in #TodaysReads, Kenya, killer robots, kinect, torture, xbox one

#TodaysReads: Torture in Custody, Killer Robots and more (14.5.14)

Half of Kenyans fear torture in custody This is so sad. Like I wrote in my post about the legality of the Somali crack down, it’s entirely too easy to take the government to court over human rights abuses. More than that we have a judiciary that seems happy to smack down both the executive and the legislature and put them in their place, in fact I’d say they’re looking for every opportunity to do so.

The report that surveyed 21,221 people in 21 countries says that 58 per cent of Kenyans fear that they could be tortured by the government in custody compared to the global average of 44 per cent.
The study puts Kenya among top 5 countries whose citizens are most afraid of torture together Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan and Turkey.

UN talks to target ‘killer robots’ When robots are allowed to make the kill decision the question over who is legally liable for fuck ups becomes very difficult. Is it the programmer, the manufacturer or the country deploying it?

Russia will cut off US access to the International Space Station over Ukraine sanctions The cold war is back. “This is big. There ain’t no settling down. This is blood for blood and by the gallons. This is the old days, the bad days, the all or nothing days. They’re back. They ain’t no choices left and I’m ready for war.” Marv in Sin City. If you haven’t watched that movie what are you doing with your life?

The space station is maintained by both American and Russian crews. But because NASA’s shuttle program was decommissioned in 2011, the only way to get there is on board Russian spacecraft. The US currently pays Russia $60 million per person to ferry its astronauts to the space station, and had planned to continue working on it until 2024.

Tech system to link up all 47 counties Practically a sales pitch inside one of the countries major newspapers. Still it highlights some of the benefits embracing IT could do for us as a country.

Microsoft Will Ship A Kinect-Free Xbox One For $399 On June 9th The Xbox One has been flagging behind the PS4 in terms of sales and this is a move to help move more units.(It was being outsold by 40%) Maybe one day I’ll even be able to afford one.

This is a pretty huge course change for Microsoft. The original intention of including a Kinect with every console was to solve the chicken/egg problem they had with the Kinect on the 360; when most players didn’t own a Kinect, developers had little reason to build great games for it. When there weren’t many great games, most gamers didn’t have a reason to buy it. Removing the Kinect from the base model is a telling move, then; it means that six months post-launch, the Kinect just wasn’t a big enough driving force.