NewsBrief April 2, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 2, 2021

Clearing the Suez Canal Took Days. Figuring Out the Costs May Take Years.

(New York Times) TOKYO — It took six days to free a giant container ship that ran aground and clogged the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most crucial shipping arteries. It could take years to sort out who will pay for the mess. Cargo companies, insurers, government authorities and a phalanx of lawyers, all with different agendas and potential assessments, will need to determine not only the total damage but also what went wrong. When they eventually finish digging through the morass, the insurers of the ship’s Japanese owner are likely to bear the brunt of the financial pain. The costs could add up quickly. Read More

A strategic vision for model risk management

(McKinsey & Company) In the economic environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic, many models on which financial institutions rely for their business decisions became inadequate. The extraordinary economic conditions exacerbated preexisting stresses in model risk management (MRM). Facing a critical challenge, a few leading institutions, with others following suit, have begun to rethink their model landscapes and the model life cycle. As we discussed recently, their considerations have revealed a new S-curve in model risk management. In the past year, McKinsey provided a number of forums for model risk managers from financial institutions around the world. These professionals shared their views on challenges and emerging themes at roundtables and in our global MRM survey. Read More

Army moves ahead on ‘mixed reality’ goggle with Microsoft in $21.8 billion contract

(Army Times) The Army announced it has reached an agreement with Microsoft on a $21.88 billion, 10-year contract to produce its futuristic do-it-all goggle. The program, the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, has been the centerpiece for future plans to integrate an array of technologies previously only available to fighter pilots or troops in vehicles to individual, dismounted soldiers. The announcement made today by Program Executive Office-Soldier and Microsoft states that the program, which entered its early phases in 2018, will now move from prototyping to production. Read More

Recruiting science and technology workforce on GAO’s High Risk List

(Federal News Network) You probably know that strategic human capital management is on the High Risk List maintained by the Government Accountability Office. The government isn’t very good at anticipating the types of people it will need, then having a plan to recruit and hire them. That’s especially true in science and technology. GAO’s acting Director for Science, Technology Assessment and Analytics, Candice Wright, had the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin. Read More

Air Force develops maturity model for zero trust across the department

(fedscoop) The Air Force is developing a maturity model to help broaden its implementation of zero-trust principles in the foundation of its network architecture, its top IT official said Thursday. The Air Force has found success with initial zero trust projects, like Platform One, the service’s DevSecOps initiative where the network architecture is built with no “trust” or wide access is given to any user, whether familiar to a network or not. Now, the Air Force is trying to move beyond individual projects to implementing zero-trust principles at the enterprise level, Lauren Knausenberger, Air Force CIO, said Thursday during a Dcode event. Read More

NASA Tests Mixed Reality, Scientific Know-How, and Mission Operations for Exploration

(NASA) Mixed reality technologies, like virtual reality headsets or augmented reality apps, aren’t just for entertainment – they can also help make discoveries on other worlds like the Moon and Mars. By traveling on Earth to extreme environments – from Mars-like lava fields in Hawaii to underwater hydrothermal vents – similar to destinations on other worlds, NASA scientists have tested out technologies and tools to gain insight into how they can be used to make valuable contributions to science. Read More

FDA undertaking ‘unprecedented’ data infrastructure modernization during the pandemic

(fedscoop) The COVID-19 pandemic has given the Food and Drug Administration an “unprecedented” opportunity to modernize IT systems and data infrastructure that was just “chugging along,” according to one senior agency official. FDA went from having an “antiquated” system that could only process low volumes of low-complexity COVID-19 reporting to developing a core diagnostic data set with clinical, graphics, testing and results data, said Dr. Sara Brenner, the associate director for medical affairs in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Read More

How to Combat Virtual Meeting Fatigue

(MITSloan) Last year, the world of work experienced a huge shift practically overnight as meeting attendees switched from rushing between conference rooms to rushing to find the right Zoom link. While the medium of meetings has shifted for many of us, our need to come together in groups to collaborate, discuss project progress, and tackle work challenges is unchanged and ever present. In fact, the number of meetings per day has actually increased since many workplaces went completely remote in 2020. A recent “Future Workforce Pulse Report” by Upwork predicts that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely — almost a 90% increase from pre-pandemic levels. In short, virtual meetings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Read More

Rare daytime fireball meteor creates massive sonic boom over UK

( A rare daytime fireball meteor triggered a loud sonic boom across parts of the United Kingdom and France over the weekend. The sonic boom occurred at 2:50 p.m. local time on Saturday (March 20) and was reportedly heard in southwest England, Wales and northern France, according to Sky News. At first, most people assumed that the noise was the result of fighter jets, but the Ministry of Defence quikcly announced that this couldn’t have been the case, according to the BBC. Read More

Cryptic US Strategic Command tweet was no code; it was toddler gibberish

(Military Times) OMAHA, Neb. — A tweet issued on the official page of the U.S. military command in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal early had many on social media confused and concerned. What did the Sunday evening tweet, which read “;l;;gmlxzssaw,” mean? Had the account of the U.S. Strategic Command, which has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, been hacked? Within 10 minutes of launch, the tweet drew at least 12,400 “likes,” 9,000 retweets and lots of snark and speculation, the Omaha World-Herald reported. A half-hour later, a follow-up tweet apologized for the confusion and advised followers to disregard the previous nonsensical tweet. Then the mystery tweet disappeared. Read More