YouTube, the widely-used video uploading site owned by Google, which is in turn owned by Alphabet, whose former chairman and current board member Eric Schmidt is a key adviser to the Pentagon, has announced that -- in a Cass Sunsteinesque effort to combat the perceived threat posed by "conspiracy theories" -- it will begin showing … Continue reading YouTube to add ‘conspiracy theory’ disclaimers from Wikipedia
The last few years have seen the rapid rise of body-worn cameras used by police departments around the United States, fueled by tens of millions of dollars in Justice Department funding. While originally justified on the basis of increasing police accountability and transparency, however, body cameras' usefulness is in question as they begin to incorporate … Continue reading Police body cameras increasingly incorporate facial recognition
Late last month, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work announced the launch of an "Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team" under a new program called Project Maven. "As numerous studies have made clear, the Department of Defense (DoD) must integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning more effectively across operations to maintain advantages over increasingly capable adversaries and … Continue reading New Pentagon ‘Algorithmic Warfare’ team to ‘open Pandora’s box’ of A.I.
Thousands of Android smartphone applications "have secretly been colluding to mine our information," according to researchers at Virginia Tech, who released a new study funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) this week. The study looked at more than 110,000 pairs of Android apps, "including 100,206 of Google Play’s most popular apps and … Continue reading Android apps ‘colluding’ to share data without permission, study says
Biotech behemoth Monsanto was recently in the news for its merger with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer - a $66 billion deal which is reportedly the biggest yet this year and, if it goes through, may mean the end of the controversial Monsanto brand name. But if that massive merger is newsworthy, and it most certainly … Continue reading Un-Monsanto to harness CRISPR to make un-GMOs
A leading market research firm announced Monday that it expects the global drone market to pass $4 billion annually by 2025. It has been clear for some time that we are entering an era of increasingly pervasive unmanned aerial vehicles, but as the rise of insect-sized micro-drones looms, it appears little is being done to … Continue reading Micro-drones pose increasing privacy threat, but media coverage dissipates
Following the death by bomb-armed-robot of the suspect in last week's cop killings in Dallas, which apparently involved an improvised setup that the local police department's robot wasn't built to be used for, a public outcry over police access to high tech weaponry has erupted. "The Dallas Police Department’s unprecedented use of an explosive-laden robot … Continue reading Dallas killer robot raises fears of slippery slope
It was reported this week that Qadium, a "global Internet sensing" company run by a former CIA analyst and consultant for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has raised an additional $20 million in funding, after previously receiving more than $10 million in Department of Defense contracts. The company, which is billing its … Continue reading ‘Internet of Things’ Scanners, Pricy and Cheap