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Army Plans Overhaul of Infantry Gear

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the stuff-to-carry dept.

United States 829

nxg125 writes "Wired is running an article about a seven-year, $250 million revamping of the US Army's uniforms. One of the major obstacles is going to be how to power all the electronic devices that the soldiers will use. 'They have at least one idea, though. "Avoid the use of Microsoft Windows operating systems," a recent memo on the subject directed. FFW is going open source. Cleaner software needs less energy to run.'"

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829 comments

One way street... (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251208)


"Once you're in an urban environment, it strips out a lot of (America's) technology advantages," he said. "It puts you in a fair fight. And you don't want to be in a fair fight."

So why are guerilla tactics used by an opposing force often decried as unfair or underhanded? The side at a disadvantage uses any and all means at their disposal to help make the fight more "fair". This fellow seems to back that up, unless having a lopsided fight is only sporting when it's his team doing the slaughtering.

Grammar nazi meets the SIG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251247)

"Motörhead are heavy metal in the only meaningful sense of the term. Everyone else is just pretending." -Garry Bushell"

Correction: Motörhead is one band, and its name is singular (not "Motörheads") so use the word "is" instead of "are".

Re:Grammar nazi meets the SIG (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251329)

Unless you are using British English, in which case you conjugate verbs as though the noun were plural if the noun is a group.

Re:Grammar nazi meets the SIG (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251488)

Correction: Motörhead is one band, and its name is singular (not "Motörheads") so use the word "is" instead of "are".
Firstly, the sig is a quote. It is moot to correct a quote. If you feel you are quoting an error and don't want to take credit for the error, you annotate it with [sic].

Secondly, it is common in British-English to use 'are' after a noun that indicates a plurality. In this case Motörhead is/are made up of multiple people and is/are plural.

So, put down your grammar swastika and become an informed poster.

Re:One way street... (4, Insightful)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251265)

its always unfair when used against you, especially if you tried it first. just like gradeschool recess games/sports.

Re:One way street... (5, Interesting)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251287)

So why are guerilla tactics used by an opposing force often decried as unfair or underhanded?

Unfair? No, never. Ask anybody in uniform or anybody who's ever served in uniform and they'll tell you that fairness has nothing to do with it. "Overwhelming force" is the watchword.

Some tactics are immoral, though. Like surrounding your troops with civilians acting as human shields, or storing weapons in or basing operations out of hospitals or mosques. Why? Because both of those tactics put civilians in danger. If you make hospitals legitimate military targets, for example, then doctors, nurses, and patients are going to die. That's bad for everybody.

Re:One way street... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251464)

If you make hospitals legitimate military targets, for example, then doctors, nurses, and patients are going to die. That's bad for everybody.
It's (apparently) good for Al-Jazeers and their ratings with the easy to fool Arabs.

Re:One way street... (1)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251294)

The tactics themselves are not completely underhanded -- we use similar ones for special operations. The real problem is the way they are employed by our enemies.

Its one thing to be sneaky and shoot at your enemies from hidden locations. Its quite another thing when those hidden locations are surrounded by civilian meat shields. Using non-coms as material is never acceptable in war, guerilla or otherwise.

Re:One way street... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251390)

You do realize that non-com is slang for "non-commissioned officer," right?

He was referring to (1)

2names (531755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251465)

another meaning for "non-com"

Non-combatants.

Re:One way street... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251466)

Yup. Thats what you get for not previewing and trying to type while your boss aint looking.

Re:One way street... (1)

codeguy007 (179016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251470)

Using non-coms as material is never acceptable in war, guerilla or otherwise.

Huh? "non-coms" refers to non-commissioned personel. That includes privates and sargents. Are you saying that only commissioned officers should fight? Great lets call home all the enlisted men and women.

Re:One way street... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251309)

Actually it is only reported as unfair in the media. Talk to any army type (like myself) and they'll use the words "asymetrical warfare/asymetrical force"

Re:One way street... (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251330)

So why are guerilla tactics used by an opposing force often decried as unfair or underhanded?

Are they? I've never heard that. I have heard illegal tactics like firing from amongst a group of civilians while wearing no fixed insignia called unfair or underhanded, simply because it endangers civilians and forces soldiers to either take it or risk killing innocents. Not all guerilla tactics are illegal like that.

Re:One way street... (5, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251511)

I'm gonna nitpick you to death here. Please excuse me, and understand that my intentions are good.

I have heard illegal tactics... Not all guerilla tactics are illegal...

Please don't use the word "illegal" in this context. It propagates the myth that there is such a thing as "international law" or "laws of war." There isn't, and it's a mistake to imply that there is.

Some tactics are prohibited by certain treaties. But that's not the same thing as saying that those tactics are illegal.

I know this seems like a very small thing, but it's an important point.

Re:One way street... (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251333)

So why are guerilla tactics used by an opposing force often decried as unfair or underhanded? The side at a disadvantage uses any and all means at their disposal to help make the fight more "fair". This fellow seems to back that up, unless having a lopsided fight is only sporting when it's his team doing the slaughtering.

If you've got some athletic competition, then by all means be sporting and let the rules even things out. When you have combat, then every army in the world will only consider a lopsided fight sporting when they're doing the slaughtering.

Re:One way street... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251347)

Fair is for video games. When it comes to a friend or relative being shot at for real, I want fair the hell out of the equation.

Re:One way street... (5, Insightful)

Uhlek (71945) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251410)

That's only the press you really see that in. Most soldiers and military planners accept the fact that guerilla tactics are and always will be the only effective way an inferior force can respond to a superior one. Hell, the American revolutionaries did it to the British. It's not always an issue of fighting to the finish...sometimes its possible to just make it so costly for your enemies to hold on to your territory that they just give up and leave.

Fact is, America hasn't been in a "fair fight" since Vietnam. Vietnam wasn't even technically a fair fight -- our force was clearly superior, but our tactics were not.

Thing is, only place you want a fair fight is in a boxing ring. You want to have the clear advantage over your enemy, so that casualties on your side are minimal and victory is assured.

Re:One way street... (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251443)

So why are guerilla tactics used by an opposing force often decried as unfair or underhanded?"

"Fair" means I win, as quickly and with as little cost to me as absolutely possible.

Both sides (or all sides) believe this. Both sides believe that anything done by the other side which hampers this is therefore, by logical negation, "unfair".

But most importantly, "Fair means I win. Period."

Re:One way street... (2, Insightful)

drmike0099 (625308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251449)

You have but to look at our own Revolutionary War (in the USA) to see how these "unfair tactics" were applied to great advantage. In most cases, a tactic is a tactic, and guerilla warfare is just another tactic that can be useful in the right situation.

Fair is in the eye of the beholder until the battle is over. Then it is determined by the victor.

Re:One way street... (1)

jstave (734089) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251482)

All part of the "war of words" -- you always want to paint your enemy as being a villian. This is both for motivating your own troops and attempting to get on the good side of world opinion.

The on-the-ground reality is that there are no rules, and you *can't* cheat if there are no rules.

Re:One way street... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251500)

Well, the question of 'fairness' comes in when one side is using tactics that the other doesn't want to do. That side will always call out the other side as being unfair. For example, I suppose the US could detonate random bombs in population centers of Iraq with the intent to do as much damage as possible but that just doesn't seem right to them.

Personally, I tend to judge the merit of various sides in a conflict based on their targets. Hamas is a bad group in my book because they target school children. In contrast, the IDF is a better group because they do not target school children. Note that the IDF may hit children as a result of their actions which is horrible but unintentional.

BSOD (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251213)

"'They have at least one idea, though. "Avoid the use of Microsoft Windows operating systems,""

Awww. I was so looking forward to the Yankee "Blue Soldier of Death" putting fear in the hearts of the enemy from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli.

Re:BSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251409)

Windows Soldier: Man, as soon as I install another update and reboot, I'm going to kick your ass!!!

Opposing Solider: BANG! You're dead.

Sweet! (2, Funny)

Kulaid982 (704089) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251217)


Our Armed forces are going to be one giant beowulf cluster!

Ok, color me ignorant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251322)

...but what the hell is a beowulf?

Re:Ok, color me ignorant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251446)

You must be new here...

THE ARMY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251218)

What's it all about? Is it good...or is it whack?

Re:THE ARMY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251256)

If it's "our army", it's good. Otherwise, it's always whack.

FirstPost! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251219)

fp!

Bloat. (2, Funny)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251220)

Non-bloat software? I'm surprised the Army didn't just try to strap a nuclear power plant to the soldier's back.

Pork! Pork! Pork!

Re:Bloat. (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251348)

They're fighting live targets, not scores of the undead!

Open Source Software! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251221)

Who do you want to conquer today?

FFW is part of Future Combat Systems (FCS)... (4, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251224)

...which already has some open source ties.

For example, the Vishnu [bbn.com] planning engine (source code and project site here [cougaar.org] ) is being used as part of FCS logistics planning.

Re:FFW is part of Future Combat Systems (FCS)... (1)

noahmax (534339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251442)

Very true. Which is one of its problems, actually. FCS -- the Army's $92 billion modernization effort -- is looking like it might slip, big time [defensetech.org] . Luckily, FFW might detatch from that albatross.

Who's in our military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251227)

Pengiuns now in the military? :)

*ducks*

No batteries? (5, Funny)

Sad Mephisto (766703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251229)

How to power those things? Haven't they seen the Matrix?

Uh-oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251234)

Billy boy ain't gonna like this...

I can't wait till the army rebels against M$!

I wonder (1)

59Bassman (749855) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251235)

What distro would be appropriate for the soldier of the future? RedHat, Slack, Mandrake, Suse? Interesting that they're being open-minded about open source. I wish more branches of the government would consider it at least.

Re:I wonder (1)

aaamr (203460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251331)

Crux [www.crux.nu] . The others are all too bloated. :-)

Re:I wonder (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251335)

Red hats for green barets :)

Re:I wonder (2, Interesting)

gmletzkojr (768460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251346)

I would think that the military would get someone (or themselves) to roll a Military version of Linux. Then they could control deployment of the software for various purposes a bit easier. Make sense?

Re:I wonder (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251468)

uClinux??? Well since MMUs use power and the idea is to save as much as possible, it make sense.

Wow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251248)

Boy you know it's not going to be very easy to edit whatever.conf on your jacket. Maybe they should reconsider this.

Re:Wow (1)

tubbtubb (781286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251506)

Just use vi. duh.

Very silly post about the Marines. (4, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251250)

Well, the USMC uses suits like this that are powered by sound. Tiny receivers built into a Marine's helmet transmit sound energy into a belt-mounted unit to the rear. Guttural, high-pitched sounds generate the most energy, so when you see a sergeant right up in a private's face screaming, he's actually just recharging the private's batteries. No, really!

Obligatory kneejerk reaction aside (2, Interesting)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251251)

There are very good reasons for the military to avoid using Windows.

Being closed-source, Windows wouldn't be peer-reviewable by the army, nor could the army fix its own problems with the code if they encounter any.

No need for a cheap-shot.

Re:Obligatory kneejerk reaction aside (1)

Erick the Red (684990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251431)

Also note that Microsoft specifically says that their software is not suitable for mission critical systems. MS products are designed to be easy to use, not reliable.

Re:Obligatory kneejerk reaction aside (3, Interesting)

jeff munkyfaces (643988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251504)

one would hope easy to use products could be reliable too.

it would certainly make them a lot easier to use..

Re:Obligatory kneejerk reaction aside (1)

scrytch (9198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251483)

> Being closed-source, Windows wouldn't be peer-reviewable by the army, nor could the army fix its own problems with the code if they encounter any.

Right, because as we all know, there are zero source licensees for Windows, and every rifleman knows how to write linux device drivers. The reason has to do with reliability, and the army couldn't give a shit whether it stems from public open source or not -- they will have the source anyway.

Windows Front Line edition (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251252)

Just as you see the whites of their eyes
FIRE.EXE has performed an illegal operation and w.....

Re:Windows Front Line edition (1)

1gkn1ght (742286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251313)

Just imagine what the malware for the Windows 'Front Line' could do!

Oh, and the spyware! Wow, you could help the enamy find you with the spyware that you would be sure to get.

Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251259)

The best possible solution for a problem like this, as the military well knows, is a custom-designed one, whether the code is published in the end, or whether it relies on OSS or CS resources, or not.

This borders on propaganda - taking the slightest excuse to launch a barb, every time, like clockwork.

nice (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251263)

So eventually I'll be able to compile a wardrobe that will make me tougher than anyone else on the street?

Times are changing (2, Funny)

NinjaFodder (635704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251268)

All I got when I was in the military was a gun, uncomfortable boots, and a pair of clean socks. Luckily, I didn't see any combat or I would have needed an extra pair of clean underwear too.

Re:Times are changing (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251376)

All I got when I was in the military was a gun, uncomfortable boots, and a pair of clean socks. Luckily, I didn't see any combat or I would have needed an extra pair of clean underwear too.

don't you know? you're supposed to use that gun to get better equipment. hasn't Doom, or any other video game from 1978 onward taught us anything?

That extra pair of underwear... I think that's in the Med Pack you get for blowing up a school bus.

SCOIX (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251284)

I hope they release if they go Linux they will need to purchase a SCO license. I really, really hope, our own government can step up to the plate and pay for a licensed solution. Give back to SCO for all they have done for the Unix world and what they have given us with Linux. I am glad I got my license, I can sleep at night now.

Just think about it! (1)

spidergoat2 (715962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251286)

Hauling 30,000,000 lines of code around will wear anyone out!

Re:Just think about it! (1)

dealsites (746817) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251498)

Yeah, once I packed up a product at work and had the shipping guy do all the Fedex labels for me. After it was weighed and the labels were attatched and before the fedex truck came, we had a quick firmware update. I asked the shipping guy if I could simply open the box from the bottom to get the unit, update the firmware and repackage it in the same box. He said sure as long as the weight didn't change. I told him the firmware update would add a couple pounds and asked him if it would be a problem. He was pissed because he thought he would have to re-do all the shipping labels. lol

--
New deal processing engine online: http://www.dealsites.net/livedeals.html [dealsites.net]

Clippy (5, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251288)

"It looks like you are engaging in offensive manoevers. Would you like help?"

Get help writing battle plan.

Set us up the bomb.

Re:Clippy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251308)

Dude, Clippy jokes are so 1995. Get over it.

Re:Clippy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251436)

Yeah, but can't you just see the GI JOE clippy with a helmet and M16...I know I can.

You'll now have something new to bitch about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251289)

Once Linux penetrates into systems used on the battlefield, Slashdot posters will be able to whine: OH NOES! BABY KILLERS ARE USING TEH LUNIX! as opposed to just saying the same stale jokes about M$/micros~1/whatever all day long.

Well, anything for variety I suppose.

Best quote (edited) (1, Troll)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251297)

"We're stripping the soldier down to his skin, and ..." said ... De Gay,

Re:Best quote (edited) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251361)

... and making a butt pyramid!!!

oh wait, wrong side, sorry.

Methane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251305)

Methane power! Just pop a fuel cell up the poop tube, and give the soldiers double helpings of beans.

What will their clothes do (0, Troll)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251310)

1) Shit their pants that a mortar shell just blew away half of his unit. Spray pine fresh scent in the air to avoid embarrasement?

2) Get shot in the chest by an AP round. Play taps, or a user designated song like, " [af.mil] Stairway to Heaven [amazon.com] "?

3) They run away from a fight. Will their back turn yellow?
I'm sure they will have some way of tracking the people that go awol eventually. Like a permanent tracking device in the base of the skull.
Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:What will their clothes do (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251474)

The associated press is shooting our soldiers?

Simple Solution for the power problem (2, Funny)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251314)

One of the major obstacles is going to be how to power all the electronic devices that the soldiers will use

Build their helmets with solar panels

(that the US army spends most of it's time in deserts or barren hills would tell you that this'd be the most efficient thing to do)

Except for (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251389)

when they aren't in deserts or barren hills. The military does just as many operations under the fall of darkness and places where the sun doesn't go (pun intended).

