“Keep your nose to the ground and your eyes to the sky.”
“Keep your nose to the ground and your eyes to the sky.”
The chance of modern day Robocops being called in to help with American crimes is seeming more likely, with US police forces being told they can request battlefield robots produced by the Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) over the last decade.
Defence Agency delegates told a conference in Washington last week that any police or homeland security department with a counter-terrorism or anti-drug mission may be eligible to get its very own robot.
Dan Arnold, a regional manager of the agency’s Disposition Office, says that ‘hundreds’ of war-hardened robots will be donated to police departments.
The likeliest robotic police recruits are ground robots, used for tactical surveillance or for explosives-handling.
The robots most likely to be used are those such as the Throwbot, a small robot which can be thrown by troops around corners to expand their fields of vision.
Robots such as the PackBot and Talon machines, which have become central to bomb disposal in Afghanistan and other war zones, may also come into use by security departments.
Miami-Dade police are already piloting a spy robot for the skies, developed by the Pentagon
The Defence Logistics Agency says it is not sure yet which robots it will be donating to which forces, because it will depend, in part, on a surplus of particular robots in military depots.
‘At this time, DLA Disposition Services does not know which robots in particular will be deemed excess as that decision is being made by the Army,’ said Lieutenant colonel Melinda Morgan, a Defence Department spokeswoman.
‘The item manager for these robots, located at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, will determine which models can be declared excess based on operational requirements and sufficient numbers of newer models presently in stock,’ she says.
Octavia is a firefighting robot which has recently been revealed by the US Navy
Miami-Dade police already fly a 14-pound (6.3 kg) spy robot developed for the Pentagon.
The pilotless aircraft is small enough to fit in a backpack and can be launched at a moment’s notice, making it a key tool in tight situations.
Developed by aircraft manufacturers Honeywell, the drone is a solution to deal with siege incidents when hostage-takers barricade themselves in a building.
The U.S. Navy’s Naval Research Laboratory has recently been testing Octavia, a fire fighting robot designed to work alongside a human team.
The Navy says the robot is built for ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ damage control, but still needs ‘some fine tuning’.
“For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders – every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle and video from every street corner.” – Brookings Institution report.
Since I began writing this column, our government has been ceaselessly intent on controlling the Internet.
In describing the White House’s “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World” report, which among other things proposes a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” and calls on Congress to pass new legislation to regulate online businesses, Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, and Larry Downes, TechFreedom senior adjunct fellow said, “This report begins and ends as constitutional sleight-of-hand.”
He continues, “President Obama starts by reminding us of the Fourth Amendment’s essential protection against ‘unlawful intrusion into our homes and our personal papers’ by government. But the report recommends no reform whatsoever for outdated laws that have facilitated a dangerous expansion of electronic surveillance. That is the true threat to our privacy. The report dismisses it in a footnote. Instead, the report calls for extensive new regulation of Internet businesses to address little more than the growing pains of a vibrant emerging economy.”
Conservative Action Alerts lists attempts made by our government to seize control “for our own good”, of course:
The U.N. wants to sink its talons into the Internet, a means of communication even in the most remote parts of the world.
According to a report by Robert McDowell, the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, which includes Russia, China and their allies within the 193 member states, intend to renegotiate a 1988 treaty that will expand its reach into previously unregulated areas of the Internet.
“Reading even a partial list of proposals that could be codified into international law next December at a conference in Dubai is chilling,” he wrote. “If successful, these new regulatory proposals would upend the Internet’s flourishing regime, which has been in place since 1988. That year, delegates from 114 countries gathered in Australia to agree to a treaty that set the stage for dramatic liberalization of international telecommunications. This insulated the Internet from economic and technical regulation and quickly became the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.”
McDowell gives us the history of the Internet, explaining how the ITU’s grasp would alter its future as a free-flowing medium of communication.
“In 1995, shortly after it was privatized, only 16 million people used the Internet worldwide,” he writes. “By 2011, more than two billion were online – and that number is growing by as much as half a million every day. This explosive growth is the direct result of governments generally keeping their hands off the Internet sphere.”
