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The Military Sci-Fi

What Modern Militaries Can Learn From Battlestar Galactica 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the graceful-degradation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Modern warfare these days is all about a 'networked environment.' But what happens when such things that make a modern military work breakdown? How would America's armed forces fight if their computers crashed, could not communicate, or were hit with massive viruses? What then? 'There's wisdom in science fiction. The conceit behind the reboot of the sci-fi epic Battlestar Galactica was that networking military forces exposes them to disaster unless commanders and weapons designers think ahead to the repercussions should an enemy exploit or break the network. The mechanical Cylons, arch foes of humanity, are able to crush the humans' battle fleet and bombard their home worlds with nukes by insinuating viruses into networked computers. They sever contact between capital ships and their fighter forces, and they shut down the fleet's and planets' defenses. Having lost the habit of fighting without networked systems, human crews make easy pickings for Cylon predators.'"
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What Modern Militaries Can Learn From Battlestar Galactica

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  • what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hypergreatthing (254983) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:05PM (#43621727)

    wtf? get the frack out of here. Comparing battlestar galactica to the modern military.... might as well compare NCIS to police work or star trek to nasa. What can fiction tell us about anything? nothing, because it's not based on real life.
    What does abraham lincoln vampire hunter tell us about colonial life? Lots apparently.

    • Re: what? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. If they took down our networks we would... not care and keep working?

      People have no idea how little actual military stuff is actually networked.

      • Re: what? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Shoten (260439) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:17PM (#43621903)

        Exactly. If they took down our networks we would... not care and keep working?

        People have no idea how little actual military stuff is actually networked.

        This is less and less true every year. Without networking, forget about using Predator or Reaper drones, for one thing. Forget about chain of command as well, forget about intelligence...moving in either direction. Most importantly, forget about logistics too.

        • Re: what? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:39PM (#43622139)
          The single biggest issue is GPS. How many 'smart' things simply stop working when our satellites are taken out (either by enemy...or just space junk cascading into the Kessler Syndrome/Effect [wikipedia.org])
          • More worrying, what about instead of taking out satellites and drone control towers, an enemy takes over them with a virus.

            Sure the average foot soldier might not use or encounter very many networked devices. But what if the guidance system in every smart bomb was redirected back at our own troops, ever Predator drone was reprogrammed to search and destroy all humans.

            • by icebike (68054)

              More worrying, what about instead of taking out satellites and drone control towers, an enemy takes over them with a virus.

              Sure the average foot soldier might not use or encounter very many networked devices. But what if the guidance system in every smart bomb was redirected back at our own troops, ever Predator drone was reprogrammed to search and destroy all humans.

              What about military people also watching Battle Star Galactica? You spoze they ever did?

              NAH, that could never happen!

          • Re: what? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Lumpy (12016) on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:09PM (#43622523) Homepage

            "The single biggest issue is GPS. How many 'smart' things simply stop working when our satellites are taken out "

            Smart things? Our Pilots cant fly without GPS, they do not train them to navigate. Honestly it is mind blowing that the powers that be are that incompetent.

          • Re: what? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:28PM (#43622729)

            Even without all the geewiz toys the military trains to operate in a low tech environment. A classic example of which is the fact that we've had laser range finders for decades, and we still train our snipers to use the mil system and we give them the math necessary to figure out how to place rounds on targets at unknown distances. Pretty much every soldier learns in basic training how to read a map and use a compass, pilots use maps and terrain features to navigate aided by AWACS and air traffic control, even if the RADAR is being jammed, a good pilot will know where they're at by the terrain around them, and fighting over the ocean or a vast desert is the only places where there aren't enough terrain features to navigate by eye. So I say "meh" to the OP's "OMGsorzS the TOYZ are BROKESESSes",

            Here's the bottom line, the toys are helpful when they work, and a hindrance when they don't, you use them in addition to your base proficiency skills. We had a unknown range cold bore fire exercise one year where the local authorities were allowed to participate, a couple of them came in with laser range finders and were heavily reliant upon them to do their jobs. The shoot was on a rainy day with stupid high humidity, they couldn't get solid numbers from their range finders due to refraction from the high moisture content and ended up missing all their targets. In their defense they said they train for tops a 200 meter shot with the average urban engagement being well under 50 meters so they never really mess with the scope much outside of zeroing it.

