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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the do-not-try-this-at-your-local-makerspace dept.

The Military 140

Jason Koebler writes: In its latest bid to kill more people, more efficiently, and at less cost, the army is planning to print warhead components, according to the latest issue of Army Technology (PDF). "3D printing of warheads will allow us to have better design control and utilize geometries and patterns that previously could not be produced or manufactured," James Zunino, a researcher at the Armament Research, Engineering and Design Center said. "Warheads could be designed to meet specific mission requirements whether it is to improve safety to meet an Insensitive Munitions requirement, or it could have tailorable effects, better control, and be scalable to achieve desired lethality."

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I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535101)

We need safer warheads.

Re:I agree (1, Funny)

mspohr (589790) | about 3 months ago | (#47535181)

How about ones that don't explode?

Re:I agree (5, Interesting)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 3 months ago | (#47535551)

How about ones that don't explode?

Oddly enough, training shells were used by desperate gunners during the battle of Jutland. The normal shells weren't penetrating the armour of the German ships, but the concrete filled training shells were punching right through, dealing surprisingly heavy damage.

Re:I agree (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535937)

It's not odd, they're known as "Kinetic Energy Weapons". In Iraq the US dropped concrete bombs on military equipment near civilian populations (AA gun battery located in a neighborhood, for example). Equipment is destroyed, but an explosion doesn't take out the surrounding homes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_energy_penetrator

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/10/07/world/us-wields-defter-weapon-against-iraq-concrete-bomb.html

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536047)

We have a winner. The French did this too during the Libyra operations.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536499)

Oh poppycock. It wasn't until well after the battle from second hand observations of the Germans boasting about how crappy the British shells were that it was known how bad they truly were. And if you believe during even a lengthy battle as this that it was determined that somehow Xlbs of concrete rather than Xlbs of AP shell would be better I've a bridge to sell you.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536581)

well, it looks like they're improving on the kinetic energy weapon

http://www.onr.navy.mil/media-center/fact-sheets/electromagnetic-railgun.aspx

Mach 7.5
Using its extreme speed on impact, the kinetic energy warhead eliminates the hazards of high explosives in the ship and unexploded ordnance on the battlefield.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536781)

Who wants to guess the writer of this article is more cowardly than me and decided not to serve when their main sent out the call?

GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535113)

Again I call for the GPLv4 to become the 'good public license'.
Cannot be used for weapon manufacturing or mass surveillance... or anything defined as 'evil' by a FSF committee.

I don't want to be part of the evil masterplans of those basards.
Currently 'patent protection' is defined as evil. But I think most of us agree there are more fundamental evil for which our software can be used...

Wake up RMS!

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47535139)

This comes from someone who just does not understand that without weapons manufacture most of the world would be speaking German or Russian by now.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535161)

This comes from someone who just does not understand that without weapons manufacture most of the world would be speaking German or Russian by now.

As opposed to the utopia of freedom and joy we have now?

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535179)

Compared to that it is.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (3, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 3 months ago | (#47535319)

Most wars are started when one group of greedy bastards wants to take over from another group of greedy bastards. These greedy bastards (generally politicians and their corporate sponsors) are the "elite" of societies. Since they control the wealth, they have the most to gain (or lose) by war. Everyone else is just cannon fodder and will end up worse off after the war regardless of who wins. There are a few interesting probes of this rule. I just finished reading George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" which is an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War. Apparently, the faction Orwell was fighting for (apparently by chance), POUM, did try to establish an egalitarian workers society. However, they were sold out by the Russian Communists and other factions.
I think it's really difficult (?impossible) to establish a truly egalitarian society anywhere which would actually improve the condition of the peons. The usual result in just about every political system is that you end up with a few greedy bastards in charge fighting the greedy bastards next door.
I'm not sure it would make much difference to be speaking German or Russian or Japanese or Chinese or have to profess belief in a different god. If you survived the war, you will still have the same shitty job living hand to mouth... just a different master.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535759)

If you survived the war, you will still have the same shitty job living hand to mouth... just a different master.

It depends on the "master"; that can make a huge difference. At the end of WW2, Western Europe got the U.S. as it's "master", who paid upwards of $13 billion (a staggering amount of foreign aid at the time) to rebuild, self-rule, and prosperity. Eastern Europe got shit on by the Soviet Union for about the next 50 years.
 

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535853)

As opposed to the utopia of freedom and joy we have now?

You're welcome to GTFO to another country and find out what oppression really feels like, my dear pampered child.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535973)

Thank God US is not your personal childish sandbox . Keep sucking your master's balls you insensitive clod.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536073)

I don't know - have you been whisked away to a detention camp where you'll be starved, tortured, and then murdered for posting this anti-government rhetoric?

