Saturday, February 19, 2011

Watching the Watchers: Hardcore Computer Ownage, Government Style

The ongoing results of the dust-up between a computer security contractor and a "hacktivist" group which I shall not name have resulted in a fascinating look at the workings of computer espionage in the Internet age.  Seriously, if you haven't seen this story, set aside some time and hit up the whole list of articles in the inset block. It's a pretty astounding story.  And then sit back and ponder that the two forces at work both believe they are the good guys.

China Military on the Rise, the U.S. Military Gets All Sci-Fi

Breaking news! ... From a month and a half ago.  (Hey, I've been busy, you get what you pay for.)  Anyway, it seems the Chinese are working on a new stealth fighter.  If only they had some sort of maverick pilot to help speed along its development.  In all seriousness, Chinese military power is on the rise and the U.S. military recently renewed diplomatic communications with them.  There are quite a few reasons why the rise of China as the world's premier super-power could be pretty much inevitable at this point.  (The current super power mortgaged itself to China, for one.)

Whether a more powerful China is a factor or not, the U.S. remains a country that loves its toys.  For one thing, the U.S. Navy is working hard on laser weapons, and has successfully tested a free electron laser in the 14 kilowatt range, with an eye toward eventual anti-missile and -aircraft use.  For another, the U.S. Navy's premier carriers, the Nimitz class vessels have been in production since 1975.  With the 2009 commissioning of the latest one, the Navy decided it was time to create a new design using modern technology.  Technology such as using electromagnetic rail guns to catapult aircraft rather than steam catapults.

High powered lasers and fighters launching via electromagnetics...  I think I've seen that somewhere before.  Oh yeah, Battlestar Galactica.  Perhaps you think that's a stretch?  Well guess what, we're building our own cylon raiders too.  Sure, we call it the X-47B unmanned bomber, but really, just look at the picture, that thing's a cylon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fascinating Article About Cracking the Lottery

Ah, the lottery.  Often decried as false hope for people that don't know probability, such games remain a giant source of income across the country.  Wired presents an incredible article about how one man cracked a lottery game's secret, allowing him to select winning tickets.  The article also goes into the circumstantial evidence that this feat may be more common than people suspect.