Tech News for January 29

Sorry, Google: California’s self-driving car bill would prioritize unknown rival

A California lawmaker has introduced a bill that would legalize autonomous vehicles without human drivers for the first time in the US. Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla wants to change California’s rules so that GoMentum Station, a testing ground for autonomous vehicles located in her district near San Francisco, can test completely driver-less vehicles on public roads.

[theguardian.com] 1/27

The Fifth Annual Northern California Data Center Summit | The National Data Center Summit Series | February 24-25 San Francisco

Attendance is building for the next installment in The National Data Center Summit Series®. Leading data center real estate and technology infrastructure executives are making plans to attend The Fifth Annual Northern California Data Center Summit. This full-day summit will be held on February 25 at The Saint Francis Yacht Club and feature 40+ speakers who will offer comprehensive market analysis of the opportunities and challenges in western markets. Participating firms represent the industry’s most active developers, investors, operators and end-users, including: eBay, City of Palo Alto, GI Partners, andCBRE.

[news.sys-con.com] 1/27

Rudy Giuliani compares cyber security to cancer and hackers to the Mafia

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani compares cybersecurity to cancer. As a prostate cancer survivor, Giuliani says he doubts anyone will ever find a “perfect solution” to the disease, and that cybercrime presents a similar challenge. And for both maladies, detecting them early on can reduce the damage.

[marketwatch.com] 1/29

5 Steps to Speeding Up Smart Government (by Slowing Down)

All around the world, technology leaders are trying to work smarter, innovate and do more with less. From the Internet of Things to smart cities, from big data collection to connected drones, everyone’s trying to gain that competitive edge. At the same time, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay current with emerging technologies while mitigating security vulnerabilities. What can be done to keep up? Surprisingly it may be best to slow down, look around and catch your breath. That’s right — if you want to speed up innovation, many experts suggest slowing down first.

[govtech.com] 1/26

DHS begins hunt for social media monitoring technology

Amid calls for the Homeland Security Department to more closely monitor security threats “hidden in plain sight” on social media, the department on Monday issued a request for information on social media analytics technologies. In a Jan. 25 notice posted to FedBizOpps, DHS made clear that the department is not soliciting or planning to award a contract yet, but is simply gathering more information on the solutions currently available.

[fiercegovernmentit.com] 1/27

California Police Used Stingrays in Planes to Spy on Phones

The government’s use of a controversial invasive technology for tracking phones just got a little more controversial. The Anaheim Police Department has acknowledged in new documents that it uses surveillance devices known as Dirtboxes—plane-mounted stingrays—on aircraft flying above the Southern California city that is home to Disneyland, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

[wired.com] 1/27

UC Davis grants $1M toward development of robotic harvesting technology

In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provided $1 million of funding to UC Davis to produce innovative robotic harvesting technology. Stavros Vougioukas, a UC Davis professor of biological and agricultural engineering, will be leading the project with a team of researchers from UC Davis. He will be collaborating with Dr. Stephen Nuske, from Carnegie Mellon University, who will lead another team in developing the computer vision systems for the project. “This project aspires to develop affordable technologies for next-generation, robotic harvest-aid orchard platforms,” Vougioukas said. “The machines we envision will function as co-bots that collaborate with fruit pickers by physically carrying them and intelligently adjusting their vertical positioning with respect to the canopies in the orchard.”

[theaggie.org] 1/28

FCC chief proposes freeing Americans from getting pricey set-top boxes from TV providers

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler plans to give people more choices when it comes to buying or renting a cable box. Americans spend an estimated $20 billion a year renting one or more set-top boxes from their cable and satellite TV providers, revenue that the FCC said dramatically exceeds the cost of providing the devices to pay-TV subscribers.

[latimes.com] 1/27

The 99.999 percent cybersecurity problem

Near-perfection is a lofty goal, one utilities strive for. “Five nines” has become, it’s said, the “holy grail” of reliability: Under this scenario, customers have service 99.999 percent of the time, with outages averaging only about five minutes per year. Now, that’s service.

[fedscoop.com] 1/29

How local government can manage technology risk

“Managing Technology Risks through Technological Proficiency: Guidance for Local Governments,” a report from the Bloustein Local Government Research Center at Rutgers University.

[gcn.com] 1/28

Bluetooth technology used to steal card information at gas pumps

The art of stealing bank information at the gas pump is evolving, with criminals now using bluetooth technology.”They just pull up, get gas or act like they’re getting gas, download the data and move on. That’s what makes that one even more difficult to deal with,” La. Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said. The LDAF along with the Secret Service and local law enforcement proactively seek out card skimmers on gas pumps.

[ksla.com] 1/29

State Treasurer’s Office Details New Procurement Model for California Debt Management System

The State Treasurer’s Office has released its request for offer (RFO) that will guide a new procurement and development approach for modernizing California’s Debt Management System. The bid document (.pdf) was sent on Jan. 22 to 16 certified TIER 3 vendors on the Department of General Service’s Master Service Agreement list. Responses from those firms are due March 25, 2016. All Tier 3 vendors are qualified to bid on this contract opportunity.

