Exam Code: MB-330 Practice exam 2023 by Killexams.com team MB-330 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Supply Chain Management Implement product information management (25-30%)
Create and manage products
• create a product and product variants
• create Bill of materials (BOMs)
• identify the purpose and capabilities of the Product Configuration models
• create and configure category hierarchies
• create product attributes
Configure products for supply chain management
• create and manage inventory dimensions
• create Item groups and Item model groups
• create and print product labels
• create and assign bar codes
• configure Item coverage
• configure product compliance processes
Implement inventory management (20-25%)
Configure inventory management
• identify the purpose of inventory forecasting
• set up inventory and warehouse parameters
• configure and perform Quality control and Quality management processes
• configure inventory valuation reports
• configure ABC classification
• configure inventory closing components
• implement inventory breakdowns
Manage and process inventory activities
• create and process inventory and warehouse journals
• create and process transfer orders
• create and process chain orders
• manage direct delivery orders
• process quarantine orders
• process quality orders
• perform inventory closing and adjustments
• apply inventory blocking
Implement and manage supply chain processes (25-30%)
Implement procurement and sourcing
• create and manage purchase requisitions, requests for quotes (RFQs), and purchase orders (POs)
• create and manage vendor catalogs
• configure Purchase Order change management
• configure and apply vendor rebates
• implement and manage consignment inventory
• configure and test Vendor collaboration portal
• manage over and under deliveries and delivery schedules
Implement common sales and marketing features
• configure quotations, sales orders, and return orders
• configure sales groups and commissions
• configure and manage up-sell, cross-sell, discounts, and price groups
• configure customer and prospect searches
• implement and manage leads and prospects
• configure inter-company Trade relations
Implement advanced sales and marketing features
• configure brokers and royalties
• configure trade allowances and customer rebates
• implement and process foreign trade
• configure and process Vendor 1099
Implement warehouse management and transportation management and perform business processes (25-30%)
Configure warehouse management
• implement components for warehouse management
• implement location directives
• implement Inventory Statuses
• implement Waves
• implement Loads
• implement shipments
• implement Work
• implement mobile devices
Perform warehouse management processes
• identify inventory movement processes
• perform cycle counting
• use mobile devices for inbound and outbound processes
• implement containerization and packaging
• process inbound orders
• process outbound orders
• perform cluster picking
• process shipments
• identify and apply the replenishment process
Just a few months ago, few investors were paying attention to BigBear.ai Holdings(NYSE: BBAI). For much of the past year, its market cap was below $250 million, and shares were down over 90% from their all-time high. In 2023, however, the company's market cap has swollen, and retail investors are taking an interest.
CONSTELLATION BRANDS, INC.
There's nothing wrong with that, but cautious investors may wonder if eager BigBear.ai stock buyers have gotten ahead of themselves. It may require some self-reflection to determine whether any profits made this year on BigBear.ai stock were a function of skill or just luck, and with that, whether it's time for well-timed shareholders to take the money and run.
Not all AI is the same
It's no secret the popularity of OpenAI's conversational AI program, ChatGPT, has thrust practically anything and everything with a machine learning angle into the spotlight. Seeking a purer and more direct AI play than, say, Microsoft or Alphabet, some folks may be tempted to jump into the market with BigBear.ai stock.
The newcomers' enthusiasm would be misplaced, however. If the hype is about ChatGPT in particular and conversational AI in general, then BigBear.ai doesn't fit squarely into that category. BigBear.ai describes itself as a "leader in AI-powered analytics and cyber engineering solutions" in support of "mission-critical operations." It caters more to the U.S. defense and intelligence community with cybersecurity-related machine-learning services than to collegiate term-paper writers and businesses looking to automate basic customer-service functionalities. BigBear.ai reported winning a major contract with the U.S. Air Force on Jan. 12, for example, that drove a 260% one-day gain for its stock.
So if you're specifically trying to catch the conversational AI wave that has been making headlines, don't hop on the BigBear.ai bandwagon -- which is already quite crowded in the wake of the exact ChatGTP craze -- just yet.
BigBear.ai's cash position has dwindled
Even if you fully understand what BigBear.ai does and how it's not exactly in the same category as OpenAI, there are still other red flags to consider. For example, the company has a consistent track record of quarterly earnings misses. Its net loss widened drastically from $3.1 million in Q3 2021 to $16.1 million in Q3 2022.
Perhaps the most glaring financial issue with BigBear.ai, though, is the company's declining capital position. Even as revenue has remained fairly steady, the company's cash and equivalents shrank from $68.9 million at the end of 2021 to $22.0 million as of Sept. 30, 2022. To bolster its balance sheet, BigBear.ai closed a private placement that, between the shares and the warrants that could be used to purchase shares, amounts to the potential sale of nearly 28 million shares (or a 22% addition to shares outstanding). That's one way to generate a quick $25 million in gross proceeds, but one-time share sales won't solve the company's fiscal challenges once and for all.
BigBear.ai was lucky to avert delisting
A third thing that smart investors know about BigBear.ai is the company received a noncompliance notification (i.e., a delisting threat) from the New York Stock Exchange late last year. BigBear.ai was determined to be in violation of Rule 802.01C, which requires any NYSE-listed company's shares to maintain an average closing price of at least $1 for 30 consecutive trading days.
BigBear.ai stock had, indeed, fallen below the $1 cutoff point for about five weeks before its Air Force contract saved the day. BigBear.ai stock surged as high as $6.77 per share before coming down to about $4 as of this writing. The sudden boom in everything AI-related isn't an event that's likely to repeat itself anytime soon, and if the BigBear.ai share price makes its way below $1 per share again, there may not be a bullish announcement waiting to save the day the next time around.
At that point, BigBear.ai could enact a reverse stock split, though that's no more permanent a solution than the company's exact share sale. That's something BigBear.ai's current and prospective shareholders must consider carefully.
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Sat, 18 Feb 2023 21:50:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/3-things-about-bigbear-ai-that-smart-investors-know/ar-AA17FH3zKillexams : Microsoft: Iran unit behind Charlie Hebdo hack-and-leak op
After the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo launched a cartoon contest to mock Iran’s ruling cleric, a state-backed Iranian cyber unit struck back with a hack-and-leak campaign that was designed to provoke fear with the claimed pilfering of a big subscriber database, Microsoft security researchers say.
