Civilian Technology Heads To War

from the interesting dept

An interesting, if somewhat odd, article suggesting that while in the past much “civilian” technology filtered down from military applications, now there are civilian developed technologies filtering into military and public sector use. Reading the article, I think some of the examples are a bit of a stretch, but it is an interesting difference to think about. He does point out that these civilian developed technologies are generally inexpensive, and still rely on human judgment, or enhance human judgment – as opposed to very expensive, purely technical solutions that seem to come from the other direction. Update: Here’s another good example of this. It’s a story of the “Land Warrior” program to make soldiers more high tech battle ready. The original system was built by Raytheon at tremendous cost… and everyone hated it. It was heavy, didn’t work right, and hard to use – but it was built to spec. The contract then went, instead, to some Silicon Valley firms, who ignored parts of the spec, used off-the-shelf components and built an inexpensive system that soldiers seem to really like. Of course, I’m not so sure how much they’ll like it when they get a blue screen of death right as they’re dropping into enemy territory (yes, they’re using Microsoft software), but hopefully that’s being worked on as part of this whole “trustworthy computing” business.

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