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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category

Apr 10, 2021

Wireless power from 5G networks could replace batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, surveillance

A new way to harvest power from 5G networks could make many of the batteries that power our devices a thing of the past, researchers say.


An ATHENA group member holds an inkjet-printed prototype of a mm-wave harvester. The researchers envision a future where IoT devices will be powered wirelessly over 5G networks. (Credit: Christopher Moore/Georgia Tech)

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Apr 4, 2021

Roboreptile climbs like a real lizard

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel, surveillance

While a Mars rover can explore where no person has gone before, a smaller robot at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia could climb to new heights by mimicking the movements of a lizard.

Simply named X-4, the university’s climbing has allowed a team of researchers to test and replicate how a lizard moves in the hope that their findings will inspire next-generation robotics design for disaster relief, remote surveillance and possibly even space exploration.

In a published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team states that have optimized their movement across difficult terrain over many years of evolution.

Mar 26, 2021

Leveraging the 5G network to wirelessly power IoT devices

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, surveillance

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered an innovative way to tap into the over-capacity of 5G networks, turning them into “a wireless power grid” for powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices that today need batteries to operate.

The Georgia Tech inventors have developed a flexible Rotman lens-based rectifying antenna (rectenna) system capable, for the first time, of millimeter-wave harvesting in the 28-GHz band. (The Rotman lens is key for beamforming networks and is frequently used in radar surveillance systems to see targets in multiple directions without physically moving the antenna system.)

But to harvest enough power to supply low-power devices at long ranges, large aperture antennas are required. The problem with large antennas is they have a narrowing field of view. This limitation prevents their operation if the antenna is widely dispersed from a 5G base station.

Mar 16, 2021

Satellites Are Stranded on the ISS Because of a Military Coup

Posted by in categories: food, government, military, satellites, surveillance

Japan’s space agency wants to keep the satellite’s cameras out of military hands.


An unusual geopolitical situation is brewing aboard the International Space Station. Prior to the military coup in Myanmar earlier this year, Japan’s space agency JAXA had been collaborating with the country to build microsatellites that it planned to deploy in partnership with Myanmar’s government.

Now, JAXA has no idea what to do with the pair of 50-kilogram satellites, according to SlashGear. And while Japanese scientists hope to bring the agriculture and fishery-monitoring satellites to life, they’re currently holding them on the ISS instead of deploying them out of fear they might be misused for military purposes — a striking example of real-world geopolitics spilling over into space.

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Mar 10, 2021

Rare Meteorite that Fell on UK Driveway May Help Decode History of Solar System, Life on Earth

Posted by in categories: habitats, space travel, surveillance

A fireball that lit up the sky over the United Kingdom and Northern Europe on February 28 was an extremely rare type of meteorite. Fragments of the space rock discovered on a driveway in the Cotswolds could provide answers to questions about the early history of the solar system and life on Earth. Almost 300 grams (10.6 ounces) of the meteorite have been collected from the small Gloucestershire town of Winchcombe by scientists, who said the rock was formed of carbonaceous chondrite. The substance is some of the most primitive and pristine material in the solar system and has been known to contain organic material and amino acids — the ingredients for life.

The Natural History Museum in London said the fragments were retrieved in such good condition and so quickly after the meteorite’s fall that they are comparable to rock samples returned from space missions, both in quality and quantity. “I was in shock when I saw it and immediately knew it was a rare meteorite and a totally unique event. It’s emotional being the first one to confirm to the people standing in front of you that the thud they heard on their driveway overnight is in fact the real thing,” said Richard Greenwood, a research fellow in planetary sciences at The Open University, in a statement from the museum. He was the first scientist to identify the meteorite.

