US Troops To Get ‘Switchblade’ Kamikaze Drones (Video)


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UAS Advanced Development: Switchblade™ (AeroVironment, Inc.)

US Army to fly ‘kamikaze’ drones (Breitbart, Oct. 17, 2011):

A miniature “kamikaze” drone designed to quietly hover in the sky before dive-bombing and slamming into a human target will soon be part of the US Army’s arsenal, officials say.Dubbed the “Switchblade,” the robotic aircraft represents the latest attempt by the United States to refine how it takes out suspected militants.

Weighing less than two kilos, the drone is small enough to fit into a soldier’s backpack and is launched from a tube, with wings quickly folding out as it soars into the air, according to manufacturer AeroVironment.

Powered by a small electric motor, the Switchblade transmits video in real time from overhead, allowing a soldier to identify an enemy, the company said in a press release last month.

“Upon confirming the target using the live video feed, the operator then sends a command to the air vehicle to arm it and lock its trajectory onto the target,” it said.

The drone then flies into the “target,” detonating a small explosive.

US Troops Will Soon Get Tiny Kamikaze Drone (Wired, Oct. 18, 2011):

AeroVironment calls its teeny-tiny killer drone the Switchblade. Essentially a guided missile small enough to fit in a backback and fire at a single foe, it might be the kind of blade U.S. troops soon bring to a gunfight with Afghan insurgents.

Read moreUS Troops To Get ‘Switchblade’ Kamikaze Drones (Video)

Facebook Accused Of Violating US Wiretap Law

Facebook accused of violating US wiretap law (The Register, Oct. 14, 2011):

A Mississippi woman has accused Facebook of violating federal wiretap statutes by tracking her internet browsing history even when she wasn’t logged onto the social networking site.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in federal court in the northern district of Mississippi, Brooke Rutledge of Lafayette County, Mississippi, also asserted claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, trespassing, and invasion of privacy.

The complaint, which seeks class-action status so other users can join, comes three weeks after Australian blogger Nik Cubrilovic published evidence that Facebook “Like” buttons scattered across the web allowed Facebook to track users’ browsing habits even when they were signed out of their accounts.

“Leading up to September 23, 2011, Facebook tracked, collected, and stored its users’ wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to portions of their internet browsing history even when the users were not logged-in to Facebook,” the 17-page complaint stated. “Plaintiff did not give consent or otherwise authorize Facebook to intercept, track, collect, and store her wire or electronic communications, including but not limited to her internet browsing history when not logged-in to Facebook.”

Read moreFacebook Accused Of Violating US Wiretap Law

Verizon Wireless Now Collecting Your Web Browsing History, Cell Phone Location And App Usage For Third-Party Marketing Purposes Per Default

Verizon Wireless Now Collecting Your Web, Location, App Data (PC Magazine, Oct. 13, 2011):

For the last month, Verizon Wireless has been notifying customers through email of a major change to its default privacy setting: it will begin collecting your Web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage, for third-party marketing purposes.

You can opt out of such surveillance, although Verizon has promised not to share any identifiable information with these third-party companies.

If you stay opted in, you’ll eventually start seeing more personalized ads while surfing on your mobile devices, or even when using Verizon FiOS Internet, DSL, or other dial-up services, said Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson.

Read moreVerizon Wireless Now Collecting Your Web Browsing History, Cell Phone Location And App Usage For Third-Party Marketing Purposes Per Default

Fukushima Disaster Can Happen In The US (Miami Herald, Oct. 16, 2011)

Fukushima disaster can happen here (Miami Herald, Oct. 16, 2011):

South Florida residents should take little comfort in assurances that a Fukushima-type catastrophe could not happen here. Similar claims were made after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Simply put, in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, widespread radioactive contamination occurred in Japan as a result of three electrical system failures. The first was a loss of electricity going to Fukushima. For safety reasons, nuclear reactors must get their operating electricity from offsite sources.

Second, the emergency electric generators failed.

The third system consisted of steam-driven pumps with battery-powered valves and controls. When the batteries ran down, all essential pumps became inoperative. Without cooling water to remove runaway heat buildup, the nuclear plant suffered multiple explosions and meltdowns unlike anything ever seen.

Read moreFukushima Disaster Can Happen In The US (Miami Herald, Oct. 16, 2011)

115-Year-Old Electric Car Gets Same 40 Miles To The Charge As Highly Praised Chevy Volt

From the article:

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

Flashback (A MUST-SEE!!!):

Who Killed The Electric Car? (Documentary)

Man Builds Electric Car for $4750, Costs $7 For Every 300 Miles (Video)

Related info:

Electric Vehicle Called ‘Schluckspecht’ (‘Boozer’) Sets New 1,013.8 Miles Record On Single Battery Charge

Green Car Made From Hemp And Powered By An Electric Motor

EU Rules: Silent Electric Cars Must Make Noise!

New Nanoscale Material Developed For Electric Cars

Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu Throws $1.4 Billion Loan To Nissan Leaf

World’s first electric car built by Victorian inventor in 1884

… and General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called the Chevy Volt “not a step forward, but a leap forward” ???

