Want to be the kind of person who causes entire rooms to fall silent when you enter? Researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tskuba and Ochanomizu University in Japan have created a speech jamming gun that takes the words right out of speakers’ mouths using a clever trick of psychology.
China usually holds its military hand very close to the vest--that, or things "mysteriously" leak that it doesn't (does) want the world to know about--so we're left to wonder why the People's Republic has decided to publish this in the journal Advanced Materials Research. Nonetheless, it's pretty interesting. Chinese navy researchers have plans for a new submarine hunting scheme that uses ship-launched UAVs running genetic algorithms.
The Department of Homeland Security is carefully watching the internet. They search through publications like this one (actually, specifically this one: we've been on the DHS watch-list for awhile), as well as all of our public social media lives, for possible "Items of Interest," which they find by searching for a whole bunch of sometimes-ridiculous keywords. (Animal New York rounded up a bunch of them.) It got us wondering: We write about a lot of security and military stuff here at PopSci. What's the DHS reading on our site?
The Missile Defense Agency's Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) is dead after a long battle with Pentagon budgetary priorities and Congress. ALTB is best remembered for being a far-out directed-energy beam missile defense interceptor that dodged cancellation by the SecDef himself in 2010 by successfully zapping a test missile from the sky, earning it $40 million more and a new lease on life.
Presenting at Google’s “Solve for X” gathering, a Utah startup has unveiled a spray-on antenna that improves signals by anything, just about anywhere, into a signal array. Using a novel nanoparticle spray, Chamtech Enterprises demonstrated how their product can be used on all kinds of materials--trees, walls, fabrics--and in all kinds of environments, even underwater.
At PopSci we've always got our eyes to the future, but every now and then we have to pause and take a look back at the giants on whose shoulders we stand--especially when those giants stand nine stories tall, weigh 16 million pounds, and exert 50,000 tons of pressure. The Fifty--pictured above--is one of ten machines built in the 1950s as part of a U.S.
First commercial pilots started getting iPads, and now military pilots want in — the U.S. Air Mobility Command is planning to buy up to 18,000 iPad 2 tablets “or equal devices,” replacing heavy flight bags that pilots use to stow their charts and other flight materials. The devices will apparently be used on the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster. The Air Force Special Ops Command is also planning to buy 2,861 iPad 2s for its crews.
Here at PopSci, we've been fascinated by Boston Dynamics' Big Dog ever since it was an adorable robotic puppy that couldn't even open its eyes. Now that the technology is all grown up, repackaged, and rechristened the Legged Squad Support System (or LS3), its eyes are very much open--and fixed firmly on the soldier in front of it.
"The Secret Service is going to be mad at me about this." And with due cause, Mr. President, for we're pretty sure projectile weapons are prohibited in the State Dining Room of the White House. Nonetheless, an exception was made yesterday as President Obama hosted the second White House Science Fair, where he surveyed more than 30 student projects, cracked jokes with youngsters and the press, and--most notably--participated in a demo of 14-year-old Joey Hudy's "Extreme Marshmallow Cannon." Which is exactly what it sounds like.
A group of forward-thinking military scientists want to plug soldiers’ weapons directly into their brains, and this time DARPA is nowhere to be found. The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of scientific thought, issued a report today on the applications of neuroscience in the military and law enforcement contexts. Discussed therein: new performance-enhancing designer drugs, brain stimulation to boost brain function, and weapons systems that plug directly into the brain.