January 30, 2014

Enterprise in 10 Years? No
Botany Bay in 10 Years? Probably

I was reading this Slate article that speculates that it will be centuries before we can build a Constitution class starship like the Enterprise. Even dropping hings like warp drive the construction is just too daunting

But I feel the right question is can we build a DY-100 class ship like the Botany Bay in ten years?

292px-SS_Botany_Bay,_remastered.jpg
length 100 meters, weight 2.72 million kilograms, ship's complement 22, and chemical/fission propulsion.

A mass produced ship built on Earth that uses fission, chemical and ion propulsion for trips to carry people and cargo to near solar system destinations like say Ceres or Mars or Luna (the moon) even possibly Jupiter's moons in a convoy of ships.

The answer is obviously, Yes we can. Or could say if Obama had anything close to ambition.


By Howie at 04:09 PM | Comments |

September 10, 2012

iPhone4 Lawsuit

iPhone cracks.jpg

(San Jose, California) A lawsuit against Apple alleging violation of the iPhone4 warranty was filed by Betsalel Williamson in January 2011.

Class-action status was sought with claims that Apple misleads consumers by asserting the glass case of the iPhone4 is ultradurable.

On the other hand, plaintiff Williamson alleged that the iPhone4 was "quickly scarred and broken by normal, foreseeable use."

Last week, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila dismissed the case remarking it's a stretch to suggest the "ordinary purpose" of the iPhone4 is to drop it. (more….)

By Mr. E. Blogger at 03:50 PM | Comments |

July 11, 2012

Big Brother?

spy.jpg

The government is watching.
A report released by US cell phone companies shows a disturbing spike in the number of requests by US law enforcement agencies for cell phone information.

Even more disturbing, most law enforcement agencies do not provide a proper warrant.

No probable cause? No warrant? No problem.

By Mr. E. Blogger at 07:22 AM | Comments |

August 04, 2011

Sandcrawler PSA: The Authorities Frown On Do It Yourself Nuclear Reactors

A whole new twist on kitchen chemistry.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish man who was arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen said Wednesday he was only doing it as a hobby.
Richard Handl told The Associated Press that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.

The 31-year-old Handl said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

Only later did he realize it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden's Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police.

Its a good thing this guy was stopped before his discovered how to detect the Higgs Boson using an egg beater. That would be humiliating for main stream scientists. Maybe they should give him a job?

And also, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Really I don't think I need to tell most of you that, but you never know..

By Howie at 08:28 AM | Comments |

April 01, 2011

NATO Tells Rebels, "Don't Kill Civilians"

AllahPundit has the story here at Hot Air:

If you thought “protecting civilians” was merely UN-speak for “aiding the rebels” (as many of the rebels did), think again. Not only are NATO leaders refusing to arm them, but the fact that they think violence against defenseless people by their putative ally is so likely that deterring it requires a formal warning backed by a threat of bombardment tells you a lot about how suspicious the coalition is of its new best friends. Good thing the CIA vetting process is ongoing; hopefully we’ll find out whether they’re good guys or bad guys before they’re installed in power.

Every news report on Libya these days asks, “Who are the rebels?” An equally important question: Who are the “civilians”?

Who are the civilians?

Lets be frank about this. *The only people who are not civilians in this conflict are the Libyan army and its mercenary units.

The rebels have no equipment, no uniforms, no uniform weaponry. At best they have a flag on a Toyota and a stolen rocket launcher.

Gadhaffi has passed out AK's to every civilian in his tribal areas. It would seem these constitute militia as much as any group of rebels leaving the internet cafe on a mattress holding their AKs.

Are any of these less a civilian than a Minuteman? I mean you can hardly fault the Red Coats for shooting back at us can you?

The only civilian would be one in his cellar hiding with his wife and kids no?

This underscores our difficulty, we're thrown in with a group that could not field a 10 man basketball team in matching uniforms. 1st lesson of revolution, you have to be organized enough to win to start with. This requires patience as well as bravery/stupidity.

The other problem is that this narrative is common in conflict in the Arab world. It just does not fit our ideas about war. Every Mujahideen IS A CIVILIAN! He is also shooting at you every chance he gets.

