Robot A-10s, Just Chillin’

Your Countdown to Skynet news of the day: DARPA’s looking to wire up stock A-10s to fly by remote control to provide on-demand death from above. The Pentagon’s advanced research arm wants an aircraft 30 miles from a firefight to be able to attack within six minutes of a request by a JTAC. The airman would access the plane’s targeting sensors, enter coordinates to multiple targets and send ammo flying. Officials with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency expect to award a contract for the venture later this year; a live-fire demonstration is proposed for the last quarter of fiscal 2014. The contractor will modify an A-10 already in the fleet. Now I’m not saying that some AI will inevitably hack into the system and send squadrons of flying tanks hither and yon seizing power for the Roomba elite.  I’m just saying that we welcome our new robot overlords and […]

This is some useful crap: toilet energy

It’s a natural reaction of just about every animal to flee the scene once digestion reaches its inevitable, fragrant conclusion.  The distance one keeps from contact with feces is something of an unspoken yardstick of development.  While India has more mobile phones than toilets (and the street center streams of sewage that comes along with no place to crap), the more genteel among the Japanese have magical robot toilet seats that squirt and air dry your nether regions while playing a jaunty ringtone. Not having to wipe yourself is the gold medal in the development Olympics. But could our aversion to our own waste be cheating us?  Perhaps a great re-think is in order for this “brown gold”. The U.S. military is investigating the potential of turning troops’ poops into reactor fuel, saving the expense and environmental impact of burning all those digested MREs (and Tim Hortons).  While making shit […]