from the hoping-for-a-bulk-discount dept.
stephencrane writes "Northrop Grumman is making available for sale the FIRESTRIKE weaponized laser system. The solid-state laser unit weighs over 400lbs, sends/receives instructions and data via an RJ-45 jack and can be synchronized with additional units to emit a 100 kW beam. It looks like some piece of stereophonic amplification equipment out of the '50s. Or Fallout 3. The press release suggests that FIRESTRIKE 'will form the backbone of future laser weapon systems.'"
from the I-want-talking-fruit dept.
coondoggie writes "The National Science Foundation announced today 14 grand engineering challenges for the 21st century that, if met, would greatly improve how we live. The final choices fall into four themes that are essential for humanity to flourish — sustainability, health, reducing vulnerability, and joy of living. The committee did not attempt to include every important challenge, nor did it endorse particular approaches to meeting those selected. Rather than focusing on predictions or gee-whiz gadgets, the goal was to identify what needs to be done to help people and the planet thrive, the group said. A diverse committee of engineers and scientists — including Larry Page, Robert Langer, and Robert Socolow — came up with the list but did not rank the challenges. Rather, the National Academy of Engineering is offering the public an opportunity to vote on which one they think is most important."