Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Told You So

There are a lot of reasons to be a geek. Besides being a chick magnet (girls if you decide to get into engineering, you will have no problem finding a great guy :P), tech savvy, and being a part of an elite group of people who laugh at xkcd, you also get to save the world. On the same level as James Bond, Super Mario, and Gordon Freeman, you too can prevent the demise of all the things you love. Or so says the Pentagon:

DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, says the "ability to compete in the increasingly internationalized stage will be hindered without college graduates with the ability to understand and innovate cutting edge technologies in the decades to come…. Finding the right people with increasingly specialized talent is becoming more difficult and will continue to add risk to a wide range of DoD [Department of Defense] systems that include software development"

They go on to say "the decline in degrees in CS [computer science] is particularly pronounced for women and minorities…. Proposals that have plans that specifically increase the number of women or minorities in their activities are encouraged."

Now DARPA is the same group responsible for Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAV), driverless cars, several space vehicles and more. By the sounds of things, it seems like the military needs more nerds as well. The UAV drones used in Iraq seem to be using unencrypted network communications to relay video intelligence from drones to HQ. The problem with unencrypted channels is a kid with a cantenna and cheap computer software (perhaps free for linux?) could look at these drones and watch the on board video. Now uploading a youtube video of me hacking a UAV video stream would be totally cool, but something like this shouldn't have happened in the first place. See? I told you we need more nerds.