Army Opening Biometrics Center
The Army will open its new Biometrics Center in Washington, D.C., next
month, according to Lt. Gen. William Campbell, the service's chief information
The center will be a research and development facility for advanced
biometrics technologies, Campbell told the audience at TechNet 2000 International,
sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.
Biometrics include digital fingerprints, retina scans, facial scans
and voice prints to identify people seeking access to a network or facility.
Such technology exists, but it is not yet good enough to work under combat
conditions, during which there may be too much noise for voice recognition
software and soldiers may be sealed in protective clothing.
IT Lightens Fighting Machines
The rapid explosion of information available to potential foes is driving
the Army's transformation to a lighter and more lethal force, according
to Gen. John Keane, the Army vice chief of staff.
"If you look at just the last 10 years, you can see that the amount
of time our military and political leaders have to deal with a crisis and
to intervene before that crisis becomes a conflict is considerably less,"
Keane said June 20 at TechNet.
The Army intends to build a force around the Future Combat System series
of vehicles, which will be loaded with information technologies that would
enable them to target and destroy enemy forces without being detected. The
Army also intends for its forces to be networked so that commanders and
soldiers are fully aware of the entire battlefield situation.
Web Resource Open for Businesses
The Minority Business Development Agency has launch-ed a Web-based locator
system to give minority business owners a one-stop-shopping Web portal for
business resources, said Michael O'Hara Garcia, chief information officer
at the MBDA.
The portal (www.mbda. gov) provides a list of resources such as neighborhood
banks, Small Business Administration offices, and state and local minority
business development centers, according to Garcia, speaking June 21 at GovTech
2000, sponsored by FCW Media Group.
FBI Speeding Access to Files
The FBI is testing a project that will give agents rapid Web access
to a broad range of multimedia files, enabling them to search through databases
for information and evidence related to investigations, said David Smith,
a senior software engineer at HPTi Inc. who is working under contract at
the FBI's Office of the Chief Scientist.
The Information Management Project will enable agents to bypass having
to look up documents that reference or describe the files they want. Instead,
they'll be able to access the files directly, said Smith, speaking at GovTech
Web Inventor Setting Standards
Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton who invented the World Wide Web a decade
ago, said it is important to develop standard formats for the Web to help
current and future users.
"A lot of information on a Web site will be there longer than expected,"
Berners-Lee said during his keynote speech June 20 at GovTech. And that
means that today's state-of-the-art practices may become obsolete with no
record of how they work.
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