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Archive for the ‘internet’ category

Aug 8, 2020

Omniviolence Is Coming and the World Isn’t Ready

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, cybercrime/malcode, drones, internet, law enforcement, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

The terrorist or psychopath of the future, however, will have not just the Internet or drones—called “slaughterbots” in this video from the Future of Life Institute—but also synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and advanced AI systems at their disposal. These tools make wreaking havoc across international borders trivial, which raises the question: Will emerging technologies make the state system obsolete? It’s hard to see why not. What justifies the existence of the state, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued, is a “social contract.” People give up certain freedoms in exchange for state-provided security, whereby the state acts as a neutral “referee” that can intervene when people get into disputes, punish people who steal and murder, and enforce contracts signed by parties with competing interests.

The trouble is that if anyone anywhere can attack anyone anywhere else, then states will become—and are becoming—unable to satisfy their primary duty as referee.

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Aug 7, 2020

Millions of Americans Have Lost Jobs in the Pandemic — And Robots and AI Are Replacing Them Faster Than Ever

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, employment, government, health, internet, robotics/AI

Many organizations will likely look to technology as they face budget cuts and need to reduce staff. “I don’t see us going back to the staffing levels we were at prior to COVID,” says Brian Pokorny, the director of information technologies for Otsego County in New York State, who has cut 10% of his staff because of pandemic-related budget issues. “So we need to look at things like AI to streamline government services and make us more efficient.”


For 23 years, Larry Collins worked in a booth on the Carquinez Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area, collecting tolls. The fare changed over time, from a few bucks to $6, but the basics of the job stayed the same: Collins would make change, answer questions, give directions and greet commuters. “Sometimes, you’re the first person that people see in the morning,” says Collins, “and that human interaction can spark a lot of conversation.”

But one day in mid-March, as confirmed cases of the coronavirus were skyrocketing, Collins’ supervisor called and told him not to come into work the next day. The tollbooths were closing to protect the health of drivers and of toll collectors. Going forward, drivers would pay bridge tolls automatically via FasTrak tags mounted on their windshields or would receive bills sent to the address linked to their license plate. Collins’ job was disappearing, as were the jobs of around 185 other toll collectors at bridges in Northern California, all to be replaced by technology.

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Aug 6, 2020

Live coverage: SpaceX plans overnight launch from Kennedy Space Center

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will launch SpaceX’s tenth batch of Starlink broadband satellites. Text updates will appear automatically below. Follow us on Twitter.

Spaceflight Now members can watch a live view of the pad. Join now.

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Aug 5, 2020

Department of Energy unveils blueprint for quantum internet in event at University of Chicago

Posted by in categories: internet, law, quantum physics

Nationwide effort to build quantum networks and usher in new era of communications.

In a news conference today at the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy unveiled a report that lays out a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum internet, bringing the United States to the forefront of the global quantum race and ushering in a new era of communications. This report provides a pathway to ensure the development of the National Quantum Initiative Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in December 2018.

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Aug 5, 2020

Space technology is improving our lives and making the world a better place. Here’s how

Posted by in categories: climatology, habitats, internet, satellites, sustainability

“We need to go to space to help us here on Earth. Satellites have played an enormous role in improving the state of the world, and will do even more”.


I’m often asked: ‘Why are you building satellites for space when there are so many problems to fix here on Earth?’ It’s a perfectly rational question. The short answer is that we need to go to space to help us here on Earth. Satellites have played an enormous role in improving the state of the world, and will do even more as an explosion of technology innovation enables large new fleets of small satellites to be deployed with radical new capabilities.

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Aug 4, 2020

Neanderthal DNA contributes to genetic diversity, bringing more understanding to human evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, internet

The advent of DNA sequencing has given scientists a clearer insight into the interconnectedness of evolution and the web-like path that different organisms take, splitting apart and coming back together. Tony Capra, associate professor of biological sciences, has come to new conclusions about the influence of Neanderthal DNA on some genetic traits of modern humans.

The article “Neanderthal introgression reintroduced functional ancestral alleles lost in Eurasian populations” was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on July 27.

The ancestors of all modern humans lived across the African continent, until approximately 100,000 years ago when a subset of humans decided to venture further afield. Neanderthals, an extinct relative of modern humans, had been longtime residents of Europe and central and south Asia; their ancestors had already migrated there 700,000 years previously. The humans who moved into central Asia and the Middle East encountered and reproduced with Neanderthals. Neanderthal DNA is present in some modern humans, and now research shows that can sometimes be a good thing.

Aug 3, 2020

SpaceX now plans for 5 million Starlink customers in US, up from 1 million

Posted by in category: internet

SpaceX asks FCC for license expansion after 700,000 people register interest.

Aug 2, 2020

U.S. Department of Energy Unveils Blueprint for Quantum Internet

Posted by in categories: engineering, internet, law, quantum physics

In a press conference at the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled a report that lays out a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum internet, bringing the United States to the forefront of the global quantum race and ushering in a new era of communications. This report provides a pathway to ensure the development of the National Quantum Initiative Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in December 2018.

Around the world, consensus is building that a system to communicate using quantum mechanics represents one of the most important technological frontiers of the 21st century. Scientists now believe that the construction of a prototype will be within reach over the next decade.

In February of this year, DOE National Laboratories, universities and industry met in New York City to develop the blueprint strategy of a national quantum internet, laying out the essential research to be accomplished, describing the engineering and design barriers and setting near-term goals.

Aug 2, 2020

Alexagate Will Stop Your Amazon Echo From Eavesdropping On You

Posted by in category: internet

Companies like Google and Facebook don’t have to charge you for their product, because you are the product they’re selling—or at least your data is. One individual’s internet habits, shopping tendencies, and interests aren’t that valuable, but when Google owns that data for the majority of internet users the value is enormous. Like Google and Facebook, Amazon understands how profitable data can be and their Alexa service on Echo devices is one avenue to gather it. MSCHF’s Alexagate is a device you can attach to your Amazon Echo to prevent it from listening to your conversations until you’re ready.

Amazon, like Google and Apple, denies that they use Alexa to spy on customers’ conversations. But there is quite a lot of evidence to the contrary. Even in the unlikely event that they’re telling the truth, Amazon is absolutely tracking your Alexa usage data. The Alexagate device physically prevents an Echo device from hearing anything you’re saying until you deactivate the audio blocking capability in order to intentionally issue a command. This is very similar to Bjørn Karmann’s Project Alias device that we covered a couple of years ago. Project Alias was just a concept prototype, but Alexagate is a real product that you can order right now.

Alexagate is an attractive yellow device that sits on top of your Amazon Echo (first generation through third generation). When you don’t want Amazon listening to you through the Alexa service, the device emits ultrasound pulses through transducers directed towards the Echo’s microphone. Those can’t be heard by the human ear, but they are picked up by the Echo and drown out whatever conversation is happening in the area. When you do want Alexa to listen to you, you just clap three times or tap Alexagate three times to temporarily deactivate the ultrasound transducers. The limited edition Alexagate device costs $99 — possibly more than you spent on the Echo itself, but that’s a small price to pay if you value both your privacy and the convenience that Alexa offers.

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Aug 2, 2020

Confidential Computing Will Revolutionize The Internet Of Things

Posted by in categories: computing, internet

Confidential computing is the solution that allows both people and entities to keep data confidential and still put it to use.

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