Surfdaddy Orca writes in h+ magazine:

Ever wonder how exactly the U.S. military would fight a cyber war? In August 2009, the U.S. Air Force activated its new cyberspace combat unit, the 24th Air Force, to “provide combat-ready forces trained and equipped to conduct sustained cyber operations.”

It’s commanded by former Minuteman missile and satellite-jamming specialist Major General Richard Webber. (And under his command are two wings, the 688th Information Operations Wing and the 67th Network Warfare Wing, plus a combat communications units.)

Meanwhile, to counter the threat of cyber warfare, DARPA is still deploying the National Cyber Range, a test bed of networked computers to test countermeasures against “cyberwar”. (According to one report, it provides “a virtual network world . to be populated by mirror computers and inhabited by myriad software sim-people ‘replicants,’ and used as a firing range in which to develop the art of cyber warfare.”)

And the Obama administration has even added a military cybersecurity coordinator to the National Security team.

DARPA is funding research into “a zombie-like form of hibernation” — including a $9.9 million Texas program seeking to induce suspended animation. They’re testing chemical compounds on anesthetized pigs to keep them “as close to death as possible” — to improve emergency trauma care for soldiers on the battlefield.

Also being tested is a pancreatic enzyme found in squirrels “to put humans into a state of squirrel-like hibernation…

SittingNow.com have employed the A.I. powers of Disinformation the Podcast host Joe McFall to kick off their new and improved ‘CounterTech’ series.

This week, IBM scientists and their university partners announced a breakthrough in cognitive computing research: the simulation of a brain the size of a cat’s. Using 144 terabytes of RAM and almost 150,000 processors, scientists were able to model a neural cortex with 1 billion simulated neurons and 10 billion synaptic connections. The researchers have subsequently been awarded $16.1 million for completion of phase 0 of DARPA’s SYNAPSE project. The goal of SYNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics), according to DARPA, is “to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that scales to biological levels.” In layman’s terms, their goal is to put simulated brains onto microchips…

via cnet

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to iRobot to create the flexible military bot. The maker of the Roomba and Scooba, along with University of Chicago researchers, showed off the oozy results at the Iros conference (the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) in St. Louis this week.

DARPA envisions the palm-size ChemBot as a mobile robot that can traverse soft terrain and navigate through small openings, such as tiny wall cracks, during reconnaissance and search-and-rescue missions. It gets around by way of a process called “jamming,” in which material can transition between semiliquid and solid states with only a slight change in volume.

In ChemBot’s case, a flexible silicone skin encapsulates a series of pockets containing a mix of air and loosely packed particles. When air is removed from the compartments, the skin attempts to equalize the pressure differential by constricting the particles, which shift slightly to fill the void left by the evacuated air.

In that way, the weird little blob inflates and deflates parts of its body, changing size and shape–and scaring the living daylights out of us. We don’t know exactly when ChemBot will join the Armed Forces, but we can only beg: please, oh please, keep it away from us.