By Lucas PollockPosted 07.30.2011 at 3:04 pm 0 Comments
When Jacob Appelbaum spoke at a workshop for Arab bloggers in Beirut in 2009, he knew his audience would pay special attention. The 26-year-old American programmer had spent the previous year in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia and Hong Kong training communities and activists how to use an increasingly popular program called Tor to evade government attempts to track their movements online.
From ancient dragon mythology to the lesser offerings from Samuel L. Jackson’s body of work, mankind has long shown an apprehension toward – one might even say a phobia of – airborne snakes. Perhaps it’s the ability of these flying reptiles to strike fear into even the steeliest of human hearts that has the Pentagon interested in just exactly how these snakes perform their aerial acrobatics.
Not since the end of the Cold War has the Pentagon spent so much to develop and deploy secret weapons. But now military researchers have turned their attention from mass destruction to a far more precise challenge: finding, tracking, and killing individuals
By Sharon WeinbergerPosted 09.09.2010 at 12:43 pm 66 Comments
Every year, tens of billions of Pentagon dollars go missing. The money vanishes not because of fraud, waste or abuse, but because U.S. military planners have appropriated it to secretly develop advanced weapons and fund clandestine operations. Next year, this so-called black budget will be even larger than it was in the Cold War days of1987, when the leading black-budget watchdog, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), began gathering reliable estimates. The current total is staggering: $58 billion—enough to pay for two complete Manhattan Projects.
The recent WikiLeaks exposure was a huge black eye for the U.S. Department of Defense, supposedly one of the more secure state organizations we have working for us. Its impact clearly wasn’t lost on the Pentagon, whose blue sky research arm has launched a new project designed to ferret out malicious behavior on DoD networks. Named CINDER – Cyber INsiDER Threat – the project is designed not to sniff out people, but adversarial actions as they happen.
Cleaning up space junk, conducting climate research and forging international celestial harmony are the hallmarks of President Obama's new National Space Policy (PDF), unveiled Monday. Parts of the plan had been expected for months, but NASA-philes were still holding out hope for a grand vision of human exploration.
But there were no Kennedy-esque calls to action, neither for the purpose of scientific exploration nor for national prestige. NASA's exploration role is fairly vague -- sure, there's a call for expanded robotics and human spaceflight programs, but there's no specific location or time frame.
Traumatic brain injuries affect as many as 20 percent of warfighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the Pentagon's whiz kids at DARPA have turned to optogenetic brain implants that use light pulses to control brain cells, and hopefully reroute brain activity, Wired's Danger Room reports.
DARPA didn't reveal much at first about its "Transformer TX" program aimed at developing a flying car for the military. But now the full proposal has been published, and shows that the Pentagon agency hopes to get a prototype airborne by 2015, The Register reports.
The mad scientists want a vertical-takeoff vehicle that handles like an off-road-capable SUV on the ground, and can cruise like a light single-engine aircraft at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.
Making U.S. Navy carrier groups and Army bases more self-sufficient and energy-efficient could mean turning to mobile nuclear reactors. The Pentagon's DARPA scientists have put forth the modest proposal of deploying miniature reactors to convert hydrogen and carbon into military jet fuel, as well as providing power, The Register reports.