OUR PICKSDOJ to Investigate Gunshot Detector Purchases | Washington’s Bet on AI Warfare | Blimps Are Coming Back, and more

Published 28 September 2023

·  Blimps, Dirigibles, and Zeppelins: You Can’t Keep a Good Idea Down
In the early days of air travel, a number of catastrophic airship crashes had almost put an end to any thoughts of using them for transport. But could these gas-filled Goliaths be making a comeback?

·  Washington’s Bet on AI Warfare
The future of warfare will certainly be data-driven and AI-enabled, and, in many ways, it already is.

·  Jury Selection Opens in Terrorism Trial of Extended Family Members Dating to 2018 New Mexico Raid
Extended family confronted kidnapping and terrorism charges stemming from the search for a missing 3-year-old boy going back to 2018

·  How White Supremacist Fight Clubs Are Building Covert Far-Right Militias
A new report details the explosive growth of neo-Nazi groups using fitness to build ‘shadow’ armies

·  US Justice Department Urged to Investigate Gunshot Detector Purchases
DOJ is being asked to investigate whether a gunshot-detection system are selectively deployed to justify the over-policing of mainly Black neighborhoods

Blimps, Dirigibles, and Zeppelins: You Can’t Keep a Good Idea Down  (Jeff Nilsson, Saturday Evening Post)
This month marks the 98th anniversary of the crash of the U.S.S. Shenandoah, the U.S. Navy’s first rigid airship. 
Airships might have had a better record than airplanes, but they could still fall out of the sky. Between the end of the First World War in 2018 and the Shenandoah disaster in September 2025, ten others airships crashed, some spectacularly.
The U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security use airships for surveillance, but there has been far less use of airships for civilian purposes, mainly due to their cost. Airships are expensive to build, house, and operate. And while an airship ride is incredibly smooth, it’s slow; modern airships travel at a less than sixth of a jumbo jet’s speed.
Within the last decade, with growing concerns about the environment and conserving energy, there has been talk of airships making a comeback. Britain’s Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has developed the Airlander, which is scheduled for a 2026 release. It promotes itself as an energy-efficient craft that can carry up to 10 tons and stay aloft for five days. It doesn’t rely on helium alone for ascension, but uses the lift of an aerodynamic design, similar to airplane wings.
It’s possible that dirigibles might, after all, be the cheaper, cleaner alternative we need for future transport.

Washington’s Bet on AI Warfare  (Shayan Hassan Jamy, National Interest)
Throughout human history, technological progress has translated into military prowess. In most instances, the states that incorporate new technologies more quickly and effectively into their respective militaries have gained a significant advantage over their adversaries. The same is likely to be true for artificial intelligence (AI), with the United States and China currently locked in a competition for global AI superiority. This competition for AI and technological supremacy could very well dictate the future global landscape. (Cont.)