Archive for category General
International Space Station and the Power Of Twitter: Stunning Daily Pics from Space Available to All
Images taken from space can take your breath away. There is something truly amazing in seeing our world from such a distance and understand how beautiful and fragile it is.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is a bit of a space celebrity. Some of his hobbies include tweeting back and forth with William Shatner, posting recordings from space on SoudCloud, and even beaming down the occasional video of himself playing the guitar.
But the best of his messages from space (at least in our humble opinion) have got to be the photos of Earth he tweets daily from the ISS.
He shares a little bit of everything: the webbed lights of cities at night, checkerboard farmland covered in snow, swirling currents deep in the ocean, massive river deltas, and much more. It’s all there for you to browse through on his Twitter feed.
Here are a few of our favorites:
We highly suggest you take some time to look through his photo archive and see more of the spectacular views the ISS astronauts get each and every day. And keep in mind, these are all captured while traveling about 17,500mph at an altitude of about 250 miles.
ATI’s offers Cyber Warfare- Global Trends course. It will be offered on June 18-20, 2013 in Columbia, MD.
We thought the news below could be of interest to our visitors.
A security company says it has traced cyber-espionage activities to a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
In a report released on Tuesday, Mandiant Corp. said it has reasons to believe that a group it called Advanced Persistent Threat 1 (APT1) is likely backed by the Chinese government.
Mandiant, an advanced threat detection and response firm based in Washington D.C. said the cyber-espionage activity was traced to a certain PLA Unit 61398. The company said the unit is located in a huge building in Datong Road in Gaoqiaozhen, in the Pudong New Area in Shanghai.
A statement released on Tuesday, Mandiant said Unit 61398’s activities are considered a state secret. However, Mandiant said it has been tracking APT1 since 2006 and has found it to have compromised 141 companies in 20 major industries. The security firm said 80 per cent of the target companies were headquartered in countries where English is the native language and are in industries that China has identified as strategic.
A report from Computerworld.com, however said that China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the government is opposed to hacking.
“Cyber-attacks are transnational and anonymous,” said ministry spokesman Hong Lei in a press conference. “It is very hard to trace the origin of attacks. I don’t know has this evidence in the relevant report is tenable.”
Mandiant said APT1 uses tools called GETMAIL and MAPIGET which are meant for stealing emails. The group can revisit a victim’s network over a period of months or years and pilfer technology blue prints, business plans, proprietary processes, emails, contact list and contract information, said Mandiant.
The security firm said it is releasing more than 3,000 APT1 indicators to expose APT1’s infrastructure and allow organizations to bolster their defenses against the cyber group.
The meteor which exploded over the Urals of Russia on 15 February 2013 entered the Earth’s atmosphere within hours of the closest approach ever recorded of an asteroid to the Earth, named 2012 DA14.
The above video of the event is quite spectacular, with a number of dash cams capturing the exploding meteor’s trail. The meteor was estimated by the Russian Academy of Sciences to be about 10 tons, which caused buildings to be damaged from the shock wave, and hundreds of injuries from flying glass.
This is the most spectacular bolide (large, bright meteor) event. The various videos suggest that it might have become brighter than the midday summer sun, although it is difficult to tell because the sun was very low in the sky (in the middle of the Russian winter) when the event happened.
This could be a fragment of asteroid 2012 DA14 passing closest to the Earth today (Feb. 15). This is simply too much of a coincidence.
By way of historical perspective, the 1908 Tunguska Event involved what is believed to be an exploding meteor or fragment of a comet, which leveled over 800 sq. miles of forest in rural Russia. The size of the meteor or cometary fragment has been estimated to be around 100 m in diameter, which is somewhat larger than the 2012 DA14 asteroid which makes its closest approach to Earth today, 15 February 2013.
Astronauts in space have decided to interact with millions of humans on Earth and have decided to hold a Google Hangouts session.
On February 22, 2013, NASA scientists aboard the International Space Station (ISS) that is presently orbiting 240 miles over the Earth, will hold the first live Google Hangout session. The session will be conducted with Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn who are astronauts aboard the ISS. Canadian Space Agency’s Chris Hadfield will also be a part of the conference.
Interested people can send their queries in advance to the space station. People can submit a video query through YouTube. The query needs to not more than 30 seconds and must have the tag #AskAstro so NASA ground people can sift through and select the appropriate videos. Interested people should also provide their name and inform their location in their video.
Real-time questions will also be answered by the astronauts. As the live hangout can support just upto 10 people at a max, the hangout can be viewed LIVE by millions across the world on Google or YouTube. Questions posted on their Facebook page will also be answered.
This is not the first time NASA is conducting such activities and using the social media platform to connect with astronomy enthusiasts. However this is the first time the space expert is using a Social Media platform of Google Plus to address enthusiasts.
Posted by Val in Acoustics & Sonar, Analysis and Signal Processing, Continuing Education and Seminar Marketing, Defense, Including Radar, Missiles and EW, ENGINEERING, General, GPS Technology, Satellites, Space and Satellites, Systems Engineering & Project Management, Systems Engineering and Project Management, Underwater Acoustics and Sonar, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) on February 6, 2013
The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime directives of any government or company.
The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, systems engineering and signal processing. Since 1984 ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. The courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications.
When your company does not want to pay for the training you really want, as an alternative, you can:
- Spent your own personal money and funds; if you believe in it and then you will do it
- Find a user group who are practicing the skills you desire
- Don’t accept the classic answer from the boss, “How does X help the business?”. If the training is relevant to you achieving a goal of being a much better employee then of course it is relevant.
- Find another organization to work for
A training manager with a good team can:
- Fight for your team and their training; fight for your team’s budget and don’t let the senior management take it away
- Give up your personal training for the entire year and suggest that they allocate the extra budget to training for your team members
- Perhaps, it is time to evaluate the relationship with the preferred supplier of training. Has your firm been getting decent value from the PSL (preferred supplier list)?
- Find alternatives to training like brown bag lunches and/or collaborate with other businesses
Everybody needs training and self-improvement.
Please share your opinion with us by commenting below.
“Why is the military reporting on Santa?” you ask. Well, it started with a bad phone number that had kids calling an important colonel who was trying to defend the United States and Canada.
Now just why does a military group with a serious name like North American Aerospace Defense Command track Santa and take notes on just where he is and what he is up to?
Any kid can tell you, the man who says, “ho, ho, ho” is no danger to anyone. He may eat one too many a cookie, but that’s no crime. So why is the military watching him?
For more than 50 years NORAD and a group that came before it, CONAD, have tracked Santa on Christmas Eve.
The adventure began in 1955 after Sears put the wrong number for Santa Claus into an advertisement. So all the kids who called trying to talk to Santa got none other than the Commander-in-Chief of another group, the Continental Air Defense Command.
Col. Shoup got on it right away. Within no time his staff was checking CONAD’s powerful radar equipment to give children everywhere information on exactly where Santa was and when he was there.
Since that time, the United States and Canada got together and that’s how CONAD became NORAD. And the men, women, family and friends of NORAD decided to keep up the Christmas mission that Col. Shoup started. They pitch in to take phone calls and emails from children all around the world.
So starting Dec. 24, children can track Santa online and get the latest info right quick.
Between now and then, kids can also get updates on what the big guy in red is up to.
This was the year of malware. In particular, according to the latest Sophos annnual report on cybersecurity, the year that’s coming to a close saw a resurgence of web malware, and 80% of attacks on the web came in the form or redirects from legitimate sites infiltrated with malicious code. At the same time, the report warns, cybersecurity is not just about the desktop computer or Windows anymore. The continuous rise of smartphones, tablets as well as social media has given ill-intended hackers new platforms to exploit.
In the Security Threat 2013 report, Sophos underlines the risks posed by the sheer amount of platforms hackers can now take advantage of. “Throughout 2012, hundreds of millions of users flocked to social networks — and so did attackers.” read the report. “They built creative new social engineering attacks based on key user concerns such as widespread skepticism about Facebook’s new Timeline interface, or users’ natural worries about newly posted images of themselves.”
Sophos is referring to a common malware attack, which consists of creating a legitimate Twitteraccount, making it send direct messages to its followers, warning them of an alleged embarrassing photo of them being posted on Facebook. In an era where these kind of accidents actually happen, some people are too scared not to click on the link, which will then install aTrojan horse virus on their computer.
Sophos also underscored the threat posed by cybercriminals armed with powerful tools like “Blackhole,” a pre-packaged software tool created by Russian hackers that has become the most commonly used malware toolkit in the world, and, what’s worse, Sophos warns that it’s here to stay. “Barring a takedown by law enforcement, security vendors and IT organizations are likely to be battling it for years to come,” reads the report.
Blackhole is a tool that, using vulnerabilities in Java and other software, injects malware on a computer that visits an exploit site or a compromised website that redirects to one. Blackhole is so widespread that it accounts for 27% of all web malware. The United States (30%) and Russia (18%) are the countries that host the most Blackhole exploit sites.
