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Presidential Inauguration Hardware and Other Challenges

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the big-spend-for-one-off dept.

Communications 176

holy_calamity writes "The FBI has released images of some of the kit that will be deployed to safeguard Obama's inauguration, including mine-proof armored trucks like those used in Iraq to protect against IEDs, and a large armored chamber that any bombs will be shoved inside to be transported away and perhaps detonated inside. Interesting, even though the really good stuff is presumably being kept under wraps." Relatedly, necro81 writes "The Inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow is expected to put considerable stress on the cellphone network around Washington, DC. The expected crowd could top two million people, and many of them are expected to call, text, tweet, photo, and blog their way through the event. In response, the major wireless carriers in the area have spent millions of dollars upgrading their local networks and will bring in extra 'cells on wheels' (COWs) and 'cells on light trucks' (COLTs). They are also requesting that attendees limit their usage during the event, and avoid bandwidth-heavy activities — like uploading photos — until afterward."

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176 comments

Yeah (5, Insightful)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521165)

Good luck with asking people not to upload photos during the event.

Re:Yeah (5, Interesting)

Authoritative Douche (1255948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521489)

Oops. CNN is advertising an address to upload all your photos taken throughout the day so they can stitch them together to make 360-deg VR photos available as close to real time as they can (several minute delay).

Re:Yeah (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521869)

Does serving torrents off my phone count?

Re:Yeah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521911)

Cell providers are doing something naughty here. They sell their customers service that allows them to send picture messages. Then they cannot satisfy the demand for the services they already sold, so they ask us nicely to keep spending money on inferior text messages. Remember text messages are already a ripoff [slashdot.org], and have zero network overhead, as we already discussed.

Shouldn't they at least offer affected customers free text messaging to align incentives with avoiding network congestion? Or find some way to reward (read: not continue to rip off) people who avoid sending the picture messages that CNN has requested?

Re:Yeah (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522927)

Perhaps I'm showing my age, but I don't understand the appeal of texting. First off, emailing is free so there's no point paying for a text. And second, I'd rather HEAR the person I'm communicating with. The cost is only 18 cents a minute, and you can communicate far more information with that 18 cents of talking than with a 5 cent text.

Another disconnect is the fuss about downtime.

So what? When I was growing-up, we didn't just lose our cellphones; we lost our electricity! A blizzard comes through; goodbye electricity. A tropical storm tears down the line; goodbye electricity. One time the lightning followed the line from the street, into the barn, killed one of the horses, and then turned half our electric fence into ash. ----- So based upon those experiences, not being able to sending a photo wirelessly seems incredibly trivial. At least you don't need to fear freezing to death or having barbecued horse to clean up.

Re:Yeah (1)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523101)

Perhaps I'm showing my age, but I don't understand the appeal of texting. First off, emailing is free so there's no point paying for a text. And second, I'd rather HEAR the person I'm communicating with.

It's my understanding that much of the texting kids do today is to friends that are near enough that just talking without any electronics involved would work. This according to a co-worker who who has 3 girls in HS and 2 in college.

And to think my parents didn't understand why I would use a walkie-talkie to talk to my friend two houses down when I was a kid;-)

Re:Yeah (4, Interesting)

the_weasel (323320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523367)

I send you a text, you respond when you have time. I call you, you have to choose between ignoring me and taking my call. Texting is asynchronous, where a conversation is synchronous. Granted, I can communicate more information in a short amount of time with a phone conversation, but if my issue is non-critical then texting is often more effective.

I am talking about texting from a business prospective here. I often text sales staff on the road, who may well be in a meeting, or contractors on a noisy job site. A director in a meeting with an artist. In all these cases texting not only gets them the information they need without them having o interrupt some other task, it also avoids the need for them to grab a pen or some other device - I just include the information. No lost or misunderstood numbers or names.

Now social texting does confuse me. "OMG! I am at the inaugaration". Why???

Re:Yeah (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523423)

It has it's appeal in fact that A. Phone calls are an interrupt. While I can let it roll to voicemail, I then have call my voicemail and retrieve my messages. B. You can send text messages in places where calling someone is considered rude. C. not all phones have Email support while almost all cell phones do. D. For short stuff, text messages are quicker. I can send a quick text to girlfriend "Where Dinner Tonight?" and she can respond with "restaruant A,B,C,D" and I can go "B". It takes about 1 minute to type out and we can respond to each other when we have time at work.

