Mi Sergeant Major
MI.Net Member
Mar 9, 2018
"Not Trying to Be the Drone Police": Colorado Towns Writing UAV Rules Strive to Balance Privacy, Freedom
GREENWOOD VILLAGE — They have hovered right outside windows, alarming homeowners who are opening the shades in the morning. They’ve buzzed over Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, capturing unauthorized concert footage while perched above thousands of unsuspecting fans.

As unmanned aerial vehicles — or drones — multiply in number, more Colorado communities are putting in place regulations to control how and where the devices are used. But crafting those rules is not easy, as cities and towns strive to balance public safety and privacy with a burgeoning consumer industry that one market research firm estimates could be worth more than $9 billion by 2024.

To further complicate things, drone regulation brings to the fore the clash between local government power and the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration, which controls airspace in the United States.

“It’s very difficult to regulate in this area because of the FAA,” Tonya Haas Davidson, city attorney for Greenwood Village, said at a study session last week . “This is their jurisdiction.”

Greenwood Village, a city of 16,000 in Arapahoe County, will nonetheless become the latest Colorado community to propose local regulations when its ordinance gets a first hearing May 7. Cherry Hills Village in 2015 was one of the first cities in the state to put in place a set of rules on drone use. Vail also forbids their use over certain parts of the mountain town. ...MORE
Regulations eh?, or we could just shoot the feckers down. Selling drones to anybody that wants one without control was always going to be a problem especially near sensitive sites like government buildings and airports.
BrainChip to be Integrated as Cognitive Engine within aiWARE
BrainChip, a leading developer of software and hardware accelerated solutions for advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications, has signed an agreement with Veritone to integrate its AI-powered BrainChip Studio with the Veritone aiWARE platform.

The AI Operating System
aiWARE is an operating system for AI that integrates an ecosystem of cognitive engines, which can be orchestrated together to uniquely reveal actionable insights from multimedia sources with unprecedented accuracy.

These sources include radio and TV broadcasts, surveillance footage, as well as other public and private content.

BrainChip is developing the integration with aiWARE as a member of the Veritone Developer program.
Members of the Veritone Developer community are able to quickly integrate their own cognitive engines or build complete applications on top of Veritone’s open and extensible SaaS-based platform

Upon completion of the BrainChip Studio integration with aiWARE, customers will be able to access the unique capabilities of BrainChip Studio’s AI-powered object recognition and facial classification technology. BrainChip Studio is the result of more than ten years’ development.

It uses an artificial intelligence technology called a spiking neural network, a type of neuromorphic computing that simulates the functionality of the human visual tract. ...MORE
Investigators: DNA from genealogy site caught serial killer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than three decades after his trail went cold, one of California’s most prolific and elusive serial killers was caught when investigators matched crime-scene DNA with genetic material stored by a relative on an online genealogical site, prosecutors said Thursday.

Authorities have said the DNA tied former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, to most of the 12 killings he is accused of committing between 1976 and 1986 as part of the Golden State Killer case.

Investigators also allege DeAngelo raped more than 50 women during that period.

Authorities declined to name the DNA site used to track the DNA.

Companies such as and 23andMe charge customers to use their DNA to produce genetic profiles that determine ethnicity and can identify long-lost relatives, among other services. Both companies said Thursday they weren’t involved in the case against DeAngelo. ...MORE
Nightingale Security Competes in 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program
Nightingale Security is pleased to announce their Drone RAaS (Robotic As a Service) for corporations, has been nominated to compete in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.

Nightingale Security is engineering fully autonomous drones for use as intelligent aerial security.
With the use of a drone plus base station unit, the drone is programmed to launch missions from its base which acts as a housing and charging station for the drone.

Nightingale Security drones fly programmed, autonomous missions around the perimeter and Geo-Fence mapping ensures the drones stay inside the designated area.

The always-on, drone security system autonomously responds to potentially dangerous alarm events.

Nightingale stores video and flight data for their customers in the cloud.
  • Since the customer owns the data, they can choose to keep it in the cloud, store it locally on their network, or both.
  • Whichever the preference, their customers have full access to their data.
  • For their beta customers, they will work with individual clients to tailor the best possible storage solution.
  • All engineering, software & hardware ...MORE WITH VIDEO

New TK-5 Firewatch Smart Mapping Integrated with Insitu ScanEagle UAS
Insitu and Overwatch Imaging, have successfully integrated a customized TK-5 Firewatch smart tactical mapping payload on the ScanEagle® UAS from Insitu.

