Connect with us

Technology

NASA shares stunning photos of Mars captured by its Reconnaissance Orbiter

Published

on

nasa shares stunning photos of mars captured by its reconnaissance orbiter

A spectacular shot of a Martian avalanche, an image of a dust devil and a long-distance portrait of planet Earth are among a selection of photos shared by NASA to mark 15 years of the agencies Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. 

The images were all taken of the Red Planet and its surroundings from space using equipment onboard the orbiter – which is the oldest spacecraft currently active around Mars. 

Since leaving Earth 15 years ago, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has reshaped our understanding of the Red Planet including discovering information on dust storms, temperatures and subsurface minerals.

However, while the scientific discoveries have been remarkable, the orbiter has become best know for its stunning images showing remarkable features on the surface of the alien world. 

HiRISE captured avalanches in action. As seasonal ice vaporised in the spring, these 1,640-foot-tall (500-meter-tall) cliffs at Mars' north pole began to crumble

HiRISE captured avalanches in action. As seasonal ice vaporised in the spring, these 1,640-foot-tall (500-meter-tall) cliffs at Mars' north pole began to crumble

HiRISE captured avalanches in action. As seasonal ice vaporised in the spring, these 1,640-foot-tall (500-meter-tall) cliffs at Mars’ north pole began to crumble

As HiRISE pans over large swaths of Mars' surface, it occasionally discovers surprises like this towering dust devil, which was captured from 185 miles (297 kilometers) above the ground

As HiRISE pans over large swaths of Mars' surface, it occasionally discovers surprises like this towering dust devil, which was captured from 185 miles (297 kilometers) above the ground

As HiRISE pans over large swaths of Mars’ surface, it occasionally discovers surprises like this towering dust devil, which was captured from 185 miles (297 kilometers) above the ground

Among its instruments, MRO carries three cameras: A fisheye lens, one for 19-mile-wide black and white terrain shots and the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) which provides the most striking photos. 

Able to zoom in on surface features at the highest resolution, the detailed, colour images from HiRISE have captured dramatic scenes of nature on the Red Planet that have captivated audiences back on Earth.

These scenes include tumbling avalanches, sky scraping dust devils, and other features of a changing landscape that show Mars is more than just a red rock. 

The camera has also provided images of other NASA spacecraft at Mars, like the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers, the Martian moon Phobos and even a picture of Earth. 

As of early August 2020, the HiRISE camera alone had taken 6,882,204 images, generating 194 terabytes of data sent from Mars since 2006. 

This 'false colour' image shows sand ripples from February 2009. The 'false colour' has been added to this image to accentuate certain details, like the tops of dunes and ripples. Many of these landforms are migrating, as they do on Earth

This 'false colour' image shows sand ripples from February 2009. The 'false colour' has been added to this image to accentuate certain details, like the tops of dunes and ripples. Many of these landforms are migrating, as they do on Earth

 This ‘false colour’ image shows sand ripples from February 2009. The ‘false colour’ has been added to this image to accentuate certain details, like the tops of dunes and ripples. Many of these landforms are migrating, as they do on Earth

A dramatic, fresh impact crater dominates this image taken by HiRISE. The crater spans approximately 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter and is surrounded by a large, rayed blast zone

A dramatic, fresh impact crater dominates this image taken by HiRISE. The crater spans approximately 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter and is surrounded by a large, rayed blast zone

A dramatic, fresh impact crater dominates this image taken by HiRISE. The crater spans approximately 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter and is surrounded by a large, rayed blast zone

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California and the team that run the spacecraft selected a number of images they deem ‘among the most striking’ of the planet.

One of those images shared by the JPL team shows a red dusty avalanche plunging down a 1,640 foot tall cliff in May 2019 – caused by seasonal ice vaporising in the Spring.

Every Spring the Sun shines on the sides of the stack of layers at the North Pole of the Red Planet and the warmth destabilised the ice – with blocks of it and dust breaking loose. 

As this happened the cliffs at Mars’ north pole began to crumble and this exposed the many layers of ice and dust that have settled along its face during the different Martian eras. 

Like the rings of a tree, each layer has a story to tell scientists about how the environment was changing.

When the rocks reach the bottom of the cliff face, the blocks kick up a cloud of dust that appears as an avalanche in the photos shared by the NASA JPL team.

Dust was a major factor in a few of the images shared by the team as dust storms are routine on Mars. 

Most are limited to small regions and are not as dramatic as what’s portrayed in movies but once or twice a decade a series of regional storms create ‘domino effect’ that result in the dust covering the whole planet.

The MRO captured one of these events in 2018 and it darkened the region above the Opportunity rover, depriving its solar panels of sunlight and ultimately leading to the end of the mission.

NASA rovers are featured in some of the other images shared from the MRO by the JPL team – they show the final traverse map of Opportunity and the tracks made by Curiosity in the Martian soil.  

The pictures shared in the NASA photo essay show a changing and active landscape including seasonal dark marks on the Martian equatorial slope and ripples in sand dunes on the surface of the Red Planet. 

Land changes over time, so having a spacecraft at Mars for more than 15 years offers a unique perspective, according to Leslie Tamppari, deputy project scientist at JPL, who said ‘the more we look, the more we discover’. 

‘Before MRO, it wasn’t clear what on Mars really changed, if anything. We thought the atmosphere was so thin that there was almost no sand motion and most dune movement happened in the ancient past.’ 

This composite image shows how  the appearance of dark markings on Martian slope changes with the seasons. These dark streaks appear in the same places at around the same times of year

This composite image shows how  the appearance of dark markings on Martian slope changes with the seasons. These dark streaks appear in the same places at around the same times of year

This composite image shows how  the appearance of dark markings on Martian slope changes with the seasons. These dark streaks appear in the same places at around the same times of year

This is the final traverse map for Opportunity, showing where the rover was on June 10, 2018, the last date it made contact with its team before it was lost in a dust storm

This is the final traverse map for Opportunity, showing where the rover was on June 10, 2018, the last date it made contact with its team before it was lost in a dust storm

This is the final traverse map for Opportunity, showing where the rover was on June 10, 2018, the last date it made contact with its team before it was lost in a dust storm

Other images include a dramatic impact crater spanning 100ft  across from a large meteorite than wouldn’t have been able to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere.

Mars has a thin atmosphere – just 1 per cent as dense as Earth’s. As a result, there’s less of a protective barrier to burn up space debris. That means larger meteors make it through the Red Planet’s atmosphere than Earth’s.

NASA also shared an image showing dark marks on an equatorial Martian slope that appear in the same place and at around the same times every year.

It takes sharp eyes to find unique features on Mars, like recurring slope lineae. It was initially proposed they were caused by brine, since salt could allow water to remain liquid in the thin Martian atmosphere. 

The consensus now, however, is that they’re actually caused by dark sand sliding down inclines.

The streaks were discovered by Lujendra Ojha, who was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, which operates the HiRISE camera, and now is a professor at Rutgers University. 

‘Sometimes you’re just looking at the right place at the right time,’ Ojha said. ‘I was completely baffled when I first spotted this, because I was just a student at the time – I wasn’t even in a planetary program.’ 

On the left is a picture of Mars taken by MRO showing the planet before the 2018 dust storm enveloped the whole planet - as seen by the nearly featureless world shown in the right hand image

On the left is a picture of Mars taken by MRO showing the planet before the 2018 dust storm enveloped the whole planet - as seen by the nearly featureless world shown in the right hand image

On the left is a picture of Mars taken by MRO showing the planet before the 2018 dust storm enveloped the whole planet – as seen by the nearly featureless world shown in the right hand image

It wasn’t just the planet itself that MRO focused on, during its mission it turned its sights back to Earth to get a view of our world and captured a detailed image of the Martian moon Phobos.

Named for the Greek god of fear, Phobos is one of Mars’ two moons  – the other is called Deimos, named for the god of terror.

Phobos is only about 13 miles (21 kilometers) across but despite its small size, Phobos is of great interest to scientists as nobody is sure how it came to be within the orbit of Mars. 

A Japanese mission is scheduled to launch to Phobos in the near future, and the moon has been proposed as a staging ground for astronauts before they go to Mars. 

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter left Earth for the Red Planet on August 12, 2005 and cost $720 million – its purpose is the study the geology and climate of the planet and provide reconnaissance for future landing sites.

In 2021 the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and the NASA Ingenuity helicopter will land in the Jezero Crater to search for signs of ancient Martian life.

The rover is equipped with a number of cameras and will be able to send back new pictures of the surface of the Red Planet to show one of our nearest stellar neighbours in greater detail than has been seen so far.

