University of Maryland Develops Insect Terminators For US Military

The US Army granted engineers at the University of Maryland a 5 year, 10 million dollar contract to develop tiny micro air vehicles to be used in war zones.

They believe that these insect robots could save soldiers’ lives by assisting them with reconnaissance and surveillance in the most hostile environments.


Added: 13. December 2009

See also:

Pentagon’s Cyborg Insects All Grown Up (Wired)

The Pentagon’s battle bugs (Asia Times)

Iron Mountain: 22 Stories Underground, Experimental ‘Room 48’

Now that is an underground!


(Click on images to enlarge.)
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The mine shafts in Iron Mountain’s underground data center are supported with huge limestone columns. Most limestone mines excavate up to 85% of the mineral, but miners for U.S. Steel took away only 65% for added stability.

Click to view a slide show of The Underground

Computerworld – Down a road that winds through the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, just across from a cow pasture, the bucolic scenery of Butler County is interrupted by a high chain-link fence topped with razor wire.

Cars entering the compound are channeled into gated lanes before being searched by a guard. A short distance beyond the security point, the road disappears into a gaping hole in a cliff face. The hole is sealed off by the thick, steel bars of a tall sliding gate controlled by guards carrying semiautomatic pistols. They are protecting a 25-foot-high passage that leads 22 stories down to Iron Mountain’s main archive facility, which takes up 145 acres of a 1,000-acre abandoned limestone mine.

Behind steel doors

Among dozens of red steel doors inserted in the rock face along corridors that create an elaborate subterranean honeycomb, you’ll find Room 48, an experiment in data center energy efficiency. Open for just six months, the room is used by Iron Mountain to discover the best way to use geothermal conditions and engineering designs to establish the perfect environment for electronic documents.

Room 48 is also being used to devise a geothermal-based environment that can be tapped to create efficient, low-cost data centers. (For information on more companies using geothermal conditions to improve data center efficiency, see “Riding the geothermal wave.”)

There is no raised floor in Room 48. Instead, networking wires are suspended above rows of server racks and cooled both by the limestone walls and vents attached to ceiling-mounted red spiral ducts 36 inches in diameter. The HVAC system uses the cool water of an underground lake hundreds of acres in size.

Outside light is beamed into the main aisle of the room through a long ceiling tube to reduce heat. Rows of server racks are encased in rectangular metal containers that trap electrical heat and force it up through perforated ceiling tiles, allowing the 55-degree limestone roof to absorb heat that otherwise would build up in the 4,100-square-foot room.

“Limestone can absorb 1.5 BTUs per square foot,” Charles Doughty, the vice president of engineering at Iron Mountain, said during a recent tour of the facility by Computerworld. Facts on molecular chemistry and mineral properties roll off 61-year-old Doughty’s tongue. He has worked as a technologist and archivist in the tunnels of the one-time mine for 37 years, studying thermodynamics in an ever-evolving effort to create the perfect environment for storing paper and electronic records.

An underground office

Doughty’s underground office is adorned with dark wood furniture that’s upholstered in the type of rich leather befitting his executive status. The furniture and carpeted floors contrast sharply with a rough-hewn wall of prehistoric rock. The office sits just off a larger room filled with cubicles that also butt up against rock walls, which are painted white to better reflect light and suppress any limestone dust.

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Charles Doughty, Iron Mountain’s vice president of engineering, in his underground office. Note the stark contrast between the executive surroundings and prehistoric rock.

The Underground, as the mine is called by employees, has its own cafe and a fire department with three engines. Like the other 2,700 workers here, Doughty traverses miles of roadways and tunnels in golf carts. Iron Mountain employs just 155 people in The Underground, the rest work for companies renting space in the facility.

An endurance kayaker who owns a working 30-acre farm and is training for an iron-man competition, Doughty is an idea man in a subterranean environment. He calls it “the best job in the world. I only get to create ideas. Other people do the work to make it happen. “

Read moreIron Mountain: 22 Stories Underground, Experimental ‘Room 48’

Big Brother Google Expands Tracking To Logged Out Users

Now, everyone has their activities tracked in the name of a better service

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Google wants to make sure everyone takes it personally

Anyone who’s a regular Google search user will know that the only way to avoid the company tracking your online activities is to log out of Gmail or whatever Google account you use. Not any more.

As of last Friday, even searchers who aren’t logged into Google in any way have their data tracked in the name of providing a ‘better service’.

Anonymous cookie

The company explained: “What we’re doing today is expanding Personalized Search so that we can provide it to signed-out users as well. This addition enables us to customise search results for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser.”

