Welcome to CNET Top 5, where each time we meet, we count down another hot
CNET list. I'm Tom Merritt.
The military can be a controversial topic for some, but consider this. They invented
the Internet. In fact, the Defense Advanced Research Project Association, or DARPA,
specifically invented the Internet.
So what are those geniuses up to these days?
Let's count down the Top 5 military research projects from DARPA.
At No. 5, a PAL or Personalized Assistant that Learns. This is a computer system that
acts as an executive assistant to military commanders. My guess is they'll eventually
implant it in a friendly robot body. Just guessing.
Coming in at No. 4, GALE or Global Autonomous Language Exploitation, an example
of real-time accurate language translation. That's right, a universal translator. And
DARPA thinks it'll be good enough to challenge human translators by 2011.
Up to No. 3, PerceptOR. The Perception for Off-road robotics project for Unamanned
Ground Combat Vehicles. If you didn't quite catch that, it means killer robot soldiers.
By 2015, Congress requires that one-third of U.S. ground combat vehicles be
unmanned. PerceptOR meet Skynet.
Oh, speaking of Skynet, sliding in at No. 2, ORCA. The Optical RF Communications
Adjunct. A high-data-rate backbone network operated from airborne "assets" at
25,000 feet. Yes it's a network. In the sky.
Before we get to No. 1, it's time for another lame prize!
Be one of the first 10 people to answer the following question at our Top 5 post at
blog.cnettv.com and you could win.
The Deluxe! Han Solo with smuggler flight pack featuring battle-pivoting blaster
cannons and cargo claw.
Now that's a military research project.
The question is, what was the original name of the Internet.
All right. Let's get to our No. 1.
The top military research project is:
HELLADS. The High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System. It's merely a 150
kilowatt laser used to shoot down rockets from the sky. The prototype was dubbed
the HEL weapon. It can be either ground-based or integrated in planes. And we're
not even making this up. I think it's obvious why a liquid laser rocket destroyer
would be No. 1. Don't you?
Well That's it for this edition of CNET Top 5.
Don't forget to tell us the original name of the Internet at blog.cnettv.com for a
chance to win the Han Solo robot kill us all thing.
I'm Tom Merritt. See you next time.