Just because the U.S. government is behind Flame, the coolest cyber-spying software ever, doesn\u2019t mean it overlooked its core mission of producing pure stupidity. I offer you the following examples:\n\n News comes today that the U.S. Army spent $2.3 billion on an iPad-ready intelligence-gathering system that has turned out to be \u201cnot suitable, and not survivable.\u201d Although The Washington Times got the inside scoop on the story (and a big \u201cwell done\u201d to them for doing so \u2013 BTW guys, your security certificate has expired), I will quote The Register\u2019s description of the system:\n\n However, in his assessment of the silly thing, Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco wrote:\n\n\n\tThe military has wasted much more money in signficiantly more harmful ways--ask me sometime about why the Abrams M-1 tank uses highly explosive gasoline in its engine and not diesel--but this one just sang out to me.\n\n This kind of idiocy is certainly not limited to the armed services. The incredibly-underfunded State Department is spending money fighting terrorism by going all 4chan on them. (If you do not know what 4chan is and your company monitors employee browser use, do not use that link! Go here for the Wikipedia entry\u00a0instead.) State, working with a guy out of Silicon Valley, launched Viral Peace \u201can improbable new initiative to annoy, frustrate and humiliate denizens of online extremist forums.\u201d\n\n In other words, we are going to troll the terrorists. Before you get all uppity about wasting tax-payer money (why is it we get so much more indignant when some sector of the government besides the military wastes money?) please consider the words of Wired\u2019s Spencer Ackerman:\n\n\n\tHell, the Chicago Cubs are almost certainly spending more than the department's budget to finish last in MLB this year.\n\n\n\tBut wait, let\u2019s not forget about the private sector.\n\n The Daily Caller, a conservative website, is offering\u00a0a free 9mm handgun to the person who turns in the hacker who replaced its front-page ads with pornography on Monday. I\u2019m not a big believer in most gun-control laws, nor am I a fan of the NRA. But I do not think this giveaway will do anything to help find said hacker. And if by some chance it did, I am opposed to giving weapons to random people solely because they have computer skills. (Perhaps the oddest day of my life\u2013and that is really, really saying something\u2013came during my Basic Training when I was issued an M-16. I remember thinking quite clearly, \u201cAre they out of their minds?!?!? I know me, and I\u2019m not sure I would trust me with a weapon.\u201d)\n\n This next item is not really an IT security thing, but it has been irritating me since I first heard it on Marketplace, a radio show about business, usually heard on NPR stations. The story was about Knight Capital Group losing $440 million because of a problem with its trading software. Here\u2019s the opening to the Marketplace story:\n\n\n\tEverything after the semi-colon is flat out wrong. What do these idiots think happens in a software screw-up? Does the program mysteriously vanish? It might take a lot of time and effort but unless the damn thing erased itself chances are overwhelmingly good the source of the problem can be found.\n\n\n\tGrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.