Re:Simple Solution for the power problem (1)

kgarcia (93122) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251469)

uild their helmets with solar panels

Until the reflexion of all the solar panels gives your position away, that sounded like a good idea. However, we are not only looking for practicality, we are looking to keep our troops alive... Nothing like a bringt reflection to make it easier to aim your rifle...

bake sale (4, Funny)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251317)

they better be having one hell of a bake sale to make that kind of money...

colonel panic? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251318)

Open source in the military? Has anybody made a Colonel Panic joke yet?

Re:colonel panic? (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251502)

Can I reboot the colonel if he/she panics??

*BSD to the Rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251319)

If they are equiped with *BSD as the battle-suit's OS, the world will quake in fear at the prospect of American zombie troopers!

Stripping the soldier (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251350)

>>"We're stripping the soldier down to his skin..." said Jean-Louis "Dutch" DeGay...

So much for "don't ask, don't tell".

this just cracks me up! :) (4, Funny)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251357)


But tests showed that "some people's heads were literally too thick for that to work," DeGay said.

What might happen if they DID use windows.... (5, Funny)

eviljolly (411836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251360)

"Enemy spotted, 100 yards and closing.
"Open fire soldier!"
"Sir my weapon says it's not responding"
"Reboot soldier!"
"I did sir, but each time I reboot it still says "Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service terminated unexpectedly.""
"Disable your wireless connection soldier and switch to manual override, we're being exploited!"

Meanwhile somewhere in the middle east...
"Heheheheh.........silly Americans...."

Command & Conquer anyone? (1)

Krafty Koder (697396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251368)

i can see it now
some U.S. general in 2020 controlling his brigade with a souped up version of Command & Conquer from the relative safety of the Pentagon.

Military poses interesting problems.... (2, Interesting)

csmacd (221163) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251379)

Like, quietness - I wouldn't want a loud fan, or any fan for that matter, on my back.

Battery life, reliability stability - wouldn't want any of this going down in a critical moment.

Redundancy/Backup system - wouldn't want to be unable to complete tasks if electronic gear is down.

Liability - I can see gunsight video appearing on the internet (already is for some aircraft videos)

DeGay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251381)

Even though he seems to be the real deal, somehow the idea of someone named Jean-Louis DeGay talking about "stripping the soldier down to his bare skin" makes me vaguely uneasy.

How can a bag on the inner thigh help? (1)

MeBadMagic (619592) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251382)

So how exactly is the bag on the inner thigh supposed to aid the soldier to go no. 2?

Is that where you can keep your leaves?

B-)

Big Boned (3, Funny)

medication (91890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251391)

'DeGay and his fellow Future Force Warriors call it a "load-bearing chassis."' - load-bearing chassis, reminds me of some PC term like 'Big Boned'. She ain't heavy, she's just got a load-bearing chasis.

Recruiting tool. (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251392)

If this means full iPods built into the suit, count me in! Where's the nearest recruiting office? Who needs ammo when you are armed with 5,000 songs.

Research shows (2, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251405)

a strong correlation between tradition in military uniforms, and the strength of ones military. Historically speaking, as uniforms have become more and more advanced, more maintenance is required for upkeep. While in the past, the benefits of the advanced uniform have been able to outpace the cost of maintenance, this is decreasingly the case.

As a consequence, the military has chosen to provide the utmost camoflauge, while at the same time provide a uniform that simply scares the hell out of the enemy. HERE [geocities.com] is the prototype. (I know geocities, I'm lazy it's the first imge I could find)

No Need to Think.. (1)

StacyWebb (780561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251411)

DeGay said. "He doesn't have to waste brain matter moving from this rock to that one. And that's going to make him fight better, in the end." ......heaven forbid we have to use our minds..

Re:No Need to Think.. (1)

noahmax (534339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251487)

I don't think that's what Dutch meant, at all. The idea is for the soldier to spend his/her "brain matter" on more important matters, like fighting the enemy, rather than on simply lumbering from rock to rock.

Re:No Need to Think.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251489)

Wait till you're in the middle of a fire-fight and tell me how well your mind works.

Mark my words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251420)

I can just see it now... in the next major war soldiers will mysteriously develop the l33t h4xx0r syndrome.

Officials will deny its existence.

