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The SIGNAL Blog

Microblogging With Twitter

July 1, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Twitter is a Web-based service is designed to keep people in touch with friends, family and co-workers through quick, short and frequent messages. Unlike e-mail or blogging, Twitter focuses on short updates throughout the day. Users can post brief updates, limited to 140 characters, from their desktop, personal digital assistants or cell phones. Business users can use the site to keep updated with colleagues working on a project, for example.

LyricsMode

July 4, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Arguing over the exact lyrics of a song was once an important part of growing up. This site provides the text lyrics of more than 650,000 songs by 25,000 artists. LyricsMode claims to be the world's largest archive of song lyrics. Users can search the site by specific song name or by browsing by band names. Videos are available for the most popular songs, and musicians can submit their lyrics to the archive. Wireless users can also access a mobile version of the site for use on cell phones and other handheld devices.

JFCOM, Microsoft Extend Cooperative Agreement

June 16, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) has extended its cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between Microsoft Corporation and the command's Joint Center for Operational Analysis Knowledge and Information Fusion Exchange (KnIFE) program for one year. KnIFE answers questions from and provides training materials to deployed and predeployment units using a database of the latest enemy tactics, techniques and procedures. The extension allows KnIFE and Microsoft to complete efforts initiated under the original agreement. In addition, the command hopes to explore new experiments involving service-oriented architecture and business intelligence.

Thin Disk Laser Lights Up

June 15, 2008
By H. Mosher

An experimental solid-state laser successfully passed a series of repeated test firings. Developed by the Boeing Company, the thin-disk laser is part of the company's effort to develop a weapons-capable solid-state laser as a tactical weapon. Relying on electricity rather than volatile chemicals for power, the weapon achieved power levels of more than 25 kilowatts in several-second durations. Company officials note that the successful tests demonstrate the laser's potential to scale up to 100 kilowatts, the U.S. Defense Department's threshold for a tactical energy weapon.

New Artillery Unveiled

June 15, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Army displayed its newest weapons system in Washington, D.C., this month. The non-line-of-sight cannon (NLOS-C) is the first new vehicle type in a family of eight new manned ground vehicles planned for the Future Combat Systems. The mobile artillery piece features a fully automated cannon, allowing troops to engage targets more quickly than current artillery systems. A hybrid-electric engine that requires less fuel than current vehicles powers the NLOS-C vehicle.

AFCEA SOLUTIONS: Are You Who We Think You Are?

June 26, 2008
By H. Mosher

The questions around Identity Assurance seem to boil down to: "Are you who we think you are?" and "Are we who you think we are?" These questions are critically important to warfighters, as Richard Hale, Chief Information Assurance Executive, Defense Information Systems Agency explained this morning in this morning's opening keynote. Read on for information on how to tune in to the rest of the Identity Assurance conference from AFCEA SOLUTIONS.

From the Front Lines

June 25, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Tomorrow, June 26, 2008, Move America Forward is putting on an 8-hour telethon in support of the troops, with the goal of collecting at least $500,000 in sponsorships for "the largest single shipment of care packages in U.S. history." The program, "From the Front Lines," will be available on the web at www.HotAir.com or via UStreamTV.

Biometric ID Installation in Canadian Airports

June 23, 2008
By Katie Packard

The Canadian Air Transport Authority (CATSA) is installing new fingerprint and iris biometric technology in 29 airports to verify employee identifications. The new system replaces the existing similar application in the Restricted Area Identification Card (RAIC) system, already in use.

Singapore Snags Sniper ATPs

June 23, 2008
By Katie Packard

The Republic of Singapore Air Force is acquiring Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) for the country's F-16 Block 52 aircraft. As part of the purchase agreement, the nation will receive integration, spares, support equipment and integrated logistics support to expand the Air Force's fleet of Sniper ATPs across its F-15 and F-16 aircraft.

Mattis: Irregular Warfare Is Here to Stay

June 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Echoing the sentiments of many of the speakers and panelists during the conference, Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, commander, JFCOM and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, wrapped up the 2008 Joint Warfighting conference by reiterating that the war the U.S. and its allies are now fighting will not end quickly or soon.

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