It’s Friday and we haven’t had a shoot the shit in a couple of weeks! Readers, things have started opening up and I was able to get my haircut. I never knew how good a haircut would feel but I have to tell you that my ballistic coefficient increased by .4

I hope you are all well and hanging in there. There’s a lot of suffering in our country but now is the time to grow a pair. Opening up the economy requires striking a balance that will only succeed if we remain disciplined and do what has to be done. All it takes is a handful of dorks to damage the process, so hang tight and be responsible.

By the way, there’s been a great deal of talk in the media about suicides, depression, etc. All of which could be avoided by limiting the crap that the news media pushes and by having weekly shoot the shits. I know your hair looks like hell but for God’s sake don’t take your own life over it. So what that you haven’t taken a bath in a month. So what that you have no toilet paper. The media’s solution is to tell you to use, ARE YOU REDAY FOR THIS, one of the 1475 mental health iPhone and Android apps. Just what you need! Now, through the magic of apps, a jackass who studied psychology so they could understand themselves can take your money. Keep in mind that some of those apps are tools used by nation states intelligence services to mess with your head.

In case you’ve never participated in a shoot the shit, it’s a social interaction during which any subject can be discussed. Participants don’t need to know anything about the subject being discussed, they are free to make any unsupported statement, use uncensured profanity, insult anyone they wish or change the subject.

So, let’s shoot the shit.

I couldn’t believe that Speaker Pelosi called the President a fatty! LOL!! This is historic readers.

I recently attended a virtual Special Operating Forces Industry Conference, the normal event was cancelled do to the COVID 19 lockdown. By any measure, it was an excellent event although there were bandwidth challenges; if you were on a virtual private network (VPN) you had problems, I was not but video quality was definitely poor. My guess is that the hosting service implemented aggressive data compression codecs but that’s just my theory. All things considered, NDIA and USSOCOM did a magnificent job and they deserve a shout out.

During the conference one need came through loud and clear and that is the need for network and software. I’ll start with the network.

The DOD is looking to 5G to provide the network for many of its needs including the shortening of the kill chain. There’s a significant number of people that don’t understand 5G so let’s take a 30,000 foot look at this.

5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, your 4G LTE connection. All of the wizardry that companies talk about lives at the device be it a phone, a server, or fart sensor in your bathroom. 5G simply supplies the connectivity. 4G LTE, which is what we are now using, is tapped out and 5G will allow billions more devices to connect via a 3 layer network. Users will see faster download and upload speeds and lower network latency ( i.e. connect faster)

The 5G network operates on three frequency bands:

  1. Low-band spectrum can also be described as a sub-1GHz spectrum. It’s the primary band used by carriers in the U.S. for LTE, this bandwidth is nearly depleted. While low-band spectrum offers great coverage area and wall penetration, there is a big drawback: Peak data speeds will top out at around 100Mbps.
  2. Mid-band spectrum provides faster speeds and lower latency than low-band. It does, however, fail to penetrate buildings as effectively as low-band spectrum. Expect peak speeds up to 1Gb per second on the mid-band spectrum. The mid-band operates above 1 giga hertz (1 Ghz) but below 6 Ghz. The problem with this band is that it has poor propagation and low structure penetration. Companies are using beam forming and MIMO technologies to improve mid-band penetration and coverage. These enhancement technologies require a combination of electronics and antenna arrays.
  3. High-band spectrum is what delivers the highest performance for 5G, but with major weaknesses. It is often referred to as mmWave (millimeter wave). High-band spectrum can offer peak speeds up to 10Gb per second and has extremely low latency. The main drawback of high-band is that it has low coverage area and building penetration is poor. That means that to create an effective high-band network, you’ll need a ton of cells.

In a nutshell, this is what the 5G network looks like. The fact that it uses such a wide frequency spectrum is what allows the network to service a huge number of devices with high data rates. In theory, it addresses the emerging needs of not just USSOCOM but of the DOD. Standalone, the 5G network does nothing more than offer connectivity at a high data rate with low latency. Enter the cloud!

I admit that “The Cloud” worries the piss out of me, why? Because all it takes is one or two zealots, like an Edward Snowden, at the hosting site be it Amazon, Google or Microsoft to utterly destroy your capabilities. The Cloud is also a juicy target for nation state hackers.

Artificial Intelligence, the software, is nothing more than a series of computer algorithms capable of processing large amounts of data at computer speeds. AI relies on large amounts of data which originates from The Cloud.

So, let’s say that we have as an objective an AI enabled countermeasure platform.

In SIGINT, we collect the parameters of threat emitters, this could be a signal from an adversary’s surface to surface or surface to air missile. Those parameters include things like frequency, pulse width, pulse repetition rates, scan types along with other metrics. As we collect this intelligence, we populate a database of as many threat emitters as we can storing them in the cloud and making them available to our AI enabled countermeasures platforms . Now, enter a zealot who thinks the DOD is evil and he or she corrupts the Cloud database by inserting records designated as threat emitters but with the parameters of friendly weapon system. Out in the field, your countermeasures equipment detects a signal of interest and using AI runs through the threat emitters database; encounters a match and begins jamming or worse yet activates an autonomous weapon system. You’ve just shot down your own, or an allies’ aircraft. Bad day!

Could something like this really happen? I don’t know but the risk of it happening is worrisome and there lies my concern over Clouds and AI.

I fully understand the architecture and support clouds in general but in my opinion the DOD needs its own private cloud and I can’t believe that we lack the ability to do it!

5G, AI, data harvesting and clouds have great commercial potential but need to be approached with eyes wide open and an abundance of cautions.

I apologize for a technical shoot the shit but as a living and breathing member of society you need to have the big picture so that you understand what’s going on. Your 4G LTE phone is already paid for and moving to 5G doesn’t give you much when you’re already seeing data rates at 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

Have a great weekend! Be safe and go get your hair done. Schedule a good shoot the shit you’ll benefit from the event.

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