Steve Jobs unveils Mac OS X Lion
Apple’s Steve Jobs is hosting the WWDC in San Francisco today to unveil the upcoming iCloud service, the Mac OS X Lion, and iOS 5, which is the latest operating software for Apple’s mobile devices. Jobs, who has donned on his typical attire of jeans and a black turtleneck, got on stage at 10 a.m. PST to say that WWDC 2011 sold out in two hours and 5,200 attendees were presently in Moscone Center. Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi started out the conference with information about new software within Lion.
Schiller provided a bit of the history behind Mac OS X saying it was built 10 years ago on Unix and that Lion will have more than 250 new features, which include:
- Multi-touch gestures to include scrolling, tap to zoom, dynamically zoom, and swiping between photos
- Full-screen applications that allows a swipe gesture to get back to the desktop and then switch back to the app; Schiller says all of the standard Apple apps will be full screen out of the box
- Mission Control features that allow for new capabilities
- Mac App Store is built into Lion and will allow developers to build in in-app purchases, push notifications, etc.
- Launchpad can make a pinch gesture and apps fly onto the desktop screen
- The updated Resume program allows the launch of an application to be brought back to where the user quit prior
- AirDrop is a peer-to-peer network over WiFi in Finder to see what others are running or the option of dragging and dropping a document in someone else’s computer.
- Lion will only be available in the Mac App Store for $29.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”