Under a joint pilot program, verifying the security of mobile application software for use within the federal government no longer needs to be time consuming or expensive. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with a partnership within the NSA, automated the process to determine if apps meet the agency’s National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) protection profile.
Industry and government organizations are eager to find ways to combine structured and unstructured data to improve communications about national security threats to the public more effectively. Merging this information will enable the intelligence community (IC) to take advantage of the strengths of both data types and allow analysts to quickly search and assess structured data with the wealth of insights in the unstructured environment.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) now delivers unclassified geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) to verified government users via an application for tablets and mobile devices. Tearline, available though the Apple App Store and Google Play, is open to the intelligence community, U.S. Defense Department, allies, and academic and private sector partners sponsored into the system.
NGA’s GEOINT Pathfinder project developed the app. The shell is delivered from the app stores, but from that point, users need credentials to access secure servers.
Do you play Pokemon Go?
The craze surrounding the augmented reality game that blends modern technology with a hint of nostalgia has resulted in a lot of benefits, from getting people outdoors to striking up conversations with strangers. But security concerns cause the hair of cybersecurity experts and privacy practitioners to stand on end worse than Brock’s.
The mobile app, created by Niantic and supported by the Pokemon company Nintendo and Alphabet, which owns Google, has taken the nation by storm. The free app uses GPS and real-world aspects and overlays the Pokemon characters on a cartoon map of neighborhoods.
There’s more, but back to the security issue.
A tiny London-based firm has a way with words, particularly when they are arranged in groups of three. It has parsed the planet into 3-meter-by-3-meter (about 10-foot-by-10-foot) squares in a global addressing system, applying an algorithmic engine to assign three-word identifiers to each and every one of the 57 trillion squares that compose a global map.
The future of the U.S. Marine Corps lies in apps. Warfighting applications will transform mobility, much like the assembly line did for the automotive industry, predicts Kenneth Bible, Marine Corps deputy chief information officer.
“The automobile was around for many years before anybody could afford it,” says Bible, also the Corps’ deputy director of command, control, communications and computers (C4). “The idea of an automobile wasn’t really disruptive. It was when the assembly line opened up mass production and drove the cost down that the market changed ... and average citizens could buy a car and retire their wagon and horses.
A national challenge is seeking mobile apps that can make public information more accessible to underserved populations. Enter your best solution for a shot at up to $100,000 in prizes. The Apps for Communities challenge is part of Challenge.gov, an online platform from the U.S. General Services Administration and ChallengePost. The site brings together government and public participants in a search for the best solutions to the nation's challenges. Apps for Communities is a joint effort between the Federal Communications Commission and the Knight Foundation.
Industry leaders are working hard to identify and create the Internet of the future, and News Editor Rita Boland digs in with an examination of this virtual "ground breaking" in cyberspace in her article, "Upcoming Online Experiences," in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine. The piece is the first in a four-part SIGNAL semaphore series: The Future of the Internet. Kevin Orr, Cisco Corporation's vice president of U.S.
Military personnel serving overseas can record a bedtime story and send it to their children for free thanks to an iPhone app called A Story Before Bed. The program offers 100,000 free recordings to help troops connect with loved ones back home. Any member of the U.S. armed forces who is deploying or already deployed can sign up on the A Story Before Bed website to receive a free storybook recording. Soldiers record a story using a webcam on a Mac or PC and send it to their children using the company's iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad app or a Web browser.
The Apps4Africa competition hosted by the U.S. State Department challenged innovators in Africa to find 21st century solutions to everyday issues, and a panel of judges recently selected the winning apps. Apps4Africa launched in July 2010 and brought together local entrepreneurs from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. More than 20 entries were submitted addressing issues ranging from government corruption to farming practices. The competition builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Civil Society 2.0 initiative that encourages the use of digital technology to connect communities and solve shared problems.
Corporation for National Research Initiatives, Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $6 million cooperative agreement for administration and management of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency App Store as part of the Transformative Apps Program. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, addressed media members at LandWarNet today during a roundtable focused on the recent Apps for the Army competition. Various competition winners also attended to share their experiences. Gen. Sorenson reiterated comments he made yesterday saying that this quick-development contest could serve as a precursor for rapid deployment in the future. He sees the process applying even to larger systems. The general also mentioned that in the future there could be a contest involving industry participation in which they are given guidelines but not many specific requirements.
Apps for the Army Competition Wraps Up
U.S. Armed Forces App
Deployed forces can increase their knowledge of the language and culture in Iraq and Afghanistan with the click of a button, according to Vcom3D, the developer of the iPhone app Vcommunicator Mobile Language & Culture (LC). Select groups of soldiers have already started utilizing the app, which aims to help users communicate effectively during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and it has already been used by more than 700 members of the U.S. military. The app has also been deployed with forces helping relief efforts in Sudan.
From potholes that need filling to graffiti in the neighborhood, the new GORequest app for the iPhone makes it easy for users to tap into their city and report problems fast. Developed by Government Outreach, the app allows users to select an issue, snap a picture using the phone's camera and submit the problem to the local government with the click of a button. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) built into the iPhone, the app can sense the user's location and find the correct authority to address the issue. If the GPS accuracy is not working properly, users can also type in an address.
Soldiers may not have time to utilize an iPhone app in the field, but the creator of an application called BulletFlight claims it could improve the accuracy of military snipers in training. Developed by Knight's Armament Company and available through Apple's iTunes App Store for $11.99, the app eliminates some of the math involved in long-distance target shooting and calculates the trajectory of a bullet's flight path to ensure users hit the target. It allows shooters to input wind speed, atmospheric conditions and distance for the intended target.
Have you ever worried that a third party could intercept your cell phone calls or text messages? Early last week, an independent computer security researcher known as Moxie Marlinspike followed in the footsteps of Philip Zimmermann, the developer of an electronic encryption technology known as Pretty Good Privacy, and launched two apps that they claim make phones untappable. The free, public betas for Google's Android mobile platform are called RedPhone and TextSecure. The first app uses Zimmermann's open source Internet voice cryptography scheme called ZRTP to encrypt phone calls, and the latter allows users to send and receive encrypted text messages and scramble the messages stored in their inbox.
I keep up with all things social media and Web 2.0 related by reading Mashable, one of the largest blogs focused specifically on these topics. Now fans like me can read Mashable on the go with the Mashable iPhone app. The free tool allows users to browse by channel, category, tag or author; share stories via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook; save stories to read offline later; and more. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.
Fans of the magazine Popular Science--and those who are interested in science and technology--will enjoy the magazine's app, PopSci Reader. The free application grabs the magazine's RSS feed and offers users the most recent articles with images. Users can even read articles offline because the last feed pull remains cached. There's also a "share" feature, so users can e-mail their favorite articles to friends. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.
You don't have to be a dummy to need help preparing for a test. The ASVAB Practice for Dummies app helps future warfighters get the best score possible on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam. The application, which costs $9.99, offers three full-length practice tests; study tips; practice questions in several categories such as communication, technical skills and arithmetic; and more.
You know it's coming--tax season. There's a reason I went into publishing: I'm terrible at math. So for people with poor accounting skills like me, tools like the H&R Block Tax Answers app are a lifesaver. The free application offers befuddled taxpayers the chance to pose their questions to tax experts and browse others' questions, find definitions for hundreds of tax terms, determine their tax know-how by taking quizzes, and find a local H&R Block office. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.
I'm a fan of all things Discovery: Animal Planet, TLC, and of course the Science and Military channels. So I'm particularly excited about the Discovery News iPhone application. Fans like me can get instant access to the most recent news articles, videos, special features and more, ensuring they'll always have the latest science and tech information at their fingertips.
Army Technology Live is the U.S. Army RDECOM's blog. Its purpose is to inform the public about Army initiatives and technologies and to showcase the work produced by the Army technology team. Pretty cool, right? Well, now the self-described "science and technology command" has launched a free iPhone application so that fans can have access to the blog anywhere and anytime. The app downloads current news features, including entries to the Army Technology Live blog, the official RDECOM Web site, job listings, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and more.
