If you’ve ever seen the back end of a military jet, you’ve likely seen variable area nozzles. They’re used to adjust the exhaust flow out of the rear of a jet engine during supersonic flight and while the afterburner is engaged. Commercial aircraft, with the exception of the Concorde, don’t need such fancy hardware since a static exhaust nozzle works well enough for the types of flying they’ll be doing. For much the same reasons, RC aircraft don’t need variable area nozzles either, but it doesn’t keep builders from wanting them.
Which brings us to this utterly gorgeous design by [Marco Colucci]

View original article at Hack A Day

When it was introduced in the late 90s, USB was the greatest achievement in all of computing. Gone were the PS/2 connectors for keyboards and mice, ADB ports, parallel ports, game ports, and serial ports. This was a Tower of Babel that would unite all ports under one standard universal bus.
Then more ports were introduced; micro, mini, that weird one that was a mini USB with more connectors off to the side. Then we started using phone chargers as power supplies

View original article at Hack A Day

Researchers at the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future recently released a report about one of its more interesting findings. 
While scouring the hacker forums on the dark web, the firm’s analysts discovered someone selling MQ-9 Reaper drone documents — maintenance books, training guides, and a list of airmen assigned to the military drone. The hacker was looking for $150-200 for the documentation. 
SEE ALSO: Hackers steal $23.5 million from cryptocurrency exchange Bancor
That may seem a strangely low asking price, and according to Andrei Barysevich, a Recorded Future analyst, it is

View original article at Mashable

The Islamic State hasn’t been completely defeated. Thought it has nothing approaching the burgeoning Caliphate it held in 2015, Islamic State fighters and affiliates are still a deadly presence in Iraq, Syria, Africa, and Afghanistan. As it has lost ground, the Islamic State has turned to more non-traditional methods of attack—including using drones to drop bombs on its enemies. The drones are typically off-the-shelf quadcopters purchased in other countries then shipped to the Islamic State frontlines and modified in factories before being deployed for use on the battlefield. It’s a tactic that those fighting Islamic State have struggled to fight against

View original article at Motherboard

The US Air Force’s drone operators are tired and stressed, the result of long shifts controlling armed remotely-piloted aircraft in war zones across the Middle East and Horn of Africa. To help alleviate the strain, the Air Force is developing new control systems. In some ways, the systems more closely match the look and feel of an actual airplane cockpit, while in others it’s the opposite, with functions that deliberately mimic video game controllers. But improved ergonomics alone can’t lift the moral burden on drone operators stationed at a constellation of bases across the American West, for whom life-or-death decisions are all in a day’s work. That these personnel are thousands of miles removed from the battlefield doesn’t necessarily diminish the psychic toll, either

View original article at Motherboard