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Submission + - homemade handheld cutting laser "lightsaber" prototype (

vg30e writes: It seems that someone has made a portable handheld cutting laser. While it isn't powerful enough to do more than open boxes slowly, I guess it's the closest that anyone has come to making their own lightsaber

Submission + - US Navy Deploys Solid State Laser Weapon prototype (

vg30e writes: The US Navy has deployed a solid state laser weapon prototype called LaWS (short for Laser Weapon System) on the USS Ponce which is headed for the Persian Gulf. Apparently there is a Youtube video of a successful live fire test against a target drone. The Navy is sending the ship and laser system for more testing. I would really like to have one of those to cook up a large aluminum foil package of popcorn for my friends.

Comment Re:Gerald Bull (Score 1) 384

A lot of people in the defense analysis industry don't put a lot of stock into Gerald Bull being killed because of Iraq's super gun program under Saddam H. The thing about Gerald Bull being killed by the Mossad is that he was also helping with the lesser known Iraqi orbital rocket program. The thing about a super gun project is that it is relatively difficult to conceal a very large cannon being constructed that just so happens to aim at Israel. Israel's air force had already successfully executed a precision bombing attack inside Iraq that destroyed a nuclear facility, so doing another such attack was relatively simple for them in the early 1990's. An ICBM or even an IRBM project would be something that they couldn't easily target (like the vintage Scud missiles) since they are easier to hide than a 1000 meter pipe several feet wide angled up at the sky.

In WWII, Nazi Germany was trying to construct a super gun aimed at England. The Allies didn't know what all the construction was about, but they chose to bomb the large construction site, eventually destroying the cannon before it could be finished.


Submission + - Use of asphalt paved surfaces for solar heat (

vg30e writes: It seems that a company in the Netherlands has found a way to use asphalt paved surfaces as solar heat collectors. Flexible tubes under the surface of the road collect heat from asphalt pavement using water as the working liquid. The heated water is stored underground for later use in defrosting the road, or heating buildings. With all the miles of highway in the continental US, this might be a viable way of collecting massive amounts of thermal energy.

Submission + - Radio Frequencies help burn salt water (

vg30e writes: It seems that scientists have used radio frequencies and salt water to create a high temperature hydrogen flame. I am not sure if the power input is more than the heat produced, but this could open the possibility of new types of non fossil fuel power based on the availability of the raw materials.

Submission + - Chemical process converts fructose to furan fuel ( 1

vg30e writes: It seems that scientists have worked a way to chemically convert "simple sugars" such as fructose to a type of hydrocarbon fuel that doesn't involve the traditional steps of fermenting by microbes like yeast. The fuel is a non water-soluable liquid called DMF or 2,5-dimethylfuran. DMF has much more energy density than ethanol, and does not require the energy intensive distillation process involved with the production of alcohol type fuels. It has been a while since I studied organic chemistry, but it looks like DMF may be compatible with gasoline as a high percentage blend much the way 85% ethanol fuel is sold as E85.

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