Blog

Archive for the ‘military’ category

Sep 26, 2016

Ghosts in the Machine: Female Computers in Science Fiction and History

Posted by in categories: computing, military, robotics/AI

When the computer is addressed in many science fiction shows, it often replies in a female-coded voice. From Majel Roddenberry’s Federation computer voice in the Star Trek series to the sentient ship AIs in Andromeda, Killjoys, Dark Matter, Outlaw Star, and Mass Effect, artificial intelligence has been a science fiction regular since at least the 1960’s. There are male-coded AIs as well—J.A.R.V.I.S., Hal, that weird Haley Joel Osment-bot from A.I.—but women have been part of humanity’s relationship with electric computers since the very beginning.

Jennifer S. Light’s article “When Computers Were Women” discusses the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) project during World War II, and how the people doing the actual computational tasks were a group of civilian and military women. The women were actually the “computers,” and were creating a machine that would someday replace them. The concept of the women as the actual computers made me think about how many artificial intelligences, whether in android form or integrated into actual ships, are coded female.

Light’s article also pointed out that history buried these early female computers. Their work was made light of, devalued, and all credit was given to the male inventors of ENIAC, reducing them practically to “ghost in the machine” status. This is where my mind made the connection. So many computer and AI characters are coded female because even layers of sexism and inequality still can’t erase the connection between the first “computers” being women and the task of computing. You can take the woman out of the workplace, but you can’t take the woman out of the machine she helped create.

Sep 24, 2016

China’s Micius Military Quantum Satellite Reports Important Progress

Posted by in categories: encryption, military, quantum physics, satellites

Quantum encryption uses the principle of “quantum entanglement” to foster communication that’s totally safe against eavesdropping and decryption by others.

The satellite’s true military nature is being disguised under the civilian name, Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS. Publicly, QUESS is being billed as an international research project in the field of quantum physics.

Micius or Mozi is operated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) while the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences run the satellite’s European receiving stations. The quantum satellite was launched last Aug. 16 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert.

Continue reading “China’s Micius Military Quantum Satellite Reports Important Progress” »

Sep 24, 2016

The robot bodyguard is coming — and you’ll want one

Posted by in categories: business, law enforcement, military, robotics/AI, security, transhumanism

My new story for VentureBeat on the coming of robot bodyguards. I’ll be speaking about this next week at RoboBusiness 2016, a major robotics conference in San Jose:


I recently consulted with the US Navy on all things “transhuman.” In those conversations about how science and technology can help the human race evolve beyond its natural limits, it was clear that military is keen on replacing human soldiers with both fighting and peacekeeping machines so American military lives never have to come under fire or be in harm’s way.

However, it’s the peacekeeping technology that is particularly interesting for many civilians. While you wouldn’t want an armed Terminator in your home, you might like a robot that travels with you and offers personal protection, like a bodyguard. In a survey by Travelzoo of 6,000 participants, nearly 80 percent of people said they expect robots to be a significant part of their lives by 2020 — and that those robots might even join them on holidays.

Continue reading “The robot bodyguard is coming — and you’ll want one” »

Sep 23, 2016

Russian radar can see $4.4 billion stealth destroyer Zumwalt

Posted by in category: military

The Russian media revealed that the newest stealth technology produced by the US is not as efficient as it is believed.

The newest U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt was not only one of the most expensive in history, but also the most inefficient. New faults were found in its design, reports USNI News. The lubrication system is not working, responsible for the maintenance of the propeller shaft of the ship. It has taken in water, when the destroyer went to sea at the naval base in Norfolk during the current stage of testing. Repairs are expected to take no less than two weeks.

Continue reading “Russian radar can see $4.4 billion stealth destroyer Zumwalt” »

Sep 23, 2016

Someone is learning how to take down the Internet

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, internet, military

This is definitely something that we should all be aware of, and watching for.


Submarine cables map (credit: Teleography)

“Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet,” according to a blog post by security expert Bruce Schneier.

Continue reading “Someone is learning how to take down the Internet” »

Sep 22, 2016

DARPA perfects hacker-proof computer code

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, internet, mathematics, military

When the project started, a “Red Team” of hackers could have taken over the helicopter almost as easily as it could break into your home Wi-Fi. But in the intervening months, engineers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had implemented a new kind of security mechanism — a software system that couldn’t be commandeered. Key parts of Little Bird’s computer system were unhackable with existing technology, its code as trustworthy as a mathematical proof. Even though the Red Team was given six weeks with the drone and more access to its computing network than genuine bad actors could ever expect to attain, they failed to crack Little Bird’s defenses.

“They were not able to break out and disrupt the operation in any way,” said Kathleen Fisher, a professor of computer science at Tufts University and the founding program manager of the High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) project. “That result made all of DARPA stand up and say, oh my goodness, we can actually use this technology in systems we care about.”

The technology that repelled the hackers was a style of software programming known as formal verification. Unlike most computer code, which is written informally and evaluated based mainly on whether it works, formally verified software reads like a mathematical proof: Each statement follows logically from the next. An entire program can be tested with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems.

Sep 21, 2016

China, Russia space war weapons on fast track

Posted by in categories: government, military, robotics/AI, satellites

The nominee to lead the U.S. Strategic Command warned Congress this week that China and Russia are rapidly building space warfare capabilities and the United States is lagging behind in efforts to counter the threat.

Both Beijing and Moscow are developing anti-satellite missiles and laser guns and maneuvering killer space robots that could cripple strategic U.S. communications, navigation and intelligence satellites, the backbone of American high-technology warfare.

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, picked to be the next Stratcom commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Chinese and Russian space weapons pose “an emerging challenge” and that the Pentagon is accelerating its efforts to counter the threat.

Continue reading “China, Russia space war weapons on fast track” »

Sep 20, 2016

Fighter engine-size hypersonic ground demonstrator construction plans moving ahead

Posted by in categories: military, space, surveillance

Reaction Engines is firming up plans to build a fighter engine-size ground demonstrator of its reusable hypersonic propulsion system.

SABRE is at heart a rocket engine designed to power aircraft directly into space (single-stage to orbit) to allow reliable, responsive and cost effective space access, and in a different configuration to allow aircraft to cruise at high speeds (five times the speed of sound) within the atmosphere.

If the rocket for space is not used then the US air force could use Skylon and SABRE engine technology to develop a 4000 mph hypersonic fighter plane or spy plane.

Continue reading “Fighter engine-size hypersonic ground demonstrator construction plans moving ahead” »

Sep 20, 2016

DARPA gives Lockheed $147.3 million to research Hypersonic Tactical Boost Glide Missiles

Posted by in category: military

Lockheed Martin has received a $147.3 million cost-sharing contract from the DARPA to conduct research as part of a prototype agreement for the Tactical Boost Glide program.

The Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) program is a joint DARPA/U.S. Air Force (USAF) effort that aims to develop and demonstrate technologies to enable future air-launched, tactical-range hypersonic boost glide systems. In a boost glide system, a rocket accelerates its payload to high speeds. The payload then separates from the rocket and glides unpowered to its destination.

Continue reading “DARPA gives Lockheed $147.3 million to research Hypersonic Tactical Boost Glide Missiles” »

Sep 20, 2016

Dawn of the super human: U. S. is daunted by Russia’s “enhanced human operation”

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, military, neuroscience, transhumanism

Pentagon accused Russia that the country is working on “enhanced human operation” to create an army of superhuman soldiers. Russia’s Sputnik issues the news.

U.S. Army chiefs are claiming that Moscow is working to create bionic superhuman soldiers with brain implants. And the soldiers will be fuelled by steroids. Usage of steroid will increase the tolerance capability and make the soldiers more resilient. While the brain implant or chip will assist a soldier to fight for a longer time even in extreme warfare. It will also force the soldiers to fight and obey the command at any cost. The sole purpose is to strengthen the soldiers to make them stronger and tougher in battles.

Yet, the U.S. opponent is working to use microscopic technology so that soldiers can cure themselves without any assistance of physicians.

Page 1 of 4912345678Last