Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Security Technology

Microsoft Surface To Coordinate SuperBowl Security 218

suraj.sun writes to tell us that in preparation for nearly a quarter of a million people descending on Tampa for the Super Bowl, the Tampa authorities are deploying new tech for security communications and response. All of the incidents and communications will be plotted and tracked on a new implementation of Microsoft's Surface. Hopefully it wont have to reboot after every new incident report. "The Microsoft Surface device will display a Microsoft Virtual Earth map of the entire region tracking events, incidents, resources and tasks in real-time using its unique large display, multi-user, multi-touch and interactive capabilities, also allowing it to communicate with remote devices and PCs. With a quick hand-gesture, the map can zoom in and display a 3D image of the city, including detailed views of buildings and streets and real time resource tracking."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Surface To Coordinate SuperBowl Security

Comments Filter:
  • Oh no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:15PM (#26669951)

    inb4 lame blue screen of death jokes

    • Re:Oh no (Score:4, Funny)

      by azav ( 469988 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:20PM (#26670025) Homepage Journal

      Failure in security.dll. Abort, retry or ignore?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) *
      Then it's settled, I'm going to be streaking in the game wearing nothing but this [] ...

      inb4 lame blue screen of death jokes

      Aw, dude, why'd you have to go stealing my one-trick-pony thunder like that? It's all I've got ...

    • Re:Oh no (Score:5, Funny)

      by MoellerPlesset2 ( 1419023 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:27PM (#26670129)

      A problem has been detected and the Super Bowl has been shut down to protect your audience.

      The problem seems to be caused by the following module: WARDROBE.DLL

      If this is the first time you have seen this error screen, restart the show.
      If this screen appears again, follow these instructions:

      Check to make sure this is not a dress rehearsal. If so, give the producers hell and consider firing the artists.

      If problems continue, you may be fined by the FCC.

      Technical information:
      *** STOP: 0x0000B00B

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sumdumass ( 711423 )


        I was going to make some lame comment about how Tampa is finally getting tech like Miami (CSI TV show) and rant about the costs/effectiveness in a non-obvious way. It takes real imagination to come up with a stop error ****0x0000B00B

        My hats off to you.

      • That was funny enough that I'm going to stop reading right now, because the thread can't improve. I've certainly done MY part to ensure that.

      • Thank you. I was having a shitty day until I read this, now I'm laughing my ass off. Thank you, kind sir or madam.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        Alternative choices:

        *** STOP: 0x00007175

        *** STOP: 0x0B00B1E5

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fumus ( 1258966 )
      Please tag "bigasstable" :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:16PM (#26669955)

    please reboot your computer

    submit error report to Microsoft
    [yes][no][whats the point]

  • Blue SURFACE of Death/Destruction?
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      When I saw "surface" in the title I was thinking of the playing field.

      "Blue Sod Of Defeat?

  • by blitzkrieg3 ( 995849 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:20PM (#26670031)

    "Hopefully we won't have to reboot after every new incident report."

    Can we please retire that joke? I haven't used Windows in a long time so I'm not sure if it's still true, but XP wasn't terrible (when free of malware) and that joke is really getting tired and unfunny.

    Though I don't think MS writes very good software, I we're past the days of needing to reboot to change your IP address.

    • by Chabo ( 880571 )

      I agree completely, I mean I haven't had a crash or rebo

    • by nwf ( 25607 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:35PM (#26670241)

      More like, "Windows has detected a new audience member. You must reboot in order for this change to take effect."

      • Just wait until it's anti virus program starts flagging audience members with the sniffles as viruses and put warning incidents out there or tries to remove them.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:53PM (#26670459) Homepage Journal

      Can we please retire that joke?

      Sorry, no. It's an old one but a good one.

      I we're past the days of needing to reboot to change your IP address.

      But we're not past the days when you need to reboot Windows for a lot of things you can do in Linux without rebooting.

      Some jokes are nearly immortal, because they're just funny. One of my favorites outdates automobiles.