The Firewatch-equipped ScanEagle will provide real-time fire line maps and wide-area, high-resolution imagery intelligence for wildfire management, disaster recovery, and other applications.

Integrated onto ScanEagle, the TK-5 Firewatch payload maps more than 50,000 acres per hour with resolution much greater than high-altitude or space-based multi-band imaging systems, and features ideal image data and onboard processing capability to enable faster identification and delivery of precision geospatial intelligence at large scale.

With this new integration, Firewatch will enable ScanEagle to “fly the gaps,” day or night, when traditional mapping or surveillance assets are unavailable or conditions are hazardous for manned aircraft to fly.

The TK-5 Firewatch payload autonomously collects high-quality imagery in visible, near infrared, and thermal infrared spectral bands simultaneously, and analyzes that imagery in real time onboard, using GPU-accelerated processors and advanced computer ...MORE WITH VIDEO
Pentagon Bans Chinese Phone Sales on US Military Bases
The Pentagon announced that military exchange service stores and concessionaires will no longer sell Huawei and ZTE phones and telecommunications equipment.

According to Pentagon spokesman Maj. Dave Eastburn, the directive was issued April 25 at the behest of the Office of the
“The three Department of Defense exchange services immediately ceased selling Huawei brand cellular phones, personal mobile internet modems, and related products, because these devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the Department’s personnel and mission,” Eastburn told FCW.

“Given the security concerns associated with these devices, as expressed by senior U.S. intelligence officials, it was not prudent for the Department’s exchange services to continue selling these products to our personnel.”

Eastburn declined to comment further on the nature of the potential threats posed by ZTE and Huawei devices, citing security concerns.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer provided more details about the rationale behind the directive during a May 2 Pentagon news conference.

He also referenced testimony from an April 19 Senate Armed Services committee hearing where it was revealed that DOD had put a recent contract award on hold when officials realized Huawei would be one of the subcontractors. ...MORE WITH VIDEO

Pentagon Halts Sales Of Chinese-Made Smartphones As Security Risk

The Pentagon has ordered retail stores on its bases around the world to cease selling all smartphones and devices made by two Chinese companies, citing security concerns.

It marked the latest salvo by the federal administration against Chinese or Russian companies that sell technology that could pose a national security risk or leave people using it vulnerable to hacking.

A Pentagon spokesman, Maj. David W. Eastburn, said all smartphones, modems, personal WiFi hotspots and other devices made by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. had been removed from stores at military facilities.

“Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to department’s personnel, information and mission,” Eastburn said. He declined to specify how the devices might be compromised: “For security reasons, I can’t get into the technical aspects of potential threats.”

The largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world, Guangdong-based Huawei, vies with Apple Inc. to be the world’s second largest smartphone maker, trailing only South Korea’s Samsung. Huawei was founded in the late 1980s by a former engineer from the People’s Liberation Army.

The second firm, ZTE, also based in Guangdong province, makes smartphones, tablets, and telecommunications equipment. In 2017, the company admitted shipping telecom equipment to Iran and North Korea and agreed to pay$1.19 billion in fines as part of an investigation into whether it violated trade ...MORE
FCC: Transforming 2.5 GHz for Next-Gen 5G Connectivity
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) effective immediately to consider updating the framework for licensing Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band.

An NPRM is a public notice issued by law when one of the independent agencies of the United States government wishes to add, remove, or change a rule or regulation as part of the rulemaking process.

2.5 GHz band
The 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz) constitutes the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 gigahertz and is prime spectrum for next generation mobile operations, including 5G.

The NPRM proposes to modernize and rationalize the EBS spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band to allow more flexible use.

The item proposes to rationalize the service areas of existing EBS licenses and to provide additional flexibility to current and future EBS licensees.
“Currently, a large portion of the 2.5 GHz band in approximately half of the United States lies fallow,” explained FCC Chairman ...MORE WITH VIDEO
Criminals Using Swarms of Drones Against Law Enforcement
The biggest growing trend among criminals? Using drones.

Criminals are no longer restricted to burner phones, guns, and getaway cars. They’re finding new, sophisticated ways to smuggle contraband, conduct counter-surveillance, and retaliate against those who threaten their schemes.

Defense One reports that FBI agents were monitoring a hostage situation involving organized crime at an undisclosed location last winter.

To confuse the agents, the gang used a swarm of small drones to repeatedly fly close to their heads at high speeds, forcing them out of their hiding spot, according to the FBI’s head of operational technology, Joe Mazel, who spoke at the AUVSI Xponential conference on May 2nd.

“We were then blind,” says Mazel — the agents, in other words, lost the target.

The criminals also livestreamed the drone’s footage on YouTube, showing their collaborators exactly where the agents were.

This is a pretty sophisticated use of drones, but it’s not the only way criminals are doing so.

Drug smugglers have used drones to get contraband into prisons; other drones have helped immigrants illegally cross borders.

Mexican drug cartels have even used drones to drop remotely-detonating explosives on targets. MORE WITH VIDEO
Tickling the Dragon’s Trail with the Demon Core

“Gentleman, what we have here is the most powerful force ever created by mankind. Lets poke at it with a screwdriver.”

—Louis Slotin, Los Alamos laboratory

After World War II the scientists at Los Alamos laboratory found themselves in possession of a spare core originally intended for a nuclear bomb. Nicknamed ‘“Rufus” the core would have been detonated as part of a third nuclear bomb dropped on Japan, however the Japanese surrendered before the bomb could be assembled. Instead the 89mm (3.5 inch) diameter sphere of plutonium-gallium was reserved for scientific testing, in particular criticality experiments.

Critical mass is the minimum amount of mass needed for a fissile material to sustain a nuclear chain reaction. When a fissile material reaches critical mass, it becomes “supercritical”, where it releases a large amount of energy. Rufus was 5% subcritical, thus scientists thought it was ideal for use in criticality experiments. The experiment was designed to simulate critical mass by surrounding the core with neutron reflectors, in this case tungsten carbide bricks. The bricks would deflect released neutrons back into the core, increasing it’s reactivity. Completely surrounding the core would cause it to go supercritical, an event which was to be avoided because it would release a burst of neutron radiation that could kill everyone in the room. Essentially the purpose of the experiment was to see how much nuclear material could be added to the core before it would go supercritical, and measure how much energy is released in the process.

On August 21st, 1945 physicist Harry K. Daghlian Jr. (pictured above left)was conducting a criticality experiment with Rufus when he accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick on the core. The core went supercritical, releasing a burst of neutron and gamma radiation while bathing the room in a bright blue light. Daghlian promptly responded by removing the brick from core, causing his hand to instantly blister from the radiation.


Daghlian had received a deadly dose of radiation, resulting in his death 25 days later. An accompanying guard, Army Private Robert J. Hemmerly, was sitting at a desk 12 feet away but seemed unharmed by the accident, although he would die 33 years later from leukemia.

After the accident, Rufus was renamed, “The Demon Core”. A new procedure was designed to make the experiment “safer”, which was designed by physicist Louis Slotin (pictured above, right). The new procedure involved the core sitting between two beryllium half spheres. A screwdriver was jammed in between the two half spheres, creating a gap through which neutrons could escape. The screwdriver was used to manipulate the half spheres, raising or lowering them to increase or decrease the size of the gap, thus increasing or decreasing the reactivity of the core. If the two half spheres completely enclosed the core, it would go supercritical.


If this sounds completely bonkers, you probably have more common sense than the brilliant physicists who conducted these experiments. In fact the experiment was named “Tickling the Dragon’s Tail”, based on a remark by physicist Richard Feynman who compared the experiment to “tickling a sleeping dragon”. Slotin was certainly aware of the dangerous nature of the experiment, he had been at Daghlian’s bedside when he had died. The famed physicist Enrico Fermi had warned Slotin that if he continued these criticality experiments, he would be dead within a year.

On May 26th, 1946 Slotin was conducting a criticality experiment with the demon core when he lost control of his screwdriver, causing the beryllium sphere to close. The incident is almost perfectly re-enacted in the 1989 film “Fat Man and Little Boy”,

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Louis Slotin died of acute radiation poisoning nine days later. Of the other seven people in the room, two would die of cancer years later, although it is unknown whether the accident contributed to their deaths.

After these two criticality accidents new experiments were designed which used remote controlled machines and cameras. The Demon Core was melted down and recycled into other cores.

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