Monthly Archives: August 2014

DARPA moves to replace tanks with ground drones

The research arm of the US military is looking at designs for new hi-tech tanks, focusing less on armour and more on mobility and speed. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28851359 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) says it wants to “revolutionise” tank design. The body says advancements in weaponry in recent years have made heavily armoured tanks less […]

28 year old Marine dies from mix of prescription meds

Robert W. Richards, a former sergeant who helped provoke international outrage when he and three other Marines were seen on videotape urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2011, died on Wednesday at his home in Jacksonville, N.C., near Camp Lejeune, where he had once been based. He was 28. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/world/robert-richards-marine-guilty-in-taliban-desecration-dies-at-28.html?ref=world&_r=0 His […]

Swarms of syncronized robots ready to take orders

Engineers in the US have built a swarm of 1,000 little robots that can shuffle into specific formations on command.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28739371 Each of the identical robots is given a picture of the required shape, and then they work together to make it happen. It takes up to 12 hours, but then this is the biggest […]

Americans waking up to existence of US police state

For four nights in a row, they streamed onto West Florissant Avenue wearing camouflage, black helmets and vests with “POLICE” stamped on the back. They carried objects that doubled as warnings: assault rifles and ammunition, slender black nightsticks and gas masks. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/us/ferguson-missouri-in-wake-of-clashes-calls-to-demilitarize-police.html?ref=us They were not just one police force but many, hailing from communities throughout […]

Peacekeepers launch military offensive in Africa

African peacekeepers and Somali troops battled militants in a suburb of Mogadishu on Friday, launching a joint offensive that killed at least 14 people, police said. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/15/us-somalia-security-idUSKBN0GF0KR20140815?feedType=RSS African peacekeepers and Somali troops battled militants in a suburb of Mogadishu on Friday, launching a joint offensive that killed at least 14 people, police said. The attack […]

Whistleblower: NSA spies on americans from foreign soil

A US State Department official, John Napier Tye worked on Internet freedom issues and had top-secret clearance. In April, as Mr. Tye was leaving the State Department, he filed a whistle- blower complaint arguing that the N.S.A.’s practices abroad violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/us/politics/reagan-era-order-on-surveillance-violates-rights-says-departing-aide.html?ref=us He also met with staff members for the House and Senate […]

LA police shoot and kill unarmed mentally ill man

The police shot and killed an unarmed black man in South Los Angeles on Monday night. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/us/man-shot-and-killed-by-los-angeles-police-officer.html?ref=us&_r=0 The police said that the man, whom the department did not identify, had tackled an officer and lunged for the weapon in his holster before being shot at by both the officer and his partner. Family members told […]

US police state emerges in the suburbs of St.Louis MO

Police in the US state of Missouri have clashed with protesters for a fourth night amid growing anger at the fatal shooting of a black teenager by police. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28781440 Heavily armed riot police fired tear gas as they moved in on demonstrators in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson who had ignored an order to […]

Brazil finds evidence Ford Motor Corp aided rightist junta

A commission investigating the former junta unearthed evidence that Volkswagen, Mercedes, Ford and other firms may ha helped identify “subversives” on their payrolls. http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/brazil-dictatorship-companies/ SAO PAULO, Brazil – When João Paulo de Oliveira was fired in 1980 by Rapistan, a Michigan-based manufacturer of conveyor belts, his troubles were only beginning. In ensuing years, the military […]

Protesters assail Washington for hosting African despots

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the State Department on Monday, the start of a summit meeting here of more than 40 African heads of state, to denounce some of the leaders as “torturers” and “killers.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/05/world/africa/meeting-in-washington-of-african-leaders-opens-to-protests.html?ref=world The protesters, who were mostly from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said they were angry that the […]

Nigerian army joins Boko Haram in murder of civilians

Nigeria’s army has committed atrocities in the north-east in its fight against Islamist militants belonging to Boko Haram, Amnesty International says.  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28651767 The campaign group said it had seen “gruesome footage” including alleged members of the military slitting the throats of detainees. The Nigerian authorities said such barbarity had no place in the military and […]

Electronic health monitor locations are easily tracked

People who use wearable gadgets to monitor their health or activity can be tracked with only $70 (£40) of hardware, research suggests.  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28602997 The work, carried out by security firm Symantec, used a Raspberry Pi computer to grab data broadcast by the gadgets. The snooping Pi was taken to parks and sporting events where it […]

Scientists move closer to developing unstoppable robots

Engineers have taken a step towards having machines that can operate when damaged by developing a robot that can teach itself to walk, even with a broken leg. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28564349 Using “intelligent trial and error”, their six-legged robot learned how to walk again in less than 2 minutes. “This new technique will enable more robust, effective, […]