Loss of top cyber officials spells challenge for Trump | TheHill


Specific authorities of CIOs range from agency to agency, though they are broadly tasked with overseeing policy and security decisions when it comes to their individual government body’s IT infrastructure. Some CIOs are political appointments, while others are not.

Several occupants of these positions are currently serving on an acting basis, including those at the departments of Commerce, Transportation and Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: Loss of top cyber officials spells challenge for Trump | TheHill

The Physics Behind NASA’s ‘Quiet’ Supersonic Jet Design | GovExec.com


Getting a plane to fly faster than the speed of sound isn’t the problem—it’s quieting the thunderous sonic boom that’s heard on the ground. In 1973, the US government banned overland commercial supersonic flights.

NASA and Lockheed’s design places a single engine on top of the plane, which NASA hopes will help lead to a “sonic thump” instead of the jarring boom. NASA and Lockheed say the design can prevent the N wave of a sonic boom—so called because of the form the pressure changes make when charted. The waves can be made to not pile up on one another with the new design, which ensures they are spaced farther apart, creating a less jarring “shaped boom.”

Source: The Physics Behind NASA’s ‘Quiet’ Supersonic Jet Design – Defense – GovExec.com

AI and automation will make us more human, not less. | Quartz


AI isn’t very good at jobs that require creativity, empathy, critical thinking, leadership, artistic expression, and a whole host of other qualities we traditionally think of as “human.” Which is why, according to Michael Chui of the McKinsey Global Institute, entire jobs or industries won’t often be automated away.

Rather, automation will release humans from the need to perform specific tasks. Those will mostly be non-creative and non-personal tasks that can be broken down into relatively predictable parts.

Source: AI and automation will make us more human, not less. — Quartz

Trump’s Actions on a Recently Drafted Climate Change Report Are ‘Troubled and Opaque’ | Pacific Standard


The report was submitted in late June and the Trump administration has broad authority to review its findings. Any one of a number of government agencies can block its release, which is ultimately subject to presidential review.

“As a climate scientist, I feel communicating this science is a moral responsibility,” she said, noting that the contributors from academia were working without pay and taking away time from their teaching and scholarships. “We are the physicians of the planet,” Katharine Hayhoe added. “Climate change poses risks to people and our economy.”

Source: Trump’s Actions on a Recently Drafted Climate Change Report Are ‘Troubled and Opaque’ – Pacific Standard

Lego-Like Brain Balls Could Build a Living Replica of Your Noggin | WIRED


The human brain is routinely described as the most complex object in the known universe.

It might therefore seem unlikely that pea-size blobs of brain cells growing in laboratory dishes could be more than fleetingly useful to neuroscientists. Nevertheless, many investigators are now excitedly cultivating these curious biological systems, formally called cerebral organoids and less formally known as mini-brains.

With organoids, researchers can run experiments on how living human brains develop—experiments that would be impossible (or unthinkable) with the real thing.

Source: Lego-Like Brain Balls Could Build a Living Replica of Your Noggin | WIRED

Welcome To The Third Nuclear Era: Trump And The Point Of No Return


In 1945, when nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer accepted a certificate of appreciation praising him for helping create the atomic bomb, he accepted it with a warning.

The “false sense of history” of which Oppenheimer warned has made willful blindness the default response to rising autocracy and growing nuclear threat. For that trajectory to change, U.S. officials must confront not only the horrors of the past, but the urgent threat of the present, and take any steps possible to curb the president’s ability to obliterate our future.

Source: Welcome To The Third Nuclear Era: Trump And The Point Of No Return

IAM Proves You Are Who You Say You Are | SIGNAL Magazine

Cybersecurity is a human problem.

Bad people use good technology for the worst purposes. Good people sometimes simply make mistakes or take inappropriate shortcuts. In the unfolding, complex cyber ecosystem, nowhere does human meet machine more directly than with identity and access management, or IAM.

IAM is a multiheaded monster, encompassing identity verification, credential and privilege management, authentication, authorization and access controls, cryptography and user behavior analytics. That laundry list boils down to the critical notion that IAM is difficult to implement.

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 serves well as Exhibit A.

Source: IAM Proves You Are Who You Say You Are | SIGNAL Magazine

Defense Department Expands Classified Mobility Program | SIGNAL Magazine


The Defense Information Systems Agency is expanding its offerings under the Department of Defense Mobility Classified Capability-Secret (DMCC-S) Program through a new pilot program that puts 8-inch tablet computers into the hands of designated senior leaders across the department.

The change from a 5-inch phone screen to an 8-inch tablet screen offers greater flexibility and an improved user experience, according to the written announcement.

The program has incorporated capability enhancements, such as support for the Unified Video Dissemination System (UVDS), which enables viewing live full-motion video feeds collected for the purpose of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Source: Defense Department Expands Classified Mobility Program | SIGNAL Magazine

Army Cyber Education Enlists Field Operations | SIGNAL Magazine


Co-locating the institutional and operational centers allows the Army to operate on the same networks and build lessons learned into both operations and training. “I’m not sure the Army realized how powerful that synergy was going to be when the initial decision was made to move Army [Cyber Command] down to Fort Gordon,” Gen. Morrison offers. “We are already seeing the power of that synergy.”

The expert information exchange between the institutional and operational sides is a two-way street. The institutional side—education and training—can stay abreast of changes on the operational side, with the result being cooperation between the two.

Source: Army Cyber Education Enlists Field Operations | SIGNAL Magazine

Taking Video Security to the Next Level | SIGNAL Magazine


Someone’s always watching. In malls, stadiums, train stations, parking garages, airports—security cameras are everywhere. But with so much information flowing in, it can be challenging for the people in the control rooms monitoring activity to catch every little detail. And surprisingly, most mainstream video security technology lacks sound, color or both.

The benefits of the LinkBioMan program, whose formal project title is, “Linking Soft Biometrics to Semantic Description of an Event,” will be immense. Users will be able to identify and prevent hazards related to public safety based upon real-time surveillance feeds and respond more rapidly and accurately to natural or man-made emergencies. The technology also could be used to conduct analysis for city planning such as deciding the locations of crosswalks and streetlights.

Source: Taking Video Security to the Next Level | SIGNAL Magazine