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jerryking : drones   35

Will Tanzania's Drone Industry Take Off?
January 28, 2019 | Business Daily podcast | By BBC World Service.

Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.
Drones have been used increasingly in Africa for survey and mapping, but will cargo drone delivery companies be the next big thing? Jane Wakefield visits Mwanza on the banks of Lake Victoria to speak to African and international companies hoping to cash in on the drone delivery market. During a trial for a big World Bank project called The Lake Victoria Challenge Jane speaks to the Tanzanian drone pilot making waves across the continent, to the global start ups innovating rapidly, and to one drone company helping to map Cholera outbreaks in Malawi. Jane hears from Helena Samsioe from Globhe, Edward Anderson from the World Bank, Frederick Mbuya from Uhurulabs, Leka Tingitana Tanzania Flying Labs and others. (Photo: A delivery drone in Tanzania, Credit: Sala Lewis/Lake Victoria Challenge)
3-D  Africa  delivery  drones  flu_outbreaks  Malawi  podcasts  start_ups  Tanzania 
january 2019 by jerryking
Computer vision: how Israel’s secret soldiers drive its tech success
November 20, 2018 | Financial Times | Mehul Srivastava in Tel Aviv.
.... those experiences that have helped such a tiny country become a leader in one of the most promising frontiers in the technology world: computer vision. Despite the unwieldy name it is an area that has come of age in the past few years, covering applications across dozens of industries that have one thing in common: the need for computers to figure out what their cameras are seeing, and for those computers to tell them what to do next.........Computer vision has become the connecting thread between some of Israel’s most valuable and promising tech companies. And unlike Israel’s traditional strengths— cyber security and mapping — computer vision slides into a broad range of different civilian industries, spawning companies in agriculture, medicine, sports, self-driving cars, the diamond industry and even shopping. 

In Israel, this lucrative field has benefited from a large pool of engineers and entrepreneurs trained for that very task in an elite, little-known group in the military — Unit 9900 — where they fine-tuned computer algorithms to digest millions of surveillance photos and sift out actionable intelligence. .........The full name for Unit 9900 — the Terrain Analysis, Accurate Mapping, Visual Collection and Interpretation Agency — hints at how it has created a critical mass of engineers indispensable for the future of this industry. The secretive unit has only recently allowed limited discussion of its work. But with an estimated 25,000 graduates, it has created a deep pool of talent that the tech sector has snapped up. 

Soldiers in Unit 9900 are assigned to strip out nuggets of intelligence from the images provided by Israel’s drones and satellites — from surveilling the crowded, chaotic streets of the Gaza Strip to the unending swaths of desert in Syria and the Sinai. 

With so much data to pour over, Unit 9900 came up with solutions, including recruiting Israelis on the autistic spectrum for their analytical and visual skills. In recent years, says Shir Agassi, who served in Unit 9900 for more than seven years, it learned to automate much of the process, teaching algorithms to spot nuances, slight variations in landscapes and how their targets moved and behaved.....“We had to take all these photos, all this film, all this geospatial evidence and break it down: how do you know what you’re seeing, what’s behind it, how will it impact your intelligence decisions?” .....“You’re asking yourself — if you were the enemy, where would you hide? Where are the tall buildings, where’s the element of surprise? Can you drive there, what will be the impact of weather on all this analysis?”

Computer vision was essential to this task....Teaching computers to look for variations allowed the unit to quickly scan thousands of kilometres of background to find actionable intelligence. “You have to find ways not just to make yourself more efficient, but also to find things that the regular eye can’t,” she says. “You need computer vision to answer these questions.”.....The development of massive databases — from close-ups of farm insects to medical scans to traffic data — has given Israeli companies a valuable headstart over rivals. And in an industry where every new image teaches the algorithm something useful, that has made catching up difficult.......“Computer vision is absolutely the thread that ties us to other Israeli companies,” he says. “I need people with the same unique DNA — smart PhDs in mathematics, neural network analysis — to tell a player in the NBA how to improve his jump shot.”
Israel  cyber_security  hackers  cyber_warfare  dual-use  Israeli  security_&_intelligence  IDF  computer_vision  machine_learning  Unit_9900  start_ups  gene_pool  imagery  algorithms  actionable_information  geospatial  mapping  internal_systems  PhDs  drones  satellites  surveillance  autism 
november 2018 by jerryking
McDonald’s is going to play SXSW this year — Quartz
Svati Kirsten Narula
March 03, 2015

McDonald’s will host three “pitch sessions” at SXSW on March 13, offering an audience for tech startups with ideas for innovation in three categories:
Reinventing the Restaurant Experience: “This is not about tweeting, ordering online or Wi-Fi connectivity…. We are talking about multiple screens, proximity technology, personalization and even smart packaging.”
Content Creation: “Brands have to co-create content with communities, curate daily content to stay relevant, and create content with social in mind. How can brands tap into new content partners and models that can tackle these objectives?”
Transportation and Delivery: “Our existing idea of door-to-door delivery and drive-thru will soon be obsolete. Imagine a world where drones could deliver you food while you’re driving down the highway.”
The best pitch will earn the presenter a trip to McDonald’s corporate headquarters, where he or she will be invited to pitch directly to the company’s C-suite. McDonald’s says pitches will be evaluated based on “current traction and milestones,” “market potential,” “customer value proposition and service offering,” and “overall brand fit.”
brands  CAMEX  co-creation  McDonald's  SXSW  digital_strategies  sponsorships  millennials  Fortune_500  creating_valuable_content  content_creators  metrics  proximity  personalization  home-delivery  drones  Michael_McDerment  pitches  C-suite 
march 2017 by jerryking
Silicon Valley Stumbles in World Beyond Software
DEC. 6, 2016 | WSJ | BY JACK NICAS

In software, programmers can control their environment. The physical world is messy and unpredictable. Even the smartest computers can’t prepare for every possibility. Add to that the burden of public safety and regulation and it is easy to see why the tech industry hasn’t been able to replicate its success in the digital realm.

“The world is so unforgiving. You can’t just ask it to be more organized,” said Astro Teller, the ponytailed chief of X, Alphabet’s research lab that has investigated—and decided against—space elevators and jetpacks.

Moreover, digital progress is rapid, because computing power increases dramatically over time and software can be replicated endlessly. In the physical world, advances are constrained by physics.
physics  analog  Google  drones  challenges  cyberphysical  Silicon_Valley  software  meat_space  moonshots  Amazon  physical_world 
december 2016 by jerryking
Drones to the front line in race to save lives
Buffeted by the wind, a wooden vessel carrying 297 mostly Eritrean migrants, many of them young women, begins taking in water near an oilfield off the coast of Libya. Hundreds of migrants from Africa ...
drones  Mediterranean  migrants  humanitarian  medical 
march 2016 by jerryking
Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’ - WSJ
By MARGARET COKER in London, DANNY YADRON in San Francisco and DAMIAN PALETTA in Washington
Aug. 27, 2015
ISIS  targeted_assassinations  drones  cyber_warfare  security_&_intelligence 
august 2015 by jerryking
The folly of the drones - The Globe and Mail
HUSAIN HAQQANI
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 27 2015
drones  counterterrorism  Pakistan  security_&_intelligence  Yemen  Afghanistan  fallacies_follies 
april 2015 by jerryking
A Vision of the Future From Those Likely to Invent It - NYTimes.com
May 2, 2014 | NYT | By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and CHI BIRMINGHAM. Claire Cain Miller writes about tech for The Upshot, a New York Times venture that presents news, analysis and graphics about politics and policy

“Start new businesses that create jobs and solve real problems. Also, someone could create a Khan Academy that focuses on professional and vocational skills.”
REID HOFFMAN

“There is a bow wave of uncounted billions of dollars of philanthropic contributions that will unfold over the next 10 to 20 years from Silicon Valley.”
MARC ANDREESSEN
bow_waves  Claire_Cain_Miller  technology  future  trends  Reid_Hoffman  Marc_Andreessen  Peter_Thiel  personalized_medicine  Silicon_Valley  disruption  drones  new_businesses  philanthropy 
may 2014 by jerryking
Blackwater's Founder Blames U.S. for Its Troubles - WSJ.com
Nov. 17, 2013 | WSJ |By Dion Nissenbaum.

Now, Mr. Prince says, he is done working for t he U.S. government. He has invested millions in setting up Frontier Resource Group, a private-equity firm that operates in more than a dozen African countries. The firm is building an oil refinery in South Sudan, owns a cement factory in the Democratic Republic of Congo, conducts aerial gas and oil surveys across the continent, and is looking at taking over idle oil wells damaged by insurgents in Nigeria, he said.
security_&_intelligence  entrepreneur  private_equity  memoirs  oil_refiners  CIA  Blackwater  books  drones  covert_operations  Africa  political_risk  frontier_markets  natural_resources  Leon_Panetta 
november 2013 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy
February 11, 2013 | The New Yorker | by George Packer.

The criticism that there is no encompassing “Obama doctrine” misses the point. Geopolitics today is too complex, messy, and various to be bent to America’s will by an overarching doctrine like containment, or a massive initiative like the Marshall Plan, or a single breakthrough like Nixon’s trip to China. A doctrine was what put the country in a deep hole; climbing out required restraint, flexibility, and opportunism. A first-term Secretary of State with one grand strategic vision wouldn’t have matched the demands of the moment, which called for a fox, not a hedgehog....The standard debates in American foreign policy—realism vs. idealism, heavy footprint vs. light footprint—don’t get to the heart of the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s not that diplomatic engagement is the wrong approach; it’s just that the President’s first four years have given us the idea of diplomacy more than the thing itself. In a forthcoming book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat,” Vali Nasr, a former adviser under Hillary Clinton and the late Richard Holbrooke, argues that, from North Africa to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House has relied too much on the military and the C.I.A. (mainly in the form of drones) to guide policy: “These agencies’ solutions were not, and could never be, a substitute for the type of patient, long-range, credible diplomacy that garners the respect of our allies and their support when we need it.” In Nasr’s view, a White House that feared being called soft and wanted to keep intractable foreign entanglements out of the news turned to Clinton only after things had fallen apart, as in Pakistan at the end of 2011, when she moved to repair a relationship that had degenerated into outright antagonism.

Obama and Clinton wanted to “pivot” away from the Middle East, toward the Pacific, but a bloody hand keeps reaching out to pull America back.
George_Packer  George_Marshall  U.S.foreign_policy  legacies  diplomacy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Obama  Hillary_Clinton  geopolitics  Pakistan  complexity  messiness  restraint  flexibility  opportunism  U.S._State_Department  grand_strategy  Vali_Nasr  CIA  drones  Marshall_Plan  foxes  hedgehogs  long-range  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
In the Arctic, drones could close the gap - The Globe and Mail
PAUL KORING

WASHINGTON — The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jul. 09 2012
drones  Artic  Canada 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Drone Zone - NYTimes.com
By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: July 6, 2012

The Pentagon is increasing its fleet of drones by 30 % and military leaders estimate that, within a year or so, the number of Air Force pilots flying unmanned planes could be higher than the number who actually leave the ground, much about how and where the U.S. government operates drones remains a secret. Even the pilots we interviewed wore black tape over their nametags. The Air Force, citing concerns for the pilots’ safety, forbids them to reveal their last names.

It is widely known that the United States has three different drone programs. The first is the publicly acknowledged program run by the Pentagon that has been operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other two are classified programs run separately by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which maintain separate lists of people targeted for killing.

Over the years, details have trickled out about lethal drone operations in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and elsewhere. But the drone war has been even more extensive. According to three current and former intelligence officials I spoke to, in 2006, a barrage of Hellfire missiles from a Predator hit a suspected militant camp in the jungles of the Philippines, in an attempt to kill the Indonesian terrorist Umar Patek. The strike, which was reported at the time as a “Philippine military operation,” missed Patek but killed others at the camp.

The increased use of drones in warfare has led the Air Force to re-engineer its training program for drone pilots. Trainees are now sent to Holloman just months after they join the military, instead of first undergoing traditional pilot training as they did in the past. The Air Force can now produce certified Predator and Reaper pilots in less than two years.

But the accelerated training has created its own problems.
USAF  drones  targeted_assassinations  training_programs 
july 2012 by jerryking
Iraq Is Angered by U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies - NYTimes.com
By ERIC SCHMITT and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
Published: January 29, 2012
drones  Iraq 
january 2012 by jerryking
Hunting the Taliban in Las Vegas - Magazine - The Atlantic
September 2006
Print | Close
Hunting the Taliban in Las Vegas

In trailers just minutes away from the slot machines, Air Force pilots control Predators over Iraq and Afghanistan. A case study in the marvels—and limits—of modern military technology
By Robert D. Kaplan
drones  Las_Vegas  Robert_Kaplan  USAF  pilots 
october 2011 by jerryking
Top Al Qaeda Figure Anwar al-Awlaki Killed - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 | WSJ | By HAKIM ALMASMARI in San'a, MARGARET COKER in Abu Dhabi and SIOBHAN GORMAN and JULIAN BARNES in Washington, D.C.
targeted_assassinations  drones  AQAP  covert_operations  security_&_intelligence  al-Qaeda 
september 2011 by jerryking
Drones Evolve Into Weapon in Age of Terror - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 | WSJ | By SIOBHAN GORMAN. Drones Evolve Into Weapon in Age of Terror
Intelligence Services Overcome Philosophical, Legal Misgivings Over Targeted Killings; Pilotless Attacks Doubled in 2010
drones  targeted_assassinations 
september 2011 by jerryking
Microdrones, Some as Small as Bugs, Are Poised to Alter War - NYTimes.com
By ELISABETH BUMILLER and THOM SHANKER
June 19, 2011

From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the
way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the
Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared
around the world....Large or small, drones raise questions about the
growing disconnect between the American public and its wars. Military
ethicists concede that drones can turn war into a video game, inflict
civilian casualties and, with no Americans directly at risk, more easily
draw the United States into conflicts. Drones have also created a
crisis of information for analysts on the end of a daily video
deluge.
warfare  drones  DARPA  information_overload  war 
june 2011 by jerryking
Exposed CIA Station Chief Exits Pakistan - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 18, 2010 | WSJ | By ADAM ENTOUS. CIA Station Chief, His Cover Blown, Departs Pakistan
Pakistan  security_&_intelligence  CIA  drones  ISI 
december 2010 by jerryking
Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents - NYTimes.com
August 14, 2010 | New York Times | By SCOTT SHANE, MARK
MAZZETTI and ROBERT F. WORTH
"The attack offered a glimpse of the Obama administration’s shadow war
against Al Qaeda and its allies. In roughly a dozen countries — from the
deserts of North Africa, to the mountains of Pakistan, to former Soviet
republics crippled by ethnic and religious strife — the United States
has significantly increased military and intelligence operations,
pursuing the enemy using robotic drones and commando teams, paying
contractors to spy and training local operatives to chase terrorists."
Yemen  CIA  counterterrorism  Obama  al-Qaeda  contractor  security_&_intelligence  drones  covert_operations  militaries 
august 2010 by jerryking

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