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By Brian Robinson

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When iPods are killers

It’s easy to cast personal technology such as the iPod and iPhone and other modern items as beneficial or, at the least, as benign. Except that, in situations such as war, they might be the exact opposite.

An item in a recent Foreign Policy blog told about how Marines on duty carried their iPods into the field with them, and even listened to favorite music while on patrol. The result, so the story implied, was more injury and death than would otherwise have occurred.

You can pass this off as youthful exuberance, along the lines of texting while driving. Just ban the use of this equipment by young soldiers, and everything gets back to normal. Except that we are constantly told that the newer generations expect access to this kind of technology-driven experience as a birthright.

As smart phones, iPad, tablets and other equipment become standard issue for the military in order for them to do the job on the net-centric battlefield – as they will – how do you police the potentially deadly uses along with the good stuff? Is it even possible? And if you can, does that mean you should?

I’d love to hear people's thoughts about this.

Posted by Brian Robinson on Jan 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM


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