Tag Archives: gps

Gliding to earth with the Raspberry Pi Zero

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/zero-hab-glider/

RaptorTech’s goal was to drop a glider from the edge of space, and with a Raspberry Pi and a high-altitude weather balloon, their vision became a reality.

Dropping a glider from 10km with a high-altitude weather balloon

The goal of this project was to drop a glider from the edge of space using a high altitude weather balloon. The glider is entirely homemade and uses the opensource Pixhawk flight controller + a Raspberry Pi Zero to disconnect at the desired altitude and fly to a predetermined landing location.

High-altitude ballooning

Here at Pi Towers, we thoroughly enjoy the link between high-altitude balloon (HAB) enthusiasts and the Raspberry Pi community, from Dave Akerman‘s first attempt at sending a Raspberry Pi to near-space, to our own Skycademy programme training educators in high-altitude ballooning. HABs and the Pi go together like the macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, chips and gravy…you get the idea.

The RaptorTech glider

The RaptorTech team equipped their glider with a Pixhawk flight controller and the small $5 Raspberry Pi Zero to control the time point when the glider disconnects from the HAB, and to allow the glider to autonomously navigate back to a specific landing site.

RaptorTech high-altitude balloon Raspberry Pi Zero glider

They made the glider out of foam core and coroplast, with a covering of tape to waterproof the body. Inside it were two cameras, two servos, the Raspberry Pi Zero, and the Pixhawk flight controller with added GPS tracker (in case the glider got lost on the way home). The electronics were protected by handwarmers from freezing at high altitude.

The Raspberry Pi Zero ran a Python script to control the Pixhawk. At take-off, the Zero set the controller into manual mode to keep the glider from trying to fly off toward its final destination. When the glider reached a pre-determined altitude, the Zero disconnected the glider from the HAB by setting off a solid state relay to burn through the connecting wire. Then the Pi started up the flight controller to direct the glider home. You can find the code for this process here.

All systems go

Due to time limitations and weather restrictions, the RaptorTech team had to drop their glider from 10km instead of 30km as they’d planned. They were pleased to report the safe, successful return of their glider to about 10m from the pre-set landing point.

RaptorTech high-altitude balloon Raspberry Pi Zero glider

If you’d like to follow the adventures of RaptorTech, check out their Facebook page. You can also follow them on YouTube and on their website for more RC plane-based mayhem.

A note from Dave Akerman: “It’s worth pointing out that not only do all HAB flights need permission but that such permission would normally ONLY be for payloads being dropped by parachute. Free-flying gliders, planes, drones etc. are not allowed with specific permission. My understanding, from a HABber in the USA (where this flight was), is that the FAA will not provide such permission. In any case, before dropping anything from a HAB without a parachute, get specific permission first.”

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Protecting coral reefs with Nemo-Pi, the underwater monitor

Post Syndicated from Janina Ander original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/coral-reefs-nemo-pi/

The German charity Save Nemo works to protect coral reefs, and they are developing Nemo-Pi, an underwater “weather station” that monitors ocean conditions. Right now, you can vote for Save Nemo in the Google.org Impact Challenge.

Nemo-Pi — Save Nemo

Save Nemo

The organisation says there are two major threats to coral reefs: divers, and climate change. To make diving saver for reefs, Save Nemo installs buoy anchor points where diving tour boats can anchor without damaging corals in the process.

reef damaged by anchor
boat anchored at buoy

In addition, they provide dos and don’ts for how to behave on a reef dive.

The Nemo-Pi

To monitor the effects of climate change, and to help divers decide whether conditions are right at a reef while they’re still on shore, Save Nemo is also in the process of perfecting Nemo-Pi.

Nemo-Pi schematic — Nemo-Pi — Save Nemo

This Raspberry Pi-powered device is made up of a buoy, a solar panel, a GPS device, a Pi, and an array of sensors. Nemo-Pi measures water conditions such as current, visibility, temperature, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide concentrations, and pH. It also uploads its readings live to a public webserver.

Inside the Nemo-Pi device — Save Nemo
Inside the Nemo-Pi device — Save Nemo
Inside the Nemo-Pi device — Save Nemo

The Save Nemo team is currently doing long-term tests of Nemo-Pi off the coast of Thailand and Indonesia. They are also working on improving the device’s power consumption and durability, and testing prototypes with the Raspberry Pi Zero W.

web dashboard — Nemo-Pi — Save Nemo

The web dashboard showing live Nemo-Pi data

Long-term goals

Save Nemo aims to install a network of Nemo-Pis at shallow reefs (up to 60 metres deep) in South East Asia. Then diving tour companies can check the live data online and decide day-to-day whether tours are feasible. This will lower the impact of humans on reefs and help the local flora and fauna survive.

Coral reefs with fishes

A healthy coral reef

Nemo-Pi data may also be useful for groups lobbying for reef conservation, and for scientists and activists who want to shine a spotlight on the awful effects of climate change on sea life, such as coral bleaching caused by rising water temperatures.

Bleached coral

A bleached coral reef

Vote now for Save Nemo

If you want to help Save Nemo in their mission today, vote for them to win the Google.org Impact Challenge:

  1. Head to the voting web page
  2. Click “Abstimmen” in the footer of the page to vote
  3. Click “JA” in the footer to confirm

Voting is open until 6 June. You can also follow Save Nemo on Facebook or Twitter. We think this organisation is doing valuable work, and that their projects could be expanded to reefs across the globe. It’s fantastic to see the Raspberry Pi being used to help protect ocean life.

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Community Profile: Estefannie Explains It All

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-profile-estefannie/

This column is from The MagPi issue 59. You can download a PDF of the full issue for free, or subscribe to receive the print edition through your letterbox or the digital edition on your tablet. All proceeds from the print and digital editions help the Raspberry Pi Foundation achieve our charitable goals.

“Hey, world!” Estefannie exclaims, a wide grin across her face as the camera begins to roll for another YouTube tutorial video. With a growing number of followers and wonderful support from her fans, Estefannie is building a solid reputation as an online maker, creating unique, fun content accessible to all.

A woman sitting at a desk with a laptop and papers — Estefannie Explains it All Raspberry Pi

It’s as if she was born into performing and making for an audience, but this fun, enjoyable journey to social media stardom came not from a desire to be in front of the camera, but rather as a unique approach to her own learning. While studying, Estefannie decided the best way to confirm her knowledge of a subject was to create an educational video explaining it. If she could teach a topic successfully, she knew she’d retained the information. And so her YouTube channel, Estefannie Explains It All, came into being.

Note taking — Estefannie Explains it All

Her first videos featured pages of notes with voice-over explanations of data structure and algorithm analysis. Then she moved in front of the camera, and expanded her skills in the process.

But YouTube isn’t her only outlet. With nearly 50000 followers, Estefannie’s Instagram game is strong, adding to an increasing number of female coders taking to the platform. Across her Instagram grid, you’ll find insights into her daily routine, from programming on location for work to behind-the-scenes troubleshooting as she begins to create another tutorial video. It’s hard work, with content creation for both Instagram and YouTube forever on her mind as she continues to work and progress successfully as a software engineer.

A woman showing off a game on a tablet — Estefannie Explains it All Raspberry Pi

As a thank you to her Instagram fans for helping her reach 10000 followers, Estefannie created a free game for Android and iOS called Gravitris — imagine Tetris with balance issues!

Estefannie was born and raised in Mexico, with ambitions to become a graphic designer and animator. However, a documentary on coding at Pixar, and the beauty of Merida’s hair in Brave, opened her mind to the opportunities of software engineering in animation. She altered her career path, moved to the United States, and switched to a Computer Science course.

A woman wearing safety goggles hugging a keyboard Estefannie Explains it All Raspberry Pi

With a constant desire to make and to learn, Estefannie combines her software engineering profession with her hobby to create fun, exciting content for YouTube.

While studying, Estefannie started a Computer Science Girls Club at the University of Houston, Texas, and she found herself eager to put more time and effort into the movement to increase the percentage of women in the industry. The club was a success, and still is to this day. While Estefannie has handed over the reins, she’s still very involved in the cause.

Through her YouTube videos, Estefannie continues the theme of inclusion, with every project offering a warm sense of approachability for all, regardless of age, gender, or skill. From exploring Scratch and Makey Makey with her young niece and nephew to creating her own Disney ‘Made with Magic’ backpack for a trip to Disney World, Florida, Estefannie’s videos are essentially a documentary of her own learning process, produced so viewers can learn with her — and learn from her mistakes — to create their own tech wonders.

Using the Raspberry Pi, she’s been able to broaden her skills and, in turn, her projects, creating a home-automated gingerbread house at Christmas, building a GPS-controlled GoPro for her trip to London, and making everyone’s life better with an Internet Button–controlled French press.

Estefannie Explains it All Raspberry Pi Home Automated Gingerbread House

Estefannie’s automated gingerbread house project was a labour of love, with electronics, wires, and candy strewn across both her living room and kitchen for weeks before completion. While she already was a skilled programmer, the world of physical digital making was still fairly new for Estefannie. Having ditched her hot glue gun in favour of a soldering iron in a previous video, she continued to experiment and try out new, interesting techniques that are now second nature to many members of the maker community. With the gingerbread house, Estefannie was able to research and apply techniques such as light controls, servos, and app making, although the latter was already firmly within her skill set. The result? A fun video of ups and downs that resulted in a wonderful, festive treat. She even gave her holiday home its own solar panel!

A DAY AT RASPBERRY PI TOWERS!! LINK IN BIO ⚡🎥 @raspberrypifoundation

1,910 Likes, 43 Comments – Estefannie Explains It All (@estefanniegg) on Instagram: “A DAY AT RASPBERRY PI TOWERS!! LINK IN BIO ⚡🎥 @raspberrypifoundation”

And that’s just the beginning of her adventures with Pi…but we won’t spoil her future plans by telling you what’s coming next. Sorry! However, since this article was written last year, Estefannie has released a few more Pi-based project videos, plus some awesome interviews and live-streams with other members of the maker community such as Simone Giertz. She even made us an awesome video for our Raspberry Pi YouTube channel! So be sure to check out her latest releases.

Best day yet!! I got to hangout, play Jenga with a huge arm robot, and have afternoon tea with @simonegiertz and robots!! 🤖👯 #shittyrobotnation

2,264 Likes, 56 Comments – Estefannie Explains It All (@estefanniegg) on Instagram: “Best day yet!! I got to hangout, play Jenga with a huge arm robot, and have afternoon tea with…”

While many wonderful maker videos show off a project without much explanation, or expect a certain level of skill from viewers hoping to recreate the project, Estefannie’s videos exist almost within their own category. We can’t wait to see where Estefannie Explains It All goes next!

The post Community Profile: Estefannie Explains It All appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Как да допуснем услуги като Uber? [законопроект]

Post Syndicated from Bozho original https://blog.bozho.net/blog/3032

Съдът в Люксембург реши, че Uber е транспортна компания и предоставя таксиметрови услуги. Това е проблем не само за Uber, а за всички по-съвременни начини да предоставяш транспортна услуга, в това число децентрализирани варианти (например чрез блокчейн, въпреки целия ми скептицизъм към публичните такива).

За да бъдат допустими на пазара тези бизнес модели – дали Uber, дали Lyft, дали дори TaxiMe и TaxiStars, към които таксиметровите компании проявяват недоверие и се оптиват да ги изтикат за сметка на свои приложения, трябва законодателството да го позволява. Докато преди това решение Uber оперираше в (според тях) сива зона на нерегулиран бизнес, вече е ясно, че това не е така. И макар Uber да е най-популярният пример, те не са най-светлият такъв – компанията е на загуба и съвсем не е „цвете за мирисане“. Така че всичко недолу не би следвало да се разглежда като „как да узаконим Uber“, а как да не ограничаваме транспорта в градовете до „жълти коли с табелки, светлинки и таксиметрови апарати“.

Както бях писал преди време – регулациите могат да бъдат правени умно, така че да не ограничават технологични бизнес модели, за които регулаторите не са се сетили. За съжаление, Законът за автомобилните превози е доста остарял и със сигурност не допуска нищо различно от кола с таксиметров апарат с фискална памет, която можеш да си спреш на улицата. Освен това режимът, предвиден в закона е доста утежнен дори за съществуващите превозвачи. Първо, трябва да има регистрация на превозвач. След това всеки шофьор полага изпити и получава удостоверение за водач на таксиметров автомобил. Но това удостоверение на му е достатъчно – трябва да получи и разрешение от общината, която да разгледа удостоверението му и регистрацията на превозвача, чрез който ще осъщестява услугата. Не на последно място, законът предвижда общинските съвети да определят максимален брой таксита, както и разпределението им между регистрираните превозвачи. Това последното звучи доста непазарна мярка и със сигурност би ограничило някои по-иновативни модели.

Поради всичко това реших да напиша законопроект за изменение и допълнение на Закона за автомобилните превози. Докато пишех черновата, видях, че Естония вече е направила нещо такова, с доста сходен подход. Основните цели са:

  • Разграничаване на такситата, които можеш да си вземеш на улицата от тези, които можеш да вземеш единствено чрез диспечерска система (дали мобилно приложение, дали по друг начин, няма значение)
  • Допускане на измерване на разстоянието и съответно отчитането пред НАП със средства, различни от таксиметров апарат (например GPS + система, интегрирана с тази на НАП, както са направили в Естония преди време)
  • Улекотяване на регистрационния режим чрез премахване на разрешението от общината – общините, в които оперира даден автомобил се вписват от превозвача в регистъра на Изпълнителна агенция „Автомобилна администрация“, откъдето се черпи информация и за дължимия местен данък.
  • Запазване на данъка за таксиметрови превози към общините
  • Запазване на изискванията за техническа изправност, възраст на автомобилите, психическа годност и липса на присъди на водачите
  • Спазване на принципите на елекетронното управление – извличане на данните за автомобилите от регистъра на КАТ, позволяване на подаване на заявления по електронен път, включително автоматизирано, така че превозвачите да могат да интегрират вътрешните си системи за управление на автопарка с централния регистър. Премахване на задължението от носене на документи от страна на таксиметровите шофьори (като удостоверения) и проверката ми по електронен път
  • Премахване на централизираните изпити и обучения и заменянето им с обучителни материали (де факто прехъвлрне на отговорноста за обучение на шофьорите на превозвачите, които така или иначе имат интерес шофьорите им да не са неадекватни)
  • Премахване на възможността общината да определя размера на пазара и да разпределя участниците в него

Последните две точки са пожелателни, но според мен принципно важни. Ето и самият текст, с мотиви към всеки параграф:

Закон за изменение и допълнение на Закона за автомобилните превози

§1. В чл. 12а се правят следните изменения и допълнения:
1. В ал. 1, т.5 се изменя както следва: „Данни за моторните превозни средства, с които превозвачът извършва превозите:
а) регистрационен номер
б) дали автомобилът ще извършва таксиметров превоз единствено при повикване чрез диспечерска система
в) общините, в които моторното превозно средство ще извършва превози
2. Ал. 2 се отменя;
3. Създава се нова ал. 6: „(6) Заявления за вписване и за промяна на обстоятелства в регистъра, могат да се подават по автоматизирано и по електронен път по реда на Закона за електронното управление“
4. Създава се нова ал. 7: „(7) Обстоятелства за регистрираните автомобили, определени с наредбата по ал. 5, се извличат автоматично на база на регистрационния номер от националния регистър на пътните превозни средства по реда на Закона за електронното управление“
5. Създава се нова ал. 8: „(8) Изпълнителна агенция „Автомобилна администрация“ извъшва автоматизирани проверки за платен данък за таксиметров превоз на пътници и заличава вписаните в регистъра моторни превозни средства, за които данъкът не е платен за съответната година“
6. Създава се нова ал. 9: „(9) Изискванията към външния вид на автомобилите, които са регистрирани за извършване на таксиметров превоз единствено при повикване чрез диспечерска система могат да са различни от тези за останалите автомобили“
7. Създава се нова ал. 10: „(10) Автомобилите, които са регистрирани за извършване на таксиметров превоз единствено при повикване чрез диспечерска система, нямат право да престояват на местата, обозначени за престояване на таксиметрови автомобили“

Мотиви: Регистърът трябва да съдъдржа актуална информация за автомобилите, с които се извършват таксиметров превоз. Тя трябва да може да бъде променяна по елекетронен път, чрез интеграция на информационната система на превозвача с регистъра.
Достатъчно е вписването единствено на регистрационния номер на автомобилите – останалите данни следва да бъдат извличани (при нужда) от националния регистър на превозните средства в МВР, следвайки принципа на еднократното събиране на данни, заложен в Закона за електронното управление.
Премахва се и ограничението за възраст на автомобила при първа регистрация като превозвач – важното изискване е автомобилите да не са над определена възраст (чл. 24). Премахването на това ограничение допуска динамичното променяне на „автопарка“ на превозвача.
Поради отменените по-надолу разпоредби от чл. 24а, в регистъра в ИААА се предвижда водене и на общините, в които съответните автомобили на превозвача извършват дейност. Това се налага с оглед на плащането на данъка върху таксиметровия превоз на пътници.
Въвежда се важно разграничение на автомобилите, извършващи таксиметров превоз – такива, които извършват услугата единствено при повикване чрез диспечерска система (което включва мобилни приложения и както централизирани, така и разпределени диспечерски системи) и други, които могат да бъдат спирани на пътното платено или вземани от предвидени за това места.
Изрично се допуска възможността автомобилите, които няма да бъдат спирани на пътя, да имат неунифициран външен вид (напр. табела „Такси“, жълт цвят и др.), като обаче нямат право да престояват на т.нар. стоянки за таксита.

§2. В чл. 24 се правят следните изменения и допълнения:
1. в ал. 1 след думите „електронен таксиметров апарат с фискална памет“ се добавят думите „или по други начини, позволяващи точно измерване на разстояние и отчитане пред данъчната администрация“, а думите „след издаване на разшрение за таксиметров превоз на пътници“ се заменят с думите „след вписване в регистрите по чл. 12, ал. 2 и по ал. 3, т.5“.
2. в ал. 3, т.5 изменя така: „Вписан е в регистър на водачи, извършващи таксиметров превоз, воден от председателя на Изпълнителна агенция „Автомобилна администрация“
3. ал. 4 се изменя така: „Ръководителят на съответното регионално звено на Изпълнителна агенция „Автомобилна администрация“ вписва лицата, отговарящи на изискванията по ал. 3, т. 1-4 и е декларирало, че се е запознало с обучителна информация, определена с наредбата по чл. 12а, ал. 5. Вписването се подновява на всеки 5 години по заявление на водача.
4. ал. 5 се отменя.
5. ал. 6 се изменя така: „Редът за вписването и подновяването на вписването в регистъра на водачите, извършващи таксиметров превоз, и за доказване на съответствието с изискванията по ал. 3, т. 1-4 се определя с наредбата по чл. 12а, ал. 5., като обстоятелствата, необходими за доказване на изискванията, се събират по служебен път“
6. в ал. 17 думите „отнема със заповед удостоверението на водач на лек таксиметров автомобил“ се заменят с думите „заличава вписването на водач, извършващ таксиметрови превоз“

Мотиви: Носенето на удостоверение е излишно, при положение, че контролиращите органи имат електронен достъп в реално време до регистъра. Поради тази причина изискването за удостоверение се заменя с наличие на вписване в регистъра.
Централизираните обучения не са добър механизъм за информираност на шофьорите (което е видно на практика), но създават административна тежест. Обученията и изпитите се заменят с деклариране (възможно по електронен път) от страна на водача, че се е запознал с обучителните материали. Тези материали могат да бъдат текстови или видео-уроци.
Чрез въвеждане на електронни услуги, водачите ще могат отдалечено и лесно да заявяват вписване в регистъра.
Въвежда се възможност за използване на алтернативни технологии на таксиметровия апарат с фискална памет, като например GPS устройства. С наредба ще бъдат определени условията за интегриране на отчетеното от тези устройства разстояние и съответна цена с данъчната администрация.