As far as downtime, It's just like telephone networks or internet, they sell based on the fact not everyone is going to be using their systems 100% of the time. If cell phone companies charged for their system to be able to handle 100%, basic plans would cost 350 dollars and unlimited would be 1000 or so. The real concern is all the cops there will be using Cell phones and they will need to communicate using them and if something happens, they won't be able to communicate.

Re:Yeah (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523455)

Email is free, email on your phone isn't. With Verizon, I think they charge something near 15$ a month for unlimited free texts, but 20 or more for 'internet' service to check email with. And, with free texts, my phone can be texted from an email address, so people can email me and I can text back to their email.

To top it off, free texts comes with free IMs. Which, when you think about it, is closer to what text messages are than email.

Re:Yeah (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523461)

The appeal is that it a quick way to communicate quickly without all the obligatory social filler that normally comes with a phone call. Also it is more courteous than a phone call because a text message is not as disruptive. The receiver can read and respond to the message at their convenience.

Huge waste of money (-1, Flamebait)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521199)

One would think that a new leader in today's economy, especially one who promotes "change", would have a dozen people together and maybe the press and swear in. Instead this "politics as usual" phony spends millions of dollars with his coronation ceremony.

Yea, we see your change comming!

Re:Huge waste of money (2, Insightful)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521265)

He is not actually in charge until after the ceremony. I don't think he has as much say in this as you imply he does, not that I see him complaining.

Re:Huge waste of money (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521297)

"Coronation ceremony" covers it. I am sick to death of the fucking "Rock Star" routine, especially since everyone seems to be sucking it up. All the guy has done since his state house days is run for president. Every time a controversial vote came up, he passed unless he had a carefully-polled stance already prepared. His entire campaign was based on taking the most popular position on everything.

It will be interesting to see what he does when he actually has to make an unpopular decision.

Re:Huge waste of money (-1, Flamebait)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521419)

He is either going to not much of anything and be praised for greatness, or, he will be a total embarrassment to the country (much the same as that traitor Mr. Bill) and be praised for greatness.

Re:Huge waste of money (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521583)

So Bill Clinton was a traitor, but not the guys who outed a CIA agent? I hate to point it out but your bias is showing. How embarrassing.

Re:Huge waste of money (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522093)

"So Bill Clinton was a traitor, but not the guys who outed a CIA agent? I hate to point it out but your bias is showing. How embarrassing."

You mean Richard Armitage? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Armitage_(politician)#Role_in_Plame_affair [wikipedia.org]

I especially like this part:

...Patrick Fitzgerald began his grand jury investigation three months later knowing Armitage was a leaker (as did Attorney General John Ashcroft before turning over the investigation).

On March 6, 2007 a jury convicted Libby of "obstruction of justice, giving false statements to the FBI and perjuring himself, charges embodied in four of the five counts of the indictment"

So, the guy who actually committed the crime was given a total pass, but they convicted Libby for "obstructing" a bogus investigation?

I won't excuse all or even most of the things the administration did, but the Plame affair isn't a very sturdy stick to beat them with.

Re:Huge waste of money (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522793)

Ok, so beat him with the lying America into war stick, or the disregarding his sole sworn duty to protect the Constitution stick.

Re:Huge waste of money (5, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521775)

Clinton got a blow job from someone who wasn't his wife, and he is a traitor, yet Bush lied to the american public about every reason for invading Iraq and he isn't?

Al queda hated saddam as much as we did, and didn't move into Iraq until after we did.

Re:Huge waste of money (0, Flamebait)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522043)

You don't follow politics much do you? Clinton got impeached for perjury, not for diddling the unattractive intern.

Bush made a judgment call about what the intelligence information meant.

Re:Huge waste of money (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522319)

Technically it wasn't perjury by a LOOOONNNNG stretching of the rules. And, anyways, what did you expect : Mr. President, did you diddle the chubby intern?

"Uhhh.....no?"

Re:Huge waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26522409)

Don't waste your time. Your statements are unpopular, and as such, you won't be heard. A shame, but true.

Re:Huge waste of money (5, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522965)

Setting aside the obvious fact that the investigation was a multi-million dollar partisan witch-hunt, Clinton was in the end found to be not guilty.

