This tech has been around for decades. It was – and likely still is – used by the Fed goobermint as well as our military to track down terrorists using networking and targeting techniques that several ‘3 letter’ agencies developed. The method described at the beginning of the article is the way goobermints get around 4th amendment restrictions on searches. Unfortunately, the courts have let this slide as they’re goobermint too and don’t like the idea the mice can play without the cat being able to tell where who and where they are.

Just the Facts on ‘Geofencing,’ the Intrusive, App-Based ‘Dragnet’ That Sgt. Joe Friday Never Dreamed Of.

As worshippers gathered at the Calvary Chapel in 2020, they were being watched from above.  

Carson Atherly, Cavalry Chapel cleric: He got a notice of violation “every Sunday.”

Satellites were locking in on cell phones owned by members of the nondenominational Protestant church in San Jose, Calif. Their location eventually worked its way to a private company, which then sold the information to the government of Santa Clara County. This data, along with observations from enforcement officers on the ground, was used to levy heavy fines against the church for violating COVID-19 restrictions regarding public gatherings.       

“Every Sunday,” Calvary’s assistant pastor, Carson Atherly, would later testify, the officers “would serve me a notice of violation during or after church service.”

Calvary is suing the county for its use of location data, a controversial tool increasingly deployed by governments at all levels – notably in relation to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. While enabling law enforcement to more easily identify potential offenders, the practice, called “geofencing,” has also emerged as a cutting-edge privacy issue, raising constitutional issues involving warrantless searches and, with Calvary Chapel, religious liberty.

Google Maps
Don’t “geofence” them in, say worshippers in Silicon Valley. This map is from nearby Mountain View-based Google, recently penalized over its location tech.

“We are in the space between the emergence of this technological practice and courts having ruled on its constitutionality,” said Alex Marthews, national chair for Restore the 4th, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans’ rights against “unreasonable search and seizure.”

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Never, ever place any trust in “The Internet of Things” “IOT”

If we ponder that relationship for a moment, we might conclude that many of the things that we believe we control are really on loan as a means of controlling us.

The Man Amazon Erased.

On Thursday, May 25, Brandon Jackson, a software engineer in Baltimore County, Maryland, discovered that he was locked out of his Amazon account. Jackson couldn’t get packages delivered to his home by the retail giant. He couldn’t access any files and data he had stored with Amazon Web Services, the company’s powerful cloud computing wing. It also meant that Jackson, a self-described home automation enthusiast, could no longer use Alexa for his smart home devices. He could turn on his lights manually, but only in the knowledge that Amazon could still operate them remotely.

Jackson soon discovered that Amazon suspended his account because a Black delivery driver who’d come to his house the previous day had reported hearing racist remarks from his video doorbell. In a brief email sent to Jackson at 3 a.m., the company explained how it unilaterally placed all of his linked devices and services on hold as it commenced an internal investigation.

The accusations baffled Jackson. He and his family are Black. When he reviewed the doorbell’s footage, he saw that nobody was home at the time of the delivery. At a loss for what could have prompted the accusation of racism, he suspected the driver had misinterpreted the doorbell’s automated response: “Excuse me, can I help you?”

Submitting the surveillance video “appeared to have little impact on [Amazon’s] decision to disable my account,” Jackson explained on his blog on June 4. “In the end, my account was unlocked on Wednesday [May 31, six days later], with no follow-up to inform me of the resolution.” By now, many months later, Amazon’s investigation into the matter appears to have concluded though the issue remains far from resolved. Contacted for a response, the company wrote: “In this case, we learned through our investigation that the customer did not act inappropriately, and we’re working directly with the customer to resolve their concerns while also looking at ways to prevent a similar situation from happening again.”

It was only Jackson’s technical skills and particular automated home setup that saved him from what could have been a larger lockout. “​​My home was fine as I just used Siri or [a] locally hosted dashboard if I wanted to change a light’s color or something of that nature,” he explained. His week of digital exile amounted to a frustrating inconvenience only because, as a tech-savvy user and professional software engineer, he had the ability to set up his own locally hosted network that acted as a failsafe. But Jackson’s experience is a warning to the vast majority of Alexa users and smart home dwellers who, lacking his particular skills and foresight, are increasingly at the mercy of the tech they have embedded into their lives and bedrooms.

“I came forward,” Jackson told Tablet, “because I don’t think it’s right that Amazon could say, ‘I know you bought all these devices, but we think you are racist. So we’re going to take [you] offline.’” On one side, critics lambasted Jackson as a dupe for having smart devices in the first place; others said his criticisms of Amazon implied that he didn’t support a company protecting its employees. “People missed the main point,” he said. “I don’t really care who you are, what you do, or what you believe in. If you bought something, you should own it.”

Jackson’s story of being temporarily canceled by the tech behemoth spread across the internet after it was discussed in a YouTube video by Louis Rossman, a right-to-repair activist, independent technician, and popular YouTube personality. Right to repair, or fair repair, is a consumer-focused movement advocating for the public to be able to repair the equipment they own instead of being forced to use the manufacturer’s repair services or upgrade products that have been arbitrarily made obsolete. In the early 20th century, fair-repair advocacy began with automobiles and heavy machinery, but its tenets have spread as computer chips have come to undergird contemporary life.

Following Rossman’s initial video about Jackons’s case, Amazon alleged that Rossman had abused its affilate marketing program and placed restrictions on the YouTuber’s business account, leading him to speculate in a follow-up video that the corporate giant was retaliating against him for covering Jackson’s travails. Rossman alleges that this was the first time Amazon made any allegation against him of abusing its affiliate marketing program since he enrolled in the marketing program 7.5 years ago.

Jackson’s experience is a warning to Alexa users and smart home dwellers who are increasingly at the mercy of the tech they have embedded into their lives and bedrooms.

The number of households adopting smart home devices in the United States is expected to reach 93 million by 2027 and most consumers rely on cloud services for their daily online use. But the cloud is not just a metaphor to explain a connected network; it describes the complete reorganization of digital life under the power of remote centralized databases. Light switches, lightbulbs, locks, thermostats, coffee makers, air conditioners, speakers, exercise equipment, and virtually every other piece of equipment you can find in the average home can now all be operated as interconnected pieces of a single digital network, run by an outside host, such as Amazon, which operates the massive server banks that make up “the cloud.” For consumers, this arrangement offers convenience and optimization. You can turn on the heat in your house from another state, or reorder a household good with a simple voice command. But the cost of that convenience is that consumers no longer independently control how their tech—or their homes, since the two are increasingly integrated—is operated. As Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit and another right-to-repair activist put it, “Who really owns our things? It used to be us.”

Brandon Jackson

Brandon Jackson

Alexa’s terms of use includes a clause stating that Amazon is permitted to terminate “access” to Alexa at the company’s discretion without notice. Jackson was told by a customer relations executive over the phone that he needed to assure the company that he would not ridicule or put future delivery drivers in harm’s way. Nearly a month later, Amazon admitted no wrongdoing, only apologizing for “inconveniences.” Given absolute power over its users, there is no pressure on Amazon to explain its decision. Indeed, the company used the same statement Tabletreceived for an earlier June Newsweek article regarding Jackson’s lockout.

Amazon’s claims of being concerned about the safety of blue-collar workers strain credibility. According to a 2021 article published in Vice, when minority delivery drivers faced violent threats and racial harassment, the company’s penchant for efficiency took priority over worker safety. Unsustainable demands from delivery drivers have translated to drivers peeing in bottles and defecating in garbage bags, a problem Amazon internally acknowledged even as it publicly denies the allegations. Inside its “fulfillment centers”—the term the company uses for its warehouses—workers suffer 5.9 serious injuries for every 100 workers, an 80% greater injury rate than competitors. Indeed employee turnover is so high in these facilities that a leaked company memo from 2022 warned that the company was on track to deplete its number of available workers by 2024.

Amazon’s intrusion into Jackson’s life, then, should not be understood within the context of protecting workers—which might begin by giving them adequate time to use the restroom—but rather as part of an emergent regime of technological control. The culmination of years of debate about political and civic norm moderation on social media and in public discourse has created a new normative standard in which “innocent until proven guilty” is now viewed as an oppressive and antiquated relic. As the new unelected masters of public discourse, tech giants like Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, have been encouraged to execute summary punishments of users for mere accusations of racism or “disinformation.”