§3. В чл. 24а се правят следните изменения и допълнения:
1. ал. 1 се изменя така: „Водач, вписан в регистъра на водачи, извършващи таксиметров превоз, имат право да извършват такъв с всеки автомобил, вписан в регистъра по чл. 12, ал. 2 в рамките на общините, за които е валидно вписването“
2. ал. 2-9 се отменят
3. ал. 10 се изменя така: „Административните органи нямат право да определят ограничения на броя таксиметрови автомобили, опериращи на територията на дадена община“
4. ал. 11 се изменяе така: „Общинските съвети могат да определят минимални и максимални цени за таксиметров превоз на пътници за един километър пробег и за една минута престой по съответната тарифа, валидни за територията на съответната община“

Мотиви: допълнителните административни процедури извън регистрацията на превозвача и на водача са излишна административна тежест. Контролът на таксиметровия пазар от страна на общинския съвет, в т.ч. броя автомобили и тяхното разпределение между превозвачи е потенциален източник на корупция и пречи на конкуренцията.
Чрез регистъра по чл. 12, ал. 2 се събира информация в коя община оперират таксиметровите автомобили. Допуска се един автомобил да оперира в повече от една община, което е приложимо например в курортните комплекси.

§4. В чл. 24б след думите „таксиметровите апарати“ се добавят думите „или другите допустими технологични средства“

Мотиви: с наредба се определят и условията за използване и отчитане на други технологични средства, например GPS устройства.

§5. В чл. 95, се правят следните допълнения:
1. В ал. 1 след думите „таксиметров апарат“ се добавят думите „или друго допустимо технологично средство за отчитане на разстояние“
2. В ал. 2 се създава нова т.3: „3. извършва таксиметрови услуги в община, за която автомобилът, който управлява, не е регистриран в регистъра по чл. 12, ал 2“
§6. В чл. 96, ал. 4 след думите „таксиметров апарат“ се добавят думите „или друго допустимо технологично средство за отчитане на разстояние“

Разбира се, по-сложната част ще бъде коригирането на наредбите след това, включително намирането на начин за признаване на GPS координатите – ясно е, че както такситата имат „помпички“, така и GPS-ите на телефоните могат да бъдат „лъгани“.

Това е само предложение, на база на което да започне обсъждане. Далеч съм от мисълта, че мога да измисля решение на всички проблеми за един следобед. Нямам законодателна инициатива и не мога да го внеса, а и някои от точките може да не са приемливи за таксиметровия бранш, т.е. да трябва да се търсят компромиси. Все пак смятам, че допускането на повече технологични начини за осъществяване на таксиметрова услуга е добър за пазара и за клиентите.

Journeying with green sea turtles and the Arribada Initiative

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/sea-turtles/

Today, a guest post: Alasdair Davies, co-founder of Naturebytes, ZSL London’s Conservation Technology Specialist and Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, shares the work of the Arribada Initiative. The project uses the Raspberry Pi Zero and camera module to follow the journey of green sea turtles. The footage captured from the backs of these magnificent creatures is just incredible – prepare to be blown away!

Pit Stop Camera on Green Sea Turtle 01

Footage from the new Arribada PS-C (pit-stop camera) video tag recently trialled on the island of Principe in unison with the Principe Trust. Engineered by Institute IRNAS (http://irnas.eu/) for the Arribada Initiative (http://blog.arribada.org/).

Access to affordable, open and customisable conservation technologies in the animal tracking world is often limited. I’ve been a conservation technologist for the past ten years, co-founding Naturebytes and working at ZSL London Zoo, and this was a problem that continued to frustrate me. It was inherently expensive to collect valuable data that was necessary to inform policy, to designate marine protected areas, or to identify threats to species.

In March this year, I got a supercharged opportunity to break through these barriers by becoming a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, meaning I had the time and resources to concentrate on cracking the problem. The Arribada Initiative was founded, and ten months later, the open source Arribada PS-C green sea turtle tag was born. The video above was captured two weeks ago in the waters of Principe Island, West Africa.

Alasdair Davies on Twitter

On route to Principe island with 10 second gen green sea #turtle tags for testing. This version has a video & accelerometer payload for behavioural studies, plus a nice wireless charging carry case made by @institute_irnas @ShuttleworthFdn

The tag comprises a Raspberry Pi Zero W sporting the Raspberry Pi camera module, a PiRA power management board, two lithium-ion cells, and a rather nice enclosure. It was built in unison with Institute IRNAS, and there’s a nice user-friendly wireless charging case to make it easy for the marine guards to replace the tags after their voyages at sea. When a tag is returned to one of the docking stations in the case, we use resin.io to manage it, download videos, and configure the tag remotely.

Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi
Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi

The tags can also be configured to take video clips at timed intervals, meaning we can now observe the presence of marine litter, plastic debris, before/after changes to the ocean environment due to nearby construction, pollution, and other threats.

Discarded fishing nets are lethal to sea turtles, so using this new tag at scale – now finally possible, as the Raspberry Pi Zero helps to drive down costs dramatically whilst retaining excellent video quality – offers real value to scientists in the field. Next year we will be releasing an optimised, affordable GPS version.

green sea turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi Arribada Initiative

To make this all possible we had to devise a quicker method of attaching the tag to the sea turtles too, so we came up with the “pit-stop” technique (which is what the PS in the name “Arribada PS-C” stands for). Just as a Formula 1 car would visit the pits to get its tyres changed, we literally switch out the tags on the beach when nesting females return, replacing them with freshly charged tags by using a quick-release base plate.

Alasdair Davies on Twitter

About 6 days left now until the first tagged nesting green sea #turtles return using our latest “pit-stop” removeable / replaceable tag method. Counting down the days @arribada_i @institute_irnas

To implement the system we first epoxy the base plate to the turtle, which minimises any possible stress to the turtles as the method is quick. Once the epoxy has dried we attach the tag. When the turtle has completed its nesting cycle (they visit the beach to lay eggs three to four times in a single season, every 10–14 days on average), we simply remove the base plate to complete the field work.

Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi
Green Sea Turtle Alasdair Davies Raspberry Pi

If you’d like to watch more wonderful videos of the green sea turtles’ adventures, there’s an entire YouTube playlist available here. And to keep up to date with the initiative, be sure to follow Arribada and Alasdair on Twitter.

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Rosie the Countdown champion

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/rosie-the-countdown-champion/

Beating the contestants at Countdown: is it cheating if you happen to know every word in the English dictionary?

Rosie plays Countdown

Allow your robots to join in the fun this Christmas with a round of Channel 4’s Countdown. https://www.rosietheredrobot.com/2017/12/tea-minus-30.html

Rosie the Red Robot

First, a little bit of backstory. Challenged by his eldest daughter to build a robot, technology-loving Alan got to work building Rosie.

I became (unusually) determined. I wanted to show her what can be done… and the how can be learnt later. After all, there is nothing more exciting and encouraging than seeing technology come alive. Move. Groove. Quite literally.

Originally, Rosie had a Raspberry Pi 3 brain controlling ultrasonic sensors and motors via Python. From there, she has evolved into something much grander, and Alan has documented her upgrades on the Rosie the Red Robot blog. Using GPS trackers and a Raspberry Pi camera module, she became Rosie Patrol, a rolling, walking, interactive bot; then, with further upgrades, the Tea Minus 30 project came to be. Which brings us back to Countdown.

T(ea) minus 30

In case it hasn’t been a big part of your life up until now, Countdown is one of the longest running televisions shows in history, and occupies a special place in British culture. Contestants take turns to fill a board with nine randomly selected vowels and consonants, before battling the Countdown clock to find the longest word they can in the space of 30 seconds.

The Countdown Clock

I’ve had quite a few requests to show just the Countdown clock for use in school activities/own games etc., so here it is! Enjoy! It’s a brand new version too, using the 2010 Office package.

There’s a numbers round involving arithmetic, too – but for now, we’re going to focus on letters and words, because that’s where Rosie’s skills shine.

Using an online resource, Alan created a dataset of the ten thousand most common English words.

Rosie the Red Robot Raspberry Pi

Many words, listed in order of common-ness. Alan wrote a Python script to order them alphabetically and by length

Next, Alan wrote a Python script to select nine letters at random, then search the word list to find all the words that could be spelled using only these letters. He used the randint function to select letters from a pre-loaded alphabet, and introduced a requirement to include at least two vowels among the nine letters.

Rosie the Red Robot Raspberry Pi

Words that match the available letters are displayed on the screen.

Rosie the Red Robot Raspberry Pi

Putting it all together

With the basic game-play working, it was time to bring the project to life. For this, Alan used Rosie’s camera module, along with optical character recognition (OCR) and text-to-speech capabilities.

Rosie the Red Robot Raspberry Pi

Alan writes, “Here’s a very amateurish drawing to brainstorm our idea. Let’s call it a design as it makes it sound like we know what we’re doing.”

Alan’s script has Rosie take a photo of the TV screen during the Countdown letters round, then perform OCR using the Google Cloud Vision API to detect the nine letters contestants have to work with. Next, Rosie runs Alan’s code to check the letters against the ten-thousand-word dataset, converts text to speech with Python gTTS, and finally speaks her highest-scoring word via omxplayer.

You can follow the adventures of Rosie the Red Robot on her blog, or follow her on Twitter. And if you’d like to build your own Rosie, Alan has provided code and tutorials for his projects too. Thanks, Alan!

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Tracking People Without GPS

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/12/tracking_people_5.html

Interesting research:

The trick in accurately tracking a person with this method is finding out what kind of activity they’re performing. Whether they’re walking, driving a car, or riding in a train or airplane, it’s pretty easy to figure out when you know what you’re looking for.

The sensors can determine how fast a person is traveling and what kind of movements they make. Moving at a slow pace in one direction indicates walking. Going a little bit quicker but turning at 90-degree angles means driving. Faster yet, we’re in train or airplane territory. Those are easy to figure out based on speed and air pressure.

After the app determines what you’re doing, it uses the information it collects from the sensors. The accelerometer relays your speed, the magnetometer tells your relation to true north, and the barometer offers up the air pressure around you and compares it to publicly available information. It checks in with The Weather Channel to compare air pressure data from the barometer to determine how far above sea level you are. Google Maps and data offered by the US Geological Survey Maps provide incredibly detailed elevation readings.

Once it has gathered all of this information and determined the mode of transportation you’re currently taking, it can then begin to narrow down where you are. For flights, four algorithms begin to estimate the target’s location and narrows down the possibilities until its error rate hits zero.

If you’re driving, it can be even easier. The app knows the time zone you’re in based on the information your phone has provided to it. It then accesses information from your barometer and magnetometer and compares it to information from publicly available maps and weather reports. After that, it keeps track of the turns you make. With each turn, the possible locations whittle down until it pinpoints exactly where you are.

To demonstrate how accurate it is, researchers did a test run in Philadelphia. It only took 12 turns before the app knew exactly where the car was.

