Ghosting in the land of surveillance


Using makeup as camouflage

Public opinion about the use and spread of drones is still up in the air, but burgeoning drone use has sparked numerous efforts to curtail drones. These responses range from public policies exerting community control over local airspace, to the development of sophisticated jamming equipment and tactics for knocking drones out of the sky…Anti-drone measures range from simple blunt force, 10-gauge shotguns, to the poetic: well-trained hawks.

The article develops analysis and then suggests techniques to disguise yourself…which is truly worthy and affordable. And fun.

The…most practical, thing you can do to protect yourself from drone surveillance is to get a disguise. The growth of mass surveillance has led to an explosion in creative experiments meant to mask one’s identity. But some of the smartest ideas are decidedly old-school and low-tech. Clothing is the first choice, because hats, glasses, masks and scarves go a long way toward scrambling drone-based facial-recognition software…

Artists and scientists have taken these approaches a step further, developing a hoodie wrap that’s intended to shield the owner’s heat signature and to scramble facial recognition software, and glasses intended to foil facial recognition systems.

And, not so incidentally, driving spooks from the FBI and your local Red Squad crazy is fun.

Our early tree-dwelling ancestors were also bipedal

Experiments by a UA anthropologist and his colleagues show that fossil footprints made 3.6 million years ago are the earliest direct evidence of early hominins using the kind of efficient, upright posture and gait now seen in modern humans.
More than three million years ago, the ancestors of modern humans were still spending a considerable amount of their lives in trees, but something new was happening.

David Raichlen…and his colleagues…have developed new experimental evidence indicating that these early hominins were walking with a human-like striding gait as long as 3.6 million years ago.

A trackway of fossil footprints preserved in volcanic ash deposited 3.6 million years ago was uncovered in Laetoli, Tanzania, more than 30 years ago. The significance of those prints for human evolution has been debated ever since.

The most likely individuals to have produced these footprints, which show clear evidence of bipedalism, or walking on two legs, would have been members of the only bipedal species alive in the area at that time, Australopithecus afarensis. That species includes “Lucy,” whose skeletal remains are the most complete of any individual A. afarensis found to date…

Since the Laetoli tracks were discovered, scientists have debated whether they indicate a modern human-like mode of striding bipedalism, or a less-efficient type of crouched bipedalism more characteristic of chimpanzees whose knees and hips are bent when walking on two legs.

To resolve this, Raichlen and his colleagues devised the first biomechanical experiment explicitly designed to address this question…

“Based on previous analyses of the skeletons of Australopithecus afarensis, we expected that the Laetoli footprints would resemble those of someone walking with a bent knee, bent hip gait typical of chimpanzees, and not the striding gait normally used by modern humans,” Raichlen said. “But to our surprise, the Laetoli footprints fall completely within the range of normal human footprints…”

What is fascinating about this study is that it suggests that, at a time when our ancestors had an anatomy well-suited to spending a significant amount of time in the trees, they had already developed a highly efficient, modern human-like mode of bipedalism,” said Gordon.

True Believers may ignore this entire post and the linked article. Of course.

You may now return to jiggling your beads or whatever it is that you fondle on a Sunday evening after all televised sports have ended.