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Posts Tagged ‘predator drone’

What’s It Like To Pilot a Drone? a Bit Like Call of Duty

November 27th, 2012 11:52 admin View Comments

The Military

Velcroman1 writes “Teenagers raised on Call of Duty and Halo might relish flying a massive Predator drone — a surprisingly similar activity. Pilots of unmanned military aircraft use a joystick to swoop down into the battlefield, spot enemy troop movements, and snap photos of terror suspects, explained John Hamby, a former military commander who led surveillance missions during the Iraq War. ‘You’re always maneuvering the airplane to get a closer look,’ Hamby said. ‘You’re constantly searching for the bad guys and targets of interest. When you do find something that is actionable, you’re a hero.’ Yet a new study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found real-life drone operators can become easily bored. Only one participant paid attention during an entire test session, while even top performers spent a third of the time checking a cellphone or catching up on the latest novel. The solution: making the actual drone mission even more like a video game.”

Source: What’s It Like To Pilot a Drone? a Bit Like Call of Duty

Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval

October 4th, 2012 10:00 admin View Comments

Data Storage

Lucas123 writes “The problem: What do you leave behind that billions of years from now, and without context, would give aliens an some kind of accurate depiction of mankind. The answer: A gold-plated silicon disc with just 100 photos. That’s the idea behind The Last Pictures project, which is scheduled to blast off in the next few months from Kazakhstan and orbit the earth for 5 billion years. The photos, etched into the silicon using a bitmap format, were chosen over a five-year process that involved interviews with artists, philosophers, and MIT scientists, who included biologists, physicists, and astronomers. To each, was posed a single question: What photos would you choose to send into outer space? The answer became an eclectic mix of images from pre-historic cave paintings to a photo of a group of people taken by a predator drone.”

Source: Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval

Read/Write Daily: Drones Over America?

May 18th, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

Today’s theme is the funny-looking future. Humans have been dreaming of the era of air and space flight for a long time. But now that we’re here, it turns out the future isn’t always as romantic as we expected it to be.

Look at how ugly some of our best inventions are.

The U.S. military demonstrated a totally goofy hovering person-platform in 1955.

Here’s video of the new Chinese J-20 Mighty Dragon fighter jet, which looks like those silverfish you find crawling in your bathtub.

In fact, here’s a huge photo album of weird-looking planes.

Someone posted a YouTube video of what appears to be an armed Predator drone flying around over populated areas of Illinois. “That’s an odd little plane,” the cameraman says.

The space shuttle Discovery has been powered down for the last time. We love the shuttle for what it accomplished, but let’s admit it: It wasn’t the sleekest spaceship you can imagine.

For that matter, the spacecraft that landed on the moon was one of the strangest-looking things people have ever made! 

Image via Edwin Verin / Shutterstock.com.

Past entries from Read/Write Daily

 

Source: Read/Write Daily: Drones Over America?

Read/Write Daily: Drones Over America?

May 18th, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

Today’s theme is the funny-looking future. Humans have been dreaming of the era of air and space flight for a long time. But now that we’re here, it turns out the future isn’t always as romantic as we expected it to be.

Look at how ugly some of our best inventions are.

The U.S. military demonstrated a totally goofy hovering person-platform in 1955.

Here’s video of the new Chinese J-20 Mighty Dragon fighter jet, which looks like those silverfish you find crawling in your bathtub.

In fact, here’s a huge photo album of weird-looking planes.

Someone posted a YouTube video of what appears to be an armed Predator drone flying around over populated areas of Illinois. “That’s an odd little plane,” the cameraman says.

The space shuttle Discovery has been powered down for the last time. We love the shuttle for what it accomplished, but let’s admit it: It wasn’t the sleekest spaceship you can imagine.

For that matter, the spacecraft that landed on the moon was one of the strangest-looking things people have ever made! 

Image via Edwin Verin / Shutterstock.com.

Past entries from Read/Write Daily

 

Source: Read/Write Daily: Drones Over America?

