hardware and robotics

A hardened aircraft shelter at RAF Upper Heyford, near Bicester, in Oxfordshire. Photograph: English Heritage
The Guardian reports that this bunker is 'one of the best preserved Cold War landscapes in Britain' and it is now on the schedule of monuments to be protected from development.  It is a hardened aircraft shelter at RAF Upper Heyford, built in 1967 after the unprotected Egyptian Air Force was destroyed on the ground by Israel.  Decommissioned in 1994, it was a piece of little America with hamburgers and a supermarket.  

As I was considering this, and the rather crouching appearance of a hardened aircraft shelter, part one of Robo Wars by Stephen Sackur came on the radio.  He described a British lieutenant sitting in Nevada controlling drones in Afghanistan, doing his shift then driving home to his wife and kids.  Clearly this beats flying out of Kandahar and living in a dusty FOB. 

Sackur's investigation is about the nature of combat when it is conducted by robots dependent on satellite systems.  The country with the best hackers will win I suppose, however, all these things still deliver bombs which will still land on civilians who aren't hackers, and who will be the statistics that indicate success or failure.   The ultimate direction of all the handheld electronic toys that keep being launched on our wallets is not literacy with Kindle, or connectivity with the iPad, it is probably their weaponisation.