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Communications United States Hardware

Presidential Inauguration Hardware and Other Challenges 176

holy_calamity writes "The FBI has released images of some of the kit that will be deployed to safeguard Obama's inauguration, including mine-proof armored trucks like those used in Iraq to protect against IEDs, and a large armored chamber that any bombs will be shoved inside to be transported away and perhaps detonated inside. Interesting, even though the really good stuff is presumably being kept under wraps." Relatedly, necro81 writes "The Inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow is expected to put considerable stress on the cellphone network around Washington, DC. The expected crowd could top two million people, and many of them are expected to call, text, tweet, photo, and blog their way through the event. In response, the major wireless carriers in the area have spent millions of dollars upgrading their local networks and will bring in extra 'cells on wheels' (COWs) and 'cells on light trucks' (COLTs). They are also requesting that attendees limit their usage during the event, and avoid bandwidth-heavy activities — like uploading photos — until afterward."
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Presidential Inauguration Hardware and Other Challenges

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  • Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jonah Bomber ( 535788 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:12PM (#26521165)
    Good luck with asking people not to upload photos during the event.
  • by tsalmark ( 1265778 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:20PM (#26521265) Homepage
    He is not actually in charge until after the ceremony. I don't think he has as much say in this as you imply he does, not that I see him complaining.
  • Pretty spectacular (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Haoie ( 1277294 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:20PM (#26521267)

    There's certainly been a vast advancement in technology [especially communications] since early 2001.

    So that's technology like social networking, blogging, microblogging, webcasting, etc etc.

    It'll be a memorable event.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:22PM (#26521297)

    "Coronation ceremony" covers it. I am sick to death of the fucking "Rock Star" routine, especially since everyone seems to be sucking it up. All the guy has done since his state house days is run for president. Every time a controversial vote came up, he passed unless he had a carefully-polled stance already prepared. His entire campaign was based on taking the most popular position on everything.

    It will be interesting to see what he does when he actually has to make an unpopular decision.

  • by Reapman ( 740286 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:42PM (#26521525)

    And nothing of value was lost... sorry had to say it, mod down as you will!

  • by amRadioHed ( 463061 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:45PM (#26521583)

    So Bill Clinton was a traitor, but not the guys who outed a CIA agent? I hate to point it out but your bias is showing. How embarrassing.

  • Here's an idea!!! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:50PM (#26521657)

    They could dig up Leni Riefenstahl and have her film the inauguration and then show it all over the world in huge sports coliseums!

  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:51PM (#26521665) Journal
    I wish there was some sacrifice. All I see is two trillion in bailout/stimulus pork.
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:51PM (#26521673)

    You can't stop [] a determined assassin.

    Prepare for one thing and they'll use another, and never, ever underestimate the effectiveness of someone willing to trade their own life for the life of the target.

    I'm not saying this to brew fear, i'm saying this to point out there is a reasonable point at which marginal returns to extra security diminish, and a point at which flexibility (hence my example) is more important than durability.

  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:59PM (#26521775)

    Clinton got a blow job from someone who wasn't his wife, and he is a traitor, yet Bush lied to the american public about every reason for invading Iraq and he isn't?

    Al queda hated saddam as much as we did, and didn't move into Iraq until after we did.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:01PM (#26521801) Homepage

    This coronation-like ceremony is getting out of hand. A quiet ceremony in the Capitol, broadcast on TV, would be sufficient. That's what was done during WWII, when there were concerns about an attack on FDR.

    This is the first time an inauguration has shut down Washington, DC for two days. All the Potomac River bridges out to the Beltway are closed Monday and Tuesday. That's well beyond the impact of previous inaugurations.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:10PM (#26521911)

    Cell providers are doing something naughty here. They sell their customers service that allows them to send picture messages. Then they cannot satisfy the demand for the services they already sold, so they ask us nicely to keep spending money on inferior text messages. Remember text messages are already a ripoff [], and have zero network overhead, as we already discussed.

    Shouldn't they at least offer affected customers free text messaging to align incentives with avoiding network congestion? Or find some way to reward (read: not continue to rip off) people who avoid sending the picture messages that CNN has requested?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:13PM (#26521953)

    I wish there was some sacrifice. All I see is two trillion in bailout/stimulus pork.

    No, see, the average person is the one expected to make a sacrifice so that the higher-ups can continue to afford their expensive lifestyles.

  • by Rayeth ( 1335201 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:14PM (#26521971)

    For the most part I actually agree with you. I am not really looking forward to the deluge of updates that are in store. Especially considering the number that already are showing up, "OMG only 2 days left to end the worst 8 years ever!"

    Which would be fine, but clearly most of these people haven't even been voting age for 8 years -- let alone 12. So don't mind it when I don't trust their opinion on the state of the state as it were.

    Its great that young people are more involved in politics now, I think that is a good thing for the country. Though I wish they would stop complaining about a single President and worry more about how to fix the things they don't like instead of hoping for a magical Obama panacea

  • The point (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:15PM (#26521993)

    The point of all this security isn't to stop a serious, well funded attempt to assasinate this man. As many people have pointed out, unless they kept the person in a bunker or in a series of undisclosed locations, a well funded team could probably harm him or her.

    Except...any sane organization has nothing to gain by killing this leader. Unlike a dictator, the president can be easily replaced with someone else, and routinely is swapped out ever 4-8 years. In fact, a reasonable person would expect a backlash. The real reason the U.S. government doesn't give two shits about the Palestinians is because they kind of seem like the same kind of guys who committed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That's backlash.

    Any group that killed the American president would be crushed, and would never get anything they wanted.

    However, lone nuts and other poorly equipped people get mad at the President all the time. The secret service can probably stop such morons in almost all situations.

    Also, a lot of the security is reactive. Presidents who were killed in the past were usually killed by some kind of small arms attack. Hence the bulletproof limo and the ring of armed guards. If some other form of attack ever succeeded, god forbid, then security precautions might change. Such as eliminating public appearances entirely and doing everything via teleconference and holograms.

  • by amRadioHed ( 463061 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:23PM (#26522101)

    If the article is wrong perhaps you could be kind enough to point out the logical or factual errors?

    Of course everyone claims something, but not all claims are equal. Some are backed up by facts while others are pure fabrications.

  • Blame the NRA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:54PM (#26522515) Homepage

    Its because of the NRA. As of lately they have been circulating propaganda saying Obama WILL make handguns illegal. Ask anyone who is a member or reads Guns 'N Ammo. I am all for private ownership of firearms and the second amendment but the NRA is overreacting here.

  • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:58PM (#26522583) Journal

    So we assume that the various assassins who were stopped just weren't determined?

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:15PM (#26522805) Homepage Journal

    Those who turned 18 and were eligible to vote for the first time in 2008 were in elementary school when Bush was (s)elected. He's been in office pretty much the entire time they've been aware of politics at all. Given what a horrorshow both his terms have been, they can, I think, be forgiven for seeing Obama as something special. It's kind of like what happens to an abused kid who grows up, gets out of his parents' house, and realizes that there are people in the world who won't beat the shit out of him every time he opens his mouth -- sooner or later, he'll realize that the world contains good people and bad ones in about equal measure, but at first, just about everyone is going to seem wonderful in comparison.

  • by mrlibertarian ( 1150979 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @09:23PM (#26523537)
    Regardless of your political leanings, when it comes to debunking media distortions Media Matters rules!

    Regardless of your political leanings? They say in their 'About Us' page that they're only interested in misinformation that forwards the conservative agenda. That's a shame. Why not correct misinformation from all sides?
  • Re:big deal? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by foobarb ( 659413 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:59AM (#26526653)

    D, E, and

    F) He sounds like he believes and means what he says.

    Clinton is smart but he lies when he opens his mouth. Obama somehow gives off credibility and authenticity ... one would hope by being credible and authentic, but we shall see. Integrity is rare anywhere, and you don't expect to see it in politicians anymore, at least not at the P level, because we've had a bad run of those here lately.

    IIRC the Kennedy election events were very similar in tone (rock starish). More swooning girls then. Media was slow but there was less of it, so speeches were broadcast and people listened to them. Rhetoric was more formal and poetic then, but less reality based perhaps.

    Then, as now, there was a renewed hope for dramatic change for the better, an end to the war maybe, a generational shift to the younger, more progressive culture. The euphoria in these hopeful elections arises from the unexpected possibility that we (well, many of we) just might find ourselves in a world that better reflects our own values and priorities.

    Both then and now opportunities opened up for women and minorities to move closer to parity with WASP (white anglo-saxon protestant) men and to have a chance to have our issues raised. Again, after years of corporate greed and government spying, the people today have more common ground than they did in the Kennedy era though, whether they realize it or not. Interesting times.

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @08:51AM (#26527505)

    Morons. Millions of people aren't showing up because it's a big event, it's a big event because millions of people want to show up. If you want to be a WATB, start complaining at conservatives for running the country into the ground over the last 30 years, making people hungry for something different.

    It should also be pointed out that much like the lie about auto workers earning $71 an hour, the comparisons between the cost of Obama's inauguration (WITH the cost of security) and Bush's (WITHOUT security) are completely disingenuous.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.