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Lockheed Martin to deliver world record-setting 60kw laser to U.S. Army

Lockheed Martin has completed the design, development and demonstration of a 60 kW-class beam combined fiber laser for the U.S. Army.  In testing earlier this month, the Lockheed Martin laser produced a single beam of 58 kW, representing a world record for a laser of this type. The Lockheed Martin team met all contractual deliverables for the and is preparing to ship it to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Ala.

“Delivery of this laser represents an important milestone along the path to fielding a practical laser weapon system,” said Paula Hartley, vice president, Owego, New York general manager and Advanced Product Solutions within Lockheed Martin’s Cyber, Ships & Advanced Technologies line of business. “This milestone could not have been achieved without close partnership between the U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin; we are pleased to be able to deliver this system for their further integration and evaluation.”

Lockheed martin to deliver world record-setting 60kw laser to U.S. army

Lockheed Martin’s laser is a beam combined fiber laser, meaning it brings together individual lasers, generated through fiber optics, to generate a single, intense . This allows for a scalable laser system that can be made more powerful by adding more fiber laser subunits. The laser is based on a design developed under the Department of Defense’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative Program, and further developed through investments by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army into a 60kW-class system.

“The inherent scalability of this beam combined laser system has allowed us to build the first 60kW-class fiber laser for the U.S. Army,” said Robert Afzal, Ph.D., senior fellow for Laser and Sensor Systems. “We have shown that a powerful directed energy laser is now sufficiently light-weight, low volume and reliable enough to be deployed on tactical vehicles for defensive applications on land, at sea and in the air.”  Read More

 

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GO GO GADGET When does the Samsung Galaxy S8 come out? Release date, price, rumours and specs

SAMSUNG is preparing to release the Galaxy S8 and leaks and rumours are already rife about what the new product will include.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new phone including release date, specs, rumours, features and price.

When will it come out?

Samsung fans were dealt a blow after the Galaxy Note 7 explosion debacle pushed the S8 release date back until April.

It has since been confirmed that the new model will be released on March 29, TechRadar reports.

It will be on pre-order from April 10 and is rumoured to land in stores on April 21.

The phone makers revealed that wrong sized batteries were to blame for the Note 7 which overheated and was recalled.

The South Korean firm may have postponed this launch in order to fully investigate those problems.

How much will it cost?

An exact figure has not yet been released but if previous prices and phones of similar models are a comparison then the Galaxy S8 will be in the region of £600.

It is rumoured the phone wil seel for $850 in the US – roughly £700 in the UK, according to TechRadar.

The Galaxy S7 can be bought for £619 while the S6 can be bought for £110.

The company have said they want to make the screen the main feature of the phone, with the aim for it to fill as much of the front face as possible.  Read More

For customer’s in South Korea who bought the ill-fated Note 7 they can get some money off the new phone, by trading their old model in.

Russian bank said it was hacked to frame connection with Trump Organization

(CNN) — The Russian bank that had an “odd” internet link to the Trump Organization during the presidential campaign is now claiming that U.S.-based hackers have recently launched cyberattacks to try to frame the bank.

Cybersecurity experts say this hack is a common type of prank. And it’s not directly related to activity discovered last year between the computer servers of Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization.

Alfa Bank believes the hack is meant to make it seem as if the Trump Organization is currently communicating with it.

In a statement, Alfa Bank said “the cyberattacks are an attempt by unknown parties to manufacture the illusion of contact” between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization.

Last week, CNN revealed that the FBI’s counterintelligence team is still investigating whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank during the U.S. election, according to sources close to the investigation.

The CNN report showed that the corporations offered only possible explanations — but no proof — as to why Alfa Bank was repeatedly looking up the contact information for a computer server used by the Trump Organization.

But on Friday, Alfa Bank claimed hackers are now trying to perpetuate that suspicion by tricking the Trump Organization into sending communication toward the bank.  Read More

 

Everything you need to know about the Google lawsuit that could derail Uber’s future

The first self-driving car prototypes are already navigating the roads in a few cities. But the real action is about to take place in the courtroom.

Google and Uber, the two giants at the forefront of developing the technology, are vying to own the emerging market and to suck up the profits.

The stakes are high and the fight is already getting personal, with Google accusing one of its star engineers of stealing some of its crown jewels.

google waymo

Last month, Waymo, the self-driving company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, sued Uber, claiming that one of its employees stole vital technology shortly before starting his own self-driving company (which Uber later acquired).

Autonomous cars have the potential to upend massive industries ranging from transportation to auto manufacturing. For Google and Uber, the opportunity and the threat posed by a world of self-driving vehicles is huge.

Google has been developing self-driving technology for the better part of a decade, and plans to license that technology to other car companies through Waymo. There’s also a chance Waymo will eventually develop its own ride-hailing service powered by self-driving cars to compete directly with Uber.  Read More

Brazil’s JBS and BRF Launch PR Campaign After Rotten Meat Raids

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Meat companies JBS SA and BRF SA took out full-page advertisements in Brazilian newspapers on Saturday in efforts to burnish their image a day after police conducted a series of raids investigating bribes at meatpacking facilities.

Police said the raids, which threaten an industry with $12 billion in annual exports, were prompted by evidence that some meatpackers had paid inspectors and politicians to overlook the processing of rotten meat and exports with fraudulent documentation and even traces of salmonella.

Facing a crisis that even Brazil’s government said threatens its reputation as one of the world’s biggest exporters of meat products, JBS and BRF launched a public relations offensive to defend the integrity of their practices.

“Quality is the foremost priority of JBS and its brands,” read an advertisement by JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, in publications that included the major dailies of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, plus the weekly newsmagazine Veja.  Read More

Judge issues warrant for specific Google search data from everyone in Edina, Minnesota

Good morning Edina, Minnesota! You fine folks are the lucky winners of a warrant seeking your Google search data. A Minnesota judge has signed off on a warrant seeking specific Google search data from pretty much everyone in the city of Edina. Don’t worry though, there are very specific search terms that the police would like to investigate. The series of events that birthed such a warrant started when the Spire Credit Union was contacted by a man seeking to wire transfer $28,500USD from a line of credit to another bank. Of course, the bank needed to verify the man’s identity so he faxed in a copy of his passport which turns out, was fake.

The Edina Police Department figured out that while searching Google Images for the victim’s name, they found the photo used on the fake passport, and investigators couldn’t find it on Yahoo or Bing. So, they theorized the suspect must have searched Google for the victim’s name while making the fake passport.

This has led the Edina Police to draft the warrant which the judge has signed and approved. The warrant is seeking the names, email addresses, account information, and IP addresses of anyone who searched for the victim’s name in any variety of ways. The victim’s first name is Douglas with the last name redacted in the scanned warrant available on Tony Webster’s blog and Webster poses an interesting question in his post. Read More

How Fed hike will affect mortgages, car loans, credit cards

How Fed hike will affect mortgages, car loans, credit cards

WASHINGTON — Are mortgage rates going up? How about car loans? Credit cards?

How about those nearly invisible rates on bank CDs — any chance of getting a few dollars more?

With the Federal Reserve having raised its benchmark interest rate Wednesday and signaled the likelihood of additional rate hikes later this year, consumers and businesses will feel it — if not immediately, then over time.

The Fed’s thinking is that the economy is a lot stronger now than it was in the first few years after the Great Recession ended in 2009, when ultra-low rates were needed to sustain growth. With the job market in particular looking robust, the economy is seen as sturdy enough to handle modestly higher loan rates in the coming months and perhaps years.

“We are in a rising interest rate environment,” noted Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit.

Here are some question and answers on what this could mean for consumers, businesses, investors and the economy:

Q. I’m thinking about buying a house. Are mortgage rates going to march steadily higher?

A. Hard to say. Mortgage rates don’t usually rise in tandem with the Fed’s increases. Sometimes they even move in the opposite direction. Long-term mortgages tend to track the rate on the 10-year Treasury, which, in turn, is influenced by a variety of factors. These include investors’ expectations for future inflation and global demand for U.S. Treasurys.  Read More

Google, Microsoft Still Waiting On Wikileaks To Deliver CIA Hacking Tools

It’s been two days since Julian Assange promised Wikileaks would hand over more information on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hacker tools to tech giants. That pledge followed a leak of nearly 9,000 documents that Wikileaks claimed belonged to CIA hacking units.

