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Comment Cockpit Recorder (Score 0) 268

Pilot: "Nearing fire, ready to drop flame retardant. I can see a small pilotless drone ahead. What are my orders?"

Commander: "Pilotless drone? I don't wish to be responsible or liable for any outcome, including the worst thing I can imagine. Why are you asking me what to do, when I can't see it?"

Pilot: "I am not accepting responsibility for any outcome you can imagine."

Commander: "I'm not taking the fall for it. Ordering you to get out of there. We will blame the other drone commander, and assign liability to him"

Pilot: Roger that. Jettisoning flame retardant. Record this - 'See? See? See what you made me do??'"

Commander: Recording. 'Seeing, Seeing, Seeing what he made you do.' Liability transferred.

Now I wasn't there, so the above dialogue is just speculation, but from my years in the public sector, imagined liability relayed to outside command is rather dronelike and occurs pretty often. "making an example" out of someone follows.

Submission EU - Interpol Hosts "E-waste" Conference During Forced Accra Shanty Evictions->

retroworks writes: On June 25-26, at International INTERPOL headquarters in Lyons, France, a conference called "Countering WEEE Illegal Trade" is taking place. CWIT will brief customs agents and EU policymakers on the crime of exporting "secondhand" electronic devices, which they say will eventually wind up in areas like Agbogbloshie in Ghana or Guiyu in China. Speakers include and its controversial source, Mike Anane (who coined term Sodom and Gomorrah for Agbogbloshie and claimed 80% of imports are dumped there).

A report linked at CWIT's website, however, admits only 7% of used electronics imported to Ghana are dumped, rather than 80-90%: "Nevertheless, 14 % of the imported e-equipment (equalling around 30,000 t) was not functioning in 2009. While half of this volume was reparable, the other half was clearly in a condition beyond repair (see Figure 2)."

New investigations of Agbogbloshie "e-waste dump" have found little or no evidence of the dumping claims. Adam Minter, author of 2014 bestseller Junkyard Planet, wrote "Anatomy of a Myth" this week. African blogger Emmanuel Nyalete also visited Agbogbloshie, and pointed out that African teledensity (per World Bank) could not have grown at double and triple digits per year if imports had not been reused.

Is it too late for CWIT and Interpol to reverse course? While UK imprisons African importers (see slashdot story on Joe Benson (who purchased used tech on behalf of buyers in Africa), African activists in Agbogbloshie are reporting that the real reason for the "dumping story" is a land grab. It will soon be too late to investigate further — Ghana developers began forced evictions, and bulldozed the scrapyard and surrounding shantytown late yesterday. Photos armed police evicting the recyclers appear this AM on Twitter, and at and in this blog

Link to Original Source

Comment Minority Report / Global Village (Score 1) 161

This has been troubling me for over a year. Last winter I twice got ads for something I picked up at a retailer, never having searched it online, causing me to look up and find these articles.

Admittedly I've lived in very small villages before where there was no privacy, and I can relate to those who say that the idea of privacy is a fairly modern thing. But never in a village was there such a preponderous difference in power between villagers than there exists between individuals and the corporations who can now track our every move.

BBC NYT Here is a video

Comment Re:Unfortunately commonplace security (Score 2) 134

Here are a few links.



Here is a video

There are others but these stitch together the use of facial recognition in existing retail security systems (2011) and the later meetings (Walmart, Facebook) to establish "rules of conduct" for retail implementation, a video showing how it's done. It's certainly proven to be possible and tested, I suppose my experience finding an ad for a Sony AX6000 which I'd looked at for 3-4 minutes and put down, leaving a store without buying anything, could not be construed as proof. Or the ad for the HP Laser printer.

Comment Unfortunately commonplace security (Score 2, Interesting) 134

Walmart, Best Buy, and Staples are using this facial detection to "add value" to their ceiling based security cameras. I looked into it after receiving Facebook ads for things I never searched but only picked up and examined physically (like very specific models of camera). Unfortunately it's harder to camouflage your face than it is to camouflage cookies from website visits. It starts with security and then goes to marketing... Leicestershire Police will be able to sell a list of attendees to companies marketing hardware, for example (one of the more valuable commodities for conference advertisers... for now).

