"military" entries

Four short links: 8 February 2011

Four short links: 8 February 2011

Web Memory, Phones Read Cards, Military and Public Data, and NoSQL Merger

  1. Erase and Rewind — the BBC are planning to close (delete) 172 websites on some kind of cost-cutting measure. i’m very saddened to see the BBC join the ranks of online services that don’t give a damn for posterity. As Simon Willison points out, the British Library will have archived some of the sites (and Internet Archive others, possibly).
  2. Announcing Farebot for Android — dumps the information stored on transit cards using Android’s NFC (near field communication, aka RFID) support. When demonstrating FareBot, many people are surprised to learn that much of the data on their ORCA card is not encrypted or protected. This fact is published by ORCA, but is not commonly known and may be of concern to some people who would rather not broadcast where they’ve been to anyone who can brush against the outside of their wallet. Transit agencies across the board should do a better job explaining to riders how the cards work and what the privacy implications are.
  3. Using Public Data to Fight a War (ReadWriteWeb) — uncomfortable use of the data you put in public?
  4. CouchOne and Membase Merge — consolidation in the commercial NoSQL arena. the merger not only results in the joining of two companies, but also combines CouchDB, memcached and Membase technologies. Together, the new company, Couchbase, will offer an end-to-end database solution that can be stored on a single server or spread across hundreds of servers.
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Four short links: 12 August 2010

Four short links: 12 August 2010

Network Neutrality, Open Data, Science Policy, and the Android Army

  1. A Review of Verizon and Google’s Net Neutrality Proposal (EFF) — a mixture of good and bad, is the verdict. I am ready to give Google credit for getting Network Neutrality back on the regulatory agenda, whether or not this proposal was a strawman.
  2. Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information (Sunlight Foundation) — We have updated and expanded upon the Sebastopol list and identified ten principles that provide a lens to evaluate the extent to which government data is open and accessible to the public. The list is not exhaustive, and each principle exists along a continuum of openness. The principles are completeness, primacy, timeliness, ease of physical and electronic access, machine readability, non-discrimination, use of commonly owned standards, licensing, permanence and usage costs.
  3. What If the Web Really Worked for Science? Reimagining Data Policy and Intellectual Property (video) — a talk by James Boyle on IP and science policy.
  4. Winners of the Apps for Army Challenge — more Android apps than iPhone in the winners. (via Alex)
Comments Off on Four short links: 12 August 2010

The military goes social

Letters from the front have been replaced with Facebook updates

For most of the 20th century, a soldier in the field could only communicate with their family and friends via letters that might take weeks or months to make their way to the recipient. But as the battlefield goes high tech, so have the ways soldiers can talk to the outside world. Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, talked to Radar about how the public face of the military is changing.

Comments: 3

Apps for Army Launches – The Hybrid Enterprise?

The Army launches Apps for Army. Contest or harbinger of the hybrid enterprise that combines planning and emergence under one roof? Apps for Army looks to uncork the Army's cognitive surplus and let soldiers start solving their own problems in code without the personal risk of going off reservation to do it.

Comments: 2
Four short links: 1 March 2010

Four short links: 1 March 2010

War Games, Cloud Metaphors, Plain English, and Event Correlations

  1. Meet The Sims and Shoot ThemAmerica’s Army has proven so popular globally that, with so many users signing on from Internet cafes in China, the Chinese government tried to ban it. Full of interesting factoids like this about US military-created first person shooter America’s Army and other military uses of games. (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. Most Overused Cloud Metaphors, Sorted by Weather Pattern — headline writers beware: you are not being original with your “does the cloud have a silver lining?” folderol. (via lennysan on Twitter)
  3. Simply Understand — web site that translates a lot of UK government consultation documents (notorious for pompous and intricate prose) into plain English.
  4. Simple Event Correlator — small Unix part to find event correlations. It isn’t doing data mining to find correlations in a data stream, but rather you write rules like “tell me if X happens within Y seconds of a Z” and it takes events on stdin and emits correlations on stdout. (via NeilNeely on Twitter)
Comments: 2
Four short links: 21 October 2009

Four short links: 21 October 2009

Battlefield Android, DIY Leukemia Hacking, Localisation, Bus Pirates

  1. Raytheon Sends Android to Battlefield — Google’s OS sees deployment. Using Android software tools, Raytheon ( RTN – news – people ) engineers built a basic application for military personnel that combines maps with a buddy list. […] Every part of RATS is tailored for use on a battlefield. A soldier could make an unmanned plane a “buddy,” for instance, and track its progress on a map using his phone. He could then access streaming video from the plane, giving him a bird’s eye view of the area. Soldiers could also use the buddy list to trace the locations of other members of their squad. (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. The Kanzius Machine (CBS News, video) — inventor lost the race against leukemia, but his DIY RF therapy device is being developed “for real”. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Lost in Translation — Will Shipley shows how to handle internationalisation and localisation. In this post I’m going to explain to you what internationalization and localization are, how Apple’s tools handle them by default, and the huge flaws in Apple’s approach. Then I’m going to provide you with the code and tools to do localization in a much, much easier way. Then you’re going to think, ‘That will never work, because of blah!’ and I’m going to respond, as if I can read your mind or I’ve already had this argument with a dozen developers, ‘It already did – I used these tools in Delicious Library and Delicious Library 2 and they’ve won three Apple Design Awards between them. (via migurski on Delicious)
  4. The Bus Pirate — interfaces to a heap of embedded hardware. The ‘Bus Pirate’ is a universal bus interface that talks to most chips from a PC serial terminal, eliminating a ton of early prototyping effort when working with new or unknown chips (via joshua on Delicious)
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Dear DoD, the Web Itself is Social

From infrastructure technologies like OpenID and OpenSocial, to widgets like ShareThis and Friend Connect, to The New York Times itself and your phone, features and interactions that you once only found on social networks are becoming ubiquitous. While it may be convenient for the DoD's IT department to think about social networking as a list of URLs that they can block from any network, the reality is that social networking is becoming a core piece of the web itself.

