Entries Tagged "concealment"
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Friday Squid Blogging: "Invisibility Cloak Materials Made from Reflective Self-Assembling Squid Proteins"
A new study into the biophysical properties of a highly reflective and self-organizing squid protein called reflectin will inform researchers about the process of “bottom-up” synthesis of nanoscale structures and could lead to the development of thin-film coatings for microstructured materials, bringing scientists one step closer to the development of an “invisibility cloak.”
You can’t detect them, because they look normal:
One type is the exact size and shape of a credit card, except that two of the edges are lethally sharp. It’s made of G10 laminate, an ultra-hard material normally employed for circuit boards. You need a diamond file to get an edge on it.
Another configuration is a stabbing weapon which is indistinguishable from a pen. This one is made from melamine fiber, and can sit snugly inside a Bic casing. You would only find out it was not the real thing if you tried to write with it. It’s sharpened with a blade edge at the tip which Defense Review describes as “scary sharp.”
The FBI’s extensive Guide to Concealable Weapons has 89 pages of weapons intended to get through security. These are generally variations of a knifeblade concealed in a pen, comb or a cross—and most of them are pretty obvious on X-ray.
Creative Home Engineering can make secret doors and hidden passageways for your home.
Pull a favorite book from your library shelf and watch a cabinet section recess to reveal a hidden passageway.
Twist a candlestick and your fireplace rotates, granting access to a hidden room.
Who cares about the security properties? I want one.
This is a great example of a movie-plot threat.
A terrorist plot to attack the subways with bomb-laden baby carriages and briefcases—the most specific threat ever made against the city—triggered a massive security crackdown yesterday.
This is not to say that there isn’t a real plot that was uncovered, but the specificity of the threat seems a bit ridiculous.
And if we ban baby carriages from the subways, and the terrorists put their bombs in duffel bags instead, have we really won anything?
EDITED TO ADD: The threat was a hoax.
Here’s a post-Cold War risk that I hadn’t considered before:
Construction workers involved in building a new hotel just across from the Kremlin were surprised to find 250 kg of TNT buried deep beneath the old Moskva Hotel that had just been demolished to make way for a new one. Police astonished Muscovites further when they said that the 12 boxes of explosives lodged in the basement could have been there for half a century.
And now, new evidence points to the possibility that Moscow could be dotted with such explosive caches—planted by the secret police in the early days of World War II.
Two tiny species of tropical octopus have demonstrated a remarkable disappearing trick. They adopt a two-armed “walk” that frees up their remaining six limbs to camouflage them as they slink away from trouble.
I have a fondness for security countermeasures in the natural world. As people, we try to figure out the most effective countermeasure for a given attack. Evolution works differently. A species tries different countermeasures at random, and stops at the first one that just barely works.
(I found this on BoingBoing.)
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.