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USAF Taps ESPN To Compile Drone "Highlight" Video

timothy posted about a year ago | from the quarterback-is-toast dept.

Government 114

mbstone writes "The Air Force has a problem: Its drones generate thousands of hours of video (I almost said 'footage.') And most of it is miles of endless desert. USAF needs to distill the highlights, if you will, and nobody does it better than ESPN, the TV sports network. Air Force officials have asked ESPN for help in analyzing the 327,384 hours collected just this year. What we really need in times like these is sportscaster Warner Wolf. 'Let's go to the videotape, pick it up right here, Taliban in the home black.'"

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114 comments

This is good news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42365889)

The ESPN guys will carefully add the yellow first down markers so us home viewers will be able to make sense of each operation as it unfolds.

Re:This is good news (0)

siddesu (698447) | about a year ago | (#42366983)

Yep, turning extrajudicial murder into entertainment is just swell. I'm off to start a gambling site to be ready for the moment they start releasing live footage.

Re:This is good news (2, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42367647)

  • Biggest prison system in the world. Check.
  • Due process free detention. Check.
  • Due process free execution. Check.
  • Glorification of the murder of "savages". Check.
  • Entertainmentification of the murder "savages". Check.
  • Destroying the war powers act so that the president has sole ability to engage in war. Check.
  • Persecution of whistleblowers. Check

Authoritarian America, brought to you by the Adam-Lanza-in-Chief, president and leader of the New GOP (aka, Obama).

And yeah, some of you may be offended, but do note that Obama killed 14 women and 21 children exactly three years to the day prior to the Newton masacre using cluster bombs in Yemen under with the blessing of its dictatorial asshole leader, then managed to convice (personally contacted the Yemeni president) to keep the reporter who broke the story in jail. FN1. About cluster bombs, Obama tried to undermine a treaty banning, they're about as effective as landmines in blowing up innocents years after their deployment. FN2.

So the title fits: Obama is the Adam-Lanza-in-Chief. You think his tears were those of compassion? Maybe they were tears of guilt because in that masacre, Obama would play the role of shooter.

FN1: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/14/obamas_personal_role_in_a_journalists_imprisonment/ [salon.com]

FN2: http://news.antiwar.com/2011/11/10/us-moves-to-overturn-ban-on-cluster-bombs/ [antiwar.com]

Re:This is good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367677)

Yep, he should be more like Reagan. When a US base gets bombed, just cut and run.
And find some idiot Lt Col to be the fall guy for your guns-for-hostages scheme with Muslim terrorists.
And if that blows up, then Joe Biden can run for President next term and pardon all the suckers who get convicted.

Re:This is good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42368185)

Where were his "tears" when he murdered children by drone strikes? It becomes an issue now only because of an event in the US, but if children in a foreign country who he killed under the auspices of the "War on Terror" are mass murdered, the media doesn't report it.
This dictatorship has been brought to you by the horde of brain-dead zombies who voted for the piss poor candidate last month, not some lunatic with a gun.

My tinfoil is picking up a convergence... (2)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#42369285)

Marco Rubio vs: Hilary Clinton 2016, sponsored by the same interested parties, with the same unsavory results.
One of them gets elected.

get madden to do the commentary (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42365891)

get madden to do the commentary

Re:get madden to do the commentary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366915)

get madden to do the commentary

Oh god. That would be even worse than the commentary from retards on YouTube.

"See folks that's a missile. A missile is a thing that flies through the sky and goes boom. The sky is normally kinda blue, not actually gray like you see here. It's kinda like it's faking you out. But either way you don't want to be under a missile because it's not a good thing to be underneath."

It's time for our plays of the week! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42365911)

Reaper connects to Assam deep across the middle... Bam!
Beast of Kandahar throws down the over the horizon hell fire jam... in your face Azim!
Head drone in the red zone. Easy over the middle dump-off to Al Queda, called back by the UN for innocent bystander. Damn replacment observers.

In the not top ten we have a village of children catching a bomb as the clock runs out. Poor situational awareness there Steve.

Captcha: hammered

YouTube it! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#42365933)

Like, kinda sorta crowd outsource it to armchair analysts. Just like ESPN does to armchair quarterbacks.

Who would watch hours on end of boring drone video? The same folks who watch the rest of the junk on YouTube. They can like or dislike the important or filler bits.

And let the terrorist squeal with glee, "Hey, I'm on YouTube!"

Re:YouTube it! (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about a year ago | (#42366659)

Somehow, I doubt that the "terrorists" who have been captured on a video, which was taken by a drone, which has been sent to kill "terrorists", will have even a slight chance of sqealing anything, with glee or in any other manner.

Re:YouTube it! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#42367239)

"Somehow, I doubt that the "terrorists" who have been captured on a video, which was taken by a drone, which has been sent to kill "terrorists", will have even a slight chance of sqealing anything, with glee or in any other manner."

If they keep waiting until the end of the year to analyze the video, a lot of the things the drones see probably won't be there by the time any action is taken.

Your tax dollars at work.

No magic in ESPN (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42366061)

Someone watches all of those gamed. Every uninteresting baseball inning, every boring back and forth soccer kick, even days long cricket matches.
ESPN has thousands of eyes, most of then not paid by them.

They put up a camera or tap into one used for local consumption, look at the score sheet and cherry pick the highlights off their DVR.
You could scan your twitter feed to know what sections to watch. You can listen to the crowd at the game and know when to hit rewind.

There is no shortcut magic that ESPN has. They just have lots of eyes.

If you don't have that many eyes, Artificial Intelligence has a much better chance of picking up a remote encampment or a caravan of cars, or even pack mules and foot soldiers in hours of desert streaming by. At least it eliminates the 90% of the video stream that holds nothing of interest.

Re:No magic in ESPN (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#42366633)

exactly. they may even only watch one play from one camera angle, but then once the play has been deemed good enough go back to other angles to pick it out.

If you have 330,000 hours of video then you need to have a group of people watching that video live, and tagging sections for others to watch, who tag the best of those sections for someone else to watch and then compile it all into short clips.

The Drones (2)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366067)

One thing I cant understand about this whole thing; how is it possible they blanket label everyone on the receiving end of the hellfire missile as 'enemy combatant' or 'a dog', even if theyre just civilians and or children. There used to be this country that stood up for human rights and had war criminals executed over something called the 'command responsibility' and 'war crimes' and 'crimes against humanity'. Can't remember what country that was but I bet theres someone here who can.

Droning On About Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366107)

What I don't get is why drones are considered to be some kind of "new evil" as compared to regular manned aircraft which have been doing the same thing since before WW1. A guy sitting in an observation balloon 100 years ago shooting at ground targets wasn't any different. With a drone, there's still a pilot, but he's just not sitting inside the aircraft.

Opportunistic Leftists are just trying to make some arbitrary new distinction they can latch upon to focus their politically contrived attacks. Heck, even Pakistan which was always hollering against drones, is now saying they want to acquire a drone fleet of their own. The "human rights" activist tribe are just a bunch of pretentious and fickle opportunists. None of them complain about human drones who strap suicide vests onto children. Apparently, that's still considered a more civilized form of warfare.

Re:Droning On About Drones (2)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366131)

They aren't some kind of "new evil", it just happens theyre pretty much one of the few kinds of evil being *committed right now as we have this discussion* by a country that officially claims to be the champion of human rights and protector(and chief exporter) of democracy. Nice try dodging the argument but you have to try better than that.

Re:Droning On About Drones (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#42366185)

They aren't some kind of "new evil", it just happens theyre pretty much one of the few kinds of evil being *committed right now as we have this discussion* by a country that officially claims to be the champion of human rights and protector(and chief exporter) of democracy. Nice try dodging the argument but you have to try better than that.

I think you miss his point.
A 250lb JDAM dropped from a MQ-9 is treated completely differently (in the press) than the exact same 250lb JDAM dropped from an F-16.
The only real difference between the two aircraft is where the pilot is sitting. But it is still a human pilot hitting the pickle button.

Re:Droning On About Drones (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#42366213)

But it is still a human pilot hitting the pickle button.

pickle button?

is that some kind of vlassic humor or something?

Re:Droning On About Drones (4, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#42366239)

pickle button?
is that some kind of vlassic humor or something?


No, that's the (long term) military slang for the button on the stick that releases the bomb. Generally, it is a red button.

Re:Droning On About Drones (4, Informative)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#42367641)

pickle button?

Developed in the mid-1930s, the Norden bomb-sight was advertised as being so accurate that the operator could put a bomb into a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet.

It was an accurate sight, but complex to use and required skill. But "Pickling those bombs" stuck long after the sight had been retired.

Re:Droning On About Drones (4, Insightful)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366279)

And I hold the position that he missed my original point; just because the means of delivery are new does not make the killing of civilians any more OK than with the previous means of delivery, the drones are included in the opening argument because as of now they are the main mains of delivery currently employed, thus; the drones themselves are completely irrelevant in the actual argument, its the murder unarmed civilians going on without any type of reprisal against the aggressors I have my problems with.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#42366347)

the drones are included in the opening argument because as of now they are the main mains of delivery currently employed

Not so sure about that. Yes, the percentages are increasing drove v manned aircraft (flight hours and bombing missions). But the majority of actual bombing missions? I could be wrong, but gonna have to ask for a citation for that one.

They are the main ones we hear about, though.

Re:Droning On About Drones (2)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366397)

the drones are included in the opening argument because as of now they are the main mains of delivery currently employed Not so sure about that. Yes, the percentages are increasing drove v manned aircraft (flight hours and bombing missions). But the majority of actual bombing missions? I could be wrong, but gonna have to ask for a citation for that one. They are the main ones we hear about, though.

...Mmmmm, you may have something there, but I cant come up with statistics with quick googling and pretty much the only US aerial attacks I've read about for pretty long while have concerned drone strikes, especially in Pakistan operated by the CIA I have made the assumption there are no conventional planes doing regular patrols/bombing runs. Still, my main issue is with all the dead collateral labeled as enemy combatants and dogs, even when theyre clearly civilian casualties.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#42366469)

Still, my main issue is with all the dead collateral labeled as enemy combatants and dogs, even when theyre clearly civilian casualties.

Agreed. Civilian casualties, accidental, intentional or misidentified, has been an issue forever.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about a year ago | (#42366533)

Let's be honest: is the outcry due to collateral damage (which nearly universally occurs in any war) or the fact that it's not a manned pilot exposing his or hersself life, but rather what people perceive to be a robot (enter skynet fears here).

I think the real outrage (in the US anyway) comes not from the strikes themselves, but rather that the average idiot (read: the general populace) believes that these drones truly operate autonomously. They don't realize there's a human telling that drone what to do. They see it as Terminator incarnate. I think the average way-person sees it as someone sitting there and all of a sudden hearing "TERRORIST. TERRORIST. TERMINATE." followed by the wooshing sound of that hellfire missile firing. Nevermind in actuality they've likely been watching an individual for weeks, if not longer, confirming it's who they think it is before pulling the trigger.

Then again, most /.'ers are conspiracy nuts, as well.

Re:Droning On About Drones (5, Insightful)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366823)

I think the real outrage (in the US anyway) comes not from the strikes themselves, but rather that the average idiot (read: the general populace) believes that these drones truly operate autonomously.

I can see you have trouble placing yourselves in the position of the victims here; theyre going along with their business in their country that as far as they no have no active wars with anyone and suddenly out of the clear blue sky a hellfire missile strikes and kills 4/5ths of the clan during whatever social gathering they were there for; the survivors wont give a fuck what fired the missile and on top of that all the aggressors label all people killed in the strike as enemy combatants regardless of age or actual stance against the US and call it a day.

Why in Pete's name is this modded funny? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#42367277)

at any rate I second the sentiment. It's not a War if there is no organized opposition. A few terrorists / Bunch 'o guys with guns != an armed force / Military.

Re:Droning On About Drones (2)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42367679)

And of course, in classic terrorist tradition, we go for a double tap, targeting the rescuers acting on natural human instinct to help those in need, or funeral attendees wishing to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Re:Droning On About Drones (0)

drkim (1559875) | about a year ago | (#42367567)

clearly civilian casualties.

You mean the insurgents not dressed in the official insurgents uniforms and helmets..?

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42367691)

People going about their daily business in a foreign country not at war with us, who would probably never earn enough in their lifetime just to get the planefare to the US together, are "insurgents"? What fucked up warped kind of asshole are you?

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42367671)

It's not just that -- the term "enemy combatant" has been redefined to mean any male more than 12 or 13 years old. It's pretty hard to miss a combatant when you basically target any non-infant male.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#42368115)

The key issue here is that with a manned flight of death you have an actual person in a plane relatively close to the crater-gonna-be. The fallacy here is that with modern bombs you actually see the Red Crescent emblem on the orphanage you are about to bomb because the CIA held the street map upside down. In truth as a pilot you propably won't be even close enough.