If you’re wondering what are the riskiest countries in terms of malware, SophosLabs has ranked the riskiest and safest countries. Honk Kong, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates are the three countries most exposed to cyber attacks, while Norway, Sweden and Japan are the safest ones.
Sophos also reminds that Google’s mobile OS, Android, which now controls a large chunk of the smartphone market, has become a great platform for malware. In fact, in Australia and the United States an Android device is more likely to experience a malware attack (whether failed or successful) than a PC over a month-long period.
Finally, Sophos warned that as Apple computers eat Windows’ once dominant market share, hackers are adapting and looking to attack Mac computers too. “Growing Mac usage means many IT organizations must objectively assess, mitigate, and anticipate Mac-related malware threats for the first time,” reads the report.
If your company is hiring Gen-Ys (aka Millennials) fresh out of college, you will be eager to get them folded into your operation and feeling part of the team. But you will need to handle this cohort of youngsters differently than any other generations entering the Western workforce.
At first glance, you might ask “So what is different? After all, Gen-Ys are doing the same thing other generations have done before them: Leaving college friends and lovers, settling into new job and meeting new people.” And that is true and the typical corporate socialization techniques designed to ease the transition of new employees from college to work – - – social mixers, assignment of mentors, integrated product teams, etc. – - – will also be useful for incorporating Gen-Ys into your organization. But it will not be enough because there are other, much more complex dynamics at work in the recently-employed Gen Y community. We know this because we teach courses in Project Management and we have had some eye-popping, private conversations with Gen Y attendees about their job environment, their stress levels, their egos, expectations and fears.
Gen-Ys have an additional layer of issues affecting their mindsets and, hence, their job performance. More than any previous generation, Gen-Ys:
- Have grown up with iPods and near-constant music. This is the first 100% iPod â„¢ generation and music has been a near-constant companion for them while driving, walking, jogging and even while studying or working.
- Are accustomed to very frequent social contact with friends via texting, IM and Skype. Boomers snicker at the typical Gen-Y texting with friends every few minutes and are amazed when they first see Gen-Ys on their phones while watching movies and sporting events. Tweeting their remote friends about the movie or ballgame, and even Tweeting with friends right there in the crowd with them, is commonplace for Gen Ys.
- Believe in a “flat” equalitarian culture, where levels of organization do not exist. As a freshman in college a Gen Y could email (or call or visit) the President of the university, on almost any subject, and the President would discuss the subject, and thank the student for being straightforward and for bringing the problem to light. “Chain of Command” is usually an alien concept to any Gen Ys who are at their first jobs and who lack military experience.
- Have developed comparatively fragile egos and rely on frequent feedback on how they are doing in each class and with their friendships.
So the next time a Gen Y, new to your workplace, behaves strangely or does something you as a Gen-X or Baby Boomer might consider odd put yourself in their shoes:
- The comfortable, predictable college world they have known for 4+ years is completely gone. Professors with whom they could negotiate grades and arrange for “extra credit” work when needed have been replaced by a boss who is part of an entirely different culture, and embedded in a more rigid hierarchy of departments/divisions run by anonymous bureaucrats.
- The social fabric that held their lives together is missing. The face-to-face contact with college friends and professors is gone; only a poor electronic substitute is now available to them remotely through texts, Facebook, Twitter and cell phone calls.
- A music-rich college world has been replaced at work by endless meetings, discussions and conference calls. Colleagues and bosses constantly pop by the cubicle for chats, causing the iPod â„¢ ear buds to be constantly popping in and out as well.
- They are functioning in this new world very much “in the blind”, without the comfort of frequent homework assignment and class quizzes to confirm their understanding of a subject and their comparative standing among peers. Now there is no paper graded “B” to show the Gen-Y where they can improve performance. In a new job, just when they desperately seek feedback, they get little or none from their bosses until a scheduled performance review occurs (once or twice a year, quarterly if they are lucky).
There are some simple things we can do to fix this disconnect between realities of the workplace and the expectations of our Gen Y colleagues. In the next post weâ€™ll learn what bosses, and Gen-y workers themselves, can do to ease the college-to-work transition. And weâ€™ll recommend a new frame of mind for Gen-X and Boomers to help fold-in the Gen-Ys who, if the rest of us are ever going to retire, must take their place in the workforce. Until then, what are YOUR thoughts?
ATI offers Wavelets: A Conceptual Practical Approach course on Jun 12-14, 2012 in Columbia, MD. We thought our reader might be interested in the fact that our instructor Amir Nijami released a new book called Wavelets: A Concise Guide. You can follow this link to purchase the book and receive 25% discount http://www.aticourses.com/Book_JHUPress.pdf
Introduced nearly three decades ago as a variable resolution alternative to the Fourier transform, awavelet is a short oscillatory waveform for analysis of transients. The discrete wavelet transformhas remarkable multi-resolution and energy-compaction properties. Amir-Homayoon Najmi’sintroduction to wavelet theory explains this mathematical concept clearly and succinctly.Wavelets are used in processing digital signals and imagery from myriad sources. They form thebackbone of the JPEG2000 compression standard, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation usesbiorthogonal wavelets to compress and store its vast database of fingerprints. Najmi provides themathematics that demonstrate how wavelets work, describes how to construct them, and discussestheir importance as a tool to investigate and process signals and imagery. He reviews key conceptssuch as frames, localizing transforms, orthogonal and biorthogonal bases, and multi-resolution.His examples include the Haar, the Shannon, and the Daubechies families of orthogonal andbiorthogonal wavelets.Our capacity and need for collecting and transmitting digital data is increasing at an astonishingrate. So too is the importance of wavelets to anyone working with and analyzing digital data.Najmi’s primer will be an indispensable resource for those in computer science, the physicalsciences, applied mathematics, and engineering who wish to obtain an in-depth understanding andworking knowledge of this fascinating and evolving field.
To receive a 25% discount, please send an email to ATI@ATIcourses.com requesting the discount form.
which will maximize the number of highly qualified bidders
This three-day course on proposal writing is designed for engineers, scientists, project managers and other professionals who design, build, test, buy or sell complex systems. Each topic is illustrated by real-world case studies discussed by experienced system development and acquisition professionals. Key topics are reinforced with small-team exercises. Over two hundred pages of sample Requests for Proposal (RFP) and Requests for Information (RFI) and are provided. Students assess real RFIs and RFPs in class using checklists and templates provided
Since 1984, the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) has provided leading-edge public courses and onsite technical training to DoD and NASA personnel, as well as contractors. Whether you are a busy engineer, a technical expert or a project manager, you can enhance your understanding of complex systems in a short time.
You will become aware of the basic vocabulary essential to interact meaningfully with your colleagues. If you or your team are in need of more technical training, then boost your career with the knowledge needed to provide better, faster, and cheaper solutions for sophisticated DoD and NASA systems.
Why not take a short course? ATI short courses are less than a week long and are designed to help you keep your professional knowledge up-to-date. Our courses provide a practical overview of space and defense technologies which provide a strong foundation for understanding the issues that must be confronted in the use, regulation and development of complex systems.
What You Will Learn From This Course:
- What are Requests for Proposal (RFP)?
- How do they differ from Requests for Information (RFI)?
- How can they help us cost-effectively buy robust systems that meet not only the specification but also meet the needs and expectations of the end users?
- What makes “good” RFIs and RFPs?
- What should always be included and what should never be included in them?
- What is the one item that, if missing from the RFP, will ensure no reputable firm will bid the job?
- What is the one thing that inexperienced RFP writers inadvertently do that guts the competitiveness (only one company will bid) and practically guarantees protests of any contract award?
- What RFP components and features will attract the most qualified bidders?
Course Outline, Samplers, and Notes
After taking this course you will be able to write solid RFPs and RFIs and you will know how a well-crafted one is organized, structured, designed and built by an acquisition/procurement enterprise (either government or a contractor).
After attending the course you will receive a full set of detailed notes at the beginning of the class for future reference and can add notes and more detail based on the in-class interaction, as well as a certificate of completion. Please visit our website for more valuable information.
About ATI and the Instructors
Our mission here at ATI is to provide expert training and the highest quality professional development in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. We are not a one-size-fits-all educational facility. Our short classes include both introductory and advanced courses.
ATI’s instructors are world-class experts who are the best in the business. They are carefully selected for their ability to clearly explain advanced technology.
Mack McKinney, president and founder of a consulting company, has worked in the defense industry since 1975, first as an Air Force officer for eight years, then with Westinghouse Defense and Northrop Grumman for 16 years, then with a SIGINT company in NY for six years. He now teaches, consults and writes Concepts of Operations for Boeing, Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Raytheon Missile Systems, Joint Forces Command and all the uniformed services. He has US patents in radar processing and hyperspectral sensing.
Dates and Locations
The dates and locations of this short course are below:
Jan 31-Feb 2, 2012 Virginia Beach, VA
May 1-3, 2012 Virginia Beach, VA