Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Monday September 17, 2001

PC News

Rogue Spear: Black Thorn Postponed
Ubi Soft has announced plans to delay the release of Tom Clancy’s Rogue Spear: Black Thorn, out of respect for the tragic events that took place on Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

While Tom Clancy’s Rogue Spear: Black Thorn features a very strong moral component and realistic portrayal of the fight against terrorism, Ubi Soft has decided to delay the release of the game and modify the content to avoid stirring emotions unnecessarily and unwillingly offending the public.

As a result, the game’s release will be postponed from the originally scheduled date of October 9th until further notice from the company.

3DFILES.COM Shuts Down
3DFILES.COM celebrated their 4 Year Anniversary, their gift was to shut-down. Their owner, C|Net, has decided to close down 3DFILES.COM due to the current economy and grave expenses 3DFILES.COM requires to operate. 800,000 people a day visited 3DFILES.COM.

Microsoft Makes Changes To Flight Simulator 2002
Microsoft has announced they will remove the World Trade Center from its upcoming civilian flight sim in light of the recent terrorist attacks in the US. In Flight Simulator 2002, players can fly an aircraft around a number of different cities, including New York.

To leave the twin towers in the game would not be "appropriate", a Microsoft spokeswoman said. "After a lot of careful consideration, they have chosen to remove the World Trade Center towers." Gamers will still be able to fly over New York, along with Washington DC and other cities including Boston, London, Los Angeles and Paris. A range of aircraft, including commercial jets such as the Boeing 747, are available to fly in the simulator. But it is not possible to "destroy" buildings by crashing into them. If a plane hits a building, the plane "sticks" in the building but neither is demolished or explodes. "It doesn't glorify the crash at all and it never has done," the spokeswoman said. Microsoft earlier denied that terrorists could use the game to learn to fly. Previous coverage

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Mulitplayer Test
The multiplayer test is out! Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer pits players in a team-based Axis versus Allies contest for front-line domination, where multiple player classes must mobilize and work together to accomplish mission objectives. The multiplayer element of Return to Castle Wolfenstein is currently in development by Nerve Software with assistance from id Software and Gray Matter Interactive. Download here

Operation Flashpoint 1.20 Patch Released
Operation Flashpoint has not only released the 1.20 patch for Euro versions of Operation Flashpoint, they have also released three missions

WWII Online Released Version 1.2.5
Cornered Rat Software's has released the next major update to its MMOG, WWII Online which includes additional RPG elements and the first naval vehicles available in the "Blitzkrieg" theater. Following the successful release of 1.2.5 Playnet.com will begin the 30 day free trial, which has been suspended since the launch of the game in June. Expectations are that the 30 day free trial will begin the week of September 9th with paid subscriptions going into effect the week of October 7th.

1.2.5 offers new vehicles and weapons to players including the German Panzer II tank, anti-aircraft installations and patrol boats for river combat and English Channel crossings. The Panzer II is a lightly-armored but powerfully armed Axis tank featuring a rapid-fire cannon, 30 caliber machine gun and a top speed of 40 kph. This tank will be a formidable addition for the Axis players. The British Riverine Patrol boat, the "Fairmile Model B" is now available as a multicrew-capable naval vessel with anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons and will be used primarily to patrol western European rivers. The boats will also be capable of transporting troops to different locations. Axis players will use "captured" British boats and fly the Axis flag until the introduction of additional naval vessels in future versions.

Official IL-2 Demo Released
On Friday Ubi Soft launched their official IL-2 Sturmovik website, the earlier site was only a teaser. Included with the launch is the release of the official demo. Please note there is NO DIFFERENCE from the leaked/unofficial release, except maybe an installer.

New Medal of Honor Video
EA has released the newest video from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. This Part 1 of the four part series on Mission 5 Level 1 shows the deployment to the Brittany Peninsula in western France.

G.I. Combat Screens
Freedom Games has released new screenshots from their upcoming title G.I. Combat. In August, Freedom Games took over the development of G.I. Combat from Talonsoft. "GI Combat" will feature campaigns with historical and hypothetical scenarios beginning at D-Day, and carrying through Patton's lightening breakout from the Normandy Beachhead. In addition, multiplayer mode is planned via LAN or TCP/IP allowing players to choose sides and fight against each other. Release Date: Spring 2002.

Military News

Photo of the Day: WTC Design Proposal

USS Cole Afloat Again
The U.S. Navy announced today that the USS COLE was launched back into the water this morning at Northrop Grumman Corporation here. The ship was launched a day earlier than previously scheduled at the company's Ingalls Operations.

