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Remote Lethality, US-Turkey Relations, Defense R&D

Dated: 2 Dec 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Security

Remote Lethality: The military has used and experimented with robots that perform functions such as scouting and surveillance, carrying supplies and detecting and disposing of improvised homemade bombs. However, when it comes to integrating lethality, such as a weapon capable of firing 10 rounds per second, onto an unmanned ground vehicle, issues arise such as safety, effectiveness and reliability, as well as military doctrine on how much human involvement is required.

US-Turkey Relations: U.S. and Turkish officials have narrowed their differences over a joint military mission in Syria that would give the U.S. and its coalition partners permission to use Turkish air bases to launch strike operations against Islamic State targets across northern Syria, according to officials in both countries. As part of the deal, U.S. and Turkish officials are discussing the creation of a protected zone along a portion of the Syrian border that would be off-limits to Assad regime aircraft and would provide sanctuary to Western-backed opposition forces and refugees

Defense R&D: Top Pentagon leaders have been calling for large companies to spend more of their own money on research projects, but making a case might be difficult. This article comes just days after the Pentagon officially launched a project to find new technologies that it hopes will give it an edge on the battlefield decades from now, known as the Long-Range R&D Planning Program

Flash Crash, Anti-Satellite Missile, Biobots

Dated: 19 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Technology, Uncategorized

Flash Crash: Investors, traders, and regulators are investigating an unusual incident that occurred in the US treasury market last month.  On October 15, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US government bond, which moves inversely to price, plunged 33 basis points to 1.86 per cent before rising to settle at 2.13%. While that may not seem like much, analysts say the move was seven standard deviations away from its intraday norm – meaning it might be expected to occur once every 1.6 bn years.

Anti-Satellite Missile: A mysterious object launched by the Russian military is being tracked by western space agencies, stoking fears over the revival of a defunct Kremlin project to destroy satellites. For the past few weeks, amateur astronomers and satellite-trackers in Russia and the west have followed the unusual maneuvers of Object 2014-28E, watching it guide itself towards other Russian space objects.

Biobots: North Carolina State University researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source of the sound. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.