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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 12, 2019

Data-crunching spies of the future

(FCW) The U.S. intelligence community is attempting to transform the way it uses and handles digital information. Unlike much of their work, agency officials want you to know all about it. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been sending officials to conferences and gatherings in recent months to promote a years-long effort to modernize the IT infrastructure used by intelligence agencies. One of the primary goals of that effort is to better open up, analyze and share the massive amounts of sensitive U.S. government data between component agencies. Read More

Navy holds AI and cybersecurity contest with $150,000 in cash prizes

(fedscoop) The Navy launched a competition this week for finding machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions for real-world cybersecurity challenges. The challenge — dubbed the Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity Challenge (AI ATAC) — holds a $100,000 first place and $50,000 second place awards. It is open to all citizens and permanent residents, be they defense contractors, researchers, students or just technology-curious private citizens. Read More

UK shoots for new laser weapons against drones, missiles

(DefenseNews) LONDON – Britain is planning to invest up to $162 million developing three directed-energy weapon demonstrators, including one aimed at killing drones, the Ministry of Defence has announced. The MoD said it had notified industry this week, in what is called a Prior Information Notice, of its intention to procure two laser-based demonstrators and a radio-frequency weapon to “explore the potential of the technology and accelerate its introduction onto the battlefield.” Read More

GDIT Wins $2 Billion Contract to Defend State Department Supply Chain

(Nextgov) The State Department awarded General Dynamics’ information technology division a $2 billion contract to defend its global supply chain against “physical and technological threats.” Under the contract, GDIT will provide a “fully-integrated, turnkey” supply chain security solution to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Countermeasure Directorate, covering technical security, distribution management, global logistics and other services, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday. Read More

To develop hypersonic missile launcher, Pentagon seeks funding transfer

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is looking to transfer $50 million within its fiscal 2019 budget to cover the cost of the design and development of a prototype mobile launcher for its Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, or LRHW. The Defense Department submitted an omnibus reprogramming request to Capitol Hill on June 25, which congressional defense committees must approve. Read More

IBM acquires Red Hat for $34B

(Federal Times) IBM’s nearly $34 billion acquisition of open-source cloud company Red Hat has closed, IBM announced July 9, creating a common platform for entities to manage their IT infrastructure. “Businesses are starting the next chapter of their digital reinventions, modernizing infrastructure and moving mission-critical workloads across private clouds and multiple clouds from multiple vendors,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO in a statement. “They need open, flexible technology to manage these hybrid multicloud environments. Read More

Italy’s defense spending rises in 2019, but procurement drops

(DefenseNews) ROME — Italy has cut its procurement spending by 15 percent in 2019, newly released defense documents reveal, even as spending by its Defence Ministry increased, with maintenance and operations funds boosted by nearly one-fifth. The numbers, which have been released for a sign-off by parliament, are contained in an annual document, which has been seen by Defense News and breaks down spending per program.Read More

Government wants to know how to make data better for AI

(Federal Times) The Office of Management and Budget has turned to the public to determine how to best position federal data so that it can be used for the development of artificial intelligence. The agency put out a request for information July 10 calling on the public to help determine which federal datasets would be most helpful for AI research and development and how best to format those datasets. Read More

These Odd ‘Quasiparticles’ Could Finally Unmask Dark Matter

(LiveScience) About 80% of all the matter in the cosmos is of a form completely unknown to current physics. We call it dark matter, because as best we can tell it’s…dark. Experiments around the world are attempting to capture a stray dark matter particle in hopes of understanding it, but so far they have turned up empty. Read More