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Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category

Oct 16, 2019

Skydio has a motorized charging box to make its self-flying drone truly autonomous

Posted by in categories: drones, mapping, robotics/AI, surveillance

With the Skydio 2 Dock, a drone-in-a-box solution, the California startup wants to let companies rely on its obstacle-dodging, self-flying drone for automated mapping and surveillance — no humans needed.

Oct 14, 2019

Brilliant Midnight Fireball Lights Up Sky Over Northeast China

Posted by in category: surveillance

What appears to be a dazzling meteor lit up the sky over northeast China on Friday (Oct. 11), appearing as a brilliant fireball in surveillance videos of the event.

The meteor occurred at about 12:16 a.m. Beijing Time, turning night into day and casting dark shadows as it streaked through the sky, according to the state-run CCTV. Videos of the fireball were captured by surveillance cameras in the city of Songyuan in the province of Jilin, as well as by many residents across northeast China, CCTV reported.

The meteor also visible from Heilongjiang Province, the news agency reported.

Oct 1, 2019

Researchers’ new method enables identifying a person through walls from candidate video footage, using only WiFi

Posted by in categories: habitats, internet, law enforcement, security, surveillance

Researchers in the lab of UC Santa Barbara professor Yasamin Mostofi have enabled, for the first time, determining whether the person behind a wall is the same individual who appears in given video footage, using only a pair of WiFi transceivers outside.

This novel video-WiFi cross-modal gait-based person identification system, which they refer to as XModal-ID (pronounced Cross-Modal-ID), could have a variety of applications, from surveillance and security to smart homes. For instance, consider a scenario in which law enforcement has a of a robbery. They suspect that the robber is hiding inside a house. Can a pair of WiFi transceivers outside the house determine if the person inside the house is the same as the one in the robbery video? Questions such as this have motivated this new technology.

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Sep 18, 2019

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Stats News: AI Is Actively Watching You In 75 Countries

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, surveillance

Recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of the impact and progress of AI highlighted the strong state of AI surveillance worldwide, the lack of adherence to common privacy principles in companies’ data privacy statement, the growing adoption of AI by global businesses, and the perception of AI as a major risk by institutional investors.

Sep 11, 2019

This AI Uses Echolocation to Follow Your Every Move

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security, surveillance

Would you consent to a surveillance system that watches without video and listens without sound?

If your knee-jerk reaction is “no!”, then “huh?” I’m with you. In a new paper in Applied Physics Letters, a Chinese team is wading into the complicated balance between privacy and safety with computers that can echolocate. By training AI to sift through signals from arrays of acoustic sensors, the system can gradually learn to parse your movements—standing, sitting, falling—using only ultrasonic sound.

To study author Dr. Xinhua Guo at the Wuhan University of Technology, the system may be more palatable to privacy advocates than security cameras. Because it relies on ultrasonic waves—the type that bats use to navigate dark spaces—it doesn’t capture video or audio. It’ll track your body position, but not you per se.

Sep 3, 2019

China Is Quickly Becoming a Space Superpower

Posted by in categories: satellites, surveillance

One firm looking to capitalize is Beijing-based startup i-Space, which is preparing for its third launch in coming weeks. Like most of the $500 million-valued firm’s employees, CEO Jingqi Cai came from China’s state space industry. She sees no limit to what the Chinese commercial space industry can achieve. “I don’t know any country in the world which can do things as fast as in China,” says Cai.

Still, the ability of China’s commercial space firms to compete is curtailed by strict International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) rules, which prohibit satellites containing American components from being launched by China. In response, China is offering holistic “turnkey” solutions: building U.S. component-free satellites for clients, handling the launch and offering ground station support. Although China’s share of the commercial market remains small at around 5–10%, say analysts, it is growing with launch of communications and surveillance satellites for nations like Brazil, Venezuela, Laos, Nigeria and Algeria. In addition, European satellite manufacturers have begun designing devices labeled as “ITAR-free” for this reason.

The likelihood is that China’s space exploration and commercial programs will advance in tandem. For i-Space chief engineer Yi Wei, launching satellites is simple compared to his previous job designing escape pods for China’s state-run human space program. “In comparison, I feel no pressure here at all,” he says.

Aug 26, 2019

Cerebras reveals world’s ‘largest computer chip’ for AI tasks

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

A Californian-based start-up has unveiled what it says is the world’s largest computer chip.

The Wafer Scale Engine, designed by Cerebras Systems, is slightly bigger than a standard iPad.

The firm says a single chip can drive complex artificial intelligence (AI) systems in everything from driverless cars to surveillance software.

Aug 17, 2019

A Tech Expert Says Google Chrome Has Become Spy Software

Posted by in categories: government, internet, surveillance

You open your browser to look at the Web. Do you know who is looking back at you?

Over a recent week of Web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the Web.

This was made possible by the Web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software.

Aug 17, 2019

A.I. Is Learning From Humans. Many Humans

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

Before an A.I. system can learn, someone has to label the data supplied to it. Humans, for example, must pinpoint the polyps. The work is vital to the creation of artificial intelligence like self-driving cars, surveillance systems and automated health care.


Artificial intelligence is being taught by thousands of office workers around the world. It is not exactly futuristic work.

At iMerit offices in Kolkata, India, employees label images that are used to teach artificial intelligence systems. Credit Credit Rebecca Conway for The New York Times.

Aug 14, 2019

Turn your Tesla into a CIA-like counter-surveillance tool with this hack

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, surveillance, transportation

A software engineer has built an impressive real-time counter-surveillance tool for Tesla vehicles on top of Sentry Mode.

It looks like something the CIA or James Bond would have in their car.

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