How to hide from a drone – the subtle art of ‘ghosting’ in the age of surveillance

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The federal government has used military-grade border patrol drones like this one to monitor protests in US cities.

Drones of all sizes are being used by environmental advocates to monitor deforestation, by conservationists to track poachers, and by journalists and activists to document large protests.

As a political sociologist who studies social movements and drones, I document a wide range of nonviolent and pro-social drone uses in my new book, “The Good Drone.” I show that these efforts have the potential to democratize surveillance.   But when the Department of Homeland Security redirects large, fixed-wing drones from the U.S.-Mexico border to monitor protests, and when towns experiment with using drones to test people for fevers, it’s time to think about how many eyes are in the sky and how to avoid unwanted aerial surveillance.

One way that’s within reach of nearly everyone is learning how to simply disappear from view.   Crowded skies   Over the past decade there’s been an explosion in the public’s use of drones – everyday people with everyday tech doing interesting things. As drones enter already-crowded airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration is struggling to respond.

The near future is likely to see even more of these devices in the sky, flown by an ever-growing cast of social, political and economic actors.

Continue reading… “How to hide from a drone – the subtle art of ‘ghosting’ in the age of surveillance”

Hope Probe: UAE spacecraft blasts off in first ever mission to Mars

Mission had been delayed twice due to bad weather

The United Arab Emirates has launched its first mission to Mars, the first of three missions to the Red Planet to take place this month.

The Hope Probe launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center for seven-month voyage, facing off bad weather which caused the mission to be delayed twice.

The mission originally intended to leave Earth on 14 July.

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Op-ed: Let’s double down on PPP and save America’s endangered small businesses

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KEY POINTS

We’re working to pass legislation that does two things: First, make Paycheck Protection Program funds available to eligible businesses through at least the end of this year, and second, authorize a second round of forgivable loans to the businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic.

We want to double down on PPP because, despite its bumpy beginning, it has clearly worked and staved off millions of business closures and job losses.

Continue reading… “Op-ed: Let’s double down on PPP and save America’s endangered small businesses”

Elon Musk advocates for universal basic income instead of second stimulus check

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants his followers to know he still supports universal basic income, even though he thinks another coronavirus stimulus package from the U.S. government is a bad idea.

In a Twitter thread published early Friday morning, Musk tweeted that any additional stimulus package from Congress is “not in the best interests of the people,” and emphasized the point by pinning the tweet at the top of his Twitter profile.

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NSA says Russian hackers are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research

A researcher holds a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine during a news

Russian hackers are trying to steal research on COVID-19 vaccines, according to intelligence services in the US, UK and Canada, The National Security Agency (NSA) said a group that has been linked to Russian intelligence has targeted health care organizations in the three countries.

 The group — which is known as APT29, Cozy Bear or The Dukes — is using malware and spear-phishing attacks, according to a joint advisory from the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the UK’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and Canada’s Communications Security Establishment. The latter two also published guidance to help health care organizations beef up their systems’ defenses.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” Dominic Raab, the UK’s foreign secretary, said in a statement. “While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.”

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What it’s like to visit a country that doesn’t officially exist

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(CNN) — They have their own governments, passports, citizens and even currency in some cases.

But for various complicated reasons, a number of countries around the world do not officially exist — some are even left off maps.

That didn’t stop Guilherme Canever trying to visit them. The Brazilian author traveled to 16 unrecognized nations between 2009 and 2014 and recounts his experiences in his latest book “Unrecognized Nations: Travels To Countries That Do Not Exist,” which is released this month.

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What should we do with 45,000 half-empty public buildings?

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Could underutilized government offices, empty parking lots, or shuttered public schools help solve your community’s shortage of affordable housing or senior care facilities? Research suggests that it’s entirely possible. The U.S. government alone owns an estimated 45,000 underused or underutilized buildings, plus abundant surplus land. And, as a result of the current pandemic, organizations across the public and private sectors are now recognizing that many of us don’t really need to be in the office every day to get our work done. This underutilized space and property represents enormous untapped value which could be leveraged to finance investments in other areas.

Take the challenge of affordable housing. Today, nearly 40 million Americans cannot afford their current homes – spending as much as half of their incomes on housing. It’s estimated that as many as 7.2 million new affordable housing units are needed to meet demand. What if the public sector could leverage assets they already have to help bridge that gap?

In Canada, various governments have already done just that. By selling more than 240 surplus properties valued at some $120 million, the province of Ontario was able to save almost $10 million in annual operating costs. Some of those properties are now being repurposed for low-income and senior housing. Similarly, the city of Toronto launched an initiative to repurpose 18 city-owned properties into almost 13,000 affordable housing units.

What can we learn from these successes? There are several steps that policymakers and public sector officials — along with multidisciplinary teams of finance, human resources, technology, and corporate real estate stakeholders — should take in order to begin leveraging the untapped potential of unused buildings and property.