The ship had been moved onto land in January into a construction bay near where the COLE was originally built by Northrop Grumman. The USS COLE, crippled in a terrorist attack in the Port of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000, returned to her construction shipyard on the deck of the Norwegian heavy lift ship BLUE MARLIN last December.

Capt. Philip N. Johnson, USN, supervisor of Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, said that work to date aboard the USS COLE has consisted of more than 550 tons of steel structural repairs to replace the damaged area's exterior plating. He added that the relaunching of COLE represents completion of all structural repairs and restoration.

Other completed work includes the replacement of damaged and unserviceable equipment, and removal, evaluation and recertification of critical systems such as shafting and propellers. The repair process is moving along as scheduled.

"Since USS COLE's arrival, the dedicated Northrop Grumman craftsmen have expertly assessed and completed over 50 percent of the restoration," Capt. Johnson said. "They display immense national pride in the restoration of COLE."

Following the relaunch, work will be completed on component system assemblies, alignment of machinery, energizing, testing and alignment of all systems, and completion of logistics and supply support outfitting. USS COLE will then be turned over to the crew for training and recertification.

"The outstanding efforts of the SUPSHIP/Northrop Grumman team allowed the restoration of the USS COLE, The Determined Warrior, to occur in an expeditious manner," Capt. Johnson said, "and will allow COLE's return for duty to her homeport and with the fleet by April 2002."

First EMD RA-8A Fire Scout Delivered
Northrop Grumman Corporation recently took delivery of the first Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) RQ-8A Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from Schweizer Aircraft Corporation, the airframe producer.

Dubbed E-1, this is the first of two EMD air vehicles that will be used for risk-reduction testing for the Fire Scout system. During the next several months, E-1 will be outfitted with operational software and undergo extensive system integration testing in preparation for EMD flights scheduled for the first half of 2002. The second EMD vehicle is expected to be delivered later this fall.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector is presently flying a company-owned manned version of the Fire Scout near its San Diego facility to test air vehicle performance and handling characteristics.

The Fire Scout system will provide the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance, situational awareness and precision targeting support. The system is designed to autonomously take off from and land on any aviation-capable ship or confined land area. It will provide coverage 110 nautical miles from its launch site using a baseline payload that includes electro-optical/infrared sensors and a laser designator.

The first low-rate initial production system will be deployed with the Marine Corps and will include three air vehicles, two ground control stations, a data link suite, remote data terminals and modular mission payloads.

New Ship Self Defence System For USS Nimitz
A Raytheon system for the USS NIMITZ (CVN68) designed to provide improved ship self-defence has completed development and has been delivered to the US Navy. The Ship Self Defence System (SSDS) combat system, designated MK2 MOD 0, will provide an improved self-defence capability against anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) for the US Navy's aircraft carriers and amphibious ships, with an emphasis on performance in the littoral environment.

SSDS, using track data from the Raytheon's Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, coordinates the actions of the ship's self defence weapon and electronic warfare systems. NIMITZ carries the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) and NATO SeaSparrow Missile systems and the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System, all of which are produced by Raytheon.

Raytheon's Naval & Maritime Integrated Systems (N&MIS) business unit developed the system at its Expeditionary Warfare Centre in San Diego, working with the Navy's Programme Executive Office for Theatre Surface Combatants (PEO TSC).

"The Raytheon/Navy team developed this capability in a relatively short time period," said Dan Smith, N&MIS vice president and general manager. "The team has met the challenges and the resulting SSDS is a highly capable and stable system that provides the next generation in ship self defence for the NIMITZ. It also provides a solid foundation for upgrades for all carriers and amphibious class ships."

The SSDS MK 2 MOD 0 system is being installed onboard NIMITZ at the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. NIMITZ will sail to her homeport in San Diego in September.

US DOT Report On Vulnerability Of Relying On GPS
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has released the results of a study assessing the vulnerability of the national transportation infrastructure that relies on the Global Positioning System (GPS).

The study notes that GPS is susceptible to unintentional disruption from such causes as atmospheric effects, signal blockage from buildings, and interference from communications equipment, as well as to potential deliberate disruption. It contains a number of recommendations to address the possibility of disruption and ensure the safety of the national transportation infrastructure.

The report was mandated by a Presidential Decision Directive and prepared by the DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Centre.

"This report provides a roadmap for addressing possible vulnerabilities in GPS so that we can continue maintaining the highest standards of transportation safety," said US Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. "The Department of Transportation takes this report's findings very seriously, and we will be working to ensure that GPS will fulfil its potential as a key element of the nation's transportation infrastructure."

Secretary Mineta charged the administrators of each DOT operating administration to thoroughly review this report and consider the adequacy of backup systems for each area of operation in which GPS is being used for critical transportation applications. The administrators are to report their findings back to the Secretary within 60 days.

DOT, in consultation with the Department of Defense (DOD), sponsored the study to assure the continued safe operation of the US transportation system. All modes of transportation are increasingly reliant on GPS and, according to the study, GPS is susceptible to various forms of interference. This study identified transportation operations that employ GPS, methods for GPS disruption, possible impacts to transportation safety, and approaches to ensure service reliability. Among the report's recommendations are:

  • Create awareness among the aviation, maritime and surface user communities of the vulnerability of GPS and the need to reduce degradation or loss of the GPS signal.
  • Implement systems to monitor, report and locate unintentional interference to GPS.
  • Assess the applicability of military GPS anti-jamming technology and work with DOD and industry to make appropriate technologies available for civilian uses.
  • Identify appropriate backup systems, integrity warning, or operational procedures for each safety-critical application.
  • Encourage the development of low-cost systems as backups to GPS.
  • Continue the ongoing GPS modernisation programme involving higher GPS broadcast power and the eventual availability of three civil frequencies.
In addition to the review of backup systems, the findings will initially be used by DOT's operating administrations to strengthen safety-critical areas that have an impact on aviation, maritime, railroads, and intelligent transportation systems.

DOT will work with DOD to take appropriate steps to address GPS vulnerability in order to assure safe, secure transportation.

The report, Vulnerability Assessment of the Transportation Infrastructure Relying on the Global Positioning System, has been made available to the public to improve user awareness of the vulnerabilities of GPS and avoid over-reliance on GPS in safety-critical situations. It may be obtained at Navigation Center

Chief of Luftwaffe Air Staff Flies Eurofighter
The Chief of the German Air Force's Air Staff (Inspekteur der Luftwaffe), LtGen Gerhard Back, has recently visited the EADS Flight Test Centre, at Manching, Germany, to get a personal impression on the Eurofighter programme and the project progress.

After a briefing on the aircraft and its systems, General Back flew the Getafe-based (EADS CASA) Eurofighter two-seater DA 6 together with the German test pilot Heinz Sp”lgen. As Back is a very experienced pilot with experience of many different types of high-performance jet aircraft, the fifty-minute flight was used by him to make an evaluation of the Eurofighter.

LtGen Back stated after landing "With the Eurofighter the Luftwaffe will get exactly the flying weapon system which is needed to fulfil all future requirements."

This aircraft is vital for the German Armed Forces in general and for the Air Force in particular to overcome some current deficits in the equipment of this service, the General said. The Eurofighter, which will replace the MiG-29 and the F-4F in Germany, is according to the German Air Staff Chief "the future and the backbone of Luftwaffe."

After his flight, he stressed that his expectations for the Eurofighter had been surpassed, praising the pilot-friendly layout and the high potential of the next-generation combat aircraft. Aloysius Rauen, President EADS Military Aircraft, congratulated the Inspector General: "We are very pleased that your first Eurofighter flight proved to be very successful, which we see as a the best compliment for the product and its producers."

From 2002 onwards, the first out of a total of 180 aircraft for the Luftwaffe will be available for the service-instructor training of the first operational unit, Fighter Wing (Jagdgeschwader) 73 "Steinhoff" at Laage near Rostock.

President Says It's War, And U.S. Will Be Victorious
"Now that war has been declared on us, we will lead America to victory," President Bush said following a conversation with New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani and New York Gov. George Pataki.

Bush spoke to the two about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in the city and the current situation. He pledged all the resources of the federal government to help the city cope with the disaster.

As calls of support come to Washington from around the globe, Bush said, he and his security team are working on a campaign to win the war on terrorists. He told the governor and mayor that his resolve is "steady and strong about winning this war that has been declared on America."

Bush said the New York and Pentagon attacks begin a new kind of war and that the United States must adjust to these new realities. He said that stamping out terrorism would require cooperation around the world.

"This government will call others to join us, to make sure this act, these acts, the people who conducted these acts and those who harbor them, are held accountable for their actions," Bush said.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sept. 12 that Americans must understand that this war will not be quick strikes and over. It won't end with a single counterattack against one individual, he said.

"It's going to be a long-term conflict, and it's going to be fought on many fronts -- the military front, the intelligence front, the law enforcement front, the diplomatic front," Powell said. At a Pentagon news conference Sept. 13, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz also stressed the campaign will be a long one.

"We're going to see how this unfolds, and it's going to unfold over time," Wolfowitz said. "I think one thing is clear -- that you don't do it with just a single military strike, no matter how dramatic. It will be a campaign, not a single action. And we're going to keep after these people and the people who support them until this stops."

Wolfowitz concluded, "I think the whole civilized world has been shocked by what's happened, and even some elements of the uncivilized world have begun to wonder whether maybe they're on the wrong side here."

The President: "Everybody Who Wears the Uniform: Get Ready"
The following are the remarks by the president, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft during a Sept. 15 press availability at Camp David:

THE PRESIDENT: I've asked the highest levels of our government to come to discuss the current tragedy that has so deeply affected our nation. Our country mourns for the loss of life and for those whose lives have been so deeply affected by this despicable act of terror.

I am going to describe to our leadership what I saw: the wreckage of New York City, the signs of the first battle of war.

We're going to meet and deliberate and discuss -- but there's no question about it, this act will not stand; we will find those who did it; we will smoke them out of their holes; we will get them running and we'll bring them to justice. We will not only deal with those who dare attack America, we will deal with those who harbor them and feed them and house them.

Make no mistake about it: underneath our tears is the strong determination of America to win this war. And we will win it.

I'm going to ask the Secretary of State to say a few things, and then the Attorney General.

Secretary Powell: Thank you, Mr. President. I might just say that I'm very pleased with the response we've been getting from the international community. I think every civilized nation in the world recognizes that this was an assault not just against the United States, but against civilization.

We should also take note, it's not just Americans who lost lives in the World Trade Center -- dozens of countries lost lives and they realize that this was an attack against them, as well.

We are receiving expressions of support from around the world -- and not just rhetorical support, but real support for whatever may lay ahead in this campaign that is ahead of us to win the war that the president has spoken of.

I might especially want to thank the president and the people of Pakistan for the support that they have offered and their willingness to assist us in whatever might be required in that part of the world as we determine who those perpetrators are. It's a coalition that will stay intact, that will be built upon over time. And what we have to do is not just go after these perpetrators, and those who gave them haven, but the whole curse of terrorism that is upon the face of the earth. And this is a campaign that we have begun this week and we will stick with it until we are successful.

THE PRESIDENT: Attorney General.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT: Four days ago we began an investigative effort to understand not only those who perpetrate this heinous assault against America and free people everywhere, but to develop an understanding of those who are associated with it and how it was conducted.

The FBI, together with very cooperative local and state officials and law enforcement agencies has processed thousands of leads. We are making the kinds of contacts and developing the information that allow us to describe this as proceeding with reasonable success. We believe that the picture is developing a kind of clarity that's appropriate. We have named 19 individuals that we have high levels of confidence were the hijackers. And we are further refining our understanding of the ways in which this terrible crime was developed.

I might add that we have put in place very serious measures that we believe will provide greater security and provide a basis for our country returning to the kind of freedom and business and conduct that is characteristic of this great nation.

PRESS QUESTION: Sir, what do you say to Americans who are worried that the longer it takes to retaliate, the more chance the perpetrators have to escape and hide and just escape justice?

THE PRESIDENT: They will try to hide, they will try to avoid the United States and our allies -- but we're not going to let them. They run to the hills; they find holes to get in. And we will do whatever it takes to smoke them out and get them running, and we'll get them.

Listen, this is a great nation; we're a kind people. None of us could have envisioned the barbaric acts of these terrorists. But they have stirred up the might of the American people, and we're going to get them, no matter what it takes.

In my radio address today I explained to the American people that this effort may require patience. But we're going to --


THE PRESIDENT: As long as it takes. And it's not just one person. We're talking about those who fed them, those who house them, those who harbor terrorists will be held accountable for this action.

PRESS QUESTION: Sir, are you satisfied that Osama bin Laden is at least a kingpin of this operation?

THE PRESIDENT: There is no question he is what we would call a prime suspect. And if he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.

PRESS QUESTION: Mr. President, do you have a message for the Reservists that you called up yesterday? Can you tell us whether you think more may have to be called up?

THE PRESIDENT: The message is for everybody who wears the uniform: get ready. The United States will do what it takes to win this war. And I ask patience of the American people. There is no question in my mind we'll have the resolve -- I witnessed it yesterday on the construction site. Behind the sadness and the exhaustion, there is a desire by the American people to not seek only revenge, but to win a war against barbaric behavior, people that hate freedom and hate what we stand for.And this is an administration that is going to dedicate ourselves to winning that war.