However, if you’ve previously been a fan of the log-out method to avoid being tracked, there’s still the option to disable the cookie by clicking a link at the top right of a search results page.

Read moreBig Brother Google Expands Tracking To Logged Out Users

US Air Force Zaps Drones in Laser Test

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In a recent series of tests at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, Calif., a trailer-mounted laser was able to knock five unmanned aircraft out of the sky.

The demo, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory, was a test of the Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments (MATRIX), an experimental system developed by Boeing Directed Energy Systems. According to a company news release, the test showed the ability to take down a hostile unmanned aircraft with a “relatively low laser power” weapon. According to AFRL, MATRIX uses a two and a half kilowatt-class high energy laser.

While ballistic missile defense may get all of the press, some homeland-security experts worry about a more low-tech threat: drone technology. Bill Baker, chief scientist of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate, said in a statement that the shootdowns “validate the use of directed energy to negate potential hostile threats against the homeland.”

It’s not clear, exactly, how the lasers shot down the drones: Whether they disrupted the aircraft controls, or burned a big hole in them. (An AFRL news release said the drones were “acquired, tracked and negated at significant ranges” but offered few additional details.)

Read moreUS Air Force Zaps Drones in Laser Test

VeriChip Corp. Completes Acquisition of Steel Vault Corp. – Corporation to be Named PositiveID

VeriChip (CHIP), the company that markets a microchip implant that links to your online health records, has acquired Steel Vault (SVUL), a credit monitoring and anti-identity theft company. The combined company will operate under a new name: PositiveID.

verichip

The all-stock transaction will leave PositiveID in charge of a burgeoning empire of identity, health and microchip implant businesses that will only encourage its critics. BNET previously noted that some regard the company as part of a prophecy in the Book of Revelation (because the HealthLink chip carries an RFID number that can be used as both money and proof of ID) or as part of President Obama’s secret Nazi plan to enslave America.

The most obvious criticism to be made of the deal is that it potentially allows PositiveID to link or cross-check patient health records (from the HealthLink chip) to people’s credit scores. One assumes that the company will put up firewalls to prevent that. PositiveID CEO Scott Silverman said:

“PositiveID will be the first company of its kind to combine a successful identity security business with one of the world’s first personal health records through our Health Link business. PositiveID will address some of the most important issues affecting our society today with our identification tools and technologies for consumers and businesses.”

Read moreVeriChip Corp. Completes Acquisition of Steel Vault Corp. – Corporation to be Named PositiveID

VeriChip TV Ad Confirms Critics’ Worst Fears: They Want Everyone Implanted

VeriChip‘s TV ad for its Health Link implantable microchip that connects to your online medical records has spawned a backlash on YouTube. Observers regard it as either part of President Obama‘s secret Nazi plan to enslave us all or a sign of the coming antichrist.

verichip

The ad itself comes on like all drug advertising does – healthy, smiling middle-aged people describing the things about life they are thankful for.

But, to give VeriChip’s critics some credit, the ad clearly positions the VeriChip as something for everyone, not merely patients who are so deranged or damaged that having a chip to transmit accurate data might be useful.

It begins:

To think something so slim can connect you.

… Health Link is always with you when every second counts in the emergency room.

… Because Bob has trouble remembering all his medications.

So far so good. But then the ad suggests a much wider application. A young woman says:

… because my car lost control while driving.

And a groovy looking guy in a pork-pie hat adds:

… because I have diabetes but it doesn’t have me.

When you add this to VeriChip’s previous marketing activity – in which they implanted the chips in cuties on Miami’s nightclub scene so they didn’t have to bother showing ID or carrying cash – the impression it gives is that VeriChip does indeed want everyone to be implanted.

Read moreVeriChip TV Ad Confirms Critics’ Worst Fears: They Want Everyone Implanted

Framed for child porn — by a PC virus

Of all the sinister things that Internet viruses do, this might be the worst: They can make you an unsuspecting collector of child pornography.

Heinous pictures and videos can be deposited on computers by viruses — the malicious programs better known for swiping your credit card numbers. In this twist, it’s your reputation that’s stolen.

Pedophiles can exploit virus-infected PCs to remotely store and view their stash without fear they’ll get caught. Pranksters or someone trying to frame you can tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal Web sites.

Whatever the motivation, you get child porn on your computer — and might not realize it until police knock at your door.

An Associated Press investigation found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles after their co-workers or loved ones stumbled upon child porn placed on a PC through a virus. It can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove their innocence.

