The Defense Ministry of the People's Republic of China would like to wish you a happy new year – and welcome you into a new era. China's first known stealth aircraft (maybe) appeared across the Web over the past week or so in a series of pictures depicting what appear to be high-speed taxi tests at Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute's airfield.
The strangely named Dalu Rebot Restaurant, in the northeastern Chinese city of Jinan, is a 100-seat hotpot restaurant with a very peculiar staffing choice: It features two robot receptionists and six robot waiters who wheel around drinks and food on large indoor pedal-driven carts.
It's no secret that China is beating up on America and the West in everything from infrastructure to technology investment, but news of exactly what the People's Republic is up to is often scarce. So while the diplomatic establishment continues to reel from the stink of its own dirty laundry in last week's Wikileaks document dump, cables coming from the American Embassy in Beijing are also shedding light on the strides Chinese scientists are making in far-out fields like nuclear fission, biometrics, and even quantum teleportation.
For about 18 minutes in April, a Chinese telecommunications company hijacked 15 percent of the Internet, redirecting U.S. government and military traffic through Chinese servers. The misdirection affected NASA, all four branches of the military, the office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Senate.
It's been a tough couple of weeks for the world's two premier builders of large commercial jets. An Airbus A380, the new crown jewel in Airbus's fleet, suffered an engine explosion after taking off from Singapore earlier this month, forcing a harrowing emergency landing.
Rare earth minerals – those 17 valuable elements with myriad industrial, commercial, and military applications – have been the subject of a lot of hand wringing lately. They're in short supply (at least in processed form), and with the exception of China no nation in the world can readily mine them from the Earth and process them in large quantities.
In the midst of what’s been shaping up as an undeclared rare earths standoff between China and some of it’s biggest customers in Japan and the West, Vietnamese and Japanese leaders have decided to collaborate in the exploitation of northern Vietnam’s rare earth elements. The deal was hammered out between the two nations’ prime ministers during a meeting on Sunday.