ReliefWeb: Child Soldiers World Index reveals shocking scale of child recruitment around the world. “The Child Soldiers World Index, developed by human rights group Child Soldiers International, is the first comprehensive worldwide resource on child recruitment…. Covering all 197 UN Members States, the World Index, which includes more than 10,000 data points, will include authoritative data on national laws, policies and child recruitment practices worldwide.”
Motherboard: The Pentagon Has the Worst PowerPoint Slides You’ve Ever Seen. The Pentagon isn’t just America’s military brain—it’s also a vast bureaucracy filled with middle managers and that means it’s churning out lots of presentations. Bureaucratic presentations means PowerPoint, the universally loathed presentation software, and no one gives a [bleepy] PowerPoint quite like the US military. The Internet Archive—the site that catalogs the world’s digital detritus—has scooped up hundreds of publicly available military PowerPoints and preserved them for public consumption.” The original quote was not bleeped.
Nextgov: Defense Department (Re)Launches Open Source Software Portal. “The Defense Department launched the Code.mil website on Tuesday, a new, streamlined portal for its similarly named Code.mil initiative, a collaborative approach to meeting the government’s open source policy. The new website was designed to give a more straightforward user experience. The site features a suite of new tools, including checklists that links to offer guidance, and represents ‘an evolution of the Code.mil project,’ according to Ari Chivukula, policy wrangler for the Defense Digital Service.”
The Independent: US military adds more than 4,000 names to gun background check database after Texas mass shooting. “The US military has added more than 4,000 names to a federal background check database in the three months since a mass shooting revealed the organisation had consistently failed to report troubling convictions to the FBI.”
The Guardian: Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases. “Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company. The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others.”
National Defense: Industry Developing New Social Media Simulation Tools for Military Analysts. “…social media has only become more intermingled with military operations. Not only can average citizens tweet about them in real time, but military analysts can now also use platforms such as Twitter to find nuggets of information about persons of interest, or gauge the political temperature of a region. To meet that demand, industry is developing new training software to help analysts better comb through piles of data taken from websites like Facebook and Reddit. One such system is SimulationDeck, a software platform developed by Nusura, a Denver-based technology company. The system is able to replicate traditional media such as radio, television and newspapers, along with web platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.” Its version of Twitter is called BleatDeck.
US Department of Veterans Affairs: New database provides info on VA health care providers. “‘Getting to Know You’ is a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, ‘The King and I.’ If you’ve ever wanted to get to know more about your VA health care providers, VA’s new ‘Our Providers’ website is the place to find out! The website… offers a directory of more than 40,000 full time and part time VA health care providers who are independently licensed to provide care to Veterans, and who may be a member of your treatment team.”