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Satellite Big Data 3L’s: Location, Location, Location — NSR's Big Data Analytics , Satnews Daily Sep 2018
Article by Shivaprakash Muruganandham, NSR Analys

"NSR’s Big Data Analytics via Satellite, 2nd Edition report identifies seven vertical markets as growth areas, and more than 70 percent of the share is held by the Transportation, Government and Military (Gov/Mil) and Energy markets throughout the forecast period."

Transportation

"The mobile nature of the transportation segment ensures that it remains important throughout the next decade, with nearly 1 out of every three dollars spent on SBD coming from land, maritime and aeronautical transport segments."

Government & Military

"NSR finds growth in this sector to be largely driven by the rise of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), with EO applications growing at nearly twice the rate of M2M/IoT SATCOM applications"

Energy

"M2M/IoT SATCOM will continue to play a major role in Energy, due to the remote nature of asset locations and the absence of terrestrial solutions."

"NSR’s considers that EO satellite-based analytics services are expected to grow in importance for this vertical, despite competition from unmanned aerial system (UAS) alternatives. This growth will be fueled by the rise of new sensing capabilities such as methane tracking and emissions monitoring solutions for O&G companies looking to mitigate financial risks."
NSR  market-research  satellite  data-analytics  Satnews  EO  remote-sensing  UAS 
october 2018
William Utermohlen | Issues in Science and Technology Oct 2018
In 1995 Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Signs of his illness are retrospectively apparent in the work of the early 1990s, notably in the Conversation Pieces, which depict the warmth and happiness of his relationship with his wife, art historian Patricia Redmond, and his rich companionship with friends.
IssuesInScienceAndTechnology  art  painting  ageing  Alzheimers  health  disease 
october 2018
The quest to conquer Earth’s space junk problem, Nature news, Sep 2018
"Zombie satellites, rocket shards and collision debris are creating major traffic risks in orbits around the planet. Researchers are working to reduce the threats posed by more than 20,000 objects in space. "

(great animation from ESA, and Nature infographic)

"Several teams are trying to improve methods for assessing what is in orbit, so that satellite operators can work more efficiently in ever-more-crowded space. Some researchers are now starting to compile a massive data set that includes the best possible information on where everything is in orbit. Others are developing taxonomies of space junk — working out how to measure properties such as the shape and size of an object, so that satellite operators know how much to worry about what’s coming their way. And several investigators are identifying special orbits that satellites could be moved into after they finish their missions so they burn up in the atmosphere quickly, helping to clean up space. "
space  orbital-debris  space-junk  animation  visualization  infographics  NatureJournal 
october 2018
A Handheld Ultrasound Device for Your Smartphone - Nanalyze
"With total funding now at $350 million, we decided to take a closer look at the handheld ultrasound device that Butterfly Network is now bringing to market. ... ... we talked about how Butterfly is reinventing the ultrasound machine by squeezing all of its components onto a single silicon chip. ... that device is now here at a price point of less than $2,000"

"The Butterfly iQ is FDA 510(k) cleared for diagnostic imaging across 13 clinical applications which span the whole body. Right now it’s only available for purchase in the United States, and you’ll need to be a licensed physician to reserve one. Next year the devices are expected to be available outside the United States, which opens up the market to places where such a low-cost device might be needed to improve healthcare for the less fortunate (thus, the reason why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in the company.)"
nanalyze  ultrasound  medical-devices  healthcare 
october 2018
The first “social network” of brains lets three people transmit thoughts to each other’s heads - MIT Technology Review Sep 2018
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1809.08632: BrainNet: A Multi-Person Brain-to-Brain Interface for Direct Collaboration Between Brains

"These tools include electroencephalograms (EEGs) that record electrical activity in the brain and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which can transmit information into the brain.
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In 2015, Andrea Stocco and his colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle used this gear to connect two people via a brain-to-brain interface. The people then played a 20 questions–type game.

An obvious next step is to allow several people to join such a conversation, and today Stocco and his colleagues announced they have achieved this using a world-first brain-to-brain network. "

"The proof-of-principle network connects three people: two senders and one person able to receive and transmit, all in separate rooms and unable to communicate conventionally. The group together has to solve a Tetris-like game in which a falling block has to be rotated so that it fits into a space at the bottom of the screen."
MIT-Technology-Review  neuroscience  communication  EEG  TMS  Arxiv 
october 2018
The Problem With 5G | PCMag.com, John Dvorak, Aug 2018
"The technology might be the problem, but even worse for the companies behind it is the perception that 5G is already unsafe before they even get it on a single pole. "

"It's a bad bet because so little is known about the effects of millimeter waves (30GHz-300GHz). While these frequencies only permeate a small fraction of the human epidermis (the skin), the effect on the cornea, in particular, needs serious research."
5G  RF  health  critique 
october 2018
[pdf] Why (Special Agent) Johnny (Still) Can’t Encrypt: A Security Analysis of the APCO Project 25 Two-Way Radio System
Usenix 20, 2011
Sandy Clark, Travis Goodspeed, Perry Metzger, Zachary Wasserman, Kevin Xu, and Matt Blaze

"We found a number of protocol, implementation, and user interface weaknesses that routinely leak information to a passive eavesdropper or that permit highly efficient and difficult to detect active attacks.
"new selective sub-frame jamming attacks against P25
active attacker with very modest resources can prevent specific kinds of traffic (such as encrypted messages) from being received, while emitting only a small fraction of the aggregate power of the legitimate transmitter
"found that a significant fraction of the “encrypted” P25 tactical radio traffic sent by federal law enforcement surveillance operatives is actually sent in the clear, in spite of their users’ belief that they are encrypted"
P25  public-safety  hacking  spectrum  cybersecurity 
october 2018
Why you should wrap your car keys in aluminum foil | Fox News, Aug 2018
"Your key fob uses an electronic signal, and newer models don't even require you to press a button. Just approach your car, and the doors will unlock automatically. In some vehicles, the engine will also turn on."

If you have a true keyless car model, thieves can intercept the signal. How do they do it? Understanding the mechanics of a “car hacking” can help you prevent it.
FoxNews  automobile  automotive  hacking  spectrum 
october 2018
Radio Frequency-Activity Modeling and Pattern Recognition (RF-AMPR) | SBIR.gov 2018
"OBJECTIVE: The PMW 120 Program Office desires a Radio Frequency Activity Modeling and Pattern Recognition (RF-AMPR) capability to perform pattern recognition, anomaly detection, and improved clustering of radio frequency (RF) signals. Specifically, it shall consist of a parametric RF classifier, a generative model of activity in the local electromagnetic environment, a machine learning-based anomaly detection method, and an RF data-clustering algorithm that classifies data that would otherwise be discarded by the parametric classifier."

"DESCRIPTION: Current automated RF data analysis and information discovery methods necessitate discarding significant volumes of sensor data as “non-analyzable”. This SBIR topic seeks to apply machine learning methodologies to better characterize this discarded data, enabling a more complete understanding of RF activity present in a specific environment."

"Anomaly classification shall include “known unknowns”, radio frequency events that are outliers of known classes, and “unknown unknowns”, anomalous RF events that represent new devices or activities."
SBIR  DoD  RF  spectrum  machine-learning  anomaly-classification  ML  AI 
october 2018
Expert Commentary: The Dark Side of Detect and Avoid - Inside Unmanned Systems, Mar 2018
"Your task is to penetrate U.S. air surveillance networks, slip drones into American airspace and spy on critical infrastructure like dams, power plants, factories, etc. "

"EASY WAY NO. 1: Simply have 3PLA, the Third Department of the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Department—China’s equivalent to the U.S. NSA. hack into the databases of the NASA-designed future Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system to get fine-grained ground based DAA (GBDAA) data from the hundreds of radars that will be connected to UTM.... find out which companies are flying near your targets of interest, ... and then get 3PLA to hack into the target’s imagery servers. "

"EASY WAY NO. 2: This option is a bit more expensive, but gives you more control over the intelligence gathered. You do all the steps from easy way No. 1, but instead of just waiting, you take over their drone and gather your own imagery"

"EASY WAY NO. 3: Put your own data links on buildings near targets and take over drones to do your spying. A drawback to easy way No. 2 is that cell phone company cyber security is actually quite good, making it tough to hack into their network and fly them from China directly. Easy way No. 3 gets around cell phone company security by simply taking direct control of unwitting American drones. ... There’s a chance that upcoming airworthiness standards for beyond line of sight (BLOS) drone operations will err on the side of reliability and toss security out the window ... links that don’t ask too many questions when lost also don’t care if a slightly higher powered antenna takes over from their original ground station and gives their drone orders for a bit."

"EASY WAY NO. 4 (THIS SHOULD PROBABLY BE CALLED DEAD EASY WAY NO. 1): Start your own drone critical infrastructure inspection front company and make money while you spy!"

"The cell phone companies already have impressive cyber security for the relay portion of the network; your cell phone calls are very secure while they’re being relayed between cell towers. The problem remains with the drone data links themselves. The FAA simply must write drone command and communications standards that give link reliability and security equal footing."

"The issue will be the sheer volume of vetting required to manage the same level of security screening for the unmanned aviation business community."
drones  UAS  UAV  cybersecurity  hacking  UTM  spectrum  reliability 
october 2018
LeClairRyan | The FAA Reauthorization Act: What is in it and what does it mean for you? Oct 2018
Mark Dombroff, Mark McKinnon, and special guest panelist Jim Williams of JHW Unmanned Solutions LLC will unpack the hundreds of pages of legislation, explain what it means for the aviation industry, and explore its impact on the following areas:

• Integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System,
• Changes to aircraft certification requirements and procedures,
• The FAA’s ongoing restructuring efforts,
• Revisions to rest and duty rules for flight crews,
• Modifications to the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP),
• Efforts to strengthen cybersecurity,
• New studies and regulations affecting privacy,
• Changes to passenger rights,
• Funding for the Airport Improvement Program,
• Changes to the regulation of model aircraft.
LeClairRyan  UAS  UAV  drones  legislation  presentations 
october 2018
6 Great Uses for Contruction Drones - Dronethusiast
Uses For Drones in Construction Projects
= Drone For Surveying
= Inspection: "compare the model of the existing site with the design file, and the final product was a very useful heat map that showed the external contractor’s progress in amazing detail"
= Showing Clients the Progress
= Monitoring Job Sites
= Inspecting Structures - deterioration
= Better Safety Records - "When you can use drone imaging to show erection sequences, crane locations, and perimeter security like fencing, you can view them repeatedly to pinpoint where projects begin to get congested, and even predict where hazards could pop up"
= Keeping the Project On-track, On-Budget
drones  construction  UAS  UAV 
october 2018
Philippines aims to choose third operator by the end of 2018 | PolicyTracker Oct 2018
"It may have taken nearly a decade but the Philippines is close to ending its long-running duopoly. It is using a novel approach to achieve this. "

"The selection criteria are population coverage, minimum average broadband speed and capex/opex spend with a weighting of 40 per cent, 25 per cent and 35 per cent respectively counting towards the final score.

“It’s a quasi-auction approach, only instead of bidding with money, you bid with coverage, speed and capex/opex,” said Kas Kalba, founder of advisory firm Kalba International."

"Like an auction, the Philippines approach offers the opportunity for aggressive bidding, particularly on coverage and capex/opex, Kalba said."

"Consumer pricing is not included as one of the three criteria, which must be a relief to the two incumbents fearful of a disruptive newcomer. "

"Monitoring broadband speeds can be a tricky business but, under the Philippines’ plan, it will be done by an independent auditor, who will also establish whether the licence winner is meeting the coverage terms included in its bid."

