London, Dec 31: New Scientist has outlined a list of its most read articles on weapons technology in the year 2008. So, the top 10 articles on weapons technology in 2008 are:
Airborne Laser lets rip on first target: Laser dogfights in the sky may not be such a long way off, after a megawatt laser weapon was fired from an aircraft for the first time. The plan is to target "rogue" missiles, but it could also be used against other planes or targets on the ground.
US boasts of laser weapon's 'plausible deniability': The US military is developing a "long-range blowtorch" that could allow it to incinerate targets silently, invisibly, and without leaving any trace - allowing its users to deny involvement.
Pentagon wants laser attack warnings for satellites: Are spy satellites being "blinded" by ground-based lasers? No one knows for sure, but the Pentagon wants to develop sensors that could detect such attacks.
US considers nuclear-powered assault ships: The Bush administration is pressing ahead with a plan - to make assault ships nuclear so they will not have to pull into hostile ports for fuel. But, putting nuclear reactors into craft that will be in the line of fire is crazy, say critics.
Anti-landmine campaigners turn sights on war robots: Should robots be allowed to make their own decisions about killing people? No, says a major pressure group, which thinks that autonomous offensive weapons should be banned under treaties like those against landmines and cluster weapons.
Packs of robots will hunt down uncooperative humans: Another item on the Pentagon's wish list is a "multi-robot pursuit system" that will let packs of robots search for and detect a non-cooperative human.
'Pre-crime' detector shows promise: Technology developed to monitor soldiers' vital signs on the battlefield is being reworked to detect people who might be harbouring hostile thoughts. But, will it really help to prevent terrorist attacks, or is it just "security theatre" that invades travellers' privacy?
Planned cluster bomb hunts targets down: A smart weapon being developed by the US would feature bomblets that could pursue targets for kilometers.
Flickering light could replace rubber bullets: US security forces are backing the development of a new breed of non-lethal weapon that will knock you flat with flickering light.
Fifty years of DARPA: Hits, misses and ones to watch: It pioneered the Internet and driverless cars, but DARPA's spectacular successes have been matched by some equally spectacular failures during the course of its 50-year history.