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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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Working the crowd: How USAID leveraged free labor to map a loan program’s effectiveness

June 29, 2012 The crowd can be a great source of free labor, as long as you’ve done most of the hard work in advance and you’ve given those volunteers a good reason to participate, officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Geocenter said Thursday. The Geocenter recently tapped 145 volunteers to ...

What could Watson do with the budget?

June 28, 2012 The Energy Department’s former science chief mused Wednesday about what IBM’s Jeopardy-winning Watson technology could do with the federal budget. Steven Koonin was leading a panel discussion at an IBM Capitol Hill briefing on big data analytics when he paused to half-seriously pitch the concept to IBM executives. “It would ...

Technology Made Health Care Reform Personal

June 28, 2012 Alone among the branches of government, the judiciary is meant to stay above the hurly burly of daily politicking and heartrending stories, and to take a 30,000 foot view of the world. There are no harrowing tales of uninsured children -- let alone doomed grandmothers -- in Thursday’s ruling on ...

National lab, IBM team up on supercomputer initiative

June 27, 2012 IBM and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are working together on a project to leverage supercomputing to help industry better spot trends and more quickly develop new technologies, the pair announced Wednesday. The new supercomputer, called Vulcan, will use some of the same ultrafast technology underlying Lawrence Livermore’s Sequoia, recently ...

Defense Builds Its Own Reddit

June 27, 2012 The Defense Department is planning to launch a Reddit-like platform where service members can post new ideas and vote them up or down, according to a Defense News report. The new tool, Eureka, will be part of the military’s suite of social media mirroring sites including miBook and miTube, which ...

Stuck in Traffic? DOT Wants an App to Prevent That.

June 26, 2012 The Transportation Department’s Intelligent Transportation Systems division is after new smart sensors that can measure everything from road conditions and traffic density to visibility, according to a request for information released Monday. Data from the sensors will be incorporated into new Dynamic Mobility Applications the office is working on to ...

IT officials spending less on one-time capital investments

June 25, 2012 Federal technology officials are aiming more budget money at operational expenditures and less at capital expenditures, according to a new study. That shift is in line with a plan that federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has long been pushing to shift government information technology spending to a more predictable ...

The Google-Apple Map Wars: An Open Gov Data Case Study

June 22, 2012 My colleague over at The Atlantic, Megan Garber, has an interesting piece about Google’s drive to retain its position as the nation’s default mapper and not go broke in the process. The search giant is scaling back its plans to charge some major users of its mapping tools, such as ...

Digital strategy group works on 'bring your own device' guidelines

June 22, 2012 A cross-government team is developing guidance for policies that will allow employees to use their own smartphones and tablets for work, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said in a blog post late Thursday. The Digital Services Advisory Group also is working on agencywide governance models for digital services. The ...

League of Women Voters Lashes out at We the People Petition Response

June 20, 2012 Perhaps it was inevitable when the Obama Administration launched its We the People online petition site in 2011 that the administration’s responses to petitions would draw the ire of pissed off pot smokers and online poker enthusiasts. The administration’s most recent response, however, drew the ire of a more powerful ...