military

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Who’s really behind the DNC/NSA hacks? Russia, Snowden, independent hacker, or hybrid of all three?

Regardless of whether you consider Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified information to be self-sacrificial acts of patriotism or the deeds of a traitor, the recent DNC data dump and NSA cyber weapons malware (milware?) code drops have all the markings of a Snowden escapade. If you disagree, consider the timing of the code drop and who has the most to gain.
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Meet the badass Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) – set to replace the Humvee currently used by U.S. military

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) pictured above is the United States military truck set to replace the Humvee currently used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines. The Oshkosh was selected on August 25, 2015 and awarded a $6.75 billion contract for 16,901 vehicles to be delivered sometime around 2018 (although we all know they are already being tested on the battleground *somewhere*).
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Video of huge trucks being dropped from military plane (followed by some drops that didn’t go quite so well)

This awesome video below begins with “some big heavy trucks being dropped from a military plane in the middle of the night, huge machines, being launched at incredible speed!” The soldiers in the video are part of the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment (the first U.S. combat paratrooper unit) and the plane they are in is a C-17 Globemaster III operated by the US Air Force 517th Airlift Squadron. After seeing how cool the first drop is, we finish the video with some clips of drops that were, eh, not so good. Although the incidents were surely expensive, you gotta admit they’re pretty humorous.
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US Special Forces may soon be equipped with stealth motorcycles

We have to disclose right up front that these two-wheeled beasts will not be made available to the general public - at least not yet. Zero Motorcycles, maker of motorcycles for security and law enforcement agencies, has announced that the US Special Operations Forces may be equipped with stealthy, silent off-road motorcycles, the MMX, that can travel silently, operate underwater in depths up to 3 feet, and peer through the darkness with infrared lighting systems.
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North Korea follows through and carries out its third nuclear test yesterday triggering 5.1 magnitude artificial tremor

North Korea followed through with its plans announced last month and carried out its third nuclear test yesterday. Initial reports of a 5.1 magnitude artificial tremor in the northeast section of the country began to trickle out late yesterday evening with confirmation of the nuclear test coming out an our or so later. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement condemning the nuclear test as a "clear and grave violation" of UN resolutions. President Obama echoed the outcry in his own statement, calling the test a "highly provocative act" that "undermines regional stability."
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Next year, DARPA will put powerful laser weapons on aircraft to defend against rearward enemy attacks

DARPA (United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded Lockheed Martin a $9.5 million contract for the third and final phase of the DARPA Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control (ABC) program. The intent of the “ABC” program is to provide rearward protection of U.S. aircraft using high-energy lasers, which is no easy feat given the rear turbulence generated by the aircraft engines. The ABC weapon system using “adaptive optics” to counter this effect. Adaptive optics involves manipulating the shapes of lenses and mirrors to enable high-energy laser weapons to compensate for the effects of atmospheric turbulence.

Pentagon building saucer-shaped airships for cargo transport and surveillance missions

Developed by Aeroscraft, the 230-foot-long prototype airship called the Pelican is designed to lift up to 10 tons of cargo across long distances, using a fraction of the fuel needed by an airplane. The project, run by the Pentagon's Rapid Reaction Technology Office, has been underway for a few years now. The Pentagon claims the new airship will be used for cargo missions but envisions it as a “potential tool for surveillance and reconnaissance missions."
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Buzz (and controversy) over Zero Dark Thirty Movie heats up – status watch – latest news

Zero Dark Thirty (military speak for half past midnight and a reference to the time that the team of Navy Seals had successfully terminated Bin Laden’s life on May 2, 2011) has not even been released to theaters yet and it’s already racking up awards right and left. Amidst controversy over its portrayal of U.S. torture techniques utilized during the “war against terror”, the Sony/Columbia Pictures movie is a chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011. It is scheduled for limited release December 19, 2012 and general release on January 11, 2013. The movie was shot on location in India and Jordan and stars Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke. Check out the photo montage and movie trailers here.
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Amazing pictures from the Syrian Civil War

The Syrian civil war is an ongoing internal conflict between the Syrian army and the Free Syrian Army. The uprising, which was inspired by the Arab Spring Revolutions, began as a chain of peaceful protests around the country for democracy and political freedom, which was immediately followed by a government crackdown whereby the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the uprising, and several cities were besieged as a result. According to witnesses, soldiers who refused to open fire on civilians were summarily executed by the Syrian Army. Here is a collection of amazing Syria Civil War pictures documenting the Syrian uprising and damage that has resulted from the war.
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Seven Navy SEALs disciplined for releasing classified information during making of Medal of Honor game

Seven Navy SEALs have been charged with orders violation, misuse of command gear, dereliction of duty, and disclosure of classified material for acting as paid consultants on the EA video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter. According to CBS News, the SEALs are all active members of the notorious Team Six. The Navy also suspended half of the SEALs' pay for two months and sent letters of reprimand that would "kill their chances" of future promotion.
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Stingray robot allows U.S. Navy to safely board pirate ships “ladder of death” without risk

VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) teams are required to board pirate ships, ships suspected of smuggling or piracy. The 8-man team approaches the ship in a small boat. If the ship refuses to allow entry, the US Navy must use grappling hooks and rope ladders to enter the vessel – an extremely dangerous moment in the mission. To counter the danger, the US Navy has developed a new robot called “Stingray”, that they can send aboard the hostile vessel before the sailors enter the boat.
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Israel building out its elite “cyber warrior” combat group – Aman’s Intelligence Corps Unit 8200

The Jewish state is currently searching for young cyber-warriors to staff its Intelligence Corps Unit 8200 group, an elite cyber-warrior combat group led by Major General Ben Israel, in what it deems a high-priority operation. The move is in response to Iran’s new cyber command group which was formed more than a year ago. Most nations have realized that combat in cyberspace has become the fifth dimension of warfare following land, sea, air, and space and are scrambling to shore up military cyberattack/cybersecurity groups.
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China flies new stealth fighter prototype – similarities to U.S. prototypes suggests stolen design

China’s newest stealth fighter prototype reportedly took its first test flight this past Wednesday (October 31, 2012) over northeastern China (bloggers from China shoot pictures and post online). Lots of questions still remain about the Falcon Eagle J-31 (likely not J-21 as originally thought). China has a larger J-20 stealth prototype that flew in January 2011 so it is not clear where the J-31 falls. Nor do we know much about the Falcon Eagle’s engine or weapons systems. Its similarities to the U.S. F-22 and F-35 suggest that the design is based on stolen blueprints from American aerospace servers.
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US Navy’s PlaceRaider spyware – uses smartphone sensors to secretly map owner’s indoor environment in 3D

They call it “visual malware", dubbed PlaceRaider, and it secretly uses a hijacked smartphone’s camera and sensors to quietly create a three-dimensional model of the owner’s indoor environment. As the owner moves about, the smartphone software, which is designed to run on Android 2.3 or above, turns off the phone’s speaker and begins snapping pictures while mapping the person’s movement using the phone’s accelerometers and gyroscopes.

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