#457 April 25, 2016 – Mind-Controlled Drones!

This week’s headline story: Mind-Controlled Drones!

droneraceNo it’s not the latest Sci-fi movie, it’s the latest computer research! Billed as the world’s first drone race involving a brain-controlled interface, the University of Florida and Intel sponsored an event that involved 16 pilots wearing black headsets with tentacle-like sensors stretched over their foreheads, using only their willpower to fly drones through a 10-yard dash over an indoor basketball court. The competitors stare at cubes floating on computer screens as their small white drones prepare for takeoff. “Three, two, one … GO!” the announcer hollered, and as the racers fix their thoughts on pushing the cubes, the drones suddenly whir, rise and buzz through the air. Some struggle to move even a few feet, while others zip confidently across the finish line. While implanted devices are more powerful, non-invasive brainwave readers are now much less expensive. The model used by these racers cost about $500 each.

In other news:

  • U.S. Cyberattacks Target ISIS in a New Line of Combat [NYTimes]
    The United States has opened a new line of combat against the Islamic State – in Cyberspace! The NSA’s six-year-old Cyber Command has been ordered for the first time to mount computer-network attacks against ISIS alongside more traditional weapon attacks.
  • Drone Collision with Jet Highlights Growing Aviation Danger [NewsFactor]
    British authorities are investigating an incident, in which an Airbus A320 carrying 137 people struck an object believed to be a drone at a height of about 1,700 feet while it was approaching Heathrow Airport. The plane landed safely and was cleared to fly again after an inspection by engineers. But the incident has focused attention on the growing number of unregulated drones in the sky and the potential for disaster if they hit a plane — either accidentally or on purpose.

in Information Security News…

  • Over 12 Percent of Hacked Sites Hit Again Within 30 Days [Newsfactor]
    According to a new security study from Google researchers, more than 12 percent of Web sites that have been compromised by a hack or malicious software are successfully attacked a second time within 30 days due to failures by webmasters to address the root causes behind the initial attacks.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Facebook Tweaks News Feed Algorithm Yet Again [NewsFactor]
    Facebook is tweaking its news feed algorithm in attempts to deliver more interesting content geared specifically to each user. The new algorithm will determine your interests based on how long your view items in your news feed, and will populate your feed with more of what interests you. But, just to keep things less predictable, the algorithm is trained shuffle items to reduce the possibility a user will see several items in a row from the same source.
  • Intel Pivots From PCs to Cloud [e-commerce times]
    Intel has announced that it will slash 12,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to focus more on cloud-based computing and the Internet of Things and less on PCs. “The data center and Internet of Things businesses are now Intel’s primary growth engines, and combined with memory and FPGA [chips], form and fuel a virtuous cycle of growth,” CEO Brian Krzanich said.


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