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Weapon Wednesday – Kalashnikov Combats Robots

The Kalashnikov Group recently announced the development of a fully automated combat module with the capacity...
The Kalashnikov Group recently announced the development of a fully automated combat module with the capacity to make decisions and identify targets(Credit: Kalashnikov Group)

Earlier this month, the Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Group made a low-key announcement with frightening implications. The company revealed it had developed a range of combat robots that are fully automated and used artificial intelligence to identify targets and make independent decisions. The revelation rekindled the simmering, and controversial, debate over autonomous weaponry and asked the question, at what point do we hand control of lethal weapons over to artificial intelligence? read more

Australian Architecture Competition

The Urban Tree, by MAD Architects and Elenberg Fraser, is one of the six skyscrapers proposed...
The Urban Tree, by MAD Architects and Elenberg Fraser, is one of the six skyscrapers proposed for Melbourne(Credit: MAD Architects/Elenberg Fraser)

Some of architecture’s biggest names are vying to lead a new mixed-use skyscraper development on a prominent site in Melbourne, Australia. From twisting greenery-covered towers to an “illuminated cloud,” the six designs for Southbank by Beulah show the firms letting their imaginations run wild. Furthermore, most of the designs show towers that would become Australia’s new tallest skyscraper if built. read more

Baltic Sea Algae Bloom

NASA has revealed an incredible image of a gigantic ‘whirlpool’ of algae in the Baltic sea.

Every summer, phytoplankton spread across the northern basins of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, with blooms spanning hundreds and sometimes thousands of kilometers.

Blooms this summer off of Scandinavia seem to be particularly intense, NASA said.

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On July 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired a natural-color image (above) of a swirling green phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Finland, a section of the Baltic Sea. Note how the phytoplankton trace the edges of a vortex; it is possible that this ocean eddy is pumping up nutrients from the depths. For scale, a ship is shown. The swirling bloom is at least 15 miles across, which means New York City¿s Manhattan Island could fit inside it with a little room to spare.

Weapon Wednesday – Latest Israeli Tank

The Merkava Mark 4 Barak includes an artificial intelligence system
The Merkava Mark 4 Barak includes an artificial intelligence system(Credit: IDF)

The Israeli Defence Force brings artificial intelligence to armored combat with the latest variant of its main battle tank. The Merkava Mk 4 Barak is billed as the first tank to have an advanced AI and sensor system that takes over many routine tasks, allowing crews to concentrate on the mission at hand. read more

Video Podcast – Korean War Remains Returned – GDP Growth

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The remains of multiple of U.S. troops killed in the Korean War more than six decades ago are headed back to America now after North Korean officials turned them over to military officials, the White House announced Thursday night. In all, 55 cases of remains were return so far.

And you probably noticed the United Nations banner wrapped around the crates rather than the American flag. There’s a reason for that. It ain’t a good one, but it’s America’s fault. More precisely, it’s an American President’s fault.

And let’s talk GDP growth, and why it may end up being a problem. Why? Three words: The Federal Reserve. read more

New Bad A** Nissan GT

Nissan GT-R50
Nissan GT-R50

After releasing some poorly-lit preview pictures with consecutive GT-R50 announcements, Nissan revealed the car in full at the weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. As expected, the striking anniversary-edition GT-R developed in collaboration with Italdesign makes quite a memorable impression when swimming in the full light of day. read more

Trump Should Reconsider His Tariff War with China

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves on this.

Most of us have heard that the Trump administration has a plan to “temporarily” aid American pork, dairy and soy bean farmers to the tune of about $12 billion. This is as a result of China raising its import tariffs on those American products as retaliation for Trump’s tariff increase on Chinese goods.

Many it seems have written about this as if it’s already happened. Well, it hasn’t.

As Conservative Review writes, “News of the supposed plan was leaked to the media by anonymous sources, so it is possible that this is just an idea being floated to see how the public reacts.”

However, if true, it’s a bad idea. Government “assistance,” no matter how temporary they claim it to be, is just a bailout. No different from any other bailout. And that’s never a good thing for the American people.

And as an aside, how many government assistance programs can you name that were ever really temporary. How about none. read more

Trump – the Sour Patch President

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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The world may actually melt down due to Donald Trump’s harsh words of our intelligence community and at the same time, praise of Vladimir Putin.

As an aside – isn’t it funny how the left are all of the sudden the greatest boosters of the American intelligence community, when back in the Bush era the left couldn’t lambast them enough for dragging us into the Iraq war under false pretences. Yet now they’re unassailable. Just thought that illuminating.

Back to that fiend Trump.

There’s a TV commercial that’s been airing recently – either on Netflix or Amazon. Anywho, it’s for a candy. They call it Sour Patch candy. My kids used to eat it. The commercial describes the candy as, “first they’re sour, then they’re sweet.” First the candy, which is animated in the commercial, does something bad (sour), but then follows up by doing something good (sweet). That’s Trump.
And this silly candy analogy could very well have described the day between the two leaders. Trump could have taken Putin to the woodshed during their private meeting, and then followed up the lashing with effusive public praise. How the heck do we know? read more

Underwater Jet Pack

The Cuda underwater jetpack is currently at the prototype stage, but is heading for production in...
The Cuda underwater jetpack is currently at the prototype stage, but is heading for production in early 2019(Credit: 3D Hubs)

The UK’s Archie O’Brien had a dream of zipping below the waters off Iceland or swimming with dolphins off the coast of Bora Bora. He looked at contraptions that would pull him along underwater at speed – something like the AquaJet H2 or Scubalec, for example – but everything already available proved beyond his reach. So he decided to design and build the Cuda underwater jetpack, which will be going into production early next year. read more

Killing off Mosquitoes

The mobile mosquito dispatch van used in the Australian trial
The mobile mosquito dispatch van used in the Australian trial(Credit: CSIRO)

An impressive Australian trial that released millions of sterilized male mosquitoes in Queensland has resulted in a more than 80 percent drop in the population of this disease-spreading insect. The international collaboration involved scientists from Australia’s James Cook University (JCU) and the CSIRO, working with a new mosquito-rearing technology developed by Verily, an independent subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet. read more