iPhone Gun Case?

Hands up! This is an armed robbery, well not armed, more like an iphonee heist; I would like to see the spell checker correct that. Anyway, a new product which has briefly been shot onto the market had aimed to have a unique selling point by turning your iPhone into a mock gun.

As the illustrative image below demonstrates, the product works by allowing the consumer to slide his or hers iPhone into a plastic handgun frame. This product had been marketed by online retailer Japan Trendshop for a nominal price of $49 (£31.50) this, however, was before the item disappeared from the website with the status being “product not found”

This item is silly, potentially dangerous and could have serious repercussions for the owner. Just imagine strolling into your local bank with what looks to be a gun handle sticking out of the side of your pocket and sounds as if it’s ringing, you will either be laughed at of shot, or both.

Confirmation of the silliness of this invention came from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office who stated in a Facebook post that “A police officer’s job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation,” This point is very valid, if a police officer only has a fraction of a second to determine if this gun is real or not, the consequences could be fatal for the recipient.

I do feel however it’s a sorry state of affairs when a phone case could potentially cause problems within society. It’s a silly invention, but it’s a product which in a different time might have been viewed more light-heartedly instead of having obvious connotations which could be fatal in today’s gun toting world.

Images courtesy of CNN Money and artist Freeport D Art page

Thank You CNET for providing us with this information

War Robots Put Humankind at Risk, AI Experts Warn

An artificial intelligence expert has warned the development of killer robots, or Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), capable of engaging targets without human intervention puts the principles of human dignity at risk. “LAWS could violate fundamental principles of human dignity by allowing machines to choose whom to kill,” Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, warns. “For example, they might be tasked to eliminate anyone exhibiting ‘threatening behaviour’.”

A report written by members of the Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, entitled Mind the Gap: The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots, counselled the European Union to ban so-called ‘killer robots’, due to the serious moral and ethical ramifications of machines possessing “the ability to select and engage their targets without meaningful human control.”

“Despite the limits imposed by physics, one can expect platforms deployed in the millions, the agility and lethality of which will leave humans utterly defenceless. This is not a desirable future,” Russell adds.

According to Russell, DARPA is already working on such technology and he estimates that it is only a couple of years away from being a reality. Potential LAWS weapons could be armed quadcopters or self-driving tanks with the capacity to identify and eliminate hostile targets.

Russell spoke at the recent United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons event. Germany were receptive to LAWS restrictions, saying it would “not accept that the decision over life and death is taken solely by an autonomous system”, but the UK, US, and Israel refused to commit to an international treaty to restrict the use of LAWS.

Thank you International Business Times for providing us with this information.

Worldwide Bitcoin Regulations Still Unclear, Law Library of Congress Survey Reports

There were many questions on how can the Bitcoin be taxed, having more and more countries coming up with different ways on how the cryptocurrency could be treated. While countries such as Germany do not consider Bitcoin a legal tender and cannot be considered as taxable income, Canada was pro-taxing Bitcoin incomes.

“At the moment, we’re studying Bitcoin and we have no plan to issue a regulation on it,” a spokesperson for the Bank of Indonesia told the Jakarta Globe in December.

Law Library of Congress has surveyed 40 jurisdictions and the European Union to see what laws have been implemented for the Bitcoin all around the world. They found that China has declared it illegal to use Bitcoin as a currency, while Brazil has successfully adopted and made regulations for it, having been adopted under Law No. 12,865. And while the U.S. is the place where most Bitcoin makers and users are, the New York State Department of Financial Services are said to be in talks to consider Bitcoin-specific regulations.

While we see most countries accepting or letting Bitcoin have its way for the moment ( and of course China that bans just about anything that looks democratic ), the U.S. might be preparing something to take a bite out of every profit made through Bitcoin, especially having more and more companies starting to accept cryptocurrency payments.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information