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Microsoft Wins $22 Billion Deal Making Headsets for US Army

Microsoft won a nearly $22 billion contract to supply U.S. Army combat troops with its augmented reality headsets.  
 
Microsoft and the Army separately announced the deal Wednesday.
 
The technology is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets, which were originally intended for the video game and entertainment industries.
 
Pentagon officials have described the futuristic technology — which the Army calls its Integrated Visual Augmentation System — as a way of boosting soldiers’ awareness of their surroundings and their ability to spot targets and dangers.
 
Microsoft’s head-mounted HoloLens displays let people see virtual imagery superimposed over the physical world in front of them — anything from holograms in virtual game worlds to repair instructions floating over a broken gadget. Users can control what they see using hand gestures or voice commands.
 
The Army’s website says soldiers tested the gadgets last year at Fort Pickett in Virginia. It said the system could help troops gain an advantage “on battlefields that are increasingly urban, congested, dark and unpredictable.”
 
The Army first began testing Microsoft’s system with a $480 million contract in 2018 and said the headsets could be used for both training and in actual battle. The new contract will enable Microsoft to mass produce units for more than 120,000 soldiers in the Army’s Close Combat Lethality Task Force. Microsoft said the contract will amount to up to $21.88 billion over the next decade, with a five-year base agreement that can be extended for another five years.  
 
Microsoft President Brad Smith told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that the system could integrate thermal night vision and facial recognition to provide soldiers with “real-time analytics” on remote battlefields. He also described how it could help in planning a hostage rescue operation by creating a “digital twin” of the building.
 
A group of Microsoft workers in 2019 petitioned the company to cancel its initial Army deal, arguing it would turn real-world battlefields into a video game.
 
Microsoft is among several tech companies that have sought to wow the gaming world with glitzy new virtual reality goggles over the past decade, though the efforts have largely fizzled. Microsoft pivoted away from consumer applications for its second-generation HoloLens 2, introduced in 2019, which is the basis for the Army’s new gadgets.
 
Although Microsoft recently demonstrated a way to use the goggles to play the hit game Pokemon Go, it mostly pitches the devices as work tools to help surgeons, factory crews and others.  
 
The headset deal is part of Microsoft’s broader work as a defense contractor. The Pentagon in September reaffirmed Microsoft as winner of a cloud computing contract potentially worth $10 billion, although the work has been delayed by a legal battle over rival Amazon’s claim that the bidding process was flawed.
 

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Posted by Ukrap on

Експерти ООН звинуватили «ПВК Вагнера» ​​в порушеннях прав людини

Серед імовірних злочинів, про які йдеться – масові страти без належного судового розгляду, довільні затримання, тортури, викрадення, насильницьке переміщення цивільних осіб, напади на цивільні об’єкти і агресія проти співробітників гуманітарних організацій

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Posted by Ukrap on

Футбол: Україна не змогла переграти Казахстан

В іншому поєдинку групи D збірна Франції на виїзді переграла боснійців – 1:0

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Posted by Ukrap on

У ЮНЕСКО засудили «системну репресивну політику» Росії в Криму – МЗС України

Також в заяві держави-члени ЮНЕСКО закликали Росію гарантувати безперешкодний доступ міжнародних механізмів у сфері захисту прав людини на територію Криму

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US Federal Employees Asked to Volunteer and Assist at Southern Border

Faced with the challenge of caring for thousands of migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is asking workers from other federal agencies to volunteer to go to the border region on temporary assignments.During deployments of between 30 and 120 days, the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement wants the volunteers to help with tasks such as supervising children and collecting contact information for their relatives inside the United States so that they can be handed to over to their family’s care while they go through immigration proceedings.Children who are taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are transferred to HHS facilities until they can be placed with a sponsor.  Health and Human Services says in more than 80 percent of cases, a child has a family member in the United States, and that about half of those are a parent or legal guardian.There are currently about 18,000 children in custody, including at HHS facilities located in convention centers in Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, California.While authorities expel most adults who cross the U.S.-Mexico border under a public health order that former President Donald Trump issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Joe Biden’s administration has not reinstated expulsions of unaccompanied migrant children.  Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.Download File360p | 11 MB480p | 15 MB540p | 20 MB720p | 45 MB1080p | 79 MBOriginal | 241 MB Embed” />Copy Download AudioChanges to US Immigration Policy Triggers Migrant InflowAdam Fernandez, vice president of policy and strategic engagement at Lawyers for Good Government, said that divided policy, often referred to as Title 42, “keeps people from entering the U.S. as a family, and it leads to an effective family separation.”Fernandez told VOA the background for the current effort to recruit volunteers to help with HHS operations at the border is a 1997 agreement that calls for unaccompanied migrant children to be quickly placed with a sponsor.“They’re trying to abide by that and to try to get them out of immigrant detention,” Fernandez said.  “But if you really want to solve the problem, you need to get rid of Title 42 to keep families together, and allow them to apply for asylum together.”The Department of Health and Human Services says its preference is for volunteers to be federal workers who are proficient in Spanish or familiar with indigenous dialects spoken in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador.  They will also have to undergo child care background checks. VP Harris, Guatemala’s Giammattei Discuss ImmigrationPresident Joe Biden has named Harris to lead U.S. efforts with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to try to stem the flow of migration, which has climbed sharply in recent weeksMiriam Abaya, senior director for immigration and children’s rights at First Focus on Children, said there are federal workers who have specific expertise, such as experience working with children or having gone through the immigration themselves, that is important to have as the government works to ensure the children are properly cared for.“Absolutely I think language skills are important. I think that people who have prior experience working with children, who have an understanding of child development, of childhood trauma, of child medical care and mental health services,” Abaya told VOA.  “I think all of that experience is important to bring to bear and to make sure that those who are caring for children see these children as children first and are able to meet their specific needs.”During the Trump administration, there were several initiatives involving sending more people to the southern border as the president declared a national emergency existed there.Those efforts involved the Defense Department sending up to 4,000 personnel, mostly National Guard troops, to support Department of Homeland Security operations.  Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Tuesday that there has been no additional request for assistance.Two years ago, then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asked for federal workers at her agency and others who were not involved in operations at the border to volunteer to help with border security.Employees at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees Voice of America, were among those who received the memo issued last week seeking volunteers for the current border effort.  Yolanda López, VOA’s acting director, said in a note to staff members Tuesday that in order to avoid any conflicts of interest, VOA journalists are not eligible to participate.Carla Babb and Chris Hannas contributed to this report.

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EU Commission Refers Poland to Europe’s Top Court Regarding Judiciary Independence

The European Commission announced Wednesday it is referring the Polish government to the European Court of Justice — Europe’s top court — for undermining the independence of that country’s judiciary through a reform law passed in 2019. The commission, the European Union’s executive arm, further asked the European court to impose interim measures to prevent the law from being enforced while the issue is considered. The Polish law in question, which went into effect in February 2020, prevents judges from referring questions of law to the European Court of Justice and creates a body — the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court — that rules over judges without regard to EU law. FILE – EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders speaks during a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 17, 2021.At a news conference in Brussels, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said the mere prospect of judges having to face a body whose independence is not guaranteed created a “chilling effect” for the judiciary and makes them subject to the ruling party of the government. The law also includes the lifting of immunity to bring criminal proceedings against judges, temporarily suspend them, and reduce their salaries. Reynders noted the commission had originally expressed its concern about the law last April, and Wednesday’s action “is a crucial step in the infringement procedure concerning the Polish law on the judiciary.” The commission took further steps regarding the law in October and December. On his Twitter account Wednesday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said the commission’s referral to the European Court of Justice “has no legal and factual justification. Regulation of the area related to the administration of justice belongs to the exclusive national domain.”
 

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Декларація Зеленського 2020: доходи президента і родини – понад 22 млн грн, новий об’єкт – держдача

Олена Зеленська отримала у 2020 році зарплату та роялті у 953 тисячі 900 гривень, вказано у декларації

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Posted by Ukrap on

Росія: Навальний оголосив голодування в колонії