russia
Mysterious Russian Nuclear Explosion Upgraded From Weird to Baffling Amid Evacuation Confusion

Russian military officials issued conflicting reports this week about whether residents in areas near a mysterious nuclear explosion must evacuate. Read More >>

nuclear war
Think HBO’s Chernobyl Is Brutal? Check Out This Haunting Animation That Aired on TV in the 1950s

HBO’s new miniseries Chernobyl has gotten a lot of attention for its gory realism. Radiation from a nuclear power plant disaster is brutal for the human body, to say the least. But the explicit nature of Chernobyl almost pales in comparison to some of the things that were shown in the 1950s. Like this British short film that was played for parents and kids alike in 1956. Read More >>

ai
AI-Powered Gun Detection Is Coming to Mosques Worldwide Following Christchurch Shootings

In March, a gunman walked into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, opened fire, and killed dozens of worshippers. According to a police official, the suspected gunman was arrested 36 minutes after police were called to the scene. Now, a tech company believes its smart security cameras can prevent attacks like the tragedy in Christchurch, and says it plans to install its AI-powered systems in mosques around the world. Read More >>

china
Top US General Plans to Meet With Google Execs to Scold Them for Doing Business in China

The relationship between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon is one of the most high-stakes, high-tension, and high-dollar links in the world. Desperate to lead the globe’s militaries in artificial intelligence, the US Defense Department is trying to navigate a maze of tech employee protests and political minefields with the hope of getting cosier with American technology giants. Read More >>

drones
US Air Force Releases Video of New Combat Drone, the XQ-58A Valkyrie

The U.S. Air Force has released the first images of its latest combat drone, the XQ-58A Valkyrie. The new aircraft, which went from concept to first test flight in 2.5 years, “behaved as expected” on its first test flight this week, according to the Air Force. Read More >>

war
US Army Assures Public That Robot Tank System Adheres to AI Murder Policy

Last month, the US Army put out a call to private companies for ideas about how to improve its planned semi-autonomous, AI-driven targeting system for tanks. In its request, the Army asked for help enabling the Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) to “acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process.” But that language apparently scared some people who are worried about the rise of AI-powered killing machines. And with good reason. Read More >>

war
The US Army Thinks Their New Rifle Will Be Like an iPhone

There are not many ways in which an iPhone resembles a battle rifle, but military officials searching for a contractor to build the gun of the future seem to think there is. Read More >>

drones
The US Army Is Developing a Grenade That Nabs Drones With A Net

Recent flight delays at airports in the US and UK have given us a glimpse at the threats and the headaches that drones can cause. In the days leading up to the recent Super Bowl, the US Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI warned the public repeatedly against flying drones near the stadium because the authorities view them as safety hazards and potential terrorist threats. Read More >>

war
Watch the US Test Another Unarmed Nuclear Missile During a Busy Week of Tests Worldwide

The US launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base on 5 February in what’s shaping up to be a busy week of missile tests around the world. Much like other recent launches, the US military insists that this latest test has nothing to do with current events, as military tensions rise in the US, Russia, and China. Read More >>

wtf
WWI Hand Grenade Found Among Potato Shipment at Crisp Factory in Hong Kong

A hand grenade that authorities say is from World War I turned up unexpectedly at a crisp factory at an industrial estate in Hong Kong last week, the South China Morning Post reported Saturday. Read More >>

russia
Russia Tests New Hypersonic Missile System Under Direct Orders From President Putin

Russia tested a new hypersonic glide missile system today under direct orders from President Vladimir Putin, according to reports from Russian state media. The new system, called the Avangard, utilises an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a hypersonic glide vehicle and is supposed to travel at roughly five times the speed of sound. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Wins £375 Million US Army Contract for Augmented Reality Systems

Microsoft has secured a $479 million-plus contract (£375 million) with the U.S. Army for Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) prototypes, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, expanding its relationship with the military and beating out a slew of other companies competing for the contract. Read More >>

weapons
Despite Everything, You Can Now Buy 3D-Printed Gun Plans Online

The DEFCAD file repository of 3D-printable gun blueprints is live. There, you can buy the plans to print parts for anything from an AR-15 to the plastic Liberator pistol. Defense Distributed, the controversial organisation that wants to enable easier access to firearms, started selling these files last week, despite a day-old court order that forbids it from posting gun blueprints online. Read More >>

police
Police in Paraguay Discover Their Rifles Have Been Replaced With Toy Replicas

Last week, police officers in Paraguay found that at least 42 battle rifles had been stolen from their armoury and replaced with toy replicas. It’s unclear if a flag with the word “BANG!” written on it popped out of the barrels. Read More >>

nuclear war
Meet the Nuclear Weapons Nerds

John Coster Mullen was driving his lorry to a warehouse in the US state of Wisconsin when he told me that he owns uranium. He’d been talking on the phone for about hour, and I hadn’t been able to ask a single question about the project that has consumed a quarter century of his lifethe reverse-engineering of America’s first nuclear bomb. I was too engrossed to interrupt. The news of uranium, though, made me stutter. Read More >>