“What do speed traps, parking tickets, toll roads, speed cameras and red light cameras all have in common? They are all major revenue sources for state and local governments. All over America today there are state and local governments that are drowning in debt. Many have chosen to use “traffic enforcement” as a way to raise desperately needed revenue. According to the National Motorist Association, issuing speeding tickets raises somewhere between 4.5 billion and 6 billion dollars in the United States each year. And the average price of a speeding ticket just keeps going up. Today, the national average is about $150, but in many jurisdictions it is far higher. For example, more than 16 million traffic tickets are issued in the state of California each year, and the average fine is approximately $250. If you are wealthy that may not be much of a problem, but if you are a family that is barely scraping by every month that can be a major financial setback. Meanwhile, America’s roads are also being systematically transformed into a surveillance grid. The number of cameras watching our roads is absolutely exploding, and automated license plate readers are capturing hundreds of millions of data points on all of us. As you drive down the highway, a police vehicle coming up behind you can instantly read your license plate and pull up a whole host of information about you. This happened to me a few years ago. I had pulled on to a very crowded highway in Virginia and within less than a minute a cop car had scanned me and was pulling me over because one of my stickers had expired. But these automated license plate readers are being used for far more than just traffic enforcement now. For example, officials in Washington D.C. are now using automated license plate readers to track the movements of every single vehicle that enters the city. They know when you enter Washington, and they know when you leave. So where is all of this headed? Do we really want to live in a “Big Brother” society where the government constantly tracks all of our movements?”
“It’s been more than a decade in the making, but now Harvard University researchers have developed a tiny flying drone that is barely larger than a quarter.
Robotics researchers at the Ivy League school have achieved a first, reports Forbes: the creation of robotic insects that are capable of flight. A paper detailing their work was recently published in the journal Science. Here’s an abstract of the research:
Flies are among the most agile flying creatures on Earth. To mimic this aerial prowess in a similarly sized robot requires tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components that pose miniaturization challenges governed by force-scaling laws, suggesting unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. To this end, we developed high-power-density piezoelectric flight muscles and a manufacturing methodology capable of rapidly prototyping articulated, flexure-based sub-millimeter mechanisms.
We built an 80-milligram, insect-scale, flapping-wing robot modeled loosely on the morphology of flies. Using a modular approach to flight control that relies on limited information about the robot’s dynamics, we demonstrated tethered but unconstrained stable hovering and basic controlled flight maneuvers. The result validates a sufficient suite of innovations for achieving artificial, insect-like flight.”
Via Natural News
“A former FBI counterterrorism agent has hinted at a vast and intrusive surveillance network used by the U.S. government to monitor its own citizens.
Tim Clemente admitted as much when he appeared on CNN Wednesday night.
Discussing the Boston Marathon attack and past telephone conversations of Katherine Russell and her now deceased husband, suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Clemente said that those conversations would be available to investigators. “
Via The Daily Mail
“The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said.
Among those was suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose name was added in 2011. The increase in names is due in part to security agencies using the system more in the wake of the failed 2009 attack on a plane by “underpants bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in Detroit.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials acknowledged in Congress that they had missed clues to that attack despite Abdulmutallab’s name appearing in the main database, known as TIDE.
Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a “watchlist” but instead is a repository of information on people whom U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.”
“Are we allowed to talk about martial law, the militarization of police, and the complete shutdown of cities on command? Or will that get the glorious law enforcers to storm and kick in our own doors now? Just what are the rules in effect today? Just what sort of precedent is being set here right before our eyes?
It was your commoner citizens who located the Boston bombing suspect after finding him hiding in a boat. This was after the martial law decree had arbitrarily been lifted, and it was now ordered permissible to go out in one’s backyard again.
Is martial law the answer to sticky incidents with fleeing suspects? Can this now apply to any suspects or any manhunt in the United States, anywhere, for any reason?”
Via Activist Post