Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Disease detection project tested at Brazil’s World Cup

Disease detection project tested at Brazil's World Cup

Soccer wasn’t the only thing Brazilians were watching last week.

Using tablet-based software designed by the Centers for Disease Control, public health experts from Brazil’s Ministry of Health tested a disease detection system that gives researchers the ability to identify outbreaks earlier and with more precision.

The tablet-based system and the Epi Info software driving it are seen as an important advance in helping to identify outbreaks earlier and with more precision. That ability is especially important in mass gatherings such as the World Cup and other major events, the Centers for Disease Control wrote in its Our Global Voices blog.

According to the CDC, this the first large-scale (both numerically and geographically) disease surveillance system designed to collect and then stream data to a central location where public health officials can access it via a centrally located dashboard for analysis and response.

The software is the key, CDC explained. Tablets are pre-loaded with specialized CDC developed Epi Info software that allows epidemiologists in the field to collect data for a wide array of categories and indicators. The data is stored offline until Internet connectivity is available, at which point it is sent to the cloud for aggregation. At a “home base” that is often an emergency operations center, the data can then be viewed on a dashboard that is continuously updated with statistical results, charts, and maps.

The capability will allow outbreaks to be detected far quicker than with previous technology.

With the system functioning well after the first two weeks of the World Cup, Asad Islam, CDC’s Epi Info team lead, said that it is conceivable to take the lessons learned there and apply them to other public health surveillance and response activities related to outbreaks, natural disasters or humanitarian crises. That remains in the future, however. As successful as the World Cup experience has been to date, the system is still in pilot stage. 

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments


Splunk puts enterprise analytics on the small screen

Analytics vendor Splunk announced a mobile app that lets its Splunk Enterprise users view, interact with and share dashboards and reports, receive real-time alerts and exploit operational intelligence.

With the iOS-based mobile app users can:

  • Access to Splunk Enterprise dashboards and apps in real-time.
  • View reports and modify the search criteria in real-time and drill down to get more details.
  • Subscribe to Splunk triggered alerts, and get alerts through Apple Push Notification service.
  • Interact with data using mobile gestures (zoom, scroll, select, and others).
  • Collaborate with other users. Annotate dashboards and share them in email.
  • Export and save dashboards as PDF for use offline.

“Splunk deployments have become increasingly critical for our users, who now can benefit from the universal access and collaboration provided by the Splunk Mobile App. It seamlessly and securely puts operational intelligence at our customers’ fingertips, whenever and wherever they need it," said Sanjay Mehta, vice president of product marketing, Splunk.

The Splunk Mobile App is available for free on the iPhone and iPad from the Apple App Store. It requires Splunk Enterprise 5.x or above and the Splunk Enterprise Mobile Access Server.

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments


DARPA 'system on a chip' to broaden connectivity of troops

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently demonstrated a “system on a chip” (SoC), an all-silicon, microchip-sized wireless transmitter that military experts say will ultimately provide connectivity faster to more troops and at lower cost.

“What normally would require multiple circuit boards, separate metal shielded assemblies and numerous I/O cables, we can now miniaturize onto one silicon chip about half the size of an adult’s thumbnail,” said  DARPA program manager Dev Palmer.

Researchers at DARPA’s Efficient Linearized All-Silicon Transmitter ICs program were able to demonstrate performance of the chip at 94 GHz, the first time an all-silicon chip has achieved such a high frequency, according to DARPA.

Many existing compact, high-data-rate millimeter-wave wireless systems use integrated circuits (ICs) made with gallium arsenide or gallium nitride, which provide high power and efficiency but are costly to produce and difficult to integrate with electronics that provide most other radio functions, according to DARPA.

In contrast, silicon ICs are less expensive to make at high volume but until now have not shown the power and efficiency at the millimeter-wave frequencies used  in military applications, including radar and guidance systems.

The DARPA breakthrough will lead to “new design architectures for future military RF systems,” Palmer said.

The all-silicon SoC transmitter uses a digital power amplifier that dynamically adapts its performance to changing signal requirements, a key goal of transmitters designed to quickly deliver large amounts of data on the emerging, net-dependent battlefield.

“This SoC can support a range of modulation formats, so it’s possible to communicate to multiple systems using different waveforms from a single silicon chip,” Palmer said.

“Its efficient silicon construction will significantly reduce SWAP [size, weight, and power] requirements for millimeter-wave applications, including compact satellite communications ground terminals for frontline troops.”

Posted on Jul 09, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments


BOP seeks e-discovery devices for inmates

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is looking for e-discovery solutions that can be securely used by inmates to view legal materials related to their cases.

The BOP issued a request for information for an e-discovery system that incorporates the hardware, software necessary to view litigation materials as well as support services for the bureau’s IT staff to troubleshoot or repair equipment.

The bureau is requesting information on both fixed desktop and mobile solutions so that the system can accommodate inmates who access legal materials via the institution’s law library or those who are primarily confined to their cells for most of the day.

Additionally, the solution needs to meet or exceed current e-discovery systems and include the following features:

  • The device does not store data across user sessions.
  • The device is capable of tiered‐role privileges that distinguish between users and administrators and their authorized functions.
  • The device disables network, telephony and peer-to-peer communication.
  • The device does not allow access to boot partitions, the root file system, macros, scripting or application programming interfaces.

Responses are due Friday, July 18, 2014.

Posted on Jul 08, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments


Dogs help police detect electronic devices

State Police enlist drive-sniffing dogs

Rhode Island state police have a new nose for sniffing out hidden drives they suspect may contain child pornography. Thoreau, a golden retriever, has been trained to find hard drives, thumb drives and other tech devices, according to a report in the Providence Journal.

The dog assisted in its first search in June by pinpointing a thumb drive hidden four layers deep in a tin box inside a metal cabinet. That discovery led the police to secure an arrest warrant, the paper said.

Detection dogs are used extensively by police to sniff out drugs, weapons and even cadavers.  In some state correctional facilities, the dogs have been used to detect contraband cellphones.

The electronics-detecting dogs can distinguish between a television and a hard drive, but not an iPad or computer and a hard drive, according to Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Vance, who spoke to Gizmodo. And of course, they can’t detect the content of the information stored on the device.  Additionally, because the dogs can’t tell the difference between one small electronic from another, Vance said, they’re usually used in confined spaces.  

Connecticut and Rhode Island are reportedly the only two states that use dogs to sniff out computer memory during searches, according to the Journal.  Thoreau's special training took more than 5 months at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy.

Posted on Jul 08, 2014 at 7:48 AM0 comments