Randal Franzen was 53, unemployed and nearly broke when his brother, a tool designer at Boeing, mentioned that pilots for remotely piloted aircraft – more commonly known as drones – were in high demand. (...)
While most jobs flying drones currently are military-related, universities and colleges expect that to change by 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration is due to release regulations for unmanned aircraft in domestic airspace. Once those regulations are in place, the FAA predicts that 10,000 commercial drones will be operating in the U.S. within five years.
Although just three schools currently offer degrees in piloting unmanned aircraft, many others – including community colleges – offer training for remote pilots. And those numbers figure are set to increase, with some aviation industry analysts predicting drones will eventually come to dominate the U.S. skies in terms of jobs.
A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates.
Robot warfare and autonomous weapons, the next step from unmanned drones, are already being worked on by scientists and will be available within the decade, said Dr Noel Sharkey, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence expert and professor at Sheffield University. He believes that development of the weapons is taking place in an effectively unregulated environment, with little attention being paid to moral implications and international law.
The Stop the Killer Robots campaign will be launched in April at the House of Commons and includes many of the groups that successfully campaigned to have international action taken against cluster bombs and landmines. They hope to get a similar global treaty against autonomous weapons.
In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It’s all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it’s already occurring.
Kev Bauer's insight:
publically available software poses many privacy issues
A "Los Angeles Times Magazine" story did a pretty good job of predicting the future. Still waiting on those robot cooks, though (1988 Predictions of 2013 - This is what happens when we say 'Future Me Will Deal With It' We loose out on robots!
By being the first to use drones, we have unleashed a Pandora's box upon the world. Imagine a world where your every move outside your home is monitored. Drone warfare demands that we learn to settle conflicts without war.
Modern warfare has entered a new era. Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, can fly thousands of miles, conduct surveillance or target and kill individuals with precision. Unfortunately, this precision does not prevent collateral damage, the military term for unintended civilian deaths. Military experts predict this will be the pattern for future military conflicts.
Quite often, the drones are operated by personnel who are far removed from the conflict. They kill enemy combatants by day and go home at night to their families. A definite advantage is the fact that unmanned aircraft do not place any pilots at risk.
Now for the dark side. A disadvantage is that this type of warfare depersonalizes warfare and reduces it to just another video game. The warfare acquires an antiseptic quality that could make the decision to go to war more likely and acceptable. The popular perception is that, because of our advanced technology, the United States has a virtual monopoly on drones. According to CNN, nothing could be farther from the truth. Quoting the article, "As many as 50 countries are developing or purchasing these systems, including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Iran."
Verizon Communications’ patent application for a camera-enabled set-top that would serve ads based on which TV viewers were in the room -- and what they were saying or doing -- was officially rejected on March 7.
According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s Patent Application Information Retrieval system, Verizon’s application for “Methods and Systems for Presenting an Advertisement Associated with an Ambient Action of a User” received a final rejection last Thursday. The agency cited prior patents in the field for the rejection.
Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said the telco is "reviewing" the decision.
That doesn’t mean the concept of serving up targeted ads using a set-top with a camera is dead -- others are actively exploring the concept. Intel, for one, has said its forthcoming Internet-delivered TV service will employ a set-top with a camera and facial-recognition technology to deliver custom content and potentially advertising.
Verizon’s patent application covered a broad range of activities that a set-top would detect for the purposes of targeted advertising, including “eating, exercising, laughing, reading, sleeping, talking, singing, humming, cleaning, and playing a musical instrument.”
In addition, it described detecting an “ambient action [that] comprises an interaction between the user and another user,” including “cuddling, fighting, participating in a game or sporting event, and talking.”
The telco’s patent application, filed last May, was first reported by FierceCable after the USPTO published it in November. The story was picked up by national outlets, including NBC Nightly News.
Advocates and opponents of unmanned aerial vehicles sounded off in Washington Wednesday morning during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement agencies and their effect on privacy.
Nano-electronics researcher Imec announced today that its lab in Ghent, Belgium has developed a curved LCD display that can be embedded in a contact lens. It’s perhaps the first step in creating invisible augmented reality technology that could eliminate the need for a screen on your phone, laptop, or gaming device.
Le week end dernier, des passionnés en robotique se sont affrontés dans le cadre du tournoi DroneGames, une sorte d’olympiades du hacking de drones. Il s’agissait de la première édition. Par équipe, ils devaient programmer l’ AR.Drone de manière à lui attribuer de nouvelles fonctions et repousser ainsi les limites de son utilisation.
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