            • Re: what? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Leggman (539439) on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:44PM (#43622895) Homepage
              I was in the Naval ROTC in college and they made us learn to navigate using a sextant...
              • Re: what? (Score:4, Interesting)

                by kenwd0elq (985465) <kenwd0elq@gmail.com> on Friday May 03, 2013 @03:09PM (#43623629)

                Yes, and I used to TEACH celestial navigation at the USAF navigator school. Which is now closed.

                GPS is too easy, too inexpensive, and too accurate, so NOBODY actually uses celestial navigation any more. But cel nav requires practice, and it is a "Use It Or Lose It!" skill.

          • The Army's already working things to work in GPS-denied environments. Here's a story [army.mil]. Full disclosure, I work at the Army's R&D command.
        • Re: what? (Score:4, Informative)

          by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witnessNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:14PM (#43622581) Homepage Journal

          Exactly. If they took down our networks we would... not care and keep working?

          People have no idea how little actual military stuff is actually networked.

          This is less and less true every year. Without networking, forget about using Predator or Reaper drones, for one thing. Forget about chain of command as well, forget about intelligence...moving in either direction. Most importantly, forget about logistics too.

          True, the drones and various functions would be disabled. However, the US Military is by design able to function without access to the chain of command - one thing that has been one of our greatest strengths throughout history.

          So losing the network will have some issues, but will not cripple the US Military in any fashion.

        • You don't understand how we communicate. We have a large number of communication systems that are unrelated to the internet. Drones would work just fine. Chain of command communications would be untouched. I will not list what we have for OPSEC reasons, but it is far more vast than you know.
      • Re: what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by F34nor (321515) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:21PM (#43621951)

        There was a story in one of the Iraq books I read, Rise of the Vulcans or something like that where an amsemtrical warfare game sponsored by the US military was stopped when the Marine commander running the "bad guy team" used things like mopeds to move data rendering all the cool e-warfare shit we had useless. Basically the blue team guys thought they could disrupt and destroy a low tech enemy but it didn't work. Old age and treachery will over come youth and enthusiasm every time.

        • Or taking advantage of the simulation. I don't know the name of the exercise off the top of my head, but I remember the guy exploiting poorly modeled Jeeps(?) to move information.
        • by pluther (647209)
          Same thing happened in Tienanmen Square. The Chinese government cut the phone lines and tried to jam radios, but the students were still coordinating by bicycle and motorcycle messengers.
        • Re: what? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:06PM (#43622481)

          You're looking for USMC Lt. General Paul Van Riper and his unorthodox response to the 2002 Millennium Challenge [wikipedia.org] wargame.

        • Re: what? (Score:5, Informative)

          by error 303 (1289340) on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:56PM (#43622991)

          A similar thing happened in Operation Millenium in 2002. The US commander, General van Riper, in charge of the "red" team (i.e. middle-eastern nation, i.e. Iran) opted to use non tradiational attacks. In effect he launched every available missle on day one at the "blue" fliceet, overwhelming US missle defense systems, and then proceeded to use skifs and speed boats in suicide attacks to avoid any head on engagements. The "blue" team was overwhelemed on the first day and on the second day US command ordered the war game restarted, with much more tight contraints on egagement and tactics. In effect, General van Riper showed that the US was not ready to engage in asymetric warfare in the middle east, and rather than conceding that, they changed and "rigged" the game to show that the US would achieve an easy an descive vicoty. General van Riper resigned in the middle of the game in protest.

        • by Molochi (555357) on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:59PM (#43623017)

          Never underestimate the bandwidth of a fleet moped riders wearing backpacks full of flashdrives.

          Back in my day it took tapes and stationwagons

      • Re: what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:29PM (#43622033)

        People have no idea how little actual military stuff is actually networked.

        I think they also have no idea how non-critical a lot of the technology is. When I was in the service, were were constantly training for "what if" scenarios. If our radios were jammed, we would communicate with flares, smoke grenades, semaphore flags, signal mirrors, etc. Once a month we would have a "vehicle appreciation day" where we would move every piece of gear in our battalion for twenty clicks (km) using only our LPCs (leather personnel carriers (boots)). Heck, we even trained for a lack of breathable air. There are few things more difficult than trying to sleep with a gas mask on. A "network failure" is not going to stop the US military.

