Saturday, December 16, 2023

Short Takes – 12-16-23

Hazardous Materials: Information Collection Activities. Federal Register PHMSA 30-day ICR notice. Summary: “The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner and in accordance with the Department's commitment to improving service delivery. Qualitative feedback is information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insight into customer or stakeholder perceptions, opinions, experiences and expectations, as well as an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services.” Comment deadline: January 17th, 2024.

Intelligence Researchers to Study Computer Code for Clues to Hackers’ Identities. article. Pull quote: ““The number of attacks is increasing far more than the number of forensic experts that are available to go after these attacks,” said Kristopher Reese, who is managing the research program at IARPA and holds a doctorate in computer science and engineering. The lack of forensic resources means hackers who target small organizations or companies that don’t fall under critical infrastructure sectors often escape identification, he said.”

US Approves New Kind of Nuclear Reactor for First Time in 50 Years. article. Pull quote: “Kairos plans to begin construction next year on its $100 million project and expects the system to be complete by the end of 2026. The goal is to demonstrate the viability of its design and the molten salt technology. Molten salts remain liquid at high temperatures and low pressure, a potential safety advantage over water-cooled systems. Laufer said the last time a design that wasn’t water-cooled was approved in the US was in 1968.”

The FAA is developing an air traffic tool built for the space age. It may need help. article. Pull quote: “The language described as “Space Launch and Reentry Airspace Integration Technology” in proposed congressional reauthorization language would allow for the FAA to appropriate up to $10 million a year to speed up the development of SDI, a Transportation committee source confirmed. That’s a significant bump from its current annual budget of $4.5 million, which, the agency told FedScoop, is meant to cover maintenance, including personnel, software, licenses, hardware and security support.” 

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