NewsBrief: July 28, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: July 28, 2023

FAA says it does not use ChatGPT in any systems

(FedScoop) The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday denied using the AI-powered language model ChatGPT in any of its systems. In a statement to FedScoop, the agency said the chatbot is not being deployed by the department, including in mission-critical air traffic control systems. The clarification comes after the Department of Transportation earlier listed ChatGPT in a catalog of current AI use cases published on the department’s website. In that reference, the agency said the FAA — and in particular, the agency’s air traffic organization (ATO) — was using “ChatGPT in code writing assistance.” Read More

To innovate, DoD must be allowed to move faster (Opinion)

(DefenseNews) The U.S. private sector innovates like no other. American companies quickly adapt to changing market demands, develop and integrate new technologies at scale, deliver products with exceptional speed and compete to win. This dynamic environment has become the benchmark of success in the modern world, but sadly and needlessly, it is often foreign terrain for the U.S. military. At the center of the problem is the Defense Department’s antiquated acquisition system, which is hindering our military’s ability to acquire emerging technologies at the speed we need. Read More

Goddard, Wallops Engineers Test Printed Electronics in Space

(Space Daily) Today’s small spacecraft pack sensors, guidance and control, and operating electronics into every available space. Printing electronic circuits on the walls and structures of spacecraft could help future missions do more in smaller packages. Engineers successfully tested hybrid printed circuits at the edge of space in an April 25 sounding rocket flight from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague, Virginia. Electronic temperature and humidity sensors printed onto the payload bay door and onto two attached panels monitored the entire SubTEC-9 sounding rocket mission, recording data that was beamed to the ground. Read More

Cambodia nears completion of controversial Naval Base, amid US concerns

(Space War) Work on the controversial naval base in Cambodia, suspected by the United States of being earmarked for Chinese military use, is reportedly nearing completion. The Cambodian government confirmed on Tuesday that the base is on the brink of being operational, despite persistent international concerns. This report is according to Chhum Socheat, a Cambodian defense ministry spokesman, who spoke to AFP and assured that there was no Chinese military presence on the base. The base in question is situated on the Gulf of Thailand and has long been a source of contention, with accusations that Beijing, a close ally of Cambodia, is funding the revamp to expand its global military reach. Read More

Pandemic spending exposes weaknesses in how governments handle data

(Route Fifty) Springfield, Massachusetts, received more than $1.8 billion in pandemic relief money from 10 federal agencies. The city spent the funds providing a variety of services, but how much it spent on those services is sometimes a little hard to determine. That’s because keeping track of how that money was spent is extremely difficult due in part to the problems that state and local agencies have in collecting and analyzing data, as well as the technological limitations associated with their databases, according to a report by the federal Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Read More

Whistleblower alleges government coverup of UFO sightings, recovery efforts

(NextGov/FCW) A former intelligence official told lawmakers Wednesday that the federal government has misappropriated funds to retrieve and reverse engineer technology from crashed unidentified flying objects and has “non-human” remains in its possession from these recovery efforts. During his explosive testimony under oath before the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs, David Grusch — a former national reconnaissance officer who served as a member of the Pentagon’s task force on unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP — alleged that the federal government has relied on intimidation, budgetary trickery and classified reporting to conceal its decades-long awareness of extraterrestrial aircraft. Read More

OPM Proposes ‘Rule of Many’ in Hiring

(FEDweek) OPM has proposed rules to formally replace the traditional “rule of three” with a “rule of many” that would apply to both competitive service and excepted service positions and for candidates from both inside and outside the government when agencies use a numeric ranking system in hiring. Proposed rules in the July 21 Federal Register note that for many years, the rule of three—in which the hiring official could choose only from among the top three candidates referred—has been largely replaced in practice by category rating, where candidates are divided into levels of qualification and the official can choose from among anyone in the top category. In both cases, preferences for veterans apply. Read More

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