Monday, September 21, 2009

Saving American Lives in Afghanistan Via Automation

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The other day, my mind strung together several pieces of existing technology, cheap technology, to create a new defense system for use in places like Afghanistan. I first spoke of this last night on Dr Bill Wattenburg's show on KGO, 810 on the AM dial out of San Francisco. We are currently using unmanned drones to track and attack, with pretty good results. The enemy, with its willingness to hide behind skirts and children, does bring about some tragedies.

I have always been fond of the pop on lights which use PIR sensors (passive infrared radiation) to sense motion, and then activate the lights for a set period of time. I've marveled at the Game Spy cameras which for $200 will illuminate and area with invisible to the human eye infrared, and then, using PIR to detect once again, take 6 megabyte photographs or short videos, over a period of days.

I was in Radio Shack Saturday and noticed a lighting system for a Halloween pumpkin that included a PIR, and a voice/sound chip, like the greeting cards, that was full of scary noises to amuse anyone who walked close enough to it. The cost, retail? $10.00.

Now let's go to Redwood City, which some time back was having a prolem with people firing guns into the air for New Years Eve, Fourth of July, Cinco De Mayo, etc. People were being hurt in the resulting slugfall, so, being an area full of computer scientists, they developed a network of listening posts throughout the city, which fed to a software program, which quickly identified the sector where the gun fire was occuring.

If you mount sensors (microphones) in inconspiuous and movable towers, I believe Redwood City used the telephone poles, and you sow the surroundling fields or roadside with PIR equipped noise makers, possible emitting coded sounds to help pin point their location, the codes changing each day, and then use a local flying drone to check out the disturbances, you might be able to slow down the enemy substantially. In a way, it is a minefield without explosives.

My wife points out that the Taliban and Al Qaeda would use children to attempt to clear an area, in which case you might include anti Taliban slogans emitting from the devices, and candy attached to them, to avoid premature destruction, and slow down those efforts.

You might also want to make every 1,000th Sound Thumper (Dune derived name) a very sophisticated detector, with a video feed, and its own ability to sense approaching targets from the cheap thumpers around it. Outwardly identical, this one could be detonated, with most of the deadly force going to just one side, after a remote human had determined a real target within range.

Where the others have short spikes to secure themselves, this one would secure itself deep into the ground. Should a motorcycle be used to cause havoc in a sensing field, one of these would eventually put an end to the practice. A simple reversable command, "blowup at will," would turn these babies into real land mines, lost in a forest of identical Sound Thumpers. Another command would make it easy to remove just these when the need for them had passed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boffo PooPoos Cultural Change Via Technology

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And so I responded with:

Oh Boffo!

Let's compare phones of 1970 vs those of today. Today's kindergartner can out call and out text President Nixon with ease.

Are you still lugging that room full of key punching equipment to make cards for your mainframe?

Reagan had little to do with the downfall of Russia. The personal computer, the xerox machine, and most importantly the wide spread use of black market videos which showed a warped but enticing view of the West did far more to demoralize the USSR than anything Reagan did or said. He may have cut the ribbon, but that dam was ready to blow regardless.

How many snail mail missives did you send each day in 1970? How much stuff did you buy from points 3,000 miles away from total strangers? How many trips to the library did you make to check out what your doctor was telling you? How many elections were funded and won on-line?

How many cold cases were solved using fingerprints, as compared to DNA?

Grow Up

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tea Party is Screaming Tidal Wave When When faced with Forest Fire

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Nobody in this country is going to win until we squarely face the Big Three:

Container Ships


Modern Internet Communications

These three have driven capitalistic organized jobs off shore. The rest of the world is now discovering that what the Americans can't buy (Tap City), the rest of the rest of the world CAN buy, at somewhat reduced prices. The party has gone away, and it is not coming back, except in the form of rich capitalists from abroad buying up cheap real estate in the USA.

Welcome to the 21st Century, and for God's sake and your own, stop bickering over obvious necessities like health care for all, and biometric national ID's, plus jail for employers who hire non citizens, to stop the flood of illegals.. Put a firm and solar powered foundation under the country and maybe, just maybe, if we all pull together, we can bounce upwards, instead of being blasted downwards.