Predator Drone Helps Nab Cattle Rustlers

December 12th, 2011 12:10 admin View Comments

Crime

riverat1 writes “KTLA reports police in North Dakota arrested three men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone from nearby Grand Forks AFB. The sheriff of Nelson Country was chased off by three armed men when he went to serve a warrant, so he came back the next morning with reinforcements, including the drone, which, while circling 2 miles overhead, was able to determine the whereabouts of the men on their 3,000 acre spread and the fact that they were unarmed. A SWAT team quickly moved in and apprehended the men. Local police say they have used the Predator drones for at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and DEA have used the drones for domestic investigations as well.”

Source: Predator Drone Helps Nab Cattle Rustlers

Predator Drone ‘Virus’ Could Be Military’s Own Monitoring

October 8th, 2011 10:11 admin View Comments

The Military

jjp9999 writes “The virus that hit Predator and Reaper UAVs could be an internal monitoring system employed by the military. According to security researcher Miles Fidelman, there are vendors that sell security monitoring packages to the Defense Department which are ‘essentially rootkits that do, among other things, key logging.’ The virus is a keylogger that was found at pilot stations, and could be keeping tabs on keystrokes used by pilots to control the UAVs, found Wired’s Danger Room blog. Fidelman adds, ‘I kind of wonder if the virus that folks are fighting is something that some other part of DoD deployed intentionally.’”

Source: Predator Drone ‘Virus’ Could Be Military’s Own Monitoring

X-37B Robotic Space Plane Returns To Earth

December 3rd, 2010 12:20 admin View Comments

Kozar_The_Malignant writes “The secretive X-37B robotic space plane has returned to Earth after a seven-month mission. This was the vehicle’s first flight. Looking like a cross between a Predator Drone and the Space Shuttle, it landed at Vandenberg AFB in California, which was to have been the military’s shuttle launch facility. Speculation is that the X-37B is an orbital spy platform.”

Source: X-37B Robotic Space Plane Returns To Earth

A Hack of the Drones: Insurgents Spy on Spy Planes With $26 Software

December 17th, 2009 12:51 admin View Comments

predator-drone-webThe U.S. military does not think much of Iraqi militants’ technological capabilities. How else to explain the fact that their Predator drone surveillance planes used unencrypted links to send down to their military operators? The lack of encryption means that the drones’ data is less secure than most home wireless internet networks, a serious vulnerability in the unmanned aerial network.

According to a story in The Wall Street Journal today, video feeds from Predator drones have been intercepted by militants in Iraq.  Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes’ systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter [The Wall Street Journal]. Officials are saying that they don’t believe militants were able to take control of the drones, but by downloading the videos they were able to keep up with which areas were being monitored.

The Defense Department has responded by saying they discovered the vulnerability a year ago, and are working to encrypt all drone communications links in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, there are at least 600 unmanned vehicles and thousands of ground stations to upgrade, so the security improvement will not happen overnight. However, officials say they have made technical adjustments to systems in key threat areas to block the signal interception.

The breach arose because the Predator unmanned aerial vehicles do not use encryption in the final link to their operators on the ground. (By contrast, every time you log on to a bank or credit card Web site, or make a phone call on most modern cellular networks, your communications are protected by encryption technology) [CBS News]. After a Shiite militant was captured in Iraq with a laptop full of intercepted drone feeds, and following similar discoveries, officials concluded that groups were trained and funded by Iran to intercept and share video feeds.

The problem is similar to street criminals listening to police scanners, according to Dale Meyerrose, former chief information officer for the U.S. intelligence community. The military has known about the vulnerability for more than a decade, but assumed adversaries would not be able to exploit it [AP]. The surveillance network described in most news reports suggests that the final link between the drone and the operator is between a satellite flying around in space and that that final link is unencrypted for reasons unfathomable to anyone with even cursory knowledge of network communications. Maybe they wanted to save on bandwidth costs [Crunch Gear]?

Following the publication of The Wall Street Journal’s story on the security breach, Bryan Whitman, a U.S. defense official and Pentagon spokesman, said on Thursday that they have fixed the leak, but declined to discuss any details.

Image: U.S. Air Force

Source: A Hack of the Drones: Insurgents Spy on Spy Planes With $26 Software

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