back to article US military chokes on stream from robots' fat pipes

A lack of decent software means that information harvested from unmanned aerial drones in Afghanistan is not being used properly. The military is deploying thousands of these pilotless machines in Iraq and Afghanistan but is hamstrung by a lack of resources to properly deal with all the video footage created and by …

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  1. Guido Brunetti
    Grenade

    SkyNet

    "The Pentagon wants one system to control and harvest data from any of its unmanned vehicles."

    Right. Let's name it "SkyNet".

  2. Chemist

    Re : US military .....

    Put it on it's own TV channel - get people to phone in when they see anything 'interesting'. At 10p a minute should generate quite an income too !

  3. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Or...

    Or you could just try not spending all that money on cash cows for various US senators and try employing people to actually view and sort the footage...

    Nahh your right thats crazy talk...

  4. Simpson

    camera phone smarter than a drone

    "adding geographical information to existing video footage to make it more usable"

    Are you telling me that the photos and videos aren't even geotagged!? They just pile up the tapes somewhere and (if viewed later) try to figure out if the desert cliffs in the footage are in yemen or afganistan, based on which pile the tape was in?

    1. Kingprawn
      Grenade

      RE: camera phone smarter than a drone

      "Are you telling me that the photos and videos aren't even geotagged!? They just pile up the tapes somewhere and (if viewed later) try to figure out if the desert cliffs in the footage are in yemen or afganistan, based on which pile the tape was in?"

      Why do they need to geotag. If a place on the map looks like th footage just bomb it. Better safe than sorry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Yes, because it generally isn't needed

      Most of the drone-cam stuff is used to either target a missile strike or to guide troops. There's not really a need to tag it with anything other than "Sharpie on the CD", because the subject of the video is probably not going to be around past the end of the footage.

      And the vast majority is "dude screwing sheep" so there's no reason to keep it at all, unless you're into that sort of thing.

  5. Mark 108

    Facebook

    If they open a Facebook account then everyone should be able to view the data in short order.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Inevitable and already being done

    If the USAF weren't so pig headed, let cheaper and lower ranks do a lot of the work, plus actually listened to other people, there are cheap and ready to go solutions out there. Unfortunately, politics and empire building keeps getting in the way. I suspect the contractors don't really want to play ball either as this would cut into their profit margins.

    People have offered solutions to the USAF almost for free (I know this for a fact) and they refused to play ball. They are also going to have to learn how to declog the bandwidth because all this fancy tech is generating huge amounts of data and there is only so much you can send via satellites, plus the grunts are going to get pretty hacked off that their requests for air support is being blocked by a congested network!

  7. blackworx
    Coffee/keyboard

    Choking on stream from fat pipe

    Splutter!

    New keyboard please.

  8. John 104
    Grenade

    FOW?

    Gives a new meaning to Fog of War, doesn't it?

    Grenade because, well..

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Ah, the mythology of data mining

    "If we have enough data, the problem will be solved"

    You want information, not more data. As more data are added, the problems of finding what you need get harder and harder. It's like Pratchett's omniscope: becase it can show you everything, it is practically useless at showing anything in particular.

    THINK before you add more sensors and more data.

  10. Thomas 18
    Terminator

    Automation

    I see a candidate for automation, there's nothing safer than hunter killers with self targeting tactical computers. Plus we have got pretty good at detecting skin textures that's all that's really required right.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Self targeting =

      shooting yourself in the foot? (if written in C of course)

  11. AlexH
    Joke

    Turning large amounts of data into information...

    ...would require an army of cheap humans to do the processing. Sounds like a perfect task for outsourcing!

    Joke... I think.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    MyKillZone.Org?

    I think the title says it all.

  13. fajensen Silver badge
    Terminator

    Make a MMORG

    Let people pay USD 100 per month to drive the drones, the person who spots The Taliban gets Gold which can be used to buy more and better missiles - spot 10 and you get to launch a missile. Its perfectly safe, the missiles are intelligent and always, always hit "Taliban Leaders"; we know that from the news.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Outsourcing

      I hear Pakistan does a lot of IT outsourcing.

      Just saying.

      Oh!.....wait....

  14. The Flying Dutchman

    Free whitepaper might help...

    ...

    "Taking control of your data demons"

    Indeed.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Um....

    "The military is deploying thousands of these pilotless machines in Iraq and Afghanistan".

    THOUSANDS!

    Have you been sniffing aviation fuel again?

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