Re:Huge waste of money (4, Interesting)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523225)

You know that being impeached is not the same as being found guilty, right? You do realise Clinton was acquitted, right? It's like comparing two people who the public believe did something wrong: one has been ordered to stand trial, and acquitted; the other has not even been ordered to stand trial.

Re:Huge waste of money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26522367)

You and the rest of the 28 percenters are the true traitors. Voting for and enabling a man who has wiped his ass with the Constitution and turned the U.S. into a police state, not to mention dragging us into an illegal war that has cost us trillions of dollars while making Haliburton et al rich. Fuck you.

I will enjoy listening to the 28 percenters' tears and frustrations over the next 8 years, you ignorant fucking toddlers. Hopefully the Democrats will use that warrantless wiretapping to out a few more closeted gay Republicans and to sabotage a few political campaigns, and further cement their majority in Congress. Oh, I guess you're against warrantless wiretapping now, aren't you? ;)

Now run away, child, don't want the boogie man to make you soil your pants again, coward.

Re:Huge waste of money (2, Informative)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521495)

Every time a controversial vote came up, he passed unless he had a carefully-polled stance already prepared. His entire campaign was based on taking the most popular position on everything.

Not true. He voted to give the telecoms retroactive immunity which everyone was against. He voted for and was a major cheerleader for the banker bailout bill. Both bills were extremely unpopular.

He has also mentioned "sacrifice" and national service over and over again, which I doubt is very popular. Biden and Obama have both said their policies are not going to be popular but we should just trust them! I seem to remember the last administration saying the same thing. Except now if you don't like their policies you'll be both unpatriotic and racist.

It always seemed like people refused to look at what Obama says rationally because they are so blindsided by hatred for Bush and the repitition of "change" and "hope."

Re:Huge waste of money (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521665)

I wish there was some sacrifice. All I see is two trillion in bailout/stimulus pork.

Re:Huge waste of money (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521953)

I wish there was some sacrifice. All I see is two trillion in bailout/stimulus pork.

No, see, the average person is the one expected to make a sacrifice so that the higher-ups can continue to afford their expensive lifestyles.

Re:Huge waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26523695)

He voted to give the telecoms immunity because they're so far in bed with the government nobody could risk discovery - it was a done deal and he voted for appearances. Bank bailout was impossible to vote against - collapse of the entire economy was at stake. He did made some noises so he could claim he was really against it if it all went to hell.

He's a coward at heart; during the primaries he was for an immediate pullout from Iraq, now he's following Bush's schedule for withdrawing the troops because that schedule actually makes sense. The list goes on and on. The man has no spine and no clue other than what the opinion surveys tell him.

Re:Huge waste of money (1, Troll)

fotbr (855184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521309)

Do you think the media would allow anything less from the one they've appointed to be the next messiah?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Or in this case, meet the new puppet, same as the old puppet.

Re:Huge waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521329)

Maybe he wants to have the government spend money to stimulate the economy. Only part of the funding is public, much is private too.

Re:Huge waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521347)

He doesn't dictate his "coronation ceremony". A lot of the money is for security purposes. Millions of people are expected to be present for it and there are a lot of fears that someone will try to kill him, which is why he got Secret Service protection incredibly early during Primary season.

Right wing garbage (3, Informative)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521397)

Oh please, this cost myth is just your average right wind Drudge myth garbage. Check this article [mediamatters.org] out. They are claiming the Obama inauguration will be 160 million. Well the 2005 Bush inauguration was 157 million. Not much difference folks.

Left wing garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521709)

Oh please, that link is just your average left wing Soros funded myth garbage.

Re:Right wing garbage (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521729)

Just your typical media matters drivel. Sure, they CLAIM. Drudge claims. Rush, Savage, Beck, huffington, air america, they all claim something.

Re:Right wing garbage (2, Informative)

Slur (61510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521811)

Regardless of your political leanings, when it comes to debunking media distortions Media Matters rules! [mediamatters.org]

Re:Right wing garbage (2, Insightful)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523537)

Regardless of your political leanings, when it comes to debunking media distortions Media Matters rules!

Regardless of your political leanings? They say in their 'About Us' page that they're only interested in misinformation that forwards the conservative agenda. That's a shame. Why not correct misinformation from all sides?

Re:Right wing garbage (2, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522101)

If the article is wrong perhaps you could be kind enough to point out the logical or factual errors?

