Cool App-titude: MightyText

October 16, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Forgot your phone at home? You can still send texts and see who calls you with instant notifications on your computer screen. The free MightyText app for Android lets you send and receive SMS text messages from your computer or tablet using your phone number.

The program forwards text messages over the phone’s data connection to the MightyText servers. A browser extension then produces the message on the computer or tablet screen. Then, you simply type a reply into your browser and select a contact from your list, and the app sends it in real time. The goal is for the messages to stay fully in sync with your phone’s SMS.

MightyText is free, and it does not add any additional fees to what your carrier charges you. However, the messages route through the phone, so standard SMS fees from your carrier still apply.

Currently, the app has more than 11,000 reviews in Google Play for an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Download it here.

These sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new websites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

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.

Cool App-titude: Passbook

October 9, 2012
Rachel Eisenhower

Lighten up your wallet or key ring with the new Passbook app for iOS, which allows users to store coupons, loyalty cards, movie tickets, boarding passes and more.

Passbook acts as a virtual wallet, storing important information, such as tickets and gift cards, and translating it into scannable cards or tickets in the app.

You can add “passes” to Passbook through apps, emails and websites from participating companies. So far, businesses such as Gap, Target, Walgreens, Sephora, Starbucks and Fandango have signed on to use Passbook, and the list is growing. Simply scan your iPhone or iPod Touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie and redeem a coupon.

The app comes pre-installed on the iPhone 5, and it also comes as part of the latest software update for existing iOS users.

These sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new websites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

How Captain Kangaroo Is Changing Defense Procurement

October 5, 2012
By Rita Boland

Passion and childhood inspiration are driving the chief information officer of JIEDDO to alter acquisitions through his innovation engine.

Bob Keeshan as Captain Kangaroo in 1970

Jim Craft has been the CIO and deputy director information enterprise management at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) since March, bringing with him a passion for the mission and an energy to start making changes. Through what he dubs the "innovation engine," he is working to enhance rapid acquisitions by facilitating self-forming networks of people across government, industry and academia. You can read the ins and outs of the initiative in my article, "A Different Type of Self-Forming Network."

Craft's drive in this effort is tremendous and has roots in one of his favorite childhood television shows, Captain Kangaroo. From the program, he heard the story of stone soup, a folk tale that takes different forms, all focused on the benefits of cooperation, especially in times of scarce resources. "It made an incredible impact on me," Craft explains. "That's part of what the innovation engine is all about." In his previous roles in government and industry, Craft discovered that when applied, the lesson can create powerful results.

GD to Support National Defense University

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers
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General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., was competitively awarded a task order by the General Services Administration Federal Systems Integration and Management Center to be the single-service provider for consolidated information technology (IT) enterprise services and support for the National Defense University (NDU). The five-year contract has a potential value of $39.9 million, if all options are exercised. Under this contract, General Dynamics will deliver enterprise service desk, data center and application support services that enable NDU to more efficiently and effectively use IT resources throughout the enterprise with minimum service disruption. The company will provide reliable network availability, information assurance services, server administration and maintenance, systems engineering and network operation and maintenance to all five NDU colleges: Dwight D. Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy, National War College, Joint Forces Staff College, Information Resources Management College and the College of International Security Affairs.

U.S. Army Procures Tactical Mobile Smart Device Security

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers
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TT Government Solutions, Piscataway, N.J., was awarded a $7,048,800 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development of security technologies designed to provide the soldier with a secure mobile smart device for tactical use. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Exelis Counterdrug Surveillance Contract Modified

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers
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Exelis Systems Corp., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $35,794,575 contract modification to provide air and surface surveillance capability in support of Department of Defense’s (DoD) Counterdrug Program and North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) air sovereignty mission. The location of the performance is Yuma, Ariz.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Deming, N.M.; Marfa, Texas; Eagle Pass, Texas; Rio Grande City, Texas; Cudjoe Key, Fla.; Lajas, Puerto Rico and Newport News, Va. The contracting activity is Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.

Raytheon Receives Sensor Netting System Production Funds

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers
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Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $20,334,000 not-to-exceed firm-fixed-price letter contract for Cooperative Engagement Capabilities (CEC) production during fiscal years 2012-2013. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Israeli Company to Provide Battle Management System to Australia

October 4, 2012
George Seffers

Elbit Systems Ltd., Haifa, Israel, was awarded a contract from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for the supply of Battle Management Systems (BMS) for the Royal Australian Navy's landing craft. The contract is in an amount that is not material to Elbit Systems. The systems are to be integrated into landing craft installed on board the Canberra Class Amphibious ships (LHD). The watercraft will enable transport of troops and equipment from the LHDs to the shore including where there are no fixed port facilities and will allow communication and connectivity with the Infantry Forces in joint operations.