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US Military Builds MMO Earth Simulator

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the one-is-not-enough dept.

United States 525

transient writes "BBC reports that the US military is creating a second Earth with help from There. At the moment, only Kuwait City has been modeled, but the ultimate goal is to model the entire Earth using existing terrain data and a super-accurate physics model. While combat will be part of the game, 'the emphasis in the artificial Earth will be on human interaction rather than conflicts involving lots of military hardware.'"

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525 comments

Name Called Out By The High Tech Machine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362014)

My brain, my body, my stomach, my eyes, and my ears were under severe attacks this past day and night by Henry( Hank) Rumbarger( name called out from the high-tech machine), an employee of KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root), a subsidiary of Halliburton. Hank Rumbarger,I did not renew my Professional Engineer license for the year of 2004 --the license which I believe that David M. Austgen, a project manager of The M. W. Kellogg Company helped me a lot to obtain that in 1991 -- and I have told you that I do not want to work for you,, so please end this kind of attacks or let me know that you were not the person who controlled the high-tech machine. Please read the following five letters, investigate the case, and/or response. Thank you.

Letter 1:

Charlie Wang
[ADDRESS DELETED]

December 16, 2003

To Whom it may concern:

The high-tech machine in my letter is a very general term, meaning a very complicated device which may combine different functions of machines, such as computer, satellites or radio stations, and some mechanical and electrical systems. The pain I endured most is my brain, my skin, my eyes, my ears. my throat, and my body. My short memory is very bad because my brain has been constant under attacks no matter when I read, when I played tennis and computer games, when I watched TV, and when I was sleeping. the most frustrating thing is, when I was reading, I was constantly disturbed by voices and images, which, I speculate, can be transmitted through satellite, radio station, and/or brain wave. My skin felt very sharp pain as cut by a knife when it was under attacks. My eyes were under severe attacks while I was playing computer games, which can cause very temporarily blurred vision and/or tears. My ears will fell loud ring sounds and/or voices when they were under attacks, and it could happen any time, especially at night while I was sleeping. There are more regarding how I felt about the pain I suffered through the brain, throat, and my body, and I will tell more details if I go to the courts.

Now, you know how dangerous this high-tech machine is. I tried my best to tolerate it to keep it as a secret and not to terrifying people, but whoever using that machine has no intention to stop but increasing it's power to damage my body. We all have responsibility to stop the person (persons) to abuse this high-tech machine, not just for myself, but also for the children and for this country. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Charlie Wang, P.E.

Letter 2:

Charlie C. Wang, P.E.
[ADDRESS AND PHONE DELETED]

January 19, 2003

To whom it may concern:

I would like to tell you something which I have kept in my mind for a long time. How long is it? It is about five months. You probably think it is not long. All I can say is that it is all relative. If you live happy, five months is really too short and too fast. If you suffer unpleasant attacks on your brain, ears, eyes, mouth, fingers, heart, stomach, liver, and feet for that period of time, you know time just passed so so slow. You must ask why I kept it in my mind for so long. I only can say there are so many reasons. but once I tell you that those attacks were done by a very high intelligent machine (or machines), you can understand how complex this issue is.

I was contract pipe stress engineer for Fluor Daniel from January, 2002 to May, 2002.
I believed I performed my job very well, but I got laid off anyway. In July, this high tech. machine started to approach me at night and day. I could not fall asleep for the first week, because it attacked my brain or my ears all the time. I could hear different voices, but most important of all, I heard the names, Hank(Henry) Rumbarger and M. W. Kellogg. Henry Rumbarger was my supervisor while I was working as a permanent pipe stress engineer from 1989 to 1991 at M.W.Kellogg. After the first week of attacks, I slept better, but the attacks on my brain, ears, eyes, heart, stomach, and liver continued. In a few days, the attacks were so severe, I had to walk outside on side walks around and around in my subdivision, Williams Glen , First Colony. I have tried to figure out why Hank Rumbarger of M.W. Kellogg hated me so much, all I could think of is I did not send a gift of PC World magazine. Otherwise, I could only say Why, Why, Why, Why. As time developed, the machine occasionally made some jokes, but it could not relieve any pain I experienced. Hank Rumbarger( name called out from the machine) also constantly wanted me to check my accounts for the money they deposit to compensate those attacks. I checked every time he asked me, but it was always in vain. I never gave up, because I thought I deserved the compensation. Finally the machine told me to report to Sugar Land Police Department to get this payments. I reported Police Department twice. I called attorney once. Finally I had to call Hank Rumbarger himself. Surprisingly, he told me that he is not aware of that. Yesterday, I heard that M.W. Kellogg issue final statement that they wanted to compensated me six hundred thousand dollars exactly, take or leave it. I thought I should accept it because it is recession and they could not make too much profit. You know what? I was experienced sever attacks on my brain and my feet by Hank Rumbarger (name called out from the machine) last night. That is why I decided write this letter to let people know. Maybe just maybe, the more people know, the more likely the machine will stop and the truth will come out. Now my nerve of my feet is still hurt. I can not walk well. That is all because of that machine which constantly attacked me. There is something more terrible, which I really do not want to openly mention here, Just because this is so advanced high tech. machine. All I can tell you, I almost got killed in a couple incidents.

I do not know whether you experience it or you heard of that before, but I do know every bit I told you is the truth. Also the truth is that I did not tell you all, Because I have suffered those pain for so long. One time I even was told that I will get paid twelve million dollars. Gush, I am still not get paid by even a penny. I do not write any further.
All I ask you is just imagine that if that person were you, or your loved one. Thank you for your patience and your time.

Sincerely
Charlie C. Wang

Letter 3:

Charlie C. Wang, P.E.
[ADDRESS AND PHONE DELETED]

It was January 19, 2003. I wrote the first letter regarding the attacks which I suffered from the high tech. machine. I E-mail the letter to friends, attorneys, and six publishing Companies which included Houston Chronicle, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Times, and Los Angeles Times. I called police persons. One of them, named Tracy Taylor, said that it happened to the other persons. Most important of all, I faxed this letter to Margaret who is the secretary of Mr. Karl, the president of Kellogg, Brown & Root. I thought the attacks would stop, but it did not. I suffered even more sever attacks. This machine attacked my brain, my ears, and my body several times while I was sleeping at night and the machine's attack almost made me fainted on the ground while I was playing tennis at Elkins high school tennis court. Not only that, at night of February 3, I heard the voice from the machine, which made death threat to me and my family between the conversation of Mr. Karl and Hank(Henry) Rumbarger(the conversation to be confirmed) of Kellogg, Brown & Root, Therefore I have to write this second letter to let every person know what really happened in details in order that the machine(or machines) will stop attacking me.

It started in 1996, while I was as a contract pipe stress engineer. people walked back and forth in front of my desk and looked at me without saying a word. I felt strange, but I really did not know what was this about. During the period of 1996 to 1999, I had changed my jobs six times. Some jobs even only lasted two weeks. In 1997 and 1998, I had to call Hank Rumbarger to say, quote "good morning, how are you." every day In order to survive on that job. In 1999, I called Hank(Henry) Rumbarger to see whether He was hiring, He answer, quote "not until you decide?". Since that day I had to search the answer myself. You know what happened to me after that. A lot of girls walked around me smiling, staring at me without saying a word, or used words or body languages to attack me at Sweetwater country club, Fort Bend Community church, and other places. Finally I heard a person at hot tub at Sweetwater country club, saying "all you need is to touch a girl's bottom" , After that, I spent $5000.00 dollars to defend two girls from Sweetwater country club, one of them accused me touch her bottom while she was making a telephone call near to the hot tub at about club closing time. This case took three times of trial, lasted six months. You know what?, I was arrested on my birthday, while I was going to have interview for a math teacher position. That was longer than three months after that incident. You know what? How long it took me to go back to the next contract job. It took me two years and five months. During this time, The words or body languages continued at the church and other places, but I would not even try to look at girls intentionally. While I was working at Fluor Daniel from January 2002 to May 2002, the same things happened while I was working on my project and during lunch hour. I thought it meant no harm and I needed to get my paycheck, so I did the same thing accordingly. Like the first letter stated that I believed in that I performed very well and kept good relationship with the project team, but I got the call from my contact agent to lay me off anyway. As I stated in my first letter, in July, this high tech. machine started to approach me at night and day. It hit my brain at my friend's house while we were together for fellowship and at Lexas dealer service building. It attacked me on my brain, my heart and my arms while I was playing tennis tournament at Northwest country club. The machine's attack almost made me fainted to the ground while I was playing tennis at Elkins high school. It also attacked me once while I was driving from the church on the way to home, which could cause me and my family sever injures or death if accident occurred. It also attacked me while I was playing piano, chess, and while I was at assembly building for jury duty and at movie theater. Most of all, this machine (or machines) constantly made some ringing noise waking me up several times at night, and then you could hear talking near your ears, and then the attacks on my brain, my ears, my neck, or any part of my body followed. It also attacked me while I was on my study room and my computer room. This is a very high-tech. machine, I still did not tell you very detail, because it will make you frighten such that it could make you feel "sudden death". I could not tell you who really control this kind of machine, but all I can tell you is the names called out from the machine, what are those names, they are Hank Rumbarger, Margaret, and Mr. Karl, President of Kellogg, Brown & root. Most of all, I heard the name Hank Rumbarger a lot, who always claimed he is still my boss, he could do whatever he wanted toward me, because that was his business. All I could tell you is because that phone call I made to Hank Rumbarger in 1999, My family started suffering, because I could not find a job. Not because I did not have good technical skill, but because I had to keep searching that answer "not until you decide." My family started suffering, because I had to spend so much time on lying on bed because the machine's sever attacks.

Now, I want to reemphasize how danger this high tech. machine (or machines) can cause. It really can cause your death. I kept fighting this kind of machine, while I kept sending this letter out through E-mail. I understood I did not receive the response from police men, or from the attorneys, not mentioning from most of my friends. I will keep fighting to this machine (or machines) and to the man or woman (men or women). Not because it threatened my life, but also it started to threaten my family's life. It can threaten you or your loved one's life too. All I can tell those persons controlling the machine that, If you want to attack me, I will keep fighting. Do not involve my family, Just because they should not be involved, especially my children. I will send this letter to as many people as possible so that every person can be alert. I am very appreciate your time to read this letter. If you know someone, you can forward to him or her. I will take full responsibility. Because this high tech. machine has to be stopped for using as a tool to attack people. Those people should be arrested in order to make human live freely. Just image how cruel this person (or persons) is. I still believe in American. I still believe in this jurisdictional system. Eventually, justice and the truth will come out, even though I can not provide any witness.

Sincerely,
Charlie Wang, P.E.

Letter 4:

Charlie C. Wang, P.E.
[ADDRESS AND PHONE DELETED]

September 3, 2003

To whom it may concern:

It was January 19, and February 9, I emailed my first and second letters, respectively, to friends, attorneys, and six publishing companies to tell them what the high-tech machine (machines) had attacked me. It has been six months gone by, I thought that the person (persons) controlling the machine had understood how serious this matter is, because the attacks were not that violent anymore, even though it kept bothering me. I also sent the e-mail of these two letters to attorney general and FBI later, I did not get any response and I understand how complex this issue was. I was humbled by Jesus Christ, the pain I had endured is relatively small by comparing the torment he suffered. Therefore, I did not send the third letter and hopefully god would guide me through this painful experience.

The reality is that the machine started violently attacking me again and again. I thought that God also give us free will to do our best to protect our body and tell us to do what are righteous, even though it means it might cause another more powerful attacks . therefore I am writing this letter to let you know what happened to me, and ,hopefully, if anyone had the same experience or any knowledge regarding this matter, he can be very brave to tell the truth, the righteous thing to do, because I do know how tough to face this kind of decision..

During the past few months, the high-tech machine still kept attacking my ears, my brain, and my body. Most of all, I periodically heard different voices through the machine, especially at night , I got waked up so many times because of those voices. Most frequently, I heard Hank(Henry) Rumbarger's voice. As far as I know, Henry Rumbarger is piping department manager of Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. He also was my supervisor while I was a pipe stress engineer at M.W. Kellogg from 1989 to 1991. The attacks and voices made you feel threatened, disgusting, and annoying and, ultimately made you feel you have to work for him under any circumstance. I do not know why Hank(Henry) Rumbarger hated me so much, but I do believe that, most likely, he know something regarding this matter. I do not think it is good business practice, even though I do not have a job available to me. I do hope he can call me if he know anything about this matter as I called him to tell him what I experienced before I wrote my first letter.

I did not tell a lot of details. I do believe, hopefully, that, someday, someone will tell the truth, who did those cruel things. The technology should be used to benefit people, not used to threaten people. I just pray that this kind of practice will stop, and goodness will prevail. Thank you for your time. God bless you.

Sincerely,
Charlie Wang, P.E.

Letter 5:

Charlie Wang, P.E.
[ADDRESS AND PHONE DELETED]

October 1, 2003

To whom it may concern:

It was January 19, February 9, and September 3, I e-mailed my previous three letters.
I decided to write this letter, because I know more about how capable this machine can perform, I feet that I have responsibility to do so, and I did get encouragements to go ahead from the machine through it's sound.

while I was reading, playing computer games- Reversi, Checkers, and Minesweeper- at home, and play tennis at Grants Lake subdivision tennis court and Sweetwater country club(play tennis tournament for charity contribution), this kind of high-tech machine were attacking my eyes, my brain, and my body constantly. Especially, this machine waked me at night so many times every night, doing all kinds of damaging to my body; it also make your skin so sting and etch that you constantly lost focuses on what your are doing every day . Those kinds of behavior are terrorisms and should have no place to exist in this free country, but the fact is that, unless you have very strong will, you have to yield, which means that you are constantly under attacking that makes you feel threatening, irritating, and disgusting, and that you have to do whatever the machine told you to do. Just image if this kinds of machines were controlled by a bad group of people in the near future, what kind of the world we have to live in. Therefore we have to find out what are the truth by calling, e-mails, writing letters, or voting to let our representatives know how serious we are on this matter. This is a very, very high-tech machine (or machines), and I do believe that it (or they) is controlled by a group of people, and I also do believe, hopefully, that some of them are good people, because I did get encouragements to write this letter. I have experienced so much pain not just on my body, but also on my relationship with my family, relatives, and friends(?), but I do believe that I did right things to stand up to tell what happened to me, even though I fail to find out what are the truth. I do believe that some people want to tell the truth, maybe, just like me, without enough power, the truth can not prevail. Is this what American about ?, I still believe that the people of this country are bigger than that, it will keep changing, changing for the better. I do believe that evil will be beaten by the goodness, the faith through Jesus will prevail.

I still constantly heard that the names were called out from the machine, which told me they control the machine and urged me to say so. I do not want to identify those people in this letter - because this matter become so serious- but I do hope that FBI already started investigate the case, publishing companies are allowed publishing those letters, and big companies, especially high-tech companies, were aware of how capable this machine is. This machine should not be used for controlling people for business interests.

I have sent my previous letters to Department of Justice, senators, FBI, media companies, big industry companies, churches, attorneys, and, also, United Nation. I will keep sending this letter to them, and then, I have to tell myself, if it is still in vain, I did what I can do and this group of people is too big for me to find out the truth, and maybe, just maybe, this is what this country is about, but, finally, I still will keep sending those letters to FBI, and I will never call the persons, Henry(Hank) Rumbarger and other persons, called out from the machine for employment purpose. If any attorney is willing to take the case, I do know some people may be involved in this case. Thank you for your time and God bless you.

Sincerely,
Charlie Wang, P.E.

Re:Name Called Out By The High Tech Machine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362137)

I'm not a doctor but many of the symptoms you describe suggest a schizophrenic episode which requires immediate medical attention.

Choose your weapon... (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362017)

Which do you think will win the War on Terror--guns or minds?

It makes sense that they'd do this. After all, there have to be a few people at the Pentagon who understand that you can't make people stop hating you at gunpoint, and that they'd do well to have a simulator that allows them to get a feel for the social environments where terrorist organizations have the best luck in recruiting. The more they understand the role society plays in terrorism, the better they'll be able to counteract it.

Break recruitment, and you're dealing with a handful of international criminals rather than a terrorist network.

Re:Choose your weapon... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362049)

After all, there have to be a few people at the Pentagon who understand that you can't make people stop hating you at gunpoint

You're right. They know that while bullets only intimidate some, bayonets intimidate everyone.

Re:Choose your weapon... (-1, Insightful)

ricosalomar (630386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362069)

I agree with you. But I think that since the majority of Pentagon policy makers are shadow employees of weapons dealers, the gun in the face will be the preferred method. Of course, Halliburton et al will make more money if the "War on Terrorism" is UNsuccesful, because then demand for weapons will outpace supply.

Re:Choose your weapon... (4, Interesting)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362112)


The more they understand the role society plays in terrorism, the better they'll be able to counteract it Firstly my two cents... You have Santa who controls the presents delivered around the world for millions of kids, and then ... Osama who controls the world's terrorists? Give me a break.

You're forgetting that it would not be in the military's best interest to live in a Utopia because the world would not need armed forces. Aside from that, when it comes to the US military, put your filtered Americanized book down and learn the truth for once. If you look at the majority of conflicts in this world, you would know the US played a major role through clandestine actions. Take the cold war for example. The United States engaged Russia to implode. Certainly their researchers had to have known about the nuclear factor that would come out of it concerning a splinter of countries with nukes. It would be moronic to think the collapse of the Soviet Union would make their arms disappear. So what do we have now, nukes on the black market. Irrelevant here, but you should know the role of the MIC (mil. ind, complex) a bit better from an outside perspective before you believe that the army is doing this in order for all of us to sing "I'd like to teach the world to sing...".

The ambitious project aims to help the US Army plan future conflicts which are unlikely to involve set-piece battles and instead be smaller in scale. Translation, lets simulate different combat scenarios here, so we'll know how to fight/kill (INSERT YOUR TERM HERE), when the time is appropriate.

Gigantic Quake server (5, Funny)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362023)

Oh MAN, imagine the MASSIVE deathmatch games you could play! Or even better - BF1942!

Re:Gigantic Quake server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362064)

Yes, i can see it now:

"j00 c4mp1ng 1raq1 f4gg0tt!!!"

Now we know how it began... (5, Interesting)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362164)

Morpheus said that he didn't know what year it was, but some time early in the 21st century the war with the machines takes place...at least now we know how the Matrix is started.

Ok, that was an obvious observation. But they're making an online world that mirrors our own world. It reminds me some years back when I went to Siggraph in Chicago and Virtual Reality was the "next big thing". Someone showed a demo on a virtual world where you could walk in, pick up a book and flip through it. Someone remarked wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy a book...

So wouldn't it be cheaper to build a fake city with actors playing a part for the people being trained to interact in? Be employed by the US Army for acting in a simulated city so they can better understand how to weed out terrorist and help people in need, yet do so in a safe environment. Also, working with actors trained themselves in certain ways AND with the ability to actually "think" would be WAY better than AI in a game.

Just a thought, but probably a stupid thought on my part.

Re:Now we know how it began... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362188)

You can't shoot-and-kill real actors, but, you can genocide all the virtual actors you want...
And hit the reset button afterwards.

Virtual ethnic cleansing!

Re:Gigantic Quake server (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362189)

imagine the MASSIVE deathmatch games you could play! Or even better - BF1942!

Or even "Global Thermonuclear Warfare"

one thing is for sure (-1, Offtopic)

tokaok (623635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362030)

the carebears will hate to find out that the griefers have free reign.

Deep Thought (5, Funny)

Black Rabbit (236299) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362035)

Isn't this the flipside of building the Earth 2 to solve the Great Question of Life, The Universe and Everything, for which the answer is 42?

We've got to blow up Earth I first... (1)

lxt (724570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362156)

Well, the US military have yet to destroy the first one yet :)

Why do we need another Earth ? (3, Funny)

dapyx (665882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362038)

BBC reports that the US military is creating a second Earth The first one already got blown up by the Vogons?

i wonder the level of detail (5, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362041)

I wonder if they will simulate in extreme detail. Like all the nude beaches in Europe or the Playboy mansion. If terrorists attack the Playboy Mansion during a party they have to know how to handle that. If so, I wonder if they are taking resumes.

Oh God! I hope not (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362180)

Like all the nude beaches in Europe

Fat German businessmen & women with breasts at their knees and hairy armpits and legs?

*shudder*

Dup? (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362043)

You mean like this story here?
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04 /02/18/ 2330228
Which talked about stuff from here
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/ 01/16/ 1951256

The Sims (5, Funny)

parawing742 (646604) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362044)

Now if they would just make the earth data available as a plug-in for The Sims, I would never have to leave my computer again!

Re:The Sims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362073)

Except for those pesky "meals". I mean, you have to either get the food yourself or get someone to bring it to you. Even if you order pizza, you still have to get the door.

Psychological impact (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362050)

If as they mention, soldiers will be ultimately trained using this system, it's inevitable that commanders and people not-on-the-ground will start to treat the theatre-of-operations more like a game - that's just how humans are wired. I'm not sure that blurring the distinction between war and games is really such a good idea...

War is terrible. Games are fun. Ne'er the two should meet. IMHO.

Simon.

Re:Psychological impact (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362115)

Already combat training takes on gaming aspect with tools like the MILES, the classic sandbox and tools like Major H's Tac-Ops

http://www.battlefront.com/products/tacops4/taco ps 4.html

"TacOps 4 is the commercial version of "TacOpsCav 4", an officially issued standard training device of the US Army. It is a simulation of contemporary and near-future tactical, ground, combat between United States (Army and Marine), Canadian, New Zealand/Australian and German forces versus various opposing forces (OPFOR), simulating the Former Soviet Union, China, North Korea etc. Various civilian units and paramilitary forces are also included."

Gaming doesn't blur the distinction anymore than the training to take orders and it's "Us vs. Them" does for a soldier.

Since 1942 the US Army has trained at Ft. Irwin in wargames. Commanders already see the theatre of operations as a game, thats how they deal with the massive amounts of people, equipment and casualties they will deal with. At the lower level, situtations have been gamed for hundreds of years and numerical values have been established to units, ships and fortifications have been in use since at least the 1750s.

Re:Psychological impact (1, Flamebait)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362124)

I'm sure that's deliberate.

It's much easier to get your troops to take part in the nastiness of war if they are trained to think it's all a game...

/greger>

Re:Psychological impact (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362169)

No matter how much training a soldier receives, when real bullets start whizzing over their heads all that "it's a game" crap goes right out the window. The primitive brain will continue to know the difference between real and virtual until we move to total immersion.

The easier way to get soldiers to think it's a game is not to train them ahead of time, but to build a shell around them that distances them from the real sensory input. Power armor, heavily enhanced vision, etc. You put a barrier between them and the reality of the situation and now the primitive fear responses have a harder time figuring out how close to death you are.

Re:Psychological impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362147)

. . . it's inevitable that commanders and people not-on-the-ground will start to treat the theatre-of-operations more like a game

Why? What is the difference between poking about some model soldiers on a map and playing with this system?

Too late (1)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362178)

I remember watching the short video clips of the "Shock and Awe" operation in Iraq. I can't seem to find it at the moment on Google [slashdot.org].

Sure looked like a video game to me. Point, click, and BOOM.

Office buildings? Homes? Hospitals? No, those are merely designated targets, blips on a map.

Ender Wiggin could not be reached for comment. (5, Interesting)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362205)

The nastier questions begin at the point at which an 'earth simulator' like this could have the control mechanisms tied to reality unbeknownst to 'pilots' within the sim.

You thought you were running through the sim... you had no idea you just took a UAV on a live mission and actually killed 2 dozen people. Missions take place, with perfect human guidance - and not even the soldiers involved knew it actually happened.

Worse yet - consider the game world altering the appearance of targets. Your strike deep in the Tora Bora mountains may have been a cover for an FBI raid on a militant compound in Colorado. The four phillipino terrorists you just greased with an armed unmanned terrestrial rover... well who in the hell were they?

Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362052)

The detailed simulation will be drawn from a real-world terrain database and will be drawn to the same scale as the original.

Can somebody please explain to me what this means?

Or can anyone give a decent measure of the level of exageration involved in this one statement?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362165)

In the simulation, stuff like rivers and mountains and cities would appear the same size as they are in real life.

There was an online Planetside-like game set in World War II (was it WWII Online? I forget the name.) that did a similar thing to this, but instead of a full-size map of Europe it was something like half or one quarter sized. I guess a full-sized map either took too much CPU power or was too big and spread out to be a fun MMO game.

peeved (4, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362056)

I'm so glad to be living in the US, just to know that my tax dollars go towards making a version of The Sims on crack.

But the part that pisses me off is that they won't let me pl

Spending out of control (-1, Offtopic)

dada21 (163177) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362057)

This is outrageous. Why are "We the People" allowing such an abuse of power?

We pay for every dollar spent on wasted programs such as these. The Constitution does NOT allow our federal government the power to tax us to spend on this program (or most other military programs).

Its a waste. It means I have less control of my own money, and I lose even more in bureacratic red tape and pork.

