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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category: Page 4

Mar 16, 2022

Technology in agriculture is reaching new heights

Posted by in categories: drones, food, surveillance, sustainability

BOW ISLAND, AB — Patrick Fabian is quickly picking up a new skill. The seed farmer plans to start using drones…


BOW ISLAND, AB – Patrick Fabian is quickly picking up a new skill.

The seed farmer plans to start using drones to monitor his 1,250 irrigated acres.

Continue reading “Technology in agriculture is reaching new heights” »

Mar 11, 2022

Retina-inspired sensors for more adaptive visual perception

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, surveillance

To monitor and navigate real-world environments, machines and robots should be able to gather images and measurements under different background lighting conditions. In recent years, engineers worldwide have thus been trying to develop increasingly advanced sensors, which could be integrated within robots, surveillance systems, or other technologies that can benefit from sensing their surroundings.

Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Peking University, Yonsei University and Fudan University have recently created a new sensor that can collect data in various illumination conditions, employing a mechanism that artificially replicates the functioning of the retina in the human eye. This bio-inspired sensor, presented in a paper published in Nature Electronics, was fabricated using phototransistors made of molybdenum disulfide.

“Our research team started the research on five years ago,” Yang Chai, one of the researchers who developed the sensor, told TechXplore. “This emerging device can output light-dependent and history-dependent signals, which enables image integration, weak signal accumulation, spectrum analysis and other complicated image processing functions, integrating the multifunction of sensing, data storage and data processing in a single device.”

Feb 12, 2022

France’s Defense Ministry developing bird-like stealth drone

Posted by in categories: drones, surveillance

Researchers supported by France’s Defense Ministry are working to develop a more effective surveillance drone that’s also less prone to detection by its imitation of birds or insects.

In this case, that involved learning how winged creatures of nature might allow data-collecting UAVs to do their work without being seen, or be identified if they are.

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Feb 11, 2022

The US Army throws $20 million into AI-equipped, foldable quadcopters

Posted by in categories: drones, mapping, robotics/AI, surveillance

The U.S. Army has awarded a $20 million a year contract to a California-based drone manufacturer, named Skydio, as part of its efforts to move away from foreign-made and commercially available off-the-shelf drones. Skydio revealed in a press release that it would supply its X2D drones for the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SSR) Program.

With an aim to equip its soldiers with rapidly deployable aerial solutions that can conduct reconnaissance and surveillance activities over short ranges, the Army’s SSR program has been considering small drones for some time now. More than 30 vendors submitted their proposals to the Army, and five finalists were shortlisted for rigorous testing.

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Feb 1, 2022

Former Valve economist calls Facebook’s metaverse ‘a Steam-like digital economy’ with Zuckerberg as its ‘techno-lord’

Posted by in categories: blockchains, economics, finance, surveillance

Yanis Varoufakis also discussed “pay-to-earn” and the blockchain’s long-term consequences.


Former Greek Finance Minister and one-time in-house economist at Valve, Yanis Varoufakis, gave a long and freewheeling interview to the website, the Crypto Syllabus, focusing on the blockchain, its potential and disappointments, and where it sits in the larger context of politics, surveillance, and economics.

Of particular note to PC Gamer readers is his description of his time with Valve. Varoufakis had access to Valve’s data on Steam’s nascent player-to-player marketplace in the early 2010s, which he used to advise the company and his own economics research. Describing Valve’s initial pitch to him, Varoufakis said:

Continue reading “Former Valve economist calls Facebook’s metaverse ‘a Steam-like digital economy’ with Zuckerberg as its ‘techno-lord’” »

Jan 20, 2022

Why Timnit Gebru Isn’t Waiting for Big Tech to Fix AI’s Problems

Posted by in categories: education, health, policy, robotics/AI, surveillance

For the past decade, AI has been quietly seeping into daily life, from facial recognition to digital assistants like Siri or Alexa. These largely unregulated uses of AI are highly lucrative for those who control them but are already causing real-world harms to those who are subjected to them: false arrests; health care discrimination; and a rise in pervasive surveillance that, in the case of policing, can disproportionately affect Black people and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.

Gebru is a leading figure in a constellation of scholars, activists, regulators, and technologists collaborating to reshape ideas about what AI is and what it should be. Some of her fellow travelers remain in Big Tech, mobilizing those insights to push companies toward AI that is more ethical. Others, making policy on both sides of the Atlantic, are preparing new rules to set clearer limits on the companies benefiting most from automated abuses of power. Gebru herself is seeking to push the AI world beyond the binary of asking whether systems are biased and to instead focus on power: who’s building AI, who benefits from it, and who gets to decide what its future looks like.

