source: - Contributed by Artemus FAN Betsy Q.

The US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has awarded a contract to analytics company Slingshot Aerospace to provide an artificial intelligence (AI) solution for next-generation space situational awareness and enterprise space battle management.

Under the $6m contract, Slingshot Aerospace will prototype and deploy machine learning capabilities to augment a range of enterprise space battle management mission needs.

Slingshot will use its multi-domain toolset known as Orbital Atlas to enable troops to move away from traditional space situational awareness focusing on space catalogue maintenance.

The predictive space situational awareness toolset will deliver a tactical, predictive, and evidence-driven solution.

SMC’s Space Superiority Systems Directorate exercised the 2019 contract option and expanded the value over a two-year period of performance.

  source: - Contributed by Artemus FAN Betsy Q.



DARPA’s Gremlins program, shown in this artist’s concept, envisions launching groups of unmanned aircraft from bombers, transports, and fighters to attack targets while the host aircraft are still out of range. Illustration: DARPA

Swarming technology could find its way to the battlefield within the next few years, at least in a limited capacity, but it will take some time to marry up the artificial intelligence and autonomy needed for a high-end fight.

“I love swarming technology, you probably knew that given the job I came from. I think it’s what future warfare looks like,” said Will Roper, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics.

Roper took over the Air Force’s top technology job in February 2018, after nearly six years at the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office, where he oversaw development of the Perdix program, among other new technologies.

Perdix are expendable, micro-drones that can be pushed out the back of a variety of military aircraft and fly ahead of larger, more expensive remotely piloted aircraft or manned aircraft to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The Strategic Capabilities Office, in partnership with Naval Air Systems Command, tested the advanced swarming capability in 2016, launching more than 100 of the micro-drones from three F/A-18 Super Hornets over Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif.

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not preprogrammed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” Roper said at the time. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”


The U.S-focused eGobbler malvertising attacks are exploiting an unpatched Google Chrome bug.


About a half a billion Apple iOS users (and counting) have been hit by session-hijacking cybercriminals bent on serving up malware. They’re exploiting an unpatched flaw in the Chrome for iOS browser, to bypass sandboxing and hijack user sessions, targeting iPhone and iPad users.

The attacks are the work of the eGobbler gang, researchers said, which has a track record of mounting large-scale malvertising attacks ahead of major holiday weekends. Easter is coming up, and the crooks are banking on consumers spending a lot more time than usual browsing the web on their phones.

Session hijacking occurs when a user is browsing a web page and is suddenly redirected to another site or landing page, or when a pop-up appears that one can’t exit out of. The pages look like ads from well-known brands; but in reality, if a user clicks on one of them, a payload is deployed.

In this case, “the campaign…is currently still active under ‘.site’ TLD landing pages,” said Eliya Stein at Confiant, in an analysis this week. “With half a billion user sessions impacted, this is among the top three massive malvertising campaigns that we have seen in the last 18 months.”

The offensive is mainly targeting U.S. users, though some European activity has been observed.

Meanwhile, at least one other research firm said that the attack is effective against Apple Safari users as well – opening up a much larger threat surface, given that most iOS users make use of Apple’s default browser for mobile web surfing.

The campaign has been able to gain such reach over the course of just a few days (it’s only been active since last week), because it’s making use of an unpatched bug in Google Chrome for iOS, according to the analysis.



Artemus Editor's Note:  HOOray!  

The ramp-up to Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference this June has begun, with reports circulating about the goodies the company will include in the next generation of its desktop and mobile operating systems. The latest revelations include macOS support for the iPad as an auxiliary display, and iOS support for multiple windows within apps.

There are a number of third-party products on the market to add an iPad as a second display for a Mac, but the feature will become native to Apple's desktops and laptops with the next version of macOS, version 10.15, according to 9to5Mac.

The feature, referred to internally as "sidecar," reportedly can be accessed by hovering a Mac's cursor over the green button to maximize a window in macOS. Hovering will reveal a menu with options for making the window fullscreen, tiling it, or moving it to an external display or an iPad, where it will appear in fullscreen mode.

"It's a smart idea," said Lauren Guenveur, a senior research analyst at IDC, a market research company in Framingham, Mass.

"For those of us who travel, it's quite annoying to have just one small screen," she told TechNewsWorld. "Even with a 13-inch iPad, it's hard to achieve total productivity with that machine."

While the iPad is connected to a Mac, Apple Pencil can be used with the tablet, making the iPad a stand-in for a tablet accessory, 9to5Mac also noted.


New Undo

An array of new features will appear in the next edition of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 13.

iPad applications will be able to function in multiple windows opened simultaneously, 9to5Mac reported. Each window can contain "sheets." At first, the sheets are attached to a portion of the screen, but they can be detached with a drag gesture and moved around the screen like cards.

They also can be dragged onto each other to form a "deck." To get rid of a card , the user can virtually fling it away.

Both the iPad and iPhone will get a "dark mode," which already is supported by macOS. The system-wide dark mode can be enabled through iOS settings. It includes a high-contrast option.

A new undo and redo gesture will be part of the new iOS repertoire, 9to5Mac noted. When a user enters text on the iPad, a three-finger tap on the keyboard area will activate the feature. Moving left or right will undo and redo actions interactively.

The first time the keyboard is displayed after installing the new version of iOS, a tutorial will appear explaining the new feature, which is probably a good idea given the recent track record of iOS.