Read moreFramed for child porn — by a PC virus

WHO landmark study: Long-term use of mobile phones ‘may be linked to cancer’

Do they want to sell us the ‘International Interphone Study’ as new? One year has passed since I posted the results here.

Health organizations, politicians, scientists and the industry know that mobile phone use definitely creates cancer.

We already had huge studies that hissed all red flags possible.

You are just not worth telling and you have been lied to all of the time:

The International Interphone Study Confirms: The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic:
The official publication of the first intermediate results of the International Interphone Study from the International Research Centre on Cancer (CIRC) dependent on WHO confirms the increased tumors and cancer cases due to the use of mobile phone

The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic:
Here (PDF)
INTERPHONE Results latest update Oct. 08, 2008:
Interphone Results Update (PDF)

Mobile Phone Radiation to Unleash Epidemic of Brain Tumors:
(NaturalNews) A new review of more than 100 studies on the safety of mobile phones has concluded that cellular devices are poised to cause an epidemic of brain tumors that will kill more people than smoking or asbestos.

The review was conducted by neurosurgeon Vini Khurana, who has received more than 14 awards in the past 16 years, who made headlines worldwide with his warnings. He called upon the industry to immediately work to reduce people’s exposure to the radiation from mobile phones.

2 Billion may suffer from Mobile Cancer by 2020: Study:
The studies and survey conducted by Australian Health Research Institute indicates that due to billions of times more in volume electromagnetic radiation emitted by billions of mobile phones, internet, intranet and wireless communication data transmission will make almost one-third of world population (about two billions) patient of ear, eye and brain cancer beside other major body disorders like heart ailments, impotency, migraine, epilepsy.

Dangers of the wireless cell phone wi-fi and emf age – Dr. George Carlo:
Dr. George Carlo was the leading scientist of the biggest study ever ($28-million) conducted on Cell Phones.
Dr. Carlo was hired as an independent scientist by the industry to prove that cellphones are safe. Yet Dr. George Carlo hissed all red flags possible (incl. cancer)!

Study: Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain after Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones (PDF)
German translation:
Salford Studie (Vollversion) (PDF)
Leif G. Salford,1 Arne E. Brun,2 Jacob L. Eberhardt,3 Lars Malmgren,4 and Bertil R. R. Persson>3
1Department of Neurosurgery, 2Department of Neuropathology, 3Department of Medical Radiation Physics, and 4Department of Applied Electronics, Lund University, The Rausing Laboratory and Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

Warning: Using a mobile phone while pregnant can seriously damage your baby:
They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behaviour. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to problems with conduct.

Mobile phone radiation wrecks your sleep

Men who use mobile phones face increased risk of infertility

– Cell Towers: Wireless Convenience? or Environmental Hazard?

THE EFFECT OF MICROWAVE EMISSION FROM MOBILE PHONES ON NEURON SURVIVAL IN RAT CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

Books:
Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age: An Insider’s Alarming Discoveries about Cancer and Genetic Damage
by Dr. George Carlo)

– Electromagnetic Fields: A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves by B. Blake Levitt

Cell Towers: Wireless Convenience? or Environmental Hazard? by B. Blake Levitt
B. Blake Levitt is an award-winning journalist who has specialized in medical and science writing for nearly two decades. She has researched the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation since the late 1970’s. A former New York Times writer, she has written widely on medical issues for both the lay and professional audience. Her work has appeared in nu-merous national publications.


Long-term use of mobile phones may be linked to some cancers, a landmark international study will conclude later this year.


mobile-phone
Heavy users may face a higher risk of developing brain tumours later in life Photo: GETTY

A £20million, decade-long investigation overseen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will publish evidence that heavy users face a higher risk of developing brain tumours later in life, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The conclusion, while not definitive, will undermine assurances from the government that the devices are safe and is expected to put ministers under pressure to issue stronger guidance.

A preliminary breakdown of the results found a “significantly increased risk” of some brain tumours “related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more” in some studies.

The head of the Interphone investigation said that the report would include a “public health message”.

Britain’s Department of Health has not updated its guidance for more than four years. It says that “the current balance of evidence does not show health problems caused by using mobile phones”, and suggests only that children be “discouraged” from making “non-essential” calls while adults should “keep calls short”.

In contrast, several other countries, notably France, have begun strengthening warnings and American politicians are urgently investigating the risks.

The Interphone inquiry has been investigating whether exposure to mobile phones is linked to three types of brain tumour and a tumour of the salivary gland.

Its head, Dr Elisabeth Cardis, backed new warnings.

“In the absence of definitive results and in the light of a number of studies which, though limited, suggest a possible effect of radiofrequency radiation, precautions are important,” she said.

“I am therefore globally in agreement with the idea of restricting the use by children, though I would not go as far as banning mobile phones as they can be a very important tool, not only in emergencies, but also maintaining contact between children and their parents and thus playing a reassurance role.

“Means to reduce our exposure (use of hands-free kits and moderating our use of phones) are also interesting.”

The project conducted studies in 13 countries, interviewing tumour sufferers and people in good health to see whether their mobile phone use differed. It questioned about 12,800 people between 2000 and 2004.

Read moreWHO landmark study: Long-term use of mobile phones ‘may be linked to cancer’

The Newest In Taser Technology: Taser X3 – Firing Up The Newest Tasers

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Taser X3 Photo credit: James Martin/CNET

On Friday, Taser International held a demo day at the Alameda Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Center in Dublin, Calif., to show off some of the latest in electronic control devices.

The Taser X3, the newest device with multishot technology, goes beyond the single-shot capabilities of first-generation tasers and provides the ability to deploy a second and third cartridge immediately. Also, it can simultaneously zap three bad guys at once.

Taser International:
“The X3 is a revolutionary new multi-shot ECD that can engage multiple targets, display Warning Arcs™ while loaded, and deliver a calibrated Neuro Muscular Incapacitation (NMI) pulse that results in improved safety characteristics. While the X3 offers enhanced firepower over existing ECDs, it also represents a quantum leap in sensor and computation power – making it by far the most intelligent hand-held force option ever developed.”
Source: Taser International

October 24, 2009 9:10 AM PDT
By: James Martin


taser-xrep
Taser International says its XREP (Extended Range Electronic Projectile) is the most technologically advanced projectile ever deployed from a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. The self-contained, wireless electronic control device fires accurately up to 100 feet and attaches itself to the target before deploying its charge. Photo by James Martin/CNET

DUBLIN, Calif.–Don’t tase me, bro. Really.

CNET News took a trip to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Center on Friday to have a look at some of the newest equipment from Taser, which was among the companies showing off weaponry at the UrbanShield 2009 training event. The electric-shock gadgets are controversial and have drummed up some bad press over the years for causing the occasional serious injury or even fatality. But the company has maintained its insistence that they are significantly safer than the alternative (i.e. guns).

We didn’t get to tase anybody. But we did get to see the Shockwave, a big Taser device that can incapacitate five or six people at a time, which company representatives told us is designed for crowd-control situations and can be triggered remotely via a 100-foot firing wire.

There are also two recently released handheld Tasers: the X3, which unlike its single-shot predecessors can fire off a total of three shots at once; and the XREP, a Taser projectile that’s fired out of a modified 12-gauge shotgun (the modifications ensure that regular cartridges can’t be used instead). Both devices are bright yellow, which representatives told us means they’re easily identified as non-lethal weapons.

You can’t go to your local sporting goods store and buy these Tasers–unlike the smaller, consumer-grade C2 devices, the X3 and XREP lines are only sold to police, military, and sometimes animal-control professionals. Taser International’s vice president of training, Rick Guilbault, told us that a Taser was once used to pry off a rogue python that had wrapped itself around a woman’s arm and wouldn’t let go.

Read moreThe Newest In Taser Technology: Taser X3 – Firing Up The Newest Tasers

FBI building new biometrics system that will include DNA records, 3-D facial imaging, palm prints and voice scans

Related information:

Study: DNA can be faked by criminals, crime scene can be engineered

Exchange “criminals” with “governments”.

Taser use to obtain DNA not unconstitutional: NIAGARA COURTS RULING

And now…


The FBI plans to migrate from its IAFIS fingerprint database to a new biometrics system that will include DNA records, 3-D facial imaging, palm prints and voice scans that blows away fingerprinting.

fbi
TAMPA – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is expanding beyond its traditional fingerprint-focused collection practices to develop a new biometrics system that will include DNA records, 3-D facial imaging, palm prints and voice scans, blended to create what’s known as “multi-modal biometrics.”

How the Defense Department might institutionalize war-time biometrics

“The FBI today is announcing a rapid DNA initiative,” said Louis Grever, executive assistant director of the FBI’s science and technology branch, during his keynote presentation at the Biometric Consortium Conference in Tampa.

The FBI plans to begin migrating from its IAFIS database, established in the mid-1990s to hold its vast fingerprint data, to a next-generation system that’s expected to be in prototype early next year. This multi-modal NGI biometrics database system will hold DNA records and more.

Read moreFBI building new biometrics system that will include DNA records, 3-D facial imaging, palm prints and voice scans