It can morph from a liquid to a solid state, but can’t form “knives and stabbing weapons.” It can squeeze through tight spaces, join with others, and expand in size. No, it’s not the T-1000, but a new “chemical robot” created by the Pentagon. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Association (DARPA) sought to create a “ChemBot” that could perform the following functions...
They say truth is stranger than fiction. Since 2008, Iraq’s military and police have utilized a divining rod (err, a “bomb detection device”) known as the ADE 651 to detect explosives. The ADE 651 has undoubtedly cost countless lives. Thus, justice was served when its creator, Jim McCormick, was arrested on suspicion of fraud.
A gun owner’s worst nightmare is his own weapon being turned against him. The Armatix “Smartgun” concept presents a novel solution—fingerprint identification, combined with biometric authentication (paired with a wristwatch) makes the weapon useless in the wrong hands.
Since 2007, the MQ-9 Reaper RPV (Remotely Piloted Vehicle) has been on the front lines of the war on terror. It scored its first kill in October ’07, and has served a crucial role ever since. On Monday, the National Museum of the Air Force officially unveiled its new MQ-9 Reaper exhibit.
Haiti is full of hard-working and industrious people just looking for a chance to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty and nonfunctional social systems that keep it the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. They only need a hand up, not a hand out, to "jump over their own shadows" and build a nation that functions for all of its people.
The Internet has connected the world as never before. But it’s also given rise to a pernicious entitlement mentality. A whole generation has been conditioned to expect everything for free (and quickly). Coupled with the practice of file-sharing, this entitlement mentality is destroying two industries—print media and the recording industry.
Among its many virtues, Sci-Fi is very good at predicting real-world technology. The Steven Spielberg film, Minority Report, predicted two recent favorites—E-Ink and multi-touch. Ever since the latter hit theaters, scientists, researchers, engineers, and technophiles have been clamoring to reproduce the film’s futuristic touch screen technology.
Google has shocked the world by ending its Chinese censorship operation. Due to numerous factors (including cyber attacks emanating from China), Google declared that it’d no longer censor search results on Google.cn. Since launching Google.cn in 2006, Google has reluctantly accommodated China’s despotic online censorship.
At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, 3-D was the name of the game. Everyone showed off their shiny new 3-D tech—be it 3-D ready TV’s, 3-D movies, 3-D Blu-ray players, 3-D projectors, and even 3-D enabled netbooks. Yet there was far more to see at the Las Vegas Convention center. Read on for the veritable highlights of CES 2010.
Like the Goths sacking Rome, the 3-D invasion has arrived. No longer a kitschy gimmick, the technology has matured, and the leading consumer manufacturers are banking on it. Indeed, 3-D was the unofficial theme of CES 2010—3-D demos littered the show floor, and all the big players (with notable exceptions) unveiled 3-D products. Could 2010 be the year that 3-D finally takes off?
The Russian Space Agency is considering a plan that evokes the 1998 disaster flick, Armageddon. The head of the agency, Anatoly Perminov, mentioned that Russia is assessing a mission to Apophis, a 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid. The difference between Hollywood and real life is that Apophis stands minimal chance of hitting Earth...
Here’s another example of life imitating art—SPELCO (Special Parachute Equipment and Logistics Consortium) is working on a personal glider that looks straight outta Science Fiction. With its glide ratio of 5:1 and self-propulsion system, the “Gryphon” could become an invaluable tool in the future warfighter’s arsenal.
40 years ago, Neil Armstrong emerged from the Lunar Module Eagle, and stepped into history. He became the first human being to step foot on the moon, forever changing the scientific and engineering communities. And yet, 40 years later, the space program is a shell of its former self. Public enthusiasm is at an all-time low. How did we get to this point?
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) has introduced a bill designed to combat "cyberbullying.” And in a rare instance of bipartisan solidarity, the left and the right stand opposed. Make no bones about it—the proposed legislation is a serious assault on first amendment rights.
Global investments in renewable energy technology dipped 40% from 2008-09—this according to United Nations Industrial Development Organization Director, General Kandeh Yumkella. “Due to the current economic crisis we have seen almost a 40 percent decline in 2009 alone in these investments,” said Yumkella...
Back in March, we reported on the California Energy Commission’s proposal to set a cap on the maximum active mode power usage (watts) for TV’s. All units above the maximum would be banned for sale in California—this would preclude the vast majority of Plasma, DLP, and Rear-projection TV’s.
True robot “consciousness” may be eons away, or impossible, but that hasn’t stopped its development. The end stage includes robots acting as “full ethical agents,” i.e. “those that can make explicit moral judgments”. Some feel this is unnecessary. The benefits are clear: robots wouldn’t experience the “fog of war,” or fall prey to emotions.
Collateral damage has become synonymous with modern urban warfare. In fact, the concept of “total war,” where there is “less (or no) differentiation between combatants and non-combatants (civilians),” has existed since The Peloponnesian War. As far back as 431 BC, civilian casualties were considered an acceptable (and often desirable) outcome of total warfare.
These are the voyages of the VSS Enterprise. To ferry civilians into space. To collect $200,000 a head. To boldly go where few space tourists have gone before! On Monday, December 7th (an “infamous” date, to be sure), Virgin Galactic unveiled SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline.
The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a laser-guidance platform from BAE Systems, scored four hits in four shots during the final phase of testing. APKWS adds precision laser guidance capabilities to 2.75 inch rockets—specifically, those found in attack helicopters.
Geeks, the most misunderstood of all species (yes, I’m a member), are notoriously difficult to shop for. We don’t bow to the fashion gods (to put it kindly), our literary tastes are unpredictable, and as for electronics, forgetaboutit—only geeks know what other geeks want. Thus, I present Gifts for Geeks. If you’re a parent/friend/relative with one of these eclectic individuals on your shopping list, take note.
Holidays in New York City are beautiful. The lights, the people, the excitement. However, Christmastime in the city is also a constant reminder that you have gifts to buy for people, regardless of your particular secular rationale. For the style-conscious, the E Ink Digital Calendar Watch from Phosphor is both attractive and cutting-edge...
The mad scramble to obtain incandescent bulbs ahead of the EU ban highlights a controversial practice—the forced obsolescence of old technologies. R&D, combined with market forces, often collude to bury legacy tech. But should government speed up this process? How important is consumer choice?
Recently the number of book-related applications in the iPhone App Store has surpassed the number of game apps in sales, sending rumbles throughout the nascent eBook reader marketplace. Will the smartphone unseat the e-reader before it can even begin its reign?
Recently I posted a reference item on the term “Bunny Suit” to www.everything2.com (participating in sites like that is how I “doodle in the margins” during my work day), and the essay made me think of other terms we use, and why we have so many unimaginative words for such exciting technology.