Monthly Archives: July 2013

Border Patrol Set to Weaponize Drones

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allgov.com |  Jul 7, 2013

When Customs and Border Protection (CPB) first got its drones, the rationale for the acquisition was that the unmanned aircraft would help improve monitoring and surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But now, CPB may be thinking about arming its Predator drones with “non-lethal weapons.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) obtained a report produced by CPB in 2010 that shows the agency has considered equipping its Predators with “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets of interest. Given the date of the report, it is possible that the weaponization has already taken place.

Drones threaten motorists in Argentina

Predators were first developed for the U.S. military in the 1990s, and are designed to fire missiles, such as the Hellfire. It is unclear at this time what kind of weaponization CPB has in mind for the drones.

Whatever their plans are, “CBP needs to assure the public that it will not equip its Predators with any weapons—lethal or otherwise,” wrote EFF’s Jennifer Lynch. If it doesn’t, Congress should halt the expansion of CBP’s Predator drone program, EFF argues.

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Sky Deutschland to broadcast adverts directly into train passengers’ heads

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Passengers leaning their head against the window will “hear” adverts “coming from inside the user’s head”, urging them to download the Sky Go app.
Andy Trotman

Sky Deutschland has developed technology to transfer adverts from train windows directly and silently into commuters’ heads.

telegraph.co.uk | Jul 3, 2013

By Andrew Trotman

Passengers leaning their head against the window will “hear” adverts “coming from inside the user’s head”, urging them to download the Sky Go app.

The proposal involves using bone conduction technology, which is used in hearing aids, headphones and Google’s Glass headset, to pass sound to the inner ear via vibrations through the skull.

A video for the Talking Window campaign released by Sky Deutschland and ad agency BBDO Germany states: “Tired commuters often rest their heads against windows. Suddenly a voice inside their head is talking to them. No one else can hear this message.”

The voice comes from a Sky-branded transmitter made by Audiva that is attached to the train window.

BBDO spokesman Ulf Brychcy told the BBC: “If our customer Sky Deutschland agrees, we will start with the new medium as quickly as possible.

“Some people don’t like advertising in general. But this is really a new technology. [It might] not only be used for advertising, but also for music, entertainment, mass transport information, weather reports and so on.”

Sky Deutschland said it had not made a decision on whether to launch the campaign.