The FBI blames the same Iranian cyber operators, Emennet Pasargad, for an influence operation that sought to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the tech giant said in a blog published Friday. Iran has in exact years stepped up false-flag cyber operations as a tool for discrediting foes.
Calling itself “Holy Souls” and posing as hacktivists, the group claimed in early January to have obtained personal information on 200,000 subscribers and Charlie Hebdo merchandise buyers, according to Microsoft’s Digital Threat Analysis Center.
As proof of the data theft, “Holy Souls” released a 200-record trial with names, phone numbers and home and email addresses of Charlie Hebdo subscribers that “could put the magazine’s subscribers at risk for online or physical targeting” by extremists. The group then advertised the supposed complete data cache on several dark web sites for $340,000.
Microsoft said it did not know whether anyone purchased the cache.
A representative for Charlie Hebdo said Friday that the newspaper would not comment on the Microsoft research. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The Jan. 4 trial release coincided with the publication of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon contest issue. Entrants were asked to draw offensive caricatures of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The French newspaper Le Monde Checked multiple victims of the leak from the sample, Microsoft said. The Iranian cyber operators sought to boost news of the hack-and-leak operation — and fuel outrage at the cartoon edition — through fake French “sock-puppet” accounts on social media platforms that included Twitter, Microsoft said.
The operation coincided with verbal attacks by Tehran condemning Charlie Hebdo’s “insult.”
The provocatively irreverent magazine has a long history of publishing vulgar cartoons which critics consider deeply insulting to Muslims. Two French-born al-Qaida extremists attacked the newspaper’s office in 2015, killing 12 cartoonists, and it Charlie Hebdo has been the target of other attacks over the years.
The magazine billed the Khamenei caricature contest as a show of support for nationwide antigovernment protests that have convulsed Iran since the mid-September death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.
After the cartoon issue was published, Iran shut down a decades-old French research institute. Last week, it announced sanctions targeting more than 30 European individuals and entities, including three senior Charlie Hebdo staffers. The sanctions are largely symbolic as they bar travel to Iran and allow its authorities to block bank accounts and confiscate property in Iran.
According to the FBI, Emennet Pasargad authored what amounted to a relatively ham-fisted campaign to interfere with the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The group obtained confidential U.S. voter information from at least one state election website and sent threatening email messages to intimidate voters posing as the far-right group Proud Boys, the FBI says.
Emennet Pasargad has also, since 2018, conducted cyber-operations targeting news, shipping, airlines, oil and petrochemical, financial, and telecommunications, in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, the FBI says. The U.S. newspaper chain Lee Enterprises was among the suspected targets, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
The group’s attacks since 2020 have primarily targeted Israel, the FBI says. They follow a pattern of intrusion, theft, data leak and then amplification through social media and online forums. In some cases destructive malware has been used.
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 04:25:18 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/microsoft-iran-unit-behind-charlie-hebdo-hack-and-leak-op/ar-AA17579xKillexams : News Corp cuts driven by Murdoch’s mission to prop up news assets
Less than three weeks ago Murdoch scrapped his decade-long ambition to reunify News Corp – home to assets including the Sun, Times, the Australian and Wall Street Journal, with the immensely profitable Fox, broadcaster of Fox News and prime NFL games – reluctantly admitting it was “not optimal” after a backlash from investors and his younger son, James.
On Thursday, News Corp announced that 5% of its global workforce is to be cut, a move that will result in $130m (£107m) in annual savings, after profits plunged by 30% in the final quarter amid a fall in advertising and a slump in business at its book publishing and digital real estate operations.
The unavoidable impact of macroeconomic conditions aside – tech and media businesses from Facebook-parent Meta, Google and Microsoft to Dell and Disney have announced tens of thousands of job cuts – the results will be viewed by some investors as a vindication of opposition to the merger.
Investors in Fox, a cash cow that makes more than $3bn in profits annually, had been concerned about being used as a “financial umbrella” to prop up weaker publishing assets that newspaper-loving Rupert is loth to cull.
News Corp’s chief executive, Robert Thomson, Rupert’s right-hand man and fellow Australian, said the slump was a blip that was “more ephemeral than eternal”, confidently pointing to the record profit of $1.7bn the company made in its most exact financial year to the end of June.
And yet some News Corp investors argue that the business could be worth as much as $23bn, and that its market value is languishing at $12bn because of the drag of underperforming businesses in the portfolio.
“Breaking up the News Corp stable is likely to release more value for shareholders in due course,” says Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis. “Rupert Murdoch did not have convincing arguments for value add.”
Profits in the company’s news media business – the New York Post in the US and newspaper operations in Australia and the UK, which also includes radio operations such as TalkSport and the Piers Morgan-led TalkTV – slumped 47% year-on-year in the final three months of the year.
While the company pointed to strong digital revenue growth at the Sun, which is almost back at break even having once been the source of hundreds of millions in profits annually, it also noted another $22m in “higher costs” in the quarter attributed to operations including the expensive running of TalkTV. There, big-name signings include Piers Morgan on a reported £15m a year deal.
Soaring newsprint prices also continues to be a huge, and increasing, financial burden with the transition to a digitally led future still some way off – digital revenues still account for just 37% of the total for the division.
With Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Facebook under commercial pressure for the first time in tech history, it is unlikely that the hugely lucrative advertising deals trumpeted by News Corp, and other leading publishers, are likely to be renewed on such generous terms.
News Corp’s HarperCollins book publishing operation suffered the worst, with profits down 52%.
And the digital real estate businesses championed by his elder son, Lachlan, which have been a metronomically reliable source of profits that rocketed during the pandemic-fuelled housing boom, plunged by 28%.
“The reforms now under way at our businesses should create a solid platform for future profitability,” said Thomson in a call with investors.
Yet amid the carnage of the final quarter Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and provider of business information services, continues to be a juggernaut pointing the way to a sustainable digital future.
Dow Jones was the only division of News Corp to report an increase in revenues in the final quarter and overtook the real estate operation to become the biggest contributor of profits at News Corp.
Digital subscriptions at the Wall Street Journal, where the former Sunday Times editor Emma Tucker recently became its first female editor in more than a century, grew by 9% year-on-year to 3.78m. Crucially, 84% of subscribers are digital-only.
Analysts estimate that Dow Jones, which Murdoch bought for $5.6bn in 2007, could be worth as much as $10bn if it were hived off.
“There will have to be much renewed discipline at News Corp,” says Enders. “We are always sympathetic to protecting plurality (everywhere) but it isn’t an argument the stock market has any time for. There is still time for digital transformation of those titles that can make it.”
Fri, 10 Feb 2023 05:34:00 -0600Mark Sweneyentext/htmlhttps://www.theguardian.com/media/2023/feb/10/news-corp-cuts-driven-by-murdoch-mission-to-prop-up-news-assetsKillexams : NASA's Geotail mission operations come to an end after 30 years
After 30 years in orbit, mission operations for the joint NASA-JAXA Geotail spacecraft have ended, after the failure of the spacecraft’s remaining data recorder.
Since its launch on July 24, 1992, Geotail orbited Earth, gathering an immense dataset on the structure and dynamics of the magnetosphere, Earth’s protective magnetic bubble. Geotail was originally slated for a four-year run, but the mission was extended several times due to its high-quality data return, which contributed to over a thousand scientific publications.
While one of Geotail’s two data recorders failed in 2012, the second continued to work until experiencing an anomaly on June 28, 2022. After attempts to remotely repair the recorder failed, the mission operations were ended on November 28, 2022.
“Geotail has been a very productive satellite, and it was the first joint NASA-JAXA mission,” said Don Fairfield, emeritus space scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and NASA’s first project scientist for Geotail until his retirement in 2008. “The mission made important contributions to our understanding of how the solar wind interacts with Earth’s magnetic field to produce magnetic storms and auroras.”
With an elongated orbit, Geotail sailed through the invisible boundaries of the magnetosphere, gathering data on the physical process at play there to help understand how the flow of energy and particles from the Sun reach Earth. Geotail made many scientific breakthroughs, including helping scientists understand how quickly material from the Sun passes into the magnetosphere, the physical processes at play at the magnetosphere’s boundary, and identifying oxygen, silicon, sodium, and aluminum in the lunar atmosphere.
The mission also helped identify the location of a process called magnetic reconnection, which is a major conveyor of material and energy from the Sun into the magnetosphere and one of the instigators of the aurora. This discovery laid the way for the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, or MMS, which launched in 2015.
Over the years, Geotail collaborated with many of NASA’s other space missions including MMS, Van Allen Probes, Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms mission, Cluster, and Wind. With an orbit that took it as far as 120,000 miles from Earth at times, Geotail helped provide complementary data from remote parts of the magnetosphere to provide scientists a complete picture of how events seen in one area affect other regions. Geotail also paired with observations on the ground to confirm the location and mechanisms of how aurora form.
Although Geotail is done gathering new data, the scientific discoveries aren’t over. Scientists will continue to study Geotail’s data in the coming years.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
Tue, 17 Jan 2023 10:00:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/977015Killexams : The Role of Special Operations Forces in Great Power Competition
Seth Jones, Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, on the changing face of irregular warfare, the role of U.S. Special Operations Forces, and how global competition is transforming how the United States and its adversaries use Special Operations Forces.
Thank you Chairman Bergman, Ranking Member Gallego, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations for the opportunity to testify on “The Role of Special Operations in Great Power Competition.”
As I will outline in this testimony, U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) need to play an increasingly important role in competition with such countries as China, Russia, and Iran—particularly in the area of irregular warfare. Irregular warfare includes activities below the threshold of conventional (or regular) warfare—such as information operations, espionage, cyber operations, support to state and non-state partners, and economic coercion—designed to weaken adversaries as part of balance-of-power competition. The leading role of SOF in irregular warfare makes it important to ensure that SOF have a sufficient quality of personnel, mission readiness and resilience, a modernized force, and close relationships with interagency entities and foreign allies and partners.
My remarks are divided into four sections. The first section discusses global competition. The second focuses on irregular warfare. The third section highlights the role of SOF in irregular warfare. The fourth outlines implications for Congress.
I. Growing Competition
Competition between the United States and such countries as China, Russia, and Iran is likely overdetermined for several reasons, with significant repercussions for SOF.
First, these authoritarian regimes have political systems that are dramatically different from the United States and its democratic allies and partners. Take China, which is undemocratic and eschews a free press. In October 2022, Xi Jinping secured a historic third term as China’s leader, cementing his position as the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. There were no democratic elections. The Chinese government has also violently cracked down on democratic movements in the country, including in Hong Kong, and suppressed information through a “Great Firewall.” China’s digital firewall has banned over 18,000 websites that the government assessed had content unfavorable to China.
Vladimir Putin has used the war in Ukraine to further crack down on political dissent. Iran also continues to repress its population, which has triggered numerous protests over the past several years. More broadly, there has been a decline in democracy across the globe with 16 straight years of a decrease in freedom, according to the non-partisan Freedom House.
Second, the United States—along with its democratic allies and partners—have increasingly divergent economic systems from these regimes. Western countries remain committed to free market capitalism. But their competitors have increasingly rolled back free market policies. In a series of crackdowns against capitalism, for example, the Chinese Communist Party has placed strict controls on booming sectors, such as technology, real estate, and food delivery; large private companies; and wealthy individuals. In 2021 and 2022, for example, Chinese regulators scuttled Ant Group’s listing, fined Alibaba Group, blocked a Tencent-backed merger, and opened a stifling cybersecurity review into Didi Global just days after the ride-hailing firm went public in New York. In addition, there is a close relationship between the PRC and Chinese companies, in which espionage is utilized to advance Chinese commercial and defense competitiveness.
Third, these countries are challenging a Western-led international system that has been committed since World War II to free market international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations, and democratic political norms.
II. Irregular Warfare
Despite this reality of competition, irregular warfare will likely be a major—if not the major—type of struggle between the United States and its competitors. Irregular warfare involves activities short of conventional and nuclear warfare that are designed to expand a country’s influence and legitimacy, as well as weaken its adversaries. Irregular warfare includes numerous tools of statecraft that governments can use to shift the balance of power in their favor: information operations, cyber operations, support to state and non-state partners, covert action, espionage, and economic coercion. Other government officials and scholars have used different terms—such as political warfare, hybrid warfare, gray zone activity, asymmetric conflict, and the indirect approach—to capture some or all of these activities.
Some might object to the term “warfare” to describe non-violent activities, such as economic coercion and information operations. But that is not how the U.S.’s competitors see it. China has used terms like “three warfares” (or san zhong zhanfa), which involves public opinion, legal warfare, and psychological operations—none of which include the direct use of violence. Iran has utilized such terms as “soft war” (or jang-e narm) to describe such activities as propaganda and information operations.
