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US Justice Department allows profiling to continue

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s long-awaited revisions to the Justice Department’s racial profiling rules would allow the F.B.I. to continue many, if not all, of the tactics opposed by civil rights groups, such as mapping ethnic populations and using that data to recruit informants and open investigations. The new rules, which are in […]

EU funds Rolls-Royce robotic ship development

Unmanned ships could become a reality on our oceans within the decade. The firm has been showing off the designs for its concept crewless ships. The EU is funding a 3.5m euro (£2.8m) project dubbed Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence (Munin) which aims to develop its own autonomous ship. Writing about the future of […]

Genetic testing and the prospects for unwanted life

Genetic testing of embryos has been around for more than a decade, but its use has soared in recent years as methods have improved and more disease-causing genes have been discovered. The in vitro testing is expensive — about $20,000 — but they make it possible for couples to ensure that their children will not […]

Google’s Chrome browser contains eavesdropping capabilty

Any computer running the Chrome browser can be subverted to eavesdrop on conversations happening around it, claims a developer. Israeli coder Tal Ater found the bug while working on his own speech recognition software. Despite Google finding a way to fix the bug in October 2013 the update has yet to be rolled out […]

Hacked smart refrigerator sends out spam messages

A fridge has been discovered sending out spam after a web attack managed to compromise smart gadgets. The fridge was one of more than 100,000 devices used to take part in the spam campaign. Uncovered by security firm Proofpoint the attack compromised computers, home routers, media PCs and smart TV sets. The attack is […]

Man throws himself into river after cellphone

A man is dead and a woman is missing after the man dropped his phone into the Chicago River and fell in after it, authorities say.  The incident occurred along a river walk on Monday when the man fell into the water while lunging for his phone.   A man and a woman went […]

Anarchist technology and the reality of transhumanism

“Technology can be compared to a hammer.  It doesn’t care if you use it to build a house or crush someone’s skull.” – Noam Chomsky. Transhumanism has been defined as a intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. The movement regards involuntary […]

Eating sensors to be part of new healthcare system

A range of hi-tech sensors that can measure food intake and activity in order to assess obesity risks is to be funded by the European Union.  Dubbed Splendid, the project aims to persuade youngsters to adopt healthier lifestyles and be more aware of their eating and exercise habits.   It is part of a […]

James Dyson award promoting transhumanism

A battery-powered robotic arm that boosts human strength has won the 2013 James Dyson award. The Titan Arm was designed by four mechanical engineering students from the University of Pennsylvania. Commercial interest in wearable robotics is growing according to Conor Walsh, Professor of of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering […]

US police use GPS vehicle tagging bullet to track suspects

A button inside the police car triggers a lid to pop up releasing a GPS bullet that shoots out and sticks to the suspects car. The system, dubbed Starchase, is already in use in four US states – Iowa, Florida, Arizona and Colorado – and the firm behind it is now keen to get the […]

US based firm breaks the artificial intelligence barrier

Vicarious said it had developed artificial intelligence technology, based on the human brain, which could solve text-based Captcha tests 90% of the time.  A Captcha is a graphic or sound users must type on to a web page to prove they are human. The company said its artificial intelligence software can also perceive images. […]

Amnesty International calls out Turkish police state

Turkish authorities committed human rights abuses “on a massive scale” while trying to quell anti-government protests over the summer, Amnesty International says. The group says live ammunition was used, killing one protester, and some women protesters were sexually abused. It says other demonstrators were badly beaten, resulting in one death. The unrest began in […]

FBI spends $3M for domestic drone deployment

US justice authorities are facing calls for new rules on drone surveillance after it was revealed the FBI has been deploying unmanned aircraft since 2006. A report by the Department of Justice’s watchdog said the FBI has spent $3m (£1.9m) on drone deployment. The audit is the first time the full extent of drone […]

Within the decade smart cars will fill driverless roads

Germany’s Daimler AG plans to start selling a self-driving car by 2020 as part of its campaign to regain the top spot among premium carmakers.  “We want to be the first to launch autonomous functions in production vehicles. You can be sure: we will accomplish that in this decade,” Daimler head of development Thomas […]

US working overtime to ready crowd face scanning capabilty

The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces.   The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of […]

Agribiz set to takeover Asia with GMO “Golden Rice”

Scientists in the Philippines are weeks from submitting a genetically modified variety of rice to the authorities for biosafety evaluations.   They claim it could be in the fields within a year. But campaigners say “Golden Rice” is a dangerous way to tackle malnutrition. It has taken scientists more than two decades to boost […]

Mind Control: Erasing memories and implanting fear

False memories have been implanted into mice. A team was able to make the mice wrongly associate a benign environment with a previous unpleasant experience from different surroundings.  The brains of genetically engineered mice were implanted with optic fibres in order to deliver pulses of light to their brain. Known as optogenetics, this technique […]

Disney develops software to eliminate animators

A computer program that can mimic the abstract portrait drawings of specific artists has been built by experts at Disney Research.  The researchers suggested the techniques involved had the potential to be developed further, and might one day be used to create cartoons in specific animators’ styles. Seven artists were asked to create quick […]

UK funds advanced autonomous robotics research in Scotland

Two Scottish universities have been given more than £6m of UK government funding for research into robotics and autonomous systems. Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh will use the cash to develop a joint research centre in the capital.  The centre will explore the potential of robots and autonomous systems across a broad […]

DARPA accelerates combat robot research with cash prize

A Pentagon-financed humanoid robot named Atlas made its first public appearance on Thursday. Some see Atlas’s unveiling as a giant step toward the long-anticipated age of humanoid robots. “A new species, Robo sapiens, are emerging,”  The robot is equipped with both laser and stereo vision systems, as well as dexterous hands. The debut of […]