Which missile is the U.S. planning to use to shoot down that ailing satellite, and how does it work? There's an interesting, technically thorough statement available from the Center for Defense Information. They've posted all manner of details about guidance systems, maneuverability, motors, and explosive mechanisms over on Wired: "Inside America's satellite-killing missile"
While some in private-sector industry drag their feet on open source, it's instructive that arguably the most mission-critical systems in the world are being migrated to open source, namely, the US military's systems.
It's not just a question of cost that drives the US military to buy open source. Indeed, the biggest benefits come down to innovation and flexibility:...[T]he increasing scope and complexity of military software requirements encourages the use of open source. "If the project is of a sufficient scale, you cannot get there without an open source approach," said Dewey Houck, a senior engineer at Boeing, the lead systems integrator for the Army's FCS.
That is a massively important statement. We may be rapidly approaching the point when it will make little sense to buy proprietary software at all, given the tremendous benefits of open source.
Other benefits? The military cites several:… Read more
Teens may have a better understanding of privacy issues than the adults around them. Unfortunately, when you are a high school student, your personal judgment can still be challenged by an unsympathetic principal.
The Raleigh News & Observer reports that at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough North Carolina, more than 300 juniors were given the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The military provides and administers the tests without charge, and in return the scores and students' contact information are sent to military branch recruiters and the school.
Cedar Ridge Principal Gary Thornburg was willing to sign on to this deal to get access to what he views as a valuable career assessment tool. There is supposed to be an opt-out procedure, but three students who refused to take the test were sent to the in-school suspension room to take it--not as discipline, according to Thornburg, but because the in-school suspension teacher was available to supervise them while other students were taking the test. Sounds like a blatantly disingenuous answer to me. In my experience as a student and teacher, when you send students to in-school suspension, it is going to feel like a punishment and be perceived that way by others. Surely their well-equipped media center could have handled three students for independent study.… Read more
Cyber Command is a branch of the Air Force concerned with electronic attacks on U.S. national security. Cyberwar is a growing concern, and Major General William Lord is hunting for a headquarters and a few good men--or women--as long as they know how to prevent military and civilian networks from hostile penetration.
Read Wired's in-depth article here: Welcome to Cyberwar Country, USA
The goal of the US Army is to move from Windows to Linux. In the meantime, the Army has to find ways to make the two work together. It's turning to Red Hat to do so and to a group of internal IT professionals to create a "Battle Command" that will explore how to move the Army from 20th-century Windows to 21st-century Linux.
In the case of the US Army, integration is a matter of life and death. The Army is "talking about taking the battle command applications [they] are building and combining them with the battle command capabilities that are in the Air Force, Navy and Marines, making sure they work together and draw from the same data." The US Army didn't turn to Microsoft for patent-approved Linux but rather to Red Hat:
At the moment, Linux-based operating systems can communicate only to a limited degree with Microsoft-based systems, according to an Army official familiar with the summits.… Read more
Crave has often mused on the pathetic flimsiness of modern gadgetry. But in a world where waterproof means splashproof and ruggedized means you'd better not drop it, there's all the more reason to celebrate tech that just won't die.
Whatever the reason for its survival, the technology we've collected here deserves enormous credit. It's coped with years of abuse and thousands of meters of cumulative drops, but it continues to operate as well as it did on the day it emerged from the factory. Click here to view the collection.
(Source: Crave UK)
This was sent to us by a tipster. I don't normally spend my time reading RifleGear.com, but from the likes of this item, maybe I should.
Awhile back we were treated to a hilarious Photoshop job called the HK-47--an assault rifle decorated with images of everybody's favorite nonpornographic, nontentacled Japanese import, Hello Kitty. We were sad to learn that it was, well, Photoshopped.
A new aquatic UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) is skimming the briny deep. It's the Flying Fish, fresh out of the labs at the University of Michigan. According to its developers, the seaplane can take off, fly, and land autonomously in moderate seas some 6 feet high, all while performing surveillance functions and relaying information back to a home base. Considering the technical complexity of taking off and landing on pontoons in choppy water, this is no small feat. According to MSNBC: "The craft (has) to acquire data all the while, through the onboard inertial gyro sensors it uses … Read more
To many Americans with family members serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the most wished-for holiday gift is simply a visit with their far-off loved ones.
Ustream.TV, a start-up that lets people stream live video to the Web, is planning to help military families connect through the Internet this holiday season.
The company has given Webcams to people who have family stationed in Iraq, so they can access the Ustream service and take part in a video chat.
Ustream, headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., has a strong military background. Co-founders John Ham and Brad Hunstable met each other while attending … Read more
Remember when Farmer Brown would break out the 12-gauge loaded with rock salt to chase you out of his watermelon patch? Today he could take care of you and other varmints with this weaponized version of the self-stabilized unmanned mini-copter put out by Neural Robotics.
The AutoCopter uses patented "intelligent neural network-based flight control algorithms" for automated flight control, making it the easiest mini-unmanned helicopter to fly and the hardest to crash, according to an article in Defense Review.
Best of all, it's armed with the Auto Assault-12 Full-Auto Shotgun by Military Police Systems, an innovative double-ought … Read more