defense

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare review

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare transplants the popular characters and weapons from the casual franchise into a first-person shooter.

Pros

Hectic multiplayer action: Surprisingly, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare holds its own as an entertaining shooter. Up to 24 players can engage in battle. Matches are competitive yet comical, thanks to the colorful, cartoony nature of the game.

Class diversity: In Team Fortress style, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare offers basic disciplines to fit the most common styles of team-based shooters. The flower team has the standard peashooter class and healing class, while the zombies have units like engineers with … Read more

Boeing's 'Black' smartphone will deactivate if tampered with

Boeing has made a smartphone that appears to have come straight out of a James Bond movie. Codenamed "Black," this spy-like phone will erase all data and deactivate if tampered with or pried open.

The aerospace and defense company filed documents for the phone with the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday. These documents were first sighted by tech site Myce, and Boeing confirmed with CNET that it has indeed released the device, which runs on Google's Android.

While many of the details about the smartphone are confidential, a letter included in the filing gives a bit of … Read more

DARPA's hot for futuristic helicopter-like delivery drones

In hard-to-reach war zones, it can be near impossible to get supplies to ground soldiers or conduct rescue missions without coming under enemy fire or landing in minefields.

Spurred by these logistical issues, the US Department of Defense in its DARPA division is pushing to develop unmanned helicopter-like aircraft -- aka drones -- for supply runs, airborne reconnaissance missions, and casualty evacuations.

Not your ordinary drones, these futuristic machines will be designed to carry up to 3,000 pounds, have their own power system, fuel, digital flight controls, and remote command-and-control interfaces. As envisioned by DARPA, troops will be able … Read more

Pentagon says it didn't buy 80,000 new BlackBerry phones

The government is not going to save BlackBerry with a massive order of 80,000 phones, despite earlier reports that sent the struggling company's stock soaring.

The Department of Defense confirmed to The Verge on Thursday that "absolutely no new orders have been placed for new BB devices." The 80,000 phones mentioned in a January 16 press release -- that, it seems, many of us in the media misread -- was referencing already existing devices.

The press release does indeed say the program "currently supports 1,800 unclassified mobile devices," which includes items like … Read more

BlackBerry stock soars on word of Pentagon order

Like a cat, BlackBerry appears to have nine lives. Just as investors seemed to be writing off the struggling smartphone maker, it was reported by some media outlets that the company landed a massive US government contract and its share prices skyrocketed.

The US Department of Defense announced last week that over the coming year it would be bringing "new mobile capabilities to as many as 100,000 DOD users." The agency said that it "currently supports 1,800 unclassified mobile devices," including items like iPads, iPhones, Samsung 10.1 tablets, and Motorola Razr, and "… Read more

Military tech in 2014: Lasers, drones, and cyberops

Sometime in 2014, the US Navy expects to have a laser weapon aboard a ship in the Persian Gulf.

It won't at all, however, tip the balance of power there. The Navy sees the deployment of the USS Ponce with its single solid-state laser weapon as an "at-sea demonstration" -- and directed-energy gear like laser weapons at this stage continue to be much more about demos than about actual firefights of any consequence. Still, it's a sign of things to come, even if what happens in 2014 is only a tiptoe toward the longer-term future.

And … Read more

Congress: Undetectable 3D-printed guns are still illegal

When Defense Distributed designed its 3D-printed handgun, it made sure to include a 6-ounce piece of steel within its entirely plastic firearm. This slice of steel was added to make sure metal detectors could identify the gun -- thereby ensuring it was in compliance with the US Undetectable Firearms Act.

It appears that all-plastic and 3D-printed gun makers will have to continue including metal in their firearms for at least the next 10 years. Congress voted Monday to renew a ban on completely plastic guns that aren't visible to metal detectors and X-ray machines, according to The Associated Press.… Read more

Uh-oh, this 3D-printed metal handgun actually works

While the first known 3D-printed gun has been more-or-less dismissed because it can't reliably shoot, a new 3D-printed firearm has now been invented -- and it has no problems firing a round. In fact, it appears this handgun can fire dozens of rounds without a hitch.

What's the difference between the two? Instead of plastic, the new gun is made of metal.

The 3D-printed metal gun is made by the Texas-based 3D-printing services company Solid Concepts. The company used a laser sintering process to create the gun and powdered metals for the firearm's material. The weapon's design is based on a classic 1911 handgun and is made up of 33 different stainless steel and Inconel components, along with a carbon fiber filled nylon handgrip.… Read more

Prepare Earth for more asteroid strikes, say scientists

We've become so used to change that stability seems like a quaint novelty.

So we'll no doubt find it quaint to discover that things might be falling on us from the sky with additional regularity over the next 100 years.

You might have only just got over the news that an asteroid might -- just might -- hit us in 2032.

But now, as The New York Times reports, scientists believe we should get used to the idea that asteroids might hit us every decade or two.

It points to two research papers published in Nature, in which … Read more

C-Wars brings classic Beat 'em up action to a Tower Defense game

A Cyberpunk world, in a post apocalyptic wasteland being infested by a zombie army? C-Wars seems to hit all of the major buzzwords that would set off any gamer's alarm. Onipunks' brainchild might turn off many players who have been jaded by the promises of many so so and eh-inducing games released this year, the ones that seemed to be the products of some assembly-line design model created to separate us from our money. But after playing the Demo, it would be a lie to say I'm anything less than ecstatic that this game has been successfully funded … Read more