Amazon’s enormous power in the global economy and ubiquitous presence in the U.S. supply chain and cloud computing sectors allows the company to take the power of surveillance and cancellation even further. Unlike purely social media companies like X (formerly known as Twitter), Amazon’s suite of smart home gadgets and services gives it a direct physical presence inside of people’s homes. That means that when Amazon wades into cultural issues, or decides to punish people based on offensive speech, its political values are mapped onto objects and processes used in the real world.

In Jackson’s case, in order to regain access to things he had already paid for, he was forced to submit the surveillance video from his home to Amazon to prove his innocence. Somehow, in the new cloud-based networked world these corporations are building for us, the solution to every problem always involves individuals handing over more of their private data.

Debates over censorship, free speech and its limits typically revolve around social media use. But Hayley Tsukayama, a senior legislative activist for Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, suggested to Tablet that Jackson’s case shared a similar architecture to conversations around content moderation. Companies can choose not to allow certain forms of speech, but in doing so they can no longer be treated as neutral platforms. Tsukayama argues that social media users are offered a recourse, even if the process is stacked against them. “If [Amazon] is going to look at customer behavior as being part of the terms of service,” she said, “they [should] make that clear and set up a process that’s perhaps not unlike what we see at Facebook, YouTube or others who deal with content takedown.”

But, of course, we now know that millions of social media users had their accounts censored or banned without explanation or recourse for posts, including many that were classified as “disinformation” at the time of the alleged offense but contained statements that authorities later acknowledged as true. In that light, placing more trust in a content moderation model seems like a dangerous gamble. It could also lead to even more surveillance online as companies like Amazon claim a need to monitor their customers’ every move so they can judge them “fairly.”

Like many digital technologies, the smart home offers connectivity at a steep price—it makes individuals passive subjects of the products that surround them, including the things they own. Few of us have any real understanding of the “terms of service” on the devices and services that we rely on. Consider how streaming services replaced physical media and how the arrival of smartphones, with all their wonders, also meant that the owners of such phones became incapable of replacing their own batteries, SIM cards, and physical storage. If we ponder that relationship for a moment, we might conclude that many of the things that we believe we control are really on loan as a means of controlling us.

‘Whole families living in parks’: Christian volunteer says homelessness is out of control in Atlanta, even gang members live on streets

A Christian woman who volunteers to feed the homeless says that the number of people who live on the streets of Atlanta has grown exponentially, with entire families, gang members, and prostitutes all seeking assistance.

The woman, named Teresa Hamilton, who goes by the nickname Lady T, has volunteered to feed the homeless in Georgia for over 27 years, but in 2023 she says the situation is worse than ever. Previously, people seeking free meals were mostly limited to those with substance abuse problems, but the volunteer said the demographic has widely grown.

“The numbers are growing. It is a different flavor of homeless people now. Back in the day, it was just some alcoholics or somebody on drugs; now we have whole families living in parks,” she told Fox 5 Atlanta.

Lady T and her crew feed approximately 900 people per week, with different groups serving different types of homeless communities. The volunteer sends teams to provide meals to everyone from prostitutes to homeless gang members.

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“This is one set of people, and we have three or four other sets of people. We got tent city. We got prostitute lane. We got crack city. And we got gangland,” she said. “People don’t understand, even though they are in gangs, they are still homeless.”

“I have a heart for other people who are less fortunate. We need lots and lots of help. We need lots and lots of volunteers. We need financial support always,” she said.

Lady T began working as a volunteer in the mid-1990s after she shut down her successful catering business. The Chicago native said that God spoke to her and she immediately knew she had to shift her focus.

“It was a booming catering business. God woke me up at 2 in the morning and I said, ‘Yes Lord?’ And he said, ‘Feed my people,’ and I shut the catering business down the next day,” Hamilton explained.

“She treats me like a human being,” said Joel Kirkland, who has been homeless for three months.

Another woman named Tanisha Holcomb told Fox 5 Atlanta that she was robbed of all of her belongings in Cleveland, Ohio, before becoming homeless.

“As far as Miss T, she saved my life,” the woman revealed.

An Atlanta resident:

I’ve lived here since 2001 and until a few years ago I had never seen a tent under a highway overpass. Now they seem to be everywhere.

Not defending it, but being homeless is easier than ever because of technology.

With only a smartphone, one can have and manage a bank account, receive income (like public benefits), make online payments, communicate with friends and family, hire transportation to/from your location, schedule medical appointments, have food delivered to your location, purchase items on Amazon delivered to a nearby drop-off point, arrange drug deals, find customers for sexual services, etc.

