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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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Report questions drone use, widely unpopular globally, but not in the U.S.

Report questions drone use, widely unpopular globally, but not in the U.S. | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A new report raises "serious concerns" about the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan. U.S. public opinion about the use of drones in general sharply differs from the widespread opposition to the missile strikes among other nations.
Artur Alves's insight:

"Americans largely support the use of drones to target extremists in countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A March survey found 61% overall supported the strikes while 30% disapproved. The drone program had bipartisan support – majorities of Republicans (69%), Democrats (59%) and independents (60%) approved.

However, the drone operations are widely unpopular in the rest of the world. In 31 of 39 countries surveyed last spring, at least half of the publics disapproved of the attacks. At least three-in-four held this view in 15 of the countries. Aside from the U.S., the only countries where majorities supported the drone strikes were Israel (64%) and Kenya (56%). In Pakistan, they were opposed by 68% of the public."

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Covert War on Terror – the Datasets: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Covert War on Terror – the Datasets: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Covert strikes datasets - including drone attacks. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is a not for profit organisation based at City University in London

Artur Alves's insight:

The British BIJ has released several datasets with records and analyses of covert attacks in the "war on terror"

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MIT professor and former fighter pilot Missy Cummings in The Daily Show - Fake News | Comedy Central

In this exclusive, unedited interview, MIT professor and former fighter pilot Missy Cummings disputes the popular dystopian vision of drone warfare.

Artur Alves's insight:

More of the exclusive interview:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-23-2013/exclusive---missy-cummings-extended-interview-pt--2

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-23-2013/exclusive---missy-cummings-extended-interview-pt--3

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People & Power - Attack of the Drones

"The US government's growing reliance on aerial drones to pursue its war on al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere is proving controversial. As governments are increasingly relying on drones, what are the consequences for civil liberties and the future of war?"

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Cyberwarfare takes Heidegger's ideas to their logical end

Cyberwarfare takes Heidegger's ideas to their logical end | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Cyberwarfare offers governments the prospect of waging casualty-free wars, writes John Naughton...
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Unmanned presents a nuanced, psychological perspective on modern warfare

Unmanned presents a nuanced, psychological perspective on modern warfare | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
In focusing on the humdrum life of a suburban drone pilot, Molleindustria's Unmanned presents one of the most nuanced looks at war we've seen in a video game. Ars talked to the creator about his goals and intentions with the project.
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Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Drones

Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Drones | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Why legalizing drones for commercial use would benefit everyone. Pierre Hines makes the case.
Artur Alves's insight:

Can we call it the new "drone bubble"?

 

"Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are most commonly referred to as drones, but other names such as “killer robot” and “Big Brother in the sky” have surfaced. Regardless of what they’re called, one thing is clear: drones are here to stay and will increasingly be used for non-military, domestic applications.

 

...

 

While safety and privacy concerns are well founded, we shouldn’t let them stunt the growth of an entire industry. And without an overall legal framework that aligns state laws, an overabundance of regulation has the potential to ground the drone industry before it ever takes off. Beyond the military and law enforcement applications, drones have the potential to benefit our lives in everything from disaster relief to assessing power lines. In the not too distant future, if drone policy is properly established, you might look up and see—not a bird, not a plane, but a drone."

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DIY Drone-Proofing: Militants Use Carpet, Grass Mats, Mud to Hide From Robots | Danger Room | Wired.com

DIY Drone-Proofing: Militants Use Carpet, Grass Mats, Mud to Hide From Robots | Danger Room | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
What's the simplest way to evade a $4.5 million armed, flying robot? Get some grass mats. Or smear your car with mud.
Artur Alves's insight:

There is no technology so advanced that it cannot be countered by a degree of ingenuity and common sense.

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Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes

Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The U.S. is conducting drone strikes in in at least three countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s a reading guide to understanding the U.S.’ shadow wars.
Artur Alves's insight:

ProPublica on drone attacks (there is no "drone war" going on).

 

Other interesting / important books on social, political and strategic implications of drone strikes:

 

Attack Of The Drones: A History Of Unmanned Aerial Combat (Bill Yenne)

 

Predator Drones (Jack David)

 

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (Benjamin Medea)

 

Rise of the Drones: Unmanned Systems and the Future of War (US House of Representatives)

"Drones have been the Obama administration’s tool of choice for taking out militants outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones aren’t the exclusive weapon – traditional airstrikes and other attacks have also been reported. But by one estimate, 95 percent of targeted killings since 9/11 have been conducted by drones.  Among the benefits of drones: they don’t put American troops in harm’s way.

The first reported drone strike against Al Qaeda happened in Yemen in 2002. The CIA ramped up secret drone strikes in Pakistan under President George W. Bush in 2008. Under Obama, they have expanded drastically there and in Yemen in 2011.

The CIA isn’t alone in conducting drone strikes. The military has acknowledged “direct action” in Yemen and Somalia. Strikes in those countries are reportedly carried out by the secretive, elite Joint Special Operations Command. Since 9/11, JSOC has grown more than tenfold, taking on intelligence-gathering as well as combat roles. (For example, JSOC was responsible for the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.)  

The drone war is carried out remotely, from the U.S.  and a network of secret bases around the world. "

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Here comes Skynet: Army drones almost ready to share sky with airlines

Here comes Skynet: Army drones almost ready to share sky with airlines | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
UAS industry promises to not be evil as domestic drone deadline looms.
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Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Wars fought by machines and on the Internet might change the moral calculus of how and when we fight.

"From state-sponsored cyber attacks to autonomous robotic weapons, twenty-first century war is increasingly disembodied. Our wars are being fought in the ether and by machines. And yet our ethics of war are stuck in the pre-digital age."

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