But there is always the immense satisfaction of giving thepilot a ticker tape parade when he returns.

What really irks me is how our language gets polluted by political spin. What's all about this calling dropping explosives "surgical strikes". there's nothing surgical about an explosion. It doesn't magically go around people you'd rather not kill. Meticulously planning and sending a bunch of highly trained people with guns to place a bullet between the eyes of an actually worthy target is surgical. Dropping a bomb so that the target might or might not be within the blast radius is a bloody mess.
Yet somehow we buy this as a political "I win" button. And the man who is a huge fan of this is actually a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
People wonder why by now even allies and friendly nations wonder if it weren't better to remove the US from the planet to a remote place somewhere beyond the solar system. With dynamite if neccessary.
The men in charge of this are a fucking disgrace to all of humanity. In that respect Clinton and everybody who came after him made Reagan look like an appeasement softie. Finger always hovering above a button that doesn't release a nuke.

Re:Droning On About Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367109)

FUCK the military and FUCK espn. That is all.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42367659)

Well, it's not merely a lack of reprisal -- it's total celebration of murder. Democrats are the New GOP, and Old GOP is a parody of itself. That Democrats consider themselves liberals is absolute self-delusion. It has to be the most disgusting party ever, filled to the brim as it is with hypocrites who hated Bush (with good reason) but love Obama when he does the same shit and more.

When Serb TV Station Was Bombed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367685)

What garbage - not a one of you Lefties protested when NATO bombed a Serb TV station, and then justified the deaths afterwards with a straight face by claiming it was a tool of mass destruction. If the Reaper and Predator drones had been used during Clinton's bombing campaign against Serbia, you'd all have been cheering and applauding. Your standards on what is permissible shifts like the wind - changes based on whether you like or dislike the particular enemy of that war.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#42366521)

A 250lb JDAM dropped from a MQ-9 is treated completely differently (in the press) than the exact same 250lb JDAM dropped from an F-16.

Because the US president treats it differently too.
He doesn't consider using them an act of war requiring approval from Congress:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2011/06/koh_is_my_god_pilot.html [slate.com]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/12/10/the-threat-of-drones-ushering-in-invisible-wars/ [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42367251)

I think you miss his point.
A 250lb JDAM dropped from a MQ-9 is treated completely differently (in the press) than the exact same 250lb JDAM dropped from an F-16.
The only real difference between the two aircraft is where the pilot is sitting. But it is still a human pilot hitting the pickle button.

There is one major difference you are missing: Pre drone, the CIA didn't have much of an air force, and what it did have was exotic recon gear. The conventional military also operates drones, of course, and there isn't much effort made to attribute any given attack to any specific operator; but one locus of dislike for the drone fleet is really a locus of dislike for the fact that the CIA is now in the business of running a rapidly expanding and not-even-nominally-accountable-to-anybody fleet of ground attack aircraft.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about a year ago | (#42367025)

Civilian deaths should always be part of the decision making process when deciding who to target but it should not be the only criteria. The drone program has introduced fear and uncertainty in those planning or executing attacks and that is a good thing.

Re:Droning On About Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367305)

The drone program has introduced fear and uncertainty in those planning or executing attacks and that is a good thing.

You don't think that maybe, just maybe, the actual top echelon of these organisations has caught onto the whole drone thing? And maybe they're using, oh I don't know, conference-calling instead of meeting in person? Which would mean that they're quite safe from pesky drone attacks.

On the downside, villagers become upset when entire families are massacred by Hellfire missiles in "signature strikes". Easy to shrug off now (ha ha, what's a Pakistani goat-herder going to do about it, eh?), but it's not going to be much fun for us once drone technology is widespread. Or do you think that they'll just chuckle and forgive-and-forget once they have the means to retaliate?

Re:Droning On About Drones (2)

cffrost (885375) | about a year ago | (#42366325)

The "human rights" activist tribe are just a bunch of pretentious and fickle opportunists. None of them complain about human drones who strap suicide vests onto children.

As far as I know, the US military isn't spending my tax dollars to strap suicide vests onto children.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42367263)

Shhh... pointing out that some of our enemies are real assholes is supposed to be a magical justification for absolutely anything we do, wish to do, or may have done, however tangentially related. How can you be so mean as to oppose this argument?

Re:Droning On About Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367217)

Drones are indeed just new platforms of conventional weapons. When fighting an unconventional police operation, use unconventional weapons like a ton of green Nickelodeon jelly disabling the movements of the suspected criminals, enabling easy apprehension. Like the Bible says, do not kill. And yes, publicize the methods of targeting so that the peoples of the world supporting the police operation, with their tax and borrowed money know the right people get jellied.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42367841)

A guy sitting in an observation balloon 100 years ago shooting at ground targets wasn't any different.

A guy in a balloon can see clearly what he is shooting at avoid firing at civilians. He has plenty of time to select military only targets.

A guy flying a drone has a map with an "X" on it, and when his little drone icon gets within a few kilometres he fires a missile and turns around. Obviously he can't do overflights and then study the footage carefully to make sure the X really is an enemy training camp and not a wedding party because that would give the bad guys a chance to get away.

The "human rights" activist tribe are just a bunch of pretentious and fickle opportunists. None of them complain about human drones who strap suicide vests onto children.

I do.

Re:Droning On About Drones (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#42371089)

What I don't get is why drones are considered to be some kind of "new evil" as compared to regular manned aircraft which have been doing the same thing since before WW1.

Because we are a step away from letting the machines decide whether or not to pull the trigger.

Re:The Drones (0)

hduff (570443) | about a year ago | (#42366187)

One thing I cant understand about this whole thing; how is it possible they blanket label everyone on the receiving end of the hellfire missile as 'enemy combatant' or 'a dog', even if theyre just civilians and or children.

Note to Self: It's very dangerous to be around people associated with groups engaged in acts of violence against the US no matter how justified I feel they may or may not be. I should avoid them, especially at funerals.

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366565)

Fucking good point. I hope others understand it, for fucks sake. Fuck.

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366705)

One thing I cant understand about this whole thing; how is it possible they blanket label everyone on the receiving end of the hellfire missile as 'enemy combatant' or 'a dog', even if theyre just civilians and or children.

Note to Self: It's very dangerous to be around people associated with groups engaged in acts of violence against the US no matter how justified I feel they may or may not be. I should avoid them, especially at funerals.

It's also very dangerous to be around people associated with people in a region associated with people associated with groups associated with acts of violence against the US. Why, merely the fact of living in such a place is sufficient provocation for the United States to kill you (see: "signature strike", "double-tap", "Living under Drones"). I think we can agree that this is all your fault, if you happen to be one of those people born there. Why couldn't you choose to be born somewhere else, after all? And if you do, for whatever crazy reason, opt to continue living in the land of your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents, why don't you choose to avoid any meeting of 3 or more people, which could seem suspicious from hundreds of meters away through grainy camera footage? And why not also choose to avoid the funerals of any people who have lived next to you for years (some might call these "neighbours" or "friends") and have now been blown up, perhaps because they met together in too large a group?

Those crazy terrorists, and the weird choices they make. Who can understand them?

Re:The Drones (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42366193)

WW2, The Firebombing of Dresden. need i say more?
the US and British bombed Germany into defeat destroying cities and killing millions of civilians in the process

Re:The Drones (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366337)

From what I remember from my history classes it wasn't the bombings that brought Germany into its knees but being bled white in the eastern front against the Soviets with what was supposed to be a quick campaign. Again, I fail to see how Total War waged over a possible nuke in the German industrial pipeline has any bearing over throwing JDAM's through smokestacks of goatherders in Stoneagistan, its not like they pose an existential threat to the US.

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366577)

It's all carefullly conducted, by Order Out of Chaos. Ordo Ab chao

Re:The Drones (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#42367559)

War is hell. It always has been and always will be. It's impossible to conduct a war without killing non-combatants. Hell, a lot of the time friendly fire gets our own troops. People should understand that when you go to war it's going to be messy and expensive and it should always be a last case, no choice scenario when you do it. It's bad for everyone. I felt like something needed to be done about Saddam and really I am glad the bastard and his sons are dead but it ended up costing a fortune and I don't think we are any safer now than before. I do feel the Iraqi people are better off but I don't know if that will last or not.

Re:The Drones (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year ago | (#42369207)

WW2, The Firebombing of Dresden. need i say more?

I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki beat the hell out of anything else for "collateral damage".

Re:The Drones (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#42371523)

the US and British bombed Germany into defeat destroying cities and killing millions of civilians in the process

"millions of civilians" is a bit of an exaggeration, since there were fewer than 1.5 million German civilian casualties of that war.

