Army shutting down Asymmetric Warfare Group, Rapid Equipping Force

  • The Army announced this month that it’s deactivating Asymmetric Warfare Group and Rapid Equipment Force.
  • The groups were set up 15 years ago to provide advisory support and to rapidly equip soldiers to counter new threats during the post-9/11 wars.
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After nearly 15 years, the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) and Rapid Equipment Force (REF) are being deactivated.

The primary mission of AWG was to provide advisory support to the US Army. It would do that by rapidly transferring current threat-based operations and solutions to tactical and operational commanders in order to defeat emerging asymmetric threats and enhance multi-domain effectiveness.

AWG was headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. It was the only unit within TRADOC with the capability and structure to globally engage warfighters and disseminate observations and information to the rear to enhance soldier survivability. AWG understood that it is vital for the Army

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U.S. lawmakers detail Big Tech’s market abuses and press for strict reform

(Reuters) – A U.S. House of Representatives panel looking into abuses of market power by four of the biggest technology companies found they used “killer acquisitions” to smite rivals, charged exorbitant fees and forced small businesses into “oppressive” contracts in the name of profit.

The antitrust subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee recommended that Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O Google, Apple Inc AAPL.O, Amazon.com AMZN.O and Facebook FB.O should not both control and compete in related businesses, but stopped short of saying a specific company should be broken up.

The scathing 449-page report described dozens of instances where the companies misused their power, revealing corporate cultures apparently bent on doing what they could to maintain dominance over large portions of the internet.

“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw

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Could megatesla magnetic fields be realized on Earth? — ScienceDaily

Magnetic fields are used in various areas of modern physics and engineering, with practical applications ranging from doorbells to maglev trains. Since Nikola Tesla’s discoveries in the 19th century, researchers have strived to realize strong magnetic fields in laboratories for fundamental studies and diverse applications, but the magnetic strength of familiar examples are relatively weak. Geomagnetism is 0.3-0.5 gauss (G) and magnetic tomography (MRI) used in hospitals is about 1 tesla (T = 104 G). By contrast, future magnetic fusion and maglev trains will require magnetic fields on the kilotesla (kT = 107 G) order. To date, the highest magnetic fields experimentally observed are on the kT order.

Recently, scientists at Osaka University discovered a novel mechanism called a “microtube implosion,” and demonstrated the generation of megatesla (MT = 1010G) order magnetic fields via particle simulations using a supercomputer. Astonishingly, this is three orders of magnitude

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House Democrats say Big Tech must be reined in

Democratic lawmakers are calling for the U.S. to rein in the power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, as well as overhauling U.S. antitrust law, in a sweeping report on the the dominance of Big Tech.

The 450-page report, released Tuesday by the House Antitrust Subcommittee, details a range of anticompetitive practices, charging the four companies with acting as gatekeepers, stifling competition, charging “exorbitant” fees and eroding democracy.

“Put simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report said.

The panel calls for sharply curtailing tech companies’ power, including force them to spin off their platforms from their other lines of business. This can be done by either splitting up tech companies or by limiting them to a single industry, according to the report.  

Under current

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Facebook CFO says personalized advertising ‘under assault’ by Apple privacy changes

Business models that rely on personalized advertising are “under assault” by iOS 14 privacy changes, Facebook’s chief revenue officer said Tuesday.

The changes include a new feature that requires users to opt-in to tracking via Identifier for Advertiser, or IDFA, tags on a per-app basis. Although initially planned for the general iOS 14 release, Apple delayed the rollout of the feature until 2021 following public outcry from a number of companies that gain a bulk of their revenue from ad serving, including Facebook.

Speaking digitally at Advertising Week on Tuesday, Facebook CFO David Fischer said that “the very tools that entrepreneurs, that businesses are relying on right now are being threatened,” CNBC reported.

“To me, the changes that Apple has proposed, pretty sweeping changes, are going to hurt developers and businesses the most,” Fischer added, singling out the IDFA change in iOS.

The Facebook executive also said that the company

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CRISPRing trees for a climate-friendly economy

poplar tree
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers led by prof. Wout Boerjan (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) have discovered a way to stably finetune the amount of lignin in poplar by applying CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Lignin is one of the main structural substances in plants and it makes processing wood into, for example, paper difficult. This study is an important breakthrough in the development of wood resources for the production of paper with a lower carbon footprint, biofuels, and other bio-based materials. Their work, in collaboration with VIVES University College (Roeselare, Belgium) and University of Wisconsin (U.S.) appears in Nature Communications.


Today’s fossil-based economy results in a net increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere and is a major cause of global climate change. To counter this, a shift toward a circular and bio-based economy is essential. Woody biomass can play a crucial role in such a bio-based economy by

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