        • I would agree with you, but sometimes the sum of the pieces is greater than the total. I.e. you can test widget/process A for all manner of failures and B, C, D as well. But testing ALL of them for simultaneous failures simply isn't possible. And while I also agree that it won't 'stop' the military, it will significantly degrade it's effectiveness.

          Which, when fighting a superior force is exactly what you want to do...and is exactly what our enemies would be facing and thus want to do.

          I'm sure it's
          • Re: what? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witnessNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:18PM (#43622635) Homepage Journal

            I would agree with you, but sometimes the sum of the pieces is greater than the total. I.e. you can test widget/process A for all manner of failures and B, C, D as well. But testing ALL of them for simultaneous failures simply isn't possible. And while I also agree that it won't 'stop' the military, it will significantly degrade it's effectiveness.

            Even complete failured it trained of equipment is trained for. The military is taught not to rely on equipment to get the job done. Multiple failures are expected, and can easily happen in any combat situation.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            testing for simultaneous failure of everything? what's there to test, in that case wizards did it and you might just as well give up. if the mechanical, by wire and the multiple parallel electronic methods of communication break up then it was the wizards and the aliens in alliance and it's best to dig a hole and stay there and hope nobody panics and launches the nukes(oh wait couldn't do it with simul-mega-break).

            btw. it's the other armies of the world that should train for it than the US, because it's mos

    • Re:what? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:15PM (#43621873)

      I learned a lot of things from Sci-Fi before I learned them in real life.

        In Star Trek: TNG, for example, I (through the Klingons) learned that Blacks are violent. I also learned that Ferengi (Jews) are greedy. And that women who study Psychology (Counselor Troi) are all ditzy sluts who like to codify common sense through their cleavage. Then, through Voyager's Janeway, I learned that all women over thirty-five are nagging bitches who enjoy being difficult to their families.

      Then, through Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and comic books, I learned that nerd humor is pretty much gay humor - excessively chatty with the only controversy being that all the men wear underwear on the outsides of their clothes.

      Yep, Sci-Fi. I tossed it all in the trash or out the window. Then I got a skateboard and started playing football, then got a girlfriend; and have been a real man ever since.

      -- Ethanol-fueled

      • Thats funny because we always thought Ferengi were Muslims ( oppression of women ) or Roman Catholic ( the funny hats ). The mistake your are making is mistaking tropes or "planets of hats" with ideologies that the show producers were trying to comment on. They were not portraying actual groups of people in stereotypical ways.

      • by bkmoore (1910118)

        ...I also learned that Ferengi (Jews) are greedy...

        Gene Rodenberry, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were all of the Jewish faith. Go listen to Adam Sandler's Happy Hanukkah song for proof.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Reminds me of the Onion article about the multiverse of possibilities from the US Election results. "What if your fighting machines break?"

      Dont forget to ask "What if your battleships get trapped under a force field?"

      And finish up with "What if you need to throw a ring away really bad, like *really* bad, but the ring itself doesn't want to be and can control YOU???"

      So many irrelevant questions, so much time to waste...

    • Re:what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Guspaz (556486) on Friday May 03, 2013 @02:13PM (#43623123)

      Battlestar Galactica also posited that connecting two computers together with an ethernet cable instantly makes them completely vulnerable to long-distance wireless hacking because "now it's a network and the cylons can hack networks", so I'd take the whole thing with a grain of salt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:07PM (#43621765)

    Someone just discovered Battlestar Galactica I see. Old news, militaries already aware of this, nothing to see here, move along.

    • by Zedrick (764028)
      > Someone just discovered Battlestar Galactica I see

      If that's true, I envy them. I'm currently watching BSG (the remake series, sorry puritans) for the 5th time.
    • Damn! Someone, maybe a military research project group, should invent a robust networking system resistant to outages and automatically rerouting through many other connections. It could connect various military networks, and if any site goes down due to a bomb, rerouting is instantaneous.