Or were you perhaps thinking of the 14+ milllion Soviet civilian deaths caused by the Germans?

Re:The Drones (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42366219)

One thing I cant understand about this whole thing; how is it possible they blanket label everyone on the receiving end of the hellfire missile as 'enemy combatant'

So your theory is they fly these things around and shoot randomly at any thing that moves?

These targets are watched for days and weeks, and people are tracked across great distances.
There are eyes and ears on the ground that know who comes an goes. Occasionally the screw up
and hit some place where children are present. Doesn't mean there wasn't a legitimate target there.
Osama had his wives and kids and grandkids with him too.

Naivety. Cute in children. Tiresome in Juveniles. Just plain stupid in adults.

Re:The Drones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366301)

What about blind trust in authority or systems? Denial of obvious potential possibilities simply because thinking about them would be inconvenient? Motivated reasoning?

I find all of those things deplorable in adults, but the adults keep displaying these traits.

Re:The Drones (0)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366353)

Dr. Julian Bashir, after expressing his disgust at the activities of Section 31, compared the Federation with a "24th Century Rome" in which laws were ignored out of a blind faith that "Caesar can do no wrong." (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

Do I need to say more? [memory-alpha.org]

Re:The Drones (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42366389)

Gee, it must be a wonderful skill to have a quote from tv show ready for every occasion.

Re:The Drones (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366407)

What are you complaining about? You fed a straight line that could be anwsered with a direct quote. If you had any argument beyond that I think you would be brought it up by now.

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366649)

One thing I cant understand about this whole thing; how is it possible they blanket label everyone on the receiving end of the hellfire missile as 'enemy combatant'

So your theory is they fly these things around and shoot randomly at any thing that moves?

Actually: yes. Those are called "signature strikes". That's how meetings, wedding parties, and funerals get bombed. And any "military-age male" in the vicinity (i.e., anyone who cannot be positively identified from hundreds of meters away through grainy camera footage as a female, a child, or a human after being blown up) is considered to be a "terrorist" afterwards. Then there's the "double-tap", which is where the drones hang around, wait for people to run out of their houses to save their neighbours, and then fire a missile to kill those rescuers. So people in the region have to choose between letting their neighbours die from shrapnel wounds as they cry for help, or risk helping them and getting killed themselves.

This is all acknowledged US policy, and the astonishing ability of Americans to justify these atrocities is why a large portion of the world now hates the United States. Of course, once drone technology is widespread, we'll see how Americans like these tactics on their own soil.

Re:The Drones (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42366523)

I don't like our government very much right now... but you do not understand the history of war. In the past, even 30 years ago, most countries would have carpet bombed large sections of Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. The bloodshed would have been far far worse. Prior to Arial bombing, in the WW1 era they would have used mortars with chemical weapons. Prior to that, they would have just shelled major cities with artillery. Go back further to the civil war era and they'd have stormed the city with calvary and burnt it to the ground. During the middle ages they'd have taken the cities, raped the women, killed the men... then you have the roman era in which they'd do all of the above, and then also salt the fields of the enemy so their crops wouldn't grow for years. Prior to that, they'd again, do all of the above, and also enslave the populace.

War sucks. It sucks less now... but now it's all on video for you to see so it's more in your face.

Re:The Drones (3, Funny)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#42366797)

...Does the taliban present an existential threat to the US? Why is it ok to label civilian casualties as 'enemy combatants' and 'continue your day as nothing went wrong and no apologies or reparations paid? What does the history of war have anything to do with my main grievances? Am I stoopid to hold the 21st Century US fighting stone age goat herders in mountains to a higher standard than Nazi-Germany or Soviet Union? 'Oh, and I must have missed when US declared war on Pakistan, or Afghanistan Or Iraq for that matter...

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367015)

According to their current interpretation of their centuries old religion, they are a threat to the US. Maybe not as much so right now to the mainland US because of logistics and lack of technology and weapons but that can change VERY quickly if left unchecked.

Unless you are implying their religious teaching are just an excuse to hate the US for some reason and they do not care to let anyone know what the real reason is.

I would truly like to believe if the US stayed out of ALL middle issues and their business that their hatred would go away and we could all live in separate peaceful areas of the globe. Are you willing to take that risk? What evidence is there that implies that would happen? Certainly not human nature and countless experiences from the past with other religious based battles.

