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Military Testing WMD Sensors at Super Bowl 176

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the save-what's-left-of-detroit dept.
Lam1969 writes "Members of the Michigan National Guard will be at the Super Bowl on Sunday to deploy 'sensor fusion', a real-time, IP-based wireless technology that combines readings from portable and fixed devices that can potentially detect terrorist threats. While sensors capable of detecting chemical, biological, or radiological threats have been used at previous Super Bowls, the readings had to be communicated by radio between different security personnel. Sensor fusion automatically takes readings from the devices and uploads them to a central, secure Web server, where security staff anywhere can monitor conditions at the event. From the article: 'The software uses open standards and is open-source, based on the OSGi Service Platform, which is a standardized, component-oriented computing environment for networked services. OSGi allows networked devices to be managed from anywhere in the world, while allowing software to be installed, updated or removed on the fly while the device is operating.'"
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Military Testing WMD Sensors at Super Bowl

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  • "secure" (Score:5, Funny)

    by scenestar (828656) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:26AM (#14641652) Homepage Journal
    Let's hope it isn't anything like those voting machines.
    • Re:"secure" (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Musteval (817324)
      According to the article summary, the software is open source. So everything should be fine unless some terrorist discovers a gaping security flaw in the code and doesn't tell anybody.

      Personally, I wouldn't open-source software this important, just because the ratio of potential abusers to fixers, not to mention the potential damage done, is so high.
      • Re:"secure" (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, obviously it should only be trusted to the lowest bidder where the ratio of potential corners cut, not to mention the potential for the CEO to flee the country with his millions of dollars, is high.
      • Re:"secure" (Score:3, Informative)

        by brunson (91995)
        The Linux and OpenBSD implementations of the TCP/IP stack are Open Source. Do you think they'd be better off writing their own closed source version of it from scratch?
      • Re:"secure" (Score:3, Insightful)

        by budgenator (254554)

        The OSGi Alliance ("OSGi Alliance") hereby grants you a fully-paid, non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide, limited license (without the right to sublicense), under the OSGi Alliance's applicable intellectual property rights to view, download, and reproduce the OSGi Specification ("Specification") which follows this License Agreement ("Agreement"). You are not authorized to create any derivative work of the Specification. The OSGi Alliance also grants you a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, fully pai
        • That seems pretty clearly like it's referring to the specification, not to the source.

          In terms of a specification, the restriction makes sense -- you don't want people making derivatives of the specification that break compatibility and disseminating them, because then you'd have all sorts of problems. Once you've agreed on a specification, you want to give it a certain amount of sticking power -- and also you want to try and make it difficult for a company to make something that's not compatible but still
    • Re:"secure" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MooseByte (751829) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:31PM (#14641907)

      "Let's hope it isn't anything like those voting machines."

      I was going to joke that at least they were testing WMD detectors and not WMDs, but your post sparked the realization that a hacked voting system is far more dangerous to a nation than any WMD ever could be.

  • by elwin_windleaf (643442) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:27AM (#14641657) Homepage

    They mentioned that the central web server was secure, but is there any information about the security of each node?

    Whenever I hear anything about Wireless networking, I instantly have a security lightbulb that goes off in my head. Since it's based on IP technology, is there anything in place to prevent traditional wireless security issues? Can you spoof nodes?

    Granted, no system is perfect, but I'm wondering if this system could be used to draw security away from a particular area, only to allow a potential threat to get in the back door.

    • Since it's based on IP technology, is there anything in place to prevent traditional wireless security issues? Can you spoof nodes?

      If they're smart, they're not relying on any transport-layer features for security and they sign each packet on both ends.

      Still, the transport layer is worth examination. If this makes it to the news, that's enough information for a moderately sophisticated attacker to deploy a jamming device. Will they evacuate the stadium if the nodes lose communication without a specific th
  • Welcome our new terrorist-smeller pursuivant overlords
    • Re:I, for one... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @03:30PM (#14642726)
      I, for one... Welcome our new terrorist-smeller pursuivant overlords

      And well you should. The terrorists have the will, and a plan [spiegel.de] to become our new overlords. If they succeed, you will be living in a genuine theocracy uniting church and state, governed by Sharia law [theweekmagazine.com], in all of its harshness, including threat of crucifixion, beheading, stoning, and amputation [hrw.org].

      Our present "overlords" do well in defending us against the malice of the would-be Islamist terrorist overlords. The Islamist terrorists have a demonstrated interest in conducting infamous [wikipedia.org] attacks aimed at mass murder, and a stated goal of killing four million Americans [nationalreview.com] in pursuit of their nightmare state [terroranalysis.com]. The Superbowl is a natural target. The terrorists have the will to kill everyone at the Superbowl, but lack the opportunity due to the vigilance of our present "overlords",.... long may they "reign".


      • I don't like either of the choices offered me there. That plan you quoted begins with provoking the USA into attacking "the muslim world" and thus uniting it against them, driving more recruits into organisations like Al Quaeda, etc. Well, yes - the US government followed the path laid out nicely, despite calls from many of us to take a less beligerant approach.

        When two great powers go at each other, it's the people they use that get hurt first. An non-national organisation strikes against the USA and t
  • testing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:29AM (#14641663) Homepage
    This may seem like a silly question, but how can you test for something that won't be there?

    Are they just trying to restrict false positives? Or just show off that they have something? This is just going to be another ineffective technology [com.com] that too much money was spent on.
    • Re:testing? (Score:5, Informative)

      by damsa (840364) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:40AM (#14641711)
      They are testing the technology to communicate between the sensors and the base station, not the sensors themselves. It's similar to testing fire alarms, you don't need a fire to test those either.
    • This may seem like a silly question, but how can you test for something that won't be there?
      Maybe it has a sensor module for weed :)
    • Re:testing? (Score:3, Informative)

      This may seem like a silly question, but how can you test for something that won't be there? Are they just trying to restrict false positives?

      Partly. If they're smart, they'll task the things to also search for substances that are somewhat rare but similar to agents of interest, and that are guaranteed to be there. Pick a bacterium carried by 1 person in 1000.

      This is just going to be another ineffective technology that too much money was spent on.

      Really? You're basing this on a popular news article

    • Option A: They are just testing the sensor network, not the accuracy of the sensors. They don't really care about false positives, given that airport bomb sensors are routinly set off by new electronics and perfumes.

      Option B: Testing the sensor network is how the evil NSA has convinced ignorant higher ups to let them hire arabs to smuggle "fake" bombs in to "test" the sensor network, when in reality these backpacks actually ARE filled with explosives, as well as Iranian passports. Bush then uses the

    • It's easy enough to test, here is a log snippet :

      17:30 wmddetectd: ALERT WMD detected : Temperature reading at sensor G1 is over 5300C
    • The simple fact that WOMD aren't there hasn't stopped 'em yet :) The ideas is to create the belief in WOMD, which can later be used as the pretext for wars, assaults on civil liberties, and silencing critics. These 'tests' do just that. And spending taxpayers' money on military research for non-existent threats is always good too - it gives you a good excuse for cutting unnecessary bloat out of the budget, such as health care, education, and other so-called 'rights' that those whining commies whinge so
  • those green glowing footballs.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This might stop a suicide bomber, so I'm not saying it's a useless exercise. On the other hand, if you put it in the context of everthing else that's going on, it seems likely that they are spending a vast amount of money to wave the flag. They even have the Canadian army and airforce deployed presumably to keep an enemy airforce or army from flooding over the northern border. Sounds like overkill to me.

    I'm not saying the terrorists won't strike again or that we shouldn't protect ourselves. Spending thi
    • What, someone could be a suicide bomber in the lines outside the stadium? Do you really think it wouldn't be not only possible, but fairly easy? Just run as far into the crowd as you can and press the button. Quite honestly, I'm more surprised it hasn't than if it were to happen. But hey, I guess the terrorists prefer a boatload of showmanship.

      The problem isn't that it's overkill, it's that it's not really effective. Someone determined to kill Americans could do it, and could do it very effectively. At t
    • If you have a true WMD, does it matter that you decided to set it off a few meters downwind of the target rather than on top of it?

      "Oh no! We can't get our nuclear weapon into the superbowl......oh well. "
    • by westlake (615356) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @02:07PM (#14642362)
      They even have the Canadian army and airforce deployed presumably to keep an enemy airforce or army from flooding over the northern border. Sounds like overkill to me.

