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Games Entertainment

Iraq Stockpiling PS2 Consoles! 260

cd-w writes "According to this link, Saddam Hussein is stockpiling PS2 consoles with the view to using them in weapon technology." Honestly I don't know if this is a joke or not, but its really funny no matter how many ways I look at it. If I was Sony, I would have leaked this story just for the advertising.
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Iraq Stockpiling PS2 Consoles!

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  • ... Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader ...

    BTW, Boris and Natasha don't sound too Iraqi to me.
    I understand that US leaders made up funny stories in the 50s (and all the way up to the 80s) just to get more funding for the military, about bad bad communists who slaughter your kids and rape your women as soon as they have a chance - and that your parents scared you half to death with this when you were a child - but hey, it's year 2000 now, talk to someone about it, take some Prozac and you'll feel much better.
  • Yep!! Its true, Saddam Hussein is stockpiling PS2's and using them to assist in the creation of nuclear weapons...
    Now theres gonna be hell to pay when he finds out that all the launch titles are crap!!
  • The thing that strikes me in this article is the fact that the government knows upwards of 4000 ps2 units have been bought and shipped out of the country. Can someone tell me how the government knows where these playstation consoles are going?
  • Nah, they're japanese remember. Export restrictions would mean the US would get the crappy ones. Like crypto in the RSA patent days.
  • Okay; here goes nothing:

    #include <ob_beowulf.h>

    Please excuse me while I write 'I will Preview before Submitting 100x on the Chalkboard.' as my pennance.

  • Except if you read the article, you'll see that he can't because computer hardware is sanctioned, but video games aren't (I don't know why).

    If all you had was a bunch of PS2s, a bunch of 286's and American codes to crack, what would you think about using?
  • hmm...If you build up your nuke facilities with playstations, can you enter cheat codes for unlimited ammo, god mode, or always hit? hmm...
  • Iraqis read slashdot!! They're building a beowulf cluster of these things!
  • How does it approach zero? Technology doesn't design weapons all by itself.
  • by stx23 ( 14942 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:16AM (#549035) Homepage Journal
    He's going to throw them at his enemies.
  • ...isn't that he's got the machines:
    "One expert I spoke with estimated that an integrated bundle of 12-15 PlayStations could provide enough computer power to control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV -- a pilotless aircraft."

    ...but where he's going to get enough American teenage boys to fly the planes.

    *Packs bags, checks passport, heads off to Switzerland.*

    "I'm not a bitch, I just play one on /."
  • I believe we saw this story on slashdot before http://slashdot.org/articles/00/04/16/1953243.shtm l
    back in april.

    Also there was a move of some sort by the japanese government to restrict shipments before.
  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:18AM (#549038) Homepage Journal
    when the PS2 first came out Japan would not allow the export of them on the grounds that they could be used as a weapons platform. There were many Iraq jokes on this fine site alone. Pretty funny joke and it shows up how silly many people are about tech.
  • > I'm very worried about this development; this is serious stuff.

    Think on the bright side. Now Saddam can sit at home and fantasize about kicking all his neighbors' asses.

  • No he's practicing, and when he get's good enough at one of the games, he's going to chalenge George to a game. He'll put up Iraq as his stake, If George put's up California. Whatever happen's It'll permanently alter the balance it the electoral college

  • ... and soon he shall release his quake mod upon the western world, destroying the infidels...

  • This sounds like it came right out of a sales pitch:

    "...the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation are staggering -- five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs."

    And what about this:

    "Most Americans don't realize that each PlayStation unit contains a 32-bit CPU -- every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers,"

    "...it contains a 300 MHz-driven, 128-bit CPU. In addition to a plethora of new games designed to utilize PlayStation 2's hardware, it can play games from the original PlayStation's library, audio compact discs and DVD movies. "

    So is it a 32-bit CPU or a 128-bit CPU?
    Random powers of 2 make it sound cooler.

    that's my 256-bit worth....

  • Damn, what happens if he finds the secret 'cheat' settings as well....

  • Apple cashed in on the hype, but then again, it didn't involve having one of their products bombing an oil field or something like that. I don't think Sony will want this one rumor to spread about... ;)
  • by IMZombie ( 133261 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:19AM (#549045)
    Sadaam defeats bush in Tekken Tag Tournament!
  • by Snard ( 61584 ) <mike.shawaluk@gm ... m minus language> on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:20AM (#549046) Homepage
    No, actually he plans to auction them off on eBay to help pay for his war efforts.
  • Yeah, i remember a story about some guys in the UK getting hassled/arrested/not sure for supplying banned tech to iraq - turned out they were smuggling motorola 68000 cpus! Wondered at the time why they didnt just send a few Megadrives or Amigas over!
  • And Iraq's a communist state?

  • Why wouldn't they just buy Dreamcasts instead if they need computing power so badly. They already come with a modem. This is all horribly false also. By the way........FIRST POST!!! Everyday its the same thing - variety. I want something different!
  • I agree! They're out making crappy movies while the country needs them! :)
  • ... in the fscking title!

