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Feb 14, 2020. 12 comments

Amazon Wins Court Injunction, Halting Work on $10 Billion JEDI Contract It Lost to Microsoft

Amazon Wins Court Injunction, Halting Work on $10 Billion JEDI Contract It Lost to Microsoft

A federal judge just put the brakes on a major military contract after Amazon argued it only lost out to rival Microsoft because the president

wanted to “screw” CEO Jeff Bezos .

This injunction marks the latest development in the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project’s ongoing saga. The contract—an up to $10 billion purchase order to set up cloud computing services for the...

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Jennings Brown Jennings Brown Jul 08, 2019. 12 comments

UCLA Professor Faces 219 Years in Prison for Sending U.S. Missile Chips to China

UCLA Professor Faces 219 Years in Prison for Sending U.S. Missile Chips to China

An adjunct professor of electrical engineering at UCLA has been convicted of 18 federal charges in connection with illegally exporting semiconductor chips with military applications to China, The Verge reports.

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a California federal court convicted Yi-Chi Shih of all charges on June 26th, including conspiracy to violate a federal law...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jun 04, 2019. 2 comments

North Korea’s 2017 Nuclear Test Estimated to Be 16 Times Stronger Than the Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

North Korea’s 2017 Nuclear Test Estimated to Be 16 Times Stronger Than the Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

An updated estimate shows the September 2017 nuclear test by North Korea was equivalent to 250 kilotons of TNT—an explosive yield 16 times greater than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during the Second World War. The explosion was also an order of magnitude stronger than the country’s previous five tests.

New research published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth is...

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Tom McKay Tom McKay Apr 07, 2019. 16 comments

The Army Just Gave a Press Demo of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 Military Prototype

The Army Just Gave a Press Demo of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 Military Prototype

Last year, Microsoft won a

$479-million-plus contract with the U.S. Army to build Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) prototypes that a government document described as intended to “accelerate lethal defensive and offensive capabilities utilizing innovative components.” This weekend, CNBC got a look at what Microsoft has been cooking up in the form of a modified HoloLens 2,...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Mar 27, 2019. 20 comments

India Declares Itself a ‘Space Power’ After Shooting Down Its Own Satellite

India Declares Itself a ‘Space Power’ After Shooting Down Its Own Satellite

In a surprise televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s first successful test of an anti-satellite weapon, which the government used to destroy its own satellite. Modi said the test signifies India as a “space power,” but critics claim it’s a regrettable and reckless step toward the ongoing weaponization of space.

“Our scientists shot down a live satellite...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 11, 2018. 19 comments

Here's the Official Plan to Create the U.S. Space Force

Here's the Official Plan to Create the U.S. Space Force

Speaking at the Pentagon earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence outlined the official plan to create the U.S. Space Force, the first new branch of the military in more than 70 years.

Describing it as “an idea whose time has come,” Pence told an audience of U.S. Armed Forces that the Space Force—the first new military branch since the establishment of the U.S. Air Force in 1947—will restore...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 10, 2018. 17 comments

China Tests Hypersonic Aircraft Capable of Penetrating U.S. Missile Defense Systems

China Tests Hypersonic Aircraft Capable of Penetrating U.S. Missile Defense Systems

China claims to have successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft capable of reaching speeds in excess of Mach 6, or 4,563 miles per hour. The cutting-edge vehicle has the potential to penetrate U.S. missile defense systems and be refitted to include a nuclear warhead.

The hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), dubbed Starry Sky-2 (or Star-2), was launched on Friday, August 3rd from a site in northwest...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Apr 30, 2018. 5 comments

Human Bone Fragment Reveals Radiation Exposure From Hiroshima Bombing

Human Bone Fragment Reveals Radiation Exposure From Hiroshima Bombing

A technique originally intended for dating archaeological artifacts has been used to estimate the amount of radiation produced by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. It marks the first time a bone fragment from a victim of the explosion has been used successfully for such an analysis.

Somewhere between 90,000 to 120,000 civilians were killed when the United States detonated...

5 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Apr 25, 2018. 16 comments

AI Could Dramatically Increase Risk of Nuclear War by 2040, Says New Report

AI Could Dramatically Increase Risk of Nuclear War by 2040, Says New Report

The common conception of a technologically enabled apocalypse foresees a powerful artificial intelligence that, either deliberately or by accident, destroys human civilization. But as a new report from the RAND Corporation points out, the reality may be far subtler: As AI slowly erodes the foundations that made the Cold War possible, we may find ourselves hurtling towards all-out nuclear war....

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Sidney Fussell Sidney Fussell Apr 14, 2018. 12 comments

Schools Turn to Military Gunshot-Detection Tech in Wake of Parkland Shooting

Schools Turn to Military Gunshot-Detection Tech in Wake of Parkland Shooting

School districts in New Mexico have begun installing advanced gunshot-detection devices in the wake of February’s Parkland school shooting.

Used by the military to detect snipers and missiles, and police in Chicago and Baltimore to deter gun violence, gunshot-detection devices are becoming a popular tool to save lives—and, now, a reminder of the potential violence facing America’s...

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Jennings Brown Jennings Brown Dec 05, 2017. 20 comments

The Navy's Horrifyingly Powerful Electromagnetic Railgun Might Be Coming to an End: Report

The Navy's Horrifyingly Powerful Electromagnetic Railgun Might Be Coming to an End: Report

For years, we’ve been sharing

videos and images showing the destructive power of the United State Navy’s electromagnetic railgun. But we might soon be seeing the last of those horrifying GIFs.

Instead of using chemical combustion, the railgun fires projectiles using magnetic fields generated by enormous amount of energy. The superweapon is capable of shooting projectiles at 4,5000 miles...

20 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 18, 2017. 15 comments

Artificially Intelligent Drones Become Terrifying Killing Machines in Dystopian Short Film

Artificially Intelligent Drones Become Terrifying Killing Machines in Dystopian Short Film

In preparation for this week’s UN Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, Switzerland, the Future of Life Institute has released a disturbing sci-fi short that shows what might happen if we fail to place an international moratorium on autonomous killing machines.

Currently, drones employed by the US military require humans to stay in the loop, but with pending advances in artificial...

15 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 09, 2017. 9 comments

US Air Force Wants to Put Lasers on Fighter Jets By 2021

US Air Force Wants to Put Lasers on Fighter Jets By 2021

The US Air Force’s scientific research wing is giving Lockheed Martin $26.3 million “for the design, development, and production of a high power fiber laser,” which it expects to start testing on a tactical fighter jet in four years. Sounds cool and certainly futuristic, but the jury’s still out on whether these weapons have any real tactical value.

It sounds like science fiction, but...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Oct 27, 2017. 13 comments

How Ghost Fleet Nails The Perfect Vision of World War III

How <em>Ghost Fleet</em> Nails The Perfect Vision of World War III

Set in the near future, Ghost Fleet dares to imagine what the next global war might actually look like. We talked to P.W. Singer to learn how he and his co-author August Cole managed to produce a futuristic techno-thriller that’s as plausible as it is entertaining. We were also given an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming novel you won’t want to miss.

Peter W. Singer and August Cole are known...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Oct 27, 2017. 13 comments

8 Low-Tech Weapons And Tactics Used By Both Sides In WWII

8 Low-Tech Weapons And Tactics Used By Both Sides In WWII

In a war that featured Blitzkriegs, V2 rockets, and nuclear weapons, it’s easy to forget about some of the more old-timey weapons and tactics used during the conflict. Here are eight that proved their worth.

Top image: Over 250,000 homing pigeons were used by Allied forces during the war.(1) WW1-Style Bi-Planes

No technology advanced as quickly during the Second World War as aircraft. By the...

13 Comments

Adam Clark Estes Adam Clark Estes Oct 27, 2017. 17 comments

This Smart Gun Could Be the Colt .45 of the Future

This Smart Gun Could Be the Colt .45 of the Future

The above Terminator-like weapon is Colt's latest, greatest invention. Developed with Defense Research and Development Canada, (our northern neighbors' version of DARPA) this is the smart gun Canada wants to fight the wars of the future. And it's hard to look at this insane level of firearm innovation and not think about the birth of the Colt .45.

This new super gun does it all. As the DRDC...

17 Comments

Jennings Brown Jennings Brown Oct 23, 2017. 14 comments

Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey Has A ‘Patriotic’ Plan to Disrupt The Military-Industrial Complex With VR

Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey Has A ‘Patriotic’ Plan to Disrupt The Military-Industrial Complex With VR

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey’s new tech startup isn’t just trying to ramp up border security—it seems the company also wants to gamify war and modernize battlefields with virtual and augmented reality.

The first reports of Luckey’s plans post Facebook-ouster revealed that the young millionaire was starting a defense-tech company to

help build a virtual wall that would keep people from...

14 Comments

Sep 23, 2017. 20 comments

We Should Not Dismiss the Dangers of "Killer Robots" So Quickly

We Should Not Dismiss the Dangers of "Killer Robots" So Quickly

Earlier this summer, more than a thousand prominent thinkers and specialists signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous killing machines. Since then, a number of critics have condemned the motion, citing it as both dangerous and useless. Optimization researcher Toby Walsh explains why we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the dangers.

In an open letter I helped publish on July 28 –...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 16, 2017. 19 comments

Watch The Navy’s Railgun Catapult A 4-Ton Sled Off An Aircraft Carrier

Watch The Navy’s Railgun Catapult A 4-Ton Sled Off An Aircraft Carrier

The day is coming when the U.S. Navy will be able to use its electromagnetic launch system to hurtle all manner of aircraft into the skies, but for now we’re content to watch this rather impressive demonstration of its awesome power.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) represents a revolutionary next step for the U.S. Navy. While the principle is generally same as the...

19 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 15, 2017. 6 comments

Why Banning Killer AI Is Easier Said Than Done

Why Banning Killer AI Is Easier Said Than Done

As we head deeper into the 21st century, the prospect of getting robots to do the dirty business of killing gets closer with each passing day. In Max Tegmark’s new book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, the MIT physicist and founder of the Future of Life Institute contemplates this seemingly scifi possibility, weighing the potential benefits of autonomous machines...

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