Just more BS they want us to believe in!


115-year-old electric car gets same 40 miles to the charge as Chevy Volt (Daily Caller, Oct. 14, 2011):

Meet the Roberts electric car. Built in 1896, it gets a solid 40 miles to the charge — exactly the mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt, the highly touted $31,645 electric car General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called “not a step forward, but a leap forward.”

The executives at Chevrolet can rest easy for now. Since the Roberts was constructed in an age before Henry Ford’s mass production, the 115-year-old electric car is one of a kind.

But don’t let the car’s advanced age let you think it isn’t tough: Its present-day owner, who prefers not to be named, told The Daily Caller it still runs like a charm, and has even completed the roughly 60-mile London to Brighton Vintage Car Race.

If you didn’t know there are electric cars as old as the Roberts, you aren’t alone. Prior to today’s electric v. gas skirmishes, there was another battle: electric v. gas v. steam. This contest was fought in the market place, and history shows gas gave electric and steam an even more thorough whooping than Coca-Cola gave Moxie.

But while the Roberts electric car clearly lacked GPS, power steering and, yes, air bags, the distance it could achieve on a charge, when compared with its modern equivalent, provides a telling example of the slow pace of the electric car.

Driven by a tiller instead of a wheel, the Roberts car was built seven years before the Wright brothers’ first flight, 12 years before the Ford Model T, 16 years before Chevrolet was founded and 114 years before the first Chevy Volt was delivered to a customer.

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

Read more115-Year-Old Electric Car Gets Same 40 Miles To The Charge As Highly Praised Chevy Volt

Big Brother: Government Cameras In Your Car?

Gov’t cameras in your car? E-toll patent hints at Big Brotherish future (MSNBC, Oct. 14, 2011):

Imagine that you couldn’t drive on major highways without agreeing to put a camera in your car — one that could film either the occupants or the vehicle’s surroundings and transmit the images back to a central office for inspection.

You don’t have to read George Orwell to conjure up such an ominous surveillance state. You just have to skim through filings at the U.S. Patent Office.

It’s hard to imagine Americans would tolerate such a direct, Big-Brotherish intrusion. But they might not notice if the all-seeing cameras were tucked inside another kind of government tracking technology that millions of Americans have already invited into their cars.

Kapsch TrafficCom AG, an Austrian company that just signed a 10-year contract to provide in-car transponders such as the E-Z Pass to 22 electronic highway toll collection systems around the U.S., recently filed a patent on technology to add multi-function mini-cameras to their toll gadgets. Today, transponders are in about 22 million cars around the U.S. Adding inward and outward facing cameras to the gadgets would create surveillance capabilities far beyond anything government agencies have tried until now.

The stated reason for an inward-pointing camera is to verify the number of occupants in the car for enforcement of HOV and HOT lanes. The outward-pointing camera could be used for the same purpose, helping authorities enforce minimum occupant rules against drivers who aren’t carrying transponders.

Read moreBig Brother: Government Cameras In Your Car?

Physicists Turn LIQUID Into SOLID Using An Electric Field


Electrocrystallization. Shape transitions and predicted electrocrystallization of a 10 nanometer formamide nano-droplet, obtained through molecular dynamics simulations. The vertical axis shows the aspect ratio between the long and short axes of the droplet.

Physicists turn liquid into solid using an electric field (PhysOrg, Oct. 11, 2011):

Physicists have predicted that under the influence of sufficiently high electric fields, liquid droplets of certain materials will undergo solidification, forming crystallites at temperature and pressure conditions that correspond to liquid droplets at field-free conditions. This electric-field-induced phase transformation is termed electrocrystallization.

The study, performed by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, appears online and is scheduled as a feature and cover article in the 42nd issue of Volume 115 of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Read morePhysicists Turn LIQUID Into SOLID Using An Electric Field

Shopping Centres To Monitor Customers’ Mobile Phones To Track How Often They Visit, Which Stores They Like And How Long They Stay

‘Creepy’ Path Intelligence retail technology tracks shoppers (news.com.au, Oct. 14, 2011):

SHOPPING centres will monitor customers’ mobile phones to track how often they visit, which stores they like and how long they stay. The technology, brought to Australia by a UK-based company, has prompted a call for privacy or telephone intercept regulators to investigate.

One unnamed Queensland shopping centre is next month due to become the first in the nation to fit receivers that detect unique mobile phone radio frequency codes to pinpoint location within two metres.

Read moreShopping Centres To Monitor Customers’ Mobile Phones To Track How Often They Visit, Which Stores They Like And How Long They Stay

US Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’

Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’ (New York Times, Oct. 10, 2011):

More than 60 years ago, in his “Foundation” series, the science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov invented a new science — psychohistory — that combined mathematics and psychology to predict the future.

Now social scientists are trying to mine the vast resources of the Internet — Web searches and Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, the digital location trails generated by billions of cellphones — to do the same thing.

The most optimistic researchers believe that these storehouses of “big data” will for the first time reveal sociological laws of human behavior — enabling them to predict political crises, revolutions and other forms of social and economic instability, just as physicists and chemists can predict natural phenomena.

Read moreUS Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’