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Archive for the ‘government’ category

Nov 7, 2020

Under Attack From Iran, Indian Rafale Jets Prefer Mid-Air Refueling Over Stop Over At Al Dhafra Airbase In The UAE

Posted by in categories: government, military

India has decided to fly the three Rafale fighter jets from France directly to India, which are scheduled to arrive on November 4, according to Indian government sources. The Indian Air Force will now have eight of the 36 Rafale jets in operation.

Nov 7, 2020

It is time to return to the Moon, open Free Space and go to Mars

Posted by in categories: government, military, space

This revolution has already started, with wealthy citizens building their own space programs and entrepreneurs building spacecraft on relatively tiny budgets.


This time it must be about people, not governments. Rather than a centrally controlled quasi-military government race to space by two superpowers, we must enable the people themselves to go where they want to go, to do there what they want. If governments decide to return to the Moon — as seems to be the case — it must be to build villages, not bases, and to do it as rapidly as possible, as it needs to be an immediate challenge, not a distant dream. And if some want to go to Mars or mine asteroids, they need to be seen as part of a new frontier community. Thus, with both public and private players doing what they do best where they want to do it, we can make it happen far faster than many might believe.

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Nov 6, 2020

Will Quantum Computing Supercharge Artificial Intelligence?

Posted by in categories: government, mobile phones, quantum physics, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Another argument for government to bring AI into its quantum computing program is the fact that the United States is a world leader in the development of computer intelligence. Congress is close to passing the AI in Government Act, which would encourage all federal agencies to identify areas where artificial intelligences could be deployed. And government partners like Google are making some amazing strides in AI, even creating a computer intelligence that can easily pass a Turing test over the phone by seeming like a normal human, no matter who it’s talking with. It would probably be relatively easy for Google to merge some of its AI development with its quantum efforts.

The other aspect that makes merging quantum computing with AI so interesting is that the AI could probably help to reduce some of the so-called noise of the quantum results. I’ve always said that the way forward for quantum computing right now is by pairing a quantum machine with a traditional supercomputer. The quantum computer could return results like it always does, with the correct outcome muddled in with a lot of wrong answers, and then humans would program a traditional supercomputer to help eliminate the erroneous results. The problem with that approach is that it’s fairly labor intensive, and you still have the bottleneck of having to run results through a normal computing infrastructure. It would be a lot faster than giving the entire problem to the supercomputer because you are only fact-checking a limited number of results paired down by the quantum machine, but it would still have to work on each of them one at a time.

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Nov 4, 2020

Dragon’s cyber hacking operations: State sponsored game-plan

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, economics, government, military

In the last few years, countless cyber-attacks were reported globally that were linked to the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese cyber-hackers, who target the foreign networks and websites are sponsored by the Chinese government. They are highly trained and have acquired abilities not only to exploit common vulnerabilities but also to discover and even create new vulnerabilities.

The US National Security Agency’s in-depth report of 23rd October points out that one of the greatest threats to the US National Security Systems, Defence Industrial Base and Department of Defence information networks is the “Chinese state sponsored malicious cyber activity”. The report underlines that the Chinese hackers exploit “computer networks of interest that hold sensitive intellectual property, economic, political, and military information.”

In July 2020, US had ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Huston, when it discovered that the Chinese officials there were involved in the intellectual property theft and indicted two Chinese nationals for allegedly hacking hundreds of companies and crucially had attempted to steal coronavirus vaccine research. The United States Department of Justice has charged five Chinese national for their involvement in hacking targets not only in the US governments but also the networks of the Indian and Vietnam government. They also carried out attacks on the UK government network unsuccessfully.

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Oct 31, 2020

Fresh Solution for Smelly Feet From Breakthrough Nano-Particle Technology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, military, nanotechnology

New research[1] presented at the 29th EADV Congress, EADV Virtual, shows that socks coated in zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) can prevent bromodosis (foot odor) and pitted keratolysis (bacterial infection causing smelly feet), reducing the negative impact this embarrassing condition has on quality of life.[2]

Developed by the Royal Thai Airforce, the ZnO-NP-coated socks were trialed in a real-life setting by researchers at Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University in Thailand. They found that the antibacterial efficacy of ZnO-NPs, along with its safety and compatibility with human skin, makes it the perfect compound to incorporate into textiles, including socks, to prevent unpleasant foot odor.

