back to article Hey sailor, fancy putting your hands all over a NeRD fondleslab?

The US Navy is looking to upgrade libraries onboard its ships and submarines by commissioning a run of tablets designed specifically for use in remote and high security locations. Dubbed the Navy eReader Device (NeRD) the tablet operates without any radio or external connections (beyond a power port) and comes preloaded with …

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Holmes

Network

Even if it did have wireless it wouldn't be a lot of use as a sub must as near a perfect Faraday cage as it is possible to build.

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Re: Network

The ocean does a pretty good job of blocking radio transmissions, and you don't even have to do anything. You can do it, but it's r-------e--------a-------l-------l--------y-------,-----r--------e--------a--------l--------l-------y---------s----------l----------o----------w.

Barring active enemy/competitor espionage at sea, communications on naval vessels are at greatest risk while in port. Doubly so if the ship is at anchor, but the crew is stuck onboard, bored. Even an Admiral's ship has crew that get bored and do really dumb shit as a result.

I did my internship with a company that made and serviced harbor traffic control systems, thus around lots of ships, and it's pretty wild the transmissions you pick up in a harbor. You can only do so many fire drills and deck cleanings before people start to weird out and there's always someone on shore willing to listen in if there's a navy vessel from any country floating around.

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Selection

A variety of different selections of ebooks would probably be best for this. Then the sailors could swap them around. Or just bump the storage and load them up with thousands of books.

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Shipboard Hardware

I'm sure the content will be fabulously misguided and will provide bored sailors with endless frustration as they read Moby Dick, The Old Man and the Sea or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

But I'm not interested in the content, I want to know how they've built an e-reader that will survive life onboard a naval vessel. Big, open water military vessels are slightly less friendly to portable electronics than a main battle tank. Some electronics will simply take the easy way out and kill themselves upon sighting a ship.

If they manage to build a ship worthy e-reader they will have a real winner of a product, just add a radio for consumers.

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Re: Shipboard Hardware

Good point, if that make it then the next sales opportunity is for schools...

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Re: Shipboard Hardware

My Kindle seems to have managed happily onboard a number of naval vessels and remains perfectly usable, as do all my other electronic devices, so you may be over estimating the challenge.

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Re: Shipboard Hardware

Note, the 'My' part of 'My Kindle'. The answer is there. For things that don't begin with 'my', life expectancy is considerably shorter onboard a ship. Even ruggedized electronic equipment like barcode scanners, laptops notebooks, and those old user unfriendly tablets with the touch screens that barely work are killed constantly. The very same products last for ages in a warehouse, but if they live to be 24 months old on a ship they're lucky.

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Re: Shipboard Hardware

"I'm sure the content will be fabulously misguided and will provide bored sailors with endless frustration as they read Moby Dick, The Old Man and the Sea or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

I was about to protest that other articles on NeRD mentioned that the US Navy has a huge library of tens of thousands of eBooks. However, while Googling some references to show how diverse NeRD's content would be, I discovered that NeRD is coming preloaded with a library of 300 books.

I could handle a preloaded ereader with 300 books if I had a chance to periodically update / swap from a large DoD library or even the Gutenberg Project. Even if I had to get an officer's stamp of approval and go to an approved, security-monitored exchange point. But when you're stuck with 300 factory-installed ebooks for all time?

I now agree that the content will be fabulously misguided and frustration-inducing.

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Re: Shipboard Hardware

Hmm, I don't recognise that as a problem this side of the pond, possibly because everything is someone's 'my' as they've signed for it and have to return it in the condition it was issued or be fined. Certainly we had a number of non-ruggedised laptops used for a variety of purposes that had lasted years. On the flip side when I worked with the USN there seemed to be a greater availability of kit so it may be that there's less tendency to look after something if you know it can be replaced without having to spend a week begging stores to give you the last one on the shelf.

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Thumb Up

"...aims to stimulate seamen with secure reading platform"

I see what you did there.

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Book list.

With the contents of the slab being pre-loaded is this a pre-cursor to 'education' in Blighty?

(and will they bundle both the Bible and Koran together under 'fiction' or 'fantasy'?)

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Headmaster

"...the tablet would allow soldiers..."

Navy personnel are sailors, not soldiers.

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