Reuters article first published July 11, 2017 ~ According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) market is expected to grow from $8.12 billion in 2016 to reach $41.97 billion by 2023 with a CAGR of 26.4%.
Rising demand for non-lethal deterrents and growing demand for the use of naval weapons in naval forces across the world are some of the major factors favoring the market growth. On the other hand huge development costs, strict industry regulations and lack of testing facilities are restricting the market growth.
Based on product type, lethal weapons segment has observed highest growth rate as these weapons are commonly used by police, military and defence. By high energy laser systems, fiber laser segment leads the market globally and the growth of this segment is attributed to the rising demand for laser technologies and microwave-based weapons. Asia Pacific is expected to witness huge growth rate and the growth of this region is owed to the use of directed energy weapons.
Some of the key players in Global Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) market include BAE Systems PLC, Boeing Company, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Moog Inc, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Quinetiq Group PLC, Raytheon Company, Rheinmetall AG, Textron Inc, Azimuth Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd and MBDA.
7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, shared new numbers from its drone delivery experiment today. Seventy-seven customers in Reno, Nev., have now received items ordered from 7-Eleven delivered to their doorsteps via drone.
All 77 flights were from one store to a dozen select customers who live within a mile of the shop. 7-Eleven has partnered with the drone maker Flirtey for its delivery pilot.
It marks the first regular commercial drone delivery service to operate in the United States, flying ahead of other, potentially bigger drone delivery projects that haven’t yet been able to take off in the U.S. — like Alphabet’s Project Wing and Amazon’s Prime Air, the latter of which only demonstrated its first delivery to a customer last week.
Amazon’s drone delivery was in the U.K. countryside. The 7-Eleven drone delivery service, on the other hand, is in Reno, a populated urban and suburban area, which poses a potentially more complex set of challenges.
This wasn’t Flirtey and 7-Eleven’s first drone delivery — the pair made history in Julywhen one 7-Eleven customer’s order of a chicken sandwich, donuts, candy, Slurpees and hot coffee was completed via drone. The companies claim it was the first time a drone delivered a package to a U.S. resident who placed an order with a retailer.
For the November drone delivery service, customers ordered food and beverages, but mostly over-the-counter medicines. The drones used a GPS system to locate a customer’s house, where the drone wouldn’t land, but rather hover near the ground before lowering the package.
Deliveries were completed, on average, less than ten minutes after the order was placed, according to a statement from Flirtey.
All the deliveries happened within the line of sight of the drone pilot, but the drones flew autonomously. Right now, it’s not legal in the U.S. to fly a drone beyond the line of sight of the operator without special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.
MIT’s Cheetah 3 robot doesn’t need to see to run up a set of stairs, a new video from MIT shows. Even without cameras to dodge obstacles by sight, the 90-pound robot is equipped with new algorithms that help it navigate its environment by touch.
We’ve seen robots climb stairs before, like Boston Dynamics’ adorable SpotMini. But Spot uses cameras. And the team behind the Cheetah 3 want it to operate without seeing the path in front of it; relying too much on vision could slow it down, or make it stumble. “What if it steps on something that a camera can’t see? What will it do?” Sangbae Kim, a mechanical engineering professor at MIT who designed the robot, says in a news release. “That’s where blind locomotion can help. We don’t want to trust our vision too much.”
The plan is for the robot to venture where humans can’t — like deep inside power plants for inspections, an MIT news release says. “Dangerous, dirty, and difficult work can be done much more safely through remotely controlled robots,” Kim says. But a robot may not be able to see in these environments; after all, the radiation inside the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant fried the camera on a robot sent in to hunt for blobs of nuclear fuel.
That’s why the team used algorithms and sensors to give the robot proprioception — a sense of where its body is in space. The robot’s upgrades include changes to its hardware that let it stretch and twist. It also has new predictive algorithms that help the Cheetah 3 change up its gait to keep from tripping or falling over.
The robot shows off its new features in the MIT Video — like its ability to run up stairs.
FCC stands by decision to raise broadband prices on American Indians
The Federal Communications Commission is refusing to reverse a decision that will take a broadband subsidy away from many American Indians.
