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Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State member reportedly in charge of the Cyber Caliphate hacker division, was killed earlier this week by a US drone strike. Hussain served a 6-month sentence after sharing former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's contacts in 2012.
The 21-year-old convicted computer hacker was the No. 3 person on an IS kill list, because he served as an important part of the Islamic State's infrastructure. Hussain also reportedly played an important role in recruiting members for the group, in addition to influencing "lone wolf" attacks.
"If you don't have anybody who is kind of fluent in computer operations, you've got a problem," said Michael Sulmeyer, project director at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. "The ballgame is pretty much the coder or the individual."
There is growing concern that space nations may show increased interest in militarizing space, creating an awkward situation between the United States, Russia, China, and other agencies currently conducting space research.
"If the United States starts developing and launching its battle stations into space, Russia will have to respond in kind - namely with the development of high-performance Electronic Warfare (EW) tools on different types of bases; the use of these tools will be a distinct advantage," said Igor Nasenkov, the Russian Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (RETC) department, according to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
Nasenkov reportedly noted Russia already has plans for EW tools, but is waiting for allocated funds - and a political motivation - to begin developing such weapons.
As China develops new space technologies, including anti-satellite capabilities, it's up to the United States to prepare for a possible space race against China and other rivals, political leaders believe.
"We must treat space for what it is, it is a domain in which we must be prepared to fight and win," said Henry Obering, EVP at Booz Allen Hamilton, in a statement during the Hudson Institute conference. "We should dramatically expand our investment in the battle space [that] is growing into space."
China, which became the third country after the United States and former Soviet Union to send men into space, has dramatically ramped up space technology research. The country developed an anti-satellite interceptor missile capable of hitting targets in low-Earth orbit, and missiles reportedly able to hit high-Earth orbit targets.
Researchers from Germany and Korea are developing a new exoskeleton able to be controlled by the wearer's brain waves.
Using electroencephalogram (EEG) technology, wearers are able to move forward, turn left and right, or sit and stand while looking at a computer screen. The five flickering LEDs operate at different frequencies, which are identified in an EEG readout - once the signal is accurately identified, the exoskeleton is able to operate normally.
"Exoskeletons create lots of electrical 'noise,'" said Klaus Muller, a researcher and author of a paper published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, in a statement published by Phys.org. "The EEG signal gets buried under all this noise - but our system is able to separate not only the EEG signal, but the frequency of the flickering LED within this signal."
The six crew members stationed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) became the first humans to eat space-grown food, after munching on a harvested crop of red romaine lettuce.
Using technology built with partner company Orbital Technologies, the lettuce was grown without soil in an air or mist environment. Growing plants aeroponically, they don't require as much water or fertilizer, grow faster, and tend not to have a high rate of disease.
Prior to eating the lettuce, astronauts used citric acid-based sanitizing wipes to clean their fresh veggies. This is an important glimpse towards the future, as NASA looks for new ways to provide a sustainable food supply that can be created aboard the space station.
Researchers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are researching new ways to get things to stick in space, and have found inspiration from geckos.
Unlike tape, which loses its ability to adhere objects together after several uses, geckos have tiny hairs on the bottom of their feet so they are able to easily cling to objects over and over again. Researchers now hope a new material with thin synthetic hairs is able to make the material stick to desired surfaces - even in space.
The new technology has a great advantage over Velcro, a popular solution used in space, as it doesn't leave residue and there is no mating surface required on intended targets. The new gecko-inspired gripping technology is being tested during microgravity tests, including on a 20-pound cube and 250-pound person.
Don't worry, no asteroids will be slamming into the Earth in September, NASA has confirmed following a recent viral video caused a bit of a stir.
In the video, it was falsely reported that an asteroid would impact around Puerto Rico, with the incident expected to take place from September 15 to September 28 - but there is no immediate threat to Earthlings. The video made it sound like there would be a threat to the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America.
"There is no scientific basis - not one shred of evidence - that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates," said Paul Chodas, manager of the Near-Earth Object office for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Will robots steal our jobs? There seems to be mounting fear that the human labor force will face pressure from robotic automation, though a new report from Deloitte indicates job creation among the creative, care, tech and business service sectors make up for jobs lost in agriculture and manufacturing.
"It's been very easy to identify where jobs have been destroyed," said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, in a statement to CNBC. "Job losses generally are very conspicuous, whether it's a middle manager replaced by software, or checkout staff displaced by auto terminals, whereas job gains [are] harder to identify."
Machines help drive down production costs, and consumers are more willing to spend on new consumer goods and services. Researchers point to increasing sales for things like short holidays, morning cups of coffee at a local café, and other luxuries consumers may not be able to splurge on.
Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industry accepted a giant robot battle challenge from MegaBots, and now the team wants a bit of your help. The US robot will need some significant upgrades to make it suitable for hand-to-hand robot combat, which is a condition the Japanese company requested.
The US team created a Kickstarter campaign, raising more than $200,000 of an expected $500,000 goal - supported by 2,900 backers with 29 days remaining. The Mk. II needs heavy duty armor plating, additional firepower, updated hydraulics, and better motor to reach a higher maximum speed.
In addition to public support, the company has received backing from NASA, which is sharing some of its technology with a specific purpose:
IDF 2015 - As we were walking through the halls of the Intel Developer Forum, we thought that Skynet had been born and that Intel was its creator.
The chipmaker had some awesome robotic spiders crawling around, with one looking like the spider mothership, while its smaller creations of sheer horror are under its command. Something to break up the pace of the super serious topics of IDF 2015.