Of course everyone claims something, but not all claims are equal. Some are backed up by facts while others are pure fabrications.

Re:Right wing garbage (4, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522951)

GPP's use of the word "they" was a little unclear. The point is that Drudge, Limbaugh, et al. are claiming that Obama's inauguration will be much more expensive than Bush's, while Media Matters (and numerous other sources) are setting the record straight. The right-wing noise machine is saying that Obama's inauguration is costing ~$160 million (true) while Bush's only cost ~$40 million (false.) They get the difference in the figures, IIRC, by leaving out the cost of security for Bush but including it for Obama. The fact is that Obama's inauguration is barely more expensive than Bush's in absolute dollars, and factoring in inflation over the last eight years, it's probably cheaper.

Re:Right wing garbage (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522361)

I agree not much difference, but the left complained loudly about spending too much on Bush inauguration. I figure in 8 years the left will complain loudly once more. Tim S

Re:Huge waste of money (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521593)

One would think that a new leader in today's economy, especially one who promotes "change", would have a dozen people together and maybe the press and swear in. Instead this "politics as usual" phony spends millions of dollars with his coronation ceremony.

If you want the kind of change Obama has promised, the best way for him to make it happen is to keep the public engaged, keep them thinking about presidents and politics and policy... instead of "American Idol" and "Ow! My Balls!"

A big inauguration ceremony will keep the public and the world in tune and talking about it. Your suggestion, on the other hand would engage the public less than "Home Improvement" reruns.

Re:Huge waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26522197)

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but doesn't spending money stimulate the economy? Beyond just the government spending in the area at the time, I'm sure the influx of millions of tourists will certainly help the local economy.

Re:Huge waste of money (0)

Leonard Fedorov (1139357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522597)

It does in the short term, but printing money in this manner is a very slipperly slope to deep government debt and inflation.

AMEN! Obama's coronation song: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26522455)

Coronation is spot on. You'd think he was Jesus or something the way people act.

Obama has been working hard on his official karaoke coronation song:

Stanky Legg, by the G-Spot Boyz

Chorus

Bitch im wild!
Do the stanky leg (3x)
when I hit the dance floor.
I be-
Do the stanky leg (3x)
Bitch Im wild up! (repeat from begining)

Verse 1:

When I hit the dance floor, you know Im doin the stanky leg. (do it!)
Sauce on my ring (ay) then I rub it 'cross your head.
You an h boom cool chick you can do it too.
Jack your feet up in the air and check your Myspace too.
Now you can lean wit it,
now you can drop wit it.
You can switch to the other leg and you can stop wit it.
Now get it, get it (4x)
Now hit the booty do, hit the booty do (2x)
Now you can get wit it, you can get wit it. (2x)

-Chorus-

Verse 2:

Now I cant focus watch me do like my bro (like my bro)
Stick your leg out, dougie fresh, and drop it low.
(bitch in the backround) Look i can can do the stanky leg!
Then go on let me see it.
Ro- roast up your weight and get slide next to me.(ay!)
Ay you better bang yourself cause I can tell that your hot.
I hope you wind it up, lean back and show your socks.
Dip. Dip. Then i want you to stop.
Do the booty do.
Lift it up and let it drop.
-And dont forget...

-Chorus-

Verse 3:

When I slide through the place my slide goes walky but they digg it.
I stick my leg out on the floor and start jiggin.
Wiggly legs, watch me shorties drop it to your feet.
Do the stanky leg watch me step and grab my knee.
Now drop like a goon, but dont chicken noodle soup.
I want see you dropt it, shake that woop da dee doop.
drop that, woop da dee doop
shake that, woop da dee doop (2x)

-Chorus-

Twitter is screwed. (4, Interesting)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521211)

Twitter's service is likely to be as screwed as the cell network with millions of people around the country tweeting about how they just saw (on TV, Internet or in person) Obama swear in, etc. Expect the service to be down most of the day imo.

Re:Twitter is screwed. (5, Insightful)

Reapman (740286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521525)

And nothing of value was lost... sorry had to say it, mod down as you will!

Re:Twitter is screwed. (2, Insightful)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521971)

For the most part I actually agree with you. I am not really looking forward to the deluge of updates that are in store. Especially considering the number that already are showing up, "OMG only 2 days left to end the worst 8 years ever!"

Which would be fine, but clearly most of these people haven't even been voting age for 8 years -- let alone 12. So don't mind it when I don't trust their opinion on the state of the state as it were.

Its great that young people are more involved in politics now, I think that is a good thing for the country. Though I wish they would stop complaining about a single President and worry more about how to fix the things they don't like instead of hoping for a magical Obama panacea

Re:Twitter is screwed. (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522805)

Those who turned 18 and were eligible to vote for the first time in 2008 were in elementary school when Bush was (s)elected. He's been in office pretty much the entire time they've been aware of politics at all. Given what a horrorshow both his terms have been, they can, I think, be forgiven for seeing Obama as something special. It's kind of like what happens to an abused kid who grows up, gets out of his parents' house, and realizes that there are people in the world who won't beat the shit out of him every time he opens his mouth -- sooner or later, he'll realize that the world contains good people and bad ones in about equal measure, but at first, just about everyone is going to seem wonderful in comparison.

Re:Twitter is screwed. (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523029)

I'm going to spend the data watching the coverage over the rabbit ears/antenna. Yeah I know... old-fashioned 60-year-old technology, but it still works. :-) It will be the last time a presidential inauguration was broadcast using analog NTSC.* After tomorrow it will be broadcast exclusively in HD digital.

*
*(Technically the last time will probably be in 2013, since Mexico still uses NTSC, but I don't live there.)

Re:Twitter is screwed. (4, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521531)

Expect the service to be down most of the day imo.

That's change I can believe in.

Sadly, that's about all I can look forward too but that's another discussion alltogether. :)

Re:Twitter is screwed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521643)

Horray cynical-pessimism.

Pretty spectacular (2, Insightful)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521267)

There's certainly been a vast advancement in technology [especially communications] since early 2001.

So that's technology like social networking, blogging, microblogging, webcasting, etc etc.

It'll be a memorable event.

Pretty spectacularly loaded. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522819)

If you want to note the impact of flat-panels. Image that command center with CRTs that size. You'd be popping tires left and right.

I wonder if ... (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521271)

cells on wheels' (COWs) and 'cells on light trucks' (COLTs).

PETA knows about the abuse these will get.

COWs and COLTs (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521325)

Surely there is no need for two new buzzwords. The light trucks have wheels so they are also COWs. Or do COLTs only work for OMG Pink Pony calls.

Re:COWs and COLTs (4, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521449)

Killjoy. This is cool stuff. I would guess that the COW is a trailer and the COLT is a truck. I've always been facinated with satellite communications, and this looks really neat. I would love to be the guy that gets to drive that beast in, fire up the generator, press button one for the mast and radios, then button two for the auto aligning satellite. All this while onlookers stare in wonder.

On another note, this must have taken A LOT of planning. You usually can't just throw more cells in all willy-nilly. They would have to lower power on nearby cells and maybe even temporarily put cells on different frequencies to free up space for these microcells.

Re:COWs and COLTs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26522171)

After Katrina, Cingular (and probably other carriers as well) rolled a bunch of COWs into New Orleans on amazingly short notice to provide resembling a communications infrastructure.

In light of this, the lengthy cell outage in the upper midwest recently after a power outage in a network center seems somewhat odd.

Re:COWs and COLTs (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523097)

Why can't cells overlap one another? I don't completely understand the technology, but I thought cellphones had the ability to share frequencies without interference, even if 3 or 4 towers are within "hearing" distance of the signal.

Re:COWs and COLTs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521853)

This is standard terminology. Not new buzzwords. Working in the wireless industry, I know this for a fact.

Re:COWs and COLTs (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522659)

Surely there is no need for two new buzzwords.

And I gotta tell you: fellas.. you have got what appears to be a dynamite inauguration! I'll be honest.. fellas, it was communicating great. But.. I could've used a little more Bell COWs!

I'm in DC and not going (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521357)

But I'm going to try to use up some bandwidth anyway, you know, just to make visitors' lives a little less fun.

Re:I'm in DC and not going (3, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522601)

Good luck with that! I was going to say that the only way to make a visitor to DC's visit less fun would be to shoot then rob them, but that's pretty much already on the itinerary, isn't it?

Bring out the bullet-proof bubble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521425)

I just really hope he doesn't get assassinated by some wacko gunman or other conspiracy ploy. Think of the massive backlash, Los Angeles would pretty much burn to the ground with the intensity of a thousand Laker games.

