Breaking News

The National Security Agency will declassify two encryption algorithms and release the
Fortezza card source code, marking the first time the agency has released such sensitive
data to the public.

NSA’s decision to make the 80-bit Skipjack encryption algorithm and 1,024-bit Key
Exchange Algorithm publicly available is part of a Defense Department plan to help vendors
develop low-cost, commercial data protection, DOD officials said.

DOD uses Fortezza in the Defense Message System and other DOD applications.

Vendors now will be able to use the data to create Fortezza-compatible software and
smart card products.

Contact NSA at 301-688-6524.

An Indiana local exchange carrier, Teleport Communications Group Inc., will provide
telephone trunking services for the Defense Department’s worldwide finance and
accounting center in Indianapolis.

TCG of Dayton, N.J., is supplying a Synchronous Optical Network connection to its
200-mile fiber-optic network.

The Emmett J. Bean Federal Center at the former Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., is second
in size only to the Pentagon as a federal work site. About 5,000 civilian and military
workers there use 4,500 telephone lines. General Services Administration spokesman David
Wilkinson said TCG’s tariff rates undercut those of Ameritech Corp. of Chicago, the
regional Bell operating company, by about 30 percent.

TCG also will provide citywide Centrex service for 200 federal users in Indianapolis at
discounts up to 50 percent, plus trunking services for 500 lines at the Army Reserve
Center at the former Fort Harrison and another 300 lines for Veterans Affairs Department
offices in the area.

The General Services Administration wants to award contracts for the Seat Management
Program this week. So far, GSA officials have delayed the awards by more than a month.

"We’re being very diligent," program manager Wanda Smith said. Some
vendor officials suggested that GSA is trying to avoid protests by making Seat Management
a clean procurement.

Through Seat Management, agencies will be able to outsource equipment and management
for their PC networks. The Agriculture Department has said it will be one of the first
agencies to try out the new program.

The clunkiest part of a portable computer—the battery—is turning into plastic

Moldable lithium-ion polymer batteries will exceed the performance of the lithium-ion
cells now used in notebook computers, according to a recent market study by Kline and Co.
Inc. of Fairfield, N.J.

The light, nontoxic polymer films will likely power portables far longer than the
current two or three hours of operation, the study said.

Kline’s study predicted the polymer battery market will reach $1 billion a year by
2007, not only for portables and cell phones but also for heavier-duty applications. The
Navy is shifting to such batteries to replace zinc-silver oxide batteries in underwater
vehicle operations.

Rechargeable 3.7-volt lithium-ion polymer batteries are available now in custom sizes
with 500 or more charge-discharge cycles and no memory effect.

Battery makers claim energy densities up to four times as great as in nicad batteries
at one-fourth the weight.

AT&T Wireless Services has signed a deal with the General Services Administration
to give government travelers a discount on in-flight voice, data and fax services.

Coupled with a similar GSA agreement made earlier this year with GTE Corp., the
discount will cover service on most major airlines.

Effective this month, federal travelers who make calls with their American Express
government travel cards get a 50 percent discount from AT&T’s commercial
in-flight rates of $2.99 to connect plus $2.99 per minute.

AT&T provides in-flight service on American, Alaska, Northwest, Southwest and
Canadian airlines, and on Delta Airlines’ international fleet.

GTE has about 60 percent of the in-flight service market and AT&T about 40 percent.

The Energy Department has awarded a $9.4 million contract to Automated Information
Management of Lanham, Md., to upgrade a system that tracks ammunition.

The Federal Energy Technology Center in Pittsburgh will use the contract to upgrade the
Army’s Training Ammunition Management Information System, said Nancy Canody, an
Energy procurement analyst.

The Army runs TAMIS as an inventory system, tracking ammunition used for training

Automated Information Management will maintain, update and support the current TAMIS
system, technology center official Mary Beth Pearce said.

The contract, awarded last month, expires in May 2003. AIM is a small minority- and
woman-owned company.

Silicon Graphics Inc. will try to satisfy government demand for affordable
supercomputing with an advanced vector supercomputer priced at $500,000, SGI officials

Silicon Graphics in August will deliver a vector-based Cray SV1 that runs on processors
twice as fast as SGI’s fastest processors.

Cray J90 supercomputer users will be able to upgrade existing systems with the
4-gigaFLOPS Cray SV1 processors, company officials said.

The Cray SV1 processors can perform up to 4 billion floating point operations per
second and can run the SGI CF90 Fortran compiler and more than 500 vector supercomputer
applications in the Cray library, officials said.

Contact Silicon Graphics at 612-452-6650.

The Posix subsystem that runs Unix applications on Microsoft Windows NT has a new name:

The OpenNT brand had created some trademark problems for Softway Systems Inc. of San
Francisco. Company officials said they had trouble registering the OpenNT brand outside
the United States, hence the name change.

Softway has a long-term contract with Microsoft Corp. to develop the Posix subsystem,
now at Release 2.2.

New in Interix 2.2 are the Exceed X server and NFS Maestro products from Hummingbird
Communications Ltd.

The version also includes OpenGL and Open Database Connectivity support, Apache Web
server freeware, Motif window manager, various Web access and communications tools, and
Win32 shared memory integration.

The single-quantity price is $696 for the server software and $160 for the client

Users also must buy and install NT.

Contact Softway Systems at 415-896-0708.

—William Jackson, Frank Tiboni, Florence  Olsen, Gregory Slabodkin,,
Christopher J. Dorobek and Susan M. Menke. 


Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.