Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


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


San Francisco seeks innovation fellows

San Francisco seeks innovation fellows

San Francisco has openings in its 2016 Mayor’s Innovation Fellows program for two civic innovators to help create new tools and processes to improve delivery of government services.

The one-year fellowship program offers candidates a chance to work with the mayor, city departments and residents to research, design and prototype digital services, such as transforming paper-based workflows to online or supporting agile, user-centered methodologies in a department.

Applicants should have one to two years of experience in technology and innovation fields, including visual design, software design and product strategy. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate a strong connection and commitment to innovation and technology in the public sector as well as to the city and county of San Francisco.

More information, including the application process, is available here. The application deadline is Feb. 2.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 at 8:37 AM0 comments


IARPA preps for human-machine forecasting, design tools for superconducting computers

IARPA preps for human-machine forecasting, design tools for superconducting computers

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is hosting two proposers’ day conferences early next month in advance of new broad agency announcements.

The proposers’ day for the Hybrid Forecasting Competition program will be held Feb. 3; attendees must register by 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 27. The HFC will develop and test methods to optimize human/machine collaboration to more accurately forecast geopolitical and geoeconomic events. 

IARPA expects to draw on expertise from multidisciplinary teams from industry and academia to address:

  • Protocols that train human forecasters to optimally combine human and machine forecasts.
  • New predictive models that incorporate both machine data and human judgments
  • Algorithmic forecasting agents that interact with human forecasters or forecasts inside crowdsourced forecasting platforms.

The proposer’s day for the SuperTools program, meanwhile, will be held Feb. 16. The SuperTools program aims to develop a comprehensive set of electronic design automation tools to enable very-large-scale integration design of superconducting electronics that can be used to build a prototype superconducting computer. The program expects to focus on developing tools that will work within the requirements imposed by superconductivity

Attendees must register for that event no later than noon EST on Feb. 3.

Both conferences will provide introductory information on the projects, the issues each program aims to address and answer questions from potential proposers and team with other researchers. Each conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Posted on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM0 comments