Archive for Cyberpunk

Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds | Science | The Guardian

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by cykros

Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds | Science | The Guardian

Soldiers could have their minds plugged directly into weapons systems, undergo brain scans during recruitment and take courses of neural stimulation to boost their learning, if the armed forces embrace the latest developments in neuroscience to hone the performance of their troops.

These scenarios are described in a report into the military and law enforcement uses of neuroscience, published on Tuesday, which also highlights a raft of legal and ethical concerns that innovations in the field may bring.

The report by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, says that while the rapid advance of neuroscience is expected to benefit society and improve treatments for brain disease and mental illness, it also has substantial security applications that should be carefully analysed.

The report’s authors also anticipate new designer drugs that boost performance, make captives more talkative and make enemy troops fall asleep.

“Neuroscience will have more of an impact in the future,” said Rod Flower, chair of the report’s working group.

“People can see a lot of possibilities, but so far very few have made their way through to actual use.

“All leaps forward start out this way. You have a groundswell of ideas and suddenly you get a step change.”

via Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds | Science | The Guardian.

Something about the potential for this technology following a horrible path kind of irks me, but then, considering that we’ve deployed killer drones across the planet, destroyed a nuclear power plant with a computer virus, and pump our poorest citizens full of drugs and then hand them automatic weapons (and then some…), hey, may as well get interested in the science itself. I really am quite curious though as to whether this kind of thing may be getting interfered with through, say, emotional instability, or mental problems, that may even go undetected, or arise through war experiences. I could see a gun being directly controlled by, say, a PTSD flashback as being a very dangerous tool.

Oh, and my bad for totally spacing on this blog lately…I’ve still been posting this kind of thing to Diaspora, but I really should keep myself in the habit of using this, as it’s a bit more capable of doing various things.


One Per Cent: Electronic contact lens displays pixels on the eyes

Posted in News with tags , , on November 24, 2011 by cykros

The future of augmented-reality technology is here – as long as you’re a rabbit. Bioengineers have placed the first contact lenses containing electronic displays into the eyes of rabbits as a first step on the way to proving they are safe for humans. The bunnies suffered no ill effects, the researchers say.

The first version may only have one pixel, but higher resolution lens displays – like those seen in Terminator – could one day be used as satnav enhancers showing you directional arrows for example, or flash up texts and emails – perhaps even video. In the shorter term, the breakthrough also means people suffering from conditions like diabetes and glaucoma may find they have a novel way to monitor their conditions.

In February, New Scientist revealed the litany of research projects underway in the field of contact lens enhancement. While one company has fielded a contact lens technology using a surface-mounted strain gauge to assess glaucoma risk, none have built in a display, or the lenses needed for focused projection onto the retina – and then tested it in vivo. They have now.

“We have demonstrated the operation of a contact lens display powered by a remote radiofrequency transmitter in free space and on a live rabbit,” says a US and Finnish team led by Babak Praviz of the University of Washington in Seattle.

“This verifies that antennas, radio chips, control circuitry, and micrometre-scale light sources can be integrated into a contact lens and operated on live eyes.”

via One Per Cent: Electronic contact lens displays pixels on the eyes.

Now, to just make these things work with the Raspberry Pi, and get a nice easy to use portable input device for it, and we’re most of the way there to wearable computers. I have to say, I’m a little worried about playing high-res first person shooters on my retina…

Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy – Slashdot

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 17, 2011 by cykros

“Recently Verizon changed its home internet TOS to by default share your location with advertisers. Now Verizon Wireless has also changed its privacy policy to by default share your web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage as well. Whilst there have been a few stories on these changes, internet forums have largely been quiet. Where is the outrage? Or have we just come to accept that ISPs are going to sell our personal information and web browsing habits?”

via Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy – Slashdot.

So. Anyone who remotely gives a damn about privacy should be taking this as their cue to ditch Verizon (though honestly, what you’re doing still with Verizon baffles me given their history). For those of you with no other worthwhile options (say, those of you with a choice between nothing but Comcast and Verizon for home Internet, or no choice other than Verizon and AT&T for cell phone use), you should take this as your cue to start using anonymization tools, because you ARE being monitored…no speculation about it.

Cloaking magnetic fields: The first ‘antimagnet’ device developed

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 23, 2011 by cykros



Spanish researchers have designed what they believe to be a new type of magnetic cloak, which shields objects from external magnetic fields, while at the same time preventing any magnetic internal fields from leaking outside, making the cloak undetectable.

The development of such a device, described as an ‘antimagnet’, could offer many beneficial applications, such as protecting a ship’s hull from mines designed to detonate when a magnetic field is detected, or allowing patients with pacemakers or cochlear implants to use medical equipment.

In their study, published today, Friday 23 September, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society’s New Journal of Physics, researchers have proved that such a cloak could be built using practical and available materials and technologies, and used to develop an array of applications.

Take, for example, a patient with a pacemaker undergoing an MRI scan. If an MRI’s large magnetic field interacts with the pacemaker, it can cause serious damage to both the device and the patient. The metal in the pacemaker could also interact with and distort the MRI’s large magnetic field, affecting the machine’s detection capabilities.

The researchers, from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, are aware that the technology could also be used by criminals to dodge security systems, for example in airports and shops, but they are confident that the new research could benefit society in a positive way, while the risks could be minimized by informing security officials about potential devices, enabling them to anticipate and neutralize problems.

via Cloaking magnetic fields: The first ‘antimagnet’ device developed.

So…does this mean we can have EMP resistant electronics now?

Minority Report facial recognition advertising has arrived | ExtremeTech

Posted in News with tags , , on August 28, 2011 by cykros

Facial recognition by store windows and posters, Minority Report-style, has now started slowly seeping into society. This technology, as it stands, has the ability to tailor digital displays to whoever stops and looks at an advertisement — or, with some clever camera positioning, even for people walking some distance away from the window.

Powered by Intel software and running on NEC displays, facial recognition technology is the next step in targeted advertising. Just imagine a shoe shop where the entire front window is an LCD or OLED display: If you’re a teenager and you stop to peer into the window, the software would show you an ad for some colorful kicks; if you’re older, or perhaps sporting a traveler’s wild beard, the screen might show some sensible walking shoes. Likewise, a menu outside a restaurant could highlight food that the owner thinks you’ll be most interested in.

via Minority Report facial recognition advertising has arrived | ExtremeTech.

Did anyone notice that Philip K. Dick was writing about a future that we should be trying to AVOID? I mean, don’t get me wrong, the dark cyberpunk world makes for some very interesting and admirable characters and antiheroes, but really, when it comes down to it, I don’t really think that aiming for it is the wisest course we could take…