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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cybernetic Sharks and other Toys

When is a shark not a shark? When it's a defense project:

So far they've only made it to the poor dogfish, "steered" in captivity via electrodes keyed to "phantom odors." As it happens though, DARPA-sponsored plans are a good deal lustier than that: Next stop, the blue shark, which reaches a length of 13 feet. Project engineer Walter Gomes of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island claims a team will soon be putting neural implants "into blue sharks and releas[ing] them into the ocean off the coast of Florida." To transmit signals to the sharks, the team will need nothing less than a network of signaling towers in the area. This has "anti-ballistic shark system" written all over it.
-- Shark and Awe

What does that have to do with gaming, television, movies or the such? Not much. But it's a painful reminder of just how cool the Pentagon's playroom is over what we citizens get to play with. And you know some lucky geek gets to play with it all. The article goes on to remind us about present and future toys of war:

  • Weaponized dolphins
  • Weather control expirements
  • BigDog, the military M.U.L.E.
  • Bush's 2020 moonbase
  • Hypervelocity rods (AKA rods from god)
  • the "Common Aero Vehicle" ... a drone capable of shuttling a 1,000 pound payload

    Now that's what I call full spectrum dominance. A shame most of our schools can't afford enough textbooks to train kids to use them.


    Thomas said...

    Shorter defense department: Screw the kids! I want a shark with frikkin' laser beams on its head!

    Josh said...

    Well, we wouldn't want to fall prey to a shark with frikkin' laser beams gap!

    Clamatius said...

    I particularly liked this Slashdot comment on the subject.

    Josh said...

    nice. that should be a tee shirt.