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367119)

It's really disturbing that someone able to form complete sentences wrote this vile post.

By the twisted logic of "they might be a threat because they hate us", *you* have now become a legitimate target.

Re:The Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367155)

Unless you are implying their religious teaching are just an excuse to hate the US for some reason and they do not care to let anyone know what the real reason is.

Just off the top of my head, their "real reason" might be approximately a century of imperialist, interventionist policy in their part of the world. That's policy that supports dictators, "strong-men", and warlords. The last 70 years of this has largely been led by the United States. Despite this, oddly, that part of the world has historically been quite friendly towards the US (though not necessarily all US policies), until around 2003, when the United States started killing them in large numbers and pretending that it wasn't doing so. That sort of thing makes people uppity, you understand.

I would truly like to believe if the US stayed out of ALL middle issues and their business that their hatred would go away and we could all live in separate peaceful areas of the globe. Are you willing to take that risk? What evidence is there that implies that would happen?

I'm willing to take that risk. My evidence is all the Evil Terrorist Attacks from these Crazy Fundamentalists on United States soil between, oh, 1800 and 1900: I think that number is close to zero attacks in a century, despite these people still existing and still having the same religion and religious beliefs. That seems to be pretty good evidence that when the US isn't messing with people, people tend to leave the US alone.

Arial Bombardment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367875)

Prior to the advent of Arial bombardment, people were forced to attack their enemies with

Lucida Console

or even

System.

Not a pretty sight.

Re:The Drones (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42368017)

In the past, even 30 years ago, most countries would have carpet bombed large sections of Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

In the past, even 30 years ago, the USA would have made the Taliban dangerous by training and arming them. Whoops, that's what we did! In the past, even 10 years ago, the USA would have given one billion dollars to the Taliban as part of the War on Drugs. Anyone who knows anything about anything knows that the War on Drugs is a moneymaking operation. Consequently, there is no reason to believe that giving a billion dollars to the Taliban is anything other than an investment in more moneymaking. And now, "post-9/11", TPTB are raking in money hand over fist; Halliburton was chosen the only company qualified to rebuild Iraq under specious circumstances, and the same will happen again and again until We The People wake up and stop fighting one another over the idea that this is a created situation.

Re:The Drones (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year ago | (#42367989)

One thing I cant understand about this whole thing; how is it possible they blanket label everyone on the receiving end of the hellfire missile as 'enemy combatant' or 'a dog', even if theyre just civilians and or children.

The same way that any other terrorists do, by saying they're not really people.

IRA: Oh, they're Gardai, they're not really people
UDA: Oh, they're not really people, they're Catholics
IDF: Oh, they're not really people, they're Arabs

Sensationalized headline, once again (5, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#42366081)

FTHeadline:
USAF Taps ESPN To Compile Drone "Highlight" Video

FTA:
Air Force officials have met with the sports cable network ESPN to discuss how it handles large amounts of video that stream in. The visit resulted in no technological breakthroughs, but helped in developing training and expertise, the Air Force said.

C'mon guys. Just a little bit of a clue?

Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366149)

Hey comon now. There's no I in team but there's 3 in "highlight film"

Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366455)

the technology is called "interns."
Plenty of kids from art schools willing to work for free, despite the mountain of student loan debt. Pretty silly of them, I say.

Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year ago | (#42368981)

im sure that they will get some kind of payment just in the "Keep Your Mouth Shut" part of the exercise. Plus holding a current Classified "ticket" is good for maybe being seen above the cloud of other candidates for a job.

Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (4, Funny)

Odin's Raven (145278) | about a year ago | (#42366487)

C'mon guys. Just a little bit of a clue?

Slashdot Taps WWN To Compile Article "Highlight" Stories

Slashdot has a problem: Its submitters send in hundreds of random links (I almost said "articles.") And most of it is dozens and dozens of sentences long, many with words of more than one syllable. Slashdot needs to distill something vaguely related to a few of those words that will generate page hits, and nobody does that better than Weekly World News, the "alien dingo Elvis impersonators ate my JFK love-child baby" organization. Slashdot officials have asked WWN for help in analyzing the 3,141,592 words collected just this year. What we really need in times like this is George Gilles de la Tourette. "Let's go to the story, pick up maybe three words out of it - USAF ESPN drone - and fill in the rest with whatever other random words come to mind."

