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Weekly Roundup 8.07 Edition

by Cassie August 7, 2015

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Artificial Intelligence: How far should technology go?

Many top scientists believe that artificial intelligence is not just a possibility, but an inevitability. Viewed as an evolution of substantial scientific advancement, it does, however, bring cause for concern considering the opportunities available to weaponize artificial intelligence. The Future of Life Institute has penned a letter urging a ban on offensive autonomous weaponry (“killer robots”), signed by Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Steve Wozniak, to name a few. The group does not want to eliminate artificial intelligence or slow its progression, but rather, it wants to prevent a military AI arms race by countries and other organizations already developing autonomous AI weapons. Sorry gang, perhaps robotic super-soldiers from our favorite movies are not in the best interest of mankind after all.

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Bank Robber Captured After Starring in Horror Movie

It’s rare that a bank robber makes a career switch and becomes a horror movie actor, but Jason Strange did just that. What he didn’t think through, however, was the fact that a bank robber on the run should try to remain slightly less conspicuous. He was recognized by a U.S. Marshal of the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force when a picture from the set of the movie, Marla Mae, appeared in a local newspaper. The movie wrapped before Strange was arrested, so his scenes will remain in the movie. In fact, when asked about Strange, producer Brandon Roberts said, “He really nailed the audition.”

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Android Devices Vulnerable to Texting Hack

Do you own an Android device? Well, you and 950 million other Android users may be at risk for a new texting hack. Unlike e-mail hacks which require the receiver to actually open the message, this new SMS hack, discovered by research firm Zimperium, requires only that the phone receive the message, for hackers to gain access. What is most troubling about this development is that hackers only need your phone number to exploit this vulnerability. Fortunately, from what Google reports, the hack has not been applied outside the lab, but that does not mean it is not being used elsewhere. New Android updates are available to help address this issue, so make sure to update your phone.

For the original article on, click here

New Smart Window Can Block Heat or Light

Researchers from the University of Texas have developed a new window that can adjust its physical qualities to differentiate between light and heat. Smart windows in the past have been able to block heat from entering a room, but in doing so they also blocked light. The new window can stop heat from getting in on a hot day without forcing the owner to sit in the dark. Another key feature of the window is its ability to change between light- and heat-blocking in a few minutes, as opposed to the hours it takes other smart windows to adjust. With this new technology, smart windows could greatly enhance the energy efficiency of buildings in the future. Although they are not currently available to consumers, these smart windows have been deemed ready for commercial production.

For the original article on, click here