Under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC voted 3-2 in November 2017 to make it much harder for Tribal residents to obtain a $25-per-month Lifeline subsidy that reduces the cost of Internet or phone service. The changes could take effect as early as October 2018, depending on when they are approved by the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Small wireless carriers and Tribal organizations sued the FCC in the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. They also filed a petition asking the FCC to stay its decision pending the outcome of the appeal.
But the FCC denied the stay petition in a decision released yesterday.
“Petitioners have not shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims,” the FCC said. “The 2017 Lifeline Order contains a comprehensive explanation of the basis for the Commission’s decision to limit enhanced Tribal support to rural Tribal areas, and to target such support to facilities-based providers.”
$25 subsidy eliminated in urban areas
Lifeline has more than 12 million subscribers, and an annual budget of $2.25 billion, indexed to inflation. Americans with incomes at or near federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Lifeline subsidies, but Pai has led several votes to limit the program’s ability to help poor people buy broadband or phone service. Lifeline is paid for by Americans through fees imposed on phone bills.
The FCC’s November vote eliminated the $25 subsidy entirely for Tribal residents who live in urban areas, claiming that the subsidy isn’t required to make service affordable in urban settings. (All Tribal residents are still eligible for a $9.25 monthly subsidy through Lifeline.)
In rural areas, the FCC vote barred Tribal residents from using the $25 subsidy to buy telecom service from resellers. Most wireless phone users who get Lifeline subsidies buy their plans from resellers rather than from “facilities-based” telecoms that operate their own networks. The FCC vote would thus dramatically limit rural Tribal residents’ options for purchasing subsidized service.
The petition filed by tribes and small carriers explained that large, facilities-based providers have been phasing out Lifeline support, leaving resellers as the best option for consumers.
“[A]pproximately two-thirds of eligible low-income consumers on Tribal lands have chosen non-facilities-based ETCs [eligible telecommunications carriers] as their Lifeline provider, demonstrating the overwhelming success of the model,” the petition to the FCC said. “At the same time, facilities-based wireless carriers have retreated from the Lifeline program across the country, including in many states home to American Indian tribes like [petitioner] Crow Creek [in South Dakota]. In more than a dozen states, AT&T and Verizon relinquished their status as ETCs. AT&T and Verizon continue to apply for and receive permission to relinquish their ETC status in additional states, and stopped applying for ETC status in new states long ago.”
As for the other two major nationwide carriers, T-Mobile has “largely phased out Lifeline service, explaining that Lifeline was not a ‘valuable or sustainable product for [its] base’ of subscribers,” the petition said. “Sprint is the only one that still participates meaningfully as a retail provider in the Lifeline program, but Sprint does not provide Lifeline service on Tribal lands.”
Separately, the FCC is considering a move that would kick resellers out of the Lifeline program nationwide, not just in tribal areas.
The petitioners argued that the FCC “failed to comply with its Tribal consultation requirements as required by law.” The FCC’s decision to impose the changes without opening another proceeding violated federal notice-and-comment requirements and law requiring federal agencies to deal fairly with American Indian tribes, the petitioners argued.
Besides that, petitioners argued that the new restrictions are illegal in part because the FCC’s “claimed benefits are entirely speculative, contradict the record in this proceeding,” and fail to account for “the relative efficiency of resellers that specialize in serving these difficult markets.”
Pai’s decision also “reflect[s] an unreasonable departure from over a decade of Commission policy finding that requiring [telecoms] to have facilities would undermine the goals of the Lifeline program,” the petitioners wrote.
The FCC denied that it violated the process requirements or that it failed to properly justify its decision. “The Commission clearly articulated its belief that limiting the enhanced Tribal benefit to facilities-based providers would better incentivize those providers to expand their networks in underserved areas,” the commission wrote in its denial of the petition.
Pai hasn’t found much public support in his quest to remove resellers from the Lifeline program. As we’ve previously reported, even broadband industry lobbyists and conservative think tanks have spoken out against restrictions on resellers, saying that it would deprive poor people of broadband choices without achieving Pai’s stated goal of expanding network construction.
The petitioners’ court case against the FCC is ongoing, with final briefs from both sides due by August 27.
Called the “No Jab No Pay” program, Australia aims to increase compliance with government mandated vaccination programs by taking money away from its citizens. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children may continue to do so under religious or medical grounds, but will not be allowed to keep the money they were previously receiving from the government.
No Jab No Pay appears to be working. According to Tehan’s press release:
Since the Turnbull Government introduced No Jab, No Pay in 2016 about 246,000 children and their families have taken action to ensure they meet the immunisation requirements.
Reasons for financially penalizing its citizens are for safety, according to the Minister of Social Service. Tehan writes:
Immunization is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
It is no question that the subject of vaccines is profoundly controversial. On both sides of the argument exists truth and lies that can hinder the ability of some to make rational decisions.
While we have everyone from attorneys to biologists, to political scientists who write for the Free Thought Project, none of us are doctors, so we do not make recommendations about what you and your family should do in regards to vaccination. It is important to note, however, that this information is almost always absent from the mainstream media which is why we find it necessary to report.
Fullly-funding the vaccination program, the Australian government provides over 14 million dollars annually to help parents catch-up on their vaccinations. Yet while Australia, as well as many governments around the world are more than happy to fund vaccinations, the practice of injecting the world’s children with inoculations manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry is disturbing to many, and they’re not antivaxer quacks as unscrupulous reporting by IFL Science purports them to be. Presumably comparing them to rats and cockroaches by slanted word choice, IFL Science writes:
Anti-vaxxers have infested the Southern Hemisphere
The characterization of antivaxers is likened to WWII-era caricatures of the Jew, a rat-like repulsive view of people who are sincerely trying to protect their children from potential adverse reactions. Even doctors who provide medical exemptions for the vaccination of certain susceptible patients are caught up in vaccination shaming and governmental penalization.
As TFTP reported last week, California’s Robert Sears, MD, was placed on probation last week after he provided his medical opinion vaccinations would be too risky for his patient, a 2-year-old boy whose mother said he suffered severe reactions to a previous vaccine.
As a consequence of his medical decision to exempt a patient from government-mandated vaccines, Sears was punished and is now subjected to intense scrutiny of every medical decision he makes, simply for standing up for the overall health of one of his patients. In a Facebook post he explained he agreed to the probation in lieu of a costly court case where he may have actually lost his license to practice medicine altogether.
Mocking antivaxers for refusing vaccines on the basis of religious or medical reasons, and penalizing doctors’ medical decisions runs counter-productive to preventing and minimizing actual risks associated with vaccines.
As TFTP has reported, the U.S. Government has paid out well over 3 billion dollars in damages to citizens who claim vaccines caused them harm and even death. Known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the program lists a myriad of complications with which those who receive vaccines can become afflicted.
Those payouts have time-limits established from the time the onset of symptoms occurred to the time a payout can be requested. Often, the sick do not put two and two together, that their vaccine has made them sick, in time enough to file a request for compensation for damages.
Last year, an Arizona nurse we will call “Andy” took the flu vaccine. The hospital where she worked forced her to take the flu vaccine, even though she objected, and threatened her with the loss of her job if she didn’t kowtow to their demands.
Immediately after taking the flu vaccine she developed debilitating complications. Chronic pain, weakness, numbness tingling, and subsequent depression set in. She was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy caused by the flu vaccine she contends. She can no longer work as a nurse but is not about to give up her fight. She’s suing the hospital as well as the manufacturer of the flu vaccine for the very real damages she’s sustained.
Still, advocates for the vaccinating of all humans contend the health risks associated with not vaccinating children and adults far outweigh the suffering associated with complications.
The story of the history of vaccinations demonstrate the power Big Pharma has over the people. Not only will CDC scientists lie, omit, and cover-up the fact some of these vaccines are not safe but they will demonize and penalize anyone who disagrees with their findings. All the while they quietly pay billions in damages to victims of bad medicine.
Analysts with the Los Angeles Police Department are reportedly using Palantir software to direct officers to surveil “probable offenders” throughout the city, many of whom are not criminal suspects but have been spotlighted by the company’s predictive technology, according to LAPD documents.
