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DARPA’s tank of the future won’t need armor

October 9, 2014 1:35 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The tanks of the future will reinvent (and simultaneously minimize) the very concept of “armor”. DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program will swap armor for technology and brute strength for maneuverability. Forget the slow, lumbering behemoths....

Does California drone ban violate the 1st Amendment?

October 6, 2014 3:09 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

California took the first step toward substantially regulating the drones when it passed a bill banning their use by paparazzi. And I think many of us would applaud the decision – the bill prevents UAVs from capturing images of people without their consent....

UK’s Watchkeeper UAV becomes operational

October 2, 2014 3:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

We’ve previously discussed the Thales Watchkeeper WK450, a rotary-engine Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) UAV for use by the British Army. Four years ago marked the Watchkeeper’s UK maiden flight, and it recently became operational....

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China developing subsonic stealth bomber

September 24, 2014 12:00 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

According to early reports, China is developing a new stealth bomber to counter American influence in the Far East and firm up its own leadership and force-projection ability. We’ve previously discussed America’s plans to replace the illustrious SR-71 Blackbird ...

Should we retire the A-10 Warthog?

September 17, 2014 2:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The short answer is "no," we shouldn’t. But the ongoing efforts to scuttle the A-10 in favor of the F-35 expose a sick culture in Washington that’s divorced from fiscal and military realities. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will form, to quote Lt. General ...

Why I’m not buying the Apple Watch (my beef with redundant functionality)

September 12, 2014 3:37 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Apple Watch is redundant functionality, kitschy, overpriced, and everyone will buy it. Seriously, I could marshal a wealth of facts and present a detailed analysis (and I will) of the watch’s functionality, but a broad swath of consumers ...

Google Glass could detect, diagnose emotion

September 8, 2014 3:40 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Well, there you go. Google Glass is more than just an ostentatious gadget for filming things, augmented reality, and generally freaking everyone out within a 50-yard radius. Actually, medical applications like BioGlass could finally move this $1,500 widget....

Why "killer robots" are nothing to worry about

September 3, 2014 1:32 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

It seems like every new development in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems dredges up the same tired (and slightly paranoid) fears of “killer robots” run amok — the product of a steady diet of dystopian literature and Hollywood blockbusters starring a certain Austrian bodybuilder....

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When blinding someone with a laser is better than killing them

August 27, 2014 2:57 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sometimes, it’s better to shine a bright light in someone’s face than riddle them with bullets (shocking, I know). And for troops in a warzone following very specific Escalation of Force (EOF) procedures, not killing someone is always the best possible outcome....

UAV and F/A-18 land on carrier together

August 20, 2014 12:01 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

While unmanned aerial vehicles won’t replace the manned variety anytime soon, UAVs could operate alongside conventional air power in the very near future. Case in point: The Navy recently executed a carrier landing with the F/A-18 and the X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle....

Navy to deploy vehicle-based laser weapon

August 14, 2014 11:45 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. Navy recently awarded an $11 million contract to Raytheon to develop a vehicle-based, short-range laser weapon capable of defeating low-flying threats like enemy drones. Raytheon’s directed-energy weapon will comply with the Office of Naval Research (ONR)....

Why Russia’s anti-blogger law should terrify you

August 11, 2014 7:26 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

In case you missed it, Russia isn’t exactly copasetic with the whole “democracy” thing. Case in point: Vladimir Putin recently turned bloggers into vassals of the state. The law destroys online anonymity and makes bloggers responsible for third-party users on their sites....

The F-35 will cost a fortune

August 4, 2014 8:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Captain Obvious? Is that you? I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is expensive. Very expensive. So expensive that, according to one estimate, the money spent on the program could buy every ...   

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This Army helicopter can fit in your pocket

July 25, 2014 8:36 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

It weighs 16 g, can fly for up to 20 minutes, and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s the Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet, a mini helicopter which uses embedded cameras and a digital data link to provide real-time video for ground troops. Information is king on the battlefield....

Could robots reduce human rights violations?

July 22, 2014 9:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Could automation actually help reduce reputed human rights violations? If Foxconn — one of the most infamous manufacturers of consumer electronics — succeeds in deploying its “Foxbots”, one of the biggest controversies in the tech world could disappear overnight....

The first guided .50-caliber bullets

July 14, 2014 2:46 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Snipers have to take numerous factors into account, including the terrain, weather, wind-resistance, and over long distances, even the curvature of the Earth — at 1,000 yards, the Coreolis Effect will alter a bullet’s trajectory by about .5 moa (Minute of angle). But until now, we haven’t been able to intentionally alter the course of a bullet....

The Grim Reaper flies ... with help from a drone

July 7, 2014 10:54 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

You may have seen the viral video making its rounds — the mythical entity otherwise known as the Grim Reaper, the personification of Death, flies around, scaring the s*** out of unwitting bystanders. Is the Apocalypse nigh at hand? Is the Angel of Death here to claim human souls? Well, not quite....

Russians beat us to Holy Grail of drone pizza delivery

June 27, 2014 9:21 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

We won the Cold War and Space Race for this? We’ve discussed drones, the attendant privacy issues, and their commercial potential exhaustively, but a recent event serves as a cruel mockery of the freedoms we cherish. While the Federal Aviation Administration, politicians, and privacy advocates continue to squabble over domestic drone regulations ...

The F-35 was born of a "dumb piece of Air Force PR spin"

June 24, 2014 10:31 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The F-35 doesn’t have a lot of fans these days, and one of her biggest critics is actually the co-designer of the F-16, Pierre Sprey. Calling the Joint Strike Fighter the product of “an exceptionally dumb piece of Air Force PR spin”, Sprey issues a scathing indictment of the F-35 in a viral Internet video that is gaining a ton of traction in the aerospace community....

You can borrow a drone at this library

June 23, 2014 10:01 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

The newly renovated University of South Florida library will have lots to offer students returning for the fall semester. There will be brand new furniture, a modern Smart Lab, and aerial drones to check out along with the books. No, really. In touting the school library’s recent renovations ...

This drone is made from chocolate

June 18, 2014 3:31 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Yes, someone actually built a chocolate quadcopter. And no, the DoD hasn’t investigated potential military applications (that I know of). A flying treat like this probably wouldn’t survive harsh environments (greater than 20°C) or soldiers’ stomachs, but it could redefine the “candygram”....

These E Ink shelf labels could save retail

June 16, 2014 1:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

E-commerce has many intrinsic advantages over brick-and-mortar, but the fundamental difference is similar to print vs. online journalism — the ability to make dynamic changes. One can, and one can't. Which makes electronic shelf labels — incorporating E Ink and similar technology — a paradigm shift for retail....

Haptic device simulates the feel of breasts

June 10, 2014 8:57 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Check those smirks. This doesn’t concern a certain less-than-reputable industry (banking $100 billion+ annually) or Japan’s general proclivity for weirdness. Actually, the ability to simulate the tactile sensation of soft breast tissue could have important medical applications....

iPhone case military drop-tested and editor-approved

May 28, 2014 3:36 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Like most people, I can be a tad … careless with my baby, aka, my iPhone 4S, but I can’t imagine life without it. Amazing that I grew up without the newfangled idea of portable phones. So finding suitable protection for what can only be described as my lifeblood is a top priority....

Watch kids react to old computers

May 28, 2014 1:26 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

On the order of cheesy, manipulative internet memes, watching children befuddled by legacy technology ranks just above cat videos and duckfaces. And here’s another one. And let’s face it: Kids these days are spoiled. Kids are lucky to live in such an advanced technological age....

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