Military Technology Update

Noah Shachtman's Defense Tech has had a lot of good material lately on the evolution of the cyborg soldier and other military technologies. First, a piece describing the screaming speed at which advances in thought-controlled robotic limbs and prosthetics are coming to the battleground.

Next, links to stories about clothing and cream for commandos to cloak their thermal registers and escape detection from cheap, commercially available thermal cameras.

Finally, he describes a new free fall navigation system to be used during HALO jumps, which connects GPS to a head-mounted visual display and PDA mission planner, in order to be able to hit targets in low-visibility conditions, such as inclement weather. Objectification: "The navigation system for jumpers runs off of many of the same technologies being used to make precision cargo airdrops."

On a slightly different note, DT discusses the new Google Maps satellite imaging technology (which is super cool, by the way). In this particular case, it is possible to see into the U.S. military's infamous "Area 51".

This raises two questions for me: One, what does this say about the relationship between the corporation and the state? And two, if satellite imaging of this high quality is what is commercially available as a bare-bones free service, then how amazing is the technology being used by the surveillance elites?

Given the parallels of modern discipline that Foucault illustrated between the factory, the school, the barracks and the prison — and that others have drawn with the stadium — I believe it is important to keep examining them as we emerge further into the digital age, and try to compare them with sport if and when possible.


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