces a limited ability to evacuate wounded service members from a battlefield in Korea — an obstacle that could send the U.S. military death toll soaring in an open conflict.

The upshot: United States forces in a conventional ground war with North Korea could suffer an outsize wound-to-kill ratio due to those airlift difficulties.
... “Modern combat medicine has made great advances in stemming blood loss, for example, but those procedures are typically temporary measures, carried out to keep a patient alive until airlifted to a higher-level, trauma-care facility,” Fazal writes. “[i]That was possible in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the United States had undisputed control of the skies. But it would not be true on the Korean Peninsula, at least at first.”

As part of the the Air War College simulation, the prospect of an aerial medevac for American troops was reduced to near zero through a conventional strike against a U.S. air base in South Korea; that, Fazal observed, forced a radical shift in how medics treat patients.

“Certain casualties could be saved if air evacuation was possible — but would have little to no hope without evacuation, and thus would receive only palliative care,” Fazal wrote of the simulation. “A base commander would probably require medics to prioritize care for personnel essential to the mission, even if they had less severe injuries than others. Assuming that medicine and medical personnel would not be resupplied, medics would not be able to provide the standard of care to which the U.S. military has become accustomed.”[/i]

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Cyberattack Could Lead to Inadvertent Nuclear Strike, Think Tank Warns

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US, British and other nuclear weapons systems are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a new study by the international relations thinktank Chatham House.

The threat has received scant attention so far from those involved in nuclear military planning and the procurement of weapons, the report said.

It blames this partly on failure to keep up with fast-moving advances, lack of skilled staff and the slowness of institutional change.

... “The likelihood of attempted cyber-attacks on nuclear weapons systems is relatively high and increasing from advanced persistent threats from states and non-state groups,” the report said.

It cited examples such as a report the US could have infiltrated the supply chain of North Korea’s missile system that contributed to a test failure in April last year. The silos of US nuclear-tipped Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles “are believed to be particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

... “Many aspects of nuclear weapons development and systems management are privatised in the US and in the UK, potentially introducing a number of private-sector supply chain vulnerabilities.”

It added: “Presently, this is a relatively ungoverned space and these vulnerabilities could serve to undermine the overall integrity of national nuclear weapons systems. For example, the backdoors in software that companies often maintain to fix bugs and patch systems are targets for cyber-attacks once they are discovered and become known.”

The authors cite the UK’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which appeared to be using the same version of Windows in its control room as the outdated system that left the NHS exposed in the WannaCry ransomware attack in May last year. HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

Potential artificial intelligence (AI) applications, while creating new opportunities for cybersecurity, add another layer of complexity for nuclear weapons that could be exploited.

Cybersecurity of Nuclear Weapons Systems: Threats, Vulnerabilities and Consequences


USS Wasp Joins 7th Fleet after Wrapping Up Relief Efforts in Caribbean

The USS Wasp entered the 7th Fleet’s operations area Saturday, moving closer to its new homeport in Japan.

Navy officials announced that the amphibious-assault ship will soon pull into Sasebo Naval Base — an arrival that was delayed after the Wasp was diverted to the Caribbean in September to assist with disaster-relief efforts.

The Wasp is joining the Navy’s 7th Fleet as its forward-deployed amphibious-assault ship and will serve as the flag ship of the fleet’s amphibious forces. It’s replacing the USS Bonhomme Richard, which has been homeported in Sasebo since April 2012. The bulk of the ships in 7th Fleet’s amphibious force are based in Sasebo.


USS Carl Vinson Strike Group One on its way to Western Pacific

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy, is en route to the Western Pacific, the Navy announced Sunday.

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The nuclear-powered supercarrier, accompanied by several guided-missile destroyers and other warships, left its homeport in San Diego last week for the "regularly scheduled deployment" to the region, it said without revealing the scheduled arrival date and mission period.

The transition comes as part of the Third Fleet Forward initiative to enable the unit to support the operations of the Japan-based Seventh Fleet in its area of responsibility.

"The deployment marks the second time the Carl Vinson Strike Group will operate throughout the Indo-Pacific region under U.S. 3rd Fleet's command and control," the Navy said. "The strike group became the first in recent history to demonstrate the command and control construct called 3rd Fleet Forward when units completed a six-month deployment last year."

The Vinson is expected to reach the waters near the Korean Peninsula ahead of the opening of the PyeongChang Olympics on Feb. 9.

It remains unclear whether the flattop will join the annual South Korea-U.S. drills to be staged after March.


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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 » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:14:58

Cybersecurity Firm says US Senate in Russian Hackers’ Crosshairs

The same Russian hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate.

The group often nicknamed Fancy Bear is still busy trying to gather the emails of America's political elite.

"They're still very active — in making preparations at least — to influence public opinion again," said Feike Hacquebord, a security researcher at Trend Micro Inc., which published the report . "They are looking for information they might leak later."

The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, which is responsible for the upper house's security, declined to comment.

Hacquebord said he based his report on the discovery of a clutch of suspicious-looking websites dressed up to look like the U.S. Senate's internal email system. He then cross-referenced digital fingerprints associated with those sites to ones used almost exclusively by Fancy Bear, which his Tokyo-based firm dubs "Pawn Storm."


Banks Prepare For Apocalyptic Cyberattack

In a world where attacks on computers are nearly de rigueur at this point, it isn’t much of a surprise that U.S. banks have begun quietly doomsday-prepping for a successful apocalyptic attack on their computers by hackers. The goal is to head off a run on the bank by panicked citizens.

Called Sheltered Harbor, the project currently includes banks and credit unions holding between them about 400 million U.S. accounts. The project requires that each member bank offers up its data such that it can be used by other firms in the event their computers are totally disabled by a cyberattack.

The concern among bankers isn’t that hackers will merely abscond with funds — another possibility is that they will simply hold funds hostage by finding ways to lock the custodial banks out of them. Hackers could also threaten to destroy the data.

Such an attack could leave a bank wholly unable to function for days or even weeks or months, depending on the severity of the attack.


Finnish Firm Detects New Intel Security Flaw

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.

F-Secure said in a statement that the flaw had nothing to do with the "Spectre" and "Meltdown" vulnerabilities recently found in the micro-chips that are used in almost all computers, tablets and smartphones today.

Rather, it was an issue within Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), "which is commonly found in most corporate laptops, (and) allows an attacker to take complete control over a user's device in a matter of seconds," the cybersecurity firm said.

"The issue potentially affects millions of laptops globally."

The flaw was of "an almost shocking simplicity, but its destructive potential is unbelievable," said F-Secure consultant Harry Sintonen, who discovered it.

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Once they re-configure AMT, they could effectively "backdoor" the machine and then access the device remotely, by connecting to the same wireless or wired network as the user, F-Secure said.

"No other security measures—full disk encryption, local firewall, anti-malware software or VPN—are able to prevent exploitation of this issue."

A successful attack would lead to complete loss of confidentiality, integrity and availability, F-Secure said. The assailant would be able to read and modify all of the data and applications a user may have access to on their computer. And they could also install malware on the device, even at the firmware level.

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Intel CPU Kernel Bug FAQ: Fix for Massive Security Flaw Could Slow Down PCs and Macs

A massive, mysterious security flaw in Intel processors is forcing a redesign of the kernel software at the heart of all major operating systems, The Register is reporting. Since the issue lies directly in Intel’s x86-64 hardware, Windows, Linux, and Mac all need to protect against it. And worse, it appears that plugging the hole will negatively affect your PC’s performance.

