• Can robots commit war crimes?

    As the move continues toward autonomous killing machines — robots which spot, identify, and kill on their own, without human intervention — questions are raised about moral, ethical, and legal aspects of this trend

  • Asteroid-tracking proposal wins $25,000 prize

    Depending on the direction it takes as it nears Earth in 2029, the asteroid Apophis may hit Earth in 2036, with what scientists fear would be an impact similar to that which caused the extinction of dinosaurs sixty-two million years ago; scientific and engineering organizations compete for funding of proposals on how to deal with the threat


    Of the various technologies and configurations proposed for defending commercial aviation against shoulder-fired missiles, the leading candidates are plane-mounted directed infrared countermeasures systems; BAE’s JETEYE is such a system

  • Decision-making killer robots to be used by armies -- and terrorists

    More and more militaries and law enforcement services rely on unmanned machines to perform more and more missions; currently, human beings are still in the decision loop — but this is changing, as the U.S. and Israel lead the march toward the employment of robots which will determine for themselves who,where, and when to kill; also: It is only a question of time before terrorist organizations begin to use robots to carry out their nefarious plans

  • NSF, Google, IBM in strategic relationship on Internet-scale computing

    To bridge the gap between industry and academia, it is important that academic researchers are exposed to the emerging computing paradigm behind the growth of Internet-scale applications

  • Project 28 falls short of promise, requiring three year extension

    After Boeing delivers Project 28 — a system of cameras, sensors, towers, and software to secure a twenty-eight-mile stretch of the Arizona border — to DHS, department concludes that the project lacks the operational capabilities DHS and Congress expected it to have; first phase of project now extended by three years

  • Experts: Australia must take lead on climate change

    Australia is more economically vulnerable than any other wealthy nation to the effects of global warming; new report says: “Australia would be a big loser — possibly the biggest loser among developed nations — from unmitigated climate change”

  • Study: Costs of solar panels far exceeds benefits

    There is growing interest in solar power, but the cost of solar panels still exceeds their benefits, a University of California economist says; even under the most extreme assumptions — a 5 percent annual increase in electricity costs and 1 percent interest rate — the cost of solar PV is about 80 percent greater than the value of the electricity it will produce

  • Computer science helps in combating terrorism

    The University of Maryland develops the SOMA Terror Organization Portal (STOP); SOMA (Stochastic Opponent Modeling Agents) is a formal, logical-statistical reasoning framework which uses data about past behavior of terror groups in order to learn rules about the probability of an organization, community, or person taking actions in different situations

  • Face reading software

    Spanish researchers develop algorithm capable of reading facial expressions from video images; by applying the algorithm, the system is capable of processing thirty images per second to recognize a person’s facial expressions in real time before categorizing them as expressing anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, or surprise

  • Toshiba tests liquid sodium fast reactor

    Toshiba notices the growing interest in nuclear power, and opens high temperature liquid-sodium test loop at its Yokohama Complex; company says it will enhance its sodium-related technology in readiness for future business expansion in this promising market

  • Moth eyes inspire more efficient solar cell design

    Moth eyes do not reflect light: They have orderly bumps on their corneas, and the the array of bumps creates a situation in which almost no reflection exists, thus keeping the defenseless moth hidden from nocturnal predators; researchers want to increase the efficiency of solar panels by emulating moth eyes, allowing the panels to absorb and utilize — rather than reflect and waste — more of the sun’s light

  • Researching new laser and sensor technology

    New materials would allow laser light to be generated in ranges that are not currently accessible; “These lasers could be used for sensing such as in detecting environmental conditions in a building,” says Binghamton University’s professor Oana Malis; “There are defense applications as well”

  • Maintaining security at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport

    In 2006, Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport handled 9 million international passengers and 405,000 domestic passengers; it did so while being among the world’s most secure — if not the most secure — airports; two Israeli companies, Hi-Tech Solutions and Rontal, made their own contributions to achieving that level of security

  • ICx to develop battlefield biodetection device

    ICx will use the research and development capabilities of Mesosystems Technologies in New Mexico, a company it had acquired in 2005, to develop a biodetection system to be used on the battlefield; new device will be made for continuous air monitoring in outdoor settings