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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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  • 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.
  • Re:Of course... (Score:2, Informative)

    by pyro_dude (15885) <alevin42 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 04, 2006 @12:12PM (#14641823) Homepage
    And has TVs for
  • 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.
  • Re:"secure" (Score:3, Informative)

    by brunson (91995) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @01:13PM (#14642094) Homepage
    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?
  • Bull (Score:2, Informative)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak@@@eircom...net> on Saturday February 04, 2006 @01:30PM (#14642166) Homepage Journal
    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 television over the course of the Super Bowl. 95% of people outside the United States probably don't even know what the Super Bowl is.
  • Re:testing? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @01:50PM (#14642285)
    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 on face recognition? These technologies can be fairly effective if used correctly, I've worked on some chemical detection in the past.

  • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Saturday February 04, 2006 @07:01PM (#14643449) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure what definition you're using of "WMD," but to the US Government, a chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon IS a weapon of mass destruction, period. Or rather, a 'weapon of mass destruction' is defined as a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon.

    This definition comes from the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which you can read here [state.gov]. However the way it's described -- not as an explicit definition, but almost as an implicit assumption, suggests to me that the term was used in this way for a significant time prior to this. In the US Code, it also includes radiological, as well as Chem/Bio/Nuclear weapons. (USG uses of WMD [nti.org].)

    However, your point -- namely that there are some weapons which meet the USG criteria for being a "WMD," but probably are not capable of doing that much damage (depending on the type and method of use), is very true. However saying that they are "not a WMD" is a bit of a large statement, because the US Government disagrees with you, and at the end of the day, that's who people are going to listen to and that's the definition that's going to be widely used.

    I think that if you want to discuss 'true' WMDs -- that is, weapons which have the capability of inflicting a large amount of damage or number of casualties -- you are better off using the term "mass casualty weapon" or something else, rather than the term "WMD."

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