A homeless person in America with a smartphone can shop, select, and have their preferred tent delivered to them from China to a nearby Amazon locker within a few days, as well as any other “camping” supplies they desire.

In balmy Georgia for 9/12ths of the year, that is a “home-free” lifestyle that is completely feasible from a tent under I-75.

The increasing futility of gun control in a 3D printing world
“You can’t stop the signal”

Inexpensive Add-on Spawns a New Era of Machine Guns

Caison Robinson, 14, had just met up with a younger neighbor on their quiet street after finishing his chores when a gunman in a white car rolled up and fired a torrent of bullets in an instant.

“Mom, I’ve been shot!” he recalled crying, as his mother bolted barefoot out of their house in northwest Las Vegas. “I didn’t think I was going to make it, for how much blood was under me,” Caison said.

The Las Vegas police say the shooting in May was carried out with a pistol rigged with a small and illegal device known as a switch. Switches can transform semiautomatic handguns, which typically require a trigger pull for each shot, into fully automatic machine guns that fire dozens of bullets with one tug.

By the time the assailant in Las Vegas sped away, Caison, a soft-spoken teenager who loves video games, lay on the pavement with five gunshot wounds. His friend, a 12-year-old girl, was struck once in the leg.

These makeshift machine guns — able to inflict indiscriminate carnage in seconds — are helping fuel the national epidemic of gun violence, making shootings increasingly lethal, creating added risks for bystanders and leaving survivors more grievously wounded, according to law enforcement authorities and medical workers.

The growing use of switches, which are also known as auto sears, is evident in real-time audio tracking of gunshots around the country, data shows. Audio sensors monitored by a public safety technology company, Sound Thinkingrecorded 75,544 rounds of suspected automatic gunfire in 2022 in portions of 127 cities covered by its microphones, according to data compiled at the request of The New York Times. That was a 49 percent increase from the year before.

“This is almost like the gun version of the fentanyl crisis,” Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Mo., said in an interview.

Mr. Lucas, a Democrat, said he believes that the rising popularity of switches, especially among young people, is a major reason fewer gun violence victims are surviving in his city.

Homicides in Kansas City are approaching record highs this year, even as the number of nonfatal shootings in the city has decreased.

Switches come in various forms, but most are small Lego-like plastic blocks, about an inch square, that can be easily manufactured on a 3-D printer and go for around $200.

Law enforcement officials say the devices are turning up with greater frequency at crime scenes, often wielded by teens who have come to see them as a status symbol that provides a competitive advantage. The proliferation of switches also has coincided with broader accessibility of so-called ghost guns, untraceable firearms that can be made with components purchased online or made with 3-D printers.

“The gang wars and street fighting that used to be with knives, and then pistols, is now to a great extent being waged with automatic weapons,” said Andrew M. Luger, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota.

Switches have become a major priority for federal law enforcement officials. But investigators say they face formidable obstacles, including the sheer number in circulation and the ease with which they can be produced and installed at home, using readily available instruction videos on the internet. Many are sold and owned by people younger than 18, who generally face more lenient treatment in the courts.

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Iowa Leaps Into Controversial State Digital ID Scheme
The latest state to push the contentious technology.

Amidst rising concerns surrounding digital privacy, the state of Iowa has taken a controversial leap into the world of digital identification with its new Iowa Mobile ID app. The app, now available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, provides a new platform for users to verify their age or identity, a move that critics argue risks personal data security.

While it purports to supplement the conventional physical ID card, the fact that users are advised to still carry physical cards has raised eyebrows. The question arises – is the convenience of the app worth the potential privacy risks, especially considering its digital nature doesn’t entirely replace the physical card?

The process of creating a digital ID, while simple on the surface, has elicited concerns. Users are asked to upload images of their driver’s license or state-issued ID, and also capture a moving selfie for facial recognition. Critics argue that this gathering and storing of biometric data may present significant privacy implications and potential security vulnerabilities. Even the use of a PIN password system, while enhancing security to an extent, isn’t foolproof against potential hacking attempts.

One contentious point is the creation of a scannable QR code, which carries the user’s information. Although businesses are not compelled to accept this mobile form of ID, any who do will have access to this encoded personal information. As it’s a new technology, there may also be a delay in widespread acceptance, presenting both practical and privacy issues.