This is a good example of how powerful synthesizing information from disparate data sources can be. We spend too much time worried about individual data collection systems, and not enough about analysis techniques of those systems.

Research paper.

Keeping Time With Amazon Time Sync Service

Post Syndicated from Randall Hunt original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/keeping-time-with-amazon-time-sync-service/

Today we’re launching Amazon Time Sync Service, a time synchronization service delivered over Network Time Protocol (NTP) which uses a fleet of redundant satellite-connected and atomic clocks in each region to deliver a highly accurate reference clock. This service is provided at no additional charge and is immediately available in all public AWS regions to all instances running in a VPC.

You can access the service via the link local 169.254.169.123 IP address. This means you don’t need to configure external internet access and the service can be securely accessed from within your private subnets.

Setup

Chrony is a different implementation of NTP than what ntpd uses and it’s able to synchronize the system clock faster and with better accuracy than ntpd. I’d recommend using Chrony unless you have a legacy reason to use ntpd.

Installing and configuring chrony on Amazon Linux is as simple as:


sudo yum erase ntp*
sudo yum -y install chrony
sudo service chronyd start

Alternatively, just modify your existing NTP config by adding the line server 169.254.169.123 prefer iburst.

On Windows you can run the following commands in PowerShell or a command prompt:


net stop w32time
w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:"169.254.169.123"
w32tm /config /reliable:yes
net start w32time

Leap Seconds

Time is hard. Science, and society, measure time with respect to the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF), which is computed using long baseline interferometry of distant quasars, GPS satellite orbits, and laser ranging of the moon (cool!). Irregularities in Earth’s rate of rotation cause UTC to drift from time with respect to the ICRF. To address this clock drift the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems (IERS) occasionally introduce an extra second into UTC to keep it within 0.9 seconds of real time.

Leap seconds are known to cause application errors and this can be a concern for many savvy developers and systems administrators. The 169.254.169.123 clock smooths out leap seconds some period of time (commonly called leap smearing) which makes it easy for your applications to deal with leap seconds.

This timely update should provide immediate benefits to anyone previously relying on an external time synchronization service.

Randall

PS – We are still working to make this feature available for M5 and C5 instances. Read Configuring the Amazon Time Service to learn more.

Using taxies to monitor air quality in Peru

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/air-quality-peru/

When James Puderer moved to Lima, Peru, his roadside runs left a rather nasty taste in his mouth. Hit by the pollution from old diesel cars in the area, he decided to monitor the air quality in his new city using Raspberry Pis and the abundant taxies as his tech carriers.

Taxi Datalogger – Assembly

How to assemble the enclosure for my Taxi Datalogger project: https://www.hackster.io/james-puderer/distributed-air-quality-monitoring-using-taxis-69647e

Sensing air quality in Lima

Luckily for James, almost all taxies in Lima are equipped with the standard hollow vinyl roof sign seen in the video above, which makes them ideal for hacking.

Using a Raspberry Pi alongside various Adafuit tech including the BME280 Temperature/Humidity/Pressure Sensor and GPS Antenna, James created a battery-powered retrofit setup that fits snugly into the vinyl sign.

The schematic of the air quality monitor tech inside the taxi sign

With the onboard tech, the device collects data on longitude, latitude, humidity, temperature, pressure, and airborne particle count, feeding it back to an Android Things datalogger. This data is then pushed to Google IoT Core, where it can be remotely accessed.

Next, the data is processed by Google Dataflow and turned into a BigQuery table. Users can then visualize the collected measurements. And while James uses Google Maps to analyse his data, there are many tools online that will allow you to organise and study your figures depending on what final result you’re hoping to achieve.

A heat map of James' local area showing air quality

James hopped in a taxi and took his monitor on the road, collecting results throughout the journey

James has provided the complete build process, including all tech ingredients and code, on his Hackster.io project page, and urges makers to create their own air quality monitor for their local area. He also plans on building upon the existing design by adding a 12V power hookup for connecting to the taxi, functioning lights within the sign, and companion apps for drivers.

Sensing the world around you

We’ve seen a wide variety of Raspberry Pi projects using sensors to track the world around us, such as Kasia Molga’s Human Sensor costume series, which reacts to air pollution by lighting up, and Clodagh O’Mahony’s Social Interaction Dress, which she created to judge how conversation and physical human interaction can be scored and studied.

Human Sensor

Kasia Molga’s Human Sensor — a collection of hi-tech costumes that react to air pollution within the wearer’s environment.

Many people also build their own Pi-powered weather stations, or use the Raspberry Pi Oracle Weather Station, to measure and record conditions in their towns and cities from the roofs of schools, offices, and homes.

Have you incorporated sensors into your Raspberry Pi projects? Share your builds in the comments below or via social media by tagging us.

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Fraud Detection in Pokémon Go

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/11/fraud_detection.html

I play Pokémon Go. (There, I’ve admitted it.) One of the interesting aspects of the game I’ve been watching is how the game’s publisher, Niantec, deals with cheaters.

There are three basic types of cheating in Pokémon Go. The first is botting, where a computer plays the game instead of a person. The second is spoofing, which is faking GPS to convince the game that you’re somewhere you’re not. These two cheats are often used together — and you see the results in the many high-level accounts for sale on the Internet. The third type of cheating is the use of third-party apps like trackers to get extra information about the game.

None of this would matter if everyone played independently. The only reason any player cares about whether other players are cheating is that there is a group aspect of the game: gym battling. Everyone’s enjoyment of that part of the game is affected by cheaters who can pretend to be where they’re not, especially if they have lots of powerful Pokémon that they collected effortlessly.

Niantec has been trying to deal with this problem since the game debuted, mostly by banning accounts when it detects cheating. Its initial strategy was basic — algorithmically detecting impossibly fast travel between physical locations or super-human amounts of playing, and then banning those accounts — with limited success. The limiting factor in all of this is false positives. While Niantec wants to stop cheating, it doesn’t want to block or limit any legitimate players. This makes it a very difficult problem, and contributes to the balance in the attacker/defender arms race.

Recently, Niantic implemented two new anti-cheating measures. The first is machine learning to detect cheaters. About this, we know little. The second is to limit the functionality of cheating accounts rather than ban them outright, making it harder for cheaters to know when they’ve been discovered.

“This is may very well be the beginning of Niantic’s machine learning approach to active bot countering,” user Dronpes writes on The Silph Road subreddit. “If the parameters for a shadowban are constantly adjusted server-side, as they can now easily be, then Niantic’s machine learning engineers can train their detection (classification) algorithms in ever-improving, ever more aggressive ways, and botters will constantly be forced to re-evaluate what factors may be triggering the detection.”

One of the expected future features in the game is trading. Creating a market for rare or powerful Pokémon would add a huge additional financial incentive to cheat. Unless Niantec can effectively prevent botting and spoofing, it’s unlikely to implement that feature.

Cheating detection in virtual reality games is going to be a constant problem as these games become more popular, especially if there are ways to monetize the results of cheating. This means that cheater detection will continue to be a critical component of these games’ success. Anything Niantec learns in Pokémon Go will be useful in whatever games come next.

Mystic, level 39 — if you must know.

And, yes, I know the game tracks works by tracking your location. I’m all right with that. As I repeatedly say, Internet privacy is all about trade-offs.

Can you survive our free zombie resources?

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/free-zombie-resources/

Looking for something more exciting than pumpkin carving this Halloween weekend? Try your hand at our free new creepy, zombie-themed resources — perfect for both digital makers both living and undead!

Pride and Prejudice for zombies

Sketch of a G eorgian zombie couple - Raspberry Pi free resources zombie survival

If you’ve always imagined Lady Catherine de Bourgh as resembling one of the undead, you’re not alone. And if you don’t know who Lady Catherine de Bourgh is, now is the perfect time to read Pride and Prejudice, before using our resource to translate the text for your favourite zombies.

This resource will show you how to apply abstraction and decomposition to solve more complex programming problems, in line with the Raspberry Pi digital curriculum.*

*Zombie translation: Grrrrr arrrrggg braaaaains aaaaaah graaaaarg urrrrrg Raaaarghsberry Pi gurriculum.

Zombie apocalypse survival map

Sketch of two children inspecting a zombie survial map - Raspberry Pi free resources zombie survival

Are you ready to take on the zombie infestation and survive the apocalypse brought about by the undead? This resource shows you how to create a map of a specific area and mark the locations of supplies, secret bases, and enemies, and thus ensure the best chances of survival for you and your team.

In line with our digital curriculum, this resource shows you how to combine programming constructs to solve a problem, and how to design 2D and 3D assets.

Where’s Zombie?

Sketch of two people hiding behind a wall from two zombies - Raspberry Pi free resources zombie survival

Our ‘Where’s Zombie?’ resource is a step-by-step guide to turning your apocalypse survival map into a zombie-tracking game. Use the GPS on your phone to collect supplies while avoiding the undead.

By the way, if you’re not into zombies, don’t worry: these resources are easily modifiable to fit any genre or franchise! Jane Eyre for kittens, anyone? Or an ‘Hide from the stormtroopers’ map?

Pioneers

If you’re a person between the age of 11 and 16 and based in the UK or Ireland, or if you know one who enjoys making, make sure to check out our newest Pioneers challenge, Only you can save us.

Pioneers 'Only you can save us' logo - Raspberry Pi free resources zombie survival

We’re tasking our Pioneers to build something to help humankind survive a calamity of epic proportions. Are you up for the challenge?

Transferable skills

The Raspberry Pi digital curriculum was created to support our goal of putting the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world.

Sketch of four people holding a toy robot, a sledge hammer, sitting at a destop with a PC, and with four arms holding various tools - Raspberry Pi free resources zombie survival

As Carrie Anne Philbin, Director of Education for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, explains:

We have a large and diverse community of people who are interested in digital making. Some might use the curriculum to help guide and inform their own learning, or perhaps their children’s learning. People who run digital making clubs at schools, community centres, and Raspberry Jams may draw on it for extra guidance on activities that will engage their learners. Some teachers may wish to use the curriculum as inspiration for what to teach their students.

By working through resources such as the ones above, you’re not only learning new skills, but also building on pre-existing ones. You’ll expand both your understanding of digital making and your imagination, and you’ll be able to use what you’ve gained when you create your own exciting projects.

All of our resources are available for free on our website, and we continually update them to offer you more ways to work on your abilities, whatever your age and experience may be.

Have you built anything using our resources? Let us know in the comments!

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"Responsible encryption" fallacies

Post Syndicated from Robert Graham original http://blog.erratasec.com/2017/10/responsible-encryption-fallacies.html

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave a speech recently calling for “Responsible Encryption” (aka. “Crypto Backdoors”). It’s full of dangerous ideas that need to be debunked.

The importance of law enforcement

The first third of the speech talks about the importance of law enforcement, as if it’s the only thing standing between us and chaos. It cites the 2016 Mirai attacks as an example of the chaos that will only get worse without stricter law enforcement.

But the Mira case demonstrated the opposite, how law enforcement is not needed. They made no arrests in the case. A year later, they still haven’t a clue who did it.

Conversely, we technologists have fixed the major infrastructure issues. Specifically, those affected by the DNS outage have moved to multiple DNS providers, including a high-capacity DNS provider like Google and Amazon who can handle such large attacks easily.

In other words, we the people fixed the major Mirai problem, and law-enforcement didn’t.

Moreover, instead being a solution to cyber threats, law enforcement has become a threat itself. The DNC didn’t have the FBI investigate the attacks from Russia likely because they didn’t want the FBI reading all their files, finding wrongdoing by the DNC. It’s not that they did anything actually wrong, but it’s more like that famous quote from Richelieu “Give me six words written by the most honest of men and I’ll find something to hang him by”. Give all your internal emails over to the FBI and I’m certain they’ll find something to hang you by, if they want.
Or consider the case of Andrew Auernheimer. He found AT&T’s website made public user accounts of the first iPad, so he copied some down and posted them to a news site. AT&T had denied the problem, so making the problem public was the only way to force them to fix it. Such access to the website was legal, because AT&T had made the data public. However, prosecutors disagreed. In order to protect the powerful, they twisted and perverted the law to put Auernheimer in jail.

It’s not that law enforcement is bad, it’s that it’s not the unalloyed good Rosenstein imagines. When law enforcement becomes the thing Rosenstein describes, it means we live in a police state.

Where law enforcement can’t go

Rosenstein repeats the frequent claim in the encryption debate:

Our society has never had a system where evidence of criminal wrongdoing was totally impervious to detection

Of course our society has places “impervious to detection”, protected by both legal and natural barriers.

An example of a legal barrier is how spouses can’t be forced to testify against each other. This barrier is impervious.

A better example, though, is how so much of government, intelligence, the military, and law enforcement itself is impervious. If prosecutors could gather evidence everywhere, then why isn’t Rosenstein prosecuting those guilty of CIA torture?

Oh, you say, government is a special exception. If that were the case, then why did Rosenstein dedicate a precious third of his speech discussing the “rule of law” and how it applies to everyone, “protecting people from abuse by the government”. It obviously doesn’t, there’s one rule of government and a different rule for the people, and the rule for government means there’s lots of places law enforcement can’t go to gather evidence.

Likewise, the crypto backdoor Rosenstein is demanding for citizens doesn’t apply to the President, Congress, the NSA, the Army, or Rosenstein himself.

Then there are the natural barriers. The police can’t read your mind. They can only get the evidence that is there, like partial fingerprints, which are far less reliable than full fingerprints. They can’t go backwards in time.

I mention this because encryption is a natural barrier. It’s their job to overcome this barrier if they can, to crack crypto and so forth. It’s not our job to do it for them.

It’s like the camera that increasingly comes with TVs for video conferencing, or the microphone on Alexa-style devices that are always recording. This suddenly creates evidence that the police want our help in gathering, such as having the camera turned on all the time, recording to disk, in case the police later gets a warrant, to peer backward in time what happened in our living rooms. The “nothing is impervious” argument applies here as well. And it’s equally bogus here. By not helping police by not recording our activities, we aren’t somehow breaking some long standing tradit

And this is the scary part. It’s not that we are breaking some ancient tradition that there’s no place the police can’t go (with a warrant). Instead, crypto backdoors breaking the tradition that never before have I been forced to help them eavesdrop on me, even before I’m a suspect, even before any crime has been committed. Sure, laws like CALEA force the phone companies to help the police against wrongdoers — but here Rosenstein is insisting I help the police against myself.

Balance between privacy and public safety

Rosenstein repeats the frequent claim that encryption upsets the balance between privacy/safety:

Warrant-proof encryption defeats the constitutional balance by elevating privacy above public safety.

This is laughable, because technology has swung the balance alarmingly in favor of law enforcement. Far from “Going Dark” as his side claims, the problem we are confronted with is “Going Light”, where the police state monitors our every action.

You are surrounded by recording devices. If you walk down the street in town, outdoor surveillance cameras feed police facial recognition systems. If you drive, automated license plate readers can track your route. If you make a phone call or use a credit card, the police get a record of the transaction. If you stay in a hotel, they demand your ID, for law enforcement purposes.

And that’s their stuff, which is nothing compared to your stuff. You are never far from a recording device you own, such as your mobile phone, TV, Alexa/Siri/OkGoogle device, laptop. Modern cars from the last few years increasingly have always-on cell connections and data recorders that record your every action (and location).

Even if you hike out into the country, when you get back, the FBI can subpoena your GPS device to track down your hidden weapon’s cache, or grab the photos from your camera.

And this is all offline. So much of what we do is now online. Of the photographs you own, fewer than 1% are printed out, the rest are on your computer or backed up to the cloud.

Your phone is also a GPS recorder of your exact position all the time, which if the government wins the Carpenter case, they police can grab without a warrant. Tagging all citizens with a recording device of their position is not “balance” but the premise for a novel more dystopic than 1984.

If suspected of a crime, which would you rather the police searched? Your person, houses, papers, and physical effects? Or your mobile phone, computer, email, and online/cloud accounts?

The balance of privacy and safety has swung so far in favor of law enforcement that rather than debating whether they should have crypto backdoors, we should be debating how to add more privacy protections.

“But it’s not conclusive”

Rosenstein defends the “going light” (“Golden Age of Surveillance”) by pointing out it’s not always enough for conviction. Nothing gives a conviction better than a person’s own words admitting to the crime that were captured by surveillance. This other data, while copious, often fails to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is nonsense. Police got along well enough before the digital age, before such widespread messaging. They solved terrorist and child abduction cases just fine in the 1980s. Sure, somebody’s GPS location isn’t by itself enough — until you go there and find all the buried bodies, which leads to a conviction. “Going dark” imagines that somehow, the evidence they’ve been gathering for centuries is going away. It isn’t. It’s still here, and matches up with even more digital evidence.
Conversely, a person’s own words are not as conclusive as you think. There’s always missing context. We quickly get back to the Richelieu “six words” problem, where captured communications are twisted to convict people, with defense lawyers trying to untwist them.

Rosenstein’s claim may be true, that a lot of criminals will go free because the other electronic data isn’t convincing enough. But I’d need to see that claim backed up with hard studies, not thrown out for emotional impact.

Terrorists and child molesters

You can always tell the lack of seriousness of law enforcement when they bring up terrorists and child molesters.
To be fair, sometimes we do need to talk about terrorists. There are things unique to terrorism where me may need to give government explicit powers to address those unique concerns. For example, the NSA buys mobile phone 0day exploits in order to hack terrorist leaders in tribal areas. This is a good thing.
But when terrorists use encryption the same way everyone else does, then it’s not a unique reason to sacrifice our freedoms to give the police extra powers. Either it’s a good idea for all crimes or no crimes — there’s nothing particular about terrorism that makes it an exceptional crime. Dead people are dead. Any rational view of the problem relegates terrorism to be a minor problem. More citizens have died since September 8, 2001 from their own furniture than from terrorism. According to studies, the hot water from the tap is more of a threat to you than terrorists.
Yes, government should do what they can to protect us from terrorists, but no, it’s not so bad of a threat that requires the imposition of a military/police state. When people use terrorism to justify their actions, it’s because they trying to form a military/police state.
A similar argument works with child porn. Here’s the thing: the pervs aren’t exchanging child porn using the services Rosenstein wants to backdoor, like Apple’s Facetime or Facebook’s WhatsApp. Instead, they are exchanging child porn using custom services they build themselves.
Again, I’m (mostly) on the side of the FBI. I support their idea of buying 0day exploits in order to hack the web browsers of visitors to the secret “PlayPen” site. This is something that’s narrow to this problem and doesn’t endanger the innocent. On the other hand, their calls for crypto backdoors endangers the innocent while doing effectively nothing to address child porn.
Terrorists and child molesters are a clichéd, non-serious excuse to appeal to our emotions to give up our rights. We should not give in to such emotions.

Definition of “backdoor”

Rosenstein claims that we shouldn’t call backdoors “backdoors”:

No one calls any of those functions [like key recovery] a “back door.”  In fact, those capabilities are marketed and sought out by many users.

He’s partly right in that we rarely refer to PGP’s key escrow feature as a “backdoor”.

But that’s because the term “backdoor” refers less to how it’s done and more to who is doing it. If I set up a recovery password with Apple, I’m the one doing it to myself, so we don’t call it a backdoor. If it’s the police, spies, hackers, or criminals, then we call it a “backdoor” — even it’s identical technology.

Wikipedia uses the key escrow feature of the 1990s Clipper Chip as a prime example of what everyone means by “backdoor“. By “no one”, Rosenstein is including Wikipedia, which is obviously incorrect.

Though in truth, it’s not going to be the same technology. The needs of law enforcement are different than my personal key escrow/backup needs. In particular, there are unsolvable problems, such as a backdoor that works for the “legitimate” law enforcement in the United States but not for the “illegitimate” police states like Russia and China.

I feel for Rosenstein, because the term “backdoor” does have a pejorative connotation, which can be considered unfair. But that’s like saying the word “murder” is a pejorative term for killing people, or “torture” is a pejorative term for torture. The bad connotation exists because we don’t like government surveillance. I mean, honestly calling this feature “government surveillance feature” is likewise pejorative, and likewise exactly what it is that we are talking about.

Providers

Rosenstein focuses his arguments on “providers”, like Snapchat or Apple. But this isn’t the question.

The question is whether a “provider” like Telegram, a Russian company beyond US law, provides this feature. Or, by extension, whether individuals should be free to install whatever software they want, regardless of provider.

Telegram is a Russian company that provides end-to-end encryption. Anybody can download their software in order to communicate so that American law enforcement can’t eavesdrop. They aren’t going to put in a backdoor for the U.S. If we succeed in putting backdoors in Apple and WhatsApp, all this means is that criminals are going to install Telegram.

