The U.S. military is developing new technologies that allow bullets, grenades and other munitions to explode after they pass over defilades and other obstacles. The Small Arms Grenade Munitions (SAGM) platform is being tested by the U.S. Army as a way to engage enemies, even if an enemy is hiding. The SAGM is twice as lethal as a traditional 40 mm grenade if being used against better protected targets.
The new weapon has three modes of firing: Airburst has the ability to detect a defilade first, and then explode. Point detonation occurs when the grenade strikes a target, or a self-destruct feature that helps limit collateral damage and ensures there a smaller number of unexploded ordnances on the battlefield.
"The technology demonstration was conducted at Redstone Arsenal and it was shown that the sensor correctly detected defilade and air-bursted the round behind the defilade," said Steven Gilbert, U.S. Army Armament Research Project Officer. "This capability will inflict maximum lethality to any enemy personnel seeking cover behind defilade."
Music and movie copyright groups tried to fight Internet piracy by suing individual file sharers, shutting down peer-to-peer networks, and creating new anti-piracy legislation. However, as Internet piracy continued to evolve, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), tasked with movie copyright issues of the top six Hollywood studios, wants to adjust its tactics.
"The world is changing at warp speed," noted Chris Dodd, MPAA CEO. "We are not going to legislate or litigate our way out of it. We are going to innovate our way by educating people about the hard work of people."
Although it's refreshing to hear the MPAA isn't interested in creating new legislation or potential court litigation - many Internet users are weary that any new efforts could still end poorly for the community. But hearing that copyright groups understand there are new ways to provide content in a legitimate manner proves a shifting focus towards the future.
Destiny shook up the gaming industry after launching earlier this week, topping $500 million in sales to retailers during launch day. The game title was made by Bungie and published by Activision, with hype surrounding the game building over the past few months. Sales to retailers doesn't provide an exact tally of game sales to consumers, but indicates retailers expect it to continue to be a sought after game title.
"Since the beginning, we've been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off," said Eric Hirshberg, head of Activision game publishing. "But not many people believed we'd be able to say it did so on day one. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation, and Activision's next billion dollar brand."
Video game blockbusters are big money, with gamers often preferring to continue playing storylines as they develop over multiple titles. Some analysts predict Destiny could sell 10 million units to consumers before the end of the year, indicating it could become a major influence to help push console sales.
The Sony PlayStation 4 has surpassed one million units sold in the United Kingdom, thanks to a sales surge because of the recent release of Destiny. It took less than 10 months to reach the 1 million unit mark, a faster tally than the PlayStation 2 or 3 in England.
"It's a fortuitous coincidence that the launch of Destiny will bring us over the million mark," said Fergal Gara, Sony Computer Entertainment UK managing director. "If you reflect back to last year, we announced PS4 and Destiny at the same time."
Even though global PS4 sales slowed in August, the console was still able to top the Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U. Each company is preparing for the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season, with Microsoft expected to do everything possible to generate sales to better compete against Sony.
Microsoft is reportedly phasing out Nokia and Windows Phone branding, as the company wants to move ahead with its Microsoft Lumia smartphones. The multi-billion-dollar purchase of Nokia's devices division gave Microsoft access to the company's phone portfolio, but Nokia is still a different company.
Dropping Windows Phone might prove to be a puzzling choice, however, recent Microsoft smartphone marketing referred to devices as "Windows." The upcoming Windows 9 desktop should be designed to cross both smartphones and tablets with a single OS, as Microsoft won't try to promote three separate OSes for desktop, smartphones and tablets again. Microsoft's commercial for the Lumia 930 didn't refer to Windows Phone, only referring to the device running Windows.
Marketing efforts aside, Microsoft faces an uphill battle to compete in the mobile market, dominated by Google Android and Apple iOS software - and led by Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers.
The Bank of England is worried bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies could suffer long-term fraud potentially hurting the British economy. There also is a higher level of deflation using the currency, as it's not supported by a banking system - and with more than 1 million bitcoin users across the world - businesses are willing to gamble with the digital currency.
Although volatility and additional fees for transactions are likely with bitcoin, the Bank of England is more concerned about the fixed supply of bitcoins for customers.
"The inability of the money supply to vary in response to demand would likely cause greater volatility in prices and real activity," according to the Bank of England. "A significant risk to digital currencies' sustained use (is) that they will not be able to compete on cost without degenerating... to a monopoly miner, thereby... exposing them to risk of system-wide fraud."
Currently shooting in Detroit, the first shots of the updated Batmobile in the upcoming 'Batman V Superman' have inevitably leaked out (with impressive speed) to the net.
Which prompted Director Zack Synder to respond in turn and release the first official, studio approved beauty shot of the vehicle.
As you can see, the updated car looks to be a mix between the more stylish Batmobile from the original 'Batman' series, with the more practical and utilitarian version as seen in Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' trilogy.
'Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice' is released on March 25th 2016.
There's a lot of reward that comes from filming in real locations, including a tangible sense of reality that was undoubtedly missing from the 'Star Wars' prequels, due to all the blue screen digital backlots. But with that reward comes a lot of risk, such as the set being found and leaked to the public.
On a stock photography mission, Matthew Myatt from Airbourne Aviation accidentally found an 'Episode VII' set at the picturesque Greenham Common - a former Royal Air Force station in Berkshire, England. A partially completed Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing can be seen in the shot, which suspiciously looks to be a new rebel base.
'Star Wars: Episode VII' is on track for a December 18 2015 release.
The gaming market is a multi-billion-dollar industry and most of the attention is directed towards game consoles, but PC gaming has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years. A recent study found 37 percent of U.S. residents nine years old and older play PC games for an average of 6.4 hours per week, separated into the following categories: Casual, Light Core, and Heavy Core.
The Casual gamers enjoy non-core games, while Light Core gamers play less than five hours per week, and Heavy Core gamers play five or more hours per week. Digital game downloads have also helped shake up the PC gaming industry, as Steam and similar platforms offer gamers the chance to play demoes, view trailers, and download entire games without a physical disc.
"Consumers' expectations may be the greatest barrier to maximizing spending in the PC gaming space," said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a press statement. "Since half of PC gamers who play digital and/or physical games on the computer are expecting there to always be a sale right around the corner, publishers and retailers alike need to better manage these expectations."
Microsoft has historically had a difficult time trying to sell its game consoles in Japan, where Sony's PlayStation platform has dominated. Not surprisingly, the Xbox One - which trails global sales behind the PlayStation 4 - and has fallen flat during Microsoft's first few days in Japan. Just 23,562 Xbox One units were sold in the first four days, with the Xbox and Xbox 360 both selling better during their launch weekends.
The PS4 sold 308,000 units as the Nintendo Wii U sold 322,000 during the first few days they were available in Japan. Microsoft launched the Xbox One in Japan on September 6 and included a game catalog of 29 different titles, hoping it would be enough to get Japanese consumers interested.
Microsoft hopes a lower price tag and console bundles will help increase sales - as all three companies prepare for what could become an extremely busy Christmas holiday shopping season this year.