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AT&T Scores $6.5B Contract to Build Nation's First Public Safety Broadband Network

March 30, 2017 AT&T plans to spend about $40 billion over the next 25 years to build a broadband network reserved primarily for public safety officers. A Commerce Department agency that functions as a public-private partnership is awarding AT&T about $6.5 billion to over the next five years to build, deploy and maintain...

Border-Guard Dogs to Get Health-Monitoring Collars

March 30, 2017 Dogs will soon be the guinea pigs in a new Homeland Security Department pilot assessing whether wearable devices can be used to monitor K-9 units' health in real time. DHS recently awarded $198,000 to a technology company called PetPace, which manufactures sensor-equipped collars, designed to continuously collect dogs' vital signs,...

Border Patrol Sniffs Out High-Tech Collars for Canine Agents

March 29, 2017 Dogs will soon be the guinea pigs in a new Homeland Security Department pilot assessing whether wearable devices can be used to monitor K-9 units' health in real time. DHS recently awarded $198,000 to a technology company called PetPace, which manufactures sensor-equipped collars, designed to continuously collect dogs' vital signs,...

NARA Rethinks How to Store Presidential Records

March 28, 2017 President Donald Trump may be the most prolific Twitter user the Oval Office has seen, but the National Archives and Records Administration is currently grappling with how best to store the vast number of social media postings, emails and digital documents produced by his predecessor's White House. At noon on...

Trump Has A New Innovation Office. It’s Unclear What That Means for 18F and USDS.

March 27, 2017 President Donald Trump has created a new White House office dedicated to bringing private sector tech practices to the government. The new Office of American Innovation has been described internally as a “SWAT team” of consultants—executives recruited from the commercial world—and is headed up by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser...

Alexa, Can You Tell Me About GSA's Virtual Assistant Pilot?

March 24, 2017 In the future, citizens seeking government services might not flock to websites. Instead, they might ask their Amazon Alexa, Apple's Siri or a text-based chatbot for help. At least, that's the plan, per a new pilot program at the General Services Administration. This week, GSA launched a pilot that would...

How Transparent Is Too Transparent, Oversight Committee Asks

March 23, 2017 Is the public entitled to know who visits the White House? What would they even do with that information? Those were just a couple of the many questions a Congressional oversight committee attempted to tackle during a transparency-themed hearing Thursday, which meandered from legislation that would require federal agencies to...

This is the Job-Killer the Trump Team Should Worry About, Obama Adviser Says

March 23, 2017 Artificial intelligence is poised to make instances of human labor obsolete, and it’s not yet clear what governments can do to protect the people who will lose their jobs. As Barack Obama’s presidential term wound down in December, his tech team published a report urging the incoming administration to take...

HHS Wants More Blockchain In Health Records—Eventually

March 23, 2017 The Health and Human Services Department is tentatively looking into ways blockchain technology—the same system that lets people trade bitcoins—could be used in health care. Blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that records virtual transactions that can't be changed after the fact. No one controls the records and anyone on...

Why NOAA's New Chief Data Officer Isn't Fazed by Potential Budget Cuts

March 22, 2017 The Commerce Department agency that provides weather and climate forecasts has a new chief data officer. Ed Kearns, whose résumé includes leading the weather and science research unit and the remote sensing and application division within the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, will now oversee that agency’s data programs. NOAA...