      Try opening a map. You think just maybe an arena seating 65,000 wouldn't be as a tempting a taget and an easier kill than the twin towers?

    • "They even have the Canadian army and airforce deployed presumably to keep an enemy airforce or army from flooding over the northern border."

      I don't know, I might be more worried about some of the radical right-wingers in rural Michigan. Remember the Oklahoma City bombing crowd were from Michigan. There are a lot of whacko folks within a few hundred mile radius of Detroit, and already on this side of the border, and very well armed. As they mostly vote Republican, the current administration is not focusi
    • Canadian army and airforce

      Whoa! We got an army? AND airforce?

      Eh?
  • OSGi allows networked devices to be managed from anywhere in the world, while allowing software to be installed, updated or removed on the fly while the device is operating

    So if the source code is available for anyone to analyse, AND the software can be updated on-the-fly... what makes this effective?

    Why does everyone keep assuming terrorists are stupid? Attacks don't succeed through stupidity, they succeed through ingenuity. Look at the source, find a hole, "fix" the software, detonate a WMD...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why does everyone keep assuming terrorists are stupid


      If they possessed such skills and technology, we would be seeing massive terrorist attacks on information infrastructure, not people blowing themselves up in buses.
      • Terrorism's aim isn't usually just to screw up an infrastructure. They tend to realise that it's a heck of a lot more productive to kill a few people and make everyone cry their eyes out, than for a few corporations to fall to their knees (which, given the fact that there's a lot of EXCELLENT IT infrastructures on this planet - run by slashdotters often!).

        Emotional terrorism will nearly always beat information terrorism, especially when any sort of harm caused creates huge economic strains in the rush, buil

      • Surprisingly, the aim of terrorism is to threaten rather than to hurt. It's saying "back off." Al Queda's original stated aim was to get US troops out of Saudi Arabia, it doesn't exist to cause economic damage to the USA. It exists to get "respect."

        That said, who is to say that there is not cyber-warfare going on?
    • by Black Parrot (19622) * on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:55AM (#14641768)
      > So if the source code is available for anyone to analyse, AND the software can be updated on-the-fly... what makes this effective? Why does everyone keep assuming terrorists are stupid? Attacks don't succeed through stupidity, they succeed through ingenuity. Look at the source, find a hole, "fix" the software, detonate a WMD...

      Yeah, 'cause closed source always keeps the evildoers out.
    • Why does everyone keep assuming terrorists are stupid? Attacks don't succeed through stupidity, they succeed through ingenuity. Look at the source, find a hole, "fix" the software, detonate a WMD...
      Yeah some terrorists are stupid. I remember recently in the news about how someone got caught trying to make a black cumin bomb. His cover story for buying so much spices: Im making cookies. It's these type of people that are easy to catch.
      • Of course once the stupid one is caught then the NSA goes over his phone logs with a fine tooth comb and starts to social-network the smart ones that told him "quit calling me, you moron" 3 years ago.
  • by TCQuad (537187) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:32AM (#14641683)
    Because the best place to beta test a top-secret military project is in a forum with six billion people watching.

    I'm not saying that this shouldn't be used here, but why weren't they tested at, say, a regular Lions game beforehand? It's the same number of people in the same location, just not as many of them are VIPs with the associated security concerns in case of evacuation.
    • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:43AM (#14641720)
      six billion people watching.

      The viewing figures are less than 100 million. I think you are confusing the Super Bowl with an event that the rest of the world gives a damn about.
      • Re:Of course... (Score:2, Informative)

        by pyro_dude (15885)
        And has TVs for
      • The Super Bowl is televised worldwide, and gets about a billion viewers [redwoodfallsgazette.com].
        • Bull (Score:2, Informative)

          The Super Bowl is televised worldwide, and gets about a billion viewers.

          Bullshit!

          There is absolutely no way, no way in hell that one sixth of the world's population both cares enough about, and has access to a broadcast of the Superbowl. From YFL:

          anticipating that an estimated 90 million viewers and one billion people around the globe will tune in,

          What the hell is that supposed to mean? 90 million viewers I'll buy, but what the hell do you mean by "tune in". I doubt that on billion people are even watching

          • by Sj0 (472011)
            The cultural imperialism of the US means that we all know what the superbowl is. The fact that it's not as successful as leftists would like to think means that we just don't give a damn.
          • 95% of people outside the United States probably don't even know what the Super Bowl is.

            Hell, I bet 50% of Americans don't even know who is playing in the Super Bowl or when it is being played. I only found out it was this weekend because they were playing Super Bowl commercials on the news (sad when commercials are considered a news item). I still have no idea who is playing in it though. I THINK the Steelers and somebody else (Detroit Lions maybe?), but I'm only guessing that because they showed a sh

            • Hell, I bet 50% of Americans don't even know who is playing in the Super Bowl or when it is being played. I only found out it was this weekend because they were playing Super Bowl commercials on the news

              The game is tomorrow night.

              Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks, but game is in Detroit. It rotates yearly from dome to dome for some strange reason. Not the rotating, the dome part. Every year the highlights of greatest Super Bowls shows three or four of the top games outside in snow and the cold
              • Re:Bull (Score:2, Flamebait)

                It rotates yearly from dome to dome for some strange reason. Not the rotating, the dome part. Every year the highlights of greatest Super Bowls shows three or four of the top games outside in snow and the cold, yet they feel compelled to play the game inside now.

                ... which makes a pretty good metaphor for America in general, when you think about it.
              • Not quite. Most of the time Super Bowls are played in warmer climates. I couldn't find a list, but most of the games have been played in California, Louisiana and Florida. Hosting a Super Bowl is very popular with cities because of all the tourism. The people who decide where the bowl also usually go to the game itself. Who wants to go to Detroit in the winter? I think the Super Bowl has been played in Detroit twice and Minnesota once. New Orleans was very popular as is Miami for sites.

                What you were
                • Huh. That's funny. The last two weeks at the gym I've been watching highlight films on ESPN (no sound, though). Apparently, they weren't showing the Super Bowl [supernfl.com] because most of those were in, as you pointed out, warmer climates. I still think the games should be played outside in the elements. It adds unpredictability and challenge to the game. I guess coming from New England I'm slightly biased towards teams that play outdoors, especially in the cold. All the great games I remember watching have either take
    • by JanneM (7445)
      I'm not saying that this shouldn't be used here, but why weren't they tested at, say, a regular Lions game beforehand? It's the same number of people in the same location, just not as many of them are VIPs with the associated security concerns in case of evacuation.

      This has little to do with the technology, or any actual threat. It is a fairly high-profile event, and so it is widely perceived as a target for an attack. If you stage public, high-profile events creating the perception of security you calm peo
    • Six billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:32PM (#14641911)
      Someone already commented how wrong your figure is. And I believe that's exactly why no one has to fear a terrorist attack on the Super Bowl. Merkins seem to have a fixation with this, I remember a film I saw nearly thirty years ago [imdb.com]. Let's face it, very few people outside the USA know or care about the Super Bowl.


      Terrorists have their target audiences. The Al Qaeda wants to impress people in the muslim countries, who think of "football" as the sport that's played by kicking a round ball with the feet. If 90% of the TV news anchors around the world have to explain what this "super bowl" thing is, and its true importance in the collective American mind, the intended message of the attack would be wasted. It's not as if there was an attack in the World Cup [fifa.com], whose audience does reach in the billions mark.

      • Terrorists have their target audiences. [snip] It's not as if there was an attack in the World Cup, whose audience does reach in the billions mark.

        You'd be absolutely right about the World Cup, if the terrorists really hated Kenya or Paraguay or the Ivory Coast. Maybe they do. I'm not sure. But I figure they'd really like to attack the biggest game in America.

        Someone already commented how wrong your figure is.

        Hyperbole. [google.com] Just sayin'.
      • >The Al Qaeda wants to impress people in the muslim countries, who think of "football" as the sport that's played by kicking a round ball with the feet.

        I think it's also just as reasonable to think Al Qaeda wants to strike fears into the heart of Americans once again. A good portion of ordinary Americans will watch some part of Super Bowl tomorrow. I can't think of a better target, personally. Chances are, a good fraction of Americans will see it live if something were to happen at Super Bowl.