    (except on slashdot, of course. ;-)

  • by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @07:23AM (#549052) Journal
    "Most Americans don't realize that each PlayStation unit contains a 32-bit CPU -- every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers," said one military intelligence officer who declined to be identified. "Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation are staggering -- five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs."

    This unidentified informant later went on to say: "As I said before - the PS2 is so powerful with its mega-advanced graphics that the evil empire's leader Sadam Hussein is going to use them for Arms. Its just staggering to think that with all the technology our military has, what makes the US Number-Fucking-One in the world -because we kick ass- is going to be defended by the PS2! And you can buy them! If you own a PS2 you will be as powerfull as the US DoD! Wow just think of it - you can own a piece of technology capable of being used just like our awe-inspiring DoD!"

    Onlookers from reality were later overheard saying "Most Americans also dont realize that they are being manipulated into being mindless consumer drones - that their media, government and leadership is a shill for business who intend to enslave them... just look at this drivel."

    This article is so laughable that it is almost sickening. Imagine: how do you sell a product/idea/meme to Americans? This article is almost perfect. It has the big three:

    1) Evil Dictator bent on destroying the American Way(TM)
    2) War, Arms, Miltiary (aka Biggest Dick contest)
    3) Consumer demand frenzy for the latest product as in : "Look at the alarm this is causing in the Marketplace - the consumer craze! YOU SHOULD WANT ONE TOO! DON'T MISS OUT! (ala McCarthyism, CabbagePatchKids, Elmo Doll, PS2)

    For those Americans who read this and think to mark it down as Flame-bait... go back and READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN Im 'right on the mark' and you know it - not only that; but you cant stand that it is true. Wow - I love this article! The only thing that would have made it better would have been mention of the President-Elect's feelings on the issue:

    George W Bush later said "In order to maintain the present US®-EvilEmpire(TM) PS2 Arms lead - I would encourage all devout Americans®© to run out and buy a Sony(TM) Playstation 2(TM)®© - Citizens©: Help defend America®! BUY A PS2(TM)®©!"

  • You guys had to keep asking... sooner or later someone was bound to "imagine a Beowulf cluster of those". Now you know why you get moderated down all the time.

    Anyhow, I think we should lift sanctions on Iraq. We've been sanctioning *way* too long. Sadam is not the worry. It's some bitter corporal in the Iraqi army who's the worry. Anybody remember the treaty of Versailles? Those who fail to learn from history...

    Actually, if we had taken him all the way out to begin with, this might not be a problem.

  • by BigBlockMopar ( 191202 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @09:42AM (#549054) Homepage

    While Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot...

    ...he's also right about a lot of things.

    Right wing doesn't necessarily mean wrong, just as left wing doesn't necessarily mean right.

    If the Republican Party didn't base all their social policy on the rants of bible belt preachers - and if they didn't provide a goofball like George Double-Ya as their presidential nominee - I'd be a lot more inclined to support them because their fiscal plans often make better sense than those of the Democrats.

    Similarily, the Democrats had a great presidential candidate who just happened to be mostly boring and behaved in a juvenile fashion during the debates, though he supported responsible and realistic social policy. Unfortunately, he just happened to be from the big-labor-unions tax-and-spend party.

    If the separation of church and state has really occurred, why is it that the Republicans are still allowed to bring religion into every election?

    If only the Libertarian Party had had a chance.

  • That hitting up, up, down, down, square, circle, square, circle, start, he wont' be granted unlimited ammo or enter some "god mode" or something.
    Marcelo Vanzin
  • We should do an EMP over the Middle East. Do you think we could hear the "Awwwwww" from here?

  • I think it was originally the PS2 that was going to have difficulty being imported to the US because of munitions restrictions.

    Also, keep in mind that WorldNetDaily is about as far-right as you can get -- not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)


  • I agree. To us, it's a joke... but then, we 'Mericans (as a Canadian friend of mine calls us) can buy a more powerful computer nearly any day of the week, with applications galore preloaded. Iraq, thanks to trade sanctions, is one of the most computing-deprived nations there is. So what if the development tools aren't geared toward their applications? So what if the only programs commercially available for this platform are games? They just might do the open-source thing and 'make their own'. Building chip factories takes resources which the Iraqis don't have; building software just takes smarts.

    As you say, hardware's hardware. They've already got the warheads. What they haven't had until recently is the ability to aim them anywhere quickly enough to catch us by surprise. But remember those old DOS/Apple II-era games where you had to shoot a ground-to-ground missile at a city along a parabolic path, possibly taking wind and elevation into account? I betcha one PS2 is at least a little faster than one 286...

  • Imagine you're a reviled butt-much who wants to make everybody pay for being hwo they are and not spending every second kissing you *ss.

    Your basic psycho- or socio-path will not do. You have to have an ego as big as the pile of bodies in your back yard. Paranoid schizophrenia is an asset in this political arena. You want to kill _everybody_.

    Imagine you have minions who say: "But 'O great leader, we need computers to make bombs that'll really scare people and make then pucker when they see you walking away!"

    Imagine you have one who says: "Hey, a CPU's a CPU and RAM's RAM. And check out the polygon drawing speed on these babies. We'll out-DARPA DARPA. Uh 'O great leader buy a boat load of these suckers and we'll be able to deliver things that can really go boom."

    If I were thee, I would worry.

    Hardware's hardware and just imagine the joy YOU'd have hacking some flight sim game to RC a real plane or a real missile.

    Its not just the allies who saw the CNN reports of smart bombs doing pin-point landings through the stairwell on top of the roof to blow up in the middle of the building and take out the infrastructure while inflicting the maximum 'colateral' damage...

    And these babies were MADE for the kind of fun Sadam wants to have with your office building...
  • If it is true that PS2s are being smuggled into Iraq, and some of them are going unchecked, who's to say they are PS2s? It is quite possible for someone, with a general knowledge of computers, to open one of these systems up and make a few changes. Take out the CPU and set a PIII or something inside of there with it held in place with double sided tape. Maybe even fit a new main board in the box, I have yet to see a PS2 in person so I am not sure if that is possible. My whole point on this subject being,if a PS2 can be smuggled into Iraq unchecked, why can't they change parts of the system and smuggle in pieces to build a normal computer? If this is so, Iraq has found a way to get the computer pieces they need which goes against any embargo or restrictions against them. This could be a problem.
  • by RussP ( 247375 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @09:52AM (#549061) Homepage
    If you look at the news at CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN it quickly becomes apparent that they're not quite news either. They're left-wing advocacy sites. If it is not so apparent to you, then you are one of their pawns, and you need to read more of WorldNet Daily.

  • I suspect that this article is a hoax, but a very irresponisble one. The technology is in place to cluster PS2 boxes and any computer chip is capable of decent number crunching, so it would not be unthinkable for a country to pull this kind of thing off.

    I can just imagine Iraqi intelligence saying, "My, what a great idea!"

  • I think we should detonate a nuke in the atmosphere over the Middle East. Sure, the EMP would cause all kinds of collateral damage, but it is the only way we can be sure to wipe out the PS2's!!

  • Umm, dumbass moderator, this ain't off-topic, it was from an N64 commercial. Saddam was playing Starcraft. And losing.
  • by StormyMonday ( 163372 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @06:31AM (#549065) Homepage
    I saw a news item a while back about the Administration's attempts to keep people from exporting supercomputers to China.

    "Why?" ran the question. "What can they do with a supercomputer"?

    "Military weather prediction" was the answer.

    "What about nuclear weapon design?"

    "Nuclear weapon design is no longer considered computationally significant."


    The most advamced computers on the Manhattan Project ran on punched cards. Most of our current inventory of nukes were designed on machines less powerful than a low-end desktop.

    Fortunately, manufacture of nukes is *considerably* more difficult than design. Plutonium is spectacularly difficult to deal with.

  • Applications for this system are potentially frightening," said an intelligence source. "One expert I spoke with estimated that an integrated bundle of 12-15 PlayStations could provide enough computer power to control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV -- a pilotless aircraft."

    What a load of crap. The Joint Standoff Weapon, which is essentially a UAV that glides, is controlled by two 486s. You don't need 12-15 300MHz processors to do this. You could probably do it with a Palm Pilot (no pun intended) or two.

    Note the careful weasel wording. The author is quoting an "intelligence source" which is quoting another "expert".
  • Naaaaw. It's gotta be he's gunna load Duke Nuke'em for training in case they ever make a nuke that works. Or he's gunna tell his army Duke Nuke'em is real and they took over the world. 'Cepins now everything is hot for 100K years, so we'll just have to stay home for a while. Or is he going to use it for voting in leu of paper ballots for their next election.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @09:54AM (#549068) Homepage Journal
    I don't think it's fair to call this an "advocacy site". They do have a very conspicuous right-wing agenda, but their journalism seems honest enough, if somewhat unobjective.

    I'm not going to comment on the veracity of the story as such, but the idea isn't that farfetched. SH has a fetish for high tech. If he wants vector hardware and 64-bit CPUs, he can't just place an order with Hitachi or MIPS. The obvious alternative is consumer technology, which is much easier to buy under the counter.

    You know, it's this sort of thing that makes me wonder if SH isn't a plant, or at least propped up by his ostensible enemies. If the extremists in that part of the world had some semi-intelligent leadership, they'd be really dangerous. They could buy plans for V2s and such from the Smithsonian and do some serious damage to their enemies.

    But what's the use of Obliterating the Spawn of Satan if you have to do it with UnKewl Gizmos? So SH spends big bucks on silly toys like customized SCUDs,superguns [fas.org], zirconium bombs [freerepublic.com], etc., etc. Which, even if he had the industrial base to support them, he can't actually use — he has to stay under the western political radar to survive, and dropping nerve gas and fallout on large numbers of people is inconsistent with that constraint.


  • Oh he can start one... He just can't keep it going. What's the limit? 20 days, or something like that. Look to what his father did, during the Persian Gulf War, for an example of executive war powers.
  • BTW, Boris and Natasha don't sound too Iraqi to me.

    Umm... did you ever watch Rocky and Bullwinkle? Boy do I feel old...


  • When questioned about the policy of stockpiling PS2 consoles, Saddam's response was:

    "Hey, relax fella! You need a rest!"


  • Yea, and that makes it so much less credible than say an "unbiased" source like CNN!? WND is a Right leaning site but their news and facts still have to be checked.

    Right you are. And medical studies funded by tobacco companies have proven that smoking does not cause cancer. And fundamentalist Christian publications have articles proving that creationism is the how everything came to be.

    The right-wing press is infamous for their willingness to print anything that supports their position. After Vince Foster's suicide, all kinds of claims were made in the right-wing press about what investigators found at the scene -- despite the fact that it was fabricated and completely uncoroborated by any witnesses. Rush Limbaugh is a perfect example of right wing "journalists." His shows are comprised largely of half-truths, bungled statistics, and flawed reasoning passed off as truth.

  • The truth is that Saddam will sell the modified PS2 stations back to the American public but these stations will be fixed to send information to Iraq over the Internet. The type of information will differ from user to user. Obviously Saddam hopes that some high millitary commander will get one and maybe some politicians will get more than one and he'll be able to study their behaviour while they are playing games. I can even predict that there is a plot to buy information from these highly positioned figures where the currency will come as extra points in their favorite strip pocker games (for sure there should be some strip games for PS2 somewhere!)
  • this is one of the few postings where "Beowulf Cluster" is appropriate?

    Let me ask this question, apart from displaying REALLY nifty graphics, what advantage is there REALLY in bundling 400 PS2s rather than bundling 400 normal CPUs to do defense work?

    Somehow I can't see weapons trajectory work being hacked into a beowulf of PS2s.

    What I could see though is that being a proposal on the purchase order "We need 400 of these units, pizza, and 400 copies of Tekken XV in order to do vital defense work. Include 3,000 bottles of Jolt, a picture of Natalie Portman and some hot grits and we have this beat America thing down cold."
  • by tewwetruggur ( 253319 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:21AM (#549115) Homepage
    As responsible world citizens, I hereby issue a call to arms against the evil stockpiling of PS2's in Iraq! We must bring this terrible evil to justice. I personally know several children and adults who will not be able to get one of these systems for the holidays, and I strongly feel that this is the root cause!

    We must invade Iraq, steal all their PS2's, then nuke them into oblivion!

    And then, we attain the movie rights and begin production of a game based on the battle for the PS2.

  • but my rant is moreso tied to the media and those who are way out there who think the world would be a kinder, gentler place if no one could display trees for Christmas.

    I agree that those who feel that way are idiots.

    Absolutely. I want to see Christmas trees everywhere that people want to put them. Just as I want to see Menorahs everywhere that Jews want to put them, and whatever symbols the Muslims and the Hindus and Wiccan have around this time of the year.

    However, all three countries of North America are primarily populated by people who would define themselves as having a background in some sect of Christianity or another, so Christmas trees will continue to prevail for the forseeable future.

    Now, I'm treading a fine line here in my comments and opinions. I grew up - and live - in Canada, a country that officially embraces multiculturalism. It's divisive: you'll note that Canadians don't display the flag everywhere, as is de rigeur in the United States. The patriotism of Americans is one of the things that makes the United States such a strong country in every respect, even as divided as it was in the recent election.

    Having said that, the United States officially grants the right of freedom of religion, which, it would seem, is contradictory to the fact that major political candidates base their stances solely on the lobbying of religious figures. Therein lies my problem.

    My concern is not with the resultant risks of a country divided by official multiculturalism the way Canada is, versus the great American melting pot, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans and everyone else come together for a big party on the Fourth of July.

    My concern is that the strong religious influence in the Republican party - highly organized and well established - frequently undermines the will of the people, who may be mostly Christian, but are also a lot more moderate than many of the Republican-leaning lobby groups out there. (Proof of that? The Democrats keep on getting elected; they even did it this time in the popular vote (let alone the real Florida results).)

    How bad could it get?

    Think of Iran. It's a nation governed only on religious principles.

    It's also one of the worst, most oppressive places in the world that you can live, even if you are a devout Muslim. Religion prevails over common sense: for example, women have to cover their entire bodies - by Islamic tradition, which is the law of the land. Imagine how hot that must be in the desert sun. If she takes it off because she's getting heat stroke in the market, she can be imprisoned. Or worse.

    And therein lies my concern and my worry. Once you start down that slope, it gets pretty slippery long before you hit that stone wall at the bottom.

  • It's actually a right-wing advocacy site.

    So you are saying that only the left-wing should be allowed to report news?

    Maybe you should read more than one day of the site. I've been a daily reader for three years. They are much more of a Libertarian site than anything else.

    These are the guys that broke the story about questionable ties the VP had that cost him his home state in the election. They also were the first to report about military ballots sitting on ships that has prompted an investigation by Congress and special mail flights to deliver the boallots. They have also been reporting the federal land grab that lost Gore most of the west.

    You may not like your news with a right slant, but they are a solid news agency. And thy have all made public who they voted for in the elections. Can you name me another news source that has done the same?

    I Use Napster. I use DeCSS. I buy over $1000 a year in CD/DVDs.
  • by jayfoo2 ( 170671 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:22AM (#549119)
    If you take a look at the rest of the news on the site it becomes quickly apparent that it's not quite news. It's actually a right-wing advocacy site.

  • by kipple ( 244681 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:22AM (#549127) Journal
    "Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation are staggering -- five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs."
    Looks like they finally understood how to conquer the world.. by making hi-tech cool-graphics movies and/or games.. Will we have a Quake version with the face of Bush as the Final Enemy?
  • Obviously this article is a fake, but it raises an interesting point. Iraq has had a computer embargo since 1989. Imagine what the state of the art was for computing circa 1989. The boxes are old. They probably had mostly mainframe and UNIX servers. Personal computers in that part of the world were quite rare back then. They have been cut off from maintenance repair people, tech support, and software updates for 11 years. They don't have an internet connection. It was cut off by the embargo.

    Sure, they can probably get some parts and computers through smugglers. They can probably get some connectivity through their decaying phone system. At 11 years old and counting, the hardware is probably only supported by the vendors. But, vendors aren't going to cooperate. Almost all UNIX and mainframe vendors are NATO/UN based and would face serious consequences for breaching the embargo. Imagine trying to get new parts through smugglers. "No no, I need a model M234412 not M234411! I can't install this software without an upgrade in the compiler!" Think about the technical expertise of smugglers.

    Every year hundreds of security holes are found. Patches are created and posted. Imagine being 11 years behind on all of your security patches for all of the computers in your country.

    Iraq must be hurting for computers.

  • Mr Sony-manager-san: Aieee! Yields are down again!
    Mr Sony-engineer-san: We'll miss our Christmas pre order deadlines! It's Hari-kiri time!
    Mr Sony-marketing-san: What we need is someone to blame, someone who won't sue us...
  • A source close to Government Intelligence services in the UK said: "This is complete cobblers. For a start, the suggestion that there's a shortage of standard PC hardware in Iraq is silly. PCs are commodities like cars and washing machines, and they can get as many PIII and P4 PCs as they like, sanctions or no sanctions".

    Seems to hit the nail on the head...
  • It makes sense now. I was wondering if CmdrTaco was high or something, laughing at Saddam Hussein stockpiling PS/2s. Although, that would be kinda funny, too.
  • When told about the awesome power of the PlayStation 2, Saddam Hussein was heard muttering "Imagine a beowulf cluster of those..."
  • The political motives of any news source should be taken into consideration.

    The article was a "WorldNetDaily exclusive", and therefore has not been yet been corroberated by any other news source. The article informs us that it was based on a "classified" report. All of the sources declined to be identified. The article contains numerous technical errors.

    The playstation is designed to play back large numbers of polygons to a televison screen. I'm really not sure why this would be very useful in "control[ling] an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV -- a pilotless aircraft."

    Clustering PC's running Linux is a a well known technique-- Beowolf. Clustering PS2's is quite a bit more difficult.

    For all I know, the "secret Defense Intelligence Agency report" could have been an internal joke email list. I'm skeptical.

  • by glebite ( 206150 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:25AM (#549155)

    This smells like a hoax - imagine these people putting so much effort into converting the PS2s into viable development stations and networking them? It doesn't seem likely. I get visions of Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader working into the wee hours of the night, building new kernel loads...

    On the other hand, if this article isn't a spoof, then it could be an elaborate plot to deprive American children of their decadent and infidel Christmas celebrations. Once again, I get visions of Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader wringing their hands in glee knowing that they have disrupted life in Frostbite Falls...

    Moose and Squirrel, where are you when we need you?

  • Did anyone notice that in paragraph six they say PS2 has a 32 bit CPU, while in paragraph 18 they say PS2 has a 128 bit CPU? What else are they making up in this report?

    Wait a minute, you mean video wargame technology can be used to make real war? Hello!

  • Tech 1: Quick! Launch that nuke to get rid of those mechs.

    Tech 2: Just a second, there's a few too close, I'll pop 'em with my railgun before they get in range... there, now I can launch.

    <ground begins to rumble, alarms ring>

    Supervisor: What the hell!!!