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The CDC lost control of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Then the agency disappeared

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The world’s premier health agency pushed a flawed coronavirus containment strategy — until it disappeared from public view one day before the outbreak was declared a pandemic.

 On January 17, the world’s most trusted public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced it was screening travelers from Wuhan, China, because of a new infectious respiratory illness striking that city.

It was the CDC’s first public briefing on the outbreak, coming as China reported 45 cases of the illness and two deaths linked to a seafood and meat market in Wuhan. Chinese health officials had not yet confirmed that the new illness was transmitted from person to person. But there was reason to believe that it might be: four days earlier, officials in Thailand confirmed their first case, a traveler from Wuhan who had not visited the seafood market.

“Based on the information that CDC has today, we believe the current risk from this virus to the general public is low,” said Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Messonnier, 54, was a veteran of the CDC’s renowned Epidemiological Intelligence Service, where she had risen through the ranks during the national responses to the anthrax attacks and the previous decade’s swine flu pandemic to eventually head the agency’s vaccines center.

Most of the novel coronavirus’s infections apparently went “from animals to people,” she explained, and human transmission was “limited.”

There were many reasons why the information the CDC had on January 17 was wrong. It was wrong because China’s leaders withheld what they already knew about the virus from the World Health Organization. It was wrong, perhaps, because Trump administration officials had cut CDC staffers in Beijing who might have reported the truth directly from China. And it was wrong because past coronavirus outbreaks provided a false guide to an illness new to humanity.

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Trump executive order directs feds to prioritize skills over college degrees in hiring

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President Trump is reportedly preparing to redirect employers on how they should hire, prioritizing an applicant’s skills over a university degree.

Fox News has learned that the president will likely sign an executive order Friday, instructing the nation’s largest employer, the federal government, to take a new direction in its hiring tactics.

The order is expected to occur during a board meeting that advises the administration on worker policies.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, adviser and co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, has recommended the federal government — which employs more than 2 million civilian workers — re-strategize who they hire.

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Data fog: Why some countries’ coronavirus numbers do not add up

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Reported numbers of confirmed cases have become fodder for the political gristmill. Here is what non-politicians think.

 Have you heard the axiom “In war, truth is the first casualty”?

As healthcare providers around the world wage war against the COVID-19 pandemic, national governments have taken to brawling with researchers, the media and each other over the veracity of the data used to monitor and track the disease’s march across the globe.

Allegations of deliberate data tampering carry profound public health implications. If a country knowingly misleads the World Health Organization (WHO) about the emergence of an epidemic or conceals the severity of an outbreak within its borders, precious time is lost. Time that could be spent mobilising resources around the globe to contain the spread of the disease. Time to prepare health systems for a coming tsunami of infections. Time to save more lives.

No one country has claimed that their science or data is perfect: French and US authorities confirmed they had their first coronavirus cases weeks earlier than previously thought.

Still, coronavirus – and the data used to benchmark it – has become grist for the political mill. But if we tune out the voices of politicians and pundits, and listen to those of good governance experts, data scientists and epidemiological specialists, what does the most basic but consequential data – the number of confirmed cases per country – tell us about how various governments around the globe are crunching coronavirus numbers and spinning corona-narratives?

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Now you can become an EU e-resident for Rs8,620

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But don’t pack your bags just yet

You can now become an e-resident of Estonia.

You can now work remotely from the Baltic European Union country of Estonia. It just became the first country to offer e-residency to digital nomads, irrespective of where they may be physically based.

As the majority of us suddenly learn that we did not in fact need to waste our lives commuting to get to a common office location to work effectively with colleagues and be productive, gainfully-employed members of society, working remotely might actually be a trend that will stick around, hopefully longer than the virus does. And now for those who operate their own businesses that don’t require physical infrastructure, Estonia is offering an e-residency that allows you to set up operations in the EU country.

Located in northern Europe, with Finland to the north and Latvia to the south, Russia to the east and Sweden to the west, Estonia is opening itself up to people who would like to incorporate and grow their business in the EU. The residency is aimed at those who work online and may not be based in any one country or location for an extended period of time; freelancers; startups looking to set up operations in the EU; and other digital entrepreneurs working in finance, tech and marketing who would like a European presence. The country is expected to issue 1,800 e-residency permits every year.

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Pentagon Documents Reveal The U.S. Has Planned For A Bitcoin Rebellion

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Bitcoin has struggled to find support in the U.S. government, with president Donald Trump, along with Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, leading the criticism.

Now, it’s been revealed the U.S. Department of Defense has wargamed scenarios involving a Generation Z rebellion that uses bitcoin to undermine and evade “the establishment.”

In the Pentagon war game, young people born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s use cyber attacks to steal money and convert it to bitcoin, documents published by investigative news site The Intercept revealed.

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