Training spells Doom for Marines

You know the government is serious about commercial off-the-shelf software when the popular video game Doom becomes a training tool for the Marines.

Point your Web browser to http://138.156.15.33/doom/doom.html to access the Marine Doom home page. A project of the Marine Corps Modeling and Simulation Management Office in Quantico, Va., the Marine Doom home page offers software files and instructions for modifying the game's software for Marine training purposes. The modifications, available on-line for downloading, bring fighting holes, bunkers, tactical wire, "the fog of war" and friendly fire to Doom. The modifications also introduce the M-16(a1), the M-249 squad automatic weapon and the M-67 fragmentations grenade into the game. "While weapons behavior is not extremely accurate, sound tactical employment of these models should give the desired effect," according to the Marine Doom home page. Users also can set up Doom networks, which bring several users into play at once.

The use of video games for training is not new to the Marines. Last year, the Corps' Combat and Development Command in Quantico evaluated close to 30 computer war games for their potential teaching value [FCW, March 20, 1995].

Traveling Post to Post

Moving? The U.S. Postal Service has established an Internet site called MoversNet for easing the transition between one locale and the next. The site gives practical information on how to alert the necessary people, companies and agencies (including the Internal Revenue Service) of your move; it also provides help filling out a Postal Service change-of-address form.

You can't submit a valid change-of-address form via the Internet on this site, but the site will help you complete and print out the form before you send it by regular mail. A stickler for Internet security might bypass this feature and opt for a walk to the post office. As you assemble the form, USPS does validate some of your address information, which means information about your address travels the Net. However, because the USPS server supports HTTPS, a security protocol for the Web, the chance for Net exposure is slight.

Spotlight on Security

And speaking of exposure, the Federation of American Scientists operates a World Wide Web server dedicated to throwing light on information of all kinds. Reach the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.org. The introduction explains that FAS was founded in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project "to address the implications and dangers of the nuclear age."

Access the entry labeled "What's New" and you will find the organization's Secrecy and Government Bulletin, which publishes news and issues related to government classified information. FAS also keeps on-line a variety of government publications related to national security and defense issues. For example, under "What's New," you'll find a copy of the "White Paper on Information Infrastructure Assurance," a nonclassified document prepared by the Clinton administration's Security Policy Board on the vulnerabilities of the national infrastructure.

FAS participates in a number of working groups that offer information on the FAS site. A site for the Military Spending Working Group appears on the FAS home page. Access the link and read about the group's recommendations for future military spending increases and cutbacks.

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