"In the final analysis, the winner risks losing a performance security placed with the NTC – worth 10 per cent of the remaining cumulative capex and opex commitment – if they fail to deliver."

"This year, DICT won a battle against the Department of Finance’s proposal for an auction based on the highest financial bid, paving the way for the current process."
PolicyTracker  Philippines  spectrum-auctions 
october 2018
It's Time to Slow Digital Credit's Growth in East Africa | CGAP Oct 2018
"CGAP has now gathered and analyzed phone survey data from over 1,100 digital borrowers from Kenya and 1,000 borrowers from Tanzania. We have also reviewed transactional and demographic data associated with over 20 million digital loans (with an average loan size below $15) disbursed over a 23-month period in Tanzania. Both the demand- and supply-side data show that transparency and responsible lending issues are contributing to high late-payment and default rates in digital credit."
CGAP  development-assistance  credit  finance 
october 2018
RAIM SAPT — Getting Started - FAA
Welcome to the web site for the Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) Service Availability Prediction Tool (SAPT).

This website offers a Grid Display Tool and Summary Displays which can be used to graphically view RAIM outage predictions for specific equipment configurations.
FAA  RAIM  receiver  prediction  aviation  GPS 
october 2018
The ROI Challenge of IoT Smallsats - NSR, Oct 2018
"In the recently released M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition report, NSR projected over 3.7 million smallsat IoT in-service units by 2027; this will generate approx. $133 million in retail revenues during the same year, but it only represents an overall share of only 5% of total satellite M2M/IoT revenues. ARPUs will be low on smallsat IoT networks"

"To turn a profit on these small satellite constellations purely from IoT, millions of IoT devices will be required. On each constellation. With only several million connected devices to come online on smallsats over the coming decade, competition will be extremely fierce between the 15+ constellations for this purpose, with most either merging or never actually launching."

"Further, satellite renewals must be considered, as the average life span for these satellites is up to 3 years. Any launch failure would significantly impact latency and IoT performance. Nonetheless, NSR expects a few smallsat IoT constellations to reach positive ROIs within the next 10 years, assuming additional financing is available to maintain positive cash flow over the first few years of launch."

"Low data rates (a few bytes) per packet transferred are fine for now; however, this fails to consider the growth of data requirements coming from big data analysis. This results in additional levels of data that will be transmitted, despite more analysis being done at the ‘edge’ and not transmitted via satellite. This is where ‘bigsat’ constellations such as Iridium NEXT and Globalstar’s second generation network come into play."

Bottom line: "the ROI on comparatively low-cost CAPEX of smallsats is depressed by even lower ARPUs and end-user demand."
NSR  market-research  business  satellite  smallsats  IoT  M2M  investing  Kepler  Iridium  Globalstar 
october 2018
[pdf] FAA (Right of Way Rules) Mitigation by Technology Workshop, Mar 2018
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM): Conflict Mitigation Approach
Dr. Marcus Johnson
91.113 (Right of Way Rules) Mitigation by Technology Workshop
March 2018
FAA  UTM  UAS 
october 2018
FAA clears DJI and other drone companies to fly near airports - Engadget Oct 2018
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given nine companies permission to fly in controlled airspace, such as airports, as part of its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) initiative. One of those nine companies is DJI, along with Aeronyde, Airbus, AiRXOS, Altitude Angel, Converge, KittyHawk, UASidekick and Unifly. It doesn't mean operators can fly those brands' drones over airports anytime they want, though -- it only means that professional drone pilots can now get authorization to enter controlled airspace in near-real time instead of waiting for months.

A pilot that's going to use a drone to conduct an inspection, capture photos and videos or herd birds away from airports, for instance, can now send their applications to fly in controlled airspace to LAANC
Engadget  drones  FAA  LAANC  DJI  UAV  UAS 
october 2018
Enforcement Advisories | Federal Communications Commission
The Enforcement Bureau is committed] to strong, vigorous, and fair enforcement of the Commission's rules. . . . The Enforcement Bureau will periodically release Enforcement Advisories, which are designed to educate businesses about and alert consumers to what's required by FCC rules, the purpose of those rules and why they're important to consumers, as well as the consequences of failures to comply. We hope that these Advisories will become a familiar tool for industry and their counsel as they conduct periodic compliance reviews and increase their internal, self-policing efforts.
FCC  EB  enforcement  Enforcement-Bureau 
october 2018
Experts see 5G as defense to 'Stingray' spying | TheHill
"Security experts and privacy advocates are hopeful the rollout of the new 5G wireless network could eliminate a glaring surveillance vulnerability that allows spying on nearby phone calls."

"Stingrays exploit cell towers that are the backbone of the current 4G network. ... 5G networks would be less reliant on those towers and also would require new security standards for communications. The new network would be built using smaller cells, which are about the size of refrigerators and located every few blocks."

"Lucca Hirschi and Ralf Sasse, two authors of a recent paper on 5G surveillance risks, told The Hill that their analysis of new standards for 5G found that the guidelines will limit the impact of existing stingrays. ... But the fix won't not cover all stingrays, Hirschi and Sasse told The Hill in an interview. The standards would block so-called passive devices, which just pick up communications, but different kinds of active tracking devices, which can force phones to disconnect from their networks, could still get through in 5G."

