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SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help

December 15, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's Web site, when available.

DHS to Hire Hundreds of Cybersecurity Professionals, No KSAs Required

December 15, 2009
by Rita Boland

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is breaking rank with the current way of hiring government employees and instituting a new process to attract top talent in cybersecurity. The process, combined with an authority to hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity professionals over the next three years, enables the department to fill critical positions with qualified personnel who otherwise might overlook government employ. The change reduces the government bureaucracy to streamline hiring in a way officials believe will appeal to today's cyberprofessionals.

Under the new system, applicants no longer will have to submit written responses to KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities), nor will they be rated on a points system. Instead, qualified individuals will submit résumés and cover letters, which hiring managers will review. "It's the same thing we would ask for if we were DHS Inc.," Jeff Neal, the department's chief human capital officer, says. Though the traditional government points system will not be used, the DHS is eager to recruit those who have served in the military. "You don't have to have points to have a high degree of interest in hiring veterans," Neal states.

Government Can Reach for Clouds to Gather Information

December 15, 2009
by Katie Packard

Government and defense agencies can use a new data mining application to help gather and share information and intelligence as well as look for national security and terrorist threats. The tool searches the Internet and provides organizations with data that enables them to make informed decisions and, if necessary, respond quickly.

Attensity Cloud is offered by the Attensity Group, whose clients include U.S. Africa Command, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Attensity’s Michelle de Haaff says, “We have deep roots and relationships with government agencies in North America and Europe. Our applications help intelligence analysts and law enforcement analysts use unstructured data and turn it into information.”

Attensity Cloud focuses on mining social media platforms for information that organizations can use for a variety of purposes, such as how the public feels about a product or service. “Social media is not for the young or the tech savvy anymore—everyone’s on it,” de Haaff notes. “It’s a massive treasure trove of information that government agencies can use to listen to and filter [data] so intel can access and research the information.” Additional information sources include online communities, e-mails and knowledge bases.

News Briefs

November 16, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

World’s Fastest Supercomputer Goes Classified
Roadrunner, the world’s fastest supercomputer, is transitioning to classified projects to increase the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Located at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Roadrunner recently finished the shakedown phase of performing accelerated petascale computer modeling and simulations on 10 unclassified, fundamental science projects, including work on nonlinear physics of high-powered lasers and modeling nanowires at small time scales. The projects put a workload on the hybrid-architecture, 1.105 petaflop/s (one petaflop/s equals 1 million billion calculations per second) system that enabled scientists to optimize the way large codes run on the machine.

DHS Seeks Partnerships to Increase Information Sharing

November 16, 2009
by Katie Packard

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to help ethnic and faith-based communities handle terror threats by adopting procedures used by the Secure Community Network (SCN). The department’s goal is to mimic the SCN platform for national security and preparedness and use it as a means to decrease the number of acts of terrorism by increasing both communications and information sharing.

 

Players Receive Lessons in Culture and Teamwork

November 16, 2009
by Rita Boland

The U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) is playing games with the expansion of the military’s “soft power” and decision making. Since September, the command has offered a complete training system that builds cultural awareness skills through game play and storytelling through its Joint Knowledge Online (JKO). Also available through the online management portal is a Web-based exercise application for multiplayer, small-group teams, cells and Joint Task Force (JTF) battle staff training exercises. Both tools are changing troops’ training landscape and are scheduled for integration with a major exercise next year.

The Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainer (VCAT) is a Web- and game-based training tool that builds cultural awareness in an engaging, multimedia-rich environment, offering participants the opportunity to practice skills in simulated immersive scenarios. “VCAT is distinctly different from existing cultural training methods,” says Cathleen Moran, Joint Knowledge Development and Distribution Capability Joint Management Office Advanced Technologies Division chief. “VCAT incorporates some of the most advanced learning techniques available, including game-based learning, storytelling, intelligent tutoring and remediation to help learners to quickly and efficiently develop operational cultural knowledge and acquire cultural skills.” 

New Products

November 16, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

Secure File-Sharing Software
Designed for secure file sharing, the GigaTribe software package allows users to share photos, videos, music and other files with GigaTribe users in a private, fully encrypted peer-to-peer environment. Only recipients selected by users can see the files and can decide whether they wish to download them. The company claims there are no files to upload, no size limitations and all transfers are encrypted. For more information, visit www.gigatribe.com.

 
LED Power Supply
The LD12 series of AC-DC power supplies are designed for light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and display applications with output ratings up to 12.6 watts. The series includes both constant voltage and constant current models. The devices are 12-watt AC-DC encapsulated drivers/suppliers that are designed to be splash proof and operate with universal power inputs of 90 to 265 volts/AC. For more information, visit www.us.tdk-lambda.com/lp/products/ld12-series.htm.

Homefront Help

November 16, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's Web site, when available.

Homefront Help

October 15, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's Web site, when available.

New Products

October 15, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

GPS Asset Tracker

 
Keeping track of supplies and equipment during commercial or military operations can be a challenge. The TRAX MT-13 compact Global Positioning System asset tracker is a rugged device designed to wirelessly track lightweight to medium-weight equipment. In addition to tracking and tracing equipment, the MT-13 can be programmed over the air and can perform functions such as geo-fencing. For more information, visit www.moreycorp.com.

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