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November 8, 2002

Deskilling Taps

Pentagon to test digital audio device to `play' taps at military funerals
The Pentagon, chronically short of musicians to play taps at military funerals, is going to test the use of a new "push button" bugle that can be operated by an honor guard member. A small digital audio device inserted into the bell of the bugle plays a rendition of taps that the Pentagon says is "virtually indistinguishable" from a live bugler. The person using the bugle merely pushes a button and holds the bugle to his or her lips. [thanks to Follow Me Here]

Some sci-fi story I read long ago included robo-priests that heard confessions, something that evolved as a response to a shortage of real priests. What highly skilled performance is next to be replaced by gadgetry? Teaching? Nah.