Thursday, February 28, 2008


Actually, given that I originally wanted to write this post a few days ago, The FUTURE is actually seven days before yesterday.

Beach Patrol Swabs Mouths In Hunt For Serial Killer
DNA Taken From Men At Sex Stings

From local TV station WKMG:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County beach patrol officers are swabbing mouths and taking DNA samples at sex stings in the hunt for the Daytona Beach serial killer, Local 6 has learned.

Beach patrol participation is part of a massive effort to track down the elusive serial killer before he claims a fifth victim.
But even worse than swabbing our mouths, they can now (or rather, could then) read out thoughts.

Brain-Reading Headset to Sell for $299

From the AP:
NEW YORK (AP) — Hands cramping up from too many video games?
How about controlling games with your thoughts instead? Later this year, Emotiv Systems Inc. plans to start selling the $299 EPOC neuroheadset to let you do just that.
The headset's sensors are designed to detect conscious thoughts and expressions as well as "non-conscious emotions" by reading electrical signals around the brain, says the company, which demonstrated the wireless gadget at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The company, which unveiled a prototype last year, says the headset can detect emotions such as anger, excitement and tension, as well as facial expressions and cognitive actions like pushing and pulling objects.
So now the video game designers are creating the scary tech. It would be especially scary if combined with ...

Miami police plans urban test of Honeywell's micro-UAV

Police in Miami, Florida want to find out whether a small unmanned air vehicle able to hover and stare can help law enforcement in urban areas.

To that end, Miami-Dade Police Department plans a four- to six-month evaluation of Honeywell's ducted-fan Micro Air Vehicle (MAV).


The 8.2kg (18lb) gMAV is Honeywell's second version of the man-portable UAV. Compared with the original tMAV developed for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the gMAV has a larger outside diameter housing twice the fuel and providing an endurance exceeding 55min at sea level.
All of which leads to these kinds of thoughts:

Automated killer robots 'threat to humanity': expert

From AFP:
Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.

"They pose a threat to humanity," said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain's Royal United Services Institute.


The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern, said Sharkey.

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. "I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.

But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.

"I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination terrifies me," Sharkey said.
I, for one, do NOT welcome our new robot over-lords. Hmm. Maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all....

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