Comments: 17
Four short links: 17 August 2009

Four short links: 17 August 2009

  1. How Twitter Works in Theory (Kevin Marks) — very nice summary about the conceptual properties of Twitter that let it work. Both Google and Twitter have little boxes for you to type into, but on Google you’re looking for information, and expecting a machine response, whereas on Twitter you’re declaring an emotion and expecting a human response. This is what leads to unintentionally ironic newspaper columns bemoaning public banality, because they miss that while you don’t care what random strangers feel about their lunch, you do if its your friend on holiday in Pompeii.
  2. Army To Test Wiki-Style Changes to The 7 ManualsIn early July the Army will conduct a 90-day online test using seven existing manuals that every soldier, from private to general officer, will have the opportunity to read and modify in a “wiki”-style environment. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
  3. MobWriteconverts forms and web applications into collaborative environments. Create a simple single-user system, add one line of JavaScript, and instantly get a collaborative system. (via Simon Willison)
  4. Open Data Standards Don’t Apply To The MilitaryIt’s that last particular point that should be the most disturbing to the administration. Apparently all geospatial data being developed and utilized by the USAFA would be unusable without a sole software vendor. This causes concern over broader interoperability with other agencies and organizations, access to important national information, and archivability and retrievability. Expose of the single-source “standard” vendor lockin in US military geosoftware and geodata. (via johnmscott on Twitter)
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Four short links: 24 July 2009

Four short links: 24 July 2009

Copytweet, MacMarket iShare, Open Source Under Fire, and OLPC War Stories

  1. Are Tweets Copyright-Protected (WIPO) — According to an Internet posting on blogherald.com by Jonathan Bailey, every time a new communication technology emerges, it shifts the copyright landscape, and new copyright issues that do not fit existing intellectual property (IP) standards arise. With Twitter, for example, while its terms of service clearly state that tweeters own anything they post on the service, the 140-character limit to a Twitter post makes it almost impossible for the work to reach the level of creativity required for copyright protection. In the same vein, titles or short phrases usually cannot be protected since their length contributes to their lack of originality, as defined by copyright law. A roundup of the copyright issues raised by Twitter, which is a little like a roundup of the climate issues raised by ants.
  2. Apple Has 90% Revenue Share Of >$1000 Computers (Ars Technica) — wow. (via publicaddress on Twitter)
  3. Open Source on the BattlefieldFortunately, SFC Stadtler knew how to use open source software. Using found hardware, like a laptop pulled from the trash, and wires pulled from collapsed buildings, he was able to establish a wireless network between the towers and the home base. He was able to install freely available voice-over-ip software on this recycled hardware, which turned the computer into a wireless telephone. The soldiers were now able to communicate with each other and the home base. At no cost. (via Jim Stogdill)
  4. Sweet Nonsense Omelet (Ivan Krstić) — Horror stories from the inside about the shoddy suppliers of OLPC hardware. Thinking back, there’s a hardware incident I remember particularly fondly: one of our vendors sent us a kernel driver patch which enhanced support for their component in our machine. They chose to implement the enhancement by setting up a hole which allowed any unprivileged user to take over the kernel, prompting our kernel guy to send a private e-mail to the OLPC tech team demanding that, in the future, we avoid buying hardware from companies whose programmers are, direct quote, “crack-smoking hobos”.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 30 June 2009

Four short links: 30 June 2009

Military Open Source, Social Govwork, Dietbot, and US IT Dashboard

  1. Military Open Source Software Conference — 12-13 August 2009 in Atlanta.
  2. Govloop — a “Social Network for Gov 2.0”. Gov 2.0 could easily become the intersection of talk radio and social media consultant inanity. As with the Web 2.0 lunacy, when everyone who could spell wiki tried to sell one, you should cultivate the art of identifying and sidestepping the bozos, the time-wasters, and the charlatans who use buzzwords as a convenient alternative to thought. (via cheeky_geeky on Twitter)
  3. Introducing the Autom — a personal robot to help you lose weight. Developed by Initiative Automata as an offshoot from MIT researcher Cory Kidd, Autom has conversations that encourage you to record your diet and exercise. The theory is that the added benefit of interaction will help you stick with the diet longer, increasing the chance that it will stick. Trials showed Autom users stick with their “weight loss regimen” twice as long as pencil-and-paper. (via So, Where’s My Robot?)
  4. USA Government IT Dashboard Launches — Vivek Kundra’s latest project, a dashboard giving insight into government spending. Contractors, CIOs, projects, schedules, and data via an API. Built in Drupal!
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