This blog post was shared with us by the Data & Analysis Center for Software (DACS). It is the 15th entry in our 22-part series produced by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).
In the early 80s, Xerox began experiencing fierce competition from both U.S. and Japanese competitors. New entrants from overseas were rapidly gaining market share. David Kearns, then CEO, stepped up and began a corporate push for lower manufacturing cost, and increased quality control. His program, known as “Leadership Through Quality” not only helped turn Xerox around, but it also gave birth to what we know as modern-day “benchmarking.”
But what exactly is benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a process for finding the world-class standards for a product, service, or system and then adjusting one’s own products, services, and systems to exceed those standards. When properly applied, benchmarking can force an organization to take a hard look at its own performance compared to that of its peers. It forces an organization to look at best practices within their particular industry and determine whether there is room for internal organizational improvement.
Today, we often hear the term benchmarking in the information technology and software industry, but oddly enough, its roots can be traced to the shoemaking industry. In the nineteenth century, cobblers would measure a client’s feet for handmade shoes. The cobbler would place a client’s foot on a “bench” and “mark” it out to make the pattern for the shoes. This pattern became a reference point for the cobbler and helped ensure a better fit. From benchmarking shoes to benchmarking software, this process has helped improve countless organizations.
Attention DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge participants! There are less than 30 days left to receive 20 percent Bonus Points on all submissions.
With the DC3 Challenge’s new Bonus Points System, the solution submitted for each exercise (e.g. 101, 204, 302, etc.) is eligible for the bonus award based on the time it is submitted. Remember, the team’s initial submission is the FINAL submission for that specific exercise. Get your submissions in by May 1 to quality for the Bonus Points.
The DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge is a public, online, and international Challenge held annually by the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Crime Center (DC3). The Challenge is a call to the digital forensics community to pioneer new investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies. It encourages innovation from a broad range of individuals, teams, and institutions to provide technical solutions for computer forensic examiners in the lab as well as in the field. The Challenge ends November 2, 2011!
Today’s warfighters possess the ability to meet the dynamic demands of the battlefield by relying on their knowledge and training to make the right decisions in demanding complex situations. In contrast, unmanned systems and electronic devices, while able to collect and process information, are limited in their efficiency and flexibility, and current computer systems can only process information according to their programming.
What if warfighters could access an entirely new class of electronic systems that can meet the demands of dynamic environments?
DARPA’s Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program aims to fundamentally alter conventional designs by developing biological-scale neuromorphic electronic systems that mimic important functions of a human brain. Applications for neuromorphic electronics include robotic and manned systems, and sensory and integration applications such as image processing.
The goal of SyNAPSE is to create electronic systems, inspired by the human brain, that can understand, adapt, and respond to information in fundamentally different ways than traditional computers. While current computers are organized into distinct processor and memory units that function in accordance with their programming, the brain is organized as an intimate and distributed web of very simple processors (neurons) and memory (synapses) that spontaneously communicate and learn their functions.
Using knowledge of the brain’s organization as a platform, SyNAPSE is developing integrated circuits with high densities of electronic devices and integrated communication networks that approximate the function and connectivity of neurons and synapses. This program has also developed tools to support this specific area of hardware development such as circuit design tools, large-scale computer simulations of hardware function, and virtual training environments that can test and benchmark these systems.
Can you best an enemy submarine commander so he can’t escape into the ocean depths?
If you think you can, you are invited to put yourself into the virtual driver’s seat of one of several Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) configurations and show the world how you can use its capabilities to follow an enemy submarine.
DARPA’s ACTUV program is developing a fundamentally new tool for the Navy’s ASW toolkit and seeks your help to explore how best to use this tool to track quiet submarines. Before autonomous software is developed for ACTUV’s computers, DARPA needs to determine what approaches and methods are most effective. To gather information from a broad spectrum of users, ACTUV has been integrated into the Dangerous WatersTM game. DARPA is offering this new ACTUV Tactics Simulator for free public download.
This software has been written to simulate actual evasion techniques used by submarines, challenging each player to track them successfully. Your tracking vessel is not the only ship at sea, so you’ll need to safely navigate among commercial shipping traffic as you attempt to track the submarine, whose driver has some tricks up his sleeve.
This blog post was shared with us by the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Information Analysis Center (CBRNIAC). It is the 13th entry in our 22-part series produced by the Defense Technical Information Center.
The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) history of the United States exists in sealed documents and gated buildings. Part of The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Information Analysis Center’s (CBRNIAC) goal is cataloging historical CBRN research for future use. Although most people are not familiar with the exact studies that occur at CBRN labs, you may be familiar with some of the sites.
Einstein buffs may be aware of the famed Trinity site, home to the first nuclear explosion. Other sites, like the One-Million-Liter Test Sphere, played a major role in biodefense experimentation during the Cold War. Or perhaps you’re familiar with the Air Force Weapons Lab Transmission Line Aircraft Simulator, which was used to test aircraft against electromagnetic pulses to simulate nuclear detonations.
Interested in winning money for solving some of the U.S. Air Force’s toughest challenges?
The U.S. Air Force Research Lab and the Wright Brothers Institute have launched the Open Innovation Pavilion, an online innovation marketplace where more than a quarter million of the world’s brightest minds solve tough problems for cash awards. This week, we’ll run through each of the ongoing challenges, which feature more than $100,000 in prizes. Hey, count me in!
First up: Remote Human Demographic Characterization.
The Air Force Research Lab is offering up to $20,000 for a system that can determine approximate age (adult, teen, child) and gender of small groups of people at a distance. You, the Solver, will propose a system and make suggestions for a potential hardware configuration that meets the requirements and justify it with arguments and relevant references. Evidence that the proposed system will work (from previous applications, existing data, literature, etc.) will be very important. The proposal will be evaluated on a theoretical basis considering the current state of the art knowledge.