Archive for July 2013

Projects | CSC Center for Strategic Communication – DARPA $6m fMRI Research Grant

with 5 comments


“Toward Narrative Disruptors and Inductors: Mapping the Narrative Comprehension Network and its Persuasive Effects”, DARPA

In 2012, the CSC was awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) a $6.1 million dollar research grant to study the neurobiology of narrative comprehension, validate narrative theories and explore the connection between narrative and persuasion.

This groundbreaking research study will employ multi-modal neuroimaging, combining the temporal resolution of EEG with the spatial resolution of fMRI.

The project seeks to validate narrative theories that to date have rested on interpretive approaches, rather than empirical, neurophysiological study.

In so doing, the project aims to discover the neural network(s) involved in narrative comprehension and persuasion, and to come to a further understanding of how elements of existing narrative theories can induce or disrupt narrative understanding by the presence or absence of those structural components of narrative.


via Projects | CSC Center for Strategic Communication.


Written by bothernews

July 30, 2013 at 4:05 am

Low-Level NSA Analysts Have ‘Powerful and Invasive’ Search Tool

leave a comment »

“And it’s all done with no need to go to a court,

with no need to even get supervisor approval

on the part of the analyst,” he added.



Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,

against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,

and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,

and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized


SEE ALSO:  NSA should come clean about domestic spying: Ray Kelly

“Secondly, I think if you listen to Snowden, he indicates that there’s some sort of malfeasance, people . . . sitting around and watching the data. So I think the question is: What sort of oversight is there inside the [National Security Agency] NSA to prevent that abuse, if it’s taking place?”

Written by bothernews

July 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

leave a comment »

July 25, 2013 11:26 AM PDT

If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

“I’ve certainly seen them ask for passwords,” said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We push back.”

A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies “really heavily scrutinize” these requests, the person said. “There’s a lot of ‘over my dead body.'”

Some of the government orders demand not only a user’s password but also the encryption algorithm and the so-called salt, according to a person familiar with the requests. A salt is a random string of letters or numbers used to make it more difficult to reverse the encryption process and determine the original password.

Other orders demand the secret question codes often associated with user accounts.

Read full story:  Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords | Politics and Law – CNET News.

Written by bothernews

July 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash

with 2 comments

The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars.

On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet.

It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.

Read full story: Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash | Threat Level |

Written by bothernews

July 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Colorado town considers licensing bounty hunters to shoot down drones

leave a comment »

The tiny town of Deer Trail, Colo. — barely more than a wide spot on Interstate 70 about 55 miles east of Denver, population 546 — is considering an ordinance that would authorize licensed bounty hunters to shoot down unmanned aircraft violating its “sovereign airspace.”

Phillip Steel, the citizen who circulated the petition, … says he was motivated by recent revelations about domestic spying by the National Security Agency.

“It’s time to take a stand against becoming a surveillance society.”

According to the proposed ordinance, which will be considered by the town council at its next meeting on Aug. 6, prospective bounty hunters can get a one-year drone-hunting license for $25.

Proposed bounties will be $25 for those turning in the wings or fuselage of downed aircraft and $100 for mostly intact vehicles. To collect the bounty, the wreckage must have “markings, and configuration … consistent with those used by the United States federal government.”

Such “trophies” then become the property of Deer Trail.

The ordinance spells out the rules of engagement. Shooters must use shotguns, 12-gauge or smaller, firing lead, steel or depleted uranium ammunition and they can’t fire on aircraft flying higher than 1,000 (a determination made using a range finder or a best guess). No weapons with rifled barrels allowed, and no tracer rounds.

An “engagement” is limited to three shots at an aircraft every two hours. Being unable to bring down the drone within those guidelines, the petition notes, “demonstrates a lack of proficiency with the weapon.”
Colorado town considers licensing bounty hunters to shoot down drones | The Daily Caller.

Written by bothernews

July 17, 2013 at 2:30 am

Key US missile interceptor fails test again, says Pentagon

leave a comment »

Department of Defense confirms third consecutive failure of system managed by Boeing

A test of the only US defense against long-range ballistic missiles failed on Friday. The Department of Defense said it was the third consecutive failure involving the interceptor system that is managed by Boeing Co.

The military has tested the so-called ground-based midcourse defense system 16 times. It has succeeded eight times, with the last intercept in December 2008.

The Pentagon said this week that the test would not affect its decision to bolster the US missile defense system. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel announced the move in March, following threats by North Korea. Under that plan, the Pentagon will add 14 new anti-missile interceptors at a total cost of nearly $1bn.

The United States has 26 interceptors deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

In Friday’s test, a long-range ballistic missile target was launched from the US Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Via:  Key US missile interceptor fails test again, says Pentagon | World news |


FLASHBACK:  June 5, 2013:


            Boeing Co., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $6,820,626 modification (P0008), to cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HQ0277-12-C-0001). Under this modification, the contractor will make aircraft modifications to accommodate instruments and payloads on Boeing’s existing experimental prototype aircraft and gather, analyze, and report flight test data to characterize potential payload environments.  The modification increases the total contract value from $2,213,873 to $9,034,499.  The work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; St. Louis, Mo.; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M.  The performance period is award plus five months.  Fiscal 2013 Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds in the amount of $3,100,000 are being obligated on this award.  The Missile Defense Agency, Albuquerque, N.M., is the contracting activity.

FLASHBACK: December 30, 2011:

Boeing Corp. awarded $3.5 billion missile defense contract

Boeing Corp. has landed a seven-year, $3.5 billion contract extension to oversee Missile Defense Agency work for the Department of Defense, including operations at Fort Greely near Delta Junction.  Boeing has held the Ground-based Midcourse Defense contract, known as GMD, for the past decade. The extension will last through 2018, according to a government announcement Friday.  Under terms of the contract, Boeing will lead GMD development, integration, testing, operations and other activities. Northrop Grumman will oversee the ground system elements, while providing support for operations, system engineering and system tests, according to Boeing.  Carlton said some remaining details, including a formal schedule for a transition to the new contract, likely would be discussed next week. Boeing employs about 80 people at Fort Greely, Carlton said, among the 900 workers employed nationwide through its GMD program.  The contract is part of the Global Ballistic Missile Defense System, which is designed to protect the United States from long-range ballistic missile threats. Boeing said it has more than 20 operational interceptors at Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Sky Deutschland to broadcast adverts directly into train passengers’ heads

leave a comment »

Sky Deutschland has developed technology to transfer adverts from train windows directly and silently into commuters’ heads.

Passengers leaning their head against the window will “hear” adverts “coming from inside the user’s head”, urging them to download the Sky Go app.

The proposal involves using bone conduction technology, which is used in hearing aids, headphones and Google’s Glass headset, to pass sound to the inner ear via vibrations through the skull.

Passengers leaning their head against the window will “hear” adverts “coming from inside the user’s head”, urging them to download the Sky Go app.


A video for the Talking Window campaign released by Sky Deutschland and ad agency BBDO Germany states: “Tired commuters often rest their heads against windows. Suddenly a voice inside their head is talking to them. No one else can hear this message.”

The voice comes from a Sky-branded transmitter made by Audiva that is attached to the train window.

BBDO spokesman Ulf Brychcy told the BBC: “If our customer Sky Deutschland agrees, we will start with the new medium as quickly as possible.

via Sky Deutschland to broadcast adverts directly into train passengers’ heads – Telegraph.

Written by bothernews

July 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm