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military

  1. Tech

    UK Dropping Fitness Requirements For Cyberwarfare Specialists

    Like most major players on the world stage, the United Kingdom is stepping up recruiting efforts to bring more skilled computer specialists into its ranks. To that end, the Ministry of Defence has seemingly bowed to reality and decided that military reservists who specialize in cyber warfare won't be required to live up to the same physical fitness requirements as other military personell. 

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  2. Tech

    DARPA’s Warrior Web Suit Aims To Lighten Loads For Soldiers In The Field

    It's not Iron Man armor quite yet, but the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released video of the latest tests of their Warrior Web undersuit, which they hope will one day be worn under soldiers' uniforms and serve to improve their performance. The project is still in its early stages, but DARPA is working to develop solutions that will make soldiers lives easier by more intelligently distibuting the weight of their heavy packs and capturing wasted energy to help cushion footfalls and carry heavy gear.

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  3. Tech

    Navy Ships Getting Laser Weapons In 2014 [Video]

    After years and billions of dollars spent in development, the Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) has been deemed ready for primetime, meaning the directed-energy weapons will start making appearances on the decks of U.S. military ships beginning next year. The solid-state laser, which will make stage its coming out on the USS Ponce, is still in it prototype stage, and isn't yet capable of eliminating a missile or enemy jet, but Navy officials are confident that it could disable other ships, and as for drones...well, you can see it blasting one out of the air during a test in the video below.

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  4. Tech

    After Protests, Military May Nix Proposed Cyber Warfare Medal

    A while back, we brought you the news that the Pentagon was considering awarding a new medal -- the Distinguished Warfare Medal -- to soldiers who may have never set foot on a battlefield. That idea didn't set well with some lawmakers and plenty of veterans, though. In the face of these protests, newly minted Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has ordered a halt to the production of the medals pending a review of the new award.

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  5. Tech

    Modern Warfare: New Medal Announced For Drone Pilots, Military Computer Wonks

    On Wednesday afternoon, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a new medal would be added to the roster of decorations for American soldiers -- the Distinguished Warfare Medal. Like most other medals, this one will be awarded to soldiers whose actions had a heroic impact on the battlefield. Unlike other medals, though, it won't require that the soldier have actually been on the battlefield, as the Distinguished Warfare Medal is meant to honor cyberwarriors, drone pilots, and others who serve their country remotely, sometimes without ever being involved in traditional combat. Learn more and get a look at the new medal below.

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  6. Tech

    Alpha Dog Robot Hears, Obeys Commands From Humans… For Now [Video]

    A few months back, we brought you video of the DARPA-funded, Boston Dynamics-built Legged Squad Support System (LS3) robot, known more familiarly as Alpha Dog. It looks like it's time for another update, as yesterday saw the release of Alpha' Dog's newest trick -- the ability to follow spoken orders issued by a human commander. At this point, Alpha Dog is one magical cricket away from being a real dog, and one more obedient than I've ever had. You can get a load of the robot responding to his master's voice, and then following its human leader like a lovesick metal puppy in the video below.

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  7. Tech

    Israel Announces Military Campaign on Twitter, Even Uses Hashtags

    Israel is conducting what appears to be a large-scale military operation inside the Gaza Strip, but that's nothing terribly new. Israel fighting with other folks happens fairly frequently. What is new, however, is the fact that they announced their campaign on Twitter before any kind of press conference was held. Suddenly, the traditional social media gossip seems even more irrelevant.

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  8. Tech

    Good Job: Apple Maps Includes Surprisingly Accurate Images of Top Secret Radar Base

    The conversations had about Apple's Maps app offered in iOS 6 tend to center around just how terrible it is. This is especially true in countries outside the United States, but really nowhere is safe from Apple's horrifying cartography. Taiwan, however, is having the exact opposite problem. See, Apple Maps is a little too accurate when it comes to a top secret military radar base located in Hsinchu. Technically, this still falls under the "terrible" category.

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  9. Tech

    First Look at the J-31, China’s Newest Stealth Jet

    Though there's currently some discussion ongoing about the prototype's official designation, what's certain is that China's definitely working on yet another stealth jet. Supposedly built by Shenyang, a rival aerospace company of the J-20 designer Chengdu, the jet features the number 31001 blazoned across it. It's for this reason it's most likely the J-31, not the J-21, though it's definitely called what translates to the Falcon Eagle.

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  10. Gaming

    Two Bohemia Interactive Employees Arrested for Espionage

    It shouldn't come as a surprise that wandering around a foreign island taking video and photographs of military installations can be seen as kind of suspicious in the eyes of that island's government. After all, any military is generally not going to be happy about such a situation. This is the unfortunate predicament that two Bohemia Interactive employees now find themselves in. The duo was arrested on Sunday on charges of espionage after conducting surveillance on the island of Lemnos for their company's newest video game: Arma 3.

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  11. Tech

    Google Tracking Ships, Really Nowhere to Run Now

    It certainly seems that Google is of the mindset that more data is always better. If only they had more data, they could really data their data. And now, thanks to a combination of satellite imaging and the Maritime Automatic Identification System -- or AIS -- that all ships have to prevent collisions, they'll be able to gather  the location of every vessel on the open water. That includes military ships.

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  12. Science

    Self-Guided Bullet Prototype Can Home in on Laser Targets

    Considering that we have military technology that includes cameras that can be fired out of grenade launchers, drones that have their own drones, and tiny computers that can be used as Wi-Fi hacking grenades, it's kind of surprising that we don't have homing bullets yet. Well, now we do. Sort of. Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have successfully made a prototype of a self-guided bullet that can home in on a laser designated target at distances of more than a mile.

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  13. Tech

    Iran Has Developed a Functioning Railgun, This is Probably Not a Big Deal

    According to a report from the FARS News Agency, Iranian scientists have developed a functioning railgun. These weapons, as science fiction fans and defense acquisition nerds will surely know, use electromagnetism instead of combustion to fire projectiles at incredible speed. At such high velocity, the relatively small size of the projectile doesn't matter since force still equals mass times acceleration, meaning that smaller rounds could inflict heavy damage. In the description from FARS, the Iranian railgun does sound like an achievement. The report says that the weapon can fire 8mm steel rounds at 35 rounds per minute. The device has a reported muzzle velocity of 330 meters per second, and requires a 2 second cool down period after each firing. With those specifications, the question of how formiddable a weapon this is -- or later iterations could be -- is an obvious one.

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  14. Tech

    New Infrared Invisibility Cloak Hides Tank, Makes it Look Like a Jeep

    Weapons maker BAE has recently completed a test of its new Adaptiv infra-red cloaking technology in Sweden, and hopes to show it off at the upcoming DSEI conference in the UK. With Adaptiv, vehicles and military installations can mimic the infra-red signature of their environment, making them all but invisible when viewed through night-vision systems. At the core of Adaptiv are hexagonal plates that can quickly change their temperature. These are connected to a control system and cameras which observe the surrounding view in infra-red. Once activated, the hexagons quickly match the background. The system has a few more tricks up its sleeve as well: It can mimic the infra-red profile other vehicles making a fully loaded troop carrier at the vanguard of an invasion look like a lone Jeep. The system can also be used to identify friendly vehicles, displaying special insignia which can be seen through night vision. BAE says that the system is scalable, and could camouflage air, land, and sea vehicles as well. Some skepticism is, of course, called for. Coupled with multiple means of detection -- low light enhancement, audio, etc. -- the cloaking powers of Adaptiv would almost certainly be reduced. However, BAE says that this is a planned first-step toward all-around stealth. What's more, seeing it in action is startling. Read on after the break and watch a tank disappear.

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  15. Tech

    Help the Air Force Avoid Bombing Women and Children, Win $20,000

    In news that is simultaneously disturbing and hopeful, the U.S. Air Force is offering $20,000 to anyone that can help in what it calls hat it calls "Remote Human Demographic Characterization." This means, in their own words, a way to "determine approximate age (adult, teen, child) and gender of small groups of people at a distance," and avoid targeting those people. The motivation behind the posting is transparent enough: the Air Force wants to avoid the death of non-combatants, namely women and children, and the embarrassing headlines that follow. Taking a page from other organizations like DARPA, the Air Force has offered a hefty cash reward for an idea that will better target their munitions. Interestingly, the challenge asks only for written submission, but requires explicit proof in the form of "previous applications, existing data, literature, etc." that the plan will work.

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