Of nearly 1,300 government organizations and almost 2,000 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence programs in the U.S., 17 federal agencies and six of the companies are located in and around Seattle, the Washington Postreports today in a sweeping account of the secret America Built By Bush. The "alternative geography" created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks is so large, unwieldy and secretive that "no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work."
Among the Seattle area companies you've likely not heard of is Adapx, a three-year-old, publicly held corporation with 26 to 100 employees, according to an interactive map and search engines that are part of the Post's online version.
The tech firm, headquartered in downtown Seattle, promotes itself on its website as serving "a range of businesses and agencies [to] speed data collection and streamline operations with Capturx software." Capturx enables paper designs, maps, and forms to be filled out or marked up with digital pens.
The software is used for Department of Defense weapons and information-technology systems, though it's not easy to tell how. Written in typical WTF? tech and government jargon, a recent press release announced a new defense contract for a "decision-making support system that enables commanders to use simulation to predict outcomes of various scenarios based on the latest information, and then to make necessary adjustments.
The decision support system will include natural computer interfaces for war fighters, a common futures graph, and a synthetic battle-space engine that will understand inputs and employ reasoning to predict multiple potential outcomes on the battlefield. Adapx will contribute its expertise in natural multimodal interfaces, which will enable war fighters to interact directly with computer systems using voice, sketch, and handwriting.
Among other companies doing secret work are, of course, Boeing, the nation's number two defense contractor (behind Lockheed) and Microsoft, whose government contracts include work on info technology, tech intelligence and cyber operations - a.k.a. digital warfare, such as computer network attacks and traditional electronic warfare (jamming).
The Post calls it "fighting with electrons rather than explosives," a kinder, gentler war.