OpenAI Revises Guidelines to Permit Military Uses

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In an unannounced update to its usage policy, OpenAI has opened the door to military applications of its technologies. While the policy previously prohibited use of its products for the purposes of “military and warfare,” that language has now disappeared, and OpenAI did not deny that it was now open to military uses. Unannounced changes to policy wording happen fairly frequently in tech as the products they govern the use of evolve and change, and OpenAI is clearly no different. It’s a substantive, consequential change of policy, not a restatement of the same policy. Even a strict “no military” policy has to stop after a few removes.

Rocket Lab employs vertical integration strategy to secure $515M government satellite deal

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The Space Development Agency is the mystery customer behind Rocket Lab’s up-to $515 million, 18-satellite order announced in late December, the two firms announced today. In a regulatory filing from December 21, Rocket Lab said it would “design, manufacture, deliver and operate 18 space vehicles” for an unnamed U.S. government customer. Under the contract, Rocket Lab will deliver and operate a prototype constellation in two orbital planes of nine satellites each. Rocket Lab will not be providing the communications payload, and company executives declined to name that provider during a press release Monday. “We welcome Rocket Lab as the newest member of Team SDA and our third performer on the T2TL- Beta program,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director.

Introducing a Revolutionary ‘Voice Frequency Absorber’: The Must-See Product at CES 2024!

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CES has always been the place for weird, out-there gadgets to make their debuts, and this year’s show is no exception. Skyted, a Toulouse, France-based startup founded by former Airbus VP Stéphane Hersen and acoustical engineer Frank Simon, is bringing what look like a pair of human muzzles to CES 2024. The app also calculates the wearer’s “voice level” and shows insights into their “perceptibility” and “intelligibility,” sort of like a Fitbit for speech. The masks muffle 80% of a wearer’s voice, Skyted claims, while enhancing the volume in voice and video calls by isolating outside noise. On its website, Skyted advertises… unusual in-app features like a “voice awareness” mode that lets parents quiet their noisy mask-donning kids while they’re playing video games.

Farewell Enigmatic Military Spacecraft: Safe Travels on Your Journey

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The Falcon Heavy lifted off on the clandestine mission at 8:07 PM Eastern from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The U.S. Space Force’s X-37B space plane, a reusable vehicle that acts as a classified testbed for experiments in space, was the sole payload on the massive rocket. Even the windows of the small space plane are blacked out. One of the big mysteries of this particular mission is the Space Force’s choice to book a triple-boosted Falcon Heavy. This is the fifth time SpaceX has launched a Falcon Heavy rocket this year, and the ninth overall since 2018.

New Startup Raises Seed Funding for ‘SlackPlus’ Solution, Combining Messaging, Location Services, and Payment Capabilities for Humanitarian and Military Needs

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Labrys is perhaps best described as Slack-meets-location-meets-payments for both military and humanitarian scenarios. From 2015 onwards, when I founded the Techfugees non-profit, we found that both refugees and humanitarian workers almost always used WhatsApp to coordinate a response. The Labrys platform, Axiom C2 and Axiom Communicator, allows for KYC/E verification, encrypted communications, task management, where individual users can be geo-located. Meanwhile, Premise Data, which has raised $146 million, has a software platform for humanitarian organizations, and provides analytics about assets on the ground. Plus, ‘dual use’ products that coordinate either civilian or military teams, is a growing market.