How Cutting-Edge Technology & Science Are Powering The Future TPM Idealab

Senate Democrats this week unveiled their latest attempt to clarify and modernize the security of the country's critical information technology infrastructure. An attempt to pass cybersecurity legislation introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) stalled on December 15 when the full Senate failed to act on the measure after it was voted unanimously out of committee.

The currently skeletal legislation, S.21, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and seven committee chairs, is anticipated to include most of the Lieberman-Collins measure. But given its yet-to-be-determined final form, debate about its effects on privacy and executive power have reemerged.

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Lockheed Martin opened a virtual reality and simulation laboratory in Littleton, Colo, where they can use virtual reality technology to simulate tests of new products and processes before bringing them into the real world.

Some say that the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory (CHIL) facility sounds a whole lot like the holodecks on Star Trek. Lockheed Martin spokespeople won't go that far, but the similarities are unmistakable. It's a do-it-all kind of facility.

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Scientists working on a project sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory now have a forecasting model that they claim can accurately predict civil unrest against foreign governments.

A team composed of academics at Kansas State University and New York's Binghamton University developed the Predictive Societal Indicators of Radicalism Model of Domestic Political Violence Forecast. The KSU/Binghamton plans to integrate their forecasting model into applications developed by Milcord, a firm that develops web and mobile applications for various government agencies. According to Milcord's Alper Caglayan, the model "will be integrated into strategic planning, early crisis warning and contingency planning-type operations."

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It's a question privacy advocates and law enforcement have been grappling with for years: Does the protection of Little Sister justify Big Brother's prying eyes?

House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security met Tuesday morning to try to answer that question, with help from the Department of Justice, the United States Internet Service Provider Association and others. At issue is how long internet service providers should be required to keep massive amounts of user data for law enforcement to potentially sort through later.

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Above our heads, 21,000 pieces of man-made junk uncomfortably share the orbit around our planet with satellites, space craft and space platforms. These chunks of orbital debris threaten to collide with all that equipment, potentially bringing down communications, scientific, and military satellites. But if the Air Force has its way, its Space Fence system will track the thousands of pieces of debris and give data to scientists to help them avoid collisions.

This past November, the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center put out a call for proposals for developing a Space Fence that will use up to three powerful S-band radars to keep track of debris in the southern hemisphere as small as one inch in diameter. These new sensors will compliment the current United States Space Surveillance Network, whose sensors can follow objects down to ten centimeters in diameter.

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Apple's iPad tablet computer may be the perfect vehicle to view glossy magazines, but the iTunes subscription model has some publishers ready to turn the page.

On both sides of the Atlantic, publishers are grumbling about Apple's iTunes store. Some popular US publications, including the New York Times and Playboy, recently announced web-based subscriptions that will offer more flexible options and control over content than iTunes. But in Europe, Apple faces a probe by Belgian antitrust authorities over whether it is abusing its market position by requiring that publishers only sell subscriptions through iTunes.

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With news of Google co-founder Larry Page set to become the company's new CEO this April, should Americans be bracing themselves for an abrupt about-face on net neutrality at Google as the more ideological and product-focused Page takes the reins?

Don't hold your breath, according to industry experts. It's unlikely that Page will make any huge policy changes.

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