When I first joined the Fool, I noticed one thing right away -- Motley Fool writers read The Wall Street Journal daily. And they regularly write about stories reported in WSJ.

And so I realized that, in subscribing to The Motley Fool's discussion boards for $30 a year, in addition to all the other benefits of belonging to this wonder-Fool community, I was also getting the equivalent of a $150 subscription to a WSJ digest service. Dozens of Fool writer/analysts were digesting the Journal's most important news and putting it into context for me -- for free.

I thought that was a great deal then, and now that I'm doing a bit of writing myself, I'm continuing the tradition. Last week, WSJ reported on two little-noticed stories from the worlds of technology and defense -- stories that investors might want to keep an eye on.

First up is "millimeter-wave technology" (MW). In essence, this is a novel, noninvasive means of detecting concealed weapons. While analogous to taking an X-ray of a person to identify hidden metal objects, MW operates a bit differently. Rather than zap a subject with active radiation, MW passively monitors waves that are naturally emitted from physical objects and looks for "holes" -- places where waves are not being emitted. The absence of waves suggests the presence of the metal objects that don't emit them. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) has done some work in this area and is licensing its technology to a Florida firm, BrijotImaging Systems, which is already producing weapons-detecting systems with the technology. Britain's QinetiQ also has a working prototype. The technology has obvious Homeland Security uses in securing aircraft and buildings against armed intruders.

Next up is Raytheon (NYSE:RTN). This defense contractor is taking a page from the movies -- specifically, the Tom Cruise flick Minority Report, in which futuristic cops sort information, projected as holograms, by gesturing with their hands. The Defense Department thinks it can improve war-fighting by freeing its commanders from the need to sort information by keyboard and mouse, and Raytheon is working on the technology required to create a "gestural interface" that will allow it to happen. Meanwhile, computer maker Silicon Graphics (NYSE:SGI) is developing computers capable of understanding hand gestures in lieu of the more traditional data-input devices.

Although neither technology looks fully ready for prime time, they both do bear watching, as do the potential rule-breaking companies that may begin to commercialize them.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article.