Marina stars in new training video!

We just had the premiere of our first Take Five Training video, with popcorn.

Adoring Fan:  “Will you autograph the DVD?”

Marina:  “I don’t think so.”

Reporter:  “Will you be starring in any more videos?”

Marina:  “I don’t know, send the script to my agent.”

Here’s a bit of the intro:


Yo, what’s an entity? Google acquires Metaweb

Entities smarter than words

"Entities are smarter than words," says Metaweb on their YouTube video.

Semantic web takes another step forward.  This Metaweb video has a good explanation in layman’s terms about what an entity is.  Uses the barcode analogy for unique IDs.

Also, check out this opinion from a Microsofter with ties to the IC, Lewis Shepherd.  He calls it the “semantic war”… a “global web-scale war now gearing up between major computing powers Google and Microsoft, in a race for performance and innovation in semantically-enabled decision support.”  Whoa.

Text analytics for intelligence analysts

SIGNAL magazine June 2010

SIGNAL magazine June 2010

Tod Hagan, Modus Operandi Director ISR Software Solutions

Modus Operandi’s Tod Hagan is quoted in the article Googlizing Intelligence in AFCEA‘s June 2010 SIGNAL Magazine.  In the article, Tod talks about how our natural language processing software improves precision and recall for an Air Force system that gives analysts the capability to search and filter HUMINT intelligence reports.

When I asked him about the project, he said, “We’re glad to have an opportunity to deliver something of immediate value to the warfighter.   We’re proud of all who serve and have served our country.”

Pro PPT or not? Check out this ‘toon

While surfing for military cartoons I found this cartoon from Delta Bravo Sierra.

Delta Bravo Sierra cartoon

A cartoon from Delta Bravo Sierra

Coming soon…a ‘toon roll.

A wiki story + Who thinks km is sexy?

Excerpts from the recent GCN article How knowledge management became sexy again.

MilSuite runs on open source.  “Take MilSuite, the military’s knowledge management suite, which includes Milblog, MilWiki, and a Facebook-type application called MilBook, which sits securely behind an enterprise firewall.  MilSuite is […] available to users of AKO/DKO.”

AKO logo

“MilSuite is based on open-source software. The wiki runs on the same type of software that supports Wikipedia; the blog runs on WordPress, an open-source content management system; and MilBook is powered by Jive Clearspace, now called Jive Social Business Software, open technology that requires software licenses to run, Filler said.”

A wiki story.  “The Training and Doctrine Command is running a pilot project through MilSuite to update the Army field manual, known as the Tactic Technique and Procedure manual, Filler said. The process traditionally can take as long as two years because the manual has to go through a rigorous cycle.  For the next version of the manual, the command is putting it on the wiki so updates can be made more quickly. For example, if the manual needs to have instructions about how to change a tire on a Humvee, a solider in Iraq could add details about changing a tire in the desert to specify that a board must be placed underneath the truck to prevent it from sinking in the sand.”

Number of Users.  “MilSuite has about 63,879 users”.

Aromatherapy Needed.  Make mine lemon.  “The environment has the “look and smell of a portal…”  It’s those portlets that do it.  Gotta empty ’em out. [Apologies for the bad pun.]

TMI.  Got search? “Agencies are informally collecting a large volume of unstructured data — defined as data that is not in formal databases — every day to manage processes.“Search capability is going to be a key technology to enhance our ability to move into knowledge management much more effectively,” McClure said.”

50 shiny buckles on a backpack – how to recruit a guerilla/terrorist

Yesterday afternoon we sat for hours riveted by Tom Howes talking about his experiences while held captive in the Colombian jungle for  more than 5 years.    We won’t mention the captors’ name here, because they’d probably just enjoy any publicity.  Living among them for so long, Tom has his own answer to how they recruit  “these 15-year-old kids”.   The loneliness of isolation, hunger, lack of education, the lure of what Tom called “toys” like a backpack and a weapon, and fear of being shot by comrades.  “Cut off the head of the snake,” he advises.

Tom Howes photos from

Tom Howes photos from

Photo from article.

Tom, we’re glad you made it back, and inexpressibly sad for those who never will come home and those who are still held captive.

Tom spoke yesterday at our customer-partner conference in Indialantic, Florida.  It amazes me that anyone can survive that ordeal, and retain a sense of humor as he has.   Tom said that thoughts of family are what kept him going.   That, and, typical of Tom’s self-deprecating humor, the machismo that would kick in when the young women carrying heavier packs kept on marching.    Too many good stories to fit here.  Read the book that  he co-authored.

Out of Captivity:  Surviving 1967 Days in the Colombian Jungle.

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Interesting observations about Marine Corps Intelligence Operations in Anbar

The Past Matters.  “In many cases the most useful function a TFC analyst could perform for a tactical unit was not tell them was happening or going to happen, but what had happened two years before their rotation. In the COIN environment, the past matters.”

Mining Data about People.  “Without question, more insurgents were kept off the streets through the integrated mining of the detainee tracker database, biometrics and census data than by kinetic actions alone.”

Proprietary is Bad News.  Amen, brother! “…but much more needs to be done.  Theater specific data formats, contractor controlled proprietary information management systems, and in some cases, unwillingness to adhere to reporting standards continues to plague this process.”

Marine Intelligence Battalion returns for 5th consecutive deployment in 2007

Marine Intelligence Battalion returns for 5th consecutive deployment in 2007

Intelligence Enablers are more than Worth their Weight in Fuel! “A large number of commanders in 2003 were exceedingly resistant to the idea of “wasting lift” on any intelligence enabler; that has changed.”

See LtCol Timothy Oliver’s article  Marine Corps Intelligence Operations in Anbar: A Blueprint for Success in the Apr-2010 Marine Corps Gazette.

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