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Microsoft, USO Links Troops Worldwide Via Xbox

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the fragging-the-family dept.

XBox (Games) 69

Thanks to Reuters for their story reporting on Microsoft and the U.S. armed forces' plans to expand a program bringing Xbox Live to troops overseas. There's a press release on the USO site with more details, including a U.S. Air Force lieutenant's comments: "Xbox Live allows me to play my favorite games with friends and family as though I am sitting on the couch right next to them back home in Garden Grove, Calif. We share stories, laugh and poke fun at each other in real time as we play." We previously covered a pilot scheme using the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and a spokesman "...said the program was such a success it will be expanded to nearly every Air Force base around the world."

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I wont be content (0)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640219)

Until they are fighting ACTUAL wars by sitting on their ass playing what seems like a video game. How many decades until we can get the hook up on that.

Re:I wont be content (3, Interesting)

malakai (136531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640302)

I think a single decade is all that is required to begin rolling out semiautomonous and full automonus aircraft, and ceasing development on new manned air-craft.
After that point, we'll see the planes we know and love today be retired (and their pilots).

What's really lacking is a full redundant, mesh based communication infrastructue that can be quickly deployed. Where every node in the mesh, be it an aircraft or a satellite, or a autonomous drone, can relay and respond.

A top-down approach would put these nodes closer and closer to the action, until they meet ground based nodes (humvees, portable station deployed on sand dunes...etc).

I say 20 years though for fuly functional bi-ped soldiers that can be controlled remotely and have enough autonomy to respond/react quickly to environment and beat speed of light latency in their control systems. Such that a controller at 'home' can move the unit (WASD config of course) but the unit can make choices on how to move (i see a rock, i'm going to step over it, i'm not going to wait 250ms for my controller to hold my hand and walk me over the rock).

-2 Troll? (1, Offtopic)

malakai (136531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640597)

hahah wtf?

where did that come from? Off topic _maybe_, but troll on perdicting autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles in future warfare?

Come on, what a waste of mod points.

Re:I wont be content (2, Funny)

Rob Parkhill (1444) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641225)

Come on, we all know that future wars will be fought by giant robots. [imdb.com]

To suggest anything else is just silly.

Oh no....!!! (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645837)


"We're Robot Jox! We're already dead!

Nintendo Wars (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640449)

Actually, there's no real reason this couldn't be done right now. Build a MMOFPS environment, and add models and behaviours for each side's equipment... you would need to limit the number of players and equipment to match a nation's real-world counterparts as well.

You could host the servers in neutral country, monitored by a neutral agency, and have that agency collect and destroy the real-world analog of anything destroyed virtually, along with some other form of payment for troops killed virtually. After all, we don't want those pesky Suicide Booths from the old Star Trek, do we?

Re:Nintendo Wars (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640599)

Just one more thought on virtual wars - while it's unlikely to ever be used as a method of resolving conflict in the real world, that's because of people, not the technology.

If the US military can get a computer to accurately simulate everything going on in a huge nuke blast, they can build a game server(farm) that could effectively handle a couple of million troops and their equipment.

Re:I wont be content (2, Interesting)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641311)

I think that will be the time to start worrying. Once it becomes trivially easy to kill people, and you can do it without even seeing it 'in real life', it will take any remaining shreads of humanity out of war.

Re:I wont be content (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641633)

it will take any remaining shreads of humanity out of war.

You say that like its a bad thing.

Awesome... (3, Interesting)

malakai (136531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640234)

I think that's great for troops.

I wonder though, if MS has to offer access to the voice chats to security personel for the appropriate armed forces.

I know mail and e-mail is screened, as well as phone calls (espcially on big targets like aircraft carriers). I wonder if MS had to put in code on the server to allow the voice streams to be tapped.

Cool none the less. I wouldn't mind playing Ghost Recon against some troop clans.

Re:Awesome... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640389)

most likely they'll be just playing while in public rooms & etc.. you can tap the entertainment room easy enough.

Re:Awesome... (1)

malakai (136531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640618)

Think of giving away the position of your air-craft carrier by playing an opponent in some game that allows group-map functions, and you plot a waypoint at your exact location.

