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Archive for the ‘government’ category

Sep 24, 2020

NASA chief warns US Congress about Chinese space station

Posted by in categories: government, space

A radar image of China’s Tiangong-1 space station, which ceased operation in 2018. Beijing has announced plans for a permanent space station by 2022. Image: Fraunhofer Institute FHR via AP.

Sep 24, 2020

Ripjar, founded by GCHQ alums, raises $36.8M for AI that detects financial crime

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, finance, government, privacy, robotics/AI

Financial crime as a wider category of cybercrime continues to be one of the most potent of online threats, covering nefarious activities as diverse as fraud, money laundering and funding terrorism. Today, one of the startups that has been building data intelligence solutions to help combat that is announcing a fundraise to continue fueling its growth.

Ripjar, a U.K. company founded by five data scientists who previously worked together in British intelligence at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, the U.K.’s equivalent of the NSA), has raised $36.8 million (£28 million) in a Series B, money that it plans to use to continue expanding the scope of its AI platform — which it calls Labyrinth — and scaling the business.

Labyrinth, as Ripjar describes it, works with both structured and unstructured data, using natural language processing and an API-based platform that lets organizations incorporate any data source they would like to analyse and monitor for activity. It automatically and in real time checks these against other data sources like sanctions lists, politically exposed persons (PEPs) lists and transaction alerts.

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Sep 23, 2020

Saving Carpathia, The Vast Wilderness in the Heart of Europe

Posted by in categories: business, energy, government, policy, sustainability

Karen Potter, Director of Sustainability Hub and ideaXme sustainability ambassador interviews Christoph Promberger, M.Sc., Executive Director Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC). https://www.carpathia.org

Karen Potter comments:

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Sep 22, 2020

OneWeb to Resume Launches with Arianespace in December

Posted by in categories: government, internet, satellites

OneWeb is set to resume launches with Arianespace in December to build out its Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite internet constellation. The satellite operator announced Monday that Arianespace will provide 16 more launches, each placing another 34 to 36 satellites into OneWeb’s constellation.

This update comes as OneWeb is in the midst of a restructuring deal with the U.K. government, Bharti Global Limited, and Hughes Network Systems after filing for Chapter 11 in March. The U.K. government and Bharti Global Limited announced in July they formed a consortium to acquire OneWeb, each providing $500 million. Hughes joined the consortium in July with a $50 million investment. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the Fourth Quarter of 2020.

OneWeb has 74 satellites in orbit and its return-to-flight launch in December will increase the fleet to 110 satellites. The company plans to complete the deployment of its constellation by the end of 2022, and start commercial services by the end of 2021. The initial service regions above 50 degrees North latitude will include the United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic seas and Canada.

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Sep 16, 2020

Afghanistan Peace Talks Open in Qatar, Seeking End to Decades of War

Posted by in categories: government, treaties

The Afghan government and the Taliban are finally coming to the table, after repeated delays. But the violence continues, and the challenges are vast.

Sep 16, 2020

How gene therapy could help astronauts survive deep space deadly radiation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, government, health, neuroscience, space travel

Over the past five decades, space travel advocates have been pushing to expand our footprint in space. They dream about lunar bases, missions to Mars and colonies in free space. The visions are ever changing, with government efforts joined by those of private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX — in the midst of an effort to send tourists on a trip around the Moon — gravitating toward the space tourism sector. While the goals and how to accomplish them are in constant flux, there remain certain obstacles that must be overcome before we take that next big step. And one of the biggest is the need to protect the health of our future space explorers.

That’s what’s prompted NASA to turn to the fast-moving world of gene therapy to solve several potential medical issues facing astronauts on lengthy space missions.

The US space agency and the associated Translational Institute for Space Health Research (TRISH) at the Baylor College of Medicine are now calling for proposals from private companies and other groups to develop a kind of gene therapy for astronauts. But this would be different than recent gene therapies that target specific diseases such as hemophilia or various types of cancer. Instead, the idea here is to minimize the damage from space radiation through a kind of preventive treatment. Exposure to radiation in space can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts and the loss of cognitive function due to accelerated death of brain cells. These different disease categories involve very different mechanisms — cancer and heart disease result from radiation damaging DNA, while loss of brain tissue results simply from radiation killing off mature cells, and still other diseases result from radiation destroying stem cells.

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Sep 11, 2020

Pentagon says Microsoft still deserves $10 billion JEDI cloud contract

Posted by in categories: computing, government, law, military

After an internal investigation, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that is standing by its decision to award the $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract to Microsoft and not Amazon. The probe was triggered after Amazon complained that the integrity of the bidding process was cast into doubt because of statements by President Trump.

The Pentagon affirmed its initial decision awarding the contract to Microsoft, but acknowledged that the legal battle isn’t over. In a press release, it said it “determined that Microsoft’s proposal continues to represent the best value to the government” but added that the contract “will not begin immediately.” That’s because of a temporary injunction issued over an Amazon lawsuit arguing that the contract had “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias.”

Sep 9, 2020

States Join Automated Security Pilot with MS-ISAC, Johns Hopkins

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government, robotics/AI

The promise of artificial intelligence for cybersecurity is that it will free security professionals at government agencies from menial tasks and allow them to focus on threat hunting and higher-level work. Another benefit that might get lost in the shuffle, but is no less important, is that automation in cybersecurity can actually lead to enhanced security for agencies.

Five governments are testing that proposition. Last month, the states of Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas, along with Maricopa County, Ariz., announced a partnership with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to pilot a cybersecurity automation program.

The agencies will be using security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) tools, which “enable organizations to collect security-threat data through multiple sources and perform triage response actions significantly faster than with manual processes,” according to a Johns Hopkins press release. The hope is that it will enable the agencies to “quickly and broadly share information — in near real time — and leverage automation to prevent or respond to cyberattacks,” the release states.

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Sep 9, 2020

Blockchain-powered ‘Smart Brain’ to govern China’s new ‘Aerospace City’

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, governance, government, information science, robotics/AI, satellites

Singapore-based blockchain data firm CyberVein has become one of 12 firms participating in the construction of China’s Hainan Wenchang International Aerospace City. Construction commenced last month, with the site previously hosting a satellite launch center. Described as “China’s first aerospace cultural and tourism city,” it will be a hub for the development of aerospace products and support services intended for use in Chinese spacecraft and satellite launch missions. The 12-million-square-meter facility will host the country’s first aerospace super-computing center, and will focus on developing 40 technological areas including big data, satellite remote sensing and high precision positioning technology. CyberVein will work alongside major Chinese firms, including Fortune 500 companies Huawei and Kingsoft Cloud, and will leverage its blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data technologies to support the development of the city’s Smart Brain Planning and Design Institute.”


Blockchain firm CyberVein is partnering with the Chinese government to build a blockchain-powered governance system for its aerospace ‘smart city.’

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Sep 6, 2020

How to build a modern public-private cybersecurity partnership

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, economics, energy, government

Public-private partnerships have been central to the development of cybersecurity over the past decade, through the sharing of threat information between commercial organizations and historically secretive government agencies. The opportunity now exists for a new era of public-private partnership, for a new realm of information sharing.


Cyberattacks continue to be reported as a key business risk. In the recent World Economic Forum’s Regional Risks for Doing Business 2019 report, survey respondents in six of the world’s 10-largest economies identified cyberattacks as their number one risk.

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