HARPA: Social Credit (Mental) Scoring For Gun Control?

The Trump Administration has broken the ice on using Social Credit Scoring technology to decide who is mentally stable enough to purchase a weapon. Like a ‘No-Fly’ list, a ‘No-Buy’ list would be based on AI analysis of social media posts. ⁃ TN Editor

The Trump administration is considering a proposal that would use Google, Amazon and Apple to collect data on users who exhibit characteristics of mental illness that could lead to violent behavior, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The proposal is part of an initiative to create a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), which would be located inside the Health and Human Services Department, the report notes, citing sources inside the administration. The new agency would have a separate budget and the president would be responsible for appointing its director.

HARPA would take after Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which serves as the research arm for the Pentagon. The idea was first crafted in 2017 but has since gotten a renewed push after mass shootings killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in August.

The Suzanne Wright Foundation approached the president recently and proposed the agency include a project called Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes, or Safe Home, the report notes, citing two people familiar with the matter.

President Donald Trump has a close relationship with Bob Wright, who founded the foundation after his wife died of cancer. Wright was a former chair of NBC and occupied that position while the president hosted “The Apprentice.” 

HARPA would develop “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence,” according to a copy of the proposal. “A multi-modality solution, along with real-time data analytics, is needed to achieve such an accurate diagnosis.”

The document lists several technologies that could be employed to help collect information, including Apple Watches, Amazon Echo and Google Home. Geoffrey Ling, the lead scientific adviser on HARPA, told reporters Thursday the plan would require enormous amounts of data and “scientific rigor.”

He added: “Everybody would be a volunteer. We’re not inventing new science here. We’re analyzing it so we can develop new approaches.” The White House declined to provide the Daily Caller News Foundation with a statement but sources told WaPo that Trump has reacted “very positively” to the proposal — it is unclear if he has seen the Safe Home idea.

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Safe, Mass Producible Truck-Sized Nuclear Reactors

This revolutionary miniaturization of nuclear power could solve the world’s energy need in a few years, but it will most certainly be demonized by the Alternative Energy/Green New Deal who are pushing Sustainable Development. ⁃ TN Editor

A new Very-Small, Long-LIfe, and Modular (VSLLIM) reactor design has been developed at the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. It offers passive operation and decay heat removal and redundant control to make it walk-away safe.

During nominal operation and after shutdown, the VSLLIM reactor is cooled by natural circulation of in-vessel liquid sodium (Na), that is enabled using in-vessel chimney (1–2 m tall) and helically coiled tubes Na-Na heat exchanger, placed at the top of the downcomer.

The reactor can generate 1.0–10 MWth, depending on the height of the chimney and the HEX design, at an average fission power density up to 23.47 MWth/m3. The VSLLIM reactor can potentially operate continuously, without refueling for ∼92 and 5.9 full power years (FPY), respectively, and slightly below atmospheric pressure, owing to the sodium low vapor pressure.

The core is loaded with hexagonal assemblies of fuel rods with UN enriched to 13.76%, and has independent systems for emergency shutdown and nominal control.

Highlights of the SLIMM Design

  • Walk away passively safe
  • smaller than a shipping container
  • factory mass-producible
  • Narrow and small design could fit on rockets for space applications

As many as 10–30 units could be deployed incrementally at a single site, commensurate with the increase in electricity demand, for a plant total electricity generation of up to 120 MWe.

These VSLLIM power plant modules could also be integrated into either a distributed or a central grid, with renewable energy sources, or operated alone. They can also provide both electricity and process heat for industrial uses and district heating.

It also has two independent systems for safe passive removal of decay heat after shutdown, and following an unlikely malfunction of in-vessel HEX. These are liquid metal heat pipes (LMHPs) embedded in the primary vessel wall, and natural circulation of ambient air along the outer surface of the guard vessel wall.

The LMHPs are thermally coupled to thermoelectric elements for generating 10 s of kW of auxiliary DC power, independent of on-site and off-site sources, both during nominal reactor operation and after shutdown. The sodium coolant enters the fast-neutron energy spectrum core at 610 K and exits at ≤755 K, depending on the reactor thermal power. At these temperatures, Na is compatible with the HT-9 Ferritic-Martensitic steel cladding, core structure and reactor vessel.

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Facial Recognition: Facebook Finally Gives Control Back To Users

After fines, legal battles and cancelled users, Facebook finally succumbs to pressure by giving control over facial recognition features to users by offering opt-in/out. New users will be set to opt-out by default. ⁃ TN Editor

Facebook on Tuesday said facial recognition technology applied to photos at the social network will be an opt-in feature.

The change that began rolling out to users around the world came as the leading social network remains under pressure to better protect privacy and user data, including biometric information.

Nearly two years ago, Facebook introduced a face recognition feature that went beyond suggesting friends to tag in pictures or videos but could let user know when they were in images they had permission to see elsewhere on the service.

Facebook is doing away with a “tag” suggestion setting in favor of an overall facial recognition setting which will be off by default, according to a post by artificial intelligence applied research lead Srinivas Narayanan.

“Facebook’s face recognition technology still does not recognize you to strangers,” Narayanan said.

“We don’t share your face recognition information with third parties. We also don’t sell our technology.”

People new to Facebook or who had the “tag” feature operating will get word from the social network about the face recognition setting along with an easy way to turn it on if they wish, according to Narayanan.

“People will still be able to manually tag friends, but we won’t suggest you to be tagged if you do not have face recognition turned on,” Narayanan said.

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Facebook will no longer scan user faces by default