No?

Then yeah, as opposed to the utopia of freedom and joy we have now.

Things can be "bad" without being "the worst ever," you roaring fuck-whistle.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536311)

Things can be "bad" without being "the worst ever," you roaring fuck-whistle.

EDI: Coffee-to-monitor transform completed successfully.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535183)

One could limit the scope of 'evil' to weapons of mass destruction.

I guess that's a valid debate.

And it will still be possible to make them without our software... I just don't want to have helped them!
We make software because of that warm fuzzy feeling. Not to know that it contributes to killing people (from whatever country).

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47535223)

I just don't want to have helped them!

But you have no problem basking in the freedom provided by those who use them.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535313)

As we currently limit the freedom of those who want to create DRM-protected GPLv3 linux appliances. Or as we limit the freedom of people who would like to redistribute a Linux derivative in a proprietary format.

Certain freedoms have to be limited to protect our interests and preserve our own freedoms and even our privacy.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 months ago | (#47535477)

There has never been a warhead that "provided" any freedom, not in my lifetime, and not in yours.

And Dwight Eisenhower was president when I was born.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535795)

Have you ever heard of deterrence? Apparently not.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536101)

1) You're very wrong. I can't believe you've never heard the term deterrence, but it's certainly a real thing.

2) GP poster didn't say "the warheads provided freedom" - he said the people using the warheads provide the freedom.

2a) He's right.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 3 months ago | (#47536665)

But you have no problem basking in the freedom provided by those who use them.

There's a lot implicit in that sentence.
Which freedom is "provided" by our military.
Which freedom specifically are we all basking in?
What freedom has been preserved or provided by invading Iraq or Afghanistan?

Post 9/11 laws have done more to take away our freedoms than anything the military has done to recover or preserve them.

Is freedom from terrorist attacks more important than freedom from warrantless wiretaps, loss of due process (hello terrorist watch list), freedom from enhanced interrogation, National Security Letters, Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, freedom from assassination (sorry, targeted killing), freedom from secret courts (separate from the loss of due process), and I could keep going.

If you went back 50 years and told someone this is what the USA would become,
they'd laugh and say that you're describing Soviet Russia or East Berlin.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47536727)

Not quite. Has the US exterminated 8 million Jews or 5 million Ukrainians? Is Europe Democratic or Communist? Does Kuwait, Israel, South Korea and Taiwan still exist? Is Tunisia still controlled by Qaddafi? You are very self centered if you only look at the US.

Most of the things you state do not effect the average person.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#47535361)

One could limit the scope of 'evil' to whatever I decide is evil today.

FTFY.

Free software means free. Exactly how many riders and amendments to FOSS licenses do we want to have? "Cannot be used by anyone in Canada." "Cannot be used to make ugly things." "Cannot be used on the Sabbath."

"We make software because of that warm fuzzy feeling.

"We" make software for any number of reasons, and "we" give up the right to tell people how they have to use it when we make it free. And, if I recall correctly, "we" explicitly tell people that what they make with our software is not covered by the license. I.e., code you compile with gcc doesn't have to be licensed under GPL.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535415)

We make software for a reason. Not to just give it away for free as in beer. But to provide freedom.

For that reason we ask people to release the changes to the code back to our collection of software which provides more freedom.

While certain companies are concerned about competitors getting to see their code, the disadvantages are much less important than the advantages of being able to stand on the shoulders of the giants in the opensource community.

We limit the freedom of people who want to use our code without giving back, so we can ensure a future in which we can access data without having to depend on one company. Together we are building that future.

Yet we see that our code is being used for mass surveillance.
To snoop upon all our communications.
To invade our privacy.
To datamine our meta-data and to possibly make far-reaching conclusions.
And to build weapons of mass destruction.
I don't want to contribute to such a future.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 months ago | (#47535647)

We make software for a reason.

"We" make software for many reasons.

Not to just give it away for free as in beer. But to provide freedom.

I was using "free" as in "freedom". How is it "freedom" if you start putting restrictions on who can use the software and for what purposes? And who decides what those disallowed purposes are? The programmer or someone else? Suppose I'm a programmer who doesn't like abortions. Can I say "you can use free software unless you are an abortion clinic" because I've got some patches in some free software packages?

Does "free software" truly represent free software if there are so many limits on who can use it that nobody can use any of it?

For that reason we ask people to release the changes to the code back to our collection of software which provides more freedom.