Why will irregular warfare likely be the preeminent mode of conflict and competition? The answer lies in the existence of nuclear weapons, which will likely have a dampening effect on the probability of conventional—and nuclear—war between nuclear-armed powers. Because of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, no nuclear states have engaged in conventional war with each other. There have been several close calls, such as the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and the 1999 crisis in Kargil between India and Pakistan. But conventional war between nuclear powers is risky.
The same logic holds between the United States, China, and Russia. The results of numerous wargames and analyses involving the United States and China, for example, highlight the costs and risks of conventional war. According to one analysis, a U.S. war with China could reduce China’s gross domestic product (GDP) by between 25 and 35 percent and the U.S.’s GDP by between 5 and 10 percent. Both the United States and China would also likely suffer huge numbers of military and civilian deaths and risk large-scale destruction of their military forces. If war expanded to include their allies—as it did during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War—economic and casualty figures could skyrocket even further. Escalation to nuclear war would significantly raise the military, economic, and environmental costs. While a war between the United States and China over Taiwan is not impossible, its destructiveness has made—and will likely continue to make—Beijing and Washington cautious.
Instead, the United States and its main competitors—especially China, Russia, and Iran—are likely to engage in irregular warfare as the daily method of competition. These authoritarian regimes have utilized numerous state and non-state organizations as surrogates against the United States and its allies and partners. Examples of key agencies include:
China: Parts of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Ministry of State Security (MSS), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), United Front Work Department (UFWD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and other state and non-state organizations such as hackers.
Russia: Parts of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU), Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian SOF (such as Spetsnaz), and other state and non-state entities such as the Wagner Group.
Iran: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), parts of the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), and a range of entities linked to the IRGC-QF in Lebanon (such as Lebanese Hezbollah), Iraq (such as the Popular Mobilization Forces), Syria (such as Shia militias), Yemen (such as Ansar Allah, or the Houthi movement), and other countries.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has engaged in an aggressive irregular campaign designed to expand Chinese power and influence in the Indo-Pacific and the world more broadly. As Xi Jinping outlined, China must “adopt an asymmetrical strategy of catching up and overtaking” the United States and the West. Chinese actions have included offensive cyber operations, information and disinformation campaigns, economic coercion (including through the Belt and Road Initiative and Digital Silk Road), and espionage against U.S. and other Western government agencies and corporations.
Russia has meddled in U.S. elections, waged a disinformation campaign against the United States on digital platforms, conducted an offensive cyber campaign against U.S. and Western government agencies and companies, and conducted a range of other activities such as assassinations and sabotage. Finally, Iran has waged an aggressive irregular campaign against the United States and its allies and partners across the Middle East using a range of partner forces. As the U.S. intelligence community concluded, “Iran’s hybrid approach to warfare—using both conventional and unconventional capabilities—will pose a threat to U.S. interests in the region for the foreseeable future. The IRGC-QF and its proxies will remain central to Iran’s military power.”
III. SOF and Irregular Warfare
SOF need to play a major role in countering these countries, including through such core activities as:
Foreign internal defense, which involves efforts to build the capacity of foreign governments. This can include training and equipping partners in Europe that border Russia (such as Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland) and the Indo-Pacific that face a possible Chinese invasion (such as Taiwan). SOF are an essential part of foreign internal defense. These activities can also include broader efforts to conduct security force assistance.
Unconventional warfare, which includes operations to advise, assist, and accompany non-state partners resisting a hostile actor by operating with or through an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force.
Information operations—or Military Information Support Operations (MISO)—which involves activities to influence foreign audiences.
There are other critical SOF activities, such as special reconnaissance, civil affairs operations, direct action, counterterrorism, counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counterinsurgency, and hostage rescue and recovery. Yet such activities as foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare, and information operations are core activities for irregular warfare.
Despite the irregular threat from China, Russia, and Iran, SOF face several major hurdles today. First, the United States—including the Department of Defense—is still too heavily weighted toward preparing for conventional war. Most of the wargames conducted by the Department of Defense and outside entities cover conventional war, including with China over Taiwan. U.S. planning scenarios, or operations plans (OPLANs), are also heavily geared toward conventional war. Long-term U.S. Department of Defense research and development, budget planning, training, and force structure are likewise concentrated on conventional war. Professional military education at such locations as the U.S. Army War College, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and National Defense University is heavily biased toward conventional war. To be clear, it is important for the United States to build conventional and nuclear capabilities to deter and—if deterrence fails—fight. Nevertheless, they can’t come at the expense of being adequately prepared to conduct irregular warfare.
Second, far too many individuals—including within the Department of Defense—focus on the direct action capabilities of SOF, but not such activities as foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare that are at the heart of irregular warfare. The activities of the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group, for example, were critical in building the capacity of Ukrainian military forces before and after the Russian invasion.
IV. Implications for Congress
SOF are critical to U.S. national security. They have played—and will continue to play—an important role in countering terrorist groups and responding to weapons of mass destruction incidents. But they will be increasingly important in competition with such countries as China, Russia, and Iran—especially in irregular warfare. The future impact of SOF will depend on the quality of SOF personnel (including their commitment to high ethical standards, leadership, and accountability), mission readiness and resilience (including the preservation of the force and family), modernization of the force, and relationship with other Department of Defense entities, the U.S. interagency, and foreign allies and partners.
Congress has an important budgetary and oversight role with SOF. The rest of this section focuses on four areas: Section 1202, a review of irregular warfare, Section 333, and information operations.
Section 1202: Section 1202 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 allows the Secretary of Defense to spend money annually to “provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals” that conduct irregular warfare activities. This funding is critical to help SOF conduct irregular warfare. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley noted, Section 1202 “is a highly useful tool for enabling irregular warfare operations in support of the NDS’s emphasis on expanding the competitive space to deter and defeat coercion and aggression by revisionist powers and rogue regimes.” Congress should consider extending and expanding funding for Section 1202 activities, building on the program’s success in Europe, the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and other regions. Indeed, Section 1202 should be increased to facilitate efforts by SOF to conduct irregular warfare against China, Russia, and Iran—as well as their state and non-state surrogates.
Review of Irregular Warfare: Congress should consider directing the Department of Defense to conduct an irregular warfare posture review, including an analysis and assessment of DoD’s organizational design for irregular warfare and the identification of any capability, resourcing, or authority gaps that could inhibit the Department of Defense’s ability to effectively conduct and synchronize irregular warfare activities around the globe. The study could focus on:
Roles and responsibilities for the planning and conduct of irregular warfare across the Department of Defense, including whether current structures are effectively supporting an integrated and appropriately resourced approach to irregular warfare.
