Cheap, Lethal Chinese Drones Are Filling Distant Skies

china-drones

Lower quality, but they get the job done.

Ryan Pickrell reports: Chinese drones are taking flight in skies beyond China’s borders in great numbers, filling a massive void in a multibillion-dollar industry left by the U.S.

“I believe this is the largest campaign we’ve seen that has been focused on drone technology. It seems to align pretty well with the focus of the Chinese government to build up their own drone technology capabilities.”

— Darien Kindlund, manager of Fireeye’s Threat Intelligence division

While the U.S. is recognized as a leader in the development and deployment of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), it keeps its drone technology close and its armed drones even closer, creating new opportunities for China, which is eager to play a role in the global arms trade.

lijian_uav_1

The U.S. only exports armed drones to a few select allies, such as the U.K., as part of a Department of State decision made early last year. Jordan, for example, requested permission to purchase U.S. drones in 2014 but was rejected.

The U.S. limits its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) exports, especially its armed drones, for two main reasons.

One, the U.S. is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a multilateral partnership that prohibits the export of missile and UAV technology capable of delivering a 1,100 lb payload at a range greater than 185 miles. Two, some U.S. officials are concerned that regular U.S. drone exports would lead to an increase in drone warfare abroad, creating a less secure international environment.

[Read the full text here, at The Daily Caller]

Unhindered by international agreements and export restrictions, China is moving into the drone export business, creating cheap, yet effective alternatives for countries interested in purchasing drone technology.

Chengdu Pterodactyl I

Chengdu Pterodactyl I

China has been actively developing its drone technology, making great strides in recent years.

Early last month, China showed off its CH-5 Rainbow drone, which it claims can rival America’s MQ-9 Reaper, at an air show in Zhuhai.

[Read more here, at The Daily Caller]

The CH-5 “can perform whatever operations the MQ-9 Reaper can and is even better than the US vehicle when it comes to flight duration and operational efficiency,” Shi Wen, a chief designer of the CH series drones at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, explained to the China Daily a little over a month ago.

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“Several foreign nations have expressed intentions to purchase the CH-5, and we are in talks with them,” he added, signaling China’s interest in selling the new CH-5.

The CH-4referred to as the “AK-47 of drones,” preceded the CH-5. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Rolls Out Swimproof ‘Apple Watch Series 2’ with White Ceramic Option, Nike+ Version, GPS, More

Apple CFO Jeff Williams has unveiled the next generation of Apple Watch on stage at its big event today.

Apple CFO Jeff Williams has unveiled the next generation of Apple Watch on stage at its big event today.

The new model is called Apple Watch Series 2. Adding to the splash proof feature of the original model, the new Apple Watch is actually swim proof. Apple Watch Series 2 adds swim tracking to the Workouts app including pool swimming and open water swimming. The Apple Watch speaker is the only unsealed part of the casing and it intelligently ejects water after a workout.

[For full coverage check back with 9to5Mac‘s ongoing announcements]

Apple Watch Series 2 features a new S2 chip with a faster dual-core processor and a new GPU with 2x graphics performance. The new display is also 2x brighter at 1000 nits, the brightest for any Apple display.

Built-in GPS is also included for outdoor running and walking without iPhone. Apple Watch Series 2 improves the pace and distant tracking and displays routes on the iPhone even when you don’t bring it along.

[More here, at 9to5Mac]

Apple Watch Series 2 adds a new ceramic (white) build option in addition to aluminum and stainless steel. Hermès is also introducing two new bands with Series 2.

Apple Watch Series 2 is also available in a new Nike+ version with a special version of the Sports band paired with the aluminum model watch. Nike+ Apple Watch is offered in four color options. Read the rest of this entry »


This Pizza Box Is Made Out of Pizza 

The owner of Vinnie’s Pizzeria, Sean Berthiaume, must have been channeling Xzbit earlier this week when he thought to himself, “Yo Dawg, I heard you liked pizza, so I put your pizza in a box made from pizza.” But lo and behold here is the world’s first ever entirely edible pizza box that really works as more of a pizza sandwich than a functional box.

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This isn’t Sean’s first brush with pizza glory…(read more)

Source: Neatorama


[VIDEO] Grand Canyon from the Stratosphere: A Space Balloon Story 

In June 2013, a group of friends launched a weather balloon a few miles from Tuba City, Arizona. The amazing footage was found two years later by an Arizona hiker. Enjoy the video of our launch preparations, video footage, and some data analysis of the flight.


[VIDEO] Extreme Advertising: iPhone 6 Endures 101,000 Foot Drop from Near-Space

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John-Michael Bond writes: Could your iPhone 6 case survive a 101,000 foot drop from near-space, experiencing 70 MPH winds and temperatures as low as -79 degrees F? If you have Urban Armor Gear‘s iPhone 6 case, the answer is apparently yes. The company tested its latest case with a science experiment, creating a special rig to send iOS to the fringes of space.

The flight rig contained two GoPro cameras, 1 GPS locator and a backup phone with GPS and active tracking installed. The flight lasted over 3 hours and covered 12 miles across the ground. The iPhone 6 was wrapped in our composite iPhone 6 case with no screen protector installed. The iPhone was on upon takeoff but froze and shut down as the temperature dropped. When the iPhone 6 and flight rig were found, the iPhone was powered on and tested for full functionality.

 Source: TUAW

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Holiday Lights On the Sun

Sun’s Solar Flares Captured on NASA Video

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:24 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer

 


[VIDEO] What’s More Fun Than a Scientific Analysis of Solar Flare? Solar Flare Analysis by Cuckoo-Bananas Religious Cult Member Warning of Demonic Witchcraft Ceremonies and One-World Locust Army Takeover!

Note, it looks normal, credible, reasonable, and semi-scientific, until about 4:40 (skip ahead to the good part) then the wheels come off, and the narrator reveals the truths from the secret chambers! Here are a few highlights. Listen as he correlates current solar flare activity to an event “this past weekend” when…

“…the Pope, and his bunch, was over in Jerusalem, bein’ where they shouldn’t be…”

“we’re seeing the move of the Locust Army guys, encapsulating the world religions..”

“…what we’re gonna see also, is that they get the religious sector involved, they will pull the political sector also, so that the One-World Locust Army will have a complete takeover.”

“They’re bringing them together in the place, where we saw the demonic witchcraft ceremonies..”

“I’ve been warning you the spread of this Locust Army…”

“The whole world will see through the Pope world TV system..”

X FLARE WATCH! LOCUST ARMY ADVANCING RAPIDLY! TIME TO FREAK OUT, MAN!

YouTube


‘Quantified Self’ Technology: Humans are Gradually Becoming Cyborgs—and That’s a Good Thing

robot-hands-ap

SA Forum is an invited essay from experts on topical issues in science and technology. This column was produced in collaboration with the World Economic ForumJustine Cassell is director of the Human–Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Read the full article here, and read more about Cassell here

For Scientific AmericanJustine Cassell writes:

Justine Cassell

Justine Cassell

Imagine you have a great-aunt, a vibrant woman in her 70s who refuses to be trapped in a rocking chair. In fact, she holds a full-time job and insists on walking there and back, a couple of miles each way. She says it keeps her young, but you can’t help worrying. No one is healthy forever.

Like many people her age, your great-aunt follows a set routine. Before her trip to work, she stops at a nearby café for a cup of

So far, most QS sensors remain on wristbands, phones and other wearables.  Credit: Pebble Technology via Wikimedia Commons

So far, most QS sensors remain on wristbands, phones and other wearables.
Credit: Pebble Technology via Wikimedia Commons

tea, and as she walks she phones a friend on her mobile phone. After work, she likes to call another friend to ask about a visit. She picks up a small cake or a few cookies at a shop on the way. Afterward she buys groceries to take home for supper.

A big departure from this pattern could mean your great-aunt is having problems. If you had access to her cell phone records and GPS data, you could see that something was up. It could even help you tell how urgent the situation might be. If she’s quit socializing and is just shuttling to work and back, it might signal depression—you’d make a note to drop by and make sure she’s okay. If she stops leaving the house entirely and doesn’t answer her phone, you know the problem is urgent. If you can’t get over there immediately, you’d better call a neighbor to look in on her. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Biometric Gun Box Lets Nobody Get Your Weapon But You

The-Gun-Box_opt-e1391788207182

We reported on this last October, in an item from This Is Probably the Best-Looking, Most High-Tech Gun Safe You’ll See, but it’s so cool, it’s worth another look…

The Daily Caller‘s Giuseppe Macri reports:

The Gun Box is quit possibly the safest way to store your gun while also being the fastest way to get it when the need arises. 