That is not a restriction on who can use the code and for what purposes. The Army is not changing the code, they are using the code to produce other things. I have a router or two that has FOSS code in them, but that doesn't mean that I have to send hand all the data I send through those routers off to the EFF for their use. I have programs I compile with gcc, but that doesn't mean I have to hand over that code to everyone who asks for it. And IIRC, even the GPL doesn't require release of local modifications to GPL code unless you're trying to distribute that code. I could be wrong, I don't care, the point is irrelevant to this discussion. The Army isn't writing code.

We limit the freedom of people who want to use our code without giving back, so we can ensure a future in which we can access data without having to depend on one company.

I'm sorry, what? The GPL doesn't say that any data that you manage or create using GPL code must be released back to the community. Not even close. You speak very fancy words, but I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

Yet we see that our code is being used for mass surveillance.

Yes. So? Freedom means freedom. Freedom doesn't mean "anyone except YOU can use this code".

I don't want to contribute to such a future.

Then don't do any of those things. But when you create a free tool you give up the right to say "you may not use my tool", because that is in itself a lack of freedom.

Why don't you test your ability to keep people you don't like from using your "tools"? I betcha there are a lot of Apache web servers in use by the military. That's a clear violation of "freedom", isn't it? Why are you not in court today? I know there are linux systems in .mil domains. Get your lawyer busy.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 3 months ago | (#47535685)

Why blame software, while you do sponsor NSA?

Your tax and democratic laws are the foundation of NSA-state, not the tools, software, guns or hammers used.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535191)

Your argument is a self-serving fallacy. Without advanced weapons manufacture, Germany and Russia would not have grown as large and powerful as they did in the first place. Without the arms races that ensued, they would not have taken over as many nations as they did, with or without using them.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47535237)

Do you really think Germany or Russia would honour your GPL?

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535269)

I can't speak for Russia, but Germany is very strict about copyright regulations.

Just as the current license is very good respected, and for certain embedded applications the GPLv3 is avoided, they would certainly not want to risk any software license violation.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 3 months ago | (#47535689)

Yeah they would be very concerned about "being strict with copyritgs" while heaving no problem killing you ;)

Well that is in fact what they do, but to enemies. It is ok to murder some rebels in one country, while you must over protect people in another one, such hypocrisy - but either way if you are the "target" they will not give any shit about any silly laws.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 months ago | (#47535525)

Or China? Or the US?

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535247)

And we would still be surfs serving our feudal lords and their knights.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47535315)

Ni!

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535813)

Kowabunga Sir Longboard! Yea verily there is a mighty ocean swell upon which we can perch ourselves to impress the fair maidens!

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535257)

While an arms race might have been important in the past, it isn't what drives current civilisation.

And I hope it will stay that way.

At least in my country most of the intelligent Linux developers don't want to work for the weapons manufacturer. So they build less good soft/hardware as they could have otherwise.

Just like good developers don't want to work for Microsoft, because who wants to be associated with that?

The key thing is that I don't want to personally decide what is 'evil' and what is not.

But we are doing that right now with the GPLv3 already.

I believe that the EFF has a wonderful opportunity there to form a committee to make that definition and implement it legally.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 3 months ago | (#47535289)

This comes from someone who just does not understand that without weapons manufacture most of the world would be speaking German or Russian by now.

And without whiskey manufacture, most of the world would be speaking Gaelic by now.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 months ago | (#47535703)

You probably lost of lot of Americans with that Joke because they don't understand the Irish speak Gaelic.

Re: GPLv4 - the good public license? (3, Informative)

cmholm (69081) | about 3 months ago | (#47535773)

The Irish are taught Gaelic, but they by-and-large speak English.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535775)

And without whiskey manufacture, most of the world would be speaking Gaelic by now.

No, nobody actually speaks Gaelic, it's simply something you slur/grunt out when you are in a drunken stuper...

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535987)

...says the guy who can't spell "stupor".

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Hadlock (143607) | about 3 months ago | (#47535331)

And yet strangely the two largest language groups are Mandarin and Spanish, the two least successful millitaries of the 20th century.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2)

slew (2918) | about 3 months ago | (#47535961)

And yet strangely the two largest language groups are Mandarin and Spanish, the two least successful millitaries of the 20th century.

However, in 200BC, the Qin (aka Chin) dynasty had quite the army, and in the 16th and early 17th century, Spain had quite the military/navy.

FWIW, much of the geopolitical world as we know it wasn't formed in the 20th century. Much of the current geo-political alignments of the world were formed as a result of the Holy roman empire in the 800's, the exploits of Genghis Khan in the 12th century, and early Spanish explorers (and conquistadors) in the Americas. Of course the weapons they manufactured back then were primitive by modern standards, they managed to shape the world as we know it.

Of course no dynasty lasts forever...

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 3 months ago | (#47535661)

Weapons are important to defend oneself from governments, like democracy of Nazist's Germany or in more recent times the democracy that given usa NSA.