HiRISE took two images of the larger of Mars' two moons, on March 23, 2008. Called Phobos, the moon is only 13 miles across

HiRISE took two images of the larger of Mars' two moons, on March 23, 2008. Called Phobos, the moon is only 13 miles across

HiRISE took two images of the larger of Mars’ two moons, on March 23, 2008. Called Phobos, the moon is only 13 miles across

A composite image of Earth and the Moon. During its mission HiRISE has been turned towards the Earth to capture images of our home world and our natural satellite

A composite image of Earth and the Moon. During its mission HiRISE has been turned towards the Earth to capture images of our home world and our natural satellite

A composite image of Earth and the Moon. During its mission HiRISE has been turned towards the Earth to capture images of our home world and our natural satellite

The helicopter is a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars and is currently on board the Mars 2020 spacecraft attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover. 

NASA recently marked a milestone in the development of Ingenuity – which will operate a number of test flights over 30 Martian days in the spring of next year.

The space agency recharged the batteries of the helicopter up to 35 per cent to make sure it was able to ‘speak’ to the device and test its instruments. 

‘This was a big milestone, as it was our first opportunity to turn on Ingenuity and give its electronics a ‘test drive’ since we launched on July 30,’ said Tim Canham, the operations lead. 

‘Since everything went by the book, we’ll perform the same activity about every two weeks to maintain an acceptable state of charge.’  

Even after Perseverance has landed and Ingenuity has made its tests flights, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will continue its mission to study the Martian atmosphere and share more sensational images of its surface.  

NASA MARS 2020: THE MISSION WILL SEE THE PERSEVERANCE ROVER AND INGENUITY HELICOPTER SEARH FOR LIFE

NASA’s Mars 2020 mission will search for signs of ancient life on on the Red Planet in a bid to help scientists better understand how life evolved on Earth. 

Named Perseverance, the main car-sized rover will explore an ancient river delta within the Jezero Crater, which was once filled with a 1,600ft deep lake.

It is believed that the region hosted microbial life some 3.5 to 3.9 billion years ago and the rover will examine soil samples to hunt for evidence of the life.

Nasa's Mars 2020 rover (artist's impression) will search for signs of ancient life on Mars in a bid to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our own planet

Nasa's Mars 2020 rover (artist's impression) will search for signs of ancient life on Mars in a bid to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our own planet

Nasa’s Mars 2020 rover (artist’s impression) will search for signs of ancient life on Mars in a bid to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our own planet

The $2.5 billion (£1.95 billion) Mars 2020 spaceship launched on July 30 witht he rover and helicopter inside – and will land on February 18, 2021.

Perseverance is designed to land inside the crater and collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth for further analysis.

A second mission will fly to the planet and return the samples, perhaps by the later 2020s in partnership with the European Space Agency.

This concept art shows the Mars 2020 rover landing on the red planet via NASA's 'sky-crane' system

This concept art shows the Mars 2020 rover landing on the red planet via NASA's 'sky-crane' system

This concept art shows the Mars 2020 rover landing on the red planet via NASA’s ‘sky-crane’ system

<!—->Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology

Meteor that skimmed Earth may have brought life to Venus, Harvard study suggests

Published

on

By

meteor that skimmed earth may have brought life to venus harvard study suggests

Traces of phosphine gas was recently detected in the clouds of Venus, which suggests it could supports life – but a new study proposes the compounds may have originated from Earth.

Harvard researchers theorize that the biosignatures gas came to Venus from meteorites that grazed our planet’s atmosphere and crashed into the distant planet.

This notion was developed from a 2017 meteor that grazed Earth’s atmosphere over Australia for 90 seconds and then headed back on its journey to deep space.

The team believes this meteor could have collected up some 10,000 microbial colonies from our world and carried it to another.

The study notes that over the last 3.7 billion years, at least 600,000 space rocks that dipped into Earth’s atmosphere have a collided with Venus.

Scroll down for video 

Traces of phosphine gas was recently detected in the clouds of Venus, which suggests it could supports life - but a new study proposes the compounds may have originated from Earth

Traces of phosphine gas was recently detected in the clouds of Venus, which suggests it could supports life – but a new study proposes the compounds may have originated from Earth 

The 2017 meteor skimmed across Earth’s atmosphere for one and a half minutes at more than 35,000 miles per hour before returning to space.

Based on its trajectory as it skimmed the atmosphere, the team estimate that the rock was around 12 inches across and likely weighed at least 132 pounds.

‘Although the abundance of terrestrial life in the upper atmosphere is unknown, these planet-grazing shepherds could have potentially been capable of transferring microbial life between the atmospheres of Earth and Venus,’ the Harvard study reads.

‘As a result, the origin of possible Venusian life may be fundamentally indistinguishable from that of terrestrial life.’

Harvard researchers theorize that the biosignatures gas came to Venus from meteorites that grazed our planet's atmosphere and crashed into the distant planet

Harvard researchers theorize that the biosignatures gas came to Venus from meteorites that grazed our planet’s atmosphere and crashed into the distant planet

Previous research determined that life is found up to an altitude of 43 miles from the surface.

Earth-grazing asteroids can dip 52 miles without experiencing significant heating – another lower would kill any life it gathered from our planet.

‘Further work is needed to investigate the existence and abundance of microbial life in the upper atmosphere,’ reads the study.

The team also notes that if a meteor coming from Earth enters the atmosphere of another planet, hitchhiking microbes could be released in clouds before the rock disintegrates in the atmosphere.

‘A future probe that could sample the habitable cloud deck of Venus will potentially enable the direct discovery of microbial life outside of Earth, the team wrote.’

‘Specifically, the capability to either directly analyze microbes in situ or to return an atmospheric sample to Earth will be critical in the design of a successful mission. Finding exactly the same genomic material and helicity on Venus and Earth would constitute a smoking gun for panspermia.’

This notion was developed from a 2017 meteor that grazed Earth's atmosphere over Australia for 90 seconds and then headed back on its journey to deep space. The team believes this meteor could have collected up some 10,000 microbial colonies from our world and carried it to another

This notion was developed from a 2017 meteor that grazed Earth’s atmosphere over Australia for 90 seconds and then headed back on its journey to deep space. The team believes this meteor could have collected up some 10,000 microbial colonies from our world and carried it to another

Researchers detected a so-called spectral signature (pictured) that is unique to phosphine ¿ furthermore were able to estimated that the gas is present in Venus' clouds in an abundance of around 20 parts-per-billion. However, they were unable to determine the exactly source of the detected trace quantities of the gas

Researchers detected a so-called spectral signature (pictured) that is unique to phosphine — furthermore were able to estimated that the gas is present in Venus’ clouds in an abundance of around 20 parts-per-billion. However, they were unable to determine the exactly source of the detected trace quantities of the gas

On September 14, researchers announced Venus has traces of the biosignatures gas.

Astronomers at Wales’ Cardiff University and colleagues observed Venus using both the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile.

They detected a so-called spectral signature that is unique to phosphine — and furthermore were able to estimated that the gas is present in Venus’ clouds in an abundance of around 20 parts-per-billion.

The team explored assorted ways that the gas could have been produced in this setting — including from sources on the surface of the planet, micrometeorites, lightning, or chemical processes happening within the clouds themselves.

However, they were unable to determine exactly what is the source of the detected trace quantities of the gas.

The researchers have cautioned that the detection of phosphine is not itself robust evidence for alien microbial life — and only indicates that potentially unknown geological or chemical processes are occurring on the planet.

Further observations and modelling will be needed, they added, to better explore the origin of the gas in the planet’s atmosphere.

KEY DISCOVERIES IN HUMANITY’S SEARCH FOR ALIEN LIFE

Discovery of pulsars

British astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was the first person to discover a pulsar in 1967 when she spotted a radio pulsar.

Since then other types of pulsars that emit x-rays and gamma rays have also been spotted.

Pulsars are essentially rotating, highly magnatised neutron stars but when they were first discovered it was believed they could come from aliens.

‘Wow!’ radio signal

In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the nigh sky above Ohio spotted a powerful radio signal so strong that he excitedly wrote ‘Wow!’ next to his data.

In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the nigh sky above Ohio spotted a powerful radio signal so strong that he excitedly wrote 'Wow!' next to his data

In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the nigh sky above Ohio spotted a powerful radio signal so strong that he excitedly wrote ‘Wow!’ next to his data

The 72-second blast, spotted by Dr Jerry Ehman through a radio telescope, came from Sagittarius but matched no known celestial object.