    Tech 1 and 2: Oh F#@$!
  • Here's a tip for the fibbies: It might be worthy to check out whether they're stockpiling flight-sim joypads for the PS2 at the same time.
  • As the world moves forward, and the internet and other communications mediums bring down international barriers from an intellectual point of view, is it completely inconceivable to think that Saddam and Iraq may attempt to sway the leaders of the world by the most powerful method possible : public opinion? If Iraq manage to acquire a large number of Playstation 2's and then create a shop to flog them at bargain basement prices, with prices dropping based on the number of sanctions dropped we could well find riots in the streets of major capital cities around the world demanding a more friendly attitude towards Iraq. Perhaps Sony are also in on this? By supplying a few millions Playstation 2s to the Iraqi leadership they could well pave the way for this sort of return. Perhaps in return a new law will be passed by Saddam requiring all Iraqi citizens to purchase a Playstation 2 within 6 months or be gassed to death? This would certainly explain the measly allocation of Playstation 2's around Europe... Time for a bit of cybersquatting methinks. /me heads off to register.com to grab getyouriraqiplaystation2shere.com
  • All I know is,... he better not violate the GPL. Release all your kernel mods! You bastard!

    "Nate reaches for his nmap."

    "Scan them now!"

  • Also, the article neglected to blame the bounty of freezing rain and snow that I'm supposed to get tonight on that DASTARDLY Saddam. That's just shoddy journalism if you ask me.
    1) where'd he get all the PSX2s?
    2) will ebay be indicted for treason or something?
    3) the PSX2 is classified as a computer in England (with the bundled BASIC); how is it not classified as one everywhere else?
    4) even if all this is true, the DIA should've done that extra 15 seconds of legwork to figure out no one can make heads or tails of programming them
    5) i hope these evil Iraqi computer scientists release the source code to the operating system that they build that allows for distributed computing on linked PSX2s. how are they building this cluster again?

    Upshot is, there's no good games out for the PSX2 to distract the evil Iraqi computer scientists from their task of world domination. Hasn't this war been milked dry already? Cripes what a non-issue, but then again... now that Russia's our friends (here's a hint: it was china, not the us, they were soiling themselves over the whole time) might as well keep on demonizing those sinister brown people.
  • by Goonie ( 8651 ) <robert.merkel@noSpaM.benambra.org> on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @03:08PM (#549173) Homepage
    The most advamced computers on the Manhattan Project ran on punched cards.

    It's my understanding that the A-bombs (dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) were designed without the use of any computers at all. It was the H-bombs that required the use of computers.

    WRT what China (or Iraq) could do with a supercomputer, there's still the issue of computer-aided cryptanalysis. Being able to read the other guy's messages gives you a huge military advantage, and you sometimes need a supercomputer to do it in a reasonable time.

  • Buying hot cruise missles would be both cheaper and more effective.
  • I bet he is trying to figure out the cheat codes so he can beat George Bush in the next Middle East War.

    Seriously, with the import restrictions, the most advanced stuff he has may be the equal to a 486. (on a broad basis) Except for the stuff he smuggles.

    so something like PS2 may have superior capability. Looks like he is trying to make a crude cluster of the units:

    Two government agencies are investigating the purchases because the PlayStations can be bundled together into a sort of crude super-computer and used for a variety of military applications, say intelligence sources. ...

    What could Iraq do with such a primitive super-computer constructed with Sony PlayStation 2s? ...

    Applications for this system are potentially frightening," said an intelligence source. "One expert I spoke with estimated that an integrated bundle of 12-15 PlayStations could provide enough computer power to control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV -- a pilotless aircraft."

    Iraq has been working on development of UAVs for several years as a possible platform for delivering chemical weapons, say intelligence experts.

    Bundled PlayStation computers could also be used to calculate ballistic data for long-range missiles, or in the design of nuclear weapons, they add. Iraq has long had difficulty calculating the potential yield of nuclear devices -- a critical requirement in designing such weapons. Networking these computers might provide a method for correcting this deficiency, said one intelligence source.

    So, why doesn't Saddam Hussein simply buy computers or workstations from friendly nations or on the black market? While this is a possibility, current United Nations sanctions prohibit the sale or transfer of virtually all types of computer hardware and technology to Iraq. However, computer-based video game systems -- like the PlayStation 2 -- are not included in the ban. Iraq's scientists and engineers have apparently found a convenient loophole in the U.N. sanctions.

    Defense experts say it is also relatively easy to smuggle PlayStations into Iraq, since customs inspectors don't view toys as potential military weapons. Jordanian and Turkish inspectors rarely examine "small" shipments under 100 pounds, making it possible to send large numbers of PlayStations into Iraq without arousing suspicion.

    maybe we can send him all of those old IBM PS2s filling up our land fills. there has got to be a use for them someplace.

  • He won't use them in weapons, he's gonna sell them on eBay and use the proceeds to buy weapons.

  • From the article:

    Most Americans don't realize that each PlayStation unit contains a 32-bit CPU -- every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers


    At just over 4 pounds, it contains a 300 MHz-driven, 128-bit CPU.

    What's wrong here?

    I say it's a hoax. While it seems like a plausible thing to do, I just don't think it has happened. And 15-20 clustered PS2s? How many DoD computers completely blow that computing power away?

  • If Iraq is doing this, they'll be massively disapointed when the find out that they can't get anywhere near the stated performance out of the PS2 without very skilled programmers, all of whom are making six figures writing game engines. They'll have a hard time recruiting anyone "For the glory of Iraq."

