31 May 2008

Interesting News Series on Military and the Internet

The Military's Internet 'Civil War' - The Washington Independent - U.S. news and politics - washingtonindependent.com
The Army cleverly dodged the bans, setting up its own versions of popular Web 2.0 sites, but hiding them behind password-protected portals. In that way, the Army appears to have found a middle ground between Internet proponents and skeptics. On this toehold, the land combat branch is steadily building new Internet tools that might help the United States catch up to Internet-savvy jihadists. In late April, the land-warfare branch even launched an official blogging service for officers. The blogs combine the best of the civilian Web 2.0 with old-fashioned military-grade security.

20 May 2008

AFCEA C4i Conference Bingo

For the fully buzzword-compliant conference-goer.
AFCEA Conference Bingo

So I'm sitting in the conference, trying not to strangle the parade of speakers who are all defining problems without proposing any actual solutions... and this guy is talking about how to get data down to the soldiers at the end of the last tactical mile.

This girl stands up and asks a question about getting data "to the tactical edge and beyond"

How the fuck do you get "beyond" the "tactical edge"? What are we gonna do, provide data services for the enemy?

If you're gonna talk about the tactical edge of the battlefield, shouldn't you have actually spent some time there?

16 May 2008

Are we finally admitting the truth about the wars?

Morale: More Chest Candy
May 16, 2008: The U.S. Army is awarding separate medals for participation in the Iraq or Afghanistan operations. These awards are retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, for service in Afghanistan, and March 19, 2003, for Iraq. Anyone who has served at least 30 consecutive days in either area, or 60 non-consecutive days, is eligible. Anyone who was there less time, but was sent home because of wounds, injury or sickness, is eligible no matter how short their stay. The army calculates that some 805,000 soldiers are eligible for these new awards. They will usually be worn as small ribbons on uniform jackets. In this way, troops can quickly scan the chest candy worn by others and know the rough outline of their military careers.

So is the Bush administration still going to try to convince us that they're one consolidated war?

13 May 2008

The God Weapon

The Face of Allah Weapon Returns | Danger Room from Wired.com
Nor is the God hologram really a new idea, though it's interesting to see it's still bandied about; military analyst Bill Akin wrote about this concept back in 1999, which described it as holographic image of Allah. "According to a military physicist given the task of looking into the hologram idea, the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air," Arkin wrote. "But doing so over the skies of Iraq? To project such a hologram over Baghdad on the order of several hundred feet, they calculated, would take a mirror more than a mile square in space, as well as huge projectors and power sources. And besides, investigators came back, what does Allah look like?"

Silly... he looks like this:

12 May 2008

Where's the proof?

Broun (GA10) | News | Congressman Broun Introduces Anti-Pornography Legislation
Allowing the sale of pornography on military bases has harmed military men and women by: escalating the number of violent, sexual crimes; feeding a base addiction; eroding the family as the primary building block of society; and denigrating the moral standing of our troops both here and abroad.

I'd be really interested in his data showing causation within a statistically significant range of probability. I think you can show some correlation... maybe... if you stretch the numbers.
But can you show causation? That's a very, very high hurdle to clear. Good luck showing a statistically significant measure of causation, no matter how you control for confounding or mediating variables.