Detecting Different: How the CIA Caught a Spy

Aldrich Ames became famous for being a “slob” American spy, easily caught and convicted once suspected. (Source: FBI) Spoiler alert, WBUR News ran a story called “Can A Computer Catch A Spy?” that centers on this false premise: Grimes suspected [Aldrich Ames] for a reason no algorithm would have divined: He just seemed different. I call BS on this. Not only are algorithms incredibly able to divine different, they’re fast…

December 9, 2019
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Do Children Inherently Distrust Technology?

American children playing in a field by destroying a familiar piece of technology A researcher in America has posed a theory that children distrust technology because it is presented in an unfamiliar format to them: Danovitch’s theory as to why kids behave this way is that the idea of voice assistants—and by extension, the internet—is amorphous and hard to grasp. If you’re a child who thinks there’s a tiny woman…

December 6, 2019
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CIA History and Birth of Modern American Information Warfare

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) use of information warfare is often discussed and sometimes cited, yet is not clearly linked to any present day authorization regarding “cyber” active-defence (offense). The intelligence community is potentially in competition with the military over hacking capabilities, particularly in cases outside the U.S. government’s own systems. Perhaps an investigation of history would help here. The clandestine nature of any ongoing missions makes examples difficult to…

December 4, 2019
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Russia’s Big New Exports: Mercenaries and Election Tampering

The Moscow Times reports that Russia is on track to become the global leader in exports of low-cost mercenaries and election tampering. Wagner, a “businessman” working for Russia’s President, is dumping large numbers of low-quality talent at low-cost in Mozambique (as well as several other countries) to undercut local experts in the field: Gartner said he had proposed to bring around 50 highly qualified experts to Mozambique at a cost…

December 4, 2019
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Lithuania Under Attack in Information War on NATO

Useful analysis of information warfare attacks on NATO can be found in the breakdown of a campaign in Lithuania. “Eugenijus Lastauskas, head of the Lithuanian military’s Strategic Communication Department” is quoted in DefenseOne: September 26 & 27 operatives hack kasvyksta.lt, a genuine news organization, to post a fake story as training for a bigger attack in October October 17 operators again hack kasvyksta.lt to post a false story about purported…

December 4, 2019
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4MP Night Color Vision Cameras to Replace IR

Fundamentally I see artificial light at night as a form of pollution. It makes me cringe whenever I fly over cities at night all lit up like a garbage dump of lumens. Clear vision in low light seems like exactly the sort of thing that technology could solve at scale the right way (enhance human vision to see dark as day) and improve the world in so many ways, when…

November 29, 2019
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Popular Alabama County Sheriff Assassinated

Five on-duty law enforcement officers have killed in Alabama by gunfire this year, which carries a death penalty. Such a penalty not only proves to be no deterrent, in the latest killing the suspect was in no danger when he assassinated an extremely popular Sheriff and later just walked into custody with the gun in his hand. Sheriffs are essentially a political position. In this case the Sheriff’s political position…

November 27, 2019
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Defeated Governor of Kentucky in Last Days Pardons Child Abuse and Vehicular Murder

A Kentucky judge who was friends with the accused spent his retirement apparently to coerce a child victim of parental abuse to change her testimony. Expressing concern over the “highly unusual circumstance” of [Judge] Mershon “confronting her directly and privately,” Eckerle sided with the prosecution, which contended that Mershon “altered” the victim’s memory, “and by using judicial coercion and intimidation, that he overcame her, causing her to claim falsely that…

November 26, 2019
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Why the White House Pardoned Convicted War Criminals

Harnessing bias, a form of blind-spot no matter how intelligent the victim, can lead to societal power manipulation. This should be familiar as canon of social engineering, which so many books have been written about. It also is well documented through the tragic history of the developing world, cruelly manipulated during the Cold War to foment coups and drive power towards dictators who would serve some narrowly-defined agenda (instead of…

November 26, 2019
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Have You Ever Been Studied for Naming Your Machine?

As a little child I once got a ride to school from a neighbor who had a Subaru 4×4 that could go where school buses were failing (another time our bus was rescued from a ditch by a Korean-war 6×6 but that’s a story for another day). Her tiny white car slowly crawled in low range over big prairie snow drifts and up the icy dirt hills. She softly patted…

November 25, 2019
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