IFF: identification friend or foe

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pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, Donald Davies, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, zero-sum game

The state of an individual spot was distinguished by “interrogating” the spot with a brief pulse of electrons and noting the character of a very faint secondary current induced in a wire screen attached to the tube’s outside face. Von Neumann had discussed the underlying concept—in principle similar to Zworykin’s iconoscope but operating in reverse—while at the Moore School in 1944 and explored its possible use as a high-speed storage medium in the EDVAC report of 1945. Frederick C. Williams, after working on pulse-coded IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) radar systems at England’s Telecommunications Research Establishment during the war, developed a practical version in 1946 and succeeded in building a small computer at Manchester University, under the direction of M. H. A. Newman, that demonstrated CRT-based storage and a rudimentary stored program in June 1948. The prototype operated in serial mode, cycling through the pattern of spots in a series of traces, like an oscilloscope or a television, thereby reading and writing the entire sequence of bits thousands of times per second—a vastly accelerated version of one of the loops of paper tape used by the Colossus at Bletchley Park.

See Institute for Advanced Study IAS (Institute for Advanced Study) computer, xii, 78–79, 91–92, 93–107 as ancestor of the microprocessor, 98, 203 and artificial life, xii, 111–18, 121, 124–26, 129, 192. see also Barricelli construction and operation, 97–107, 111 and digital computing at RAND, 104, 148, 178 duplication of, 97, 98, 107 logical and physical architecture, 98, 99–107, 157 and nuclear weapons, 78–79, 91–92, 107, 111 and origins of IBM model 701, 91, 106 origins of, and weather prediction, 87–88 peripheral equipment, 98, 101–102, 106, 144 programming of, 102, 106–107, 114, 121, 130 progress reports, and impact of, 98, 99, 121 and random-access memory, 98, 103–105, 113 shakedown run, 78–79, 111 siblings and offspring, listed, 97 and von Neumann, 78–79, 87–88, 91–92, 97, 98–102, 106–108, 125, 153 IBM (International Business Machines) 12, 91, 103–104, 106, 122, 144, 148, 179. see also SAGE and evolution of operating systems, 122, 189 and IAS computer project, 91, 106 and punched-card computing, 60, 78, 81, 82, 83, 106, 122, 144 and von Neumann, 91 IBM computers: model 650, 122; model 701, 91, 106, 178; model 704, 118, 184; model 7090, 151, 182 iconoscope, 85, 104 ideas. see also consciousness; meaning; mind Darwinian evolution of, 28, 184 and formal logic, 38, 43, 46, 49, 129 nature of, 136, 158, 225 IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) radar, 104 Illinois, University of, 107 immortality, and composite organisms, 175, 191, 210 and non-Darwinian evolution, 31 improbability, and origins of life, 29–30, 112, 177 incompleteness (mathematical), 49–50, 53–54, 70, 72, 78, 120, 167, 228 Industrial Revolution, 21–22, 134 infinity, and finite-state machines, 10, 35, 43, 56, 130, 190 information. see also bandwidth; bits; communication; cybernetics; telecommunication and cybernetics, 6, 98, 101 defined, by Bateson, 167 flow, in data networks, 12, 110, 150, 158–59, 205 mathematical theory of, 110, 153, 155 and meaning, 8, 155, 158, 167, 171, 184–85 and money, 162, 165 and origins of life, 12, 29 insects, 8, 13, 129, 170, 174, 210 Instinct and Reason (Smee), 45, 48 Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, N.J.