Then you wink and say into the mike "know what i mean? know what i mean?, nudge nudge, nod nod, say no more, say no more".

Course, the uselessness of that info is astronomical.

Re:Awesome... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641614)

'course, if you put into that way there's no way to screen all the info anyways on big enough operation, if you allow any contact at all.

Commercial (3, Interesting)

musikit (716987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640273)

umm wasn't there a commercial for like splinter cell or something game like that one taht promoted this?

Re:Commercial (2, Informative)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640312)

I believe you're referring to the SOCOM commercial..playable online with only a PS2. Of course, the government wouldn't have to pay XBox Live subscription fees if they want with a Sony solution AND more people have PS2's so there'd be a higher likelihood that friends and families back home would be able to take advantage of this and play with/against the troops. Of course, MS was founded in the states and Sony was not so that may play a role - as it should. Let's help our economy before we help anyone else's.

Zenith is a manufacturer of many electronics goods and was founded in Chicago in the 1920's. Think about that next time you're at Best Buy.

Re:Commercial (1)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641579)

However, when you are looking at what console is the best-looking, it is always the XBox.

Likewise, MS probably has some kind of technical involvement in helping them make this happen; Sony is most likely not contributing resources to help our troops (nor do I expect them to).

Re:Commercial (2, Informative)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642202)

Okay, I'm not here to flame you - I come from a union family and underatand completely where you're coming from with this.

But, I do have to speak up a bit: Not being an Xbox owner, can anyone say where the box is being made? I have to suspect it's somewhere in Asia, not the States.

For the sake of argument, I'm going to assume it is Asia util someone can come up with the answer: Sure, while a chunk of cash goes to Redmond, they still are losing money on the Xbox and still have to pay for the workers in Asia. Thus, is it really helping our economy for that segment of MS to be financially failing?

Arguably, supporting US developers and publishing houses (which MS is, yes, I agree) is a better way to make the claim that you are supporting the US economy, no matter the console manufacturer's country of origin. SOCOM, for example, was published by Sony Computer Entertainment America but was developed by Zipper Interactive, which is an American company (based, ironically enough in an Alanis sense, in Redmond). I would make the argument that this is a better use of our dollars going back into our economy than buying an Xbox over a PS2 or a GCN because MS is located in the States.

And, as a postscript to your final thought:

Zenith is not the paragon of "Made in America" that you might think it is. From zenith.com's "Corporate History" section: In November 1999, Zenith became a wholly owned subsidiary of LGE. LGE is, of course, one of the Korean companies that seems to make everything but the kitchen sink...

Re:Commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7642687)

Xbox was made in Hungary and Mexico. Now made in China and Mexico.

Re:Commercial (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643139)

Ah, thanks for that bit about Zenith. Do you know of any big electronics companies that are still based in the U.S.?

I realize that most manufacturing is not done in the United States, but I'd like a company to at least have the headquarters in this country. And yes, increased X-Box sales do help the American economy. Lots and lots of game development takes place in this country - the more consoles out there, the more development taking place.

Re:Commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7644097)

Toshiba is a Japanese company that operates factories in the U.S. They are the only major, top-tier (in the non-"videophile" sense) TV manufacturer that can make that claim.

I like being able to buy a manufacturer's top-of-the-line product and see "Made in the U.S.A." right there on the box. And that's what happened when I brought my Toshiba 36" tube home from the Good Guys a few months ago. And it's not some fake "U.S.A. = Puerto Rico" kind of thing, either - they have factories in the lower 48.

If you want a good TV from an entirely-U.S.-based company, buy Proton. They are videophile quality, based in California. All design and manufacturing work is done in the U.S. Oh, and the company was founded by an American -- a Taiwanese-American.

If you're thinking of buying RCA/ProScan or GE, they are actually European (Thompson), and they manufacture in Mexico too. Too bad. Once upon a time, when RCA operated American factories, their ProScan line consisted of some of the best TVs on the market. When they moved to Mexico, their quality shot straight to Hell, and nowadays, RCA no longer even manufactures a premium line any more - "ProScan" no longer exists, for obvious reasons. Must explain why my 12-y.o. ProScan made in Indianapolis is still a great set, while the Mexican ProScan I bought two years later (1993) died two years after that (1995).