"That slow rollout means that for a period of time, multiple networks may be active at once. And that means devices built for 5G may have to connect to earlier networks like 4G, exposing those devices to vulnerabilities they weren’t designed to combat, experts told The Hill."
5G  cybersecurity  surveillance  StingRay 
october 2018
Audacy customer MOUs top $100 million - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"Customers for Audacy, a Silicon Valley startup, have signed memoranda of understanding to spend more than $100 million annually on the company’s proposed inter-satellite data relay network"

"Audacy plans to send satellites into medium Earth orbit in 2020 to provide data relay services for satellites, human spaceflight missions and launch vehicle operators. The Mountain View, California, company has raised about $11.1 million to date"

"Audacy is constructing two ground stations, which it plans to begin operating in April 2019. One is near the firm’s Mountain View headquarter. The second is in Singapore"
SpaceNews  Audacy  NGSO  satellite  business 
october 2018
Rembrandt van Rijn: Self Portrait 1634
Self Portrait

1634
58.3 x 47.4 cm.
Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Rembrandt  portraits  painting 
october 2018
A Polish Nobleman by Rembrandt van Rijn
A Polish Nobleman

1637
96.7 x 66.1 cm.
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Rembrandt  painting  portraits  NGA 
october 2018
Rembrandt van Rijn - Self Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar
Self Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar

1659
84.4 x 66 cm.
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Rembrandt  painting  art  NGA  portraits 
october 2018
Deepfake Videos Are Getting Impossibly Good
"The new system was developed by Michael Zollhöfer, a visiting assistant professor at Stanford University, and his colleagues at Technical University of Munich, the University of Bath, Technicolor, and other institutions. Zollhöfer’s new approach uses input video to create photorealistic re-animations of portrait videos. These input videos are created by a source actor, the data from which is used to manipulate the portrait video of a target actor. So for example, anyone can serve as the source actor and have their facial expressions transferred to video of, say, Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin."
Gizmodo  video  AI 
october 2018
About the IBM Blockchain Technology Platform - Nanalyze Oct 2018
get our hands dirty and scour the media for bits and pieces so we can put together a picture of what the IBM blockchain technology platform might look like today. (If you want to read a quick primer about how blockchain works, read this article first.)
nanalyze  IBM  blockchain 
october 2018
Reading in the era of digitisation: An introduction to the special issue | Kovač | First Monday Sep 2018
"Digital materials can be adapted to each individual’s skill level, enabling flexible learning processes to accommodate the particular needs and developments of each reader. At the same time, empirical research indicates that the affordances of screens may also foster less advantageous reading developments, habits and mind sets.

"This warrants balancing the discourse on possibilities and advantages of digital technologies. To this purpose ‘Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitisation’ (E-READ) — a research initiative funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) as Action IS1404 — has brought together almost 200 scholars and scientists of reading, publishing, and literacy from across Europe. Starting from the assumption that the introduction of digital technologies for reading is not neutral regarding cognition and comprehension, the members of the network joined in an effort to research how readers, and particularly children and young adults, comprehend or remember written text when using print versus digital materials.

"The main findings can be summarised in the following manner:

General comprehension when reading long-form text on a digital screen tends to be either about the same as or inferior to doing the same reading in print;

More demanding tasks (e.g., requiring greater depth of understanding or reproduction of detail or when longer texts are used) suffer more than leisure tasks (e.g., narrative reading);

Readers are more likely to be overconfident about their comprehension abilities when reading digitally than when reading print, in particular under time pressure;

Contrary to expectations about the behaviour of ‘digital natives’, screen inferiority effects have been increasing rather than decreasing over time, regardless of the age group and regardless of prior experience with digital environments;

Digital text offers unsurpassed opportunities to tailor text presentation to an individual’s needs, which has been found to support struggling readers to develop adequate reading skills;

Equivalence between the paper and screen mediums — and even an advantage of digital environments — can be achieved, provided conscious engagement in in-depth processing (e.g., writing keywords that summarize the text) is actively promoted.
FirstMonday  reading  writing  comprehension  literacy  *  technology 
october 2018
How Facebook Was Hacked And Why It's A Disaster For Internet Security, Forbes Sep 2018
What’s most worrying of all, though, is what the hack has proven: that a company with the resources and power of Facebook can be robbed of keys that allow access to millions of accounts across the web. Given the keys allowed the hacker to take over any account using a Facebook login, the real number of affected individuals is likely far higher than 50 million.
Forbes  Facebook  cybersecurity  hacking 
september 2018
Quotes: what forms of psychological manipulation will we consider to be acceptable business models?
The fundamental question for society to answer is, what forms of psychological manipulation will we consider to be acceptable business models -- James Williams
quotations 
september 2018
Is 5G a Spectrum-eating Monster that Destroys Competition? Fred Goldstein, June 2018
"But 5G isn’t, as the FCC members tweet, a race that the US has to somehow “win” against China, lest uncertain horrors result. The likely real purpose of 5G is less obvious than its technology. 5G is more like a cult, a sacrificial cult that is being designed to kill off what little competition is left in the telecom industry."

"Today the biggest carriers and their backers have a new sun god called 5G. But unlike the sun, we don't know who really needs it. It’s based on a supplier-driven model, not a demand pull, given that 4G LTE has been both a technical and market success, and continues to be enhanced."
opinion  5G  critique 
september 2018
Uncannily real: volumetric video changes everything | New Scientist Dec 2017
Wonderful essay by Simon Ings - neat twist in the tail, I love the open to close:

"<open> OUTSIDE Dimension Studios in Wimbledon, south London, is one of those tiny wood-framed snack bars that served commercial travellers in the days before motorways. The hut is guarded by old shop dummies dressed in fishnet tights and pirate hats. If the UK made its own dilapidated version of Westworld, the cyborg rebellion would surely begin here.
<close> Jelley walks me back to the main road. Neither of us says a word. He knows what he has. He knows what he has done. Outside the snack shack, three shop dummies in pirate gear wobble in the wind."

"Truly immersive media will be achieved not through magic bullets, but through thugging – the application of ever more computer power, and the ever-faster processing of more and more data points. Impressive, but where’s the breakthrough?"

