US Military: Robotic Pack Mules are Too Noisy

The US military has reportedly shelved development of its robotic pack mule — the Boston Dynamics-built Legged Squad Support System or LS3. According to a report from Military.com, there are no "future experiments or upgrades planned" for the mechanical beast of burden, with the program in need of new contracts or support from senior military figures before it can be resurrected. And the reason for this parting of ways? LS3 was apparently too noisy to make a good soldier. "They took it as it ...
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China’s Anti-Terror Law Mandates Tech Firm Cooperation

China passed a new, wide ranging anti-terror law this week that includes provisions requiring telecom operators and Internet service providers to provide technical assistance, including decryption, to government authorities investigating terrorist activities. According to the report by China's official Xinhua news agency, those firms will also be called on to "prevent dissemination of information on terrorism and extremism." Li Shouwei, deputy head of the parliament's criminal law division...
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Pentagon Prepares for Space War with China, Russia

The Pentagon and intelligence community are developing war plans and an operations center to fend off Chinese and Russian attacks on U.S. military and government satellites. The ops center, to be opened within six months, will receive data from satellites belonging to all government agencies, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday at the GEOINT symposium, an annual intelligence conference sponsored by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. “[W]e are going to devel...
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Russia Develops Super-High Frequency Cannon to take out Drones, Missiles

Russia’s Rostech Corporation is to unveil a super-high frequency weapon capable of taking down all kinds of drones, missiles and other high precision weapons. The presentation will be made at the Army-2015 military expo. The Mosow Radio Engineering Institute has developed a super-high frequency (SHF) ‘cannon’. It’s designed to knock out aircraft, drones, guided missiles and any airborne high precision weapons using electronics. The cannon creates an air-exclusion zone within a reported rad...
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Hackers Gain Intel on All Federal Employees

A major federal union says the is more damaging than it first appeared, asserting that hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee. The Obama administration had acknowledged that up to 4 million current and former employees are affected by the December cyber breach of Office of Personnel Management data, but it had been vague about exactly what was taken. But J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a letter...
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US Army Site Hacked As Obama Demands Cyber Law

A hacker group backing the Syrian government claimed responsibility for hacking the official website of the US Army, just hours after President Obama called for new cybersecurity laws at the G-7 summit in Germany. Army.mil was still down Monday afternoon. Loading a cached version of the site resulted in pop-ups proclaiming the site was “Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army,” and messages such as “Stop training the terrorists!” and “Your government is corrupt don't listen to it!” reported the ...
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Boeing Patents Drone that Charges in Mid-Air

As drone technology continues to advance, Boeing has raised the bar even higher. The aerospace giant has received a patent for a UAV that could fly forever – recharging in mid-air via a tether attached to the ground. The patent – filed in March 2013 and approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week – could revolutionize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as we know them, foregoing the need to refuel or recharge on land. According to the patent, the electrically-powered drone would ...
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China Replacing Humans with Robots

This is the first episode in a Bits video series, called Robotica, examining how robots are poised to change the way we do business and conduct our daily lives. Faced with an acute and worsening shortage of blue-collar workers, China is rushing to develop and deploy a wide variety of robots for use in thousands of factories. Waves of migrant workers from the countryside filled China’s factories for the last three decades and helped make the nation the world’s largest manufacturer. But ...
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Northrop unveils NATO-1 Global Hawk in Europe

Northrop Grumman has unveiled the first of five RQ-4B aircraft for NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance programme at a ceremony in Palmdale, California – a milestone on the multinational effort that has been 20 years in the making. The aircraft, a derivative of the Block 40 Global Hawk operated by the US Air Force, is the radar-carrying airborne surveillance component of a far larger intelligence-gathering apparatus that includes fixed and mobile ground control stations and an advanced “PE...
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U.S. Official: China Behind Huge Cyber Attack

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=komkZDlXvr8 Four million current and former federal employees may have had their personal information hacked, the Office of Personnel Management said on Thursday. The agency, which is conducts background checks, warned it was urging potential victims to monitor their financial statements and obtain new credit reports. U.S. officials believe this could be the biggest breach ever of the government's computer networks. The breach is beyond the Office of Pers...
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Russia to Launch Super Heavy Rocket in 2016

Russia’s newest heavy rocket carrier Angara-A5 will orbit a commercial satellite for the first time in 2016, the head of the Khrunichev Center said Wednesday. “[The launch will be in] 2016, everything depends on the space apparatus. I think that this will be a commercial launch, but I don’t know if it will be a foreign or Russian apparatus,” Andrei Kalinovsky told journalists. The Angara family of space launch vehicles has been in development since 1995. According to Roscosmos, new A...
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DARPA to Test Lasers to Counter Missile Threat

DARPA is going to start shooting missiles and rockets out of the sky with laser beams when it tests the High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System at White Sands Missile Range this summer. The agency has been working on improving the strength and portability of its lasers so that the HELLADS can be used to blow up incoming mortars, aircraft, missiles or anything else in the sky. Now its ready for field testing. "The technical hurdles were daunting, but it is extremely gratifying to have pro...
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Russia’s New Fighter Jet is ‘almost a Flying Robot’

Innovative technologies used in the Russia’s fifth generation T-50 fighter jet, which is currently undergoing tests before the start of production in 2016, makes it more of a flying robot than a plane, the developer said. The Sukhoi PAK FA fighter jet, also known as T-50, is “already to some degree a flying robot, where the aviator fulfils the function not only of pilot, but is actually one of the constituent parts of the flying apparatus. That is, the reaction of the aviator is a part of the...
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Chinese Military Jams US Drones over S. China Sea

China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said. Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef. Disclosure of the jamming came as a U.S. Navy P-8 surveillance flight on Wednesday was challenged eight times by the Chinese milit...
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Unmanned Robotic X-37B Space Plane Takes Flight

The United States Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane will head to orbit this week for the fourth time. The unmanned X-37B spacecraft is scheduled to launch Wednesday (May 20) at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The liftoff will begin the reusable space plane's fourth mission, which is known as OTV-4 (short for Orbital Test Vehicle-4). Most of the X-37B's payloads and specific activities are classif...
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