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Real Life Dick Tracy Watch

The new Dick Tracy watch will keep time and make calls
The new Dick Tracy watch will keep time and make calls

Of all the pieces of pop culture “spy gear” that have been dreamed up over the years, one of the most iconic is the 2-way wristwatch radio used by comic-strip detective Dick Tracy. Well, if a just-launched Indiegogo campaign is successful, you’ll soon be able to get one that actually makes calls. read more

Microsoft Ocean Cooled Data Center

Microsoft has submerged a data center in the ocean off the coast of Scotland
Microsoft has submerged a data center in the ocean off the coast of Scotland(Credit: Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

Water-cooling systems have long been used to keep computers from overheating, but how do you scale that up for huge data centers? According to Microsoft, you drop the data center to the bottom of the ocean. As the second phase of its Project Natick, the company has just deployed a data center in the frigid waters off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. read more

Weapon Wednesday – BriteCloud Electronic Countermeasures

The BriteCloud 55T is designed to protect large military transport aircraft
The BriteCloud 55T is designed to protect large military transport aircraft(Credit: Leonardo Aerospace)

Leonardo Aerospace has taken the wraps off of its new expendable electronic countermeasures decoy for protecting large military transport aircraft. Billed as the first of its kind for transport protection, the BriteCloud 55-T is designed to hide the radar signature of large aircraft like the C27-J, C-130, KC-390, and A400M and confuse the targeting systems of radar-guided missiles. read more

New Kitty Hawk Flyer

With pontoon-shaped landing skids, the Flyer is clearly designed to be flown over water
With pontoon-shaped landing skids, the Flyer is clearly designed to be flown over water(Credit: Kitty Hawk)

Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk startup has been beavering away on several different personal flight projects, including a self-piloting, electric VTOL air taxi that can be used for Uber Elevate-style aerial commuting. The Silicon Valley company has also been working on something sportier – a single-seat multicopter fun machine called the Flyer. And today, the team released images and partial specs on what looks to be the final production design. read more

Sonic Soak Portable Ultrasonic Washer

The Sonic Soak uses ultrasound waves to clean clothes
The Sonic Soak uses ultrasound waves to clean clothes(Credit: ​Sonic Soak)

Finding time to wash your clothes is difficult enough at home, but it’s even more of a hassle when you’re traveling. The Sonic Soak is designed to act like a tiny, portable washing machine, using sound waves to clean clothes – including your delicates – as well as jewelry, toothbrushes, cutlery, baby items, fruit, veggies and basically whatever else can be thrown into a tub of water with it. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Special Operations Rapidly Deployable Field Workshops

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

U.S. Special Operations Forces operate a fleet of portable, rapidly deployable field workshops that can repair, manufacture, or even improve equipment in the field. The workshops, known as Mobile Technology Repair Complexes, are powered by renewable energy and stuffed with tools including lathes, welders, and 3D printers. MTRCs have proven their worth in the war against the Islamic State in Syria, quickly building ad hoc medical facilities from available materials. read more

Cassette Decks Making a Comeback

The Tascam 202mkVII dual cassette deck is available now
The Tascam 202mkVII dual cassette deck is available now(Credit: Tascam)

Though digital music accounts for much of what we now listen to, old school formats like vinyl and audio cassettes steadfastly refuse to disappear. The former is enjoying something of a healthy revival at the moment, but trying to find an album released on audio cassette is a little more challenging. read more

World’s Largest 3-D Printer

Titomic unveiled the world's largest 3D printer this week in Melbourne, Australia
Titomic unveiled the world’s largest 3D printer this week in Melbourne, Australia(Credit: Titomic)

Australian company Titomic has unveiled what it claims is the world’s largest metal 3D printer at its fully automated Melbourne facility. Utilizing a patented process co-developed with Australian federal scientific research agency the CSIRO, the 3D metal printer boasts a build area 9 m long, 3 m wide and 1.5 m high (29.5 x 9.8 x 4.9 ft), however the printing process isn’t constrained to this booth size, meaning it could be used to print even larger objects. read more

Weapon Wednesday – PEARL Systems Locates Gunfire

Metravib

A new portable system small enough to mount on a personal firearm provides its user with the ability to quickly locate the source of hostile gunfire. The PEARL system, created by French defense contractor Metravib, uses acoustic sensors to determine the source of gunfire during the confusion of combat. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Stryker Drone Killer

General Dynamics

The U.S. Army has taken note of the explosion of cheap, unmanned drones on the modern battlefield and is working to field a variant of the Stryker armored vehicle to shoot them down. The new variant will go to brigade combat teams fielding the Stryker vehicle, including an armored cavalry regiment in Europe. read more