contributing editor Steve Silberman says his new story, "The War Room
," is a first look inside "a new Pentagon-sponsored training program for soldiers headed to Iraq and elsewhere that immerses them in highly realistic virtual environments designed by Hollywood special effects artists.... Interesting, troubling."
This is the new way soldiers will train for battle. In September, a select group of Army infantrymen, Marine corpsmen, Navy sailors, and Air Force pilots at Fort Sill will become the first military personnel to learn the art of combat and the rules of engagement from surround sound action movies starring themselves. The installation is the brainchild of the Institute for Creative Technologies, an Army-funded R&D group at the University of Southern California. ICT brings together videogame developers, f/x artists, research scientists, and Pentagon experts to create faster, cheaper, and more effective ways of preparing recruits for their jobs on the front lines. If all goes well, similar facilities will go up at bases from Fort Bliss to Fallujah.
The military has been using flight and tank simulators for decades ("War Is Virtual Hell," Wired 1.01), but the installation at Fort Sill is the first attempt to duplicate battle conditions for troops by combining wartime science and theme-park showmanship. The Joint Fires and Effects Trainer System, or JFETS, is the product of an unprecedented level of cooperation among the Pentagon, film and gaming companies, and Silicon Valley - a synergy that Stanford history professor Tim Lenoir calls the military-entertainment complex.
Virtual war will never fully replace the mainstays of boot camp life: live-fire exercises and ass-busting field training. But as weapons systems grow smarter, they become more expensive to deploy in real-world war games. Now that consumer gaming engines like Unreal are able to render cinematic-quality graphics in real time, even big-ticket munitions are trivial to simulate.
to Steve's article released earlier this month in WIRED.
Also of note: a story on the Institute for Creative Technologies from this Sunday's New York Times
: Registration-required Link
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to edit or sign a PDF and not having access to the original document. That’s why PDFpenPRO is a must-have app in our books.With this extremely useful app, you can merge, markup, and create PDF documents without ever having to convert your PDFs into word processor file formats. Type directly onto […]
From self-driving cars to stock market predicting software to the recommendations you get on Amazon and Netflix, machine learning is at the core of modern technology. You could find yourself building technology that is literally changing the world with the skills you’ll learn in The Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This bundle of 10 courses includes 406 lessons that will teach […]