The U.S. Air Force Looks To Advanced Manufacturing To Keep Existing Aircraft Flying And Develop Next-Gen Capabilities

What if there were Olympic events that weren’t physical, but were focused instead on completely geeking out on super-cool breakthrough technologies for real-world aerospace and defense challenges? Even better, what if they offered prize money totaling nearly a million dollars?

Now there are just such events, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). In fact, participants in five such Olympic “sports” (or Technical Challenges, as the RSO calls them) have already been competing over the past few months. Those competitions will culminate when the winners are announced during next week’s four-day Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This virtual conference runs from October 20-23, and features technology demonstrations, expert speakers from both industry and the military, virtual networking opportunities, and the awarding of prized for those Technical Challenges mentioned above.

“RSO is working to revolutionize

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Epic loses court bid to force Apple to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store

A federal judge denied a request from Epic Games to force Apple to reinstate Epic’s Fortnite game on the App Store while awaiting the results of an antitrust lawsuit.

U.S. District Court judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers also ruled in favor of Epic, permanently granting a prior temporary order that stops Apple from retaliating against Epic by removing support for Epic’s Unreal Engine.

The antitrust lawsuit began August 13 when Epic announced a discount policy and direct payment mechanism for Fortnite that Apple and Google said violated their respective terms of service. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has long argued that the 30% commissions the big companies take of every game transaction is unfair and that Epic should be able to directly sell its in-app goods to players for lower prices. Epic only charges 12% as a fee for developers in its own store.

After Epic modified the iOS version of Fortnite

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Epic judge permanently restrains Apple from blocking Unreal Engine, but won’t force Fortnite

Fortnite won’t be coming back to the App Store any time soon. On Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers refused to grant Epic Games a preliminary injunction against Apple that would force the game developer to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store, while simultaneously granting an injunction that keeps Apple from retaliating against the Unreal Engine, which Epic also owns (PDF). In other words, we now have a permanent version of the temporary restraining order ruling from last month.

That means the state of affairs, in which Epic is banned from publishing new games on iOS and cannot distribute Fortnite on the App Store in its current form, will remain in place for the length of the trial — unless Epic decides to remove its own in-app payment mechanism that initiated the bitter legal feud in August. Rogers had previously suggested a jury trial might be appropriate as soon as next

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US Air Force sends software updates to one of its oldest aircraft midair

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the U.S. Air Force updated the software code on one of its aircraft while it was in flight, the service announced Oct. 7.

And there’s a surprise twist: The aircraft involved wasn’t the “flying computer” F-35, the mysterious B-21 bomber still under development, or any of the Air Force’s newest and most high-tech jets. Instead, the service tested the technology aboard the U-2 spy plane, one of the oldest and most iconic aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory.

On Sept. 22, the U-2 Federal Laboratory successfully updated the software of a U-2 from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which was engaged in a training flight near Beale Air Force Base, California, the Air Force said in a news release.

To push the software code from the developer on the ground to the U-2 in flight, the Air Force used Kubernetes, a containerized system that allows

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The bipartisan House task force on America’s future defense is path-breaking

Late last month, a bipartisan congressional task force issued a timely report that, apart from purely security-oriented outlets, received far less media coverage than it deserved. Congressional bipartisanship has become virtually an oxymoron in the current political climate. Nevertheless, Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee Task Force on the Future of Defense were able to come together to produce a serious, thought-provoking essay that focuses on implementing a defense strategy that is responsive to the threats that will confront America far into the future, indeed as far as the end of this century.

Many of the task force’s proposals have been outlined in previous studies and in congressional testimony. They include a greater focus on funding and developing advanced technologies and incorporating them into military systems and structures; concluding a new arms control agreement with Russia; and controlling the leakage of technology by expanding the Committee on

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Bank rules force staff to turn off NHS COVID-19 tracing app at work

By Iain Withers and Sinead Cruise

LONDON (Reuters) – Branch staff at some of Britain’s biggest banks say rules that require them to store phones in lockers while at work are putting them at undue risk of COVID-19 from colleagues and customers, as they cannot use the country’s tracing app.

Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, along with rival TSB, are among those advising employees to deactivate the NHS Track & Trace app during office hours, when they are not allowed to keep phones on their person.

Some banks ask staff and cashiers to store phones away to prevent leaks of sensitive customer data, although this is not formally required by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

Under current government guidelines, users of the NHS app are advised to disable bluetooth or pause the app when away from their phones to avoid false notifications.

Other companies have told staff to pause the app

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Army shutting down Asymmetric Warfare Group, Rapid Equipping Force

  • The Army announced this month that it’s deactivating Asymmetric Warfare Group and Rapid Equipment Force.
  • The groups were set up 15 years ago to provide advisory support and to rapidly equip soldiers to counter new threats during the post-9/11 wars.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After nearly 15 years, the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) and Rapid Equipment Force (REF) are being deactivated.

The primary mission of AWG was to provide advisory support to the US Army. It would do that by rapidly transferring current threat-based operations and solutions to tactical and operational commanders in order to defeat emerging asymmetric threats and enhance multi-domain effectiveness.

AWG was headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. It was the only unit within TRADOC with the capability and structure to globally engage warfighters and disseminate observations and information to the rear to enhance soldier survivability. AWG understood that it is vital for the Army

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Sarcos Defense Awarded Contract by U.S. Air Force to Develop “Smart” Dexterous Robotic Systems with Advanced Artificial Intelligence

Sarcos Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics, today announced that the company has been awarded a contract by the Air Force Technology Acceleratory Program (AFWERX) to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) platform on behalf of Sarcos’ customer the Center for Rapid Innovation (CRI) at Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), that will enable human-scale dexterous robotic systems. This platform is based on the upper body of Sarcos’ innovative Guardian® XO® wearable exoskeleton robot, which can learn how to perform tasks with human-like movement through positive reinforcement and imitation machine learning (ML) technologies known as Cybernetic Training for Autonomous Robots (CYTAR). Unlike many of today’s AI platforms that are characterized by a trial and error approach, Sarcos’ AI system enables human operators to teach Sarcos’ robotic systems to perform tasks correctly the first time. Sarcos’ approach will significantly accelerate the speed and reduce the cost of deploying

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SpaceX aborts launch of GPS Space Force satellite with 2 seconds to go

SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of a US military GPS satellite on Friday night with just about two seconds left in the countdown. The launch was scheduled for a 15-minute window that opened at 6:43 p.m. PT. All appeared to be proceeding smoothly, until two seconds before launch. SpaceX was just starting the engine ignition sequence when it stopped the clock.  



a crane next to a body of water: SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that'll carry Space Force's GPS satellite into orbit. SpaceX


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SpaceX shared this scenic view of the Falcon 9 that’ll carry Space Force’s GPS satellite into orbit. SpaceX

“Standing down from tonight’s launch attempt of GPS III-4,” SpaceX tweeted a few minutes before 7 p.m. PT, though it didn’t say whether a ground or flight vehicle issue was to blame. The next launch window opens at 6:39 p.m. PT Saturday, SpaceX said. 

SpaceX and the US Space Force are getting along famously. Friday’s attempted launch in Florida follows a Space Force Falcon 9 launch in

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Case closed: California judge ends SpaceX’s lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force

The judge said the Air Force’s actions were not arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of the law, and that SpaceX was not entitled to any relief in this action.”

WASHINGTON — A California judge Oct. 2 officially ended SpaceX’s 18-month-long lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force. Following a Sept. 24 ruling denying SpaceX’s claim, the judge on Friday ordered the case to be closed. 

U.S. District Court Judge Judge Otis Wright II of the Central District of California on Sept. 24 ruled against SpaceX in its legal complaint over contracts the U.S. Air Force awarded in October 2018 to United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin. 

The judge’s Sept. 24 order, first reported by Reuters, was sealed by the court because it contained sensitive information.

In the Oct. 2 motion to close the case, the judge noted that his Sept. 24 order denied SpaceX’s claim, “concluding that the

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