Harlen, Oh, don't get your shorts in a bunch. Even Clinton invested in new projects while cutting military bases. While military spending may decrease overall (and despite your opinion of the current CIC), we can't know what projects DOD may invest in in the hopes of reducing casualty counts. I'm reminded of a carton that appeared in All Hands magazine (a private publication intended for our Navy's sailors and their families) shortly after Reagan took office. It showed a chief petty officer and a lieutenant standing next to the missile launcher on the forecastle of a guided missile destroyer. The background showed a missile on the launcher with a large suction cup similar to that of a toy dart on the tip. The officer says, "Chief, apparently they are serious about providing real capabilities. This message says to take the suction cups off of the missiles and replace them with warheads." Seems that we will remain at war for a while according to what I've read. They're talking about deploying lots of troops to Afghanistan and maybe even Pakistan for brief strikes. Robots are perfect for dangerous caves and tunnels that dot the hills of Afghanistan. That's probably true, but there won't be any money for anything perceived to be "extras" in the budget. The main issue with that is radio interference as you go deeper into the mountains, but that could be handled, I imagine, with some creativity on the part of the designers. Radio links for control of military cave robots actually are a bad idea for another reason. A moderately sophisticated enemy like Al Qaeda could use the radio link to hijack the robot. Thus, it's much better to design the cave crawler to let out a twisted pair communication link as it goes into the cave. Ordinarily I would not argue politics on a company board, but as war policy does have bearing on IRBT, I just wanted to defend my position. I agree that discussion on company boards should stay on topic, and that general discussion of politics would not be appropriate. OTOH, political issues and policies, either real or proposed, certainly are relevant topics to the extent that they affect a company's future. And in this case, the impact is both obvious and substantial.Norm.
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