It’s hard to dive too technically into the issue, as major hardware and software vendors are working together quietly to fix the kernel issue before making the vulnerability public. But The Register’s reporting and comments on patch code coming in hot to the Linux kernel—with details redacted to obscure the exact nature of the vulnerability—give us insight into issue.

Here’s a high-level look at what we know so far about the Intel CPU kernel bug affecting Linux, Windows, and presumably Macs.

... More recent Intel processors with PCID (Process-Context Identifiers) enabled are said to suffer less of a performance hit, and some applications—most notably virtualization tasks and data center/cloud workloads—are affected more than others. The Register says “we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 percent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model.”

Clearly there is a flaw in Intel's silicon that allows kernel access protections to be bypassed in some way.

... Modern processors, like Intel's, perform speculative execution. In order to keep their internal pipelines primed with instructions to obey, the CPU cores try their best to guess what code is going to be run next, fetch it, and execute it.

It appears, from what AMD software engineer Tom Lendacky was suggesting above, that Intel's CPUs speculatively execute code potentially without performing security checks. It seems it may be possible to craft software in such a way that the processor starts executing an instruction that would normally be blocked – such as reading kernel memory from user mode – and completes that instruction before the privilege level check occurs.

That would allow ring-3-level user code to read ring-0-level kernel data. And that is not good.

... At best, the vulnerability could be leveraged by malware and hackers to more easily exploit other security bugs.

At worst, the hole could be abused by programs and logged-in users to read the contents of the kernel's memory. Suffice to say, this is not great. The kernel's memory space is hidden from user processes and programs because it may contain all sorts of secrets, such as passwords, login keys, files cached from disk, and so on. Imagine a piece of JavaScript running in a browser, or malicious software running on a shared public cloud server, able to sniff sensitive kernel-protected data.


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Status of Quantum Computer Hardware

D-Wave Systems has commercially sold 2000 qubit quantum annealing systems. D-Wave is working on a 5000 qubit system now and will likely install it with a customer in less than 2 years. They are also working to broaden connectivity on their chips.

IBM Quantum Experience in the cloud: 20 qubits at the end 2017 and a 50-qubit device has been built.

Intel announced a 49 qubit quantum computing chip at CES 2018. Intel Corporation’s 49-qubit quantum computing test chip, code-named “Tangle Lake,” was unveiled at 2018 CES in Las Vegas.

The need to scale to greater numbers of working qubits is why Intel, in addition to investing in superconducting qubits, is also researching another type called spin qubits in silicon. Spin qubits could have a scaling advantage because they are much smaller than superconducting qubits. Spin qubits resemble a single electron transistor, which is similar in many ways to conventional transistors and potentially able to be manufactured with comparable processes. In fact, Intel has already invented a spin qubit fabrication flow on its 300mm process technology.

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Intel Labs has developed a neuromorphic research chip, code-named “Loihi,”which includes digital circuits that mimic the brain’s basic operation. Loihi combines training and inference on a single chip with the goal of making machine learning more power efficient.

Rigetti Computing has a 19 qubit chip. Rigetti should have a 50 or 60 qubit system in 2018.

Google 22-qubit device (superconducting circuit), 49 qubits expected in 2018.
Last edited by vox_mundi on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 14:14:50, edited 2 times in total.
“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 » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 12:33:48

CES 2018's Hot New Trend: The Total Death of Privacy

What if, by using a hidden tracker or a smart bracelet, you could monitor your child's location from home to school and anywhere in between? What if you could use brain-wave technology to tell exactly how much attention they pay in class? What if you could program your car to prevent certain (teen) drivers from traveling beyond a preset boundary, monitoring their speed and reporting back their location all the while? What if, at the push of a button, you could turn on a camera to see what's going on in that very car?
These are four very real pitches—for Tabs, BrainCo, Derive Systems, and Raven, respectively—at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that proudly position invasion of privacy as a main feature.


All the Ways Your Smartphone and Its Apps Can Track You

All the Ways Facebook Tracks You

Here's a Chilling Glimpse of the Privacy-Free Future

Imagine if you lost your keys and instead of fishing around in the couch cushions, you could just pull out your phone and search for them. Just a quick, textual query with a quick response that they're on your desk, you doofus. This is not only possible; it's possible now, and it's almost as intriguing as it is terrifying.

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And of course the creepiness only increases if you imagine the spread of this technology to places like the home ... Perhaps most concerning though, is the idea of this tech in the public sphere, where relative privacy is a given but only thanks to obscurity. You can be effectively "alone" in a mall or coffee shop only because it is difficult to look for you. If applied to security systems and other live video feeds, this sort of technology gives those with the power to search through it a sort of instant, god-like omnipotence.



You Might Soon Need a New State ID To Fly Domestic

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Papers Please.

In 2005, President George W. Bush signed the REAL ID Act into law. Attached to a military spending law, REAL ID mandated that state driver's licenses and ID cards follow federal technical standards and verification procedures issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Thirteen years later, the Trump Administration is finally trying to get full, nationwide compliance.

DHS is now saying that 23 states still operating under extensions, which delay their REAL ID mandate, have until October 10th to comply. Under the law, which has its origins in a 9/11 Commission recommendation, there is no single REAL ID: states issue their own documents but must now adhere to federal standards relating to card design and application processing.

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A DHS map showing how a variety of states are faring with REAL ID compliance. Green signifies compliance, yellow signifies an extension, which the Trump Administration say it will be ending on October 10, 2018. Blue signifies an extension under review.

In order to get the information needed to process those applications, REAL ID requires that states share information with the federal government—and that's where privacy groups have concerns.

The history of REAL ID is one of delays, extensions, and conflicting deadlines, all underscoring the potential for the nightmare scenario of passengers showing up to airports and being refused for out-of-date IDs. Some opponents of the law fear that such strandings will happen to prove a point on enforcement.

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Du hast einen Blauschein. You have a Blauschein. Kein Blauschein, mein Herr. No Blauschein, sir. You'll have to leave the line now, then you'll get a blue card, a Blauschein, to say that you are an essential worker.

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For Some in America, China's Looming Surveillance Nightmare Is Already Here

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A new Washington Post report highlights the role of technology in China’s frightening and fast-developing surveillance state. The “Sharp Eyes” program, dystopian in both name and execution, is a plan to connect the nation’s many surveillance cameras, in both private and public spaces, to a single network. Now it will be easier than ever for the repressive regime to detain journalists and activists.

... in November, dozens of AI experts wrote an open letter to the Department of Homeland Security, condemning a plan to use predictive software to algorithmically assess immigrants’ “likelihood” of becoming terrorists and quantify their expected contributions to society. Before that, Homeland Security mandated immigrants turn over social media data when they enter the country. This, of course, overlaps with the stated purpose of China’s project: preventing crime through unprecedented algorithmic authoritarianism.

... police still mine social media data and use friends lists to map the connections between people, whether or not they’ve been convicted or even suspected of a crime. In Chicago, it’s called a “heat list,” and it overwhelmingly affects young black men.

When Georgetown researchers raised privacy concerns about Homeland Security’s Biometric Exit program, they were shocked to discover airport security failed to inform US citizens they, unlike foreign nationals, weren’t required to have their faces scanned.


