Tag Archives: Immigration

The Autonomous Weapons of the Future…and Present

A man walks in a remote field. From a place he cannot even see, a quiet drone takes off.

It’s headed his way.

This drone was made by Anduril Industries and this time, it just watched. But it can do a lot more.

These powerful craft can fly at 80 to 100 mph. By comparison, a typical DJI drone can reach about 40 miles per hour.

The Anduril drone is so fast and durable it can knock other drones out of the sky. The five year old defense startup bills itself as different from the big boys like General Dynamics or Northrop Grumman:

“Unlike most defence companies, we don’t wait for our customers to tell us what they need. We identify problems, privately fund R&D and sell finished products off the shelf.

David Goodrich, CEO Anduril Australia & Asia Pacific

Anduril is taking robot warfare beyond aerial drones. It recently bought a company called Dive Technologies, which makes autonomous submarines.

What if you had hundreds of even thousands of these autonomous subs patrolling your coast…or even attacking your enemy’s navy right in its own harbors? These relatively cheap and quick to produce vessels could change naval warfare forever.

Anduril’s drones rely on computer vision and AI to spot threats.

I’ve actually seen similar technology used by startups that sell security cameras to individuals. In those cases, the system flags a potential intruder for a human to review in real time.

This type of tech isn’t just being used abroad. It’s in our neighborhoods and also on our southern border, where it’s used to track immigration.

We’ve had numerous issues with policing of poor communities in America. It concerns me how a new generation of AI and robotics could be trained on those who already have the least.

As explosive as certain policing incidents have been, what will happen when the unarmed man is confronting a robot?

But like any new technology, Anduril’s capabilities can also be used for good. The startup is working with NATO forces in Poland, perhaps to prepare them for a Russian threat to Poland stemming from the Ukraine conflict.

I doubt we can put this genie back in the bottle. But I hope governments and citizens will work together to ensure these powerful technologies are used for good.

What do you think of Anduril’s tech and how it may be used? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

More on tech:

Growing Veggies on Mars

How Tech Could Stop Wildfires

The Startup Pitch Checklist

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You Can Get the Same Bank Account as a Professional Investor. Here’s How.

Shortly after giving blood a week ago, I availed myself of the blood center’s free cookies and magazines. I flipped to an article about banking in poor, mostly black areas of the rural south:

…the national banks discourage poorer—and less profitable—clients through minimum-balance requirements and fees. And in many small towns around the Delta, good luck even finding a big traditional lender. From 2012 to 2017, low-income rural communities lost 14% of their bank branches, according to a Federal Reserve study.

This struck me as very sad, since I don’t deal with any of those problems. Ever.

What if you could get an account with a bank that’s entirely online, meaning you don’t need to worry if you live in a rural area? And what if that bank had accounts with no minimum balance and even free checks to boot?

Well, that’s the kind of account I have. And as I read that article, I thought about several friends who’ve had struggles with their banks and asked me the same question: what bank do you use?

I’ve used Ally Bank for about four years, and I do love it so! Here are some of the benefits:

  • No minimum balance
  • Free checks
  • Reimbursement of ATM fees up to $10/month, which is usually plenty for me
  • Tons of fee free ATM’s, including at every Walgreens and CVS
  • Every service is online, no branch to go to, wait in line, and catch COVID at
  • Wait time of 1-2 minutes at most to get a human on the phone, 24/7/365
  • Some of the highest interest rates for savings accounts in the nation, probably because they don’t have to pay for branches and tellers

A friend of mine recently had his bank account frozen due to fraud protection. Naturally, it conveniently happened on a Saturday afternoon, after the branches and phone lines were closed! With Ally’s 24/7 support, this would never have been an issue.

In fact, in four years, I’ve never had one problem with my Ally account.

As a professional investor, deciding where to put money is my entire job. So, I put a good bit of thought into this decision, and it’s worked out well for me.

I’d love to see people of more modest means, people in remote rural areas, and disadvantaged minorities get the same good service as a very fortunate urban white guy like myself. So that’s why I wrote this post!

I have no affiliation with them and won’t get a dime if you sign up. But if you do decide to, the link is here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

For more on saving money and financial issues, check out these posts:

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Photo: Me and some random person’s car. 🙂

The Art Piece I’m Loving Lately

I came across this beautiful art piece recently. It’s a mixed media piece made of acrylic paint, paper, and safety pins. It is in the silhouette of a girl seen through a fence. It appears to be meant to evoke the many people coming to the southern border for asylum in recent years.

I spoke with the artist, Amy Putman, and she said she got the idea from an article in the New York Times about people using safety pins on their clothing as a statement about people being linked, whether they be fortunate or disadvantaged.

Ms. Putman plans to make a series of prints from this image. I hope to get my hands on one when they’re ready!

What interesting pieces of art have you seen this year? Leave it in the comments!