Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Multi-device BYOD management from a single console

Absolute Software Corp. announced Absolute Manage 6.5, which allows IT managers to automate BYOD polices for employee-owned computers, along with tablets and smartphones from a single console, the company said in an announcement.

Absolute Manage 6.5, which offers full BYOD support for Mac and Windows computers, provides enrollment workflows as well as remote and automated security for corporate and employee-owned devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.   

The automated workflow allows users to enroll their devices through a portal using their corporate credentials. Following authentication, Absolute Manage automatically applies device configurations, security settings and software apps directly to the device.     

With the latest release, Absolute Manage will also support Samsung KNOX, a containerization solution native to Samsung’s hardware and Android OS.  It also includes Cisco’s Identity Service Engine, a network security feature that provides compliance reporting and enforcement for devices connecting to enterprise networks. 

“Many of our customers are receiving requests from employees to bring their personally-owned devices to work. But corporate IT doesn’t want to use multiple consoles and products to secure this range of form factors,” said Errol Olsen, interim CEO at Absolute Software. “The release of Absolute Manage 6.5 will support the Absolute unified IT vision, allowing IT to manage all employee-owned devices from a single console.”


Posted on May 23, 2014 at 9:30 AM0 comments


UMD establishes orbital debris research center

The University of Maryland announced the establishment of the Center for Orbital Debris Education and Research (CODER) to address the problem of orbiting space debris and serve as a hub for academic, industry, and government research collaboration.

"CODER is the first academically led center established to address the full range of issues surrounding the orbital debris problem," said founding faculty member and associate professor of aerospace engineering Raymond Sedwick in the university’s announcement.

"Most existing organizations focus on just one aspect of the problem—tracking, modeling, remediation, mitigation, policy, etc.—but CODER will serve as a research collective to provide expertise in all of these areas."

CODER will spearhead research in each area of orbital debris, including modeling, tracking, mitigation and remediation, assist in developing international policies regarding orbital debris, and serve as a clearinghouse for orbital debris knowledge and findings.

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM0 comments


DARPA posts catalog of software and research results

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently posted an online catalog designed to give the computer science community a central source for updates on DARPA software development, research results and technical publications.

The Open Catalog is “a curated list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications,” the R&D agency said, which would make available information “that may lead to experimental results and reusable technology to benefit multiple government domains.”

“Making our open source catalog available increases the number of experts who can help quickly develop relevant software for the government,” said DARPA program manager Chris White. “Our hope is that the computer science community will test and evaluate elements of our software and afterward adopt them as either standalone offerings or as components of their products.”

The initial Open Catalog offerings included software toolkits and peer-reviewed publications from the XDATA program in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office. The project aims to develop computational techniques and software tools for processing and analyzing large, imperfect and incomplete data sets.

DARPA said the catalog reflects its interest in building communities around government-funded software and research. If the R&D community shows sufficient interest, DARPA will continue to make updates and other information available, said the agency.

Today, the catalog includes licensing information for project software , links to the external project page or contact information, and a link to the code repository for the project.

Programs in the current catalog currently include:

Active Authentication, a  program that seeks to develop novel ways of validating the identity of computer users by focusing on unique aspects of individuals through software-based biometrics.

Crowd Sourced Formal Verification, which that aims to investigate whether large numbers of non-experts can perform formal verification faster and more cost-effectively than conventional processes. The goal is to transform verification into a more accessible task by creating fun, intuitive games that reflect formal verification problems. Playing the games would effectively help software verification tools complete corresponding formal verification.

Detection of Psychological Signals, which aims to develop novel analytical tools to assess psychological status of warfighters in the hopes of improving psychological health awareness.

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM0 comments


Call centers lag carriers in launching text-to-911 services

The four largest wireless telephone companies, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, met their voluntarily commitment to support 911 emergency text messages by May 15, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

But that does not mean people today can place a 911 call by sending a text message. That’s because most emergency call centers are not yet equipped to receive the texts.  In many instances, text-to-911 awaits upgrades to local 911 centers, coordination among phone companies, equipment vendors and public safety call centers.

In fact, for now said the FCC, callers simply "should not rely on text to reach 911."

The FCC wants all 911 call centers to accept 911 texts as soon as possible, but it is not required. Today, 911 texts are accepted in limited areas in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.

If a caller attempts to send a text to 911 where the service is not available, he would receive a "bounce-back" message advising him to contact emergency services by another means, such as by making a voice call or using telecommunications relay services.

To help support call centers deploy text to 911 services, the FCC has posted best practices for text message providers and 911 call centers deploying text-to-911

The webpage has materials from by Vermont, Texas, and other state 911 public safety answering points that have already integrated text-to-911. The website includes links to  lessons learned from Vermont’s “highly successful text-to-911 implementation” and informational videos for potential text-to-911.

Other sources of support are also available to help test new 911 features. TeleCommunications Systems Inc., an Annapolis, Md., a provider of secure mobile systems, opened an Interoperability Lab in April to help developers of call-handling systems test new next-generation 911 applications before they are deployed by emergency call centers.

 


Posted on May 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM0 comments


Virtual Shooter mechanical arm tests ammo--and saves joints

A mechanical arm, developed as a Small Business Innovation Research project, will help reduce injuries to government employees who are responsible for testing thousands of rounds of ammunition weekly.  

The Virtual Shooter’s mechanical arm and hand replicate major human bone and muscular structures during the firing process and should spare human shooters from stress injuries and chronic nerve and joint pain.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Armory Operations Branch tests more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition and a variety of handguns annually before they are approved for use in the field.

“This repetitive firing takes a toll on the shooters and results in stressed joints, debilitating pain, and other physical injuries. The Virtual Shooter will go a long way in in reducing, if not eliminating, those injuries,” explained John Price, program manager of the Science &Technology Directorate’s First Responder Group.

The Virtual Shooter project was demonstrated in March 2014 at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement armory in Altoona, Pa., where agents tested multiple weapons and ammunition.

Radiance Technologies, the commercial partner that developed the prototypes, demonstrated single- and a double-armed models that fired multiple handgun and ammunition types.

Over the next year, Radiance Technologies will develop and deliver the second and final prototype. The model will then be available commercially for government and industry use.

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM0 comments