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Spy Gear

A new video surveillance system is able to search through data on 36 million faces per sec...

Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed a surveillance system that can automatically detect a face in either a provided photo or video footage, then search for that same face in other video provided by networked cameras. While such facial recognition systems have been seen before, this one is able to compare the target face against others at an astounding rate of 36 million faces per second.  Read More

The Battle Mug is made from a solid block of aluminum, features a handle from an AR-15 rif...

What happens when some old army buddies decide to create a mug? Well, in the case of the Battle Mug, they machine the sucker out of a solid block of 6061 T6 billet aluminum, add three military-spec 1913 scope rails on its sides, and stick a carry handle from an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle on one of those rails - they leave the other two open, so users can add their own night-vision scopes, laser sights, or other gear needed for really heavy-duty drinking. Finally, they slap on a US$189 price tag – that's without the handle, which costs an additional $33.95.  Read More

Cyberpunk weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe has created a hand-mounted flamethrower

If you've already built your own wrist-mounted laser-sighted crossbow, how do you top it? Well, a hand-mounted flamethrower might do the trick. That's just what cyberpunk weapons hobbyist and Iron Man fan Patrick Priebe has done, with pretty impressive results. However, unlike some of his previous creations (which have included a 1-megawatt pulse laser gun, and a balloon-popping palm laser), the "flame glove" is not for sale - given its rather startling performance in the video that follows, that's probably for the best.  Read More

The end of one of the cufflinks pops out, and when plugged into the USB port on your compu...

Life as a secret agent means you need to have access to the internet when you need it, as well as have the ability to carry around important files in locations where your adversaries won't think to look. These secret agent-worthy Wi-Fi cufflinks let you wear your mobile hotspot on one wrist, and carry around 2GB of important files on the other. The Wi-Fi cufflink essentially acts like a miniature router. The end pops out, and when plugged into the USB port on your web-connected computer creates a hotspot that can be used by other devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets.  Read More

The New York Police Department is developing a portable scanner for detecting concealed gu...

You have to feel sorry for the police officers who are required to frisk people for guns or knives – after all, if someone who doesn’t want to be arrested is carrying a lethal weapon, the last thing that most of us would want to do is get close enough to that person to touch them. That’s why the New York Police Department teamed up with the United States Department of Defense three years ago, and began developing a portable scanner that can remotely detect the presence of a gun on a person’s body. The NYPD announced the project yesterday.  Read More

Dr. Nicolas Stenger's microstructured polymer plate

Many of the current experimental "invisibility cloaks" are based around the same idea - light coming from behind an object is curved around it and then continues on forward to a viewer. That person is in turn only able to see what's behind the object, and not the object itself. Scientists from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have applied that same principle to sound waves, and created what could perhaps be described as a "silence cloak."  Read More

A team has claimed the complete prize purse in DARPA's Shredder Challenge, two days before...

At the end of October, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) launched its Shredder Challenge contest. The objective: create a system for reconstructing shredded papers, then demonstrate it by piecing together five documents, the shredded remains of which were posted on the contest’s website. Although the contest had a December 4th deadline, the “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” team correctly reassembled all five documents with two days to spare.  Read More

Scientists have discovered that objects coated with a forest of carbon nanotubes can be ma...

Although Klingon-style disappearing spaceships may not be in our neighborhood any time soon, the technology that could allow a spaceship to vanish from sight may be here now. Scientists from the University of Michigan have successfully made a three-dimensional etched silicon image of a tank appear as a featureless black void, that completely blended in with the backdrop surrounding it. The secret: good ol’ carbon nanotubes.  Read More

Hobbyist Patrick Priebe's latest creation is a wrist-mounted laser-sighted mini crossbow

A lot of people think crossbows are pretty cool. Lasers, miniaturized things, and wearable devices also tend to rate pretty high on the neat-o-meter. It goes to follow, therefore, that a small wrist-mounted laser-sighted crossbow should have a lot of admirers. Well, laser hobbyist Patrick Priebe built just such a device, and his video of it in action has already racked up over 100,000 hits in just four days. As it turns out, the "WristBow" is just the latest of his cyberpunk-esque creations.  Read More

In order to develop methods for reading shredded documents, DARPA is running a contest in ...

Do you like puzzles? If you’re good enough at solving them, it could win you up to US$50,000. That's the maximum prize that DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is offering in its Shredder Challenge. The agency is trying to develop methods of reconstructing shredded documents that U.S. soldiers could use when gathering intelligence in war zones – it also wants to identify shredded-document-reading strategies that could be used against the U.S., so that it can take preemptive measures against them. What better way to do it than by crowd-sourcing?  Read More

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