    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      Somewhat surprised to see such an article years after BSG remake was shown. My impression of first episode was I thought if we were to go into major war with one of our major business partners, our forces probably suffer something like this. Regarding the show, Galactica survived and was able to carry out counter attacks because Adama is an old guy sticking with archaic systems, you know those DEC computers and Mocom-70 2-way radios are tough stuff! None of it is networked and hardware itself is housed in s
  • by Lifix (791281) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:09PM (#43621787) Homepage
    In Battlestar Galactica, the humans are facing the Cylons technologically superior force with advanced cyberweaponry. Doesn't that make us (the USA) the Cylons? Sure China is a threat, but I haven't heard of any damage from any Chinese 'attack.' I have, however, heard of Stuxnet, which had real economic, political and technological consequences.
    • In Battlestar Galactica, the humans are facing the Cylons technologically superior force with advanced cyberweaponry. Doesn't that make us (the USA) the Cylons? Sure China is a threat, but I haven't heard of any damage from any Chinese 'attack.' I have, however, heard of Stuxnet, which had real economic, political and technological consequences.

      I think our society mirrors the society of caprica prior the first cylon war. We might not have jump drives or VR that is as "real" but we are working on fixed wing drones that can kill without human intervention. Scary stuff. The UN is recommending a ban on autonomous drones with lethal weapons.

      • In Battlestar Galactica, the humans are facing the Cylons technologically superior force with advanced cyberweaponry. Doesn't that make us (the USA) the Cylons? Sure China is a threat, but I haven't heard of any damage from any Chinese 'attack.' I have, however, heard of Stuxnet, which had real economic, political and technological consequences.

        I think our society mirrors the society of caprica prior the first cylon war. We might not have jump drives or VR that is as "real" but we are working on fixed wing drones that can kill without human intervention. Scary stuff. The UN is recommending a ban on autonomous drones with lethal weapons.

        A ban that will never happen as long as the US or at least one other country on the Security Council think that autonomous drones with lethal capabilities are useful. (Hint: It only takes one Security Council member to veto nearly anything in the UN, especially where weapons are concerned.)

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:09PM (#43621791)

    Any one point of failure that can render your entire force useless is a problem. A network should be treated as an AID to military forces, not a necessity. Soldiers should, of course, know how to still function if it goes down.

    • Also those networks should be redundant and decentralized this way its harder to take down an entire network. Even if its treated as only an aid, the side with the aid may have a distinct advantage over the side without. This is were having your network consist of many technologies and generations of hardware is nice. One shouldn't phase out old hardware that still works just because its "obsolete" falling back to networks of short wave radio's when your satellites and drop ships get knocked out of the sky

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:36PM (#43622091)

      . Soldiers should, of course, know how to still function if it goes down.

      . . . and more importantly, commanders. Von Clausewitz wrote the importance of not relying on information and command chain systems. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Clausewitz [wikipedia.org] :

      While Clausewitz was intensely aware of the value of intelligence at all levels, he was also very skeptical of the accuracy of much military intelligence: "Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.... In short, most intelligence is false." This circumstance is generally described as the fog of war. Such skeptical comments apply only to intelligence at the tactical and operational levels; at the strategic and political levels he constantly stressed the requirement for the best possible understanding of what today would be called strategic and political intelligence. His conclusions were influenced by his experiences in the Prussian Army, which was often in an intelligence fog due partly to the superior abilities of Napoleon's system but even more to the nature of war. Clausewitz acknowledges that friction creates enormous difficulties for the realization of any plan, and the fog of war hinders commanders from knowing what is happening. It is precisely in the context of this challenge that he develops the concept of military genius, whose capabilities are seen above all in the execution of operations.

      So you need an army where units can function independently. Even if you have a great military plan: "No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy".

      Not really new thinking, at all.

    • by Pope (17780)

      OK, but what happens when the Borg Cube goes up against the Death Star? What then?!

  • Reciprocity. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shoten (260439) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:10PM (#43621801)

    What's strange about the whole concept of Battlestar Galactica and the nature of the attack by the Cylons is how one-sided it was. The humans seemed to have an awareness of what cyber warfare is (they reference firewalls and viruses in the series), yet they never seemed to develop any more than a rudimentary defensive capability (CND, in military parlance) and no intelligence or attack capabilities (CNE and CNA) whatsoever. This, despite the fact that their adversary was entirely cybernetic in nature. Um...yeah, no, I don't buy it. Makes for a good story device, yes (and I loved the series), but I don't buy it as actually realistic. Think about the long-distance communication needed for resurrection, for example...WOW. Get access via that, and think of the incredible damage you could do to Cylons...heck, just a denial of service attack would drastically alter the priorities of an attacking Cylon force, since their losses would be magnified in significance.

    • This was at least partially explained by the Cylon's disappearance for decades. How do you build systems to fight and defend against an enemy you haven't seen in 40 years, but who have also infiltrated your society and military? They know your weaknesses while you can only guess at theirs, with zero time to adapt due to the surprise assaults.
      • by Shoten (260439)

        This was at least partially explained by the Cylon's disappearance for decades. How do you build systems to fight and defend against an enemy you haven't seen in 40 years, but who have also infiltrated your society and military? They know your weaknesses while you can only guess at theirs, with zero time to adapt due to the surprise assaults.

        An excellent question, and I'm glad you asked it. Simply...the way the Cylons did with humans. You aren't at war with them, but that doesn't mean you go totally off the grid as far as the other is concerned. This, too, is an inaccuracy of what an armistice looks like. North and South Korea skirmish, raid, and spy. NATO and Warsaw Pact...same thing. In this case, it'd be easier for the humans, because again, CNE is incredibly effective against an opponent that is entirely electronic in nature and 100%

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Did you watch the series?

      Long distances mean no resurection. Destroy the resurrection ship, and they suddenly fear death.

      It was done.

      • Re:Reciprocity. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Friday May 03, 2013 @01:21PM (#43622665) Homepage Journal

        Moreover, there was the episode where the Cylons were dying of an encephalitis virus which was incurable and had a 100% fatality rate and which was so virulent, that it would infect the resurrection ship if any victims resurrected since it would be carried over.

        Lee Adama put 2 and 2 together and hatched a plan to commit genocide against the Cylons, but Helo "Goody-Twoshoes" Agathon killed the captive Cylon victims before they could carry out the plan.

        What I want to know is why Agathon was not blown out an airlock for that piece of mutiny that resulted in casualties against the humans due to an aborted attack.

        • by etash (1907284)
          because if they did airlock him right then, the cylons would have been destroyed and the series would have practically ended. SO SAY WE ALL!
    • by gorzek (647352)

      They were screwed because the enemy had thoroughly infiltrated the operating system that powered all of their (current-gen) ships. If not for that, it could have actually been a fight, rather than a slaughter.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      I think the point of the opening miniseries was that humans had become complacent in their defenses, since they hadn't even seen any Cylons for 40 years. And in those 40 years, the cylons had advanced far beyond what humans ever expected them to.

      And during the course of the series, they did develop some defenses (discovering/attacking Resurrection ships and adapting the cylon virus to use as a weapon themselves, for example). But it's hard to do a lot of R&D when you're running for your lives and just t

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:11PM (#43621817)

    This is not very new:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/?ref_=ttqt_qt_tt [imdb.com]

    "a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III"

    So where is the news, except the setting?

  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grashnak (1003791) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:15PM (#43621875)

    Modern war - that is, every war the US has fought in the last decade, has been fought largely by infantrymen, light armor and close air support. All of which function just fine without a networked environment.

    Maybe you learn the difference between sci fi and reality.

    • Sure they do, with each unit deciding to do whatever it sees fit because there is no chain of command, while the enemy is doing coordinated attacks.

      There is a motive for the military to use those nice computers and network infrastructure they have, my good sir, and if you want a hint it it is not as paperweight.

      Only sheer ignorance can justify your failure to give the due importance to communication and information acquisition in any military conflict.
    • Infantry, light armor, and air support are ALL networked these days. Do you think they still relay intel by semaphore?
      • by bkmoore (1910118)
        They are not networked, or at least on the same one. The problem with the networked battle field is it creates the illusion of perfect situational awareness. Throw in inoperable equipment, poor communication, failure to follow procedures, and you have the raw ingredients for a good-old-fashoned blue-on-blue incident.
        • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

          Yes, they are networked. In Afghanistan, right now, there is probably a soldier on the ground looking through the Sniper Pod on a B-1 above him/her to help the B-1 take out bad guys.

    • Modern war - that is, every war the US has fought in the last decade, has been fought largely by infantrymen, light armor and close air support.

      I guess close air support must work by telepathy.

      In any case, every war the US has fought in the last decade has been fought largely by infantrymen, etc., because each has been an asymmetric conflict, where the main difficulty is locating and identifying the enemy while avoiding ambush. Command and control (i.e., networking) is more critical in this kind of anti-in

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bkmoore (1910118) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:59PM (#43622395)
      True, a lot of people on /. seem to be confusing StarCraft for real command and control. If the network all went down, it wouldn't make a huge difference, at least at the Battalion level or below. We'd all just pull out our laminated maps and grease markers and keep on executing the mission. Almost all communication is encrypted radio anyway. Most Computers in the military are used for doing inane things such as making PowerPoint slides. In that sense, loss of computing might be a tactical advantage.
  • What one man or team can create, another man or team can break, usually faster, easier, and cheaper than it took to create in the first place. That's the lesson learned from the copy protection/DRM wars, yes? With exceptions, of course; some forms of encryption are difficult to break, and are getting harder to break all the time.
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:18PM (#43621919) Homepage
    When facing an enemy whose ability to infiltrate your IT network far exceeds yours to keep them out you should: 1) Only network equipment that actually needs to be networked together. As in targeting system with weapon. 2) Create no physical links at all between systems that don't need to be networked together. 3) Honeypot them into a virtual trap.. (Never understood why they never tried this in Galactica). You want them THINK they have compromised your system, especially whey they have not.
  • TV computer systems and "viruses" have very little in common with real-world computer systems and viruses.
  • That's all our military does in peace time. They even develop contingency plans *for* their contingency plans. Hell, even the CDC has a contingency plan for zombies!

  • So we can send Jeff Goldblum up to their mothership and infect them with a virus.

  • ... mayhaps the Navy could learn to design hatches to make a cricket sound when opened?!?

  • by alen (225700) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:37PM (#43622107)

    the whole point of tech in the military is to shorten the decision making cycle. most times you don't know where the enemy is, so you have scouts looking for him. once they sight the enemy it has to be reported to the highest levels command so that the general and everyone below him has a clear picture of the battle.

    in the old days it was done by radio and scouts on feet and wheels. now its done by drones, cameras and the data is networked to everyone. this allows you to make decisions where to attack faster.

    since the humans in BSG were so far behind the cylons technologically, they should have been exterminated in the first few episodes. but you need lots of episodes to make money and the good guys to win to make people watch

    scientifically it was a dumb show. robots using eyes instead of heat, sonar, radar and other sensors to find humans hiding on the planet and out in space

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:41PM (#43622169)

    I completely agree with the premise that you want to design weapons platforms from the ground up assuming a broad spectrum of threats. Be those direct physical attacks or more subtle network intrusions.

    War.

    What will one human mind do to overcome the machinations of another hostile human mind? Anything. Everything.

    Be prepared for anything. Biological. Nuclear. Chemical. Hackers. Sexy honey pot assassins. Everything is on the table.

    Let your guard down anywhere and you've told the enemy how to kill you.

  • The bigger conceit in Battlestar: Galactica and many other TV shows is that any computer or networked system can be *always* hacked in an *arbitrarily short amount of time* if the plot demands it. For dramatic purposes, computers are stationary targets.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Just like encryption will always be broken a few seconds before the plaintext is required.

  • Actually, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Friday May 03, 2013 @12:47PM (#43622233) Homepage
    Since the Cylons were able to dominate the colonial computer networks because they manufactured most of the key parts, wasn't the lesson of Battlestar Galactica more like "Hey, maybe it might not be such a good idea to outsource production of all of your really important defense stuff to the people you are going to use it to defend yourself against?"
  • Always do it doggy-style the first time.

  • What Congress can learn from Watching PokeMon Cartoons....

  • Unlike robot Cylons, humans can't live in outer space without an absurd amount of technical automation. The same argument can be made if you replace 'networks' and 'computers' with 'air'.

    -1, Stupid Article

  • So that covers Battlestar Galactica; What of Beets, and Bears?

  • Hmm... i thought the lesson to be learned was being about to take a broadside of nukes with minimal damage was good.... and that Gracie Park is just damn hot (and you can never, NEVER, have enough copies of her).

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

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