Check out this fully functional new co-axial helicopter set to
go into production sometime in 2009 or 2010. The manufacturer,
Wieland Helicopter Technologies, says it plans to build versions
that seat 1-5 passengers as well as a UAV
which I’m sure the U.S. government will load up with machine guns
and send into battle.
NEC has unveiled a powerful new infrared camera that can extrapolate
the thermal signatures of objects with absolutely no light present
– a big breakthrough that will result in vastly better night-vision
for consumers everywhere.
Showcased at the 2008 Security Show in Tokyo, the new HX0830M1 camera has been a bit hit due to the
“variety of applications including security- for intruder
detection, disaster relief- for searching for victims; and vision
enhancement- for use in aircraft, ships, and motor vehicles”,
according to Diginfonews .
Further adding to the appeal, the HX0830M1 can be used to collect temperature
distribution data, which will help to keep people out of harm’s way
“in high voltage environments or very high places”.
To truly grasp the night-time resolution enabled by this new
product, you’ve gotta wath the following video:
It’s only a matter of time until we, or our robotic self-driving
cars, will employ such infrared technology to augment our vision
whenever we encounter darkness. In which case it seems like
darkness itself, barring deliberate obfuscation, may be on the way
In the future patients with tumors and lesions will be able to
walk into a doctor’s office, sit down in a chair, have the anomaly
zapped non-invasively by an array of radiation beams that converge
at a single point inside their body, chat with the doctors the
whole way through, then get up, say thank you and drive themselves
If that sounds amazing to you then you’ll be even more surprised
to discover that this hi-tech treatment already exists and has been
occurring for several months already.
Since its Fall 2007 release, a virtual surgery platform called
that combines embedded tumor sensing, 3D imaging and concentrated
radiation bursts has been gaining considerable popularity. Surgeons
all over the globe have been reporting great success with the
device which makes it much easier to target certain areas of the
lungs and brain.
Check out this short MedWatch segment to see for yourself:
To get a sense of how the radiation beams work together, take a
look at this promotional video by the manufacturer:
In what appears to be the first concerted effort to keep robotic
warriors off the battlefield, an English lobbying group named
Action “hopes to ban autonomous killing robots in all 150
countries bound by the current land mine treaty”, reports Jason
Mick over at Daily Tech .
Richard Moyes, Landmine Action’s director of policy and
research, explains, “That decision to detonate is still in the
hands of an electronic sensor rather than a person. Our concern is
that humans, not sensors, should make targeting decisions. So
similarly, we don’t want to move towards robots that make decisions
about combatants and noncombatants.”
The organization hopes to sway the International Committee
of the Red Cross and Amnesty International, two leading
organizations in war ethics lobbying. Landmine Action is spurred on
by Sharkey’s comments, including his statement that, “We should not
use autonomous armed robots unless they can discriminate between
combatants and noncombatants. And that will be never.”
Never say never, Richard.
While the regulation of battlefield robots may make sense on
some levels, it seems completely illogical to discount the
possibility that robots will eventually, probably within 10-20
years, get better at discriminating between warriors and civilians
than us humans. Systems that can swiftly determine human behavior
and motivations based on readings are a distinct near term
possibility – and that’s just one technology out of many that could
prove his statement false.
It’s time to recalibrate those space elevator
predictions. A new study published in the journal Acto
Astronautica claims that the potential for catastrophic wobble
is much higher than previously predicted.
Even if a space elevator could be built, it will need
thrusters attached to it to prevent potentially dangerous amounts
of wobbling, says Lubos Perek of the Czech Academy of Sciences’
Astronomical Institute in Prague. The addition would increase the
difficulty and cost of building and maintaining the elevator. – New
Check out this video to see what might befall a space elevator
not supported by thrusters:
Now that’s one extreme, world-class case of whip-lash.
link buried at the bottom of a
biased press release touting a 19% increase in online
advertising for American newspapers (that also failed to mention
the largest decline in print advertising since anyone began
tallying the figures) reveals a spreadsheet that in turn reveals a
9.4% drop in traditional ad revenue. Of course, this figure dwarfs
the online gains and totally wipes out the slight progress the
industry made in the years following a 9.0% decline in 2001, the
The new stats reinforce the unsurprising notion that the
old-school newspaper companies must transition to new online ad
models or perish.
Adding insult to injury, another
report finds that 73% of journalists “sometimes or always use
blogs” in their research.
In this recent hand-held video, Futurist David Orban asks Nobel Prize
winning economist and game theorist Robert Aumann how
society needs to adjust to accelerating technology change. Aumann
generally responds that because technological choices are so
complex we need figure out how best to constrain our options
because people have neither the time nor the desire to be experts
in all areas.