Existing policy guidance and authorities, including whether they provide sufficient clarity and agility for the Department of Defense to conduct irregular warfare.
U.S. support to partner nations’ irregular warfare activities, including whether it is properly resourced and coordinated.
Section 333: Congress should direct the Department of Defense to report on how it prioritizes Section 333 “Authority to Build Capacity” funding, with specific focus on shortfalls and support to irregular warfare, as well as needs for authority modifications. Section 333 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code (10 U.S.C. §333) gives the U.S. Secretary of Defense the authority to conduct or support programs to provide training and equipment to the national security forces of foreign countries. The U.S. Department of Defense received roughly $1.4 billion annually through Section 333, allocated across the geographic commands. But very little of this funding supports irregular warfare. Based on the U.S.’s main effort to compete with China—as well as such countries as Russia and Iran—this low prioritization on irregular warfare needs to change. Congress can help.
Information Operations: The Department of Defense should increase its use of Military Information Support Operations (MISO) for Joint Force Commanders to achieve favorable outcomes in select foreign audiences, in coordination with interagency partners. As highlighted recently in Ukraine, state and non-state actors use information operations to compete for influence over target audiences in the political, military, economic, social, information, and infrastructure realms. China, Russia, and Iran are all involved in extensive information, disinformation, and misinformation campaigns against the United States and its allies and partners.
Thank you again for the opportunity to testify. As I have argued in this testimony, irregular warfare will likely be a major form of both competition and warfare between the United States and its main adversaries—such as China, Russia, and Iran. SOF are a critical component of irregular warfare. But the United States still has a long way to go in building a sufficiently-funded, organized, and coordinated irregular warfare campaign that includes SOF and other interagency organizations—such as the U.S. State Department, Treasury Department, and intelligence community—and foreign allies and partners.
Please consult PDF for references.
Wed, 08 Feb 2023 01:33:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.csis.org/analysis/role-special-operations-forces-great-power-competitionKillexams : Polaris Dawn: The trailblazing commercial mission of the Polaris Program
Polaris Dawn is the gate-opener mission to the larger Polaris Program, a set of at least three anticipated missions bankrolled by a billionaire.
The mission will fly on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft no earlier than March 2023 and will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the founder of payment provider Shift4. This will be Isaacman's second mission in space after paying for the Inspiration4 mission in 2021.
Four people will fly to space on Polaris Dawn to conduct scientific experiments, raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and to perform the first commercial spacewalk using SpaceX spacesuits.
Future Polaris Program missions have not been announced in detail, but Isaacman has been vocal about the future of the Hubble Space Telescope that launched in 1990 and which has not been repaired since 2009. NASA is considering a private vendor to launch to the famed observatory after SpaceX and the Polaris Program raised the idea of boosting it to a higher orbit.
Polaris Dawn crew
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The Polaris Dawn crew includes one veteran astronaut and businessperson, two SpaceX personnel experienced in crewed and uncrewed launches and mission operations, and a former combat pilot.
Jared Isaacman, 38 at the time of the Polaris Dawn announcement in 2022, commanded the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission that flew to Earth orbit in September 2021. Isaacman is the billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments and paid for the trip, along with the seats of all of his crewmates. He has also done a high-speed circumnavigation of the world and air shows and previously owned the jet pilot training company Draken International. He has about 6,000 hours of flying experience.
Scott "Kidd" Poteet, age not disclosed, is a retired United States Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel and a pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours in numerous high-performance aircraft such as the F-16 and T-37, according to his Polaris Dawn biography(opens in new tab). He also served in combat and was commander of the 64th Aggressor Squadron and USAF Thunderbird No. 4 demonstration pilot. Poteet is a long-time business associate of Isaacman, including director of business development at Draken International and vice-president of strategy at Shift4. He has also finished 15 Ironman triathlons since 2000.
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Sarah Gillis, age not disclosed, is a lead space operations engineer at SpaceX and responsible for astronaut training for missions such as Inspiration4 and NASA Crew Dragon missions Demo-2 and Crew-1. Her biography notes(opens in new tab) extensive mission control operations, including serving as a navigation officer for Dragon cargo resupply missions, and crew communicator for Dragon human spaceflight missions. Gillis' original career goal was to be a classical violinist, but she changed her career goals to engineering after speaking with her high school mentor, former NASA astronaut Joe Tanner.
Anna Menon, age not disclosed, is a lead space operations engineer at SpaceX, managing crew operations development and working as mission director and crew communicator. Notable missions, her biography states(opens in new tab), include NASA crewed spaceflights Demo-2 and Crew-1, along with the uncrewed cargo missions CRS-22 and CRS-23. Menon previously worked at NASA as a biomedical flight controller for the International Space Station. She also has experience in biomedical engineering with the World Health Organization, Engineers Without Borders and Engineering World Health. Her fourth-grade teacher, Alison Smith Balch, was the daughter of the space shuttle Challenger pilot Michael J. Smith; the elder Smith died during the Challenger shuttle accident in 1986.
Mission: First commercial spacewalk
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The mission was originally scheduled for the last quarter of 2022 and is now expected to fly no earlier than March 2023. Polaris spokesperson Sarah Grover told SpaceNews(opens in new tab) in October 2022 that the program changed its launch projection "based on the readiness of hardware, software and training ... as well as the overall manifest of SpaceX missions." But the March 2023 date is also subject to change based on the International Space Station schedule, which SpaceX also serves through cargo and astronaut missions.
Polaris Dawn will seek to perform the first-ever commercial spacewalk using a new commercial spacesuit designed by SpaceX. Isaacman told the Washington Post(opens in new tab) in October 2022 that the spacecraft may be re-envisioning how such excursions are done today, as NASA tends to schedule all movements precisely and to allow two people only at a time to do spacewalks.
"When we get back to the moon and we get to Mars someday, it won't be just two people at a time," Isaacman said. The spacesuit also should not be customized for future explorers, he added: "You need a mass‑produced, low‑cost EVA [extravehicular activity] space suit so you can get outside in the safety of a habitat and vehicle and do work on the surface of that planet or celestial body or even in space."