Full Story:

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Jan 18, 2022

Hacking backdoor? Security flaws in China’s mandatory Olympics app | DW News

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, health, mobile phones, surveillance

Athletes headed to the Beijing Olympic Winter Games are making final travel preparations, including keeping in line with China’s health measures on the “My 2022″ smartphone app. However, inadequate encryption measures within the app can leave Olympians, journalists and sports officials vulnerable to hackers, privacy breaches, and surveillance, according to a cybersecurity report by the Citizen Lab obtained exclusively by DW. Additionally, the IT forensic specialists found that the app includes a censorship keyword list. The findings come as international concern over digital safety at the Games mounts. Germany, Australia, UK and US have urged their athletes and National Olympic Committees to leave their personal phones and laptops behind and to travel with special devices over fears of digital espionage. The Dutch Olympic Committee outright banned its athletes from bringing personal phones and laptops due to surveillance concerns.

In the Olympic Playbook for athletes and team officials, the International Olympic Committee states that the “My 2022″ app is “in accordance with international standards and Chinese law.” But based on its findings, Citizen Lab concludes that the insecure transmission of personal information “may constitute a direct violation of China’s privacy laws.” This is because China’s data protection laws require that a person’s health and medical records held digitally be transmitted and stored in an encrypted manner. Citizen Lab’s findings also raise questions concerning two Western tech giants that carry the “My 2022″ app: Apple and Google. “Both Apple’s and Google’s policies forbid apps to transmit sensitive data without proper encryption, so Apple and Google will need to determine whether the app’s unresolved vulnerabilities warrant delisting,” Citizen Lab’s Knockel told DW. The Beijing Organizing Committee has stood by its app, however, saying it “passed the examination” of international mobile application markets such as Google, Apple and Samsung.“We have taken measures such as personal information encryption in the app to ensure privacy security,” the committee said Monday to Xinhua News Agency.

Continue reading “Hacking backdoor? Security flaws in China’s mandatory Olympics app | DW News” »

Jan 11, 2022

AI’s 6 Worst-Case Scenarios

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI, surveillance

However, as Malcolm Murdock, machine-learning engineer and author of the 2019 novel The Quantum Price, puts it, “AI doesn’t have to be sentient to kill us all. There are plenty of other scenarios that will wipe us out before sentient AI becomes a problem.”

“We are entering dangerous and uncharted territory with the rise of surveillance and tracking through data, and we have almost no understanding of the potential implications.” —Andrew Lohn, Georgetown University.

In interviews with AI experts, IEEE Spectrum has uncovered six real-world AI worst-case scenarios that are far more mundane than those depicted in the movies. But they’re no less dystopian. And most don’t require a malevolent dictator to bring them to full fruition. Rather, they could simply happen by default, unfolding organically—that is, if nothing is done to stop them. To prevent these worst-case scenarios, we must abandon our pop-culture notions of AI and get serious about its unintended consequences.

Jan 9, 2022

A New Tilt-Rotor VTOL Drone Transitions to Fixed-Wing Flight With Zero Input

Posted by in categories: climatology, drones, robotics/AI, surveillance

Recharging Drones in only 45 minutes.

Recently, Autel Robotics released a new drone charging platform that allows drones to take on multiple recursive missions independent of weather across a wide variety of industrial applications, including industrial energy inspection, natural disaster monitoring, and more.

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Jan 7, 2022

Rockefeller saliva test for COVID-19 outperforms commercial swab tests

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, surveillance

In the early days of the pandemic, with commercial COVID tests in short supply, Rockefeller’s Robert B. Darnell developed an in-house assay to identify positive cases within the Rockefeller community. It turned out to be easier and safer to administer than the tests available at the time, and it has been used tens of thousands of times over the past nine months to identify and isolate infected individuals working on the university’s campus.

Now, a new study in PLoS confirms that Darnell’s test performs as well, if not better, than FDA-authorized nasal and oral swab tests. In a direct head-to-head comparison of 162 individuals who received both Rockefeller’s “DRUL” saliva test and a conventional swab test, DRUL caught all of the cases that the swabs identified as positive—plus four positive cases that the swabs missed entirely.

“This research confirms that the test we developed is sensitive and safe,” says Darnell, the Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn professor and head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology. “It is inexpensive, has provided excellent surveillance within the Rockefeller community, and has the potential to improve safety in communities as the pandemic drags on.”

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