NSA Surveillance Bill Would Legalize Loophole That Lets FBI Spy on Americans without a Warrant

Detroit Heads towards a Mandatory Surveillance State

Businesses in Detroit that wish to stay open after 10pm will have to join the city's high definition crime surveillance program. Shop keepers who participate in the program benefit by receiving prioritized Emergency Response Services when calling 911.

Welcome to Delta City, Robocop fans! Install surveillance cameras for the cops or maybe they won't show up.
Mayor Mike Duggan's administration is moving forward with a plan to eventually mandate every retail business in Detroit with late-night hours have surveillance cameras tied into Project Green Light, the Detroit Police Department's real-time crime monitoring system credited with a decrease in carjackings and overall crime around participating businesses.

... FAQ 9. Does enrollment in this program mean my business gets special police attention?

Yes. Enrollment in Project Green Light requires police officers to visit your site on a weekly basis. Dispatch is notified that your business is enrolled in Green Light as soon as your site goes live. In the event of an emergency, businesses are required to call 911, and DPD is immediately notified of the incident at a Green Light location. The run is considered a Priority 1.

Who wants to be Detroit Police's second priority? Soon to come: the Series 209 Enforcement Droid, a fully-automated system of peacekeeping machine.

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 13:15:58, edited 1 time in total.
“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 » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 13:09:27

Trump Lauded Delivery of 'F-52s' to Norway. The Planes Only Exist in ‘Call of Duty.’

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... The “F-52” is a fictional jet only available to fly if you’re a gamer at the controls of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.”

Trump lauded the sale of the fictional planes alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House on Wednesday, remarking on the very real and growing defense relationship with America’s Northern Europe ally.

“In November we started delivering the first F-52s and F-35 fighter jets,” Trump said.We have a total of 52 and they’ve delivered a number of them already a little ahead of schedule.”


America’s Newest Amphibious Ship Is Getting a Laser Weapon

The U.S.'s latest amphibious ship is getting a laser weapon just in time to show off at the 2018 Rim of the Pacific wargames. The USS Portland, which will function as the flagship for the multinational military exercises, is set to receive the latest version of the Navy’s Laser Weapon System. The new weapon will likely make an impression on visiting sailors—especially those from China—that also participate in the exercises

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Details on the next generation LaWS that will equip Portland are unknown but the system will probably be more powerful with a greater range. The improved system, like the old one, is a bolt-on device with a self-contained power supply that could theoretically be parked on nearly any navy ship.


U.S. Navy to Equip Ships With AI-Powered Networks

"Son of Blackbird": Boeing Reveals Hypersonic Concept That Could Replace SR-71

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This week Boeing revealed the first design details of a demonstrator aircraft that would go faster than Mach 5. Boeing hopes to build the hypersonic concept around a combined-cycle engine that incorporates elements of a turbine and a dual ramjet/scramjet. The unveiling came at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech forum in Orlando, Florida, as reported by Aviation Week Aerospace Daily.

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1180 Drones Swarm Over Guangzhou, China

At the close of the Global Fortune Forum in Guangzhou on Dec. 7, the event's hosts set a world record for the largest drone swarm ever deployed. For 9 minutes, 1,180 drones danced and blinked out an aerial show. It was cool. It was also an interesting look into the potential future of military aviation.

These autonomous swarms can make decisions on how and when to repair themselves. More than 1,000 flying robots coordinate autonomously and synchronize movements, with a flight deviancy of a mere 2 centimeters horizontally and 1 centimeter vertically. If something goes wrong and a drone can't reach its programmed position, it automatically lands.

They also showed off a lot of potential for the military and security sectors. The fact that the drones can move autonomously, landing if they don't fulfill their directive, is particularly intriguing. Ehang is essentially boasting that its swarms can make decisions on how to repair itself, as well as improvise operational functionality.

Though the CETC-Tsinghua drone swarm was unarmed, a CGI sequence showed the drones hunting an enemy missile launcher in urban area, and then dive-bombing into the missile launcher, destroying it.

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https://www.popsci.com/china-drone-swarms


Russian Airbase in Syria Under Attack from Drone Swarms

BEIRUT — A series of mysterious attacks against the main Russian military base in Syria, including one conducted by a swarm of armed miniature drones, has exposed Russia's continued vulnerability in the country despite recent claims of victory by President Vladimir Putin.

In the most recent and unusual of the attacks, more than a dozen armed drones descended from an unknown location onto Russia's vast Hmeimim air base in northwestern Latakia province, the headquarters of Russia's military operations in Syria, and on the nearby Russian naval base at Tartus.

Russian news outlets have also reported two smaller drone attacks against Russian outposts in the provinces of Homs and Latakia, as well as another attack against Hmeimim, all in the past two weeks.

The drone attack, however, came less than a week after two Russian servicemen were killed in a sustained mortar assault on the same base, which appears to have caused some damage to Russian military assets.
... "What it signals to me is a lot of the things that we talk about that we know are going to be problems in the future may be problems now or a lot sooner than we thought"

Perhaps the biggest question of all, however, is who was responsible. What makes the attacks especially unusual is that there has been no claim, triggering a frenzy of speculation in the Russian and Syrian news media over who may have carried them out.

Russia's Defense Ministry on Tuesday appeared to accuse the United States of supplying the technology for the drone attack, saying the assault required a higher level of expertise than any armed group in Syria is known to possess. Compounding the suspicions, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page that a U.S. Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was in the skies above the area for four hours during the drone assault.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied a report in the Russian Kommersant publication that seven warplanes were put out of action in the mortar attack, including two of its premier Su-35 fighter jets and four Su-24 attack aircraft, losses that would represent the worst single day for the Russian air force in decades. A Russian journalist posted photographs of damage that suggested at least some planes had been hit.

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This photo taken from the Russian Defence Ministry Press Service Facebook page on Tuesday shows one of the drones that was forced to land.

The U.S. denied this, blaming ISIS, but the nearest Islamic State positions are hundreds of miles from the western coastal province where Hmeimim is located, making the group one of the more unlikely culprits.

... Most of the Islamic State drones used against U.S. allies, moreover, had a range of no more than one to two kilometers, according to an analysis by the defense consultancy IHS Markit group. The Russian Defense Ministry statement said the drones used in the Hmeimim attack came from between 50 and 100 kilometers away, making them far more sophisticated and expanding the pool of potential suspects, the IHS analysis said.


South Korea to Create Special 'Dronebot Combat' Team in 2018 that could Target Kim Jong Un

... "We will launch a dronebot combat unit next year and use it as a 'game changer' in warfare," a South Korean army official told Yonhap.

Also, the news agency said the special dronebot unit could use the weapons "against such core North Korean targets as nuclear and missile sites. In case of a contingency, swarms of dronebots will be mobilized to launch attacks."
"You could use them for assassination strikes or you could use them for preventative strikes"

Drone swarms of hundreds of small unmanned aircraft can potentially overwhelm forces on the ground and would also be difficult to entirely shoot down

At the same time, North Korea also has been developing its own drone weapons. A North Korean defector claimed earlier this year that Pyongyang may have hundreds of attack drones capable of unleashing biological and chemical weapons.


DARPA Wants to Turn Cargo Planes Into Flying Aircraft Carriers for Drones

The Department of Defense wants the ability to launch and recover small drones from C-130 Hercules transports. The drones, nicknamed Gremlins after the mythological tricksters of the air, would be equipped with customized payloads and turned loose on enemy defenses, doing everything from intelligence collection to destroying radar sites and other ground targets. The ability would effectively turn the propeller-driven transports into flying aircraft carriers.

In wartime, Gremlin swarms could identify enemy targets, such as headquarters or air defense radars, presenting them with expendable targets they would have to ignore, allowing the Gremlins to complete their mission, or waste expensive missiles to destroy. Once a picture of the enemy situation develops, other Gremlins equipped with high explosive warheads could fly suicide missions to destroy enemy targets. The same drones could carry out the same missions, with intelligence collection payloads swapped out for high explosive ones. The drones will have a life expectancy of at least 20 flights, although drones sent on suicide missions will obviously have a set life expectancy.

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Boeing's Prototype Cargo Drone can Haul 500-Pound Loads

It took less than three months for Boeing to build and test the octocopter.

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 14:50:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 14:11:02

A New AI That Detects “Deception” May Bring an End to Lying as We Know It

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Being able to tell when a person is lying is an important part of everyday life, but it’s even more crucial in a courtroom. People may vow under oath that they will tell the truth, but they don’t always adhere to that promise, and the ability to spot those lies can literally be the difference between a verdict of innocent or guilty.

To address this issue, researchers from the University of Maryland (UMD) developed the Deception Analysis and Reasoning Engine (DARE), a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to autonomously detect deception in courtroom trial videos. The team of UMD computer science researchers led by Center for Automation Research (CfAR) chair Larry Davis describe their AI that detects deception in a study that’s still to be peer-reviewed.

DARE was taught to look for and classify human micro-expressions, such as “lips protruded” or “eyebrows frown,” as well as analyze audio frequency for revealing vocal patterns that indicate whether a person is lying or not. It was then tested using a training set of videos in which actors were instructed to either lie or tell the truth.

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So, just how accurate is DARE?

Ultimately, DARE did perform better than the average person at the task of spotting lies. “An interesting finding was the feature representation which we used for our vision module,” said Singh.
“A remarkable observation was that the visual AI system was significantly better than common people at predicting deception.”

DARE scored an AUC of 0.877, which, when combined with human annotations of micro-expressions, improved to 0.922. Ordinary people have an AUC of 0.58, Singh pointed out.


Japanese Scientists Just Used AI to Read Minds and It's Amazing

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Imagine a reality where computers can visualize what you are thinking.

Sound far out? It's now closer to becoming a reality thanks to four scientists at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan. In late December, Guohua Shen, Tomoyasu Horikawa, Kei Majima and Yukiyasu Kamitani released the results of their recent research on using artificial intelligence to decode thoughts on the scientific platform, BioRxiv (Deep image reconstruction from human brain activity).

The scientists from Kyoto developed a new techniques of "decoding" thoughts using deep neural networks (artificial intelligence). The new technique allows the scientists to decode more sophisticated "hierarchical" images, which have multiple layers of color and structure, like a picture of a bird or a man wearing a cowboy hat, for example.

"We have been studying methods to reconstruct or recreate an image a person is seeing just by looking at the person's brain activity," Kamitani, one of the scientists, tells CNBC Make It. "Our previous method was to assume that an image consists of pixels or simple shapes. But it's known that our brain processes visual information hierarchically extracting different levels of features or components of different complexities."

And the new AI research allows computers to detect objects, not just binary pixels. "These neural networks or AI model can be used as a proxy for the hierarchical structure of the human brain," Kamitani says.

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Artificial Intelligence Can ‘Evolve’ to Solve Problems

... Neuroevolution, a process of mutating and selecting the best neural networks, has previously led to networks that can compose music, control robots, and play the video game Super Mario World. But these were mostly simple neural nets that performed relatively easy tasks or relied on programming tricks to simplify the problems they were trying to solve. “The new results show that—surprisingly—you may actually not need any tricks at all,” says Kenneth Stanley, a computer scientist at Uber and a co-author on all five studies. “That means that complex problems requiring a large network are now accessible to neuroevolution, vastly expanding its potential scope of application.”

... When compared with two of the most widely used methods for training neural networks, this exploratory approach outscored them on five of 13 Atari games. It also managed to teach a virtual humanoid robot to walk, developing a neural network a hundred times larger than any previously developed through neuroevolution to control a robot.

Clune says the fact that the exploratory algorithm worked on such large networks was “eye-popping,” because millions of connections were being randomly mutated simultaneously. Further, he was surprised that their very basic “vanilla” version of the exploratory algorithm beat the industry-standard algorithms. That means researchers should be able to enhance it in a variety of ways.


GM’s Latest Car Gives Up Steering Wheels, Pedals — and Human Control

The future of driving doesn’t involve driving — at all.

That’s the big takeaway from a first peek inside General Motors new autonomous car, which lacks the steering wheel, pedals, manual controls and human drivers that have come to define the experience of riding inside an automobile for more than a century.

The means the Cruise AV — a fourth-generation autonomous vehicle based on the Chevy Bolt EV — is in total control.

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We view this as being a very important next step in our plan to deploy self-driving vehicles at scale in 2019 and it’s all part of our mission to move to a world of zero crashes,” said Ray Wert, head of advanced technology communications at GM.


Robots Have Replaced Humans in 25% of China’s Ammunition Factories

U.S. Navy, Textron to Weaponize Unmanned Craft for Surface Warfare

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... According to a Tuesday statement from Textron, Naval Sea Systems Command and the company have entered into a study agreement to weaponize the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) for a surface warfare role.

The statement said “payloads will include various missiles, designators, sensors, and remote weapon stations.”

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Nobody's Ready for the Killer Robot

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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 » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 15:19:11

Panic in Hawaii as Civil Defense Accidentally Issues Alert for 'Inbound Ballistic Missile Threat'

Hawaiians and tourists alike were shaken shortly after 8:00 a.m. HST when a push notification alerted those in the state of islands to a false missile threat, causing an immediate panic.

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," read the message, which also blared across Hawaiian televisions stations.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI, confirmed the false alarm on Twitter 12 minutes after the errant message was sent.

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https://gizmodo.com/hawaii-alert-system ... 1822055617

Emergency alerts sent to the cellphones of Hawaii residents Saturday warning of a “ballistic missile threat” were a false alarm reportedly sent by mistake, officials said.

Officials also overrode Hawaiian television with a terrifying message ordering residents to stop whatever they were doing and “take immediate action measures,” including pulling vehicles off of roads and finding shelter.
... "This is a real threat facing Hawaii, so people got this message on their phones and they thought, 15 minutes, we have 15 minutes before me and my family could be dead."

Shortly after 8 a.m. local time Saturday, several alarmed Hawaii residents began posting screenshots of alerts they had received, reading: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted at 8:20 a.m. local time that there was no missile threat to the state. (... 6 minutes after the warhead would have impacted)

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The U.S. Navy also confirmed in an email the emergency alerts had been sent in error.

“USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, said in an email. “Earlier message was sent in error. State of Hawaii will send out a correction message as soon as possible.”

At 8:45 a.m. local time, an additional alert was sent to Hawaii residents advising them that the first warning had been a false alarm.
“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 » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 14:30:54

38 Minutes of Panic: Here's How People in Hawaii Reacted To a False Ballistic Missile Alert

... The alert spread quickly across the state. Not only did it appear on mobile devices, it was broadcast on television and radio and appeared on electronic road signs as people tried to find shelter.

On the H-3, a major highway north of Honolulu, vehicles sat empty after panicked drivers ran to a nearby tunnel for shelter, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Workers at a golf club huddled in a kitchen fearing the worst.

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Abandoned Autos on H-3

... Trask’s home, like many on the islands, is constructed with single-ply walls and has no basement. When the alert came, Trask said, she piled her mother, 15-year-old son, two-year-old daughter and partner into the car, swung by her other son’s workplace to pick him up, and then sped to her office at the botanical gardens: a building with concrete walls that is used as a hurricane shelter.

“It was definitely kind of a panic zone,” she said. “Everyone knows you have about 15 minutes until detonation, and no one knows where it will land.” Family members on the other side of the island were too far away to get to the gardens within that short timespan.

“They called us and they were crying because they realized they wouldn’t have made it to us,” Trask said.
This was my phone when I woke up just now. I'm in Honolulu, Hawaii and my family is on the North Shore. They were hiding in the garage. My mom and sister were crying. It was a false alarm, but betting a lot of people are shaken.

Matt LoPresti, a state representative, told CNN in an emotional interview that he and his family sheltered in their bathroom after receiving the alert.
"I was sitting in the bathtub with my children, saying our prayers," he said. "We took it as seriously as a heart attack … I'm extremely angry right now."

An MSNBC producer tweeted the text messages she had received from a friend whose relatives had been caught in traffic as the alert went out.
"It was mass chaos people getting out of cars and running and looking at the sky. Other cousin was in the airport and people were sobbing," one text message read.

Washington Post social media editor Gene Park tweeted out a message from his friend in Hawaii, who said he was in his car when the alert came and quickly had to decide where to drive out of several locations his family members were spread across, fearing he wouldn't reach them in time.
"I chose to go home to the two little ones I figured it was the largest grouping of my family. Knowing I likely wouldn't make it home in time," his message read. "I was tearing up South Street to the freeway when I heard it was a mistake. F— you Hawaii Civil Defense."

Hawaiians who got up early to watch soccer or basketball instead got the scary, robotic voice warning of a missile’s imminent impact. - Video

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For some, the prospect of the end of the world was an opportunity to indulge. Joshua Keoki Versola was home alone in Mililani when he received the alert. As he waited for his fiancee to drive home from her place of work, the 35-year-old network engineer opened a bottle of Hibiki 21, an award-winning and expensive Japanese whisky.

“I was about to start pouring drinks and go out in style,” Versola said “What are we going to do in this situation? We really can’t do anything but just try and make the best of it.”


Minutes to Live: When the Nuclear Push Alert Is Not a Mistake

January 13, 2018 was (thankfully) a false alarm of the apocalypse for Hawaiians. But if the push notification comes that a North Korean missile is about to drop, just what the hell is the government’s plan to keep you safe? (You might not want to know...)

Nuclear exercises were once commonplace in the United States. At the height of the cold war, New York City issued dog tags to its schoolchildren and Chicago recommended that its citizens tattoo their blood type on their torsos. (Never on a limb, though; an arm or leg could too easily be severed in a blast.) Major cities ran annual nuclear drills, known as Operation Alert exercises, and some places went even further. In 1955, Portland, Oregon, practiced Operation Green Light, a full-scale evacuation of the city. The exercise closed a thousand blocks and evacuated one hundred thousand people to twelve Red Cross “reception areas” outside the city.

All of that planning atrophied over the course of the cold war, and in the quarter century since the end of the Soviet Union, much of it has been forgotten. In part, the apathy came from the government’s realization of just how awful large-scale nuclear attacks would be—and how impossible it was to even imagine the logistics needed for a response.
... “You just can’t have this kind of war. There aren’t enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets.”

- Dwight Eisenhower - 1957

Recent disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, and Maria, have only underscored the challenge of a large-scale disaster response.

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... In the event of an attack by North Korea, it would fall to the U. S. military to detect an incoming missile—or missiles—and pass that information to FEMA, the disaster-response agency established during the cold war as the modern incarnation of President Truman’s Federal Civil Defense Administration. America’s nascent missile-defense batteries in Alaska and California would scramble to attempt an intercept—spoiler: don’t count on it working—and FEMA would rush to alert local and state authorities.

Meanwhile a series of carefully calibrated plans would ensure that the nation’s leaders were evacuated by special helicopters. Some would be rushed to mountain bunkers, like the Pentagon’s city-sized Raven Rock in Pennsylvania, or FEMA’s Mount Weather facility in Berryville, Virginia. Others would take to the sky aboard airborne command posts, like the presidential doomsday plane, code-named Nightwatch, that’s based at Offutt Air Force Base outside Omaha.

For the rest of us, left outside nuclear-hardened bunkers, the advice suggested by the nation’s top emergency-management minds is simple: “Go inside, stay inside, stay tuned.” It’s the modern equivalent of “Duck and cover,” the advice offered by civil-defense mascot Bert the Turtle.
Moving millions or even thousands of people on such short notice would be logistically impossible, and would risk stranding them in situations far more dangerous than the ones they were fleeing.

In the minutes before a strike, the public would be left almost entirely to fend for itself. Warnings would go out over a FEMA system known as IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, and the shrill buzzes of the Wireless Emergency Alert system would take over radio and TV airwaves, and other networks, such as NOAA’s weather radio, would have their own warnings....

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Next Time?
“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 18 Jan 2018, 11:57:49

CDC Cancels Session On 'Preparing for the Unthinkable': Nuclear War

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rescheduled a teaching session on the public health response to a nuclear blast that was to take place Tuesday.

About three dozen media outlets had expressed interest in attending the session, which is broadcast from CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta. The initial CDC announcement featured a photograph of the distinctive mushroom cloud from a nuclear blast.

On Friday afternoon, the agency said it was changing the topic to influenza and took down the mushroom cloud photo and the announcement about public health responses to a nuclear blast. “The previous public health topic will be rescheduled for a future Grand Rounds,” the CDC said. No future date was given. (... down the memory hole)

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Sweden Preps Citizens for War as Russia Looms

For the first time in half a century, Sweden is seriously prepping its country for the possibility of war. Growing national anxiety over the threat of Russia has led the government to send out 4.7m information pamphlets to all households informing them of what to do in the event of war.

"All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military. We haven't been using words such as total defence or high alert for 25-30 years or more. So the knowledge among citizens is very low", says the government. The country is also considering whether it should join NATO.

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Russia Flaunts Arctic Expansion With New Military Bases

In the past two years, Russia has launched a major effort to build up its military presence, constructing a string of new bases, as well as refurbishing Soviet ones and building up its communications infrastructure along its northern coast.

The reason is new: as ice around it recedes, uncovering resources and opening up shipping routes, the Arctic is emerging as a new arena for geopolitical competition. With the U.S. Geological Survey estimating 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas to be located there, jostling to claim the resources has already begun.

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Japan Issues False Alarm About Incoming North Korean Missile

Japan's public TV station, NHK, mistakenly issued a warning that a North Korean missile was incoming this morning, just days after a similar gaffe in Hawaii left citizens expecting a nuclear attack for over 30 minutes. Fortunately, Japan's NHK was able to retract the false alarm in a matter of minutes.


Password for the Hawaii Emergency Agency Hiding in Plain Sight, Written on a Post-it Note

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An Associated Press photo from July that recently resurfaced on Twitter has raised questions about the agency's cybersecurity practices.

In it, the agency's operations officer poses in front of a battery of screens. Attached to one is a password written on a Post-it note.

An agency spokesman told Hawaii News Now that the password - warningpoint2 - is authentic, and had been used for an "internal application" that he believed was no longer being used. (On the other screen, another note reminds the user to "SIGN OUT.")


During Missile Scare, Man Said Goodbye To His Kids — Then Had a Heart Attack

HONOLULU - A Hawaii Kai man nearly lost his life after suffering a heart attack during Saturday's missile alert false alarm, according to his girlfriend.

"He called his daughter and said, 'I love you' and did the same thing with his hanai son," said girlfriend Brenda Reichel. ... "A few minutes later I heard them yelling and screaming, '911! 911!' and he coded. His heart had stopped and they told me he had stopped breathing," said Reichel.

"It just was enough stress. They say that it just pushed him into a heart attack. (He had) no history of heart attack or anything or heart disease.

... Within an hour of the false alarm, paramedics also responded to an 89-year-old man who fell and was in stable condition; a 37-year-old woman who got into a car crash; and a 38-year-old woman who called 911 after experiencing anxiety.


A Cincinnatian's Guide To Nuclear War

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"The Cincinnati Death Zone" map published in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Oct. 2, 1961 showed the percentage of how many people would die if a nuclear bomb struck Cincinnati.

Nick Crossley, director of the Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, said there's a simple phrase to remember when it comes to any major threat.

"Take cover. Tune in. Take action," Crossley said.

He said Cincinnati residents should be ready to shelter in their homes or at work with enough food and water for up to two weeks. Good advice for anything from a major ice storm or a nuclear threat.

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Just like a snowstorm ... Sit Tight ... and mind the flying glass!

"Most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation," a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated Tuesday.


Would a 1960s Fallout Shelter Actually Protect You From Nuclear War?

Truthfully, fallout shelters were never all they were cracked up to be. Rolled out in the early 1960s by the now-defunct Office of Civil Defense, they were never as well-equipped or funded as originally envisioned, which, frankly, didn’t much matter. The advent of thermonuclear warheads—high-yield hydrogen bombs much more powerful than those dropped on Japan during World War II—rendered them moot. Fallout shelters were often spaces like concrete-walled basements that could be retrofitted with air filtration systems, intended to protect occupants from the radioactive byproducts of a modest nuclear detonation. They’d have been superfluous under a genuine onslaught of megatons.
“You wouldn’t really have to deal with fallout,” ... “Because you would just be dead from the initial blast.”

- Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director - National Center for Disaster Preparedness - Columbia University

Kind of a good news/bad news scenario, we suppose.

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 12:51:56, edited 1 time in total.
“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 » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 12:13:19

Tillerson Threatens U.S. military Response if North Korea Refuses Negotiations

... About that military response, Reuters writes “Tillerson brushed off a question about such a ‘bloody nose’ strike, telling a closing news conference: ‘I’m a not going to comment on issues that have yet to be decided among the National Security Council or the president… We have to recognize that the threat is growing and if North Korea does not chose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation, then they themselves will trigger an option.’”


North Korea-Bound Ships Could Soon Be Routinely Intercepted by the US and Allies

“Maritime interdiction helps us to disrupt resources,” Brian Hook, director of policy planning for the US state department, told the AFP. “We will be discussing with our partners and allies the kind of steps that we can take on maritime interdiction and also to be cutting, disrupting funding and disrupting resources.”


The US Just Majorly Stepped Up Nuclear Bomber Deployments To Guam Amid Soaring North Korea Tensions

The US deployed every type of strategic and nuclear-capable bomber to Guam amid soaring tensions between the Washington and Pyongyang in a move sure to rattle North Korea.

The B-1B Lancer bomber, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, and the B-52H — the workhorse bomber that dropped tens of thousands of tons of munitions during the Vietnam War — will be in Guam, the Pentagon has confirmed to Business Insider.


U.S. Air Force Moves 3 Stealth B-2 Strategic Bombers to Guam

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The United States Air Force has moved three of its stealthy Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit strategic bombers to Guam as tensions continue with North Korea. But while the Pentagon does not deny that the arrival of the stealth bombers on Guam is designed to send a signal to Pyongyang, the message is not aimed solely at North Korea. It is a message aimed at Russia and China, who are also in the region.

The B-2 is currently the only nuclear-capable penetrating strategic bomber in the American arsenal. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, while nuclear-capable, does not have the ability to penetrate enemy airspace and instead relies on long-range cruise missiles. The Rockwell International B-1B has long since been denuclearized and it also lacks the ability to penetrate into heavily defended airspace. Thus, until the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider becomes operational in the mid-2020s, America’s fleet of 20 B-2s are its sole long-range penetrating strike aircraft.


The U.S. Has an Electronic Warfare Plane and One of Them Is Headed to Korea

The EC-130H Compass Call, originally designed to jam enemy radio signals, was recently upgraded with the ability to identify and attack enemy wireless networks. The EC-130H was spotted traveling from Yokota Air Base, Japan to Osan Air Base in South Korea and reported on Twitter by @AircraftSpots.

In addition to military communications, Compass Call can jam civilian communications, including cell phones and wireless improvised explosive devices, and has supported U.S. operations against Iraqi insurgents, the Afghan Taliban, and Islamic State fighters.

... In September 2015, Breaking Defense reported that the EC-130H could target enemy computer networks, quoting the head of the Air Force’s cyber command as saying, “Lo and behold! Yes, we’re able to touch a target and manipulate a target, [i.e.] a network, from an air[craft].”

Compass Call, also, has some other classified capability the Air Force is not revealing at this time

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Ready for the Winter Olympics? How About War?

Xi Jinping has entire military drilling in case US strikes North Korea


US Military Quietly Prepares for a Last Resort: War With North Korea

WASHINGTON - Across the US military, officers and troops are quietly preparing for a war they hope will not come.

At Fort Bragg in North Carolina last month, a mix of 48 Apache gunships and Chinook cargo helicopters took off in an exercise that practiced moving troops and equipment under live artillery fire to assault targets.

Two days later, in the skies above Nevada, 119 soldiers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division parachuted out of C-17 military cargo planes under cover of darkness in an exercise that simulated a foreign invasion.

And next month, at Army posts across the United States, more than 1,000 reserve soldiers will practice how to set up mobilisation centres that move military forces overseas in a hurry.

... Speaking in October (2017) at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army, Army chief of staff, General Mark A. Milley called Pyongyang the biggest threat to US national security, and said Army officers who lead operational units must prepare to meet that threat.
"Do not wait on orders and printed new regulations and new manuals," Milley told the audience. "Put simply, I want you to get ready for what might come, and do not do any tasks that do not directly contribute to increasing combat readiness in your unit."

... "Operation Panther Blade is about building global readiness," said Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, a public affairs officer with the 82nd Airborne. "An air assault and deep attack of this scale is very complex and requires dynamic synchronization of assets over time and space."

Another exercise, called Operation Bronze Ram, is being coordinated by the shadowy Joint Special Operations Command, officials said, and mimics other training scenarios that mirror current events.

This year's exercise, one of many that concentrate on threats from across the world, will focus extensively on underground operations and involve working in chemically contaminated environments that might be present in North Korea. It will also home in on the Special Operations Command's mission of countering weapons of mass destruction. Beyond Bronze Ram, highly classified Special Operations exercises in the United States, including those with scenarios to seize unsecured nuclear weapons or conduct clandestine paratrooper drops, have for several months reflected a possible North Korea contingency, military officials said, without providing details, because of operational sensitivity.

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Russia’s Nuclear Underwater Drone is Real and in the Nuclear Posture Review

WASHINGTON — A draft of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review confirms the existence of an underwater nuclear drone made and operated by Russia, a capability the U.S. Defense Department had not previously publicly acknowledged.

“In addition to modernizing ‘legacy’ Soviet nuclear systems, Russia is developing and deploying new nuclear warheads and launchers,” stated an unclassified draft of the nuclear posture review first published by the Huffington Post.

“These efforts include multiple upgrades for every leg of the Russian nuclear triad of strategic bombers, sea-based missiles and land-based missiles. Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo.”

A chart laying out Russian nuclear delivery vehicles developed over the past decade spells out the capability yet again, including a small illustration for an “AUV,” or autonomous underwater vehicle, called Status-6.

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On Nov. 27, 2016, U.S. intelligence detected Status-6 after it was launched from a Sarov-class submarine used to test and validate new tech, the Washington Free Beacon reported in December 2016, citing unnamed Pentagon sources.

Russian reports indicate it could be outfitted with a 100-megaton nuclear warhead.

Status-6 was built by Rubin Design Bureau, the largest of Russia’s three submarine manufacturers. According to a document shown on Russian television, the drone has a range of 6,200 miles, a top speed in excess of 56 knots and can descend to depths of 3,280 feet below sea level, the Beacon reported.

It was designed to be launched from at least two different classes of nuclear submarines, including the Oscar-class, which can carry four Status-6 drones at a time.


The American Scientist Who's Seen North Korea's Nuclear Secrets

For eleven years, Sig Hecker had been director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the American atomic bomb. So he was more than a little surprised when in 2004 he was invited on a tour of North Korea's nuclear complex.

... After showing him the reactor, the North Koreans took him to a building where they claimed to be reprocessing spent fuel from the reactor into weapons-grade plutonium.

Sig Hecker: They bring in, and it's a red metal box about yea big, about this thick. They open the metal box. They take out a white wooden box. White wooden box has a slide off top. So they slide off the top. I look in there. The director says, "Over here, this glass jar. That's our product. That's the plutonium. ...
So I said... I'd like to hold the jar with the metal in it. And they allowed me to hold it. So what do I learn from holding? Well, first of all plutonium is dense... It ought to be heavy. It was. The other thing plutonium is radioactive. So it… Glass jar ought to be warm and it was warm.

Robert Carlin: Nobody would believe them otherwise, right? People would say, "Oh, they're just posturing. Oh, it's propaganda." So how are you going to convince the Americans? You get an expert who knows plutonium when he sees it and you, you hand it to him. You say, "Here it is. What do you think?"


Leaked Nuclear Posture Review Lays Out Policy Changes That Would Increase Risk of Nuclear War

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The White House May Go Nuclear In Response To Future Cyberattacks — Literally
“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 » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 14:24:01

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AI Computer Beats Human Reading Comprehension

Artificial intelligence programs built by Alibaba and Microsoft have beaten humans on a Stanford University reading comprehension test.

"This is the first time that a machine has outperformed humans on such a test," Alibaba said in a statement Monday.

The test was devised by artificial intelligence experts at Stanford to measure computers' growing reading abilities. Alibaba's software was the first to beat the human score. The Stanford test generates questions about a set of Wikipedia articles.

For example, a human or AI program reads a passage about the history of British TV show Doctor Who and then answers questions like, "What is Doctor Who's space ship called?" (Spoiler alert: It's the TARDIS, for non-Doctor Who fans out there.)

Alibaba's deep neural network model scored 82.44 on the test on January 11, narrowly beating the 82.304 scored by the human participants. A day later, Microsoft's AI software also beat the human score, with a result of 82.650.

Commenting on the SQuAD score, Alibaba IDST's chief scientist of natural language processing Si Luo, said:
"That means objective questions such as 'what causes rain' can now be answered with high accuracy by machines. We believe the technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials, and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way."

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NASA-Funded Research Will Let Unmanned Spacecraft “Think” Using AI and Blockchain

Researchers will put artificial intelligence to work on a blockchain system in order to help unmanned spacecraft "think" for themselves. This will let spacecraft react to new data even when far from Earth, where transmitted instructions lag.


China Railway Giant Eyes Self-Driving, Autonomous Technology

China Railway Corporation, the country’s national railway operator, said it will renew its focus on promoting intelligent high-speed railway this year

Lu Dongfu, general manager of the corporation, said in order to realize new breakthroughs in smart high-speed railway transportation, comprehensive testing of key technologies, including autonomous control, self-driving, mobile communications and smart substations, will be launched in the year ahead.

The 300 to 350 kilometer per hour high-speed rail self-driving technology will likely be introduced on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou line for the first time, Sun added.

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KIT's ARMAR-6 Humanoid Will Help Humans Fix Other Robots

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... What Ocado is looking for is a robot that can help a human perform maintenance on the automated systems that make up its warehouses. This is a good place for a robot to start to learn how to be helpful, because it’s a semi-structured environment, working with a trained human, doing tasks that are fairly predictable. The robot wouldn’t need to take point on any of these tasks, it would be more of an assistant, trying to cooperate with the human to make them more efficient.

In the context of a maintenance task, for example, the robot should be able to proactively recognize what’s going on, and understand what exactly the human worker is trying to do. Then, it can anticipate critical points at which the human might need assistance, and offer help without being explicitly directed. Rather than waiting for the human to say, Hey, can you hand me that hammer,” the robot will recognize when the hammer is necessary, and offer it before the human asks.

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HDT Global Hunter WOLF Awarded Phase II SMET Contract

SOLON, Ohio – January 9, 2018 – HDT Global (HDT), a leading provider of highly engineered solutions for extreme environments across military, public and private sectors, announced today its Wheeled Offload Logistics Follower (WOLF) robotic system has been awarded a Phase II Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport Program contract. The HDT Hunter WOLF system closely matches infantry mobility and can traverse narrow trails, steep slopes and dense jungles, while carrying up to 1000 lbs. of cargo for more than 72 hours without resupply.

Under development since 2012 to meet the requirements for the Army SMET Program, the HDT Hunter WOLF has undergone extensive evaluations and trials, including the most recent SMET Phase I evaluation. The HDT Hunter WOLF system completed the required 60-mile endurance trial in 23 hours, nearly six hours faster than the closest competitor!

The HDT Hunter WOLF features a JP-8/electric hybrid powertrain enabling the vehicle’s “silent drive” and “silent watch” capability. The system’s modular architecture and full compliance with the Army’s interoperability protocols makes the vehicle easy to adapt to mission requirements with a wide variety of mission specific kits while reducing life cycle costs.

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The incredibly capable Hunter WOLF key features:
• Carries 1,000 lbs for more than 100 miles with internal fuel
• 6 electrically driven wheels, skid steer
• 130 peak horsepower
• Climbs 70% grades
• 14 mph top speed
• Can be towed at 50 mph
• 20 kW onboard generator means never stopping to recharge drive batteries
• 3 kW power offload


CRA to Build Hands-Free Robotic Interface for U.S. Army

The project -- known as Supervisory HMI Enabling Practical Autonomous Robot Direction, or SHEPARD -- fuses multiple proven robot control technologies to provide a natural and reliable hands-free HMI for soldiers operating in different kinds of environments, some of which can be very challenging.
... "Under the effort, we are building a hands-free HMI that combines speech and gestures to enable reliable command and control of multiple unmanned vehicles. SHEPARD will use smart devices -- like a watch -- for easy communication with military robots. SHEPARD will reduce the cognitive burden on warfighters and their commanders, increase trust within human-robot teams, and accelerate the adoption of UxVs, helping to remove warfighters from harm’s way."


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IARPA Launches “DIVA” Program To Automatically Detect Complex Activities from Video

WASHINGTON – The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, announces today an exciting new research effort to develop Deep Intermodal Video Activity— “DIVA”—to help narrow the gap between human visual perception, and a computer’s ability to automatically recognize activities.

In theory, DIVA would have the capability to quickly locate an attack or to identify dangers to public safety. DIVA aims to advance state-of-the-art artificial visual perception, and automate video monitoring. This technology could also be used to detect potential threats outside secure government facilities or high traffic public transportation areas.

There is an increasing number of cases where officials, and the communities they represent, are tasked with viewing large stores of video footage, in an effort to locate perpetrators of attacks, or other threats to public safety,” said Terry Adams, DIVA program manager. “The resulting technology will provide the ability to detect potential threats while reducing the need for manual video monitoring. The technology does not track the identity of individuals and will be implemented to protect personal privacy.”

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Garbage-Sorting Violators In China Now Risk Being Punished With a Junk Credit Rating

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Failing to sort out your trash could make it harder for you to get a bank loan in China.

The new regulation passed last week in the eastern province of Zhejiang is the latest move by Chinese authorities to incorporate daily misdemeanors into the country’s burgeoning social credit system. “Violators will not only be punished, but also have the infraction recorded in their credit histories” and affect their ability to borrow from banks.

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

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 22 Jan 2018, 15:42:27

Inside Amazon’s Surveillance-Powered No-Checkout Convenience Store

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Where's everybody?

In a move that could revolutionise the way we buy groceries, Amazon has opened a supermarket with no checkout cashiers or self-service tills.

It uses hundreds of ceiling-mounted cameras and electronic sensors to identify each customer and track the items they select. Purchases are billed to customers' credit cards when they leave the store.

On entering the store, shoppers walk through gates similar to those in the London underground, swiping their smartphones loaded with the Amazon Go app. Then they are free to put any of the sandwiches, salads, drinks and biscuits on the shelves straight into their shopping bags.

Your account is associated with your physical presence and cameras begin tracking your every move.

There are many, many cameras.

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Notably, there is no facial recognition used. Amazon perhaps sensed early on that this would earn them rebuke from privacy-conscious shoppers. Instead, the system uses other visual cues and watches for continuity between cameras — you’re never not in sight of a lens, so it’s easy for the system to see a shopper move from one camera to another and make the connection.

The system is working well for individual shoppers but still struggles to accurately charge people who are moving around in groups, such as families with grabby kids. Go engineers have been studying families shopping together and are tweaking their sensors to recognize when a child eats an item while wandering around the store. Engineers are also figuring out which person to charge when a couple goes shopping together. Amazon has encouraged employees to enter the store in pairs and buy lunch.


Amazon's Smart Convenience Store Has Some Scary Implications

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LeeLoo Dallas MultiPass! Don't Leave Home Without It!

... The ease of use is a clear benefit to shoppers, and the smaller staff headcount and automatic security implications are an even bigger boon to store-owners, but these advantages come at a cost.

A similar demonstration of this sort of technology from Microsoft last year illustrates particularly clearly how the uncritical embrace of machine vision could lead to a privacy-free future, creating a searchable index of anything anyone does within its view. The full development of this kind of dystopia is likely years away, but the gradual, unregulated acceptance of machine-vision surveillance in exchange for convenience is a necessary first step.
Meanwhile, there's the issue of job loss.

Over 800,000 Americans were employed as grocery baggers or clerks as of 2016, and this technology threatens to subsume their jobs even more completely than the self-checkout station has so far.

Maybe they can go work as migrant contractors in an Amazon warehouse instead!
“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 » Mon 22 Jan 2018, 15:48:22

Aiming? Identifying Targets? This System Will Do Everything But Pull the Trigger.

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Army developers have entered the second phase of testing a computer-controlled, stabilized system that can auto-correct a rifle’s aim for pinpoint accuracy and identify and recommend targets.

The active stabilization or AIMLOCK system still requires a human to squeeze the trigger, but everything else about marksmanship — azimuth, target movement, airspeed, velocity, range, vehicle motion and even shooter instability — is corrected by the built-in computer system, according to an Army release.

The program’s aim is to “create a technology that would translate a shooter’s intent into perfect execution every time, on any firearm, in any situation,” according to the release.

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The system physically corrects aim with electromechanical actuators, redirecting the rifle's line of sight. This means a soldier simply has to aim near a target and the AimLock Stabilized Weapon Platform will correct for any mistakes, effectively creating a "snap to target" capability. In the future, the AimLock system might also act as a target designation system for other unit members or command and control elements.

The system can be fired from stationary, supported or unsupported positions, or while walking and on or inside a vehicle or aircraft, officials said.

The platform was not tied to any specific weapon,” Rice said.

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Trigger man


and in another auto-aiming rifle ...

US Military's Smart Rifle Can Be HACKED: Security Researchers Remotely Change Weapon's Target and Disable Its Scope

Last year the US army confirmed it was testing smart rifles with computer-guided scopes that can aim themselves. But now hacking researchers have revealed that they can take control of the weapons remotely, changing their target or disabling the weapon completely. The hack is based on the smart rifle's Wi-Fi connection, and has the potential to make the weapons - which were delivered to the US army last year - vulnerable to being hijacked.
“If the scope is bricked, you have a six to seven thousand dollar computer you can’t use on top of a rifle that you still have to aim yourself.”

Sandvik and Auger demonstrated how their technique can wreak havoc with the gun's targeting computer, causing it to miss its target, prevent it from firing or even disable the scope completely. Their tricks interfere with the calculations of the rifle's targeting computer so accurately that the hackers could hit a bulls-eye of their choosing - without the shooter knowing.


Robo-Animals Are Now Being Used To Fight Poachers

In the past year, more and more states are investing in Robo-Animals, to aid in the fight against poachers. For example, Maryland has three robotic animals, a deer, a bear, and a turkey, which, after illegal poaching has been reported, are positioned in the woods, with law enforcement near the site, watching everything. The robots are made to look real, so they are usually taxidermied animals from legal hunts, which are then customized with motors so that their heads and tails can move by remote control... As you can imagine, this movement and real fur, antlers, or feathers make the poachers believe that the robots are actually living, tempting them to shoot.

It turns out that they work. In October, two men were actually caught trying to shoot a Robo-Deer with crossbows in Maryland.

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

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