    If they were doing this, they'd be setting up a cluster of durons, the general purpose CPU and the huge selection of optimizing compilers make the x86 the ideal choice to simulate nuclear explosions on.

    A PS2 might be a bit cheaper, with the company footing some of the hardware cost, but I could build a cluster-ready duron for $500 that would massively outperform it in all but the most biased of benchmarks.

    But, it's a funny joke, reminiscent of the Macintosh ads.

    (We should hope the Iraqis *are* doing this, it'd mean they're no threat at all. It's be like buying C64s to use as targetting computers in SCUDs.)
  • by sid_vicious ( 157798 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:30AM (#549192) Homepage Journal
    Now we'll have another crappy movie with Clooney and Marky-Mark, trying to steal Saddam's horde of PlayStation 2's.


  • I'm a Discordian. I'm always bizarrely serious. If what I'm saying makes sense or seems like it could be true dispite every instinct you have screaming that it must be false, then I've done my job well.
  • It's clearly right wing, but sure, left wing propeganda is common as well (but not nearly as common). I think it's fear mongering for people who don't know or who don't want to know any better.

    Propeganda is a relative term, the meaning of it in the Us has changed over the years for reasons I don't want to get into. Really any "bending" of the truth could be called propeganda.

    Take this example. I can't remember how many children die per day in Iraq, something like 2000 due to malnutrition due to the war and the embargo. Is this just left wing propeganda? Is it even true? Some are appalled by this, most don't know about it, some don't want to beleive it, some don't beleive it, some think thats just too bad, that they deserve it because Saddam is a ruthless dictator. Take your pick. The truth is tough to find without firsthand knowledge.
  • Hell... why not just smuggle furbies?
  • Actually I hear GWB used to play video games all the time while governor of Texas, so he's got experience.

    And, of course, if you remember the Starcraft 64 commercials, Saddam Hussein is bad at least RTSes.

  • Or you can do it the easy and expensive way, and just pay some starving Russian/Ukranian/ Belarusian/whatever techs for some bomb parts.

    Anybody who doesn't have their own stash of weapons-grade plutonium by now probably doesn't want any.

  • Of course it's a hoax; everyone knows that if Saddam was really worth his evil dictator worth in salt, he'd be waiting for nintendo's Game Cube [nintendo.com].

    He could rule the adults by linking up the Game Cube's to a geostatic topsphere ATG missle array, and he could rule the kids by kicking their ass at Pokeman Stadium

  • Where do you think he got them in the first place?
  • And now Iraqi engineers are plagued with the dilemma: play, or reverse engineer?
  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:36AM (#549221)


    Here are some other military applications for common toys:

    TickleMeElmo: incendiary explosive

    Lego Mindstorm: A1 Abrams Tank

    Teletubbies Video Tapes psychological warefare

    Pokemon: fusion bomb

  • In a shocking turn of events, Tiger Electronics recently revealed that their slumping sales on Furby toys, had been bought out by Iraqi officials. Confidential sources have confirmed this, that with a hardware hack made available on the internet recently, that the said Furbies have appeared on the market, modified to deliver Iraqi government doctrine and propaganda.

    The toys, described as appearing to have "Black bushy markers scribbled on using Sharpie markers.", have shown up chanting "Death to America!", "God is good!", and "Saddam, our father!" have been confirmed by independant sources as being in regular production. Sanford and Tiger toys have been unavailable for comment.

    With their low cost and easily available 8 bit components, CIA and UN officials have been quoted in saying "This has to be the most cost effective form of propaganda we've seen since the printing press was invented.".

    Puppet government indeed.
  • by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:37AM (#549229)
    Not just the PS2, but video games in general. I'm very worried about this development; this is serious stuff. Think about what the Iraqis can learn from video games:

    - how to create a plane/tank/soldier with unlimited ammunition
    - a full-on frontal assualt by a lone individual will always defeat superior tactics and weaponry
    - nothing says "victory" like an rapid-extending Bionic claw
    - ninja's are the heart and soul of every nations defensive capabilities: defeat them, and the enemy will fall
    - if you fight long and hard enough, you will eventually be faced with the leader of your enemy, who will transform into a hideous, weapon-wielding mutant of some kind. He will, however, have one key weakness you can exploit

    For me, the possibility of George W. transforming into a 30-foot tall mutant with machine guns for hands is reason enough to nuke Iraq right now.
  • Your daily news source for the last 3 years is not just a 'right wing advocacy site.' It is propaganda for the Republican religious right with heavy racist overtones, plus healthy dose of general loonyness. You have commentary by Christian millennial kooks like Hal Lindsey, two separtate attacks in one day on Jesse Jackson, and (I swear) a serious article from their editor-in-chief claiming that this PS/2 "threat" is reason to finally do, um, something, really, about Saddam. It sort of gets vague from there; I think more support for the oppostion in Iraq is what he wants. Probably they should have Playstation Parity with their oppressor.
    This is a Libertarian site in your opinion? In the last three years have they sounded this nutty every day, or is this a special day? My guess is that if we dig some more we'll find these credulus paranoids being taken in by lots more hoaxes like the PS/2 gag.
    You can keep it. When I want news, I'll take the bland AP kind, or even the NY Times, before I trust these freaks. When I want conspiracy cult fruitcakes, I want REAL conspiracy cult fruitcakes. Give me SLACK [subgenius.com] and be off with your weak imitations.

