robertogreco + drones   185

Capitalism Camp for Kids - The New York Times
"Embedded in these programs is at least one contradiction: They promote entrepreneurship and leadership, but are also training kids to be good employees; to be innovators and disrupters, but also to be model office drones."
camps  capitalism  socialism  contradiction  drones  employees  obedience  innovation  disruption  entrepreneurship  children  indoctrination 
6 weeks ago by robertogreco
Language Is Migrant - South Magazine Issue #8 [documenta 14 #3] - documenta 14
"Language is migrant. Words move from language to language, from culture to culture, from mouth to mouth. Our bodies are migrants; cells and bacteria are migrants too. Even galaxies migrate.

What is then this talk against migrants? It can only be talk against ourselves, against life itself.

Twenty years ago, I opened up the word “migrant,” seeing in it a dangerous mix of Latin and Germanic roots. I imagined “migrant” was probably composed of mei, Latin for “to change or move,” and gra, “heart” from the Germanic kerd. Thus, “migrant” became “changed heart,”
a heart in pain,
changing the heart of the earth.

The word “immigrant” says, “grant me life.”

“Grant” means “to allow, to have,” and is related to an ancient Proto-Indo-European root: dhe, the mother of “deed” and “law.” So too, sacerdos, performer of sacred rites.

What is the rite performed by millions of people displaced and seeking safe haven around the world? Letting us see our own indifference, our complicity in the ongoing wars?

Is their pain powerful enough to allow us to change our hearts? To see our part in it?

I “wounder,” said Margarita, my immigrant friend, mixing up wondering and wounding, a perfect embodiment of our true condition!

Vicente Huidobro said, “Open your mouth to receive the host of the wounded word.”

The wound is an eye. Can we look into its eyes?
my specialty is not feeling, just
looking, so I say:
(the word is a hard look.)
—Rosario Castellanos

I don’t see with my eyes: words
are my eyes.
—Octavio Paz

In l980, I was in exile in Bogotá, where I was working on my “Palabrarmas” project, a way of opening words to see what they have to say. My early life as a poet was guided by a line from Novalis: “Poetry is the original religion of mankind.” Living in the violent city of Bogotá, I wanted to see if anybody shared this view, so I set out with a camera and a team of volunteers to interview people in the street. I asked everybody I met, “What is Poetry to you?” and I got great answers from beggars, prostitutes, and policemen alike. But the best was, “Que prosiga,” “That it may go on”—how can I translate the subjunctive, the most beautiful tiempo verbal (time inside the verb) of the Spanish language? “Subjunctive” means “next to” but under the power of the unknown. It is a future potential subjected to unforeseen conditions, and that matches exactly the quantum definition of emergent properties.

If you google the subjunctive you will find it described as a “mood,” as if a verbal tense could feel: “The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact.” Or “the ‘present’ subjunctive is the bare form of a verb (that is, a verb with no ending).”

I loved that! A never-ending image of a naked verb! The man who passed by as a shadow in my film saying “Que prosiga” was on camera only for a second, yet he expressed in two words the utter precision of Indigenous oral culture.

People watching the film today can’t believe it was not scripted, because in thirty-six years we seem to have forgotten the art of complex conversation. In the film people in the street improvise responses on the spot, displaying an awareness of language that seems to be missing today. I wounder, how did it change? And my heart says it must be fear, the ocean of lies we live in, under a continuous stream of doublespeak by the violent powers that rule us. Living under dictatorship, the first thing that disappears is playful speech, the fun and freedom of saying what you really think. Complex public conversation goes extinct, and along with it, the many species we are causing to disappear as we speak.

The word “species” comes from the Latin speciēs, “a seeing.” Maybe we are losing species and languages, our joy, because we don’t wish to see what we are doing.

Not seeing the seeing in words, we numb our senses.

I hear a “low continuous humming sound” of “unmanned aerial vehicles,” the drones we send out into the world carrying our killing thoughts.

Drones are the ultimate expression of our disconnect with words, our ability to speak without feeling the effect or consequences of our words.

“Words are acts,” said Paz.

Our words are becoming drones, flying robots. Are we becoming desensitized by not feeling them as acts? I am thinking not just of the victims but also of the perpetrators, the drone operators. Tonje Hessen Schei, director of the film Drone, speaks of how children are being trained to kill by video games: “War is made to look fun, killing is made to look cool. ... I think this ‘militainment’ has a huge cost,” not just for the young soldiers who operate them but for society as a whole. Her trailer opens with these words by a former aide to Colin Powell in the Bush/Cheney administration:
OUR POTENTIAL COLLECTIVE FUTURE. WATCH IT AND WEEP FOR US. OR WATCH IT AND DETERMINE TO CHANGE THAT FUTURE
—Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel U.S. Army (retired)


In Astro Noise, the exhibition by Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the language of surveillance migrates into poetry and art. We lie in a collective bed watching the night sky crisscrossed by drones. The search for matching patterns, the algorithms used to liquidate humanity with drones, is turned around to reveal the workings of the system. And, we are being surveyed as we survey the show! A new kind of visual poetry connecting our bodies to the real fight for the soul of this Earth emerges, and we come out woundering: Are we going to dehumanize ourselves to the point where Earth itself will dream our end?

The fight is on everywhere, and this may be the only beauty of our times. The Quechua speakers of Peru say, “beauty is the struggle.”

Maybe darkness will become the source of light. (Life regenerates in the dark.)

I see the poet/translator as the person who goes into the dark, seeking the “other” in him/herself, what we don’t wish to see, as if this act could reveal what the world keeps hidden.

Eduardo Kohn, in his book How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human notes the creation of a new verb by the Quichua speakers of Ecuador: riparana means “darse cuenta,” “to realize or to be aware.” The verb is a Quichuan transfiguration of the Spanish reparar, “to observe, sense, and repair.” As if awareness itself, the simple act of observing, had the power to heal.

I see the invention of such verbs as true poetry, as a possible path or a way out of the destruction we are causing.

When I am asked about the role of the poet in our times, I only question: Are we a “listening post,” composing an impossible “survival guide,” as Paul Chan has said? Or are we going silent in the face of our own destruction?

Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatista guerrilla, transcribes the words of El Viejo Antonio, an Indian sage: “The gods went looking for silence to reorient themselves, but found it nowhere.” That nowhere is our place now, that’s why we need to translate language into itself so that IT sees our awareness.

Language is the translator. Could it translate us to a place within where we cease to tolerate injustice and the destruction of life?

Life is language. “When we speak, life speaks,” says the Kaushitaki Upanishad.

Awareness creates itself looking at itself.

It is transient and eternal at the same time.

Todo migra. Let’s migrate to the “wounderment” of our lives, to poetry itself."
ceciliavicuña  language  languages  words  migration  immigration  life  subcomandantemarcos  elviejoantonio  lawrencewilkerson  octaviopaz  exile  rosariocastellanos  poetry  spanish  español  subjunctive  oral  orality  conversation  complexity  seeing  species  joy  tonjehessenschei  war  colinpowell  laurapoitras  art  visual  translation  eduoardokohn  quechua  quichua  healing  repair  verbs  invention  listening  kaushitakiupanishad  awareness  noticing  wondering  vicentehuidobro  wounds  woundering  migrants  unknown  future  potential  unpredictability  emergent  drones  morethanhuman  multispecies  paulchan  destruction  displacement  refugees  extinction  others  tolerance  injustice  justice  transience  ephemerality  ephemeral  canon  eternal  surveillance  patterns  algorithms  earth  sustainability  environment  indifference  complicity  dictatorship  documenta14  2017  classideas 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Martin Luther King Jr was a radical. We must not sterilize his legacy | Cornel West | Opinion | The Guardian
"The major threat of Martin Luther King Jr to us is a spiritual and moral one. King’s courageous and compassionate example shatters the dominant neoliberal soul-craft of smartness, money and bombs. His grand fight against poverty, militarism, materialism and racism undercuts the superficial lip service and pretentious posturing of so-called progressives as well as the candid contempt and proud prejudices of genuine reactionaries. King was neither perfect nor pure in his prophetic witness – but he was the real thing in sharp contrast to the market-driven semblances and simulacra of our day.

In this brief celebratory moment of King’s life and death we should be highly suspicious of those who sing his praises yet refuse to pay the cost of embodying King’s strong indictment of the US empire, capitalism and racism in their own lives.

We now expect the depressing spectacle every January of King’s “fans” giving us the sanitized versions of his life. We now come to the 50th anniversary of his assassination, and we once again are met with sterilized versions of his legacy. A radical man deeply hated and held in contempt is recast as if he was a universally loved moderate.

These neoliberal revisionists thrive on the spectacle of their smartness and the visibility of their mainstream status – yet rarely, if ever, have they said a mumbling word about what would have concerned King, such as US drone strikes, house raids, and torture sites, or raised their voices about escalating inequality, poverty or Wall Street domination under neoliberal administrations – be the president white or black.

The police killing of Stephon Clark in Sacramento may stir them but the imperial massacres in Yemen, Libya or Gaza leave them cold. Why? Because so many of King’s “fans” are afraid. Yet one of King’s favorite sayings was “I would rather be dead than afraid.” Why are they afraid? Because they fear for their careers in and acceptance by the neoliberal establishment. Yet King said angrily: “What you’re saying may get you a foundation grant, but it won’t get you into the Kingdom of Truth.”

The neoliberal soul craft of our day shuns integrity, honesty and courage, and rewards venality, hypocrisy and cowardice. To be successful is to forge a non-threatening image, sustain one’s brand, expand one’s pecuniary network – and maintain a distance from critiques of Wall Street, neoliberal leaders and especially the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and peoples.

Martin Luther King Jr turned away from popularity in his quest for spiritual and moral greatness – a greatness measured by what he was willing to give up and sacrifice due to his deep love of everyday people, especially vulnerable and precious black people. Neoliberal soul craft avoids risk and evades the cost of prophetic witness, even as it poses as “progressive”.

The killing of Martin Luther King Jr was the ultimate result of the fusion of ugly white supremacist elites in the US government and citizenry and cowardly liberal careerists who feared King’s radical moves against empire, capitalism and white supremacy. If King were alive today, his words and witness against drone strikes, invasions, occupations, police murders, caste in Asia, Roma oppression in Europe, as well as capitalist wealth inequality and poverty, would threaten most of those who now sing his praises. As he rightly predicted: “I am nevertheless greatly saddened … that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling.”

If we really want to know King in all of his fallible prophetic witness, we must shed any neoliberal soul craft and take seriously – in our words and deeds – his critiques and resistances to US empire, capitalism and xenophobia. Needless to say, his relentless condemnation of Trump’s escalating neo-fascist rule would be unequivocal – but not to be viewed as an excuse to downplay some of the repressive continuities of the two Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.

In fact, in a low moment, when the American nightmare crushed his dream, King noted: “I don’t have any faith in the whites in power responding in the right way … they’ll treat us like they did our Japanese brothers and sisters in World War II. They’ll throw us into concentration camps. The Wallaces and the Birchites will take over. The sick people and the fascists will be strengthened. They’ll cordon off the ghetto and issue passes for us to get in and out.”

These words may sound like those of Malcolm X, but they are those of Martin Luther King Jr – with undeniable relevance to the neo-fascist stirrings in our day.

King’s last sermon was entitled Why America May Go to Hell. His personal loneliness and political isolation loomed large. J Edgar Hoover said he was “the most dangerous man in America”. President Johnson called him “a nigger preacher”. Fellow Christian ministers, white and black, closed their pulpits to him. Young revolutionaries dismissed and tried to humiliate him with walkouts, booing and heckling. Life magazine – echoing Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post (all bastions of the liberal establishment) – trashed King’s anti-war stance as “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi”.

And the leading black journalist of the day, Carl Rowan, wrote in the Reader’s Digest that King’s “exaggerated appraisal of his own self-importance” and the communist influence on his thinking made King “persona non-grata to Lyndon Johnson” and “has alienated many of the Negro’s friends and armed the Negro’s foes”.

One of the last and true friends of King, the great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel prophetically said: “The whole future of America will depend upon the impact and influence of Dr King.” When King was murdered something died in many of us. The bullets sucked some of the free and democratic spirit out of the US experiment. The next day over 100 American cities and towns were in flames – the fire this time had arrived again!

Today, 50 years later the US imperial meltdown deepens. And King’s radical legacy remains primarily among the awakening youth and militant citizens who choose to be extremists of love, justice, courage and freedom, even if our chances to win are that of a snowball in hell! This kind of unstoppable King-like extremism is a threat to every status quo!"
cornelwest  martinlutherkingjr  2018  neoliberalism  capitalism  imperialism  materialism  race  racism  poverty  inequality  progressive  militarism  violence  us  society  politics  policy  courage  death  fear  integrity  revisionism  history  justice  socialjustice  drones  wallstreet  finance  stephonclark  libya  gaza  palestine  yemen  hypocrisy  venality  cowardice  honesty  sfsh  cv  mlk  xenophobia  christianity  carlrowan  jedgarhoover  love  freedom  extremism 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Life in the Age of Drone Warfare | Duke University Press
"This volume's contributors offer a new critical language through which to explore and assess the historical, juridical, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of drone technology and warfare. They show how drones generate particular ways of visualizing the spaces and targets of war while acting as tools to exercise state power. Essays include discussions of the legal justifications of extrajudicial killings and how US drone strikes in the Horn of Africa impact life on the ground, as well as a personal narrative of a former drone operator. The contributors also explore drone warfare in relation to sovereignty, governance, and social difference; provide accounts of the relationships between drone technologies and modes of perception and mediation; and theorize drones’ relation to biopolitics, robotics, automation, and art. Interdisciplinary and timely, Life in the Age of Drone Warfare extends the critical study of drones while expanding the public discussion of one of our era's most ubiquitous instruments of war.

Contributors. Peter Asaro, Brandon Wayne Bryant, Katherine Chandler, Jordan Crandall, Ricardo Dominguez, Derek Gregory, Inderpal Grewal, Lisa Hajjar, Caren Kaplan, Andrea Miller, Anjali Nath, Jeremy Packer, Lisa Parks, Joshua Reeves, Thomas Stubblefield, Madiha Tahir"
books  drones  military  war  warfare  2017  peterasaro  brandonwaynebryant  katherinechandler  rjordancrandall  ricardodominguez  derekgregory  inderpalgrewal  lisahajjar  carenkaplan  andreamiller  anjalinath  jeremypacker  lisaparks  joshuareeves  thomasstubblefield  madihatahir 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Virginia Heffernan on Learning to Read the Internet, Not Live in It | WIRED
"Anxiety is much more than a rookie response to internet-borne humiliation and weakness; sometimes it seems like the animating principle of the entire commercial web. That’s part of the reason for our decade-old retreat to apps, where McModern design and the illusion of walls seems like a hedge against the malware and rabble of the original web metropolis.

But leave standard consumer software aside and you’ll find that straight panic haunts the latest phase of digitization. Virtual reality, AI, the blockchain, drones, cyberwarfare—these things spike the cortisol in everyone but power users of Github and people with PGP session keys in their Twitter bios. The recent obsession with whether Barack Obama and James Comey did the right thing when confronted with evidence of Russian cyberattacks in 2016 misses the point: No one—no world leader, no FBI director, no masterful subredditor—knows exactly what to do about cyberattacks. The word alone is destabilizing.



To put it simply: Much of digital technology seems to be, in the words of our YouTube debunker, not in sync. It doesn’t quite track. Twitter emotion doesn’t rise and fall the way human emotions do. Similarly, death, final by definition, is not final in Super Mario 0dyssey. GPS tech is not true to the temperature and texture of physical landscapes. Alexa of Amazon’s Echo sometimes seems bright, sometimes moronic, but of course she’s neither; she’s not even a she, and it’s a constant category error to consider her one.

Living in the flicker of that error—interacting with a bot as if its sentiments were sentiments—is to take up residence in the so-called uncanny valley, home to that repulsion we feel from robots that look a lot, but not exactly, like us, a phenomenon identified nearly 50 years ago by robotics professor Masahiro Mori. When something gets close to looking human but just misses the mark—like that CGI creep in The Polar Express—it induces fear and loathing, the exact opposite of affection.

I’m unaccountably afraid. At root the anxiety is: Who is the human here, and who the simulacrum?
Mori used the notion of the uncanny valley to describe a restrictive aesthetic response to robots. But the internet, by aiming to represent a monstrous range of human experiences that includes everything from courtship and commerce to finance and war, introduces a near-constant dysphoria. An uncanny experience registers like a bad note to someone with perfect pitch. And bad notes are everywhere on the internet. Queasy-making GIFs, nonsense autocorrect, memes that suggest broken minds. The digital artifacts produced on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify are identifiable as conversation, bodies, and guitars, and yet they don’t sync with those things in the three-dimensional world. Our bodies absorb the dissonance, and our brains work overtime to harmonize it or explain it away.

Consider my stock response to a friend’s honey-colored Instagram photos that show her on a yacht in Corsica. Is that what life is supposed to look like? Why does my own life by this loud municipal swimming pool look sort of—but not really—like that? We rightly call this jealousy, but the comparison of one’s multisensory experience to a heavily staged photo, passing for existence, entails cognitive discomfort too.

My poolside afternoon changes millisecond to millisecond. It also has a horizon line; robust unsweetened audio (yelps of “Marco” and “Polo” in my daughter’s pool-glee voice); a start-and-stop breeze; the scent of a nearby grill; ever-changing and infinitesimal shades that elude pixelation and suggest even hues outside the human spectrum that my sunblock (scented to evoke the tropics) is meant to guard against. What’s more, because it’s my experience, this scene is also inflected by proprioception, the sense of my own swim-suited body present in space. Compared to this robust and fertile experience as a mammal on Earth, isn’t it the Instagram image that’s thin, dry, and inert? “The imagined object lacks the vivacity and vitality of the perceived one,” philosopher Elaine Scarry wrote in Dreaming by the Book, her 1999 manifesto on literature and the imagination.

And yet. There’s that tile-sized cluster of pixels on my phone. The heightened portrait there, let’s call it Woman in Corsica, makes my own present moment—real life—seem like the impoverished thing. I’m unaccountably afraid. At root the anxiety is: Who is the human here, and who the simulacrum?

The good news is that the anxiety of the uncanny is nothing new or unique to digital experience. Every single realist form, the ones that claim to hold a mirror to nature, has made beholders panic—and worse. In the fifth century BC, the Greek artist Zeuxis is said to have painted voluminous grapes that looked so much like the real thing that birds pecked themselves to death trying to eat them. Novels, which were intended to show unfiltered middle-class life in everyday prose instead of fakey verse, drove women to promiscuity by representing their feelings so exactly. And, of course, there was the famous stampede in Paris in 1896, when audiences watching an early movie, Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, retreated to escape the train hurtling toward them from the screen.

A Snopes search for these stories turns up nothing; all of them are now considered folklore. But they’re useful. We like stories that suggest that experiences with art and entertainment we now take for granted—realist paintings, novels, the movies—once overwhelmed our ancestors. As a species, we must have learned something: how to stimulate ourselves with movies without being duped. And if we learned it then, we can learn it now. Because while the gap between the real and the replica can seem nauseatingly narrow, we do have a brilliant mechanism for telling reality from artifice. It’s literacy.

SKILLFUL READERS OF novels recognize language as a symbolic order with rules that set it apart from the disorder of real life. Musicians recognize sound signals in OGG format as decent representations of the sounds produced by their tubas and vocal cords, but not the music itself. Similarly, the Instagram image of Corsica is not life itself. It’s not even Corsica. It’s software. To read novels, hear recorded music, or scroll through Instagram is not to experience the world. It’s to read it.

But we forget this, over and over. Our eyes are still adjusting to the augmented reality of everyday life mediated by texts and images on phones. The oceanic internet has grown far too fast, with the highest aspirations to realism, for anyone to have developed guidelines for reading it without getting subsumed. Our phones even intercede between ourselves and the world. Like last year’s Pokémon Go, virtual artifacts now seem to embellish everything. And the enchantment they cast is potent: We will, it seems, drive off the road rather than resist the text. Literacy entails knowing when not to read.

As David Kessler has written about mental illness, thoughts, ideologies, and persistent images of past or future can “capture” a person and stall their mental freedom. If this is hard to grasp in the abstract, look at the captivating quality of sexting, doctored photos, or something as silly and fanciful as Twitter, with its birdies and secret codes. Even as artificial and stylized as Twitter is, the excitement there rarely seems like a comic opera to users. Encounter a troll, or a godawful doxer, and it’s not like watching a sitcom—it’s a bruising personal affront. “You’re a fool,” tweeted by @willywombat4, with your home address, makes the face flush and heart pound every bit as much as if a thug cornered you in a dark alley. Sometimes more.

But you don’t cool your anxiety by staying off the internet. Instead, you refine your disposition. Looking at a screen is not living. It’s a concentrated decoding operation that requires the keen, exhausting vision of a predator and not the soft focus that allows all doors of perception to swing open. At the same time, mindful readers stop reading during a doxing siege—and call the police to preempt the word being made flesh. They don’t turn quixotic and mix themselves up with their various avatars, or confuse the ritualized drama of social media with mortal conflicts on battlefields. The trick is to read technology instead of being captured by it—to maintain the whip hand.

Paradoxically, framing the internet as a text to be read, not a life to be led, tends to break, without effort, its spell. Conscious reading, after all, is a demanding ocular and mental activity that satisfies specific intellectual reward centers. And it’s also a workout; at the right time, brain sated, a reader tends to become starved for the sensory, bodily, three-dimensional experience of mortality, nature, textures, and sounds—and flees the thin gruel of text.

The key to subduing anxiety is remembering the second wave of YouTube commenters: the doubters. Keep skepticism alive. We can climb out of the uncanny valley by recognizing that the perceivable gap between reality and internet representations of reality is not small. It’s vast. Remember how the body recoils from near-perfect replicas but is comforted by impressionistic representations, like Monets and stuffed animals?

So imagine: Twitter does not resemble a real mob any more than a teddy bear resembles a grizzly. If you really go nuts and nuzzle up to a teddy, I guess you could swallow a button eye, but you’re not going to get mauled. Tell this to your poor rattled central nervous system as many times a day as you can remember. Make it your mantra, and throw away the benzos. Nothing on your phone alone can hurt you more than a teddy bear."
internetismyfavoritebook  virginiaheffernan  literature  literacy  internet  web  online  twitter  instagram  cv  2017  via:davidtedu  socialmedia  howweread  internetculture  trolls  blockchain  bitcoin  youtube  anxiety  drones  technology  cyberwarfare  cyberattacks  uncanneyvalley  presentationofself  reality  fiction  fictions  multiliteracies 
august 2017 by robertogreco
An Xiao Busingye Mina en Instagram: “This behemoth of an agricultural drone got me thinking: we are really just at the beginning of what will be a big big world of civilian…”
"This behemoth of an agricultural drone got me thinking: we are really just at the beginning of what will be a big big world of civilian drones. We are just warming up with the hobbyist and filmmaker stuff."
anxiaomina  drones  agriculture  future  2017 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Opendronemap by OpenDroneMap
"OpenDroneMap is an open source toolkit for processing aerial drone imagery. Typical drones use simple point-and-shoot cameras, so the images from drones, while from a different perspective, are similar to any pictures taken from point-and-shoot cameras, i.e. non-metric imagery. OpenDroneMap turns those simple images into three dimensional geographic data that can be used in combination with other geographic datasets.

In a word, OpenDroneMap is a toolchain for processing raw civilian UAS imagery to other useful products. What kind of products?

1. Point Clouds
3. Digital Surface Models
3. Textured Digital Surface Models
4. Orthorectified Imagery
5. Classified Point Clouds
6. Digital Elevation Models
7. etc.

So far, it does Point Clouds, Digital Surface Models, Textured Digital Surface Models, and Orthorectified Imagery.

Users' mailing list: http://lists.osgeo.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opendronemap-users

Developer's mailing list: http://lists.osgeo.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opendronemap-dev

Overview video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UctfoeNB_Y "
mapping  maps  aerialimagery  drones  crowdsourcing 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama | Cornel West | Opinion | The Guardian
"Obama’s lack of courage to confront Wall Street criminals and his lapse of character in ordering drone strikes unintentionally led to rightwing populist revolts at home and ugly Islamic fascist rebellions in the Middle East. And as deporter-in-chief – nearly 2.5 million immigrants were deported under his watch – Obama policies prefigure Trump’s barbaric plans.

Bernie Sanders gallantly tried to generate a leftwing populism but he was crushed by Clinton and Obama in the unfair Democratic party primaries. So now we find ourselves entering a neofascist era: a neoliberal economy on steroids, a reactionary repressive attitude toward domestic “aliens”, a militaristic cabinet eager for war and in denial of global warming. All the while, we are seeing a wholesale eclipse of truth and integrity in the name of the Trump brand, facilitated by the profit-hungry corporate media.

