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14 Nov 13. IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence to get new homes with rivals. IBM has opened up its Watson artificial intelligence technology for use by other software developers, potentially paving the way for a new generation of online services capable of responding to their users in smarter and more natural ways. First shown off two years ago competing in the Jeopardy question-and-answer TV game show against human contestants, Watson was built as a showcase for IBM breakthroughs in technologies such as those enabling computers to better understand human interaction. Natural language processing is considered one of the hardest challenges for computers. Watson has since been used in experiments on cancer research and medical diagnostics. In a move that could bring the hardcore computing science to mass consumer markets, IBM said that other developers would be able to “plug into” Watson, drawing on its analytical power to inject an extra level of intelligence into their own applications. Echoing the “Intel inside” branding that turned the chipmaker into a household name, applications that use IBM’s most advanced cognitive computing technology will be branded as “Powered by Watson”. “We’re about to start on a new era of analytics and cognitive computing, and Watson is ahead of the world in terms of its impact,” said Mark Gorenberg, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital group Hummer Winblad. (Source: FT.com)

13 Nov 13. The Defense Department is rolling out training for end users and systems administrators on how to operate its new mobile-device management software. Enterprise mobile security firm PaRaBaL is designing, building and delivering the training for all of DoD, said CEO Peter Coddington. “On this contract, our task is to make sure that all the DISA or DoD employees that will use the solution are fully versed and trained,” he said. The small-business firm is a subcontractor to Bethesda, Md., technology company DMI, which was awarded a potential $16m, three-year contract in June for mobile application store services and an MDM solution to centrally manage DoD smartphones and tablet computers. Coddington couldn’t say how many users have been or will be trained other than noting, “we are well along in the process.” A performance work statement on fbo.gov, said the MDM software will be designed to support at least 162,500 devices, with the potential of 262,500 mobile devices by the end of the contract. For DoD components that use DISA’s mobile services, users will learn how to activate the management solution on their devices and how to safely operate devices according to security guidelines, said Coddington, who declined to provide further details on the contract. Systems administrators will learn how to use the MDM solution. The four-year-old company is also working with one of the military services to test software code used for developing mobile apps. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

15 Nov 13. The tourists probably missed it, but back in 2011, a Trellisware Technologies team boarded the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier operating as a naval museum in San Diego, and conducted a test. Armed with Android devices tethered to tiny software-defined radios, the group wanted to see what it would take to push a signal from the bowels of the ship, past the pipes, bulkheads and metal doors, to the outside world. And so one man stayed behind in the engine room while the rest of the team took positions throughout the aircraft carrier. As the person in the engine room started recording video, the imagery traveled over the impromptu radio network, hopping from node to node until it made its way to the flight deck, where it was zapped to someone else five miles away. In all, it took just four handhelds to communicate across a notoriously disruptive environment. Designed to support units

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