There are approximately 65000 known meteorites on Earth, the museum said. Only 1206 have been witnessed to fall, and of these, only 51 are carbonaceous chondrites. The fireball was seen by thousands of eyewitnesses across the UK and Northern Europe and was captured on home surveillance and other cameras when it fell to Earth at 9:54 p.m. GMT on February 28. The original space rock was traveling at nearly 14 kilometers per second before hitting the Earth’s atmosphere and ultimately landing on a driveway in Winchcombe. Other pieces of the meteorite have been recovered in the local area. Footage of the fireball shot by members of the public and the UK Fireball Alliance camera networks helped locate the meteorite and determine exactly where it came from in the solar system, the museum said.

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Mar 7, 2021

Central banks around the world want to get into digital currencies—here’s why

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryptocurrencies, economics, finance, food, government, surveillance

Advocates contend central bank digital currencies can make cross-border transactions easier, promote financial inclusion and provide payment system stability. There are also privacy and surveillance risks with government-issued digital currencies. And in times of economic uncertainty, people may be more likely to pull their funds from commercial banks, accelerating a bank run.


Intense interest in cryptocurrencies and the Covid-19 pandemic have sparked debate among central banks on whether they should issue digital currencies of their own.

China has been in the lead in developing its own digital currency. It’s been working on the initiative since 2014. Chinese central bank officials have already conducted massive trials in major cities including Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hangzhou.

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Feb 20, 2021

The U.S. and China Are Annoying Each Other With a Ton of Warplanes

Posted by in categories: military, surveillance

Things are getting pretty heated in the South China Sea.


The United States and China are engaged in the first military back-and-forth of the new year, sending many ships and aircraft into the South China Sea over the past few days.

This latest round kicked off with the return of an American carrier battle group to the region, followed by an unprecedented flight of eight Chinese bombers into nearby Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Both sides piled on more fighters, surveillance aircraft, and bombers, making this dance-off a considerable escalation over previous years.

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Jan 22, 2021

Experimental glider smashes record for high-altitude flight

Posted by in categories: surveillance, transportation

Circa 2018


Riding the wind above the Andes Mountains, an experimental glider has set a world record for high-altitude flight.

On Sept. 2, the sleek Perlan 2 glider carried two pilots to 76100 feet, or more than 14 miles, over the El Calafate region in southern Argentina. That’s the highest altitude ever reached by humans aboard an unpowered fixed-wing aircraft, and one of the highest altitudes reached by an aircraft of any description. Only spy planes and specialized balloons have flown higher.

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Jan 17, 2021

Big Brother gets even bigger: Moscow to create database with residents’ salaries, vehicle information & even school results

Posted by in categories: education, robotics/AI, surveillance, transportation

Moscow has revealed a plan to spend $2.4 million on a giant database containing information about every single city resident, including passport numbers, insurance policies, salaries, car registrations – and even their pets.

It will also include work and tax details, school grades, and data from their ‘Troika’ care – Moscow’s unified transport payment system, used on the metro, busses and trains.

The new proposal will undoubtedly increase fears about ever-growing surveillance in the Russian capital, where the number of facial recognition cameras has recently been increased.

Jan 11, 2021

Police Robots Are Not a Selfie Opportunity, They’re a Privacy Disaster Waiting to Happen

Posted by in categories: drones, education, government, law, robotics/AI, security, space, surveillance

The arrival of government-operated autonomous police robots does not look like predictions in science fiction movies. An army of robots with gun arms is not kicking down your door to arrest you. Instead, a robot snitch that looks like a rolling trash can is programmed to decide whether a person looks suspicious —and then call the human police on them. Police robots may not be able to hurt people like armed predator drones used in combat— yet —but as history shows, calling the police on someone can prove equally deadly.

Long before the 1987 movie Robocop, even before Karel Čapek invented the word robot in 1920, police have been trying to find ways to be everywhere at once. Widespread security cameras are one solution—but even a blanket of CCTV cameras couldn’t follow a suspect into every nook of public space. Thus, the vision of a police robot continued as a dream, until now. Whether they look like Boston Dynamics’ robodogs or Knightscope’s rolling pickles, robots are coming to a street, shopping mall, or grocery store near you.

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