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

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Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

The night before the battalion crossed north into Iraq, its staging base in Camp Udairi, Kuwait, saw a real missile attack. Startled from their cots by a deafening crack, soldiers donned gas masks and climbed back in their sleeping bags. The all-clear sounded soon after over the camp loudspeakers. It was friendly fire. As it turned out, we had heard the impact of a U.S. Patriot missile smacking into a Royal Air Force GR4A Tornado fighter. The missile battery failed to pick up the aircraft’s IFF (identification friend or foe) beacon, an electronic signal that is supposed to prevent fratricide.1 Both crew members were killed. Word of the incident spread quickly, but although it occurred within earshot, I did not learn the full details until I heard about it from the BBC (a young company commander, better prepared than I, had remembered to pack a shortwave radio). My pessimism deepened when I learned of a grenade attack the previous night in neighboring Camp Pennsylvania.


pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier

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Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Most will have to be international: a Net-based passport, commerce systems used for international commerce (which is all of them, these days), digital signatures on international contracts and agreements. Often computer authentication is invisible to the user. When you use your cell phone (or your pay-TV system), it authenticates itself to the network so the network knows who to bill. Military aircraft have IFF (identification friend or foe) systems to authenticate themselves to allied aircraft and antiaircraft batteries. Burglar alarms include authentication, to detect someone splicing a rogue alarm (that will never go off ) into the circuit. Tachographs, used in trucks throughout Europe to enforce driving rules, such as mandatory rest periods, use authentication techniques to prevent fraud. Prepaid electricity meters in the United Kingdom are another example.


pages: 473 words: 156,146

They Gave Me a Seafire by Commander R 'Mike' Crosley Dsc Rn

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friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, Isaac Newton, traveling salesman

He made use of a quirk of the type of radar that we had, as it had ‘null’ spots at certain heights and distances. This allowed him to assess the height of any approaching raid without having the more modern height-finding radar in the ship at all. Being a practical scientist he had worked this out for himself. Also at this time, we had to fit a new ‘black box’ in the back of our Hurricanes. This was the IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), to help identify us so that we should not be mistaken for a German or an Italian. In addition, we had a new, four-channel, crystal-tuned r/t set — TR1196 — to replace the single channel manually-tuned TR9D. The new set had a lever which selected any of four HF channels. The old wire aerial was removed from between the tail and fuselage and a short ‘whip’ aerial substituted. The improved performance of the radio transformed the fighter situation.


pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, digital map, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, Maui Hawaii, new economy, old-boy network, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, zero day, zero-sum game

It was the kind of beauty that unexpectedly wormed its way into the experience of war. “Captain, visual IFF signal just confirmed it’s ours,” said Seaman Eric Shear. Simmons took the oversize binoculars. There was an electronic icon in the viewfinder that prompted him to turn to the port side and look slightly up toward the incoming plane, three miles out and closing quickly. A repeating triple dash of lights confirmed the IFF — the identification, friend or foe — signal. “We’d be dead by now if it wasn’t,” said Simmons. “Get the recovery crew ready.” “Already standing by, sir,” said Shear. The form of a gray General Atomics Avenger stealth drone appeared behind the lights. It moved fast and low, lower than any human pilot would dare take a plane, fifteen feet above the sea, the splash from the highest waves licking at its underbelly.


pages: 1,800 words: 596,972

The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk

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Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Farzad Bazoft, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, IFF: identification friend or foe, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, Ronald Reagan, the market place, Thomas L Friedman, Transnistria, unemployed young men, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

After the second door, I walked into a tropical smelter, the familiar grey monochrome sea sloshing below the deck. How can men work in this and remain rational? Or—more to the point—how could the Iraqis and Iranians fight in this sweltering air and remain sane? “There’s Sharjah airport,” the radar officer said, and fixed the beam. “I’m listening to a plane landing now—commercial flight—but if I want to know about a specific plane, I ask for an IFF [identification, friend or foe?] and talk to Sharjah control.” There were boards and charts and crayon marks on war-zone lines. The USS Reid —part of Reagan’s Gulf flotilla—had just cut across the Iraqi “exclusion zone.” So much for Stark’s insistence that it stayed outside. Two Soviet Natyaclass minesweepers and a submarine depot ship were listed as outside the Hormuz Strait. Two British Hong Kong–registered ships were waiting for us on the return journey.