Saturday, April 01, 2017

1 April - Cryptogon
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Autonomous Nissan Leaf
Via: Fully Charged:
Connecticut Considering Use of Drones Outfitted with Deadly Weapons for Police
Via: AP: Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons, a proposal immediately met with concern by civil rights and liberties advocates. The bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, but exempt police. Details on how law enforcement […]
‘We Are the Biological Boot-Loader for Digital Super-Intelligence’
While centered around Elon Musk, this piece also takes a broader look at where AI is headed, and some of the personalities involved. Everyone has heard of AI, but superintelligence is where the crazy comes out. If you don’t know what superintelligence is, and you like stuff that straddles the line between sci-fi and fantasy, […]

Mar 30

SpaceX Successfully Launches, Lands Recycled Falcon 9 Rocket
Via: NBC: SpaceX successfully launched and landed a recycled rocket on Thursday, a first for Elon Musk’s company and a move that could help slash the cost of cargo transport into space. It was a one-two punch that went according to plan. After lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and carrying an SES-10 […]

Mar 29

‘Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Can Turn Into a PC with Its DeX Dock’
*sigh* Via: The Verge: Samsung, like Motorola and Microsoft before it, is trying to turn a phone into a PC. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will pair with a new Samsung Desktop Experience (DeX) dock accessory to morph into a desktop PC-like environment. The specialized dock, that looks like a candle holder, supports a monitor connection via […]
Britain Begins Historic Exit of European Union
Via: CNBC: Wednesday marked a historic day as British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty had been signed, commencing the formal process for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. Britain is the first country in the EU in more than 60 years to seek a divorce from the […]
The 265 Members of Congress Who Sold You Out to ISPs, and How Much It Cost to Buy Them
Hint: Not much. Via: The Verge: Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at […]
Daimler Moving Electric Car Plans Forward by Three Years
Via: Reuters: Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler (DAIGn.DE) is accelerating its electric car program, it said on Wednesday after announcing that it had failed to cut fleet emissions in Europe for the first time since 2007. Daimler put its emissions numbers down to customers increasing preference for sports utility vehicles (SUVs), which tend to be more polluting […]
Domino’s Will Begin Using Robots to Deliver Pizzas in Europe
Via: Bloomberg: Starship Technologies, the London-based company that has created six-wheeled self-driving delivery robots, will begin taking customers Domino’s pizzas in Germany and the Netherlands. Starship, launched in July 2014 by two former Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, will whisk pizzas to customers’ doors if they live within a one-mile radius of certain […]

Mar 27

Populism Is the Result of Global Economic Failure
Via: Guardian: The rise of populism has rattled the global political establishment. Brexit came as a shock, as did the victory of Donald Trump. Much head-scratching has resulted as leaders seek to work out why large chunks of their electorates are so cross. The answer seems pretty simple. Populism is the result of economic failure. […]
The Privacyless, Freedomless Smart City of 2030 the Elite Are Engineering
Via: Truthstream Media: Research Credit: rb

Mar 26

Hundreds Arrested in Russia
Via: Time: Russia’s opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with scores of protest rallies spanning the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic. It was […]
Uber to Suspend Autonomous Tests After Arizona Accident
Via: Bloomberg: Uber Technologies Inc. is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises. In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber’s Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to […]

Mar 24

‘Wright Brothers Moment for Space’
Via: Bloomberg: If the rocket Elon Musk’s SpaceX expects to launch next week looks familiar, that’s because it is. The Falcon 9 rocket slated to take off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, has flown before, marking the first time Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will refly one of the 14-story-tall boosters it recovered […]

Mar 23

March 7 4Chan Prediction: David Brock’s Death by Heart Attack
Brock is still alive, but… Hmm: Media Matters founder David Brock has suffered a heart attack but is expected to make a “swift recovery,” a senior aide said Wednesday. “David Brock suffered a heart attack while working in the Washington DC office early Tuesday,” Bradley Beychok, Brock’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “He […]
Apple Investigating Accessory that Turns iPhone, iPad Into Full-Fledged Touchscreen Laptop
It’s a shit sandwich all around in the general purpose computing world. It’s a very serious worry, because I see the least capable computer users (most computer users, in other words) fully embracing swipetard devices and operating systems, which are mainly intended to serve as tamper proof vending machines and surveillance platforms. —Windows 10 Is […]
Apple Says Recent Wikileaks CIA Docs Detail Old, Fixed iPhone and Mac Exploits
Great, I wonder what’s in the other 99% of the Vault 7 docs… Via: TechCrunch: We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged […]
WikiLeaks Vault 7: CIA Firmware and Other Exploits on Apple iPhones and Mac Computers
Via: WikiLeaks: Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 “Dark Matter”, which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac Computer firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain ‘persistence’ […]

Mar 22

UK Parliament Attack
Via: Daily Mail: At least two people are dead after a terror attacker brought carnage to central London today, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before attacking police with a knife in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. More than 12 people are said to have been hit by a vehicle on the bridge […]
Sears: Going Concern Warning
Via: Bloomberg: Sears Holdings Corp. suffered its worst stock decline in six weeks after acknowledging “substantial doubt” about its future, raising fresh concerns about whether a company that was once the world’s largest retailer can survive. Sears added so-called going-concern language to its latest annual report filing, suggesting that weak earnings have cast a pall […]
One-Third of Americans Would Have Trouble Coming Up with $2,000 for an Emergency
Via: MarketWatch: About a third of consumers say they would have trouble coming up with an emergency $2,000, according to a new study released Monday. The New York Fed, as part of its survey of consumer expectations, has begun releasing the answers to questions about financial fragility. The study found around 67% said they were […]

Mar 21

A Simple Command Allows the CIA to Commandeer 318 Models of Cisco Switches
Via: Ars Technica: Cisco Systems said that more than 300 models of switches it sells contain a critical vulnerability that allows the CIA to use a simple command to remotely execute malicious code that takes full control of the devices. There currently is no fix. Cisco researchers said they discovered the vulnerability as they analyzed […]
China is Fighting Toilet Paper Thieves with Facial Recognition Software
Via: The Verge: Biometric authentication is moving from phones to laptops and onward to… public bathrooms. Chinese authorities in Beijing are now combating a toilet paper stealing epidemic by locking the supplies away behind a dispenser powered by facial recognition software, according to a report from The New York Times. The unorthodox method ensures that […]
Has Lithium-Battery Genius John Goodenough Done it Again? Colleagues Are Skeptical
Via: Quartz: Researchers have struggled for decades to safely use powerful—but flammable—lithium metal in a battery. Now John Goodenough, the 94-year-old father of the lithium-ion battery, is claiming a novel solution as a blockbuster advance. If it proves out, the invention could allow electric cars to compete with conventional vehicles on sticker price. The improbable […]

Mar 20

David Rockefeller Dies at 101
Via: Bloomberg: David Rockefeller, the U.S. banker, philanthropist, presidential adviser and heir to one of history’s most fabled fortunes, has died. At 101, he was the world’s oldest billionaire. He died Monday at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, according to an emailed statement from Fraser P. Seitel, a family spokesman. The cause was […]
People Dropping Out of Reality to Spend Their Time in Video Games
I’ve seen this over on I watch a guy who streams a game I play. He’s 25. The only job he ever had was applying window tint to cars at his aunt’s business. Now, he and his brother live in a flop house in Long Beach and stream video games on Twitch at all […]
Britain: Full Time Police Drones
Via: Daily Mail: The first 24-hour police drone unit is to be launched, amid fears that forces may have to rely on them because of falling officer numbers. The ‘flying squad’ will pursue suspects, find missing people and help solve murders. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, national spokesman on drones, predicted forces across Britain would […]

Mar 18

Windows 10 Is Bringing Shitty Ads to File Explorer, Here’s How to Turn Them Off
— BEGIN POINTLESS RANT ABOUT HOPELESS SITUATION — It’s just incredible how grim Windows is getting. Linux is still terrible on the desktop, and Apple has abandoned macOS to embrace their primary role as a mobile phone company. Even people who stuck with Apple through the near collapse in the 1990s (that’s when I ditched […]
Five Pound Mini-Nukes
Via: CNBC: As for the mini-nukes, Del Monte expects they represent “the most horrific near-term nanoweapons.” Nanotechnology opens up the possibility to manufacture mini-nuke components so small that they are difficult to screen and detect. Furthermore, the weapon (capable of an explosion equivalent to about 100 tons of TNT) could be compact enough to fit […]

