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Defense Department opens contracts for Apple, Google

The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that it was further dropping its exclusive BlackBerry contract and opening all of its mobile communications networks to Apple, Google, and other device makers.

"The Department of Defense is taking a leadership role in leveraging mobile device technology by ensuring its workforce is empowered with mobile devices," Defense Department Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said in a statement today. "As today's DoD personnel increasingly rely on mobile technology as a key capability enabler for joint force combat operations, the application of mobile technology into global operations, integration of … Read more

Anonymous launches attack on Mexico's Defense Department

Anonymous has set its sights on Mexico's Department of Defense.

The group's Mexican legion has claimed responsibility for waging a distributed-denial-of-service attack on the government site, rendering it inoperable for several hours yesterday, according to the Associated Press.

During the attack, the group posted a statement on the media section of the government's Web site. The statement claimed that a "bad government" was running the country.

"Our struggle is for life, and our bad government offers death as the future," the statement read, according to Spanish language tech news site Web Adictos. "… Read more

Defend your village from hordes of nasties

Samurai vs Zombies Defense for Mac is an animated combat game ported from other platforms. It is available as a free download from the App Store with in-game purchases to add extra capabilities and allow purchases. The app installs easily.

The idea behind Samurai vs Zombies Defense for Mac is that you are a Samurai warrior facing a horde of zombies out to overrun your village. While you can fight the zombies yourself using your swords, you also need to recruit help from other allies to handle the masses of zombies. Some allies are powerful warriors, others are farmers with … Read more

The Undetectable Firearms Act and 3D-printed guns (FAQ)

Citing the threat of plastic, 3D-printed firearms, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., held a press conference this weekend calling for the renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act. The act was originally conceived in 1988 in response to the Glock 17, a handgun with some components made from plastic composites.

The law has been renewed several times since its inception, most recently in 2003. It's currently due to expire in December 2013.

For gun rights advocates, the Undetectable Firearms Act comes across as legislative hand-wringing. Others find the law to be an example of security theatrics and a … Read more

IBM research honcho: From the Pentagon to the 'toy shop' (Q&A)

Since September 11, 2001, the American security apparatus has been focused largely on stopping terrorists from striking again. But some feel a more pressing danger may be that of cyber attacks, digital hacks that disable critical infrastructure and bring society to a crawl.

As the U.S. government has tried to shape its approach to such attacks, President Obama and the secretary of defense have relied on contributions from a number of people in the Pentagon and elsewhere for ideas on how to stop bad actors, be they from national governments or small terrorist groups. Among them was Assistant Secretary … Read more

Former spy chief says U.S. has had its cyber '9/11 warning'

The United States faces "the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack" unless urgent action is taken, a former U.S. intelligence chief warns.

John "Mike" McConnell, who served as director of the National Security Agency under President Clinton and then as director of national intelligence under George W. Bush and President Obama, told the Financial Times (subscription required) that such an attack would cripple the nation's banking system, power grid, and other essential infrastructure.

"We have had our 9/11 warning. Are we going to wait for the cyber equivalent of the … Read more

Tired of clunky batteries? Slap on these power leg braces

We've seen several designs for military exoskeletons that can boost soldier strength, but these leg braces from Canada's Bionic Power generate electricity on the go.

The PowerWalk system looks like an athletic knee brace and weighs about 1.7 pounds. The braces generate about 12 watts of electricity when the user walks at a normal pace; an hour's walk can apparently produce enough juice to recharge four cell phones.

That's especially handy for soldiers who have to carry up to 28 pounds of batteries on a 72-hour mission to power everything from flashlights to night vision goggles, according to Bionic Power. … Read more

Top-notch graphics don't save Garfield's Defense

If you're a fan of Garfield, you know that he's a big fan of food, especially lasagna. In Garfield's Defense: Attack of the Food Invaders for iOS, he's charged with defending his beloved lasagna and more from alien food invaders. While the graphics of the game were top-notch, the gameplay itself was awkward and quite boring.

Fans of Garfield will immediately recognize the graphics, which were taken straight from the popular comic. The premise of Garfield's Defense is pretty simple: As Garfield (or, if you choose, one of his friends), you're tasked with guarding … Read more

Another U.S. general investigated for 'inappropriate' e-mails

Federal authorities are investigating another U.S. general for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a woman related to the scandal that brought down CIA chief Gen. David Petraeus.

The Defense Department Inspector General is reviewing communications between Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, and Jill Kelley, who has been linked to the e-mail scandal that led to Petraeus' resignation last week. The department is currently reviewing 20,000 to 30,000 documents -- described mostly as e-mails -- between Allen and Kelley, an acquaintance of Petraeus, a senior Defense Department official said. … Read more

Challenge yourself with this fun action strategy game

Most adventure games on smartphones are often designed with leveled learning curves to allow the player to get through stages progressively. Garfield's Defense, however, seems to bring back the same hard times that old gamers have experienced during the time of 16-bit screens.

The smooth, seamless motion and color palettes of the game's interface make it seem like you're simply watching an episode of "Garfield." We have even used an Android 3.2 unit, which makes gameplay a lot more fluid (though it can be used on older Android units). The game's mechanics are … Read more