The double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial was conducted with 148 cadets at the Thai Naval Rating School. Bromodosis and pitted keratolysis are a common complaint in military personnel, with foot lesions, including pitted keratosis, occurring in over a third of naval cadets in Thailand (38.5%).[2]

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Oct 30, 2020

U.S. Sells Seized Iranian Oil

Posted by in categories: energy, government, terrorism

The United States has sold crude oil seized from four Iranian tankers earlier this year for some $40 million the AFP reports, citing a U.S. government official.

“We estimate that in excess of $40 million will be recouped by the United States related to the sale of petroleum from those four vessels,” Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said. Sherwin added that “a great portion” of the money will be donated to a fund for the victims of “state-sponsored terrorism”.

In the middle of August, the U.S. Administration said it had seized the fuel cargo of several vessels, alleging that the fuel came from Iran and was going to Venezuela. The confiscation followed a lawsuit filed by U.S. prosecutors to seize the cargo carried by the four vessels for violating U.S. sanctions against Venezuela.

Oct 30, 2020

The Technology 202: The Google lawsuit launches a new phase of tech regulation in Washington

Posted by in categories: government, law

Scrutiny of the tech industry has ballooned in the nation’s capital in recent years, but until now federal regulators have passed little meaningful legislation or other penalties targeting the companies for perceived transgressions. Consumer advocates and legal experts say the DOJ broadside is an early sign that could be changing.


It could put more pressure on Congress to pass legislation addressing the tech industry.

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Oct 28, 2020

Elon Musk’s SpaceX says it will ‘make its own laws on Mars’

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, law, space travel

“For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonisation spacecraft, the parties recognise Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities,” the governing law section states.

“Accordingly, disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement.”

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Oct 27, 2020

Armenian email campaign asks SpaceX not to aid Turkish regime with satellite launch

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, satellites

SpaceX staff and members of the media have been inundated this morning with emails ostensibly from concerned Armenians around the world, asking the company to cancel a launch contract with the Turkish government. The concerns are valid — and the mass-email method surprisingly effective.

In the form email, received by TechCrunch staff hundreds of times in duplicate and with minor variations, the senders explain that they represent or stand in solidarity with Armenians worldwide, an ethnic and national group that has suffered under the authoritarian rule and regional influence of Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan.

SpaceX is slated to launch the Turkish satellite Turksat-5A in the next month or two, a geostationary communications satellite built by Airbus that will serve a large area of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The deal has been on the books for a long time, and SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk even traveled to Turkey to meet with Erdogan regarding the satellite in 2017.

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Oct 27, 2020

The Deck Is Not Rigged: Poker and the Limits of AI

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, government, health, information science, mathematics, military, robotics/AI

Tuomas Sandholm, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, is not a poker player—or much of a poker fan, in fact—but he is fascinated by the game for much the same reason as the great game theorist John von Neumann before him. Von Neumann, who died in 1957, viewed poker as the perfect model for human decision making, for finding the balance between skill and chance that accompanies our every choice. He saw poker as the ultimate strategic challenge, combining as it does not just the mathematical elements of a game like chess but the uniquely human, psychological angles that are more difficult to model precisely—a view shared years later by Sandholm in his research with artificial intelligence.

“Poker is the main benchmark and challenge program for games of imperfect information,” Sandholm told me on a warm spring afternoon in 2018, when we met in his offices in Pittsburgh. The game, it turns out, has become the gold standard for developing artificial intelligence.

Tall and thin, with wire-frame glasses and neat brow hair framing a friendly face, Sandholm is behind the creation of three computer programs designed to test their mettle against human poker players: Claudico, Libratus, and most recently, Pluribus. (When we met, Libratus was still a toddler and Pluribus didn’t yet exist.) The goal isn’t to solve poker, as such, but to create algorithms whose decision making prowess in poker’s world of imperfect information and stochastic situations—situations that are randomly determined and unable to be predicted—can then be applied to other stochastic realms, like the military, business, government, cybersecurity, even health care.

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