Alphabet, Google’s parent company, also owns Waymo, a technology company that manufactures driverless cars. Waymo has been testing its product in Arizona over the past few years to the chagrin of some of Arizona’s residents.
Some Arizonans have reportedly been caught attacking the driverless cars by: throwing rocks, attempting to run the cars off the road, and even brandishing firearms against the cars.
According to The New York Times, anti-self-driving vehicle civilians deem the driverless cars to be dangerous, both physically and economically. In addition to fearing fatal car crashes, driverless car opponents are also concerned about the amount of jobs that potentially can be loss due to the cars’ existence.
BioCarbon Engineering, a United Kingdom based company, have invented a drone that can help to combat deforestation. The drone has the capability to plant a billion plants per year by depositing seeds in places that need to be reforested. The seed-depositing drone can reportedly out-perform the aerial methods that are currently being used. The drone has the capacity to reach places that human beings can’t.
[SOURCE: National Geographic]
The February 2018 National Geographic features an article entitled, “The New Big Brother.” This article, which is subtitled, “In our surveillance society, satellites, cameras, and phones are tracking us more than we eve imagined,” details the capabilities of face-scanning technology.
The article reveals that CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras contain face-scanning technology, and has the capability to track individuals based on their face, gait, and clothing.
The face-scanning technology is so advanced that faces can be recognized by it regardless of poor lighting, distortions due to facial expressions or odd angles, heavy makeup, or disguises. Current face-scanning technology also allows for skin-texture analysis, which can map and analyze facial spots, pores, and wrinkles. This analysis is so advanced and efficient that it can tell the difference between identical twins.
According to a ZDNet article entitled: “U.S. Cell Carriers Are Selling Access To Your Real-Time Phone Location Data,” written by Zack Whittaker, America’s top cellphone providers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) are selling their customers’ location data to privately-owned companies. These private companies have reportedly, in turn, provided the acquired data to the government.
The aforementioned article states: “Kevin Bankston, director of New America’s Open Technology Institute, explained that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act only restricts telecom companies from disclosing data to the government. It doesn’t restrict disclosure to other companies, who then disclose that same data to the government.
He called that loophole ‘one of the biggest gaps in U.S. privacy law.’”
• More than 2.5 trillion images are shared or stored on the internet annually.
• By 2020, it is estimated that 6.1 billion people will have phones with cameras.
• In a single year, approximately 106 million new surveillance cameras are sold.
• Worldwide, more than 3 million ATMs have cameras that watch its users.
• There are billions of pictures of citizens unknowingly captured on face-recognition technology and stored on databases, both private and governmental.
• In 2016, 2.5 million drones were purchased by American citizens.
• More than 1,700 satellites monitor the Earth.
• Manhattan has approximately 20,000 officially run cameras connected to its CCTV network. Chicago has approximately 32,000.
• High numbers of surveillance cameras can also be found in U.S. cities that have low crime rates and no history of terrorist attacks.
• Approximately 150,000 British police officers are equipped with body cams. It is reported that some British teachers have also tested out the use of body cameras.
[SOURCE: National Geographic February 2018]
“I became interested in television in the fifth or sixth grade. Or, rather, I should say that that was about the time television started to corrode my brain. You name any stupid show that existed back in those days and it was probably one of my favorites. ‘Ozzie and Harriet,’ ‘Leave It to Beaver,’ ‘Donna Reed,’ ‘Father Knows Best,’ ‘Bachelor Father,’ ‘Lassie,’ etc. After a while I wanted to be just like those people on television. After all, they were what families were supposed to be like.
Why didn’t my mother have freshly baked cookies ready when I came home from school? Why didn’t we live in a house with a backyard and a front yard instead of an ole apartment? I remember looking at my mother as she cleaned the house in her old raggedy housecoat with her hair in curlers. ‘How disgusting,’ I would think. Why didn’t she clean the house in high heels and shirtwaist dresses like they did on television? I began to resent my chores. The kids on television never had any work to do. All they did was their homework and then they went out to play. They never went to the laundromat or did the shopping. They never had to do the dishes or scrub the floor or empty the garbage. They didn’t even have to make their own beds. And the kids on television got everything they wanted. Their parents never said, ‘I don’t have the money. I can’t afford it.’ I had very little sympathy for my mother. It never occurred to me that she worked all day, went to school at night, cooked, cleaned, washed and ironed, raised two children, and, in her ‘spare’ time, graded tests and papers and wrote her thesis. I was furious with her because she wasn’t like Donna Reed.
And, of course, the commercials took another toll. I wanted everything I saw. My mother always bought Brand X. I would be so exasperated when we went shopping. I wanted her to buy Hostess Twinkies and Silvercup white bread. Instead, she bought whole wheat bread and apples. She would never get good cereals like Sugar Crunchies and Coco Puffs. She always bought some stuff that was supposed to be good for us. I thought she was crazy. If Hostess Twinkies were good enough for the kids on TV, then why weren’t they good enough for me? But my mother remained unmoved. And I remained disgusted. I was a puppet and I didn’t even know who was pulling the strings.” -Assata Shakur