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World's First Linux Powered Rifle Announced 272

stevew writes "Following up our earlier discussion about whether guns should be self-aware comes the announcement of the world's first Linux-powered rifle. A startup attending CES was showing how their 'Precision Guided Firearms' would use customized, computerized scopes to assist with aiming. 'The Linux-powered scope produces a display that looks something like the heads-up display you'd see sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet, showing the weapon's compass orientation, cant, and incline. To shoot at something, you first "mark" it using a button near the trigger. Marking a target illuminates it with the tracking scope's built-in laser, and the target gains a pip in the scope's display. When a target is marked, the tracking scope takes into account the range of the target, the ambient temperature and humidity, the age of the barrel, and a whole boatload of other parameters. It quickly reorients the display so the crosshairs in the center accurately show where the round will go.'"
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World's First Linux Powered Rifle Announced

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  • Re:Do Not Want! (Score:5, Informative)

    by xeromist ( 443780 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:31PM (#42539851)

    Uh, that's what this is: a computer aided scope, not a change to the mechanics of the rifle. Even TFS says this.

  • Re:Do Not Want! (Score:5, Informative)

    by baker_tony ( 621742 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:38PM (#42539941) Homepage

    TrackingPoint is quick to emphasize the rifle doesn't fire "by itself," but rather the trigger's pull force is dynamically raised to be very high until the reticle and pip coincide, at which point the pull force is reset to its default. In this way, the shooter is still in control of the rifle's firing, and at any point prior to firing you can release the trigger. In the mockups the company had on display for the press to experiment with, the action appeared to be the same

  • Re:Do Not Want! (Score:4, Informative)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:53PM (#42540095)

    Let me fix that for you: If you read even the summary, you'd think that's precisely what this is but if you read the article you'd know that it is not. Assuming summaries are at all factual or correct is likely to lead you to fail.
    From TFA: The PGF isn't just a fancy scope on top of a rifle. All together, the PGF is made up of a firearm, a modified trigger mechanism with variable weighting, the computerized digital tracking scope, and hand-loaded match grade rounds (which you need to purchase from TrackingPoint).

  • Re:Do Not Want! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @08:08PM (#42540235)

    No. The article specifically describes how the scope controls the pull weight in an attempt to keep you from botching the shot. There are mechanical modifications here, and as someone that shot competitive smallbore with very low weights I can tell you that dynamically messing with the weight is a potentially dangerous thing to do.

    The part about having to use their ammo is bullshit I'm sure. In a $17,000 device, it better be able to perform regular ballistic calculations, and you could otherwise easily make or buy .300 winmag with the characteristics it expects.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:29PM (#42541047)

    The idea of "authorizing fire" isn't really a new paradigm. M-1 tank guns have worked like that since the 80s I believe, probably earlier. The gunner pressed 'fire' then the gun waited until it was actually on target until it fired.

    All aircraft are similar... the pilot presses a button, that send a signals to a series of computers (potentially over thousands of miles for UAVs) letting them know that you want to fire, then the actual electrical charge is sent if it decides to fire. Guided Missiles since Vietnam... trigger authorizes them to explode, but you aren't guaranteed that they get the target you want, lots of Hollywood examples of making the missile kill the wrong target :)

    Pedantically, pulling a trigger doesn't a fire a gun... it releases a locking mechanism which authorizes a firing pin to strike a primer (on most guns).

    I guess what I'm guess at is that it's not a black/white 'fire / authorize to fire', it's a gray spectrum of complexity, and we fear (rightly so) that this complexity may reach a point where a failure in that system will result in the wrong person/people being killed... and then perhaps that it will fire at anything at all that we didn't consider 'authorized' fire. I think the first concern is already out of the barn, the second one is the one to be concerned with... will a weapon fire without authorization??? If so... bad.

  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:34AM (#42545395) Homepage Journal

    Anything that permits the creation of unlicenced firearms must itself be strictly licensed in order for firearms licences to be an effective means of keeping tabs on gun use. That's not overreaction - that's just understanding the nature of licensing. And there is no debate to be had on this point.

    You can debate the suggestion that gun licencing should be strictly enforced if you like, but not the one that says if gun licencing is to be enforced, personal gun manufacturing must also be tightly licenced.

    cnc's arent licensed. neither are drills. neither are stepper motors and heating elements.neither are arms or steel. it's what you do with them that's licensed.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter