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News Briefs

U.S. Technology Training for Kids in the Pacific

November 8, 2012
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Department of State is hosting its first-ever Youth TechCamp in the Pacific region later this month. Coordinated in conjunction with Pasifika Nexus and the University of the South Pacific, Youth TechCamp Fiji will offer six days of training to as many as 300 youths from various Pacific islands. Local and international technology experts from the fields of digital content creation, mobile applications and social activism will participate as well. Organizers aim to enable future leaders from the region to contribute to policy development, encourage local content creation and leverage connection technologies in positive ways.

Members of the public can join the conversation about this event through the Youth TechCamp Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #TechCamp.
 

 

Carter Issues Conference Guidance

October 30, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

As a follow-up to conference sponsorship and attendance financial regulations announced earlier this year, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has implemented a tiered approval structure to assist in oversight of U.S. Defense Department participation in future events.

Mobile Device Management? There Will Be an App Store for That

October 30, 2012

Following the lead set by NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and several other federal agencies, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has posted a solicitation for an enterprisewide Mobile Device Management system and Mobile Application Store (MDM-MAS). As many as 260,000 devices could reach authorized security resources and data initially through the DISA app store, which could eventually expand to support the needs of the entire Defense Department. The app store solicitation calls for a system to ensure adherence to all security requirements for devices operating on the DISA network and, if needed, allow security officials to remotely wipe devices that are either lost or otherwise compromised by hackers. The MDM-MAS also could be used to push authorized applications to employees’ smartphones and tablets. DISA expects to keep the cost of the proposed app store manageable by using commercially available hardware and software.

 

Computer Training Fights Human Trafficking

October 29, 2012
By George I. Seffers

By mid-November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are scheduled to complete development of an interactive, digital training module to teach commercial airline employees to assist in the fight against human trafficking. The BLI training course is an interactive, self-paced training module that details human trafficking indicators aviation personnel are most likely to observe in the air environment. Furthermore, the course provides information on how to report human trafficking to U.S. law enforcement effectively.

The training module is being developed as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), which provides commercial airline employees a voluntary mechanism not only to identify potential human trafficking victims but also to notify federal authorities. Airline personnel may report suspected human trafficking via a toll-free tip line, an online tip form, an internationally available tip line number or through flight deck communications.

DHS officials have described human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery, often involving the use of force, fraud or coercion to exploit people for some type of labor or commercial sex purpose. Every year, millions of men, women and children worldwide are victims of human trafficking, according to the DHS website.

 

 

Standing Down the Joint Tactical Radio System Office

October 12, 2012

With the close of the fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Defense has officially shuttered the Joint Program Executive Office for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS). In its place, the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC), which opened on October 1, will now oversee the development of the Software Defined Radio (SDR) program, including waveforms and network management.

JTNC will build upon work already done to create a system capable of transmitting both voice and data over a secure radio communications network. Testing of new systems will continue to be performed by the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), the Navy’s SPAWAR systems center Pacific and other existing military facilities.

Contest Primes Innovation with Cash

September 5, 2012

Lockheed Martin Corporation is sponsoring a competition designed to encourage new ideas about how to enhance global security. Titled "Innovate the Future," the company is asking for ideas on a range of topics, including sustainable energy, cybersecurity and health care.

 

Hover Bike

August 23, 2012
By George Seffers

Aerofex Corporation, Manhattan Beach, California, recently released video of a proof-of-concept, motorcycle-like hovercraft that requires no flight control software and is touted as being intuitive to ride. The design pushes dust, snow or debris away from the pilot to avoid the brownout or whiteout conditions helicopter pilots often face in sandy or snowy terrain. The hover bike could be used for personal entertainment, border patrol in areas without roads or in a fleet of first-responder craft. Company officials envision an unmanned version in the future. The proof of concept vehicle is being used as a testbed for manned and unmanned technologies.

Tracking Humans in Defense Studies

August 21, 2012

The U.S. Defense Department is creating a department-wide system to track and manage human subjects in studies the federal government funds. A Web-based application developed by the Office of Naval Research, called the Protections in Research, Oversight Management Information System, will form the basis for the new system.

Robotic Device Lends Troops a Hand

August 17, 2012

A new robotic hand, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, mimics the capabilities of a human hand and could help disarm improvised explosive devices.

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