The MIDAS Trawler

October 2019


Facebook Expands Into Mind Reading

Facebook have confirmed that they are close to acquiring New-York-based company CTRL Labs the makers of ‘Ctrl-kit’ an armband which can interpret signals from user’s brains to control a virtual keyboard or mouse.

Facebook’s vice president of augmented and virtual reality, Andrew Bosworth said “We know there are more natural, intuitive ways to interact with devices and technology. It’s why we’ve agreed to acquire CTRL Labs. They will be joining our Facebook Reality Labs team where we hope to build this kind of technology, at scale, and get it into consumer products faster.”

Ctrl-labs cofounder and CEO Thomas Reardon, who will join Facebook’s Reality Labs research group, said “With Ctrl-kit, you become the controller. Extracting the meanings of your movements. Taking biological neurons, sending that directly into a computational neurons. This way humans can dominate those computational neurons with their own neurons, to leverage things like machine learning,”

Fake news is the latest offering from criminals through the Dark Web

Fake news is generally perceived as being generated by shadowy government agencies. However, it has now come to light that criminals are offering their services to anyone interested in having fake news disseminated for their own gains. 

For less than a few hundred pounds / dollars the general public and private sector organisations can ‘hire’ cyber criminals, through the Dark Web, to generate positive or negative disinformation in order to deliberately deceive.

Speaking to ZDNet, Roman Sannikov, head of analyst services at Recorded Future, said “Now, as this type of activity has become much more well known in the West, we believe that some of these criminal-threat actors decided to capitalise on their newfound fame and try to cash in on unscrupulous businesses and entities outside of the Eastern European landscape.”

A Glimpse into the Future of AI Imaging Tools.

MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab have developed a new interactive tool, GANPaint Studio, to demonstrate how creative tools in the future could work. The tool takes an unaltered image of a specific category, e.g. churches or kitchen, and allows modifications with brushes to add details such as trees, brick-texture or windows.

Click here to access the GANPaint Studio.

Citizen Investigation Guide

The Global Investigate Journalism Network (GIJN) have a published a free investigation techniques guide aimed at helping non-journalists learn how to conduct an investigation.

Below are links to each Chapter from the guide:


Planning and Carrying Out an Investigation

Ethics and Safety

Searching the Internet

Researching Individuals

Finding Out Who Owns Corporations

Looking into Government Records

Investigating Politicians

Digging Up Property Records