BreakingModern — Technology is making the world a better place, right? That’s debatable. On any given day somebody probably died from a strange technological event, including death by video games, death by phone charger and death by computer. Tech innovations occur all the time, but with each new invention there might be a new way we can be killed. The following is a list of the latest killer technologies.
We’ve already seen drones effectively kill thousands of people in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, yet now drones are being used by U.S. law enforcement agencies for surveillance and other potentially deadly uses. Vanguard’s Shadowhawk drone can be equipped with Tasers, automatic shotguns and grenade launchers. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a drone tossing a grenade!
Lasers are tremendously helpful for medical purposes and entertaining cats, but they’re also being used as deadly weapons. The U.S. Navy will equip some of its battleships with lasers to shoot down drones. Plus, Boeing is building a High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) cannon for the U.S. Army, which is basically a laser cannon that can blast drones and 60mm mortars out of the sky.
Google, Nissan and other car manufacturers are saying it’s only a matter of time before cars will drive themselves – some say as early as 2017. Already auto makers are integrating computer controls into cars, including automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian recognition and parking assist. But do you trust that texting driver in the lane next to you, or a computer-controlled car? The more cars that rely on technology for controls, the more susceptible they are to being hacked, especially since cars are using ancient technology. There are even numerous websites that offer instructions on how to make an auto-hacking USB drive.
The price of 3D printing has dropped in recent years, allowing it to move from high-end commercial use to homes. The technology is being hailed as a new way for anybody to create industrial designs. Yet, there are those who see 3D printers as the tool needed to help everybody create their own gun, such as the “Wiki Weapon” community and Defense Distributed, which promote this vision and even offers schematics on how to do so.
“How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out,” the Defense Distributed website reads. I’m sure we’ll find more deaths by guns if their rosy vision is realized.
As more of our critical infrastructures rely on computers, the more vulnerable they are to attack. Malware became even-more terrifying with the discovery of Stuxnet, a worm that hijacked Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in Iranian nuclear facilities. The problem is SCADA systems are used for numerous things, including controlling electricity substations, monitoring oil and gas pipelines, monitoring water supplies, controlling traffic lights and much more.
For BMod, I’m Chandler Harris.
Image credit: Laser Swat image: SWAT teams and laser beams by Jason Eppink via Flickr Creative Commons
Header image credit: US Navy 050713-N-3455P-003 A BQM-74E aerial target drone launches from the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) by U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Paul Polach