Driver Blames Demon in His Uber App for Killing Spree

An Uber driver, charged with the murder of six people, and wounding of two others on 20th February, has claimed that he was forced to commit the crimes by a “devil figure” in his Uber app, which was controlling his “mind and body.” In a series of documents released by the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Office (obtained courtesy of the Detroit Free Press), Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old former Uber driver from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, told police after his arrest that a symbol resembling the head of a demon popped up on his app – which he used to conduct his business as an Uber driver – and “that’s when the problems started.”

“I asked Dalton what made him get his gun tonight and he said the Uber app made him,” the police report reads. “Dalton described the devil figure as a horned cow head or something like that and then it would give you an assignment and it would literally take over your whole body.”

Dalton claimed that when his Uber app turned from “red to black that is when he started having problems.” When the app returned to red, he “got his presence back.”

According to the accused’s wife, Carole Dalton, though, tells a different story. According to her, Dalton had been in an argument with a rival driver, who had supposedly shot at him. “[H]e was nearly run off the road last week by this same vehicle, which he believed was owned by an angry taxi driver, upset that Jason was now driving for Uber and taking away his business,” she told investigators.

 

US Military to Train Marines Using Creepy Robot Targets

Long have soldiers practiced their shooting skills at a firing range, shooting at paper targets to develop their marksmanship. Static paper targets pale in comparison to moving humanoid targets out in the field, however, which is where these slightly creepy four-wheeled robots come in. Designed to simulate more realistic battlefield conditions, these robots will replace the paper targets with moving targets which can drive in and out of cover and move around corners.

Developed by Marathon Targets, these robots are far from attractive to look at (which may be appealing when they are designed to be shot), looking like the upper torso of a dummy attached to a piece of machinery, they are far smarter and more well built than first appears. Using a combination of GPS guidance systems and a laser-based obstacle avoidance system with a range of 25 meters, the bots can easily be controlled from a remote location via laptop and even feedback to the operator when and where they were shot, like a high-tech way of checking the bullet holes in a target. Despite packing all of this technology, their most impressive feat is that the manufacturer reports that each robot can handle being shot thousands of times and still maintain its structure and operability.

Recently, the robots were tested by Marines from the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton in California who provided a positive initial response to their usage. The Department of Defense released footage of the exercises, which shows Marines shooting at the robotic targets, who react to gunshot ‘wounds’ by tipping their ‘body’ at an angle.

Certainly not as cheap as a few pieces of paper down at the firing range, however, these robots show a new way of training the next generation of soldiers to be more effective against moving targets. Let’s just hope they don’t take it personally or we could be facing a robot uprising against bots able to take hundreds of shots and keep going.

Owner Sues For His Shot Down Drone

Last year there was a rather large issue in the US when Mr William Merideth fired his shotgun at a drone flying overhead. After the resulting crash, he was charged with a crime and the drone (or what was left) returned to its owner. In his court date, Meredith claimed that the drone was flying overhead while his daughters were outside and he acted in defence, a verdict that the judge seemed to share as he ruled the drone invaded his privacy. Now the law turns the other way, with David Boggs, the drone owner, filing a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit is focused in two areas, the $1,500 in damages that the drone was estimated to cost and a ruling on if his flight back in July 2015 did actually constitute trespassing. In a civil complaint, Bogg’s lawyer references a section of the U.S. code stating that “The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States.”

With the laws regarding drones becoming contested and argued on a daily basis, it could be an interesting case to keep track of. The U.S. code mentioned above goes on to state that “The airspace, therefore, is not subject to private ownership nor can the flight of an aircraft within the navigable airspace of the United States constitute a trespass.”, raising the question that with the older laws, does a drone constitute an aircraft?

Ryan Calo spoke to Ars Technica regarding the matter and mentioned the legal concept of “ad coelum et ad inferos”, translated as “to the heavens and to hell” meaning that a land owner controls everything above and below the earth. This concept is normally applied to items underground such as minerals, oil or gas so is rarely used in regards to the skies, an area that the Federal aviation authority would argue with in its recent claims that it is responsible for everything that flies.

Man Shoots Down Expensive Drone

Drones may be the future, but owners certainly need to take a bit more responsibility while flying them if this tale is anything to go by. A gentleman by the name of William H. Merideth looked skyward and noticed a Drone was flying over his property, so he acted the same way any American with access to war grade weapons would, he took aim and shot it down.