      A braggart is in a bar, and claims he can make a horse laugh. Everyone chortles derisively, and eventually he's bet everyone in the bar a dollar that he can do it.

      So he goes outside and whispers in the horse's ear, and amazingly the horse laughs its ass off. His fellow patrons are amazed and pay up, and he exclaims that he can make a horse cry!

      Of course the bet is on again, so the fellow walks out and nobody can see exactly what he does, but the horse starts bawling like a baby with dirty diapers, crying its eyes out. He comes back in and collects his money.

      "So, fella, how'd you make that horse laugh?" the bartender asks.

      "Easy. I told him my dick was bigger than his."

      "How'd you make him cry?"

      "I showed him."

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jonesy16 ( 595988 )

        Considering that almost every time I run YUM there's a new kernel update I'm not sure that this is entirely accurate. While I do think there are things that Windows is ridiculous for wanting me to reboot for, Linux is getting worse faster than it's getting better. When I was running Ubuntu it seemed like every update wanted to restart.

        • by Tweenk ( 1274968 )

          Still, it doesn't nag you with "please reboot now or else" screens every 15 minutes, it just lets you continue your work and reboot when you're finished. You can also just kill the notification process if the kernel update won't affect you (e.g. minor exploit in a feature or fixes for drivers you don't use).

      • But we're not past the days when you need to reboot Windows for a lot of things you can do in Linux without rebooting.

        I agree, but that doesn't make the joke funny again. I'd also point out that reboot prompts happen freqently in OS X, and in distros of linux for things like dbus upgrades, even though the tech savvy user usually knows which initscript to restart.

        Some jokes are nearly immortal, because they're just funny. One of my favorites outdates automobiles.

        The problem with that analogy is, while I've heard the joke before, I'm not forced to hear it 3 times a week.

        A sterotypical example of a joke going bad is the RickRoll []. You hated being a victim, but for a week or two it was kind of cool that everyone standardi

    • I haven't used Windows in a long time so I'm not sure if it's still true, but XP wasn't terrible (when free of malware)

      So, that's... I'm not sure. What's the current half-life of an unpatched, out-of-the-box XP install before some worm or other gets in? Six minutes or something, wasn't it? It definitely got bad enough at one point that it simply wasn't possible to download and install the necessary updates in time to be safe.

    • by DanWS6 ( 1248650 )
      If you only knew. IT is constantly screwing with our wireless network. Everytime (daily) that I can't connect they tell me to reboot Windows.
    • Can we please retire that joke? I haven't used Windows in a long time so I'm not sure if it's still true, but XP wasn't terrible (when free of malware) and that joke is really getting tired and unfunny.

      Well I have used Windows off and on, recently (and unfortunatley). The joke is a good one because it's as true as ever.

      I give you two anecdotes, both with a new Vista laptop.

      In the first case, the system would not read a USB stick. In an effort to debug why, I simply tried to run Control Panel to look at

      • In the first case, the system would not read a USB stick. In an effort to debug why, I simply tried to run Control Panel to look at the device list. That locked up explorer so hard the system needed, yep, a reboot.

        Hardware issue, likely.

        The other case was similar, I was in a presentation and the presenter had a Vista laptop. Just as she was beginning the presentation, Windows Update kicked in with an uninterruptible update (at least there was no visual way to delay it). She had to speak free-form for about

        • Hardware issue, likely.

          I've never had another OS where the tools you are supposed to use to diagnose hardware ailments fail because of hardware ailments.

          Neither of these are Windows-specific in any way.

          Typical Vista supporter, blame the victim for a default behavior that sucks and interrupted the instructor for a paid seminar whose students all had to sit around and wait for Vista - and there's simply no excuse for not having an obvious way to dismiss it when it did come up, no matter how anyone had it set.

    • by Cally ( 10873 )

      XP wasn't terrible (when free of malware)

      As I remember it, that blissful idyll lasted about six hours, until the 0day universal PnP vulnerability [] surfaced.

