November 2011 -

< hr>

Nov 11

Sprint Launches Soon To Be Mandatory Emergency Alert Messages

(Paul Joseph Watson) Telecommunications giant Sprint has announced the launch of its Wireless Emergency Alerts program that will deliver messages from the federal government directly to millions of Americans as part of a system set to become mandatory on all new cellphones.

“Wireless Emergency Alerts allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to accept and deliver warning messages to wireless networks from the president of the United States, the National Weather Service and state and local emergency operations centers. Sprint customers will be able to effectively and accurately receive warnings and safety information via text alerts to mobile phones that are equipped with the enabling software and based on their geographic location,” states the press release.
Although existing mobile handsets can only receive the messages if their users have opted-in to the scheme, all new models will be designed so as to force Americans to receive the messages whether they want to or not.
The federal government is keen to implement a centralized system of control over all communications, with the recent announcement that all new cell phones will be required to comply with the PLAN program (Personal Localized Alerting Network), which will broadcast emergency alert messages directly to Americans’ cell phones using a special chip embedded in the receiver. The system will be operational by the end of the year in New York and Washington, with the rest of the country set to follow in 2012.
Assurances that the system will be “voluntary” for wireless carriers are completely meaningless given the fact that all the big boys, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, have already indicated they will participate.
Customers will have no choice whether to opt-in or not, they will automatically be signed up by their carrier.
“Consumers will have the option….to block all PLAN alerts except for those issued by the president,” reports the L.A. Times.
In other words, for the first time ever the feds will have a direct line to the millions of Americans who use cell phones and be able to use the messages to transmit whatever they like, whether that be genuine safety information, fearmongering about spurious terror alerts, or political propaganda.

The “special chip” that the government will use to reach Americans is already present in high-end phones like the latest iPhone.
“The 90-character alerts will be delivered at no charge to the customer and have a distinctive vibration cadence and audio tone similar to what is heard for emergency alerts on broadcast television and radio. Additionally, notification of a wireless emergency alert will be distinguished in the handset’s messaging inbox with a distinctive icon,” notes the press release, adding, “Wireless users can opt out of all message types with the exception of presidential alerts.”
As we reported last week, concerns about the public’s reaction to a national broadcast test of the Emergency Alert System prompted the test to be shortened from an initial 3 and a half minutes to just 30 seconds.
Before the end of the year, Sprint plans to team up with the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, and FEMA to conduct a test of the new mobile alert system.
“The test will deliver a series of different geo-targeted wireless alerts to multiple Sprint mobile phones strategically located in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island,” according to the press release.
The PLAN program is part of the wider move on behalf of Homeland Security to create a public environment dominated by a pervasive sense of fear and paranoia, a context in which the safe exercise of constitutional freedoms doesn’t normally thrive.
As we have documented, not only is Big Sis already telling Americans to report on each other via Orwellian Wal-Mart telescreens, but new street lights now being installed in major cities have the ability not only to record people’s conversations but also to display emergency “alerts” issued by the federal government.

Nov 11

Follow Your Heart: Darpa’s Quest To Find You by Your Heartbeat

(Adam Rawnsley) The U.S. military can see you breathing on the other side of that wall. It can even see your heartbeat racing while you crouch behind the door. But if you think running farther away or hiding in a crowd will make you invisible to the Defense Department’s sensors, you might be in for a surprise. The Pentagon’s geeks are looking to tweak their life-form finder so they can spot your tell-tale heart no matter what you do.

Darpa, the Pentagon’s mad-science shop, announced last week that it’s looking to improve on technologies that sniff out biometric signatures like heartbeats from behind walls. Dubbed “Biometrics-at-a-distance,” the program seeks to build sensors that can remotely identify humans from farther away and tell them apart in a crowd.

Seeing or “sensing” human life through walls can be a pretty helpful trick. For troops that have to clear houses in search of terrorists or insurgents, it’s always nice to know what’s on the other side of that door. Picking up “life-form readings” may sound like science fiction straight out of Star Trek, but the Defense Department has been able to do it for years now.

