Thursday, May 23, 2024

Short Takes – 5-23-24

House GOP eyes ambitious plans to pass all 12 government funding bills. article. Pull quote: “He [Rep Harris (R,MD)] added that he thinks the party’s goal of passing all 12 bills across the floor “won’t be any easier” than last year — when intraparty divides over spending and policy areas like abortion dominated public attention as the conference struggled to unify behind its appropriations bills.”

Air Weapons: UAV Use Evolves in Ukraine. article. Pull quote: “The Drone Force can also supply units with specialized UAV units containing trained operators and commanded by officers who were trained to get the most out of these units. That means knowing how to handle larger UAVs that can search areas up to a hundred kilometers distant to find targets or just enemy activity in general. The Drone Force will collect data on recent UAV usage and modify UAV design and combat procedures to improve effectiveness in combat. The side that innovates and reorganizes the fastest in response to new situations has an edge in combat. This is what the Ukrainian Drone Force was created for and, along with the million UAVs Ukraine seeks to obtain in 2024, may prove to be decisive this year.”

Finland's wizards making food out of thin air. article. Pull quote: “By feeding a microbe with carbon dioxide, hydrogen and some minerals, and powering the process with electricity from renewable sources, the company has managed to create a protein-rich powder that can be used as a milk and egg substitute.”

The Pentagon Isn’t Buying Enough Ammo. article. Pull quote: “In response, munitions procurement followed boom and bust cycles. The military bought weapons when they were being used during a conflict and stores ran low, but then quickly deprioritized weapons purchases once the immediate need subsided. Inconsistent buys led the armaments industry to atrophy and lose its ability to surge, a result of increasingly fragile supply chains and a proliferation of sole-source suppliers. For example, there are currently only two American companies that produce the solid rocket motors that propel the majority of U.S. missile systems.”

Could Putting Neosporin in Your Nose Fend Off COVID? article. Pull quote: “While much of the work was conducted on rodents, the researchers did ask a dozen healthy people to apply Neosporin—which contains a much lower dose of neomycin than the experiments in rodents used—in their nose twice a day for one week and compared them with seven people who used Vaseline—a topical ointment with no neomycin in it. The researchers measured the activity, or expression, of five different interferon-stimulated genes (and one immunoregulatory gene affected by interferon-stimulated gene activity) in each person. They found that even several days after Neosporin administration ended, the people who used it showed higher levels of gene expression, suggesting a stronger immune response. The results were intriguing enough that Iwasaki hopes to conduct more tests on the approach—including testing higher doses of neomycin than are present in Neosporin—in the future.”

Open Meeting of the Internet of Things Advisory Board. Federal Register NIST meeting notice. Agenda: “The purpose of this meeting is to finalize the IoT Advisory Board's report for the IoT Federal Working Group. The recommendations documented in the report were accepted as final at the May 2024 meeting. This meeting's agenda will focus on finalizing the initial sections of the report, primarily the Executive Summary, Introduction, Future of IOT and Findings. Note that agenda items may change without notice. The final agendas will be posted on the IoT Advisory Board web page:​itl/​applied-cybersecurity/​nist-cybersecurity-iot-program/​internet-things-advisory-board.” Meeting date: June 14th, 2024.

The weapon behind Russia’s creeping battlefield advances. article. Pull quote: ““Missiles are basically critical. These are one of the defining capabilities of this type of conflict,” said Federico Borsari, a fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. “Russia had to resort to the use of gliding bombs because its stock of missiles is not sufficient to deliver good effects on the battlefield.””

Hijack of monitoring devices highlights cyber threat to solar power infrastructure. article. Pull quote: “In what might be the first publicly confirmed cyberattack on the solar power grid infrastructure, Japanese media recently reported that malicious actors hijacked 800 SolarView Compact remote monitoring devices made by industrial control electronics manufacturer Contec at solar power generation facilities to engage in bank account thefts.”

Davidsmeyer Hazmat Tanker Placard Info Bill Passes. article. Pull quote: “Davidsmeyer says the bill requires the Secretary of State to include more information in the Illinois Rules of the Road book pertaining to the transportation of hazardous material for everyday drivers: “This bill just says in the Rules of the Road book that all kids have to go through before they get their driver’s license, we have to include hazardous material placards so that they know when they get around larger trucks or larger vehicles that have these hazardous material placards that they should be a little bit more careful as they decide to pass or how they drive around those vehicles.””

What is wind shear? An atmospheric scientist explains how it can tear apart hurricanes. article. Pull quote: “Too much vertical wind shear, however, can offset the top of the storm. This weakens the wind circulation, as well as the transport of heat and moisture needed to fuel the storm. The result can tear a hurricane apart.” 

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