Now, regarding the bit about Xbox sales helping the U.S. economy: yeah, but only in the same way that it's good for American developers that GameCube and PS2 sales are doing well. The American economy is no better off for the simple fact that the Xbox is an American product, since American developers would be creating their games on whatever system existed, regardless of Microsoft's involvement. And the Xbox sure isn't making Microsoft any money, which negatively affects their investors.

Re:Commercial (1)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 10 years ago | (#7644282)

I don't know of any of the big electronics companies that are located in the US...

(looks around)

We've already established that Zenith is owned by LGE (Korea), Magnavox is owned by Phillips (Dutch), RCA is owned by Thompson (French).

Here's a shocker: Apex Digital is located in Ontario, California (I always thought they were Korean). I can't find any other American companies.

I do think you and I are on the same page because we're talking about driving game development and, therefore, sales, for American companies. Zipper is the example I wanted to use, because, even though it's on the PS2, it's a strong developer with some great experience (SOCOM, SOCOM II, and many of their coders worked on SIMNET, the combat simulation the military uses). The kicker here is that they developed everyone's fav new Xbox game: Crimson Skies.

Now, will CS drive people to buy an Xbox? I don't think so (I would like to play it, but it isn't enough for me to buy the console). But does CS, and the succes it will probably see on the Xbox, coupled with the success SOCOM II is having on the PS2, mean that we have an American developer growing stronger? Yes, I agree with you that it does. And that, definitely, helps the economy (or at least the local and state economies in Redmond and Washington, respectively).

But, really, I don't think buying a PS2 or a GCN hurts the American economy. Just buying Japanese games only might, possibly, dent it because only the developers working on a US localization may be the only US employees involved in the project.

This is getting complicated. :)

Re:Commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7643140)

The vast majority of all Xboxes are manufactured by Flextronics in....Mexico.

I tend to buy all my electronics from Mexico. Lovely stuff, very high quality. I buy Sony TVs and Microsoft Xboxes!!!! I also eat feces.

Made in Mexico (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645519)

My v1.1 Xbox was assembled in Mexico, according to the sticker.

Re:Commercial (1)

Allanon01 (673502) | more than 10 years ago | (#7644013)

Of course, the government wouldn't have to pay XBox Live subscription fees if they want with a Sony solution AND more people have PS2's so there'd be a higher likelihood that friends and families back home would be able to take advantage of this and play with/against the troops
But not all PS2 games use the headset so people can talk to each other. The whole point is so the service member can feel like they are back home with friends and family and not being able to talk to them really doesn't accomplish that goal. On the other hand, all XBox Live games have voice communication.

Re:Commercial (0, Troll)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7644749)

The majority do allow voice communication. Is the extra cost worth it so that "all" games are covered?

Ok... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640286)


I'm all for making troops life easier while in a combat zone, but uh, shouldn't more money/time/expertise be used towards something a little more useful? Say....water or electricity for the population of the country the army is currently occupying.

On a side note, i'd like to play some AA against some of these guys :)

Re:Ok... (1)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640519)

We already give huge amounts of money on food and water and electricity for various countries. I don't think that a few bucks for X-Box live are poorly spent. I do however believe you are against the soldiers being comfortable, but you are unwilling to say that. Otherwise why would you want money used to make them comfortable reallocated to another purpose which receives many magnitudes greater funding.

Re:Ok... (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643756)

Perhaps one should ask the soldiers if they would rather have video games, or get out of there sooner.

Re:Ok... (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640539)

I'm all for making troops life easier while in a combat zone, but uh, shouldn't more money/time/expertise be used towards something a little more useful? Say....water or electricity for the population of the country the army is currently occupying.

You mean like the $87 billion that was approved earlier this year?

As an Airman trust me when I say that stuff like this can be very big for morale. And something that needs to be raised right now, especially in the combat areas is higher morale.

