Science and Technology News

Monday, August 31, 2009

Making Money with a Computer Virus

Running a large number of websites and a small office network has certainly given me a lot of experience in being exposed to the dangers of Viruses, Trojans and other MalWare. Also, having taught an introductory course in computer crime and written a book on technology - well, I have at least a pretty good idea about the dangers of the Internet. But, I didn’t think I would ever fall into a way to make money with computer viruses.

It started over a year ago. The first indication was the network slowing - then, several of the more popular websites were hacked. How a keylogger program became installed - well, I have my suspicions. I did some research and found an online computer repair company. Rather than take all the computers in or call a technician to the office, I figured I’d roll the dice.

I was very pleased an hour later. Remotely, the company found, killed and then restored - for a single - very reasonable price - my computer. Heck, I signed up with for year which included tuning and optimizing all computers. For the next year, every once a while, we went online and the company remotely scanned and optimized.

The year was great - but, not having had any recurrences, I let the contract lapse. Six months later, I did it this time. In an effort to improve broadcast sound quality - I did something stupid. I disable the firewall and virus protection. Really, it should have been okay. I had I remembered to re-activate the programs. The next day - we were slammed.

My fault. I contacted the remote technicians. This time - same great service, but the Trojan had burrowed deep into a single machine. It took longer - but they were able to restore everything. I was so pleased, I told the technician via chat that I would be blogging about my satisfaction; and, link to them. This honest guy says, “You ought to just become an affiliate.”

That was an easy decision. Over the last 18 months I have referred dozens of people to them - each one was as satisfied as I was. I never imagined I could become an affiliate. Because of my websites, I am an affiliate with several companies. None was this easy - nor, do I have such a personal connection. I signed up, they created a page - at no cost to me. I then registered a domain, pointed to the sub-domain they had created - and, well I am in business.

There is one last cool part - I can sign up people to be affiliates and - well, get a small commission of the people they refer. Can you imagine - all the people, all the computers, all the knotheads creating viruses - now I can make a little money helping people clean their machines!

First, if your machine is infected, or slow, I strongly recommended these technicians - it’s done remotely and very cool to watch your cursor move on its own. Second, if you would like be an affiliate - that’s right, make money with computer viruses, I encourage to click on the link and sign up!

Computer Repair

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doing Your Part For National Cyber Security Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

"Protect Yourself Before You Connect Yourself".



National Cyber Security Alliance Launches
Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education (C-SAVE) Program Focuses on bringing Cybersecurity Experts Into Nation’s K‐12 Schools To Educate Students and Teachers about Internet Safety and Security

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2009 – With studies finding that less than 25%** of educators feel comfortable teaching students how to keep themselves safe from online cyber predators, bullies, and online fraud, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has focused much of its efforts on providing K‐12 schools with the resources they need to better equip today’s digital generation.

Today at the RSA Conference, the NCSA announced the launch of a nationwide initiative – the Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education Program (C‐SAVE) – that is focused on fostering opportunities for cybersecurity experts and IT security professionals to donate their time and tap their expertise to help educate elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet security and safety.

“There is an Internet safety and security knowledge gap,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “As we evolve into web based culture, our schools have not kept pace in teaching our youth to develop the skills they need to stay safe and secure online. Only 18%** of K‐12 curriculum discusses identity theft and only 22%** of teachers are comfortable teaching about cyberbullying. In these difficult financial times, C‐SAVE provides schools with a cost‐free opportunity to enrich the education experience and help improve the everyday lives of both their students and their teachers. It also provides information security professionals a wonderful opportunity to give back to their community.”

NCSA is seeking motivated individuals and corporations to approach local schools to deliver the C‐SAVE program. A comprehensive set of learning materials designed by a U.S. Department of Education veteran is available at www.StaySafeOnline.org/CSAVE.

Suggested lesson plans designed to meet the developmental level of young people at all grade levels provide clear, easy to understand instructions and tips for working in a classroom setting. In addition, resources are available that allow teachers and administrators to continue the conversation with their students and their students’ parents.

“We are living in a time when many of our children know much more about how to use the technology than their teachers and parents,” said Bill Sanderson, principal of the International Studies Academy high school in San Francisco. “Most of our students spend more time on the computer each day then they do watching television. School and parents have a responsibility to ensure that students can use computers safely, C‐SAVE will help better educate our children by leveraging the expertise of those who bring significant life experience making computers more secure. In turn, this program will also allow our teachers to better understand the online challenges our students face and better prepare them to harness the power of the Internet safely and securely.”

C‐SAVE also provides the opportunity to introduce students to the possibility of cybersecurity as a profession and become part of the next generation of cyber defenders. As part of the lesson plans, cybersecurity professionals are encouraged to talk about their job and the path they took to get to where they are.

EMC Corporation is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Striving to be active and socially responsible in its local and global communities, EMC encouraged its cybersecurity experts to participate in C‐SAVE. More than 25 EMC security practitioners have already agreed to volunteer at schools from Massachusetts to California and help train more than 1000 families on staying safe online.

“There is no doubt that both our nation’s students and teachers need assistance when it comes to Internet safety and security,” said Roland Cloutier, Vice President and Chief Security Officer of EMC Corporation. “Companies such as EMC and others have a vast amount of resources that can not only help to keep our children safer online, but also foster a better understanding of the responsibilities one must embrace when using the Internet.”

C‐SAVE was launched in collaboration with the NCSA’s K‐12 education working group and its corporate sponsors.

** Data from 2008 K‐12 National Cyberethics, Cybersafety, Cybersecurity Baseline Study. Full results can be found at wwwStaySafeOnline.MediaRoom.com/

About NCSA

The National Cyber Security Alliance is a nonprofit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non‐profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the cyber infrastructure. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. Visit www.StaySafeOnline.org for more information.

Contacts:

Aimee Larsen-Kirkpatrick
National Cyber Security Alliance
Phone: 202-756-3616
email: aimee@staysafeonline.org

Joshua Zecher
463 Communications
202-463-0013, ext. 206
email: josh.zecher@463.com



About National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its sixth year is a coordinated effort of the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC).

Source: National Cyber Security Alliance

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Managed Internet Security Subscriptions: Wave of the Future? (Part 7 of 7)

Although the Internet basically provides a positive and productive experience, cyber-attacks against our personal privacy and security are reaching epidemic proportions. These attacks are occurring in our own homes and businesses. Our own computers are being used are being used as zombies to attack other people, businesses, and even our nation itself. As an average Internet user, you may not be aware of these threats nor have any idea about the dramatically increasing risks you face when connected to the Internet.

The business opportunities are enormous! Imagine this: As the number of home builders build and sell homes with personal computers as normal fixtures in the home increases, so, too, will the need for professionally managed Internet security services. Therefore, the trend for increased managed Internet security services will continue to point in this direction.

On a campaign for internet safety awareness and protection, my mission is to bring critical awareness to individuals, families, and small business owners, and to provide access to the necessary tools and ongoing expertise to secure your computer and help you stay protected.

I invite you to join the many thousands of others who have tested their computers, discovered these threats are real, and taken the necessary steps to protect their computers, their families, and their businesses.

Now that you have become aware of these issues, I encourage you to share this vital information with your families, friends and communities. Together, we can reach many millions of people and inform them about the threats to their privacy and security, and help them get the protection they desperately need.


Remember: When you say "No!" to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose!

© MMIX, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

About the Author:

Etienne A. Gibbs, Internet Security Advocate and Educator, consults with individuals, small business owners, and home-business entrepreneurs regarding online protection against spyware, viruses, hackers, and other pc-disabling cybercrimes. To obtain more information and receive a free evaluation, visit him at www.SayNotoHackersandSpyware.com.

Friday, August 28, 2009

SRCTEC WINS U.S. ARMY CONTRACT FOR CREW DUKE V2 UPGRADES, VALUED UP TO $700M

Syracuse, NY – The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command has awarded SRCTec a five-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract with an approximate value of $700M for Counter Remote Control Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (CREW) Duke V2 system upgrades. The CREW Duke counters radio-controlled roadside bombs, or IEDs, and is currently the U.S. Army’s most widely fielded CREW system. The initial order is for $188M. SRCTec anticipates that this award will result in the addition of up to 50 production positions in 2010.

