Here's another one of those passage-of-time moments that may make elder geeks groan: Thirty-three years after Missile Command blew up the arcade scene, gamers can now play a pint-size version within YouTube.
To play the game, all you need to do is direct your Web browser to any video on YouTube, make sure you aren't in a text field (for instance, search), and type in 1980. Within a second, your video slides down and a basic version of Missile Command appears on top of the video. To get you in the mood, "Defend this video from attack\For great justice!" amusingly appears before you start the game. … Read more
The very name of Air Missile Commander calls to mind classic '70s and '80s arcade games like Missile Command. The comparison is apt, as this game takes many of its gameplay elements from the basic "destroy before you are destroyed" style of play that was popular in that era. It has a few flourishes, however, and despite a relatively simplistic interface and graphics, Air Missile Commander becomes a fairly fun game as you progress in levels.
The idea of Air Missile Commander is simple. You are given 100 missiles and must direct them at the tanks on screen. … Read more
Raytheon, one of the world's largest military contractors, opened the doors today to its newest missile factory, a state-of-the-art facility that will produce weapons for the United States and its allies.
According to Raytheon, the Huntsville, Ala. plant, located at the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal, will produce Standard Missile-3 and Standard Missile-6 interceptors. The first SM-6s should be delivered in early 2013, while the SM-3s should be ready a quarter later.
The facility is said to be among the most advanced missile production plants in the world, utilizing laser-guided transport vehicles for moving missile components around.
Spoiler alert: The Cuban Missile Crisis ended without the United States and the Soviet Union launching even a single nuclear weapon, and the Allies won World War II.
You're no doubt well aware of those ultimate outcomes, but what if you don't remember, or never knew, the myriad individual moments, big and small, that led to those famous conclusions? There are plenty of thick history books you could pick up, but maybe you're someone who wants a more dramatic sense of what happened -- even, perhaps, to feel like you're right in the thick of the drama.
To be sure, there's no time machine that can take you back to London during The Blitz, or to the White House Situation Room as JFK stood firm against belligerent military leaders wanting to engage the Soviets over surreptitiously putting nukes in Cuba. But these days, in little 140-character snippets, many of those moments are being played out for the whole world to see. And if you close your eyes, you can almost imagine you're there. … Read more
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE -- I recently watched footage of the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Trinity Site in 1945. A black and white mushroom cloud built up in slow motion. Chills and prickles crawled up my spine.
Visiting Trinity Site One week later, I visit ground zero, where a device called "The Gadget" was strapped into a 100-foot-tall steel tower and set off. Two more nuclear explosions took place over Japan after that successful test, harbingers of the end of World War II.
This all happened a long time before I was born, but I feel a strange sadness as I stand here on a hazy spring day in the middle of the Jornada del Muerto, a desert basin full of scrub and pronghorn antelope. That name translates to "day's journey of the dead." … Read more
TowerMadness has been around for a while now, but the unique challenge and several updates over time make it a must-have for tower defense fans. Featuring 3D graphics that look great on the Retina Display, TowerMadness challenges you to defend a flock of sheep from an onslaught of attacking aliens. You can view the action from above or use a reverse-pinch gesture to zoom in on the action. You'll play on 49 included maps, but you can purchase 28 expansion maps from within the game. A recent update added five more maps, and two new weapon upgrades to add … Read more
MetalStorm: Online is a free--and impressively executed--multiplayer flight sim, but with a potentially frustrating in-game economy and erratically balanced matchmaking.
The interface and basic gameplay of MetalStorm are a joy: with smart use of your accelerometer and a few thumb controls on your "HUD" (arrows for brake and afterburner, buttons for guns and missiles), MetalStorm immerses you effectively in a jet cockpit for a tense dogfight experience, with cinematic music and great-looking terrain to complete the effect. You fly a modern jet equipped with an upgradeable cannon and missiles, and you can duke it out with increasing numbers … Read more
Michael Caine would probably forgive you if you couldn't tell the difference between the video game version of his "Cars 2" character, Finn McMissile, and the sleek, sauve master spy car he plays in the forthcoming Pixar film.
On June 24, Pixar will release the sequel to its 2006 hit "Cars." This time, however, rather than following the story of a hot rod lost in a small town, the film is a James Bond-esque spy thriller complete with endless action sequences in stunning locales the world over.
But first, Avalanche Software is putting out Cars 2: The Video Game, and is hoping that those who both see the movie and play the game (available on all major gaming consoles and on the PC) will not sense any loss of story line.
Indeed, according to Jon Warner, a senior producer at Avalanche--which is part of Disney Interactive Studios, and therefore related to Pixar, which is owned by Disney--the game is a clear extension of the movie.
"We worked with Pixar to make the game an authentic addition to the film universe," Warner said. "When you come home from the theater and play the game, you'll feel like you've stepped back into that familiar world." … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--If you've ever taken Lincoln Boulevard through the Presidio here, you almost certainly didn't know that you passed within feet of one of the best-preserved World War II-era anti-aircraft machine gun nests in the country.
In fact, all around the Presidio are dozens of these original trenches and fox holes, most of which are completely grown over with weeds and other vegetation, but many of which still have the pillars on which Army crews once mounted their .50 caliber guns in preparation for an aerial or sea-based attack that, thankfully, never came.