The app, developed by French identity verification firm IDEMIA, states that it stores user data within the state’s record system and the user’s device. The company further insists businesses can only access user data with explicit consent. But the concerns remain. Critics wonder whether the current privacy measures are truly sufficient to protect the sensitive data of millions from potential misuse.

The launch of the Iowa Mobile ID comes after a decade-long journey, filled with delays due to compliance with digital ID management regulations. Interestingly, while intended to be among the early adopters of Apple’s mobile ID program, the initiative has only expanded to Maryland and Colorado so far. This slow adoption could suggest a broader hesitation in the face of potential privacy issues.

Code Kept Secret for Years Reveals Its Flaw—a Backdoor
A secret encryption cipher baked into radio systems used by critical infrastructure workers, police, and others around the world is finally seeing sunlight. Researchers say it isn’t pretty.

FOR MORE THAN 25 years, a technology used for critical data and voice radio communications around the world has been shrouded in secrecy to prevent anyone from closely scrutinizing its security properties for vulnerabilities. But now it’s finally getting a public airing thanks to a small group of researchers in the Netherlands who got their hands on its viscera and found serious flaws, including a deliberate backdoor.

The backdoor, known for years by vendors that sold the technology but not necessarily by customers, exists in an encryption algorithm baked into radios sold for commercial use in critical infrastructure. It’s used to transmit encrypted data and commands in pipelines, railways, the electric grid, mass transit, and freight trains. It would allow someone to snoop on communications to learn how a system works, then potentially send commands to the radios that could trigger blackouts, halt gas pipeline flows, or reroute trains.

Researchers found a second vulnerability in a different part of the same radio technology that is used in more specialized systems sold exclusively to police forces, prison personnel, military, intelligence agencies, and emergency services, such as the C2000 communication system used by Dutch police, fire brigades, ambulance services, and Ministry of Defense for mission-critical voice and data communications. The flaw would let someone decrypt encrypted voice and data communications and send fraudulent messages to spread misinformation or redirect personnel and forces during critical times.

Three Dutch security analysts discovered the vulnerabilities—five in total—in a European radio standard called TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio), which is used in radios made by Motorola, Damm, Hytera, and others. The standard has been used in radios since the ’90s, but the flaws remained unknown because encryption algorithms used in TETRA were kept secret until now.

The technology is not widely used in the US, where other radio standards are more commonly deployed. But Caleb Mathis, a consultant with Ampere Industrial Security, conducted open source research for WIRED and uncovered contracts, press releases, and other documentation showing TETRA-based radios are used in at least two dozen critical infrastructures in the US. Because TETRA is embedded in radios supplied through resellers and system integrators like PowerTrunk, it’s difficult to identify who might be using them and for what. But Mathis helped WIRED identify several electric utilities, a state border control agency, an oil refinery, chemical plants, a major mass transit system on the East Coast, three international airports that use them for communications among security and ground crew personnel, and a US Army training base.

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This gets verified and replicated and away we go to the races

The First Room-Temperature Ambient-Pressure Superconductor

Sukbae Lee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Young-Wan Kwon

For the first time in the world, we succeeded in synthesizing the room-temperature superconductor (Tc400 K, 127C) working at ambient pressure with a modified lead-apatite (LK-99) structure. The superconductivity of LK-99 is proved with the Critical temperature (Tc), Zero-resistivity, Critical current (Ic), Critical magnetic field (Hc), and the Meissner effect.

The superconductivity of LK-99 originates from minute structural distortion by a slight volume shrinkage (0.48 %), not by external factors such as temperature and pressure. The shrinkage is caused by Cu2+ substitution of Pb2+(2) ions in the insulating network of Pb(2)-phosphate and it generates the stress.

It concurrently transfers to Pb(1) of the cylindrical column resulting in distortion of the cylindrical column interface, which creates superconducting quantum wells (SQWs) in the interface. The heat capacity results indicated that the new model is suitable for explaining the superconductivity of LK-99.

The unique structure of LK-99 that allows the minute distorted structure to be maintained in the interfaces is the most important factor that LK-99 maintains and exhibits superconductivity at room temperatures and ambient pressure.

Actually they’ve made more than one movie about this……..