Re:Ok... (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641253)

Not only is it good for morale, but I was under the impression that MS was supplying the funds (as it's basically a big advertisment for them.... every soldier in Iraq will want an X-Box when they get home).

Re:Ok... (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642006)

I dunno. I've played X-Box a lot and the only reason I own one is because it was given to me for free. I still haven't gone out and bought any games for it. With the exception of Halo which I've played to death I really am not interested in much X-Box has to offer. Perhaps when Halo 2 comes out.

Re:Ok... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643134)

That's because you're a Big Dork.

The one game you mention, you've 'played to death'. Yet you are not interested in much that Xbox has to offer. Try some other games- they're good.

I recommend Top Spin quite highly.

Re:Ok... (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640822)

More importantly, shouldn't there a bidding war to do this the the USO? There doesn't seem to be competition to win a bid to do this and MS is getting a pass without any competition. It doesn't seem fair to the taxpayers.

Re:Ok... (1)

VividU (175339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641033)

Theres nothing that comes even close to Xbox Live. Not even close.

The Friends List alone makes the deal.

Re:Ok... (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641279)

MS is the only big-3 gaming company that's US-based. So, it stands to reason that the US military would be more comfortable working with them than with a Japanese company.

Re:Ok... (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641436)

More importantly, shouldn't there a bidding war to do this the the USO? There doesn't seem to be competition to win a bid to do this and MS is getting a pass without any competition. It doesn't seem fair to the taxpayers.

How, exactly, would one bid on something like this? MS bids to give each center 17 XBoxes and 3 games per box, Sony bids to give each center 20 PS2s and 4 games per box?

Read the article, MS donated the XBoxes, games, and monitors. If Sony and Nintendo want to donate games, consoles, and TVs/monitors, they should feel free.

Re:Ok... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643159)

I don't think that this is 'exclusive'. If other entertainment companies want to donate, I'm sure the military will take it.

I used to be posted at a remote site, and I loved it when we would get this kind of stuff. We got movies on VHS about a week after they came out in the theater in the US. Twice a year we would get a huge box of sports equipment, everything you could imagine. That was cool.

Re:Ok... (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645162)

I don't think that this is 'exclusive'. If other entertainment companies want to donate, I'm sure the military will take it.

That's pretty much what I was getting at. The article clearly states that MS donated the stuff, and there's nothing stopping Sony or Nintendo from making matching donations. I'm sure MS gets a tax writeoff, as well.

Re:Ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641111)

Better yet, have them come home and they can play all the xbox they want...That's just my opinion though...

Re:Ok... (1)

danbeck (5706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641387)

Why don't you sit down and figure up just how *little* money it would actually cost to put xboxes in R&R rooms on bases and then subtract that from the billions of dollars it could cost to re-work a utility infrastructure. Drop in the bucket? Hardly.. more like the oxygen atom of a water molecule in the bucket.

Re:Ok... (1)

eticket (250083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643590)

You have to have sometime to decompress no matter what you do. This is an excellent way to do it for them and the USO is not part of the goverment they are a private organization

So.... (1)

quandrum (652868) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640299)

Do the officers in the infirmary now have to watch people play Crimson Skies and buzz out everything but the sex words, signing off their censoring with Irving Washington? Seriously, even besides XBox live, how do they maintain operational secrecy in an internet world?

Not to troll but... (0, Troll)

icemax (565022) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640343)

What are troops doing playing Xbox? Isn't there a war that we're trying to win still? Nonetheless a cool technology application, I'd think that they would want videoconferencing/voice chat first, then games.

Re:Not to troll but... (5, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640405)

Not only are they great entertainment that excesizes their training and teamwork, but when they're on the move it can double as body armor [slashdot.org] !

=Smidge=

Re:Not to troll but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640691)

Uhhhhhhhh............... teh xbox is to heavey to be used as armor........... and to small............ u must be dum..................

Re:Not to troll but... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643181)

Well, should we give them a license to kill every Iraqi they see?

It's not a conventional war- we just have a bunch of people sitting around waiting for something to happen. They are there to provide a presence- wear a uniform, and drive around (swerving around mines).

Its not like they are busy all day- I don't think they were playing with Xboxes during the initial phases of the war.

What do they play? (2, Funny)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640346)


So the question is: are they playing Splinter Cell, or Dance Dance Revolution? Wouldn't you get tired of getting shot at in RL, that simulating it just wouldn't be the same?

Imaginary Events (5, Funny)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640363)

Microsoft Rep: Hey guys! We've got you some games and XBox Live accounts!

Troops: (Cheering)

Troop #1: So, buddy, what games do you have for us?

Microsoft Rep: How about some Conflict: Desert Storm II - Back to Baghdad.

Troop #1: Uh...

Troop #2: Anything else?

Microsoft Rep: Ghost Recon?

Troops: (Silence)

Microsoft Rep: Ghost Recon... Island Thunder? Rainbow Six 3? Counter Strike?

Troop #3: How about ESPN NFL Football?

Troop #4: Or Midnight Club II?

Troop #5: Or Dance Dance Revolution ULTRAMIX? Come on!

Troops: (Raise eyebrow at Troop #5)

Troop #1: Hey, what kind of fucking joke is this?

Microsoft Rep: Oh shit...

Nice joke, but.. (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641166)

"Microsoft Rep: How about some Conflict: Desert Storm II - Back to Baghdad."

Content download only there, no online multiplayer!

There should be stricter enforcing of packaging policy via what can say online enabled in what size if they only have content download vs. true online multiplayer.

Re:Nice joke, but.. (1)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641375)

Well, hey, the troops in my storycan be pissed about that too.

Pilot scheme, eh? (1)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640547)

We previously covered a pilot scheme using the U.S. Air Forces in Europe
Did they select the US Air Force for their pilot scheme on purpose, or was it coincidence???

OK, this post is pretty crap... I know it is... Why am I hitting submit?

War Games (3, Funny)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640746)

What I don't understand is why a bunch of soldiers would want to spend their downtime playing war games (e.g. Crimson Skies) on the XBox. Don't they get enough of the real thing?

That's like an accountant going home and playing a slightly more exciting Excel/Quickbooks simulator.

On the other hand, the soldiers can play racing games or sports games, which are okay I guess, but still not optimal for relaxation. (Better solution: drink some beers and watch Monday Night Football.)

Re:War Games (1)

wickedj (652189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640989)

How about a nice game of chess?

Re:War Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641059)

or blast the iraqi

Re:War Games (1)

CVaneg (521492) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641994)

I was always more fond of Global Thermonuclear War. Unfortunately, the only winning move is not to play, so it got boring pretty quickly.

Re:War Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641097)

That's like an accountant going home and playing a slightly more exciting Excel/Quickbooks simulator.

No it isn't. It's like an accountant going home and playing Sim City or Railroad Tycoon. You see, the former is "not fun", while the latter would be more...uh..."fun".

And for all the jackasses saying the troops should be fighting/working 24/7, maybe you should actually sit back and imagine yourself in a fuckin warzone.

Strategy/RPG games == Excel simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641146)

Don't kid yourself.

So do I want to keep my +3 Axe of Might, or my +20% All resistance Crimson Halberd of Vampirism? Calculating...damage per hit...hits per second...average damage per kill...average XP per kill...calculate...ah, there it is, my XP/hour ratio will improve 3.7%.

Re:War Games (1)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642557)

, the soldiers can play racing games or sports games, which are okay I guess, but still not optimal for relaxation.

How many times have you seen football players playing Madden on G4 or TechTV? If people love what they do, they'll want to do it all the time. It doesn't matter if it's football or sweep and clear operations in urban terrain.

Re:War Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7643231)

"If people love what they do, they'll want to do it all the time. It doesn't matter if it's football or sweep and clear operations in urban terrain."

Don't forget wanking, "Dr. Bent."

Re:War Games (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643208)

Its like a bunch of computer geeks using their computers in their spare time reading discussion groups about computers.

We would NEVER do THAT!

Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641041)

Now since Billy has got the favor of the rich and famous, he's trying to sway the army! I tell you it's a conspiracy!

Last News (1)

skahshah (603640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641140)

Hyperpower Defeated by Ridiculous Country
Everybody Busy Playing in Diego Garcia Air Force Base... Ridiculous Navy from Liechtenstein Take Base and Disarm Everybody... No One Notices... Commander Happy to Surrender After 36 hours Playing Without Sleeping... Ridiculous Liechtenstein Air Force (L.A.F.) Laughs... International Conference To Be held In Geneva To Prohibit Weapons of Mass Distractions...

US Troops use MS, UN advocates Linux... (0, Troll)

stanwirth (621074) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642018)

MS' agenda is to dominate markets by locking customers into an asymmetric "tech providor vs tech consumer" relationship.

In short, technological hegemony -- much like the hegemonistic agenda certain elements in the US military-industrial complex are often accused of.

OSS' agenda, on the other hand, is to empower individuals, and individual nations, to make their own technological choices. So the UN advocates OSS in its WSIS, a move that is vigorously opposed by only one nation: the US.

The pattern is pretty clear.

Now if the DOD could only ban OSS in its own organisations. But they can't. The MITRE study demonstrated that the DOD and associated organisations' research, infrastructure and security efforts would themselves grind to a halt if they banned OSS from their own operations.

Technological knowledge due to the proliferation of OSS is, increasingly, the key to both autonomy and power for a nation, and an individual.

So, the efforts of the US to deny OSS to the rest of the world, and (outside of it's engines of power) to it's own people are in line with the agenda of hegemony the US is are often accused of. It's similar to the consolidation of land and informational assets in the hands of a small group of increasingly powerful people in developing nations, whose actions result in the people not being able to grow their own food or publish their own views and information--just look at what the US did to Latin America throughout the 20th century.

I predict that the export of US-sanctioned "democracy" will be accompanied by the export of US-developed MS-based easily-hacked voting systems which will only result in the fraudulent election of officials (e.g. GWB) who will promote the same kind of economic and technological dependency on the US, while real technological democracy, in the form of publicly validated, secure and properly audited OSS voter registration systems, voter information systems, and the voting systems themselves will be denigrated as "substandard and not valid" by the same people that brought you the massacre at el Mozotol (and fired Ray Bonnert, the correspondent to the NY Times who reported it).

I wonder if the School of the Americas has a new course, "Skewing Election Results Without Getting Caught (much) 101: Diebolt Systems Under The Hood."

Re:US Troops use MS, UN advocates Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7643033)

You show me a linux console... and then tell me why it matters that it runs open source software. It wouldn't.

reminds me of cigarettes during WWII (0)

khalua (468456) | more than 10 years ago | (#7643218)

Sending the boys off to war and giving them packs of lucky strikes practically created the cigarette business.
It guaranteed tousands of thousands of addicts when they returned.
Brilliant of MS to try to recreate this. When they get back they'll all want an XboX.

I just home there's some left. Soldiers that is.

Re:reminds me of cigarettes during WWII (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645476)

You mean they weren't smoking before they went off to war? Next you'll be telling me that they didn't drink before they went off to war.

In term of psychological benefits for soldiers while in combat and the extremely well documented information on post tramatic syndrome affecting soldiers when they come home, I think a little nicotine won't hurt when some of these same smokers came back with lost limbs and/or lost sanity. (We've all heard stories about some soldier committing suicide after coming back from the warzone.)

How bout other games (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7644458)

You know, I'm sure enough guys in the service love playing video games, why not make money doing it? How cool would it be if your clan could pay a fee, and be able to play against a squad of actual soldiers in your favorite games, like Desert Combat for bf1942.

I'm sure everybody remembers that Xbox commercial where the marines trounced the kids playing that xbox game. I know for a fact that many clans would pay to be able to do this and test their skills against people who do this in real life.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7648920)

...so someone has to lose a war to find XBox gaming joyful.

Getting a bearable connection (1)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7652484)

What interests me about this story is the connection method. Getting a low latency mid-band is not easy. Nor something they should be throwing good resources after just so some soldier can play XBox.

What would be the best way of getting air force bases (in places as far flung as, say, Afghanistan) onto XBox Live at a decent speed with a decent latency? Satellites are ruled out straight away. Microwave links to places with more reliable landline connections?
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