pentagon researcher conjures warcraft terror plot
from danger room: The American military and intelligence communities are increasingly worried that would-be bin Ladens might gather in a virtual world, to plan a real-life attack. But the spies haven’t given many details, about how it might be done. Now, a Pentagon researcher has laid out how such a terror plot might unfold. The planning ground is World of Warcraft. The main target of this possibly nuclear strike: the White House. There’s been no public proof to date of terrorists hatching plots in virtual worlds. But online spaces like World of Warcraft are making some spooks, generals and Congressmen extremely nervous. They imagine terrorists rehearsing attacks in these worlds, just like the U.S. military trains with commercial shoot-em-up games. They worry that the massively multiplayer games make it incredibly easy to gather plotters from around the world. But, mostly, virtual worlds are nerve-wracking to spies because they’re so hard to monitor. The accounts are pseudonymous. The access is global. The jargon is thick. And most of the spy agencies’ employees aren’t exactly level-70 shamans. In a presentation (6.9mb PPT) late last week at the Director of National Intelligence Open Source Conference in Washington, Dr. Dwight Toavs, a professor at the Pentagon-funded National Defense University, gave a bit of a primer on virtual worlds to an audience largely ignorant about what happens in these online spaces. Then he launched into a scenario, to demonstrate how a meatspace plot might be hidden by in-game chatter.
US govt mad scientists geo-engineer atmosphere
from paul joseph watson: U.S. government scientists are bombarding the skies with the acid-rain causing pollutant sulphur dioxide in an attempt to fight global warming by “geo-engineering” the planet, despite the fact that injecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere carries with it a host of both known and unknown dangers. The proposal to disperse sulphur dioxide in an attempt to reflect sunlight was again raised in a London Guardian article this week entitled, Geoengineering: The radical ideas to combat global warming, in which Ken Caldeira, a leading climate scientist based at the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California, promotes the idea of injecting the atmosphere with aerosols.
russia’s haarp explored
from danger room: The U.S. military runs a facility, way out in the woods of Alaska, that beams hugely-powerful radio waves into the ionosphere. Depending on who you believe, this High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) installation blasts out these transmissions in order to learn more about the electrically-conductive layer of the atmosphere. Or HAARP is designed to spy on unwitting foes, control the weather, and spew out death rays. In either event, HAARP wasn’t the first installation of its kind. The Soviets had their own, high frequency ionospheric research center. It’s now abandoned, mostly. But the pictures of the place are very much worth a few clicks.
the army’s totally serious mind-control project
from time: Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That’s why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing “thought helmets” that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will “lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.” If this sounds insane, it would have been as recently as a few years ago. But improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army’s initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. “It’d be radio without a microphone, ” says Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. “Because soldiers are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be a very small step to have them think that way.”
747-based chemical laser tests begin
from aviation week: Longer duration firings of the high-energy laser on board the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Boeing 747 airborne laser (ABL) are getting underway following the completion of the “first light” initial firing milestone onboard the aircraft in a ground test on Sept. 7. The test, conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., lasted only a “fraction of a second” says a spokesman for Northrop Grumman, the makers of the Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL). But this was long enough to prove “the laser is ready to demonstrate power output sufficient to destroy a ballistic missile in flight,” he adds.