"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stuxnet and the XM-25

The Stuxnet computer worm that has apparently crippled the Iranian nuclear program is a story that makes me want to kiss an engineer.   There are some real geniuses out there who may have anonymously saved millions of lives.   Here is the story from Fox News' webpage, and it's fascinating reading.  

Couple that with the recent story about the Army's new XM-25 rifle, that shoots exploding shells (grenades) up to 2300 meters, and can program them to explode either just in front of or just behind a target.   What this means is that the concept of "taking cover" just became a lose-lose situation for the Taliban in a firefight:
Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon system for the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office Soldier, said that the XM25's capability alone is such a "game-changer" that it'll lead to new ways of fighting on the battlefield, beginning this month in Afghanistan.

"With this weapon system, we take away cover from [enemy targets] forever," Lehner told FoxNews.com on Wednesday. "Tactics are going to have to be rewritten. The only thing we can see [enemies] being able to do is run away."
Engineers... making the world safe for democracy.   Wouldn't my dear departed old Dad be proud?  

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