Comment Pleaded Guilty to Conspiracy (Score 1) 312

Dead 404 link in the Summary, but found article on CNN

First, the charge is "conspiracy" so that kind of covers all kinds of free speech if the intent is to help someone do something bad. It's not "speech violation" to keep your mouth shut and allow someone from ISIS to hide in your garage, but it's nevertheless conspiracy. Similarly it's not the bitcoin instruction, it's the conspiracy to help something bad happen with it. Second, if he and his attorney wanted to argue that twitter is free speech, they should not have pled guilty.

FTFOA "Niknejad was also charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad in the Eastern District Court of Virginia on Wednesday."

Submission Uber's Rise in China May Be Counterfeit->

retroworks writes: Josh Horwitz' story in Quartz today reports both the apparent rapid success of Uber adaptation in China, and a queasy footnote for shareholders applauding the rapid growth. While China is a natural ride-sharing haven, it also has a tradition of gaming the western system.

"Accomplices can sit in their apartments, disable location settings, and specify a pickup not far from the actual location of driver’s vehicle, the report said. The driver then accepts the hail, and goes on a trip without a passenger. After the accomplice approves payment, the driver will – hopefully – pay back the fee and share a cut of the bonus. It’s not the most clever get-rich scheme on the planet. But for drivers, it’s better than waiting for a hail in a parking lot."

Uber's spokeswoman told the Quartz writer that the company has an on-the-ground team who investigate into these various type of fraud, then uses "deep analytics, and new tools developed by our Chinese engineers in our dedicated fraud team to combat against such fraud.” The Uber spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the nature of these tools.

Link to Original Source

Submission Independent Reporters Confirm "Ewastegate" Hoax in Ghana->

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot had the news first. During the past 12 months, there has been widespread reporting of Agbogbloshie, Ghana being the world's "largest e-waste dump" or "most polluted site on earth" or "where most used technology goes to die". A small group recyclers with ties to used technology importers in Ghana have disputed the claim for years, but the news outlets have embraced the story. In 2014, Europe gave a $1.2M grant to an NGO (Blacksmith Institute) to clean up the site, which instead vanished in a FIFA-like charade.

Now two independent reporters have verified that the site is an automobile scrapyard, (see page 78) where men do burn tires and auto wire, but where very very few electronics can be found. Those that are found — estimated at 910,000 pounds per year (not "millions of tons") — are generally collected in push carts from homes and businesses in Ghana. They were usually imported used from Europe, but typically kept in use by Africans for 5-15 years before being tossed to the scrappers at Agbogbloshie.

Links to the two independent stories which validate the "hoax" theory appear in today's Resource Recycling web magazine.

The Guardian
Al Jazeera
Washington Post
The Atlantic
Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican....

In another related Slashdot story, on the 12th month since his sentencing for "e-waste export crime" TV repairman Joe Benson, a Nigerian born Essex businessman, remains in jail, despite studies finding his exported goods were more likely to work than brand new electronics sold in Africa.

Link to Original Source

Submission Scientists just automated light-based computers ->

retroworks writes: Integrated photonic devices are poised to play a key role in a wide variety of applications, ranging from optical interconnects and sensors to quantum computing. However, only a small library of semi-analytically designed devices is currently known. In the article in Nature Photonics, researchers demonstrate the use of an inverse design method that explores the full design space of fabricable devices and allows them to design devices with previously unattainable functionality, higher performance and robustness, and smaller footprints than conventional devices. The designed a silicon wavelength demultiplexer splits 1,300nm and 1,550nm light from an input waveguide into two output waveguides, and the team has fabricated and characterized several devices. The devices display low insertion loss (2dB), low crosstalk (100nm). The device footprint is 2.8×2.8m2, making this the smallest dielectric wavelength splitter.
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We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion