Steve Jobs revealed blackmail fears, drug use in DOD document

Steve Jobs was forced to divulge several details about his life when he was seeking Top Secret security clearance in 1988.

The details were made public today in a questionnaire that Jobs had to fill out at the time for the Department of Defense, which was recently obtained by Wired through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Responding to a question on how he might be susceptible to blackmail, Jobs revealed that he had an illegitimate daughter and was concerned that he could be blackmailed if someone were to kidnap her. But a person at the DOD apparently wasn't … Read more

Pentagon eyes augmented reality displays

The Defense Department has reportedly ordered augmented-reality displays from startup Innovega, only a week after Google disclosed its own augmented-reality project.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Innovega has signed a contract to supply the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a prototype of its iOptik spectacles and accompanying contact lenses, Innovega's CEO Steve Willey told the BBC. The augmented-reality system could improve the awareness of soldiers in the field, he said.

The contact lenses have a filter that allows a person to focus on images at a very close distance and focus on far-away objects at the same time. That … Read more

Army launches video-sharing site for the military

People serving in the U.S. military now have their own Web site where they can upload, share, and watch videos.

Announced yesterday, the new MilTube site has been set up as a safer, more secure alternative to YouTube, with content protected behind firewalls. As such, it's designed to serve the interests of military personnel who want to share videos but also satisfy the concerns of the Department of Defense (DOD), which has never been comfortable with access to commercial social network and sharing sites.

"Video is an extremely powerful tool for storytelling and sharing information among personnel,&… Read more

Army shows more than one way to look under a car

Manning security checkpoints is hazardous duty, but vehicles still must be checked. So the U.S. Army is helping develop products that will allow soldiers to do their job, preferably from a distance.

Researchers and scientists at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (aka TARDEC) have focused on semi-autonomous robotic systems capable of remotely inspecting a vehicle's undercarriage for explosives or roam the line looking for suspicious activity.

TARDEC will showcase a couple of its favorite autonomous robotic systems this week at the Michigan Security Network Market Leadership Conference. Both units were developed for … Read more

Military wants bulletproof, dimmable windows to protect VIPs

The U.S. Department of Defense has contracted for the development of bullet resistant windows that dim instantly with a touch of a button, providing "on-demand" light control, privacy, and protection from heat, glare, and ultraviolet rays.

GKN Aerospace was awarded the $425,000 contract by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office's VIP Protection Subgroup to incorporate dimmable films with armored glass to provide a "SmartShade" that conceals the location and identity of VIPs traveling in armored vehicles.

The Redditch, U.K.-based company will wed its bullet resistant glazing expertise with a "suspended … Read more

U.S. defense agency teaching open source

It says something about open source's impact on the world when the the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency--a division in the Department of Defense--starts running seminars on how to shift to open-source software.

Could there be a better sign that open source has arrived?

After all, it's one thing to adopt open source, which the U.S. federal government has in earnest--but to advocate for it and teach it? That's a higher level.

The September 1 seminar, co-hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI), promises to … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 734: Rev3 gets P2P poisoned

Revision3 goes down under a massive DDOS attack that apparently originated with a company that the entertainment industry hires to poison P2P wells. Nice. Good tactic, guys. Also, we have a good geeky little time talking about itty-bitty little flash devices and chips. Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 734

Inside the Attack that Crippled Revision3 inside-the-attack-that-crippled-revision3

Mozilla "Download Day" - Are you in or out? Mozilla "Download Day" - Are you in or out? more

Exposed to military chemical and biological warfare tests, they walk among us

Thousands of people who may have been exposed to chemical or biological agents during military tests remain unaccounted for, and the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs have given up on tracking them down, according to a new report.

Some of the tests were conducted as part of a weapons testing program known as "Project 112." In others (click here for PDF), individuals were intentionally exposed to hazardous substances such as blister, nerve, and biological agents as well as LSD and PCP, according to a Government Accounting Office report (PDF).

Any veterans who believe they have sustained … Read more