Electronic Weapons: January 27, 2000


Sharp is marketing a new Email system, particularly to soldiers. The "computer" involved is the size of a pocket calculator and costs $120; the service costs under $10 a month. The technological trick is that the device does not need to be physically connected to a phone to make an electronic connection, but can actually generate and understand sounds. Simply holding the device up to a phone allows it to download and send Email. While a technological wonder, military commanders are concerned over security issues since previously soldiers could only send and receive Email from laptop computers (small, but several times the size of the new Sharp unit) which could only be connected to certain telephones (not including pay phones or cell phones). --Stephen V Cole




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