The mission is also seeking to go as high as 870 miles (1,400 kilometers). If that happens, it would be the highest-ever Earth-orbiting mission by humans, breaking the record set by the Gemini 11 mission of 853 miles (1,373 km) in September 1966.
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Additionally, Polaris Dawn will perform a set of science and engineering experiments, such as communicating with SpaceX's high-speed network, Starlink. Other trial experiments include these listed on the Polaris Dawn website:
Using ultrasound to monitor, detect, and quantify venous gas emboli (VGE), contributing to studies on human prevalence to decompression sickness;
Gathering data on the radiation environment to better understand how space radiation affects human biological systems;
Providing biological samples towards multi-omics analyses for a long-term Biobank; and
Research related to Spaceflight Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS), which is a key risk to human health in long-duration spaceflight.
Polaris Dawn FAQ's answered by experts
Jared Isaacman is the billionaire CEO of Shift4 and funded both Inspiration and the Polaris Program. He has more than 7,000 flight hours of aviation experience, including ratings in multiple experimental and ex-military aircraft.
How was the crew selected?
Jared Isaacman: Polaris is very much a joint effort with SpaceX. We decide on a lot of things together with respect to the Polaris Program. In the case of the crew, we built a crew to meet the mission objectives. Of course, having familiarity and trust with everyone from Inspiration4 played a part, but I think if you look at each crew member's background, you can see why they are so well suited for this mission and the objectives we aim to accomplish.
What are you hoping to accomplish in future Polaris missions?
Isaacman: Each mission should build off the previous one and hopefully much can be learned from the science, the research and all the technology we aim to demonstrate. When Polaris is over, the first crewed Starship should have flown and that is the vehicle that will open space to the many. It will return humans to the moon and ultimately to Mars and beyond. It is amazing to really even think about.
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How does the Polaris Dawn crew training compare with the NASA astronauts who fly aboard Crew Dragon?
Sarah Gillis: Our Dragon training program is identical to the NASA astronaut training program, aside from subjects that relate to rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, based on our free-flyer trajectory. In addition, we have added an entire training program to prepare us to use the new EVA [extra-vehicular activity, or spacewalk] suit and execute the EVA operation, as well as mission-specific training for the 40 or so research experiments we will be performing in-flight. Finally, the SpaceX medical team has done an awesome job creating a new medical training program that is similar to what NASA crew members undergo.
Future Polaris Program missions
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Isaacman has paid for at least two other Polaris Program missions, which would form the first-ever private set of spaceflights paid by an individual. Isaacman will command the other two missions but has not yet released who his crew members would be or what exactly these missions will be doing.
It is possible that one of those missions could be used to raise the venerable Hubble telescope to a higher orbit, to allow for continued operations well into the 2030s; as things stand the observatory is slowly being dragged down into the atmosphere of Earth as it has not been serviced by astronauts since 2009.
SpaceX and the Polaris Program co-developed the notion to raise Hubble and there is an unfunded agreement between SpaceX and NASA to study that mission's feasibility, which was signed in September 2022. A completion date for the study is not yet disclosed.
Isaacman has said the last Polaris mission would use SpaceX's Starship spacecraft, provided the vehicle is ready for flight. As of early 2023, Starship has yet to perform a scheduled, uncrewed flight test in Earth orbit, as it is awaiting final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
That said, Starship has been booked for other big missions in the 2020s, like NASA's Artemis program for professional agency astronauts on the moon and for a lunar fly-around mission that will include billionaire Dennis Tito and his wife, Akiko. Another prominent Starship mission is dearMoon, a lunar fly-around mission paid for by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa that will fly eight artists with him.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller(opens in new tab)?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace(opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom(opens in new tab)or Facebook(opens in new tab).
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 02:44:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.space.com/polaris-dawn-facts-about-missionKillexams : Red Hat gives an ARM up to OpenShift Kubernetes operations
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Red Hat is perhaps best known as a Linux operating system vendor, but it is the company’s OpenShift platform that represents its fastest growing segment.
Today, Red Hat announced the general availability of OpenShift 4.12, bringing a series of new capabilities to the company’s hybrid cloud application delivery platform. OpenShift is based on the open source Kubernetes container orchestration system, originally developed by Google, that has been run as the flagship project of the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) since 2014.
OpenShift runs across multiple public cloud providers and is also able to run on-premises in private cloud deployments as well. OpenShift is widely used to run any type of workload and in exact years has found increasing traction with artificial intelligence and machine learning use cases.
With the new release, Red Hat is integrating new capabilities to help Strengthen security and compliance for OpenShift, as well as new deployment options on ARM-based architectures. The OpenShift 4.12 release comes as Red Hat continues to expand its footprint, announcing partnerships with Oracle and SAP this week.
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The financial importance of OpenShift to Red Hat and its parent company IBM has also been revealed, with IBM reporting in its earnings that OpenShift is a $1 billion business.
“Open-source solutions solve major business problems every day, and OpenShift is just another example of how Red Hat brings business and open source together for the benefit of all involved,” Mike Barrett, VP of product management at Red Hat, told VentureBeat. “We’re very proud of what we have accomplished thus far, but we’re not resting at $1B.”
OpenShift 4.12 giving security a new profile
Red Hat OpenShift is based on the open-source Kubernetes project, but it also extends what is available with its own set of open-source features.
One of the core areas where Red Hat has invested effort in exact years is with a concept known as a Kubernetes Operator. With an Operator, there is a manifest file that defines how a particular set of services should operate within a Kubernetes cluster. Operators are useful both for initial setup as well as for ongoing operations.
Among the new features in OpenShift 4.12 are a pair of Operators designed to help Strengthen security and compliance.
Barrett explained that the new Red Hat OpenShift Security Profiles Operator (SPO) provides a way to define secure computing (seccomp) profiles and security enhanced Linux (SELinux) profiles as custom resources, synchronizing profiles to every node in a given Kubernetes namespace. With Kubernetes, a namespace provides a way to identify different resources running in a cluster. Both seccomp and SELinux provide a set of controls for how system and application processes can (or cannot) be executed given certain constraints.
The SPO can work together with other security controls that are native to Kubernetes, including the Open Policy Agent (OPA) Gatekeeper open-source project, which is led by startup Styra. Barrett explained that OPA Gatekeeper is what is known as a Kubernetes admission controller plugin. It enables customers to define admission policies using the OPA policy language called Rego. Barrett noted that OPA Gatekeeper can be used to determine whether a new resource is required to have a seccomp profile to be admitted, but it cannot help with defining custom seccomp or SELinux profiles, which is where SPO now fits in.
