Japanese paper Yomiuri Shimbun reported last month that Chinese-party officials submitted an official order for the PLA to go ahead with the establishment of an Aerospace Force, Zachary Keck of The Diplomat writes.
The space-branch would add to the PLA’s Ground, Air, Naval, and Second Artillery (nuclear and ICBM missiles) branches. It will come with the establishment of its own office run under the Party’s Central Military Commission.
In April, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping told military officers “to speed up air and space integration and sharpen their offensive and defensive capabilities,” calling for a “new type of combat unit.” Read the rest of this entry »
— WIRED (@WIRED) September 10, 2014
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) September 9, 2014
I have to admit, the new iPhone is beautiful. pic.twitter.com/AZq3U74Zec
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) September 9, 2014
— NASA (@NASA) September 9, 2014
How Jennifer Lawrence’s Boobs Broke the Internet: Fake Links to Nude Celebs Overload New Zealand’s Telecommunications NetworkPosted: September 7, 2014
Malware trap Brings New Zealand’s Internet to its Knees
AFP – It is believed a handful of computer users clicked links on Friday evening believing they would take them to the illicit images, but instead they inadvertently installed malware triggering a crippling Internet attack.
“For obvious reasons, clicking on links to ‘naked celebrity’ photos, or opening email attachments would be a very bad idea right now, expect criminals to ride this bandwagon immediately.”
It took telecommunications giant Spark, the rebranded Telecom Corp., until Sunday to fully repair what it termed a “dynamic” cyber-attack that overloaded its system covering more than 600,000 customers.
“Our scanning brought to our attention some freshly-concocted schemes targeting those looking for the photos borne from the aforementioned leak.”
Mariella Moon reports: DARPA‘s new Ground X-Vehicle Technology project aims to design tanks with less armor, but are faster and more agile as a result. Now, in the movies, we always see these beefy military vehicles rolling along slowly to action, so faster, grenade-dodging tanks might be a bit hard to imagine.
Thankfully, the agency released a concept video that shows how exactly its advanced tanks can avoid getting shot at…(read more)
— WIRED (@WIRED) September 6, 2014
— Mo Costandi (@mocost) September 5, 2014
Dave Lewis writes: It seems rather far fetched at first glance. There is news that came out last week that rogue cell phone towers around the US are forcing mobile devices to disable their encryption making it possible that someone might be able to listen in to your call. “That could never happen to me,” you think out loud. But, apparently it could.
In 2010 at the DEF CON in Las Vegas, security researcher Chris Paget did the unthinkable. He built a cell tower of his own so that he could spoof legitimate towers and intercept calls.The device would mimic the type used by law enforcement agencies to intercept phone calls. In this case, he was able to build it for roughly $1500 US. Paget’s device would only capture 2G GSM phone calls. Carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile would be vulnerable as they use GSM, unlike Verizon which relies on CDMA technology.
I was in attendance for this particular presentation and I had a disposable phone with me at the time. During the presentation when the device was switched on my phone was more than happy to oblige and seamlessly associated with the contraption that was across the room. Had I not been aware that this was going on, it was quite conceivable that I could have not noticed the change to the rogue tower. The point of this presentation was to raise awareness of the security flaws that affect GSM related phones. Read the rest of this entry »
“China became the world’s largest industrial robot market in 2013 with 37,000 industrial robots sold in the country, accounting for 20 percent of the global market.”
SIASUN Robot and Automation Co. Ltd. will be the first to jump start China’s industrial robot production with an annual capacity of 5,000. Their facilities will produce robots applied in welding, hauling, assembling, stacking, grinding and polishing, according to Qu Daokui, the company’s CEO.
- Rise of Robot Laborers in China Could Change Global Trade Game
- How Technology Is Destroying Jobs
- Dawn of a Robot Revolution as Army of Machines Escape the Factory
“Rising labor costs and aging population have prompted the application of industrial robots in China”
He said the production line is undergoing tests and the exact date of operation is yet to be announced. The application of robots has expanded from the high-end industries such as automobile and electronics manufacturing to traditional industries, including metal processing, bathroom hardware, food and drinks, said Qu, who is also director general of China Robot Industry Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »
- [VIDEO] Google’s Next Frontier: Robots (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- How Technology Is Destroying Jobs (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Retail Robot Wars: Google Robots May Pose Challenge to Amazon drones
While many robots are controlled using what is known as “zero moment point” dynamics to balance itself, the new robot uses a combination of a high speed camera and a stabilizing motor so that it can lean forward without tipping over, enabling it to run in a dynamic form, according to Prof. Masatoshi Ishikawa. The robot can even perform a somersault. Read the rest of this entry »
“I can’t believe that’s a living thing.”
While there’s no shortage of weird and wacky ideas in science fiction about what creatures from other planets might look like, few are quite as remarkable as those that can actually be found right here on Earth.
“To me, the best part of science is stuff like this: seeing something that completely takes my breath away.”
Recently, a team from the Nautilus Live expedition piloting a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) happened upon one of the most fascinating-looking lifeforms in the world — this rare, purple siphonophore roving through the ocean’s depths. Even the experienced deep sea explorers, well-acquainted with the marine animals, had a hard time accepting that what they were seeing was really real.
” Even after studying animals like this for the last five years, this video has me in awe. The animal captured in this footage, simply put, is stunning.”
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) August 28, 2014
“It really surprised me as to how mechanically complex a sax was and it did make me wonder as to whether the mechanisms could be simplified.”
– Olaf Diegel
While attending Euromold 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, last December with a band playing 3D-printed instruments, Olaf Diegel was set a challenge by the head of 3D Systems, Avi Reichental. The Professor of product development at Lund University, Sweden was given the task of creating a 3D-printed working saxophone. The first ODD prototype was revealed last week in a short demonstration video, which you can see here.
For the latest addition to the 3D-printed band, Diegel used a traditional alto sax as a design template to match the various key spacings and mechanisms. He worked in SolidWorks CAD software to produce the STL files needed for printing the nylon blower on a selective laser sintering (SLS) printer. The process took around 6 months due to a move from New Zealand to Sweden and other projects that demanded his attention, and the working prototype is made up of 41 components, not including springs and screws. Read the rest of this entry »
Greens engage in rituals to allay their anxieties
Ronald Bailey explores an interesting topic in a Reason article: Environmentalism and the fear of disorder. The quest for order is not exclusive to environmentalist food worriers, or obsessive recyclers. If we look for the mirror image of this, on the other end of the ideological spectrum, it would probably be found in the disorder-phobic elements of the prepper movement. A similar effort to achieve a feeling of personal control, to have “influence over their environments and the world in general that provides similar perceptions of an orderly world.”
I’ve had discussion about this with our Hong Kong Bureau Chief, a polymath with an interest in self-sustaining, grid-failure-proof home remodeling (not crazy if you live in a hurricane zone) and who predicted that there are fortunes to be made for those who can market effectively to this notion of personal control in a disorderly world.
Unlike the anti-vaxer, anti-science Left, prepper concerns aren’t necessarily irrational, or even paranoid. Our own Federal Government has web pages filled with advice encouraging citizens to take measures to be prepared for storms, earthquakes, power outages, and so forth. Things that aren’t imaginary. Things that kill, maim, and disrupt human populations worldwide every year. And that doesn’t even cover the valid concerns over a threat of an EMP attack.
On a personal note, I’ve met a hard-core, full-scale, exquisitely-armed, hyper-informed prepper. Instead of thinking he was nuts, I found him to be realistic, self-deprecating, and engaging. Light-hearted about his obsession, disciplined, trained in survivalism (from a previous career in the military) a hobbyist in gourmet food storage, an expert in lethal and non-lethal self-defense, a vintage wine collector, and an informed conversationalist. I came away thinking my own pampered, clueless urban sensibilities were irrational, and unrealistic, not the other way around.
Similarly, being mindful of food labels, or seeking organic and fresh over processed or unhealthy foods is not necessarily irrational or fear-driven behavior. But Baily’s on to something.
Other writers have noted an anxious purity obsession on fringes of the left–and even in the mainstream Left–that equals or exceeds the craziest paranoid right-wing John Birchers, anti-Semites, and fluoride-obsessed Dr. Strangelovean purity cultists of yesteryear. A key difference is, William F. Buckley purged the extremist elements nearly half a century ago.
Though new strains appear, in various forms (progressives seek them out and artificially elevate their perceived influence, in a political effort to make them appear emblematic). In mainstream conservatism, vigilant resistance and steady inoculation against the influence (or annoyance) of anti-democratic or apocalyptic extremist strains is an ongoing project that mostly succeeds.
A case can be made that the Left has yet to do this. Aside from some half-hearted, insincere efforts, the Left hasn’t even disavowed their radical Marxist, Maoist, neo-Stalinist elements. On the contrary, they’re free to openly celebrate them, in academia, entertainment, popular culture, and government. Modern Marxists easily get lucrative jobs in the Department of Labor, tenure at prestigious Ivy League colleges, positions of influence at HHS, HUD, and the DOJ. Our elite institutions shower them with fame, and awards. The Left hasen’t purged or effectively reigned in the anti-vaccination, anti-science, anti-Semitic, isolationist, enviro-alarmist elements in their ideological camp. On the contrary, environmentalism is now the largest and most dominant religious ideology in the western world.
Interesting article. See the full text here.
Ronald Bailey writes:
Why do people recycle and buy organic foods? According to Marijn Meijers and Bastiaan Rutjens, a couple of social scientists at the University of Amsterdam, they do it to realize a sense of personal control stemming from their fear that disorder is increasing in the world. Technological optimists, meanwhile, are more likely to eschew the comfort of such rituals.
[Bailey's book "Global Warming and Other Eco Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death" is available at Amazon.com]
To be fair, that’s not exactly how the two researchers interpret their study, which was published in the August European Journal of Social Psychology. But as we shall see, it is not unreasonable to construe their results that way.
A popular new psychological model, compensatory control theory, argues that people are highly motivated to perceive the world as meaningful, orderly, and structured. When people perceive the world as being less orderly, Meijers and Rutjens explain, they strive to compensate for the anxiety and stress this produces. Read the rest of this entry »