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Archive for the ‘government’ category

Aug 17, 2019

A Tech Expert Says Google Chrome Has Become Spy Software

Posted by in categories: government, internet, surveillance

You open your browser to look at the Web. Do you know who is looking back at you?

Over a recent week of Web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the Web.

This was made possible by the Web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software.

Aug 14, 2019

Hackers Take on DARPA’s $10 Million Voting Machine

Posted by in categories: government, security

For the last two years, hackers have come to the Voting Village at the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas to tear down voting machines and analyze them for vulnerabilities. But this year’s village features a fancy new target: a prototype of a so-called secure voting machine, created through a $10 million project at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. You know it better as DARPA, the government’s mad science wing.

Aug 14, 2019

Giant Batteries Supercharge Wind and Solar Plans

Posted by in categories: government, solar power, sustainability

A global wave of investment in high-capacity batteries is poised to transform the market for renewable energy in coming years, making it more practical and affordable to store wind and solar power and deploy it when needed.

Government-owned utilities and companies are buying batteries that can be larger than shipping containers. Some like…

To Read the Full Story.

Aug 14, 2019

It’s 2043. We Need a New American Dream for the A.I. Revolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, economics, employment, food, government, robotics/AI, surveillance

Nevertheless, to date, most of the wealth generated by advances in A.I. and robotics has been acquired by the executives of technology companies. It’s time for the benefits of the A.I. revolution to be broadly distributed through an expanded social safety net.

Unfortunately, members of Congress are taking the opposite path and have proposed cuts to a range of social programs. Several hundred thousand people arrived in Washington on Saturday to protest these cuts. During the demonstration, masked agitators threw rocks at the autonomous drones deployed for crowd control; in response, drones dispensed pepper spray on the protesters below, causing a stampede. More than 20 people were injured and treated at local hospitals; one protester died of his injuries on Monday. The police detained 35 people at the scene; 25 more arrests have been made since then, after authorities used facial recognition technology to identify protesters from surveillance video.

Punishing the poor who were harmed by economic disruptions has been a mistake repeated throughout American history. During the Industrial Revolution, machines displaced many artisans and agricultural workers. To deter these unemployed workers from seeking public relief, local governments set up poorhouses that required residents to perform hard labor. And between 1990 and 2020, the federal government — and some state governments — repeatedly cut social program spending even as middle-class jobs disappeared as a result of outsourcing and automation. Workers who didn’t have the skills to thrive in the knowledge economy were resigned to join the underclass of service workers.

Aug 13, 2019

Study: All major Chinese cities capable of generating solar power more cheaply than grid

Posted by in categories: government, solar power, sustainability

A team of researchers with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Mälardalen University and Tsinghua University has found that all of China’s major cities are now in a position to produce electricity from solar power more cheaply than can be had from the grid. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the group describes how they estimated solar energy costs for all the major Chinese cities, and what they found when they compared them to costs associated with the grid.

In recent years, China has put a significant amount of effort into producing and installing solar technology to the extent that they are now the world’s biggest producer of , and also the world’s biggest installer of solar panels. Last year, installations in the country accounted for half of all installations worldwide. A lot of that growth has been stimulated by government subsidies, but the Chinese government has made it clear that it wants solar to fly on its own—subsidies are slowly being withdrawn. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to know if China was ready to fly on its own, at least in its major cities.

The researchers started by estimating solar energy system prices and in all of the major Chinese cities. They then compared what they found with prices from the grid. Next, they estimated solar electricity prices at the grid scale, and compared them to electricity generated strictly from coal. The calculations accounted for estimates of the lifetime of solar systems. They report that they found that all 344 of the major cities they studied were currently in a position to generate electricity at lower costs than the grid supply—without subsidies. They also found that 22 percent of those cities could also produce at a lesser cost than possible with coal.

Aug 12, 2019

Cloud Atlas Hackers Add Polymorphic Malware to Their Toolkit

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government

Cyber-espionage group Cloud Atlas has added polymorphic malware to its arsenal to avoid having its operations detected and monitored with the help of previously collected indicators of compromise (IOCs).

The hacking group also known as Inception [1, 2] was initially identified in 2014 by Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team researchers, and it has a history of targeting government agencies and entities from a wide range of industries via spear-phishing campaigns.

While the malware and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) Cloud Atlas uses during its operations has remained unchanged since at least 2018, the APT group has now added new polymorphic HTML Application malware dropper in the form of a malicious HTA and a backdoor dubbed VBShower.

Aug 12, 2019

Blue Origin files protest over ‘flawed’ Air Force launch procurement

Posted by in categories: government, space travel

WASHINGTON — Blue Origin filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Monday challenging the Air Force’s plan to select two providers in the next procurement of launch services under the National Security Space Launch program.

Blue Origin, a rocket manufacturer and suborbital spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos, filed what is known as a “pre-award” protest with the GAO, arguing that the rules set by the Air Force do not allow for a fair and open competition.

“The Air Force is pursuing a flawed acquisition strategy for the National Security Space Launch program,” states a Blue Origin fact sheet that outlines the reasons for the protest.

Aug 7, 2019

Japan approves experiments splicing human DNA with animal embryos

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, government

It seems like the next step in human evolution (or animal evolution depending on where you’re standing) will be man-made. According to a recent report by Nature, Japan’s government has just approved experiments that will splice human cells into animal embryos, and then implant said embryos into surrogate animals, in an effort to grow human-congruent organs that can be used for transplant purposes.

Heading the experiments at the University of Tokyo is Hiromitsu Nakauchi, who plans to nurture human cells in rat and mouse embryos before moving the developing fetus to yet another animal for gestation. The hope is that the embryo will develop into an animal with human cells, meaning that the organs inside the newly-grown beast could then be surgically placed inside sick individuals that need new hearts, livers, pancreases — you name it.

Aug 6, 2019

Tokyo readies $1bn for cyborg and waste elimination research

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, government, life extension

TOKYO — Cyborg technology to restore bodily functions that have declined due to aging, technology to eliminate industrial waste from the Earth’s environment, and artificial hibernation are among 25 areas the Japanese government aims to support, Nikkei has learned.

Tokyo will invite research proposals in these selected areas and choose which it will support for up to a decade, with a budget of 100 billion yen ($921 million) for the first five years, a government source said.

The research and development program aims to attract researchers in both Japan and abroad by demonstrating Tokyo’s enthusiasm in promoting ambitious scientific efforts to tackle major issues, including the declining birthrate and aging population, as well as to develop new industries around the technologies these efforts create.

Aug 5, 2019

Dr. Wendy Dean, M.D., Senior Vice President of Program Operations, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, biotech/medical, DNA, government, health, life extension, military, neuroscience, nuclear weapons, posthumanism
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