Feeds

Iraq buys 4000 PlayStation 2s in world conquest bid

Either that, or Saddam just wants the Ridge Racer IV high score...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Forget Jim Carrey - Saddam Hussein is the real Grinch who stole Christmas - at least according to one Web site. It claims the Iraqi dictator is buying up the world's supply - such as it is - of PlayStation 2 consoles to build military supercomputers.

According to a WorldNetDaily report, US customs, the FBI and military intelligence - a contradiction in terms if we ever heard one - are investigating shipments of Sony's next-generation games machine to Baghdad. Some 4000 consoles have made their way to Iraq, those agencies reckon.

And that, says the report, is depriving American kiddies of their requested Christmas prezzies, poor dears.

It's hard to know what's worse: children engaging in (virtual) acts of mindless violence or the Republican Guard sharpening its skills on Tekken Tournament.

Or even - and this is the angle a "secret" document leaked to WND takes on the matter - a stack of the machines being wired together into some vast, supercomputer configuration to be used to take over the world.

Sounds a bit Billion Dollar Brain to us - ie. bollocks - but we don't suppose there's a good reason why Iraqi computer scientists can't get Linux running in Beowolf configuration on 4000 PlayStation 2s for the purposes of subverting Western democracy. Though we note that Florida seems to have done a pretty good job of that already...

"Most Americans don't realise that each PlayStation unit contains a 32-bit CPU - every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers," one unnamed military intelligence source told WND. "Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation [2] 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."

Unnamed military source? 'Sony marketing mouth' would be a better description.

"Applications for this system are potentially frightening," said another 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."

Thanks for clarifying the meaning of the words 'unmanned' and 'aerial vehicle' - we'd have never figured out they were the same as 'pilotless' and 'aircraft'.

Strewth. This sounds almost as bad as the scare stories from the early 1980s of Sinclair ZX-81s being nabbed by the Soviet military so for their Z-80a CPUs - handy for controlling ICBMs, we were told.

That story proved to be nothing but Cold War paranoia and survivalist jack-off material, and that's pretty much what the WDN report appears to be.

"Bundled [sic] PlayStation computers could also be used to calculate ballistic data for long-range missiles, or in the design of nuclear weapons... Iraq has long had difficulty calculating the potential yield of nuclear devices - a critical requirement in designing such weapons," says the WND story.

WDN describes itself as "a fiercely independent news service created to capitalise on new media technology and opportunities, to reinterpret the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty, an exponent of truth and an uncompromising disseminator of news". Or, as we say over here, 'conspiracy theorists'.

Put it this way, if Saddam isn't buying all those PS Twos, you can bet Elvis or JFK certainly is... ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.