According to an account of the incident, Mr Merideth’s shotgun blast hit the Drone and the hardware crashed within a short distance of his home. When police arrived to investigate why there was ammunition being fired, Merideth admitted that he shot down the Drone because it was flying over his home. Mr Merideth then gave an interview to propaganda Republican 1 channel Fox News, which he explained his actions with the following statement

I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’ Within a minute or so, here it came. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky…”

Owners of the Drone were slightly angry considering the machine was estimated to be worth $1,800 (£1152.75) they also claimed that they were only shooting photos of a friend’s house when the incident occurred. Police arrested Merideth and charged him with first degree criminal mischief before promptly releasing him the next day, law enforcement gave what was left of the crashed Drone back to its owners.

I haven’t really any sympathy with both parties, on one hand William Merideth should not have really shot someone else’s Drone down, on the other hand, don’t fly a machine over someone’s house. It will be interesting to note how police handle this in the future, if the fore mentioned gentleman does not receive a punishment, it will be shoot a Drone season arriving down a street very soon.

On a side note, what is wrong with the gun owner? There are ways to resolve conflicts rather than taking aim and firing a cartridge into a direction of anything which annoys you.

Thank You wdrb for providing us with this information

US Army Developing Robotic Exoskeletons?

Whenever I hear a new piece of tech which is being developed with the aim of blurring the lines of real life and science fiction, I am curious, but it’s then sometimes followed by a groan when you realize it’s for the purposes of war, destruction and general super power posturing. A new Robotic Exoskeleton is being developed by yes the US army to assist in the training of soldiers and their shooting accuracy.

A gentleman by the name of Dan Baechle who is a mechanical engineer is testing MAXFAS, a mechatronic arm exoskeleton at the Army Research Laboratory in the United States. As you can see by the image below, this device contains a motor for the MAXFAS cable which is driven behind the wearer. This in turn pulls the cables that are attached to arm braces; the effect of this would be similar to a puppeteer who pulls strings to make certain objects move. The braces are constructed from carbon fibre; this is useful because it adds very little weight to the arm. Always amuses me when you’re handling a potentially lethal object but always remember to wear goggles.

By having sensors placed onto the braces it feels and corrects any shaking in the arm by sending signals to the motors. By doing this, the arm would be able to focus without the slightest of human tremors and therefore improves shooting accuracy at a faster rate, which is fantastic for the shooter, perhaps not so much for the target.

This design has the potential to be implemented outside of military circles, for example, if an individual has Parkinson’s disease and has a constant tremor, this might be able to help manage this. I also feel that perhaps the US government should lend its researchers and dev team to produce cutting edge tech with the aim of assisting the general public, after all, finances should be allocated for not only war but peace.

Thank You army.mil for providing us with this information

Army Exoskeleton Makes Gunshots More Accurate

The US Army has developed a revolutionary new exoskeleton that improves a soldier’s aim with a gun. The Mobile Arm Exoskeleton for Firearm Aim Stabilization (MAXFAS) automatically steadies a soldier’s gun arm, cancelling out trembling without locking the limb, leaving it free to point at other targets at will.

“Army soldiers have to be able to hit a target at over 300 yards away,” Daniel Baechle, co-creator of MAXFAS and mechanical engineer for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland, said. “That’s more than three football fields put end-to-end. Prior to basic training, many soldiers have never tried to hit a target that far away.”

“Using the Army standard M16 rifle, moving the muzzle by just one-sixteenth of an inch will result in the shot being off target by more than 17 inches at 300 yards away,” Baechele explains. “So even small tremors can result in huge aiming errors.”

Early studies on soldiers using MAXFAS show a shooting accuracy improvement of up to 27%, and Baechele hopes to improve the technology even further.

“The far-future concept I envision is that MAXFAS could become an untethered device, perhaps with motors, power supply, and control computer all in a backpack,” he predicts. “MAXFAS could then be worn on the battlefield to improve soldier aim. Alternatively, the tremor-damping algorithms could be incorporated into an existing or future exoskeleton.”

Couple MAXFAS with the recently-developed smart bullets and the US could be building the next generation of super soldiers.

Thank you Popular Science for providing us with this information.