Remember that al-Qaeda in Iraq had two narratives when Major Gilbert was shot down in Iraq.

Narrative A. The brave Mujahideen took down that fighter plane with their AK's and RPGs complete with video of the scene. Dead al-Qaeda "martyrs". Weapons, wreckage, the dead pilot etc etc.

Narrative B. The cowardly Americans blew up these innocent women and children. Complete with video from the scene, dead fighters and weapons removed, civilian bodies in place, mourning family members, wreckage and the dead pilot.

Both narratives were equally true in the al-Qaeda propaganda.

So that's the problem. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Someone once said, "War is deceit."

*NATO, UN and US forces would also not be civilians, obviously.

By Howie at 03:07 AM | Comments |

March 24, 2011

Youtube Video: C-704 Missile Produced by Iran Found Onboard the "Victoria"


March 15th, 2011--The Israeli Navy intercepts 50 tons of sophisticated weapons concealed in civilian cargo containers aboard the Victoria (http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/03/15/israel-navy-uncovers-weaponry-on-board-ca­rgo-vessel/). Of the 50 tons (http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/03/16/list-of-weaponry-found-on-the-victoria/), the most strategically significant weapons were 6 C-704 missiles.

Of Chinese origin, Iran had announced on March 7th, 2010 the production of their own line of C-704s named Nasr-1(http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/03/15/c-704-anti-ship-missiles-found-on-b­oard-the-victoria/). Iran's Defense Minister had unveiled the Nasr-1, stating they were able to destroy "3,000 ton targets".

The C-704 is an anti ship missile which specializes in targeting naval vessels from the ground or air. According to intelligence assessments, the missiles were intended to be used in attacks from the Gaza Strip against both Israeli Navy and civilian ships, as well as infrastructure near the sea including natural gas reservoirs.

Had the weapons reached the hands of terror organizations in Gaza (http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/03/15/videos-of-navys-request-and-subsequent-bo­arding-of-the-victoria/), there would have been far-reaching ramifications for both Israeli naval operations, and the security of the civilian population along the coast.

By Howie at 09:28 AM | Comments |

February 12, 2010

More laser awesomeness: Death Star laser fries mosquitoes in mid flight

Intellectual Ventures Laboratories showcased a laser, built from parts bought off ebay, that is able to kill mosquitoes in mid flight. Click here to watch the video.

By at 12:56 PM | Comments |

January 20, 2010

Offensive Computing: A look at the recent attack on Google.cn

Yesterday Steven Adair at The Shadow Server Foundation posted an overview on some of the cyber espionage/warfare events that Shadowserver has witnessed recently and some background on the problem as a whole. His post, "Cyber Espionage: Death By 1000 Cuts" is pretty indicative of an ongoing problem that the media really doesn't talk about with authority (the "elephant in the room" if you will).

"If most of us do not even see the problem, how can we possibly stop it? Massive amounts of data are being stolen every week and very little is being done about it. Most victims are unaware its happening and by the time they find out (if they find out) it is too late. What do you do when all your research and competitive data is gone? Imagine going to the negotiating table where the other side already knows everything you are going to say. These are just some of the scenarios are likely playing out. This is not something you want to happen to you.

Allow me to give you a generalized break down of industries we have seen as confirmed victims of groups that can be referred to as the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). A large majority of these apply to both U.S. and non-U.S based industries.
• Aerospace
• Cellular Companies
• Commerce Organizations
• Communications Systems
• Defense Contractors
• Energy (Oil/Gas/others)
• Environmental
• Financial Institutions
• Fortune 500
• Government
• Government Consulting
• Human Rights Organizations
• International Aid Organizations
• Law Firms
• News Organizations
• Olympic Committees
• Satellite
• Tibetan Community
• University Research Institutions
"

Let's face it, there are millions on millions of malware infected computers in the world and they aren't just sitting there, they are valuable resources being used for nefarious purposes (ddos, spam, phishing etc). Likewise, targeted malware attacks are regular occurrences today and will continue to be so going forward.

While I'm not going to add any new material here to go along with his post I can tell you the scale of what's happening now is disturbing. In case you missed the initial link, you can click over to the whole post here. I'll point out for those interested that Shadows Statistics pages can be be pretty entertaining in a morbid sort of way as well.

By blackflag at 04:19 PM | Comments |

July 30, 2009

Today's Antichrist Khinspiracy Theory Post

Via Hot Air:

Does this mean the Rapture’s near? Because I haven’t even bought a gun yet.

By Howie at 08:44 AM | Comments |

July 28, 2009

Irony: Google Takes Over Islamist YouTube

Google is taking over YouTubeIslam.com. They guys who run the website claim they aren't extremists. I've no idea. But I do know that this pisses off the extremists over at Islam Awakening.

Anything that pisses those assholes off makes baby Jesus smile.

Let me start at the beginning . . .

Can you imagine my shock when I opened up an email telling me our website domain name (YOUTUBEISLAM.COM) is being taken over by GOOGLE and their video site - YOUTUBE?
Here is more or less what we were told:

NOTICE: Effective August 5th, 2009 Google (owner of YouTube.com) will take over your domain name: YOUTUBEISLAM.COM.

Although we have purchased the name "YOUTUBEISLAM.COM" and have renewed for several years through GODADDY.COM it seems GOOGLE has enough influence to just simply take our domain name from us - and by the way, we have even paid for it all the way through to next year.

First, their lawyers contacted us saying they were going to take our domain because we copied their logo. We didn't even come close to their logo. (look for yourself www.YOUTUBEISLAM.com/images/logo.gif)

They next came up with saying our name was too similar to their name. We changed the name and the layout to read:

Yo Utu Beis Lam.com and we even registered that as a trade name.

We changed the logo and the images to reflect the new name.

They said they went into "arbitration" (of course we were not invited to that meeting) and then our registrar (GODADDY.COM) notified us they are "transferring" our domain name over to GOOGLE.

And why would Google want to take over the website?
Maybe they just don't like Islam?

Or possibily they don't like seeing so many new people entering Islam from our work

It's a plot against Islam!

Perhaps the J-O-Os are behind it? Bwahahahaaaaaa!!!

Thanks to Jen.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:31 PM | Comments |

May 21, 2009

National Archives harddrive with sensitive information missing

A 1 terabyte harddrive containing Secret Service operating procedures, and other sensitive information has gone missing from the National Archives.

Has anyone tried looking for it on ebay?

From The Hill

A massive amount of sensitive, national security-related information from the Clinton administration has gone missing from the national archives.

The Inspector General of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) told congressional committee staffers Tuesday that a hard drive containing over a terabyte of information -- the equivalent of millions of books--went missing from the NARA facility in College Park, Md., sometime between October 2008 and March 2009.[...]

That hard drive includes information on Secret Service operating procedures, event logs, and other "highly sensitive information," according to the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The data also includes 100,000 Social Security numbers, including the number of one of Al Gore's daughters.

By at 02:50 PM | Comments |

March 06, 2009

Just When I Thought iPhone Couldn't Get Any More Awesome....

iphone-animation.gifAfter downloading Amazon's Kindle for iPhone a couple of days ago I thought I had reached the pinnacle of man-tech love. Seriously, Kindle on iPhone is awesome. I'm about halfway through with Vince Flynn's Extreme Measures already. Great book, but it's only in hardcover now. So, $18.45--- plus shipping and handling --- in the traditional paper format or $9.99 delivered instantaneously to my iphone.

The real advantage for me is that it's one less thing to worry about at the airport. Normally I bring a carry on bag, my laptop, my iPhone, and a novel to pass the time. When my mom offered to get me a Kindle for Christmas I declined under the theory that I didn't need yet one more electronic device to bring with me on trips.

But since I'm bringing the iPhone with me anyway, it's all upside with the Kindle free application. I really don't get why any one would lay down $200 bucks for a stand alone Kindle reader when for the same price you could get an iPhone.

Battery life? Hasn't been a problem so far. I've found that unless I'm constantly surfing the internet then I can go at least a whole day without charging, usually two days for normal usage. I'm not sure how the new Kindle application is going to affect battery life. So far, so good.

But some of you know I already love the iPhone and the new Kindle app. So what's new?

Last night I discovered that I can listen to streaming audio with the iPhone. Several NPR stations are already streaming for iPhone and last night I listened to my first Blogtalkradio show with this function. Not a single interruption waiting for it to reconnect or rebuffer.

Which means my iPhone's streaming audio is more stable than my PC!

But it get's better, because the audio stream can be played in the background while you use other iPhone apps. So, I can listen to the radio on my iPhone while I also check e-mail or read a novel using Kindle.

Man, I love this thing.

One complaint: How come the geniuses at Apple can't figure out a way for me to copy a url out of my e-mail and drop it into my web browser? Seriously, it's basic stuff. Cut and paste. Fix that and I promise to be the first member of NAMiLA -- The North American Man - iPhone Love Association.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:37 AM | Comments |

February 12, 2009

Good News: 80 computers go missing from Los Alamos laboratory

Eighty computers have gone missing from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which deals with nuclear research, with at least 13 of them stolen. The laboratory announced that it had recovered 11 computers so that means 69 are still missing.

The laboratory maintains that no sensitive information were on those computers so there should be no risk to national security. I don't buy that at all. Thirteen of of the 69 missing computers were stolen, including 3 from a scientist's home and a blackberry was "lost in a sensitive foreign country" (probably China). Who would go through the trouble of stealing these computers if they held no important information?

From Washington Times

The nuclear weapons lab at Los Alamos, N.M., is missing 69 computers, including at least a dozen that were stolen last year, the AP is reporting.

Among the missing computers are three stolen from a scientist's home last month and a Blackberry lost in "a sensitive foreign country" in the last two months, according to a lab memo regarding the computers.

No classified information was on the computers, but they contain names and addresses that could pose security problems.

By at 09:31 AM | Comments |

October 07, 2008

Killer Zombies

Resurrecting dead Phantom fighter jets into drones that can fire air-surface missiles.

Teh awesome!!!1!1

From Wired

Visit Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, and you'll see rows of obsolete F-4 Phantom II aircraft – or at least their gutted carcasses. This is the Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center or AMARC -- whatever you do, don't call it the Boneyard. For many years, it has been common practice to resurrect these deceased planes as QF-4 unmanned drones, so that they can have a brief and undignified existence as "full-scale aerial targets." Everything in the inventory -- from Sidewinder missiles to Patriots -- have been tested on one at some point, even though some find it "kind of hard to shoot at such a magnificent aircraft."[...]

But earlier this year, the zombie fleet got a new twist (see photo): one of them fired a modified High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile.

More at ROA

By at 03:15 PM | Comments |

August 13, 2008

Georgian Attacks: Remember Estonia?

Yet another update regarding the ongoing Georgian cyber attacks. For those that don't realize the significance of this some botherders and do-it-your-self hacktivists have pretty much succeeded in taking most of Georgia's government news outlets off line. Most of the gov.ge sites have now regrouped on the Blogspot platform but there are some residing on other providers.

I have been following this very closely and working with others to get a better picture of what is happening. The results of those efforts are being updated over at the Shadowserver news wiki but I'll repost it below the break for your convenience.

Here is the latest update:


Georgia and Estonia Have Something New in Common

Since last Friday (August 8, 2008) a large number of Georgian websites, both government and non-government alike, have come under attack. There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not foreign governments were involved in the attacks or if it is just the work of outraged citizens taking the action on their own. While no one could really say for sure who was behind the attacks, one thing was clear--the attacks were having a devastating impact on their targets. Even at this very moment, several Georgian websites are still unreachable.

We have been seeing constant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against Georgian website from various command and control (C&C) servers since last Friday. In fact they were still on going. However, we have not observed an attacks against several of the different websites that are currently offline. While we of course do not have in sight into all DDoS attacks, we were still surprised to see these sites offline and not have observed any traffic destined for them. We were not real sure why this was until today.

Additional Attack Information

Shadowserver has received reliable information that one of the Georgian government websites was being attacked by dozens of Russian computers from several different ISPs throughout the country covering both dialup and broadband users. The traffic destined for the website is overwhelming ICMP traffic. Did we dare say Russian? Yes we did, however, let's be clear here: we were not pointing fingers and we are absolutely not implicating any government involvement (no reason to suspect this).

