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The City of Oakland Votes to Ban Facial Recognition

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On Tuesday night, the city council of Oakland, California voted to ban the municipal use of facial recognition technology within its borders.

That makes Oakland the third U.S. city to ban the high-tech surveillance tool and the second to do so in the Bay Area, according to CNET. San Francisco, California banned facial recognition in May and Somerville, Massachusetts followed suit in June. It’s a trend that shows that the people of Silicon Valley are increasingly uncomfortable with the creepy tech developed right in their own neighborhood.

Unproven Tech

Rebecca Kaplan, president of Oakland’s city council, argued that facial recognition technology was neither sophisticated enough nor properly regulated to be placed in the hands of police and other law enforcement agencies, per CNET. She also cited how the technology has been used to target minorities and other vulnerable populations.

Oakland police pushed back against the proposed ban, arguing for a watered-down version that would still allow some applications of the technology, according to CBS SF. But the city council went with the original, more restrictive version.

Technically, a final vote with the Oakland City Council is scheduled for September 17, but given how this first vote passed unanimously, it seems likely that the full ban will go into effect.

READ MORE: Facial recognition banned in another city [CNET]

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Watch the First Video of a Virus Growing in Real-Time

For the first time, researchers have captured the formation of individual viruses on camera in real-time — and the footage could yield new insights into how best to fight the bugs.

In a paper published recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team from Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences details how it obtained the footage using a highly specialized microscope and a technique called “interferometric scattering microscopy.”

“Our technique gives the first window into how viruses assemble,” researcher Vinothan Manoharan said in a press release, “and reveals the kinetics and pathways in quantitative detail.”

The team focused its study on the RNA virus, the most common type of virus on Earth and the kind responsible for the common cold, polio, and a host of other diseases.

The dark spots in the video are, in fact, soccer-ball type structures of hexagonal and pentagonal rings of proteins that encase the RNA virus. The resulting shell around the virus is called a “capsid.”

According to Manoharan, the pattern in which these spots appear as the virus assembles is already uncovering clues as to how to fight some types of viruses.

“If nuclei form too quickly, complete capsids can’t grow,” he said in the press release. “That observation might give us some insights into how to derail the assembly of pathogenic viruses.”

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Watch Russia’s Combat Drone Fly Next to a Fighter Jet

Heavy Strike Drone

Russia’s secretive uncrewed combat air vehicle, the S-70 Okhotnik-B just took to the skies accompanied by a fighter jet for the first time, according to a statement by Russian news agency TASS. The footage is pretty incredible.

The video, uploaded by the Russian Defense Ministry, shows the unusual aircraft take off next to a Russian S-57 advanced combat jet, in a flight that lasted for more than 30 minutes.

Hunter-B

The stealthy drone, also known as the Hunter-B, could offer the Russian military a way to penetrate air spaces without being detected. The video could also herald a future in which fighter jet pilots could be accompanied by one or more of these stealth drones to improve their view of the battlefield, The Drive suggests.

“As part of the ongoing test program, the Okhotnik drone performed a flight in the automated mode in its full configuration, entering the airborne alert area,” the ministry said in the statement.

Jet Accompaniment

The top secret heavy strike stealth drone has been in development for an unknown number of years. Back in August, Russia’s Ministry of Defense released footage of the drone taking off for the first time.

The ministry is hoping to start deliveries of the S-70 in 2025, according to the statement. Heavily armed tests will take place as soon as 2023.

READ MORE: Watch Russia’s S-70 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Fly With An Su-57 For The First Time [The Drive]

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Fans Update Sci-Fi Classic Metropolis with New Color and Sound

Metropolis Remix breathes new life into the pioneering classic 1927 silent film.

Metropolis was a groundbreaking work of science fiction and German expressionism when it was released in 1927. Now, this painstaking modernization created by Garrett Guynn & Andrew John Holt brings new sound and color to the classic film with the help of many contributors. Metropolis Remix includes a new title sequence, new voices, and original music created by Andrew John Holt.

On Youtube, Holt writes:

“I am so excited to have been a part of this awesome project. Garrett and I worked very closely over Skype and file sharing over many months to produce the film enhancements you see now. Garrett initially seeked help through the “Reddit Voice Acting Sub” for one of the voices on his project that he had already been working on an off with over the past five years. I voiced Josephat the assistant to the Great Mr Fredersen Senior. Once I had finished the collaboration with Garrett the project blossomed with my words “Perhaps we could do more with this”. Garrett was based in Hawaii and i am based in Sydney which made for some interesting time difference work sessions. I would be on my computer after dinner and he would be feeding breakfast to his child and juggling manuscripts. We agonised for so long on inventing dialogue that matched the lips and was relevant to the scene in some way. My favourite scene is where Freda embraces one of his floozies in front of the fountain. The dialogue was seamless with the lips saying “Kiss Me”. We also agonised about the ending and the dialogue between Grot the worker, Maria, Freda Junior and Fredersen Senior. It all came out seamlessly in the end. Garrett and I mused about doing another project together, perhaps an old Charlie Chaplin film, but we are still in dialogue as they say in Hollywood…hahaha….”

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis with new sound and color

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

Metropolis Remix

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