If the, for some reason, the US is able to convince all such providers (including Telegram) to install a backdoor, then it still doesn’t solve the problem, as uses can just build their own end-to-end encryption app that has no provider. It’s like email: some use the major providers like GMail, others setup their own email server.

Ultimately, this means that any law mandating “crypto backdoors” is going to target users not providers. Rosenstein tries to make a comparison with what plain-old telephone companies have to do under old laws like CALEA, but that’s not what’s happening here. Instead, for such rules to have any effect, they have to punish users for what they install, not providers.

This continues the argument I made above. Government backdoors is not something that forces Internet services to eavesdrop on us — it forces us to help the government spy on ourselves.
Rosenstein tries to address this by pointing out that it’s still a win if major providers like Apple and Facetime are forced to add backdoors, because they are the most popular, and some terrorists/criminals won’t move to alternate platforms. This is false. People with good intentions, who are unfairly targeted by a police state, the ones where police abuse is rampant, are the ones who use the backdoored products. Those with bad intentions, who know they are guilty, will move to the safe products. Indeed, Telegram is already popular among terrorists because they believe American services are already all backdoored. 
Rosenstein is essentially demanding the innocent get backdoored while the guilty don’t. This seems backwards. This is backwards.

Apple is morally weak

The reason I’m writing this post is because Rosenstein makes a few claims that cannot be ignored. One of them is how he describes Apple’s response to government insistence on weakening encryption doing the opposite, strengthening encryption. He reasons this happens because:

Of course they [Apple] do. They are in the business of selling products and making money. 

We [the DoJ] use a different measure of success. We are in the business of preventing crime and saving lives. 

He swells in importance. His condescending tone ennobles himself while debasing others. But this isn’t how things work. He’s not some white knight above the peasantry, protecting us. He’s a beat cop, a civil servant, who serves us.

A better phrasing would have been:

They are in the business of giving customers what they want.

We are in the business of giving voters what they want.

Both sides are doing the same, giving people what they want. Yes, voters want safety, but they also want privacy. Rosenstein imagines that he’s free to ignore our demands for privacy as long has he’s fulfilling his duty to protect us. He has explicitly rejected what people want, “we use a different measure of success”. He imagines it’s his job to tell us where the balance between privacy and safety lies. That’s not his job, that’s our job. We, the people (and our representatives), make that decision, and it’s his job is to do what he’s told. His measure of success is how well he fulfills our wishes, not how well he satisfies his imagined criteria.

That’s why those of us on this side of the debate doubt the good intentions of those like Rosenstein. He criticizes Apple for wanting to protect our rights/freedoms, and declare they measure success differently.

They are willing to be vile

Rosenstein makes this argument:

Companies are willing to make accommodations when required by the government. Recent media reports suggest that a major American technology company developed a tool to suppress online posts in certain geographic areas in order to embrace a foreign government’s censorship policies. 

Let me translate this for you:

Companies are willing to acquiesce to vile requests made by police-states. Therefore, they should acquiesce to our vile police-state requests.

It’s Rosenstein who is admitting here is that his requests are those of a police-state.

Constitutional Rights

Rosenstein says:

There is no constitutional right to sell warrant-proof encryption.

Maybe. It’s something the courts will have to decide. There are many 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Amendment issues here.
The reason we have the Bill of Rights is because of the abuses of the British Government. For example, they quartered troops in our homes, as a way of punishing us, and as a way of forcing us to help in our own oppression. The troops weren’t there to defend us against the French, but to defend us against ourselves, to shoot us if we got out of line.

And that’s what crypto backdoors do. We are forced to be agents of our own oppression. The principles enumerated by Rosenstein apply to a wide range of even additional surveillance. With little change to his speech, it can equally argue why the constant TV video surveillance from 1984 should be made law.

Let’s go back and look at Apple. It is not some base company exploiting consumers for profit. Apple doesn’t have guns, they cannot make people buy their product. If Apple doesn’t provide customers what they want, then customers vote with their feet, and go buy an Android phone. Apple isn’t providing encryption/security in order to make a profit — it’s giving customers what they want in order to stay in business.
Conversely, if we citizens don’t like what the government does, tough luck, they’ve got the guns to enforce their edicts. We can’t easily vote with our feet and walk to another country. A “democracy” is far less democratic than capitalism. Apple is a minority, selling phones to 45% of the population, and that’s fine, the minority get the phones they want. In a Democracy, where citizens vote on the issue, those 45% are screwed, as the 55% impose their will unwanted onto the remainder.

That’s why we have the Bill of Rights, to protect the 49% against abuse by the 51%. Regardless whether the Supreme Court agrees the current Constitution, it is the sort right that might exist regardless of what the Constitution says. 

Obliged to speak the truth

Here is the another part of his speech that I feel cannot be ignored. We have to discuss this:

Those of us who swear to protect the rule of law have a different motivation.  We are obliged to speak the truth.

The truth is that “going dark” threatens to disable law enforcement and enable criminals and terrorists to operate with impunity.

This is not true. Sure, he’s obliged to say the absolute truth, in court. He’s also obliged to be truthful in general about facts in his personal life, such as not lying on his tax return (the sort of thing that can get lawyers disbarred).

But he’s not obliged to tell his spouse his honest opinion whether that new outfit makes them look fat. Likewise, Rosenstein knows his opinion on public policy doesn’t fall into this category. He can say with impunity that either global warming doesn’t exist, or that it’ll cause a biblical deluge within 5 years. Both are factually untrue, but it’s not going to get him fired.

And this particular claim is also exaggerated bunk. While everyone agrees encryption makes law enforcement’s job harder than with backdoors, nobody honestly believes it can “disable” law enforcement. While everyone agrees that encryption helps terrorists, nobody believes it can enable them to act with “impunity”.

I feel bad here. It’s a terrible thing to question your opponent’s character this way. But Rosenstein made this unavoidable when he clearly, with no ambiguity, put his integrity as Deputy Attorney General on the line behind the statement that “going dark threatens to disable law enforcement and enable criminals and terrorists to operate with impunity”. I feel it’s a bald face lie, but you don’t need to take my word for it. Read his own words yourself and judge his integrity.

Conclusion

Rosenstein’s speech includes repeated references to ideas like “oath”, “honor”, and “duty”. It reminds me of Col. Jessup’s speech in the movie “A Few Good Men”.

If you’ll recall, it was rousing speech, “you want me on that wall” and “you use words like honor as a punchline”. Of course, since he was violating his oath and sending two privates to death row in order to avoid being held accountable, it was Jessup himself who was crapping on the concepts of “honor”, “oath”, and “duty”.

And so is Rosenstein. He imagines himself on that wall, doing albeit terrible things, justified by his duty to protect citizens. He imagines that it’s he who is honorable, while the rest of us not, even has he utters bald faced lies to further his own power and authority.

We activists oppose crypto backdoors not because we lack honor, or because we are criminals, or because we support terrorists and child molesters. It’s because we value privacy and government officials who get corrupted by power. It’s not that we fear Trump becoming a dictator, it’s that we fear bureaucrats at Rosenstein’s level becoming drunk on authority — which Rosenstein demonstrably has. His speech is a long train of corrupt ideas pursuing the same object of despotism — a despotism we oppose.

In other words, we oppose crypto backdoors because it’s not a tool of law enforcement, but a tool of despotism.

GPS Spoofing Attacks

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/09/gps_spoofing_at.html

Wired has a story about a possible GPS spoofing attack by Russia:

After trawling through AIS data from recent years, evidence of spoofing becomes clear. Goward says GPS data has placed ships at three different airports and there have been other interesting anomalies. “We would find very large oil tankers who could travel at the maximum speed at 15 knots,” says Goward, who was formerly director for Marine Transportation Systems at the US Coast Guard. “Their AIS, which is powered by GPS, would be saying they had sped up to 60 to 65 knots for an hour and then suddenly stopped. They had done that several times.”

All of the evidence from the Black Sea points towards a co-ordinated attempt to disrupt GPS. A recently published report from NRK found that 24 vessels appeared at Gelendzhik airport around the same time as the Atria. When contacted, a US Coast Guard representative refused to comment on the incident, saying any GPS disruption that warranted further investigation would be passed onto the Department of Defence.

“It looks like a sophisticated attack, by somebody who knew what they were doing and were just testing the system,” Bonenberg says. Humphreys told NRK it “strongly” looks like a spoofing incident. Fire Eye’s Brubaker, agreed, saying the activity looked intentional. Goward is also confident that GPS were purposely disrupted. “What this case shows us is there are entities out there that are willing and eager to disrupt satellite navigation systems for whatever reason and they can do it over a fairly large area and in a sophisticated way,” he says. “They’re not just broadcasting a stronger signal and denying service this is worse they’re providing hazardously misleading information.”

Self-Driving Cars Should Be Open Source

Post Syndicated from Bozho original https://techblog.bozho.net/self-driving-cars-open-source/

Self-driving cars are (will be) the pinnacle of consumer products automation – robot vacuum cleaners, smart fridges and TVs are just toys compared to self-driving cars. Both in terms of technology and in terms of impact. We aren’t yet on level 5 self driving cars , but they are behind the corner.

But as software engineers we know how fragile software is. And self-driving cars are basically software, so we can see all the risks involved with putting our lives in the hands anonymous (from our point of view) developers and unknown (to us) processes and quality standards. One may argue that this has been the case for every consumer product ever, but with software is different – software is way more complex than anything else.

So I have an outrageous proposal – self-driving cars should be open source. We have to be able to verify and trust the code that’s navigating our helpless bodies around the highways. Not only that, but we have to be able to verify if it is indeed that code that is currently running in our car, and not something else.

In fact, let me extend that – all cars should be open source. Before you say “but that will ruin the competitive advantage of manufacturers and will be deadly for business”, I don’t actually care how they trained their neural networks, or what their datasets are. That’s actually the secret sauce of the self-driving car and in my view it can remain proprietary and closed. What I’d like to see open-sourced is everything else. (Under what license – I’d be fine to even have it copyrighted and so not “real” open source, but that’s a separate discussion).

Why? This story about remote carjacking using the entertainment system of a Jeep is a scary example. Attackers that reverse engineer the car software can remotely control everything in the car. Why did that happen? Well, I guess it’s complicated and we have to watch the DEFCON talk.