      • ...And I believe that's exactly why no one has to fear a terrorist attack on the Super Bowl. ... Terrorists have their target audiences. The Al Qaeda wants to impress people in the muslim countries, who think of "football" as the sport that's played by kicking a round ball with the feet. If 90% of the TV news anchors around the world have to explain what this "super bowl" thing is, and its true importance in the collective American mind, the intended message of the attack would be wasted.

        You are focusing on
    • I believe we are confusing "tested" with "initially deployed". The testing should have been conducted in a lab. The operational testing takes place as part of, well, operations. For that it should be deployed where it is most needed. The superbowl is the perfect place to put it through it's paces.
  • Great but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jmcmunn (307798)

    By the time this sensor figures out that someone has a WMD strapped to their chest, the WMD is obviously already there at the stadium (or relatively close, depending on where they set it up) and everyone there is already in danger. I mean, how likely is it that the terrorist bought a ticket and is going to the game? Remember in the movie "Sum of All Fears" they just dropped off a vending machine a few days before the game. So I am guessing they are just checking to see that this kind of thing works "In t
    • Exactly. Searching people going into the grounds makes security theatre but it means zip if the terrorists simply laced the hotdog mustard with botulism or some equally novel attack. Hell, I bet even that huge snaking line of people waiting to go through the metal detector and pat downs would make an extremely tempting target.
    • Or, even worse (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcc (14761)
      By the time this sensor figures out that someone has a WMD strapped to their chest, the WMD is obviously already there at the stadium (or relatively close, depending on where they set it up) and everyone there is already in danger.

      Or, more likely, the sensor never figures out that someone has a WMD strapped to their chest, because

      1. Nobody has any and
      2. The people who actually might want to do harm to America could just as easily pull this off with totally ordianary weapons of non-mass destruction-- and are
      • The second world trade center attack (9-11) was carried out with weapons of mass destruction having a total yield of at least a quarter of a kiloton.

        They were *acquired* with boxcutters, a technique which won't work the next time.
    • This time they dont need to worry about the blimp [imdb.com]. The Steelers played in that one too.
    • Real security involves multiple layers and not the attempt to make a perfect firewall at one point.

      Airport screens are pretty unlikely to catch someone with a biological weapon such as anthrax spores or even better, botulinum toxin, because an effective weapon can be small and carried in all sorts of legitimate containers. Chemical weapons of enough toxicity and quantity to kill a lot of people at the Super Bowl (such as the binary nerve gas found in Iraq after the invasion ) is likewise easy to smuggle in.

      • A quick evacuation of the stadium is going to cause mayhem

        I have been to Ford field, there will be no "wuick" evacuation. Getting out of downtown Detroit ain't easy after a sporting event!
  • Patients of Nuclear medicine getting stopped by cops. [mindfully.org]

    This was making news in the Wall Street Journal and other papers back in the early part of 2002. Maybe that's why the military wants to test at the SB? A huge sample and plenty of possibilities for picking up cancer patients that could lead to positives.

    • "We have discoveres a massive terrorist network of people with walkers. Our theory is that they use their bodies to smuggle the uranium into the game, then tackle each other futily to reach critical mass.

      And with the american governments propoganda machine, we'll all probably believe it.
  • Sensors in DC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by f1055man (951955) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:42AM (#14641714)
    DC has sensors that sound similar. They've also proven to be almost useless: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/10/18/tular emia/ [salon.com]
    • The article you link to indicates that the sensors work just fine, but even when they do detect something, there is no ready reaction, or use of the data by government officials for nearly a week.

      I'd say it's not the sensors that are useless, but rather the government.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently, the British soccer hooligans have nothing on American football fans. Over there, they're happy if they can keep glass bottles out of the stands.
  • Very good, at least until those intelligent systems detect a false positive.
  • I sure the heck hope they're not using generic 802.11 on 2.4 or 5.6 Ghz, but rather a dedicated goverment band. It would be _stupid_ to put something so critical on a shared band.
    • It would be _stupid_ to put something so critical on a shared band.
      And I'm sure that someone wishing to disrupt communications system would obey the FCC regulations by staying out of government bands. In radio, the entire spectrum is a shared band.
  • ...This kind of remote data gathering is in production use in tens of thousands of factories, farms, forests, and wildlife preserves all over the world. So they're sending different data. So what?

  • So if this detects WMDs how does it detect say bombs as well as dangerous substances before they have already spread? I mean "theres a virus in the air!" does little to stop people already infected and spreading it (who you can't singleout asthey swarmaway), let alonegoing "theres a bomb!", because the second these people are approached (lets say extreme Islamic people for sake of argument), they're going to blow themselvs up and any near them.. So isn't it a bit silly to go "oh we KNEW he had a bomb.. we j
  • FEAR (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Live it! All day long, all the time, at every event and every gathering. Let it control your life. Vote only for those who make you feel safe. Attack those who would limit government power.

    FEAR

    It becomes you.
  • by gte910h (239582) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:16PM (#14641841) Homepage
    Sorry, as someone who's worked with robots before, I just had to clear this up.

    Sensor fusion is whenever you take data from multiple incoming sensors, and automatically combine them to form a picture of the world. This system FEATURES sensor fusion, however it is not called that.

    I think testing the system during the superbowl is a great idea. I think telling people that you're testing it during the superbowl is a stupendously foolish idea. You're going to have all sorts of people screwing with it, from people bringing in irradiated crap, to just plain 802.11 devices setup to jam it.

    Wait, unless that's what they're testing about the system.....

                                --Michael
  • Well I'm Canadian and if they ever attack our Superbowl, we know what to do [wikipedia.org].
  • It's not like they are really expecting someone to show up with a briefcase nuke or a big bad vial of botulism to pour into the stadium ventilation system are they?
  • by ishmalius (153450) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:25PM (#14641878)
    Has nobody else noticed the obvious reason the National Guard are doing this? Not only do they get their weekend hours out of the way, but they get free admission to the SuperBowl. Since last-minute tickets are costing over $1000, I am sure that they are bragging to their buddies what a boondoggle they have accomplished.

    I once got into a U.S. Open golf tournament by volunteering for "Emergency Services." After spending about 5 minutes setting up some tables, I wandered away and got a beer and watched the tournament like everyone else. And the badge looked cool.

    • Has nobody else noticed the obvious reason the National Guard are doing this?

      Like the stated one?

      Not only do they get their weekend hours out of the way, but they get free admission to the SuperBowl. Since last-minute tickets are costing over $1000, I am sure that they are bragging to their buddies what a boondoggle they have accomplished.

      I'll bet they brag a lot more if they apprehend a jihadi with a bomb vest trying to get in the door to kill a couple of hundred people, or detect poison gas before it rea
  • The real test is if the it can tell if the radiation detected is the leftover remenants of the radioactive dye injected into a patient when they take a stress test.

    I've heard numerous stories where customs agents have taken people asside because they tested for levels of radioactivity on them, after having taken a stress test at their doctor's office.
    • If the Radiation sensors have good enough energy resolution, then it is a piece of cake to say that the gamma's are coming from Tc-99m and not something more sinister. Tc-99m has a radiological half-life of 6 hours and a biological half-life of 1 day. Another way to prove that the radiation is from a stress test is that the radiation is most intense over the heart for a few hours afterwards and then becomes most intense over the liver. The dose rate in first few hours after the test is pretty high - I was s
  • by MacDasmans (951962) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:30PM (#14641898)
    The OSGi framework mentioned is very cool indeed. It's best known usage is the Eclipse [eclipse.org] IDE. It can also be used in web applications, where especially the Wicket [sf.net] component web framework delivers a very good integration. There are several users working with OSGi compliant frameworks (most notably Oscar, which is in the Apache incubator [apache.org] under the name Felix), and Wicket. I have used Oscar and Wicket in a commercial product and we were very satisfied with the runtime re-deployment of new components.
  • wait... wait... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by dr_labrat (15478)
    You missed another important pointless buzzword:

    Synergy

  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:35PM (#14641922) Homepage
    From the article:

    Future capabilities could include small wireless cameras linked to facial-recognition software databases that would help identify suspects in crowds, he said. "It can be kind of scary," Ricker said, "but it's not as scary as the alternative."