In 2006, Darpa developed Radar Scope,which used radar waves to sense through walls and detect the movements associated with respiration. A year later, the Army invested in LifeReader, a system using Doppler radar to find heartbeats. More recently, the military’s been using devices like the AN/PPS-26 STTW (“Sense Through the Wall“) and TiaLinx’s Eagle scanner, which can sense the presence of humans and animals through walls.

Handy though these gadgets may be, Darpa wants to one-up them with some new and better capabilities.

First off, Darpa wants its biometric device to be able to work from farther away. Right now, it says the accuracy of most systems taps out at around eight meters. And while some see-through devices can see through up to eight inches of concrete, they don’t do as well in locations with more or thicker walls. So Darpa’s looking for the next system to push that range past 10 meters, particularly in cluttered urban areas.

Finding humans hiding in a particular room is nice, but being able to tell them apart is even better. Like your fingerprints, irises and even your veins, your heartbeat can be a unique biometric calling card to distinguish you in a crowd. Darpa’s hoping its sensor can capitalize on this by using electrocardiography — the analysis of the heart’s electrical activity — to identify and track up to 10 different individuals.

But don’t be too scared of Darpa’s heart hunter. There are plenty of non-terrifying applications that the Pentagon’s geek shop envisions for the device. For instance, being able to sniff out life signs at longer distances and behind thick concrete slabs could be very useful in disaster scenarios. In the aftermath of an earthquake, rescue workers could use Darpa’s longer-range biometric sensors to find survivors trapped under rubble.

Nov 11

Big Brother- T.V. That Watches You

(Gwl) A new type of Internet connected television is coming out soon, with built in software and hardware to enable feedback between users, TV content, and the Internet. In a very real way, this TV will be able to watch you, with websites able to instantly adapt to TV broadcasts and online ads able to respond to the content on screen.

This type of intelligent behaviour is made by Flingo, a San Francisco based startup. It is being called Sync Apps, with the first TV set already being produced by one of the five big television brands in the US. The initial set will sell for less than $500, although in time, there is likely to be a number of hardware options available.
“Any mobile app or Web page being used in front of your TV can ask our servers what is on right now,” says David Harrison, co-founder and CTO of Flingo. “For example, you could go to Google or IMDB and the page would already know what’s on the screen. Retailers like Amazon or Walmart might want to show you things to buy related to a show, like DVDs, or what people are wearing in it.”

While this technology will come in useful for many users, this kind of integration will also be very valuable for advertisers, who will be able to directly target their audience in a way never possible before. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook will also be able to use the service to connect to online streams and other relevant content.

Flingo has made a public API available for developers, with the scope of applications made available over the next few months likely to have a huge impact on the uptake of this technology. There are also a number of privacy issues brought up by Sync Apps, although users have to buy certain TVs and opt-in to the service when the TV is first switched on.

Ashwin Navin, Flingo’s CEO and co-founder, obviously expects people to opt in, saying “People are doing the work to search for information to go with their viewing. We’ll have all that information right there.”


Nov 11

Ron Paul Gaining Traction In Iowa

(AP) Texas Rep. Ron Paul is emerging as a significant factor in the Republican presidential race, especially in Iowa. He’s been long dismissed by the GOP establishment, but the libertarian-leaning candidate is now turning heads beyond his hard-core followers – and rising in some polls – just weeks before the state holds the leadoff presidential caucuses and four years since his failed 2008 bid.

Paul’s sharp criticism of government spending and U.S. monetary policy hasn’t changed since then.

And while his isolationist brand of foreign policy may be a non-starter for some establishment Republicans, its appeal among independents is helping Paul gain ground in a crowded Republican field. His boost is an indication of just how volatile the Republican presidential race is in this state and across the country.

“The good news is the country has changed in the last four years in a way I never would have believed,” Paul told about 80 Republicans and independents at the Pizza Ranch restaurant in this town on Friday. “In the last four years, something dramatic has happened.”

What has helped Paul rise here has been more methodic than dramatic

His campaign here is a stark comparison to the shoestring, rag-tag operation of four years ago that attracted a narrow band of supporters.

This time, he has built an Iowa organization with the look of a more mainstream campaign. He has raised more money and started organizing his campaign earlier than before. Paul was the first candidate to begin airing television ads this fall, and has maintained the most consistent advertising schedule in Iowa.

“We have a more structured, methodical, traditional campaign with Ron Paul here in Iowa more often,” said Drew Ivers, an Iowa Republican Party central committee member and Paul’s Iowa campaign chairman.

Paul is better-known this time, and has spent almost twice as much time in Iowa at this point in the 2012 campaign than in his bid for the 2008 caucuses. Paul finished in fifth place, closely behind Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson in Iowa in 2008.

The intense focus on Iowa this time may be working, with surveys showing Paul is reaching deeper into the caucus electorate.

A recent Bloomberg News poll showed him in close second place in Iowa, behind Herman Cain and narrowly ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Two weeks earlier, The Des Moines Register’s poll showed Paul in solid third place, behind Cain and Romney.

But it’s unclear whether Paul can cobble together a broad enough electorate to win the caucuses with a plurality of the vote. At the very least, he will impact the results of the Jan. 3 contest. But to what degree is anyone’s guess.

The one thing that hasn’t changed from four years ago is Paul’s style.

He remains the mild-mannered, professorial former obstetrician, delivering long explanations of the history of U.S. monetary and trade policy.

In Vinton, he stoked the audience when he called for cutting $1 trillion from the federal deficit his first year in office, primarily by vastly reducing U.S. foreign aid.

But he also called for shrinking the military budget by reducing the U.S. military presence around the world, arguing that Congress and military contractors are too closely tied together.

“Yes, we have to have national security, but we don’t get it by bankrupting our country and being in everyone’s face constantly,” Paul said.

The sentiment rings true with Charles Betz, a 47-year-old network engineer from nearby Tama, Iowa. He has typically been an independent voter, but is registered as a Republican so he can caucus for Paul on Jan. 3.

It’s Paul’s foreign and national security policy that has drawn fire from establishment Republicans. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is competing with Paul in Iowa for the outsider vote, has been vocally critical of Paul’s stance.

So has Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican who has been courted by most of the GOP candidates.

“I gave Paul credit for having the most ambitious plan to reduce the debt, which he does,” Branstad told The Associated Press. “But I don’t agree with him on foreign policy, at all. I’m real concerned with his views on that.”

Paul’s rivals have particularly criticized his view that Iran does not pose a serious threat to the U.S., a point Paul made again Friday.

“Think about how the war drums were beating to get into Iraq. None of it was true, and I don’t believe the stories now about why we should be shaking in our boots over Iran,” he said. “They are absolutely incapable of attacking us.”

Paul was traveling from small-town Vinton to equally small Anamosa Friday, before capping the day with a major rally in metropolitan Cedar Rapids, where he was to be endorsed by the founder of the Cedar Rapids tea party.

His focus isn’t limited to Iowa.

Paul will be in New Hampshire early next week, where he finished fifth four years ago.

This time, Paul’s fiscally-conservative profile combined with his anti-interventionist foreign policy could help him do better.

As in Iowa, he established a paid Iowa staff in New Hampshire earlier, and larger than his 2008 campaign. He was the first candidate to run ads in the state this time.

Nov 11

EPA Targets Wood Stove Users

(NaturalNews) Traditional wood-burning stoves are still one of the most cost-efficient, sustainable, and renewable sources of energy production that families can use to heat their homes. But the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not a huge fan of them, as was evidenced by its recent decision to push those who use traditional models to convert to EPA-approved — and oftentimes much more expensive — alternative models.

Throughout history, civilizations have relied on the burning of wood to cook food, warm water, and heat places of dwelling. After all, trees are an abundant and renewable source of wood, which means that the costs associated with obtaining energy and heat from burning wood are minimal. This, of course, is why many cash-strapped folks today are turning to wood-burning stoves rather than their local utilities.

