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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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Submission + - US Navy drone can fly, land on the water and swim->

coondoggie writes: The US Naval Research Lab is developing an unmanned aircraft that can fly, land in the water and swim like a fish. The Navy calls its flying/swimmer FLIMMER and says it is a combination airplane/submarine that at first flies to a location, then lands on the water and submerges. After that it can swim like a fish.
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Submission + - DARPA wants to transform vacuum electronics for comms, data ->

coondoggie writes: The notion of vacuum electronics may sound ancient in high-tech terms but a new program from the scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aims to transform the widely-used equipment into the next century. According to DARPA, vacuum electron devices (VEDs) are critical components for defense and civilian systems that require high power, wide bandwidth, and high efficiency, and there are over 200,000 VEDs currently in service.
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Submission + - FBI hopes low-tech video will spark answers to $500M art heist mystery->

coondoggie writes: It’s been 25 years since two thieves, dressed as Boston police officers made off with $500 million worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

The FBI this week released new video it says was captured by Museum security cameras 24 hours before the Gardner heist which the agency hopes might trigger some new leads in the very cold case.

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Submission + - FAA has approved more than 1,000 drone exemptions->

coondoggie writes: The Federal Aviation Administration today said it has issued 1,008 exemptions to businesses wanting to fly unmanned aircraft in the national airspace. Such small drones have been on the bad side of the news in the past few days as there have been at least 3 complaints about the diminutive aircraft flying near the flight path of JFK airport in New York. All three of the flights landed safely but the events prompted New York Senator Charles Schumer to call for called for “tougher FAA rules on drones, as well as geofencing software that could prohibit a done to fly higher than 500 feet, and keep it two miles away from any airport or sensitive area.
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Submission + - Expect more prize competitions to address tough IT, high-tech challenges->

coondoggie writes: Many people criticize the federal government for myriad problems, but there is at least one program in recent years that has been a success – the use of competitions or crowdsourcing to address sometimes complex problems. And because of those accomplishments you can expect many more such contests in the future. The White House Office of Science and Technology notes that in January 2015 the government will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the America Competes Act which in combination with has prompted more than 400 public-sector prize competitions which have doled out some $72 million in prizes.
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Submission + - Here's how to keep your employees engaged in their jobs->

coondoggie writes: What matters most in improving employee engagement levels--defined as the sense of purpose and commitment employees feel toward their employer and its mission— is valuing employees, that is, an authentic focus on their performance, career development, and inclusion and involvement in decisions affecting their work. The key is identifying what practices to implement and how to implement them.
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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman