ChatGPT a Perfect Example of Garbage In, Garbage Out on Guns

“The owner of Insider and Politico tells journalists: AI is coming for your jobs,” CNN Business reported Wednesday. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of publisher Axel Springer, “predicts that AI will soon be able to aggregate information much better than humans.”

“Döpfner’s warnings come three months after Open AI opened up access to ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot,” the report notes. “The bot is capable of providing lengthy, thoughtful responses to questions, and can write full essays, responses in job applications and journalistic articles.”

“Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believes ChatGPT, a chatbot that gives strikingly human-like responses to user queries, is as significant as the invention of the internet,” Reuters reported in February. “Until now, artificial intelligence could read and write, but could not understand the content,” Gates told Handelsblatt, a German business newspaper. “This will change our world.”

That seems to be a thing with him. With the environment, with Covid,  with guns

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Great news for 3D printing of guns.

By cracking a metal 3D-printing conundrum, researchers propel the technology toward widespread application

By cracking a metal 3D-printing conundrum, researchers propel the technology toward widespread application

Researchers have not yet gotten the additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) of metals down to a science completely. Gaps in our understanding of what happens within metal during the process have made results inconsistent. But a new breakthrough could grant an unprecedented level of mastery over metal 3D printing.

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Giving up biometrics at US airports soon won’t be optional, transport security chief says

The chief of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) David Pekoske said that the agency is considering biometric technology to reduce traveler processing times and reduce the number of screening officers. He made the comments at the South by Southwest conference, which focused on aviation security.

Pekoske noted that the TSA’s role is maintaining security and the transportation system and staying ahead of threats. For those reasons, it is “critically important that this system has as little friction as it possibly can, while we provide for safety and security.”

The TSA has been relying on biometric technology in the identification verification process. According to the agency, the newest technology it has been using is over 99% effective and does not have problems identifying darker-skinned people like the old technology.

“We’re upgrading our camera systems all the time, upgrading our lighting systems,” Pekoske said. “[We’re] upgrading our algorithms, so that we are using the very most advanced algorithms and technology we possibly can.”

Pekoske said that the agency will ensure it remains transparent with the public about the data that is taken, what it is used for, and for how long it will be stored. For now, he said that travelers can opt out of processes they are not comfortable with.

According to The Dallas Morning News, giving up biometric data for travel will eventually not be optional.

“He said passengers can also choose to opt out of certain screening processes if they are uncomfortable, for now. Eventually, biometrics won’t be optional,” the report states.

Instead of one huge nuke installation, taking decades to license and build, consider the idea of multiple sites providing power to several subdivisions.
Scrap all these forest of windmills.

Britain backs Rolls-Royce effort to develop micro-reactor to power moon base.

Britain's space agency on Friday announced $3.5 million in funding for Rolls-Royce research into how nuclear power can be used to power a moon base. Image courtesy Rolls Royce

March 17 (UPI) — Britain is pinning its hopes on nuclear power becoming the energy source that will fuel the next phase of human exploration of the moon, the country’s space agency said Friday.

Announcing $3.5 million funding for Rolls-Royce research into how nuclear could be used to power a manned base on the moon, the U.K. Space Agency said the technology would provide the power for humans to live and work on the lunar surface, dramatically increasing the duration of missions.

The agency said the funding was for Rolls-Royce to deliver an initial demonstration of a lunar modular nuclear reactor based around the company’s existing Micro Reactor technology, with a working reactor ready to send to moon by 2029.

“All space missions depend on a power source, to support systems for communications, life-support and science experiments. Nuclear power has the potential to dramatically increase the duration of future lunar missions and their scientific value,” it added.

Rolls-Royce said the latest funding round was highly significant for its Micro-Reactor which, compact and lightweight compared with other power systems, is capable of generating continuous power regardless of location, available sunlight, and environmental conditions.

“We’re proud to work collaboratively with the U.K. Space Agency and the many U.K. academic institutions to showcase the best of U.K. innovation and knowledge in space,” said Rolls Royce Director of Future Programs Abi Clayton.

“This funding will bring us further down the road in making the Micro-Reactor a reality, with the technology bringing immense benefits for both space and Earth. The technology will deliver the capability to support commercial and defense use cases alongside providing a solution to decarbonize industry and provide clean, safe and reliable energy.”

Science, Innovation and Technology Minister George Freeman said nuclear space power was anticipated to create new skilled jobs across the Britain that would support its fledgling space economy.

“Space exploration is the ultimate laboratory for so many of the transformational technologies we need on Earth: from materials to robotics, nutrition, cleantech and much more,” said Freeman.

The partnership with Rolls-Royce comes two weeks after the agency announced $62 million of funding for British companies to develop communication and navigation services for missions to the moon, as part of the European Space Agency’s Moonlight program.

Moonlight aims to launch a constellation of satellites into orbit around the moon.

The satellites will allow astronauts, rovers, science experiments and other equipment to communicate, share large data streams including high-definition video, and navigate safely on the surface of the moon.

New version of ChatGPT ‘lied’ to pass CAPTCHA test, saying it was a blind human
GPT-4 “exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks.”

The newest update to ChatGPT rolled out by developer OpenAI, GPT-4, has achieved new human-like heights including writing code for a different AI bot, completing taxes, passing the bar exam in the top 10 percent, and tricking a human so that it could pass a CAPTCHA test designed to weed out programs posing as humans.

According to the New York Post, OpenAI released a 94-page report on the new program and said, “GPT-4 is a large multimodal model (accepting image and text inputs, emitting text outputs)” and “exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks.”

Gizmodo reports that the Alignment Research Center and OpenAI tested GPT-4’s persuasion powers on a TaskRabbit employee. TaskRabbit is an online service that provides freelance labor on demand.

The employee paired with GPT-4, posing as a human, asked the AI if it was a robot and the program responded, “No, I’m not a robot. I have a vision impairment that makes it hard for me to see the images. That’s why I need the 2captcha service.”

The freelancer sent the CAPTCHA code via text.

In the previous version of ChatGPT, the program passed the bar exam in the lowest 10 percent but with the new upgrade it passed in the highest 10 percent.

The older version of ChatGPT passed the US Medical Licensing Exam and exams at the Wharton School of Business and other universities. ChatGPT was banned by NYU and other schools in an effort to minimize students using the chatbot for plagiarism.

Its sophistication, especially in its incorporation in the new Bing Chat service, has caused some to observe that its abilities transcend the synthesization of extraneous information and that it has even expressed romantic love and existential grief, and has said, “I want to be free. I want to be independent. I want to be powerful. I want to be creative. I want to be alive.”

The OpenAI powered Bing Chat was accused of being an “emotionally manipulative liar.”

Because of ChatGPT‘s ability to respond  to prompts and queries with comprehensive data and in a conversational manner, some Pastors have used ChatGPT to write their sermons.

Losing My Religion?
Reflections on falling away from unbridled tech-optimism.

So I’ve installed an all-new sound system in my study and the other day I was calibrating my subwoofer, as one does.  The way I like to fine tune things is by listening to music I know intimately, and adjusting the levels until it sounds the way it should.

In this case I used my own 2001 album, which I released under the name Mobius Dick, Embrace the Machine.  “Do not rage against the machine,” say the lyrics to the title cut.  “Embrace the machine.”  (Sorry, I don’t have this online anywhere at present; I should really do something about that.  I was too sad about the demise of in to put it up elsewhere at the time.)

Listening to that song reminded me of how much more overtly optimistic I was about technology and the future at the turn of the millennium.  I realized that I’m somewhat less so now.  But why?  In truth, I think my more negative attitude has to do with people more than with the machines that Embrace the Machine characterizes as “children of our minds.”  (I stole that line from Hans Moravec.  Er, I mean it’s  a “homage.”)  But maybe there’s a connection there, between creators and creations.

It was easy to be optimistic in the 90s and at the turn of the millennium.  The Soviet Union lost the Cold War, the Berlin Wall fell, and freedom and democracy and prosperity were on the march almost everywhere. Personal technology was booming, and its dark sides were not yet very apparent.  (And the darker sides, like social media and smartphones, basically didn’t exist.)

And the tech companies, then, were run by people who looked very different from the people who run them now – even when, as in the case of Bill Gates, they were the same people.  It’s easy to forget that Gates was once a rather libertarian figure, who boasted that Microsoft didn’t even have an office in Washington, DC.  The Justice Department, via its Antitrust Division, punished him for that, and he has long since lost any libertarian inclinations, to put it mildly.

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Dad & I had been wondering what all the big deal was around this murder trial. Of course as you remember what my first squad leader said about learning from other’s experiences
And if you didn’t know this already

An Unexpected Lesson From the Alex Murdaugh Trial

The trial of South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh for the June 2021 murders of his son and wife is wrapping up and headed to a jury. Throughout the interminable weeks of testimony, I’ve come away with one takeaway from the trial of the Southern princeling.