Its not just the Republicans, either. Do you see any Democrats voting against the out of control spending of the federal agencies?

I wish others here would realize that government spending won't solve any of the problems today. All it does is give each and every one of us less control of our property, our money, and our persons.

Re:Spending out of control (1, Interesting)

Jotaigna (749859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362113)

so how many hospitals, text books for schools and environmental research does this giant Quake server costs?. You can put a price in dollars, but surely cant in terms of the damage is doing to your society. War is so destructive that just prepairing for it is bad for all of us.

Re:Spending out of control (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362163)

I'm don't think the Constitution forbids the military from spending its budget which is given to it by Congress as it sees fit (until Congress or the Pres says no I imagine).

The Constitution didn't even include income taxes originally. The 16th Amendment gave Congress that power in 1913.

Re:Spending out of control (-1, Troll)

dclydew (14163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362167)

you hippie communist! how dare you say anything against our proud and sucessFul millitary! if we had this traiNing tool earlier, we may have been able to discover the weapons Of mass distruction (not that they were the Reason we went to war, minD you!)

haH! i am so sick of you people knocking our obviously sucessful millitary And economic progress! do you know who Is responsibLe for Everything we have? do you? how can you sit there, like every other ameRican, safe, with plenty of food, a roof over your head, and a secure future, and say anything agaInSt our government?!

Re:Spending out of control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362209)

FNORD HAILERIS?

Re:Spending out of control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362222)

I believe the WMD are in the expansion set.

Huh.... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362058)

And yet, even with this technology, nothing will beat ACTUAL, REAL experience of the REAL world. No amount of virtual training will compensate for complete lack of awareness of the rest of the world. This is, IMO, the wrong thing to do at this point. We should be giving money and influence for the diplomatic corps so more people actually WANT to do the job.

If you don't understand another culture, talk to people who do. The gov't ignores those people, and just decides that it will decide things with an imaginary, "faith-based" approach. It doesn't work, guys!

Virtual Wars? (5, Funny)

p_millipede (714918) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362060)

Now all we need to do is convince the world's military, terrorists, militia's etc. (anyone who might be interested) to hold all their confilicts in this virtual world and just let the outcome of virtual wars be accepted as if it had really happened (minus the loss of life).

Obviously, we'd need to make sure the Americans aren't using cheats. Just imagine the standard procedure before entering combat. Press tilde, type 'AmericaRulesOK 1' followed by '/god', '/allweapons' and '/allammo'

Re:Virtual Wars? (3, Insightful)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362118)

let the outcome of virtual wars be accepted as if it had really happened (minus the loss of life)

If both sides were trusting and trustworthy enough to follow those rules, there wouldn't be a need for war in the first place.

Re:Virtual Wars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362130)

Aren't we in that world already?

Re:Virtual Wars? (2, Interesting)

lay (519543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362134)


Pretty much useless, if you ask me.

What are the UN for? Isn't it supposed to serve the purpose of finding peaceful solutions for conflicts? At least in theory...

It boils down to the point of pure animal instinct: until you realise that your instistence in trying to win is going to inflict some serious phisical harm on you, there is no way in the world you, as a human, will stop fighting to get to the top of the food chain.

You could say "OK, and we just accept it as final", but if you lost, I bet you'd get the little guns again and call the simulation void...

Re:Virtual Wars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362140)

Yeah I was that version of Star Trek too :)

Watch out for Kirk Logic(tm) (3, Funny)

xleeko (551231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362175)

Yea, we could convert all of our conflicts into computer simulations, install disintegration booths, the whole nine yards.

... but then William Shatner would drop by and screw up the whole thing. Then he would sing "Lucy [pause] in the Sky [pause] with Diamonds" just to rub it in.

- Dave

Kuwait City (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362066)

Gee, I wonder why the modeled Kuwait City first...

(Answer: $$$$$$$$$$$$$)

Re:Kuwait City (1, Redundant)

giminy (94188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362117)

I was about to say the same thing. The US military planning to attack the actual enemy is somewhat unheard of in this day and age. This could be a paradigm shift in the way pre-emptive strikes operate...

Will they simulate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362070)

...the countries that aren't oil rich? Maybe in the future, we'll just simulate our invasions and nation building. Citizens of the invaded sovereign nations will also be part of the simulation and will report to the suicide booths once their health points run out. Might be cheaper for the American taxpayers.

BBC huh (4, Interesting)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362072)

This may a little off subject but why does the BBC report first about the US Militarys earth simulator?

The question is.... (5, Funny)

Rican (666150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362074)

Would I be able to "create" myself as a Wood Elf Druid chick even though I'm a 250lbs guy in real life?

Sad News Indians burned at Space center (-1, Offtopic)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362075)

India Space Center Blast, Fire Kill Six 34 minutes ago outsource american rocket scientists MADRAS, India - An explosion and fire at India's main space center Monday killed at least six people, police said. AFP/File Photo Flames erupted at the solid propellant fuel plant at the government's Dhawan Space Center, on Sriharikota Island just off India's southeastern coast, the center's spokesman, K. Ravindran, told The Associated Press. Six people died in the fire, according to police officials in the Nellore district in coastal Andhra Pradesh state, speaking on condition of anonymity. Ravindran did not immediately confirm the casualty figure. The island is about 60 miles from Madras, the largest city in the region. "Some people have been hurt. We don't know the extent of their injuries. They are under medical supervision now," Ravindran said. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known. The space center is the main launch base of the Indian Space Research Organization and has been used to launch several Indian, German, Korean and Belgian satellites. The center processes solid propellants used in launching satellites, conducts ground tests and has rocket launchpads.