    Not as scary as a (possible) terrorist attack with many casualties? I happen to disagree. I find it very annoying that law enforcement/government seems to want to have any type of 'disturbance' of our society under control. Be it terrorism, crime, violent protests, hooligans, whatever.

    Just imagine an 'ideal' world where this would actually work: camera's everywhere, all your actions registered, all terrorists locked away, 100% of crimes solved, citizens obeying all rules, drop a chewing gum on the street and a fine is automatically subtracted from your paycheck, leave your doors unlocked and nobody would even think of walking in to steal your belongings. Bomb attacks only happening in movies or history books.

    Now THAT is a scary thought. Would you want to live that way? I sure as hell don't. Sure, streets would be clean, life would be safe and easier, but it would also be very boring.

    No need to make life 'perfect'. Just do what is needed to bring negative things down to acceptable levels. Find a balance between that and how much effort is spent to archieve it.

    It seems to me this balance is often lost. Are measures really cost-effective? Just imagine that all the money going to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq had been spent on health care and development aid for poor countries instead. That could have lifted millions out of poverty. Anyone in the Bush administration even have a rough estimate about how many (potential) terrorism that would save, or what boost that would give the US economy (and image)?

    'Suspect packages' are found every other day now, and train stations cleared or appartment blocks evacuated. Terrorist strike prevented? Nope. Somebody forget their cellphone or shopping bag, and countless men-hours were wasted.

    Common sense, people. Traffic, starvation (if you're really poor) or disease might kill you. If you're 'lucky', a lightning strike, plane crash or falling coconut (yes, they kill more people than sharks!) might do it. Looking at how likely it is, mr. Bin Laden & friends are near the bottom of the list. So why is so much effort wasted on that? I'll take some crime and the occasional bombing instead, thank you.
    • Common sense, people. Traffic, starvation (if you're really poor) or disease might kill you. If you're 'lucky', a lightning strike, plane crash or falling coconut (yes, they kill more people than sharks!) might do it. Looking at how likely it is, mr. Bin Laden & friends are near the bottom of the list. So why is so much effort wasted on that? I'll take some crime and the occasional bombing instead, thank you.

      Ummm... Im assuming your thinking of the statistic that falling cocunuts kill 150 people each y

    • Just imagine an 'ideal' world where this would actually work: camera's everywhere, all your actions registered, all terrorists locked away, 100% of crimes solved, citizens obeying all rules, drop a chewing gum on the street and a fine is automatically subtracted from your paycheck, leave your doors unlocked and nobody would even think of walking in to steal your belongings. Bomb attacks only happening in movies or history books.

      Now THAT is a scary thought. Would you want to live that way? I sure as hell do

      • GP:Sure, streets would be clean, life would be safe and easier, but it would also be very boring.
        P: Video games can take care of the bordem...

        Nope, next those will be illegal. Drinking in bars? Could lead to dangerous drunk driving, better make that illegal too. Like to drive a fast car? Too bad, every car in the country is designed not to ever exceed the posted speed limit, and acceleration is limited to avoid "racing". Looking at naughty pictures on the internet? Dont worry, the government is watching...
  • by niittyniemi (740307) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:57PM (#14642012) Homepage

    ...will it protect the American public from the wardrobe malfunction threat?!?

    Another overexposed nipple could spell doom for us all...

  • by MrNougat (927651)
    ... testing it in Iraq? They'll be able to work out false positives there just as well, since there's no WMDs there to find, either.
  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @01:49PM (#14642279) Homepage
    by running OSGi for that. I have been involved in a solution that acted unstable and erratically since it was running on an OSGi platform. OK, it may depend on which platform, but there are several issues around developing code on that platform. Since then OSGi has been thrown away and the application is instead executing standalone.

    As I see it - OSGi is just an operating system on top of an operating system, and much of the functionality can actually be achieved easier by other means.

    Otherwise - a wireless sensor network as it actually is about is fairly simple, but isn't each node in the net rather expensive? A node actually talking IP will require an IP stack and that in turn will require a fair amount of CPU power together with OSGi. But on the other hand - if the nodes are able to run IP and OSGi they are certainly able to use encryption and certificates to validate the data. Cheaper wireless sensors doesn't have enough punch to be able to do much encryption - but on the other hand you may afford to lose a couple of them before anything becomes a problem.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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