May 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

So often these days, as I sail along in my second year of retirement, people—very nicely—say to me, “Thank you for your service.” I appreciate that deeply, and I think every veteran does. Some veterans have served just a year or two, of course, and some grizzled folks like me stayed in for well over three decades. But regardless of the length of service, we all enjoy that momentary sense of being part of something far larger than just ourselves—Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and so on.

But lately, I have been thinking about the many ways people serve their nation.

April 14, 2015

The Electronic Security Association (ESA), a professional trade association that represents the electronic life safety and security industry, launched a website geared at connecting people interested in careers in the security with companies that are hiring. GetIntoSecurity.com includes a resources section for job hunters, a resources section for career and guidance counselors, and descriptions of the types of security industry jobs available to students, military veterans and retirees. 

March 27, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

National Public Radio (NPR) released a humorous, touching and all-around awesome video today, capturing tweets and photographs by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, who launched to the International Space Station in May 2014 for a six-month space mission.

April 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

Over the course of my career, both in military operations and the civilian world of academe, it has seemed to me that some gifts of leadership are indeed bestowed at birth: high emotional intelligence, a pleasing appearance, a commanding physical presence—these are all helpful attributes. But the best leaders, in my experience, are forged through a combination of teaching, training, education, practice and practical experience. And perhaps the single best way a leader can develop is through reading.

Reading is central to leading for a variety of reasons.

January 6, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
NRL's Christoph Englert examines the prototype Michelson interferometer (MIGHTI) being developed at NRL for flight on NASA's ICON mission.

When NASA’s Pegasus rocket lifts off in June 2017, it will carry scientific equipment and technology that might help researchers better understand space variations that contribute to disruptions in communications equipment, radar and Global Positioning Systems here on Earth.

NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission will study what happens in Earth’s upper atmosphere and the connections to environmental conditions on the planet, says Thomas Immel, ICON mission lead with the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.

“[The ionosphere] shows day-to-day, hour-to-hour variability that we have never understood,” Immel says.

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
DSCOVR spacecraft at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Scientists are gearing up to launch revolutionary technology into deep space that will provide the most advanced solar storm warning system to date. The spacecraft includes new research systems that also will better monitor Earth's atmosphere and land. 

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is scheduled for launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on January 23 and will become the first operational spacecraft in deep space to provide weather analysis.

January 8, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Fire, police and emergency medical personnel in New Jersey will have access to a dedicated first responder network established to ensure priority access and resiliency during natural disasters or attacks.

PMC Associates, Oceus Networks and Fujitsu Network Communications are collaborating to create the JerseyNet project, said to be the first public safety-grade mobile 4G LTE broadband network. It will give first responders a secure, sustainable deployable network that can deliver remote, mobile capabilities mounted on varying platforms, from towable trailers to sport utility vehicles and vans.

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber attackers might have compromised computer files of more than 40,000 employees following an attack on federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

OPM issued a statement on the breach and began notifying employees that files might have been compromised.

“While there was no conclusive evidence to confirm sensitive information was removed from the system, it is possible that personally identifiable data may have been exposed,” reads an OPM statement.

KeyPoint Government Solutions conducts background checks for government agencies. One of its competitors, USIS, suffered a breach earlier this year.

December 9, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

'Tis the season to head out and about to shop, travel and visit with family, and the free ParkMe app could make your activities easier this year. It features location and rate information for lots and garages near you along with a live map of available street parking. In addition, ParkMe provides detailed directions to the parking, including photos so you know what to expect. Find real-time information on lot availability, make reservations in advance for select areas and set the parking timer to avoid having your meter run out.

December 4, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Ho ho ho—it’s that time of year again, and though Christmas Day is a still a few weeks away, the folks at NORAD have launched their wildly popular Santa Claus tracker apps and website, giving children (big and small) a chance to play games, watch movies and countdown to Santa’s departure from the North Pole.

Then, on Christmas Eve, they can track his up-to-the-minute progress as Santa and the reindeer embark on their world tour.

November 4, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

You might hit the gym or stay active for your health, but do you exercise your brain? The scientifically designed program Lumosity provides personalized training to help you improve memory, attention and a wide variety of other cognitive skills. The program, based on extensive research in the field of neuroplasticity, currently boasts more than 50 million members in more than 180 countries. Lumosity's in-house research and development team collaborates with researchers from 36 top universities around the world, including Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley, to transform common neuropsychological tasks into fun, challenging games.

October 29, 2014
By Rachel Lilly
Shelley Smith, founder and president of Premier Rapport, discusses taking risks and achieving results at the inaugural Women in AFCEA event.

If you had 60 seconds to introduce yourself, could you get your message across? When forming new connections, your seemingly simple elevator pitch becomes a Hail Mary pass—one shot to get it right—and you can’t try again if you fumble.

Understanding how to communicate your story effectively is just one important skill for women—and really anyone, regardless of gender—hoping to take risks and achieve results in the workplace, explained Shelley Smith, founder and president of Premier Rapport, during the inaugural Women in AFCEA fall event. Ask yourself, “Is the risk greater if I do or is the risk greater if I don’t?”

October 22, 2014

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of the "U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, Volumes I and II," which focuses on strategic and tactical objectives to support the federal government’s accelerated adoption of cloud computing.

The road map leverages the strengths and resources of government, industry, academia and standards development organizations to support technology innovation in cloud computing, according to a written announcement from NIST.

October 21, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

With the Ebola outbreak dominating headlines and flu season looming, it's difficult to know where to turn for fast, reliable health information. That's where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comes in, offering a variety of apps to help you protect yourself.

September 16, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

Driving somewhere unfamiliar and in need of a gas station? Starving but not sure which restaurants are nearby? The free AroundMe app for iOS and Android identifies your location and shows you a complete list of nearby businesses in the category you select. Find a restaurant, movie theater, gas station, hotel, hospital, bank, bar, grocery store and more.

For each listing, you can view the location on a map and the best route with step-by-step GPS directions. Add the information to your contact list or email it to a friend.

September 11, 2014

This article is written by our sponsor Riverbed. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect view of AFCEA International or SIGNAL Media.

There is an enormous opportunity in the Defense Department information technology to streamline operations, reduce costs and increase security. Two enabling policies from the Federal CIO are Cloud First and Shared First.

Riverbed provides actionable advice for tackling a low-risk, high return-on-investment (ROI) cloud project.

Today’s Status Quo

September 2, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

SafeTrek app helps users feel safe in dangerous areasHave you ever felt unsafe or just uneasy walking alone at night or in a secluded area? Many people keep their phones close at hand, but in a real emergency, you may not have time to dial 911. The SafeTrek app for iOS and Android offers a solution.

Created by a group of students at the University of Missouri, the SafeTrek app monitors your location and can automatically notify police.

August 25, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

“There's an app for that” is truer than ever these days. As bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and bring-your-own-app (BYOA) concepts are increasingly infiltrating government agencies, public sector information technology departments must consider the impact these apps and devices have on their own environments. In this blog post, we’ll look at two security strategies in use at agencies today and how to balance security and flexibility in today’s mobile environment.

Security Strategy 1: Pure Separation

August 21, 2014
By Rita Boland

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated two $10 million projects to create separate cloud computing testbeds called Chameleon and CloudLab. Through the efforts, the academic research community will develop and experiment with novel architectures and architecturally enabled applications of cloud computing.

August 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.), shares his views on leadership.

Adversity can create heroes and leaders alike.

Sometimes, it's the worst that life has to offer that brings out the best in people, says Adm. Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.), and an executive vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton.

As the U.S. Coast Guard's 23rd commandant, he served as a front-line witness to stressors that can make or break a leader.