Tag: military

MU College of Engineering Create Network for Military Smartphone Apps


Engineers from the MU College of Engineering, with funding from the US Army and Leonard Wood Institute, have created ad hoc networks so that soldiers can relay smartphone information without using the internet. This allows for targeting using sound or sight, as well as a host of other features to turn smartphones into tools for soldiers.
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The PlayBook Will Be the First Tablet to Truly Enter Government


otterbox playbook defender series

RIM has just announced that the PlayBook has received FIPS 140-2 certification, making the BlackBerry PlayBook the first tablet certified for deployment within U.S. federal government agencies. No other tablet on the market has gained FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). While some sites will claim that the iPad has made significant moves in government, from what we can tell it’s for very minimal use cases such as presentations and there doesn’t seem to be any significant deployment to date.

According to Bloomberg, the US Military has been testing tablets across all branches. The services are looking to tablets to replace laptops as well as paper manuals, maps, biometric devices and some communications tools. The U.S. Army is leaning toward the PlayBook because RIM “addressed security concerns from the get-go,” said Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dosmann, who oversees mobile device pilot- testing for the Army’s cybersecurity division. Security remains an issue for Apple and may hold back wider use of iPads, he said.
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Smartphones Are the Perfect Combat Tool for Soldiers


tactival nav

Recently, Captain Johnathan Springer of the US Army developed a really cool iOS app that can pinpoint the coordinates of enemy gunfire. Traditionally, pinpointing enemy gunfire is the support of a fire support officer, and involves a compass, binoculars, a map, a protractor, a GPS device – a secondary GPS device in case one fails – and batteries. A smartphone can replace all of these tools and provide much more, making it the perfect combat tool for a soldier.

Smartphone apps also have the ability to save the military lots of money where it tends to be wasted. Logistics, bureaucracy, communication, and training can all be improved with apps used in the field. Currently, Springer’s app is sold in the App Store for $5.99, but a wholesale purchase by the Department of Defense could make this app readily available.

The biggest hurdle for smartphone apps in the military is probably choosing a device and making sure it’s secure. Although Springer’s Tactival NAV app is developed for iOS, the BlackBerry would make the best platform for military apps. How cool would a modern BlackBerry in an Otterbox Defender Series case be in the field? The military could empower smaller, special forces divisions such as the Green Berets with BlackBerrys and the latest military apps. It would surely make them a more effective fighting team. Or maybe we could just see more smartphones used in Hollywood military movies like the Nokia X7 in Transformer.

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The British Ministry of Defence Warns Foursquare Will Make You Dance With Terrorists


Foursquare for BlackBerry attracts terrorists.

The British Ministry of Defence has created a series of PSA ads to warn military personnel about the dangers of social media and exposing your whereabouts. The above video shows a couple girls checking in to a nightclub which ends up being metaphorically filled with terrorists. Sure, it’s possible that some sort of sleeper cell is potentially living in the UK and stalking foursquare profiles for the moment to strike. Yes, it is conceivable that a few of these people exist. But this is so typical of the defense industry’s approach to making us afraid to bulk up budgets. Don’t be scared, they just want your money. Another clip after the jump that warns of the dangers of Facebook.
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First Look At The US Military’s Smartphone and Desktop App Store


The US Military is making a bold and impressive move by creating a smartphone and desktop app store for soldiers. The app store will be called the Army Marketplace and it will feature applications for both smartphones and desktop computers to help soldiers and new recruits. The app marketplace will also feature an agile software development process, where requests are put in for apps and developers can respond to the request and choose to build.

The main problem the app store is facing right now is device authentication. BlackBerry is the only smartphone certified to handle government data, and it can really only carry mail. The IT policies generally shut out all applications, and according to Lt. Col. Gregory Motes, chief of the Army’s new Mobile Applications Branch, “we don’t have a solution for authenticating applications or secure websites.” If a smartphone were to win authentication for apps, it would surely be a BlackBerry with policies that allow certain types of applications and block features that could reveal secure data.
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Nano-level waterproofing for mobiles thanks to military


WaterA new UK military technology that was initially aimed at providing protection against biological warfare may soon find its way onto portable electronics. Developer P2i specializes in what’s called “ion-mask plasma surface enhancement”, which covers covers materials tightly with an extremely thin water-repellent film. By using high-energy plasma, devices can get coated inside and out without damaging electronics.

“Ion-mask is extremely effective against the problem of moisture ingress as it can be applied to the most intricate electronic objects without damaging the precious circuitry,” explains P2i’s Business Development Director, Ian Robins. “The process is particularly well suited to high value applications such as MP3 players, which are required to perform outdoors in all weather conditions, or other small, lightweight electronic items which may be inadvertently worn in the shower or while swimming.”

Yeah, I accidentally hop in the shower with my BlackBerry all the time.