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Archive for the ‘government’ category

Jul 25, 2017

‘Keys to kingdom’ leaked

Posted by in categories: government, habitats, military

Sweden’s government has exposed sensitive and personal data of millions, along with the nation’s military secrets, in what is now considered to be one of the worst government IT disasters ever. The leak, which occurred in 2015, saw the names, photos and home addresses of millions exposed. Those affected include fighter pilots of Swedish air force, police suspects, people under the witness relocation programme, members of the military’s most secretive units (equivalent to the SAS or SEAL teams) and more.

The leak occurred after the Swedish Transportation Agency (STA) decided to outsource its database management and other IT services to firms such as IBM and NCR. However, the STA uploaded its entire database onto cloud servers, which included details on every single vehicle in the country. The database was then emailed to marketers in clear text message. When the error was discovered, the STA merely sent another email asking the marketing subscribers to delete the previous list themselves.

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Jul 25, 2017

China is launching an unhackable computer network

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government

Around 200 government workers in Jinan, in China’s eastern Shandong province, will soon be able to send to transmit messages across an impenetrable 125 mile long (200km) network.

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Jul 24, 2017

Cory Doctorow on technological immortality, the transporter problem, and fast-moving futures

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, government, life extension, neuroscience, security, surveillance

Cory Doctorow has made several careers out of thinking about the future, as a journalist and co-editor of Boing Boing, an activist with strong ties to the Creative Commons movement and the right-to-privacy movement, and an author of novels that largely revolve around the ways changing technology changes society. From his debut novel, Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom (about rival groups of Walt Disney World designers in a post-scarcity society where social currency determines personal value), to his most acclaimed, Little Brother (about a teenage gamer fighting the Department of Homeland Security), his books tend to be high-tech and high-concept, but more about how people interface with technologies that feel just a few years into the future.

But they also tend to address current social issues head-on. Doctorow’s latest novel, Walkaway, is largely about people who respond to the financial disparity between the ultra-rich and the 99 percent by walking away and building their own networked micro-societies in abandoned areas. Frightened of losing control over society, the 1 percent wages full-on war against the “walkaways,” especially after they develop a process that can digitize individual human brains, essentially uploading them to machines and making them immortal. When I talked to Doctorow about the book and the technology behind it, we started with how feasible any of this might be someday, but wound up getting deep into the questions of how to change society, whether people are fundamentally good, and the balance between fighting a surveillance state and streaming everything to protect ourselves from government overreach.

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Jul 21, 2017

China says it’ll be world AI leader by 2025

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

China today announced plans to become the global leader in AI research and development. It will increase government spending on core AI programs to $22 billion in the next few years, with plans to spend nearly $60 billion per year by 2025.

The announcement sends a clear message: this is the age of artificial intelligence. Reuters reports the Chinese government will soon put forth AI regulations in areas concerning safety, implementation, and control. The US issued a similar statement last year in a White House review of the future of AI.

The US and China lead the field in both private-sector and government spending on machine-learning, though experts have said China’s deep-learning programs have over-taken US-led research in scope and volume.

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Jul 21, 2017

Giving a push for in-space propulsion

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, solar power, space travel

It’s a technology looking for a new mission.

The technology is solar electric propulsion (SEP), which NASA has identified in recent years as a key enabler for eventual human missions to Mars. SEP, the agency argued, could be used to propel cargo missions to Mars in advance of crewed missions much more efficiently than conventional chemical propulsion systems.

High-power SEP was to be tested in interplanetary space on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), powering the robotic spacecraft that would travel to a near Earth asteroid, grab a boulder off its surface, and fly back to cislunar space. However, NASA announced earlier this year it planned to cancel ARM, and Congress, never much of a fan of the mission, has shown no signs of opposing it.

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Jul 21, 2017

US nuclear arsenal controlled by 1970s computers with 8in floppy disks

Posted by in categories: computing, government, military

The US military’s nuclear arsenal is controlled by computers built in the 1970s that still use 8in floppy disks.

A report into the state of the US government, released by congressional investigators, has revealed that the country is spending around $60bn (£40.8bn) to maintain museum-ready computers, which many do not even know how to operate any more, as their creators retire.

The Defense Department’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System (DDSACCS), which is used to send and receive emergency action messages to US nuclear forces, runs on a 1970s IBM computing platform. It still uses 8in floppy disks to store data.

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Jul 21, 2017

World dominance in three steps: China sets out road map to lead in artificial intelligence by 2030

Posted by in categories: finance, government, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Government finance will lead the way in AI research, including the development of supercomputers, and high performance semiconductor chips, software and the hiring of key talent to lead the field, China’s science and technology minister Wan Gang said in March during the country’s parliamentary meeting.


The Chinese government’s July 8 plan aims to keep pace with AI technology by 2020, make major breakthroughs by 2025, and lead the world in AI by 2030.

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 1:28pm.

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Jul 20, 2017

Dear Mum: A Letter from the future

Posted by in categories: economics, existential risks, food, futurism, government

Dear Mum,

We’ve missed you over the ten long years since you passed away. You wanted me to write to you to tell you what’s happened, so now in 2030 I am fulfilling that wish.

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Jul 19, 2017

Self-Driving Cars Get Boost With Unanimous Vote

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, transportation

Congress took the first step toward setting rules for self-driving cars, as a House panel unanimously approved a measure that would allow thousands of automated vehicles to hit the road while federal regulators develop safety standards and preempt state rules.

The legislation garnered bipartisan support after Republican leaders adopted Democratic proposals for provisions to bolster safety oversight of self-driving vehicles by federal regulators.

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Jul 19, 2017

U.S. Paves Roads to Trusted Fabs

Posted by in categories: business, computing, government, military

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Defense is working with partners on multiple technologies that would make any foundry a trusted source to make classified ASICs for the military. If the government is successful it will be able to tap leading-edge process technologies from multiple fabs by 2019.

The U.S. government currently works with a single fab now operated by Globalfoundries and limited to 32nm and higher design rules. The partnership is a continuation of a longstanding “trusted foundry” deal with IBM, which sold its fabs to GF in 2015.

“We have a very good partner in Globalfoundries, and many people are still there from the [former] IBM…[that help] manage that government ASIC business, and that still works quite well for 32nm and up,” said Bill Chappell, a director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that oversees the trusted foundry programs.

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