What does it mean though? Lots of Russians host and lots of ICMP traffic. Could this be a botnet that instructed all of its hosts to send an ICMP flood to the destination? Possibly. However, usually botnets are widely dispeared in several geographic locations. Why on earth would be see such an overwhelming amount of Russian hosts?

Is it possible the same thing that happened to Estonia is happening to Georgia? To put it quite simply, the answer is yes.

The Grass Roots Effect

Lots of ICMP traffic and Russian hosts sounds a lot more like users firing off the 'ping' command and a lot less like some evil government controlled botnet. It did not take us long to find out what is going on. Much like in the attacks against Estonia, several Russian blogs, forums, and websites are spreading a Microsoft Windows batch script that is designed to attack Georgian websites. Basically people are taking matters into their own hands and asking others to join in by continually sending ICMP traffic via the 'ping' command to several Georgian websites, of which the vast majority are government.

The following text is a redacted version of the script being posted:

@echo off
@echo Call this file (MSK) 18:00, 20:00
@echo Thanks for support of South Ossetia! Please, transfer this file to the friends!
pause
newsgeorgia.ru
apsny.ge
nukri.org
opentext.org.ge
messenger.com.ge
president.gov.ge
government.gov.ge
parliament.ge
nsc.gov.ge
constcourt.gov.ge
supremecourt.ge
cec.gov.ge
nbg.gov.ge
nplg.gov.ge
police.ge
mod.gov.ge
mes.gov.ge
mfa.gov.ge
iberiapac.ge
mof.ge

We have removed the actual commands and parameters of the script to avoid being a distribution point for it. However, you can see the raw list of targets that are being spread across the websites. This script has been posted on several websites and is even being hosted as "war.rar" which contains "war.bat" within it on one site. It would appear that these cyber attacks have certainly moved into the hands of the average computer using citizen.

Conclusion

It appears evident that the average user is now getting involved and helping to attack Georgian websites. We do not know the size of the attack, but with many most likely sympathetic and the message spreading from blog to blog and forum to forum, it might not slow any time soon. Whether it is through the use of a botnet or a personal machine, it is quite clear what kind of effect these attacks can have on an infrastructure that is unable to fend them off. We will continue to monitor the situation and report back any developments we observe.


Cross Posted at The Black Flag.

By blackflag at 01:32 PM | Comments |

August 11, 2008

Update: Georgian Government Websites Under DDoS & Cyber Attack

The Georgian Republics Parliament website has been defaced as well:
parliament.ge now shows:

parliament-ge-hack.jpg

Original post continues below:

Some of the Internet resources of the Georgian government have been the targets of fairly steady DDoS attack's since early July of 2008. The website of the President of Georgia has been hit fairly heavily over the last few days and is currently going off line randomly as it is overcome by the attack (it was up this morning but has been down for several hours now).

The Threat Expert Blog had an article about similar attacks on president.gov.ge back on 20 July 2008. In that article they credited Steven Adair for the information regarding the botnet involved in the attack, likewise Steven gets credit for bringing the ongoing attacks to my attention this morning. Stevens latest post on this issue can be found on the Shadowserver web site later today (I'll update this post when that info becomes available).

True to form there's appears to have been a cooperative effort between the cyber attacks and the military attacks on the ground in Georgia. Whether the attacks are the work of the Russian government or that of those sympathetic to their cause remains to be seen. Estonia recently suffered a similar fate less the actual physical invasion forces.

Update by Howie: Comment by Thomas R. Burling, CFO
Tulix Systems, Inc, reprinted in main post by permission.

Just trying to get the word out. Because of the conflict between Russia and the Republic of Georgia we are getting hammered. We broadcast, for expatriots, three Georgian television stations and a special announcement site for the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (president.gov.ge) if you are carrrying any Georgian based material be careful, we are receiving attacks all across the spectrum, not only on our Georgian websites but all of our issued IPs. Fortunately we have the equipment and technicians who can handle it. But if you don't and have any material related to the war you may want to premptively take it down.We agreed to host the President's site because Russian hackers had taken down the entire internet in Georgia. These people are nuts. Our techs are getting no sleep at all. It's one thing to attack the .ge site. It is another to take our table out of ARIN and try to take the whole network down.

