White House Spurring ‘Smart Guns’

The White House today released the findings from a study by the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security Departments on ways to spur the development of smart-gun technology, which restricts who can fire a weapon.

Smart-gun technology uses RFID chips or biometrics, such as a fingerprint scanner or grip recognition, to release a locking mechanism on a weapon. The technology was initially developed to prevent police officers’ weapons from being grabbed in a struggle and used against them. The military has also expressed interest in the technology for the same reason.

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For two decades, smart-gun technology has advanced in fits and starts as wary investors kept purse strings tight and gun rights proponents at times fought its uptake.

Then, in January, President Obama directed the federal government to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology, along with ways to promote it.

“If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns? If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can’t pull a trigger on a gun,” Obama said in January.

So you honestly think that technology like that won’t be hacked, either by bad actors or the government? If that is the case, keep dreaming.

Read the rest of the article: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3063561/emerging-technology/white-house-releases-study-on-how-to-spur-smart-gun-tech.html

CMF Armor Destroys Bullets

Composite metal foams (CMFs) are tough enough to turn an armor-piercing bullet into dust on impact. Given that these foams are also lighter than metal plating, the material has obvious implications for creating new types of body and vehicle armor – and that’s just the beginning of its potential uses.

Afsaneh Rabiei, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State, has spent years developing CMFs and investigating their unusual properties. The video seen here shows a composite armor made out of her composite metal foams. The bullet in the video is a 7.62 x 63 millimeter M2 armor piercing projectile, which was fired according to the standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). And the results were dramatic.

“We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 millimeters,” Rabiei says. “To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 millimeters indentation in the back of an armor.” The results of that study were published in 2015.

Read the rest of the article: http://phys.org/news/2016-04-metal-foam-obliterates-bullets.html

Hackers Can Disable a Sniper Rifle—Or Change Its Target

PUT A COMPUTER on a sniper rifle, and it can turn the most amateur shooter into a world-class marksman. But add a wireless connection to that computer-aided weapon, and you may find that your smart gun suddenly seems to have a mind of its own—and a very different idea of the target.

At the Black Hat hacker conference in two weeks, security researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger plan to present the results of a year of work hacking a pair of $13,000 TrackingPoint self-aiming rifles. The married hacker couple have developed a set of techniques that could allow an attacker to compromise the rifle via its Wi-Fi connection and exploit vulnerabilities in its software. Their tricks can change variables in the scope’s calculations that make the rifle inexplicably miss its target, permanently disable the scope’s computer, or even prevent the gun from firing. In a demonstration for WIRED (shown in the video above), the researchers were able to dial in their changes to the scope’s targeting system so precisely that they could cause a bullet to hit a bullseye of the hacker’s choosing rather than the one chosen by the shooter.

“You can make it lie constantly to the user so they’ll always miss their shot,” says Sandvik, a former developer for the anonymity software Tor. Or the attacker can just as easily lock out the user or erase the gun’s entire file system. “If the scope is bricked, you have a six to seven thousand dollar computer you can’t use on top of a rifle that you still have to aim yourself.”

Read the rest of the article: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-can-disable-sniper-rifleor-change-target/

The Best Tech for Father-Son Outdoor Adventures

Your son loves to shoot, hunt and camp with you, so now it’s time to get him the gear that makes you both feel like pros. Here are just a few gadgets that are sure to make your next hunting, fishing or camping trip safer, more convenient and more fun for the both of you:

Casio Pathfinder PAG240

There are some great survivalist watches out there, but how many of them are solar powered and under $200? Casio’s Triple Sensor technology includes a barometer/altimeter, thermometer and digital compass, so you can move away from the city on your trip and still forecast if a storm is coming. There aren’t many watches out there that give you the opportunity to teach your kid about weather watching and preparing for nightfall with such a cool look and reasonable price.

Samsung Gear S Smartwatch

In an interview with Backpacker, SAR ranger Jim Webb says cellphones are “pretty much mandatory” as survival items today. And the Gear S smartwatch actually allows you to leave your phone at home and still have all the convenience of a cellphone attached to your person. You can make calls, text and email all from the smartwatch. And wouldn’t you rather have a watch on your wrist instead of fishing around in your pack for your phone?

X-1 Surge Sportwrap Waterproof Headphones

Encourage your young outdoorsman to get outside and bring his music with him. The X-1 Surge is the Cadillac of headphones — the foam-covered, behind-the-neck stabilizing band is surprisingly understated and they can go up to 12 feet underwater. They also pack some serious bass.

Altus Brands’ Pro Ears

These are the smartest earmuffs you can buy. By utilizing Dynamic Level Sound Compression Technology, these earmuffs detect any sound over 70 decibels (like a gun shot) and instantly reduce it by half. However, they still allow you to hear your cellphone ring or your son calling for you. This means you can protect your hearing and still have fun.

Katadyn Survivor 06 Desalinator

The Katadyn Survivor 06 Desalinator is a must for fathers and sons who love to go sailing and deep sea fishing. This top of the line desalinator can produce an ounce of fresh water from seawater in 2 minutes flat. It has a 98.4 percent salt rejection average while the industry standard tops out at 95.3 percent. The Survivor also removes bacteria and viruses from salt water and weighs in at a paltry 2.5 pounds. So, even if you’re canyoneering and don’t have much pack space, this tool is worth it’s weight in gold in a desperate situation.

Big Stik Carbon Hiking Staff

Outdoor adventures are the ultimate bonding experiences. But if you have a bad knee or ankle (or worse yet, twist or tweak something on the trail), a long walk can turn into a nightmare. That’s why you’ll love the Big Stik Carbon Hiking Staff. Its patented joint technology and lifetime breakage warranty mean you’ll never be left high and dry on the trail. It’s also less than $200, ships free in the U.S. and weighs less than 10 ounces. The camera mount on top will also up the cool factor with younger hikers.

The Scorpion From Eton

The Scorpion is an outdoor-ready and solar-powered weather radio, smartphone charger and flashlight. Keep your tech gear powered up and the hunt going strong with this power source that offers solar and crank power as well as a USB port. It’s tough and splash resistant, so it can keep you both safe and entertained.