Morocco test fires man-rocket

It's the classic publicity lie that surrounds the launch of every video game console - "This console is SO POWERFUL it could be used by the military to destroy the WORLD". Saddam Hussein was supposedly building a missile shield powered by PlayStation 2s, although it later turned out he only had a battered old Dreamcast.

Anyway, The Register claims the US Air Force has been making the consoles-as-supercomputers fantasy real for some time, ordering 2,200 PS3s to plug into its existing Linux network of 336 interconnected consoles.

Fans of sensationalist gaming headlines will be saddened to learn the linked-up PlayStation 3s aren't used for anything bad like planning killing or torture, simply powering a network of software architecture development tools.

PS3 supercomputer

PILE UP: Bagsie not the person given the job of charging all the controllers

The USAF is using PS3s for two reasons. An equivalently powered supercomputer is estimated to cost 13 times more than the PS3 team-up, plus all those consoles will come in handy for Modern Warfare 2 at lunch time.


You know where we would rather be right now instead of here doing this? IREX - the International Robot Exhibition that's taking place in (where else?) Tokyo, where all the world's most powerful robots are meeting to discuss how to deal with the annoying human infestation that blights the planet.


MUST DESTROY: Must destroy our hopes of ever seeing a good robot [Image credit: CG Lab]

As well as that, numerous companies are displaying their finest inventions, ranging from incredibly powerful robots capable of building things out of LEGO to amazingly powerful robots capable of... vacuuming the floor.

The safe-for-work Pink Tentacle blog has a vast collection of photos, with our favourite being Robockle - a "collision avoidance" robot that manages not to bump into things. Surely it would've been easy to avoid it bumping into things by simply not making it in the first place?

Man-rocket fired at Spain

A Swiss adventurer who calls himself "JetMan" has failed to fly from Morocco to Spain via a rocket attached to his back, ditching his winged craft into the sea.


RUSTY ROCKETS: Try an elastic band propeller next time [Image credit: via the maker]

JetMan's demise unsurprisingly unfolded via Twitter, with his support team posting the rather chilling message "He may be in the sea. We have search and rescue team in place" after he disappeared from live TV coverage.

Obviously he didn't die. We'd never leave you on such a sad note. Blaming cloud cover, JetMan said his wing was "unstable" and that he'd purposefully ditched it in order to parachute down to safety. It's a bit of a setback, but not a total embarrassment - JetMan successfully jetted across the English Channel last year.

Texts made public

Information warrior site Wikileaks is making an astonishing move in releasing more than half a million personal pager messages (what Americans had instead of SMS texts back then) covering the dodgy 24 hour period more commonly known as 9/11.

The massive archive is now online, if you fancy a little heavy reading about tragedy interspersed with some sexy booty texts sent by those unaware that (a) something bad was happening and that (b) their words would end up on the internet in the future.

American texts

SEXY TEXT: "Then I'm going to take off my..."

So during the next national emergency, try to keep your text messages serious and work related. You don't want to be caught making inappropriate jokes in the immediate aftermath. They are listening.