Monday, March 10, 2008

The high-tech immigration fence flunked its pilot test

From Slate:

The high-tech immigration fence flunked its pilot test. Problems: 1) The software was designed for police dispatching, whereas military "battle management" software is needed. 2) It doesn't process data fast enough to help operators direct remote cameras to moving targets. 3) The cameras are only half as sharp as advertised. 4) The cameras don't synch with the radar. 5) The radar can't distinguish targets from trees. 6) Rain sets off the radar. 7) The gear is housed in towers that are easy targets for drug gangs. Government spins: 1) "The concept works." 2) The mistakes aren't fatal. 3) We're learning from them. New plan: 1) More "mobile ground surveillance units." 2) More aerial drones. (Related: Are drones the answer to terrorism?)

Why, oh why, can't things be simple? Two 30 foot high fences, 100 feet apart, would do the trick. Mount camera, motion and light detectors on top.

Really, when did we become so complicatedly stupid?


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