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Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent

Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.

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Video: Longest running Earth-imaging satellite turns 40

July 23, 2012 During four decades in operation, NASA’s Landsat satellite system has tracked the destruction of tropical rainforests, the loss of conservation areas to forest fires, and the shrinking of lakes and inland seas due to irrigation. The longest-running Earth-imaging satellite also has provided free data for researchers studying everything from climate ...

USAID considers medical tracking technology in Haiti

July 20, 2012 The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Haiti mission is considering a program to outfit “a large, but yet-to-be determined segment of the Haitian people” with smart cards to track them from doctor to doctor during the medical referral process, according to an announcement on the government’s grants and contracts website. ...

Streaming Data is One Thing, Interpreting It is Another

July 20, 2012 The first audience question during the inaugural General Services Administration webinar on implementing the federal digital strategy hit on one of the major thorns in the government’s new push for open data. Why should I open up my data, the questioner asked, when someone can simply grab that data and ...

Biggest Barriers to Online Elections Are No Longer Technical

July 20, 2012 The greatest barrier to online voting isn’t the technology but accounting for the possibility of fraud and intimidation when poll watchers aren’t monitoring the actual event, an elections expert said Thursday. Full-fledged online voting in Estonia and a pilot program in Norway have found a creative fix by allowing voters ...

Half of technology leaders are bullish on big data

July 20, 2012 About half of technology experts think the gathering and analysis of troves of big data will produce a “huge positive” for society, while about 40 percent think it will produce a “big negative,” a study released Friday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found. Big data generally refers ...

Recovery board’s ‘wall of shame’ gets smaller

July 20, 2012 The board charged with monitoring spending for the 2009 economic stimulus package tagged fewer noncompliers with its reporting system during the most recent quarter than any other period since the law went into effect, according to a blog post Tuesday. Only 303 of roughly 140,000 spending reports failed to come ...

Coming soon: An economic stats app from Census

July 19, 2012 The U.S. Census Bureau plans to launch an economic statistics app for iPhone and Android devices in a matter of weeks, outgoing director Robert Groves told lawmakers Wednesday. The agency also is streaming much of its data through an application programming interface, so companies, nonprofits and tech savvy individuals can ...

Agencies are still trying to figure out how many data centers they have, GAO says

July 19, 2012 Agencies largely complied with a September 2011 deadline to report on their data center consolidation plans but 21 of the 24 agencies covered by the requirement had not actually completed a full data center inventory, a government watchdog reported Wednesday. Only one of the agencies had completed its consolidation plan ...

DATA Act, Scene two: Drop the independent board

July 18, 2012 Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., plans to reintroduce federal spending transparency legislation without a provision for an independent oversight board that government budget officials have criticized, he told the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Government watchdogs, however, say some independent oversight is needed to ensure agencies take ...

Cloud’s Culture Change Comes at the Top and the Bottom

July 18, 2012 When government officials describe a cultural barrier to cloud computing, they’re usually talking about ground-level changes. When a workers’ email is glitchy he wants to call someone at a help desk two floors down not 2,000 miles away, and managers feel more comfortable when employees are working on projects at ...