Bespides freedom versus big government problems, the guns are giving people chance to defend from common criminals.

Your girlfriends vs rapist - very little chance in unarmer combat.
Your girlfriends vs robber with illegal gun (strangely criminals tend to ignore law) - no chance.


Your girlfriend with gun vs rapist - is the better situation, I say she has right to defend herself, you say she does not?


Gunophobes have a serious lapse of logic in this matter usually.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47536709)

Wow did you misunderstand me. I was trying to say that the OP does not want to help weapons but is fine having them used by others to protect him. I would call that a hypocrite. I am not a gunophobe the OP is.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (5, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 3 months ago | (#47535667)

Exactly. I had to laugh when reading that article:

But the military isn’t just interested in saving lives—more often than not, it takes them.

Really? No shit. The military kills people?

In its latest bid to kill more people, more efficiently, and at less cost

Isn't this what we want all government agencies to strive for? When the military's actual job is to figure out how to kill people and destroy things with maximum effectiveness and efficiency, then we really shouldn't complain when they seem to be doing a good job of it. I'm not exactly sure what this writer thought the military's purpose is, but he seems horrified at the thought of using technology to kill people more efficiently.

So, there we have it. While comparatively small-scale dangers like homebrew plastic guns make headlines, one of the most powerful and deadly organizations in the world is using the same technology to build better weapons of mass destruction on the cheap.

Should the US not develop technologies like this and simply hope no one else does either? People today are so damned sure that we'll never get into another large-scale shooting war. I hope to hell we don't, but if we do, I'd like our side to have the best weapons, and all the better if they're efficient to produce. Even if, in the future, the military is scaled down to paramilitary forces level (small, lean and efficient), wouldn't it be better to outfit them inexpensively rather than spending billions on weapons production? Who the hell would advocate spending more of our budget on rockets and bombs when less expensive devices could be made much cheaper (other than weapons manufacturers, I suppose)? Wouldn't that leave more money to spend on better things?

The author got one thing right. For all it gets wrong (and I'm sure actual military folks could provide plenty of stories), the US military arguably is the most lethal and destructive force the world has ever known. They also don't go off killing random people and blowing things up. Elected civilians are the ones who ultimately decide whether or not to pull the trigger. It's easy enough to demonize the military while conveniently forgetting that they guy you voted for is the one sending them out to kill people, but it's dishonest as hell.

Kill fewer. Carpet bombing would be much easier (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#47535921)

>> In its latest bid to kill more people, more efficiently, and at less cost

> Isn't this what we want all government agencies to strive for? When the military's actual job is to figure out how to kill people and destroy things with maximum effectiveness

In WWII the US military wanted to kill more people, more efficiently. They were pretty good at it.
Since then, it seems the challenge has been to find ways to kill the FEWEST possible number of people, while achieving a strategic goal. We tried to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Germans - we just blew them up.

Re:Kill fewer. Carpet bombing would be much easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536001)

In WWII the US military wanted to kill more people, more efficiently. They were pretty good at it. Since then, it seems the challenge has been to find ways to kill the FEWEST possible number of people, while achieving a strategic goal. We tried to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Germans - we just blew them up.

You are mistaken. The US actually tried to minimize civilian casualties at the cost of greater US casualties. For example the US bombers generally conducted daytime raids so they could better identify targets and do precision bombing.

Re:Kill fewer. Carpet bombing would be much easier (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 3 months ago | (#47536733)

You are mistaken. The US actually tried to minimize civilian casualties at the cost of greater US casualties. For example the US bombers generally conducted daytime raids so they could better identify targets and do precision bombing.

Don't misunderstand the US intentions during WWII. The theory going into the war was that air power alone could destroy a country's infrastructure and win the war alone. Obviously, that turned out in hindsight to be wildly optimistic, but they did put a lot of additional pressure on industrial production. The idea was to more effectively damage war industries. I don't recall seeing evidence that avoiding civilian casualties was a significant goal. Cities were avoided early in the war simply for fear of retaliation, but once a single accidental bombing triggered reciprocal bombings by the British, both allies and axis forces bombed civilians with gusto. The US was simply fortunate to be too far away to be attacked effectively, although the Japanese certainly tried * [wikipedia.org] .

Look up the Dresden [wikipedia.org] or Tokyo firebombings [wikipedia.org] . The scale of destruction in those attacks was comparable to an atomic bomb attack of the time. In short, they were horrific events, and supposedly, even the hardened Winston Churchill supposedly blanched when he saw the damage that had been done in those attacks. Curtis LeMay, head of the US army air corp, once remarked that he probably would have been tried as a war criminal had the US lost the war. That being said, we have to be fair - there WERE no such things as "smart" weapons (the Germans had the only one, as I recall), so there simply was no way to really avoid civilian casualties. The Japanese, in particular, utilized a lot of small, widely dispersed cottage industries, so there was little chance of precision strikes anyhow.

I think it's hard for modern civilians to put ourselves into the mindset of that war. Had we not bombed the Japanese into surrender, some US planners estimated that our troops would have suffered anywhere from half a million to several million casualties attempting to take the Japanese mainland [wikipedia.org] , and up to 10 million Japanese would likely have perished, having demonstrated a frighting propensity for defending to the death. What's more, it's possible the Soviet Union would have invaded as well, and Japan may well have been split into communist and western spheres, like so many other post-war nations. Interesting fact from Wikipedia: We manufactured so many purple hearts in anticipation of that invasion (500,000) that we were able to use that stockpile of combat medals for the next 50+ years. We probably have about a hundred thousand or so left until we have to make a new batch.

As horrible as it sounds, the hammer blows of the nuclear bombs may have saved millions of lives, including Japanese lives. There was no real evidence that the Japanese were entertaining surrender at that time. Dropping a nuke on inhabited cities is neither something to be proud of, nor should we expect forgiveness for it, but it's important to see the actions in their proper context. It was an ugly finish to an ugly war, and we should be glad we haven't seen anything like it since.

I don't mean to belittle those who feel strongly against weapon development (ok, maybe just a bit of teasing). After all, if more people felt like them, the world would probably be a better place for everyone. Even so, I think it's best to keep a realistic view of the current world situation, and to keep a broader historical perspective in mind.

* We had our own wacky bomb project [wikipedia.org] designed to strike back at Japan, but unlike the Japanese balloon bombs, the project never saw fruition. Likewise, the British had an odd project of their own [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Kill fewer. Carpet bombing would be much easier (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 3 months ago | (#47536165)

"Germans - we just blew them up." Ignoring, of course, everything leading up to our entry.

beside the point. Had reasons, yes (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#47536463)

Sure there are reasons that our methods have changed, of course. That's just not really related to the point I was making. TFS claims that the military is trying to find ways to kill more people, and that's simply the opposite of the truth. They've been working on ways to only blow up a specific room rather than blowing up a building or a city block. Secondly, IF they wanted to kill lots of people, they wouldn't need need to work on methods to do so. They've had the B-52 for 60 years or so. A single B-52 could kill thousands of people per day if you wanted it to. We COULD have wiped out Iraq in about a day and half. Building a democracy in Iraq is much, much more difficult than killing them would be.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536239)

or Japanese

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47536429)

And we'd be using chalk on slate as our primary communications mechanism. Not that any of that is a bad thing of course... It's just that the desire to kill people inspires more investments than the desire to make friends.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (2)

ZeroPly (881915) | about 3 months ago | (#47535157)

Oooh... and once GPLv4 prohibits it, the Army is going to stop using the technology in its super secret programs? Let me laugh even harder...

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535209)

Don't you think someone would leak it?

And if they would use it, at least we could sue them...

My bet is they would not. And that they would have to rely upon outdated crappy software. Or pay a lot more for their software development.

Or just use software with older versions of the GPL only.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

ZeroPly (881915) | about 3 months ago | (#47535271)

Ok, let me get this straight. You're going to sue the United States Army over the technical details of a highly classified program, one that by any conceivable description fits under the national security umbrella? The only question is whether the judge would pass out from laughing before he gets a chance to throw out the case.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47535291)

You left out some possibilities:
- Go BSD, which is just as good, or better.
- Legally take the software, rewriting the law if necessary. (Just think of it as a tax.)

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535367)

Developers have the choice to license their software under licenses as they choose appropriately.
Certainly the BSD license can still be used for such applications, even GPLv3 and GPLv2 licensed programs - in the far fetched assumption that the GPLv4 would become the 'good public license'.
And changing the law to remove clauses out of a software license,... well I think it's highly improbable and very difficult to implement in a law. Yet nothing is impossible. And it would probably lead again to a new software license (and a lot of relicensing work).

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47535481)

You misunderstand a legal taking, think eminent domain. You don't get to keep property that is condemned by just changing the deed to say "you can't take this."

If the government decided it was essential to take a particular bit of software and it actually cared about doing it legally they could pass a law that says they can do it regardless of what the license says. It wouldn't be that hard of a law to pass if it was really that important.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535513)

They could.

But the weapon manufacturers would have to look elsewhere for their software.

And the implications for such a law would go much further than OpenSource software.

It would be valid for any commercially developed software too.

I would be very surprised if the US government would pass a law to contradict the software industry to such an extend!