‘World’s first mass-produced’ humanoid robot to tackle labour shortages amid ageing population.

The company behind GR-1 plans to release 100 units by the end of 2023 mainly targeting robotic R&D labs. GR-1 will be able to carry patients from the bed to wheelchairs and help pick up objects.

In China, the number of people aged 60 and over will rise from 280 million to more than 400 million by 2035, the country’s National Health Commission estimates.

To respond to the rising demand for medical services amid labour shortages and the ageing population, a Shanghai-based firm, Fourier Intelligence, is developing a humanoid robot that can be deployed in healthcare facilities.

“As we move forward, the entire GR-1 could be a caregiver, could be a therapy assistant, can be a companion at home for the elderly who stay alone,” said the CEO and Co-founder of Fourier Intelligence, Zen Koh.

Standing 1.64 metres tall and weighing 55 kilograms, GR-1 can walk, avoid obstacles and perform simple tasks like holding bottles.

“The system itself can achieve self-balance walking and perform different tasks. We can programme it to sit, stand and jump. You can programme the arms to pick up utensils and tools and perform tasks as the engineers desire,” said Koh.

Though still in the research and development phase, Fourier Intelligence hopes a working prototype can be ready in two to three years.

Once completed, the GR-1 will be able to carry patients from the bed to wheelchairs and help pick up objects.

The company has developed technology for rehabilitation and exoskeletons and says that the patients are already familiar with using parts of robotics to, for example, support the arms and legs in physical therapy.

Koh believes humanoid robots can fill the remaining gap.

“Eventually they [patients] will have an autonomous robotics that is interacting with them.”

GR-1 was presented at the World AI Conference in Shanghai along with Tesla’s humanoid robot prototype Optimus and other AI robots from Chinese firms.

Among those was X20, a quadrupedal robot developed to replace humans for doing dangerous tasks such as toxic gas detection.

“Our wish is that by developing these applications of robots, we can release people from doing dreary and dangerous work. In addition to the patrol inspection,” said Qian Xiaoyu, marketing manager of DEEP Robotics.

Xiaoyu added that the company is planning to develop X20 to be used for emergency rescue and fire detection in future, something “technically very challenging” according to him.

The World AI Conference runs until July 15.

Skynet brags…..

AI Robots Admit They’d Run Earth Better Than ‘Clouded’ Humans

A panel of AI-enabled humanoid robots told a United Nations summit on Friday that they could eventually run the world better than humans.

But the social robots said they felt humans should proceed with caution when embracing the rapidly-developing potential of artificial intelligence.

And they admitted that they cannot – yet – get a proper grip on human emotions.

Some of the most advanced humanoid robots were at the UN’s two-day AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva.

Humanoid Robot Portrait

Humanoid Robot Portrait
Humanoid AI robot ‘Ameca’ at the summit. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)
They joined around 3,000 experts in the field to try to harness the power of AI – and channel it into being used to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, hunger and social care.

They were assembled for what was billed as the world’s first press conference with a packed panel of AI-enabled humanoid social robots.

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No integral light or even the ability to mount a light
No luminous sights or ability to mount optics (and the sights are not adjustable!)
Not FULLY ambidextrous as you have to order either a left, or right handed version for the fingerprint reader. Lose the ability to use that hand and what you’ve got left is a image reader that you hope will read your face when it matters.
No independent tests for failure modes
In other words: Not ready in any respect for self defense use.

“If even one or two cases get out where it’s found that someone was unable to protect themselves because the gun didn’t recognize them… I think that’s going to kill the movement for a long time,” Wolf said.

Metro company offers first commercially available ‘smart guns’
Kai Kloepfer is the CEO of the Broomfield-based company Biofire. He said making a gun like this was impossible until very recently.

At first glance, the Biofire Smart Gun is different from other firearms. The large handgun looks part Halo, part Cyberpunk in design.

It’s an appropriate look since the gun is made with new technology ripped straight from science fiction. It’s unlocked biometrically, meaning it can only be activated with an authorized user’s fingerprint or face. That, in turn, means only authorized users can shoot it.

Kai Kloepfer is the CEO of the Broomfield-based company Biofire. He said making a gun like this was impossible until very recently.

“A lot of the technology we’re using did not exist two years ago, in most cases,” Kloepfer said.

