News of the Force: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - Page 2

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Jan 25, 2018, 5:49:33 PM1/25/18

                                          NEWS OF THE FORCE: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - Page 2

US Air Force
Seal of the US Air Force.svg     
      US Air Force researchers are launching a potential $25 million five-year project to develop an interactive question-answering software tool to help with military intelligence analysis and decision-making.
      US space warfare experts are speeding-up efforts to build and deploy a next-generation satellite ballistic missile warning system that will operate reliably in a contested environment amid enemy attempts to jam, disable, or destroy the orbiting spacecraft.
      The US Air Force has realigned aircraft, airmen, and assets to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, to support increased airpower requirements, according to a service statement. The USAF said these requirements are being driven by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and US Forces-Afghanistan.
      In a $2.9 million deal with Renaissance Services, Inc., the US Air Force is making a firm commitment to integrating 3D printing in its legacy aircraft maintenance program.
      Being able to train close to home doesn't just benefit the Fort Hood, Texas-based 11th ASOS' airmen, but the nearby Air Force Reserve units gain valuable training experience as well.
      The Air Force is paying $2.4 million to teach 120 of its Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets (AFJROTC) how to fly, part of the service's overall effort to address its pilot shortage. Recipients of the scholarship will take classes this summer, each course lasting between seven and nine weeks.
      Drill teams from across southwest Missouri and the Kansas City metro gathered at Missouri's Nevada High School last Saturday for the 33rd annual Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps drill meet.
      Terma North America has been awarded a new $44.3 million contract to deliver the 3D-audio system for the US Air Force Reserve Command's and the Air National Guard's F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.
      In Las Cruces, N.M., the Great Start event is a great way to get to know what the Civil Air Patrol offers the community's youth and adults in service and leadership opportunities in the aerospace arena. The activities will commence at 10 a.m., and will last until noon on Saturday. The CAP's hot air balloon, Integrity, will be on display, and possibly a CAP aircraft. is back. See their latest story here: .
      After last Monday's school shooting in Ellis County, Texas, authorities say the 15-year-old injured victim from Italy High School is recovering and full of hope. Her family identified her as Noelle "Cricket" Jones. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses. A 16-year-old male student was taken into custody without incident after shooting Jones in the cafeteria on Monday with a semi-automatic handgun, Sheriff Charles Edge said. Staff members confronted the suspect, who then fled before being arrested outside the school. Jones was taken via helicopter to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. According to the GoFundMe page, Jones had bullets removed from her abdomen and lodged in her neck. "She is facing a lengthy hospital stay with multiple surgeries as well as an extended amount of time in physical rehabilitation," the page reads. "This is every parent's worst nightmare, and we feel the Jones family should not have to worry about the financial burden of this horrendous situation,especially since they are self employed small business owners." Her dad, TJ Jones, said it was Noelle's first year at the school and she had already made many friends due to her "magnetic personality." He said she was involved in the ROTC and Monday would have been her first drill with the Civil Air Patrol. She was excited to wear her uniform that day, Jones said. He also added that the suspect had been over to his house several times and he didn't notice any red flags. He said Noelle and the suspect were just friends as far as he knew, and his daughter had been dating someone else. Noelle is in good spirits but groggy from her medicine, Jones said. As a precautionary measure, deputies did a final sweep with ATF dogs on Tuesday morning to give families a peace of mind ahead of students returning to class. Counselors are also on hand at school and off campus to speak with students. The suspect has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and has a hearing set for Jan. 24th.

The parting shots
According to a new study, there may be an unlikely new scapegoat for global warming: sandwiches. Scientists at the University of Manchester, in England, say their "in-depth audit of various sandwiches," shows that the lunchtime staple is responsible for carbon emissions equal to 8.6 million cars in Britain alone.
      Scientists have once again set up a mock Arctic base camp to educate world leaders about man-made global warming at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Climate scientists hope their mock camp illustrates how global warming could impact the Arctic, but the "Gore Effect" may make it harder to get the message across. Davos has seen frigid temperatures along with about six feet of snow in the last six days.
      James Dolan co-created the technology that permitted WikiLeaks to acquire and publish the leaked DNC and Podesta emails, was found dead at 36 years old, and it's ruled a "suicide." His death comes nearly five years after the "suicide" death of his friend, and co-creator (and Reddit co-founder) Aaron Swartz. Dolan, a former Marine, and Swartz helped create the secure communications system in 2012, alongside Wired editor Kevin Poulsen, who spearheaded the project first known as "StrongBox" then later "DeadDrop." The safe submission system has been used by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Associated Press and Gizmodo. These secure transactions allowed "highly secure communication between journalists and sources in possession of sensitive information or documents," per Gizmodo.
      To promote its May 17th kickoff of St. Louis, Mo., service, Wow Air of Iceland has announced another round of $99 one-way fares to its island home country and $149 one-way fares to seven European cities. The special fares apply only to 500 seats on certain flights next September and October, only if booked as part of a round trip. The $149 one-way fares are to London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Berlin via connecting flights from Iceland.
Last August, when Wow unveiled plans to fly direct from St. Louis Lambert International Airport to an airport outside the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, the airline offered the same special introductory fares on flights between May 17th and June 26th.
      The 2018 Winter Olympics will kick off on Feb. 8th in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and American, British and Canadian viewers will enjoy comprehensive coverage of this year's event, with full live streams.
      A Botox scandal has gripped Saudi Arabia's camel beauty pageant, with a dozen contestants disqualified amid suspicion their lips had been surgically enhanced.
      A Russian film about a Soviet Cold War sports victory over the United States has broken box office records months before a presidential election in Russia by borrowing a page from Vladimir Putin's play book: appealing to Russian patriotism.
      Daniel Derenda – who retired last week as Buffalo, N.Y.'s police commissioner – has started work for one of the world's largest private security firms, G4S.
      A Swiss scientist has invented a new bra! It offers more support which will prevent a woman's breasts from bouncing around, and will keep her nipples hidden; even in cold temperatures. After announcing his invention, the scientist was taken outside where a large group of men beat the crap out of him.
      Many residents of Fazilpur Badli village in northern India were mystified by a frozen mass that fell from the sky last Saturday, reports the BBC. While a number were reportedly hopeful it had come from space, officials are rather certain the nearly 30-pound icy chunk is human waste that fell from a plane, according to The Daily Mail. While airlines are forbidden from doing that sort of thing intentionally, the tanks that hold it sometimes leak to the outside of the plane.
      And Facebook has invented a new unit of time: The "flick," equivalent to precisely one 705,600,000th of a second — larger than a nanosecond, and smaller than a microsecond. It's short for "frame tick," hinting at its cinematic origins, writes original inventor Christopher Horvath. As for why Facebook needs a new unit of time, it goes back to the social network's Oculus VR subsidiary and its larger bet on virtual reality. And for Horvath, formerly of the cinematic world at firms like Pixar, Weta Digital, and Industrial Light & Magic, it seems to have been something of a passion project. In film, video games, and any other kind of visual, screen-based medium, creators have to think in split-seconds. Most movies, for instance, are shot at 24 frames per second, which means that the film displays 24 still images every second in a rapid sequence to give the illusion of motion. The problem, as described by Horvath, is that the math gets messy when you try to work on one frame at a time. At 24 frames per second, or FPS, each frame is approximately .04166666667 seconds long, or 41666666.669 nanoseconds. Those numbers are inelegant, with endlessly repeating decimals. In turn, that can make life difficult for programmers and artists who are trying to work precisely at these scales. That's where the Facebook flick comes in. It can represent a single frame at a nice, even number, at a whole variety of frame rates. For instance, at the 24 FPS of most movies, each frame is 29,400,000 flicks. At 60 FPS, seen as a desirable frame rate for action-packed video games, each frame is 11,760,000 flicks long. It's a clean number that can easily be divided or added up, without worrying about decimal points. Facebook has actually released its documentation for the creation and use of flicks as open source, meaning that anybody can download it and add support for the unit into their own software. That, in turn, means that flicks could become a standard unit of time - if not on your wristwatch, then in the visual arts.


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