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Patrick Tucker

Patrick Tucker is technology editor for Defense One. He’s also the author of The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (Current, 2014). Previously, Tucker was deputy editor for The Futurist for nine years. Tucker has written about emerging technology in Slate, The Sun, MIT Technology Review, Wilson Quarterly, The American Legion Magazine, BBC News Magazine, Utne Reader, and elsewhere.
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Inside the Military’s New Office for Cyborgs

April 1, 2014 The ability to link human brains to machines, create new life forms and build Star Trek-style disease detectors will be the focus of a new Defense Department office soon. The new office, named the Biological Technology Office, or BTO, will serve as a clearinghouse for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,...

How the NSA Can Use Metadata to Predict Your Personality

March 28, 2014 The president and congressional leaders want to end NSA bulk metadata collection, but not the use of metadata, which may even be expanded. From a technical perspective, the question of what your metadata can reveal about you, or potential enemies, remains as important as it was since the Edward Snowden...

Big Data, Synthetic Biology and Space Planes Are the Weapons of the Future

March 26, 2014 What are the military’s cutting-edge capabilities of the next decade? According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, it’s big data, synthetic biology and space planes. “We can see the information revolution unfolding across operations,” DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar told the House Armed Services Committee at a hearing on the...

3 Things That Have to Happen Before Robot Soldiers Hit the Battlefield

March 25, 2014 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge, which is trying to build a walking, climbing, humanoid robot for “disaster relief” operations, has inspired excitement, speculation and anxiety about Terminator-style robots on the future battlefield. The team currently leading the race is a Tokyo-based group called SCHAFT that was acquired...

Drone Warfare Is Why We Can't Find Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

March 20, 2014 The long and frustrating hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 might be a sign of what’s to come, thanks to our growing obsession with drone imagery at the expense of the quaint technology of satellite radar data. While today’s high-resolution image satellites can take very detailed pictures of relatively...

How the Military’s Bomb-Detecting Lasers Will Protect You From the Flu

March 20, 2014 Today, in many cases, a chemical or dirty bomb attack is a more likely threat to American soldiers than conventional bombs dropped from planes. For that reason, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, or DARPA, is sponsoring a program to build small and powerful ultraviolet, or UV, lasers that could...

How the U.S. Outsmarted Everyone by Giving Up the Internet

March 17, 2014 The U.S. may have kept China and Russia from gaining influence over the Internet by announcing a plan to keep less control for itself. On Friday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, quietly announced that it is giving up remaining U.S. control of the Internet’s domain naming system...

Weekend Cyberattacks Target NATO, U.S. Military Commands

March 17, 2014 From the Middle East to Ukraine, it was a great weekend for anti-Western hacktivists looking to score cheap shots. Both NATO and U.S. Central Command fell victim to separate cyberattack attempts on the eve of the Crimea referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The Syrian Electronic Army, or...

Navy Submarine Drones Will Predict the Weather Months In Advance

March 14, 2014 In the next decade, Navy scientists will be able to predict the weather as far as 90 days into the future with the help of mathematical models, satellites, and submarine drones. The mathematical models are the most important element in the ocean and weather prediction cocktail. But making those models...

NSA Just Needs Better Public Relations, Says Incoming NSA Chief Rogers

March 13, 2014 President Obama’s pick to take over the National Security Agency, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, told Congress that he has no serious reform agenda for the agency except for in one area: public relations. The NSA’s main problem, Rogers said in his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, is not the controversial...