Am Yisrael Chai!

I love the Merkava IV, Israel’s main battle tank. 


The shape, the versatility, the power! 


Complete fighting awesomeness. 


The new “Merkava IV Barak” (scheduled for deployment in 2021) will even have artificial intelligence (AI) for advanced battle management systems. 


I wish we had the Merkava during the Holocaust and could’ve given the Nazi bastards what they rightfully deserved. 

 

Never again! 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel 2020: Day 5

Went to the Holon Design Museum (south of Tel Aviv) today. 


They had exhibit called States of Extreme.


I found some really cool exhibits and ideas there.


Sort of felt my mind being expanded by it, which is I suppose one of the purposes of going to this. 


Two of my favorite from today:


1) The chair with people legs and 


2) The Fanuc robotic arm feeding the baby in the crib.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did. 


And Shabbat Shalom to everyone from the Holy Land!


(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

3D Printed Octopus: “Shabbat Shalom”

This is a 3D Printed Octopus.  


The bendable legs are cute. 


It’s sitting on a camera and tripod. 


Soon 3D Printed Objects will even talk, and when they do, this one will say: 

Shabbat Shalom!


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Robot Warriors Kick Human A*s

This is one incredible parody video of what robotic warriors of the future will be able to do. 



The robot takes an incredible beating and never misses a shot!



They even hit him numerous times with a battering ram for Pete’s sake. 



Also, amazed that none of the actors in this video ended up taking a bullet or two. 



Wow, the future is going to be amazing. 😉



(Thank you to my wonderful son-in-law for sending this to me)

Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

Another bloody weekend…this time in El Paso and Dayton. 


With at least 29 dead and 53 injured in mass shootings.


We still don’t seem to be able to get a state of security in our country. 


Whether it’s gangs and violence in our decaying cities (yes, like Baltimore). 


Or mass shootings by racists and nut jobs attacking our schools, houses of worship, shopping malls, and places of work. 


People can buy assault rifles with mega mags of ammunition and go crazy.


And they do!


While I was impressed with the response in Dayton especially, they killed the perpetrator within 30 seconds of the start to his killing spree, in other cases it takes considerably longer,


Moreover, while generally the first responders are brave and heroic in going after and taking out the bad guys, in places like the Parkland shooting, the officer apparently hid behind a tree while the students got massacred. 


We need a rethinking of how we deal with these terror situations. 


Can technology help (and I know these may sound crazy, but we have to think out-of-the-box at some point)?


We have the ShotSpotter technology to pinpoint where shootings are occurring. 


Why can’t we have persistent armed drones on patrol with AI ready to swoop in (even through an open door or window) and respond and neutralize the shooter (while law enforcement makes their way through our busy city streets). 


Other ideas…embedded chips in humans (yes, it is coming) that would drive the privacy wonks nuts, but can identify occurrences of extreme violence and potentially stop it.  


I am sure there are other technology ideas out there.


Certainly, we do need to balance privacy with safety, and it will be tricky to make sure the AI is getting it right, but as we figure this out, tragically there are fathers, mothers, children not coming home because they are dead.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Gotta Love FANUC

I love FANUC industrial robots. 


They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 


They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.


Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from “cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs.”  They also are in Tesla and Amazon…so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 


FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 


Their robots are made by…that’s right other robots…80% is automated


These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 


This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 


But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Isn’t The U.S. Keeping Up Militarily?

The United States is ranked as the most powerful country in the world:


But the U.S. spends more than the next 7-8 countries COMBINED!(See below chart from Forbes 2016)


In fact, military spending is more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending. 


So the question is why are we spending so much more than everybody else, is the United States getting its money’s worth, and most importantly are we able to defend ourselves? 


The U.S. defense budget is going up and has been approved at $717B for 2019. 


All the other 28 NATO countries together spend less than half ($296B) as much as the U.S. alone. 


If you add NATO spending as a complement to the U.S. then the total spend on our mutual defense approaches $1 trillion!


Russia ($69B) China ($146B), North Korea ($6B), and Iran’s ($16B) military spending in total pales in comparison at just $237B.


NATO as a whole is outspending Russia + China + North Korea + Iran by a factor of 4 times yet these countries are still considered major threats to us!
Despite all the truly incredible brave, hard working, and excellent men and women that serve with distinction in our military, 


Therefore, again why is it that the U.S. is spending more on what others seem to get for cheaper?  Is there significant fraud, waste, and abuse in the system?  Are we as a rich capitalistic nation simply getting fat, lazy, and stupid?  


Notwithstanding the outsized spending by the United States, incredibly from today’s Wall Street Journal, there is another article about our inability to defend ourselves:

“These are admissions that the U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical and nuclear weapons except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains.”

Some poignant examples given:

– Our stationary land-based nuclear missiles are no match for Russia and China’s mobile-based ICBMs.

– Our ten busiest U.S. ports do not have an adequate defense against an underwater nuclear missile launch.


China and Russia variously are beating us out in:

  • Quantum Communications
  • Anti-Satellite Weapons
  • Directed Energy 
  • Hypersonics 

In fact, it was just reported that China conducted its 8th hypersonic test of a plane–with this one said to capable of Mach 10–and that it is capable of carrying nukes! 

Further, our carrier group fleet and land forces are at risk with respect to Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons.


Of course, EMP weapons can fry our electrical grid and a large cyber attack could disable our critical infrastructure.


Let’s not even talk bioweapons–think Black Plague from the Middle Ages that wiped out 30-60% of Europe. 


Yes, some of these are asymmetric warfare, but why are we still thinking and fighting so kinetic and conventionally. 


If we are fighting the wars of yesteryear instead of the battles of today and the threats of tomorrow then what good is our military investments and assets.


To become a more capable fighting force that is less vulnerable, more capable of defending this country, and making better use of our large investment dollars here are 10-steps we need to take to transform our military; we need to transition as follows:

  1. From static land-based nuclear missiles to a fully mobile platform.
  2. From vulnerable fleets of large ships and planes to “unstoppable” swarms of miniaturized lethal drones. 
  3. From a preponderance of earth-based kinetic weapons to space-based energy directed weapons. 
  4. From having to generally choose between speed or power to using the power of speed as an “unstoppable” force of nature. 
  5. From projecting a time and space bound visible presence to a persistent invisible existence.
  6. From attempting to defend limited points of presence to establishing a “impenetrable” umbrella shield of multi-layered defenses.
  7. From reactively identifying and stopping cyber threats to proactively hunting and destroying them. 
  8. From knee-jerk instinctive putting of human lives in harm’s way to matter-of-factly sending milbots (military robots) to the front lines. 
  9. From relying on the heroics and genius of individual human brainpower to harnessing in realtime “the collective” augmented by artificial intelligence into a hive.
  10. From relying on escalation of a “bigger, badder gun” to being able to fight capably in every battle arena, win in each and dominate holistically. 

Over $700B per year should buy us a lot of defense, hopefully in the future we can really use it to defend ourselves. 😉

Information Is Power

Just wanted to share something I heard and liked about data and information:

“Everything is a record, record, record
in a table, table, table.”

Can everything in life really be reduced to lines of records, with fields of data in tables of information?


This is the information age!


Analytics and Big Data rule!


Knowledge is power!


In any conflict, we seek information dominance and supremacy!


Artificial intelligence is the future!


Records are unique with their own sys.id.


Creativity and innovation are also records in the table–even if they are the one in a million. 


The more records and tables–the more dots and connections between them–the more intelligence we can glean. 


Yes, everything is a record, record, record in a table, table, table. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fortune Cookie Generator

Ok, this is a most interesting fortune cookie:

“If your cookie still in one piece, buy lotto.”


Hmm, what cookie is this referring to?  And why should I buy lotto?


So I start to think that this is likely a computer-generated garbage fortune–i.e. the artificial intelligence makes no f*ckin sense! 


Anyway, you will be fascinated to know that the modern fortune cookie with the paper fortune inside the hollow of the cookie was invented in California.


However, the Japanese put something like this in the bend of the cookie already in the 19th century. 


Using this fortune as an example, I have this gnawing feeling that the Japanese fortunes had a lot more intellectual substance to them. 


Anyway, someone tell this lame cookie fortune teller that Lotto is way out and Powerball is in and where the real winnings are. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)