06 Feb 2019

Russian Navy has new weapon that makes targets hallucinate, vomit

According to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, the Russian Navy has developed, tested, and deployed a new weapon that disrupts vision and can cause hallucinations and vomiting. The weapon, already installed on two Russian warships, reportedly functions by aiming a strobe-like beam of light at a target, reducing

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04 Feb 2019

Shock Tactics: Inside the Taser, the weapon that transformed policing

The introduction of the Taser in the early 21st century drove a transformation in law enforcement, harnessing the stopping power of a pistol without the lethality. Used more often in the US than pepper spray or batons, law enforcement around the world and most officers in the U.S. carry the

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04 Feb 2019

Chinese scientists make progress on nuclear submarine communication

In their early days, submarines were isolated from centralized command centers. Communications capabilities connecting them to command-and-control systems have made consistent improvements and, most recently, China has used inductive coupling and underwater acoustic communication technologies to boost real-time high-capacity data sharing between deep ocean transponders and satellite systems. One scientist

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31 Jan 2019

Apple knocks Facebook with shutdown over app privacy flap

Once again, Facebook has been caught up in a privacy-related scandal of sorts. However, this time Facebook was reprimanded not by a regulatory body, but by another tech firm. Apple is preventing Facebook from offering its Facebook Research app to iPhone users, citing a “clear breach” of Facebook’s agreement with the

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30 Jan 2019

How the Pentagon’s fear of risk is stifling innovation

A “go slow” approach and an emphasis on accountability in tech acquisitions and beyond is well-intentioned and important, but it has the unintended consequence, according to some leaders in the private sector, of stifling innovation. According to this thinking, the pentagon’s continued desire to remain with past winners results not

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29 Jan 2019

Deepfake videos: Inside the Pentagon’s race against disinformation

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working with universities and research collaborations around the country to combat deep fake technology. Deep fakes pose a unique and near-existential threat to countries like the U.S. where free media and fair elections are an important cornerstone of civic life. Deep fake

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29 Jan 2019

The Pentagon Wants to Stop Enemies From ‘Poisoning’ AI

Through a “Guaranteeing AI Robustness against Deception” program, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working to guard against malicious manipulation of A.I. systems. In its project solicitation, DARPA writes that “the growing sophistication and ubiquity of ML [Machine Learning] components in advanced systems dramatically…increases opportunities for new, potentially

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29 Jan 2019

Thankfully, the technology to combat rogue drones is getting better

News on drones and security have largely highlighted the major risks drones pose to various industries and to populations at large. This is not without good reason; suicide drones have been used in attempted assassinations, cartels use them to smuggle drugs across borders, ISIS has used them to drop grenades,

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28 Jan 2019

Why Google, Infosys & Amazon Are Betting High On Open-Source AI

American tech giants Google and Amazon, along with the Indian Infosys, are increasingly “open-sourcing” their artificial intelligence projects. This approach, in contrast to the more competitive and secretive approach being pursued by many companies China, may help to reduce some risks of A.I. and improve development of the entire field.

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25 Jan 2019

US Military Eyes Tiny Nuclear Reactors for Deployed Troops

The U.S. military is funding research towards small, mobile nuclear power stations for forward operating bases. The military has been conducting research on small nuclear reactors since the 1950s, but funding has come and gone during periods of sequestration. Now, with the immense energy requirements and logistical difficulties in securing

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