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Pandemic Drones to Monitor Crowds From Above to Detect People With Fevers in US

“You’ll be seeing this very soon. Where it’s most critically needed is where we’re going.”

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Pandemic Drones
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(TMU) — As officials in the U.S. begin to make plans for a return to public life, technology is being implemented in strange and startling new ways.

In New Jersey, Connecticut, and other major hotspots in the U.S., local officials have announced that they will be rolling out temperature-sensing drones that will send out audio messages reminding people to be cautious and follow social distancing guidelines.

These drones are made by a company called Draganfly. The company has recently distributed similar technology to authorities in Australia for their pandemic response.

Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly, promises that all of the data is anonymized.

“You’ll be seeing this very soon. Where it’s most critically needed is where we’re going. As it stands today, it’s not designed to identify people with the system. It’s designed to basically provide health monitoring data and be able to give us better data but make more clear decisions,” Chell told ABC7.

Drones that can detect fevers and coughing will soon take to the sky

Drones that can detect fevers and coughing will soon take to the sky | @Digital Trends | #drones #healthcare #business #digital #data #automation #ai #bigdata #futureteknow #statistics #innovation #innovationhub #socialinnovation #technologynews #technology – https://www.futureteknow.com/draganfly-selected-to-integrate-breakthrough-health-diagnosis-technology-to-detect-monitor-covid19/

Posted by futureTEKnow on Monday, March 30, 2020

Chell said that these devices can actually tell if a person has a fever and can detect other signs of sickness as well.

“What these cameras can do is actually detect fever, which is very different than detecting just temperature. They can detect sneezing. They can detect your heart rate, your respiratory rate, and they can also detect social distancing. So imagine, if you will, a situation where there’s a crowd, and you want to determine what’s the infection rate of the crowd and if they are practicing social distancing,” Chell explained.

Privacy activists are concerned that this could open the door for a surveillance state that doesn’t go away. Daniel Schwarz of the New York Civil Liberties Union said that technology has a place in a crisis like this, but he worries that “constant aerial surveillance” could “fundamentally change” the country.

“There can be a place for advanced technology to support health efforts during a crisis like this one, but it should always serve a clear public health purpose. Indefinite and unwarranted mass crowd policing does not fit that purpose. Surveillance tools used during the pandemic should be scientifically justified, communicated transparently to the public, limited in their scope and duration, and should always require informed consent,” Schwarz said.

“Constant aerial surveillance combined with biased analytics would fundamentally change what it feels like to venture out in public in this country, violate our constitutional rights to freedom of association and privacy, and open the door to expanded broken windows policing of communities uniquely vulnerable to CoViD-19,” he added.

As a part of the pandemic response in China, police were given artificial intelligence (AI) helmets designed for temperature screening.

Chinese police wear AI helmets for temperature screening

These aren't ordinary helmets that Chinese police are wearing. They can read body temperatures from up to 5m away.Our latest coverage on the epidemic: sc.mp/coronavirusoutbreak

Posted by South China Morning Post on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

It is unclear how effective these types of devices will actually be considering the incredibly high rate of transmission through asymptomatic carriers. Studies that have explored this topic have resulted in a wide range of results, but most researchers agree that a significant amount of coronavirus carriers will be asymptomatic or will only experience mild symptoms, which means that it could be very difficult for a drone—or even a human—to determine that they have been infected.

According to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of people infected with the virus will be asymptomatic but still able to pass the illness along to others.

By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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