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Weapons

The TASER Shockwave stacked vertically

The launch of the handheld TASER X3 has been grabbing headlines lately, but the company has also been developing large-scale versions of its stun-gun technology for 'area denial' (read 'riot control'). The TASER Shockwave is a fully modular system that effectively bunches six TASER X26 stun guns together to cover a 20-degree arc with 25-foot cartridges.  Read More

The Taser X3 has enhanced power ... enough to disperse more than 300 five-second firings a...

When we previewed the release of the Taser X3 stun-gun a couple of weeks back, details on what it looked like were scarce. Now images have been released to coincide with the official launch, along with more detail about the new three-shot Electronic Control Device (ECD).  Read More

Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 assault rifle

It's the most effective killing machine in human history - a gun that, on its 62nd birthday, is still killing as many as a quarter of a million people every year, in every corner of the globe. Invented by a gifted tank mechanic to save Russia's motherland from the invading German hordes in WW2, the AK-47 went on to rise to global prominence during the proxy battles of the Cold War. Even today, a poorly trained militia group can become a force to be reckoned with once it finds a supply of AK-47s - such is its simplicity, reliability, affordability and sheer killing power. Abhorrent - yes, but with reference to its impact on humanity it is, sadly, among the greatest inventions of the 20th century. We take a look at this amazing weapon's history, its significance and its brutal dominance of world politics. Listen to the Podcast or  Read More

Three-shot Taser X3 to be unveiled July 27th

A new Taser that fires three shots before it needs recharging is soon to be released. Billed by the company as its most innovative handheld electronic control device (ECD) since the Taser X26 was released in 2003, the high-tech Taser X3 can be simultaneously used on multiple targets and boasts a range of additional features including laser sights for both top and bottom probes, improved monitoring and data recording and the ability to survive harsh environments.  Read More

Gizcast 7: Great inventions - the AK-47

This week, we take a look at the fascinating story of how Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 assault rifle came to be the world's most popular firearm, with as many as 75 million units currently in service around the globe. Throw an AK-47 into a combat zone, and David suddenly starts beating Goliath - it's become a powerful political symbol of strength in the face of invasion or repression. It's the most successful killing machine in history, which is a horrifying achievement and obviously not something to be applauded, but with reference to its impact on humanity it is, sadly, among the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Also, Geoffrey Baird has been surfing away in his sound booth this week, and he's dug up 5 oddball gadgets for our weekly roundup.  Read More

The thermal effects of the 'Little Boy' nuclear bomb if it was dropped on New York City.

Not that it's particularly likely, but as long as nuclear bombs exist, there's the chance - however slim - that one might go off somewhere near you. This little Google Maps overlay might be a bit morbid, but it's also pretty fascinating. It shows you the heat, pressure and fallout spread of a range of different nuclear bombs detonating anywhere in the world. It's particularly sobering to get a sense of the scale of the devastation caused by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs in World War 2 - and then see how tiny those bombs are compared to the USSR's enormous Tsar Bomba, the biggest nuke ever detonated.  Read More

A robotic 'ferret' will help customs find drugs, weapons and people hidden in freight cont...

It won’t be cuddly, but it’ll certainly be efficient. The University of Sheffield is developing what it calls a cargo-screening ferret that uses a combination of laser and fiber-optic technology to sniff out the tiniest traces of drugs, weapons, explosives and even illegal immigrants.  Read More

The XM25 smart weapon

The XM25 Individual Air Burst Weapon is looking likely to be the shoulder-fired weapon of choice for the US military to kill or neutralize hidden targets. Due for field test this summer, the lightweight XM-25 "smart weapon" uses High Explosive Air-Burst (HEAB) munitions that can be programmed to detonate at a precise point in the air without the need to impact, spelling trouble for elusive targets, be they behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.  Read More

Metal Storm completes First Shoulder Firing of MAUL Shotgun

Metal Storm's MAUL ultra-light shotgun attachment has joined the company’s 3GL grenade launcher in achieving certification for safe shoulder-firing. MAUL, which stands for Multishot Accessory Underbarrel Launcher, mounts under the barrel of a combat weapon including the M-4 and M-16 rifles and is capable of firing a range of lethal and non lethal munitions using the company's computer-controlled, electronic ignition system.  Read More

Akos Ledeczi holds a kevlar helmet with the microphones and network node attached that can...

Imagine being able to pinpoint an enemy shooter in difficult terrain with such deadly accuracy that you can see whether they are kneeling or standing and not only what kind of weapon they are firing but the caliber too. Well, engineers at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) have developed such a system by turning soldiers' combat helmets into "smart nodes" in a wireless sensor network.  Read More

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