Conspiracy theorists have since claimed that the ‘Wow! signal’, which was 30 times stronger than background radiation, was a message from intelligent extraterrestrials.

Fossilised martian microbes

In 1996 Nasa and the White House made the explosive announcement that the rock contained traces of Martian bugs.

The meteorite, catalogued as Allen Hills (ALH) 84001, crashed onto the frozen wastes of Antarctica 13,000 years ago and was recovered in 1984. 

Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike.

Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike (pictured)

Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike (pictured)

However, the excitement did not last long. Other scientists questioned whether the meteorite samples were contaminated. 

They also argued that heat generated when the rock was blasted into space may have created mineral structures that could be mistaken for microfossils. 

Behaviour of Tabby’s Star in 2005 

The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astonomers since being discovered in 2015.

It dims at a much faster rate than other stars, which some experts have suggested is a sign of aliens harnessing the energy of a star.

The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astonomers since being discovered in 2015 (artist's impression)

The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astonomers since being discovered in 2015 (artist’s impression)

Recent studies have ‘eliminated the possibility of an alien megastructure’, and instead, suggests that a ring of dust could be causing the strange signals.

Exoplanets in the Goldilocks zone in 2015 

In February this year astronomers announced they had spotted a star system with planets that could support life just 39 light years away.

Seven Earth-like planets were discovered orbiting nearby dwarf star ‘Trappist-1’, and all of them could have water at their surface, one of the key components of life.

Three of the planets have such good conditions, that scientists say life may have already evolved on them. 

Researchers claim that they will know whether or not there is life on any of the planets within a decade, and said ‘this is just the beginning.’ 

Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Technology

Most Americans are recorded 238 TIMES a week by security cameras, study reveals 

Published

on

By

most americans are recorded 238 times a week by security cameras study reveals

The typical American is recorded by security cameras 238 times a week, according to a new report from Safety.com.

That figure includes surveillance video taken at work, on the road, in stores and in the home. 

The study found that Americans are filmed 160 times while driving, as there are about an average of 20 cameras on a span of 29 miles. 

And the average employee  has been spotted by surveillance cameras at 40 times a week.

However, for those who frequently travel or work in highly patrolled areas the number of times they are captured on film skyrockets to more than 1,000 times a week. 

Scroll down for video 

Security cameras record the average American 238 times a week, according to a new report, including 14 times a week by wireless doorbell cameras like Amazon's Ring device.

Security cameras record the average American 238 times a week, according to a new report, including 14 times a week by wireless doorbell cameras like Amazon's Ring device.

Security cameras record the average American 238 times a week, according to a new report, including 14 times a week by wireless doorbell cameras like Amazon’s Ring device.

Safety.com, an independent site that reviews safety products and technology, warns that it’s difficult to know how many traffic cameras are just passively filming or permanently storing footage.

Cameras are also frequently installed in stores, transportation hubs, nightclubs and elsewhere. 

The average employee is filmed 40 times a week at or around their job, though it can vary tremendously depending on the environment.

Retail employees might be filmed hundreds of times a week but in an office situation ‘there might be a single camera at the entrance, if at all,’ the researchers said.

The typical driver will pass more than 20 cameras every day, according to Safety.com. The site warns that it's hard to know how many traffic cameras are just passively filming or permanently storing footage

The typical driver will pass more than 20 cameras every day, according to Safety.com. The site warns that it's hard to know how many traffic cameras are just passively filming or permanently storing footage

The typical driver will pass more than 20 cameras every day, according to Safety.com. The site warns that it’s hard to know how many traffic cameras are just passively filming or permanently storing footage

‘We took this into account as best as possible to find the most accurate average.’

The team said people drastically underestimate how much they’re being recorded. A 2016 survey from the video-surveillance publication IPVM found that the majority of people assumed they were being recorded less than five times a day.

The publication put the number closer to 50, though it did not include street and traffic cameras.

The growing surveillance state has drawn concern from lawmakers and civil rights advocates alike.

By next year, there will be an estimated one billion security cameras around the globe, CNBC reports, with 10 percent to 18 percent of them in the US alone.

