Self-driving cars could be potential crime witnesses

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The police in San Francisco see camera-laden autonomous vehicles as potential witnesses in their criminal investigations, setting off alarm bells for privacy advocates, VICE reports.

Why it matters: As Axios has reported, self-driving cars capture and store huge databases of images so that they can train their algorithms and become better drivers. What that means is that bystanders are often captured in the footage, raising privacy concerns.

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A designer and a NASA scientist team up to fight a $244 billion problem that’s hiding in plain sight

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The debut project from Brooklyn-based Betterlab takes aim at a condition that affects a third of people worldwide.


earsightedness doesn’t sound that scary, but more and more people around the world are suffering from its clinical name: myopia. Because of myopia, China can’t find enough pilots, while the world is losing $244 billion in productivity a year, and that’s just the beginning: By 2050, more than half the world’s population is projected to have myopia—and as many as 10% of that group will go blind from the condition.

The problem was once primarily genetic, but new cases are increasingly attributed to kids getting too much screen time and too little sunlight for the eyes to develop properly. And while research has found that preventing myopia isn’t much more complicated than spending enough time outside, a new pair of glasses developed by designer Todd Bracher and a former NASA scientist aims to fix myopia without forcing anyone to change their behavior, take drugs, or wear special prismatic lenses. They were a finalist in our recent World Changing Ideas awards.

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Bill Gates predicts this technology will replace smartphones


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The company Chaotic Moon is developing an innovative electronic tattoo

Software magnate, investor and philanthropist Bill Gates has become a kind of guru of the new realities that humanity is living and now the co-founder of Microsoft has predicted a new type of technology that, among other things, would replace smartphones.

It is not the first time that Gates dares to make predictions, as he showed when he spoke about a new pandemic that will attack humanity, now the author and lecturer has spoken of an electronic tattoo.

What technology will replace smartphones according to Bill Gates?

The billionaire businessman refers to the electronic tattoos developed by the company Chaotic Moon, a biotechnology-based technique that aims to analyze and collect information from the human body through it.

Among the data that this tattoo will store, there is initially talk of medical and sports information, with which it will be possible to prevent and control diseases, as well as improve physical and sports performance by means of vital signs.

How will the electronic tattoo be placed on people?

Although this electronic tattoo is still in the development phase, it is known that it will be applied temporarily on the skin, with small sensors and trackers that send and receive information through a special ink that conducts electricity.

Gates wants electronic tattoos to replace smartphones

However, the initial implementation of electronic tattoos is not enough for Bill Gates, who wants this futuristic device to become the replacement for today’s smartphones.

Gates’ idea, which has already been seen in several Hollywood movies, is that people can use the electronic tattoo developed by Chaotic Moon to call, send messages or look up an address.

Although it is not yet possible to speak of an approximate time for the electronic tattoo to be available, Gates and his team are looking for a way to use it to become the new device with which people carry out many of the things they do through smartphones.


A 140-Years-Old Battery Technology Might Change Everything We Know About Energy Storage

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Li-Ion batteries power everything today, from tiny gadgets to cars and even airplanes. But for all the benefits that Li-Ion batteries bring to the table, there are tons of problems. These range from the costly and difficult to source materials to safety problems and the damage they cause to the environment. Scientists think they found an alternative that could change everything we know about batteries.

The idea comes from a 140-year-old battery technology, known as the metal-air type. The first metal-air batteries were designed in 1878, using atmospheric oxygen as a cathode (electron receiver) and a metal anode (electron giver). The anode can be made out of cheap and abundantly-available metals such as aluminum, zinc, or iron.
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The Birth of Spy Tech: From the ‘Detectifone’ to a Bugged Martini

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The urge to snoop is as old as time—and by the 1950s, the electronic listening invasion had begun.


This is excerpted from The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States by Brian Hochman published by Harvard University Press.

EAVESDROPPING TECHNOLOGIES OF various sorts have been around for centuries. Prior to the invention of recorded sound, the vast majority of listening devices were extensions of the built environment. Perhaps nodding to the origins of the practice (listening under the eaves of someone else’s home, where rain drops from the roof to the ground), early modern architects designed buildings with structural features that amplified private speech. The Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher devised cone-shaped ventilation ducts for palaces and courts that allowed the curious to overhear conversations. Catherine de’ Medici is said to have installed similar structures in the Louvre to keep tabs on individuals who might have plotted against her. Architectural listening systems weren’t always a product of intentional design. Domes in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and the US Capitol building are inadvertent “whispering galleries” that enable people to hear conversations held on the other side of the room. Archaeologists have discovered acoustical arrangements like these dating back to 3000 BC. Many were used for eavesdropping.

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Could we engineer a vehicle with a nearly limitless power source?

