Tag: al-Jazeera

So, Farewell then, Hazma bin Laden

Thursday, 1 August, 2019

A poem composed on the reported death of Hazma bin Laden, terrorist, and son of Osama bin Laden, terrorist icon, who always found a warm welcome at Al Jazeera, in those heady days when it gleefully aired his rantings to Qatar and the world.

So, Farewell then, Hazma bin Laden

You dreamed of striking at the heart of the “Crusader-Zionist alliance”
Although, sometimes the enemy was “hypocrite, apostate regimes”
You had hoped for the Big One.
Like your dad, Osama
Who organized the most murderous act of terrorism in living memory ā€“
But US special forces put a halt to his gallop in 2011.

You were being groomed as a future leader of al-Qaida
Somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan
In between watching porn and imagining mass slaughter
And sorting dates and figs.
Then, a US drone swung by
A Predator, perhaps

Suddenly, a hissing noise breaks the silence
Instinctively your mates dive for cover, but to no avail;
The missile blows the tent to shreds.
You died from burns, flying shrapnel and the crushing blast.
And no one shed a tear.
And someone gave a cheer.


Working with Beansprock and SAFFiR

Friday, 6 February, 2015 0 Comments

As we come to the end of our week of looking at developments in the emerging robotics/AI area, all signs indicate that the subject is moving from the technology pages to the mainstream. A sample of today’s headlines from Al Jazeera, Slate and Reuters: Hotel staffed by robots to open in Japan, Automated journalism is no longer science fiction, China to have most robots in world by 2017, an on and on and on.

Where is all this taking us? Well, take a look at Beansprock, a machine learning-based job search platform. Slogan: “Our artificial intelligence evaluates thousands of new tech jobs while you sleep and emails you only the best one.” When it knows a user’s skills, Beansprock can then predict which jobs are a match and which ones are not. The focus is on the tech industry in San Francisco, Boston and New York, and the company claims that it’s processing tens of thousands of job postings every day. Long term, the founders hope to expand the platform to include non-technical jobs.

Another example: “It’s what we call the hybrid force: humans and robots working together.” The person being quoted there by The Verge is the program manager at the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research. Thomas McKenna was speaking at the unveiling of the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR). What can it can that humans cannot? Well, it’s loaded with sensors such as infrared stereo-vision and laser light detectors, which enable it to find its target through thick smoke. The creators imagine a future where human-robot hybrid teams will work together as first responders when fires break out. This, then, is the near future. It’s a world where robotics and AI will be working for us and with us.


Off with your head if you offend the Arab world

Monday, 17 September, 2012

For many Australians these demands for capital punishment of the most drastic kind must have come as a shock, especially since the last execution Down Under took place in 1967, and that was the state-sanctioned hanging of Ronald Ryan. His crime was not that of insulting any prophet, however. Instead, he had been found guilty […]

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