Not a big surprise in this article that Big Brother/NSA etc has the technology to turn your speech into transcripts. They can even keyin on words they consider dangerous or potentially leading to threats and hone in on those conversations and people. Feeling any safer?
Hard to believe that the movie that was made about predicting crimes and preventing them before they happens is getting some real time attention, in the ‘real’ mainstream news. So how the heck is that going to play out? Arrest someone because it is believed you are about to commit a crime??? Read the article here
“A report on the Surveillance Society” was provided to the UK’s Information Commissioner in 2006, and predicted that developments in surveillance technology, and increasingly oppressive governments could see Brits ‘microchipped like dogs in a decade’. Eight years into that decade, the UK is indeed the world’s leading surveilliance society.
A glowing plant that could provide a sustainable light source has caught the imagination of backers on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.
With a month still to go, the project has raised $243,000 (£157,000). Its initial goal was $65,000.
Backers are promised seeds for glowing plants, although delivery will not be until next May at the earliest.
The “biohacking” team behind the project said that in future trees could act as street lights.
The researchers are keen that their mix of DIY synthetic biology and sustainable lighting remains open-source.
“Inspired by fireflies… our team of Stanford-trained PhDs are using off-the-shelf methods to create real glowing plants in a do-it-yourself bio lab in California,” said project leader Antony Evans.
“All of the output from this project will be released open-source, the DNA constructs, the plants etc,” it said on its website.
The future of firearms is downloadable. Tim and his robopal discuss what would happen when new 3D technologies allow people to print out whatever they want, even guns.
Zac Vawter, 31, is to put the revolutionary prosthetic to the test on Sunday, when he attempts to climb 103 flights of stairs to the top of Chicago’s Willis Tower.
The whirring, robotic leg will respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring, with Mr Vawter’s thoughts triggering motors, belts and chains to synchronise the movements of the prosthetic ankle and knee.
Mr Vawter hoped to reach the top of the tower in an hour – longer than he would have taken before his amputation, but in less time than it would take him to use his normal prosthetic leg.
Would you barcode your baby?
Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people.
Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon last week rekindled the debate on whether it’s a good idea to “barcode” infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program.
“I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals,” she said on The Forum, a weekly show that features “a global thinking” discussing a “radical, inspiring or controversial idea” for 60 seconds .
Moon believes the tools most commonly used for surveillance and identification — like video cameras and DNA testing — are slow, costly and often ineffective.
ACTA is being Created by the Nest of RIAA Copyright Trolls the USA President Obama Hand Picked for his Department of Justice!
There are many innovative and inexpensive ways of making life better for more of us. Check out this initiative that is helping certain African communities.
Every now and then when we post on how solar power is bringing the internet to rural Africa, or enabling the charging of mobile phones in poor communities, I’ll hear concerns from naysayers who wonder what these technologies might mean for traditional social structures in these remote areas.
Let’s leave aside the morally questionable issue of internet-connected critics worrying about access to the internet for others for a moment, and look at the core question—does internet connectivity threaten rural communities? Actually, if UK-based charity Computer Aid is anything to go by, the reverse is true.
From helping farmers to market their crops and communicate with veterinarians, to helping nursing students keep up to date with the latest research, access to the internet is providing rural Africans with the resources they need to keep their communities viable and slow the push of urbanization. Having seen how access to the internet had help support farmers, students and community institutions in the Zambian village of Macha, Computer Aid is now looking at how to bring that access to other communities that do not have the infrastructural benefits that Macha enjoys. (Macha was the location of a research station and Christian mission that facilitated the building of satellite internet.)
The solution is what has become known as the ZumbaBox—a shipping container with satellite-enabled wi-fi and solar panels on the roof, which houses one PC and a number of “virtual desktops” that villagers can use to study, communicate and stay connected to news and cultural events.
Below is a BBC report on what looks like an awesome project, and Business Green has an excellent write up of the use of ZumbaBoxes across Africa. Oh, and if anyone is out there communicating from a ZumbaBox, be sure to drop a note in the comments and tell is how you like it.
This is an issue that is facing countries all over the world that have at some time in their history embraced a technology that is dangerous at best and potentially calamitous at worst. Read more on how they are finally admitting fault.
A lack of preparedness for a disaster and failures in the response to it exacerbated the effects of the nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima plant in March, a new report says.
The government-commissioned study said plant operators and regulators had failed to adequately anticipate a huge tsunami and its likely impact.
The interim findings were issued by an independent panel set up in May.
More than 20,000 people were killed when an earthquake and tsunami struck.
Tens of thousands had to be evacuated as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, sea and food chain.
The six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, with blasts occurring at four reactors after the cooling systems went offline.
Last week, the authorities declared the plant had been stabilised, but said it would take decades to dismantle it completely.
Lack of precautions
The panel said its aim was not to apportion blame for the disaster, but to learn why the accident happened in the way it did, AFP news agency reported.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the company which operated the plant, did not “take precautionary measures in anticipation that a severe accident could be caused by (a) tsunami such as the one (that) hit… Neither did the regulatory authorities,” the report said.
It also accused Tepco of failing to “incorporate measures against tsunamis exceeding the design basis. This indicates the limit of voluntary safety measures”.
Further, the government’s nuclear regulatory body “did not require Tepco to take specific measures, such as additional construction, after they received simulation results from Tepco in 2008 and early in 2011 regarding the impact of tsunamis on their facilities”.
Tepco’s own report on the disaster, by contrast, said there was no way it could have been prepared for a 9.0 magnitude quake and huge waves that triggered meltdowns and explosions at the plant.
The panel’s report said the situation was also made worse by;
- delays in relaying information to the public
- managers’ lack of knowledge of procedures to deal with emergencies
- poor communications – between the workers and the government, among the workers themselves, and between government bodies.
“Collection of accurate and most up-to-date information is a pre-requisite for timely and appropriate decision-making. This issue, together with the need for providing information to the nation, is of a major concern,” it said.
It said Tepco staff at the plant were not trained to handle emergencies like the power shutdown that struck when the tsunami destroyed back-up generators, AP news agency reported.
Staff also misunderstood problems that arose with the cooling systems for reactors 1 and 3.
The 506-page report was based on interviews with more than 450 people, including government officials and plant workers.
The 12-member panel is headed by Yotaro Hatamura – an engineering professor at Tokyo University who specialises in the study of failures – and includes seismologists, former diplomats and judges.
It was set up in May by then prime minister Naoto Kan, and is expected to issue its final report in mid-2012.
In an earlier report, submitted to the UN nuclear watchdog, the Japanese government said it had been unprepared for a nuclear accident on the scale of the one at the Fukushima plant.