French Military Trains Eagles to Hunt Drones

February 22nd, 2017

Via: Reuters:

In a battle between ancient arts and modern technology, France’s army is teaching birds of prey to bring down remote-controlled drones when they enter no-go urban airspace.

Four golden eagles are getting military training for combat against battery-charged drones that just about anybody can buy in a local store, and fly into security-sensitive zones such as presidential palaces, wittingly or not.

“These eagles can spot the drones several thousand meters (yards) away and neutralize them,” Jean-Christophe Zimmerman, a French air force general, told reporters.

The idea, he says, was inspired by Dutch police trials.


UPS Tries Arming Its Brown-Clad Drivers With an Octocopter Drone

February 21st, 2017

Via: Bloomberg:

United Parcel Service Inc. sees a day when your latest purchase may be dropped off not by a brown-clad delivery driver, but by an octocopter drone.

The world’s largest courier took a step closer to that future on Monday, launching an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck about a quarter-mile to a blueberry farm outside Tampa, Florida. The drone dropped off a package at a home on the property, and returned to the truck, which had moved about 2,000 feet.

The test shows how UPS is looking to drones as a way to cut costs and ease delivery in hard-to-reach places. Deploying the aircraft in rural areas — where the distance between stops drives up fuel and labor costs — is one of the more promising applications.

“Drones won’t replace our uniformed service providers,” says Mark Wallace, UPS’s senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “That’s key, but in this case, it really is there to assist.”


Philadelphia: Heroin Hellscape

February 21st, 2017

Via: Philly News:

Along a half-mile gorge cut by a Conrail line that runs through Kensington and Fairhill, tens of thousands of used syringes and their tossed off orange caps cover the sloping ground like a plague of locusts. The contaminated needles make conditions so hazardous that even some police officers are reluctant to traverse the embankments to get to dead overdose victims at the bottom.

The squalor and chaos along the rail line resembles a scene from Hieronymus Bosch. Addicts – many with needle marks so fresh that still-drying blood glistens in the sun – twist their bodies into unnatural forms to crouch and teeter on the trash-covered banks as they shoot up. Others sleep under nearby bridges or in makeshift shelters surrounded by garbage, drugs, and death.

At a plywood shack known to denizens as “the hospital,” users too squeamish to inject themselves can pay a few dollars to a Ray-Ban-wearing addict who looks like he stepped out of a Mad Max movie.

“People come here when they have trouble to hit themselves,” said the 45-year-old man, who declined to give his real name. “So I hit them in the neck, you know what I mean? So I’m like the doctor. So they pay me.”

This apocalyptic terrain, sometimes called El Campamento, is home to 75 to 125 addicts at any given time. Many more transient users come each day to get high. It is the festering epicenter of Philadelphia’s heroin epidemic, a benighted territory the DEA considers the East Coast’s largest heroin market, smack dab in an area often referred to as the Badlands. And it has gone largely ignored for three decades.


Florida Man Charged With Plotting to Bomb Target, Wanted to Buy Stock Cheap

February 21st, 2017

Via: Reuters:

A Florida man has been charged with plotting to plant bombs in at least 10 Target Corp stores and then profit when the blasts caused the company’s stock price to fall, federal prosecutors have said.

Charles Barnett, 48, of Ocala, had asked a law enforcement informant to put the homemade bombs on the shelves of Target stores from Florida to New York state, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said in a statement on Thursday.

“Barnett theorized that the company’s stock value would plunge after the explosions, allowing him to cheaply acquire shares of Target stock before an eventual rebound in prices,” the statement said.


Robots Poised to Take Over Wide Range of Military Jobs

February 21st, 2017

Via: San Diego Union Tribune:

The wave of automation that swept away tens of thousands of American manufacturing and office jobs during the past two decades is now washing over the armed forces, putting both rear-echelon and front-line positions in jeopardy.

“Just as in the civilian economy, automation will likely have a big impact on military organizations in logistics and manufacturing,” said Michael Horowitz, a University of Pennsylvania professor and one of the globe’s foremost experts on weaponized robots.

“The U.S. military is very likely to pursue forms of automation that reduce ‘back-office’ costs over time, as well as remove soldiers from non-combat deployments where they might face risk from adversaries on fluid battlefields, such as in transportation.”


‘Mismatch’ Between the way Our Senses Evolved and Modern World Is Making Us Ill

February 21st, 2017

Via: Independent:

The modern world is radically at odds with the way human senses have evolved, helping to make us short-sighted, obese and depressed, scientists have warned.

Spending large amounts of time indoors under artificial light and staring at computer screens has helped produce a “myopia epidemic” with as many as 90 per cent of people in some parts of the world needing glasses.

Industrial food production has also turned primates’ taste for sugar — which evolved to persuade us to gorge on healthy fruit when it was ripe — into one of the main causes of the soaring rates of obesity in the Western world.

And our sense of smell is under attack from air pollution, producing an array of different effects, including depression and anxiety.


Bill Gates Warns Tens of Millions Could be Killed by Bio-Terrorism

February 19th, 2017

Mmm hmm. Tell me another one, Bill.

U.S. Researchers Trying to Create Pandemic Avian Flu

Baxter International “Unintentionally” Sent Flu Samples to Companies that Contained H5N1 Avian Flu

Scientist Makes H5N1 Highly Contagious

New Bird Flu ‘Has Unique Traits’

Bird Flu Researchers to Continue Work on Engineered Virus

Scientists Sequence Black Death Bacteria DNA

Britain: Scientists Reconstruct Black Death Plague with Genetic Material Taken from Ancient Corpses Buried Under Royal Mint

And Now… Plague Sweeps Through al Qaeda Terror Training Camp, Killing 40

Bill Gates Funds Research Into ‘Flying Syringe’ Mosquitoes to Deliver Vaccines

Via: Guardian:

A chilling warning that tens of millions of people could be killed by bio-terrorism was delivered at the Munich security conference by the world’s richest man, Bill Gates

Gates, who has spent much of the last 20 years funding a global health campaign, said: “We ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril.”

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who has spent billions in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, said: “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus … or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.”

Gates, making his first appearance at the Munich security conference on Saturday, said: “Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year. And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.”


GM Plans to Build, Test Thousands of Self-Driving Bolts in 2018

February 18th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans said this week.

It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo subsidiary, in comparison, is currently testing about 60 self-driving prototypes in four states.

Most of the specially equipped versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its ride-sharing fleet in several states, one of the sources said. GM has no immediate plans to sell the Bolt AV to individual customers, according to the source.


White House Denies Report it Might Call up National Guard for Immigration Roundup

February 17th, 2017

This is what I wrote on election day:

The thing about Trump that scares the crap out of me the most is his pledge to round up people who are in the U.S. illegally. I’m very much for securing the border. I’m not for mass arrests. Danger. Danger. Red flag.

What’s he going to do? Deploy the U.S. Marines to places like Santa Ana and wide swaths of Los Angeles County?

Good luck with that.

For the moment, they’re saying troops won’t be used.

If they do decide to use military force at some point, you will want to already be long gone, whether you are in the U.S. illegally or not.

Via: AP:

President Donald Trump’s administration is considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, according to The Associated Press. The Trump administration strongly denied the report Friday morning.

A draft memo obtained by The Associated Press outlines a Trump administration proposal under consideration to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants. Millions of those who would be affected in 11 states live nowhere near the Mexico border.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. If the proposal is implemented, governors in the affected states would have final approval on whether troops under their control participate.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the AP report is not true.

“That is 100 percent not true. It is false. It is irresponsible to be saying this. There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants,” Spicer said.

“I don’t know what could potentially be out there, but I know that there is no effort to do what is potentially suggested,” he said. “It is not a White House document.”

Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.


Flashback 2013: Jeff Bezos Is Doing Huge Business with the CIA, While Keeping His Washington Post Readers in the Dark

February 17th, 2017

Not only do I buy a lot of homeschooling books for my children from Amazon, but Cryptogon depends on affiliate commissions from Amazon.

Several retailers in New Zealand simply buy stuff at retail from Amazon and then send it over to NZ. (That should give you an idea of how broken retailing is in NZ and how expensive things are here.)

And Amazon is a major contractor for the CIA.

*sigh*

Via: AlterNet:

News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark.

The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon — which recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But the Post’s articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper’s sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon.

2016: CIA Loves Amazon’s Cloud Services


« Previous PageNext Page »