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Patrick Tucker

Technology Editor 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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The Navy’s New Binoculars Can Identify You From 700 Feet Away

May 15, 2015 It can be difficult to spot a face in the crowd, especially when the face belongs to someone who wants to kill you. That’s why the Navy is working to develop a wireless 3-D binocular face-recognition system. At the Defense Department’s inaugural Lab Day, held in the Pentagon’s courtyard, Defense...

China May Be Selling Armed Drones to Jordan

May 15, 2015 Jordan, one of America’s partners in the fight against the Islamic State, is reaching out to China to acquire armed drones — at least according to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. “I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent...

What the End of Bulk Metadata Collection Would Mean for Intelligence Collection

May 13, 2015 This story has been updated to reflect late-breaking developments. The future of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program is in serious doubt, which raises the questions: how useful is it to the intelligence community, and what will they do if it goes away? Less than two years after the first...

Here’s What the New Tesla Battery Means for the Military

May 10, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last week, Silicon Valley superstar Elon Musk announced the release of the Tesla Powerwall home battery to the rapturous delight of tech journalists and Musk-o-philes everywhere. On offer: a 7-kilowatt energy storage device for $3,000 and a 10-kilowatt unit for $3,500. Now industry watchers are debating whether the Powerwall, which...

The Air Force Wants You To Build Its Next Drone Engine

May 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Love aerial robots with Hellfire missiles? Here’s your chance to express that devotion. The Air Force on Tuesday announced a $2 million prize for the U.S. citizen who can design the best new engine. It’s the largest prize ever from a military service, according to Air Force Lt. Col. Aaron...

The 9 Strangest Flying Robots from the World’s Biggest Drone Show

May 8, 2015 In the past year, drones have crashed onto the White House lawn, hauled radioactive cesium to the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s Tokyo office, and swooped above battlefields in Iraq and Ukraine . The future of drone design is an area with huge importance for companies and for the...

Is the Poor Man’s Predator the Future of Armed Drones?

May 7, 2015 ATLANTA — The future of armed drones isn’t necessarily bigger, more expensive and more sophisticated, even if that’s where companies like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin seem to be headed. Take the Shadow 200, a UAV with a 12-foot wingspan. In a private test, the Shadow 200, and the slightly...

The War Startup

May 6, 2015 A t the Donetsk Airport in January, a handful of Ukrainian military men had been fighting off the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic, or DPR, for months. Much of the airport structure had been obliterated. The once-smooth runway was a lunar landscape of debris, craters and blast marks. A small eight-rotor...

The Air Force Wants You To Build Their Next Drone Engine

May 5, 2015 ATLANTA — Love aerial robots with Hellfire missiles? Here’s your chance to express that devotion. The Air Force on Tuesday announced a $2 million prize for the U.S. citizen who can design the best new engine. It’s the largest prize ever from a military service, according to Air Force Lt....

Here’s What the New Tesla Battery Means for the Military

May 5, 2015 Last week, Silicon Valley superstar Elon Musk announced the release of the Tesla Powerwall home battery to the rapturous delight of tech journalists and Musk-o-philes everywhere. On offer: a 7-kilowatt energy storage device for $3,000 and a 10-kilowatt unit for $3,500. Now industry watchers are debating whether the Powerwall, which...