In Justice Today reviewed internal LAPD documents from October 2017 that point to a persistent surveillance campaign compelling analysts to maintain rotating lists of targets selected by agency data-mining techniques and predictive policing tech pioneered by Palantir. The documents were obtained through a public records request filed by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which provides them to In Justice Today.
The In Justice Today report points to what the LAPD calls Chronic Offender Bulletins. Essentially, these bulletins are profiles, partially generated by Palantir software, for individuals who have had some contact with the LAPD. Violent crimes, gun crimes, suspected gang affiliation, and other designations increase a person’s Chronic Offender Score. A high score alone is not enough to justify detainment, but officers are given one-page summaries of a person’s arrest history, notable physical features (referred to as “physical oddities”), cars they own, and a list of where they’ve been stopped by police.
The LAPD used Chronic Offender Bulletins before Palantir’s involvement, but the report notes that the process is both increasingly automated by its software and per-infraction penalties are more severe. A spokesperson for Palantir disagreed with this characterization, telling In Justice Today that the CBO creation is “a human-driven process,” although Palantir software is used in the creation of CBOs, the spokesperson said.
As the report notes, a feedback loop emerges: the LAPD targets those with high scores for increased surveillance, but each stop by police further increases their score. Troublingly, analysts are directed to create a minimum of 12 Chronic Offender Bulletins, with five to 10 “back ups” to be switched in as people are arrested. To be removed from the list, an individual has to go two years without contact—a near impossibility if officers are being compelled to make constant contact with them. The LAPD tracks the number of high scoring “offenders” arrested, and officers are expected to report on COB arrests at weekly meetings, In Justice Today found.
The LAPD did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
UK Official Says It’s Too Expensive to Delete All the Mugshots of Innocent People in Police Databases 4/19/18
A police officer watches a television monitor displaying a fraction of London’s CCTV camera network Photo: Daniel Berehulak (Getty)
In 2012, a ruling by Britain’s High Court found that keeping the mugshots of innocent people in police databases was unlawful. But almost six years later, the country’s Home Office has defended the continued retention of such images, saying, basically, the problem is too expensive to fix.
According to a report presented to Parliament, at least 19 million facial images are in contained in the UK’s Police National Database (PND), which is used to power facial recognition technology. Hundreds of thousands of these photos are believed to be of people who were never charged with or convicted of a crime. And as not every police force contributes photos to the PND, the total number of such images in the country is thought to be even higher.
After reviewing the matter, the Home Office said last year that mugshots of innocent people should be deleted by request. When pressed on why such images haven’t been automatically deleted from police databases, the Home Office recently asserted that doing so would “need to be done manually,” making the cost “difficult to justify.”
As explained in a letter by Baroness Williams of Trafford, the Home Office minister responsible for biometrics, mugshots are stored in local police databases, then uploaded to the larger PND. While deleting the image from local storage removes it from the PND, the reverse is not true. To coordinate deleting mugshots across the UK, “it would be necessary to upgrade all 43 local systems and the PND,” the letter asserts.
“Thus any weeding exercise will have significant costs and be difficult to justify,” Williams writes.
Norman Lamb, chair of the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee, was less than satisfied with this explanation.
“Innocent people should rightly expect that images gathered of them in relation to a crime will be removed if they are not convicted,” said Lamb in response. “This is increasingly important as police forces step up the use of facial recognition at high profile events—including the Notting Hill Carnival for the past two years.”
Lamb said his committee will continue to push for automation, noting that, without it, many innocent people will have their faces retained in police databases—sometimes without even realizing it.
Across the globe, face recognition is transforming law enforcement. In the US, it’s being used in airports as passengers board flights, in arenas when people attend concerts, and even in some schools to deter school shooters. Police can use the technology to quickly find suspects, but civil liberties experts are wary of normalizing face recognition, which both identifies people in public places and matches them against criminal databases. Simply walking to the corner shouldn’t involve a police search. People are usually willing to bend this belief when it comes to convicted criminals, but, until these “upgrades” happen, everyone who has made contact with police is potentially caught in the dragnet in Britain.