US military eyes futuristic ‘bionic arm’ for troops

close Video Army Research Lab creating 'bionic third arm' for soldiers Fox Firepower: Defense Specialist Allison Barrie with a closer look at the Army Research Lab's program to develop a 'bionic third arm' which would allow soldiers to carry bigger and heavier weaponry into the field. Will future Soldiers be kitted up with a futuristic exoskeleton-style arm that will bring even more deadly, more powerful weapons into battle? The U.S. military has been pioneering lots of advances in exoskeletons – real-life versions of what you see Tony Stark wearing as Iron Man. By merging man with machine, exoskeletons have the potential to massively increase a warfighter’s firepower, strength, speed, endurance and much, much, more. Special Operations Command (SOCOM)’s Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) full body exo project has been blazing away and a regular in headlines. Meanwhile, other military teams have been also applying their brains and talent to help our troops by finding other ways to use exoskeleton solutions to give American warriors another advantage in combat. The Army Research Laboratory has been quietly working away on a futuristic sort of bionic arm – this is not one that a soldier puts his arm inside to operate. Instead, this would provide the soldier with an entire additional arm made out of advanced materials – hence the project being dubbed “The Third Arm.” Will this robotic looking arm be firing rounds by itself? You can’t help but wonder if this robotic looking big arm will be gunslinging and shooting off rounds all by itself. The Third Arm will not be shooting any weapons at this time – although that would definitely be something to see – the goal of this project is different. So what does it do? This new arm can already carry current weapons for soldiers. “Third Arm” transfers the weapon’s weight from the soldiers’ arms to their torsos. ARMY SETS Continue Reading

Facebook apologizes for search suggestions of child pornography videos

A large logo is seen at Facebook's London headquarters.  (Reuters) Facebook was forced to apologize after it suggested weird and vulgar searches to users in the U.K. The social media company’s suggestions, which are supposedly the result of popular search terms as determined by an algorithm, started to suggest unpleasant results to users who typed in "video of." A number of users posted on Twitter examples that included suggestions of child pornography and similar materials. In a statement to The Guardian, the tech giant said it was investigating the incident: “As soon as we became aware of these offensive predictions we removed them. Facebook search predictions are representative of what people may be searching for on Facebook and are not necessarily reflective of actual content on the platform.” LAWMAKERS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM FACEBOOK AFTER CLAIM THAT FIRM TOOK USER DATA FOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN  The company went on to state that it does not permit sexually explicit imagery on the platform. Last week, Facebook admitted that it was a “mistake” to ask users in a survey whether pedophiles requesting sexual pictures from children should be allowed on its platform. The brouhaha adds to a long and growing list of woes for Facebook, including that it permitted a firm employed by the Trump campaign to harvest and exploit information from 50 million users of the social network. Christopher Carbone is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone. Continue Reading

Finding phone numbers, online incomes and more: Tech Q&A

File photo.  (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel ) Tech Tax Breaks Q: Can I take my cable bill and phone off my taxes? I use it sometimes for work. A: The best thing you can do is find a savvy accountant and itemize the technology you use for professional purposes. The IRS has no shortage of worksheets for independent contractors, which will help you tabulate your business expenses. Some tech, like a smartphone, may be used for both conference calls and ordering pizza, so you won’t be able to write off every penny of every phone bill. But sometimes you will find allowances in surprising places. Knowing which devices and services can count toward your taxes will help you ask the right questions during your consultation. Click here for some ideas of tech you can take off your taxes. More on this... If you ate here recently, hackers have your credit card number How to see your secret health credit reports Facebook’s new trick is tracking you like you never knew until now Cashing in Bitcoin Q: Once you buy Bitcoin, how do you turn into something you can use to buy things? A: Since Bitcoin is a virtual currency, you can’t walk into any corner store and buy gum with your blockchain data, especially now that each Bitcoin is worth thousands of dollars. Like any new investment, buying into the system is only half the story; it’s also wise to know how to cash out. More traditional capital, like gold or real estate, is much more widely understood: you buy a physical coin or property, it fluctuates in value, and at the right moment, you sell it for a profit. But Bitcoin is a little trickier, because the market, and the brokers who control that market, are still very new. Converting Bitcoin isn’t hard, but it is a process you should learn. Click here to learn how to convert Bitcoin into cash. Find Phone Numbers Online Q: Is there a site to find someone's cell phone number? I am looking for my son who I have not seen in 11 Continue Reading