Cleaner software requires less energy? (1)

macrealist (673411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251430)

Don't confuse me with a Windows appologist, but there is no direct relation between "cleaner" software and energy use. It is quite possible for software to be "dirty" but use energy efficiently.

I'm all for jumping on window's faults, but assuming that windows uses more energy because it is not "clean" is wrong and biased. When it becomes a requirement to use less energy to sell a bazillion copies of Windows to the military, MS will throw a bazillion and one programers at the task. Then there will be a "dirty" but energy efficient version of windows (maybe thay can call it an earthen wall).

Even more importantly, assuming that a "clean" program will use less energy is absurd. There is no direct relation between the two. A clean program in general will be easier to maintain, tweek, etc, and may be easier to make energy efficient, but being "clean" doesn't make it energy efficient.

Global Information Grid (3, Informative)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251439)

Has the Global Information Grid [nsa.gov] come up on Slashdot before?

It's a similar way too forward-looking military thing. The plan is that by 2020, every soldier will have an IP address.

Richard Biggs dead at 44 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251441)

edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/TV/05/25/obit.biggs/

An illegal operation has been performed... (2, Funny)

UTPinky (472296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251458)

Using a Windows version could really bring about a whole new meaning to the phrase "Blue Screen of DEATH"

No clippy? (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251462)

"Avoid the use of Microsoft Windows operating systems,"

Too bad. I guess that means no MS Word either. I guess that means no clippy, and I guess that means no:

It looks like you're killing people. Would you like help?

BSD is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251471)

I think a bsd platform would be better for the government and/or military to utilize in specialized applications. That way they can choose what code they want to make public and share with the open source community. Would not make much sense to have the programs that helps america defend themselves on the battlefield posted on some opensource website for the entire world (enemies included) to see.

Even some of our so called friends we don't want having access to that. Like France, I am sure they would help anyone around work against the United States if they were willing to pay up, maybe with illegal contracts or under the table exchanges of money.

Been watching too many Day of the Dead movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251525)

"I think a bsd platform would be better for the government and/or military to utilize in specialized applications"

You've been watching too many of those killer zombie movies, and think that armies of the dead are more effective than they really are.

Possible Solutions for Power: (2, Insightful)

TheTXLibra (781128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9251473)

If I were them, I'd take a blanket storage approach to power. Use extremely efficient power drains, coupled with a battery for storage of energy. Then they can harness it in multiple ways: solar (during the day), kinetic (from movement), wind (small portable turbines in a windy environment, or over the shoulder while walking), and water (when camped/resting near a river or stream--you could even use the same turbine you use for wind power).

You wouldn't need to power a city off this stuff, just keep a continual charge building, and add perhaps a max of one-pound of weight for the turbine. Most of the time these special components would not be needed, and any time they aren't used, they can recharge...

Am I missing anything here? Is there some reason the Armed Forces aren't doing this? Or are they?



-The Libra
"You've got no kids, no wife, no job, and you're not in The Tigger Movie!!!"
- my best friend's son, Gabe, at 5 years old. [everything2.com]

My wishes. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251509)

I wonder if this new gear will include high tech dildo's and new "super KY" for when our soldiers go around raping and torturing enemy combatants? What I'd like to see is a self-lubricating 10 inch dildo with a built in tazer so that the insides of enemy anuses and vagina's can be tazered just as easily as the rest of their bodies while they are being raped and sodomized. Go USA!

GPL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251510)

It seems, though, like they could run into problems if they start using software that's GPL'd... I don't see the Army as responding kindly when someone tells them they have to open-source the software for their shoulder-carried missile launchers...

specialised military batteries (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9251524)

anyone who's been in the army knows what I'm talking about.

Your GPS has this big whack battery that only works in it. Your NVG's are the same (well, the 'new' ones will actually takee AA's as well). That big 'ol SINGARS radio, what a beast of a battery. The secure comm unit for it, again another specialised battery.

When I was in the army I always thought our biggest weakness was every single piece of electronic gear took a specialised battery that would only work in that item. Nothing could just use commodity batteries.

I think they are just taking this a step further. You guys whine about windows but, this is REAL vendor lock-in. You get batteries from us or all your shit stops working.
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