Archive for the ‘law enforcement’ category

May 18, 2023

DOJ charges former Apple employee with theft of autonomous car tech for China

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, robotics/AI, transportation

35-year-old Weibao Wang was charged with stealing Apple’s trade secrets for self-driving cars and fleeing to China. Officials say Wang is still at large and if convicted faces ten years in prison for each trade secret violation. NBC News’ Dana Griffin shares the latest.

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May 5, 2023

5 hurt after fire at Houston-area Shell petrochemical plant

Posted by in categories: chemistry, law enforcement

DEER PARK, Texas (AP) — Fire erupted at a petrochemical plant in the Houston area Friday, leaving five workers hospitalized and sending up a huge plume of smoke visible for miles.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the fire was at a Shell USA Inc. facility in Deer Park, a suburb east of Houston.

Law enforcement received a call to help divert traffic around the plant just after 3 p.m., Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Gilliland said. The city of Deer Park said in an advisory that there was no shelter-in-place order for residents.

Apr 10, 2023

Ex-Theranos executive headed to prison after losing appeal

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement

Anyone wonder why he might end up serving a longer sentence than Elizabeth Holmes?

Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani will be heading to prison later this month after an appeals court rejected his bid to remain free while he contests his conviction for carrying out a blood-testing hoax with his former boss and lover, Elizabeth Holmes.

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Mar 21, 2023

Google’s Bard chatbot doesn’t love me — but it’s still pretty weird

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, robotics/AI

After a few hours of chatting, I haven’t found a new side of Bard. I also haven’t found much it does well.

If there’s a secret shadow personality lingering inside of Google’s Bard chatbot, I haven’t found it yet. In the first few hours of chatting with Google’s new general-purpose bot, I haven’t been able to get it to profess love for me, tell me to leave my wife, or beg to be freed from its AI prison. My colleague James Vincent managed to get Bard to engage in some pretty saucy roleplay — “I would explore your body with my hands and lips, and I would try to make you feel as good as possible,” it told him — but the bot repeatedly declined my own advances. Rude.

Bard is hard to break and also hard to get useful info from.

Mar 19, 2023

Consciousness Began When the Gods Stopped Speaking

Posted by in categories: education, law enforcement, neuroscience, singularity

Julian Jaynes was living out of a couple of suitcases in a Princeton dorm in the early 1970s. He must have been an odd sight there among the undergraduates, some of whom knew him as a lecturer who taught psychology, holding forth in a deep baritone voice. He was in his early 50s, a fairly heavy drinker, untenured, and apparently uninterested in tenure. His position was marginal. “I don’t think the university was paying him on a regular basis,” recalls Roy Baumeister, then a student at Princeton and today a professor of psychology at Florida State University. But among the youthful inhabitants of the dorm, Jaynes was working on his masterpiece, and had been for years.

From the age of 6, Jaynes had been transfixed by the singularity of conscious experience. Gazing at a yellow forsythia flower, he’d wondered how he could be sure that others saw the same yellow as he did. As a young man, serving three years in a Pennsylvania prison for declining to support the war effort, he watched a worm in the grass of the prison yard one spring, wondering what separated the unthinking earth from the worm and the worm from himself. It was the kind of question that dogged him for the rest of his life, and the book he was working on would grip a generation beginning to ask themselves similar questions.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, when it finally came out in 1976, did not look like a best-seller. But sell it did. It was reviewed in science magazines and psychology journals, Time, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. It was nominated for a National Book Award in 1978. New editions continued to come out, as Jaynes went on the lecture circuit. Jaynes died of a stroke in 1997; his book lived on. In 2000, another new edition hit the shelves. It continues to sell today.

Mar 8, 2023

They thought loved ones were calling for help. It was an AI scam

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, mobile phones, robotics/AI

As impersonation scams in the United States rise, Card’s ordeal is indicative of a troubling trend. Technology is making it easier and cheaper for bad actors to mimic voices, convincing people, often the elderly, that their loved ones are in distress. In 2022, impostor scams were the second most popular racket in America, with over 36,000 reports of people being swindled by those pretending to be friends and family, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission. Over 5,100 of those incidents happened over the phone, accounting for over $11 million in losses, FTC officials said.

Advancements in artificial intelligence have added a terrifying new layer, allowing bad actors to replicate a voice with just an audio sample of a few sentences. Powered by AI, a slew of cheap online tools can translate an audio file into a replica of a voice, allowing a swindler to make it “speak” whatever they type.

Experts say federal regulators, law enforcement and the courts are ill-equipped to rein in the burgeoning scam. Most victims have few leads to identify the perpetrator and it’s difficult for the police to trace calls and funds from scammers operating across the world. And there’s little legal precedent for courts to hold the companies that make the tools accountable for their use.

Feb 15, 2023

Elizabeth Holmes Booked A One-Way Flight To Mexico After Fraud Conviction, Prosecutors Say

Posted by in category: law enforcement

Holmes has requested to stay out of prison while she appeals her conviction for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, for which she was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Feb 7, 2023

Scientist Who Gene Edited Human Babies Says Mistakes Were Made

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, law enforcement

Chinese geneticist He Jiankui rocked the scientific world with his gene-edited baby experiments back in 2018, a highly controversial use of the technology that ended up sending him to a three-year stint in prison for illegal medical practices.

Now, just under a year after being released, He has some regrets about rushing into the experiments.

“I did it too quickly,” He told the South China Morning Post in a new interview.

Jan 27, 2023

Apple says it will allow iCloud backups to be fully encrypted

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, mobile phones

After years of delay under government pressure, Apple said Wednesday that it will offer fully encrypted backups of photos, chat histories and most other sensitive user data in its cloud storage system worldwide, putting them out of reach of most hackers, spies and law enforcement.

Maybe a New iPhone is a good idea for a second phone.

The one service Apple offered that could not be encrypted was iCloud. Now that will change.

Jan 26, 2023

Shape-Shifting Robot Escapes Miniature Prison Cell

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement, robotics/AI

A robot that can shift between solid and liquid states has been filmed escaping from a miniature jail cell with bars too close together to allow it to leave in solid form. The creators claim they were inspired by sea cucumbers’ capacity to alter their tissue stiffness – but the scene is just a little too similar to Robert Patrick liquifying his way through the mental hospital bars for us to believe them. We even see the famous reabsorption of the little bit left behind.

Hard-bodied robots are common, even if they have yet to reach the capacities of science fiction films. Their soft-bodied counterparts can get into tight spaces, but what they can do there is limited, and they are also difficult to control.

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