tfranks appears as CHATLAMER
May 21, 2003 5:18 PM   Subscribe

MS Chat and the US Army Although a very interesting article on the logistics behind networking an entire battlefield - this bit worried me slightly:- "What's funny about using Microsoft Chat," he adds with a sly smile, "is that everybody has to choosean icon to represent themselves. Some of these guys haven't bothered, so the program assigns them one. We'll be in the middle of a battle and a bunch of field artillery colonels will come online in the form of these big-breasted blondes. We've got a few space aliens, too."
posted by robzster1977 (17 comments total)
 
That's funny plus I learned something. Hey, Mom, I like school now!

I have been wondering (idly) what the armed forces have been doing for an ISP after they got done dismantling Iraq's pathetic Uruklink.net. "Dork warfare has broken out!"

Iraq: It's everywhere you want to be! Sorry, wrong clich├ęd corporate punching bag.

Okay, here's one. Maybe Microsoft has that missing trillion bucks that's been on the top of the Daypop headlines for a day or so. Kind of boils my grits when I look at how hard it is to get federal aid for New York City.
posted by hairyeyeball at 6:11 PM on May 21, 2003


"...so the program assigns them one... field artillery colonels will come online in the form of these big-breasted blondes."

Uh, yeah, General, that's exactly it - the program assigned me this big breasted blonde alter ego. Uh-huh. And then it somehow managed to get me into these stockings that I'm wearing under my uniform. Damned clever program...
posted by adameft at 6:13 PM on May 21, 2003


Don't ask, don't tell.
posted by spazzm at 6:20 PM on May 21, 2003


...he types into a Microsoft Chat session running on the tactical Internet, the military's battlefield communications system

I hope that means that the army is running their own chat servers on their own secure network, not using a public insecure chat network hosted on the public Internet halfway around the world.

Thought #2: Why are they wasting CPU and bandwidth on avatar graphic chat, not straight text?
posted by tippiedog at 7:00 PM on May 21, 2003


damn right, they should be using rsend or ytalk.
posted by dorian at 7:12 PM on May 21, 2003


Hmm, I wonder if it's anything like Jerk City?
posted by GrahamVM at 7:32 PM on May 21, 2003


Sounds like they need an irc channel to call their very own.
posted by hama7 at 7:34 PM on May 21, 2003


"I consult Microsoft online help," [Tech support guy Cluff] replies. "We have Premier help," he adds, referring to the live operators available to subscribers only. "But most of the time it's something as simple as telling them they have to plug in so the battery doesn't run out." And then, with complete seriousness, he adds, "Without me here, I don't think that we'd be where we are today."
posted by krakedhalo at 7:53 PM on May 21, 2003


Interesting.. kind of funny, but we use swarm tactics all the time in CS.. or at least the kill-stealing bastards do.
posted by shadow45 at 8:02 PM on May 21, 2003


Why are they wasting CPU and bandwidth on avatar graphic chat, not straight text?

Internalized homophobia?
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:10 PM on May 21, 2003


Because this is the US Military. They have all the CPU cycles and bandwidth they want and if they don't they'll just hire some geek at UC Berkeley to make more.
posted by nyxxxx at 9:33 PM on May 21, 2003


Because graphic chat is easier to use and comprehend.
posted by linux at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2003


Because graphic chat is easier to use and comprehend.
How does having an arbitary and distracting (and potentially disturbing :P) graphic help you comprehend what is at the end of the day a purely text based medium?

. o O (the military should be using a real chat application, anyway)
posted by Freaky at 4:06 PM on May 22, 2003


How does having an arbitary and distracting (and potentially disturbing :P) graphic help you comprehend what is at the end of the day a purely text based medium?

When you see that pigtailed blonde, you know it's the general.

Of course the point is that it's not a purely textual medium. There is certain metadata that you don't explicitly type, like who you are, your rank, unit, and physical location.

At the end of the day, be wary of anyone using the phrase 'at the end of the day'.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:58 PM on May 22, 2003


On MS Chat, no-one knows you're Osama bin Laden.
posted by GrahamVM at 6:35 PM on May 22, 2003


Of course the point is that it's not a purely textual medium. There is certain metadata that you don't explicitly type, like who you are, your rank, unit, and physical location.
And how does a graphic of a pigtailed blonde help get this across? You've got WHOIS, and even USERHOST if you want to do stuff like rank@somewhere-near-somewhere-else.country; arbitary graphics and a horrific UI don't help here.

Of course, neither does using an OS which has the worst IRC clients in the known Universe.
posted by Freaky at 1:35 AM on May 23, 2003


Well obviously the more pigtails, the higher the rank.

Jeez, are you really just bitter about the military using windows?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:47 PM on May 23, 2003


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