SRCTec has been providing the U.S. Army and other military services with counter-IED solutions since its inception in 2006, and their products have played a critical role in reducing the number of IEDs detonated in the field. The system’s first generation Counter-Measure Protection System was one of the U.S. Army’s Top 10 Inventions in 2005.

Mary Ann Tyszko, President and Chief Executive Officer of SRCTec, stated, “Providing products that save lives and bring our soldiers home safely is our first priority. This award allows us to continue our mission to protect the warfighter against IED threats in the global war on terror.”

About SRC and SRCTec, Inc.
SRCTec is an ISO 9001 registered company that provides manufacturing and logistics support for complex electronics systems. SRC, our parent organization, is a research and development company with over 50 years of experience in defense, environment, and intelligence. Together, through innovation in science, technology, and information, we are redefining possibleTM. We work with the customer for the best solution – not the bottom line – resulting in nationally significant, next generation solutions that are

SRC and SRCTec employ more than 1,000 people in offices throughout the country: Arlington, Chantilly, and Charlottesville, VA; Dayton, OH; Denver, CO; Hanover, MD; Rome and Syracuse, NY; and San Antonio, TX. There are more than 100 positions currently available nationwide. For more information, visit www.srctecinc.com.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Missile Defense Technology Moves from Testing to Fielding

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 27, 2009 - Boosted by a few strong years of testing successes, much of the United States' missile defense technology that once was questioned is now ready to be fielded. "A few years ago the question was, 'Could you even hit a missile with a missile?' We have proven we could do that well over 35 times," Army Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, the director for the Missile Defense Agency, said in an interview at the Pentagon today.

O'Reilly said that 39 of the last 45 tries at stopping a test missile were successful. The failures were mostly at the start of the testing, and in the past few years, all hit their mark, except one that had a manufacturing problem. It was fixed, and three weeks ago successfully hit its target in a test, O'Reilly said.

Most of the new technologies fielded will be to bolster missile defense for deployed troops. Right now, O'Reilly said, forward deployed bases are exposed to missile threats and there is a large gap in U.S. capabilities to protect them.

This summer, both Iran and North Korea tested their ballistic missiles systems. And several other nations have as many as a few hundred such missiles in their arsenals.

"We want to provide the same level of protection against ballistic missiles that we enjoy today against cruise missiles or against aircraft," O'Reilly said.

The Defense Department recently committed an additional $900 million toward fielding the Army's theater high altitude area defense mobile missile defense system. The agency has finished seven of eight required tests of the system, and O'Reilly said he expects to see it in the field next year. The Army also will get some new radar systems.

The Navy's Aegis-class ballistic missile defense ships are being equipped with some improved missiles. The Aegis ship's capability was demonstrated to the world when it stopped a crippled reconnaissance satellite over the Pacific Ocean before it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere in February 2008. The Aegis ships will have a second-generation interceptor fielded next year, O'Reilly said. And the Pentagon has proposed converting six more Aegis-class ships to provide additional theater missile defense coverage.

"This capability will provide protection in the theater against ballistic missiles -- short-range missiles, medium range and missiles up to ranges greater than 3,000 kilometers," O'Reilly said.

As much as $8 billion is slated for additional missile defense technologies in the future, the general said.

Two demonstrator satellites will be launched into space next month. The pair of satellites will "talk" to each other, extending the capabilities of other sensors in place to detect missiles. By 2012, the agency will test the satellites, launching an interceptor from an Aegis ship toward a test target. This will allow the ship to fire at a target that is beyond its own radar ranges.

Eventually, O'Reilly said, the pair will be part of a larger constellation of connected satellites. Plans are to develop a satellite system that tracks missiles around the world.

"It's just an extremely exciting area," he said. "And all theaters across the world now are receiving missile defense command and control and will soon be receiving the capability."

In the next five years, extensive testing will take place with more than 56 flight tests, many including multiple missiles in the air at the same time, across the entire Pacific Ocean. In that testing, the agency will use a mix of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, ships and ground-based radars.

Center Works With Warfighters to Assess Systems

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nikki Carter
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 27, 2009 - U.S. Joint Forces Command officials called on warfighters to help in evaluating the effectiveness of the command's high-technology systems and to offer suggestions for improvements. With assistance from sailors of Pre-Commissioning Unit Gravely, the command's Joint Systems Integration Center is conducting an assessment on how well the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Image Product Library operates with the Global Command and Control System, or GCCS.

GCCS-Joint is a command, control, communications, computer and intelligence system that provides worldwide connectivity for information resources. It fuses command-and-control capabilities into an interoperable system by exchanging imagery, intelligence, status-of-forces and planning information.

Using Gravely's operators allows integration center personnel to assess how an operator uses the command-and-control system in a real-world situation and resolve any interoperability issues with the system in real-time, officials said. In turn, Gravely's crew members can familiarize themselves with an up-to-date system similar to one being installed on their ship.

Using real operators will enable people at the center "to identify whether or not something is not so intuitive and see if people who are creating the system will have to take it back to the drawing board," said Air Force Capt. Dan Shinohara, the integration center's project lead.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Dave Yee, operations department leading chief petty officer, said one of the challenges pre-commissioning units face is finding opportunities for sailors to see and use "new and exciting" equipment and technologies.

"It gives our sailors a chance see what new technologies they'll be using as warfighters when the ship is commissioned and deployed, ahead of everybody else," Yee said. "It gives them that much more of a leg up so they're prepared when they do see these systems get fielded to use them and utilize them properly."

The sailors said the imagery tools are an improvement over what they have experienced with other systems.

"I got a chance to familiarize myself with the system before it actually gets put onto the ship," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Floyd Bussey, a Gravely sailor in the operations department. "Hopefully, I will get to play around with it a little more, learn about it a little more, and share the information I learned here with my shipmates. I've never seen a GCCS system before where you can pull up an image and put it on a chart."

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane Gonzalez said she had some experience with the system, but had not used it since 2003. "Being here helped me refresh my skills with the system," Gonzalez said.

The Joint Systems Integration Center provides combatant commanders, services and agencies unbiased evaluations of existing and emerging command-and-control capabilities, and recommendations to resolve interoperability problems that impede operations. Additionally, the center looks for opportunities to exploit new technology to give warfighters the tools they need for operational success.

Shinohara said if center does find a problem while assessing a system, two out of three times it can turn around and work with the engineers in the building as well as engineers from the customers -- in this case, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency -- and fix the problem on site.

"However, if we can't [fix it], we package up all the data and [the agency will] take it back to their labs and fix it," Shinohara said. "The intricate part of this particular assessment is making sure when the intel analyst and targeteers out in the field are trying to put bombs on target, this interface has to be fast and give good products, so the warfighters out in the field can achieve mission success. That is what these folks here are doing for us and doing for [the agency]."

(Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nikki Carter serves in the U.S. Joint Forces Command public affairs office.)

New Tools for Communications Centers Available Improving real-time information sharing in public safety

The IJIS Institute , a nonprofit organization that focuses on mission-critical information sharing for justice, public safety, and homeland security, announces the release of the Guide to Information Sharing and Data Interoperability for Local Communication Centers and the Priority Data Exchanges for Local Communication Centers. Both documents are now available at http://www.ijis.org/_programs/public_safety.html.

The Guide to Information Sharing and Data Interoperability for Local Communication Centers provides managers of public safety communications centers, including Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) or any agencies that answer emergency calls, with an overview of the issues and opportunities surrounding data interoperability. It provides practical insights and action‐oriented advice for managers looking to enhance data interoperability in their facilities.

The aim of the Priority Data Exchanges for Local Communication Centers document is to provide an overview of high-value information exchanges that are relevant to these centers. Communications center directors and other planners may use this document to assess the current strengths, weaknesses, and growth potential of their facilities. In addition, this document provides a window into the future of data exchange in the communications center. Many of the exchanges described in this document are not yet in wide use, if at all. Directors and planners can use this information to understand emerging trends in data interoperability and to plan for future growth.

Both documents were produced by the Association of Public-Safety Communication Officials (APCO) International and IJIS Institute Public Safety Data Interoperability (PSDI) Project. The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is focused on advancing open, standards-based information sharing to support the emergency communications domains, including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services (EMS), and related homeland security domains. The results of this project will set the foundation for future projects to create high-value, first responder National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) exchanges.

Paul Wormeli, executive director of the IJIS Institute, noted, “These two documents will serve as valuable tools to help public safety communications centers fully realize the advantages and benefits of information sharing, which will ultimately result in incredible time and cost savings in public safety systems throughout the nation.”

Richard Mirgon, president of APCO International, said, “The goal of this initial project is to improve real-time information sharing capabilities in the emergency response environment. The program aims to define a strategy for the adoption and use of NIEM as the standard for sharing critical information between emergency communications centers and public safety agencies, within and across jurisdictions, and with other relevant emergency management and intelligence domains of the federal government.”

To download the documents, and for information on the PSDI Project, visit http://www.ijis.org/_programs/public_safety.html.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Military Must Leverage Technology, Vice Chairman Says

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Monique Randolph
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - The U.S. military must leverage information technology to deliver capabilities to the battlefield and needs to catch up with technology before the nation falls behind in cyberspace, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here Aug. 24.
Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright shared his thoughts about cyberspace at the annual Air Force Information Technology Conference.

Most military capability has been built in reaction to known threats, the general said, but information technology can change that by providing processing power and storage that allow more comprehensive predictive analysis to the battlefield.

Cartwright compared manned fighter jets to unmanned systems, admittedly hitting close to home for the audience of airmen. "A fighter has -- among other things -- radar, and it carries bombs and missiles," he said. "The radar detects a target and feeds the information to the bomb or missile. It hits the target, and everything else that was detected or known by that platform is thrown away.

"If the enemy changes the target or affects the detection," he continued, "the platform is unusable, and we don't know what happened for several series of sorties, and events and days and weeks and months. Then, when it's time to change [the aircraft] because we've figured out what the adversary's doing, an upgrade can usually take years, because we want to make sure we're doing it perfectly the first time. Meanwhile, the enemy has moved on."

On the other hand, Cartwright noted, an unmanned aircraft system ""collects everything, records everything, and saves everything or [sends] it down to the ground."

Compared to a fighter, the unmanned aircraft system is more energy-efficient and can spend more time on station, and its information processing and storage capabilities can "fundamentally change what you don't know about the enemy," the general said.

The growth of information technology is so rapid that the military faces a huge challenge with procurement timelines that take two years to design a platform, three years to manufacture it and another year to field it, Cartwright said. This requires a change in the military's culture, he added.

"There are no laws against moving faster," he said. "There are policies against moving faster -- policies we wrote. Policies are things we can control, if we can move the culture with us."

Cartwright said that the shift in culture and policy requires leaders to be willing to accept some risk. He cited National Military Command Center in the Pentagon as an example. For decades, he said, the center relied solely on secure voice communications to reach key military and government decision makers during crises, because policy prevented the use of other communication methods. In July 2006, North Korea test-launched long- and short-range missiles, and thunderstorms in Washington caused the secure voice communications to fail.

"Decisions are made much quicker, and they are much better informed, when information can be exchanged visually and digitally," Cartwright said, "but we have policies against it because we don't want to risk that system being compromised. But our voice and circuit-based systems have vulnerabilities, too. Everything has vulnerabilities. The question is, how do you balance the risk and the advantage, and how do you keep moving in that environment, because it is never static?

"You have a thinking adversary who's going to try to outwit you; who's going to try to take away your leverage. "That's war. That's the business we're in," he continued. "So eliminating all possibility of failure is [impossible]. You get paid to work in those environments of ambiguity and diversity. You have to have fallback systems. But the resilience of networks far [outweighs] the resilience of circuit-based systems."

Cartwright challenged the audience to consider first how information technology can help to prevent and deter warfare, but also how it can ensure that no matter what happens in warfare, the United States will win.

"These are the things I expect from you, as officers, as [military] leaders and as industry leaders: that you lead through change and find the competitive advantage for this nation and for our military," he said. "It's absolutely essential."

(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Monique Randolph serves in the Joint Chiefs of Staff public affairs office.)

Engine Program Aims to Meet Military's Need for Speed

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - The F-22 Raptor and F-18 Hornet fighter jets are fast, screaming through the air at twice the speed of sound, but the SR-71 Blackbird was faster, flying Mach 3 until mechanical problems and exorbitant operating costs forced it out of service in the late 1990s. Now, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is striving to build an engine that will propel a hypersonic jet at Mach 4 and faster, while also bringing new efficiencies to ships and ground vehicles.

DARPA's Vulcan program kicked off this spring and aims to create the supersonic capability needed to engage targets or perform reconnaissance missions when time is of the essence, Thomas Bussing, program manager, told American Forces Press Service.

"Most of our aircraft are subsonic airplanes, so it takes them a long time to get where they need to be," Bussing said. "If you could travel beyond Mach 4, you could get there in potentially one-fourth the time it would take to get there with a conventional aircraft."

Increased airspeed will translate into more timely battlefield awareness for ground troops and an improved strike capability that takes out enemy forces before they can attack, Bussing said.

Until now, the science required to provide this level of capability eluded engineers and scientists alike.

The Vulcan is being developed as the first propulsion system to combine a full-scale, off-the-shelf turbine like those used in F-22 and F-18 fighter jets with a revolutionary new constant volume combustion engine. The dual-mode engine will basically consist of a constricted tube that compresses air as it combusts fuel.

"The CVC is really a paradigm shift in the way you burn fuel and air," Bussing explained. "Instead of burning fuel like you do in an automobile engine in a slow-burning process, the idea is to use a shock wave so you essentially get instantaneous combustion. If you can do that, it is a more efficient cycle, and you can extract more useful work."

These enhancements are expected to be able to accelerate the aircraft from zero to Mach 4-plus in a matter of minutes, Bussing said. The turbine will generate the initial low-speed propulsion, with the CVC engine kicking in at supersonic speeds.

But the technology being developed promises other benefits, too, he said. It will make ships' propulsion and power engines, as well as ground-based power generators, more efficient. Other applications include using shockwave technology to cut through the ash that builds up on coal power plant heat exchangers, boosting efficiency by 2 to 5 percent.

Those same shockwaves have other military applications, such as nonlethal weapons and psychological operations tools. Channeled through a series of tubes, for example, the waves will emit ear-shattering blasts. Fired at exactly the right sequence, they can create an amplitude and pulse that makes an intended target's stomach turn nauseous. "It's a noise generator that is very powerful," Bussing said. "If used correctly, you can generate a very effective nonlethal response."

The Vulcan will have application in production processes, too, he said. The waves it generates can accelerate particles to the extremely high speeds needed to create carbide, oxide or nitrite coatings.

"There is a whole series of products and techniques this concept enables," Bussing said. "This technology has a broad range of potential applications."

But for initial development, DARPA is focusing on applying the new technology in a multiple-Mach jet engine capable of supporting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and strike missions.

Getting to this point took 15 years of rigorous testing, and Bussing estimated it will take another four to five years to complete the four-phased development program.

The first phase wraps up late next month with a review of the four competing contractors' conceptual designs. The next phase will test each component, then demonstrate how they operate together through experimental tests, some conducted in wind tunnels. Phase 3 will be a full-scale demonstration, which Bussing called the most important step in the program that proves out the technology.

The fourth phase will culminate with a test combining a full-scale version of the new CVC engine and turbine, to demonstrate how they operate from zero to Mach 2, then on to Mach 4. Bussing said the hope is to reach that point within five years.

DARPA, the Defense Department's super-high-tech, super-advanced research agency, is the only defense organization that could have taken on such an ambitious project involving such new, unproven technologies, Bussing said.

"This is a very high-risk technology, but one that promises very high payoff," he said. "So this is the right place for an organization like DARPA to be working in."

But achieving the Vulcan's promise will represent a major milestone, even by DARPA standards, Bussing said.

"There are many DARPA hard problems to make this work: for example, the way in which air is processed in these engines, the way the detonation event is created, the way the various components pieces are all coupled together," he said. "So it is technically very challenging. There is a lot of fundamental physics and technology that has to be worked out," he said. "But we have a high degree of confidence we can make this technology work."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Face of Defense: Deployed Airman Sees Daughter's Birth

By Air Force Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 25, 2009 - An airman assigned here witnessed the birth of his third child, and he did so without leaving his post. Instead, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rafael Garcia of the 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group saw the birth live via webcam while his wife, Monica, was 6,000 miles away. Garcia deployed here in May from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Prior to his deployment, he took Monica back to the United States so she could be with her family during the pregnancy.

He set up a webcam link in his room so he wouldn't be left out of the preparations for the new child.

"Mainly, I was just following her status through the months," Garcia said. "She would tell me through the webcam how her doctor appointments were going. Overall, it was just like me being there."

Garcia didn't keep the impending birth a secret. His supervisor, Air Force Master Sgt. Nicolas Navarro, said Garcia told his co-workers that his wife was going to have a baby when he first arrived.

"We'd always ask at our weekly meetings how his wife was doing," said Navarro, who is deployed here from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. "It was just part of being good wingmen to make sure that his family was in good hands and everything was going smoothly."

Garcia's co-workers said they were impressed by the webcam link-up.

"I thought it was just fantastic that he was able to see his wife, even though he couldn't physically be there," Navarro said. "Staying connected accomplishes two things. If a servicemember knows their family is doing well, it makes it easier to concentrate on accomplishing the mission. And if the family knows they're fine, they worry a little less about their deployed loved one."

As the big day drew near, Garcia asked his wife to find out if the webcam could be placed in the operating room during the birth itself.

"[The hospital] tested it out on their end and said we could have the laptop there during the procedure," Garcia said. "The hospital staff said this was a first for them to have someone watch a birth using a webcam."

Monica had been scheduled for an Aug. 12 cesarean section delivery, but she went into labor earlier than expected.

"Fortunately, I was in my room already when she went into labor," Garcia said. "I always keep my computer on, and she actually contacted me through the webcam to tell me."

While Garcia waited in his room, Monica went to the hospital.

"About 45 minutes later, she called me through the webcam to tell me she was having the C-section," he said. "I stayed up through the night until almost 3 a.m. local time. I saw the whole procedure."

All went well, and their daughter, Carmella Fe, entered the world Aug. 10.

Garcia said he is grateful for the technology that allowed him to see the birth of his first daughter from across two continents.

"It was amazing; there are really no other words to explain it," he said. "I don't know how many soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines would have the opportunity to do something like this, but I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I encourage everybody to take advantage of technology if they have family functions like anniversaries or birthdays back home. This is a perfect way to stay in touch."

(Air Force Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney serves in the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs office.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Managed Internet Security Subscriptions: Wave of the Future? (Part 6 of 7)

Of all the Internet users who have anti-virus software on their computers, 85% of them had computers that were subsequently infected with a virus or worm! Have you ever had a virus you couldn't get rid of? Has your computer acted funny or has it slowed way down due to a massive spyware infestation? Then you see and know how dangerous and damaging these threats and risks are!

Unfortunately, for consumers seeking security and privacy protection with brand name solutions will find two extremes - complex systems they cannot afford or properly maintain, or consumer-grade technology that doesn't provide adequate protection. If they do find something that fits their budget, it will likely have only a part of what is needed to truly protect a computer, and it won't include free expert support and a security guarantee.

Caution: Don't be lulled into a false sense of security thinking that the anti-virus software that came with your computer is enough protection. Off the shelf anti-virus software does not always protect you from hackers, spyware, remote access tools, Trojan horses, password crackers, keystroke loggers, identity theft tools, Microsoft security holes, hybrid viruses, and much more. And most people let their anti-virus program expire thereby losing protection from everyday viruses and worms.

To be fully protected, you need:
  • at least five layers of overlapping security technologies and services to create a virtual fortress for your PC. Most off-the-shelf and free software offer two, or three at the most, programs. But are they overlapping when they work and when they update?

  • desktop firewall to lock out hackers and other unauthorized intrusions and shield your PC from unauthorized communication both to and from your PC, making your PC virtually invisible to hackers and other intruders randomly scanning the Internet for vulnerable PCs;

  • world-class anti-virus protection, including 24/7 scanning and certification that your incoming and outgoing e-mails attachments are virus-free -- plus scanning of all removable media such as CDs, Zip disks, portable hard drives, and floppies;

  • anti-spyware that continuously monitors, detects, and eliminates all forms of spyware, hacker tools, and malware from your PC including malicious spyware tools, adware, browser hijackers, search hijackers, keyloggers, ghost spammers, remote access tools (RATs), back doors, and many other illegal programs and applications that breach your privacy and security;

  • patch management that will automatically find and fix security holes and other dangerous vulnerabilities in your computer's operating system and software programs that hackers use to break into your computer;

  • security alerts that warns you of brand new viruses, worms, and other security threats as they emerge - including specific recommendations of what to watch out for and how to avoid getting attacked to keep your privacy secured and your PC safe; and to wrap it all together,

  • premium technical support that offers free unlimited expert technical support for any security related problems or issues with options to include online access to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), User Guides, Email Support Hotline, and live, expert telephone support by highly trained technicians.

Remember: When you say "No!" to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose!


© MMIX, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

About the Author:

Etienne A. Gibbs, Internet Security Advocate and Educator, consults with individuals, small business owners, and home-business entrepreneurs regarding online protection against spyware, viruses, hackers, and other pc-disabling cybercrimes. To obtain more information and receive a free evaluation, visit him atwww.SayNotoHackersandSpyware.com.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Naval Research Lab Pushes Technological Edge

By Bob Freeman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 21, 2009 - About a mile south of the U.S. Capitol, on a stretch of land adjacent to the Potomac River, some of the nation's top scientists and engineers explore the boundaries of science and technology to help solve the challenges confronting U.S. military forces. Since 1923, the Naval Research Laboratory, or NRL, has been on the cutting edge of scientific research.

"If the Navy or Marine Corps have a significant technological issue that they are wrestling with, they will come to the Laboratory to see what sorts of applications we have," explained Navy Capt. Paul Stewart, NRL commanding officer, in an Aug. 19 interview on "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" on Pentagon Web Radio.

"The investment of money in the development of sonar back in the 1920s is a perfect example of that," Stewart said. "We did not have the means to find submarines other than visible observations from the ship."

Sonar is just one of many advances developed by NRL. Stewart described the invention of radar in the 1920s: "A couple of scientists were sitting on the Potomac and talking by radio to each other across the river, when a ship passed between them. The reflections off that ship led to the concept of reflecting radio waves off of objects, and the first U.S. radar patents came from the Lab," he said.

"It was actually Thomas Edison that we credit with the idea of the laboratory," Stewart explained. As early as 1915, Edison had suggested that "the U.S. government should maintain a research laboratory to develop guns, new explosives and other techniques of military and naval progression," and he served as head of the Navy Consulting Board, a scientific body that helped formulate the Naval Research Laboratory that was commissioned in 1923, Stewart said.

Many of the NRL's discoveries have applications beyond the military, he noted, and some have changed all of our lives. "We do have an eye for military applications," he said, "but not all of our research leads to that. The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a perfect example of a wonderful basic research concept that was worked on here for many years but then clearly led to broad, worldwide applications."

In addition to the development of sonar and radar, Stewart said, NRL research led to such pioneering advances as nuclear propulsion in submarines; early satellite technology; high-frequency wave propagation theory, which led to the development of HF communications; fracture mechanics; the fire-suppressant agent known as AFFF; and various anti-corrosive agents.

NRL has four technical directorates: systems, material sciences and compondent technology, ocean and atmospheric science and technology, and the Naval Center for Space Technology.

"The Naval Center for Space Technology is a unique national asset," Stewart said, "and they're the only federal organization that I'm aware of that can design, build, calibrate, control and test satellites, all under one roof right here at the laboratory."

Stewart noted that NRL has various offices in addition to the main complex. Two of the larger ones are in Monterey, Calif., collocated with the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, and at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, collocated with the Naval Oceanographic Office. Stewart emphasized the benefits of being collocated with fleet operators. "You want to make sure you are meeting the customer's needs," he said, "and you want to make sure you are relevant."

In a world of new, unconventional threats to U.S. forces, NRL continues to play an important role. As an example, Stewart cited the development of lightweight body armor known as QuadGard that provides improved protection against improvised explosive devices. "The scientists that are working on these problems are very passionate about it," Stewart said, "because they realize that the work they do here on a daily basis saves arms, legs and human lives."

Stewart explained that some NRL funding is for pure research that will not become applied until some time in the future. Rather than applying known science to immediate problems, NRL researchers are expanding their understanding of science to provide novel solutions to warfighting challenges.

Stewart described some of the unclassified work that researchers are pursuing.

"Being able to move large amounts of data around the world safely and securely is a big issue, and we're doing a lot of investments that could potentially change the way the Internet functions," he said. He also described ongoing work to develop new nonsilicon nano-materials that may speed up computers by several orders of magnitude; research that may enable the production of nonpolluting hydrocarbon fuels from seawater; the development of photovoltaic fuel cells for autonomous unmanned vehicles; and even research into the elusive solution to nuclear fusion.

"There's a lot of great basic research going on right now that could potentially change the way we work," Stewart said.

'Full Metal Jacket' Actor Discusses Career, Technology

By Judith Snyderman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 21, 2009 - Retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey -- a Vietnam veteran, film actor and TV host -- shared observations about modern military technology and his visits with American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq during a "DoDLive" bloggers roundtable today. "They're just as ready to eat their own guts out today as they ever were back in my time," he said. "The only difference is we've got better equipment, better gear, better toys, and I spend as much time as I can with them."

Ermey said he's surprised by the enduring popularity of his 1987 acting role as a quintessential drill sergeant in the film "Full Metal Jacket."

"When I go to the military bases and make an appearance, I just go hang out with the guys and give them a good talking-to and tell them my corny jokes, and then I'll sit down and sign autographs," he said. "And every time, thousands of copies of "Full Metal Jacket" pop up from somewhere – they're still selling these damned things."

Though Ermey retired from the military in 1971, he's continued to work with fighting forces as a member of the Marine Corps Drill Instructor's Association. He also appears in films, and is widely known as the exuberant host of cable television's 'Lock N Load,' a documentary about robotic equipment, and the former host of 'Mail Call.'

"I have some of these future weapons on the show 'Lock N Load,'" he said. "We just did a non-line-of-sight canon; it's a 155 mm howitzer, and you can push a button and 27 miles away an enemy tank disappears," Ermey said.

Another show features a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle that has the potential to stop pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. "We highlight this helicopter, and we talk about the fact that it doesn't require a pilot to put his life on the line and take risks," he said. "It can go out 100 miles from a ship and land on a bow of a ship."

But so far, technology hasn't made war casualty-free, Ermey acknowledged. "It's always going to be dangerous; there's no question about it," he said. "But the objective is to make it as safe as we possibly can for the young people."

Ermey said his television shows aim to build public appreciation for the military.

"It kind of wakes people up as to who the military is," he said. "They are very honorable, upstanding young American citizens out there, doing the dirty job that nobody else seems like they want to do in America."

The actor adopted his drill sergeant-style movie persona to make another point. "People need to wake up, pull their heads out of their posteriors and get with the program!" he barked. "Support the troops!"

Ermey has been to Iraq four times and to Afghanistan twice, and said he plans to return to Afghanistan in December. His television program, "Lock N' Load With R. Lee Ermey," airs on the History Channel.

(Judith Snyderman works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Free High-Definition Surveying Webcast Shows Surveyors How to Profitably Meet Increasingly Stringent Project Requirements

Surveying customers are increasingly adding high-definition surveying (HDS™) measurement solutions to their project specifications -- and surveying companies without HDS™ capability risk losing their ability to compete for these lucrative jobs. On September 1, 2009, at 2pm EST, Michael Harvey, Product Marketing Manager - Scanning for Leica Geosystems, will present a free webcast for surveyors, "The Business of Laser Scanning: Hype or Competitive Advantage?"

During this event, Mr. Harvey will share concrete and factual examples of how surveyors can maintain their ability to compete effectively by upgrading their HDS™ capabilities now, before they fall behind the technology curve and lose their competitive edge.

By investing in the next generation of HDS™ technology, surveyors can save time and labor on high-end jobs and routine surveys alike, says Harvey. Result: greater profit margins, with projects completed better and faster, using laser scanning.

By attending the free webcast, surveyors will learn how to: Lower costs and submit more competitive job bids; Win more contracts for both routine surveys and high-end jobs; Meet the requirements of customers incorporating HDS™ into their project specifications; Reduce labor and increase profit margins on every job; and, hav customer satisfaction with more accurate and detailed surveying reports;

To register for the free Leica Geosystems webcast, "The Business of Laser Scanning," click on http://portal.leicaus.com/scanstation-pr1

Leica Geosystems - when it has to be right
With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

For further information please contact:
Leica Geosystems Inc.
Andre Ribeiro
Director of Marketing
Atlanta, GA 30092
Phone: +1 (770) 326-9557
Fax: +1 (770) 447-0710
mailto:andre.ribeiro@leicaus.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Public Safety Technology in the News

Police Use Web to Tackle Crime
TuscaloosaNews.com, (08/08/2009), Stephanie Taylor

Tuscaloosa County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Andy Norris has created a Twitter page for the agency, which thus becomes one of a growing number of law enforcement agencies with Twitter and/or Facebook accounts. Departments post the types and locations of crimes that have taken place, similar to the police blotter that runs in many newspapers, and also post crime alerts and safety tips. Increasingly, citizens are becoming involved in posting about potential criminal events on their own social networking sites. With all this power, there is also potential for misuse. For example, earlier in 2009, the Texas attorney general’s office and the Austin city attorney’s office pushed for the closing of a Twitter account that allegedly impersonated the Austin Police Department.
www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20090809/NEWS/908089925/1062/SPORTS01?Title=Police-use-Web-to-tackle-crime

Cybertracking Registered Sex Offenders
StarTelegram.com, (08/09/2009), Greg Abbott

A registered sex offender in Ft. Worth, Texas, recently was arrested after other residents of his group home notified authorities that he had a cell phone with Internet-browsing capabilities, a parole violation. The man had been previously convicted of soliciting sex via the Internet with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. In Texas, a new state law requires sex offenders to provide online identifiers and mobile phone numbers to the state’s sex offender registry; this includes accounts on social networking sites. Previously, registered sex offenders had to provide only home address, land-line phone number and place of employment.
www.star-telegram.com/245/story/1528471.html

Fewer Delays Set for Drivers
The Journal, (08/07/2009), Edward Marshall

A new pilot program in Jefferson County, W.Va., introduces “total stations” and global positioning system markers for use by local police officers in mapping major accident-prone intersections. After mapping has been completed, officers trained to use the total stations can use their measuring capabilities and GPS to obtain accurate measurements of an accident scene quickly. The system uses the pre-mapped templates as permanent references. The project aims to reduce the traffic delays caused when officers take manual measurements of an accident scene. Officers will also use the same technology to map all local schools.
www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/523419.html?nav=5006

Pierce Twp. Cops Have New Night Vision
Cincinnati.com, (08/05/2009), Barrett J. Brunsman

The Pierce Township Police Department recently acquired a new $5,000 night device that officers have used nightly for approximately a month. The device uses a single AA battery, weighs 15 ounces and is about 4½ inches long and 2¼ inches thick. It comes with a 3x optical magnifier and a head harness. This is the first night vision device for Pierce Township, and it was paid for with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant. The department has used it to make several drug-related arrests.
news.cincinnati.com/article/20090805/NEWS01/308050073/Pierce+Twp.+cops+have+new+night+vision+

Police Sign With Information Sharing Service
WisconsinRapidsTribune.com, (08/06/2009)

The Wisconsin Rapids (Wis.) Police Department has signed on with Nixle, a service that allows government agencies, including law enforcement agencies, to send text and e-mail messages to local residents. Messages can target a specific area where an incident has taken place, for example, a neighborhood where a child has gone missing. Nixle is free to law enforcement agencies.
www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/article/20090806/WRT0101/908060635/1982/WRT04/Police-sign-with-information-sharing-service

City of Redlands Launches Crime-Mapping Tool
KCAL, (07/30/2009)

Residents of Redlands, Calif., now have access to crime statistics for the entire city or just the streets near their homes. The East Valley COMPASS (Community Analysis, Mapping and Planning for Safety Strategies), a federally funded crime mapping tool, went into service earlier this summer. The software uses geographic information systems technology to plot crime-related incidents in the area.
cbs2.com/local/Crime.Report.Map.2.1107910.html

Auburn Puts Its Crime Statistics Online
NewsTribune.Com,(08/09/2009), Mike Archbold

Auburn, Wash., has joined the growing group of police departments nationwide providing crime statistics to local citizens via CrimeReports.com. The new system maps where crimes have taken place in the city on a daily basis, providing location by block, specific location and police report number. Powered by Google, the system includes crimes over periods ranging from three to 30 days in the past. It also offers information by neighborhood and by specific crime type, and analyzes information into trend charts and graphs. The system also provides reported locations of registered sex offenders. Residents can also sign up for a neighborhood crime alert delivered free through their e-mail. CrimeReports.com has more than 500 participating departments across the country.
www.thenewstribune.com/topstories/story/839041.html

Izard County 9-1-1: Bringing Advanced Technology to Rural Arkansas
9-1-1 Magazine, (08/10/2009), Kenneth Heard

Izard County (Ark.) recently implemented enhanced 911 service, which should avert the problem of cell phone calls ending up in another county’s 911 system. The county has installed the AT&T Vesta Pallas 2.3 system, which gives dispatchers a way to handle calls from cell phones. Enhanced 911 service for landlines is planned for the future. The PBX-based system also provides such services as mapping, incident tracking, computer-aided dispatch, digital logging and third-party applications. Only two of 75 counties in Arkansas have yet to install some type of enhanced 911 service.
www.ems1.com/ems-products/communications/articles/532989-Izard-County-9-1-1-Bringing-Advanced-Technology-to-Rural-Arkansas/

Colorado District Trains Principals on 2-Way Radios
The Journal, (08/11/2009), Dian Schaffhauser

In Colorado, Pueblo County School District 70 recently held a training program for all school principals. During the upcoming school year, all trained staff will be able to communicate with first responders via two-way radios. If an incident occurs in a school, a communications network bridge will enable first responders’ radios to talk with the radio system used by district schools. School principals recently participated in a series of drills and tabletop exercises and learned procedures for using the radio. All Colorado schools are required to inventory and test interoperable communications equipment at least once every term and comply with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
thejournal.com/articles/2009/08/11/colorado-district-trains-principals-on-2-way-radios.aspx

Border Town Leverages Wireless Cameras to Reduce Crime, Better Manage Officers
Security Directors News, (08/11/2009), Leischen Stelter

The Mission (Texas) Police Department has more than 40 square miles of area to cover, including 13 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. After two years of research, the department recently decided on and installed a wireless mesh network surveillance system by Firetide that uses network cameras from Axis. Officers can easily move cameras to areas with an immediate need and allows for monitoring of both rural and residential areas. Cameras are monitored from a city command center and a mobile command unit. The project also includes free WiFi for public use in some parks and community areas.
www.securitydirectornews.com/?p=article&id=sd200908f2T6Co

NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence Announces a September 15th Webinar on Alternative Power for Remote Communications Sites

The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence will be hosting a webinar on Alternative Power for Remote Communications Sites on Tuesday, September 15th at 1:30 PM EDT. Program Manager Ed Vea, who will be joined by Center Director, Rick Mulvihill, will present a primer on the uses, applications, and dimensioning of alternative power at remote sites that might otherwise be difficult or costly to provide with fixed power. Depending on the amount of power required, sites can rely solely on alternative power for their operations, or an alternative energy/traditional generator solution. Join the Center of Excellence to learn about the tools and methods used to design such sites, review power sources, applications and basic system design to determine which power source may be best for your site.

The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence will be hosting a series of webinars over the next year, occurring approximately every eight weeks. You can register for the Alternative Power for Remote Communications Sites webinar by clicking on this link: www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8001859620/Registration.aspx?PageName=26gs4vcp5mwj7bdr

About the Communications Technologies Center of Excellence
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) established the NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence in October 2007 to serve as a specialized technology resource for the 19,000+ State, local, and tribal law enforcement and corrections agencies across the U.S. To learn more about the Center of Excellence go to www.commtechcoe.org.

This project is supported by Award No. 2007-IJ-CX-K013 and Supplement one awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Air Force Organizes Cyberspace Units Under One Command

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 19, 2009 - Air Force Space Command activated a new unit yesterday to better organize space and cyberspace capabilities and to keep pace with the rapid changes in information technology, the Space Command's top military officer said. The 24th Air Force, activated at a ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, provides the Air Force with one operational command for the entire tactical space and cyberspace community. It will allow space and cyberspace capabilities to be more accessible to military ground commanders and more effectively resourced, Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler said yesterday in roundtable interview with military reporters.

Kehler called the activation "the beginning of what will be a deliberate and focused effort to develop and evolve cyberspace forces and capabilities."

"[Air Force Space Command] is committed to organizing and equipping the 24th Air Force so it can be a premiere organization dedicated to supporting combatant commanders," he added.

The new command consolidates already existing units under one command and improves the way capabilities such as satellite-controlled unmanned aerial systems and GPS technology are resourced. Those units also will be able to adapt easier to mission requirements by centralizing their efforts to meet ground commanders' needs, Kehler said.

"We already have units that conduct cyberspace operational missions," the general explained. "That's not new. What's new is that we've put them all under one [command]. The mission will continue that we have today to defend and operate the network and conduct our other operations."

Space and cyberspace assets are described by three characteristics: access, persistence and awareness. The cyberspace domain links deployed military forces with each other as well as with higher headquarters, giving them immediate access to information and capabilities around the world, he said.

Cyberspace and space capabilities also provide commanders with enduring coverage and strategic views of their environment. The capability allows officials to determine where capabilities would be the most effective. Combining and consolidating capabilities brings "game-changing effects" to the military, Kehler said.

"[The new command] provides synergy across these various mission areas, and it allows us to begin to look to the future," he said. "We now begin to think differently about requirements, acquisition and resourcing. All of those are very important for us to put in place as good foundations as we try to improve our agility to deal with what we see coming our way."

The command's initial concern is to ensure protection of its space and cyber networks, Kehler said. Today's military is well-versed in information technology and relies heavily on dependable cyber and space capabilities. The general declined to specify exact capabilities, but said safeguarding them against potential threats is the command's top priority for now.

"Virtually everything we do in the Air Force anymore is related to network activity in some fashion," he said. "It's about mission assurance, so protecting the networks for mission assurance is No. 1."

Air Force Maj. Gen. Dick Webber is in charge of the new command. The command is made up of the 688th, 67th and 689th Information Operations Wings. The 689th is also a new command created from realigning the 3rd and 5th Combat Communication Groups.

Webber said the new command will have everything it needs to operate and provide support in fixed and deployed environments.

(If you have questions or comments about this story, contact the reporter at Michael.Carden@dma.mil.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Find a Solicitor Technology

Internet-based marketing continues to expand in the direction of customer feedback driven methodology. A common use of this feedback system is looking for a restaurant. By using a search engine you can usually find and limit your searches to the type of food and location; and, then, many website give you the opportunity to review customer feedback. Additionally, once you have selected the restaurant, you can use any variety of means to get driving directions and even a street level photograph of the location. An example of customer feedback driven marketing expanding is the website Find a Solicitor.

Based in the United Kingdom, “This website was created specifically to help people find a good solicitor in their area. Everyone knows that the best way to find any type of professional is by word of mouth - and we have simply taken that idea onto the Internet!”

The website publisher said, “I started this website after a long and frustrating search for a good and reputable solicitor. Without any recommendations to go on I was basically in the dark. I managed to find a good solicitor eventually - after several false starts - but not before I had the idea of setting up a site that would help people who wanted to go beyond the efficient and professional looking advertisements that many solicitors have in publications such as the Yellow Pages, and find out what the service offered by that solicitor was really like.”

Editor’s Note: This was a sponsored review of the website.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bruce Kelling Receives Award of Excellence from the IJIS Institute

Award recognizes national information sharing contributions

The IJIS Institute proudly recognizes and congratulates Bruce Kelling, managing principal of Bask Enterprises and founder/former CEO of Tiburon, Inc., on receiving the coveted Robert P. Shumate National Public Safety and Justice Contributor to Excellence Award on August 11, 2009. The award was presented to Mr. Kelling by Mike Lyons, president of the IJIS Institute Board of Directors, , during the National Forum on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, held in Bellevue, Washington.

The Robert P. Shumate National Public Safety and Justice Contributor to Excellence Award is presented annually by the IJIS Institute to the person from either industry or the public sector who has made the most valuable contribution to justice and public safety information sharing during the past year. Candidates for the award are nominated by IJIS Institute members and affiliates, and represent the highest level of conviction to public safety information sharing.

The award was presented to Bruce Kelling for his very significant contributions to the many successes of the IJIS Institute. Mr. Kelling has been active in a variety of capacities including his initial involvement as a founding member of the IJIS Institute’s predecessor organization, the Industry Working Group. He has served as president of the Board of Directors of the IJIS Institute and he served two three-year terms on the Board of Directors. He currently chairs the IJIS Institute’s Fundraising Development Committee, and works on various ad hoc study committees. As chair of the IJIS Institute NIBRS/N-DEx Advisory Committee, he was a major contributor to the acceptance of the use of a single national Information Exchange Packet Documentation (IEPD) by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board. He is also the IJIS Institute’s representative to the Law Enforcement IT Standards Council. His contributions help make the IJIS Institute a well-known and successful contributor at national levels in serving the justice and public safety communities.

Bruce is well known as the founder and CEO of Tiburon, Inc., where he was the single-most responsible person in industry for creating the popular acceptance of the term “RMS” or records management system to describe police system automation. He was engaged in the design and administration of the implementation of hundreds of public safety systems, including serving as the original project manager for the implementation of the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets).

The Robert P. Shumate National Public Safety and Justice Contributor to Excellence Award is named after Robert P. Shumate, who served as the first president of the IJIS Institute and chairman of the IJIS Industry Working Group. Shumate was one of the key organizers and creators of the IJIS Institute. Prior to his retirement, Shumate was one of the pioneers in designing and building statewide police information systems throughout the country.

About the IJIS Institute—The IJIS Institute serves as the voice of industry by uniting the private and public sectors to improve mission critical information sharing for those who protect and serve our communities. The IJIS Institute provides training, technical assistance, national scope issue management and program management services to help government fully realize the power of information sharing. Founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with national headquarters on the George Washington University Virginia Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, the IJIS Institute has grown to more than 250 member and affiliate companies across the United States. For more information visit www.ijis.org.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Managed Internet Security Subscriptions: Wave of the Future? (Part 5 of 7)

Why would you need a comprehensive security service package?

The Internet-based attacks on your personal privacy and security continue to worsen year after year. The future of Internet security is gloomy and it takes an extremely dedicated and savvy computer user to find the right mix of security programs and stay current with the newest threats. Internet security is not a one-time event. You cannot simply install security software on your PC and then forget about its safety and security, and ultimately, the safety and security of your family, home, and business. Internet safety and security require an ongoing, time-intensive process with a fairly high level of expertise and vigilance.

Why would you need a team of security experts on your side?

Would you want to be an Internet security expert? If you are like most people, you neither want to nor have the time. You don't want to worry about staying current with the latest technologies. You can't possibly keep up with the all the new threats coming at you almost daily because you have better things to do with your time. Instead, most people end up relying on the opinions and recommendations of more knowledgeable friends and family members for their security needs and hope nothing bad happens. But is that the best and safest strategy?

To get maximum protection for your PC, you need an Internet security expert on your side. Better yet, you need a team of experts making sure that you, your family, and your business are always safe and secure. You need to find your own personal team of experts to rely on. If you ever have a security problem, you want a trusted expert you can call for professional answers and solutions without any hassles and extra costs! As time goes on, it will become even more critical than it is today.

The best protection you can have in today's rapidly changing world of cyber-attacks is to have expert support for all your Internet security needs. Hackers will likely always be one step ahead of law enforcement and the security industry itself. Software-based protection alone, as you can see, is not enough anymore.

Remember: When you say "No!" to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose!

© MMIX, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

About the Author:

Etienne A. Gibbs, Internet Security Advocate and Educator, consults with individuals, small business owners, and home-business entrepreneurs regarding online protection against spyware, viruses, hackers, and other pc-disabling cybercrimes. To obtain more information and receive a free evaluation, visit him at www.SayNotoHackersandSpyware.com.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

National Guard Embraces Social Media

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 12, 2009 - Even in the 140-character brevity demanded of a "tweet," the enthusiasm National Guardsmen have for communicating through Twitter software is evident. "Just shot my first rounds from a M1A1 Main Battle Tank. Killed 3 of 4 targets. Best Tank on the planet!"

And it's not just the rank-and-file who are communicating, although among Twitter's millions of users -- the company won't say exactly how many -- one stands out: He wears four stars and is responsible for policies, programs and plans affecting more than 450,000 National Guard members.

Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, may be a Twitter rarity -- follow him @ChiefNGB – but it's not unique to find a leader of his stature at the cyberspace water cooler.

Even as debate over social media policy swirled in the Defense Department this summer, someone tapped out this tweet:

"Obviously we need to find the right balance between security and transparency. We are working on that. But am I still going to tweet? You bet."

The author? Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- follow him @thejointstaff.

Healthy debate is going on about the balance between the need for operational, information and network security and transparency, but the National Guard embraced social media in November.

"The old way of communicating – internal communications or command information, external communications or media relations and community relations – [is] a 20th century model," said Jack Harrison, the National Guard Bureau's director of public affairs and strategic communication. "General McKinley is a believer in communication -- collaborate, coordinate, communicate -- and he is very much embracing social media.

"Our position on social media is that we ought to carefully learn these different methods of communicating," Harrison continued, "keeping in mind our objective when we're communicating, who our audience is, who we're trying to talk to [and] follow [Defense Department] policy, which ... is still being developed."

Name a social media site and the National Guard is there.
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Facebook: The National Guard page that started in January had 3,000 fans as of yesterday. Users who sign up get updates on their Facebook home page.
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Twitter: @TheNatlGuard had gathered 1,489 followers through Aug. 7 since it started tweeting this spring. Followers had received 407 official tweets from the National Guard Bureau, most containing links to Guard news.

-- Flickr: The 2,216 photos posted on The National Guard page had been viewed 114,144 times through Aug. 7.

-- YouTube: The NationalGuard channel had been viewed more than 2,000 times through Aug. 7.

"I've seen people interact with the National Guard and the National Guard leadership ... in a way that they've never been able to interact with the organization before," said Rick Breitenfeldt, chief of the social media branch in the National Guard Bureau's public affairs office. "If we're not one of the voices out there, somebody's going to be there for us telling our story in a way that is inaccurate or that is maybe not the whole story. The conversation is going to be held, and if we're not involved in the conversation, we're missing the point of social media. We have to be there, where the people are."

In the months since the bureau started embracing social media, results have been immediate and measurable. First-time visits to http://www.ng.mil, the National Guard's Web site, have doubled. Public affairs officers believe much of the increase is being driven by the Guard's social media presence.

"That's a huge increase ... in a six-month period," Harrison said. "That's a quantifiable benefit. ... We have a responsibility to the American people to communicate with them, and the more people who are coming to our public Web site, [the better]."

One of the significant costs of sharing the Guard story with Guard members has been reduced while the number of Guardsmen reached has increased and the frequency of contact between Guard leaders and members has improved, Harrison said.

This was accomplished by retiring the $550,000 per year, 60,000-copy print edition of "The On Guard," the monthly official newspaper of the National Guard, and replacing it with a significantly less expensive e-mail subscription service that pushes out weekly updates and a quarterly e-magazine to 347,000 citizen-soldiers and -airmen.

The jury is still out on the Defense Department's social media policy. "The debate is about operational security and balancing the vulnerabilities of an entire network for the largest government department in the United States, versus being open and transparent and inclusive," Breitenfeldt said. "It's about risk."

Harrison said the Guard's guidance on personal involvement in social media is clear: "It's the same as our guidance would be for any sort of media activity that our Guardsmen involve themselves in," he said. "We're American citizens. We all have the right to speak and speak honestly. ... As military members, we have a responsibility to be professional."

Some wonder about a knowledge gap between people who have access to the Internet and those who don't. A December 2008 Gallup poll found that fewer than half of Americans are frequent Internet users. But the end of the print edition of "The On Guard" was marked by deafening silence.

"Many people said when we made this change, 'Wow, there's going to be a lot of people who are angry or upset that they don't have a piece of paper to look at every month,'" Harrison said. "I've not received one phone call, one e-mail, one letter. Nothing."

When necessary, the GovDelivery Web-based software system helps the Guard contact its membership almost instantly, as happened after an Army National Guard laptop was stolen, potentially compromising 131,000 people's personal data late last month.

"The speed at which we can communicate with Guard members is light-years ahead of where it was a year ago," Harrison said.

But social media and electronic delivery are about more than reduced costs and increased contacts. The very nature of the interaction has changed. The defining characteristic of Web 2.0 is that it's interactive.

"Web 2.0 is choosing the information that you want, when you want it, how you want to see it," Breitenfeldt said. "We're trying to be part of that environment. I don't see us going back. The public is going to demand this type of transparency and this type of interactiveness. ... Gone are the days where the public isn't involved in the conversation."

The Internet in general and social media in particular have removed a filter from between the public and public servants such as National Guard members.

Twenty years ago, an institution such as the Guard had to make a compelling case to get its story out to a limited range of traditional media operating within a much slower news cycle. The Guard had little or no control over the form a story took.

Today, the Guard and every other social institution in every sector can speak directly to the public – and the public can answer directly back.

"It used to be one-way," Breitenfeldt said. "We would push out press releases. We would push out talking points. We would push out information. Now we are asking for input. It's a two-way street [now]."

Twenty years ago, the traditional media told the public what news was. Now, the public decides what it considers news by interest measured in clicks, tweets, re-tweets, social bookmarks and the like.

"It's a revolution and an evolution in communication – social media is just part of it," Harrison said. "I don't think it's just a news revolution. ... It's just another step in the evolutionary process of communicating. We have a responsibility to the American people -- to the taxpayer who provides the funding for us to be the National Guard -- to let them know what we're doing with their money. These tools ... are helping us do exactly that."

Some National Guard Bureau officials believe social media's true worth will shine during the next major natural or manmade disaster.

"Social media has an immediate impact," Breitenfeldt said. "North Dakota used Facebook and Twitter during the floods this spring, and they were putting out real-time, accurate, lifesaving information that was being picked up by not only the citizens, ... but also by media outlets."

Twitter was heavily used in 2008 during events such as August's Hurricane Gustav, October's earthquake in Pakistan and November's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, according to Mashable.com, the social media guide.

"I really see the value in these sites for our first hurricane of the season, or for the first time the Guard gets called out [domestically] in a large number," Breitenfeldt said. "People are going to be looking to ... social media sites for immediate, accurate and reliable information. We're in a position now where we can do that."

(Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill serves with the National Guard Bureau's public affairs office.)

Convention Showcases Unmanned Capabilities

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 12, 2009 - Senior defense officials are getting a glimpse this week of the latest in unmanned systems technologies, which many concede is the way of the future for the U.S. military. More than 5,000 people from 30 countries took part in the world's largest exhibition of robots and unmanned systems capabilities at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's Unmanned Systems North America 2009 Convention, which began Aug. 9 and ends tomorrow at the Washington Convention Center here. More than 320 unmanned aerial, maritime and ground systems were on display, offering the industries' latest products and innovations.

Maj. Gen. Blair E. Hansen, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, addressed an audience of unmanned systems developers and industry professionals yesterday and applauded their innovations and overall contributions to improving the military's unmanned systems capabilities.

"That's the direction we're heading," Hansen said. "It's not a love affair with the platform of being unmanned. It's the capability it represents."

Hansen said he's staggered by the advancements and rapid developments of such systems. He added that he shares Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' enthusiasm and desire for more unmanned capabilities, citing the need to embrace today's technology to be a successful military.

Information- and technology-based warfare "is not going to be just a component of irregular warfare," Hansen said. "This is going to be a component of all of the kinds of engagements and operations we'll have in the future," he explained.

Gates has maintained publicly for more than a year that unmanned systems are more cost-effective and efficient than manned systems. Unmanned systems also lessen the risk of casualties among warfighters.

Aerial surveillance and intelligence-gathering capabilities from unmanned aerial systems -- such as the Predator, Shadow and Reaper -- give the military more options with their troops. Rather than risking the lives of pilots flying multi-million-dollar reconnaissance planes, operators control and monitor the unmanned aircraft and their data remotely from safe locations. Operators in the United States, in some cases, can monitor missions in Iraq and Afghanistan without having to go to the combat theater, Hansen explained. Unmanned systems can project power in combat without projecting vulnerabilities, he added.

The Defense Department has nearly 2,000 "small" unmanned aerial syatems deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials reported. Most of those are Ravens, which the Air Force uses to support Army and Marine Corps ground forces.

In April, Gates cited unmanned aerial systems as an increasing part of the Air Force arsenal, as he recommended that Congress halt production of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet and devote more funding to unmanned systems. The secretary compared the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Reaper unmanned system, noting that the Reaper has a range of about 3,000 miles and can carry 1.5 tons of weapons – all unmanned and remotely – while the manned F-16 fighter has a range of about 500 miles.

This fiscal year, the Air Force has spent more money on unmanned aerial systems and trained more operators than fighter jets and fighter pilots, Hansen said. Demand for unmanned systems by the U.S. military has increased more than 660 percent since 2004, he added.

The ability to sneak in and operate for long periods of time without risking aviators is incredible, the general said. He referenced a recent mission in which a Global Hawk unmanned system flew for 33 straight hours conducting reconnaissance operations for ground commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unmanned aerial systems, he added, can take off from the Middle East, go to Iraq and Afghanistan, and conduct missions for both theaters, the general said. "That's phenomenal," he added.

Hansen said that although unmanned systems give the military the ability to decrease its footprint in direct combat, they still require manpower. He explained that operators fly the systems, while analysts in separate locations across the globe are recording intelligence from imagery and audio in real time.

"We don't need to have all of our capabilities forward," he said. "This is a very, very compelling capability. As we look to the future, we've got to keep our focus on capabilities, and keep in mind that it's critically important to have systems working together.

"[Unmanned aerial systems] will cause missions to be effective and lives to be saved," he added. "We believe strongly that as we build out these capabilities, it's not just about improvements. It's truly about an integration to perfect and get the job done and support the mission."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Managed Internet Security Subscriptions: Wave of the Future? (Part 4 of 7)

Think about this: You had problems with your computer in the past. Now you want to insure that those little annoying nuisance, pests, threats, and risks from hackers and spyware don't hide in your computer any more. So, you load up your computer with all the free and off-the-shelf security software you can find. Now, as your confidence rises, you think that your computer is as impenetrable as the gold at Fort Knox.

Wrong!!!! You have been fooled into thinking that your computer is fully protected.

Now think about this: With all the options available to you, how do you know which one offers the best protection for you, your family, or your business? Here are some questions you need to consider:
  • Are you a trained computer and Internet security expert?

  • Do you know exactly which security software is compatible with your system?

  • Do you have the time to continually research all the latest security technologies?

  • Do you know exactly which software you should install and which ones should not?

  • Once installed, how do you keep the different software programs updated? In fact, how often are they updated: daily? weekly? biweekly? monthly? Are the updates free. And if so, for how long?

  • If you encountered a problem that your installed security software could not fix, or you simply had a question, would you have access to free, live technical support?

  • If not, what would it cost you? Would it be a one-time fee? Would it come with a warranty period? And what would it cost you when the warranty expires?
By now, I'm hoping that you're beginning to see why it is not enough any longer to install off-the-shelf security software. There is a better option! You need a revolutionary full security service package that gives you peace of mind because its software programs work together, its technical support is always live and free, and its comprehensive personal identity theft insurance comes with a recovery service at no additional cost.

Remember: When you say "No!" to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose!

© MMIX, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Internet Safety Advocate and Educator

About the Author:

Etienne A. Gibbs, Internet Security Advocate and Educator, consults with individuals, small business owners, and home-business entrepreneurs regarding online protection against spyware, viruses, hackers, and other pc-disabling cybercrimes. To obtain more information and receive a free evaluation, visit him at www.SayNotoHackersandSpyware.com.