Here's a sample of what we're seeing regarding the attacks on Georgian resources, on and off, since mid July (source IP's removed):


2008-07-20 15:15:14 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood icmp www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 15:15:12 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood tcp www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 15:15:08 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood http www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 14:14:23 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood icmp www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 14:14:20 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood tcp www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 14:14:17 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood http www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 13:13:33 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood icmp www.president.gov.ge
2008-07-20 13:13:32 62.168.168.9 president.gov.ge flood tcp www.president.gov.ge

The RBNExploit blog claims that the Internet routing for the Georgian Internet resources may have been under attack in an effort to stop proper routing to those services. The RBNExploit Blog claims the Russian Business Network is involved, I can't verify that claim but if you don't know what the RBN is you need to go find out. RBN is responsible for quite of bit of the nastiness on the Internet as far as cyber crime and fraud goes.

Additionally, the Georgian Office of Foreign Ministry was also defaced with images likening the Georgian President to Hitler, details are available at Interfax.


(This article cross posted at The Black Flag)

By blackflag at 01:08 PM | Comments |

July 22, 2008

e-Gold Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering

The Internet currency firm e-Gold and three of it's owners have plead guilty to money laundering. e-Gold is similar to Pay-Pal but in my experience is a bit shadier in it's operations. It is known to be a destination for "carders" and most everyone who needs to move money around on the sly. I'm not surprised that it is used by a criminal element but I am surprised that the owners of the company were involved to this degree (and that the Dept. of Justice was able to make a case stick).

Why is this important you ask? Because when crackers and organized crime steal credit card information through virus's and malware they need a place to turn that credit into cash, e-Gold is one of many such places that are abused to make this happen. The 40 million accounts stolen in the Card Systems Hack and the 45 million accounts stolen in the TJX Hack are symbolic of the desire for credit card information by the criminal element online.

FINcen and the United States Secret Service are just a couple of the many organizations that monitor and track electronic fraud in the United States. Even with the assistance of non-governmental organizations, both on the corporate level and non-profits like Shadowserver I still believe the problem is far from being under control. Identity theft (and eFraud) have been continually on the rise, there were an estimated 15 million victims in 2006 with an average of one new victim every two seconds.

It has also been proven that terrorist organizations are using malware, carding and online money laundering to procure funds for battlefield supplies, travel expenses and general funds. Younis Tsouli and his mates are the primary example of using this activity for terrorism financing to date.

The standard for this sort of thing is that the card data gets stolen, mostly "cashed out" (the available funds removed) and then the accounts start trickling into the more common (and easily found) carding channels on the assorted IRC networks. Still not convinced? Go on over to SearchIRC or any other IRC server search engine and search for words like "cashout", "visa" or anything else to do with credit cards and prepare to be amazed at the blatant fraud.

(Disclaimer: the information above is for educational purposes only, if you go screwing around on IRC in the assorted carder channels you can and will get pwned, you have been warned.)

By blackflag at 10:52 AM | Comments |

June 17, 2008

Honda Releases "Zero Emission" Vehicle

hondafuelcell.jpg

Via Telegraph UK:

Japanese motoring giant Honda has launched production of a new zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell car.

The FCX Clarity, a family sized four-seater, runs on electricity and emits only water vapour.

Honda claim the car has three times the fuel efficiency of a conventional petrol engine, and twice that of existing Hybrid vehicles.

Although it's not quite clear from the article exactly what sort of drivetrain the car uses, the car sounds pretty cool in any event.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 11:47 AM | Comments |

June 10, 2008

Hybrid Car Review : The Toyota Pious

I don't care who ya are, or what ya think about hybrid cars. This is pretty cool:

Stolen from Ace--and dedicated to Vinnie.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 04:21 PM | Comments |

June 02, 2008

A Revolution in Battery Technology? 20 Times the Storage Capacity?