    • "when free of malware" - oh the irony

    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      I haven't used Windows in a long time so I'm not sure if it's still true, but XP wasn't terrible (when free of malware)

      That is exactly what I want to hear about a product for sale...

      It wasn't terrible, except the times it was.

    • by cecom ( 698048 )

      Nope, the joke stays :-) You still have to reboot when you upgrade your f*ing web browser. Or other blatantly non-core shit like that.

    • Can we please retire that joke?

      The stained glass Window and the Borg icon could be trashed as well.

      • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

        ... the Borg icon should be trashed as well.

        Fixed that for you.

        Honestly, the people who find that icon funny are the ones who spell MS with a dollar sign.

    • by batkiwi ( 137781 )

      If they'd chosen Linux instead they wouldn't have drivers for the touchscreen. On to of that audio would drop out randomly and GPU accellerated video wouldn't work with their ATI graphics card.

      (posted from my mythbuntu machine...)

    • and while we're at it can we please not start a sentence with an adverb? Please write instead of "hopefully" "I hope that.........."
  • Talk amongst yourselves...
  • Does it interpret a system crash as an attack on central command and launch the missiles?

    Seriously though, this seems as useless as that magic screen thingie they're always playing with on CNN. Sure, it looks pretty, but using brand new technology like this, with its inherent glitches, in a system that you need to be constantly up and highly responsive is not a wise thing to do.

    • You beat me to it. I despise that "magic screen" and get the feeling that they are pandering and condescending at the same time. Like we should be so amazed by their wizardly skills. How exactly does it add value to their news product? If they want to show tech for its own inherent value, maybe they should just play some Demoscene or something.

  • A good application (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CXI ( 46706 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @03:30PM (#26670169) Homepage
    I apologize for responding seriously in this MS bashing thread, but anyway this looks to be an excellent application for surface technology. Assuming that they have the manpower and peripheral interfaces to update this situation map in real time, it could be amazing. Even just for managing traffic flow and where to stage people. In fact, if I were a part of it I'd want there to be multiple units, each dedicated and customized for different purposes: fire/rescue; traffic; police; public works; transit; etc.
    • by dwarg ( 1352059 )

      Exactly! The future is here... and it's a big-ass table [].

  • Security vulnerability... ba bum bump..

    Seriously, I can't wait for the real security malfunctions with this. The jokes will be real groaners on the surface, but I'm sure each incident report-ed will be funny enough to make a penguin laugh!

  • Aliens (Score:2, Funny)

    by pieisgood ( 841871 )
    Any one reminded of the Aliens monitor? Except without 80's input, we have multi-touch interaction?
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:03PM (#26670575)

    With a quick hand-gesture, the map can zoom in and display a 3D image of the city...

    ...what that "quick hand-gesture" might be?

  • Now that's security theater. Elaborate "incident management" systems tend to be overkill. This sounds like something Microsoft dreamed up, not something a big-city fire chief or a SWAT team commander would ask for.

    • by nwf ( 25607 )

      Sounds like something Microsoft dreamed up because they have no real good uses for Surface and the Super Bowl gets lots of press. They are probably "donating" a ton of money and/or equipment to use Surface.

  • Serious Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:09PM (#26670651) Homepage Journal

    Forgive me for interrupting with a serious question, but what benefit does Surface offer in securing the Super Bowl?

    Having this expensive multi-touch table will help, how?

    This sounds like some rich NFL exec wanting to show off a shiny toy for the gimmick factor, and Microsoft wanting publicity.

    However, I really fail to see any practical use of Surface here.

    • by gknoy ( 899301 ) <gknoy@ana[ ] ['saz' in gap]> on Friday January 30, 2009 @06:27PM (#26672251)

      I think it would be useful to have a large-screen display which is easily manipulable -- "war room" style. (They can always have another projection of it for those who need read-only access.) It's a bit easier to collaborate when you can see in meatspace where others are pointing, or going to point, rather than having dueling light pens / mice.

