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I Built A Bot With Zero Coding Experience. So Can You.

April 20, 2017 Today, I built a web crawler that auto-populates a spreadsheet with stock prices. It wasn’t very advanced: It pulled a few companies’ quotes from CNNMoney and funneled them into an Excel file, along with time stamps. But it was the first bot I’ve ever made, and I did it in...

Watchdog: Energy Department Mismanaged Some R&D Investments

April 19, 2017 The Energy Department’s research investment programs aren’t effectively managed, occasionally leading to overspending, a federal watchdog found. The department’s Office of Science distributes Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards, given to companies working on specific energy-themed technology projects. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy also builds cooperative...

Trump’s Executive Order Promotes American Tech Workers Instead of Foreign Ones

April 18, 2017 President Donald Trump is making progress on a plan to roll back visas for foreign workers, part of an effort to protect American jobs. Trump signed an executive order Tuesday designed to make it harder for companies to hire foreign employees instead of domestic ones under the H-1B visa program,...

Former Microsoft CEO Opts to Open Government Himself

April 18, 2017 Government spending patterns might not seem like the most pressing concern for Steve Ballmer, formerly chief executive of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. And yet, it’s the theme of his newest tech venture, USAFacts.org, a searchable repository of public-sector spending data. Ballmer on Tuesday unveiled the...

Report: USPTO’s Michelle Lee In Running for White House’s Top Science Spot

April 18, 2017 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office head Michelle Lee could be a candidate for the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy director, Politico reports. Lee, also a Commerce Department undersecretary for intellectual property, ran Google’s patent and patent strategy arm. Politico cited “sources familiar with the job search,” though...

DHS Needs Someone to Explain Biometrics to the Public

April 17, 2017 The Homeland Security Department wants to preempt any biometric-related PR disasters by hiring communications professionals to handle the topic. DHS is gathering information about professional communications services for its Office of Biometric Identity Management, which houses the largest biometrics repository in the federal government, according to a recent request for...

Trump Is Keeping White House Visitor Logs Secret, Unlike Obama

April 14, 2017 President Donald Trump's administration has decided to keep White House visitor logs private, reversing practice under Barack Obama. Under Obama, the White House maintained visitor records online—an archive still exists there—but the site under Trump currently asks visitors to "Stay tuned as we continue to update whitehouse.gov." The Trump administration...

Air Traffic Control Can Text Flight Crews. FAA Says It's Safer Than Radio, But Is It Secure?

April 13, 2017 A federally-funded communication system that lets air traffic control text flight crews is being audited to ensure it's really secure from outside threats. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Data Communications program, known as Data Comm, allows ground and flight crews to exchange text-based clearance instructions, instead of relying on voice communications...

Watchdog: U.S. Manufacturing Needs Boost from Commerce

April 11, 2017 While President Donald Trump pledges to bring back American manufacturing jobs, a cadre of federal agencies are trying to update the technology seen on the factory floor. The departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce have signed an agreement to establish 11 institutes researching new methods of manufacturing, known as the...

Trump Promises 'Massive Program' to Upgrade Federal IT Systems

April 11, 2017 President Donald Trump wants to revamp federal IT because the cost of preserving old computer systems is “so high, it’s not even a believable number,” he told a group of prominent business executives Tuesday. Addressing the group in Washington, Trump said he’d heard the cost of keeping government computer systems...