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 3 months ago | (#47535697)

Oh but USA gov and usa miliarty complex are quite in the bed with eachother... didn't you know this?

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47536373)

The weapons manufacturers could use whatever the government gave them just like construction companies can build a road on taken land.

Why would you be surprised? If the government can take land to build roads, why would software be any different? (Especially when what you are talking about is a licensing term?)

I think you just have some mistaken ideas about power of licenses and government, especially if there is an emergency declared.

I wouldn't worry too much about this though. Linux isn't that special that something else couldn't be used, and I doubt such a license would be embraced by the general software community.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535229)

I can't help be reminded of this:

http://www.monkey.org/openbsd/archive/source-changes/0105/msg01243.html

Log message:
Remove ipf. Darren Reed has interpreted his (old, new, whichever)
licence in a way that makes ipf not free according to the rules we
established over 5 years ago, at www.openbsd.org/goals.html (and those
same basic rules govern the other *BSD projects too). Specifically,
Darren says that modified versions are not permitted. But software
which OpenBSD uses and redistributes must be free to all (be they
people or companies), for any purpose they wish to use it, including
modification, use, peeing on, or even integration into baby mulching
machines or atomic bombs to be dropped on Australia. Furthermore, we
know of a number of companies using ipf with modification like us, who
are now in the same situation, and we hope that some of them will work
with us to fill this gap that now exists in OpenBSD (temporarily, we
hope).

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536343)

integration into baby mulching machines or atomic bombs to be dropped on Australia.

While I agree they can be very annoying, I'm not sure I'm down with the baby-mulching machines. The atomic bombing of Australia, however, sounds like the only good idea I've heard in a long while!

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47535339)

congress will pass a law or the president will issue an executive order allowing military use of OSS whether the license prohibits it or not

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | about 3 months ago | (#47535433)

Would you agree with such a law?
How are they going to define a 'OSS' license?
Don't you think we will find a way around that to create another license not fitting that description and rendering that executive order useless.
No president would issue an executive order if it also hurts the software industry in the same way.

But I guess it's a valid point and something to be taken into consideration when drafting such a GPLv4.
Also don't forget that the GPLv4 goes a lot further than only the US...

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

r.freeman (2944629) | about 3 months ago | (#47535723)

USA sadly has democracy - so it does not matter what "he" thinks - the gov will do as it pleases, after making the most campaign sponsored one of two war criminals as the president, and passing some other representatives they will rule as they want, putting as much value on honor or morality as they did in past DECADES, acta, sopa, DMCA, patents, war on drugs, war on children drawing guns on paper, war on "sexuall predators" meaning 2 teenagers sexting eachother and so on.

Why you focus on a tool, while the problem is that we let this bad people create laws and take tax to sponsor the abovementioned evil projects and laws?

Even if it would be direct democracy, still it is simply a matter of calling "think of the childreeeen" "national emergency!" "external enemy!" "weapons of mass destruction" and other bullshit as usuall, and the scared with media masses of idiots will vote on what the hidden leaders want - the wonder of modern democracy.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | about 3 months ago | (#47536103)

ummm, yeah, back up and think about it for a minute.

1: Hypothetical situation where the biggest military in the world by orders of magnitude is breaking a "stupid software license" ( their terms ).

2: your answer is "sue", either in US court / foreign court. Which then gets told "state secret blah blah blah" and to talk to the shiny new warhead if there are any problems.

3: You apparently think the biggest military is just gonna roll over because the software says they can't use it....

Premises 2 and 3 are just plain foolish, especially premise 3. It's not like there is rampant copyright violations worldwide... oh wait, I must have been thinking of the RIAA / MPAA dream world for a second instead of the real world.

TL;DR version: all that license is is a bunch of words to be ignored if you don't have the power to actually enforce it. And no, I highly doubt the rest of the world will declare WW3 over a copyright violation.

Demented. (2)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#47535531)

Cannot be used for weapon manufacturing or mass surveillance... or anything defined as 'evil' by a FSF committee.

Unpredictable and self-righteous. It would utterly destroy GPLv4 as a viable open source license and the ripple effect would be devastating,

GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535543)

What you are looking for already exists. The Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement (HESSLA) [hacktivismo.com] is a license that implements certain restrictions on software use, based on the universal declaration of human rights.

However, because of these additional restrictions, it cannot be considered to be a free software license in the strict sense even though it shares many similarities. It is unlikely that the FSF/RMS will ever create a similar license, as they criticized the HESSLA [gnu.org] for beeing ineffectice (as others have mentioned, governments and the "defense industry" will simply ignore the restrictions) while harming the free software movement due to incompatibilities with other licenses.

If you really want to do something against oppressive, war-mongering governments, trying to make use of the law controlled by the same people is hardly going to be effective. Instead, it would be more beneficial if we focused our efforts on a technical level where we can actually make a difference, e.g. by making surveillance harder by using secure, standardized protocols.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#47535553)

And how much of an impact do you think that would actually have on the military's ability to do any of this stuff? Hint: it's about the same as the amount of damage a bulldozzer would suffer if it rolled right over you.

or anything defined as 'evil' by a FSF committee.

Trying to define an objective standard of something as subjective as "evil" is bad enough, but asking a committee to do it?!

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535819)

I have to disagree with this. In traveling around this planet for several decades, I've come to the conclusion that some people simply need shot. Or in this case, blown up. Why not make it more efficient with less collateral damage? In effect, more precise.

Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (1)

steveha (103154) | about 3 months ago | (#47535863)

There is an upper bound to how much stuff people will tolerate in a license. If you add even one restriction too many, people will stop using the software at all. If possible, people may fork an older version of the software; if not possible, people will switch to something else, or perhaps start their own project with a different license.

For an example from history, look at what happened to XFree86 when they changed the terms of their license [wikipedia.org] . Pretty much overnight, almost everyone stopped using XFree86 and switched to the then-new X.org project. I'm sure that the XFree86 guys thought that the world would just accept the changes to the license, but that's not what happened; what happened instead is that XFree86 became instantly irrelevant.

So, if RMS takes your advice and adopts the restrictions you propose, some nonzero number of users will fall away, and new forks will begin to appear of the software. Meanwhile the military users will shrug and just deal with it. There is exactly zero chance that your proposed GPLv4 will change the plans of the military, even a little bit.

So now the question becomes: what are you trying to accomplish with your proposed GPLv4? If the benefits outweigh the costs, do it. But do it with full knowledge that there will be costs, and among the costs will be increased fragmentation of open-source software projects (more forks and more new projects).

A CNC machine or a 3D printer can be used to make medical parts, or weapons. It follows that if the military contributes code to control a CNC machine or 3D printer, the contributed code could be used for good purposes. One consequence of your proposed GPLv4 license: code under such a license would no longer receive contributions from the military. Is that part of what you wanted to achieve? I don't see this as a win, myself.

Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535131)

All you bastards are going to hell.

Desired lethality? (1)

dixonpete (1267776) | about 3 months ago | (#47535141)

In any other context the scriptor of those words would be considered a mass murderer/psychopath.

Re:Desired lethality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535187)

Stern squeamish?

Re:Desired lethality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535197)

Are you sure he isn't?

LOL, captcha: demonic.

Re:Desired lethality? (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47535349)

Let's say on Monday you are ordered to bomb a large military base. You want a warhead with the largest lethality radius possible- to kill as many enemy soldiers and destroy as much equipment as possible.

On Tuesday you're ordered to bomb a house occupied by an enemy commander, and you notice that it's a block away from a school. You now want a different warhead that contains its destructive force to a much smaller radius and just destroys the target without killing nearby civilians.

If used properly, the concept is actually the opposite of what a mass murdered/psychopath would want.

Re:Desired lethality? (3, Interesting)

citylivin (1250770) | about 3 months ago | (#47535563)

You consider someone who bombs people on monday and then again on tuesday not a mass murderer?

"I was only following orders" is not a defence. Most soldiers are probably murderers, unless obviously, they haven't killed someone.

Your point is that people following orders aren't murderers, well that's where we disagree. You kill someone, you are a murderer. A moral judgement on the circumstances is the only thing that makes it palatable and justifiable in some peoples minds.

Re:Desired lethality? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536237)

You consider someone who bombs people on monday and then again on tuesday not a mass murderer?

If they are bombing members of a military force that they are currently in open hostilities with then no, that is not a mass murder because it isn't murder. If you kill a combatant during the course of conflict you are not committing murder. Now, if that person is no longer a combatant (prisoner, wounded, etc) and you kill them it is murder. But otherwise it is a perfectly accepted act.

Re:Desired lethality? (1)

blindseer (891256) | about 3 months ago | (#47536531)

Have you seen the movie The Big Red One? If you haven't then you should. There is a conversation in that movie about the distinction between killing and murder. Sometimes the people in the different color uniform are acting like animals, these animals are killed, not murdered. Is killing a rabid dog murder? No, because only innocent people can be murdered. All people can be killed. Enemy combatants are not murdered, they are killed before they can murder.

not just any orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536763)

If I gave you orders to kill somebody, and you follow them, that makes you a murderer... unless I am a head of state.

The state maintains a monopoly on legitimate violence. Murder can only occur outside of this monopoly; that is part of the definition.

You'd rather redefine murder to be a synonym for "killing". That would be a kind of Newspeak, simplifying our language so that complex and subtle things can not be expressed.

Re:Desired lethality? (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47536793)

Hmm, so if your target was someone who has been killing innocent people, and the three choices for you were:
1. Ignore it and hope the target just decides to stop
2. Go in with ground force, with all the casualties on both sides that would result
3. Drop a bomb to wipe out the threat with as little casualties as possible

You're telling me #3 isn't the better choice here? Because it is... and because it is, that's what happens. When it happens, are you trying to say you'd rather we drop fuel-air bombs in crowded neighborhoods instead of precision munitions? Because I have to say the controlled destruction is just a teensy bit better than blowing the whole neighborhood to shit...

Good for them (3)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#47535151)

I'm all for efficient killing... wouldn't want to break a nail.

Re:Good for them (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47535201)

Especially if you want to make things more appealing for the GLBT & W communities.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535329)

I don't know if I'm comfortable with our precious homosexuals desiring to kill others.

Re:Good for them (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 3 months ago | (#47535493)

Exactly! And since they can make the plans available for download, they can take a step further and print the warheads and detonators directly at the target site. This will save costs on building a delivery system and associated consumables, such as fuel.

It's green *and* efficient. What could be better?

It's as easy as pressing "print" (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 3 months ago | (#47535215)

I know of other groups who would be very interested in being able to print warheads... and might not be able to build anything but primitive warheads with their current technology. I hope they're better at keeping secrets than other branches of government.

Quality over quantity (3, Insightful)

sobachatina (635055) | about 3 months ago | (#47535227)

For a long time it hasn't been about how to "kill more people" but rather how to kill "the right people" more efficiently.

We put a huge amount of effort and money into weapon systems that will minimize collateral damage.

As much as it is popular to vilify the US- none of our opponents seem to care as much who they blow up.

Re:Quality over quantity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535325)

Do you actually believe this, or are you just copy-pasting the standard hawkish counterpoint?

By what measure has the US killed fewer people than its enemies, please? Are you discounting the dirty work done by foreign militaries which have been installed or supported by the US?

Re:Quality over quantity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535583)

Do you actually believe this, or are you just copy-pasting the standard hawkish counterpoint?

Right back at ya.

Re:Quality over quantity (0, Troll)

mspohr (589790) | about 3 months ago | (#47535351)

Israel is currently using these fine US weapons to kill as many civilians as possible. I don't think they care very much about the health and welfare of the people in the concentration camp they have established in Gaza. The US (at least the politicians) don't seem to mind this carnage.

Re:Quality over quantity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47535561)

Israel is currently using these fine US weapons to kill as many civilians as possible. I don't think they care very much about the health and welfare of the people in the concentration camp they have established in Gaza. The US (at least the politicians) don't seem to mind this carnage.

Godwin achieved!

Re:Quality over quantity (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47536263)

The US (at least the politicians) don't seem to mind this carnage.

John Kerry is rather upset about it. He seems to think that if only Israel gives Palestinians the right to return, then the Palestinians will want to live in peace.

What's the problem? (2)

Jiro (131519) | about 3 months ago | (#47535721)

In its latest bid to kill more people, more efficiently, and at less cost, the army is...

You *do* know what the purpose of an army is, right?

What other choices would you prefer? The army shouldn't kill people? The army should kill people inefficiently?

Bias much? (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 3 months ago | (#47536151)

In its latest bid to kill more people

Let me know when you have an objective article I can read. Also, thanks for showing your bias instantly in the summary so I knew not to bother clicking on anything.

This is actually a Good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47536351)

On today's battlefield, one of the major issues is collateral damage. Most of our weapon systems are designed for "wide area warfare" situations were the target is in the field - think a tank on the plains of Europe - instead of "next door to a school." What this gives the army is the eventual ability to use "sniping" level munitions in instead of "blockbusters." It takes several years, using todays weapons development protocols, for a new warhead to make its way to the front lines. This tech gives the near-to-front-line mission planners to pick up the phone and tell a weapons tech: "I have a target within the windowless front room of this building, with a school in the floor above, and civilians all around it. I need a warhead for a Hellfire class missile that will penetrate reinforced concrete, detonate five inches from the far wall, with a burst radius of two meters and vertical ogive fragmentation pattern, while leaving these other rooms untouched." Instead of "Put a SDB through this wall. Unfortunately, this will kill everyone within 50 meters."

I personally would much rather see headlines of "US Army kills one target in crowded shopping mall, getting a little blood on a bystander's shirt" versus "US Army locates target but had to let them get away because there were to many civilians in the target zone."

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