Sales of wireless doorbell cameras is expected to soar from 3.9 million units in 2019 to 5.6 million in 2023. A recent study showed criminals can determine if a homeowner is away just by analyzing the rate at which their camera uploaded data to the Internet

Sales of wireless doorbell cameras is expected to soar from 3.9 million units in 2019 to 5.6 million in 2023. A recent study showed criminals can determine if a homeowner is away just by analyzing the rate at which their camera uploaded data to the Internet

Sales of wireless doorbell cameras is expected to soar from 3.9 million units in 2019 to 5.6 million in 2023. A recent study showed criminals can determine if a homeowner is away just by analyzing the rate at which their camera uploaded data to the Internet

In 2019, there were 70 million security cameras in the US, or at least one for every 4.6 Americans.

That’s the second-highest ratio after China, which has a camera for every 4.1 people. 

‘We expect this number to continually increase and normalize the presence of security cameras as technology and facial recognition improves,’ Safety.com researchers said in a statement.  

Doorbell cameras are a fast-growing segment of surveillance technology, with 3.9 million in US homes owning them already, according to Statista, and 5.6 million expected to by 2023.

The average American is on film in their house or neighborhood 14 times a week. 

Not only do smart home security cameras raise privacy issues, they can actually put owners in jeopardy.

According to a recent study, criminals can determine if someone is home just by tracking data from their wireless cameras.

This was done without even watching the footage itself but by looking at the rate at which cameras uploaded data via the Internet.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science and Queen Mary University of London found that future activity could be predicted based on past patterns.

‘Once considered a luxury item, these cameras are now commonplace in homes worldwide,’ said co-author Gareth Tyson, a computer science professor at Queen Mary University of London. ‘As they become more ubiquitous, it is important to continue to study their activities and potential privacy risks.’ 

 At its annual hardware event Thursday, Amazon unveiled The Ring Always Home Cam, which is stationed atop a flying drone.

Its camera streams a live view from inside in home to the user’s smartphone, based on a predetermined flight path, and can take footage from multiple viewpoints.

HOW DOES FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY WORK?

Facial recognition software works by matching real time images to a previous photograph of a person. 

Each face has approximately 80 unique nodal points across the eyes, nose, cheeks and mouth which distinguish one person from another. 

A digital video camera measures the distance between various points on the human face, such as the width of the nose, depth of the eye sockets, distance between the eyes and shape of the jawline.

A different smart surveillance system (pictured) can scan 2 billion faces within seconds has been revealed in China. The system connects to millions of CCTV cameras and uses artificial intelligence to pick out targets. The military is working on applying a similar version of this with AI to track people across the country 

A different smart surveillance system (pictured) can scan 2 billion faces within seconds has been revealed in China. The system connects to millions of CCTV cameras and uses artificial intelligence to pick out targets. The military is working on applying a similar version of this with AI to track people across the country 

A different smart surveillance system (pictured) can scan 2 billion faces within seconds has been revealed in China. The system connects to millions of CCTV cameras and uses artificial intelligence to pick out targets. The military is working on applying a similar version of this with AI to track people across the country 

This produces a unique numerical code that can then be linked with a matching code gleaned from a previous photograph.

A facial recognition system used by officials in China connects to millions of CCTV cameras and uses artificial intelligence to pick out targets.

Experts believe that facial recognition technology will soon overtake fingerprint technology as the most effective way to identify people. 

<!—->Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Technology

Facebook critics’ alternative Oversight Board to discuss moderation

Published

on

By

facebook critics alternative oversight board to discuss moderation

The day after Facebook announced it will launch its Oversight Board in October to determine what’s allowed on the site, critics launched their own alternative.

The Citizens, a UK nonprofit, unveiled the ‘Real Facebook Oversight Board’ on Friday to address the social media giant’s policies and practices ahead of the US presidential election.

The group warned that Facebook was already being used to suppress minority votes.

‘Its tools are being used to spread lies and to enable private militias to organize voting station protests,’ the group said in a statement on its website.

Decisions by Citizens’ panel of experts are not binding on Facebook, but the group hopes putting the platform under public scrutiny will have an impact. 

Scroll down for video 

The day after the announcement of the official Facebook Oversight Board, a UK nonprofit  unveiled 'the Real Facebook Oversight Board,'  which aims to hold the social media platform accountable for its policies and practices

The day after the announcement of the official Facebook Oversight Board, a UK nonprofit  unveiled 'the Real Facebook Oversight Board,'  which aims to hold the social media platform accountable for its policies and practices

The day after the announcement of the official Facebook Oversight Board, a UK nonprofit  unveiled ‘the Real Facebook Oversight Board,’  which aims to hold the social media platform accountable for its policies and practices

‘In 2016, we didn’t understand how Facebook was being used to subvert the presidential election. This time, there’s no excuse,’ the organization says. ‘A single, unelected man rules Facebook’s vast empire and is accountable to no one.’ 