Mar 17

BMW Says Self-Driving Car to Be Level 5 Capable by 2021
Via: Reuters: German carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) is on track to deliver a self-driving car by 2021, the company’s senior vice president for Autonomous Driving, Elmar Frickenstein, said on Thursday. “We are on the way to deliver a car in 2021 with level 3, 4 and 5,” Frickenstein told a panel discussion in Berlin, explaining the […]
Rex Tillerson: Military Action Against North Korea Is ‘On the Table’
Via: NBC: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Friday that military action against North Korea was “on the table” if the country continued to develop its weapons program. “If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action then that option is on the table,” he told a […]
The Entrepreneur with the $100 Million Plan to Link Brains to Computers
Via: MIT Technology Review: Entrepreneur Bryan Johnson says he wanted to become very rich in order to do something great for humankind. Last year Johnson, founder of the online payments company Braintree, starting making news when he threw $100 million behind Kernel, a startup he founded to enhance human intelligence by developing brain implants capable […]
Facing Bread Shortage, Venezuela Arrests Bakers
Via: Miami Herald: Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments. In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as […]

Mar 15

High Calorie, Low Nutrient Food Apocalypse
Via: BBC: A teaspoon of oil, measured out with precision, is how Professor Tim Benton remembers his mother preparing items for frying. When he was growing up in the 1960s, vegetable oil was still a precious commodity and used sparingly. Fast-forward to today and oil is now so abundant and cheaply available that most of […]
Toy Drone Shot Down with Patriot Missile
Raytheon doesn’t mind. Meanwhile, in France: French Military Trains Eagles to Hunt Drones Via: BBC: A Patriot missile – usually priced at about $3m (£2.5m) – was used to shoot down a small quadcopter drone, according to a US general. The strike was made by a US ally, Gen David Perkins told a military symposium. […]
Seeking Adventure And Gold? Crack This Poem And Head Outdoors
This is a bit like, Ready Player One, but outdoors. Well, assuming that there is a chest of gold out there… Just buy Forrest Fenn’s books to read the clues. *wink* On a more ominous note, I hope the guy is aware of rubber hose cryptanalysis! It’s probably best to wait until you kick the […]
‘Pretty Much Tastes Like Chicken’
Via: MarketWatch: A Bay Area food-technology startup says it has successfully developed the world’s first chicken strip grown from self-reproducing cells without so much as ruffling a feather. And it pretty much tastes like chicken, according to people who were offered samples Tuesday in San Francisco, before a planned big reveal on Wednesday by Memphis […]
Man Survived Alone in the Wilderness of Maine for 27 Years by Stealing from Lakeside Cabins
How did this go on for so long? I don’t accept that Knight’s experience with alarm installation explains it. I wonder if the situation became like placing a saucer of milk outside for a stray cat? Did people like the idea of this guy living out there without a job or other commitments so much […]
How Police Departments Use Civil Forfeiture to Collect Billions
Whenever you hear about tips to the police from confidential informants or “concerned citizens,” etc. keep this in mind: U.S. Communications Intelligence Secretly Shared with Law Enforcement for Use Against Americans in Criminal Investigations. So, mass surveillance and civil forfeiture: Is there a link? “It is the height of naivete to think that once collected […]
NSA Routinely Monitors Americans’ Communications Without Warrants
Are They building electronic dossiers on as many of us as they can? I don’t know, but it sure looks that way. —Cryptogon, 2007: NSA, AT&T and the NarusInsight Intercept Suite In Open Thread: Trump Wiretap Claims, I wrote: Where is the uproar over the spook’s data center in Utah? Man, if you think that […]

Mar 14

Trump to Nominate Goldman Sachs’ Donovan as Deputy Treasury Secretary
Mmm hmm. Via: Reuters: U.S. President Donald Trump will nominate Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) Managing Director James Donovan as deputy secretary of the Treasury, the White House said on Tuesday.
Google’s DeepMind Makes AI Program that Learns Sequentially
Via: Guardian: Researchers have overcome one of the major stumbling blocks in artificial intelligence with a program that can learn one task after another using skills it acquires on the way. Developed by Google’s AI company, DeepMind, the program has taken on a range of different tasks and performed almost as well as a human. […]

Mar 13

Former Tesla Executive to Build €4bn Battery Factory to Take on Elon Musk
Disclosure: I sell solar power systems in New Zealand. — Via: Independent: NorthVolt, the Swedish company founded by a former Tesla executive, wants to cut the cost of storing power in half with a €4bn (£3.5bn) lithium-ion battery factory. The Stockholm-based company wants to raise €1bn by 2018, when it plans to break ground on […]
Intel Buying Mobileye for $15 Billion
Via: Recode: Cars coming off the assembly line in the next few years will have computing power to rival your cellphones, and they’ll get even more complex as automakers introduce more self-driving technology. That’s why Intel — known for its chips, data centers and computing capabilities — just bought self-driving tech supplier Mobileye for $15 […]

Mar 12

FBI Undercover Stings Foil Terrorist Plots — That It Creates
Via: Kansas City Star: Announcements of foiled terrorist plots make for lurid reading. Schemes to carry out a Presidents Day jihadist attack on a train station in Kansas City. Bomb a Sept. 11 memorial event. Blow up a 1,000-pound bomb at Fort Riley. Detonate a weapon of mass destruction at a Wichita airport — the […]
New GOP Bill Lets Companies Force Employees to Take Genetic Tests
Via: ExtremeTech: A new bill introduced by Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and approved by the House Ways and Means Committee would allow corporations to force employees to undergo genetic testing — and then share those results with third parties. In theory, this is already illegal, thanks to a 2008 law known as GINA. This type of […]
Thousands of Upcoming Nuclear Weapons Shipments During $1 Trillion Nuclear Arsenal Upgrade
Via: Los Angeles Times: The unmarked 18-wheelers ply the nation’s interstates and two-lane highways, logging 3 million miles a year hauling the most lethal cargo there is: nuclear bombs. The covert fleet, which shuttles warheads from missile silos, bomber bases and submarine docks to nuclear weapons labs across the country, is operated by the Office […]

Mar 11

San Francisco: Imbeciles Paying $1900 Per Month to Live in House with Dozens of Roommates
Man, if you thought the Podshare story from January was nuts, be sitting down for this one. That Podshare place looks like a 5-Star resort compared to this. Via: Reuters: Zander Dejah, 25, pays $1,900 a month rent to live in a downtown San Francisco house with at least 40 other people, many of whom […]
FBI Used Best Buy’s Geek Squad To Increase Secret Public Surveillance
Via: OC Weekly: Recently unsealed records reveal a much more extensive secret relationship than previously known between the FBI and Best Buy’s Geek Squad, including evidence the agency trained company technicians on law-enforcement operational tactics, shared lists of targeted citizens and, to covertly increase surveillance of the public, encouraged searches of computers even when unrelated […]
California: State DMV Backs Allowing Self-Driving Cars with No Human on Board
Via: San Francisco Chronicle: Self-driving cars with no human behind the wheel — or, for that matter, any steering wheel at all — may soon appear on California’s public roads, under regulations state officials proposed Friday. The rules represent a delicate balance, trying to ensure the safety of a new technology many people don’t trust […]

Mar 10

Musk on South Australia Grid Crisis: Tesla Will Install 100 MWh of Powerpacks Within 100 Days of Contract Signature or It’s Free
“That serious enough for you?” Via: Reuters: Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Friday offered to save Australia’s most renewable-energy dependent state from blackouts by installing $25 million worth of battery storage within 100 days, and offering it for free if he missed the target. The offer follows a string of power outages in the […]
‘Crime-Fighting Robots Aid Police’
Via: Star Telegram: Maybe someday it will menacingly order citizens to drop their weapons — or else, a la Robocop. But for now, the Knightscope crime-fighting robots, demonstrated for the University of Texas at Arlington Police Department and the media on Thursday, are limited to less aggressive tasks like scanning license plates for unauthorized vehicles […]

