Technology

Riots, Wrongdoing and Aggravation

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Opinion
Tottenham Riots

Image by Beacon Radio via Flickr

With more than one disaster competing for the top new headline position within the last few weeks, it does indeed feel as anything is possible at the moment.  Sitting from my safe haven of the North East currently, eyes glued to the unfolding dramas and pinching myself occasionally to ensure reality has not bolted out the door.  This country could quite easily be on the cusp of a civil war, revolution, be plunged into the sad reality of martial law(perhaps shipped in).  Whatever does eventuate, you can be guaranteed of two things.  Politicians who began the who fiasco, will be parading around  ensuring the required amount camera time and pithy sound bites are dished out, and it will damage our economy even further meaning more doom and gloom headlines for the foreseeable future.  Its grim up north some say, but at the moment at least we don't have to content with violious vagabonds tearing up our city centres.

The most beguiling of all recent stories is the eruption of wanton looting, burning and an array of different criminal acts being carried out by large gangs of young louts across the country. This feels like the culmination of blunder after blunder everyone currently in positions that have been gifted to the   The media come time and time again to the conclusion that Blackberry Instant Messager has had a large part to play, as have many internet social and communicative tools.  Bit of a shame for Blackberry really, getting caught in the crossfire between an large amounts of media companies attempting not to implode and venting their frustration at the recently departed bedfellows also known as current and previous members of the government, and a large percentage of disenfranchised, muppets with a thirst for Carling Special Brew, chucking things, especially if they can be ignited then thrown, and the odd 32 inch tv or 500.… Continues …

"No Disassemble!"

— Filed under: Politics & Government
Flank photo of Johnny 5 robot from the Short C...

Image via Wikipedia

As an aviation enthusiast I have been aware of the development of the increasing autonomy of military technology for a number of years. In the apparent pursuit of making life easier for pilots by decreasing their workload has morphed into a sinister beast however and we are at the point where a number of seemingly disparate technological military advances could converge and make sci-fi like future conflicts a reality.

What follows is a run-down of the areas I find a concern.

UAV/UAS

UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)/Unmanned Aircraft Systems technology is a relatively new direction, where the pilots fly the aircraft as though are on board (following all rules of the air) themselves but are actually in front of a screen flying the aircraft remotely. Initially UAV’s were envisaged as a means of assisting the air power forces by providing “spy” roles such as finding targets and relaying the info to the correct arm of the air power wing and then providing imagery of the aftermath of any strike operations. The most developed UAV is the RQ-1 Predator, initially designed for reconnaissance purposes. In the winter 2000-2001 (post 9/11) tests were conducted with the view of arming Predators with Hellfire missiles (a lightweight but highly effective and accurate missile as used on AH64 Apachehelicopters), these tests culminated in the successful test attack on a stationary tank with 3 missiles. The head of the CIA at the time after seeing how successfully the Predators reconnaissance of Afghanistan was vocal in his support of the arming programme and had the updates accelerated so as to target Osama Bin Laden.  The armed version was re-designated MQ-1 and software and technological upgrades are frequently applied. They have launched hundreds of attacks during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom with some moderate success; however a large number have been destroyed for varying reasons. The Bae System Taranisis the latest development in UAV, it even looks nasty!… Continues …

Do You Want Safety or Freedom?

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Science & Technology, Opinion

A mobile closed-circuit TV van monitoring a st...

Image via Wikipedia

It seems to me almost everyday there is something in the news about new security measures being taken in a western country to "combat crime and terrorism". It really makes me wonder how many of our freedoms and civil rights we willing to give up in order to feel safe. Are we on our way to a 1984 like society? Are all these new measures as necessary as the governments would have us believe?… Continues …

The Wake of the Week - Everyday Stories

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture, Opinion

Passport from 1971

Image by ukhomeoffice via Flickr

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The Future is Now: "Pain Ray" Weapon in Afghanistan

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Science & Technology
An operational version of the Active Denial Sy...

Image via Wikipedia

The United States is considering testing a new microwave weapon in Afghanistan, a "pain ray" which causes unbearable pain akin to being burned. The military denies that any decision has been made to commence testing the Active Denial System, but admits that the weapon is in Afghanistan and is being discussed for potential use.

According to the Air Force, the Active Denial System has been heavily tested. However, one test subject had to be airlifted to a burn center for treatment, and questions remain as to whether the weapon can be used safely.… Continues …

When your love of online gaming goes too far

— Filed under: People & Culture, Science & Technology
Here's what many young people in Seoul do for ...

Image via Wikipedia

I remember reading in March about a South Korean couple, who were addicted to online gaming. Internet addiction is something that many people struggle with to some degree, but they were apparently so obsessed with the game Prius Online that they neglected their 3 month old baby daughter and she died of starvation.

The website for the game maker, Netmarble, has a banner at the top of their website for Prius Online which features a pretty fairy, and says "Now it's my turn to protect you." Isn't it one of the most basic human instincts to protect our own children? How could both parents be so wrapped up in this online world that they would abandon their basic parental responsibilities of feeding and caring for their own child?… Continues …

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