Elon Musk posts bizarre ‘flaming absinthe’ video on Instagram

Even a dapper looking Elon Musk thinks "Everything is better with fire." (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok) Elon Musk has been compared to a lot of people before – Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and P.T. Barnum to name a few. Ever the showman, Musk's latest social media post is one of his more unusual. In a bizarre set of Instagram posts, Musk, 46, is seen learning how to pour flaming absinthe over several glasses in a Jerusalem speakeasy. Learning how to pour flaming absinthe over a tower of glasses in a Jerusalem speakeasy. Everything’s better with fire … A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:03am PDT ANNUAL BIGFOOT HUNT GARNERS BIG ATTENTION IN SMALL PENNSYLVANIA TOWN "Everything’s better with fire …," Musk wrote in the caption. The video, which lasts nearly 20 seconds, sees Musk being handed two glasses that are burning bright, blue flames. Musk then pours the contents of one glass into the other, before combining them once again. It's not quite clear what Musk was doing in Jerusalem, but the video and subsequent pictures have gone viral, garnering over 160,000 likes. Musk, who has nearly 7 million followers on Instagram, normally keeps his Instagram posts a bit more focused on his companies, including SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company. This isn't Musk's first foray into flames - The Boring Company sold more than $10 million worth of flamethrowers, Musk tweeted last month. Continue Reading

Bitcoin is leading to a huge upswing in money laundering, new research says

Cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8 to 10 percent of total illegal profits laundered globally, according to research released by Bromium.  (Reuters) Cybercriminals are turning to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to convert illegal revenue into clean cash, new research shows. Cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8 to 10 percent of total illegal profits laundered globally, according to research released by Bromium, a cybersecurity firm. That slice of illegal profits amounts to an estimated $80 billion to $200 billion each year. The findings were announced Friday as are part of a larger nine-month study sponsored by Bromium. It's already relatively easy for criminals to "wash money and convert it into cash," and the rise of unregulated, cryptocurrencies is accelerating this trend, said Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium, in a statement. NEWEST ID SCAM CREATES FAKE PEOPLE, POSES TERRORIST THREAT “It’s no surprise to see cybercriminals using virtual currency for money laundering," said the report's author, Dr. Mike McGuire, senior lecturer in criminology at Surrey University. "The attraction is obvious. It’s digital, so is an easily convertible way of acquiring and transferring cyber-crime revenue,” McGuire said in a statement.   Property purchases are becoming a popular target for criminals using virtual currency. This allows them to convert illegal proceeds into legitimate cash and assets, the research added. Websites such as Bitcoin Real Estate “offer everything from penthouse suites and lavish mansions, to 160-acre private islands, all with the option to buy using bitcoins,” according to the study. Properties purchased with cryptocurrency are not as closely scrutinized as cash purchases. Cryptocurrencies are not yet regulated by any central banks or governments, though increased scrutiny is being placed on them, with Facebook, Twitter and Google banning cryptocurrency-related ads. About 25 Continue Reading

Most Americans think Big Brother is spying on them

File photo.  (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel ) A whopping 82 percent of Americans think Big Brother is spying on them, according to a survey released on Monday. While only 14 percent of those polled said they don’t believe the government is watching them, 53 percent said the spying is “widespread” and 29 percent it is “not widespread,” a Monmouth University poll revealed. Just over half of the public is either “very worried” — 23 percent — or “somewhat worried” — 30 percent — that the government is invading their privacy, the poll says. And there are no significant partisan differences — 57 percent of independents, 51 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats are at least “somewhat worried” the government is snooping on them. “This is a worrisome finding. The strength of our government relies on public faith in protecting our freedoms, which is not particularly robust. And it’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. These concerns span the political spectrum,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. Asked about the “Deep State,” a shadowy cabal of unelected government officials and military members who secretly run the government, 74 percent said they believe such a clandestine network operates in Washington, including 27 percent who say it “definitely exists” and 47 percent who say it “probably exists.” Twenty-one percent say it “probably does not” or “definitely does not” exist. Along party lines, 31 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats say the “Deep State” “definitely exists.” “We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge. But there’s an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a Continue Reading

Apple is trying to make its own displays, report says

An Apple sales associate speaks with a customer waiting to purchase a new iPhone X in New York, U.S., November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RC1E691B9A00 Apple's laptops, smartphones, tablets, and watches rely on hundreds of parts, most of which Apple sources from other companies around the world. But the more of those parts Apple can make itself, the more profit it can generate as well as making its supply chain more reliable. Apple already started making its own chips, now it's attempting to make displays. As Bloomberg reports, Apple is thought to be designing and producing its own displays in a secret manufacturing facility near California. More specifically, the focus is on producing MicroLED screens like those recently produced by Samsung to form the 146-inch modular TV launching in August. In Apple's case, perfecting MicroLED screen production would remove the need to rely on companies including Samsung, Japan Display, Sharp, and LG Display. We could see Apple displays used in the Apple Watch , iPhone, iPad, and maybe even MacBooks in the future, but there's one big problem: MicroLED is extremely difficult to manufacture. Apple's focus on MicroLED is due to the benefits offered, notably they create thinner, brighter, and less power-hungry displays without the downsides of OLED (limited life span, brightness). However, because each pixel has its own light in a MicroLED array, it throws up some manufacturing challenges. Those challenges apparently almost made Apple shut down the project last year, but it didn't, and now working displays are being produced. More From PCmag Facebook Suspends Data Firm Linked to Trump Campaign The End of the Attention Economy FTC Shuts Down Cryptocurrency Pyramid Scammers Samsung Galaxy S9's Mickey Mouse Emoji Are a Little Stiff It's unlikely we'll see these Apple displays any time soon, if at all. The cost of mass producing OLED and eventually MicroLED will continue to fall and other Continue Reading