Red Hat is also updating its Compliance Operator in the OpenShift 4.12 update. The Compliance Operator has been designed to help ensure that a given deployment meets with an organization’s regulatory compliance requirements. Red Hat has long focused on supporting compliance efforts with its platform, introducing the open-source OpenSCAP back in 2015 for its enterprise Linux platforms. OpenSCAP is a scanner that uses the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) supported by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
With the OpenShift 4.12 update, the Compliance Operator is able to support a longer list of compliance profiles for government and industry-related regulations.
“Red Hat tests and updates the profiles available for the Compliance Operator with every release,” Barrett said.
OpenShift gets an ‘ARM’ up
OpenShift, like many applications developed in the last several decades, originally was built just for the x86 architecture that runs on CPUs from Intel and AMD. That situation is increasingly changing as OpenShift is gaining more support to run on the ARM processor with the OpenShift 4.12 update.
Barrett noted that Red Hat OpenShift announced support for the AWS Graviton ARM architecture in 2022. He added that OpenShift 4.12 expands that offering to Microsoft Azure ARM instances.
“We find customers with a significant core consumption rate for a singular computational deliverable are gravitating toward ARM first,” Barrett said.
Overall, Red Hat is looking to expand the footprint of where its technologies are able to run, which also new cloud providers. On Jan. 31, Red Hat announced that for the first time, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) would be available as a supported platform on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). While RHEL is now coming to OCI, OpenShift isn’t — at least not yet.
“Right now, it’s just RHEL available on OCI,” Mike Evans, vice president, technical business development at Red Hat, told VentureBeat. “We’re evaluating what other Red Hat technologies, including OpenShift, may come to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure but this will ultimately be driven by what our joint customers want.”
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Wed, 01 Feb 2023 07:48:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://venturebeat.com/data-infrastructure/red-hat-gives-an-arm-up-to-openshift-kubernetes-operations/Killexams : Opinion | A new leap in opportunities for the exploration and utilization of space
The United States has created a major leap forward in space leadership with the inaugural flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) carrying Artemis 1 to the Moon. Although the development of the SLS was driven by launch needs for human exploration of the Moon and Mars, it provides a much greater level of capability for the broader spacefaring community. Numerous human exploration architectures for going to the Moon and then onto Mars have defined the scale of operations, mission requirements, and the necessary mission infrastructure for which the SLS was designed to accomplish.
The NASA exploration architecture, which includes the Artemis Base Camp, complete with hardware concepts, drives out flight element mass and volume requirements that are not compatible with existing Earth Orbit launch vehicles. This is where the super heavy-lift SLS launch vehicle designed to accommodate large integrated flight elements — landers, human habitat modules, pressurized rovers, etc., reduces design complexity and mission risk. Without the SLS, breaking designs down to fit into smaller launch vehicles, creates the need for complex and heavy docking or berthing interfaces to join the components and necessitates more launches and complex assembly operations in space. Reliability, probability of mission success, and crew safety benefit greatly from reduced complexity.
The SLS is now a proven system based on heritage propulsion capabilities of the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters, and main engines. These designs were evolved over the life of the shuttle program and enhanced with the latest technologies for the Artemis Program.
While the SLS design was driven by human exploration requirements, the mass and volume capacity offer enormous benefits for space mission objectives from NASA science disciplines and other commercial customers. As described briefly above, SLS’s capability can be used for large heavy payloads, or multiple payloads to different destinations, very large foldable telescopes, or carry the additional stages to boost payloads at much higher velocities so necessary to leave the solar system and better explore the region between the stars within a researcher’s lifetime.
Science missions to the outer planets of the solar system and beyond can benefit from the increased mass for more capable missions and/or increased velocity to reduce mission duration to a more acceptable time. The larger volume and diameter for payloads can reduce spacecraft complexity and enable larger apertures for telescopes. Some missions are not even practical or possible without the enormous capabilities in speed and ultra-heavy lift capabilities of the SLS such as the Interstellar Probe currently being considered through the National Academy’s Heliophysics Decadal process.
Similarly, the SLS will provide a unique new capability for other government and international exploration missions with a scale not available since the Apollo Saturn V. It has taken the United States some 50 years to re-establish this level of launch capability through years where budgets have been constrained and in competition with other priorities. Now we are at the point of using the SLS by beginning exploration missions to the Moon than Mars. It is important to leverage the investment in this unequaled capability and continue to accelerate U. S. leadership in space by executing the more challenging and capable human and robotic missions that this nation is known for accomplishing.
Doug Cooke is an aerospace consultant with over 49 years in NASA programs. James Green is the chief executive officer at Space Science Endeavors LLC and former NASA chief scientist.
Thu, 16 Feb 2023 16:21:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://spacenews.com/opinion-a-new-leap-in-opportunities-for-the-exploration-and-utilization-of-space/Killexams : Can crypto mining go green? Critics are skeptical
This story was reported byInvestigateWest, an independent news nonprofit dedicated to investigative journalism in the Pacific Northwest. Visit invw.org/newsletters to sign up for weekly updates.
CONSTELLATION BRANDS, INC.
The word “sustainable” features prominently on the website for Merkle Standard’s crypto mining operation in remote eastern Washington, which aims to be carbon neutral by year’s end.
In Idaho, budding company GeoBitmine plans to meet its “environmental, social, and governance mandate” by using heat waste from its computers to grow crops in a greenhouse.
And in Texas, crypto miners trumpet their presence as eager customers of a growing portfolio of wind and solar power projects.
Across the country, cryptocurrency miners are striving to remake the image of their industry in the public’s and policymakers’ minds: from flighty to reliable, from all about profit to altruistic, from energy guzzling and emissions heavy to climate conscious.
“We want to be allies, not adversaries,” said Jay Jorgensen, founder and CEO of GeoBitmine, the Idaho company. “Allies of the earth, of energy, of energy production, of the community we’re in.”
But environmental groups and researchers are skeptical. They point to the industry’s track record of contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and e-waste, as documented by federal agencies and independent researchers, and to the general volatility of crypto’s first decade-plus of existence.
“I think there’s been a big shift in the public relations aspect,” said Nick Thorpe, climate and energy advocate with Earthjustice, an environmental law nonprofit that produced a sweeping report in 2022 on the crypto mining industry’s environmental liabilities.