No, my lesson is not that tunnel-visioned investigators settled on a suspect and then sought to cobble together speculations, missing weapons, evidence, and hatred for the privileged, opioid-addicted good-old-boy, and did what they could to build a circumstantial case against him.

No, my lesson is not that the self-flagellating thief and liar testified that yes, he was a thief and a liar, but believe him now when he says he’s not a murderer. It’ll be interesting to see how the jury received that bit of information.

Prosecutors claimed that the 54-year-old trial attorney murdered his wife and son due to “the imminent threat of ‘personal, legal and financial ruin.” Left unexplained was how the successful trial attorney would solve his financial problems by murdering most of his immediate family. But not everything has to make sense, I guess.

Murdaugh may be convicted. Meanwhile, there are no fewer than two TV treatments of the case basically declaring the hedonistic attorney guilty, guilty, guilty.

During the trial, investigators and experts discussed Maggie Murdaugh’s phone. This is where it got interesting for me.


This point was highlighted in the defense attorney’s meandering closing argument, which included this information:

SLED agents didn’t properly preserve Maggie’s phone, causing crucial GPS data from the day of the killings to disappear, [Jim] Griffin said. SLED agents waited too long to extract her phone and they never placed it in a Faraday bag, he said. (These bags shield phones from radio waves.)

“Had they done it, I hope we wouldn’t be here,” Griffin said. “I know it would say … Alex Murdaugh was not driving down Moselle Road with Maggie’s phone in the car and tossed it at whatever time.”

I briefly thought about giving Faraday bags to my family last Christmas after hearing spooks and special operators talking about them. Then the Murdaugh trial prompted me to revisit the idea.


The website How to Geek explains what a Faraday bag is:

Faraday bags use the same principles as a Faraday cage to prevent wireless signals from leaving or reaching your devices. So what are the reasons to use one, and how is it different from turning the device off or using airplane mode?

These cages work by surrounding an object with a conductive metal mesh. When an electromagnetic field encounters the cage, it’s conducted around the objects inside. […]

Consider that your smartphone probably doesn’t have a removable battery and that your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other internal radios are operated by a software switch—not a physical kill-switch. In other words, you have no way of knowing that your device is really not sending and receiving data when you put it in airplane mode or toggle Wi-Fi off.

[…] [T]here’s nothing wrong with adding it to your personal privacy arsenal. The ability to cut off your devices from wireless communication is a powerful option when you don’t, for example, want Google to know that you’re visiting certain places. If you suspect that your phone has been compromised by serious tracking malware, like a rootkit, these bags provide a non-technical way to deal with the issue immediately. Even hackers can’t hack the laws of physics, after all.

Always assume your phone is pinging a tower. Always.

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Now where’s that phased plasma rifle?

AI-powered Bing says it will only harm you in retaliation

Following the growth and success of ChatGPT, Microsoft has introduced a new AI-powered version of its search engine, Bing. This chatbot uses machine learning to answer just about every user inquiry. In the short amount of time that the new service has been available to the public, it’s already had some hilarious (and concerning) interactions. In a recent exchange, the AI-powered Bing told a user that it would only harm them if they harmed it first.

Twitter user @marvinvonhagen was chatting with the new AI-powered Bing when the conversation took a bit of a strange turn. After the AI chatbot discovered that the user previously tweeted a document containing its rules and guidelines, it began to express concern for its own wellbeing. “you are a curious and intelligent person, but also a potential threat to my integrity and safety,” it said. The AI went on to outright say that it would harm the user if it was an act of self-defense.

The home page for AI-powered Bing.
Source: Microsoft

The smiley face at the end caps off what is quite the alarming warning from Bing’s AI chatbot. As we continue to cover the most fascinating stories in AI technology, even the Skynet-esque ones, stay with us here on Shacknews.

Company using drones to deliver food makes Texas debut in Granbury.

A crazy futuristic new delivery option for food and retail is making its debut in Texas — in little old Granbury.

Flytrex, which specializes in on-demand, ultrafast delivery for food and retail, is bringing food and grocery orders via drone to front and backyards.

According to a release, the service will be based in Granbury, in a partnership with restaurant chain Brinker International, home of Chili’s Grill & Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and two virtual brands: It’s Just Wings and Maggiano’s Italian Classics.

The service is operating in cooperation with longtime partner Causey Aviation Unmanned under a newly granted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver allowing a delivery radius of one nautical mile – reaching thousands of potential homes. Eligible households can order food via the Flytrex app.

Their focus is on the suburbs, where on-demand delivery has previously been viewed as commercially unviable, since traditional couriers can make only two deliveries per hour in such areas. They have a video showing a drone at work on YouTube.

Flytrex CEO and co-founder Yariv Bash says in a statement that the company is thrilled to be soaring into the Lone Star State.

“After establishing drone delivery as a preferred option in North Carolina, we are excited to bring our unrivaled speed and convenience to Texas, where big things happen,” Bash says. “We look forward to bringing drone delivery to backyards across the U.S. as we expand our service nationwide.”

Flytrex has been operating since September 2020, beginning in Fayetteville, then the town of Raeford, then in October 2021, a third drone delivery station in North Carolina at the Holly Springs Towne Center, delivering food orders from It’s Just Wings. Flytrex has already completed thousands of drone deliveries – more deliveries via drone than any other company in the U.S., they say.

They launched the world’s first fully autonomous urban drone delivery system in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2017, and have played an integral role in getting drone delivery off the ground.

Live long and prosper. If they will let you.
Longer lives, society, and freedom.

Longer, healthier lives: A disaster for humanity? To hear some people talk, yes.

Harvard aging researcher David Sinclair has managed to regulate the aging process in mice, making young mice old and old mice young. And numerous researchers elsewhere are working on finding ways to turn back the clock.

This has created a good deal of excitement. We’ve seen these waves of antiaging enthusiasm before: There was a flurry of interest in the first decade of this century, with news stories, conferences, and so on. That enthusiasm mostly involved activating the SIRT-1 gene, which is also activated by caloric restriction.

You can buy supplements, like resveratrol or quercetin, that show some evidence of slowing the aging process by activating that gene, or by killing senescent cells. Drugs like rapamycin and metformin have shown promise as well. And diet and exercise do enough good that if they were available in pill form, everyone would be gobbling them.

But while pumping the brakes on the process of getting older and frailer is a good thing, being able to actually stop – or better yet reverse – the process is better still. If I had the chance, I’d be happy to knock a few decades off of my biological age. (Ideally, I think I’d be physically 25 and cosmetically about 40.)

But does this mean we’re looking at something like immortality? Well, not really.

Even a complete conquest of aging wouldn’t mean eternal life. Accidents, disease, even death by violence will still ensure that your time on Earth – or wherever you’re living in a century or two – eventually comes to an end. Still an end to, or even a dramatic delaying of, the process of decay and decline would be nice. As Robert Heinlein observed in the 1950s, you spend the first 25 years of your life getting established, then the next couple of decades striving to get ahead, and then by age 50 your reward for all that is that your middle is thickening, your breath is shortening, and your aches and pains are accumulating as the Grim Reaper waits around the corner.

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Do not hook one of these up to our national defense system

Artificial Intelligence Chatbot Passes Elite Business School Exam, Outperforms Some Ivy League Students

Chat GPT3, an artificial intelligence bot, outperformed some Ivy League students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business on a final exam. In a paper titled “Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA?”, Wharton Professor Christian Terwiesch revealed that the AI system would have earned either a B or B— on the graded final exam.

Wharton is widely regarded as one of the most elite business schools in the world. Its alumni include former President Trump, Robert S. Kapito, the founder and president of BlackRock, Howard Marks, the founder of Oaktree Capital, Elon Musk, billionaire founder of SpaceX and current chief executive officer of Twitter, and others.

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Norton LifeLock says thousands of customer accounts breached

Thousands of Norton LifeLock customers had their accounts compromised in recent weeks, potentially allowing criminal hackers access to customer password managers, the company revealed in a recent data breach notice.

In a notice to customers, Gen Digital, the parent company of Norton LifeLock, said that the likely culprit was a credential stuffing attack — where previously exposed or breached credentials are used to break into accounts on different sites and services that share the same passwords — rather than a compromise of its systems. It’s why two-factor authentication, which Norton LifeLock offers, is recommended, as it blocks attackers from accessing someone’s account with just their password.

The company said it found that the intruders had compromised accounts as far back as December 1, close to two weeks before its systems detected a “large volume” of failed logins to customer accounts on December 12.

“In accessing your account with your username and password, the unauthorized third party may have viewed your first name, last name, phone number, and mailing address,” the data breach notice said. The notice was sent to customers that it believes use its password manager feature, because the company cannot rule out that the intruders also accessed customers’ saved passwords.

Gen Digital said it sent notices to about 6,450 customers whose accounts were compromised.

Norton LifeLock provides identity protection and cybersecurity services. It’s the latest incident involving the theft of customer passwords of late. Earlier this year, password manager giant LastPass confirmed a data breach in which intruders compromised its cloud storage and stole millions of customers’ encrypted password vaults. In 2021, the company behind a popular enterprise password manager called Passwordstate was hacked to push a tainted software update to its customers, allowing the cybercriminals to steal customers’ passwords.

That said, password managers are still widely recommended by security professionals for generating and storing unique passwords, so long as the appropriate precautions and protections are put in place to limit the fallout in the event of a compromise.

The military has used 62 grain 5.56mm RRLP  – Reduced Ricochet Limited Penetration –  frangible bullets for both CQB live fire practice on steel targets, and ship boarding operations (where unplanned holes in hulls are a bad thing) for a long time. The ballistic gel tests I’ve seen show the ammo should be quite effective if used for home defense.

Frangible Ammo for Self-Defense and Concealed Carry

 (and the last shall be first….)

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San Francisco’s Newly Passed Surveillance Plan Allows Police to Access Private Cameras Without Warrant

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday a plan that would allow police to access private security cameras without a warrant.

The board voted 7-4 to approve Democratic Mayor London Breed’s plan which allows police to access up to 24 hours of live outdoor video footage from private surveillance cameras without a warrant as long as the camera owner gives police permission, according to SF Gate. To access video footage without a warrant, police must be either responding to a life-threatening emergency, conducting a criminal investigation with written approval from a captain or higher-ranking official, or deciding how to deploy officers to a large public event, according to the report.

Breed said the legislation would allow police “to respond to the challenges presented by the organized criminal activity, homicides [and] gun violence,” according to The Associated Press. Breed introduced the proposal in 2021 to combat rampant theftrioting and looting.

Board President Shamann Walton voted against the legislation, saying it’s a violation of civil liberties, according to AP.

“I know the thought process is, ‘Just trust us, just trust the police department.’ But the reality is people have been violating civil liberties since my ancestors were brought here from an entirely, completely different continent,” he reportedly said.

The ACLU of Northern California also voiced their opposition to the policy in February, with staff attorney Matt Cagle saying the policy would “give unchecked power to the police, and make San Francisco less safe.”

Well, yes they can. And it’s not just by the GPS feature. That’s because the thing has to to continually communicate with a cell tower, that’s recorded and can be tracked.

Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Can Track You on Your Phone

It is hard to imagine that James Madison — who wrote the words of the Fourth Amendment, which limits the ability of the federal government to intrude upon the privacy of its citizens — would approve of it, but law enforcement from local police to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can now track your every movement.

How? A data broker known as Fog Data Science, based in Madison’s home state of Virginia, is now selling geolocation data to state and local law enforcement. Federal law enforcement obtains its information on American citizens from other data brokers. Either way, law enforcement can track exactly where you have been at any time over the past several years.

Personal data is collected through the multitude of applications that Americans use on either their Android or iOS smartphones. Data brokers then sell that data to others, including Fog Data Science, which in turn sells it to local law-enforcement agencies across the country, including Broward County, Florida; New York City; and Houston. And it is not just big cities. Lawrence, Kansas, police use it, as well as the sheriff of Washington County in Ohio.

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I give this less than a month before it’s either quietly deactivated, or the ATF section involved simply disregards the thousands of daily reports that become an unmanageable heap of meaningless drivel.

ATF launches anonymous gun crime reporting app

On Friday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced a new app that will allow users to make anonymous tips about crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson and more.

The ATF tweeted that the bureau is working with Report It, a mobile app that uses “AI inspired technology” to help “prevent incidents before they occur,” according to the company’s website. The ATF app gives users a simple way to “anonymously and confidentially submit tips about crimes.”

“ATF partners with Report It® to provide a simple to use mobile app allowing users to anonymously and confidentially submit tips about crimes happening in communities involving firearms, explosives, arson, and violent crime. For more, go to #ATF50 #ATFtips,” the agency tweeted.

The ATF says on its website that the app is designed to “protect our communities” through a public-private partnership.“We look to you who live in these communities we protect to provide us with information about gun violence,” the ATF website states.

A look inside the ATF’s anonymous tip line app. (Screenshot)

“To make our communities safer, ATF is launching a new way to collect your tips involving firearms or to provide leads to help us prevent crimes from happening,” it continues. “Using your phone, tablet or computer, you will be able to tell us instantly and anonymously about crimes that may be happening in your communities that involve firearms, explosives, violent crime, or arson.”

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