And also read the paper, but a paragraph in wikipedia about the CAN bus used in most cars gives us a hint:

CAN is a low-level protocol and does not support any security features intrinsically. There is also no encryption in standard CAN implementations, which leaves these networks open to man-in-the-middle packet interception. In most implementations, applications are expected to deploy their own security mechanisms; e.g., to authenticate incoming commands or the presence of certain devices on the network. Failure to implement adequate security measures may result in various sorts of attacks if the opponent manages to insert messages on the bus. While passwords exist for some safety-critical functions, such as modifying firmware, programming keys, or controlling antilock brake actuators, these systems are not implemented universally and have a limited number of seed/key pair

I don’t know in what world it makes sense to even have a link between the entertainment system and the low-level network that operates the physical controls. As apparent from the talk, the two systems are supposed to be air-gapped, but in reality they aren’t.

Rookie mistakes were abound – unauthenticated “execute” method, running as root, firmware is not signed, hard-coded passwords, etc. How do we know that there aren’t tons of those in all cars out there right now, and in the self-driving cars of the future (which will likely use the same legacy technologies of the current cars)? Recently I heard a negative comment about the source code of one of the self-driving cars “players”, and I’m pretty sure there are many of those rookie mistakes.

Why this is this even more risky for self-driving cars? I’m not an expert in car programming, but it seems like the attack surface is bigger. I might be completely off target here, but on a typical car you’d have to “just” properly isolate the CAN bus. With self-driving cars the autonomous system that watches the surrounding and makes decisions on what to do next has to be connected to the CAN bus. With Tesla being able to send updates over the wire, the attack surface is even bigger (although that’s actually a good feature – to be able to patch all cars immediately once a vulnerability is discovered).

Of course, one approach would be to introduce legislation that regulates car software. It might work, but it would rely on governments to to proper testing, which won’t always be the case.

The alternative is to open-source it and let all the white-hats find your issues, so that you can close them before the car hits the road. Not only that, but consumers like me will feel safer, and geeks would be able to verify whether the car is really running the software it claims to run by verifying the fingerprints.

Richard Stallman might be seen as a fanatic when he advocates against closed source software, but in cases like … cars, his concerns seem less extreme.

“But the Jeep vulnerability was fixed”, you may say. And that might be seen as being the way things are – vulnerabilities appear, they get fixed, life goes on. No person was injured because of the bug, right? Well, not yet. And “gaining control” is the extreme scenario – there are still pretty bad scenarios, like being able to track a car through its GPS, or cause panic by controlling the entertainment system. It might be over wifi, or over GPRS, or even by physically messing with the car by inserting a flash drive. Is open source immune to those issues? No, but it has proven to be more resilient.

One industry where the problem of proprietary software on a product that the customer bought is … tractors. It turns out farmers are hacking their tractors, because of multiple issues and the inability of the vendor to resolve them in a timely manner. This is likely to happen to cars soon, when only authorized repair shops are allowed to touch anything on the car. And with unauthorized repair shops the attack surface becomes even bigger.

In fact, I’d prefer open source not just for cars, but for all consumer products. The source code of a smart fridge or a security camera is trivial, it would rarely mean sacrificing competitive advantage. But refrigerators get hacked, security cameras are active part of botnets, the “internet of shit” is getting ubiquitous. A huge amount of these issues are dumb, beginner mistakes. We have the right to know what shit we are running – in our frdges, DVRs and ultimatey – cars.

Your fridge may soon by spying on you, your vacuum cleaner may threaten your pet in demand of “ransom”. The terrorists of the future may crash planes without being armed, can crash vans into crowds without being in the van, and can “explode” home equipment without being in the particular home. And that’s not just a hypothetical.

Will open source magically solve the issue? No. But it will definitely make things better and safer, as it has done with operating systems and web servers.

The post Self-Driving Cars Should Be Open Source appeared first on Bozho's tech blog.

AWS Earns Department of Defense Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization

Post Syndicated from Chris Gile original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-earns-department-of-defense-impact-level-5-provisional-authorization/

AWS GovCloud (US) Region image

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has granted the AWS GovCloud (US) Region an Impact Level 5 (IL5) Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (CC SRG) Provisional Authorization (PA) for six core services. This means that AWS’s DoD customers and partners can now deploy workloads for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) exceeding IL4 and for unclassified National Security Systems (NSS).

We have supported sensitive Defense community workloads in the cloud for more than four years, and this latest IL5 authorization is complementary to our FedRAMP High Provisional Authorization that covers 18 services in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region. Our customers now have the flexibility to deploy any range of IL 2, 4, or 5 workloads by leveraging AWS’s services, attestations, and certifications. For example, when the US Air Force needed compute scale to support the Next Generation GPS Operational Control System Program, they turned to AWS.

In partnership with a certified Third Party Assessment Organization (3PAO), an independent validation was conducted to assess both our technical and nontechnical security controls to confirm that they meet the DoD’s stringent CC SRG standards for IL5 workloads. Effective immediately, customers can begin leveraging the IL5 authorization for the following six services in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region:

AWS has been a long-standing industry partner with DoD, federal-agency customers, and private-sector customers to enhance cloud security and policy. We continue to collaborate on the DoD CC SRG, Defense Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and other government requirements to ensure that policy makers enact policies to support next-generation security capabilities.

In an effort to reduce the authorization burden of our DoD customers, we’ve worked with DISA to port our assessment results into an easily ingestible format by the Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service (eMASS) system. Additionally, we undertook a separate effort to empower our industry partners and customers to efficiently solve their compliance, governance, and audit challenges by launching the AWS Customer Compliance Center, a portal providing a breadth of AWS-specific compliance and regulatory information.

We look forward to providing sustained cloud security and compliance support at scale for our DoD customers and adding additional services within the IL5 authorization boundary. See AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program for updates. To request access to AWS’s DoD security and authorization documentation, contact AWS Sales and Business Development. For a list of frequently asked questions related to AWS DoD SRG compliance, see the AWS DoD SRG page.

To learn more about the announcement in this post, tune in for the AWS Automating DoD SRG Impact Level 5 Compliance in AWS GovCloud (US) webinar on October 11, 2017, at 11:00 A.M. Pacific Time.

– Chris Gile, Senior Manager, AWS Public Sector Risk & Compliance

 

 

Може ли КАТ да бъде ефективен?

Post Syndicated from Bozho original https://blog.bozho.net/blog/2857

След поредната катастрофа на Тракия, предизвикана от каращ в аварийната лента идиот, мярнах следната новина: „За 6 месеца са засечени 142 случая на шофиране в аварийната лента на магистрали“. От тях само на двама бил съставен акт. Какво е станало с останалите, не е ясно.

Това пък (със странен поток на мисълта) ме подсети за една моя случка от преди 4 години. Карам си аз по Сливница към Сточна гара към 19ч. Светва зелено, колите тръгват, правя десен завой…обаче както съм минал светофара и съм върху пешеходната пътека, някой идиот 4 коли по-напред просто спира. И аз оставам в кръстовището. Моя грешка, не прецених. Но тъй като нямаше почти никакви коли, изчаках 3-4 идващи от „кръговото“ да се източат напред, и като свършиха, с колоната потеглихме. Всичко спокойно, никакви драми. Свирнах на идиота, заради който сега пък тролей не можеше да излезе от спирка, и ние продължавахме да чакаме, (този път вече в реда на нещата, не в кръстовището, а на булеварда). Добре, обаче в кръговото бяха спрели полицаи, които тръгнаха, пуснаха сирени зад мен и поискаха да спра. Отбих. Питаха дали спазвам сигналите на светофара. Няма да минавам през всичките им заучени реплики, но тезата им беше, че аз съм минал на червено и съм създал опасност за движението, някой щял да ме удари, и затова ми свирнал (само аз свирнах в цялата ситуация).

Изглежда обаче не познаваха кръстовището добре, защото спориха, че колите, отиващи по Левски от кръговото, били наляво. А те са направо. Накрая казаха „абеее, наляво-направо, все тая, в нарушение си“. Спорих и че не съм създал опасност и че никой не ми е свирил. И че не съм останал там, където съм бил, за да не преча на пешеходци, стоейки върху пешеходна пътека. На няколко пъти единият със замах и „абе…“ тръгваше да записва нещо в тетрадка…казаха, че 100 лв и 10т, обаче ако пишат, че е „с опасност за движението“ е 3 месеца без книжка. А, да, имаше го и въпроса „какво работиш“. „В офис“, разбира се.

Видяха, че няма да инициирам протокола за подкуп, дори под угрозата да остана без книжка и с няколкостотин лева по-малко, и затова те пробваха – „сега, празници идват, Божидаре, не искаме да ти ги разваляме. Искаме да направим компромис (пауза… вдигам рамене)… кажи сега, да направим ли компромис или не…прецени“ .. вдигам рамене, казвам „не знам“…

Ядоса се, върна ми документите, развика се „аз ли да знам..аз какво да правя сега, трябва и аз да си върша работата…от 5ч съм тука, кво ми остава, пистолета ли да извадя“.. и отпрашиха.

Разбира се, подадох сигнал за корупция, посочвайки часа и мястото на проверката (за съжаление бях забравил да запиша номера). И разбира се, корупция не беше установена.

Преди да премина към общата картинка, ще формулирам няколко съвета, които написах и преди 4 години след случката. Може би не важат за всички катаджии (веднъж един разбра погрешно мой въпрос и побърза да каже, че той не е като другите колеги, които вземат на ръка – та явно има):

  • знайте какво точно се случва около вас. Дори да сте нарушили нещо, знайте точно какво.
  • не се подавайте на опити за сплашване от страна на полицаите. Те ще се опитат да изкарат нарушението много голямо, с много голяма глоба и евентуално вземане на книжка. Така че 20-те лева на ръка да изглеждат логичния изход.
  • имате право да пишете възражения на акта – възползвайте се.
  • спорът с полицая по принцип е излишен – ако наистина ще ви пишат акт най-вероятно няма да се опитват да обясняват. Но можете да си позволите да се защитите, когато ви обвинят в нещо. А може и просто да мълчите, те не трябва да говорят с вас.
  • всеки опит да ви обяснят колко е лошо нарушението и колко много пари ще трябва да дадете е с цел да ви склонят да дадете подкуп
  • по възможност запомнете/запишете номера / имената им, и ги докладвайте за опит за корупция
  • мързи ги да пишат актове, губи се време. Ако не минете по бързата процедура с 20лв те изпускат други „клиенти“. Ако дори когато почти открито ви поискат пари свиете рамене, най-много да ви навикат.
  • не давайте подкупи на пътни полицаи.

Дори когато не вземат подкуп, ефективността им е трагична – 2 акта за каране в аварийната лента за 6 месеца. Следващият проблем към е събирането на глобите – те хубаво пишат акта, обаче после дали той ще бъде платен? По-скоро не (статистика). Често пък се случва актовете да падат в съда, ако бъдат обжалвани, или пък шофьорът да не бъде намерен, защото се крие от куриерите или защото използва вратички в закона. Любимото ми тълкувателно решение на ВАС пък, че GPS координатите не са достатъчни за установяване на мястото на нарушението, допринася за проблемите с глобяването.

Докато бях съветник анализирахме закона и установихме, че той покрива от 30% от възможните хипотези в процеса издаване-връчване-заплащане на глоба. Останалите са „сива зона“, заради които или актове (и фишове) падат в съда, или не се събират.

Т.е. имаме корумпирани катаджии, несъвършен закон, счупен процес по събиране, малко камери. Може ли изобщо КАТ да бъде ефективен? Явно е, че трудно ще подменим всички катаджии (припомням новината, че „от 60 екипа на КАТ, само един не взема подкуп“). Бързо и лесно няма да може да се промени нито манталитета на катаджиите, нито манталитета на шофьорите, които са готови да „дадат“. Затова трябва максимално да бъдат елиминирани катаджиите от процеса.

Някои стъпки в положителна посока вече са направени. След много мъки, т.нар. „електронен фиш“ е факт от няколко години (който всъщност трябва да бъде „електронно-съставен фиш“, защото той пак е хартиен). Връзка между КАТ и НАП има отскоро, така че поне проблемът със събираемостта трябва да понамалее.

Само че е нужно още доста. Основен ремонт на Закона за движение по пътищата в частта му за автоматизираните технически средства за контрол. В момента, за да могат да се използват за доказателства, трябва да са минали метрологичен контрол, което ги оскъпява значително. За нарушения за скорост (и евентуално минаване на червено) това е разбираемо, но с камери могат да се установяват и други нарушения – например, че някой кара без гражданска или без технически преглед. Законът за административните нарушения и наказания (който е от 60-те и още съдържа текстове като „наказва с порицание пред трудовия колектив, в който работи“), също трябва да бъде ремонтиран – процесът по връчване на фишове и актове е счупен и остарял, не позволява електронно връчване, и има немалко вратички, заради които актове падат в съда. По електронните аспекти работихме с колегите (макар да не бях в МВР) но не остана време да бъдат реализирани (макар че по някои от темите има напредък – електронното издаване на фишове например).

Нужна е повече аналитична мисъл, за да се събират данни по-адекватно и да се анализират. Нужно е да се въведат още доста камери, включително за зоново засичане на скорост. Това, че си минал с превишена скорост през определено място е едно, но доста по-показателно е, ако средната ти скорост за даден участък е над разрешената. Това засичане на може да се избегне като просто намаляваш пред камерите (които са обозначени и/или ги има в някое мобилно приложение).

Нужно е все пак и ефективно да се борим с корупцията. В Грузия преди години Саакашвили е предприел крайна мярка – за един ден е уволнил целия КАТ (30 хиляди души). Не твърдя, че тя е правилната, но само автоматизираните технически средства за контрол няма да са достатъчни дългосрочно. Видеонаблюдение в полицейските коли, задължително регистриране на всяка проверка в електронна система, внезапни проверки на Вътрешна сигурност (ама без всички да знаят за тях 2 дни предварително), дисциплинарни уволенения и т.н.

В заключение, мисля, че КАТ може и трябва да бъде по-ефективен и това минава през повече технически средства, които не са в ръцете на катаджиите. Изискват се обаче координирани и обмислени усилия в посока подобряване на нормативната уредба и поглед върху детайла при реализиране на техническите решения, иначе и в тях ще се намерят вратички.

А целта на всичко това е по-малко жертви, по-малко ранени, по-малко нерви на пътя. Когато КАТ се научи да дисциплинира себе си, и шофьорите ще бъдат дисциплинирани. А докато това стане, малко по малко, е наша отговорност да сме внимателни на пътя. Както всъщност са направили грузинците, когато са разбрали, че известно време няма да има пътен контрол – станали са по-внимателни.

Bicrophonic Research Institute and the Sonic Bike

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/sonic-bike/

The Bicrophonic Sonic Bike, created by British sound artist Kaffe Matthews, utilises a Raspberry Pi and GPS signals to map location data and plays music and sound in response to the places you take it on your cycling adventures.

What is Bicrophonics?

Bicrophonics is about the mobility of sound, experienced and shared within a moving space, free of headphones and free of the internet. Music made by the journey you take, played with the space that you move through. The Bicrophonic Research Institute (BRI) http://sonicbikes.net

Cycling and music

I’m sure I wasn’t the only teen to go for bike rides with a group of friends and a radio. Spurred on by our favourite movie, the mid-nineties classic Now and Then, we’d hook up a pair of cheap portable speakers to our handlebars, crank up the volume, and sing our hearts out as we cycled aimlessly down country lanes in the cool light evenings of the British summer.

While Sonic Bikes don’t belt out the same classics that my precariously attached speakers provided, they do give you the same sense of connection to your travelling companions via sound. Linked to GPS locations on the same preset map of zones, each bike can produce the same music, creating a cloud of sound as you cycle.

Sonic Bikes

The Sonic Bike uses five physical components: a Raspberry Pi, power source, USB GPS receiver, rechargeable speakers, and subwoofer. Within the Raspberry Pi, the build utilises mapping software to divide a map into zones and connect each zone with a specific music track.

Sonic Bikes Raspberry Pi

Custom software enables the Raspberry Pi to locate itself among the zones using the USB GPS receiver. Then it plays back the appropriate track until it registers a new zone.

Bicrophonic Research Institute

The Bicrophonic Research Institute is a collective of artists and coders with the shared goal of creating sound directed by people and places via Sonic Bikes. In their own words:

Bicrophonics is about the mobility of sound, experienced and shared within a moving space, free of headphones and free of the internet. Music made by the journey you take, played with the space that you move through.

Their technology has potential beyond the aims of the BRI. The Sonic Bike software could be useful for navigation, logging data and playing beats to indicate when to alter speed or direction. You could even use it to create a guided cycle tour, including automatically reproduced information about specific places on the route.

For the creators of Sonic Bike, the project is ever-evolving, and “continues to be researched and developed to expand the compositional potentials and unique listening experiences it creates.”

Sensory Bike

A good example of this evolution is the Sensory Bike. This offshoot of the Sonic Bike idea plays sounds guided by the cyclist’s own movements – it acts like a two-wheeled musical instrument!

lean to go up, slow to go loud,

a work for Sensory Bikes, the Berlin wall and audience to ride it. ‘ lean to go up, slow to go loud ‘ explores freedom and celebrates escape. Celebrating human energy to find solutions, hot air balloons take off, train lines sing, people cheer and nature continues to grow.

Sensors on the wheels, handlebars, and brakes, together with a Sense HAT at the rear, register the unique way in which the rider navigates their location. The bike produces output based on these variables. Its creators at BRI say:

The Sensory Bike becomes a performative instrument – with riders choosing to go slow, go fast, to hop, zigzag, or circle, creating their own unique sound piece that speeds, reverses, and changes pitch while they dance on their bicycle.

Build your own Sonic Bike

As for many wonderful Raspberry Pi-based builds, the project’s code is available on GitHub, enabling makers to recreate it. All the BRI team ask is that you contact them so they can learn more of your plans and help in any way possible. They even provide code to create your own Sonic Kayak using GPS zones, temperature sensors, and an underwater microphone!

Sonic Kayaks explained

Sonic Kayaks are musical instruments for expanding our senses and scientific instruments for gathering marine micro-climate data. Made by foAm_Kernow with the Bicrophonic Research Institute (BRI), two were first launched at the British Science Festival in Swansea Bay September 6th 2016 and used by the public for 2 days.

The post Bicrophonic Research Institute and the Sonic Bike appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

MagPi 59: the Raspberry Pi PC Challenge

Post Syndicated from Lucy Hattersley original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/magpi-59/

Hey everyone, Lucy here! I’m standing in for Rob this month to introduce The MagPi 59, the latest edition of the official Raspberry Pi magazine.

The MagPi 59

Ever wondered whether a Pi could truly replace your home computer? Looking for inspiration for a Pi-powered project you can make and use in the sunshine? Interested in winning a Raspberry Pi that’s a true collector’s item?

Then we’ve got you covered in Issue 59, out in stores today!

The MagPi 59

Shiny and new

The Raspberry Pi PC challenge

This month’s feature is fascinating! We set the legendary Rob Zwetsloot a challenge: use no other computer but a Raspberry Pi for a week, and let us know how it goes – for science!

Is there anything you can’t do with a $35 computer? To find out, you just have to read the magazine.

12 summer projects

We’re bringing together some of the greatest outdoor projects for the Raspberry Pi in this MagPi issue. From a high-altitude balloon, to aerial photography, to bike computers and motorised skateboards, there’s plenty of bright ideas in The MagPi 59.

12 Summer Projects in The MagPi 59

Maybe your Pi will ripen in the sun?

The best of the rest in The MagPi 59

We’ve got a fantastic collection of community projects this month. Ingmar Stapel shows off Big Rob, his SatNav-guided robot, while Eric Page demonstrates his Dog Treat Dispenser. There are also interesting tutorials on building a GPS tracker, controlling a Raspberry Pi with an Android app and Bluetooth, and building an electronic wind chime with magnetometers.

You can even enter our give-away of 10 ultra-rare ‘Raspberry Pi 3 plus official case’ kits signed by none other than Eben Upton, co-creator of the Raspberry Pi. Win one and be the envy of the entire Raspberry Pi community!

Electronic Wind Chimes - MagPi 59

MAGNETS!

You can find The MagPi 59 in the UK right now, at WHSmith, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Tesco. Copies will be arriving in US stores including Barnes & Noble and Micro Center very soon. You can also get a copy online from our store or via our Android or iOS app. And don’t forget: there’s always the free PDF as well.

Get reading, get making, and enjoy the new issue!

Rob isn’t here to add his signature Picard GIF, but we’ve sorted it for him. He loves a good pun, so he does! – Janina & Alex

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