27 Sep 2010
Monday Morning News Kick Off: Intel Analysts “Insanely Happy,” Mastering the “Sale” in the IC, and Who is Bruce Carlson?
Welcome to the Monday Morning News Kick Off post from got geoint? As always, we hope you had a restful weekend. Although weekends are great, like all great things, they often have to come to end (nothing gold can stay – as they say). Anyhow, enough The Outsider’s references. It’s Monday and it’s game on. As always, we have pulled together all the actionable GEOINT stories you need to get the week started on the right foot. Fire up that second cup of coffee and read on!
Intelligence Analysts Are Insanely Happy (WSJ.com)
According to a recent Wall Street Journal sponsored study (using info from Payscale.com), Intelligence Analysts are happy — really happy. Out of the 82 professions examined, intel analyst came in at number 7, scoring a whopping 73.1 out of 100 points. Only one job, Aerospace Engineer, scored 100 of 100 and the other 5 happiest jobs were fairly closely grouped (you can get a general idea of the distribution from the image to the right but for the full interactive glory of this infographic, you have to go to the original WSJ site. In fact, the entire “Paths to Professions” series is worth a look). Read more the full post from our friends at Sources & Methods here, and check out the full WSJ report here.
NGA’s EnhancedView Program Becomes Clearer
EnhancedView, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) program to buy commercial off the shelf (COTS) satellite imagery, is quickly falling into place, with both primary contractors placing orders for new satellites. The genesis of EnhancedView comes from a combination of U.S. commercial imaging companies needing a big customer and the government realizing that private industry could provide high quality imaging as a service without the bureaucracy and overhead of a project it would build from scratch. NGA will get the images it needs to support the Department of Defense and U.S. intelligence community, as well as providing humanitarian and crisis support. Read the full TMCNet article here.
Director of National Reconnaissance Office: Who is Bruce Carlson?
A retired general from the U.S. Air Force, Bruce Allen Carlson has served as the director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) since June 2009. The NRO is in charge of launching and maintaining the nation’s spy satellites. Carlson had no background in intelligence or space, but was brought on to lead the budget-troubled NRO because he was a logistics and acquisition specialist. Born March 5, 1949, in Hibbing, Minnesota, Carlson moved with his family to Brainerd, Minnesota, in 1964. His father, Clifford Carlson, had retired from the Army and worked in the forest service. Upon graduation from high school, Carlson attended junior college in Brainerd while planning to become an accountant. After his second year, he applied for financial aid at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, but was ineligible because his junior college was non-accredited. He turned the ROTC program for help, but they didn’t provide financial aid either. However, they did send him to a summer camp where he was given a ride in a T-33 jet that was designed to train air force pilots. He immediately lost interest in becoming an accountant and decided to become a fighter pilot. However, he did complete his accountancy degree, graduating in 1971. Read more about Bruce Carlson here.
Mastering the Complex Sale in the Intelligence Community
I just finished (again) a portion of Jeff Thull’s Mastering the Complex Sale. I see direct applicability to the intell community sales process, which–as readers of this blog know, typically the ultimate in complex selling. Because so much of traditional selling techniques are not applicable, I don’t spend too much time trying to conform to them. They tend to be too formulaic or have a way of demeaning the client. The average intell agency does not behave like a true for-profit corporation and the decision making process is anything but streamlined. Thull does not treat selling and business development in the typical fashion and that is why I enjoy his writing. I would like to connect some of what Thull has written to the intell community’s value selling process because it matches a sufficiently intelligent and rigorous process with a very complex clientele. His approach acknowledges that the IC decision makers don’t rely upon simplistic formulas to make their decisions; nor should we when we’re selling and business developing to them. Check out the full AFCEA Intelligence blog post here.
CIA Accused of Using Pirated Software for Drone Assassination Attacks
Intelligent Integration Systems (IISi), a small software company in Massachusetts, claims the CIA is using a stolen computer program for its drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In a lawsuit it filed in Boston, IISi alleges that a former partner, data warehousing firm Netezza, used proprietary coding belonging to the plaintiff to hastily deliver software known as Spatial to the CIA so it could locate targets for unmanned aircraft. IISi also claims that the pirated software is faulty and can result in attacks being off by about 40 feet. In a deposition, IISi’s chief technology officer, Rich Zimmerman, said that Netezza CEO Jim Baum told him that “the CIA called them on the phone, said we need this to target predator drones in Afghanistan, that…we need Spatial up and running immediately.” Zimmerman said his reaction was “amazement that they want to kill people with my software that doesn’t work.” Read the full AllGov post here.
Some Fears of Location-Based Services Premature
I spent last week at the Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania, where I participated in a panel about child safety implications of location-based services (LBS). LBS is a general term to cover the wide array of services that are made possible by the fact that cell phones are aware of their location. Virtually all modern phones have GPS receivers as well as the ability to identify the nearest cellular tower and most smartphones now can access Wi-Fi, which also can be used to pinpoint location. The phone’s location can be used by 911 operators to locate you in an emergency but also can be used by application programs offered by carriers and third-party developers. For now, LBS applications can be divided roughly into three categories: services that let others track your location; services that let you actively “check in” to places; and services designed to present you with ads based on where you are. Some of these are “active,” meaning that the person with the phone has to do something to disclose his or her location, such as use a service to request the location of the nearest sushi bar. Others are “passive,” which means that once they are set up, they continue to operate until terminated. Those include child tracker services, which are initiated by parents and can continue to track the child unless the parent terminates the service. Check out Larry Magid’s full Mercury News post here.
Tags: Bruce Carlson, Bruce Carlson and the NRO, CIA Accused of Using Pirated Software, GEOINT 2010, got geoint?, Insanely Happy Intel Analysts, Intelligence Analysts Happy, Intelligence Community, Jeff Thull, Location Based Services Premature, Location-Based Services, Mastering the Complex Sale, USGIF