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'I Just Need a Programmer' 735

theodp writes "As head of the CS Department at the University of Northern Iowa, Eugene Wallingford often receives e-mail and phone calls from eager entrepreneurs with The Next Great Idea. They want to change the world, and they want Prof. Wallingford to help them. They just need a programmer. 'Many idea people,' observes Wallingford, 'tend to think most or all of the value [of a product] inheres to having the idea. Programmers are a commodity, pulled off the shelf to clean up the details. It's just a small matter of programming, right?' Wrong. 'Writing the program is the ingredient the idea people are missing,' he adds. 'They are doing the right thing to seek it out. I wonder what it would be like if more people could implement their own ideas.'"

Comment Re:More than the usual debate... (Score 3, Insightful) 325

I think the dawn of the UAV era may well herald the end of the independent Air Force, and I think the current crop of pilots know it too. And it begs the question, did a seperate Air Force ever really make that much sense? It was a branch based on a particular technology.... akin to the Army splitting Tanks off into their own separate service, or the Navy doing the same with submarines. Airpower really isn't a doctrine so much as it's just one more weapon in your arsenal.

One word "Jamming".

Remote controlled drones work against low-technology enemies that cannot blanket the radio spectrum with high-power white noise or shoot down your high-altitude relays (if you use line-of-sight comms technologies such as lasers). The drones can only go autonomous for simple tasks and are (not yet) capable of wining a dogfight with a human-controlled fighter.

Going fully dependent on remote controlled drones is a form of "Preparing for the last war".

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