Singapore army gets new weapon: iPad

Singapore decides to equip its new recruits not merely with things that kill people, but with iPads. This will enable them, for example, to have group chats with their commanders. Yes, group chats.

You might imagine that the Singaporean army might be full of birch-wielders, but certainly not magical revolutionaries.

Allow me to disabuse you as gently as I can. For a report from the AFP tells me that one of the world's more progressive nations has decided to equip its conscripts and volunteers alike with Apple's most novel gizmo: the iPad 2.

Might they be using it to hone a few gaming skills on some intellectual first-person shooter? Not entirely, it seems.

Instead, the Singapore Ministry of Defense announced that it will issue around 8,000 iPad 2s in order to take advantage of the general technological savvy of today's canny but callow youths.

Perfect for night maneuvers? CC LWY/Flickr

It seems that the high command is encouraging new recruits to use the iPad2's cameras to take images and video and then upload them to the army's online platform, LEARNet, which is a curious acronym. Does anyone else get "Learn Extra-Terrestrialism" from it?

No matter. Singaporean soldiers will be encouraged to capture the attention of their commanders through Apple's beautifully designed electronic status symbol. They will also be stimulated to enjoy group chats with their fellow military personnel. They will also be able to order excellent satay from all of Singapore's fine and cost-efficient hawker centers.

Um, no. That last item is merely a wishful nod to the kind of conscript experience I wish I had enjoyed.

Still, I must confess that, having lived very happily in Singapore for two years, I didn't see soldiers doing a large amount of shooting. Perhaps they did it during the times when I was asleep, or perhaps they employed some startlingly technological silencers.

However, in a week in which it was reported that North Korea's soldiers were, sadly, malnourished, it is heartening to see that Singapore is ensuring its own military will not be starved mentally, never mind physically.

The only question is whom the soldiers are going to fight. Perhaps Singapore could invade North Korea, just to put those iPad 2s into full military action and to bring the North Koreans some decent food.

 

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