Those of us on the East Coast are probably tired of looking at snow, but even if you're located elsewhere on the planet, you can download the NASA Images iPhone app for a variety of gorgeous sights. The free application gives the public access to NASA's audio, image and video collections in one searchable online resource. Users can search and browse images from nasaimages.org, view images with an interactive zoom feature, watch NASA programs and mission footage, and more.
Keep up with our country's most important pile of bricks with the White House app, available for iPhones and iPod Touch. The free app lets government junkies have 24/7 access to dynamic content from WhiteHouse.gov. Features include live video streaming, the White House blog and the Briefing Room. For more information, visit the Web site, or download the application on iTunes.
Are you a government news junkie? Do you need to know every move that Congress makes? Then stay current on the latest news happening in D.C. with Real Time Congress. The Real Time Congress app gives government fans access to the latest information about Congress on their iPhones. The tool lets users receive real-time updates from the House and Senate floors; critical reports and memos when they are published online by party policy committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the OMB and more; daily and weekly notices from the House Majority and Minority whips; and hearing schedules.
Science nerds, gather 'round! Every Friday afternoon, you can get your science on with Science Friday, a weekly talk show that focuses on timely science topics. But now the show has launched an application that lets fans of the show access podcasts and videos any day of the week. Future versions that feature more social networking options are in the works. The free app works on iPhones and iPod Touch. For more information or to download the app, visit the iTunes store.
Some people live and breathe the Army 24/7. Now anyone can be all Army, all the time with the U.S. Army iPhone app. Army soldiers and fans can get the latest news about the military branch thanks to the new application. The free tool lets users access the news sections available on www.army.mil, including full-length articles with photos. In addition to news, users can view Flickr photos, videos, the Army's social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the Army Live blog and much more. Soldiers can make sure they stay on top of their Army game by accessing Army fact files, uniforms, ranks, recruiter locations--even the Army song.
I cannot function without music. It keeps me moving, gives me energy and helps the day go by. With Remote, you can always have music at your fingertips. The free app turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a remote control. Wherever you are, you can control the music on your computer's iTunes library or your Apple TV. You can view songs, playlists and album art; create and update Genius playlists; control your AirTunes speakers; and more. For more information about Remote or to download the application, visit the Web site.
"If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators."--William Hazlitt It's almost time for students to head back to school. Don't contribute to the insignificance of human learning by failing to understand Shakespeare. Use the free Shakespeare app for access to the literary genius' complete works. The application features the full text of all 40 plays as well as the Bard's six poems and 154 sonnets. Users can change the font color and font size for easier reading.
If a recipe has more than three ingredients or doesn't require a can opener, I'm lost. Kitchen savvy I'm not, but I do like to eat, so I have to learn some cooking skills to keep my stomach happy. The Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook can help hungry folks like me learn to create edible, even tasty, recipes. The Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook is for foodies and food novices alike. The free application features more than 4,000 recipes. It fully loads on iPhones or iPod Touch, so wireless or 3G connections aren't required.
I like to think I'm young at heart. That's why I still get excited when it snows and why a part of me still believes in Santa. In fact, I think I saw Santa (without his red suit) eating at Cracker Barrel the other day. (Does Santa travel without his elves?) Thanks to a few apps that connect kids with the jolly guy, parents can help their children keep on believing in Santa a little bit longer. The Call Santa app lets Santa talk to children on the nice list. Parents can choose from four Christmas stories that Santa reads to the children over the phone. The application costs $0.99. Call Santa is available for iPhone and iPod Touch.
I am obsessed with the Internet Movie Database, also known as IMDb. I probably visit the site at least once a day. My favorite thing to do is look up quotes from and trivia about my favorite movies and TV shows, like The Office. (Did you know that the computers on the set are hooked up to the Internet, and cast members check e-mail when they're in the background of a shot?) With the free IMDb app for iPhones and iPod Touch, fans like me can get their trivia fix any time.
A friend of mine recently bought an iPhone. She's a small business owner, and one of the first apps she has looked into buying is one that lets her take credit card payments through her phone. Previously, she could only accept cash or check payments, so this app will help make her business more customer friendly. There are several apps to choose from, two of which I've featured here: For iPhone and iPod Touch users, the iSwipe Pro Credit Card Terminal offers a single-entry screen to process each customer's transaction. The application accepts major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express), and one account can be used for multiple iPhones.
As the iPhone continues to increase in fame and popularity, the applications to fill up the device are growing in number and diversity. Whether people are looking for utility or nonsense, the options are almost endless. Featured here are some offbeat iPhone applications and their Web sites as well as sites to learn more about available offerings and what people are using. And just in case the applications seem overwhelming, one Web site offers an organization solution.
It's the holidays-time to build up that stash of generic gifts for parties, both business and personal. A bottle of wine is always a nice gesture--unless, like me, you know nothing about wine. The following applications can help make navigating the world of wine a bit easier. For BlackBerry fans, the Wine & Food Guide can help users purchase a wine or select one to pair with a meal. It features sections for wine descriptions such as red, white and dessert wines, suggested wine and food pairings, and a wine glossary.
Who doesn't enjoy watching movies from the comfort of their own home? Thanks to the "Redbox Free Rental Promo Codes" iPhone app, cinephiles can enjoy movies at home at a discount--just in time for the holiday weekend. The application provides promotional codes for the Redbox video-rental kiosks found at grocery and other stores. The codes are updated twice a day so users can easily find a code to receive a free DVD rental. The app also has a ranking system that lets users rate the validity and usefulness of each promo. The app, which costs $0.99, is available for download from the iTunes store.
This application is near and dear to all of us in the SIGNAL newsroom. We follow AP Style, and with the AP Stylebook app, journalists like us can have error-free writing even when they're away from their desks-and their editors. The tool features searchable listings for sections like sports, business and punctuation (my favorite), and users can even add their own customized entries and notes. More information about the AP Stylebook app is available on AP's Web site. The application is available for download from iTunes for iPhones and iPod Touch.
Math is not my strong suit; I always travel with a calculator and a tip card to help me scoot by. I know I'm not alone thanks to CheckPlease. With this app, math-challenged diners can easily split a tab among multiple people and figure out the tip in just a few seconds. The app even calculates the tip on the total before tax. There are two versions of CheckPlease: a free one that features ads or an ad-free version that costs $0.99. It's available for download to iPhones and iPod Touch here. What's your favorite app? Let us know in the comments below.
Apps for your printer? Yup. HP has an Internet-connected printer-the HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One printer-that comes with pre-loaded apps that have something for everyone. The Google Maps app lets users enter their destination and print out a map. Families can stay on track by printing out everyone's weekly schedules with Google Calendar. Through the DreamWorks Animation app, movie fans can view upcoming movie trailers without logging on to the computer. Apps from Coupons.com, USATODAY.com, Nickelodeon, Fandago and more are also available. HP says that people will be able to create their own apps later this year.
I spend every summer eagerly awaiting the approach of fall for one reason: Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte. (Then I anticipate the holiday season for the gingerbread latte.) Thanks to iCoffee, addicts like me can keep track of how much money they spend on these delicious treasures. The app also features full Starbucks menus, information about local stores, nutrition facts and more. It's available for iPhone at Apple.com. What app can't you live without? Got a favorite app you want to share? Leave a comment or send us an e-mail at newmedia [at] afcea [dot] org.
We're starting a new feature here at SIGNAL Scape: a weekly post focusing on cool apps. Our inaugural post features an app for you multitasking on-the-go folks: Torch Project Management. Torch lets you keep in touch with customers, coworkers and suppliers with one easy tool. You can attach messages, files, Google Docs, invoices and more to your projects. You can also track time and expenses, bill clients, and import data. There are two versions: the full-powered one and a faster offline version. To learn more, visit the Web site. What app can't you live without? Got a favorite app you want to share?