“(They’re) attempting to say all of the various talking points, like ‘We incentivize renewable energy … We’re near a wind farm so therefore we’re getting 100 percent clean energy,’ which, frankly, is incredibly misleading and very much like greenwashing.”
Voices from both camps are clamoring for the ear of state and federal policymakers who are just beginning to form regulations around the nascent industry. The ongoing question is whether crypto mining will hinder or help progress toward transitioning the country away from fossil fuels and stabilizing the nation’s electrical infrastructure.
Based on the industry’s history, even some crypto miners are striking a cautious tone.
“(With) the pace of movement, plus the frankly irresponsible nature of many of the participants, it would be illogical for policymakers to not be concerned,” said Malachi Salcido, a Wenatchee-based bitcoin miner with a decade of experience in the industry. “The way that will change is not by arguing or entering into conflict. It’s by managing loads responsibly over time, taking strategic long-term positions, and earning trust.”
Crypto mining faces growing scrutiny about its climate impacts.
Concerns center mostly on the process of bitcoin mining, which uses a system called “proof of work.” It is energy-intensive by design, requiring computers to solve thousands of equations as quickly as possible in the hopes of solving the correct sequence to earn bitcoin.
A 2022 Biden administration report stated the industry consumed about 1 percent of the electricity used in the country, producing between 25 million and 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Like data centers, crypto mining operations also use water as coolant and churn through computers every year. That same White House report stated that crypto mining was responsible for e-waste output equivalent to that produced by the entire nation of the Netherlands.
But some crypto miners have been innovating and pushing back, arguing that the industry has the ability to do better for the planet.
Jorgensen is among them. He’s been involved with the bitcoin mining industry for two and a half years, beginning as a contractor. Now, he’s gathering investors to launch GeoBitmine, which he plans to set up in Idaho Falls this spring.
Jorgensen refers to GeoBitmine as an “agrotech company” rather than a bitcoin mining operation. He said his focus with most of the five-acre facility is to build a greenhouse heated by the servers working away at mining bitcoin. That can employ at least 30 people initially, he estimated.
In short, he said, he wants to expand upon the mission of bitcoin mining.
“I’m a practical guy who wants to solve problems and do it the easiest way possible,” he said. “We have problems with water consumption, food production, and our energy grid needs to be stabilized. I found an opportunity where all those things can be put together.”
GeoBitmine aims to be carbon-neutral by the end of 2023, Jorgensen said. His plan to achieve that relies on a combination of 75 percent renewable power supply provided by PacifiCorp, energy savings from repurposing server heat through the greenhouse and carbon sequestration through the crops grown in the greenhouse.
In response to questions about the value of using so much energy to mine bitcoin, Jorgensen points to other uses of electricity such as Netflix streaming, which, according to one 2020 estimate, uses about 94 terawatt hours globally each year.
“You’re just being prejudiced against something that uses less than 1 percent of the grid,” he said. “People fear what they don’t understand.”
Salcido, CEO of Salcido Enterprises, has watched many mining operations rise and fall as the value of bitcoin fluctuated wildly during his 10 years in the business, which justifies the caution from utilities and policymakers.
Given the ongoing volatility of the industry, Salcido said, he doesn’t fault utility companies for setting higher rates for crypto customers in order to protect their assets, or lawmakers for being cautious. He believes it’s too early for crypto miners to try to burnish their environmental credentials in the minds of the public.
“True sustainability requires a lot of strategic, thoughtful planning and execution, not lurching,” Salcido said. “That, coupled with the fact that crypto as a new emerging, evolving industry has a get-rich-quick kind of attribute, means most people don’t see it as sustainable. And in these early market cycles, it’s not acting sustainable.”
With time and experience, though, he still believes that it can become so.
A bet on potential?
An infamous crypto mining project in upstate New York that reopened a mostly defunct coal plant to power its servers was what initially spurred Earthjustice’s work around crypto mining.
Thorpe, the senior associate with the nonprofit, became involved as environmental impacts of crypto mining “became a bigger and bigger issue across the U.S.”
Earthjustice found several other examples of the industry reopening fossil fuels plants or keeping them online as it studied the industry throughout 2022.
Using public filings with utility and financial regulators, investor presentations and media reports, the nonprofits vetted claims that crypto mining is embracing greener practices and mitigating its environmental toll. In partnership with the Sierra Club, Earthjustice compiled that research to present to federal policymakers.
They describe their research as “the first attempt to comprehensively document the explosive growth of cryptocurrency mining in the United States and examine how this industry is impacting utilities, energy systems, emissions, communities, and ratepayers.”
Earthjustice found through its research that even in cases where mining operations claimed to be drawing directly from renewable projects, “most mining facilities draw power from the grid — meaning their electricity is generated by whatever existing energy is in place in the region, or is contracted by their utility.”
“Increased load on any grid means an increased incentive to run that coal plant which supposedly was going to retire,” Thorpe said. Additionally, “I haven’t seen any example of crypto building out additional clean energy projects solely for their operations.”
Crypto miners also say the industry can contribute in other ways due to its flexibility in power usage. Unlike data centers, crypto mining operations can stop running their computers to ease pressure on the grid during times of peak demand. Or they can ramp up usage during times when energy generation exceeds the grid’s current capacity.
States have mostly been relying on subsidies or lower rates from utilities to incentivize crypto miners to disconnect during surges, rather than mandates that require them to do so.
Jorgensen said that tactic is effective: It makes financial sense for miners to avoid heightened costs of electricity during peak demand and to receive the tax benefits or rate benefits that come from disconnecting for a while.
Environmental advocates point out that ratepayers subsidize those incentives for crypto miners, however, without getting any benefit from sharing the grid with those operations.
Earthjustice also said it found many more instances of power companies getting stuck holding the bag for investments they made to serve crypto operations, only to have those same operations shutter or leave town. The group noted instances in Kentucky, Arkansas, Nebraska and Washington.
Thorpe acknowledged that the industry is still talking about ways to improve. But for climate groups, the past and present make for more compelling arguments.
“We are focused on what’s happening right now,” he said. “Fossil fuel plants are being run to exclusively mine bitcoin. Proof of work is designed to be energy-intensive. Until that changes, I don’t see a future where it actually could follow the models of other companies like Google and Microsoft that have made commitments to run on carbon-free electricity.”
InvestigateWest is an independent news nonprofit dedicated to investigative journalism in the Pacific Northwest. This story was made possible with support from the Sustainable Path Foundation.