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18F's Startup-Friendly Agile BPA Hits First Hurdle -- a Protest

September 16, 2015 A long-awaited contracting vehicle designed to help federal agencies buy agile development services has hit its first roadblock. Less than a month after the General Services Administration awarded 16 companies spots on the Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement -- a pre-approved list of digital vendors -- GSA confirmed to Nextgov it...

Classified Smartphones, Silicon Valley Worker Swap and 3 Other Takeways from the Pentagon CIO Briefing

September 16, 2015 The Defense Department made news this spring when Ash Carter became the first defense secretary in almost 20 years to visit Silicon Valley. In a media call Tuesday, Pentagon Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen told a handful of reporters what the Pentagon plans to learn from the private sector --...

CIOs: Tell Your Legacy IT Horror Stories

September 15, 2015 Shocking anecdotes about outdated technology could help agencies score bigger IT budgets, according to one government IT executive. Labor Department Chief Information Officer Dawn Leaf says “emotional trigger examples” of technological struggles may have convinced White House budget officials to recommend a a 20 percent increase in the agency’s IT...

Can Social Media Tracking Make Medication Safer?

September 14, 2015 The Food and Drug Administration is investigating how valuable social media posts -- complaints about a certain drug’s side effects, for instance -- could be used in the regulatory process. On Sept. 11, the agency held a public workshop to discuss the possible uses for social media in assessing product...

How 3-D Printing Could Make Criminals Harder to Catch

September 11, 2015 Not too far in the future, criminals could use 3-D printers to manufacture and sell their own drugs. They might even print their own human organs and use online messaging services to coordinate distribution to traffickers, or directly to customers. Instead of relying on international crime organizations, large-scale illegal activity...

DHS App Aims to Help First Responders Find Missing People

September 10, 2015 The Department of Homeland Security is trying to use smartphones to streamline the search for missing persons. DHS is currently promoting a mobile app called "Lost Person Behavior," which includes advice for first responders about where to search for victims and how to approach them when they're located. The app...

The Internet of Things Might Force You To Restructure Your Team

September 9, 2015 The Internet of Things is more than a buzzy tech term for connected sensors and devices. It could change the way government agencies are organized, and the way they make decisions, according to one senior strategist. "Six-month strategy cycles are not going to work,” said Marty Trevino, a senior strategist...

Marine Corps Wants to Wipe Out 'Evil Twin' Social Media Impostors

September 8, 2015 The Marine Corps wants to eliminate any "evil twins" on social media sites -- fake and impostor accounts pretending to be General Officers or senior personnel. The agency is looking for technology that could help weed out and report bogus social media accounts, which often send out malicious links or...

Geological Agency Wants to Know if Its Social Media Strategy is Working

September 4, 2015 The U.S. Geological Survey wants to know if its Twitter feed -- which mostly features nature photos and Earth science facts -- is worth the investment for its social media team. The Interior Department agency is looking for an analytics tool that can monitor and measure how well its social...

GSA Ponders Slashing 2-Year Experience Requirement for IT Contractors

September 3, 2015 The General Services Administration is trying to make it easier for new IT contractors to sell technology to the government. In a new request for information, GSA is asking tech companies to comment on how the federal contracting system can be improved. The agency is also considering eliminating as a...