(Roughly) Daily

“Economy doesn’t lie in sparing money, but in spending it wisely”*…

 

Text shown is from the sea-lit classic Robinson Crusoe

It is an unspoken rule of military procurement that any IT or communications technology will invariably be years behind what is commercially available or technically hobbled to ensure security. One case in point is the uncomfortably backronymed NeRD, or Navy e-Reader Device, an electronic book so secure the 300 titles it holds can never be updated. Ever…

Developer Findaway World began development of the bespoke devices for the Navy two years ago, and now 365 of them are being rolled out to ships and submarines, with each vessel initially receiving about five. The company has already delivered similar gadgets to members of the US Army and other military personnel.

The brainchild of the Navy’s General Library Program, the electronic ink Kindle-alike has no internet capability, no removable storage, no camera and no way to add or delete content. This is to prevent it being used to smuggle secret military data ashore, take illicit photos, introduce computer malware or record covert conversations.

The books have been selected to keep the average sailor happy. But if readers’ tastes extend beyond bestsellers like the Game Of Thrones and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, authors deemed popular with Navy readers like Tom Clancy and James Patterson, American classics and naval history, they could become a little bored…

More of this sad tale at NavalTechnology.com’s “US Navy develops world’s worst e-reader.”

* Thomas Huxley

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As we treasure our $10,000 toilet seats, we might recall that it was on this date in 2006 that the USS Oriskany (CV/CVA-34), a Ticonderoga class aircraft carrier (mentioned in Top Gun, about which, here and here), was sunk off the coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, to create an artificial reef.  Now popularly known as the “Great Carrier Reef,” it was the largest ship ever to scuttle for that purpose.  (See NY Times divers explore the “reef” here.)

The Oriskany in more buoyant days

 source

 

 

Written by LW

May 17, 2014 at 1:01 am

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