Sunday, April 15, 2007

Still on hiatus... Iraq@Home

One thing I think the US should have done in Iraq, was 1) setup a massive, secure wireless network, 2) plant security cameras just absolutely everywhere, and 3) provide a screensaver client to allow americans to help monitor what the hell is going on over there and report suspicious activities.

Considering the size of our military budget, there's no reason this isn't feasible, even accounting for sophisticated AI and re-validation of reports. One of the side benefits of this, would be to give americans an opportunity to be more invested in the effort. I have no doubt there have been a lot of americans sitting at home at night wishing they could help. Instead we get this kind of attitude that the war in Iraq is "the administration"'s cross to bear alone... and we get that message both from democrats and republicans, right and left.

There are obviously many details involved.. like identifying false positives, avoiding hostile spam reporting (false positives or burying), attacks on monitoring cameras, hiding coalition troop movements, and others. But all these details have known fixes.

Ideally a massive security camera network could also be used to traceback attackers, including suicide bombers, to their point of origin by meshing together this network and allowing it to be effectively rolled back in time.

Worst case scenario, car-bomb factories end up only churning out one car bomb per location.

I don't think this technology would be easy, but if they threw even $100M at it (chump change in this effort), it'd be pretty easily accomplished. $1B (still kinda chump change) would get it done skunkworks style in a jiffy.


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