  • Overheard in Sadam's lair: "Take the PlayStation2, stick it into chipmunk - wire it to his brain, insert the Quake game, and use the USB port to wire the PlayStation2 to an andrenaline bag. Make it so that whenever the chipmunk makes a frag, he gets the adrenaline. Then use the FireWire port (I use the term FireWire a: because Sony prefers i.link and b: FireWire just sounds cool) to connect a webcam. Use the USB port once more to wire goggles to the chipmunk. By taking advantage of the PS2's AI capabilities, we'll use the camera and goggles to go with the game so that what the Chipmunk sees relates to what's there. Oh yeah, and give him some grenages, a Glock, and a Deutsch..."

    It's all about the Karma Points, baybee...
    Moderators: Read from the bottom up!
  • Of course the Manhatten Project had computers! Remember, at that time "computer" was a job description and not a piece of hardware.

    Richard Feynman describes punch-card computers on the Manhatten Project in "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman". Admittedly, calling them "computers" is a stretch, but they did do mathematical operations on numbers punched into cards. Output was more punched cards. They used *a lot* of cards ....

  • Since we're getting into detail on the processor (I dunno why, but we are), I'm going to explain it. The main processor is 128 bit. Secondary processors are 32 bit. Clock speeds also vary. Also note that it is NOT uncommon to have multiple processors. In your computer, you've got one for you video card, one for the general stuff (CPU), and one called a math coprocessor (if you don't have these, it's time to upgrade!).

    It's all about the Karma Points, baybee...
    Moderators: Read from the bottom up!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yea, and that makes it so much less credible than say an "unbiased" source like CNN!? WND is a Right leaning site but their news and facts still have to be checked.
  • Lets face it, as technology improves, the cost of designing weapons approaches zero. Whether the story is true or not, it points to this fact. Lets face it, in 30, 40 years every third world country is going to have some sort of nuclear weapon. A lot of countries will have delivery systems as well. This is just a reality we will have to face. The PS2 Weapon Development Platform(tm) might be a bit much, but how hard do you think it is for Saddam to get his hands on a bunch of PC's?

    If all it takes is a cluster of PS2's to make weapons, there isn't much the FBI or CIA can do. While this site reaks of far right wing propeganda (Saddam needs to be crushed and he stole your child's PS2, as well) I certainly don't support it. America needs to realize it will be much, much harder in the coming years to rule the world.

  • by photozz ( 168291 ) <`photozz' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:49AM (#549251) Homepage
    Sadly, we are at the dawn of a new arms race. Rumor is that Sadam's PS2 hording is a tacticle response to France's recently anounced "Nintendo Beowoulf cluster", capable of surendering over 1,000,000 times a second, in full 16 bit color.

  • who that guy in the green fatigues with the funny little beret was waiting outside WalMart at midnight a few weeks ago was!
  • 15 PS2s to control an unmanned air vehicle?

    If this is true, then Saddam has no chance of controlling his air fleets with PS2s.

    I mean, no-one is going to hold of FIFTEEN of the elusive little buggers, getting hold of just one is hard enough.
  • by b0z ( 191086 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:59AM (#549256) Homepage Journal
    I really hope it is a credible news source. Take a look at this article [worldnetdaily.com]. C'mon, don't you want to believe this is true?!?! If a glass of beer can help protect vision, it must be why I am the only person in my family that doesn't wear glasses.
  • Here's what's really happened:

    Saddam and Santa are close buds...and Sony doesn't believe in Santa. So in order to get enough PlayStation 2's in time for Christmas he had to pull some major strings!
  • This smells like a hoax - imagine these people putting so much effort into converting the PS2s into viable development stations and networking them?

    Now if he were stockpiling Dreamcasts [slashdot.org] on the other hand...

  • by photozz ( 168291 ) <`photozz' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday December 19, 2000 @05:51AM (#549264) Homepage
    It's actually a right-wing advocacy site.

    I actualy advocate both wings. Otherwise your just flying in a circle. OK, that was dumb.......

  • If I am elected president, every citizen will be able to afford a nuke for their household. Nobody should be denied...
  • I suspect this is just the first media plant which will justify Bush invading Iraq just after he's sworn into office. With the economy slipping into a recession for which Bush will take the blame, a nice little war makes perfect sense. Between the war time economy and the lower gas prices after we split Iraq up between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, we will emerge from the recession almost before it starts. And since there's no way in Hell Congress will pass his tax cut, the war will be a wonderful excuse as to why we didn't get one. Starting a war is one of the few things Bush can do without Congressional approval too.

    Did I miss anything?

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern