Saturday, March 22, 2014

DARPA's X-Plane Concepts Revealed

Phantom Swift, built by Boeing, features two large lift fans ¿ inside the fuselage ¿ that provide efficient vertical lift. Once the aircraft transitions to cruise mode, the fans are covered. It also features smaller ducted fans on the wingtips that provide forward thrust, and provide additional lift and control in hover.

The X-Plane Revealed: US Military Concepts That Can Fly Like A Plane And Hover Like a Helicopter -- Daily Mail

* Four companies have been chosen to develop concepts
* A winner is expected to be chosen in 2015 - with the first test flights scheduled for 2017
* Will be able to fly as fast as a conventional plane, but land anywhere like a helicopter

The US Military has revealed plans for a radical new type of military aircraft - which can take off and land like a helicopter, but fly like a plane.

Called the VTOL X-Plane, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded four firms contracts to develop concept planes.

It is hoped they will begin flight tests in 2017, and be able to fly as fast as a conventional plane, but also land anywhere like a helicopter.

Read more ....

More News On The X-Plane

X Plane: One step closer to the next military breakthrough -- FOX News
Futuristic Vertical-Flight Aircraft Move Closer to Reality -- NBC
With VTOL X-Planes, DARPA aims for a futuristic lift -- CNet
DARPA contracts for experimental VTOL aircraft design -- UPI
Radical X-Plane Concepts Taking Shape -- Discovery
DARPA's New X-Planes Won't Need Runways—Or Pilots -- Motherboard
Darpa Awards Final VTOL X-Plane Contracts -- AIN Online
US Department of Defense Launches Programme to Improve Unmanned Vertical-Flight Aircraft -- IBTimes
DARPA developing ‘radical’ copter/plane hybrid -- Defense Systems
DARPA awards Phase 1 contracts for VTOL X-Plane program -- Gizmag

My Comment: These concepts look like they came from a Terminator movie.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Drones Can Now Search For Smart Phones That Are Not Secured

This Drone Can Steal What's On Your Phone -- CNN

The next threat to your privacy could be hovering over head while you walk down the street.

Hackers have developed a drone that can steal the contents of your smartphone -- from your location data to your Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) password -- and they've been testing it out in the skies of London. The research will be presented next week at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore.

The technology equipped on the drone, known as Snoopy, looks for mobile devices with Wi-Fi settings turned on.

Snoopy takes advantage of a feature built into all smartphones and tablets: When mobile devices try to connect to the Internet, they look for networks they've accessed in the past.

Read more ....

My Comment: More evidence that our private lives are not really private.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Makes A Surprise Visit At The TED 2014 Conference In Vancouver

Robot Snowden Promises More US Spying Revelations Via TED Talk -- The Australian/AFP

FORMER intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has emerged from his Russian exile in the form of a remotely-controlled robot to promise more sensational revelations about US spying programs.

The fugitive's face appeared on a screen as he manoeuvred the wheeled android around a stage at the TED gathering, addressing an audience in Vancouver without ever leaving his secret hideaway.

“There are absolutely more revelations to come,” he said. “Some of the most important reporting to be done is yet to come.” Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who has been charged in the United States with espionage, dismissed the public debate about whether he is a heroic whistleblower or traitor.

Read more ....

More News On Edward Snowden Making A Surprise Visit At The TED 2014 Conference In Vancouver

Robot Snowden promises more US spying revelations --
Edward Snowden: The Biggest Revelations Are Yet to Come -- Mashable
Snowden: Big revelations to come, reporting them is not a crime -- Wired
Edward Snowden Makes Surprise TED Vancouver Appearance -- Huffington Post
Snowden's robot promises more revelations -- ZDNet
Father of the Web Meets a Robot Edward Snowden, Calls Him a Hero -- Wired
Just A Google Co-Founder Chillin’ With Robo-Snowden -- Tech Crunch

My Comment: The above video is captivating to listen to.

Syria To Set Up A Space Agency

Syria Has Set Up A Space Agency -- Washington Post

The Syrian news agency announced Tuesday that the cabinet approved a bill creating the Syrian Space Agency, "a public body of a scientific research nature." From our Beirut bureau chief:

Countries don't have to have the money and resources of the United States or Russia to mount a space program. India launched an unmanned orbiter to Mars in November for just $74 million, for example. Nigeria has a national space agency. So does Ukraine. And Syria didn't say what its space program is doing. But the announcement comes just days after the third anniversary of a conflict that has killed more than 140,000 and created 2.5 million refugees.

Read more ....

Update #1: Syria creates 'space agency' despite war -- AFP
Update #2: Syria Creates 'Space Agency' as War Rages On -- NBC/Reuters

My Comment: This makes no sense at all.

Here Are The Robots That Are Defending America's Nuclear Material Stockpiles

These incredible carts work as security staff for the Nevada Nuclear Stockpile Site. One control centre can operate 16 vehicles at once

Caddy Not Included: The Unmanned Robotic Golf Cart That Can Detect Intruders And Is Tasked With Defending American Nuclear Materials Stockpile -- Daily Mail

* Incredible machines patrol the site in the same way as security staff
* Detect intruders from 600 feet by looking for signs such as an ajar door
* Up to 16 vehicles can be operated by one control centre
* Thanks to the caddies the site expects to make $7million in savings

Humans, normally charged with watching over America's nuclear stockpiles, could soon be out of a job after an unmanned robotic golf cart has been created which can do the same thing - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The stockpile, stored at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), is being watched over by a fleet of these incredible machines.

Known as a Mobile Detection, Assessment and Response System (MADR) the diesel-powered carts are fitted with three types of sensors.

Read more ....

My Comment: It will only be a matter of time before these platforms are armed and readu to go.

Global Warming Will Cause Violent Conflict, Displace Hundreds Of Millions Of People And Wipe Trillions Of Dollars Off The Global Economy

Climate Change: Leaked Draft Of UN IPCC Report Predicts Global Warming Will Cause Violent Conflict, Displace Millions Of People And Wipe Trillions Of Dollars Off The Global Economy -- The Independent

Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.

The second of three publications by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken. A draft of the final version seen by The Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am old enough to remember the same alarmist warnings about "global cooling" in the 1970s. The fact is that climate change has been a integral part of earth history since the beginning of time .... and while the debate has always been on mankind's contribution to these changes .... I tend to look more at the sun as the principle reason for this change ... both now and throughout history. And if mankind does have an influence on climate .... I will say that this impact is more on a micro level (not macro level). I need only to look at the pollution levels in Beijing to see the impact that it is having on that environment .... an impact that is "not at all pretty".

Update: I live in Montreal, Canada .... it is -15C right now .... far far far colder than usual.

Europe's Changing Border Over Last 1,000 Years

My Comment: Things do not last forever.