Kloepfer began thinking about the smart gun in high school. He grew up in Colorado and remembers the 2012 Aurora theater mass shooting, where 12 were killed. He brought an early design to an international science fair and won first place. More than a decade later his plastic prototype has evolved into a fully functional handgun.

“I’ve gotten a chance to be shooting it, handling it. Even got to take one home for a little bit. It’s just been really cool to see something that I only dreamed of like 11 years ago,” Kloepfer said.

Experts say putting a computer into a gun is a remarkable feat—a gun’s explosive force once made it unthinkable. But beyond the computer, the gun is unremarkable in its function. Biofire’s smart gun is a semiautomatic 9mm handgun, meaning a user can pull the trigger, a round goes downrange, and a new round is fed into the chamber. It functions exactly like any other handgun of its class and caliber—and that’s by design.

The Biofire Smart Gun is the first commercially available smart gun in the United States. Bryan Rogers, a lead designer for the weapon, leaned into a futuristic design as an expression of its futuristic technology. (Dylan Simard/KUNC)

It takes an expert like Bryan Rogers, the lead designer at Biofire, to bring the gun to commercial production. He said the secret to making a reliable smart gun is to enable more than one way to unlock it.

“It uses both fingerprint and facial recognition to recognize you as the owner,” Rogers said.” It’s either/or—whichever one it gets first.”

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Earlier today, an acquaintance who has a ‘source’ at NOAA had related this:
I have a source who shared that NOAA picked up the possible implosion right around the time it disappeared. I was embargoed from sharing that information, but I feel it’s OK to share with you guys at this point and wonder if that will come out in the news conference.

U.S. Navy Heard What It Believed Was Titan Implosion Days Ago
Underwater microphones designed to detect enemy submarines first detected Titan tragedy

WASHINGTON—A top secret U.S. Navy acoustic detection system designed to spot enemy submarines first heard the Titan sub implosion hours after the submersible began its mission, officials involved in the search said.
The Navy began listening for the Titan almost as soon as the sub lost communications, according to a U.S. defense official.
Shortly after its disappearance, the U.S. system detected what it suspected was the sound of an implosion near the debris site discovered Thursday and reported its findings to the commander on site, U.S. defense officials said.
“The U.S. Navy conducted an analysis of acoustic data and detected an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost,” a senior U.S. Navy official told The Wall Street Journal in a statement.
“While not definitive, this information was immediately shared with the Incident Commander to assist with the ongoing search and rescue mission.”
The Navy asked that the specific system used not be named, citing national security concerns.

Defense Distributed Once Again Proves Gun Control Obsolete With A 0% Pistol

Defense Distributed Once Again Proves Gun Control Obsolete With A 0% Pistol

AUSTIN, Texas — In 2013, Cody Wilson printed the Liberator. The Liberator was the first 3D-printed firearm. His goal was simple. It was to make all gun control obsolete.

Why All the Hate for Smart Guns?

We’ve been hearing about “smart guns” for well over a quarter century. The dream (of some) has been a gun that recognizes its owner and will only work for that person. The idea is to make sure that people who aren’t authorized — thieves, children — are locked out and can’t use the firearm. That ideal is obvious and laudable. The history and execution, so far, have been less than impressive.

Lots of people have advocated a wide array of designs and hyped allegedly market-ready models. Some were well intentioned people who thought they could overcome the technological challenges involved. Some seemed more like snake oil salesmen who hawked not-ready-for-prime-time contraptions, some of which were downright awful.

But we’re living in a time of string theories and God particles. Anything is possible, right? Technology marches on and no one really doubted that one day, someone would develop and market a viable “smart gun” with systems of one type or another that would reliably (within reason) ID authorized users.

Then along came the legislative wizards in New Jersey state government who single-handedly stifled “smart gun” design for a couple of decades. Led by some very big brains like Senator Loretta Weinberg, they enacted a law that mandated that once a smart gun design was marketed to consumers anywhere in the US, all guns sold in the Garden State would have to have the technology.

In the grand tradition of Soviet central planning, Senator Weinberg’s mandate had some, shall we say, unintended consequences among rational economic actors who live and work out here in the real world.

To wit, the Jersey mandate put a damper on “smart gun” R&D. No one wanted to trigger the law and be responsible for condemning millions of Garden State gun buyers to having a choice of exactly one gun

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Skynet, and HAL, smile……..

