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Making the Whole Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

June 2001
By Lt. Gen. C. Norman Wood, USAF (Ret.)

The ongoing revolution in battlefield information systems has generated an intriguing irony. Information technology is empowering individual warfighters far more now than ever before, yet at the same time it is tying them together to an unprecedented degree. On the one hand, soldiers, sailors and airmen are able to serve more roles and to undertake actions of greater significance, as they are both armed with increased amounts of information and capable of providing more vital data to other warfighters and decision makers. On the other hand, these individuals are tied to each other to a greater degree in the network-centric battlefield. As their importance as individuals has increased, so has their importance as nodes in a network. This opens up a host of challenges in areas ranging from technology to doctrine and culture.

Military Marches Toward Harmonized Acquisition Processes

June 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

As the Standard Procurement System reaches the installation halfway point, U.S. Defense Department officials are highlighting how the technology makes the department more responsive to Congress and the American taxpayer. Although some personnel are still wary of the new system, the department is forging ahead, and the U.S. Army has adopted additional capabilities that save time and money.

Security Concerns Grow as Technology Tools Shrink

June 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

Although good things may come in small packages, a handheld device that carries the power of a personal computer raises large information security issues. As more military service members employ cellular telephones, pagers and personal digital assistants to keep track of schedules or to perform duties, their leaders must address the new threats these pocket-sized devices pose in the workplace.

Dawn of the Refuelable Laptop

June 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Miniature fuel cells are poised to replace batteries as the power source of choice for handheld communications and electronics equipment. Tests with prototypes indicate that these devices can generate more power, last longer and remain more environmentally friendly than existing batteries.

Reasoning System Thinks One Step Ahead of Adversary

June 2001
By Christian B. Sheehy

A probability analysis program could enable surface and air military units to better predict a vehicle's or a missile's next move by discerning the likelihood that its track will either change or remain constant. Applying the same reasoning formula to study an entire mission, the system could combine factual and hypothetical data to predict the direction an enemy will take and produce theoretically sound solutions to tactically complex scenarios.

Internet to Deliver Ubiquitous, Invisible Connectivity

June 2001
By Christian B. Sheehy

The worlds of wireless and Web-based technology are converging in a new generation of linked networks that could produce a vast computing and communications infrastructure based on the interaction of currently exclusive technologies. The integration of these independent communication architectures will result from a gradual dissolution of the physical boundaries of today's Internet, enabling the realization of a broader view of everyday computing.

What Sank Internet Commerce?

June 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

The economic wave that started out as a Tsunami has lost momentum, and the high tide of World Wide Web surfers as devoted consumers is beginning to ebb. Online start-up company owners who thought they would catch a wave and be sitting on top of the world have been caught in an undertow. Established firms that poured millions of dollars into creating an online presence are discovering that the same tried-and-true business practices that keep traditional business afloat are just as necessary in the cybermarketplace.

High-Technology Specialists for Hire Tame Runaway Facts

June 2001
By Michael A. Robinson

If necessity is the mother of invention, then Linda Gooden can qualify as an expert on both.
Ever since 1790, inventors who wanted to protect their intellectual property against possible theft or exploitation have filed their patent applications pretty much the same way-they filled out a form on paper.

Wearable Translator Makes Phrase Books Obsolete

June 2001
By Sharon Berry

A Star Trek-like communications instrument promises to help penetrate the language barrier by providing automated near-real-time translations. The mobile, lightweight device, which is the size of a cellular telephone and can be clipped to a belt, will translate English paired with Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Albanian and Thai as well as other major European languages.

Cyberguardian Keeps Hackers, Insider Threats at Bay

June 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Smart hardware will allow administrators to foil intruders and internal attackers before they can cripple computer systems. The firewall, embedded within a network interface card, creates a tamper-resistant security layer that cannot be subverted or deactivated like traditional software-based defenses. When installed on desktop computers and servers throughout an organization, the cards selectively permit or deny certain types of activities at the department, office or individual levels.

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