Copenhagen has admitted
Danish warships were responsible for the sinking of the Russian
frigate Czar Putin in the Arctic Sea. The commander of the Danish
Frederik declared the vessel was in Danish territorial waters
off the coast of Greenland and had ignored multiple warnings.
The Danish press release also stated it regretted the sinking of
the ship and the loss of the Russian crew and that first shots were
meant as deterrence only. Once the Russians started returning fire
there was no other option than to target the ship itself, concluded
the press release. Russian warships of the Northern
Fleet are steaming up towards the area from bases all over
Russia while the US is doing the same to come the aid of their
Danish ally. (cont.)
With crude oil hovering at an all-time high of $130/gallon
people all over the globe are feeling the pain and starting to
react in different ways.
Some are finally choosing to drive less frequently.
that “compared with March a year earlier, Americans drove an
estimated 4.3 percent less—that’s 11 billion fewer miles, the
DOT’s Federal Highway Administration said
Monday, calling it ‘the sharpest yearly drop for any month in
In Europe, where environmental taxes roughly double the cost of
gas, groups of French and British workers are demanding public
staging protests .
A few particularly pinched and pro-active folks in rural regions
are shifting around their work week and travel schedule. According
Wall Street Journal “a handful of small towns and community
colleges are switching to four-day workweeks in an effort to help
employees cope with the rising gasoline prices, and could soon be
joined by some larger local governments.”
The world faces an estimated 70 percent chance of a nuclear,
biological or chemical attack in the next decade, according to
analysts surveyed in a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee
During the Cold War, the possibility of a nuclear battle that
could kill every American made it imperative to avoid conflict. But
today, we are still not safe. A suicide bomber hiding a weapon of
mass destruction in a suitcase could murder a million Americans;
twice as many as died in both twentieth century World Wars
Though some believe the eventual solution to ending today’s
terrorist threats lie in improving the welfare of have-nots, former
Defense Advanced Research Project Agency manager, Dr. Robert Popp,
says we must also get better at intelligence. “We need more Arabic
speakers, more experts who understand tribal relations, and more
diplomats to capture audiences on Al Jazeera.”
However, military leaders do not believe that technology will
eliminate the worlds disgruntled anytime soon, so many want to
improve their fighting machines now, and are turning to the
Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), a creative group that
has produced such far-out ideas as “portable lab-on-a-chip” and
“wireless power.” Its partners include traditional weapons
companies like Raytheon and DuPont, and new nano businesses like
Zyvex and Nano C.
What kinds of innovative military developments are on
ISN’s drawing board? First, let’s glimpse
at planned improvements for our soldiers; then examine some of the
futuristic weapons being considered. (cont.)
Breaking News – 9.35 AM NASDAQ Trading
house web service is down due to a non-confirm cyber attack. Stay
tunned for more details.
Breaking News – 9.55 AM A cyber attack
has been confirmed on NASDAQ trading
house. FBI will hold a press conference
at 10.30 AM
Breaking News – 10.15 AM Worst fears of cyber attack confirmed.
Billion of untraceable dollars feared missing.
The $1.5 billion scam was confirmed today by the FBI Director Malcolm Casey. He stated that in the
early hours of the morning, the carbon trading wing of the
NASDAQ was hijacked and billions of
dollars worth of transactions have been made on behalf of fake
energy companies. The attack lasted for less than 10 minutes when
the web security team picked up the intrusion. While more then a
billion dollars have been recovered in reverse transactions, more
then $250 million have been lost.
Director Casey has also stated that the notorious hacker
community claimed responsibility for this latest attack, warning
them that responsible parties will be found and brought to justice.
Shortly after his speech a chain email circulated the globe with
the simple message – “Crime Pays”.
At first they were simply embedded in passports, containing
personal ID data. Second Generation ID Data chips were designed to
have uploading capabilities and contained even more data, including
criminal and medical records. Third generation ID Chips had an
option to be inserted under your skin and gave access into your ID
data base in any government institution, which made forgetting or
losing your license or social security details a thing of the
For military personnel it was compulsory to have it inserted.
Unauthorized access to military installations was simply
non-existent from that moment on. Generation Four chip nicknamed
“Quattro Access” became an instant hit with the younger generation.
It allowed access to personal finance as well as personal storage
space to share music, files and photos. (cont.)
The world faces an estimated 70 percent chance of a nuclear,
biological or chemical attack in the next decade, according to
national security analysts surveyed for a recent Senate Foreign
Relations Committee study.
More than half of the 85 analysts contacted believed one or two
new countries would acquire nuclear weapons within five years, and
five more will obtain them in ten. They counted technology sharing
between terrorist groups among activities that posed the greatest
dangers, and attacks by terrorists as more likely than those posed
by rogue states.
Committee Chair Senator Richard Lugar said that though the U.S.
may be successful in building new democracies, we are not safe from
small, fanatical terrorist cells that could possibly get their
hands on nuclear materials.
How great is this risk? During the Cold War, the possibility of
a nuclear war that could kill every American made it imperative to
do anything possible to avoid conflict. Today, the consequence of
even a single nuclear weapon exploding in a U.S. city is almost
Terrorist’s armed with one nuclear bomb could murder a million
people – killing in one day nearly twice as many Americans as died
in both twentieth century World Wars combined.