I couldn't resist .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362081)

I sent this to their webmaster:

I find it somewhat humorous that on this page:

http://www.microsoft.com/seminar/events/security .m spx

the photo you use is that of a Macintosh PowerBook G4 15" (with the Apple logo on the back of the screen Photoshop-ed out), on a page about security summits and programs. While I don't want to get into a pissing contest about which OS is more secure, it's mildly humorous to find a Mac being used to advertise Microsoft's security, even if it is subtle.

Respectfully,
Andy Ringsmuth

I'll try and keep an eye on it and see if they decide to change the photo.....

The map is the reality (2, Insightful)

rpg25 (470383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362082)

The detailed simulation will be drawn from a real-world terrain database and will be drawn to the same scale as the original.

Um, what is that supposed to mean?

Echoes of Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote in a story about a map of the world that was as big as the world itself....

Please use IE? (0, Offtopic)

matth (22742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362085)

UG.. Please use Internet Explorer? No thanks..

http://www.there.com/help/browser.html

We've noticed that you're currently using a non-supported browser.

Please switch to Internet Explorer v. 5.0.1 or later to continue.

You can get the latest version of IE free at
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.as p.


no thanks.

Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362089)

"However, currently the virtual Earth is almost bare as the only thing modelled in any detail is part of Kuwait City." Only Kuwait? What a fun place to play! I want to have a Jaguar XJ220, and a banana company, can I be immortal too?

The Point? (2, Offtopic)

Alan Livingston (209463) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362091)

Perhaps I've become an old curmudgeon, but what exactly is the point of There? Clicking on their "What is There" buttons gives the following blurb:

There is an online getaway where you can hang out with your friends and meet new ones--all in a lush 3D environment that's yours to explore! Check out the pictures below for just a glimpse of what you'll find in There. Then sign up for a free trial and see it all for yourself!
Maybe it's just me but everyday I open up the door I enter a "lush 3D environment". (Ok, not so lush. I live on Long Island -- part of the New York metro area.) But it's immensely more satisfying than any online experience.

human interaction (2, Interesting)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362094)

the US military is creating a second Earth.... the emphasis in the artificial Earth will be on human interaction rather than conflicts involving lots of military hardware.

Riiiiiight. Why would the military whant to model the earth for combat training? It's clearly for human interaction. Or did they mean squad-level interactions?

Mr. Gehorsam (1, Offtopic)

cyberm_acc (676979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362095)

Mr Gehorsam said the world being created will not be a game but instead will be a "massively multi-user persistent environment" that will model real world physics as closely as possible.

Gehorsam is German and means dutiful, obedient, submissive (taken from leo.org [leo.org]) So it's like calling the evil guy "Mr. Evil"

Using the RFID chips implanted ... (1, Interesting)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362097)

in each of our skulls over the last 30 years, they'll be able to instantly track us and view our interactions, private moments, etc.

When they later place us into the pods, there will only be a brief moment in time lost as we switch to a virtual existance.

Re:Using the RFID chips implanted ... (2, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362181)

WHo really wants to track me. I wake up, go to work, go to the bathroom, back to my desk, eat lunch, back to the bathroom, back to my desk, go home, sit in front of my computer and tv all night. Who wants to track that? Hell, I don't even want to track that.

Re:Using the RFID chips implanted ... (3, Funny)

the_weasel (323320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362204)

Huh. When did you get out of the Pod?

If they are tracking my private moments they will get a lot of lying on the couch after dinner with the top button of my jeans undone, watching television.

I am basically jamming the signals with massive waves of mediocrity.

Proof at last! (0, Flamebait)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362105)

We have found proof at last that the United States military is merely a front for the diabolical operations of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings, which manifest themselves in our reality in the form of seemingly innocent mice.

I suggest we sabotage this operation by crash landing Darl, Bill, and Dubya on this "Earth" thereby insuring that the indigenous human population will commit hari-kari.

Obligatory "Pinky and the Brain" reference (1)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362129)

And the Number 1 reason Chia Earth is better than Real Earth......

FREE T-SHIRT!

Guess this answers the question... (1)

hussar (87373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362133)

...of what to do with a flash mob cluster after you've finished running Linpack on it.

Neal Stephenson connection... (4, Interesting)

RareHeintz (244414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362135)

Does this bring to mind, for anyone else, that nifty piece of software Hiro had in Snow Crash [amazon.com]? I mean, of course, the model of Earth updated in real-time with satellite imaging data, etc...

Eerie.

OK,
- B

Re:Neal Stephenson connection... (4, Interesting)

jafuser (112236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362202)

That's the first thing I thought too...
From Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.