Mar 09

Aquion Energy Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Disclosure: I sell solar power systems in New Zealand. — Bummer. That’s the battery I wanted, albeit for less than half the price of what they were asking. *chortle* Maybe the chemistry will survive with whichever entity picks over the carcass… I doubt it’s a coincidence that this happened just as the Tesla Powerwall 2 […]
Hawaii: Another Large Tesla Powerpack Build
Disclosure: I sell solar power systems in New Zealand. — One of my off grid solar power customers just had her system installed yesterday. She and her husband built their small home 16 years ago and dreamed of someday having a solar power system. (It would cost about $100,000 to bring grid power to the […]
U.S. Crude Oil Slumps Below $50 After Stocks Build
Via: Reuters: Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Thursday, extending the biggest falls this year as record U.S. crude inventories kept sentiment weak, pointing to a global glut despite supply cuts. Crude oil stocks in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, surged last week to 528.4 million barrels, an all-time high […]
Meet Flippy, a Burger-Grilling Robot
Via: Tech Crunch: Flipping burgers is a hot and greasy job. Slips, trips, burns and cuts are common hazards associated with the work. But global demand for burgers is tremendous. Top burger chains racked up more than $75.5 billion in annual sales in 2016. To help keep human cooks out of harm’s way while fulfilling […]

Mar 08

Brain Activity 10 Minutes After Death?
Via: ScienceAlert: Doctors in a Canadian intensive care unit have stumbled on a very strange case – when life support was turned off for four terminal patients, one of them showed persistent brain activity even after they were declared clinically dead. For more than 10 minutes after doctors confirmed death through a range of observations, […]

Mar 07

Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed
If you have an active U.S. Government security clearance, you probably shouldn’t click on this. Via: Wikileaks: Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency. The first full […]
Who Controls Your Computer? (And How to Make Sure It’s You)
Good luck with that. My paranoia doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of this thing. Keep going, keep pushing through, and the next thing you know, you’re falling through fractals of fuckedness that endlessly reveal more fuckedness the deeper you descend. Via: François-René Rideau: At least in theory, we therefore know how to build […]
German Institute Successfully Tests Underwater Energy Storage Sphere
Viable anytime soon? No. Cool idea anyway? Yep. Via: Ars Technica: A German research institute has spent years trying to tailor pumped storage to ocean environments. Recently, the institute completed a successful four-week pilot test using a hollow concrete sphere that it placed on the bottom of Lake Constance, a body of water at the […]

Mar 06

Open Thread: Trump Wiretap Claims
I haven’t posted anything about this because I have no idea what all the fuss is about. Where is the uproar over the spook’s data center in Utah? Man, if you think that place is only used to store information gleaned from taps on foreigners, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Retroactive surveillance? Remember […]
TSA Warns Local Police About Its New Airport Pat-Downs
Via: Bloomberg: The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has declined to say exactly where—and how—employees will be touching air travelers as part of the more invasive physical pat-down procedure it recently ordered. The most important business stories of the day. But the agency does expect some passengers to consider the examination unusual. In fact, the TSA […]
Automated Mining Will Cost Jobs and Tax Income
And the remaining employees, living in “company-run mining camps” are to be monitored by the same sensor technology used to monitor the machines: Thousands of Rio Tinto personnel live in company-run mining camps, spending not just work hours but leisure and home time in space controlled by their employer – which in this emerging era […]
Canada: No Plans to Clamp Down at Border to Deter Illegal Immigrants Fleeing U.S.
I’m no rocket scientist, but if “hundreds” are willing to take the shoe leather express to Canada in February and March, what’s going to happen when the snow melts? Via: Reuters: Canada will not tighten its border to deter migrants crossing illegally from the United States in the wake of a U.S. immigration crackdown because […]
Russia: Small House 3D Printed in Place in 24 Hours
Via: Mashable: Located in Russia, this 400-square-foot home (37 square meters) was built in just a day, at a cost of just over $10,000. 3D-printing company Apis Cor built the house using a mobile printer on-site. Company Website: ApisCor

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