But while that altruistic move should help protect every one of their users from cyberattack, neither Google nor Microsoft had received details from Wikileaks on vulnerabilities in their software by Saturday morning, according to sources familiar with the companies’ security teams.

Google did not offer official comment, but two sources close to the company’s security staff said there had been no contact. One said there was now concern Wikileaks had duped the public with a PR move of little to no substance, though on Thursday one external Android security expert who’d reviewed the CIA files said it appeared there were multiple vulnerabilities Google would need to address.  Read More

Syria executes, tortures thousands at military prison: Amnesty

The Syrian government executed up to 13,000 prisoners in mass hangings and carried out systematic torture at a military jail near Damascus, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Amnesty said the executions took place between 2011 and 2015, but were probably still being carried out and amounted to war crimes. It called for a further investigation by the United Nations, which produced a report last year with similar accusations also based on extensive witness testimonies.

Syria’s government and President Bashar al-Assad have rejected similar reports in the past of torture and extrajudicial killings in a civil war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The Amnesty report said an average of 20-50 people were hanged each week at the Sednaya military prison north of Damascus. Between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years after a popular uprising descended into civil war, it said.

“The victims are overwhelmingly civilians who are thought to oppose the government,” the report said.  Read More

Trump travel ban oral arguments: what you need to know

Three federal judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are set to hear oral arguments at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday in the challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

The lawsuit, brought by attorneys general of Washington and Minnesota, has captivated the nation since last Friday when a federal district court judge put a stop to Trump’s executive order restricting travel for foreign nationals, and as a result, temporarily opened US borders to immigrants once again.
The hearing will be by telephone and livestreamed; here’s what to listen for:

What’s the hearing about?

US District Court Judge James Robart upended Trump’s executive order nationwide Friday by temporarily halting the key provisions restricting travel for foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen) and refugee admissions.
The central question for the appellate court is whether Robart abused his discretion by putting a temporary hold on the travel ban. No court has addressed the constitutionality of the executive order thus far.

The players

The attorney general of Washington state, Bob Ferguson, filed the case and was later joined by the attorney general of Minnesota, Lori Swanson.
The suit is being defended by lawyers at the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
The randomly assigned three-judge panel includes Judge William C. Canby Jr, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter; Judge Michelle T. Friedland; who was appointed by President Barack Obama; and Judge Richard R. Clifton, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

When is this hearing?

The appellate court has set an hour-long telephonic oral argument in the case for Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET. It will be available for live streaming through the court’s website.
Each side will get 30 minutes to make their case.

What are the states saying?

On Monday attorneys for the states that filed the lawsuit submitted their brief urging the appellate court to keep the travel ban suspension in place.
The states say that the temporary restraining order should remain in place because the President had “unleashed chaos” by signing the order.
They also argue that the government’s claim — that it would be “irreparably harmed” by keeping Robart’s temporary suspension order in place while the case proceeds to the merits — doesn’t make any sense.
To accept DOJ’s position, they argue, “would mean that until the (Executive) Order was issued, Defendants were suffering some, unspecified, ongoing irreparable harm. That makes no sense. …Preserving the status quo against sudden disruption is often in the interest of all parties.”

What is the Trump administration’s argument?

The government submitted its own brief in response Monday evening.
DOJ continues to emphasize that the states do not have the ability to sue in this case and a district court judge does not have the right to second-guess the President’s national security judgment in the immigration context.
But the government also raised a fallback argument in its latest court filing — suggesting if the appellate court is inclined to uphold the Seattle district court’s decision, then it must at least limit it to the class of people who have been previously admitted to the US — like someone traveling on a student visa. In the government’s view, aliens outside of the US who have never stepped foot on US soil have no constitutional right to enter the US.

What happens next?

The judges have a number of different options at their disposal to resolve this case, but it is unlikely that they would rule on whether the ban is constitutional (since that is not the question before them) — the central issue is whether the executive order should remain suspended for now.  Read More
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