Rifles powered by Linux purchased by US Army

Today in Open Source: US Army buys Linux-powered rifles. Plus: Alienware Steam Machine problems, and Linux Lite 1.0.8 released

Linux powers US Army rifles

TweakTown is reporting that the US Army has purchased Linux-powered rifles from TrackingPoint.

TrackingPoint has announced that the US military purchased six of its "smart" rifles, which are priced at between $10,000 and $27,000 each. A soldier equipped with a smart rifle would simply need to tag a target viewable on a screen, which is found on the gun's scope. The internal computer will then tell the shooter exactly how to hold the gun, and when to press the trigger.

More at TweakTown
Image credit: TrackingPoint

I mentioned these rifles from TrackingPoint in an earlier article. Wow, it didn't take long for the military to snag some of them. I wondered about the price of these things, but I guess if you have billions of dollars to spend then price really isn't an issue.

Watch the video to see how advanced this Linux-powered rifle really is, it's quite amazing! The video says that it's a durable product, but I can't help but wonder how well it will hold up in actual battlefield conditions. It almost seems too advanced, sort of like you'd be toting a top of the line computer into battle with you.

All that aside, it just goes to show you the amazing flexibility and power of Linux. It can literally be used for anything, and we're seeing that now in the vast proliferation of it in so many different products.

Alienware Steam Machine problems

GamingOnLinux is reporting that Alienware's Steam Machine won't be easily customizable or upgradable.

In another shocking move from one manufacturer, Alienware has decided to lock down their Steam Machine...

Excuse me for a moment, but isn't the whole point of Steam Machines to be small and customizable? Seems this is another company that just doesn't 100% get what a Steam Machine is meant to be...

More at GamingOnLinux

Alienware seemed to backpedal a bit on upgrading in a later statement:

"The Alienware Steam Machine, announced at CES, is designed to deliver a great gaming experience in the living room and we will enable customers to upgrade components," he added. "Considering we've purposefully designed the Alienware Steam Machine to be smaller than the latest generation consoles, upgrading the internal components will not be as easy as compared to other platforms, such as the Alienware X51, but we will not prevent a customer from upgrading."

Azor's statement today is pretty much a reversal from what he said earlier this week. At the time, he said, "there will be no customization options, you can't really update it." If you're dead set on upgrading your machine on a regular basis, Azor said you might be better suited with another Alienware product, like the X51.

More at GameSpot
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