"The cameras shoot between 30 and 60 times a second. “We have a directional map of the configuration of those cameras, and we overlay that with a depth map that we’ve captured from the IR cameras. Then we can do all the pixel interpolation.” This is a big step up from mocap. Volumetric video captures real-time depth information from surfaces themselves: there are no fluorescent sticky dots or sliced-through ping-pong balls attached to actors here."
NewScientist  writing  video  essays  *  FX  movies 
september 2018
Effortless thinking: Thoughtlessly thoughtless | New Scientist Dec 2017
click through for examples

= see life as a win-lose game
= childish intuitions
= stereotyping
= sycophancy - suckers for celebrity
= conservatism
= tribalism
= religion
= revenge
= confabulation
NewScientist  bias  psychology 
september 2018
Niche construction: the forgotten force of evolution | New Scientist, Nov 2003
By Kevin Laland and John Odling-Smee

"Our studies have convinced us that niche construction should be recognised as a significant cause of evolution, on a par with natural selection."

"Put another way, the only relevant evolutionary feedback from extended phenotypes is to the genes that express them. So when beavers build dams, they ensure the propagation of “genes for” dam building, but that is all. Yet by constructing their own niche, beavers radically alter their environment in many ways. "

"Across the globe, earthworms have dramatically changed the structure and chemistry of soil by burrowing, dragging plant material into the soil, mixing it up with inorganic material such as sand, and mulching the lot by ingesting and excreting it as worm casts. The scale of these earthworks is vast. What’s more, because earthworm activities result in cumulative improvements in soil over long periods of time, it follows that today’s earthworms inhabit environments that have been radically altered by their ancestors. In other words, some extended phenotypes can be inherited. "
NewScientist  biology  evolution  *  ecology 
september 2018
We could find advanced aliens by looking for their space junk | New Scientist Mar 2018
"Technologically advanced aliens could be revealed by the space junk around their planets."

"Many satellites work best in geosynchronous orbits, where the satellite matches the planet’s rotation so it stays over the same general location on the surface. This is key for surveillance and telecommunications satellites. These orbits are all at about the same altitude – on Earth, around 35,800 kilometres up. So, geosynchronous satellites form a ring around the planet, known as the Clarke belt.

Socas-Navarro calculated that the opacity of Earth’s Clarke belt has increased exponentially over the past 15 years. He found that if this trend continues, it will be observable from nearby alien worlds around the year 2200."
orbital-debris  space-debris  space-junk  NewScientist  GEO 
september 2018
Coffee helps teams work together: Caffeine makes people more positive by making them more alert -- ScienceDaily June 2018
Paper: "Coffee with co-workers: role of caffeine on evaluations of the self and others in group settings" http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881118760665?journalCode=jopa

Abstract

This research explores the effect of consuming a moderate amount of commercially available caffeinated coffee on an individual’s self-evaluated participation in a group activity and subsequent evaluations of the experience. Across two studies, results show that consuming a moderate amount of caffeinated coffee prior to indulging in a group activity enhances an individual’s task-relevant participation in the group activity. In addition, subjective evaluations of the participation of other group members and oneself are also positively influenced. Finally, the positive impact of consuming a moderate amount of caffeinated coffee on the evaluation of participation of other group members and oneself is moderated by a sense of an increased level of alertness.


Via New Scientist, issue 3183, June 2018
caffeine  psychology  teamwork  groups 
september 2018
Yoga and meditation work better if you have a brain zap too | New Scientist, Jul 2018
"Brain stimulation seems to offer a shortcut to unlocking the benefits of yoga and mindfulness sessions, but turbocharging meditation could have a dark side"

"Even so, it takes time and dedication to see results from yoga and meditation. Bashar Badran, a neuroscientist at the Medical University of South Carolina, and his colleagues think they can speed things along. Their secret is a simple, non-invasive brain stimulation technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). This involves sticking two electrodes to the head, one above the eye and one on the temple, and then steering a small electrical current across the brain. The method has already been shown to improve the symptoms of depression, help with addiction and cravings, and possibly speed up recovery from stroke. Badran thought it might also help people achieve a state of mindfulness more quickly and easily."

"In 2010, work by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, both then at Harvard University, showed that our mind not only wanders during as much as half of our waking hours, but we are also less happy when mind-wandering than when we are focused on a task. The pair’s conclusions concurred with what religions have emphasised for centuries: a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

This mind-wandering state is associated with a set of brain regions collectively known as the default mode network. This switches off when we target our attention towards a specific goal, but comes back on when we allow our minds to drift. Studies show that people with more than 10 years of meditation experience are skilled at deactivating their default mode network, consistent with decreased mind-wandering.

Brain stimulation seems to fast-track that process."
NewScientist  yoga  meditation  mindfulness  tDCS  default-mode-network  neuroscience 
september 2018
A Blueprint for a Better Digital Society, HBR, Jaron Lanier E. Glen Weyl September 26, 2018
“the dominant model of targeted advertising derived from data surveillance and used to fund free-to-the-public services like social media and search is increasingly viewed as unsustainable and undesirable” – viewed by whom? Digerati like them, perhaps, but I see little evidence among the populace or Wall St that it’s unsustainable or undesirable. How many people have actually dropped Facebook?

“Platforms would not shrivel in this economy; rather, they would thrive and grow dramatically, although their profit margins would likely fall…” – Hard to see how a with falling profit margins thrives and grows.

“A coherent marketplace” – huh? Seems to be a neologism. The definition is progressive feel-good hand-waving: “a true market economy coupled with a diverse, open society online”

“Once the people providing this data are honestly informed that they are needed, they will earn compensation for their service, …” Yeah, right.

“A MID is a group of volunteers with its own rules that represents its members in a wide range of ways” – leaving aside the weird use of “volunteers” (I assume they’re talking about voluntary association), this is just a corporation. Wow, radical.

What is surprising is that none – not a single one – of the “thousands of unsolicited queries from entrepreneurs attempting to launch MIDs of their own” persuade them. “We are skeptical…” is their refrain. And there’s no evidence for the claim that “billions of dollars have already been invested.” Millions, sure, Sand Hill Road is promiscuous, but billions?

Their “eight principles or requirements” don’t seem to be based on any theory or data, beyond their personal biases.

“Perhaps antitrust law will come to play a role in reining in large MIDs.” – Yeah, good luck with that. Can I interest you in my flying pig?
HBR  democracy  society  Jaron-Lanier  Glen-Weyl 
september 2018
China 'social credit': Beijing sets up huge system - BBC News, Oct 2015
The Chinese government is building an omnipotent "social credit" system that is meant to rate each citizen's trustworthiness.

By 2020, everyone in China will be enrolled in a vast national database that compiles fiscal and government information, including minor traffic violations, and distils it into a single number ranking each citizen.
BBC  China 
september 2018
Insight-as-a-Service for Satellite Networks - NSR Sep 2018
"The terrestrial telecom industry is fast shifting towards 5G networks, with Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) forming key parts of major strategic efforts. This is seen in multiple market movements where organizations such as Verizon, AT&T and Ericsson have begun to shift towards adopting SDN/NFV approaches to manage increasingly complex networks. But what does this mean for satellite players, and how can they remain competitive?

With satellite operators beginning to unlock value behind pixels and bits, the industry is moving downstream towards a data-driven application business. Earth Observation (EO) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) / Internet-of-Things (IoT) satcom stand at an inflection point. While most of the opportunity will remain in the application layer, a parallel story is emerging in the network layer as well."

"NSR’s Big Data Analytics via Satellite, 2nd Edition report establishes the revenue potential for satellite big data lies largely in the Transportation, Gov/Mil and Energy markets."

"A major driving force of this growth is the increasing complexity of networks."

"... in late 2017, SES used dynamic bandwidth allocation based on SDN principles on its O3b fleet."
NSR  satellite  5G  SDN  NFV  EO  remote-sensing  M2M  IoT  market-research  SES  O3b 
september 2018
Capella Space raises $19 million for radar constellation - SpaceNews.com Sep 2018
"Capella Space, a startup planning a constellation of radar imaging satellites, has raised an additional $19 million to fund continued development of its system. ... has raised approximately $35 million to date...

That funding will support development of what Capella Space ultimately plans to be a 36-satellite constellation providing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery with hourly revisit times. "

"SAR offers the benefit of being able to collect imagery regardless of time of day or amount of cloud cover, unlike optical imagery. However, it’s also had a reputation for being more difficult to work with, an issue Banazadeh said is fading with the rise of automated systems to interpret the imagery and extract the desired information."

Matt Ocko of DCVC: “Commodity trading, urban development, critical infrastructure, shipping and security: businesses across the board realize that milliseconds matter in today’s global economy, and a steady stream of reliable, easily accessible Earth information just does not exist.”

"Commercially, he said major customers will likely come from the infrastructure monitoring, maritime and agricultural markets."
SpaceNews  remote-sensing  EO  CapellaSpace  satellite  SAR  radar 
september 2018
Cloudflare Encrypts SNI Across Its Network | SecurityWeek.Com
“Today, as HTTPS covers nearly 80% of all web traffic, the fact that SNI leaks every site you go to online to your ISP and anyone else listening on the line has become a glaring privacy hole. Knowing what sites you visit can build a very accurate picture of who you are, creating both privacy and security risks,” Cloudflare’s Matthew Prince points out.
cybersecurity  internet  Cloudflare  SecurityWeek 
september 2018
Will technology destroy our democracy? - BBC News, Apr 2018
Will technology destroy our democracy?

Could the spread of social media and digital technology undermine democracy? Jamie Bartlett, the author of The People versus Tech, believes it could.

He argues there is a compatibility problem between democracy and technology. Institutions and regulations - like a free press, an informed citizenry, rules about election advertising - keep democracy working. All voters get the same facts and messages.

But big data analysis will enable politicians to target voters individually with highly targeted messaging that regulators can’t easily see, exploiting people's psychological vulnerabilities.

Jamie Bartlett explains more.
BBC  video  documentary  democracy  technology 
september 2018
Leave No Dark Corner - Foreign Correspondent, ABC, Sep 2018
"It’s innocuously called “Social Credit”. In fact it’s a dystopian personal scorecard for every one of China’s 1.4 billion citizens."
ABC  Australia  China  surveillance  democracy 
september 2018
93 | How Democracy Ends - The Book — Talking Politics, May 2018
An extra episode this week to talk about David's new book How Democracy Ends, out next week. With a clip from the lecture we put out at the start of the year and a chat with Helen and Chris Bickerton.
podcasts  TalkingPoliticsPodcast  politics  democracy  David-Runciman 
september 2018
71 | How Democracy Ends — Talking Politics, Dec 2017
Worst-case scenarios for democracy - especially since Trump's victory - hark back to how democracy has failed in the past. So do we really risk a return to the 1930s? This week David argues no - if democracy is going to fail in the twenty-first century it will be in ways that are new and surprising. A talk based on his new book coming out next year. Recorded at Churchill College as part of the CSAR lecture series
podcasts  TalkingPoliticsPodcast  politics  democracy  David-Runciman 
september 2018
91 | James Williams — Talking Politics, Apr 2018
We catch up with James Williams, winner of the Nine Dots Prize, ahead of the publication of his prize-winning book Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy. What is the relentless competition for our attention doing to our well-being? How can we fight back against the endless pull of the phone in our pocket? And what does it all mean for politics? The book will available free to download from Cambridge University Press on 31 May.
podcasts  TalkingPoliticsPodcast  politics  attention-economy 
september 2018
53 | The Nine Dots Winner — Talking Politics, Jul 2017
This week we talk to James Williams, winner of the inaugural Nine Dots Prize, which offered $100,000 for the best answer to the question: 'Are digital technologies making politics impossible?' James used to work at Google and he channeled his experiences for his prize-winning entry. He tells us what he learned there and what it means to live in the attention economy. Plus we discuss how Trump has managed to monopolise the attention of the entire world. Along with the money, James now has to write a book with his answer - we'll be checking in with him along the way to see how he's getting on. With John Naughton.
podcasts  TalkingPolitics  politics  Google 
september 2018
WestJet Exec on the Evolving Cybersecurity Threats - Via Satellite - Sep 2018
"... recent research from Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that revenues from cyber crime have now reached $1.5 trillion. Smibert also gave a recent example of a cryptocurrency investor who had $24 million in a single theft drained out of their account. “Our friends at IATA say that the annual global revenues for the airline industry is $754 billion,” Smibert said. “The cyber crime industry is double of the airline industry. " "

