Remember Palmer Luckey? You know, the disgraced Oculus founder and cosplay enthusiast who left Facebook in the midst of a $US2 billion ($2.7 billion) lawsuit? Well, it looks like Luckey is ready to wreak more havoc upon the world, this time in the form of a virtual border wall that he might sell to the Trump administration. You'll never guess who wants to pay for it.
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Citing military sources, CNN reports the United States just dropped a 9.14m-long bomb with a blast yield equivalent to 11 tons of TNT on suspected ISIS targets in Afghanistan. Nicknamed MOAB (short for "Mother of All Bombs"), the weapon is the largest non-nuclear bomb in America's arsenal. This is the first time a MOAB has been used in combat.
The Air Force's latest high-tech bomber is officially called the B-21 Raider, but there were lots of options. The name was chosen from over 4600 names submitted to the US Air Force earlier this year, and we now have the complete list of entries, including everything from "Americas Revenge" to the "Wobbly Goblin". Oh, as well as "9/11 Cover-up" and "ISIS".
While most of us eventually stop playing spies, American police departments have found it increasingly tough to grow up, using military-developed surveillance equipment for crimes as minor as 911 hangups in recent years. Sensing an opportunity, defence contractors apparently stepped in to fulfil the demand, as demonstrated by a newly leaked 2014 product catalogue from British defence firm Cobham.
The best "clue" for what Elon Musk was up to at his Pentagon meeting came from, as per usual, the man's Twitter. In response to a CNN article musing over his mysterious visit, the SpaceX founder tweeted that it had something to do with a flying metal suit. Clearly, he's not mad at Tony Stark comparisons.
Until the day he died, physicist Samuel Cohen declared that his invention, the neutron bomb, was a "moral" and "sane" weapon that would kill enemy combatants, while sparing civilians and cities. But, despite the support of fans like Ronald Reagan, this weapon of not-as-much mass destruction proved to be a hard sell.
Let me get this out of the way: the trillion dollar US F-35 fighter jet program is an embarrassing mess. But it's hard not to marvel at the very expensive technology's promises. This conflict squeezed my brain this week, when the Air Force stopped by Gizmodo's US office with a $US400,000 ($554,212) F-35 helmet in hand. They even let me wear it.
Image Cache: If you need to get somewhere inaccessible, a ride aboard a Sea Hawk helicopter is probably a good bet -- but you're probably better off getting inside. Just kidding: This is Naval Aircrewman Nicholas Farris, and he's actually inspecting the tail rotor of the helicopter aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, rather than trying to hitch a ride.
Founded in 1958 to prevent technological surprises such as Sputnik, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency funds projects that are both outside the box and off the wall. Although DARPA gave us the Internet and GPS, plenty of its blue-sky ideas have crashed back down to Earth. Here are ten of them.