Diamonds were in demand this Valentine’s Day for romantic reasons, but the U.S. military is interested in the synthetic version of this gem all year round for entirely different use.
While American defense companies may not be in the jewelry business, defense sector giants like Raytheon are certainly exploring the potential of this quintessential gem for defense applications.
Laboratory-grown diamonds, when combined with semiconductor gallium nitride, have very promising potential to be an essential component to next generation radar, communications and electronic warfare systems. Research suggests that it is possible to get more power and see farther with diamonds- making them a potent defense asset.
Researchers have known for a while that dung beetles use the sun, the moon or other light source to navigate. Once the beetle acquires a dung ball from the poop pile they want to get away with their “loot” asap to prevent the competition taking it away. And they use a light source to help ensure they navigate in a straight line to prevent circling back to the original poop source and run into the competition.
Researchers from Wits University placed the beetles in a planetarium and clearly observed behavior showing the beetle can use the milky way’s band of light as an alternate light source when all other good sources are not available.
Houston, We Have Another Problem: Astronaut Alzheimer’s [Science Blogs]
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dad Hires In-Game ‘Assassins’ To Discourage Son’s Gaming Habit [Huffington Post]
Frustrated by his adult son’s incessant gaming habit, a man in China reportedly hired a number of in-game master “hitmen” to annihilate his son’s avatar over and over again in an attempt to deter him from playing. http://www.partybingo.com/
Star Trek Into Darkness is coming out May 17 2013 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D).
Pentagon Looks to Fix ‘Pervasive Vulnerability’ in Drones [Wired]
Drones may be at the center of the U.S. campaign to take out extremists around the globe. But there’s a “pervasive vulnerability” in the robotic aircraft, according to the Pentagon’s premier science and technology division — a weakness the drones share with just about every car, medical device and power plant on the planet.
Field Testing a Four-Legged Robot [Defense Tech]
DARPA recently completed field testing of its LS3 four-legged robot system at Fort Pickett in central Virginia. Check out the great video with the robot playing follow the leader through open fields and tough terrain.
Designers Pick their Favorite Book Covers of 2012 [NY Times]
The NY Times asked people in and around the world of graphic design to name one of their favorite book covers from 2012 and briefly describe its appeal. [via kottke]
Video mapping is becoming popular as an exciting way to spice up events or conferences. Video mapping usually manipulates common entertainment technology (such as projectors) in creative and innovative ways. It is a technique that consists of projecting video images on buildings, streets, people or just about any kind of complex surface or 3D form to alter the viewer’s senses and perspective. The projectors used for video mapping are capable of bending and highlighting just about any form or space. These projectors are able to create unbelievable optical illusions that baffle the minds of viewers. The clever use of suggestive play of light “turns” a physical object into something very different just by altering its perception of form. Video mapping can be applied in virtually limitless ways. It depends on your requirements and preferences. If you are interested in the projectors used for this performance you can check out for more information about projectors at projectorshop24.co.uk.
Video mapping is a relatively new concept and it is becoming more and more popular these days. This new use of common technology has taken many by surprise, leaving them with an unexpected experience. The main reason of its rapid success is that the public gets heavily emotionally invested in the show. Each viewer gets a sense of “exploration” with every video mapping show. The spectacle is not just “another nice video projection”, but it is quite surprising and exciting because it involves not only physical space, but virtual space too.
There two common ways of understanding how to make a video mapping projection.
1. Prepare images to project on a designated surface of your choice. The images can be projected as if the streets or buildings were some kind of blank screen. Remember that there are almost no limits here. You may choose just about anything depending on your requirements and creativity. The surface itself creates some kind of mask which saves you from doing all the time consuming calibration that video mapping usually requires.
2. The Masking. This is exactly what it means: masking is about creating masks (some kind of opacity templates) with the exact form and position of the different elements of the building, space architecture, 3D object etc. On those masks, or in the space between them, is where the images and video are going to be projected, using a relatively simple technique called alpha channel.
With enough creativity, video mapping may be just what you need to dramatically spice up just about any event. The viewer’s will probably never forget the experience.
This Youtube video shows a good example of what’s possible here, this is impressive.
I served on submarines for 8 of my 10 years in the US Navy. Even I found this to be an interesting documentary from BBC showing behind the scenese one of the most sophisticated machines ever being built, and the people that built here.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a dark, gritty, action – horror story inspired by the biblical tale of Armageddon.The story follows Adam Cahill, a warrior bound by bloodline to guard the Seven Holy Seals that contain the End of Days. But sinister forces strike against him and send him into Hell itself. There, he must find three corrupt souls, chosen by Divinity, to join him in battle against the Four Horsemen to not only save their own souls, but to decide the very fate of Humanity.
This Soviet-era Russian arcade game Sea Battle has been discovered in Russia. This beauty was manufactured in a submarine factory back in the day and uses a few real components of a submarine periscope.
In the first 10 months of the year, according to official figures, China’s population of phone users has reached approximately 1.1 billion by the end of October. This means that of the 1.34 billion people living in China, approximately 82% of them already own and use cell phones.
General Motors is giving its Chevrolet Spark a jolt of electricity.
An all-electric version of the mini-car will debut this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale this summer in California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea, where it’s made. Other markets will follow.
It will cost less than $25,000 in the U.S., be shorter in length than the Fiat 500 and get 76miles per charge.
The fun is near! The most epically friendly sale ever just got even more epic. Watch George Takei go from Old Navy Mission Control Scientist to Cheermageddon Superstar in, "I Don’t Want to Miss a Deal."
While Hurricane Sandy caused significant destruction, sometimes there is interesting fallout, or a positive byproduct of the maelstrom. For example, a 90 year old schooner that shipwrecked on one of Long Island’s barrier islands has been exposed once again.
I’m sure historians will be going over this wreck carefully to learn more about the period and the vessel.
The Talisman board game is coming to the PC and mobile gaming world and boy am I excited!
Talisman Prologue is the first in a series of games based on the seminal Talisman board game.
In Talisman Prologue, you take the role of 10 characters on a series of epic quests. Fight your way through hordes of monstrous creatures and cast powerful magic spells along the way. Using the rules of the board game, Talisman Prologue is a single-player strategy role-playing game.
The BBC Science goes to North Carolina to get rare look inside one of the US Military projects to counter the threat of roadside bombs. North Carolina has a centuries old reputation for producing some of the best trained dogs and it’s here that the military is investing in “Jason Bourne” type pooches to help take up the cause of finding mines and roadside bombs.
Who in their right mind would install a Homeland Security app on any device they own? I’m not very paranoid but I’m pretty sure any app from DHS is harvesting more data from your phone than they claim.