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Thursday, 10 January 2013 11:23

Linux gets behind the gun lobby

Written by Nick Farrell



Developing “intelligent guns”


Open source has entered the equation over gun control in the US. [What gun control? Ed]

According to Ars Technica a group of Linux experts have developed a gun which is more intelligent than the people who want to actually own one. Austin-based startup TrackingPoint has been making three heavily customised hunting rifles, ranging from a .300 Winchester Magnum with a 22-inch barrel up to a .338 Lapua Magnum with 27-inch barrel.

All of them are include the gun, a modified trigger mechanism with variable weighting and a Linux based computerised digital tracking scope, and hand-loaded match grade rounds. Once you mark a target the gun tracks it with a built-in laser, and the target gains a pip in the scope's display. While this might seem to make it the ideal weapon to vent your frustrations, it seems that the technology could be the beginnings of “safe” firearms.

Not only will the rifle refuse to fire if you are not going to hit anything, it could pave the way for software which identifies if the target is the sort of thing you should be shooting. The idea is that with the right software it can tell if you are pointing the gun at a child or a bloke with a mask who is going to infringe your personal liberties. This is assuming that your target does look like a criminal and does not decide to save himself from your advanced weaponry by holding a child to stop you shooting at him.

At the moment the system does have storage space which contains a black box recording of what you were shooting at. If the coppers ever pop around to your house to ask you about the mysterious deaths of lots of cinema goers your gun will provide them with footage of what you were doing and which bullet went where. Of course that is currently a selling point because the gun will wi-fi your shots to YouTube where your friends can be impressed by your ability to bring down most of the wildlife in your area.

Nick Farrell

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