NewsBrief: March 17, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: March 17, 2023

Turkey-Syria earthquake reconstruction cost estimate soars to more than $100bn

(The National News) The estimated cost of reconstruction following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing over 50,000 people, is more than $100 billion, the UN said on Tuesday. The Turkish government estimates that more than 200,000 buildings were destroyed alongside critical infrastructure in a zone of devastation spanning 500km. The new estimate is nearly three times that given by the World Bank a week ago, putting the reconstruction cost at $35 billion. Louisa Vinton of the UN Development Programme said the Turkish government, with support from her organisation, the World Bank and the EU, had calculated a far higher cost of damage. Read More

Navy’s Gilday: ‘Cost’ was the driving factor in amphib pause

(Breaking Defense) The Navy’s top admiral today said a key reason why the Pentagon chose to pause its amphibious warship buys came down to the price tag, especially the projected increases between the first, second and third vessels in the second flight of the class. “The driving issue here that drove that decision had to do with cost,” Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, told attendees at the McAleese Defense Programs conference in Washington, DC. To the vocal dismay of the Marine Corps, the new fiscal 2024 budget takes a strategic pause in buying amphibious ships, potentially truncating the buy for the San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks — if Congress allows it. Read More

DIA’s New China Mission Group Will Track the Threat Posed by AI Development

(Government Executive) Improved defense intelligence collection and analysis of emerging technologies will rely on forming new partnerships between government and industry, according to leadership at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Doug Wade, the head of the DIA’s China Mission Group, spoke during a Tuesday media discussion about his agency’s effort to bring together the best of industry to identify specific threats China poses and coordinate responses . Among the group’s areas of concern: China’s cyber capabilities and development of artificial intelligence technology. Read More

Coast Guard building software development foundation

(Federal News Network) The cloud and data branch is creating the software development foundation for the future Coast Guard. The office, which lives in the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Cyber and Intelligence (C5I) Service Center, provides all IT development and support services for the entire Coast Guard infrastructure and aims to ensure the service can deploy capabilities better, faster and securely. “There was a reorganization where we created the C5I Service center, and the goal was to put these shared services with a common collective,” said Jonathan White, Coast Guard’s cloud and data branch chief commander. Read More

Government employees and defense contractors still have got bad passwords, report says

(FCW) A new report found that the number of breaches impacting .gov emails rose to 695 in 2022, a nearly 14 percent increase from the previous year, as a majority of government employees continued to practice poor cyber hygiene. An estimated 61 percent of government employees with more than one password exposed in the last year had reused passwords across multiple accounts, according to the cybersecurity firm SpyCloud’s 2023 Identity Exposure Report. The report also found troubling habits across the private sector, including 24,000 malware infections among a sampling of defense contractors. Read More

Mix-and-match kit could enable astronauts to build a menagerie of lunar exploration bots

(Science Daily) The Walking Oligomeric Robotic Mobility System, or WORMS, is a reconfigurable, modular, multiagent robotics architecture for extreme lunar terrain mobility. The system could be used to assemble autonomous worm-like parts into larger biomimetic robots that could explore lava tubes, steep slopes, and the moon’s permanently shadowed regions. Read More

Rutgers scientists identify substance that may have sparked life on earth

(Space Daily) A team of Rutgers scientists dedicated to pinpointing the primordial origins of metabolism – a set of core chemical reactions that first powered life on Earth – has identified part of a protein that could provide scientists clues to detecting planets on the verge of producing life. The research, published in Science Advances, has important implications in the search for extraterrestrial life because it gives researchers a new clue to look for, said Vikas Nanda, a researcher at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM) at Rutgers. Read More

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