The Air Force has enlisted “Big Blue” itself, IBM, to develop a worldwide cloud computing infrastructure. The architecture would encompass nine major commands, nearly 100 bases, and 700,000 active military personnel around the world. Essentially, “cloud computing” refers to software applications and other functions that are “rented” online rather than hosted on company servers.
The Army is mulling the possibility of operating its largest UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) remotely. They’re considering “split-based” operations--part of the company would deploy in-theater, while the other would communicate remotely via satellite. The situation exposes a cultural rift between the Air Force and the Army.
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.
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.
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?
Even tennis isn’t sacrosanct—competitors in the US Open are being warned to watch what they tweet. The warning is purportedly to ensure compliance with tennis’ “Anti-Corruption Program Rules.” Posted in conspicuous locations, the warning reads: "Many of you will have Twitter accounts in order for your fans to follow you and to become more engaged in you and the sport...
The UK is considering a law that would force ISPs to cut off service to those accused of illegally downloading movies and/or music. This has the potential to reignite an old debate—one that’s persisted since the term “digital media” was invented. Our handling of this issue has profound ramifications for the future of the entertainment industry.