Read the whole thing, and for what it is worth, do your part to protect our Internet freedom of speech. Please tell your member of Congress to fight hard against this U.N. encroachment upon an unfettered Internet. Better yet, drop by his or her district office and make it personal.
News has its limitations
Though I wouldn’t recommend doing it, the The Washington Post will limit the news you read to suit your preferences. The paper is experimenting with Personal Post, available at personal.washingtonpost.com, where you’ll see a river of content that you can customize.
Question: Though a lot of what we read in the news is extraneous content, why would you wall yourself off from ALL the news of the day?
Print is dead
Charging readers for news content is not the business model that will succeed for print media, according to one expert who says print is dead.
“Across the publishing industry, year-over-year declines in revenue, subscriptions and circulation are well documented,” he writes. “Print periodicals are going to go away, forced out of this world by the march of technology and changing tastes and replaced by new powerhouse brands – TMZ, Buzzfeed and HuffPo to name a few – which are poised to own the future, because they know how to adapt to (and even anticipate!) evolving user behavior.”
USA Today thinks otherwise. They’re betting $100M to stanch the blood flow of red ink. Odds are the patient will die.
Meanwhile, online media is making billions.
The social networking giant Facebook is predicted to lose its lead to Google in online U.S. display advertising revenue next year. Google is expected to capture 20 percent of the market in 2013 with $3.68 billion in sales. Facebook is projected to grab nearly 18 percent, or $3.29 billion.
When is a Facebook user posting a cry for help?
How do you know when a Facebook posting is a last-resort cry for help? When someone is telling “friends” they are at the end of their rope? What’s the difference between a “drama-du-jour” and a legitimate concern? This article points out the signs and how they should be handled. A must-read for parents.
Predicting job performance with a look at Facebook
What can a prospective employer learn from your Facebook page? Plenty, according to the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. A series of two studies conducted by researchers at Northern Illinois University, the University of Evansville and Auburn University revealed that your Facebook entries reveal if you are conscientious, extroverted, emotionally well-balanced, adventurous, open to new ideas, argumentative, in short, where you are in terms of the big five personality traits an employer is looking for in a prospective employee.
Article Source Link: http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/big-brothers-race-to-control-internet/
|An intestinal cell monolayer after exposure to nanoparticles, shown in green.|
Billions of engineered nanoparticles in foods and pharmaceuticals are ingested by humans daily, and new Cornell research warns they may be more harmful to health than previously thought.
Ithaca, NY | Posted on February 16th, 2012
A research collaboration led by Michael Shuler, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Chemical Engineering and the James and Marsha McCormick Chair of Biomedical Engineering, studied how large doses of polystyrene nanoparticles — a common, FDA-approved material found in substances from food additives to vitamins — affected how well chickens absorbed iron, an essential nutrient, into their cells.
The results were reported online Feb. 12 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
According to the study, high-intensity, short-term exposure to the particles initially blocked iron absorption, whereas longer-term exposure caused intestinal cell structures to change, allowing for a compensating uptick in iron absorption.
The researchers tested both acute and chronic nanoparticle exposure using human gut cells in petri dishes as well as live chickens and reported matching results. They chose chickens because these animals absorb iron into their bodies similarly to humans, and they are also similarly sensitive to micronutrient deficiencies, explained Gretchen Mahler, Ph.D. ’08, the paper’s first author and former Cornell graduate student and postdoctoral associate.
The researchers used commercially available, 50-nanometer polystyrene carboxylated particles that are generally considered safe for human consumption. They found that following acute exposure, a few minutes to a few hours after consumption, both the absorption of iron in the in vitro cells and the chickens decreased.
But following exposure of 2 milligrams per kilogram for two weeks — a slower, more chronic intake — the structure of the intestinal villi began to change and increase in surface area. This was an effective physiological remodeling that led to increased iron absorption.
“This was a physiological response that was unexpected,” Mahler said.
Shuler noted that in some sense this intestinal villi remodeling was positive because it shows the body adapts to challenges. But it serves to underscore how such particles, which have been widely studied and considered safe, cause barely detectable changes that could lead to, for example, over-absorption of other, harmful compounds.
