The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the secretive agency that launches and runs the nation’s spy satellite system, is looking at technology developed by the video game industry to help it improve how it gathers and analyzes intelligence data, according to a research proposal released Monday.
The NRO wants to tap into the video game industry’s “innovative algorithms” and “enhanced visualization techniques,” the proposal said.
The NRO works with the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to provide data to be analyzed to track weapons of mass destruction and potential terrorists, develop military target information, help with natural disaster assistance and support international peacekeeping and relief efforts.
The Director’s Innovation Initiative, the agency says, is aimed at paying for research in collection, data processing, management and dissemination-enabling technologies. The various projects are expected to last no longer than nine months and cost no more than $450,000, NRO documents show.
To avoid surveillance, people from around the world have taken to anonymous web-browsing services like Tor, which disguise IP-addresses and create a long list of server connections that make it nearly impossible to fall victim to the prying eyes of the authorities. These networks are 1000 to 2000 times bigger than the whole of the searchable, so-called “surface” or “clear” Web, and are comprised exclusively of sites placed into the dark corners of the web on purpose.
Welcome to the “dark net”, an unregulated space being used to a large extent to engage in illegal activity, discuss child abuse, search for information on censored topics, organize political action and, more and more, to buy and sell weapons and controlled substances. Of course, by sheer virtue of the dark net’s anonymity it’s difficult to be certain just who, exactly, you are communicating with, and to what degree offers and posts on various platforms and forums translate from the digital underbelly to the actual physical world.
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) — A Utah-based gun manufacturer has turned down a $15 million deal to supply Pakistan with precision rifles, citing concerns they could eventually be used against U.S. troops.
Mike Davis, sales manager at Desert Tech, said the company was on a short list for a contract with Pakistan, but spurned the opportunity because of unrest in Pakistan and ethical concerns.
It was a difficult decision because of the amount of money involved, he said, and the sale of rifles to Pakistan would have been legal.
“We don’t know that those guns would’ve went somewhere bad, but with the unrest we just ended up not feeling right about it,” Davis told KTVX-TV.
Here’s a story that I think helps illustrate the danger of the far-right rhetoric about President Obama being a traitor, a Muslim, an ally of the terrorists, and so forth. A man in Pennsylvania has been arrested after threatening Obama’s life in an email to the White House and found to have a stockpile of weapons. Oh, and he did this just before Obama was to have an appearance near his home.
Of course the odds of this showing up in any of the RW echo chambers and self-fapping sites is slim to none, but I’m sure that the guy is a registered Democrat, a member of the ACLU and probably an atheist to boot. /sarc
It’s just going to be a matter of time I’m afraid before one of these nut-cases is so influenced by the vicious hatred that the RWNJs have for Obama manages to act on his plans. I’m sure some of them are well aware of the Lone Wolf strategy, and will keep a very low profile and let none in on his plans before it happens.
I so hope I’m wrong on this, but my gut tells me otherwise.
A group of Tea Party members caused fear that a Colorado town’s 4th of July parade won’t be safe to attend because they’ll be carrying weapons.
The town of Westcliffe normally has a lively 4th of July parade every year and is described as the busiest day for businesses. This year, however, citizens were afraid of what will happen with as many as 300 people marching with guns slung on their shoulders.
The Southern Colorado Patriots’ Club sent a out a flier advertising the parade and instructing members to bring unloaded rifles, “especially the evil black ones.”
The Custer County Chamber of Commerce, the event’s sponsor, cancelled the parade after fearful citizens circulated a petition to stop the club. Donna Hood, president of the chamber, abstained from the vote to cancel the parade but told the Denver Post that the controversy has “polarized this community in a week.”
New YouTube video from the Syrian battlefield shows rebels firing the same high-powered sniper rifle favored by U.S. Navy SEALs, leaving some experts wondering who the ragtag army of insurgents might train the guns on in the future.
The British-made AS-50, accurate from a distance of 20 football fields, is made for British Special Forces and Navy SEALs. Video showing Syrian rebels, who are aligned with Al Qaeda, firing the guns and shouting “Alahu akbar,” has also raised questions about who is supplying such devastating hardware.
“The video, showing jihadist rebels of the ‘Descendents of the Prophet Brigade’ firing one of the world’s most effective sniper rifles, should be cause for alarm,” said David Reaboi, of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy. “We don’t know who has been supplying this group (or the myriad others) with these weapons but, given the jihadist ideology of these groups, it’s only a matter of time until they’re turned on Americans or our allies and interests.”
The gun set a world record when a member of the British Household Cavalry in Afghanistan’s Helmand province killed two members of the Taliban with successive bullets over a recorded distance of more than 1.5 miles.
The Free Syrian Army has been receiving weapons from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - all close allies of the U.S. But the U.S. has repeatedly stated that it has sent no weapons to the opposition forces.
Amusing and useful illustrated book showing how to throw playing cards better - subtitled “A Treatise on the art of throwing, scaling, juggling, boomeranging and manipulating ordinary playing cards with particular emphasis on impressing one’s friends and providing a deadly yet inexpensive means of self-defence”. The book, a perennial Ebay special and Library sale ‘sleeper’, is now being seen as a self help book that ‘changes lives’ - several comments at Amazon, not entirely tongue in cheek, attest to this.
VALUE? Copies show up a bit creased at around $200 and twice that for fine copies. Signed should show up as Jay is pretty approachable and was often seen at book fairs etc., being a serious book collector. God bless him. Magicians are often pretty serious book collectors - at one time one heard quite a bit about the highly acquisitive David Copperfield and his awesome collection. It is worth noting that there is also a hardback of the book that is much prized and dealers (who are not mad) sometimes ask $1000 or more for it, although a cautious punter could probably pick one up in the $600 to $800 range - in a jacket.
Guess who has two thumbs and scored a copy of the paperback for $35?
Also, the book has photos of a nekkid woman demonstrating card-throwing techniques.
It reads a lot like The Areas of My Expertise, by John Hodgman, and How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical and Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening, by David Rees.
But it was written in 1977!
Ricky Jay, always ahead of the curve!
The investigation into Schmidt was conducted by a FBI Joint terrorism Task Force whose agents said they discovered he was tracking African American and Jewish leaders in the Detroit area.
Schmidt, 47, is a convicted felon who spent 13 years in Ohio state prison for a homicide after being convicted of killing a man and wounding two others in a shooting during a traffic stop, according to state prison records. Under federal law, Schmidt, who was released on parole in 2003, is barred from possessing any firearms.
Yet when FBI agents last December searched his home and store, they discovered a cache of 18 weapons that included AR-15 assault rifles, 9 mm Ruger and Sig Sauer pistols, shotguns, high-capacity magazines and more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition. Schmidt was originally reported to have been arrested on charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods, but was indicted last month on four federal charges —including possessing illegal weapons, body armor and ammunition. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“As a matter of policy, I don’t comment on pending cases,” his lawyer, Andy Hart, a federal public defender in Toledo, said when reached by telephone.
Dettelbach, who is overseeing the case, said that federal agents have been unable to determine how and where Schmidt obtained his weapons, prompting officials to conclude he likely acquired them at gun shows or through private sales — where under federal law no background checks are required. .
“It’s scary,” he said about Schmidt’s arsenal of weapons. “It’s not … that I won’t say” where Schmidt got his guns. “It’s that sitting here today as a senior federal law enforcement official in northern Ohio, I can’t say.”
Trotter told the dramatic story of an 18-year-old mother named Sarah McKinley who killed an intruder with a shotgun when he tried to break into her home where she was with her infant son. Though Trotter’ story about McKinley is very true - she failed to mention that the young mother shot and killed the intruder with a Remington 870 Express rifle-a gun that would not be banned under the proposed assault weapons statute. This lead to a contentious exchange with Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and later in the day, a challenge from MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell.
MSNBC’s The Last Word reached out to Sarah McKinley to get her thoughts on Trotter’s testimony and whether she thinks an assault weapons ban would in fact put women at risk of not being able to defend themselves from an attack or home invasion. In a phone conversation Thursday, McKinley made it clear that she was not in favor of any gun control. But she said of assault rifles that she “personally has no use for one and doesn’t own one.” She also supports background checks on gun sales. McKinley, who will not be charged in the New Year’s Eve shooting at her home, had no problem with Trotter’s use of her story, although she didn’t know ahead of time that her experience would be discussed.
In this town where tragedy relaunched the nation’s debate over gun violence, people on all sides of the political divide expressed support Wednesday for President Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons and establish tighter background checks for gun buyers.
“It shouldn’t be a Democratic or a Republican issue,” said Marsha Moskowitz, a Democrat who supports the president’s proposals. “It’s a human issue. It’s about humanity.”
First Selectman Pat Llodra, a Republican who is Newtown’s chief executive, said she supports them, too.
Llodra, who attended Obama’s announcement, was in Washington meeting with mayors who support efforts to reduce gun violence, improve mental health policies and address school safety needs
“We are past the time for political ideology or rhetoric — this is the time for change,” Llodra said in a written statement to USA TODAY. “It should not be an issue of Democrats or Republicans — the I-say-yes, so-you-say-no nonsense we have all witnessed the past few years.”
In last year’s presidential election, Newtown voted for Republican Mitt Romney. In 2008, Obama won most of the Newtown vote.