But the EPA is now expressing concern about the 80 percent-or-so of wood stove users that still rely on non-EPA approved models. Most of the wood stoves manufactured before 1990 do not contain the EPA’s certification stamp of approval which, in the eyes of the agency, means they are an unnecessary contributor of excess environmental pollution.

This is debatable, of course, as EPA-approved models can still emit excess smoke just like the others, and may not necessarily provide any pollution-reducing benefits at all. Because of their altered designs, many of the new EPA-approved models do not work as well as the older models, either, especially when used in severely-cold weather (

Most wood-burning stove companies in the US actually went out of business shortly after the EPA established its original certification requirements for wood stoves back in the 1990s. Many of the companies simply could not develop a complying product that actually worked. Today, the EPA is once again revisiting these New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) guidelines in order to push even more people away from the old stoves.

At the same time, EPA spokeswoman Alison Davis recently tried to whitewash the agency’s position against wood stoves by claiming that the EPA is “not in the business of telling people how to heat their homes.” No, it is actually in the business of restricting the types of wood stoves manufacturers are allowed to produce and sell, which ultimately does tell people how to heat their homes by robbing them of their freedom of choice.

Sources for this article include:…

Learn more:

Nov 11

Survival Kit 2011

(Urban Preparing) Through the years I have read many, many checklists and articles about Bug-out-Bags [BoBs] and Bug in Bags [BiB]. All suggest food, clothes, guns…etc, and yes those things are important to have, but not many talk about basic kits. What’s the difference in a BOB and a BiB, and why would I need both? Well in reality you don’t. They are basically the same items, so you should only need one bag.

The idea of the BoB-BiB is that you have the basic tools of survival to handle any disaster or emergency that comes up and insures you are able to move quickly if need be with those Items. The concept of a BoB started with our military and the packs they carry. But what the modern day survivalist tends to miss is that the military is set up for procurement. They carry more defensive gear in their packs then they do survival gear. They travel fast and hard, they are able to fight at a moment’s notice. Yes, they do carry MREs – but are taught in a survival situation to procure food and water on their own, and conserve the food they carry with them. Taking a page from their book – your BoB should be geared more towards surviving. A 1000 rounds of ammo, smoke grenades, grenades, and a pork roast (you get the point) etc, are entirely unnecessary. We need to survive, and surviving means food, water, shelter, fire and protection – and if we do have to bug out… doing it as fast as we can. Moving fast = light and quick.

Military survival packs contain items that are relatively easy to acquire, items that assist in procurement, emergency medicine and basic survival needs. If you are in a strictly survival situation, you can strip your pack down and carry only the survival portion with you. No one needs 60 pounds of gear to survive – no one.

The First Things You should Have Before Anything Else:

A good solid Multi-Tool – This should cost $30 and up for a decent one.
Fixed Blade Survival Knife – ( I prefer the rubber handle ones with a eyelet or glass breaker, so I can tie paracord on it and wrap that around my wrist – this helps ensure I don’t lose my knife and the paracord is handy to have for other things)
Knife Sharpener – Learn to use it and always keep your blades sharp
Note: A Good Knife will feed you, protect you, help shelter you and help you start a fire – It will help you in every aspect of a survival situation. This is where you can’t compromise on cost. Buy a good knife and multi tool, you won’t ever regret it.

Creating Your BoB/BiB:

The area where you live will determine the items that you will need in your bag, depending on climate (hot vs cold) and environment (urban vs suburban vs rural).

Note: How much you put in your BoBBiB depends on what you will use to carry it. Think backpack vs. messenger bag. Also, consider whether or not this kit will be for your car or person. Remember in an emergency, you will have to carry this bag. It will become the second most important item to you (the first is your knife!).

Always think about layering your kit, keeping the most important items easily accessible (either on top or strappedsecured to the outside), so you can get to them quickly and easily.
I recommend you do not put anything in your kit that does not have a multiple use. Having single use items is a waste of energy, time and money.
Remember: Your BoB/BiB doesn’t have to be elaborate or have the latest and hottest gear to be functional. In an emergency situation no one cares that you have the latest electronic snare tool with speakers and GPS … keep it simple, durable and functional.
Your Bag should Be:

Water proof or water repellent
Easy to carry, with areas you can attach items easily to the outside
Big enough to carry various size items and have room to carry addition stuff… {Food you scavange, etc}
Made of durable fabric, with solid, tight stitching
Categories of Items to Consider When Creating Your BoB/BiB:

Fire Starting Items
Matches, Wooden Strike anywhere in sealed bag
Magnifying glass
Flint and steel. You can buy the Swiss fire starters for about 8 bucks, in any store that sells outdoor gear. I personally have 3 of the Swiss strikers and a couple of manganese starters.
Pre-packed tinder – Sta-Lit Tinder Start or petroleum jelly and cotton balls work well.

Water Procurement items:
Water disinfection:

Iodine tablets,
Betadine Tablets
Iodine Solution
Bleach [A few oz’s]


Note: These items have multiple purposes and should also be staples in your first aid kit.

2 birds – 1 stone…we like that!

Water Bottles:

I want to take a moment to talk about water bottles. The plastic Camel Bak bottles are awesome, but in a survival situation they really are only good for carrying water. In a situation that demands the need for water procurement, a sturdy metal water bottle is the best to carry. Yes, a Camel Bak bladder water unit in your backpack is great…but if you can’t disinfect or clean your water then even those are useless, except to carry dirty water.

Metal Kleen Kans are lead and petroleum free. They can be used to boil water, can be cooled in a stream for use as an ice pack, used to boil food etc. An old fashioned metal water canteen with a canteen cup is also a great investment for under $15.00.

Water procurement is your most important item…you can survive weeks without food, but try going without water for even one day and your ability to survive will start to decline dramatically.

If your budget will allow, I recommend you get a water filter (hand pump). If you can’t manage it (and these days, many can’t!), then make sure you have the items to disinfect andor boil your water.

Canteen Cup- Metal
Kleen Kan
Any suitable cans that contain no lead or petroleum products (in a pinch, even empty vegetable cans can be used to boil water).
Water Carrying Items:

Camel Bak Bladder
Plastic Bag – Larger Freezer bags
Metal or glass containers (remember nothing that contained lead or petroleum products)

Food Procurement Items:

Various Sized Hooks, paperclips also make good hooks
Various size SinkersWeights…rocks and pebbles can also work
Fishing Line At least 12lbs weight – you can buy a 1000 feet for 8 bucks or less

Snares – guitar strings work great, you can buy a string for under a buck… You want wound, low E to D
Bait – cheese or cheese spread, peanut butter, energy bars, some of that yummy MRE (a note of sarcasm? Possibly!)… Really animals will eat almost anything
550 Paracord – for net and trap constructions
Sling Shot… I got a couple at Bass Pro Shop for under 20.00
Plants: If you don’t have a good field guide that describes edible plants in your region, now is the time to invest in one. Try to find one that has actual pictures of the plants, not just drawings.

Note: There are many videos on YouTube that show you how to prep wild game, please take some time and watch a few. It really isn’t that hard, but is important to know.

Signaling Items:

Flashlight {Solar or hand cranked are best, so you don’t have to worry about batteries.}
Candle(s) – tea candles are small, light and give you a minimum of 2 hours of light each.

First aid kit:
Basic Items:

Band-Aids – various sizes
Adhesive Tape
Non-stick pads various sizes
Duct Tape – a Survivalist Miracle Tool
Super Glue – Yes, to close wounds
Alcohol Wipes
Hand sanitizer
PaperClips – Can be used to seal wounds in a pinch, should already be in your kit for fishing hooks…
Straight Blades
Pain Meds – as much as you can get, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin etc
Nail Clippers
Small Scissors
Eye Wash
Female Products – Guys…this is not only for girls – tampons are designed to absorb blood and fit nicely into a bullet or stab wound)
Cotton balls

Petroleum Jelly
Triple Antibiotic
Aloe Gel

Shelter Items

550 Paracord
Plastic Tie Downs
Sewing kit with various size needles (Fishing line = suture, sewing thread = suture)
Large Garbage bags (can also be used as a Poncho)
Space Blanket
Small Green Tarp (any color of course, but the darker the better) 6×6, 6×4
Various size bungee cords

Important Misc Items:

Map of your area
Notebook with pencil [The shavings should be saved for Tinder)
Pepper Spray
Copies of all your ID’s and important papers in a water proof bag
Lots of quality carbiners
Lots of velcro tie strips
Plastic tie wraps
Extra batteries
Extra plastic sandwich and Freezer bags, various sizes
Bandanas, several
With all this gear in your BoB-BiB, the items in your pack should now weigh about 5 pounds or less …and you have all the survival tools you need to procure your food, clean your water and provide basic first aid.

Nov 11

Surveillance Plane to Monitor California Citizens Collecting Data

(Activist Post) In a move straight out of George Orwell’s 1984, Lancaster, California has approved the use of a surveillance plane to videotape the city ten hours a day.

The plane will collect intelligence on the citizens of the city regardless whether or not they are doing anything illegal.

Homeland Security Newswire
“Beginning in May, a Cessna 172 airplane will hover over the Lancaster, California for ten hours a day collecting intelligence and keeping an eye on residents.
The surveillance program was recently approved by city leaders in an effort to fight crime, but the prospect of aerial surveillance has critics concerned about privacy violations.
Under the plan, the plane would circle the city at 1,000 to 3,000 feet for roughly ten hours a day while a crew aboard the plane would monitor activity on the ground with a suite of video cameras and infrared sensors.
The cameras would be able to spot a home invasion, track unsuspecting criminals, or note traffic accidents and then record footage and transmit it to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”
Sadly this move by the city of Lancaster is part of a larger effort by the Department of Homeland Security, working in conjunction with local police, to spread fear into the minds of the American public as they move to install a full-scale surveillance police state.

The ACLU has responded with a list of questions including how long the surveillance video will be stored and if they will be released to the public record.

Fifteen years ago openly announcing such a plan like would cause massive public outcry but now, due to widespread fear mongering and programming in regards to terrorism, the American people are mostly standing by as the country is being destroyed from within.

Surveillance plane today, cameras on every street corner and thought crimes tomorrow.


Nov 11

G.E. Pays No Taxes On 14 Billion In Profits

(John McCormack) General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, filed a whopping 57,000-page federal tax return earlier this year but didn’t pay taxes on $14 billion in profits. The return, which was filed electronically, would have been 19 feet high if printed out and stacked.

The fact that GE paid no taxes in 2010 was widely reported earlier this year, but the size of its tax return first came to light when House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.) made the case for corporate tax reform at a recent townhall meeting. “GE was able to utilize all of these various loopholes, all of these various deductions–it’s legal,” Ryan said. Nine billion dollars of GE’s profits came overseas, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. tax law. GE wasn’t taxed on $5 billion in U.S. profits because it utilized numerous deductions and tax credits, including tax breaks for investments in low-income housing, green energy, research and development, as well as depreciation of property.

“I asked the GE tax officer, ‘How long was your tax form?’” Ryan said. “He said, ‘Well, we file electronically, we don’t measure in pages.’” Ryan asked for an estimate, which came back at a stunning 57,000 pages. When Ryan relayed the story at the townhall meeting in Janesville, there were audible gasps from the crowd.

Ken Kies, a tax lawyer who represents GE, confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD the tax return would have been 57,000 pages had it been filed on paper. The size of GE’s tax return has more than doubled in the last five years.
Ryan used the data point to underscore the irrationality of the corporate income tax code. He also contrasted GE with UPS to make the point that the corporate income tax code doesn’t make sense. “UPS paid a 34 percent effective tax rate,” while its biggest foreign competitor, DHL, paid a 24 percent tax rate, Ryan said.

The problems with the corporate taxes occur because “Republicans and Democrats, both parties, sit in Congress and they’re picking winners and losers,” Ryan said. The solution, according to the Wisconsin congressman: “Get rid of those loopholes and lower tax rates by a corresponding amount. Don’t lose revenue, but for every loophole you pull out, and deny a company from being able to get this little carveout, you can lower the rates so we can be more competitive with our competitors overseas. We want to stem the bleeding of jobs going overseas, of foreign companies buying U.S. companies and taking headquarters overseas.”

Ryan is hopeful that President Obama will work with Republicans on corporate tax reform. “This is the one thing I think we’ve got some bipartisan agreement on,” he said.

Nov 11

Pentagon Successfully Tests Hypersonic Flying Bomb

(Afp) The Pentagon on Thursday held a successful test flight of a flying bomb that travels faster than the speed of sound and will give military planners the ability to strike targets anywhere in the world in less than a hour.
Launched by rocket from Hawaii at 1130 GMT, the “Advanced Hypersonic Weapon,” or AHW, glided through the upper atmosphere over the Pacific “at hypersonic speed” before hitting its target on the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands, a Pentagon statement said.
Kwajalein is about 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) southwest of Hawaii. The Pentagon did not say what top speeds were reached by the vehicle, which unlike a ballistic missile is maneuverable.
Scientists classify hypersonic speeds as those that exceed Mach 5 — or five times the speed of sound — 3,728 miles (6,000 kilometers) an hour.
The test aimed to gather data on “aerodynamics, navigation, guidance and control, and thermal protection technologies,” said Lieutenant Colonel Melinda Morgan, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
The US Army’s AHW project is part of the “Prompt Global Strike” program which seeks to give the US military the means to deliver conventional weapons anywhere in the world within an hour.
On August 11, the Pentagon test flew another hypersonic glider dubbed HTV-2, which is capable of flying 27,000 kilometers per hour, but it was a failure.
The AHW’s range is less than that of the HTV-2, the Congressional Research Service said in a report, without providing specifics.
The Pentagon has invested 239.9 million dollars in the Global Strike program this year, including 69 million for the flying bomb tested Thursday, CRS said.

Nov 11

New Police Drone Can Read License Plates From 1,200 Feet

(Kris Gutiérrez) The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is weeks away from launching an unmanned aerial asset to help deputies fight crime. The ShadowHawk helicopter is six-feet long, weighs fifty pounds and fits in the back of an SUV.
“We can put it over a fire, put it over ahazmat spill, put it over a house with a suspect barricaded inside and literally give the incident commander the ability to look at the entire scene with a bird’s eye view, ” Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel said.

Sheriff’s deputies will fly the ShadowHawk with nothing more than a laptop computer and a remote control similar to that used for video games.
It’s equipped with an infrared camera that can clearly read a license plate from an elevation of twelve hundred feet. The helicopter cost upwards of $300,000 and was purchased with a grant from the federal government.
Vanguard Defense Industries built the helicopter. The company has also supplied aerial assets to US forces over seas.
Critics argue the drone-like vehicleisn’t safe, because it’s unmanned.
“I gotta tell you, it sort of looks like boys and their toys, ” said Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas. “We’re giving up our privacy, we’re letting the government have way too much power.”
The ACLU is concerned that technology used by law enforcement officials in general is getting ahead of people’s privacy. No one has complained to the ACLU about the Montgomery County helicopter, but some fear it could be used to spy on people.
“The Constitution spells out very clearly that we have a right to privacy, ” Burke said.
“This sheriff’s office has better things to do with its time then spy on people, ” McDaniel argued. “That’s not our mission. The only way that it’s going to be an invasion of their privacy is if they are committing some type of a criminal act where we might utilize this to catch them.”

Read more: