The iconic image above of a helicopter evacuating American and Vietnamese personnel from Saigon minutes before the city fell into Vietcong control is ingrained in our minds. That helicopter, it should be noted, was not a military helicopter. Well, not technically.
Continue reading Spook-y Airline
What the hell was all that about?
Yes, it has been a hard week here at Atomic Toasters, but let’s put all that behind us now and watch a few cartoons.
Continue reading Vintage Celluloid
Anna Chapman, an actual Russian (not Soviet) honeypot.
Earlier this morning, Techie spoke of the modern “honeypot” systems that are designed to lure in hackers — well, not real hackers, let’s be honest, mostly script-kiddies like Tiger-M@te, the charming fellow who tried to fake hacking our server some time ago. That’s all very […]
Hackers are, really, dumb stuffed bears.
The original honeypot was a sexy Russian woman trained in the art of seduction. Now that the cold war is over, the term is used mainly in computing to talk about hacker traps. A honeypot is, at its core, a computer set up specifically to get hacked. […]
A lineup of A-12s, quite possibly at Groom Lake
The U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was developed and became operational in the mid 1950s, and while it was successful, CIA officials had predicted that the aircraft’s useful lifetime for flights over the USSR would only be around 18 months. In its first flights over Soviet territory, the U-2 was detected and tracked very successfully by their air defense warning system. Efforts were made to make the U-2 less vulnerable, and new advances in radar-absorbent materials were tried and were successful to a degree, but not enough to solve the problem. A number of different analyses determined that supersonic speed made radar detection less likely, and it was decided that an extremely fast, high flying aircraft that also incorporated the best stealth technology available was the approach to take.
Continue reading Making OXCART
You know, it's really hard to avoid using these images…
When we look back on the intelligence battles of the Cold War, it becomes pretty easy to boil the whole thing down to a head-to-head CIA vs. KGB battle. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, those were the […]
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Nevada mountains sold separately.
Last week on Necessary Condescension, we explained the difference between an aileron roll, a barrel roll, and a cinnamon roll. To recap, an aileron roll is what you do when Peppy yells at you to do a barrel roll, a barrel roll is a very cool strafing loop in mid-air, and a cinnamon roll for breakfast explains the man-boobs I have to accompany my beer gut. We also said we would later explain what flight has in common with dribble glasses. What we didn’t say was that we don’t have an engineering degree and may not be qualified to write this article, but you made it this far so you may as well keep going.
Continue reading Startup: Necessary Condescension – Spy Plane Edition
This is the FP-45 Liberator. It’s extremely cheap, only fires one shot, and had an effective range of about 25 feet. A million of them were made in a two month span between June and August 1942 by a General Motors subsidiary. Why would you build such a thing?
Continue reading FP-45 Liberator: A Strategic Gun