The Citizens complain that, even if the official Facebook Oversight Board starts hearing appeals in mid-October as planned, it can take up to 90 days to reach a decision – far too late to have an impact on the US presidential race. 

‘We’re not waiting for another election to go wrong. We believe accountability in real-time is vital.’

‘Facebook is a weapon,’ Citizens founder Carole Cadwallad tweeted on Friday. ‘A private company, controlled by one man, being used to undermine democracy. We urgently need to hold it to account. Before it’s too late.’ 

UK journalist Carole Cadwalladr says she launched the Real Facebook Oversight Board to hold the platform to account as the presidential election nears. 'We know there are going to be a series of incidents leading up to the election and beyond in which Facebook is crucial,' she told NBC News

UK journalist Carole Cadwalladr says she launched the Real Facebook Oversight Board to hold the platform to account as the presidential election nears. 'We know there are going to be a series of incidents leading up to the election and beyond in which Facebook is crucial,' she told NBC News

UK journalist Carole Cadwalladr says she launched the Real Facebook Oversight Board to hold the platform to account as the presidential election nears. ‘We know there are going to be a series of incidents leading up to the election and beyond in which Facebook is crucial,’ she told NBC News

Cadwalladr, a prominent UK journalist, previously broke the story on how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook user data to target voters in the 2016 presidential election and Brexit vote.

‘We know there are going to be a series of incidents leading up to the election and beyond in which Facebook is crucial,’ she told NBC News.

She called the Real Facebook Oversight Board a ‘real-time response from an authoritative group of experts to counter the spin Facebook is putting out.’

The board is composed of some two dozen academics, politicians, civil rights advocates, and journalists, including NAACP president Derrick Johnson, MP Damian Collins former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Algorithms of Oppression author Safiya Noble and Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen.

Also on the board are Yael Eisenstat, an ex- CIA officer and Facebook’s former head of election integrity operations for political ads, and Marietje Schaake, director for international policy at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center.

The group will hold weekly Facebook Live meetings covering everything from political ads to Facebook events encouraging militia groups to intimidate voters.

The first meeting, on October 1, will be hosted by Recode founder Kara Swisher and will focus on voter suppression and misinformation campaigns

On its website, The Citizens describes itself as a volunteer group operated by journalists, filmmakers, advertising creatives, data scientists, artists, students, lawyers and others.

Prominent members include Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist Iain McHardy Overton, Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff, and former intelligence officer Christopher Steele, author of a controversial dossier on President Donald Trump.

Funding comes from Patreon donations, a GoFundMe campaign, an award from the Stieg Larsson foundation and the Luminate Foundation, an offshoot of the Omidyar Network, a self-styled ‘philanthropic investment firm.’ 

‘It’s good to have an alternative point of view, and we hope that the Real Facebook Oversight Board will strengthen the hand of Facebook’s actual oversight board and push them to do more,’ Martin Tisné, managing director of Luminate, told NBC News.

The news of Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ comes amid rising concerns about misinformation and manipulation around the US election.

The news of Facebook's 'Supreme Court' comes amid rising concerns about misinformation and manipulation around the US election

The news of Facebook's 'Supreme Court' comes amid rising concerns about misinformation and manipulation around the US election

The news of Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ comes amid rising concerns about misinformation and manipulation around the US election

It will be able to make binding rulings on whether posts or ads violate Facebook standards, weighing factors such as severity, scale and public discourse.

Once a decision has been made, Facebook will ‘promptly implement’ it, the company said.

‘We are currently testing the newly deployed technical systems that will allow users to appeal and the board to review cases,’ a board spokesperson said in a statement to AFP.

‘Assuming those tests go to plan, we expect to open user appeals in mid to late October. Building a process that is thorough, principled and globally effective takes time and our members have been working aggressively to launch as soon as possible.’

Members of the official Facebook Oversight Board include former U.S. federal circuit judge Michael McConnell, former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman, Columbia Law professor Jamal Greene and former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.

Twenty members were appointed in May, though the panel is expected to grow to 40. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.