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White House Makes Presidential Innovation Fellows Program Permanent

August 17, 2015 President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order to ensure the Presidential Innovation Fellows program outlasts the administration change in 2016. The PIF program, designed to "bring the innovation economy into government," invites top technologists from the private sector to embed themselves in federal agencies, advising civil servants on...

Watchdog: DOD and VA Need Better Metrics for Health Record Interoperability

August 14, 2015 The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs don’t have sufficient metrics to demonstrate their progress toward health systems that communicate with each other, according to a new report. In a recent audit, the Government Accountability Office concluded DOD, VA and the Interagency Program Office overseeing the effort to make their...

Will This New Report Help Agencies Get Their Cyber Act Together?

August 14, 2015 The National Institute for Standards and Technology wants federal agencies to get their act together on cybersecurity standards. In a new publication, the group calls on agencies to coordinate with each other, with the private sector and with international governments to draw up, and abide by, cybersecurity benchmarks. NIST is...

What's the Most Commonly Used Mobile App for Governments Across the World?

August 12, 2015 The public sector is more likely to use mobile applications for managing documents than for any other purposes, a new report suggests. In the past few months, about 47 percent of apps activated by government groups worldwide were related to document editing, according to the report from tech contractor Good...

Commerce, PayPal to Share Data on US Exports

August 12, 2015 The Commerce Department and e-payment system PayPal are planning to collaborate on making economic data more accessible. The two are forming a working group under Commerce's Data Advisory Council to encourage U.S. exports, the department's Chief Data Officer Ian Kalin wrote in a blog post, co-authored by Vadim Kutsyy, PayPal's...

NASA's Tumblr to Give Users 'Regular Dose of Space'

August 11, 2015 NASA is officially joining Tumblr in an effort to give citizens a "regular dose of space" in the form of photos, videos and blog posts, the agency announced last week. The agency already has official Facebook and Twitter accounts; @NASA has 11.7 million followers. But for visual content -- images...

NASA Wants to Know if Open Innovation Challenges Are Working

August 10, 2015 NASA is seeking researchers to evaluate technology design contests, and to use data analytics to formulate better challenges, according to a new solicitation. The agency is attempting to examine its "Open Innovation" programs -- often large, crowdsourced design challenges open to the public. According to a notice posted last week,...

Report: China's Spies Read Top US Officials' Private Emails

August 10, 2015 China's cyber spies have been reading the private emails of top U.S. officials since at least 2010, NBC News is reporting. An unnamed senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News spies targeted the personal emails of “all top national security and trade officials.” Spies may also have collected officials' email...

Q&A with Ian Kalin: Why Commerce is Taking More Cues from the Private Sector

August 7, 2015 Earlier this week, the Commerce Department invited representatives from large tech companies -- Samsung, Comcast and Time Inc. -- to ask entrepreneurs for help on venture projects for which the companies lack the tech talent to complete themselves. The audience, packed into the Commerce Department library in Washington, was mostly...

VA Secretary: We Need to Simplify Website for Veterans

August 6, 2015 The Department of Veterans Affairs needs to make its online services easier for veterans to navigate, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Thursday during an event hosted by Politico. "If I went to a veteran and said, 'What's Blue Button?' they would have no idea," he said, referring to the service...