Colorado Police Cites Guy for Shooting His Computer

We have all been there, the old computer that should have been retired years ago is creating nothing but trouble. It bugs, hang, crashes and generally just doesn’t want to do as it should, and you get frustrated.

A man from Colorado Springs had that feeling and felt the frustration especially hard. The end-result after months of trouble, he shot his computer.

The police were called when people heard gunfire and after some initial investigation the police found the perpetrator. But it wasn’t a gang fight, robbery, or angry partner that caught the lover with another person, it was just a frustrated PC owner.

The 37-year-old Luca Hinch had taken his PC into a back alley after months of frustrations and yet another fight with his system. He couldn’t take it anymore and he simply shot it. I can count eight bullet holes, so it looks like he emptied his entire clip into the system.

Computers as such have no legal rights in our justice system, but it is illegal to just discharge your firearm within city limits, at least in Colorado. The man was cited for discharging the firearm within city limits, but won’t have to face any PC-slaughter allegations.

Thanks to KOAA5 for providing us with this information

Attack at NSA Headquarters: One Dead, Two Injured

This morning at the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters an unidentified car attempted to ram the entrance gate. Shots were fired after the gate was rammed, authorities are saying that one individual is dead and there are two other that were airlifted to area trauma centers with serious injuries.

CNN is reporting that two men were involved in the attack, one being killed and the other wounded. Aerial photos show two vehicles damaged at the scene, a white NSA police car and an unidentified black SUV.  Footage at the scene also showed a uniformed officer that was being loaded into an ambulance. This is the second incident at the NSA Fort Meade headquarters in a month with a person firing bullets at the building from a distance, the suspect was taken into custody by the FBI.

Source: The Verge

Woman Shoots 50-Inch TV to Stop Her Kids Watching

40-year-old Jennifer Ullery was so sick of her kids being glued to the family television that, while the three children (6, 11, and 15-years old) were watching a Primus music video, she drew a Ruger .22 rifle and fired multiple shots into the 50-inch Panasonic flat screen TV.

Ullery (pictured above), of Illinois, USA, was charged with three counts of endangering the health and safety of a child, unlawful possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card and a felony charge of recklessly discharging a firearm. There were no physical injuries related to the incident, discounting the poor TV.

Deputy Chief Andrew Doles of Algonquin Sheriff’s Department, said of the incident, “A music video by Primus set Mom off and she opened fire. Mom didn’t say anything, she just walked into the room and started shooting the TV.”

In court, Ullery pleaded not guilty to all charges. She will return to court, after being released on $1,500 bail, at the end of April. If she cites Primus as her defence, she might be in with a chance.

Source: Digital Trends

Apple and Google Show Support for ‘Je Suis Charlie’

Among many tech companies showing their respect for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris, Apple and Google have made modifications to their websites in support of those affected.

As you can see above, Apple has included the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ message on their French homepage, while Google has posted this black ribbon as can be seen bellow on its homepage across Europe.

“Remembering the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”

Google also has a considerable presence in the world of journalism and news, and has also posted the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ message on their Google News France homepage.

Source: Google, Apple

New Report Suggests That Smartphone Gaming Will Overtake Console Gaming in 2015?

There’s long been talk of mobile gaming overtaking console gaming but, according to a report by market research firm Newzoo, that day could finally arrive in 2015. The report estimates that mobile games revenue will reach $30.3 billion next year, an increase of over $5 billion from the $25 billion revenue in 2014. And by 2017, it’s anticipated that mobile gaming revenue will surpass $40 billion.

The figures aren’t that surprising when you stop to look around you in almost any public place. People are almost always on their phones, and they’re not all chatting, using their phone for its original purpose. According to a report by the Entertainment Software Association report earlier this year, 44% of gamers now play on their smartphone rather than any other device. The types of mobile games that are played vary. In the same ESA report, the games played most often on a mobile were listed as follows: casual and social games (46%), puzzle, board games, game show, trivia and card games (31%), action, sports, strategy and role play games (11%) and persistent multi-player universe games (4%).

You can see why so many people choose to play on their mobiles. The games that are available to play on a mobile platform fit better with a busy lifestyle than playing on a pc or console. If you have five minutes to spare you can enjoy a quick fix of gaming wherever you are on a mobile; whether you choose to play bingo at a site like 32red or Gala or a game on Facebook like Farm Heroes Saga or Hay Day.

The ESA report suggests that the number of female gamers aged over 50 has increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013, and, without generalising too much, it’s unlikely that this particular group will be playing action or shooter games on a console. They’re far more likely to be playing casual social games or games of bingo on their mobiles. One of the biggest attractions of playing games on a mobile is that you can just jump in and get playing without having to read any rules of ‘how to play’. Click here to play at 32red and you’ll see that bingo is a great example of a game that people can play instantly, without having to learn how to play.

Newzoo’s revised forecast for this year is 42% higher than mobile game revenues achieved in 2013. The Amsterdam-based company predicts that the market in Western Europe will grow by 47%, while the North American market will grow 51 % year on year. The biggest increase in mobile games revenue will be in the South East Asia and China market, where it is predicted to rise by 86%.

It’s also anticipated that Apple will produce double the games revenue to Nintendo this year. Nintendo revenues were $2.4 billion in 2013, but the revenue this year is anticipated to be smaller. Meanwhile Apple is forecast to have games revenues of $4 billion from the games in its iTunes App Store this year, while Google’s annual revenue is likely to be £3 billion for 2014.

When the report was issued, the CEO of Newzoo indicated that in the western markets, where mobile gaming is already mature, the battle for dominance between iOS and Android is no longer over the smartphone, it’s more about tablets. While iOS stays ahead of Android overall in mobile gaming spending because of the iPad, the Android market is more fragmented across different devices and operating systems.

Newzoo acknowleged that its report may seem contrary to recent sentiment that the mobile gaming market is becoming saturated in mature western markets such as the USA. However, according to the Newzoo analysis it seems that the increase in mobile revenue growth is dependent on both organic growth but also cannibalistic growth – where mobile increases at the cost of other markets, such as consoles, handheld consoles and online gaming. Instead of spending on online pc games or console games, people are choosing to spend more on their mobile gaming.

 

Teen Shot For Having Wii Remote In Hand

A female Police officer has shot and killed a 17-year-old at his home in Eagle View Mobile Home Park in Euharlee, Georgia. On Friday night Euharlee Police officers showed up at Christopher Roupe’s home to serve a probation warrant for his father. Upon hearing a knock at the door Christopher asked who was there, upon receiving no answer he opened the door and was immediately shot in the chest. According to eyewitnesses Christopher was holding a Wii remote, but police are saying he answered the door holding a gun.

The Roupe family has hired Cole Law as their attorney who has released this statement regarding the incident;

“A female officer told investigators that Roupe pointed a gun at her when he opened the door, it just doesn’t add up. We don’t know where that statement came from. The eyewitnesses on the scene clearly state that he had a Wii controller in his hand. he heard a knock at the door. He asked who it was, there was no response so he opened the door and upon opening the door he was immediately shot in the chest.”

The officer in question who shot Mr Roupe is said to have come out of the house, put her head in her hands and started sobbing after the incident. Mr Roupe was only 17 years old and attended Woodland High School where he was in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and wanted to join the Marines. Friends at Mr Roupe’s school say he was a good kid and always looked out for everyone.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qJZTkhE_yA[/youtube]

Coverage from WSB-TV

While details are still hard to come by, if the families account of the incident is correct then this is a horrible accident and a terrible waste of a young teens life who had his whole future ahead of him. Our condolences go out to all those affected by these events.

 Thank you WSB-TV 2 for the information provided

Image courtesy of Kotaku

Man Shot Dead Over PlayStation 4 Sale!

The world can be an awful place sometimes, unfortunately today is one of those times as we hear that a man has lost his life over a PlayStation 4 games console.

Now I don’t want to drag all that nonsense in about “video games are a bad influence” as this is simply the case of an idiot who thought it would be a good idea to rob someone and murder them in cold blood, the console is just a catalyst to these tragic events.

According to a report over at San Jose Mercury, the man was met by a potential customer after offering to sell his PlayStation 4. When the man met with him to do a deal on the console, the victim was shot multiple times and the customer took the console and ran.

This is just a day after I heard of two teens being beaten badly here in the UK after they were robbed outside a video game store, also involving their PlayStation 4 being stolen from them.

A man in his 20’s is now dead, and San Francisco Police are conducting a search for the suspect, of course if you have any information that may help, you can contact police on 415-575-4444, or alternatively to send a text to TIP411, with the subject line “SFPD”.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.