Added: 27. January 2011
Several months ago I hosted a GitHub meetup in Boston to which tons of local geeks attended and drank free beer. During that meeting, I talked to a local graduate student in biophysics at Harvard named Andrew Leifer who told me that he loved GitHub and was in fact using it to collaborate on a program that accomplished mind control. with lasers. on worms.
Well, it turns out that I had not in fact been drinking too much and the project is real. Andrew’s research is called CoLBeRT: Controlling Locomotion and Behavior in Real-Time and works by running real-time analysis on video of a 1mm long specially bred light-sensitive C. elegans worm. The CoLBeRT system tracks the worm as it moves and shines laser light on specific neurons as the worm is moving to stimulate or inhibit those neurons.
The system can make the worm paralyzed, lay eggs, back up, speed up or sense touch in different areas of its body, all by directing laser light into specific neurons. That’s right, I said lay eggs. Check out this kick-ass laser:
If you aimed that at me, I’d probably lay eggs too.
Andrew’s research has recently been published in Nature Methods and covered in Science News and Scientific American and true to his word the source code for laser worm mind control is on GitHub, aptly named MindControl, and is open source.
I’ve intentionally not posted part 1.
Added: 14. January 2010
Added: 14. January 2010
By breaking into the phone’s radio firmware, hackers can take control of iPhone or Android devices.
More than three years after the iPhone was first hacked, computer security experts think they’ve found a whole new way to break into mobile phones — one that could become a big headache for Apple, or for smartphone makers using Google’s Android software.
Apps connect applicants to agency
Having a smart phone may give you an advantage if you’re looking for a job with the National Security Agency. The agency on Jan. 13 announced the launch of two new smartphone applications that are part of NSA’s largest hiring effort in recent years.
The NSA Career Links Smartphone application—which is available for download through iTunes—delivers real-time NSA updates directly to the user’s iPhone. This includes information about available employment opportunities, career fairs, and agency news. Users can also view videos highlighting NSA employee experiences, according to an agency announcement.
While ears may be the new biometric du jour, Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) is doing its best to keep fingerprints as the preferred method for identifying enemies of the state.
The company has built a fingerprint scanner with the ability to accurately read a print up to two meters away, and our military views the system as a means to reduce the risk to soldiers at security checkpoints all over the world.
The AIRPrint system is a significant upgrade over previous biometric security systems because it allows a person’s identity to be confirmed by military personnel from behind the safety of a blast wall or armored vehicle, which keeps our serviceman out of harm’s way.
AIRPrint uses a source of polarized light and two 1.3 megapixel cameras (one to receive vertically polarized light and another to receive horizontally polarized light) in order to produce an accurate fingerprint.
THE shock unveiling of a new Chinese stealth fighter aircraft has changed Asia’s power balance and means Australia must dramatically rethink its regional strategy, according to an Australian analyst.
Peter Goon, a vehement critic of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Australia has committed to buying from the United States, says the Chinese J-20 is far superior to the American fighter and Australia must immediately adapt to the new status quo.
The Chinese tested the J-20 for the first time last week, on the day that US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates arrived in Beijing for talks. Although the Chinese claimed the timing was coincidental, Mr Gates expressed concerns about the military’s motives.
Lowy Institute analyst Rory Medcalf, a recent visitor to Beijing, said it was possible that the military did not tell the government in advance of the testing, as a way of expressing displeasure at Mr Gates’s visit.
Mr Goon, co-founder of the Air Power Australia think tank, said the US and its allies had been ”caught flat-footed” by the J-20’s maiden appearance.
The J-20 has been described by some analysts overseas as ”unimpressive” and a ”mish-mash of Soviet and American design features”.
But Mr Goon said he believed it was clear from the images of the plane and other material that it was far superior to the JSF, and even to the US’s top-of-the-range F-22 ”Raptor” jet.
”It is basically a lot more stealthy than the JSF, will fly faster and higher, be more agile, and because it’s a much bigger aircraft it can carry more weapons,” Mr Goon said. ”This thing has been designed to compete with and defeat the F-22. They haven’t even bothered with the JSF, and why would you?”
Russia is developing a replacement for the world’s most devastating intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a move that risks reviving a global nuclear arms race.
Work on the new missile, which has yet to be given a name, started in Moscow in 2009 and could be wrapped up as early as 2017, the head of the secretive military industrial corporation helping develop it has revealed.
In comments to Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that went largely unnoticed, the head of Rosobshemash said the new missile would be capable of overcoming any nuclear missile shield that the Americans or indeed anyone else might build.
“This applies in the fullest sense to the USA’s anti-missile defence system and to Nato’s (planned) European missile defence system,” said Artur Usenkov.
After receiving an urgent e-mail from a contact in Australia informing me of bizarre weather on the weather satellite imagery, I checked out the data and just hours later more strangeness. I am waiting to hear from the Australian Government’s weather bureau for their own explanation.
“There is very strange weather happening here – please check”
A contact in Australia just alerted me to what he describes as “very strange weather taking place over the south west of Australia”. He told me to go to the national weather satellite images if I could not open the images he attached (See left). By the time I had discovered the e-mail and checked, the large clearly defined ring had mostly dissipated but still was just visible on a time loop which was spiraling counter clockwise (Low Pressure system).
The images above is what my contact sent which shows a wide band ring covering many hundreds of miles across the south west of Australia with a small dot (presumably cloud) shown just right of center.
I saved the loop of the area when I checked the site several hours later but unfortunately it was encrypted not to permit this. The loop is not now on the site but the satellite image taken at 16:30 UTC is also very interesting.
Lasers cannons could be mounted on ships and boats to help fight off pirates attempting to board the vessels.
British engineers are developing a new type of defence system that uses lasers to incapacitate pirates by dazzling them as they approach a ship.
The non-lethal weapon, which has been developed by defence company BAE Systems, is effective against moving targets more than a mile away.
The company has started developing the laser in response to the growing threat from pirates to commercial vessels, particularly off the coast of Somalia where there have been several high profile hijackings.
In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military’s most valuable new tools.
This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.
The system, made up of nine video cameras mounted on a remotely piloted aircraft, can transmit live images to soldiers on the ground or to analysts tracking enemy movements. It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, Air Force drones today shoot video from a single camera over a “soda straw” area the size of a building or two.
With the new tool, analysts will no longer have to guess where to point the camera, said Maj. Gen. James O. Poss, the Air Force’s assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. “Gorgon Stare will be looking at a whole city, so there will be no way for the adversary to know what we’re looking at, and we can see everything.”