Waymo to test self-driving big rig as big week for autonomous trucks continues

The Independent - Tech

The autonomous vehicle division of Google's parent company will start hauling cargo using self-driving trucks, capping a busy week for next-generation shipping technology. Waymo, the driverless vehicle unit of Alphabet, announced a pilot programme that will have self-driving big rigs transport cargo to the company's data centres in Georgia. Several companies are vying to dominate the nascent self-driving vehicle industry, believing the technology will reshape how humans and goods travel. Waymo has already extensively tested autonomous cars intended to ferry people around. "Now we're turning our attention to things as well", the company said in a blog post, noting that driverless trucks pose unique tech challenges.

How Trump can destroy Kim Jong Un's nukes without blowing up the world


In the long view of history, North Korea getting a nuclear-tipped intercontinental missile in 2017 is the rough equivalent of an army showing up for World War II riding horses and shooting muskets. Nukes are so last century. War is changing, driven by cyberweapons, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots. Weapons of mass destruction are dumb, soon to be whipped by smart weapons of pinpoint disruption--which nations can use without risking annihilation of the human race. If the U.S. is innovative and forward-thinking, it can develop technology that ensures no ill-behaving government could ever get a nuke off the ground.

AI is coming to war, regardless of Elon Musk's well-meaning concern


Participants run ahead of Puerto de San Lorenzo's fighting bulls during the third bull run of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, northern Spain. Each day at 8:00 am hundreds of people race with six bulls, charging along a winding, 848.6-metre (more than half a mile) course through narrow streets to the city's bull ring, where the animals are killed in a bullfight or corrida, during this festival, immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" and dating back to medieval times and also featuring religious processions, folk dancing, concerts and round-the-clock drinking. Iraqi women, who fled the fighting between government forces and Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in the Old City of Mosul, cry as they stand in the city's western industrial district awaiting to be relocated

No one wants an arms race, but high-tech weapons are America's best shot at containing North Korea

Los Angeles Times

With threats, bribes, diplomacy and sanctions, American presidents of both parties have sought for 25 years to try to halt, or at least slow, North Korea's quest for a nuclear arsenal -- to no avail. Though the brinksmanship of the last few weeks has subsided, President Trump still faces the prospect of a madman -- Kim Jong Un -- in control of a nuclear arsenal. What the United States and its allies must now do is find options between conventional war, or even nuclear holocaust, on the one hand, and appeasement on the other. The answer could be robotic, cyber, and space weapons -- if we have the will to deploy them. They already have been used for pinpoint strikes on terrorist leaders and insurgent forces in the Mideast.

Elon Musk: Why Artificial Intelligence Is More Dangerous Than North Korea


The world was atwitter last week as President Trump crudely took North Korea to task over its nuclear program, a threat that has slowly but surely eclipsed the distractions of our imperialist wars in the Middle East. But according to tech mogul Elon Musk, humans face a far graver threat from something they use in their everyday lives and could be holding in their hands as they read these words: algorithmic artificial intelligence. Specifically, algorithmic AI that evolves into malevolent super-intelligent entities and seeks to end their meatbag parent species -- us. Late last week, Musk tweeted that AI is far more dangerous than North Korea, adding that he believes regulation will be necessary to contain the burgeoning technology. If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be.

Today: North Korea's Achilles Heel

Los Angeles Times

President Trump is in Europe, but the North Korean situation is taking center stage. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today. North Korea is known as the Hermit Kingdom and a "pariah regime," but there are more than a few countries willing to do business with it. Chinese banks handle trade deals; African nations buy military equipment; Polish shipyards and Russian forestry sites employ guest workers who send most of their salaries directly to the government in Pyongyang. So as the Trump administration looks at a short list of unpalatable options in dealing with North Korea's aggressive missile and nuclear arms programs, targeting these economic ties is one card that has yet to played.

WikiLeaks says CIA disguised hacking as Russian activity

Daily Mail - Science & tech

WikiLeaks has published hundreds more files today which it claims show the CIA went to great lengths to disguise its own hacking attacks and point the finger at Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. The 676 files released today are part of WikiLeaks' Vault 7 tranche of files and they claim to give an insight into the CIA's Marble software, which can forensically disguise viruses, trojans and hacking attacks. WikiLeaks says the source code suggests Marble has test examples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi (the Iranian language). WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange (pictured), claims its Vault 7 files come from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence It says: 'This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese.' This could lead forensic investigators into wrongly concluding that CIA hacks were carried out by the Kremlin, the Chinese government, Iran, North Korea or Arabic-speaking terror groups such as ISIS.

U.S. Army to deploy attack drone system to South Korea as Pyongyang tensions surge

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army is permanently stationing an attack drone system and its support personnel in South Korea amid ongoing tensions with the North, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday. Officials said the deployment, due by next year, was not unique to South Korea and was being conducted across the Army to provide infantry divisions with better intelligence. But the announcement comes just one week after Pyongyang launched four ballistic missiles in its latest provocative test. "The U.S. Army, after coordination with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the U.S. Air Force, has begun the process to permanently station a Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems company at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. The sensor-rich MQ-1C Gray Eagle is capable of carrying Stinger and Hellfire missiles, as well as other armaments.

Cassini image appears to show Saturn's moon Mimas crashing into its giant rings

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Stunning Cassini image appears to show Saturn's moon Mimas crashing into its giant rings (but NASA says its just an optical illusion) Mimas is actually 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) away from the rings The gravitational pull of Mimas creates waves in Saturn's rings that are visible in some Cassini images The gravitational pull of Mimas creates waves in Saturn's rings that are visible in some Cassini images Saturn's moon Mimas appears to be crashing through its rings - but it's just an optical illusion. NASA's Cassini spacecraft Mimas is actually 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) away from the rings. Santa ISN'T sexist if he gives your daughter a doll:... From reacting to a bad gift to buying the perfect present:... Why you shouldn't feed garden birds in spring: Putting out... The biggest map of our universe yet: Chart shows billions of... BlackBerry sets its sights on self driving cars: Firm... What is REALLY going on in North Korea? Santa ISN'T sexist if he gives your daughter a doll:... From reacting to a bad gift to buying the perfect present:... Why you shouldn't feed garden birds in spring: Putting out...