      • Big displays have existed for a long time. Multiple pointers in a GUI have existed for a long time.

        I'm sitting at a table, and I can only manipulate what I can physically reach. You've got 50 chefs in the pot.

        This is an improvement over several people sitting at their own computers with a mouse, able to interact with the whole map, or if they only have permission to give orders for a small portion, then why not have that portion as their terminal, with the big display in the room for overall supervision.


    • I envision the security guys dressed up in Imperial French uniforms, with reaching-sticks moving around virtual National Guard units on the Surface board.
      "If we flank the crowd here, they can't riot here"
      "Yes, but they can still cut off our supply line if they turn over enough cars behind us here"
      "Then we deploy Brown-note and Microwave-pain ordinance in a crossfire on that spot"
    • If it rains, you can take shelter under it??? :-)

    • by ozphx ( 1061292 )

      I wouldn't mind a big-ass table with a big-ass map on it. Typical war-room table. Then I guess instead of having little figurines I move around with shuffle board sticks, having them as icons would be better.

      Then I guess being able to interact with it would be useful - and I suppose a mouse would do, it would be easier to just touch the damn thing.

      I probably would be interested in zooming the map, getting further information on resources on the map, etc, etc

      Kinda narrowing down the avaliable products that d

  • Am I the only one thinking 'Minority Report' here? []

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Probably not, but I was actually thinking that the best use of one of these display tables has nothing to do with the touch features: rather, it's to monitor the firing angle of an approaching Death Star as it gradually creeps around a large gas giant. I guess there's not much use for that during the Super Bowl. Still, a program that does that should come free with every Surface.
  • Not surprising. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @04:22PM (#26670805) Homepage Journal

    A lot of development into touch/multitouch interfaces has been funded by the US military.

    Sand/toxins can get into a keyboard or mouse and be very very difficult to clean out, but a MS Surface type display/input can just be wiped with a damp cloth, sterilized, etc. if you use a low enough power CPU/GPU you could seal the processing components away from hazards as well.

    I doubt the security systems will be public facing, as that would be a security risk... so this probably isn't funded as a promotion by MS, the security folks may actually like it.

    • Plus, I imagine the military would get a huge stiffy if they had a decent working 'virtual sandtable' they could deploy in the field. Even in planning training exercises it could be immensely popular.
  • I know lets all hate on the giant table. But its minority report irl thats awesome, sure its probably pointless but its cool. I dream a day when all my furniture is computers.... Really that wouldnt be that cool but the table computer is somewhat feasible. I figure anything commonly used in movies and tv shows is worth a shot.

    • I dream a day when all my furniture is computers....

      Well, good news then. Ballmer has a prototype big-ass chair to go with the big-ass table.

  • I wonder what could be done with this type of interface []. It certainly would be a lot less expensive than Microsoft's Surface, and you wouldn't be locked into an operating system that is stuck in the 90's.
  • surface (Score:4, Funny)

    by rpillala ( 583965 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @05:37PM (#26671689)

    One day, your security arrangements will be a bigass table [].

  • ... does a company use something as serious as protecting large amounts of people from danger as free publicity for some "innovative" new product.

    What ever happened to just saying "Sure, we'll help protect American lives!" Now it's "Sure, we'll help protect American lives with our SLEEK, INNOVATIVE NEW TOUCH SCREEN COMPUTER, the Microsoft Surface(tm), revolutionizing how you use your computer!".

  • So basically, I'd like the exact same thing except a diagram of my network generated from my sensors/networking equipment. I want IDS events to pop up on it, firewall hits to be graphically represented, network changes to show up. Hell, hook in the Configuration Management system to show me where the changes will occur before they do and where changes occur that had no CM equivalent.

    I'm very much an advocate for touch screen management of sitautions. I'd love to have the Computer Security equivalent to

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @11:15PM (#26674561)

    ...was detected just outside the west entrance. Using 'Surface' we simply tapped on it and dragged it to the trash can icon. Mission accomplished.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.