"Smibert cautioned companies in the aerospace sector who believe they are unlikely to be targeted by hackers. “A lot of organizations make the mistake that they don’t have anything of value for hackers,” he said"
ViaSatellite  cybersecurity  aviation 
september 2018
(18) Ruckers double in original disposition - YouTube
"As far as we know, all double manual harpsichords made by the Ruckers family had a particular disposition: two sets of strings, four rows of jacks, two non-aligned manuals. The resulting palette of sounds is unmatched by later harpsichord types and perfectly fits the repertoire of the early 17th century. "
harpsichord  music  video  YouTube 
september 2018
Colosseum: A Battleground for AI Let Loose on the RF Spectrum | 2018-09-15 | Microwave Journal
"In this article, we discuss the design and implementation of Colosseum, including the architectural choices and trades required to create an internet-based radio development and test environment of this scope and scale."
MicrowaveJournal  DARPA  Colosseum  AI  RF  simulation  mirror-worlds 
september 2018
Introduction to Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations (LIME) - O'Reilly Media
A technique to explain the predictions of any machine learning classifier.
By Marco Tulio RibeiroSameer SinghCarlos Guestrin
August 12, 2016

"In "Why Should I Trust You?" Explaining the Predictions of Any Classifier, a joint work by Marco Tulio Ribeiro, Sameer Singh, and Carlos Guestrin (to appear in ACM's Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining -- KDD2016), we explore precisely the question of trust and explanations."

"Because we want to be model-agnostic, what we can do to learn the behavior of the underlying model is to perturb the input and see how the predictions change."

"We used LIME to explain a myriad of classifiers (such as random forests, support vector machines (SVM), and neural networks) in the text and image domains."
ML  AI  neural-nets  explanation  prediction 
september 2018
M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition - NSR - Sep 2018
From press release in email 9/23, dd 9/25, "NSR Report: Smallsats to Accelerate M2M/IoT Satcom Market"

"NSR’s M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition report forecasts smallsat M2M/IoT constellations are set to propel market growth via low latency, low cost, albeit low ARPU, service. NSR’s first time forecast for this emerging smallsat market shows tremendous potential with 3.7 million M2M/IoT in-service units projected by 2027, representing 37% of overall satcom terminals."

"constellations such as Astrocast, Hiber, Kepler Communications and many more will target satcom M2M/IoT applications with ARPUs set to $1 per month or even lower"

"viability of new smallsat constellations in this market is more likely than their large LEO telecom counterparts due to much lower system CAPEX"
NSR  satellite  market-research  IoT  M2M  business 
september 2018
Reimagining of Schrödinger’s cat breaks quantum mechanics — and stumps physicists - Nature Sep 2018
In a multi-‘cat’ experiment, the textbook interpretation of quantum theory seems to lead to contradictory pictures of reality, physicists claim.
quantum-mechanics  NatureJournal 
september 2018
Protect spectrum access systems from attacks, study says | PolicyTracker Sep 2018
"Keeping networks safe from malicious or inadvertent attacks isn't just a matter for the online world. As new technologies enable the development of more potentially interfering devices, instances of spectrum disruption are on the rise. The UK Spectrum Policy Forum (SPF) has 10 recommendations to help spectrum users, managers and installers fight back. "

"Disruptions may come from cyber-spectrum criminals seeking to make money from fraud or from industrial competitors and foreign intelligence agencies looking for an economic advantage for their companies or countries, the report said. Hacktivists might want to attack spectrum-dependent systems (SDSs) for political or ideological reasons, and company insiders with legitimate access to SDSs may cause disruptions accidentally or for malign reasons. Other SDSs in the same spectrum might disrupt though accidental or deliberate system configurations; changes to the local built or natural environment could also increase interference signals."

Examples:
"Car theft is on the rise in the UK as more criminals use radio transmitters to perform “relay” car hacks.
"A robber in Saint Petersburg, Russia, defeated the alarm system in a jewellery store with a repetitive radio frequency generator whose manufacture was reportedly no more complicated than assembling a home microwave oven.
"GSM-R, which is part of the European Train Management System, involves some data which is safety-critical, said MacLeod. If the GSM-R connection is lost, the train must stop. Compact battery-powered jammers can be bought on the internet for GSM systems, and it’s likely they can be operated from within the train. In 2015, the number of interferences reported on GSM-R that could stop trains from running rose to the point where Finland reportedly switched to a domestic radio system.
"Other problems have included interference to meteorological radars from a 5 GHz disabled dynamic frequency selection mechanism and ground-based interference that caused the loss of meteorological satellite services."
PolicyTracker  cybersecurity  spectrum  UK  SPF-SpectrumPolicyForum 
september 2018
New SPF Report: Cyber-Spectrum Resilience-Framework
"New UK Spectrum Policy Forum paper identifies 10-step Cyber-Spectrum Resilience Framework for spectrum users to minimise the spectrum threat to their businesses and contribute to the overall national cyber resilience strategy."