Re:Bring out the bullet-proof bubble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26523661)

I hope too however I'm half expecting someone to take a shot at him. If I was Obama I'd be shitting my pants.

Real message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521631)

Be afraid, but we are here to protect you (but only from moderately large whoopee cushions, anything else you are on your own).

Here's an idea!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521657)

They could dig up Leni Riefenstahl and have her film the inauguration and then show it all over the world in huge sports coliseums!

You can't stop a determined assassin, period. (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521673)

You can't stop [wikipedia.org] a determined assassin.

Prepare for one thing and they'll use another, and never, ever underestimate the effectiveness of someone willing to trade their own life for the life of the target.

I'm not saying this to brew fear, i'm saying this to point out there is a reasonable point at which marginal returns to extra security diminish, and a point at which flexibility (hence my example) is more important than durability.

Re:You can't stop a determined assassin, period. (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522369)

but given the number of weapons that have been sold in the past few months, and the amount of ammunition, I was under the impression we were talking about large scale para military forces, not the lone gunman.

I understand that gun stores are having fun raking in the profits by citing the end of the world and the end of gun sales, and the danger of having a non white person in an office that over the past few years have been given dictatorial powers, but really it is not that bad. the end of the world will either be here or not, and skills other than defense will likely be needed. while gun sales might be restricted, for instance the practice of selling gun to known criminal might be stopped, and waiting periods extended, guns will be available. While I agree that any registration is no great, and any restrictions not great, the reality is that average american would be a little jittery with thermonuclear devices next door. As far as the dictatorship, the conservatives are already working to correct that mistake made in the drunkenness of power.

Blame the NRA (2, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522515)

Its because of the NRA. As of lately they have been circulating propaganda saying Obama WILL make handguns illegal. Ask anyone who is a member or reads Guns 'N Ammo. I am all for private ownership of firearms and the second amendment but the NRA is overreacting here.

Re:Blame the NRA (4, Informative)

AaronHorrocks (686276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522917)

In 1996, Obama said that he "supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns".

Re:Blame the NRA (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523061)

That was 1996 when he was less experienced. Even if he still thinks that way, the Dems are a man short of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Don't get your panties in a wad.

Re:Blame the NRA (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523027)

If not the NRA, the wingnuts-at-large. I don't buy the propaganda; the worst that will happen is the re-banning of so-called "assault weapons".

I will digress a moment: the political and military definitions of "assault rifle" are worlds apart. In the military world, an assault rifle is a small arm that fires intermediate cartridges (midway in power between pistol and full-size rifle cartridges, such as 7.62x39mm or 5.56x45mm) and is capable of firing semi-automatically and (full-auto or burst).

The political definition includes (from Wiki):

Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

                * Folding stock
                * Conspicuous pistol grip
                * Bayonet mount
                * Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
                * Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)

So much nonsense. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with any of those except for the grenade launcher. In fact, one may easily and legally obtain ex-Yugoslav SKS carbines which include integral grenade launchers, and integral folding bayonets, and which fire the 7.62x39mm intermediate cartridge, semi-automatically. They escape the assault-weapon classification because they have a ten-round fixed magazine.

Re:Blame the NRA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26523369)

Not necessarily the NRA. It's Obama, he's been the best gun salesman in history, believe it or not.

Re:You can't stop a determined assassin, period. (4, Insightful)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522583)

So we assume that the various assassins who were stopped just weren't determined?

Care Bears? (3, Funny)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521741)

Note the Care Bears on the monitor in the mobile command center in photo 8 [newscientist.com]. Gives me the chuckles. :)

Re:Care Bears? (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522389)

It's probably either "photoshopped" so they're not showing what's really on it. Or they have some pre-configured "guests without clearance are here" screen that they can change all the monitors to with the push of a button.

Re:Care Bears? (2, Interesting)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522835)

It's probably either "photoshopped" so they're not showing what's really on it. Or they have some pre-configured "guests without clearance are here" screen that they can change all the monitors to with the push of a button.

Assuming these pictures didn't span multiple visits and taking the following into account:
1. The shadows in all the pics show the sun is at a very low angle.
2. The state of the trees, combined with green IVY in pic 3 indicate its mid-fall.
3. In mid-fall sun would only be as low as the reflection in the bomb containment vessel in the mid/late-morning and the evening.
4. The clock indicates it is 10:33:24 (can't be PM because of the sun)
5. The upper left looks like a morning talk show, and the lower left looks to be a talk show, or game show. (the other is an interior cam)

I can conclude that they most likely have tuned the TV to local over-the-air TV stations to show that they can both monitor the news and closed circuit feeds on their display system....