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Iron ore company Fortescue had a vision of such a vehicle.

Imagine a mass-transport vehicle with a nearly limitless power source. It would solve almost all transportation-related problems.

But what would it look like and how would it operate? 

First of all, it would need to have a sizeable cargo capacity. Second, it would need to be fast. Lastly, it would need to be highly efficient. That means it would need to be cheap to operate and maintain, otherwise, it would be an impractical option for most.

Iron ore company Fortescue had a vision of such a vehicle in order to significantly cut down the operational cost of their mining business. They imagined a self-charging battery-powered train.

They even came up with an ambitious name for this new vehicle: the Infinity Train. With this, they could ferry iron ore from their mines at a minimal cost.

This Infinity train would run on gravity batteries and Fortescue’s plan is to build railways from their mines to receiving areas below, where the ore can be shipped out to customers.

Can the firm’s vision come true? Will we see a future where infinity vehicles will exist? How will they be engineered and how will they be made to be safe? This video answers all these questions and more.



Firewall: Definition, technology and facts

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Learn how a firewall filters out cyber-threats, while still letting you access everything you want to look at online.


A firewall is a  online security measure to protect your computer from viruses and other malicious attacks. You can use the internet to communicate with around 4.9 billion people worldwide, according to the International Telecommunication Union, and access more knowledge than at any other time in history. 

The downside is that everybody also has access to you. This includes hackers and viruses that want to steal your data, take control of your computer or even destroy it.

To stop this from happening, a firewall controls the data flowing between your computer and the internet, according to the Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering. Think of this like a border guard checking your passport when you go on holiday. A firewall inspects data to make sure it has the right permissions. If it does, it can pass through — if it doesn’t, it’s instantly blocked.



A firewall works at your computer’s ports. When we’re talking about computer networking, a port isn’t the same as a jack or socket you plug your monitor into. Rather it’s a virtual entry point where your computer exchanges information with other networks. 

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source:  |  images:  |  contributed by Artemus FAN Steve Page


We all know — or think we know — that a solid-state battery is better than a battery with a liquid or semi-liquid electrolytes. A solid-state battery has a lower risk of thermal runaway (what ordinary people call fires). It also has a higher energy density, can charge and discharge more rapidly, performs better in cold temperatures, and lasts longer. So why isn’t everyone using them to power their battery electric vehicles?

The answer is, nobody knows how to manufacture them outside of the laboratory — yet — but scientists are getting closer all the time. According to MIT, one of the main stumbling blocks to making a solid-state battery is that instabilities in the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes on either side can dramatically shorten its life. Adding special coatings to improve the bonding between the layers solves some of the problems but adds to the expense of manufacturing.

A team of researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory has come up with a way of achieving results that equal or surpass the durability of coated surfaces without the need for coatings. The key is to eliminate any trace of carbon dioxide during a critical step in the manufacturing process known as sintering.

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It’s a lesson in platform responsibility.


source:  |  image:  | contributed by Artemus FAN Steve Page

Apple’s AirTag trackers are one of the most useful, yet controversial products the company has introduced in a long time. They’re great for sticking in or on things you might lose, like your keys, for example. I have several, and they’re great. I don’t tend to lose things, but there have been a few times when they give me extra peace of mind, knowing that my backpack isn’t going to accidentally disappear. 

The problem is that, simply put, AirTags work too well. Everything about them is perfect for something you want to track. They’re small, they’re very accurate, and they exist in an ecosystem of a billion iPhones capable of transmitting their location back to you.

As a result, they’re also ripe for abuse. A New York Times article this week demonstrated just how easy it is to track someone using an AirTag. That might not seem like a problem if you’re talking about your son riding his bike, but it gets problematic quickly when you think about the nefarious possibilities. 



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When most people think of security, they picture physically protected people and properties. However, in the modern world, this frequently isn’t enough. Digital and electronic security are equally important. That is why technical surveillance countermeasures, also known as bug sweeps, are a must-do form of security for most businesses.

What Are TSCM?

TSCM is a category of countersurveillance. They are tools and techniques that help security professionals defend against covert surveillance using “bugs” and other electronic equipment. These are some example of the types of surveillance devices that you may need to be concerned about:

  • Microphones
  • Cameras
  • Voice recorders
  • Intercom system bugs
  • Phone bugs
  • Consumer electronics (many bugs are repurposed toys and gadgets)
  • Baby monitors/nanny cams

Bug sweeps help to detect these devices so they can be removed or neutralized. Electronic surveillance devices often emit electromagnetic radiation, often in the form of radio waves.

Examples of electronic countermeasures include multimeters, radio frequency field detectors, near field detectors, and feedback detectors. These can be used to sweep for any bugs emitting radiation.

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