News in Brief

Smart suits, cloud sharing, Facebook for terrorists and more

Soft Exosuit_Wyss Institute

Harvard's Wyss Institute has received a contract to further develop the Soft Exosuit to protect warfighters from fatigue and other ailments.

DARPA taps Harvard institute to further develop 'smart suit'

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering a $2.9 million contract to further develop a "smart suit" to help warfighters overcome fatigue and other ailments.

Dubbed the Soft Exosuit, the suit is worn underneath clothing and could help warfighters minimize the risk of injury, the institute said in announcing the contract on Sept. 11. The project is part of DARPA's Warrior Web program, which is developing technologies to reduce musculoskeletal injuries to warfighters.

A prototype of the suit uses "webbing straps around the lower half of the body [that] contain a low-power microprocessor and network of supple strain sensors that act as the 'brain' and 'nervous system' of the Soft Exosuit, respectively, continuously monitoring various data signals, including the suit tension," according to the institute's announcement.

A different sort of cloud sharing

Shadow IT users take note: Governments are demanding data from Dropbox, too.

The cloud storage service receives a tiny fraction of the subpoenas, court orders and national security requests that Google, Yahoo and Facebook do, but Dropbox's 2014 Transparency Report shows that the number is growing. The company also noted that "agencies keep asking us not to notify users of requests for their data, even when they are not legally entitled to do so."

Dropbox also said the "rate of government data requests received per user remains steady," which means the increase is proportional to its growing user base.

A Facebook for terrorists?

Modus Operandi, a high-tech software company that serves the defense and intelligence community, is developing what it calls a Facebook for terrorists that would provide intelligence analysts with a familiar interface that draws on a semantically linked trove of information, Defense Systems reports.

Currently in the research and development phase, the app -- as yet unnamed -- would allow analysts to update information, upload photos, make comments and even rate the quality of information.

Senate confirms Rung for OFPP post

Anne Rung is officially the new administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The Senate confirmed her nomination on Sept. 11 by voice vote, giving OFPP a permanent replacement for Joe Jordan, who left in January and is now FedBid's president of public sector.

Rung has been serving as a senior adviser at the Office of Management and Budget since late May as she awaited the outcome of the confirmation process.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.


  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.