U.S. Army's 'Future Combat Systems' Seem Like One Big Video Game

March 21 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 10

The clip below may look like a trailer for the new Call of Duty video game, but it’s not. It’s a powerful promotion by the U.S. Army demonstrating their Future Combat Systems network, a collection of troops, robots, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellite-guided visualization systems all linked in real-time. The video presents an impressive war scenario that really gets the juices flowing (great for recruitment, annoying to pacifists), but also serves as a great vision of what’s about to be possible on and off the battlefield in the very near-future.

The interactive real-time, super-detailed graphical interfaces of combat zones are nothing short of amazing and remind me of many of the video games that I’ve played. When implemented, it’s obvious that such systems will provide U.S. troops with an edge over virtually any conceivable opponent (which is why they’ve been made public, I’m sure). The coordination capabilities such a system affords are formidable, resulting in battlefield optimization that truly will save many lives while more effectively taking others.


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Energy independence will take commitment like space race

September 05 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 9 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Energy is the life-blood of America – it affects our economy, standard of living and national security. And our prime current energy source – oil – is a product we can no longer afford.

High gas prices, air pollution, and global warming are part of the problem, but more important are the tensions brought about with countries that supply this non-renewable energy. For decades, these tensions have directly or indirectly been at the root of most global conflicts.

In a “Wired Magazine” article, Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall say concerns about oil supply are indirectly responsible for our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and have caused strained relationships with our allies. And clashes with the Muslim world, mired in oil interests, finally brought the unthinkable to our shores – the “9-11” World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

Schwartz and Randall believe there’s only one way to insulate the U.S. from oil’s corrosive power. “We must develop an alternative energy,” they say. “Hydrogen stores energy more effectively than batteries, burns twice as efficiently in a fuel cell as gasoline does in an internal combustion engine, and leaves only water. It’s plentiful, clean, and capable of powering cars, homes and factories.”

Today’s energy situation is reminiscent of Soviet cold war times. In 1957, Russia launched the first satellite into space, and in 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in orbit. Afraid Soviet space domination would make our country unable to defend itself, President Kennedy announced Apollo, a 10-year, $100 billion program (in today’s dollars) to land a man on the moon. Eight years later, Neil Armstrong made his “giant step for mankind” and America quickly regained world leadership.

Schwartz and Randall believe we face a similar threat today from foreign oil dependency. “As President Kennedy responded to Soviet space superiority,” they said, “Our next president must respond to foreign oil by making energy independence a national priority to be achieved within 10 years.”

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Is U.S. Attorney General Mukasey Truly Oblivious to Accelerating Change?

March 24 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Government   Year: 2008   Rating: 8

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey says he is quite surprised by the vast number of potential terrorist threats facing our nation.

In a closed session with reporters last Friday, the leader of the country’s Justice Department stepped up to the plate, exclaiming, “I’m surprised by how surprised I am.”

“It’s surprising how varied [the threat] is, how many directions it comes from, how geographically spread out it is,” he said.

My first reaction to this went something like: “Are you kidding me? Have you never heard of accelerating change, discussed the concept of a flattening world, or noticed how quickly technology is letting people all over the globe do more with limited resources?”

Of course, such statements are likely nothing more than political hyperbole intended to drum-up public support for the big telecom immunity battle currently shaping-up in Washington, in which case it’s at least something I can comprehend and chalk up to politics. But if Mukasey, the Attorney General, is being remotely serious, it indicates a frightening blind spot for accelerating change and possibly a deeper lack of strategic thinking throughout our government, which would not altogether come as a surprise.

Human progress is a double-edged sword. Social evolution constantly allows us to “do more, better, with less”, as systems theorist John Smart puts it. We can direct these new capabilities at improving our economy, finding new cures for new illnesses, improving the quality of human life, or use them to plot more effective terrorism, more quickly destabilize systems, or hoard more resources. The sword can cut both ways.

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Bob Woodward: U.S. has deployed Revolutionary Secret Tech in Iraq, and It's Working

September 08 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 8 Hot

Last night on CBS60 Minutes Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Bob Woodward cryptically let it be known that much of the recent U.S. success, or lack of failure, in Iraq should be attributed to a “new operational capability” that enables the identification and monitoring of enemy leaders of various ranks and affiliations. Woodward likened this breakthrough to the advent of the tank, which transformed war as it was deployed.

Check out the video for yourself, and please pardon the ad:

As one of the guys who broke Watergate, Woodward’s credibility is impeccable. He cites conversations with members of the Joint Chiefs and President George Bush himself as sources, but does not describe further what this new operational capacity might be.

So, if indeed this is not disinformation, what might this futuristic technology consist of? Super-fine satellite imaging? Microscopic aerial “bugs”? Micro-seismic audio sensing? An aerial drone sensor net? A new laser array?

Let’s hear your best guesses futurists. That is, unless you are actually in the loop, in which case please don’t spill the beans here…