PRESS QUESTION: What did Pakistan say it would do to help the United States?

SECRETARY POWELL: We put before the Pakistani government a specific list of things that we would like cooperation on, and they've agreed to all those items. I'm not prepared to announce today what those specific items are. But the Pakistani government was very forthcoming and we're appreciative.

PRESS QUESTION: Mr. President, what kind of military options are you considering, if you could talk broadly?

THE PRESIDENT: This is an administration that will not talk about how we gather intelligence, how we know what we're going to do, nor what our plans are. When we move, we will communicate with you in an appropriate manner. We're at war. There has been an act of war declared upon America by terrorists, and we will respond accordingly. And I appreciate very much the American people understanding that. As we plan, as we put our strategy into action, we will let you know when we think it's appropriate -- not only to protect the lives of our servicemen and women, but to make sure our coalition has had proper time to be noticed, as well. But we're going to act.

PRESS QUESTION: What is the risk of additional attacks on us at this point?

THE PRESIDENT: I would think the American people need to be -- go about their business on Monday, but with a heightened sense of awareness that a group of barbarians have declared war on the American people.

PRESS QUESTION: Sir, how much of a sacrifice are ordinary Americans going to have to be expected to make in their daily lives, in their daily routines?

THE PRESIDENT: Our hope, of course, is that they make no sacrifice whatsoever. We would like to see life return to normal in America. But these people have declared war on us and we will do whatever it takes to make sure that we're safe internally. So, therefore, people may not be able to board flights as quickly. Our borders are tighter than they've ever been before. We're taken a variety of measures to make sure that the American people are safe, just as the Attorney General spoke about.

But we hope, obviously, that the measures we take will allow the American economy to continue on. I urge people to go to their businesses on Monday. I understand major league baseball is going to start playing again. It is important for America to get on about its life. But our government will be on full alert and we'll be tracing every lead, every potential to make sure that the American people are safe.

PRESS QUESTION: How long do you envision --

THE PRESIDENT: The definition is whatever it takes.

Newly Renovated Pentagon Reduced Casualties
The number of casualties at the Pentagon could've been higher after the "attack on America." But structural changes made in a newly renovated area, where the jetliner crashed, provided protection. The structural changes made to the renovated area were steel beams that ran through all five floors of the Pentagon, said Lee Evey, Pentagon renovation program manager. The beams strengthened the walls around the newly installed blast resistant windows, he said.

Then there was the Kevlar-like cloth, made up of the same material as bulletproof vests, which prevented debris from becoming shrapnel, Evey added. "This was a terrible tragedy, ... but if we had not undergone the effort to make these changes, the outcome could've been a lot worse," Evey said.

About 14 structural changes are being made to the Pentagon to increase safety for its military workforce. One change that has already been completed is building a remote delivery facility to prevent delivery trucks from backing up to the Pentagon's front door.

The metro bus and train service entrance is also in the process of being moved farther away from the Pentagon. Evey said his office was criticized when they suggested the move.

A contract for $758 million was issued to complete the renovation project in the Pentagon, Evey said. The contract also includes repairs to areas with water and smoke damage, that occurred when flames from the crash continuously burned through the night and into the morning, he said. However, the contract does not include the cost to repair the wing that collapsed after the attack and inflation hikes, he said.

The 11-year renovation contract will cover 4 million square feet of building space, and the improvements will keep the Pentagon operational for the next 50 years, Evey said. A date was not given when the contractors would start the project, but Evey said work should begin within the next few weeks.

The monetary amount of damage to the collapsed wing is unknown. Evey said he has not been able to review the area because of ongoing recovery efforts.

Rescue teams are working in corridors four and five, and rings E, D and the inner part of C, where the nose of jetliner landed. The Pentagon is made up of five floors, 10 corridors and rings A through E.

The renovation project in the area that was hit by the jetliner was just days away from completion, and 5,000 employees had already begun occupying office space. However, most of the offices were empty.

Once the rebuilding of the Pentagon resumes there will be a shortage of space, and personnel will be moved to offices in Virginia counties on the outskirts of the Pentagon, Evey said.

About 1 million square feet of office space was being leased already to accommodate personnel during the first phase of the renovation project, Evey said. Since the attack 800,000 more square feet has been leased, and additional space could be acquired if they needed it, he added.

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