At $279, the Gun Box is pretty moderately priced for what you get — a 4-millimeter thick aircraft-strength aluminum alloy casing that opens the lid on hydraulics after scanning a fingerprint, or radio frequency identification bracelet or ring…

Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! A French concept Car with its Own ‘Flying Companion’ Drone

renault-kwid

Renault says,

“…perfectly suited for ‘the needs of young customers in new markets’”

The Kwid’s drone can operate on an automated setting or manual mode, which lets the driver or passenger control it from a tablet inside the vehicle, Business Insider reported.

Launched from its dock at the rear of the Kwid’s roof, the Flying Companion can be operated in two modes: automated, where it uses a pre-programmed flying sequence and GPS satellites to locate and perform its functions; or manual mode, which lets the driver or passenger control the drone from a tablet in the Kwid.

The Flying Companion can also be used for more than finding open parking spaces, including scouting traffic, taking photos of the landscape, and examining road obstacles.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] 20,000 Years Under the Sea: Underwater Pyramid Found Near Portugal

Pyramid

Portuguese news reported the discovery of a very large under water pyramid first discovered by Diocleciano Silva between the islands of São Miguel and Terceira in the Azores of Portugal.

According to claims, the structure is said to be perfectly squared and oriented by the cardinalpoints. Current estimates obtained using GPS digital technology put the height at 60 meters with a base of 8000 square meters. The Portuguese Hydrographic Institute of the Navy currently has the job of analyzing the data to determine whether or not the structure is man-made.

“The pyramid is perfectly shaped and apparently oriented by the cardinal points” 

The pyramid was found in an area of the mid-Atlantic that has been underwater for about 20,000 years. Considering this is around the time of the last ice age where glaciation was melting from its peak 2000 years prior, whatever civilization, human or not, that was around before the ice age, could be responsible for building the pyramid.

Here is the Portuguese news report with English subtitles for those who wish to look into the authenticity of the claims.

Read the rest of this entry »


Ford: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ (Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car)

Jim Edwards  reports:  Ford’s Global VP/Marketing and Sales, Jim Farley, said something both sinister and obvious during a panel discussion about data privacy today at CES, the big electronics trade show in Las Vegas.

Jim Farley of Ford

Bad PR: Creepy Weasel Statist Big-Brother comments from Jim Farley of Ford

Because of the GPS units installed in Ford vehicles, Ford knows when many of its drivers are speeding, and where they are while they’re doing it.

Farley was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” he told attendees.

If this guy doesn’t freak you out, you probably shouldn’t be driving a car

Farley has since retracted his statements.

Rather, he said, he imagined a day when the data might be used anonymously and in aggregate to help other marketers with traffic related problems. Suppose a stadium is holding an event; knowing how much traffic is making its way toward the arena might help the venue change its parking lot resources accordingly, he said.

Jim Farley, at right, on a panel with Facebook exec Carolyn Everson at CES today.

Jim Farley, at right, on a panel with Facebook exec Carolyn Everson at CES today.

Read the rest of this entry »


Blast from the Sun Reaches Earth

Forecasters at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center said a coronal mass ejection (CME) arrived near Earth at 2:32 p.m. EST, Jan. 9, 2014, which initiated the start of a geomagnetic storm. Effects from the storm are expected to continue through January 10, with minor disruptions to communications and GPS.

SXI_20140107_183515167_AB_15

Image of the sun on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, from the Solar X-Ray Imager on NOAA’s GOES satellite, taken just after the maximum emission of a solar flare. The eruption came from the middle of the sun and is directed toward Earth. This is the largest solar flare so far this year.

Download here. (Credit: NOAA)

The sunspot in Region 1944 produced the eruption at 1:32 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, and remains active and is well positioned to deliver more storm activity in the next several days. NOAA’s SWPC will continue to monitor the region for activity.

How space weather affects real-time technology

Economies around the world have become increasingly vulnerable to the ever-changing nature of the sun. Solar flares can disrupt power grids, interfere with high-frequency airline and military communications, disrupt Global Positioning System (GPS) signals, interrupt civilian communications, and blanket the Earth’s upper atmosphere with hazardous radiation.

Monitoring and forecasting solar outbursts in time to reduce their effect on space-based technologies have become new national priorities. And NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), part of NOAA’s National Weather Service, is the nation’s official source of space weather forecasts, alerts, and warnings.

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Download here. (Credit: NOAA)

Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Baby Jesus Stolen From TWO Nativity Scenes! Bring Back Baby Jesus!

babyjesusWESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) – Two Mt. Pleasant families are baffled, after someone stole the baby Jesus from their nativity scene.

The thefts happened on Connellsville Road.

“I went to get my mail, and when I came back and looked at the nativity, the baby was gone,” Valarie Goodwin said.

Stealing baby Jesus is so widespread, that municipalities, churches, and homeowners are now using GPS devices and security cameras for security.

One nativity scene is even protected by a metal screen.

Goodwin found a stand-in baby Jesus, she’s just hoping the person responsible for the theft, will return the baby unharmed.

CBS Pittsburgh


Don’t Track Me, Bro

driving_by_gas_station-sm

On Gas Taxes And Big Brother

Americans are burning less gas.  This presents a terrible problem, one that demands immediate action.

At least, that’s what we’re being told by government officials who say they need more money.  While getting Americans to use less gas has been a national priority at least since the double-nickel speed limits during the era of national malaise, now that Americans are actually doing it, the government has to deal with lower gas tax revenues:  Since the tax is collected on a per-gallon basis, when people buy fewer gallons, there’s less money for the government.

The response in many places — from Oregon to New Jersey and points in between — has been to propose taxing people based on the miles that they drive rather than on the gas that they burn.  There are even test programs going on in several states in which GPS trackers are being used to collect drivers’ mileage.  Needless to say, this sort of thing has people worried about privacy, especially in the wake of the recent scandals involving government spying and abuse of data.  It also raises the question of whether, by moving to a mileage tax, we’re giving up on trying to get people to save gas.

A GPS-based tracking system appeals to the authorities for obvious reasons:  It knows exactly how much you’ve driven, and in which states, making it easy to apportion revenue.  It frightens privacy advocates and creeps out ordinary Americans for pretty much the same reason:  It knows exactly how much, and where, you’ve driven.  One of the great things about driving a car is the freedom that it involves, and part of that freedom is the ability to go anywhere without buying tickets, checking in, or otherwise operating under someone else’s nose.

Read the rest of this entry »


This Is Probably the Best-Looking, Most High-Tech Gun Safe You’ll See

 reports: This is the Gun Box. It’s currently seeking funding on Indiegogo. I know zero about guns and the receptacles one would use to store guns, but this thing really looks more like an oversized wireless router and there’s a bunch of tech to talk about here, so let’s keep moving.

At the top of the line, the Gun Box Premier will set you back $400 at retail (you can get discounts on each version by backing the project on Indiegogo). For that, you get the router-looking box, which is made of aircraft strength aluminum alloy and is damn-near fireproof and damn-near tamper proof. In fact, if someone tampers with it, its motion sensors will kick in and send an alert to your phone.

gunboxIt’s also got GPS, so if someone steals it, you’ll be able to track it on a map (there’s a Kensington lock port to prevent theft in the first place). The back of the box has two USB ports; the idea being that you can put this thing on your nightstand and plug your gadgets into the ports at night for charging.

Fancy, eh? All this for a box you use to lock up your handgun. Oh, and to unlock it, you can use your fingerprint instead of fumbling around with keys or however else people usually lock up their guns.

The $300 version gets you many of the same features, minus the GPS stuff. The $240 version gets you many of the same features but sports an RFID lock instead of a fingerprint lock. You unlock it by waving a wristband or ring that contain built-in smart chips over the box. The same feature comes standard along with the fingerprint unlocking mechanism found in the two more expensive models.

The Gun Box [Indiegogo]

TIME.com –  @daamoth


Siri’s U.S. voice actress revealed!

An Atlanta woman has come forward to CNN as the U.S. voice of Siri, the built-in “personal assistant” first introduced in the iPhone 4S. Susan Bennett says she first discovered that her voice was being used on Apple’s smartphones when a friend emailed her and asked if it was her voice on the iPhone commercial. She headed to the Apple website to discover that she had unknowingly provided the voice for the system with samples she recorded in July of 2005, a full six years before the phone’s launch.

Bennett says she had no idea that the voice samples would be used by Apple and that her work also appears on many GPS units and other devices, including the first ATM.

Previously, an Australian morning show interviewed the voice actress who provided the voice for Siri in that country. The interview can be seen below.

9to5Mac.