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iPods at War 364

phaedo00 writes "Ars Technica has put together an outstanding piece of journalism about the use of personal technology in America's military and how these devices along with blatant piracy is causing new problems in the face of war: "While soldiers once deployed with little more than a backpack and a rifle, today's crop of infantry troops pack along MP3 players, digital cameras, DVD players, video games, movie collections, and computers of their own. The personal electronics have made modern American warfare the most comfortable it has ever been, but they've also brought a new set of problems onto the battlefield.""
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iPods at War

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  • by redelm ( 54142 ) on Monday August 21, 2006 @02:48PM (#15950261) Homepage
    The RIAA & MPAA going after soldiers is a farce: I seriously doubt the US military command would tolerate any such attack against them. It's actually easy enough to render legal: the US govt has the power and authority to use any patents, copyrights and trademarks however it wishes with impunity. An argument could be made they already have by failing to block ports/sites.

    People who've never been deployed and only seen movies don't realize that soldiering is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. It is just as important (maybe more) to handle the boredom as the terror.

  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Monday August 21, 2006 @02:59PM (#15950304) Homepage Journal
    When I was in the military, prior to the days of bit-torrents, we had tons of "pirated" audio/video. On one network we had a server that reached 750 gigs of mp3s. It became almost competetive to see who could add the most music to it. The whole thing got wiped shortly before my EAS, for use in a new data storage system.

    The thing about the military is that you have a large number of young men with a disposable income (ie: food, housing, medical care, and transportation are all provided). Sure, it's not much of an income, but when you don't have to spend money on rent, you cand stretch $14,400 a year pretty far on entertainment goodies(that was my salary as an E4 in 2001).

  • Re:Off on a tangent (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 21, 2006 @03:15PM (#15950409)
    Thats simply not true. You are not legally allowed to drink at the age of 18 with a military ID, people just overlook it and allow you to enjoy yourself. In countries where the drinking age is lower than that of the United States, the chain of command will deem the age limit as they see fit.

    Where i am stationed the drinking age is 18 for the local nationals and as such the command has stated that it will follow the laws of our host nation.

    So no, it is not true. I am all for those of us who risk our lives for our nation to be allowed to enjoy ourselves(This includes drinking at the ages of 18-21). Too many of my friends have died before they were able to enjoy many of the things that life has to offer.
  • Re:Off on a tangent (Score:2, Informative)

    by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Monday August 21, 2006 @03:35PM (#15950591) Journal
    Technically if you are an active member of the military (active duty, or guard or reserve that has been called up), you can legally drink at 18 with your military ID.

    That's not true anymore. I've never been to any base that didn't follow the legal drinking age of the surrounding area (US drinking age vs Overseas bases). I think there's an installation by the Mexican border in Texas that allows it, but that's because there were too many accidents involving troops crossing the border to drink legally and rushing back. I've seen enough people get demoted, fined and forced to make public statements about underage drinking to think it's a good idea for any service member to do.

    If you haven't signed up for the military, I'd say don't until you're of legal US drinking age. Get some living and college under your belt. I waited until a few months after my 21st, and the credits qualified me for an early promotion. At the lower ranks, a quicker promotion is money in your pocket and the chance to not have a complete tool trying to pull rank on you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 21, 2006 @08:21PM (#15952521)
    "Give me a break - I read the comments and no one else mentioned soldiers abusing drugs, which was a definite problem in Vietnam. Still an issue? Sure. But it's less of one now, because the soldiers have other outlets for their stress."

    Even back in WWII, soldiers drank themselves near-death and called it their "medicine", according to my grandfather.
  • by Zugok ( 17194 ) on Monday August 21, 2006 @08:36PM (#15952598)
    Military justice is one of the very few examples of law which has extra territorial effect. This is a common feature in the military justice system in all countries. However soemtimes where a law has been breached on the soil of a host nation, service members might be subject to the laws of that host nation. It depends if there is an 'agreement' withthat host or not.

    Extra territorial effect is required becauce commanders need a tool to keep their members disciplined and obedient to the chain of command at all times. I know this because I am currently studying military law []

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken