Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


NIST revises cryptographic specs

NIST revises cryptographic specs

NIST is requesting comments on its revision of SP 800-90A, Recommendation for Random Number Generation Using Deterministic Random Bit Generators.

This guidance specifies techniques for generating random bits using deterministic methods, based on either hash functions or block cipher algorithms.

According to the announcement, the revision removes the previously approved Dual_EC_DRBG that was based on the use of elliptic curves and includes other changes that are listed in the final appendix of the document.

Comments should be sent to rbg_comments@nist.gov with "SP 800-90A comments" in the subject line by Dec. 31, 2014.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM0 comments


Mozilla releases Firefox browser built for developers

Mozilla releases Firefox browser built for developers

Mozilla released what it calls the first browser for developers.

 Firefox Developer Edition includes tools for building, testing and scaling all from one place, eliminating the need to, “bounce between different platforms and browsers, which decreases productivity and causes frustration,” according to the announcement by Dave Camp, director of developer tools at Mozilla.

Among features built into the browser are:

A distinct theme that includes quicker access to the developer tools.

Experimental developer tools, including the Valence add-on, used to  connect the Firefox developer tools to other browsers such as Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS.

A separate profile. Run the Developer Edition alongside a different release or Beta version of Firefox.

WebIDE, Develop, deploy and debug Firefox OS apps directly in the browser or on a Firefox OS device.

Responsive design view: See how a website or web app will look on different screen sizes without changing the size of the browser window.

In addition, Firefox Developer Edition replaces the Aurora channel in the Firefox Release Process. Like Aurora, features will land in the Developer Edition every six weeks, after they have stabilized in Nightly builds.

By using the Developer Edition, devs can gain access to tools and platform features at least 12 weeks before they reach the main Firefox release channel.

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM0 comments


Expedition 39 flight engineer and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson activates the Veggie plant growth system and Veg-01 experiment in the Columbus module on the International Space Station.

Galactic Grant Competition to fund space station research

Massachusetts announced a “Galactic Grant Competition” for life science companies based in the commonwealth to conduct research on the International Space Station.

The grant competition will be open for applications from Dec. 1, 2014 through April 3, 2015 and will encourage companies to take advantage of the distinct attributes of the ISS research platform for life sciences initiatives.

The competition is funded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. For this competition, MLSC is working in partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a nonprofit organization responsible for managing and promoting research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

"Massachusetts-based companies will have a unique opportunity to access the International Space Station – a one-of-a kind platform for applied research projects that will help bring new therapies and cures to market," said Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the MLSC.

Interested companies and researchers are encouraged to attend information sessions that will take place December 2014 through February 2015. Up to $500,000 is available to support flight projects from any life sciences company with operations in Massachusetts.

An additional $50,000 will be invested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education initiatives that will aim to connect Massachusetts students to the ISS with unique content and student research opportunities.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM0 comments


SSA to expand enterprise e-discovery toolset

SSA to expand enterprise e-discovery toolset

The Social Security Administration is looking to expand its e-discovery capabilities to better manage the types of data that serve as evidence, from emails, text, and images to calendars, audio/video files, websites and computer programs. 

In a recent sources-sought notice, SSA said the contract on its current solution expires in May 2016, and the agency must “proactively manage the electronic discovery process to avoid sanctions, unfavorable rulings and a loss of public trust.”

SSA is looking for an enterprisewide system that can manage the following:

Document types: Microsoft PSTs, loose emails in .msg format, Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, SharePoint, WordPerfect documents, web pages, pictures and social media posts. The solution should also be able to filter out system documents and automatically OCR non-text based documents when they are imported.

Capacity:  65,000 active custodians and 250 attorneys, with 100 concurrent users. The system should have the ability to import and retain up to 5 TB in the first year and 25 TB in fifth year of the contract.

Security:  SSA is looking for a single sign-on for users, passwords for password-protected documents and PSTs so they can be decrypted upon ingestion, an interface with Microsoft Active Directory to add and authenticate users, and the ability to limit/grant access to certain functions using role-based access controls.

Search: Customizable query and results that search on "tags" and metadata, email attachments and embedded documents within emails.

Responses are due Dec. 8. 

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM0 comments


Military health directorate joins Army ERP system

Military health directorate joins Army ERP system

The National Capitol Region Medical Directorate (NCR MD), a part of the Defense Health Agency, is the first organization outside of the Army to fully integrate into the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS)

GFEBS is one of the largest enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the world, processing 1 million transactions a day for some 79,000 end users at more than 200 sites worldwide.

Accenture fully deployed GFEBS for the Army in 2012 and recently delivered the solution to NCR MD.

The web-enabled financial, asset and accounting management system standardizes, streamlines and shares accurate, up-to-date financial and accounting data across the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.  It also streamlines business processes by creating a single source for financial, real property, cost management and performance data, as well as a core system of record for the Army General Fund.

The NCR MD exercises control over the largest military health market: seven military and joint service military treatment facilities and related facilities that include family health clinics and related facilities in the region.  Its focus is to integrate services to provide convenient and accessible healthcare for the area’s military community.

With this integration, NCR MD officials will be able to access and analyze financial data in real time, giving more reliable and accessible data for improved decision making. GFEBS also will make it easier for NCR MD to work more closely with business partners, including the Army and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

“GFEBS is a solid foundation to help NCR MD meet the medical needs of our servicemen and women, enhancing support capabilities for our wounded warriors while addressing Congressional mandates for greater financial accountability of tax dollars,” said Joe Chenelle, who leads Accenture’s defense and intel business.  

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM0 comments