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SIGNAL Blogs

King Hopes AFCEA Subcommittee Inspires Women to Participate in Government

November 7, 2013
By Cyndy Hogan

Sandi King is living proof that hard work and dedication can propel a career. As chair of AFCEA International’s Women Subcommittee, she is doing everything she can to share that message with all of AFCEA, especially young women.

Cool App-titude: Politics Today

November 5, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

As voters across the U.S. head to the polls, it's easier than ever to keep up with news and analysis on your iPhone or iPad. The Politics Today app uses an algorithm to create a custom content viewing experience.

NIST to Review Cryptographic Standards Development

November 4, 2013

To ensure the integrity of its mission to protect the nation’s information technology infrastructure, NIST has initiated a review of its development process for cryptographic standards and guidelines amid reports of leaked classified documents.

Bandwidth Gem

November 4, 2013

A team led by Sandia National Laboratories scientists has created a tunable plasmonic crystal that could increase the bandwidth of high-speed communication networks and enhance high-speed electronics. The researchers accomplished the effect by making the plasma-containing crystal agile in transmitting terahertz light at varying frequencies.

DISA Consolidates Data Centers

November 4, 2013

DISA closed data center operations in Dayton, Ohio, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and transferred the functions of these centers to other Defense Enterprise Computing centers on October 1.

Cool App-titude: Rockpack

October 29, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

A new way to discover and watch videos on your iPad or iPhone. The free Rockpack app makes it easy to create, share and follow video playlists called "packs." Add your favorite videos and make packs based on your interests or follow packs from your friends and other users.

Global Defense Cybersecurity Market Set to Grow

October 24, 2013

Defense sector-specific solutions are driving growth in the cybersecurity market and will continue to do so through 2016. According to a Research and Markets report, the escalating amount of data stored in defense information systems and the increased number of cyberthreats are a major driver of this trend.

C4 Integration with Tactical Vehicles Demonstrated

October 24, 2013

One of the U.S. Army’s top priorities is ensuring the right information is available in any environment down to the lowest tactical level on the battlefield. Oshkosh Defense, recently demonstrated its command, control, communications and computers (C4) and systems integration capabilities to connect soldiers to the network on its MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV).

Cool App-titude: Quip

October 22, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

It's one of the first word processors made with mobile devices in mind. The free Quip app for the iPhone and iPad lets you create documents on the go while collaborating with others through the chat feature.

Cool App-titude: Seene

October 15, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

See the world from a different perspective with the free Seene app for iOS. Photo apps for the iPhone are a dime a dozen these days, but this app lets you capture 3-D photos of the world around you.

McDuffie: Cybersecurity Awareness Is Part of the Key

October 11, 2013
By Max Cacas

As more and more Americans become aware of the threat to the nation’s infrastructure from cyberattack, it’s just as important that the digital tools we use reflect the persistent nature of that threat, as discussed on a recent episode of "AFCEA Answers."

New Intelligence Tool Integrates with C-IED Training

October 11, 2013
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army National Guard has integrated the Company Intelligence Support Team (COIST) workstation with its counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) training to improve operations in the field.

Test Confirms Missile Defense Capability

October 9, 2013

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Pacific Command, and personnel aboard the USS Lake Erie successfully conducted an operational flight test of the latest version of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System.

Cool App-titude: Keas

October 8, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

Achieving health and fitness goals can be tough, particularly in a busy workplace. But the Keas corporate wellness program makes getting healthy fun, social and mobile.

Robots Cubed

October 7, 2013

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created prototypes of cube-shaped robots the size of a child’s building block, which can climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground and move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces.

Boston Dynamics Releases WildCat Robot Video

October 4, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Boston Dynamics has used its YouTube to unveil its latest creation, WildCat, which is capable of walking, running and bounding.

Budget Constraints Top Cyber Attacks as Biggest Threat to IT Infrastructure

October 3, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

Would you rather be stuck in an elevator for 24 hours or have your network hacked? According to a new survey, 71 percent of government information technology decision makers think the elevator is a more appealing choice. But improving security still ranks second to the most important technology goal in the coming year—reducing costs.

The survey, conducted for Cisco by Clarus Research Group in early September, involved 400 decision makers from federal, state and local government. It’s little surprise in the current fiscal environment that a majority of respondents identified budget constraints as the greatest threat to their organization’s information technology infrastructure, topping cyber attacks, employee personal devices on the network, an increased demand for constituent services and limited network bandwidth. And 22 percent volunteered an “all of the above” statement, pointing to a combination of threats.

Despite budget reductions, 59 percent of information technology decision makers plan to amp up investments in cybersecurity with 45 percent increasing investments in the cloud. The increase in cybersecurity and cloud funding was expected, especially on the federal side, says Larry Payne, area vice president, U.S. federal sales, Cisco. In the state and local sector, investments in networking are expected to increase more rapidly than other areas.

Cool App-titude: Pocket

October 1, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

With the click of a button, we can DVR our favorite show and watch it later at our convenience.

Fewer Conferences = Less Innovation

September 30, 2013

Industry and government personnel believe that event cancellations and travel restrictions are having a negative impact on innovation and collaboration.

AFCEA Answers: Frustrating Wait to Acquire Emerging Information Technology

September 27, 2013
By Max Cacas

The chief information officer for the U.S. Marine Corps says that in an era when he and his colleagues in the American military would like tactical radios to be a cross between a walkie-talkie and a smartphone, there is a big challenge to be overcome. And no, it has nothing to do with bandwidth, storage or even the device itself, although all of those are important considerations.

Instead, Brig. Gen. Kevin Nally, USMC, director, command, control, communications and computers, and chief information officer (CIO), U.S. Marine Corps, says, “I am frustrated by waiting too long to get current, emerging information technology into the infrastructure. Gen. Nally made his comments during a recent edition of the AFCEA Answers radio program.

The general says this frustration on his part is compounded by the reality that because his service is part of the Department of the Navy, he does not have the same kind of acquisition authority that CIO colleagues in other services and most civilian agencies enjoy.

“At the speed of cyber, I need it now, I don’t need it tomorrow. I think with the handheld devices that we will use in the future, that we are developing right now with DISA [the Defense Information Systems Agency] are good, they continue to improve, DISA has been very helpful. But it has to be secure in a cyber environment,” he says.

Gen. Nally also notes that young Marines just entering the service within the last few years are easier to train using new handheld devices, especially those based on commercial smartphone technology, because they grew up using similar devices.

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