• Jun, 2021
  • 14-06-2021
  • Hackers don't want Bitcoin, some now like Monero

    ... Which hides virtually all transaction details, and is considered a privacy token. With Monero, it's more difficult to see who the sender and recipient are, and transaction amount. 90-95% of ransoms are still paid in Bitcoin, but Monero is increasingly popular.

    Bitcoin is public ledger and stores all transaction history. It was headline news this month how the FBI recovered payments made with Bitcoin to the Colonial Pipeline hackers.

    Difficulties with using Monero include that many regulated exchanges have chosen not to list it to to regulatory concerns, meaning it's less liquid and can't be cashed out as easily as Bitcoin.

  • Jun, 2021
  • 13-06-2021
  • Chile starts thermosolar power plant in its superhot desert

    Atacama desert is very hot due to the sunlight it gets.

    The thermosolar plant has thousands of reflectors which move with the sun, reflecting its rays toward a column in the center, in which is water and salt that when heated creates steam.

    It makes 210mW, enough to power 380k homes.

    Chile is looking to close down some of its coal plants.

  • Jun, 2021
  • 01-06-2021
  • EU border wall, sound weapons, AI lie detection

    In order to keep out migrants several EU countries are building border walls (nevermind their negative response to the 2017 Trump proposal), employing sound cannons, and working on an AI lie detection tool.

    Analysts have commented that often these types of tools, implemented for such causes as migrants, are tested out before being turned on the citizens of the countries that built them.

    They also note that the steps will possibly result in more deaths, as the migrants will turn to smugglers and other more dangerous methods of entering Europe.

  • First AI drone attacks (without human oversight)

    Reports have it that last year a Turkish quad-copter which was a true set-and-forget weapon, identified targets and opened fire in Libya. The targets were renegades loyal to Khalifa Haftar, reportedly.

    Analysts note that Turkey and other countries perceive themselves to have a competitive advantage by using these tools.

  • Danish journalists come forward with US spying report

    Allegedly (so far these are only allegations), in 2013 during the days of Edward Snowden's revelations the Obama government was spying on German and other leaders of US-allied countries, Danish foreign intelligence agency FE signed a deal with the NSA so that the Americans could intercept communications (tap phones and messaging of German and other allied leaders) using their own software following the 911 attacks in 2001.

    Following Snowden's publishing the documents about this activity, a report was created but it was never made public, but now six of the very few people who ever saw it decided to come forward.

    It is expected there will now be pressure to publish it, especially considering Danish and other European individuals were targeted. It is being reported that current US pres Biden was significantly involved in the operation. He was VP from 09-17.

    German, France and other EU states are waiting for better, more certain information before responding publicly.

    Newscasters on several channels reported the story with smiles of bemusement or low-key glee.

    #InternationalRelations #Snowden #journalism
  • May, 2021
  • 17-05-2021
  • Marines boarding ships with personal jetpacks

    UK's Royal Marines, using the Gravity Jet Suit (1000bhp)

  • May, 2021
  • 01-05-2021
  • More mysterious 'Havana Syndrome' attacks

    More of these strange attacks have been reported, this time not in Cuba but near the White House.

    When they were first reported in 2017, the U.S. government referred to them as 'targeted attacks' but later started calling them 'health incidents.'

    But recently, two U.S. senators said they were definitely attacks. Canadian diplomats accused the Canadian government of withholding information about three new cases of brain injury among Canadian diplomats who served in Cuba, too.

    The U.S. puts Russia as the most likely perpetrator.

    Last year the National Academy of Science found the weapon to be one that uses 'pulsed microwave energy' to cause brain damage.

    The reported symptoms are vague, including memory loss, nausea, headaches, and loss of balance. The U.S. diplomats reported hearing a strange noise, which was recorded and is publicly available to listen to, in the embassy before the symptoms started.


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