U.S. Marine Corps: Our Bases Will Be 5G Technology Test Sites


Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., is integrating emerging Verizon 5G Networking into its base operations as part of a decided effort to increase connectivity across the facility, assess new, high-speed networking technologies and better enable the use of unmanned systems.

“We are getting Fiber to more locations to find the right access points for 5G,” Nick Nilan, Director, public sector product development, Verizon, told The National Interest in an interview.

Nilan explained that the now-underway process, which involves extensive collaboration between U.S. military and commercial partners, reportedly creates networking as fast and efficiently as 1,000-times faster than existing systems.

“We operate from 30 Megabits per second up to 100 Megabits per second with a bandwidth north of 1 Gigabit per second, bringing computing elements closer to the edge,” Nilan explained.

The process, which is still very much in a nascent assessment phase, introduces a handful of new tactical possibilities for military installations. Of course not only does it enable vastly improved connectivity on post, but the use of 5G also enables the improved use of autonomous vehicles and other technologies of great utility for base operations and defense.

Fast-moving drones, equipped with adaptable sensors and a massively increased ability to receive, transmit and process information, can move supplies, perform higher-risk missions beyond at perimeter as needed as well as greatly enhance base security. High-speed computing and networking, integrated into sensors, navigational systems and even weapons, can now increasingly draw upon advanced, AI-empowered algorithms to detect threats, accelerate system functionality for things like defensive radar and quickly follow cues from humans operating in a command and control capacity.

The 5G application, which naturally greatly decreases latency, also needs to be sufficiently hardened against potential hackers or cyber-intruders. These technical efforts have long been underway with Pentagon cyber experts and weapons

Cloudflare: This new WordPress accelerator makes sites much faster for visitors


DDoS protection and website accelerator Cloudflare has teamed up with WordPress to launch its new Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) service to speed up a site’s experience for end users. 

The new service, which costs $5 a month for WordPress customers on Cloudflare’s Free plan, extends Cloudflare’s content delivery network (CDN) beyond the delivery of static content to include slower-to-fetch dynamic content. 

A key metric Cloudflare uses is Time to First Byte (TTFB), which is the first of several hurdles to using its CDN or edge network. If the TTFB is slow, it slows down each remaining step to using the CDN, like compressing images and caching static content.

SEE: 10 ways to prevent developer burnout (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Cloudflare says APO testing shows a 72% improvement in TTFB for WordPress sites, a 13% improvement on the Speed Index, and a 23% improvement to First Contentful Paint, or how fast users perceive a page to load. 

The speed improvements are achieved by caching both static and dynamic content and delivering all a website’s content from Cloudflare’s CDN. Static content includes HTML files and images, while dynamic content changes based on factors like the time a user visits, their location, or the device used. 

Dynamic content is usually served from origin servers rather than a cache, and also relies on server-side scripts to generate HTML files in response to events, such as a click on a button or a user login.

“What’s new with APO is not only the caching of dynamic content like HTML but also automatically updating the cache when content changes,” Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming told ZDNet. 

“This means site visitors don’t see stale content and Cloudflare reduces how often fetches to the origin occur. Along with all of a site’s content served from Cloudflare’s edge, with APO, Cloudflare

BT Is Using Quantum Technology To Secure Gigabytes Of Sensitive Data Sent Between Two Industrial Sites In The UK


Did the promise of quantum-secure networking just take an important this is not hype leap?

Things are certainly looking promising with the news that telecom giant BT and Toshiba Labs have hooked up two research sites in the UK city of Bristol over a 6km link using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).

The sites are National Composites Centre (NCC) at the University of Bristol, a development center researching the manufacture of composite materials, and the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), which carries out engineering testing.

This might like just another demo of the emerging use of quantum and QKD technology, but there’s an important twist – the link is used to transfer large amounts of data on an ongoing basis, making this one of the first mainstream uses of QKD for that purpose yet made public anywhere in the world.

The data on that link contains intellectual property considered so sensitive the two organizations have previously transported it using couriers on portable, encrypted storage devices. The new QKD network makes it possible to send that on a 10 Gigabits per second fiber link using BT’s Openreach Optical Spectrum Access (OSA) and the magic of dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM).

That’s the other unusual aspect of this project: the QKD works on the same fiber as the data, which dramatically lowers cost and complexity. QKD has spent decades trying to make this happen because it is essential if the technology is ever to integrate commercially with other communications equipment.

“We have a real, industrial end user,” said the delighted Toshiba Labs assistant managing director, Dr Andrew Shields in a phone interview. “That’s an exciting development.”

Retrospective decryption

If you want a quick overview of what QKD is and why it matters for the

Israel-based WishTrip makes smartphone game builder for tourist sites


Israel-based tourism experience management platform WishTrip announced a new game builder to help tourist attractions develop interactive games for guests easily and on a low budget.Coming at a time when many parks, zoos and other notable destinations for tourists around the world are reopening their doors as COVID-19 restrictions are eased and the tourism industry struggles to recover, many are looking to find new, cheap ways of keeping guests entertained and engaged. These new games also provide a new means for destinations to market themselves and encourage repeat visits.
But in addition to keeping guests engaged, it also takes advantage of how much people tend to use their smartphones throughout the day.“Statistics show that nearly 60% of people don’t go more than one hour without using their smartphone in some way.” WishTrip CEO Bezalel Lenzizky said in a statement.“While constant phone use can be frustrating, especially for destinations that want visitors to focus on a site’s natural beauty, the power offered from smartphones provides an unparalleled opportunity to create a positive, educational, and interactive experience for guests.”Rather than being paid for separately, the game builder comes with the WishTrip platform. This provides an easy to learn and efficient means of building an interactive game at no additional cost, with no limit on how many games can be created. Games can be created in different languages and can customize the game to fit the location. Another tool available on the platform is the coronavirus safety solution, which helps sites adhere to coronavirus regulations without limiting visitor capacity. This includes an in-app chat between guests and staff, foot traffic monitors and a push notification to encourage guests to maintain social distancing measures.While the new game builder will be able to serve sites throughout

Study Suggests At-Risk African Heritage Sites Are Often Overlooked | Smart News


Climate change poses a significant threat to cultural and architectural heritage sites around the world—but the majority of relevant research centers solely on the losses faced by wealthier countries. In 2017, for instance, a study found that just one percent of research on climate change’s effects on heritage focused on iconic landmarks in Africa.

A new survey published in the journal Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa strives to addresses this shortage by highlighting at-risk heritage sites and practices across the African continent.

“Without significant intervention some of Africa’s most important heritage will be lost as a result of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change over the coming decades,” write co-authors Joanne Clarke, Elizabeth Edna Wangui, Grace W. Ngaruiya and Nick Brooks for the Conversation. “… The next ten years will be a critical period in which research agendas can be developed that will have a practical application for the management of African heritage in the face of climate change.”

The group’s paper analyzes a range of case studies from countries in West, East and North Africa. Some—like the wetlands and lagoons of Ghana, Togo, Bénin and Nigeria—represent natural heritage vulnerable to coastal erosion. Their ecosystems are essential for maintaining biodiversity, but storm surges and rising sea levels present a looming threat. Erosion has also severely damaged Guinean coastal forests.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park

(Pavel Špindler via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 3.0)

In Kenya, the largely human-led destruction of mangrove forests threatens Unesco World Heritage Site Lamu Old Town, which has been continuously inhabited for more than 700 years.

The forests “protect the island from flooding,” Clarke, an archaeologist at the University of East Anglia, tells BBC News’ Pablo Uchoa.

She adds, “[A] lot of what we would call natural heritage is a protection for cultural