To help keep spectrum-using systems safe, the paper includes the below ten-point checklist for spectrum users, managers and installers:

1. Spectrum Audits: Do you know what frequencies you are using and why?
2. Impact assessment: Do you know what would the impact be on your business if you lost access to spectrum?
3. Detect/Monitor/Record: Are you checking the availability and usage of your frequencies?
4. Respond and Recover: Have you got a plan for getting back to business as usual after an interruption to your spectrum access?
5. Reporting: How and when do you report disruption?
6. Practice: Have you stress tested your system and your response and recovery plans?
7. Awareness: Are your staff aware of potential threats to spectrum availability?
8. Update: Do you implement regular updates?
9. Qualified personnel: Do you ensure that you are using suitably qualified personnel (SQP) to configure and control your systems?
10. Board responsibility: Do your Directors take responsibility for spectrum resilience?
cybersecurity  spectrum  UK  SPF-SpectrumPolicyForum  QinetiQ  cyber-spectrum  denial-of-spectrum 
september 2018
Astrocast on satellite mission to fill in coverage for IoT | FierceWireless Sep 2018
"Astrocast, a Lausanne, Switzerland-based company, is preparing to launch a constellation of satellites that could be used to “fill in” areas that cellular IoT technologies don’t cover."

“We are very low speed, low data rate, small data packets and designed for battery-operated small form factor devices,” said Bryan Eagle, U.S.-based vice president at Astrocast, in an interview with FierceWirelessTech. “That’s really our sweet spot. We’re much more an extension of NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox, than we are any relation to the OneWeb” or something of that nature.

"Fabien Jordan, CEO and founder to Astrocast, said the goal eventually is to have 64 operational nanosatellites to offer global coverage, and that likely will be complete in the end of 2020 timeframe."

"The company is using the L-Band, with spectrum ascertained through the Swiss national regulator."
FierceWireless  IoT  satellite  nanosatellites  smallsats 
september 2018
Is 5G just a testbed for 6G? (Whisper it, is 5G the new 3G?) Sep 2018
"The point of the session was the industry has an intensive workload to actually deliver on the vaulted promise of 5G. The first wave of 5G services will transform neither the industrial landscape, controlling most of the wider economy, nor the telecoms industry itself."

"the elephant in the room, the prospect of failure – that 5G, like the UMTS system a generation before, might just be a proving ground for the genuine article. At URLLC 2018, the panel and audience toyed with the grim theory, not new, that 5G might only be a glimpse of the future, and change nothing by itself."
5G 
september 2018
Can OneWeb Cross the Valley of Death? - NSR Sep 2018
Blog doesn't answer the question the headline poses - but hints No.

"OneWeb has accomplished a significant feat by raising the most funding – $1.7 billion – offering it a tremendous benefit over other similar LEO constellations. However, despite this notable amount, the question remains – is it enough to support and sustain this mega constellation, or is it just buzz and hype?"

"NSR considers OneWeb is currently placed between the technology transfer and product launch phases and will soon enter the said valley [of death]."

"NSR estimated a total CAPEX of over $5 Billion for OneWeb- which is $2 billion over the originally expected total CAPEX of around $3 billion. Considering this CAPEX value, a total available funding amount of $1.7 billion to date and a valuation of capacity as well as service revenue streams from various applications, NSR estimates a negative ROI over the next 10 years, which is attenuated further with the recently announced (and later retracted) confusing news of a $6 billion associated CAPEX."

"The dismissal of landing right requests (such is the case in Russia) also poses a significant threat to the success of OneWeb, as does the heavy recurring cost of fleet replenishment every 7-10 years."

"Market readiness, however, is a probable barrier for OneWeb."
NSR  OneWeb  business  satellite  NGSO  LEO 
september 2018
FCC's 5G masterstroke little more than big biz cash giveaway – expert • The Register Sep 2018
"What the FCC should have done, Levin all but shouts from the rooftops, is placed some requirements on Big Cable to rollout out to rural areas in return for making more money in metropolitan areas."
TheRegister  Blair-Levin  FCC  5G 
september 2018
Protecting the power grid from GPS spoofing -- GCN Sep 2018
"It’s relatively simple for bad actors to bring down a power grid by spoofing the GPS signals the grid uses to time stamp sensor measurements, according to researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio."

The sensors -- phasor measurement units -- are installed in fixed locations throughout the grid and transmit 30 measurements per second to the control center, where operators monitor grid performance and increase or decrease the supply of electricity depending on the readings. That data is time stamped with the signals received by the sensors’ on-board GPS receivers.

"The team is also exploring using the algorithm to protect against time-synchronization attacks against financial institutions, which use the GPS timing data to time stamp financial transactions."
GPS  utilities  electricity  finance  vulnerability 
september 2018
Leading RF Security Vulnerabilities in 2018 — Bastille
Wi-FI: Krack
Keyless entry
Medical devices
Remotely hijacking vehicles

"RF vulnerabilities are most often not the result of flaws in operating systems and applications. The problems often reside in the firmware of communications chips, which are trade secrets not open to public inspection. An attack on them bypasses not just network firewalls but many forms of detection. The vulnerable devices are often simple, mass-produced ones, the kind found on the Internet of Things. Many manufacturers pay more attention to price than security."
Bastille  cybersecurity  RF  Wi-Fi  vulnerability 
september 2018
The FCC Ignores Reality in 5G Proposal | Benton Foundation
"The Coalition for Local Internet Choice and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors asked for my view of the Federal Communications Commission’s pending order, proposing to cap the fees that state and local governments may charge for small-cell attachments."

"First, focusing on state and local government fees and processes is a distraction from the real obstacles to accelerated and ubiquitous deployment of next-generation mobile services"

"Second, local governments have a strong recent track record of endeavoring to enable and facilitate broadband deployment"

"Third, the FCC’s draft order is based on a fallacy that no credible investor would adopt and no credible economist endorse"
5G  BentonFoundation  Blair-Levin 
september 2018
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