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US Airstrikes, Persuasion, UAV Application

Dated: 10 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Security, Technology
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US Airstrikes: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, was wounded Saturday in a U.S.-led air strike on the Western Iraqi border town of al-Qaim, according to Iraqi officials; Baghdadi’s condition remains unclear. Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new phase of the U.S. campaign against ISIS, deploying 1,500 troops to Iraq on Sunday.

Persuasion: Interesting Time Magazine article regarding FBI persuasion techniques.

UAV Application: A team of Japanese scientists have developed a “flying rescue robot” with a device that can open doors to enter buildings hit by earthquakes or accidents. To open a door, the UAV uses suction cups to stick to the door’s surface. Then, it presses its arm with an air bag-like device against the door handle and blows the bag up to open the door. After partially opening the door in this way, the robot uses its propellers’ wind pressure to open it further.

Wireless Pressure Sensor, John McCain, Russia

Dated: 5 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Technology, Uncategorized
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Wireless Pressure Sensor: A wireless pressure sensor that has already been used to measure brain pressure in lab mice with brain injuries. The underlying technology has such broad potential that it could one day be used to create skin-like materials that can sense pressure, leading to prosthetic devices with the electronic equivalent of a sense of touch.

John McCain: Republicans have seized the Senate majority in decisive nationwide elections that’ll propel Sen. John McCain to the top spot on the Senate Armed Services Committee and give the GOP more leverage to demand an end to defense sequestration. According to Politico, McCain’s ascension to the SASC chairmanship is a nightmare for just about every major defense firm except Raytheon, which is the No. 1 contractor in his home state. It’s especially bad for Lockheed Martin, since the company’s F-35 fighter jet and Littoral Combat Ship are frequent targets of his angry floor speeches about the military-industrial complex. The SASC gavel will also give McCain a bigger platform to blister the Obama administration and push his hawkish foreign-policy views.

Russia: The Russian military test-fired an intercontinental missile from a submerged submarine in the Barents Sea on Wednesday; the test comes after pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists held elections earlier this week. President Vladimir Putin has emphasized the importance of nuclear deterrence in the standoff over the crisis in Ukraine.