Grand Theft auto... (4, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362139)

I wonder if they can give the detail of Grand Theft auto. They I could play dropped down in Iraq going after Sadam and Bin Laden. I could steal a tank and run them over. Maybe get some Iraq hookers. Grand Theft Auto Iraq.

Self-contradictory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362145)

Didn't anyone else find the story statement paradoxical?

the US military is creating a second Earth... the emphasis in the artificial Earth will be on human interaction rather than conflicts involving lots of military hardware.

Yeah, right!

infinite regression (2, Insightful)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362149)

Um, in order to really do it accurately, the model would have to include the military base, building and facility in which the earth II simulator resides, and the model would have to have a model of that etc to infinity - like what you get with two mirrors.

Peace sells.. but who's buying? (2, Interesting)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362151)

.. when destruction could be so much more fun. I wonder how far the sim will allow people to take this. Will players be allowed to get their hands on nuclear weapons, or will the scenarios be strictly regulated. If the former, I suspect there'll be Clans set up to see who can cause the most destruction to the virtual world. And what would happen if significant parts of world got nuked? Would it be reset, or would the simulation continue? Now, I'm off to watch 'The Thirteenth Floor' so I can completely break my brain.

How dare they? (-1)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362158)


How dare the US government walk over my civil liberties in such a way? If anyones going to simulate my back yard in a computer it'll goddam well be me.

What next, I wonder? Will our tax dollars be spent simulating what people look like underneath their clothes? Take a photo of someone in normal dress, then extrapolate their dangling manhoods? Is this the road we want to go down? Computer assisted blackmail?

Consider this: let's say that the information that the government uses to make this map is inaccurate. And then consider what might happen then if my backyard is invaded by terrorists (which could very well happen, my devasting counter replies to terrorist sympathisers on Slashdot is seriously crippling their propaganda campaign). Instead of the US soldiers studying the ground ahead and carefully setting down their lines of fire to avoid unecessary damage to my ornamental mirror pool with the plastic flamingo, they just crash on through regardless. And wither then my constitutional rights?

We are travelling down the rollercoaster of madness.

Carmack (0)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362160)

One would think that the military will crush us all with this engine/game, but obviously the military hasn't heard of our secret weapon: John Carmack!

This could be funny... (1)

Darken_Everseek (681296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362161)

From TFA, "Mr Gehorsam said the world being created will not be a game but instead will be a "massively multi-user persistent environment" that will model real world physics as closely as possible.

A sample of life in There's game world
The emphasis in the artificial Earth will be on human interaction rather than conflicts involving lots of military hardware."

So we're basing 'human interaction' on an MMO game? How exactly does someone model "h4h4h4h4h4!! r0x00r3D ur @$$!!!" into -human- behaviour?

Super-accurate physics for...what again? (5, Insightful)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362174)

"While combat will be part of the game, 'the emphasis in the artificial Earth will be on human interaction rather than conflicts involving lots of military hardware.'"
Yes, I expect you do need a lot of super-accurate physics to figure out the various aspects of "human interaction," like....um....well...simulating football games and handing out relief packages. ????

Maybe they're talking about military tactics or something when they say "human interaction," but to me it seems like they're trying to say "no, really, it's not a military-oriented project." Come on people, this is the Army. If this system is mainly for military purposes, then just come out and say it, ok? Really, we pay you guys to worry about situations that involve "lots of military hardware." There's no need to pretend that you're really trying to solve world hunger or something.

Hitchhiker's Guide (2, Funny)

aldousd666 (640240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362177)

Didn't the Golgafrinchans (sp?) try this once? All we got out of that deal was '42'

sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362199)

You know, not everything calls for a Hitchhiker's Guide quote. Learn some new lyrics.

There = Evil (3, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362179)

There mandates the use of MSIE [there.com] to access There.

Evil. Evil, I say!

This claimer: Having MSIE bundled with Windows poses no problem for me, I see it as they include Notepad instead of Word and Calculator instead of Excel. So why not let them include Internet Explorer instead of a [browser.org] real [opera.com] browser [mozilla.org]? However, I dislike sites that require it. It's like mailing around text files that need Notepad to read... Rude.

Someone has to make this joke (1)

lay (519543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362196)


Just immagine when people from the virtual Earth start interacting with people from real Earth! This would be amazing!
You could have a paralel slashdot in another earth where people could post and discuss! And you could have it the other way around too! Just immagine some inhabitant from Virtual Earth posting on slashdot on the Real Earth!
Can you see the possib$%#GFDID NO CARRIER

Games... (1)

Metal_Demon (694989) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362197)

Why isn't this in the games section? We all know that the only thing the army does these days is make videogames.

Seriously if they spent less time making/playing games and more time killing people and breaking shit all our soldiers would be home by now.

Disclaimer: I'm a military man, and I'm half joking.

Earth v3.0 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8362201)

... we're already v2.0 (see simulacron-3/welt am draht/thirteenth floor).

My Earth Simulator Character (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362210)

will my Sims character be able to make my SimCity character make my Pentagon MMO character play a game of America's Army?

That would be cool.

Hrm (5, Funny)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 10 years ago | (#8362217)

The detailed simulation will be drawn from a real-world terrain database and will be drawn to the same scale as the original.
They're going to need a bloody big monitor.
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