Support: September 4, 1999


De-mining organizations operating in Angola have confirmed the long-rumored stories that new mines have been introduced specifically to target de-mining operations. Both are plastic boxes loaded with electronic components and explosives. One detonates when a small window detects sunlight, which would happen when a de-miner was clearing an area to deal with the mines in it. The other device has the same light-sensitive switch, but also has a system to detect the pulse of a mine detector and detonate. Both systems can be rigged with extensive wires to detonate other mines at the same time.--Stephen V Cole

The US Army had planned to buy 5,000 "brigade and below" computers for its new digital 4th Mech Division a year before they were to be tested. The GAO (the investigative arm of Congress) issued a scathing report on the plan, noting that the system has yet to work reliably. The Army is now scrambling to come up with a new testing plan to keep the original purchase on schedule. The challenge will be to create tests easy enough to pass and hard enough to convince Congress.--Stephen V Cole


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