Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Dashboard shows bed availability for substance abuse treatment

As New York wrestles with a growing heroin and opioid crisis, the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has created the Bed Availability Dashboard that collects information on available beds from state-certified treatment providers and displays it in real time on the agency's website to help ensure that more substance abusers can get the care they need.

With the dashboard, New Yorkers will be able to search for services by location as well as determine the availability of treatment beds specific to age and gender – including space available for transgender individuals. Users also will be able to see facilities’ next available admission appointment. The site will soon be updated to include information on outpatient services as well.

The dashboard is the latest addition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's multipronged approach to addressing substance use disorders in New York.

Posted on Feb 05, 2016 at 12:33 PM0 comments


cloud computing

First woman-owned small business gets FedRAMP nod

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program approved another cloud service provider last week, as NetComm, a cloud-based solution company, became the first woman-owned small business to receive FedRAMP certification.

NetComm's Beacon software-as-a-service platform was put through the cloud security framework review process.  Beacon allows users to create customized dashboards and  leverages Amazon Web Services' GovCloud infrastructure as a service (GovCloud also has FedRAMP approval). The National Institutes of Health provided the agency authority to operate, and Veris Group conducted the required third-party assessment for the certification process.

There are now some 60 different cloud services that have been certified as FedRAMP-compliant.

Posted on Feb 04, 2016 at 10:58 AM1 comments


Mobile app to access Navy COOL

Navy launches COOL app for career transition

For many members of the military, time in the service is not intended to last an entire career.  One way service members can more easily transition to civilian jobs is through credentialing, which entails getting civilian credentials -- certificates or licenses -- before they leave the service for skills learned while on duty.

The Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online, or COOL, website helps both enlisted personnel and officers get such credentials, as well as information on which military occupations translate to what civilian careers. Now the Navy has released a mobile application to help sailors access the resources of the COOL website from their phones.

Available for both Android and iOS devices, the app provides learning and development roadmaps  and a number of other tools related to:

  • Credentials mapped to Navy occupations
  • US Military Apprenticeship Program (Department of Labor credentials)
  • Joint Service Transcript (academic credit for Navy training and experience)
  • Civilian related occupations (recruiting and transition tool)
  • Rating information cards (Navy Recruiting, reclassification, and enlisted rating changes)
  • Post 9-11 Government Issue Bill funding of credentials (funding availability for veterans).

“This new app provides an expanded capability for sailors to help them translate the skills they've learned on the job into civilian credentials, career growth opportunities and related civilian occupations,” said Keith Boring, the Navy's COOL program manager. “The app is a great complement to our newly redesigned website and provides extra features that I think sailors will find handy to have at their fingertips.”

Posted on Feb 02, 2016 at 1:39 PM0 comments


Hackers target local law enforcement systems

Hackers target local law enforcement systems

As police departments move to electronic data transmission and storage, they are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack.

Hackers have attempted to tamper with evidence, release information on witnesses and police officers and blackmail law enforcement officials, security experts told Fast Company --  especially following controversial incidents involving the police. Besides the threat of cyberattack, police department systems suffer from many of the same vulnerabilities as other organizations -- sensitive and private data being left on public servers, devices being misconfigured, systems left unpatched and poor cyber hygiene in general.   

Police departments should thoroughly vet third-party security vendors, the experts said, and ensure that employees be trained on using new digital tools so mistakes aren’t made as a result of lack of knowledge.

Some organizations are offering help to local departments. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has its own Law Enforcement Cyber Center to help officials to help in prevention and investigation of  technology-related crimes. In addition, the FBI offers training and tools to defend and counter cyber threats against law enforcement networks and critical technologies through its Cyber Shield Alliance program, Fast Company reported.

Posted on Feb 01, 2016 at 10:57 AM0 comments


The Naval Research Lab is testing a mathematical formula to help autonomous sail drones find thermals.

There's an algorithm for everything, it seems

Like eagles in flight, sailplanes depend on finding thermals, or pockets of rising air, to keep them aloft. Finding those regions of lift comes naturally for birds, but low-power autonomous sailplanes need a way to quickly find the conditions that will keep themselves aloft.

The crux of autonomous soaring is finding regions of lift, said Dan Edwards, aerospace engineer with the Naval Research Lab. So NRL is working with researchers from Penn State to test an algorithm for cooperative and autonomous soaring of unmanned sailplanes.  With several communicating sailplanes, the chances of quickly finding this lift increase, and all the vehicles can stay airborne longer. 

The Autonomous Locator of Thermals algorithm uses technologies tested and developed by both Penn State and NRL to share vehicle data -- such as sailplane location, longitude, latitude, altitude -- with the rest of the flock, Edwards said.  Sailplanes within the flock can then move autonomously to a location where one sailplane has found sufficient lift.

The project “combines data from multiple autonomous soaring aircraft to make a more complete measurement of the local atmospheric conditions,” said Edwards. “This atmospheric map is then integrated to guide both aircraft toward strong lift activity quicker than if it was just a single aircraft -- a technique very similar to that used by a flock of soaring birds.”

Using the algorithm to share data on the location of thermals, the sailplanes were able to fly for hours despite having onboard batteries that provide only enough energy for a few minutes of powered flight.

While the demonstration tested just two sailplanes together, the next step is to test four, Edwards said.  At the moment, there is no technical barrier to testing 100 devices together -- the practical limits are resources and manpower. 

Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 10:36 AM1 comments