After the Lights Go Out: Is Your Community Prepared?

This week, Heritage observed National EMP Awareness Day. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States would have truly devastating effects. An attack would change the “very fabric of U.S. society,” and millions could potentially lose their lives in the aftermath. Yet as the name “EMP Awareness Day” suggests, Americans and our nation’s leaders remain woefully unprepared to protect against this threat…. Read more →

GOP Convention Surveillance Includes ‘Behavior Recognition’ Software

( – Police in Tampa, Fla., reportedly will use behavior recognition software as part of their video surveillance of the Republican National Convention and the surrounding area on Aug. 27-30. According to Government Security News, which covers homeland security and IT issues, the behavioral recognition software from BRS Labs will be deployed in video cameras anywhere from a few block… Read more →

Sun Is Roundest Natural Object Known

“The sun is very, very round, so it’s difficult to measure any deviations in that roundness,” said study leader Jeffrey Kuhn, a solar researcher and physicist at the University of Hawaii. “It’s only been in the last few years that we’ve been able to make decent shape observations.” Those advances are due in part to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which launched in February… Read more →

Ex-Marine put in psych ward over anti-government Facebook posts

(AP) RICHMOND, Va. – A former Marine involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook has received an outpouring of support from people who say authorities are trampling on his First Amendment rights. Brandon J. Raub, 26, has been in custody since FBI, Secret Service agents and police in Virginia’s Chesterfield County questioned him Thursday evening… Read more →

Penny-Sized Invention Could Propel Tiny Satellites

A penny-sized invention by MIT scientists dubbed a mini-thruster, may be able to propel tiny satellites into space. Here’s the inventor of the mini-thruster with more. “If you want to launch something like this, it’s very cheap. But it’s very limited in what you can do with it. You need an engine to make this run from one place to another.”… Read more →

Experts hope to shield cars from computer viruses

(Reuters) – A team of top hackers working for Intel Corp’s security division toil away in a West Coast garage searching for electronic bugs that could make automobiles vulnerable to lethal computer viruses. Intel’s McAfee unit, which is best known for software that fights PC viruses, is one of a handful of firms that are looking to protect the dozens… Read more →

Germany: Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions

Sudden fluctuations in Germany’s power grid are causing major damage to a number of industrial companies. While many of them have responded by getting their own power generators and regulators to help minimize the risks, they warn that companies might be forced to leave if the government doesn’t deal with the issues fast. At other industrial companies, executives at the… Read more →

In China, cheap and cheerful phones outsmart Apple

(Reuters) – In China’s booming smartphone market, which is set this year to overtake the United States as the world’s largest, a host of little-known local firms are primed with cheap phones to squeeze market share from U.S. giant Apple Inc’s iPhone. In the latest local challenge to the iPhone, Xiaomi Technology on Thursday launched the successor to its popular… Read more →

‘Maser’ source of microwave beams comes out of the cold

Researchers have shown off a microwave-emitting version of the laser, called a maser, that works at room temperature. Masers were invented before the laser, but have languished in obscurity because they required high magnetic fields and difficult cooling schemes. A report in Nature outlines a far simpler version using a crystalline material and no cooling or magnets. The resulting intense microwave… Read more →

U.S. military tests hypersonic Waverider aircraft over Pacific

(Reuters) – The U.S. military conducted an unmanned test flight of its hypersonic Waverider aircraft, designed to move at six times the speed of sound using technology that bridges the gap between planes and rocketships, a military official said. A B-52 bomber launched the remotely monitored, nearly wingless experimental aircraft, officially known as the X-51A, between 10 a.m. and 11… Read more →