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iPods in Iraq

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Music, movies ... and munitions?

US soldiers overseas have a new tool to help them negotiate tricky battlefield interactions: Apple's iPod Touch. The handheld personal-media player is a hit with soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan, Newsweek reports.

What place does an iPod have on the battlefield? The devices are prized for their ability to smooth translations, make sense of cultural nuances, and even help with ballistics calculations.

And they're cheap. The typical military spec. handheld device costs taxpayers between $600 and $700. The California-designed iPod Touch rings up at $230.

The military's expanding into the apps game, as well. According to Newsweek:

The U.S. Marine Corps is funding an application for Apple devices that would allow soldiers to upload photographs of detained suspects, along with written reports, into a biometric database. The software could match faces, making it easier to track suspects after they're released.

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