What a sad legacy for our hope and change candidate – even as we warriors go down swinging in the fading names of truth and justice."
barackobama  cornelwest  2017  politics  berniesanders  populism  drones  wallstreet  economics  policy  elections  truth  integrity  media 
january 2017 by robertogreco
PMEL Saildrone in San Francisco in 2015: Research Innovation & Marine Ecosystems - YouTube
"The Saildrone is a wind powered autonomous (which means there are no people) vehicle with on-board environmental sensors and controlled from shore through satellite communications. Engineers at PMEL worked closely with Saildrone Inc. to incorporate scientists data requests with this amazing platform by which to conduct research."
via:steelemaley  sanfrancisco  sailboats  drones  saildrone 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2016 – Josh Begley on Vimeo
"Setting Tangents Around A Circle –

"If you set enough tangents around a circle, you begin to recreate the shape of the circle itself." —Teju Cole

In this talk Josh Begley considers human data -- what lies at the bottom of the ledger -- and tangential approaches to representing historical archives. Paying particular attention to landscape, geography, carcerality, and surveillance, he examines ways of seeing some of the violence behind the way we live."
eyeo  eyeo2016  2016  joshbegley  socialmedia  drones  violence  race  racism  ronimorrison  tejucole  data  datavisualization  geography  prisionindustrialcomplex  redlining  policy  maps  mapping  militaryindustrialcomplex  military  archives  history  landscape  trevorpaglen  satelliteimagery  imagery  aerialimagery 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Center for the Study of the Drone – at Bard College
"The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College is an interdisciplinary research institution that examines the novel and complex opportunities and challenges presented by unmanned technologies in both the military and civilian sphere. By conducting original, in-depth, and inquiry-driven projects, we seek to furnish stakeholders, policy-makers, and the public with the resources to engage in a robust public debate and develop policies that best address those opportunities and challenges.

For queries and submissions, write to csd@bard.edu."
drones  bardcollege  via:soulellis 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Which Is Worse: Shooting a Drone, or Being Surveilled by a Redditor? | Motherboard
"A resident of Portland, Oregon who calls himself “Drone Man” has spent the last few weeks using a drone to surveil what he believes is an illegal, boat-based bicycle theft ring.

Earlier this week, Drone Man says a person on one of the boats finally lost his cool and began firing a gun at his drone, in a story that highlights many of the legal issues concerning hobby drones.

Oregon’s mooring laws make it legal to live on a boat floating in Portland’s Willamette River, which has given the city a population of transient boaters who often call themselves pirates.

Not everyone is a fan of these people, however. Drone Man has been posting videos of their settlements online to “document environmental destruction.”
drones  pirates  quadcopters  surveillance  2016  portland  oregon  reddit 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Drone-2000 (Floating Prophecies) on Vimeo
"Drone-2000 Research (Floating Prophecies - 2015)

The figure of the drone serves as the starting point for this film, enabling it to explore the intersections that exist between fictional depictions arising from science-fiction literature and the actual advent of flying machines with camera vision in contemporary world, folklore and mythology.

By juxtaposing quotes from works from the previous century (1880 ­- 2000) with a selection of popular, recent videos that have been posted on video sharing websites, this film explores the grey zone between self-fulfilling prophecy and composite narratives.
--------------------------
[Work in progress]
Drone-2000 Research (Floating Prophecies - 2015)
Duration: 14 minutes
Conception: Nicolas Maigret & Maria Roszkowska
Voice over: Black Sifichi - blacksifichi.com
Video research with Carlotta Aoun & Eric Delplancq
--------------------------
drone2000.net
peripheriques.free.fr
flickr.com/photos/n1c0la5ma1gr3t/albums/72157659378407535 "

[via: http://prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com/post/138434579306/floating-prophecies-short-film-by-nicolas-maigret ]
drones  nicolasmaigret  mariaroszkowska  film  2015  carlottaaoun  ericdelplancq  video 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Fathom - Embrace the Deep
"INTRODUCING THE FATHOM DRONE

Fathom allows you to explore places that until now, you could only imagine.
Snorkel with it, dive with it, fish with it, take it on the go. It’s up to you.

SIMPLE TO USE

For too long underwater exploration has been limited to those with extensive funding and years of training. We want to change this. With the Fathom drone, anyone can explore their closest body of water with ease – simply plug it in, launch the app, and go explore.

UNCOMPROMISING FUNCTIONALITY

At the end of the day, we understand that you need something that functions flawlessly. That’s why the Fathom drone was built around one guiding principal – ensuring it would always deliver the functionality you need, when you need it most.

BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED

Just because you may get your hands dirty doesn’t mean you have to look bad doing it. Special consideration was given to the Fathom drone’s design to ensure that it would look just as much at home on land as it does in the water.

SUPERIOR CONTROL

The world’s first jet propelled consumer underwater drone.
Drawing inspiration from the reaction control systems aboard spacecraft, the Fathom drone’s steering and propulsion gives you the fine tune control you need, when you need it – using only one propulsive motor."

[via: https://twitter.com/somebadideas/status/666463773386006529 ]
drones  oceans  submarines  edg  srg 
november 2015 by robertogreco
No one cares about your jetpack: on optimism in futurism - Dangerous to those who profit from the way things areDangerous to those who profit from the way things are
"This review [http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/tomorrowland-is-like-watching-a-jetpack-eat-itself-1706822006 ] of Disney’s Tomorrowland (and others like it that I have read) got me thinking about something I was asked at the Design In Action summit last week in Edinburgh. I was there participating in the “Once Upon a Future” event, where I read a story called “The Dreams in the Bitch House.” It’s about a tech sorority at a small New England university. And programmable matter.

After I did my keynote and read my story, I did a Q&A. After a few questions, someone in the audience asked: “Why so negative?”

I get this question a lot. I’ve been involved in a couple of “optimistic” science fiction anthologies, namely Shine (edited by Jetse de Vries) and Hieroglyph (edited by Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn). But people don’t invite me to these because I’m an optimistic person. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite. Evidence:

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InDOzrtS42M ]

When I was trained as a futurist (I have a Master’s in the subject), I was taught to see the whole scope of a problem. That’s at the root of design thinking. The old joke about designers is that when someone asks how many designers you need to change a lightbulb, the designer asks “Does it need to be a lightbulb?” Because really, what the room needs is a window. When people talk about innovation, that’s what they mean. A re-framing of the issue that helps you see the whole problem and approach it from another angle.

America’s problem is not that it needs more jetpacks. Jetpacks are not innovation. Jetpacks are a fetish object for retrofuturist otaku who jerked off to Judy Jetson, or maybe Jennifer Connelly’s character in The Rocketeer. “We were promised jetpacks!” they whine. Yeah, dude, but what you got was Agent Orange. Imagine a Segway that could kill you and set your house on fire. That’s what a jetpack is.

Jetpacks solve exactly one problem: rapid transit. And you know what would help with that? Better transit. Better telepresence. Better work-life balance. Are jetpacks an innovative solution to the problem of transit? Nope. But they sure look great with your midlife crisis.

But railing against jetpacks isn’t an answer to the question. Why so negative? Three reasons:

1) We have more data than we used to, and we’re obtaining more all the time.

Why don’t we fantasize about life in space like we used to? Because we know it’s really fucking difficult and dangerous. Why don’t we research things like food pills any more? Because we know eating fibre helps prevent colon cancer. We know those things because we’ve done the science. The data is there, and for every piece of technology we use, we accumulate more. It’s hard to argue with that vast wealth of data. At least, it’s hard to do so without looking like some whackjob climate change denier.

2) Less optimistic futures have the power to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

When people ask me, “Why can’t you be more positive?” what I hear is, “Why can’t you tell me a story that conforms to my narrative and comforts me?” Because discomfiting futures have real power. As Alf Rehn notes:
What we need, then, is more uncommon futurism. A futurism that cares not a whit about what’s hot right now, who remain stoically unimpressed by drones and wearable IT, and who instead take it as their job to shock and awe CEOs with visions as radical as those of the futurists of yore. We need futurism that is less interested in agreeing with contemporary futurists and their ongoing circle-jerk, and who takes pride in offending and disgusting those futurists who would like to protect the status quo.


The truth is that the horrible dystopia you’re reading about is already happening to someone else, somewhere else. What makes people nervous is the idea that it could happen to them. That’s why I have to keep sharing it.

3) The most harmful idea in this world is that change is impossible.

Octavia E. Butler said it best: “The only lasting truth / is Change.” And yet, we act like change is impossible. Whether we’re frustrated by policy gridlock, or rolling our eyes at Hollywood reboots, or taking our spouses on the same goddamn date we have for for twenty years, we act as though everything will remain the same, forever and ever, amen. But look around you. Twenty years ago, thinks were very different. Even five years ago, they were different. Look at social progress like gay marriage. Look at the rise of solar power. Look at the shrinking of the ice caps. Things do change, they are changing, and they will change. And not all of those changes will be positive. Not all of them will be negative, either. But change does occur. Rather than thinking of change as a positive or a negative, as utopian or dystopian, just recognize that it’s going to happen and prepare yourself. Futurists don’t predict the future. We see multiple outcomes and help you prepare for them.

In the end, the lacklustre performance of Tomorrowland at the box office has nothing to do with whether optimism is alive or dead. It has to do with changing demographics among moviegoers who know how to spot an Ayn Rand bedtime story when they see one. There are whole generations of moviegoers for whom jetpacks don’t mean shit, whose first memories of NASA are the Challenger disaster. And you know what? Those same generations believe in driverless cars, solar energy, smart cities, AR contacts, and vat-grown meat. They saw the election of America’s first black president, and they witnessed a wave of violence against young black men. They don’t want the depiction of an “optimistic” future. They want a future where their concerns are taken seriously and humanely, with compassion and intelligence and validation. And that’s way harder than optimism."
culture  future  futurism  discourse  madelineashby  2015  tomorrowland  alfrehn  dystopia  octaviabutler  optimism  pessimism  realism  demographics  aynrand  race  establishment  privilege  drones  wearables  power  innovation  jetpacks  telepresence  transit  transportation  work  labor  scifi  sciencefiction  systemsthinking  data  retrofuturism  climatechange  space  food  science  technology  change  truth  socialprogress  progress  solar  solarpower  validation  compassion  canon  work-lifebalance 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Brave Robots Are Roaming the Oceans for Science | WIRED
"We’re bobbing in the sea just south of Santa Cruz, California; the Paragon is a pickup truck-shaped vessel, cabin in front and a flat deck with edges about a foot high, run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. There’s no bathroom on board. “Guys, it’s super easy. Any time, you’re welcome to go over the side,” says Jared Figurski, the MBARI marine operations division’s jack of all trades. “Ladies just…let us know and we can set that up on the back deck too.”

While the old adage goes that scientists know more about the surface of the moon than the seafloor, that’s a two-dimensional way of thinking. The oceans remain mysterious up and down the water column: the incredibly complex chemical and biological relationships, or how exactly the oceans are changing under the weight of global warming and other human meddling … acidity, temperatures, currents, salinity. And the most powerful tool to help figure all that out is the drone. MBARI has a fleet of them, three different kinds—autonomous machines that prowl the open oceans gathering data, allowing researchers to monitor it in real time. The machines do not tire, and they cannot drown. They survive shark bites. They can roam for months on end, beaming a steady stream of data to scientists sitting safely onshore.

So while aerial drones may get all the love, it’s autonomous underwater vehicles like the one the Paragon just snagged that are doing the grunt work of ocean science. They’re the vanguard of the robotization of Earth’s oceans."
oceans  robots  exploration  srg  edg  science  2015  mattsimon  via:debcha  mbari  drones  woodshole  auvs 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Dogs vs. drones: the war begins | Fusion
"Small camera-equipped drones are poised to revolutionize all kinds of industries in the next few years. More importantly, they’re going to revolutionize the way we mess with our pets.

Like the Roomba, the quadcopter drone is deeply polarizing among dogs. Some dogs see drones as terrifying killer robots, while others (like mine) just view them as strange new toys to be chased around the yard. But one thing is clear: this will end in war.

Here are 13 of the best dog vs. drone battles of all-time."
pets  animals  dogs  quadcopters  drones  droneproject  kevinroose  2015 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Drone Aviary | superflux
"The Drone Aviary - an R&D project from The Superflux Lab - is an investigation of the social, political and cultural potential of drone technology as it enters civil space. Through a series of ongoing installations, films and publications, the project aims to give a glimpse into a near-future city co-habit with ‘intelligent’ semi autonomous, networked, flying machines."



"The installation at the V&A contains a family of 5 drones and an accompanying film. Each drone is designed to be symbolic of the convergence of wider social and tech trends with specific tasks and functions that are gaining popularity amongst drone enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.

1. Madison, The Flying Billboard: This is an advertising drone, a hovering display platform, which can swoop, scan and hunt consumer demographics. It uses sophisticated facial recognition to gain feedback on the effectiveness of its content and to tailor advertisements to the interests of those within its vicinity.

2. Newsbreaker, The Media Drone: Supported by algorithmic monitoring news, emergency services and social media in real-time, these nimble devices push the boundaries for what has become known as High Frequency Journalism, helping feed our growing hunger for the very latest breaking news stories as it happens. As it films and streams news in real-time, story writing algorithms parse imagery, audio, web and radio traffic into rapidly growing, and continually edited, column inches.

3. Nightwatchman, The Surveillance Drone: A highly mobile data acquisition device used by everyone from local councils to law enforcement agencies. By securely connecting to a centralised database The Nightwatchman is able to amass and utilise huge amounts of location and subject specific information assisting in everything from documenting civil offences to detecting potential terror threats.

4. RouteHawk, Traffic Management Assistant: This drone fulfills two primary functions: firstly with its high brightness LED display and powerful 8 motor design the RouteHawk can move quickly to problem situations and provide dynamic warnings to approaching drivers. Secondly its LIDAR speed detector and ANPR camera allow the RouteHawk to efficiently log and transmit traffic violations to relevant penalty enforcement departments, often allowing a unit to pay for itself within a month.

5. FlyCam Instadrone: A highly accessible, low cost, user-friendly platform with true 'smart' style functionality. Quickly superseding the Selfie stick as todays must have life-logging and social media tool, the FlyCam allows anyone with a smartphone to share unforgettable memories from the clouds to the cloud using the Instadrone app. Additionally, its patented context aware algorithm means advertisers can deliver messages to customer when and where it counts.

The Film:
In the film, the drones become protagonists, revealing fleeting glimpses of the city from their perspective, as they continuously collect data and perform tasks. It hints at a world where the ‘network’ begins to gain physical autonomy, moving through and making decisions about the world, influencing our lives in often opaque yet profound ways. A speculative map highlights where physical and digital infrastructures merge as our cities become the natural habitat for 'smart' technologies from drones and wearable computers through to driverless cars."

[Posted to Tumblr with a few notes: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/116318868178/drone-aviary-superflux-the-drone-aviary-an-r-d ]
superflux  drones  nearfuture  designfiction  surveillance  2015  film  uav  future  timmaughan  anabjain  jonarden  infrastructure  robotvision  robotreadableworld  airspace  vision  tracking  society  prototyping  facerecognition 
april 2015 by robertogreco
A card game about drone strikes makes you comfortably numb - Kill Screen - Videogame Arts & Culture.
"By my third game of Bycatch, I was no longer bothered if the target was a child. It didn’t matter who the target was at all. They were a number and a few identifying characteristics: red bag, orange dress, man or woman, young or old. I was surprised by how quickly I settled into the rhythms of the game and its dictionary. This is the reason such language is so meticulously crafted by state departments and militaries to remove the humanity from a war zone. “Bycatch,” collateral damage, the fish in the net you didn’t mean to swoop up that is too worthless to worry about.

Those first couple games, though, it was unsettling. Bycatch is a Rummy-like card game in which each player is a country looking to place numerically ordered runs of citizens into shelters, taking them out of play and earning that player points. Nine numbered cards make up the citizens, each with flat but distinct character art. Two of these citizens are children; one of them wears a yarmulke. “Intelligence” cards randomly determine the current target; if you shelter the target, your points for that shelter are doubled. But you can also send out the drones.

Along the lines of Go Fish, where you are sniffing around the other players’ hands and calling out what you want and think they might have, Bycatch gives you the option to use a camera phone to shakily spy on your neighboring countries to identify targets worth a strike attempt. Remote-manned military vehicles have dominated our collective consciousness lately, and with good reason: We are told in many ways that they are all-knowing, all-powerful, and they would never be used against us. Here your camera-in-hand is the drone, and when taking surveillance over another player, you hold your phone over their hand such that you can’t see the screen or the faces of their cards. Thus you don’t know what you’ve got until you have already taken the picture, and your resulting intelligence is often pointed up your own nose or just a blur, though even a little info is better than nothing.

During your turn you can only take a single action: survey an opposing player’s hand with your drone-phone, build a shelter for points, order a strike if you discard two of the same citizens, or do nothing. You can’t drop bombs willy-nilly, and information is always outdated. Whenever a drone strike is ordered, three citizens are removed; if one of them is the target then the attacking player gets 100 points per matching target, minus 10 for each citizen that was not the target, aka the “bycatch” or collateral damage.

As we played, I learned a few things about myself: Taking blind photos of your opponent’s hand is difficult at first, resulting in some hilarious and creepy selfies; no intelligence is infallible and the ability to bluff is key; and, though I was quite uncomfortable with the idea of administrating death from above during the first game or two, I would eventually to order drone strikes with no information and no concern who the current target was, just to mess up an opponent’s chance to build a high-scoring shelter.

Bycatch does have an explicit goal of getting people to talk about this sort of military activity, done on our behalf and affecting thousands of innocent people around the world. And it works, though it doesn’t dominate the experience. When my opponent racks up ten collateral damage kills in a sort of scorched earth campaign against me, eventually he gets his target, but at what cost? Even a successful strike sweeps up the innocent, you will pretty much always catch non-targeted citizens in an attack, so a strike is often imprecise and never clean.

But it’s easy to bury those impulses relatively quickly. In the moment it’s simply a game, with rules and a lexicon that strips out empathy from drone strike victims while simultaneously every card is a picture of a person living an ordinary life and collateral damage is nothing short of murder executed at your order. I mean, ok: we are holding cards, not nuclear launch codes, but the artwork of Bycatch is a consistent reminder of the human costs involved even if this is all just a metaphor. It’s all disconcerting at first, but by my sixth go-round I was cheering successful strikes and moving on accordingly. Still, even a number of games later, uncertainty creeps up on me. By then it’s too late."
games  cardgames  drones  droneproject  2015  bycatch  collateraldamage  military  warfare  war  toplay 
march 2015 by robertogreco
White Hole Gallery
"White Hole is a platform devoted to the production and dissemination of critical investigations into the relationship between technology, authority, the landscape and everyday life.

It operates through an international network of people invited to curate one-month exhibitions, combining strategies of artistic practice and journalism to investigate, document and debate the forces — visible and invisible — that shape society and the landscape.

The space functions as a remotely-controlled micro-gallery. Borrowing from the theory of general relativity, in which a white hole is a hypothetical region of spacetime which is inaccessible from the outside, the space itself cannot be entered, although matter and light can escape from it. It projects critical debate, increasingly confined to the online realm, into the public domain.

The network of people contributing to the gallery operates as a peer-to-peer system, exchanging, producing or commissioning new contents that is fed into the network through a Dropbox folder activating and controlling the gallery from distance.

The first White Hole project space opened in Genoa, Italy, on January 31st, 2015 and will run until January 31st, 2016. It will exhibit 12 works over the course of its lifespan, displaying each piece for the duration of one month.

White Hole is a project by Lorenza Baroncelli, Marco Ferrari, Joseph Grima, Antonio Ottomanelli, Elisa Pasqual, in collaboration with Fitzgerald G. Saenger. Scientific direction by Simone C. Niquille.

The logo animation is by Aaron Siegel."



""White Hole is a new research platform and a project space in Genoa, Italy, which opened on January 31st, 2015, and will run until January 31st, 2016.

White Hole is a project by Lorenza Baroncelli, Marco Ferrari, Joseph Grima, Antonio Ottomanelli and Elisa Pasqual, in collaboration with Simone C. Niquille and Fitzgerald G. Saenger.

The third exhibition, Drone Strikes. The Miranshah Case by Forensic Architecture, will be on show from March 28th to April 24th, 2015. The opening will be on Saturday, March 28th at 7 PM in the square in front of the gallery."



"Environmental Migrants [28.02—27.03.2015]

As the pace of climate change accelerates, each year millions of people are forced to abandon their places of origin. By 2050, of the six billion people who live in cities, two hundred million will be climate refugees: six times more than political refugees. It is a phenomenon that is destined to become the humanitarian emergency of this century.

Environmental Migrants is a unreleased video recorded by Alessandro Grassani between Mongolia and Bangladesh. The video, edited by White Hole, is an uninterrupted sequence of discontinuous material sampled from Grassani’s archive. It is divided in two chapters, each of which dedicated to one country.

As the photographer reported: “The choice of these two sites was dictated by the desire to represent the different types of climate change that cause environmental migration to the cities, in the geographic areas most affected by this new phenomenon: from the extreme cold of Mongolia, through floods, cyclones and sea level rise in Bangladesh.”
whiteholegallery  italy  genoa  italia  galleries  technology  landscape  authority  everyday  everydaylife  lorenzabaroncelli  marcoferrari  josephgrima  antonioottomanelli  elisapasqual  simoneniquille  fitzgeraldsaenger  refugees  climatechange  migration  mongolia  nomads  alessandrograssani  bangladesh  urbanization  cities  environment  drones 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Augmented Ecology
"Augmented Ecology is a research platform that tracks developments in an emerging branch of the anthropocene; the intertwining of data and media systems with ecosystems.

[image: “Heat-map for yearly migratory pattern of the Black-throated Gray Warbler on eBird”]

Mapping, visualization and tracking technologies contribute to a more detailed picture of the living and geological landscapes. They help to model, to explore, to research, to protect, to admire, exploit or conserve the natural world by extending our view. By satellite, drone, radio-tag, browser and smartphone, hidden paterns and behaviour are discovered, networks of meaning are formed and participatory science undertaken. These tools are extending our human senses, making visible the daily life of a whale not unlike the way early telescopes made the features of Saturn visible.

[image “Mapping efforts by Google Trek”]

Through epizoic media, drone ecology and satellite sensors living systems seem to be emerging as a subset of the internet of things (IoT). Perhaps this subset could be called an Internet of Organisms (IoO), at any rate it makes for a splendid looking acronym…

The augmentation of natural systems raises some new questions: What changes does the increasing level of media resolution bring to our relationship with the great out-doors and wildlife? What kinds of opportunities do they offer for interaction, research, citizen science or tourism? What is their impact on the political value of the wilderness, both as a global commons and as a refuge away from human society, government and corporate power?

[image “Bengal Tiger Panna 211, the subject of an attempted GPS-Collar hack by cyberpoachers 2014”]

The aim of this research is to highlight how technologies such as remote sensing, tagging, mapping, uav-s, develop a next chapter in our ongoing history of exploration, domestication, exploitation of, and fascination for the dynamic systems we are part of.

[image “SAISBECO facial recognition software for the study of wild apes 2011”]

The wired wilderness is becoming populated by data-harvesting animals, camera-traps, conservation drones, Google Trek adventurers, cyberpoachers and many other forms of machine wilderness. Perhaps Augmented Ecology can be a fieldguide to browse this weird neck of the woods? Surely these developments are worth our deliberate attention - Theun Karelse

This research was triggered by the development of an opensource smartphone application called Boskoi for exploring and mapping the edible landscape undertaken at FoAM. As one of the first participatory apps focussed on nature, it flashed out many issues. The issues surrounding Redlist species were particularly thought provoking and resulted in a session in FoAM’s program at Pixelache festival in 2011 asking: ‘Is there still a privatelife for plants?’ (an adaptation of the title of the BBC natural history series)"
tumblrs  augmentedecology  ecology  multispecies  conservation  technology  anthropocene  mapping  maps  visualization  landscapes  nature  wildlife  droneecology  drones  sensors  ioo  internetoforganisms  sensing  tagging  wilderness 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Mapbox's Landsat-live Ushers In a New Era for Online Cartography, Using Satellite Imagery to Show the Earth as It Is Now - CityLab
[RE: https://www.mapbox.com/bites/00113/

See also: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/landsat-live-live/ ]

"On Google Earth, the seasons rarely change. Most anywhere a digital traveler goes, the sky is cloudless and the grass is green. No snow on the ground in Iowa. No fire in Valparaiso. It's a big gap between the world as it is and as it's mapped.

Launched Thursday, a landmark project from Mapbox has changed the summertime paradigm for online cartography. Landsat-live reveals the planet's surface in real time and in stunning resolution, fed by a constant stream of public-domain imagery from NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite. Above is an embedded version you can explore.

The USGS has controlled operations of the satellite since 2013. That Landsat's images are freely and rapidly available is to the credit of USGS, as well as to Amazon Web Services, which hosts and shares the data at no charge to the public.

"This is really new in terms of what’s been available," says Camilla Mahon, a satellite-imagery engineer at Mapbox who helped spearhead the project. "This is one of the fastest ways we can grab imagery, and that’s what's allowing us to do this in real time."

Virtually every spot displayed on this map is 16 days old or younger (occasionally, weather or maintenance will mean some displays will be up to 32 days old). Labels indicating cities and highways are layered onto Landsat's ribbons of imagery using open-source OpenStreetMap data (as most Mapbox projects do).

"Anyone has the data to make this kind of map," says Charlie Loyd, also a Mapbox imagery engineer. But the project is key to the company's larger aims. "We’re trying for an ecosystem where any geo-spatial image can go on a map and be useful immediately."

That's also the philosophy behind this other, truly astonishing experiment in cartography—a moving California coastline. "That's actually drone imagery," Loyd says nonchalantly of the video that's layered on the satellite image map. Five years from now, real-time maps might be as ubiquitous as YouTube videos—but for now, they feel as futuristic as movies might have to Victorians.

They might also seem as superfluous, to the average map user. Yet Landsat-live has the potential for all kinds of applications, says Mahon, including environmental and agricultural monitoring.

Plus, there's that whole awe and wonder of the planet thing. "I think there is an intrinsic value and beauty to this," says Loyd. "Everyone has an inherent interest in seeing the world as it is.""
mapbox  imgery  seasons  change  time  landsat  charlieloyd  2015  drones  video  osm  openstreetmap  camillamahon  usgs  laurabliss 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Africa in 2030: A future of smartphones, drones and digital witchdoctors | Mail & Guardian Africa
"Mobile connections in Africa have grown by 44% a year since 2000, the fastest in the world. But tech isn't done with Africa yet"
africa  2030  future  mobile  phones  internet  technology  smartphones  drones  2015  christinemungai 
february 2015 by robertogreco
This defensive drone has a net to capture other drones -- Fusion
"France gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, which means the country has a lot of nuclear plants. And in the airspace above those plants, French authorities have discovered a troubling thing: little drones flying to and fro. The AP reports that “a recent spate of mystery drones flying over its nuclear plants, military installations and even the presidential palace” have caused the country’s government to ask scientists to “devise ways to counteract the small — and so far harmless — motorized menaces overhead.”

The U.S. government is similarly interested in anti-drone technologies. American authorities are particularly worried about swarms of small drones.

But if you like your drone deterrence with a bit of French slapstick thrown in, behold the video above. That’s the Drone Interceptor MP200, a net-bearing flying vehicle developed by Malou Tech, a startup associated with the French telecom Groupe Assmann (not a typo or a joke).

The MP200 is designed to autonomously fly up to other drones—and using a suite of on-board sensors—literally drop a net on them. That binds their blades, and allows the MP200 to deliver the offending vehicle away from the nuclear power plant or presidential palace or what have you.

There is a future in which small drones flown by terrorists and governments evolve rapidly—like predators and prey after the Cambrian explosion. Your drone gets a net? Mine has on-board scissors. Your drone smashes my scissors with a hammer? My drone deploys a shield. And on and on.

Or, as the chief of Malou Tech told the AP after one of his drones dropped a 16-ounce water bottle by remote control: “Everything is possible.”"
drones  droneproject  2015  alexismadrigal 
february 2015 by robertogreco
A Drone's Eye View of the Elwha River » News » OPB
"Scientists have been looking at all angles of the Elwha River since deconstruction began on two dams just over a year ago. They’ve been testing turbidity, tracking river otters and conducting an ongoing salmon census.

And now they’re using remote-control planes to record high-definition video and thermal images. They’re securing a small camera to a 4-foot wide drone, which can flies as high as 500 feet over the river.

Last week researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey stood on the banks of Lake Mills, which was formed by the 210-foot Glines Canyon dam, and launched the camera-toting drone called a Raven. It flew for about 30 minutes over the exposed reservoir showing the vast fields of sediment that have built up behind the dam over the last 85 years.

Watch this video to see highlights from the drone’s most recent flight:

[video: https://vimeo.com/50813890 ]

By studying every inch of the Elwha, scientists hope to answer big questions about dam removal: What happens to the fish? What happens to the massive reserves of sediment? And what happens to the barren, unvegetated areas of the emptied reservoirs?

The drone video research of the Elwha is a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service."
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  nature  dams  2012  drones 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Anab Jain, “Design for Anxious Times” on Vimeo
"As 2014 rushes past us, a venture capital firm appoints a computer algorithm to its board of directors, robots report news events such as earthquakes before any human can, fully functioning 3D printed ears, bones and guns are in use, the world’s biggest search company acquires large scale, fully autonomous military robots, six-year old children create genetically modified glow fish and an online community of 50,000 amateurs build drones. All this whilst extreme weather events and political unrest continue to pervade. This is just a glimpse of the increased state of technological acceleration and cultural turbulence we experience today. How do we make sense of this? What can designers do? Dissecting through her studio Superflux’s projects, research practice and approach, Anab will make a persuasive case for designers to adopt new roles as sense-makers, translators and agent provocateurs of the 21st century. Designers with the conceptual toolkits that can create a visceral connection with the complexity and plurality of the worlds we live in, and open up an informed dialogue that help shape better futures for all."
anabjain  superflux  2014  design  future  futures  via:steelemaley  criticaldesign  speculativedesign  speculativefiction  designfiction  designdiscourse  film  filmmaking  technology  interaction  documentary  uncertainty  reality  complexity  algorithms  data  society  surveillance  cloud  edwardsnowden  chelseamanning  julianassange  whistleblowing  science  bentobox  genecoin  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  internet  online  jugaad  war  warfare  information  politics  drones  software  adamcurtis  isolation  anxiety  capitalism  quantification  williamgibson  art  prototyping  present 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Tomgram: Miller and Schivone, Bringing the Battlefield to the Border | TomDispatch
"It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”

Elkabetz was speaking at a border technology conference and fair surrounded by a dazzling display of technology -- the components of his boundary-building lab. There were surveillance balloons with high-powered cameras floating over a desert-camouflaged armored vehicle made by Lockheed Martin. There were seismic sensor systems used to detect the movement of people and other wonders of the modern border-policing world. Around Elkabetz, you could see vivid examples of where the future of such policing was heading, as imagined not by a dystopian science fiction writer but by some of the top corporate techno-innovators on the planet.

Swimming in a sea of border security, the brigadier general was, however, not surrounded by the Mediterranean but by a parched West Texas landscape. He was in El Paso, a 10-minute walk from the wall that separates the United States from Mexico.

Just a few more minutes on foot and Elkabetz could have watched green-striped U.S. Border Patrol vehicles inching along the trickling Rio Grande in front of Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico’s largest cities filled with U.S. factories and the dead of that country’s drug wars. The Border Patrol agents whom the general might have spotted were then being up-armored with a lethal combination of surveillance technologies, military hardware, assault rifles, helicopters, and drones. This once-peaceful place was being transformed into what Timothy Dunn, in his book The Militarization of the U.S. Mexico Border, terms a state of “low-intensity warfare.”"



"No one may frame the budding romance between Israel’s high-tech companies and Arizona better than Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “If you go to Israel and you come to Southern Arizona and close your eyes and spin yourself a few times,” he says, “you might not be able to tell the difference.”

Global Advantage is a business project based on a partnership between the University of Arizona’s Tech Parks Arizona and the Offshore Group, a business advisory and housing firm which offers “nearshore solutions for manufacturers of any size” just across the border in Mexico. Tech Parks Arizona has the lawyers, accountants, and scholars, as well as the technical knowhow, to help any foreign company land softly and set up shop in the state. It will aid that company in addressing legal issues, achieving regulatory compliance, and even finding qualified employees -- and through a program it’s called the Israel Business Initiative, Global Advantage has identified its target country.

Think of it as the perfect example of a post-NAFTA world in which companies dedicated to stopping border crossers are ever freer to cross the same borders themselves. In the spirit of free trade that created the NAFTA treaty, the latest border fortification programs are designed to eliminate borders when it comes to letting high-tech companies from across the seas set up in the United States and make use of Mexico’s manufacturing base to create their products. While Israel and Arizona may be separated by thousands of miles, Rothschild assured TomDispatch that in “economics, there are no borders.”"



"Arizona, as Weiner puts it, possesses the “complete package” for such Israeli companies. “We’re sitting right on the border, close to Fort Huachuca,” a nearby military base where, among other things, technicians control the drones surveilling the borderlands. “We have the relationship with Customs and Border Protection, so there’s a lot going on here. And we’re also the Center of Excellence on Homeland Security.”

Weiner is referring to the fact that, in 2008, DHS designated the University of Arizona the lead school for the Center of Excellence on Border Security and Immigration. Thanks to that, it has since received millions of dollars in federal grants. Focusing on research and development of border-policing technologies, the center is a place where, among other things, engineers are studying locust wings in order to create miniature drones equipped with cameras that can get into the tiniest of spaces near ground level, while large drones like the Predator B continue to buzz over the borderlands at 30,000 feet (despite the fact that a recent audit by the inspector general of homeland security found them a waste of money).

Although the Arizona-Israeli romance is still in the courtship stage, excitement about its possibilities is growing. Officials from Tech Parks Arizona see Global Advantage as the perfect way to strengthen the U.S.-Israel “special relationship.” There is no other place in the world with a higher concentration of homeland security tech companies than Israel. Six hundred tech start-ups are launched in Tel Aviv alone every year. During the Gaza offensive last summer, Bloomberg reported that investment in such companies had “actually accelerated.” However, despite the periodic military operations in Gaza and the incessant build-up of the Israeli homeland security regime, there are serious limitations to the local market.

The Israeli Ministry of Economy is painfully aware of this. Its officials know that the growth of the Israeli economy is “largely fueled by a steady increase in exports and foreign investment.” The government coddles, cultivates, and supports these start-up tech companies until their products are market-ready. Among them have been innovations like the “skunk,” a liquid with a putrid odor meant to stop unruly crowds in their tracks. The ministry has also been successful in taking such products to market across the globe. In the decade following 9/11, sales of Israeli “security exports” rose from $2 billion to $7 billion annually.

Israeli companies have sold surveillance drones to Latin American countries like Mexico, Chile, and Colombia, and massive security systems to India and Brazil, where an electro-optic surveillance system will be deployed along the country’s borders with Paraguay and Bolivia. They have also been involved in preparations for policing the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The products of Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries are now in use from the Americas and Europe to Australia. Meanwhile, that mammoth security firm is ever more involved in finding “civilian applications” for its war technologies. It is also ever more dedicated to bringing the battlefield to the world’s borderlands, including southern Arizona.

As geographer Joseph Nevins notes, although there are many differences between the political situations of the U.S. and Israel, both Israel-Palestine and Arizona share a focus on keeping out “those deemed permanent outsiders,” whether Palestinians, undocumented Latin Americans, or indigenous people.

Mohyeddin Abdulaziz has seen this “special relationship” from both sides, as a Palestinian refugee whose home and village Israeli military forces destroyed in 1967 and as a long-time resident of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. A founding member of the Southern Arizona BDS Network, whose goal is to pressure U.S. divestment from Israeli companies, Abdulaziz opposes any program like Global Advantage that will contribute to the further militarization of the border, especially when it also sanitizes Israel’s “violations of human rights and international law.”

Such violations matter little, of course, when there is money to be made, as Brigadier General Elkabetz indicated at that 2012 border technology conference. Given the direction that both the U.S. and Israel are taking when it comes to their borderlands, the deals being brokered at the University of Arizona look increasingly like matches made in heaven (or perhaps hell). As a result, there is truth packed into journalist Dan Cohen’s comment that “Arizona is the Israel of the United States.”"
border  borders  us  mexico  israel  palestine  gaza  2015  drones  surveillance  militarization  arizona  naomiweiner  toddmiller  gabrielschivone  economics  warfare  business 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Unmournable Bodies - The New Yorker
"A northern-Italian miller in the sixteenth century, known as Menocchio, literate but not a member of the literary élite, held a number of unconventional theological beliefs. He believed that the soul died with the body, that the world was created out of a chaotic substance, not ex nihilo, and that it was more important to love one’s neighbor than to love God. He found eccentric justification for these beliefs in the few books he read, among them the Decameron, the Bible, the Koran, and “The Travels of Sir John Mandeville,” all in translation. For his pains, Menocchio was dragged before the Inquisition several times, tortured, and, in 1599, burned at the stake. He was one of thousands who met such a fate.

Western societies are not, even now, the paradise of skepticism and rationalism that they believe themselves to be. The West is a variegated space, in which both freedom of thought and tightly regulated speech exist, and in which disavowals of deadly violence happen at the same time as clandestine torture. But, at moments when Western societies consider themselves under attack, the discourse is quickly dominated by an ahistorical fantasy of long-suffering serenity and fortitude in the face of provocation. Yet European and American history are so strongly marked by efforts to control speech that the persecution of rebellious thought must be considered among the foundational buttresses of these societies. Witch burnings, heresy trials, and the untiring work of the Inquisition shaped Europe, and these ideas extended into American history as well and took on American modes, from the breaking of slaves to the censuring of critics of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

More than a dozen people were killed by terrorists in Paris this week. The victims of these crimes are being mourned worldwide: they were human beings, beloved by their families and precious to their friends. On Wednesday, twelve of them were targeted by gunmen for their affiliation with the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Charlie has often been often aimed at Muslims, and it’s taken particular joy in flouting the Islamic ban on depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s done more than that, including taking on political targets, as well as Christian and Jewish ones. The magazine depicted the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in a sexual threesome. Illustrations such as this have been cited as evidence of Charlie Hebdo’s willingness to offend everyone. But in recent years the magazine has gone specifically for racist and Islamophobic provocations, and its numerous anti-Islam images have been inventively perverse, featuring hook-nosed Arabs, bullet-ridden Korans, variations on the theme of sodomy, and mockery of the victims of a massacre. It is not always easy to see the difference between a certain witty dissent from religion and a bullyingly racist agenda, but it is necessary to try. Even Voltaire, a hero to many who extol free speech, got it wrong. His sparkling and courageous anti-clericalism can be a joy to read, but he was also a committed anti-Semite, whose criticisms of Judaism were accompanied by calumnies about the innate character of Jews.

This week’s events took place against the backdrop of France’s ugly colonial history, its sizable Muslim population, and the suppression, in the name of secularism, of some Islamic cultural expressions, such as the hijab. Blacks have hardly had it easier in Charlie Hebdo: one of the magazine’s cartoons depicts the Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, who is of Guianese origin, as a monkey (naturally, the defense is that a violently racist image was being used to satirize racism); another portrays Obama with the black-Sambo imagery familiar from Jim Crow-era illustrations.

On Thursday morning, the day after the massacre, I happened to be in Paris. The headline of Le Figaro was “LA LIBERTÉ ASSASSINÉE” Le Parisien and L’Humanité also used the word liberté in their headlines. Liberty was indeed under attack—as a writer, I cherish the right to offend, and I support that right in other writers—but what was being excluded in this framing? A tone of genuine puzzlement always seems to accompany terrorist attacks in the centers of Western power. Why have they visited violent horror on our peaceful societies? Why do they kill when we don’t? A widely shared illustration, by Lucille Clerc, of a broken pencil regenerating itself as two sharpened pencils, was typical. The message was clear, as it was with the “jesuischarlie” hashtag: that what is at stake is not merely the right of people to draw what they wish but that, in the wake of the murders, what they drew should be celebrated and disseminated. Accordingly, not only have many of Charlie Hebdo’s images been published and shared, but the magazine itself has received large sums of money in the wake of the attacks—a hundred thousand pounds from the Guardian Media Group and three hundred thousand dollars from Google.

But it is possible to defend the right to obscene and racist speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech. It is possible to approve of sacrilege without endorsing racism. And it is possible to consider Islamophobia immoral without wishing it illegal. Moments of grief neither rob us of our complexity nor absolve us of the responsibility of making distinctions. The A.C.L.U. got it right in defending a neo-Nazi group that, in 1978, sought to march through Skokie, Illinois. The extreme offensiveness of the marchers, absent a particular threat of violence, was not and should not be illegal. But no sensible person takes a defense of those First Amendment rights as a defense of Nazi beliefs. The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were not mere gadflies, not simple martyrs to the right to offend: they were ideologues. Just because one condemns their brutal murders doesn’t mean one must condone their ideology.

Rather than posit that the Paris attacks are the moment of crisis in free speech—as so many commentators have done—it is necessary to understand that free speech and other expressions of liberté are already in crisis in Western societies; the crisis was not precipitated by three deranged gunmen. The U.S., for example, has consolidated its traditional monopoly on extreme violence, and, in the era of big data, has also hoarded information about its deployment of that violence. There are harsh consequences for those who interrogate this monopoly. The only person in prison for the C.I.A.’s abominable torture regime is John Kiriakou, the whistle-blower. Edward Snowden is a hunted man for divulging information about mass surveillance. Chelsea Manning is serving a thirty-five-year sentence for her role in WikiLeaks. They, too, are blasphemers, but they have not been universally valorized, as have the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.

The killings in Paris were an appalling offence to human life and dignity. The enormity of these crimes will shock us all for a long time. But the suggestion that violence by self-proclaimed Jihadists is the only threat to liberty in Western societies ignores other, often more immediate and intimate, dangers. The U.S., the U.K., and France approach statecraft in different ways, but they are allies in a certain vision of the world, and one important thing they share is an expectation of proper respect for Western secular religion. Heresies against state power are monitored and punished. People have been arrested for making anti-military or anti-police comments on social media in the U.K. Mass surveillance has had a chilling effect on journalism and on the practice of the law in the U.S. Meanwhile, the armed forces and intelligence agencies in these countries demand, and generally receive, unwavering support from their citizens. When they commit torture or war crimes, no matter how illegal or depraved, there is little expectation of a full accounting or of the prosecution of the parties responsible.

The scale, intensity, and manner of the solidarity that we are seeing for the victims of the Paris killings, encouraging as it may be, indicates how easy it is in Western societies to focus on radical Islamism as the real, or the only, enemy. This focus is part of the consensus about mournable bodies, and it often keeps us from paying proper attention to other, ongoing, instances of horrific carnage around the world: abductions and killings in Mexico, hundreds of children (and more than a dozen journalists) killed in Gaza by Israel last year, internecine massacres in the Central African Republic, and so on. And even when we rightly condemn criminals who claim to act in the name of Islam, little of our grief is extended to the numerous Muslim victims of their attacks, whether in Yemen or Nigeria—in both of which there were deadly massacres this week—or in Saudi Arabia, where, among many violations of human rights, the punishment for journalists who “insult Islam” is flogging. We may not be able to attend to each outrage in every corner of the world, but we should at least pause to consider how it is that mainstream opinion so quickly decides that certain violent deaths are more meaningful, and more worthy of commemoration, than others.

France is in sorrow today, and will be for many weeks come. We mourn with France. We ought to. But it is also true that violence from “our” side continues unabated. By this time next month, in all likelihood, many more “young men of military age” and many others, neither young nor male, will have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. If past strikes are anything to go by, many of these people will be innocent of wrongdoing. Their deaths will be considered as natural and incontestable as deaths like Menocchio’s, under the Inquisition. Those of us who are writers will not consider our pencils broken by such killings. But that incontestability, that unmournability, just as much as the massacre in Paris, is the clear and present danger to our collective libert… [more]
tejucole  2015  charliehebdo  politics  society  freedom  #JeSuisCharlieHebdo  france  freespeech  freedomofspeech  islam  gravenimages  middleages  medieval  power  language  religion  racism  liberty  violence  inquision  spanishinquision  ideology  edwardsnowden  chelseamanning  johnkiriakou  cia  yemen  nigeria  mexico  centralafricanrepublic  suadiarabia  pakistan  us  drones  #JeSuisCharlie 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future — Medium
'Living under permanent surveillance and what that means for our freedom'



"Put a collar with a GPS chip around your dog’s neck and from that moment onwards you will be able to follow your dog on an online map and get a notification on your phone whenever your dog is outside a certain area. You want to take good care of your dog, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the collar also functions as a fitness tracker. Now you can set your dog goals and check out graphs with trend lines. It is as Bruce Sterling says: “You are Fluffy’s Zuckerberg”.

What we are doing to our pets, we are also doing to our children.

The ‘Amber Alert’, for example, is incredibly similar to the Pet Tracker. Its users are very happy: “It’s comforting to look at the app and know everyone is where they are supposed to be!” and “The ability to pull out my phone and instantly monitor my son’s location, takes child safety to a whole new level.” In case you were wondering, it is ‘School Ready’ with a silent mode for educational settings.

Then there is ‘The Canary Project’ which focuses on American teens with a driver’s license. If your child is calling somebody, texting or tweeting behind the wheel, you will be instantly notified. You will also get a notification if your child is speeding or is outside the agreed-on territory.

If your child is ignoring your calls and doesn’t reply to your texts, you can use the ‘Ignore no more’ app. It will lock your child’s phone until they call you back. This clearly shows that most surveillance is about control. Control is the reason why we take pleasure in surveilling ourselves more and more.

I won’t go into the ‘Quantified Self’ movement and our tendency to put an endless amount of sensors on our body attempting to get “self knowlegde through numbers”. As we have already taken the next step towards control: algorithmic punishment if we don’t stick to our promises or reach our own goals."



"Normally his self-measured productivity would average around 40%, but with Kara next to him, his productiviy shot upward to 98%. So what do you do with that lesson? You create a wristband that shocks you whenever you fail to keep to your own plan. The wristband integrates well, of course, with other apps in your “productivity ecosystem”."



"On Kickstarter the makers of the ‘Blink’ camera tried to crowdfund 200.000 dollars for their invention. They received over one millions dollars instead. The camera is completely wireless, has a battery that lasts a year and streams HD video straight to your phone."



"I would love to speak about the problems of gentrification in San Francisco, or about a culture where nobody thinks you are crazy when you utter the sentence “Don’t touch me, I’ll fucking sue you” or about the fact this Google Glass user apparently wasn’t ashamed enough about this interaction to not post this video online. But I am going to talk about two other things: the first-person perspective and the illusionary symmetry of the Google Glass.

First the perspective from which this video was filmed. When I saw the video for the first time I was completely fascinated by her own hand which can be seen a few times and at some point flips the bird."



"The American Civil Liberties Union (also known as the ACLU) released a report late last year listing the advantages and disadvantages of bodycams. The privacy concerns of the people who will be filmed voluntarily or involuntarily and of the police officers themselves (remember Ai Weiwei’s guards who were continually watched) are weighed against the impact bodycams might have in combatting arbitrary police violence."



"A short while ago I noticed that you didn’t have to type in book texts anymore when filling in a reCAPTCHA. Nowadays you type in house numbers helping Google, without them asking you, to further digitize the physical world."



"This is the implicit view on humanity that the the big tech monopolies have: an extremely cheap source of labour which can be brought to a high level of productivity through the smart use of machines. To really understand how this works we need to take a short detour to the gambling machines in Las Vegas."



"Taleb has written one of the most important books of this century. It is called ‘Anti-fragile: Things That Gain from Disorder’ and it explores how you should act in a world that is becoming increasingly volatile. According to him, we have allowed efficiency thinking to optimize our world to such an extent that we have lost the flexibility and slack that is necessary for dealing with failure. This is why we can no longer handle any form of risk.

Paradoxically this leads to more repression and a less safe environment. Taleb illustrates this with an analogy about a child which is raised by its parents in a completely sterile environment having a perfect life without any hard times. That child will likely grow up with many allergies and will not be able to navigate the real world.

We need failure to be able to learn, we need inefficiency to be able to recover from mistakes, we have to take risks to make progress and so it is imperative to find a way to celebrate imperfection.

We can only keep some form of true freedom if we manage to do that. If we don’t, we will become cogs in the machines. I want to finish with a quote from Ai Weiwei:
“Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away. Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a whole country.”
"
aiweiwei  surveillance  privacy  china  hansdezwart  2014  google  maps  mapping  freedom  quantification  tracking  technology  disney  disneyland  bigdog  police  lawenforcement  magicbands  pets  monitoring  pettracker  parenting  teens  youth  mobile  phones  cellphones  amberalert  canaryproject  autonomy  ignorenomore  craiglist  productivity  pavlok  pavlov  garyshteyngart  grindr  inder  bangwithfriends  daveeggers  transparency  thecircle  literature  books  dystopia  lifelogging  blink  narrative  flone  drones  quadcopters  cameras  kevinkelly  davidbrin  googleglass  sarahslocum  aclu  ferguson  michaelbrown  bodycams  cctv  captcha  recaptcha  labor  sousveillance  robots  humans  capitalism  natashadowschüll  design  facebook  amazon  addiction  nassimtaleb  repression  safety  society  howwelearn  learning  imperfection  humanism  disorder  control  power  efficiency  inefficiency  gambling  lasvegas  doom  quantifiedself  measurement  canon  children 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Hawk vs. Drone! (Hawk Attacks Quadcopter) - YouTube
"On Oct 8th, I was flying my quadcopter at Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, MA when a hawk decided he wasn't too happy with my invasion of his airspace..."

[previously: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:3d64ec04d135 ]
birds  nature  quadcopters  drones  animals  hawks  cameras  2014  video 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Angry ram takes down a drone... and its owner - YouTube
"I was looking for the angry ram with my fpv quadcopter, I got a bit close & he managed to hit it knocking it into a bush, luckily no harm done. When I went to retrieve the drone he followed me, I had my hands full so he got me pretty good."
drones  animals  cameras  quadcopters  rams  sheep  2014  nature 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Drone vs Kangaroo - YouTube
"Watch the moment a drone and a kangaroo got up close!"
drones  animals  nature  quadcopters  cameras  2014  kangaroos 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Build cargo drones, get rich — The Message — Medium
"I am a novelist, but I am also director of a future Africa initiative at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and for the last decade I travelled Africa as a foreign correspondent for The Economist newspaper. I was one of those who reported that Africa is rising, not falling. I want to detail here what I mean by cargo drones and the reasons why I think throwing up time dependent goods into the sky and moving them about with a flying robot is a good idea in Africa — and beyond."

[See also:
http://www.okayafrica.com/news/drones-are-coming-to-africa-we-hope-j-m-ledgard/
http://www.wired.com/2014/09/cargo-drones-in-africa/
http://afrotech.epfl.ch/page-115280-en.html ]
jmledgard  drones  cargo  cargodrones  africa  resilience  2014  mobile  phones 
november 2014 by robertogreco
prosthetic knowledge — DroneDeploy Cloud-based serive offers real-time...
"Cloud-based serive offers real-time drone cartography for personal or business use.

DroneDeploy makes Drone Operations Simple.

DroneDeploy.com is a smart drone management platform that helps you get stuff done with drones. It’s built to be simple, safe and powerful, controlling multiple drones, from anywhere, on any device.

Making flight plans has never been easier - just describe your mission, and DroneDeploy will build a dynamic flight path that avoids other aircraft, airports, and even urban areas while respecting local laws.

DroneDeploy also makes it easy to fulfil the purpose of missions, with a growing selection of Apps that enable a number of operations, including seamless photo-stitching and object identification. Our APIs are simple and open to developers."
drones  droneproject  aerialimagery  2014  dronedeploy  cartography  maps  mapping 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Drones (HBO) - YouTube
"The United States has launched a huge number of drone strikes under President Obama.
It’s widely accepted and extremely terrifying."
drones  droneproject  us  policy  foreignpolicy  military  2014  johnoliver 
october 2014 by robertogreco
IFTF: Artifact from the Future: Energy Wants To Be Free
"The UN has teamed up with the global Pirate Party, a political party with a platform of open intellectual property (IP), to provide new disaster relief kits that use open-source components to build ad hoc infrastructures for everything from power to water to Internet access. At the core of the relief kit is the now famous Tesla Box—a 10-foot shipping container that can power a neighborhood by harnessing the sub-atomic Casimir Effect. What else will you find in the open-source kit? Wireless lightbulbs, mobile device chargers, rechargeable desalination straws, and an Internet-in-a-suitcase."
pirateparty  iftf  speculativefiction  infrastructure  mesh  meshnetworks  enelctricity  robots  drones  construction  resilience  2013  solarpunk 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Here Is a Ram Headbutting a Drone | Motherboard
"First an alligator. Then some coyotes. Now, a ram. Another day, another animal getting hot pissed over a drone flying too close for comfort.

Small-fry drones, of course, are revolutionizing the way we see, study, and conserve the animal kingdom, even if the very act of flying a drone still hovers in legal gray areas in many parts of the world. We've seen everything from anti-poaching conservation drones in Kenya to whale-monitoring drones off the California coast offer unprecedented access and views of animals—and what's threatening them.

Drones let us get close to animals. But then, it's the allure of getting closer, ever closer to wildlife that can tempt a drone operator over the line. Suddenly, observation looks more like harassment."

[Direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfLCb4ewDDc ]

[See also: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/watch-this-guy-get-knocked-off-his-motorcycle-through-the-eyes-of-a-ram-cam ]
animals  drones  droneproject  cameras  2014  quadcopters  video  sheep  rams 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Inside Google's Secret Drone-Delivery Program - The Atlantic
"For two years, the company has been working to build flying robots that can deliver products across a city in a minute or two. An Atlantic exclusive."
alexismadrigal  2014  google  drones  droneproject  delivery  robots 
august 2014 by robertogreco
New to the Archaeologist’s Tool Kit: The Drone - NYTimes.com
"Archaeologists around the world, who have long relied on the classic tools of their profession, like the trowel and the plumb bob, are now turning to the modern technology of drones to defend and explore endangered sites. And perhaps nowhere is the shift happening as swiftly as in Peru, where Dr. Castillo has created a drone air force to map, monitor and safeguard his country’s ancient treasures.

Drones mark “a before and after in archaeology,” said Dr. Castillo, who is also a prominent archaeologist and one of a dozen experts who will outline the use of drones at a conference in San Francisco next year.

In remote northwestern New Mexico, archaeologists are using drones outfitted with thermal-imaging cameras to track the walls and passages of a 1,000-year-old Chaco Canyon settlement, now buried beneath the dirt.

In the Middle East, researchers have employed them to guard against looting.

“Aerial survey at the site is allowing for the identification of new looting pits and determinations of whether any of the looters’ holes had been revisited,” said Morag Kersel, an archaeologist from DePaul University in Chicago who is part of a team using drones in Jordan and Israel.

Peru, with its stunning concentration of archaeological riches, is suddenly fertile ground to try out this new technology. The country is becoming a research hot spot as archaeologists in the Middle East and elsewhere find their work interrupted by unrest.

But in Peru they encounter another kind of conflict. Here they struggle to protect the country’s archaeological heritage from squatters and land traffickers, who often secure property through fraud or political connections to profit from rising land values. Experts say hundreds, perhaps thousands of ancient sites are endangered by such encroachment.

The drones can address the problem, quickly and cheaply, by providing bird’s-eye views of ruins that can be converted into 3-D images and highly detailed maps.

The maps are then used to legally register the protected boundaries of sites, a kind of landmarking that can be cited in court to prevent development or to punish those who damage ruins by building anyway."
drones  archaeology  droneproject  2014  perú 
august 2014 by robertogreco
This Airport Wants to Use Bird-Shaped Drones to Prevent Plane Crashes | Motherboard
" The main argument against drones, at this point, is a safety one: What happens if a drone crashes into a plane? Well now, at least one airport is looking at using drones as a means of protecting planes that land and take off from its runways.

Drones, it turns out, can scare birds away from airports, where they pose a threat to planes. My colleague Becky Ferreira took a deep dive into the technology behind "raptor drones" earlier this month, and now it appears at least one US airport is considering using the technology (or other drone technology) to protect planes.

Westchester County Airport has had seven bird strikes so far this year, and 338 since 2008, according to the Journal News, and CBS is reporting that the airport is now looking into using "radio-controlled drones or fake predator birds to drive birds away from airspace."

It makes sense—the only issue, now, is what the Federal Aviation Administration will think of it. The FAA has repeatedly suggested that drones are a manned plane's worst enemy, which is part of the reason it's taken the agency so long to implement commercial drones in the public airspace.

It's also one of the reasons why the agency has cracked down on hobby use of drones. The FAA has been clear: No commercial use of drones (unless you're a major oil company) is approved by the agency, and use of raptor drones would certainly be a "commercial" use.

Whenever the FAA goes after a commercial drone operator, it does so under the guise of drones being a threat to "safety" and a threat to air traffic. Well, the airport says it can keep pilots safe from bird strikes with the limited use of raptor drones, what's the FAA going to say then?"

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/98017489

"This movie shows the Falcon model chasing birds at a waste management site. The pilot scares a group of jackdaws, and hunts a group of gulls.

After operations for half a day at a site like this, birds typically stay away for 2-3 days. Average bird numbers drop significantly with regular operations. Birds that do return due to the abundance of food, show very nervous behavior and are easily chased away."]

[See also: "Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds"
http://www.wired.com/2014/08/realistic-robo-hawks-designed-to-fly-around-and-terrorize-real-birds/ ]
drones  droneproject  birds  raptors  airports  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Drone journalism takes off to give Kenyans a new view - SciDev.Net
"Flying drones are helping journalists in Kenya report on disaster stories by enabling them to film in dangerous or hard-to-access areas.

The pilot African SkyCAM project funded by the Africa News Innovation Challenge is using these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Kenya, and a follow-up initiative, africanDRONE, is planned to agree safe community standards for ‘drone journalism’ across Africa.

Filming from a high vantage point helps bring a sense of scale to stories that might otherwise be unavailable to journalists in developing countries, says Dickens Olewe, African SkyCAM’s founder.

“Many African media cannot afford to buy or hire helicopters to cover fast-moving stories,” says Olewe, also a journalist at Kenyan newspaper The Star. “UAVs aid storytelling from a new perspective.”

African SkyCAM sprang from Olewe’s observations of how traditional news media covered disasters such as flooding. Journalists would row boats into flooded areas, he says, “risking life and equipment”.

The low cost of drones and digital cameras now potentially allows journalists to cover such events with little risk to themselves or their equipment.

Olewe says many African newsrooms must rely on military or police vehicles for aerial reporting, which can compromise editorial independence."
drones  droneproject  journalism  kenya  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
How Drones Are Emerging As Valuable Conservation Tool by Crystal Gammon: Yale Environment 360
"Lian Pin Koh believes drones can be a key part of conservation efforts, particularly in remote regions. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about how his project, ConservationDrones, is promoting the use of drones for everything from counting orangutans to stopping poaching."

[Related: "Using Ocean Robots to Unlock Mysteries of CO2 and the Seas"
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/interview_tracy_villareal_using_ocean_robots_to_unlock_mysteries_of_co2_and_the_seas/2708/ ]
drones  droneproject  conservation  environment  2014  ecology  lianpinkoh  oceanbiology  nature 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Ingrid Burrington - Crash Course in Digital Literacy - Video Archive - The Conference by Media Evolution
"In our session ”Crash Course in Digital Literacy” Ingrid will give an overview of the physical infrastructure of the internet, share some of her own experiences trying to visit and map these infrastructures, and explain why it’s useful to think about the internet as a physical, tangible landscape.

Ingrid Burrington lives and works on an island off the coast of America, where she writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the weird feelings people have about both.

Most recently, her work has appeared in Creative Time Reports. She is currently a fellow at the Data and Society Research Institute and an artist in residence at Eyebeam, an art and technology center in New York."
ingridburrington  internet  networks  web  online  datacenters  servers  infrastructure  2014  digitalliteracy  julianoliver  drones  code 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency” - Salon.com
"TF: So that’s my first question, it’s a lot of ground to cover but how do you feel things have worked out since then, both with the economy and with this president? That was a huge turning point, that moment in 2008, and my own feeling is that we didn’t turn.

CW: No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.

TF: That’s exactly what everyone was saying at the time.

CW: That’s right. That’s true. It was like, “We finally got somebody who can help us turn the corner.” And he posed as if he was a kind of Lincoln.

TF: Yeah. That’s what everyone was saying.

CW: And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!” I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson, you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now, you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.



"TF: What on earth ails the man? Why can’t he fight the Republicans? Why does he need to seek a grand bargain?

CW: I think Obama, his modus operandi going all the way back to when he was head of the [Harvard] Law Review, first editor of the Law Review and didn’t have a piece in the Law Review. He was chosen because he always occupied the middle ground. He doesn’t realize that a great leader, a statesperson, doesn’t just occupy middle ground. They occupy higher ground or the moral ground or even sometimes the holy ground. But the middle ground is not the place to go if you’re going to show courage and vision. And I think that’s his modus operandi. He always moves to the middle ground. It turned out that historically, this was not a moment for a middle-ground politician. We needed a high-ground statesperson and it’s clear now he’s not the one.

And so what did he do? Every time you’re headed toward middle ground what do you do? You go straight to the establishment and reassure them that you’re not too radical, and try to convince them that you are very much one of them so you end up with a John Brennan, architect of torture [as CIA Director]. Torturers go free but they’re real patriots so we can let them go free. The rule of law doesn’t mean anything."



TF: One last thing, where are we going from here? What comes next?

CW: I think a post-Obama America is an America in post-traumatic depression. Because the levels of disillusionment are so deep. Thank God for the new wave of young and prophetic leadership, as with Rev. William Barber, Philip Agnew, and others. But look who’s around the presidential corner. Oh my God, here comes another neo-liberal opportunist par excellence. Hillary herself is coming around the corner. It’s much worse. And you say, “My God, we are an empire in decline.” A culture in decay with a political system that’s dysfunctional, youth who are yearning for something better but our system doesn’t provide them democratic venues, and so all we have are just voices in the wilderness and certain truth-tellers just trying to keep alive some memories of when we had some serious, serious movements and leaders.

TF: One last thought, I was talking to a friend recently and we were saying, if things go the way they look like they’re going to go and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and then wins a second term, the next time there’ll be a chance for a liberal, progressive president is 2024.

CW: It’d be about over then, brother. I think at that point—Hillary Clinton is an extension of Obama’s Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, national surveillance, national security presidency. She’d be more hawkish than he is, and yet she’s got that strange smile that somehow titillates liberals and neo-liberals and scares Republicans. But at that point it’s even too hard to contemplate.

TF:I know, I always like to leave things on a pessimistic note. I’m sorry. It’s just my nature.

CW: It’s not pessimistic, brother, because this is the blues. We are blues people. The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark. That’s different."
cornelwest  barackobama  progressivism  liberalism  billclinton  hillaryclinton  us  thomasfrank  2008  2014  blues  hope  pessimism  optimism  alsharpton  democrats  neoliberalism  militaryindustrialcomplex  security  surveillance  drones  war  inequality  ferguson  class  race  statusquo  politics  policy 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Loop 60Hz: City of Drones by Liam Young + John Cale + FIELD.io
"City of Drones is an interactive digital environment developed by musician John Cale, speculative architect Liam Young and digital artists FIELD. Charting the story of a lost drone drifting through an abstract cityscape, players are invited to pilot a virtual craft and remotely explore this imaginary world. Samples from Cale’s original soundscape compositions echo across the landscape as we see the city through the eyes of the drone, buzzing between the buildings, drifting endlessly, in an ambient audio visual choreography."
animation  art  drones  audio  liamyong  johncale  2014  via:javierarbona 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Nothing Says "Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party" Like $800,000 And Some Guns
"On December 12, 2013, a drone struck and killed 12 members of a wedding party in Yemen. If the U.S., which claims the strike was clean and justified, didn’t pony up the $800,000 in cash and guns as reparations, then who did?"
drones  droneproject  military  via:timmaly  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The undersea drones revealing the ocean's secrets - CNN.com
"Beyond averting disasters, the drone is being used on missions to break new water in understanding the 95% of the world's oceans that remain unexplored. Wave Gliders are measuring acidification levels and environmental damage, and monitoring wildlife to aid conservation efforts. They are searching for new sources of fuel, chemicals and medicines, and providing security against mines and other hazards.

Hine believes the drone has already transformed exploration and foresees rapid progress. "The more you use the more efficient they are because if you launch 50 you only use one ship -- which is the bulk of expense," he says. "It's a paradigm shift toward using large fleets for wider coverage and research. And the (sensor) technology gets better the more you use it."

The fleet is expanding steadily -- this summer saw the largest set of Gliders yet probing the Arctic ice to chart the effects of warming as well as to search for hydrocarbons. Such capabilities have earned the company a growing list of conservation, fuel and military clients.

The current SV3 model is being upgraded to improve power storage, reliability and the sophistication of its algorithm, but experts believe the systems are already mature."

[See also: http://www.liquidr.com/technology/waveglider/sv3.html
and http://openrov.com/ ]
oceans  drones  oceanography  droneproject  2014  openrov  waveglider  liquidrobotics  robots 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Don't Fly Drones Here
"This map represents areas where it is not recommended to fly drones due to regulations. If you'd like to add a source to the map, submit an issue in the GitHub repository or read more on our blog."
maps  mapping  us  drones  droneproject  mapbox 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: Drone (Object Lessons) (9781628926323): Adam Rothstein: Books
"Drones are in the newspaper, on the TV screen, and swarming through the networks. But what are drones? The word encompasses everything from toys to weapons. And yet, as broadly defined as they are, the word “drone” fills many of us with a sense of technological dread. This book will cut through the mystery, the unknown, and the political posturing, and talk about what drones really are: what technologies are out there, and what’s coming next; how drones are talked about, and how they are represented in popular culture. It turns out that drones are not as scary as they appear—but they are more complicated than you might expect. In drones, we find strange relationships that humans are forming with their new technologies."
books  drones  droneproject  2014  adamrothstein  toread 
july 2014 by robertogreco
When These Experts Savage U.S. Drone Policy, It's Time to Worry - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic
To sum up, the Obama administration hasn't rigorously evaluated whether its drone strikes are helping or harming national security; it is setting dangerous precedents; it isn't doing enough to prevent proliferation; and it is undermining democracy with excessively secretive practices that could also undermine the program's long-term efficacy. 

I can't emphasize the source of these criticisms enough. In addition to the aforementioned leaders, the panel included a former head of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan; a former senior associate counsel to the president and legal adviser to the National Security Council; a former assistant secretary of State for political-military affairs; a former Navy pilot; a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for plans and Air Force pilot; a former under secretary of Commerce for industry and security; a former deputy director at both the FBI and CIA; and a former general counsel of the CIA. These are consummate insiders disposed to think the best of the CIA, the military, and the executive branch.

Regular readers know me as a staunch, outsider critic of U.S. targeted-killing policy. One of the most complete accountings of my views can be found in extended remarks I delivered during a University of Richmond debate on drones. The panel of experts echoes many of the same concerns I raised that evening. It's a noteworthy convergence of concerns, given our very different perspectives. 
drones  droneproject  policy  us  barackobama  democracy  2014  defense  conorfriedersdorf 
july 2014 by robertogreco
When drones fall from the sky | The Washington Post
"Drones have revolutionized warfare. Now they are poised to revolutionize civil aviation. Under the law passed by Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration is scheduled to issue rules by September 2015 that will begin the widespread integration of drones into civilian airspace.

Pent-up demand to buy and fly remotely controlled aircraft is enormous. Law enforcement agencies, which already own a small number of camera-equipped drones, are projected to purchase thousands more; police departments covet them as an inexpensive tool to provide bird’s-eye surveillance for up to 24 hours straight.

Businesses see profitable possibilities for drones, to tend crops, move cargo, inspect real estate or film Hollywood movies. Journalists have applied for drone licenses to cover the news. Amazon.com chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos wants his company to use autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers’ doorsteps. (Bezos also owns The Post.)

First flown in 1994, it later became the first weaponized drone. Designed to conduct surveillance with powerful cameras and sensors, it can be armed with laser-guided Hellfire missiles. It often stays aloft on missions for more than 20 hours at a time and can reach an altitude of 25,000 feet. (Alberto Cuadra)
SEE MORE DRONE TYPES

The military owns about 10,000 drones, from one-pound Wasps and four-pound Ravens to one-ton Predators and 15-ton Global Hawks. By 2017, the armed forces plan to fly drones from at least 110 bases in 39 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

The drone industry, which lobbied Congress to pass the new law, predicts $82 billion in economic benefits and 100,000 new jobs by 2025.

Public opposition has centered on civil-liberties concerns, such as the morality and legality of using drones to spy on people in their back yards. There has been scant scrutiny of the safety record of remotely controlled aircraft. A report released June 5 by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there were “serious unanswered questions” about how to safely integrate civilian drones into the national airspace, calling it a “critical, crosscutting challenge.”

Nobody has more experience with drones than the U.S. military, which has logged more than 4 million flight hours. But the Defense Department tightly guards the particulars of its drone operations, including how, when and where most accidents occur.

The Post filed more than two dozen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Responding intermittently over the course of a year, the military released investigative files and other records that collectively identified 418 major drone crashes around the world between September 2001 and the end of last year.

That figure is almost equivalent to the number of major crashes incurred by the Air Force’s fleet of fighter jets and attack planes during the same period, even though the drones flew far fewer missions and hours, according to Air Force safety statistics.

The military divided the major accidents into two categories of severity, based on the amount of damage inflicted to the aircraft or other property. (There are three other categories for more minor accidents.)

According to the records, 194 drones fell into the first category — Class A accidents that destroyed the aircraft or caused, under current standards, at least $2 million in damage.

Slightly more than half of those accidents occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost a quarter happened in the United States."
craigwhitlock  drones  droneproject  safety  2014  military  law  legal  militaryindustrialcomplex  reliability  generalatomics  danger 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Project MUSE - <i>Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence</i> (review)
"In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Ten years ago a book like this would have invigorated American Indian literary studies, overtly challenging its typical practices by demonstrating the generative possibilities of a focus not on loss, victimry, or mere survival, but rather on survivance, Gerald Vizenor's (then) iconoclastic concept of active native presence, of survival as resistance. Back then Vizenor was still more outlaw than insider, a self-declared postmodernist working across multiple genres—poetry, fiction, the essay, and, importantly, critical theory—within a still largely undertheorized field. His adapted use of the recovered word "survivance" was still considered idiosyncratic and odd, even a little threatening in its disregard for convention. There were still heated debates about the precise meanings of survivance, and of the many other terms from the developing lexicon of Vizenor's neologisms and adaptations, and whether they would have any lasting importance. Vizenor and his lexicon have earned ardent admirers over the past ten or fifteen years, and these fans will readily embrace Survivance. The collection will have a more limited impact, however, than a similar collection might have had in the past. It will less likely provoke ideas or practices that are radically new.

Of particular interest to fans—and readers of SAIL—will be Vizenor's own contribution to the eighteen essays collected here, "Aesthetics of Survivance: Literary Theory and Practice," which opens the volume. In the early and late paragraphs, Vizenor lays out surprisingly accessible definitions for the collection's key critical term, a stark contrast to the discursive tactics more typical of his previous works. As readers of SAIL will be aware, Vizenor first demonstrated—rather than clearly defined—the potential meanings of survivance in a series of provocations about American Indian representation, published in 1994 as Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors of Survivance; he continued this demonstration—with somewhat more clear definitions—in Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence, his similarly suggestive provocations published in 1998. Both Manifest Manners and Fugitive Poses have been highly influential. Over time, as Vizenor's difficult prose style and fast-paced riffs on poststructuralist and postmodernist theories have become more familiar to readers in the field, survivance has become a common element of our scholarship, pushing beyond the ubiquity of Vizenor's earlier emphasis on "trickster discourse," a concept demonstrated in venues such as Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Indian Literatures, his edited collection first published in 1989. Indeed, survivance is increasingly deployed in performed and published scholarship, across the inter-disciplines of Native American and Indigenous studies, without clear attribution, critical genealogy, or extensive explanation.

Vizenor's new willingness to define survivance in relatively straightforward terms may reflect, in part, the degree to which this postmodern adaptation of a recovered word no longer feels especially radical or complex within the increasingly sophisticated and increasingly professionalized fields of Native American and Indigenous studies. It has become part of how we "do" our work, especially within American Indian literary studies. Survivance may be close to achieving the status of the phrase "Native American Renaissance," the title of Kenneth Lincoln's early celebration of contemporary American Indian literature, much read and often cited following its publication in 1983, but mostly ignored in the current conversation. Lincoln's title has outlived the actual content of his poetic meditations, so that his phrasing is routinely deployed as shorthand for the complexities of the post-1968 era but without attribution, genealogy, or justification. Survivance appears similarly on its way to becoming a shorthand for the complexities of "active native presence" and "survival as resistance." The publication of this edited volume may be a first major sign of the term's rapid detachment from Vizenor's postmodernist specificity, irony, and radical potential.

More in line with Vizenor's previous analytical work, the majority of "Aesthetics of Survivance" is devoted to provocative meditations on American Indian representation through new and repeated stories of particular instances of active native presence and to ironic if somewhat incomplete engagements with recent debates in American Indian literary studies. Vizenor engages in direct responses to Anishinaabe novelist David Treuer's controversial Native American Fiction: A User's Manual, published in 2006, and to the rise of so..."

[via this thread (at the end):

"I started reading about crowd-control drones and South African mines but then I started watching gumboot dance videos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumboot_dance "
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479123577673752576

"I'm ready for the part with new art forms for resistance. I'm ready for new movement vocabularies that turn the tools of oppression around."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479123969589522432

"Most of my lit research/writing was about the practice of using prior/oppressive/"legitimate" language to do surprising/subversive things."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479124981352103937

"But I still don't know whether the presence of that prior-language made it more powerful or undermined the subversion. I don't know."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479125298974175233

"The gumboot dance is this gorgeous shred of humanity and art, but...racism and labor exploitation."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479125737350234114

"Gestures (however essential) seem so...gestural next to weaponized drones and broadly ignoring due process &c."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479126936191381504

"@coreycaitlin I would love to read more about this+previous tweets. Hard to differentiate between acts of resistance, subversion, survival?"
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/479126755551088640

"@rogre yeah. That might be it. (IIRC this is better spelled out in Native American lit studies, with a concept of survival-as-resistance.)"
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479127766290280449

"@coreycaitlin Reminds me that I'd like to read this gem again: http://www.amazon.com/Was%C3%A1se-Indigenous-Pathways-Action-Freedom/dp/1551116375 … by http://taiaiake.net/ "
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/479129096165683200

"(And I'm not even the one gesturing; I can't even figure out what gestures might be useful, from me.)"
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479128176782614528

"I don't know, guys. I don't know. Don't weaponize drones. People matter. Freedom is more important than power or safety."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479129549246955522

"@rogre *survivance* is the word I was looking for! http://z3950.muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/studies_in_american_indian_literatures/v023/23.4.allen.html …"
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479131080495099904

@rogre (thank you for this; this question got exactly to the perspective I needed to get past vague frustration and see its limits.)
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479131583962574848
]
2011  survivance  survival  resistance  via:coreycaitlin  victimry  victims  subversion  gestures  coreycaitlin  drones  power  weapons  violence  chadwickallen  geraldvizenor  nativeamericans 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Nightmare in the Sky: Drugs via Drones - Robotics Business Review
"Anyone who can build a hobby aircraft successfully has all of the tools to ramp up the dimensions and integrate control technology to build a workable drone.

In the case of drug drones, the wings need to fold up so that it will fit in a semi-truck both before and after flight so that it can be serviced, reloaded and flown from another site.

It’s a lot easier and less expensive than running a drug submarine. You can build and operate two dozen drone aircraft for the price of one submarine. The swarm effect also makes it unlikely that more than one at most will be apprehended by American law enforcement at any one time.

The assembly line for narcotics drones is located in the Santa Fe District of Mexico City and near the Bombardier factory at Queretaro where aircraft factory workers can moonlight and double their money."
drones  droneproject  drugs  drugtrafficking  border  borders  querétaro  mexico  mexicodf  aircraft  airplanes  df  mexicocity 
may 2014 by robertogreco
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