by Jake Ellison, SeattlePI.com, February 4, 2012
Weighing in at 16 grams and capable of performing in “harsh environments and windy conditions” a tiny drone unveiled by the British government today shows just how quickly drone technology and use is developing.“The Black Hornet is equipped with a tiny camera which gives troops reliable full-motion video and still images. Soldiers are using it to peer around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and the images are displayed on a handheld terminal,” the British government wrote. And as the Seattle Police Department, like many others in the nation, becomes eager to use drones as part of their police work, Seattle Councilman Bruce Harrell jumped into the fray this afternoon with proposed legislation to rein in drone use.
For full text and copy of the proposed rules visit Drones get really tiny; new rules proposed for Seattle – seattlepi.com.
- From the start, SPD’s drones have come under fire (q13fox.com)
Mapping Sciences Committee, National Research Council Preview Report Release, Jan 2013
Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Board on Higher Education and Workforce; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council
Abstract: We live in a changing world with multiple and evolving threats to national security, including terrorism, asymmetrical warfare (conflicts between agents with different military powers or tactics), and social unrest. Visually depicting and assessing these threats using imagery and other geographically-referenced information is the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As the nature of the threat evolves, so do the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to respond. The challenge for NGA is to maintain a workforce that can deal with evolving threats to national security, ongoing scientific and technological advances, and changing skills and expectations of workers.
Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence assesses the supply of expertise in 10 geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fields, including 5 traditional areas (geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and geographic information systems and geospatial analysis) and 5 emerging areas that could improve geospatial intelligence (GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics, and forecasting). The report also identifies gaps in expertise relative to NGA’s needs and suggests ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise over the next 20 years.
To download a PDF copy of the report, visit Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence.
- National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates – Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) – Application Deadline March 1st 2013 (gisandscience.com)
- GAO Says OMB and Feds Need to Make Coordination a Priority (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Possibility and Probability in Geospatial Information Visualization (dhs.stanford.edu)
By Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News, January 31, 2013
The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it. Aside from festering doubts about the legality, propriety and wisdom of their routine use in targeted killing operations, drone programs are beset by budgetary confusion, and a host of privacy and other legal problems are poised to emerge with the expanded use of drones in domestic airspace. … Meanwhile, “Perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens,” said a new report from the Congressional Research Service.
For full text of the article visit Secrecy News here.
A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, January 30, 2013.
See also Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends, January 30, 2013.
- Drones spur fierce debate in Oregon over privacy, technology, jobs (oregonlive.com)
- Drone Home (time.com)
- MPAA Lobbying For Drones In Movie Industry (fastcompany.com)
- imabonehead: NOVA | Rise of the Drones (pbs.org)
by Petr Keil, R you cereal? blog, January 2, 2012
Data-driven scientists (data miners) such as Rosling believe that data can tell a story, that observation equals information, that the best way towards scientific progress is to collect data, visualize them and analyze them (data miners are not specific about what analyze means exactly). When you listen to Rosling carefully he sometimes makes data equivalent to statistics: a scientist collects statistics. He also claims that “if we can uncover the patterns in the data then we can understand.” I know this attitude: there are massive initiatives to mobilize data, integrate data, there are methods for data assimilation and data mining, and there is an enormous field of scientific data visualization. … And they are all excited about big data: the larger is the number of observations (N) the better. Rosling is right that data are important and that science uses statistics to deal with the data. But he completely ignores the second component of statistics: hypothesis (here equivalent to model or theory). …
To read this article as well as the interesting debate that followed in the comments, please visit Data-driven science is a failure of imagination | R you cereal?.
- Data Scientists Will Unlock Big Data’s Promise (blogs.wsj.com)
- What is Data Science? (architects.dzone.com)
- The Human Face of Big Data, a Book Review (sys-con.com)
by Alistair Croll, O’Reilly Radar, August 2, 2012
…With the new, data-is-abundant model, we collect first and ask questions later. The schema comes after the collection. Indeed, big data success stories like Splunk, Palantir, and others are prized because of their ability to make sense of content well after it’s been collected — sometimes called a schema-less query. This means we collect information long before we decide what it’s for.
And this is a dangerous thing….
- The future of programming – O’Reilly Radar (radar.oreilly.com)
- The four D’s of programming’s future: data, distributed, device, democratized (revolutionanalytics.com)
- DARPA and Defense Department look to a more open source future (adafruit.com)
by Chad Wellmon, IASC: The Hedgehog Review – Volume 14, No. 1 Spring 2012
‘The history of this mutual constitution of humans and technology has been obscured as of late by the crystallization of two competing narratives about how we experience all of this information. On the one hand, there are those who claim that the digitization efforts of Google, the social-networking power of Facebook, and the era of big data in general are finally realizing that ancient dream of unifying all knowledge. … Unlike other technological innovations, like print, which was limited to the educated elite, the internet is a network of “densely interlinked Web pages, blogs, news articles and Tweets [that] are all visible to anyone and everyone.”4 Our information age is unique not only in its scale, but in its inherently open and democratic arrangement of information. … Digital technologies, claim the most optimistic among us, will deliver a universal knowledge that will make us smarter and ultimately liberate us.5 These utopic claims are related to similar visions about a trans-humanist future in which technology will overcome what were once the historical limits of humanity: physical, intellectual, and psychological. The dream is of a post-human era.6
For the full text of this substantive essay, please visit IASC: The Hedgehog Review – Volume 14, No. 1 Spring 2012 – Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart – Chad Wellmon.
By Catherine Bracy, Director of International Programs at Code for America, December 31, 2012
…But even if they were politically savvy, the issues the technology industry would be pushing are a different set of interests than consumers (and by that I mean citizens) are concerned with. Which brings me to the second part of what I meant: those who have outsized power and influence through network technology to make their voices heard often put it to use in the most inane and self-centered ways. There was lots of talk after the Internet beat back SOPA and PIPA about the potential for networked models of citizen participation that actually WORKED. The so-far failed opportunity to realize that potential has been starkly revealed in the last few weeks: the tech-savvy in an uproar over Instagram’s terms of service while at the same time sitting idly by as FISA gets reauthorized, and staring helplessly from the sidelines as Congress bungles the fiscal cliff. …
For full text of this op-ed, please visit Silicon Valley’s Problem | BraceLand.
- BraceLand | Silicon Valley’s Problem (cbracy.tumblr.com)
In the past few years, the map has transformed from a static, stylized portrait of the Earth to a dynamic, interactive conversation. (An extended version of an interview from the January/February 2013 issue.) The entire concept of a “map” seems radically different from even a decade ago. It used to be something in a book or on a wall; now it’s something you carry around on your smartphone. Which changes have mattered most? And what further changes should we be ready for? James Fallows interview’s Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal.
For the full text of the article, visit Google’s Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal – James Fallows – The Atlantic.
- The Google Maps of the Future Sounds Useful but Creepy (theatlanticwire.com)
By Daniel Sarewitz, Slate Magazine, Dec 27, 2012
This is the first in a series on big data and its impact on society from CSPO co-director Daniel Sarewitz. It also appears on As We Now Think, a site edited by the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University. ASU is a partner in Future Tense with Slate and the New America Foundation.
Advances in real-time data acquisition, processing, and display technologies means that it is possible to design a toll road that can continually change prices to control how many cars are on the road and how fast they are going. These “hot lanes“ have just been opened along a part of the Washington, D.C., Beltway, the 10-lane, traffic-infested artery that to normal humans is a metaphorical boundary between the real, outside-the-Beltway world and the weird, political one on the inside. For those of us who live around Washington and must drive on it, however, the Beltway is very concrete indeed, a daily flirtation with delay and frustration, homicidal instincts, and death itself.
For full text of this article, visit Slate Magazine at D.C. Beltway’s “hot lanes” demonstrate potential social inequalities of “big data.”.