New York to Long Beach in 11 minutes and 20 seconds… at Mach 20! The goal of the glider that achieves Mach 20 is to put a payload anywhere in the world within 60 minutes; a very interesting challenge.
Failure is a part of creating new and amazing things! “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” -Regina Dugan’s presentation to TED earlier this month is astounding. If there is one thing you spend time watching today, this week, month or year I recommend it be this! Can you define Strategic surprise? Have you even ever heard the term? I hadn’t but I’m very glad I’ve learned about it.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 to prevent strategic surprise from negatively impacting U.S. national security and create strategic surprise for U.S. adversaries by maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military.
Unfortunately I can see why Regina Dugan was stolen away by Google earlier this month. This continues to reinforce my fear that in the upcoming years the greatest challenge that will face the U.S. Government and U.S. Military is the loss of great human capital. This will happen both because of inability by the public sector to provide effective incentive’s and by massive incentives offered by the private industry. I wonder how long it took Google to make the pitch and offer after this presentation was complete.
In the end this talk is self validated. Regina Dugan does not fear failure. And for that lack of fear she has been rewarded with leading DARPA and now by joining Google at a very significant level and time period for the company and technology sector.
The video above is Dr. Regina Dugan speaking at the DARPA Cyber Colloquium in January 2012. This is video provides an excellent snapshot of what is ongoing throughout the Internet and what we call “Cyberspace”. It also alludes to the “Death by a thousand cuts” I mentioned in my Information Dominance Corps video.
The news today is that Dr. Dugan is headed out of DARPA and into the arms of Google. This kind of departure is one of my main concerns for the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Navy. This concern is rooted in the historical departure of excellent people from these institutions due to the institution’s inability to entice them to stay. The military and Navy have battled this issue for centuries and I think the battle in the realms of Information Technology and Cyberspace will be a far more challenging one.
To this point the private sector has traveled through the economic recession and is in full recovery and growth mode in these realms while the government sector is just now facing it with massive budgetary issues. Companies can’t obtain excellent people in these Cyber fields fast enough. Carnegie Mellon University and others can’t create them fast enough. In steps a company like Google, Facebook and others and they gobble up every great candidate. Facebook’s creator visited CMU for just this reason in the last part of 2011.
When a company like Facebook wants a great candidate they are no longer simply offering a salary (which already dwarfs those of the government sector) but are able to provide a substantial and comprehensive package. If the candidate puts up a bit of a fight they simply increase the offer. And if the candidates desires are to follow their company start-up dreams and continue with their own company; Facebook will simply buy the company.
Starting to see my point? The Government and our Military are significantly challenged when trying to recruit, develop, and maintain this cyber force. They are not only facing a foe in Cyberspace but the economic challenges in one of the most rapidly growing and developing industries in a globally connected world. Compound these considerations with the Military budgets and personnel that are shrinking. While more resources are shifting to the Cyberspace arena the priority changes, funding amounts and personnel may not be adequate enough to mitigate the risks that our Nation is facing.
What do you think? How do you keep, maintain, and improve the people required for Cyberspace?
I’ve watched the items developed for DARPA for several years. The BigDog robot was able to impressively handle major terrain grades while hauling a significant load. Enter the Cheetah.
It is able to move at a very significant pace – video shows it entering the 18 MPH region besting the 1989 record of 13.1 MPH. You can see that the robot is tethered (probably for station keeping). What I’m interested in are the power requirements and endurance for this beast. From there I’ll know my design restrictions for integrating it into a network and providing it communications.
It will be interesting to see what form the power plant for Cheetah takes on. I’d hope that it incorporates renewable fuel to the maximum degree. I could see Cheetah using solar for long period recharges, plugin for rapid charging, or a biodiesel reserve to provide that extended long run. I’m sure the Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) team has quite a few challenges remaining but it is great to see the progress made thus far.