Review: Finally, a Better Inkjet Printer?

By John Breeden II // October 2, 2015

Photo courtesy of John Breeden II

John Breeden II is a columnist for Nextgov and an award-winning journalist and reviewer with over 20 years of experience covering technology and government. He is currently the CEO of the Tech Writers Bureau, a group that creates technological thought leadership content for organizations of all sizes. Twitter: @LabGuys

One of my favorite things to do with my Nextgov column is to shine the spotlight on a new technology that might help to make lives, or at least our jobs, a little bit easier. These new advancements almost never come from the world of printing technology, an area that I’ve covered for almost 20 years.

With printers, the technology pretty much hit a plateau and remained stable for years. Other than the format wars between inkjet and laser printers, and perhaps some minor disruptions like Xerox’s solid ink line, not a lot has changed. Advancements tend to be minor, along the lines of eking out an extra page per minute in speed or a 2-cent cost per page reduction in consumables.

Having witnessed only minor changes over the past 20 years, I can honestly say I was completely taken by surprise, and really blown away, by the Epson...

Federal Agencies Need to Demand Bigger Cyber Budgets

By Darren Guccione // October 2, 2015


Darren Guccione is CEO of Keeper Security.

The end of the fiscal year is a time for government agencies to assess the effectiveness of programs and services, especially when determining budgets. With fiscal 2015 ended, few would argue that all federal agencies should critically evaluate the effectiveness of their cybersecurity programs and, in particular, whether more resources are required to meet the ever-increasing need for better protection.

While acknowledging that every agency is different, the unvarnished truth is that the government as a whole needs to spend a lot more on cybersecurity.

Recently, the Office of Personnel Management, itself a victim of one of the largest and most detrimental hacks against a government agency, reported that the fingerprints of 5.6 million federal employees were stolen – in addition to the personal identifiable information of 21 million employees, including Social Security numbers. Social Security numbers can be changed; credit card and other financial numbers can be changed. But changing your fingerprints, particularly if you have top-level clearance? You can see the severity of the problem here.

The OPM hack is just the most recent example of a worsening problem: The cybersecurity defenses of the federal government aren’t sufficient to the...

The 9-Point Federal Plan to Kill Cyberattacks with Mobile

By Prince Anand // September 30, 2015


Prince Anand is director of federal sales at Insight Public Sector. Based in Washington, D.C., Anand works hands-on with technology leaders and the federal government’s choice of intelligent technology products, services and solutions.

As data theft continues to grow, the U.S. federal government is moving away from spending money to keep legacy IT systems limping along and increasingly adopting mobile device management strategies with an eye on thwarting cyberattacks.

The annual government technology buying cycle -- that time of year when agencies plan what technology they’ll buy to prepare for the next year -- is wrapping up, and it’s clear the public sector is moving toward mobile device management. This is a forward-looking step away from the 70 percent of federal IT spending that historically focused on maintaining legacy systems, as outlined in an August 2013 MeriTalk report.

Instead, in 2016, more government agencies will be using advanced strategies to thwart cyberattacks with a focus on mobile strategies. In my work coordinating technology solutions for U.S. agencies through this year’s buying cycle, what has become clear is that agencies are done struggling to simply keep pace with outdated IT and are embracing next-generation technologies.


Does Government Need ‘Hardware-Separated’ Operating Systems?

By Chuck Brooks // September 23, 2015

Chuck Brooks is widely published on the subjects of emerging technologies, homeland security and cybersecurity. He served in government at the Department of Homeland Security as director of legislative affairs for the Science and Technology Directorate and for the late Sen. Arlen Specter as a senior adviser in tech- and security-related issues.

As Nextgov highlighted in a recent article, a poll by mobile security company Lookout revealed about 50 percent of federal employees surveyed said they check their work emails and download work documents on their personal devices.

Last year, an Associated Press study found about 50 percent of U.S. government cybersecurity incidents between 2010 and 2014 originated with the employee, at the endpoint.

The Office of Personnel Management breach was reportedly caused by the same type of endpoint phishing attack as an earlier, massive Anthem insurance company breach.

Unfortunately, the results are not surprising.

When you use a computer or smartphone for both work and personal activity, you have added significant risk your personal activity introduces malware that can access your business data and networks. This has effectively negated, or at least thrown into a quandary, plans for many agencies and companies for a secure "bring your own...

Vetoed Drone Legislation the Right Step for Growing Industry

By Gary Shapiro and Brian Wynne // September 21, 2015

A Parrot Bebop drone flies during a demonstration event in San Francisco.
A Parrot Bebop drone flies during a demonstration event in San Francisco. // Jeff Chiu/AP File Photo

Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association and author of “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses” and “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.” His views are his own. Connect with him on Twitter: @GaryShapiro. Brian Wynne is president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the largest association representing the unmanned systems and robotics industries. Connect with him on Twitter: @BWynne.

Commercial drones -- also called unmanned aircraft systems -- offer an amazing and ever-increasing array of beneficial applications. They can deliver prescription drugs, help in search-and-rescue efforts and aid disaster-relief missions.

Yet, flying in the face of innovation and opportunity, some states are trying to ground or prematurely restrict this life-changing technology. On Sept. 9, California Gov. Jerry Brown wisely vetoed a bill that would have outlawed flying drones below an arbitrary altitude over private property without permission. While the UAS industry supports the safe, nonintrusive use of drones, Senate Bill 142 would have taken a wrong and damaging approach.

Brown recognized the concerns expressed by a broad coalition of private and commercial users, manufacturers and retailers of UAS. While we agree that issues...