Sci-Tech

  • Stealthy robo-snake to gather info in inaccessible areas

    Israeli researchers develop a robotic snake that could be useful in urban and subterranean warfare, enabling the inspection and surveillance of sewage systems, narrow tunnels, or culverts, inaccessible by other systems; the robo-snake can maneuver through difficult terrain, “sneak” stealthily inside buildings, use its sensors to scan their interiors; the robot will be able to carry disposable sensors that could be separated and left behind to monitor activity inside buildings

  • U.S. students trail students from most industrialized nations in math

    The United States ranks 31st out of 56 countries in mathematics skills, falling behind most industrialized nations; most states in the United States rank closer to developing countries than to developed countries in math education; thirteen developed countries have more than twice the percentage of advanced math students as does the United States, including Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan, Finland, and Austria

  • Best 300 U.S. student hackers compete for cybersecurity scholarships, prizes

    The seventh Annual Cyber Security Awareness Week competition at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University; 120 teams from high schools across the country — consisting of 300 of the U.S. best student hackers — competed under the watchful eyes of representatives from the CIA, NSA, DHS, and NSA; the students compete for scholarships and prizes by solving simulated security crises likely to emerge in an increasingly wired world

  • Raytheon, Cisco support Wounded Warrior Project's IT skills training

    Raytheon provides the WWP’s largest-ever financial grant — $2.5 million over five years; Cisco extends long-standing commitment with technology for new virtual training program; the effort will include the expansion of current, multi-tiered information technology training programs with an added focus on developing new cybersecurity training opportunities

  • Research to help reduce coastal flooding

    According to the Environment Agency’s Flooding in England Report, one in six homes in the United Kingdom are at risk from flooding, and 2.4 million properties are vulnerable to coastal/river floods; coastal areas could be saved from the misery of flooding thanks to new research from the University of Plymouth

  • U.S. military looking for sturdier, more survivable UAVs

    The U.S. military is looking for sturdier, more survivable UAVs; the military regards the airspace over Pakistan and Afghanistan as “permissive environment” — and it wants UAVs to be able to do their work in what it describes as “contested airspace”

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  • New congressional majority could scale back U.S. science budgets

    President Barack Obama has ordered all federal agencies that are not linked to national security to reduce by 5 percent their budget requests for 2012 compared to the 2011 budget year; if Republicans hold to their pre-election pledge, non-defense related federal research spending could dip more than 12 percent to around $58 billion — compared to $66 billion requested by the White House for 2011

  • Carnegie Mellon to develop flying car for DARPA

    DARPA chooses Carnegie Mellon to develop autonomous capability for flying car; the military ground vehicle would transform into flyer for scouting, resupply, and medical evacuation; the flying car would be capable of transporting four people and 1,000 pounds of payload up to 250 nautical miles, either by land or by air

  • DoJ IG: ATF not doing enough to curb U.S. gun flow to Mexico

    Because Mexican law severely restricts gun ownership, drug traffickers had turned to the United States as a primary source of weapons; the massive smuggling of firearms from the U.S. to Mexico has caused the militarization of the Mexican drug war: with drug cartels often better armed than the local police, President Calderon, in December 2006, has enlisted the Mexican military to take on the armed-to-the-teeth cartels; the war has already claimed nearly 30,000 dead, and has rendered many cities and towns in Mexico ungovernable; a new Department of Justice reports faults the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for not sharing enough information with its Mexican counterparts and other U.S. agencies, undermining the effort to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico

  • Breakthrough: Flapless UAV gets airborne

    The conventional control surfaces of a UAV include many moving parts, require frequent, costly repairs, and account for a significant percentage of an aircraft’s noise output; British researchers developed a UAV with no moveable control surfaces — no flaps, ailerons, elevators, or spoilers; just a wing, an engine, and some holes

  • Bellevue University: A comprehensive offering of security courses

    With more than 9,000 students worldwide, Bellevue University, the largest private university in Nebraska, offers open-enrollment for both online or in-class settings at their main campus or satellite locations; the university offers degrees in business and management, health and human services, as well as public safety which branches off into corrections administration and management, criminal justice administration, investigations, and security management

  • Securing the nation with fingerprinting materials

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers may have found a way to improve Raman spectroscopy as a tool for identifying substances in extremely low concentrations; potential applications for Raman spectroscopy include medical diagnosis, drug/chemical development, forensics and highly portable detection systems for national security.

  • Overseas students in Australia to face biometric scans

    Foreign students in Australia will be included in a trial of biometric checks as part of a wider campaign to weed out potential terrorists; the screening process has been described by the Immigration Department as a discreet, non-intrusive examination that captures a digital facial image and 10-digit fingerprint scan

  • 9 million Euro project aims to develop stretchable electronic fabrics

    Belgian researchers are working on developing smart electronic fabrics; the project will focus on making electronic packages conformable to the properties of textiles instead of just weaving rigid electrical components into fabrics; the fabric will also feature stretchable electrical interconnections

  • Impact: Earth! Web site calculates asteroid impact effects on Earth

    Purdue University researchers unveils the Impact Earth! Web site; the site allows visitors to use a calculator to calculate the potential damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit the Earth; visitors enter parameters such as the diameter of the impact object, its density, velocity, angle of entry, and where it will hit the Earth, and the site estimates the consequences of its impact, including the atmospheric blast wave, ground shaking, size of tsunami generated, fireball expansion, distribution of debris, and size of the crater produced