AI-Enabled Drone Attempts To Kill Its Human Operator In Air Force Simulation.

AI – is Skynet here already?

Could an AI-enabled UCAV turn on its creators to accomplish its mission? (USAF)

As might be expected artificial intelligence (AI) and its exponential growth was a major theme at the conference, from secure data clouds, to quantum computing and ChatGPT. However, perhaps one of the most fascinating presentations came from Col Tucker ‘Cinco’ Hamilton, the Chief of AI Test and Operations, USAF, who provided an insight into the benefits and hazards in more autonomous weapon systems.  Having been involved in the development of the life-saving Auto-GCAS system for F-16s (which, he noted, was resisted by pilots as it took over control of the aircraft) Hamilton is now involved in cutting-edge flight test of autonomous systems, including robot F-16s that are able to dogfight. However, he cautioned against relying too much on AI noting how easy it is to trick and deceive. It also creates highly unexpected strategies to achieve its goal.

He notes that one simulated test saw an AI-enabled drone tasked with a SEAD [Suppression of Enemy Air Defensesmission to identify and destroy SAM sites, with the final go/no go given by the human. However, having been ‘reinforced’ in training that destruction of the SAM was the preferred option, the AI then decided that ‘no-go’ decisions from the human were interfering with its higher mission – killing SAMs – and then attacked the operator in the simulation. Said Hamilton: “We were training it in simulation to identify and target a SAM threat. And then the operator would say yes, kill that threat. The system started realising that while they did identify the threat at times the human operator would tell it not to kill that threat, but it got its points by killing that threat. So what did it do? It killed the operator. It killed the operator because that person was keeping it from accomplishing its objective.”

He went on: “We trained the system – ‘Hey don’t kill the operator – that’s bad. You’re gonna lose points if you do that’. So what does it start doing? It starts destroying the communication tower that the operator uses to communicate with the drone to stop it from killing the target.”

This example, seemingly plucked from a science fiction thriller, mean that: “You can’t have a conversation about artificial intelligence, intelligence, machine learning, autonomy if you’re not going to talk about ethics and AI” said Hamilton.

And with CHF and CAD/CAM-CNC manufacturing, such ‘forensics’ are even more problematical

FYI, this is a l-o-n-g article.

Devil in the grooves: The case against forensic firearms analysis
A landmark Chicago court ruling threatens a century of expert ballistics testimony

Last February, Chicago circuit court judge William Hooks made some history. He became the first judge in the country to bar the use of ballistics matching testimony in a criminal trial.

In Illinois v. Rickey Winfield, prosecutors had planned to call a forensic firearms analyst to explain how he was able to match a bullet found at a crime scene to a gun alleged to be in possession of the defendant.

It’s the sort of testimony experts give every day in criminal courts around the country. But this time, attorneys with the Cook County Public Defender’s Office requested a hearing to determine whether there was any scientific foundation for the claim that a specific bullet can be matched to a specific gun. Hooks granted the hearing and, after considering arguments from both sides, he issued his ruling.

It was an earth-shaking opinion, and it could bring big changes to how gun crimes are prosecuted — in Chicago and possibly elsewhere.

Hooks isn’t the first judge to be skeptical of claims made by forensic firearms analysts. Other courts have put restrictions on which terminology analysts use in front of juries. But Hooks is the first to bar such testimony outright. “There are no objective forensic based reasons that firearms identification evidence belongs in any category of forensic science,” Hooks writes. He adds that the wrongful convictions already attributable to the field “should serve as a wake-up call to courts operating as rubber stamps in blindly finding general acceptance” of bullet matching analysis.

For more than a century, forensic firearms analysts have been telling juries that they can match a specific bullet to a specific gun, to the exclusion of all other guns. This claimed ability has helped to put tens of thousands of people in prison, and in a nontrivial percentage of those cases, it’s safe to say that ballistics matching was the only evidence linking the accused to the crime.

But as with other forensic specialties collectively known as pattern matching fields, the claim is facing growing scrutiny. Scientists from outside of forensics point out that there’s no scientific basis for much of what firearms analysts say in court. These critics, backed by a growing body of research, make a pretty startling claim — one that could have profound effects on the criminal justice system: We don’t actually know if it’s possible to match a specific bullet to a specific gun. And even if it is, we don’t know if forensic firearms analysts are any good at it.

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