Quip looked at each person quickly, then started, “As you know, we have been using ICABOD to pull in information from various sources based on the few key words that Prudence provided along with a few others we knew were also critical. We have had some success and comfort in identifying and consolidating the information into some specific work streams.
“The first bucket contains the source verification that we have several global powers currently experimenting and/or refining activity in the use of military field communications. Though the problem being solved by each is similar, we seem to have some different activities going on by those identified as main players. We can say for certain that the Chinese, British, and Americans are certainly working on specific projects in this arena with some noise from the Middle Eastern Countries. We are tracking some specific tests that occurred or are scheduled to determine what technologies are being tested as well as the results of those tests.
“For example, we found that a test by the Chinese failed miserably, with extensive loss of life. The internal correspondence on the test seemed to point to implanted chips that were not tested under battlefield conditions in their labs. We are gathering additional details, but their focus is more on chip sets rather than nanotechnology, per se. Overall, it appears to be a very tragic field exercise, that we feel will be internally maintained rather than available through mainstream information sources.
“The British and Americans are setting up for some test reviews soon, but the details are well hidden at this point. It is uncertain if they are joint efforts or technology sharing exercises, so we will continue to monitor. These may, as we often see, be separate tests toward the same overall plan. We are monitoring the communications streams as well as the data repositories for new and updated entries of both countries.
“For nanotechnology overall, we have done some reviews to determine the key manufacturers in this space. We are seeing the typical university studies, studies with the Western countries intelligence communities with their inter-agency sharing, and the high tech manufacturers, mostly related to computing power per device, rather than just communications focused. At this juncture, it is something that many would be exploring as to the best application of the technology. The possibilities would appear endless, but other dependent technology adaptations are also under review by the major technology vendors, be it computers, printers, or mobility devices. The adaptation will likely move toward consumer preferences for mobility devices to gain the return on investment of the technology.
“Jacob and I have been working together to further granulize the searching and review of the analytics. We are classifying the data segments as shared or retained based on the difficulty to acquire. Those data elements will be further reviewed before sharing as a part of our contract fulfillment. Petra has done some encryption code breaking for our access to some data sources, especially the communications. We are trying to capture and identify some of the actual communications that seem to be occurring between the different players I mentioned. However, some of the communications packets are proving difficult to capture and open. Jacob, Petra would either of you like to add some comments on this?”
Jacob nodded in deference to Petra, a nuance to his ever the gentleman upbringing.
Petra looked quite serious as she explained, “Some of the communication streams for voice discussion are using time-division multiplexing, or TDM as it is commonly referred to while some are using the newer packet technology of Voice over Internet Protocol. In some instances they are using a combination of both to communicate between China and the Middle East with satellite up-links in between and those are proving exceptionally difficult to read in real time. The data packet information and data repositories we are accessing with normal processes. Because of the nature of the activities, we were able to determine the target leads of discussions we would also like to trap and analyze. It is taking far longer than anticipated, and the gains are ever so slight.”
“Petra is correct,” interjected Jacob. “I believe, as Quip and I briefly discussed before this meeting, we need to employ the support of Andy and his team. At least Andy and Carlos for the optimum methods to trap the conversations we feel may prove relevant to our efforts.
“We recognize that in some cases it might be placing Andy at odds with his legal obligations. However with the identified targets we might be able to simply leverage something he already has in place with the older telephony infrastructure. Carlos has his magic with satellite communications and Quip never completed his studies under Carlos, nor did Petra or I.”
Jacob paused and looked at Quip and Petra for confirmation.
Quip nodded ever so slightly and grinned a bit as he continued in the same vein, “Andrew and his team might prove useful in support of this effort. We do have a history of using Andrew at least for some complex communications accesses. I don’t think that it crosses a line for him. Carlos has offered support, as you all may recall from his weird letter. It might even prove a good opportunity from Andrew’s perspective for his protégé to learn. Eilla-Zan was her name, I think.”
It was difficult to determine who rolled their eyes first, Otto or Jacob, at that last comment. Petra simply kept her features in place with no emotion displayed, as did Wolfgang. Subtleness was not Quip’s strong suit.
Otto cleared his throat but kept his tone serious as he said, “Quip, I suspect you are right that we need to engage with Andy. The others on his team that might be leveraged, however, is totally up to his discretion. We do not dictate to our subcontractors who they use, if the requests can be met in the prescribed timeframe.
“I think that you need to provide a statement of work to Wolfgang and me, which we three can review. Let’s get that done as quickly as possible now that you have defined the gap so effectively.”
Quip nodded and said, “That’s all for my updates at present.”
Petra chimed in, “The decryption and encryption programs that we are using have all been updated. I also took the precaution of adding some algorithms to our internal data storage. I completed a new routine for rapid translations, to which Jacob has added some elements and it is working flawlessly. We have added it to the other search and analytics that ICABOD is currently using. This cuts the time to a fraction with the millions of data components to be searched and retrieved for storage if needed.
“I found an interesting document in our retrieved folders with regards to the future of metrics measurements as a part of herd management for ranchers. It was a very thorough review done some time ago about the needs of herd management and how technology can play a role. As you may be aware, location devices have been used for a long time on cattle, for example, to track herds with the associated web based programs to site them based on GPS coordinates.
“This paper seemed to take this technology and leap forward to cover the overall health of the members of the herd and how that might be possible as technology evolved. It was quite good, actually, and compelling enough that the professor that wrote it was provided with a university grant.”
Otto stroked his chin as he asked, “That does sound interesting and innovative. Do you have the name of the professor who wrote it?”
“Yes, it was written by a Professor Su Lin, located at Texas A&M,” grinned Petra.
Otto merely shook his head as he replied with resignation, “Somehow that simply should not surprise me, but yet it does. Why can’t brilliant people stay invisible?
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