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Submission + - NASA targets Venus, asteroids with potential missions (

coondoggie writes: NASA this week picked five possible contenders for a relatively low-cost robotic mission to space. The five candidates from a batch of 27 –include Venus, near-Earth object and asteroid operations – will ultimately be whittled down to one or two that will cost approximately $500 million, not including launch vehicle or post-launch operations, NASA stated.

Submission + - Network security weaknesses plague federal agencies (

coondoggie writes: “Federal agencies’ information and systems remain at a high risk of
unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, and disruption. These risks are illustrated by the wide array of cyber threats, an increasing number of cyber incidents, and breaches of [personally identifiable information (PII)] occurring at federal agencies

Submission + - What will be hottest space research in next ten years? (

coondoggie writes: With NASA spotting water flows on Mars this week, excitement abounds as to what might be the next big thing for astrobiologsts and space scientists in general. Interestingly a congressional hearing entitled “Astrobiology and the Search for Life Beyond Earth in the Next Decade” was on tap this week to take a look at what some key issues are as NASA and other space organization look toward the future.

Submission + - CIA details agency's new digital and cyber espionage focus (

coondoggie writes: It seems like it might be about 10 years too late to the party but come October 1, the Central Intelligence Agency will ad a new directorate that will focus on all things cyber and digital espionage. The CIA’s Deputy Director David Cohen to a Cornell University audience last week that once the new Directorate of Digital Innovation (DDI) is up and running “it will be at the center of the Agency’s effort to inject digital solutions into every aspect of our work. It will be responsible for accelerating the integration of our digital and cyber capabilities across all our mission areas—human intelligence collection, all-source analysis, open source intelligence, and covert action.”

Submission + - DARPA looking to sling and recover drones from aircraft motherships (

coondoggie writes: The Gremlins program has as a goal to launch groups of drones or gremlins from large aircraft such as bombers or transport aircraft, as well as from fighters and other small, fixed-wing platforms while those planes are out of range of adversary defenses. When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours, DARPA said.

Submission + - FBI: Major business e-mail scam blasts 270% increase since 2015 (

coondoggie writes: Since the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) began tracking BEC scams in late 2013, it has compiled statistics on more than 7,000 U.S. companies that have been victimized—with total dollar losses exceeding $740 million. That doesn’t include victims outside the U.S. and unreported losses, the FBI stated. According to IC3, since the beginning of 2015 there has been a 270% increase in identified BEC victims.

Submission + - The ultimate auto-pilot software gets $15M boost (

coondoggie writes: The development of an automated system that can help take care of flying an aircraft — even perhaps helping pilots overcome in-flight system failures got another big boost this week when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Aurora Flight Sciences $15.3 million to move development of the software into a second phase.

Submission + - Big question of the day: Leonard Nimoy or not? (

coondoggie writes: The National Archives Unwritten Records Blog has an interesting item today for fans of actor Leonard Nimoy.
It seems that in the course of researching a film Clear Skies, Clean Air (from 1971) research request, the blogger Audrey Amidon thought the narrator of the film sounded familiar – that of Nimoy who most of the world knew as Star Trek's Mr. Spock.
Nimoy, who passed away earlier this year, amongst his myriad talents was a well-known voice-over actor. But the film and subsequent research turned up no record of the film’s narrator.

Submission + - DARPA: Current DDoS protection isn't cutting it (

coondoggie writes: Researchers with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will next month detail a new program they hope will ratchet-up the way the military, public and private enterprise protect their networks from distributed denial-of-service DDoS attacks.

Submission + - DARPA wants low-power chips that handle high-impact applications (

coondoggie writes: DARPA this week announced a new program called Circuit Realization At Faster Timescales (CRAFT) that looks to radically alter and shorten the design cycle for custom integrated circuits by a factor of 10. It takes on the order of 2.5 years to design and fabricate a custom integrated circuit design for DoD. DARPA wants to see the CRAFT program get that development down to the neighborhood of 30 weeks.

Submission + - FAA: Pilots report record number of unmanned aircraft encounters (

coondoggie writes: The FAA said pilots of a variety of different types of aircraft – including many large, commercial air carriers – reported spotting 16 unmanned aircraft in June of 2014, and 36 the following month. This year, 138 pilots reported seeing drones at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet during the month of June, and another 137 in July.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky