By Eric AdamsPosted 06.01.2004 at 4:00 pm 5 Comments
Firing a gun has always been an intensely mechanical process: Pull the trigger and a hammer strikes the back of a bullet—usually inserted into the chamber by a spring mechanism—causing explosive powder in the bullet to shoot out a slug. The slug exits the front of the barrel and another spring ejects the empty shell from the side of the gun.
By Eric AdamsPosted 06.01.2004 at 3:40 pm 0 Comments
Submarines peaked in power and relevance during the Cold War; there has since been a shift in focus to aircraft-based combat, and subs have become budget-cut victims. But subs are still prized for their ability to sneak about global waters undetected and to defend surface ships from attack. Many U.S. subs are being converted from missile launchers into delivery vehicles for special operations troops.
By Eric AdamsPosted 06.01.2004 at 3:25 pm 9 Comments
Picture this: A massive destroyer receives the location coordinates of an enemy headquarters more than 200 miles away. Instead of launching a million-dollar Tomahawk cruise missile, it points a gun barrel in the direction of the target, diverts electric power from the ship’s engine to the gun turret, and launches a 3-foot-long, 40-pound projectile up a set of superconducting rails.
How much has technology really changed our daily lives? We asked a highly wired writer to spend 10 days in the big city living with the technology of 50 years ago. No Web, no cell, no laptop, no ATM card.
By Larry SmithPosted 06.01.2004 at 2:00 pm 1 Comment
Mornings are the worst.
The coffee is too weak. The windup alarm clock is too loud. The phone rings, and it might or might not be my mom. There are no new e-mails. There is no hope for a Krispy Kreme. And man, oh man, I miss my Ambien.
An eco-hip acoustic fridge debuts. But is anyone listening?
By Laura AllenPosted 05.27.2004 at 1:34 pm 1 Comment
For the sake of the scoop, Ben & Jerry's managed to do what no refrigerator manufacturer has: jolt into development the world's most eco-friendly ice-cream freezer. Unveiled for Earth Day 2004 at a Manhattan scoop shop, the chiller relies not on greenhouse gases but on sound waves to keep the precious stuff cold. Research on thermoacoustic refrigeration limped along for 20 years or so until the ice cream duo forked over $600,000 to a Penn State team, which made the prototype in two years.
By Laura AllenPosted 05.26.2004 at 7:36 pm 0 Comments
Water take heed: Liquids are now at the mercy of a breakthrough material from Bell Labs. Flip an electric switch and the material acts like a sponge. Flip again and
it behaves like a rain slicker. Applications could turn up wherever liquids meet solids (read: practically everywhere). Lead researcher Tom Krupenkin envisions near-frictionless torpedoes, self-cleaning windshields and more efficient batteries.
While dirty bombs and bioweapons steal headlines, the Pentagon is plowing ahead with a 21-year-old plan to silence a more traditional weapon of mass destruction: the intercontinental ballistic missile. Despite widespread criticism, this summer the Missile Defense Agency will deploy the humble beginnings of a nationwide missile defense shield.