Japan hacked the nervous system

Oh no, absolutely no way this can be used for evil.

Hand-hacking lets you pluck strings like a musical pro

From the article:

PossessedHand, being developed jointly by the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Sony Computer Science Laboratories, also in Tokyo, electrically stimulates the muscles in the forearm that move your fingers. A belt worn around that part of the subject’s arm contains 28 electrode pads, which flex the joints between the three bones of each finger and the two bones of the thumb, and provide two wrist movements.

They call it “POSSESSED HAND”!  I think I saw a movie about that once that didn’t end well.  I figure it’s only a matter of time until they hijack your body and make you pull the trigger of a gun, the pin from a grenade, or detonator on a bomb.  Maybe you get nabbed coming out of the mall, they hook up these machines to you, and send you on your way to do the controller’s bidding.  Strap-on assassins.  Tell me that doesn’t scare you.


Other than the very obvious doom this will bring, it’s pretty neat.


Sad day for the future of naval weapons

Railgun, Laser Weapon Lose Senate Funding

And MechWarrior pilots everywhere are spilling a beer on the floors of their Battletechs in remembrance of the future-weapons that never were.  This makes me cry inside.

From the article:

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday voted to eliminate funding for two of the Navy’s still-in-development guns: the free electron laser, essentially a super-powered death ray, and the railgun, which shoots bullets powered not by explosions, but by energy.

The Navy had planned to incorporate these sci-fi weapons in a revamped fleet of the future, and asked for $60 million to continue research and development. Those plans may have to change, following the tersely worded cuts — unveiled on Page 21 of a lengthy press release outlining the Senate’s completion of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

Stupid Senate Armed Services Committee…

Motorcycle of the future?

Ok, so this is pretty awesome.

Hoverbike is a beautiful, sit-on helicopter

Here’s the article:

This is the Hoverbike, a flying machine that is terrifying and awesome in equal measure. Unlike a flying car, which puts the rider in a relatively safe cocoon before firing him off into the sky, the Australian Hoverbike is a flying equivalent of a regular motorbike.

If you were to flip the wheels 90-degrees so they lay parallel to the ground, and then swapped out those wheels for rotor blades, you’d have the Hoverbike. You still sit between the wheels, and you still have a pair of handlebars to grab on to.

Otherwise, not much is different. The engine is an air-cooled 1170cc model that outputs 80kw, and almost everything else is made from carbon fiber or kevlar for strength and lightness (the propellers are Tasmanian Oak).

According to the makers, the Hoverbike is remarkably stable, and all parts are designed with triple redundancy should something go wrong. There is one other big advantage over a regular helicopter, too: you can wear a parachute (the bike also has a pair built in).

To control the Hoverbike, you use flaps to tip forward and back, twist the handgrips to control the flaps for yaw (twisting left and right around the axis of your spin), and just shove the handlebars down to roll and steer.

So far only tethered testing has been carried out, but only through caution. Apparently the thing “does not want to tip over.” This prototype took two and a half years to perfect, so you’ll have to wait a while longer before you can buy one.

Check out more info and better photos on the official website here.

DARPA wants to go to a galaxy far, far away…

Well, maybe not another galaxy, but at least another star.

DARPA’s new frontier: Distant space travel

From the article:

This isn’t about going to a nearby planet, like Mars. And it’s not about using robotic probes, which doesn’t interest the Defense Department, Neyland said.

But even the nearest star beyond our sun is 25 trillion miles away. The fastest rocket man has built would take more than 4,000 years to get there. This isn’t just about thinking new rocket methods, Neyland said. It’s also about coping with extended life in space, raising issues of medicine, agriculture, ethics and self-reliance, he said.

Pretty cool stuff.  I recommend they read The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, starting with Red Mars.  Even though they were just headed to Mars, it had some pretty good stuff about surviving independently for long periods of time.  Excellent read, too.

And yes, I did just recommend reading a science-fiction book series to get some ideas for an actual space mission.  After all, I hear science-fiction is a precursor to science-fact…

Heat Vision? I’ll take two, please.

Ok, so maybe not yet, but this could pan out to be something kinda nifty… or horrifying.  You know… whatever.

Human cell becomes living laser

From the article:

Scientists have for the first time created laser light using living biological material: a single human cell and some jellyfish protein.

Watch out, Spongebob Squarepants… they’re coming for your Jellyfish Fields.

The Zombie Autopsies

It’s nice to know that we at least have some actual medical doctors on our side for when the zombies come.

The Zombie Autopsies

I’m gonna have to check this out and see if it’s any good.

Life on Mars?

So I don’t know why everyone is questioning what this thing is on Mars.  Haven’t they seen Transformers?  It’s clearly a Decepticon base of some sort.  I’m sure this is all Starscream’s fault somehow…

Seriously, though, I’m betting NASA tries to tell us it’s light reflecting off of sand or something.  Can you say “cover-up”?  I knew you could…

Keep your powder dry, people.  Whether it’s little grey men or giant robots, you may need it sooner than you think.

UPDATE:  Hey, I wasn’t far off.  Apparently the image is a linear streak artifact produced by a cosmic ray interfering with the camera.