NewsBrief July 26, 2019

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 26, 2019

The Pentagon Releases Its 5-Year Digital Modernization Strategy

(Nextgov)Pentagon officials vowed to improve oversight of their IT investments as part of a multi-year push to upgrade the Defense Department’s tech for the 21st century. Officials on Friday released their Digital Modernization Strategy, offering insight on how the Pentagon plans to prioritize its roughly $46 billion annual IT budget over the next five years. Cloud adoption, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will all factor in heavily to the department’s technological future, according to the strategy, but those capabilities won’t be possible unless officials do a better job coordinating their efforts. Read More

FDIC puts $487.5 million IT services contract up for bid

(fedscoop) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is looking for IT vendors to provide infrastructure support services as part of a new multiple-award contract worth up to $487.5 million. Over a seven-and-a-half-year term, the contractors will help FDIC’s Division of IT deal with operations and maintenance support of its infrastructure while the financial agency looks to improve “productivity and efficiencies to continue to mature between 2020 and 2027,” says a new solicitation. Read More

Government inks new contract for employee travel

(Federal Times) Federal employees will continue to have discounted travel options when flying for official business, as the General Services Administration announced July 16 that it had awarded its $2.34 billion City Pair contract for fiscal year 2020. Read More

AFRL Hosts Collaborative Machine Learning Event with DoD, Universities

(Executivegov) Engineers and scientists from the Department of Defense and Air Force Research Laboratory met with representatives from various universities to augment collaborative efforts and discuss potential machine learning research gaps. Read More

Bulgaria’s president walks away from $1.26 billion deal for F-16 jets

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — Bulgarian President Rumen Radev vetoed a $1.26 billion deal to buy eight new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report. The veto follows a debate in parliament on Friday that revealed divisions on the contract terms. “The commitment of Republic of Bulgaria to obligations, for years to come, without a national consensus and conviction in the mutually acceptable conditions of the treaty, is extremely worrying,” Radev said in a statement, according to Reuters. Read More

House defense committee leaders eye NDAA conference after budget deal

(FCW) Now that White House and congressional leaders have tentatively agreed to a two-year budget deal on military spending, House Armed Services Committee members are preparing for a long conference to reconcile differences with the Senate’s version of the 2020 defense authorization bill. Read More

Boeing drops from next-generation ICBM competition

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — Boeing has announced its withdrawal from the $85 billion Ground Based Strategic Deterrent competition, potentially leaving Northrop Grumman as the only contender vying to replace the Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles. Read More

How NASA Wants to Explore AI

(aitrends) NASA is working to overcome barriers that once blocked it from a full pursuit of innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, according to an account in the Federal Times. NASA has previously used AI in human spaceflight, scientific analysis and autonomous systems. It currently has multiple programs that use AI/ML: CIMON, which is “Alexa for space”; ExMC, medical care AI assistance; ASE, autonomy for scheduling in space; Multi-temporal Anomaly Detection for SAR Earth Observations; FDL, partnership between industry and NASA through AIMs; and robots, and rovers. Read More

TAnalysis: Coping with the ‘rent of online’ – spiralling customer acquisition costs

(RetailWeek) Bricks-and-mortar and multichannel retailers have long been accustomed to the burdensome costs of high street trading, such as rent and a business rates system seen by most as out of kilter with reality. Selling online has frequently been seen as a lower-cost option, eliminating much of the rent and tax burden. But life is becoming tougher for pureplay and multichannel retailers alike as the costs of customer acquisition rise. Read More

New Hubble Constant Measurement Stokes Mystery of Universe’s Expansion

( Scientists have come up with a new measurement for the expansion rate of the universe, leading to questions regarding the discrepancies between current observations and the model of the universe that astronomers have relied on for years. Read More