South Korea’s obsession with technology has led it to consider what may be the first government-backed ethical code for robots.
Already well advanced in considering potential uses for robots, from the battlefield to the kitchen, the Korean ministry of commerce, industry and energy today said it hoped to publish guidelines for human-robot relations by the end of the year.
In a move sure to delight science fiction fans, the “Robot Ethics Charter” is likely to be modelled on the instructions devised by the American writer Isaac Asimov in his series, I, Robot.
This was a sort of Hippocratic oath for androids: they were not allowed to harm humans, or allow them to come to harm through inaction; they had to obey orders; and they had to protect themselves if that did not compromise the first two instructions.
What’s all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?
President Bush is expected to sign an $82 billion military spending bill soon that will, in part, create electronically readable, federally approved ID cards for Americans. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the package–which includes the Real ID Act–on Thursday.
What does that mean for me?
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you’ll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver’s license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.
Follow the link to read more
DENVER, March 3 â€” As migrant laborers flee Colorado because of tough new immigration restrictions, worried farmers are looking to prisoners to fill their places in the fields.
In a pilot program run by the state Corrections Department, supervised teams of low-risk inmates beginning this month will be available to harvest the swaths of sweet corn, peppers and melons that sweep the southeastern portion of the state.
Under the program, which has drawn criticism from groups concerned about immigrantsâ€™ rights and from others seeking changes in the criminal justice system, farmers will pay a fee to the state, and the inmates, who volunteer for the work, will be paid about 60 cents a day, corrections officials said.
It could be a scene from Kafka or Brazil. Imagine a government agency, in a bureaucratic foul-up, accidentally gives you a copy of a document marked “top secret.” And it contains a log of some of your private phone calls.
You read it and ponder it and wonder what it all means. Then, two months later, the FBI shows up at your door, demands the document back and orders you to forget you ever saw it.
By all accounts, that’s what happened to Washington D.C. attorney Wendell Belew in August 2004. And it happened at a time when no one outside a small group of high-ranking officials and workaday spooks knew the National Security Agency was listening in on Americans’ phone calls without warrants. Belew didn’t know what to make of the episode. But now, thanks to that government gaffe, he and a colleague have the distinction of being the only Americans who can prove they were specifically eavesdropped upon by the NSA’s surveillance program.
watch “Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook”
While the nearly $13 million that came from Accel to fund The Facebook certainly looks suspicious and unfortunately disturbing after reviewing all of this information, the only problem on the surface seems to be the appearance of some incestuous relationships between the Pentagon, the CIA, and these venture capital firms. But this goes further than just the initial appearances. DARPA shot to national fame in 2002 when John Markoff of the New York Times announced the existence of the “Information Awareness Office” (IAO).  According to Wikipedia, “the IAO has the stated mission to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralized location, for easy perusal by the United States government, including (though not limited to) Internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver’s licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data.”  Protests came from civil libertarians on both the right and the left who saw the IAO as a new Orwellian arm of the United States government. After Congress investigated DARPA’s project, funding was cut off and IAO was essentially dead in the water…
Read more at Common Ground Common Sense
Today, Reps. Rich Boucher (D-Va.) and John Dolittle (R-Calif.) introduced what they call the “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship” (or FAIR USE) Act they say will make it easier for digital media consumers to use the content they buy.
The lawmakers seek to amend the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which content-makers, such as movie studios and record labels, fought to pass to protect their wares from getting stolen and pirated.
But that law goes too far, the lawmakers say.
“The Digital Millennium Copyright Act dramatically tilted the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public’s right to fair use,” Boucher said in a statement. “Without a change in the law, individuals will be less willing to purchase digital media if their use of the media within the home is severely circumscribed and the manufacturers of equipment and software that enables circumvention for legitimate purposes will be reluctant to introduce the products into the market.”
AUSTIN â€” Castle Doctrine sounds like a medieval warning to invaders: Cross this moat and suffer the consequences.
A pair of Republican state lawmakers now want to use it to revise Texas’ modern-day self-defense laws.
Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio and Rep. Joe Driver of Garland have sponsored bills to have Texas join more than a dozen states with the so-called “Castle Doctrine,” a sort of shoot-first, retreat-later approach to defending hearth, home, truck and business.
Related: Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Bill