A WMD attack on the U.S. would have
catastrophic consequences for other countries too. Researchers at
RAND, a government think tank, estimated
that a nuclear explosion at the Port of Long Beach in California
would cause immediate indirect costs worldwide of more than $3
trillion and, the shutting down of U.S. ports would cut world trade
by 10 percent. (cont.)
account for 10% of all cell phone sales, according to research
released Monday at the Smartphone
Summit in Vegas (and their sales are about to overtake those
for laptops). When that happens, I’m predicting that, among the
huge changes having data storage with you at all times will mean,
will include major differences for disaster management and
This is an issue near and dear to me. Those with long memories
may remember that I got my start in homeland security creating a
series of “Terrorism Survival” modules (I no longer maintain them,
sadly, since the sales were never enough to justify the expense)
that could be downloaded to your smartphone. Users could navigate
from the broadest category of preparations or response to extremely
detailed information in only 3 clicks. In a worst-case scenario,
where users weren’t able to communicate at all, they still had the
most important information literally in the palms of their hands (I
calculated that having the same information in the original paper
forms would have required that each time you left the house in the
morning you’d have to heft a 300+ page bundle — and when things
went to hell in a handbasket you’d still have to figure out where
in that bundle the relevant information was located!). (cont.)
All those live car chases we see on television may be coming to
an end. A company called Engineered Arresting Systems
Corporation that specializes in pop-up safety nets for all
sorts of vehicles (cars, trucks, planes, UAV’s) has now developed a car catcher that can
safely stop cars moving at speeds up to 50 mph. Check out the
I can easily see such devices built into LA highways, perhaps at
narrow on- and off-ramps, or used sporadically at strategic
locations all across the town. They would also work great as a
non-lethal form of ambush in war zones – although shooting out or
puncturing tires is probably a more effective way to go.
Combined with increasingly popular automobile kill switches that can
remotely disconnect an engine from its fuel supply, devices like
these nets have the potential to make the roads quite a bit safer,
as well as to deter a good amount of auto theft.
Of course, one possible counter to that is to simply train
robots to steal cars instead, or simply hack the car systems.
Check out this fully functional new co-axial helicopter set to
go into production sometime in 2009 or 2010. The manufacturer,
Wieland Helicopter Technologies, says it plans to build versions
that seat 1-5 passengers as well as a UAV
which I’m sure the U.S. government will load up with machine guns
and send into battle.
NEC has unveiled a powerful new infrared camera that can extrapolate
the thermal signatures of objects with absolutely no light present
– a big breakthrough that will result in vastly better night-vision
for consumers everywhere.
Showcased at the 2008 Security Show in Tokyo, the new HX0830M1 camera has been a bit hit due to the
“variety of applications including security- for intruder
detection, disaster relief- for searching for victims; and vision
enhancement- for use in aircraft, ships, and motor vehicles”,
according to Diginfonews .
Further adding to the appeal, the HX0830M1 can be used to collect temperature
distribution data, which will help to keep people out of harm’s way
“in high voltage environments or very high places”.
To truly grasp the night-time resolution enabled by this new
product, you’ve gotta wath the following video:
It’s only a matter of time until we, or our robotic self-driving
cars, will employ such infrared technology to augment our vision
whenever we encounter darkness. In which case it seems like
darkness itself, barring deliberate obfuscation, may be on the way
The following is a summary of the key moments that
transpired during the U.S. House Subcommittee on Telecommunications
and the Internet hearing on Virtual Worlds held April 1, 2008. This
marked the first ever simulcast of a Congressional hearing into a
virtual world – a truly historic moment.
Spanning the positive uses of virtual worlds (entrepreneurial,
non-profit, educational, and other purposes) as well as the
security implications (terrorism, child protection, privacy and
illegal activities) the first-of-its-kind hearing finally came to a
close at 11:15 AM this morning after nearly two full hours of
position statements and riveting Q&A.
Subcommittee members’ opening speeches covered general
statistics, implications, applications and potential futures of
virtual worlds. Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey of Massachusetts
(pictured second) noted that virtual worlds often permit people to
do things that are often impossible in real life, thus empowering
individuals and that virtual worlds are at the cutting edge of web
2.0 applications. As per the future of virtual worlds, the Chairman
said that virtual worlds are steadily becoming more commonplace and
therefore policymakers will have to continue to monitor them as
they grow further while upgrading national infrastructure to foster
the positive utilities of such worlds.
Congressman Stearns of Florida (pictured third) cited an
interesting statistic in his opening remarks, that 40% of men and
50% of women see virtual friends as equal or better than their
real-life friends. He found this a bit unsettling, and elucidated
his concern for sexual predators and con-men inevitably finding
their way into virtual worlds, as they did the internet.
Congresswoman Harman of California echoed many of the same
positive implications of virtual worlds, but seemed most concerned
with the use of virtual worlds by Islamic militants, noting that a
“clear-eyed understanding is essential” in helping fight this new
wave of “transient terrorism.”
In what appears to be the first concerted effort to keep robotic
warriors off the battlefield, an English lobbying group named
Action “hopes to ban autonomous killing robots in all 150
countries bound by the current land mine treaty”, reports Jason
Mick over at Daily Tech .
Richard Moyes, Landmine Action’s director of policy and
research, explains, “That decision to detonate is still in the
hands of an electronic sensor rather than a person. Our concern is
that humans, not sensors, should make targeting decisions. So
similarly, we don’t want to move towards robots that make decisions
about combatants and noncombatants.”
The organization hopes to sway the International Committee
of the Red Cross and Amnesty International, two leading
organizations in war ethics lobbying. Landmine Action is spurred on
by Sharkey’s comments, including his statement that, “We should not
use autonomous armed robots unless they can discriminate between
combatants and noncombatants. And that will be never.”
Never say never, Richard.
While the regulation of battlefield robots may make sense on
some levels, it seems completely illogical to discount the
possibility that robots will eventually, probably within 10-20
years, get better at discriminating between warriors and civilians
than us humans. Systems that can swiftly determine human behavior
and motivations based on readings are a distinct near term
possibility – and that’s just one technology out of many that could
prove his statement false.