Human exposure to nanoparticles is only increasing, Shuler continued.
“Nanoparticles are entering our environment in many different ways,” Shuler said. “We have some assurance that at a gross level they are not harmful, but there may be more subtle effects that we need to worry about.”
The paper included Cornell co-authors Mandy Esch, a research associate in biomedical engineering; Elad Tako, a research associate at the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health; Teresa Southard, assistant professor of biomedical sciences; Shivaun Archer, senior lecturer in biomedical engineering; and Raymond Glahn, senior scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and courtesy associate professor in the Department of Food Science. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation; New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research; Army Corp of Engineers; and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Article Source Link: http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=44525
The FBI today said that its proposed plans to monitor social media sites as part of a broader strategy to improve real-time situation awareness will be fully vetted by the agency’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit.
The unit will review the legal implications of the monitoring application and ensure that it meets all privacy and civil rights obligations before it is implemented, the agency said in a statement emailed to Computerworld “Although the FBI has always adapted to meet changes in technology, the rule of law, civil liberties, and civil rights, will remain our guiding principles,” the agency said.
The FBI was responding to questions about its plans to use technology to quickly gather and analyze data posted on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and on blogs using simple keyword searches and phrases.
In a Request For Information (RFI) last month, the FBI said that data posted on such sites would let it more quickly detect specific and credible threats, locate those organizing and taking part in dangerous gatherings and predict upcoming events.
It noted that social media networks have been trumping police, firefighters and news media when it comes to communicating news of developing incidents and protests. “Social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting,” the RFI noted.
Similar monitoring by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has already stoked considerable privacy concerns. Groups such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have called for more transparency and oversight of such monitoring activities.
EPIC last month warned that some of DHS’ monitoring activities appeared to have little to do with public safety; it has expressed similar concerns over the FBI’s plans.
Such concerns have prompted the House Committee on Homeland Security to schedule a hearing Thursday to examine the privacy implications of DHS’ social media monitoring activities.
In its statement, the FBI said that information gathered from social media networks will support the activities of its Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC). “In accordance with its core mission, SIOC has a responsibility to enhance its techniques for collecting and disseminating real-time publicly available open source information to improve the FBI’s overall situational awareness and support of mission requirements,” the FBI said.
Social media monitoring will help the agency stay on top of breaking events, crisis activity or natural disasters that have already occurred or are still in progress, the FBI said. The effort will not focus on specific persons or protected groups, but on words that relate to specific events, crisis scenarios and criminal or terrorist activities.
Examples of the words that the FBI will use in its social media searches will include ‘lockdown,’ ‘bomb,’ ‘suspicious package,’ ‘white powder,’ ‘active shoot’ and ‘school lock down.’
The federal government already uses publicly available open source information to identify immediate or emerging threats to national security. “The type of social media application being researched by the FBI, to view publicly available information, is no different than applications used by other government agencies.”
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar’s RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com .
January 27, 2012
FEMA CAMPS EXPOSED: Alex Jones presents newly exposed footage filmed at LAX airport in Los Angeles confirming a ‘rendition hub’ capable of processing thousands of people per hour from straight off the tarmac and other transportation points.
Further, Alex dredges up video clips of other facilities used in the past for mass containment of dissenters- from Pier 57 in New York City used to detain those rounded-up during mass arrests at the 2004 Republican National Convention to the former Mueller Airport facility in Austin which news clips exposed had been converted to hold mass arrestees to the Sand Point Naval Station in Seattle used for 1999 WTO protesters.
This is, of course, only the tip of the iceberg, yet demonstrates the growing apparatus aimed at American dissenters in the Homeland.
Article Source Link: http://www.infowars.com/breaking-lax-fema-rendition-site-confirmed/
(Martial Law, the round up uf undesirables; Christians, Patriots, gun owners, Constitutionalists, anti-government supporters, FEMA camps, Trains with shackles in them, Guillotines, is all coming down the pipe-line.
What happened to the Jews in Nazi-Germany was just a precursor to the world holocaust that is imminent.
Which list are you on? The Red List or the Blue List?)