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Tech Wake-Up: Legitimate UFO Vid? Someone Watching You? Up, Up and Away with Our Beautiful Servers

By Mark Devlin

March 12, 2012


I Want to Believe.

Okay, let’s start Monday morning off right. What better way to kick-off a brand-spanking new week than with an allegedly real UFO video? Here goes (thanks to Gizmodo; original source: LiveScience)…

They’re acrobatic jets in formation at Chile’s El Bosque AFB on November 5, 2010. Here’s a Giz clip…

"From different locations, spectators aimed video cameras and cell phones at groups of acrobatic and fighter jets performing an air show overhead. Nobody saw anything amiss. But afterward, an engineer from the adjacent Pillán aircraft factory noticed something bizarre while viewing his footage in slow motion," said Leslie Kean, author of the New York Times best seller UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record.

(In case you’re interested, here’s the book on Amazon. Curiously, 134 user ratings tally up to 4.5 stars. Yes, they could all be whackjobs.)

It’s mildly impressive than an engineer—not just any regular person—shot the video and noticed it (and recently released it).

Here’s a clip from LiveScience…

That bizarre something was a roundish black object that seemed to chase the jets as they flew overhead. The engineer sent his video to the government's Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, whose experts concluded that the Chilean jets were being stalked by a UFO.

Skeptics are saying that it’s an insect, not a craft of extraterrestrial origin. Why? For a variety of reasons, including that it took off, ‘probably’ less than 20 feet in front of the cameraman—at knee height. Also, no one at the scene saw it—including the pilots.

Believers, including some so-called experts, on the other hand, think it could be a UFO since multiple cameras caught it from multiple perspectives. (Which begs the question, “If it’s just an insect, how could it draw the attention of multiple, camera-wielding attendees?)

Hey. I’m the second person on this planet who wants to believe, following the fictitious Fox Mulder of X-Files fame. But even my first reaction was, “Look how low and tiny it is. Gotta be an insect.”

MIB_Frank

But, as confirmed by Wikipedia—the best, most impartial, accurate, and chock-full-of-facts source on Earth—confirms, Men in Black’s Frank the Pug says that humans must learn to understand the notion of scope in the universe; i.e. a very important and grand thing can be very small. Even a universe. Wikipedia and Frankie couldn’t possibly be wrong. Could they?

I’ve been watching way, way too many X-Files reruns.

What do you think? I mean, about the Chilean video, not my mental state.

 

“I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me…”

Remember that Rockwell song from 1997? (I thought it was much older. It is, in terms of style. Very ‘80s. In terms of applicability to contemporary life, it’s more valid then ever.)

(Yes. That’s Michael Jackson singing backup.)

In terms of security cameras, we’ve all been watched for a very long time, ironically, going back to at least the late 1990s.

We’ve all seen stories about the number of times most people are captured on security cameras in a given day. Here’s one, for instance, by DiscoveryNews in 2010. In a metropolitan U.S. area, you’re caught on camera pretty much three steps away from your front door. In England? It’s estimated that most people are captured on video at least 300 times each day.

In a pretty amazing feat of hardware, software, and systems engineering, Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed, according to this article at The Verge, a surveillance system that processes both still and live footage can find—in one minute—one, particular face in a crowd of over 36 million faces. How? Little to no post-processing is required, as the system handles facial recognition during capture instead of after the fact.

Caveats? Faces must be turned within 30 deg (horizontally or vertically) of the camera, and those faces must be at least 40 x 40 captured pixels in size.

Here’s a run-through by Japan’s DigInfo… 

The system is expected to be available sometime next year.



Up, Up and Away with Our Beautiful Data

The term ‘cloud computing’ could soon become, well, very literal.

There’s been a lot of engineering and development, especially in the past few years, related to relatively small, unmanned things that fly—like drones, quadrotors, even dirigibles--and the pretty amazing software and systems behind all that clever hardware.

Well, the whole legal system may, in fact, be about to crumble when it comes to digital jurisdiction—and evasion.

Remember this guy making the news not too long ago? …

KimDotcom

That’s Kim Dotcom, the founder and insanely rich owner of Megaupload—and also one of the few people on the planet who makes Michael Moore look like Roger Moore.

Megaupload was (and might again be) a file upload/sharing service. New Zealand and the U.S. (and movie studios, and record companies) got all uppity and arrested him for piracy and alleged copyright violations, took away a tanker full of money, and confiscated everything in sight including that poor, poor man’s extensive collection of exotic cars. (IEN might do a roundup on this once the legal issues play-out and take form. It’s going to be awhile.)

Of the several remaining file sharing/upload services out there, Pirate Bay, a Swedish website, is also one of considerable controversy.

Instead of worrying about pesky things like server hosting, server confiscations, jurisdiction, etc., Pirate Bay is apparently taking things upward. Way upward, as in sky-based servers. Sip your Monday morning coffee and spend a few minutes watching this one…

Here’s a clip from the spooky, ethereal, somewhat mesmerizing video (which is safe for work, by the way)…

The drones [with servers] swarm into formation, broadcasting their pirate network, and then disperse, evading detection, only to reform elsewhere in the city.

It’ll be really interesting to see how this one turns out.

Governments, criminals, law-abiding citizens, and pretty much everyone in-between will soon interact, attack, avoid, and monitor each other via keyboards and joysticks. Or, have we already begun doing so?

 

With that in mind, enjoy your week…

 

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