Via engaget.com:

[An industry consortium] has developed a new kind of lithium ion battery that can supposedly store 20 times the power [sic], but is also cheap and easily mass produced. Apparently this new kind of battery drops cobalt, an expensive staple of the traditional Li-ion recipe, instead making use of nano-infused lithium with manganese.
The author of the linked post made a misstatement about the new battery, thus making it unclear what the innovation entails. In terms of the physics, one battery doesn't "store" 20 times as much power as another battery. (Countdown to some armchair physicist arguing otherwise in 3...2...) Batteries store energy and output power (and energy). If this new battery design is capable of outputting 20 times the power of a conventional battery, that would be cool, but not revolutionary. If the new battery is capable of storing 20 times the energy, that would be revolutionary.

Not a clue whether this story is legit, a ploy to drive up stock prices, or what. Only time will tell.

UPDATE: Commenter JustaDude provided a link to a story from last December on another possible battery breakthrough coming out of Stanford:

Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices.

The new technology, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. A laptop that now runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a boon to ocean-hopping business travelers.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 12:25 AM | Comments |

May 16, 2008

U.S. DoD: Offensive Computing and Cyber Warfare

To quote the infamous Cypher, "All I see now is, blonde, brunette, redhead".

matrix19.jpg

The United States Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER) is due to "stand up" and begin operations on October 1, 2008. There is a lot of attention being paid to the cyber space realm as a means of warfare, more so than the average person would know about. Denial of service and cyber espionage are in common use by most modern governments these days. It pleases me to no end that the United States is gearing up to make things happen in this battle space.

The Air Force Cyber Command, U.S. Navy Network Warfare Command and The U.S. Army's "Joint Functional Component Command Network Warfare" are well on their way to insure America is a Superpower in Cyber Space.

That being said, I recently saw a contract placed up for bid by the U.S. DoD that I found interesting.

It appears, that AFCYBER is accepting bids from interested parties to assist it in establishing it's offensive computing capability.

Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology
Solicitation Number: BAA-08-04-RIKA
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Materiel Command
Location: AFRL - Rome Research Site

I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION:
Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/RI is soliciting white papers for various scientific studies and experiments to increase our knowledge and understanding of the broad range of capabilities required in support of Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology, to include testing of prototype capabilities. Solutions to basic and applied research and engineering for the problems relating to Dominant Cyber Offensive Engagement and Supporting Technology are sought. This includes high risk, high payoff capabilities for gaining access to any remotely located open or closed computer information systems; these systems enabling full control of a network for the purposes of information gathering and effects based operations. Of interest are any and all techniques to enable user and/or root level access to both fixed (PC) or mobile computing platforms. Robust methodologies to enable access to any and all operating systems, patch levels, applications and hardware are of interest. Also, we are interested in technology to provide the capability to maintain an active presence within the adversaries' information infrastructure completely undetected. Of interest are any and all techniques to enable stealth and persistence capabilities on an adversaries infrastructure. This could be a combination of hardware and/or software focused development efforts.

Following this, it is desired to have the capability to stealthily exfiltrate information from any remotely-located open or closed computer information systems with the possibility to discover information with previously unknown existence. Any and all techniques to enable exfiltration techniques on both fixed and mobile computing platforms are of interest. Consideration should be given to maintaining a "low and slow" gathering paradigm in these development efforts to enable stealthy operation. Finally, this BAA's objective includes the capability to provide a variety of techniques and technologies to be able to affect computer information systems through Deceive, Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, Destroy (D5) effects. Of interest are any and all techniques including enabling D5 effects to computers and their networks; integration of effects with Access, Stealth and Persistence and Cybint capabilities; command and control of effects; and determining effects' link to operational impact. In addition to these main concepts, we desire to have research efforts in the supporting areas including (but not limited to): Information Assurance through Flattened Computer Architectures in special application/user environments; NGPSec: Secure Next Generation Protocol Suite to investigate feasibility and determine whether reinventing the network protocol stack can be done and the resulting success quantified; Proactive Botnet Defense Technology Development specifically as applies to new ideas/concepts for practical application; Carbon nanotubes for high density interconnects and RF applications, to allow for incorporating novel IA designs into computer architectures through nanotube interconnects with nanotube based RF peripherals (antennas).

I've got your "Cyber Jihad" right here.

By blackflag at 12:01 PM | Comments |