"Taps" is a bullshit word (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#42367297)

Mod parent up for truth

"Taps" has become a bogus oversensationalized headline, as if there is some great honor fought for by many that some lucky soul is blessed by God to be given the opportunity to perform.

But it's really just a dishonest synonym for "ask": "USAF asks ESPN to compile drone highlight video" or if money has changed hands: "USAF pays ESPN to compile highlight video."

Lets have some truth in language and get rid of these bullshit words.

Re:"Taps" is a bullshit word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42367519)

In response, I tap my mountain to cast Lightning Bolt.

Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (1)

mbstone (457308) | about a year ago | (#42367747)

OP here.

Sensationalized? Yes. Inaccurate? No (except that ESPN isn't itself editing the video, they're just providing training and expertise). Unfair? No.

Used to be, it took a Joseph Heller [wikipedia.org] to satirize modern aerial warfare and to imbue it with black comedy. To compare war with sportscasting may be disrespectful both to the drone pilots and to those targeted, but USAF invited the comparison by contacting ESPN in the first place.

Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#42368257)

Inaccurate? No (except that ESPN isn't itself editing the video, they're just providing training and expertise).

You made it sound like ESPN is going to review classified UAV full motion video, which you knew not to be case. That's a far cry from I would call accurate.

Taliban (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42366137)

And the Taliban is going deep, deep... and INTERCEPTION!... US just bombed the entire defensive line and stole the ball! 90, 80, 70... they're going all the way... wait... you're saying we just blew half the crowd away and a referee? 50! 40, 30...

Yeah. Well, I suppose it would be my country that would turn killing people into a sport. ;(

Re:Taliban (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year ago | (#42369165)

Yeah. Well, I suppose it would be my country that would turn killing people into a sport. ;(

I think the Romans beat us to that quite a while ago.

fffffffff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366197)

Up that shitty asshole!

Saw something on this (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#42366245)

They put one of those electrode caps on some guy, then flashed up satellite images of desert. Once trained, the system could spot the signs of something interesting being noticed - even to the point that the computer could tell when the guy had seen something interesting, even if he wasn't consciously aware of it.

Re:Saw something on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42366783)

although it would probably be "some gal" rather than "some guy" due to it's rare for a male to have to ability to stay focused on-task for this sort of boring activity for near the length of time a typical female can.

Video processing technology (1)

mikael (484) | about a year ago | (#42366259)

There's webcam software that can perform motion detection, and do shape recognition. You also have image segmentation and texture classification.

Motion detection looks for changes between two frames. Image segmentation splits an image by looking for edges and creating silhouettes. Texture classification works on looking for different types of texture (walls, ground, trees, bushes, sand). Shape recognition works on trying to convert 2D images into 3D shapes and orientations. Image processing researchers usually end up building these long pipelines of image processing transformations (noise filtering, image perpective processing, edge detection, sharpening), all to just differentiate between cyclists and joggers.

WARNER WOLF RULES! (1)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year ago | (#42366277)

holy moly, im happy to see him being referenced... he is a great sportsman, ..and funny to boot.

as for the air force needing ESPNs help?!

i bet he would say "COME ON!!!!"

seems silly to me, probably more a part of their recruiting efforts !

OMG! the quarterback is toast!!! (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | about a year ago | (#42367087)

Obligatory tangential reference to football type quote:

Oh my god, the quarterback is toast!!!

Re:OMG! the quarterback is toast!!! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42368007)

Obligatory tangential reference to football type quote:

Oh my god, the quarterback is toast!!!

I've always thought football was pretty stupid, but I do prefer their long bombs to the type that we drop on civilians.

ESPN commentary on drones... (1)

TheDarAve (513675) | about a year ago | (#42368209)

Drone 6257 releases a missile! Its going... going... going... IT COULD GO ALL THE WAY!!! *BOOM!* TOUCHDOWN!

The material should be televised (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#42368239)

So they don't actually have an automatic system for picking up the content of interest? That's hardly believable.

According to one drone operator [spiegel.de] they have at least a recording system which helps to label smaller than adult size human objects on two legs as four legged dogs.

Have they looked at IBM InfoSphere Streams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42368563)

I did some complex event processing work with IBM InfoSphere Streams and one of their reference projects was filtering marine photography where there was miles of empty sea. Their system would keep only the "interesting" frames which greatly reduced the storage as the processing was done in real time.

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