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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Risks of Artificial Intelligence: Real or Imaginary ?

Deus Ex Machina from The Matrix Revolutions

For those having grown up watching sci-fi movies , especially those with apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic genre like the Terminator, The Matrix series and even 2001: A Space Odyssey the current trend in technological advancement towards Artificial Intelligence can give a sense of déjà vu. But then the celluloid world is quite different from the real one especially in the "apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic" genre. However, when one of the greatest theoretical physicist alive, Stephen Hawking and technologists and space-age entrepreneur Elon Musk raise alarm on unchecked development of artificial intelligence being a threat to our kind, it is not irrational to pause and wonder if we are on the right track. 

Posted By danish Ahmed 7:34 PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cyber Warfare And The Internet Of Things

Internet outage in the US and parts of Western Europe on Friday, after waves of cyberattacks on a major DNS host Dyn may not have made much news in India and other parts of the world but it is unlikely to be an one off incidence and something that if repeated is unlikely to affect the Internet users in the US only. The attack made some of the widely used web services and websites such as Twitter, Spotify, PayPal,Reddit,Github,CNN, WSJ and many other service inaccessible. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been launched against websites since the time hackerdom came into existence but lately they have been becoming increasingly effective/disruptive with the use of botnets. However, what is really alarming is the fact this attack was carried out using botnet of not zombie computers but Internet connected devices including routers,webcams,DVS and commodities collectively called Internet of Things (IoT). 

Posted By danish Ahmed 4:38 AM

Monday, October 10, 2016

Political Slugfest Over Strikes

This is a follow up of my previous post on changing dynamics in India-Pakistan relationship after the terrorist attack on India military base in Uri, in which I tried to confine my views to conflict analysis rather than politics but now the whole issue seems to be spilling into domestic political landscape. Ironically, Indian government's offensive including the surgical strike was political in nature, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's terse statement in the UNGA, scrapping of SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad after five out of eight members boycotting it, talks about Indus Water Treaty were all part of a multi-pronged offensive. But politics here meant political offensive against Pakistan and political pressure on international community to persuade Pakistan to mend its ways. Yet things now seem to be going in the other direction. 

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:15 AM

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Indo-Pak Relationship: New Rules of Engagement

Unarguably Modi government's latest engagement with Pakistan marks a clear paradigm shift in the Indian establishment's policy towards it's unreliable neighbour. In a multi-pronged offensive including surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads inside PoK, diplomatic isolation, move to take away MFN status and using Indus Water Treaty (IWT) as stick to warn Pakistan is a stark message to Pakistan to stop sending in militants from across the border to carry out terror attacks on Indian soil. Denial by Pakistan of any such raid having been carried out by Indian Army hints at its reluctance to retaliate which makes this a tactical victory for India but the what can be expected in this new paradigm is yet to fully make itself clear. 

Posted By danish Ahmed 11:51 PM

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Who Gains From Syria's Fragile Ceasefire

As the Russia-US brokered deal for ceasefire agreement enters the third day, it is still unclear if the deal described as "last chance " for Syria can in fact halt the humanitarian catastrophe underway in Aleppo and other regions of the embattled Arab country. The level of mistrust among all actors in the region is so high that even if no civilian fatality has been reported since the commencement of the ceasefire,the humanitarian aid has yet to reach the besieged population. Much has changed since I last blogged about the situation in Syria but not the brutalities and mistrust which makes lot of people wonder if this cessation of hostilities has been largely accepted by all sides to look for a solution or simply buy time to consolidate their positions,rearm and work out new strategies. What adds to the skepticism is the fact that the trust deficit is not just between middle eastern actors but also between US and Russia who are already on the opposite sides in the Ukrainian conflict. The effort to break the siege of Aleppo to deliver humanitarian aid could well have led to a full fledged proxy war between US and its regional allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia and Iran. This is perhaps another reason why the US and Russia agreed to the ceasefire deal but how long it can hold cannot be predicted given the complex situation in the war ravaged country.

Posted By danish Ahmed 2:21 AM