Facebook exploring forensic audits to investigate Cambridge Analytica claims

close Video Facebook criticized for relationship with analytic firm Whistleblower claims the social media giant failed to protect the personal data of up to 50 million users which was later used by an outside firm to target voters in the 2016 election; William La Jeunesse reports from Los Angeles. Following outrage over a data breach that may exposed approximately 50 million Facebook accounts and resulted in a $40 billion decline in its market cap, the social network has hired a digital forensics firm "to conduct a comprehensive audit of Cambridge Analytica." In a blog post, Facebook said it has approached the firm, as well as former Cambridge Analytica contractor Christopher Wylie and current Cambridge Analytica data scientist Aleksandr Kogan to submit to the audit as well. The Mark Zuckeberg-led company said Kogan has given his verbal agreement, but added that Wylie has thus far declined. "This is part of a comprehensive internal and external review that we are conducting to determine the accuracy of the claims that the Facebook data in question still exists," Facebook said in the statement. "This is data Cambridge Analytica, SCL, Mr. Wylie, and Mr. Kogan certified to Facebook had been destroyed. If this data still exists, it would be a grave violation of Facebook’s policies and an unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments these groups made." LAWMAKERS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM FAEBOOK AFTER CLAIM THAT ANALYTICS FIRM SNATCHED USER DATA FOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN The firm added: "We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims. We remain committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information. We also want to be clear that today when developers create apps that ask for certain information from people, we conduct a robust review to identify potential policy violations and to assess whether the app has a legitimate use for the data. We actually reject a significant number of apps through this Continue Reading

Navy plans new F-35C stealth fighter deployment on USS Carl Vinson

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 4, 2017) An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA 101) launches off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Josue Escobosa/Released) The U.S. Navy has announced that a carrier-launched F-35C stealth fighter will be deployed on the USS Carl Vinson in 2021. Citing testimony to Congress by Rear Admiral Scott Conn, Director of Air Warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Warrior Maven reports that the deployment could be accelerated. A 2019 budget proposal supports the F-35C’s transition from a developmental phase to formal test and evaluation. The fighter would be declared operational later this year. NEW F-35A FIGHTER JET GETS A NEW POWERFUL BOMB “Stealth technology and advanced integrated systems enable the F-35C to counter rapidly evolving air-to-air and surface-to-air threats. Whether the mission requires the execution of strike, Close Air Support, counter air, escort, or electronic warfare, the F-35C is vital to our future,” Conn said. At 51 feet, the F-35C’s wingspan is broader than the Air Force’s F-35A and the Marine Corps’ F-35B, according to Warrior Maven. You can read the full story here.   Continue Reading

Ticket inspector fines biohacker with ‘travel card hand’ chip because he couldn’t show valid ticket

A FUTURE where we insert tiny Oyster cards into our hand for travel could one day be a reality. But as a 33-year-old Aussie bloke just found out, that day isn't today. The barmy biohacker, who goes by the name Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, has been fined for using the travel card microchip implanted in his hand to pay for his train ride. The chip was from an Opal card, Sydney's equivalent to London's Oyster. Transport authorities fined him A$220 (£122) for not having a valid ticket, on top of which he was charged A$1,000 (£556) in legal costs, according to ABC News. The stunt cost him a grand total of £627. Meow Meow had the device inserted into his hand by a piercing expert last year, with the process taking one hour to complete. He said he had the Opal Card's near-field communication (NFC) chip, which powers contactless payments, cut down and encased in bio-compatible plastic, measuring 10mm by 6mm. In a Newtown court on Friday, Mr Meow Meow's lawyer argued that contactless payment on transport should be flexible enough to include all technologies, including implantable chips. While the Magistrate admitted that legislation may one day catch up to include the tech, he said that the law of today must be followed. Despite the setback, Meow Meow claimed he won't stop experimenting with implantable hardware. Most read in techIT'S A DEAL! This Sony phone deal gets you a FREE PS4 or PlayStation VR headset SOCIAL SHAME Facebook 'very sorry' after suggesting child abuse videos to users CORE OF THE PROBLEM? Apple engineer says pressure to design iPhone is reason I’m divorced MAKE THE CALL Samsung Galaxy S9 TESTED – it's on sale today, but should you buy it? ROYALE RIP-OFF Beware of this Fortnite scam that could trick you out of money NO PHONEY Is this what your next Apple iPhone will look like? The biohacker already has two other NFC chips in his hand and arm, including one that stores his documents. Next up, he plans to replace the Opal Continue Reading