ISIS’ embrace of technology now includes drones

Originally posted on PandoDaily:


ISIS, the terrorist organization that the War Nerd has covered extensively, has gotten its hands on a drone.

It’s just a little one, equipped with a “smart” camera instead of the missiles attached to drones used by the United States, but it’s already been cited as a factor in the group’s ability to capture an air base in Syria, which was the last bastion of the Syrian government’s power in the region.

Business Insider reported on the drone’s use in the attack, and explained its value to ISIS:

While the drone may not have been critical in taking the base, it gave militants situational awareness they wouldn’t have had otherwise, [associate political scientist at RAND Corp Colin] Clarke said.

“Any small advantage helps. I’d say it’s kind of a force multiplier,” he said. “Any time you can get advanced information by scouting out a position before attacking it is helpful…

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Is Uber good for urban communities?

Originally posted on PandoDaily:


Last night, in the basement bar of a Harlem soul food restaurant, New York tech and social entrepreneurs gathered to air things out over two of the most talked-about issues in tech: Diversity and Uber.

Over the past few months, as more and more major tech firms release diversity reports revealing disproportionately low numbers of women and minorities in technology positions, the problem of how to ensure opportunities for non-male, non-white tech workers has taken center stage. So have debates over what responsibilities big, well-funded tech firms have to service minority or low-income communities.

Meanwhile, as the $18 billion dollar technology/transportation company Uber continues to see massive growth, it’s become a surrogate in arguments over highly disruptive startups facing regulatory struggles and criticisms over safety and cutthroat competitive tactics.

So when I heard that Zuhairah Scott Washington, general manager of Uber DC, would be interviewed by Kathryn Finney, the founder of digitalundivided which promotes the participation…

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