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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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The Next War With Apps and GPS

What does it say about us that we create programs to measure how fast we can run and where we can seek shelter?
Trainees study their maps and GPS devices during the land navigation portion of their survival, evasion, resistance and escape training at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Trainees study their maps and GPS devices during the land navigation portion of their survival, evasion, resistance and escape training at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
Photo Credit: SSgt Ryan Crane / U.S. Air Force

In the days before Elie was called to Operation Pillar of Defense, he showed me an iPhone application he had found on the Internet. It was called “Color Red” – the same name used to indicate an incoming missile. And what it did – was alert you that a missile had been fired from Gaza and tell you how many seconds you had before impact. It even had a stop watch which you could start and then time yourself as you ran. Sick humor…

Elie called a short while ago – he found another application – it’s called, “The Next War” and what it does is tell you where the nearest bomb shelter is – based on your location as identified by GPS. Wonderful. He thought it was hysterical. He was particularly amused that according to this application, the nearest bomb shelter to where he was – working as a security guard in the mall in Maale Adumim – is a 40 minute drive to the southern part of Jerusalem (ignoring the bomb shelter that is in the mall in Maale Adumim and every other bomb shelter between us and Jerusalem). There was a link to report additional bomb shelters.

What does it say about us that we create programs to measure how fast we can run and where we can seek shelter? I actually think it shows how well we are adapting. No, I really doubt that either of these applications would be used in a real war. Who has time to pull out your phone, open the application and then consult it as you run for the 15 seconds to one minute it takes for the missile to arrive?

So maybe the better question is what is says about our enemies.

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About the Author: Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.

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