Botched Pipe Bomb Attack in Manhattan Subway Station

December 11th, 2017

Via: Daily Mail:

A Bangladeshi national in his 20s has been taken into custody with serious injuries after a suspected pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station Monday morning.

The explosion happened around 7:20am, in an underground tunnel linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Square. The underground tunnel is a major thoroughfare for workers during the morning rush hour.

The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, was found injured at the scene and rushed to Bellevue Hospital. He was wearing what appears to be a homemade pipe bomb attacked to his body with velcro and zip ties.

Three other people were also hurt with minor injuries.


Inside the First Church of Artificial Intelligence

December 11th, 2017

Via: Wired:

Anthony Levandowski makes an unlikely prophet. Dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans and flanked by a PR rep rather than cloaked acolytes, the engineer known for self-driving cars—and triggering a notorious lawsuit—could be unveiling his latest startup instead of laying the foundations for a new religion. But he is doing just that. Artificial intelligence has already inspired billion-dollar companies, far-reaching research programs, and scenarios of both transcendence and doom. Now Levandowski is creating its first church.

The new religion of artificial intelligence is called Way of the Future. It represents an unlikely next act for the Silicon Valley robotics wunderkind at the center of a high-stakes legal battle between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle company. Papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May name Levandowski as the leader (or “Dean”) of the new religion, as well as CEO of the nonprofit corporation formed to run it.

The documents state that WOTF’s activities will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” That includes funding research to help create the divine AI itself.


Quantum Computing Is the Next Big Security Risk

December 9th, 2017

Disclosure: I have invested in technology related to quantum computing.

Via: Wired:

The consequences of mastering quantum computing, while not as visual or visceral as a mushroom cloud, are no less significant than those faced by the scientists who lit up the New Mexico sky with the detonation at the Trinity test site 72 years ago. In the same way that atomic weaponry symbolized power throughout the Cold War, quantum capability is likely to define hegemony in today’s increasingly digital, interconnected global economy.


One-Third of All Americans Killed by Strangers Are Killed by Police

December 9th, 2017

Via: Granta:

Americans are afraid of many threats to their lives – serial killers, crazed gunmen, gang bangers, and above all terrorists – but these threats are surprisingly unlikely. Approximately three-quarters of all homicide victims in America are killed by someone they know. And the real threat from strangers is quite different from what most fear: one-third of all Americans killed by strangers are killed by police.

This is the story of the hidden numbers of police homicides in the United States. The killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Walter Scott have increased the world’s attention to US police violence, yet most Americans underestimate the threat posed by the people charged with keeping them safe.


America’s Farmers Killing Themselves in Record Numbers

December 8th, 2017

Via: Guardian:

Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.

After the study was released, Newsweek reported that the suicide death rate for farmers was more than double that of military veterans. This, however, could be an underestimate, as the data collected skipped several major agricultural states, including Iowa. Rosmann and other experts add that the farmer suicide rate might be higher, because an unknown number of farmers disguise their suicides as farm accidents.

The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.


Lincoln Partners with CLEAR for Biometric Security Service

December 8th, 2017

Via: The News Wheel:

Lincoln announced a new collaboration with CLEAR, provider of a means to bypass long lines for airport security by way of biometric information. The partnership will see Lincoln customers on the receiving end of complimentary CLEAR membership, which will enable them to skip the line at more than 30 airports and arenas throughout the country.

“Our clients tell us time is their ultimate luxury,” said Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra. “So we’ve paired our exceptional vehicles with world-class services in collaboration with CLEAR to enable them to travel along their journey even more effortlessly and efficiently.”


Police Officer Who Executed Unarmed Father of Two Found Not Guilty of Murder

December 8th, 2017

Via: Daily Mail:

A former Arizona police officer was found not guilty of murder Thursday of in the 2016 fatal shooting of an unarmed man outside his hotel room, as video of the shocking moment is finally released by officials.

Philip Mitchell Brailsford, 27, was found not guilty in the 2016 death of 26-year-old father-of-two Daniel Shaver, from Granbury, Texas.

The shooting, which Shaver’s family has referred to as an ‘execution,’ occurred in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa when officers were responding to a call that someone was pointing a gun out a window at the La Quinta Hotel.

Police told Shaver to exit his hotel room, lay face-down in a hallway and refrain from making sudden movements – or he risked being shot.

New disturbing footage of the encounter shows the moment Shaver, sobbing and crawling towards the officer, audibly begs ‘please don’t kill me,’ before Brailsford opens fire and shoots him dead.

Related: One-Third of All Americans Killed by Strangers Are Killed by Police


Tesla Is Working on Its Own New AI Chip

December 8th, 2017

Via: Electrek:

There have been rumors that Tesla is developing its own chip optimized for self-driving applications ever since we reported on the automaker quietly hiring legendary chip architect Jim Keller from AMD last year.

Now CEO Elon Musk finally confirmed the rumor – specifying that Tesla is working on its own new AI chip and that the effort is led by Keller.


General Electric to Cut 12,000 Jobs in Power Business Revamp

December 7th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

General Electric Co (GE.N) is axing 12,000 jobs at its global power business, the struggling industrial conglomerate’s latest effort to shrink itself into a more focused company.

The U.S. company launched the cuts to save $1 billion in 2018, saying it expected dwindling demand for fossil fuel power plants to continue.

“Traditional power markets including gas and coal have softened,” GE said.


TRUMP WHITE HOUSE WEIGHING PLANS FOR PRIVATE SPIES TO COUNTER “DEEP STATE” ENEMIES

December 5th, 2017

Via: The Intercept:

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency.

The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.

“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”


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