Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dark Star - How would you talk an AI bomb out of detonating?

Why, by introducing it to Cartesian skepticism of course!

Low budget Sci -Fi comedy from the 70s. Enjoy

Traffic Lights and The Law of Unintended Consequences

In this photo provided by the Oswego Police, was taken after a fatal crash in Oswego, Ill. on April 6, 2009. Oswego police Detective Rob Sherwood said the wind had blown the snow over the red light, causing a driver run the light and hit the vehicle of 34-year-old Lisa Richter, who was making a left turn. She was killed. (ap)

Result: fatalities. Why? Incandescent lights generate heat which melts snow which tends to finds its way into the lights, obstructing visibility. LEDs, not so much.

What will be the response? Re-install the primitive lumenescent technology, or...

Element of surprise gone? Enemy can watch Drone video streams in real time!

From the always interesting milblog, Wings Over Iraq.

Understating things considerably: This is not Good

Let's see.. For 26 bucks, the muj can tap into the same feed that drone pilots are watching, and..well..get the hell out of there before the aircraft delivers its Christmas cheer.

Not good, indeed.

U.S. military personnel in Iraq discovered the problem late last year when they apprehended a Shiite militant whose laptop contained files of intercepted drone video feeds. In July, the U.S. military found pirated drone video feeds on other militant laptops, leading some officials to conclude that militant groups trained and funded by Iran were regularly intercepting feeds.

In the summer 2009 incident, the military found "days and days and hours and hours of proof" that the feeds were being intercepted and shared with multiple extremist groups, the person said. "It is part of their kit now."...

Officials stepped up efforts to prevent insurgents from intercepting video feeds after the July incident. The difficulty, officials said, is that adding encryption to a network that is more than a decade old involves more than placing a new piece of equipment on individual drones. Instead, many components of the network linking the drones to their operators in the U.S., Afghanistan or Pakistan have to be upgraded to handle the changes. Additional concerns remain about the vulnerability of the communications signals to electronic jamming, though there's no evidence that has occurred, said people familiar with reports on the matter.

You can always depend on your enemy coming up with countermeasures. You can always count on the Russians providing the cheap goods to do so (even if they did not intentionally do the providing), and you can always, always depend on the Iranians to do the heavy lifting of actually delivering the goods.

So, what to do about this? Encryption at that vulnerable link in the transfer of information? That seems to be the solution that has been worked out:

The potential drone vulnerability lies in an unencrypted downlink between the unmanned craft and ground control.

The article notes some of the drones we are speaking of can send multiple streams. This suggests some possibilities. Some options that are a bit like 21st century versions of OPERATION FORTITUDE:

Option 1: Build into the drones one or more bogus video streams, that creates some combination of unencrypted or encrypted data streams, all of which are available to the enemy, some showing terrain that the drone is not flying over, others being bona-fide video of terrain being traversed. The enemy becomes confused, the information useless.

Option 2: Intentionally orchestrate the video streams to herd the muj into killing zones.

Option 3: Saturate an area with drones. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide? Very expensive.