But you know...just a hunch.

Re:Care Bears? (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522563)

Dude, it's nothing to laugh at. If you tried to get at Obama, those Care Bares would fucking murder you. With care!

Re:Care Bears? (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522919)

That's not Care Bears, just the sprites they use for the pedophile monitoring system. Any "Care Bear Stare" animations indicate an offense in progress.

This "coronation" stuff is overdone (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521801)

This coronation-like ceremony is getting out of hand. A quiet ceremony in the Capitol, broadcast on TV, would be sufficient. That's what was done during WWII, when there were concerns about an attack on FDR.

This is the first time an inauguration has shut down Washington, DC for two days. All the Potomac River bridges out to the Beltway are closed Monday and Tuesday. That's well beyond the impact of previous inaugurations.

Re:This "coronation" stuff is overdone (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521855)

This coronation-like ceremony is getting out of hand. A quiet ceremony in the Capitol, broadcast on TV, would be sufficient. That's what was done during WWII, when there were concerns about
an attack on FDR.

This is the first time an inauguration has shut down Washington, DC for two days. All the Potomac River bridges out to the Beltway are closed Monday and Tuesday. That's well beyond the impact of previous inaugurations.

He was talking about change we can believe in, and by god he meant it!

If you don't believe in this change, you can try to cross the bridges and see for yourself!

Re:This "coronation" stuff is overdone (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522887)

This is the first time an inauguration has shut down Washington, DC for two days. All the Potomac River bridges out to the Beltway are closed Monday and Tuesday.

And nothing of value was lost....

911 (2, Interesting)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521819)

My concern is what if something bad were to happen during the inauguration, and suddenly a million people whip out their cellphones all start calling 911, their family, news organizations, and generally broadcast an emergency to the world all at the same time.

Anyone want to watch one of those expensive cell-towers on a truck burst into flames?

BSOD (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521881)

My concern is what if something bad were to happen during the inauguration, and suddenly a million people whip out their cellphones all start calling 911, their family, news organizations, and generally broadcast an emergency to the world all at the same time.

Anyone want to watch one of those expensive cell-towers on a truck burst into flames?

Given their decision to go with silverlight for the event, I suspect the trucks would BSOD long before that happens.

Re:911 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26521925)

Anyone want to watch one of those expensive cell-towers on a truck burst into flames?

THAT IS NOT HOW CELLPHONE TOWERS WORK! GOODNIGHT!

Re:911 (1)

dangle (1381879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26522459)

There are a variety of strategies that allow cellular networks to function in these situations, and to ensure that certain phones can almost always use the network. http://wps.ncs.gov/ [ncs.gov]

Re:911 (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523129)

I've been in a couple situations where a bunch of people called 911 at the same time from the same place, and in both cases a few of us got a busy signal. My assumption was that this was a feature to prevent the very kind of overload you're talking about.

Re:911 (1)

uranus65 (837545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26523601)

By embiggening the cellular infrastructure, they might be enabling potential bombers who otherwise might not be able to get their detonation call through.

The point (3, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26521993)

The point of all this security isn't to stop a serious, well funded attempt to assasinate this man. As many people have pointed out, unless they kept the person in a bunker or in a series of undisclosed locations, a well funded team could probably harm him or her.

Except...any sane organization has nothing to gain by killing this leader. Unlike a dictator, the president can be easily replaced with someone else, and routinely is swapped out ever 4-8 years. In fact, a reasonable person would expect a backlash. The real reason the U.S. government doesn't give two shits about the Palestinians is because they kind of seem like the same kind of guys who committed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That's backlash.

Any group that killed the American president would be crushed, and would never get anything they wanted.

However, lone nuts and other poorly equipped people get mad at the President all the time. The secret service can probably stop such morons in almost all situations.

Also, a lot of the security is reactive. Presidents who were killed in the past were usually killed by some kind of small arms attack. Hence the bulletproof limo and the ring of armed guards. If some other form of attack ever succeeded, god forbid, then security precautions might change. Such as eliminating public appearances entirely and doing everything via teleconference and holograms.

Re:The point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26523631)

Are they morons in a hurry?

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