Archive for the ‘security’ category

Mar 28, 2020

US Space Force launches first national security mission

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, security, space

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The launch was delayed by an hour due to a ground hydraulics issue.

The public viewing area was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Mar 25, 2020

A nanoscale device to generate high-power terahertz waves

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, nanotechnology, security, sustainability

Terahertz (THz) waves fall between microwave and infrared radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum, oscillating at frequencies of between 100 billion and 30 trillion cycles per second. These waves are prized for their distinctive properties: they can penetrate paper, clothing, wood and walls, as well as detect air pollution. THz sources could revolutionize security and medical imaging systems. What’s more, their ability to carry vast quantities of data could hold the key to faster wireless communications.

THz waves are a type of non-ionizing radiation, meaning they pose no risk to human health. The technology is already used in some airports to scan passengers and detect dangerous objects and substances.

Despite holding great promise, THz waves are not widely used because they are costly and cumbersome to generate. But new technology developed by researchers at EPFL could change all that. The team at the Power and Wide-band-gap Electronics Research Laboratory (POWERlab), led by Prof. Elison Matioli, built a nanodevice that can generate extremely high-power signals in just a few picoseconds, or one trillionth of a second, which produces high-power THz waves.

Mar 22, 2020

Millions of Americans are suddenly working from home. That’s a huge security risk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, computing, government, internet, mobile phones, security

As they increasingly log on from home, Americans are having to meld their personal technology with professional tools at unprecedented scale. For employers, the concern isn’t just about capacity, but also about workers introducing new potential vulnerabilities into their routine — whether that’s weak passwords on personal computers, poorly secured home WiFi routers, or a family member’s device passing along a computer virus.

The dramatic expansion of teleworking by US schools, businesses and government agencies in response to the coronavirus is raising fresh questions about the capacity and security of the tools many Americans use to connect to vital workplace systems and data.

At one major US agency, some officials have resorted to holding meetings on iPhone group calls because the regular conference bridges haven’t always been working, according to one federal employee. But the workaround has its limits: The group calls support only five participants at a time, the employee noted.

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Mar 19, 2020

Making Sense with Sam Harris #191 — Early Thoughts On a Pandemic (with Amesh Adalja)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, security, terrorism

Sam Harris discusses the coronavirus withAmesh Adalja.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Amesh Adalja about the spreading coronavirus pandemic. They discuss the contagiousness of the virus and the severity of the resultant illness, the mortality rate and risk factors, vectors of transmission, how long coronavirus can live on surfaces, the importance of social distancing, possible anti-viral treatments, the timeline for a vaccine, the importance of pandemic preparedness, and other topics.

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Mar 11, 2020

Vladimir Putin’s Stasi ID card found in German archives

Posted by in category: security

The discovery of an East German secret police ID card wouldn’t normally attract much attention, but things get a lot more interesting when it’s Vladimir Putin’s.

Issued in 1985, the document belonged to the then mid-ranking Soviet officer, now the President of Russia. At the time, Putin worked for the KGB spy service as a liaison with the East German State Security Service (Staatssicherheitsdienst), nicknamed the “Stasi.”

From 1985 to 1990, Putin was stationed in Dresden, East Germany. The German newspaper Bild says the ID card found in the archives proves Putin was working for the Stasi, but the Stasi Records Agency (BStU) says it served a purely practical purpose.

Mar 9, 2020

Terahertz microscope produces highly accurate ‘ghost’ images

Posted by in categories: security, transportation

New device could find applications in areas such as the life sciences, airport security and quality control in manufacturing.

Mar 4, 2020

U.S. carries out first airstrike on Taliban since Doha deal

Posted by in category: security

KABUL — The United States conducted an airstrike on Wednesday against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, a U.S. forces spokesman said, the first such attack since a troop withdrawal agreement was signed between the two sides on Saturday.

The Taliban fighters were “were actively attacking an [Afghan National Security Forces] checkpoint. This was a defensive strike to disrupt the attack,” said Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan in a tweet.

He said Washington was committed to peace but would defend Afghan forces if needed.

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Mar 2, 2020

National Security Commission on AI Requests New Ideas; RAND Responds

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security

Last summer, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence asked to hear original, creative ideas about how the United States would maintain global leadership in a future enabled by artificial intelligence. RAND researchers stepped up to the challenge.

“Send us your ideas!” That was the open call for submissions about emerging technology’s role in global order put out last summer by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). RAND researchers stepped up to the challenge, and a wide range of ideas were submitted. Ten essays were ultimately accepted for publication.

The NSCAI, co-chaired by Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Robert Work, the former deputy secretary of defense, is a congressionally mandated, independent federal commission set up last year “to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies by the United States to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.”

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Mar 1, 2020

Boeing Defense, Space and Security offers $30,000 bonuses for satellite engineers

Posted by in categories: satellites, security

Boeing is offering signing bonuses up to $30,000 for experienced satellite engineers and procurement specialists, saying Friday needs the staff “to help build assets for the U.S. Air Force and its allies.”

The company posted a notice about its hiring on LinkedIn, listing more than open 75 jobs for what Boeing said were its “rapidly growing” satellite program efforts.

“We have an urgent need for Security Cleared Satellite Engineers to help build assets for the U.S. Air Force and its Allies. We’re offering a potential $30k sign-on bonus,” the posting said.

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Feb 27, 2020

Eric Schmidt: I Used to Run Google. Silicon Valley Could Lose to China

Posted by in categories: economics, government, security

But in recent years, Americans — Silicon Valley leaders included — have put too much faith in the private sector to ensure U.S. global leadership in new technology. Now we are in a technology competition with China that has profound ramifications for our economy and defense — a reality I have come to appreciate as chairman of two government panels on innovation and national security. The government needs to get back in the game in a serious way.

We can’t win the technology wars without the federal government’s help.

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