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Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” — Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775
AI-generated and self-published books sold on Amazon have not earned a reputation for quality.
One such volume, which Amazon rated as a bestseller, claimed to detail the full story behind the wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui before the blazes were doused and while hundreds of residents were missing. The book was “written” by an author who has left no trace on the digital world other than his books for sale on Amazon, the texts of which include grammatical oddities and other hallmarks of being generated by AI.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed rules for commercial space launch companies to address orbital debris, a growing threat to spacecraft and satellites.
Detailed this week in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) [PDF], the FAA wants commercial space operators to take responsibility for disposing of the upper stages of their launch vehicles, and offers them five options to implement this.
The options include conducting a controlled re-entry; an uncontrolled atmospheric disposal; moving the upper stage to a storage or graveyard orbit; retrieving the upper stage within five years; or pushing it into an Earth-escape orbit.
However, the FAA proposes that operators should be allowed up to 25 years in which the upper stage is removed from orbit using the uncontrolled or natural decay method.
The reason a US Marine Corps pilot ejected from his F-35B stealth fighter jet last weekend remains unknown, but a government agency report on the dismal state of the F-35 fleet's maintenance provides a few clues.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which coincidentally released its report the same week the search for the now-recovered crashed F-35 was happening, found that the DoD's fleet of the fighter craft "face costly maintenance issues" that have led to an average of just 55 percent of them being ready for action at any given time.
For reference, the DoD's goals for the F-35A is a mission capable rate of 90 percent, while it wants the B and C variants of the F-35, with their more complicated short takeoff and landing and carrier launch configurations, to have an 85 percent rate.
Security researchers with the Citizen Lab and Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) revealed today that three zero-days patched by Apple on Thursday were abused as part of an exploit chain to install Cytrox's Predator spyware.
Between May and September 2023, the attackers exploited the bugs (CVE-2023-41991, CVE-2023-41992, and CVE-2023-41993) in attacks using decoy SMS and WhatsApp messages to target former Egyptian MP Ahmed Eltantawy after announcing plans to join the Egyptian presidential election in 2024.
"In August and September 2023, Eltantawy's Vodafone Egypt mobile connection was persistently selected for targeting via network injection," Citizen Lab explained.
"When Eltantawy visited certain websites not using HTTPS, a device installed at the border of Vodafone Egypt's network automatically redirected him to a malicious website to infect his phone with Cytrox's Predator spyware."
Ukraine doesn’t have to worry about a potential U.S. government shutdown affecting the flow of cash, weapons, and military equipment to its country after the Pentagon exempted Ukrainian operations from the possible shutdown.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he is exploring options on how to address problems at Colony Ridge, a massive housing development north of Houston that’s become a hub for illegal immigrants thanks to financing methods that circumvent any need for proof-of-citizenship documents.
The 911 call from the aftermath of an F-35 crash in South Carolina last Sunday was released on Friday, revealing more details about the expensive incident that is still under investigation by the U.S. military.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley took a shot at her former boss on Friday, former President Donald Trump, calling him “weak in the knees” for not wanting to do more to support Ukraine and calling him “thin-skinned and easily distracted.”
Top Democrats from New Jersey have started to press Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to resign after he was indicted on Friday on corruption charges stemming from alleged bribes that he took in exchange for taking actions as an elected official.
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy joins 'FOX & Friends' to share his takeaways from Attorney General Merrick Garland's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. He also discusses his viral reading of 'Gender Queer.'
The Biden administration has recently disclosed its intention to deploy an additional 800 U.S. military personnel to the southern border.
However, their role will be limited to assisting with the processing of migrants, rather than aiding in law enforcement efforts.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under President Biden has clarified that the active-duty troops will be tasked with "logistics and other functions at the border to allow more Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers to return to their core mission and responsibilities."
While the Democratic Mayor of Dallas says the city has thrived, Eric Johnson writes in a very frank WSJ op-ed that, elsewhere, Democratic policies have exacerbated crime and homelessness.
"The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism.
Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP."
As we have written in detail previously, cities governed by Democrat mayors have seen the largest increases in homicide rates over the past year as well as registered the highest homicide rate per capita in Q1 out of 45 cities, according to a new report.
Homicide rates in 45 of the most populated American cities rose by approximately 10 percent on average between Q1, 2021 and Q1, 2023, and continue to rise, according to an April 26 report by WalletHub. Blue cities were found to have a higher increase in homicide rates compared to red cities. The report designated a city as red or blue based on the mayor’s political affiliation.
The top five cities that saw the greatest increase in per capita homicide are Richmond, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; Durham, North Carolina; Garland, Texas; and Washington, D.C.
Except for Garland, where Mayor Scott LeMay is a Republican, the remaining four cities have mayors who are affiliated with the Democratic Party.
Western officials and media pundits are now directly acknowledging that Ukraine’s much-touted “spring counteroffensive” has been a catastrophic failure, but rather than seeing this as a reason to reconsider the mainstream political consensus on this war, they are instead telling everyone that the counteroffensive’s failure means we must commit to the status quo of bloodshed and nuclear brinkmanship for years to come.
On Thursday, the the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report (pdf) which concluded that the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, was only mission capable about 50 percent of the time for the A and B variants and 57 percent for the C variant of the fighter. These mission capability rates, the GAO report states, are "far below program goals" of 90 percent for the F-35A variant and 85 for the B and C variants.
The F-35—which is operated by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as a host of U.S. allies—is one of the most advanced systems in Western arsenals. The 5th Generation fighter jet is made with an array of special radar-absorbent materials and other "stealth" features. The multirole fighter jet boasts capabilities for a range of different mission types, and the F-35B variant operated by the Marine Corps has unique short take-off and vertical landing capabilities.
The F-35 is also one of the most expensive systems in Western arsenals. The U.S. Department of Defense has estimated the F-35 program will cost the department about $1.7 trillion over its life cycle. A majority of this estimated lifetime cost, $1.3 trillion, is expected to go toward maintenance. The GAO said it conducted this latest sustainment study of the F-35 in part because of this high program cost.
Contributing to this low mission capability rate, the GAO report concluded the F-35 program is heavily reliant on contractors for maintenance work and the DOD has been slow to take over the program's responsibilities.