[techwire.net] 1/28

California Task Force Considers Data Analytics Platform to Combat Tax Evasion

A multi-agency state pilot program started in 2013 to combat tax evasion within California’s underground economy has helped identify and investigate more than $60 million in potentially lost revenue, a Board of Equalization official said this week. Randy Silva, chief of BOE’s Investigations and Special Operations Division, reported on Jan. 26 to the board that one of the broader objectives of the Revenue Recovery and Collaborative Enforcement (RRCE) Act established by AB 576 was to take a broader look at how data could be used to coordinate outreach, audits and enforcement.

[techwire.net] 1/28

This Week in Civic Tech: LA Captures ‘Universe of Transportation Options,’ What are the Top Civic Engagement Challenges of 2016?

With today’s smorgasbord of transit apps, cooking up something new requires a rare kind of alchemy. Los Angeles, however, may have done it: The Go LA app went live on Jan. 27 with a bevy of features that integrate ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber in addition to the typical fare of buses, trains, taxis and bicycle commuting. Officials say this is to capture the entire “universe of transportation options” available.

[govtech.com] 1/28

DHS $6 Billion Firewall May Not Be Effective In Keeping Hackers Out of Government, Audit Says

A firewall run by the Department of Homeland Security meant to detect and prevent nation-state hacks against the government functions ineffectively, according to a sanitized version of a secret federal audit. EINSTEIN relies on patterns of attacks, called signatures, to spot suspicious traffic, but it does not scan for 94 percent of commonly known vulnerabilities or check web traffic for malicious content.

[nextgov.com] 1/28

Report: Here’s why California Board of Equalization should get new HQ

Forget the Board of Equalization tower’s history of mold, water leaks, falling exterior glass panels, corroded waste-water pipes, unreliable elevators and bat infestation. There’s a better reason to move the tax-collecting agency’s headquarters from the 24-story, scoffolding-skirted, running joke that has cost taxpayers $60 million to repair so far: The building is terrible for business. A new state report says that the 450 N St. tower is too small and poorly configured to efficiently process the $60 billion in taxes and fees it collects each year. New tax and fee mandates, such as collecting taxes on commercial medical cannabis, will continue to grow the agency’s workforce.

[sacbee.com] 1/27

​How Maine Is Tapping Millennial Expertise To Recruit Millennials

Kelly Samson-Rickert doesn’t spend her days wondering how millennials want to be wooed or what her office can do to better recruit them. Instead, she has gone straight to the source to figure out what’s keeping more 20- and 30-somethings from applying for state information technology jobs in Maine. The state didn’t hire a team of consultants to figure out that it took applicants nine clicks to find the state’s Office of IT (OIT) job site or that job seekers weren’t sure of the difference between open hire and direct hire. Those were just a few of the issues a handful of OIT interns identified and presented to the governor in August 2015 as part of an Intern Challenge. The state is now working to address their findings.

[govloop.com] 1/28

Tech News for January 28

Western states’ open data project wins grant

The California State Library, along with Washington’s state technology agency and the Nevada State Library will receive a $470,000 award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for their efforts to teach librarians and other community members how to use open data. With this effort we hope to increase data equity, making open data open for everyone,” Anne Neville, director of the California Research Bureau at the California State Library, said in a press release.

Feb. 4: California Broadband Council Meeting in Sacramento

The California Broadband Council is scheduled to meet for the first time in 2016 in Sacramento next week and will discuss funding, the digital divide and other issues. The council, chaired byDepartment of Technology Director Carlos Ramos, was established in 2010 via legislation to increase broadband deployment and adoption statewide. The meeting is on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the State Capitol Building, Room 240.

Centralized Revenue Opportunity System Seeking Applicants for Project Director

“Under the administrative direction of the Board of Equalization Chief Information Officer, the Chief Technology Officer (CEA B) formulates, recommends and implements policies and procedures for the Board’s the Centralized Revenue Opportunity System (CROS) Project in order to replace the current Integrated Revenue Information Systems (IRIS) and the Automated Compliance Management System (ACMS).

Overnight Cybersecurity: Lawmakers reach for last-minute deal on privacy bill

Lawmakers are scrambling to strike an 11th-hour deal to move a key privacy bill that many believe is integral to reaching a new transatlantic data transfer agreement. People tracking the negotiations believe a deal has been struck, ensuring a Senate Judiciary Committee vote scheduled for Thursday morning. But lawmakers were still uncertain if a deal had been reached after a late Wednesday vote.

How state IT agencies are handling budget, cost control

State information technology departments remain “cost aware” after declining tax revenues during the Great Recession cut into their budgets, according to a panel of state IT thought leaders on the first episode of StateScoop’s “Priorities” podcast — a monthly program that examines the leading strategies, technologies and challenges that state CIOs expect to face this year. Indeed, in 2010, “budget and cost control” was voted No. 1 on the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ annual survey…

POLITICO California Playbook, presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co.: BROWN’s sentencing reform push — BUDGET divide — ANOTHER Garcetti challenger?

Gov. Jerry Brown is hoping to ease some of the consequences of policies enacted by his younger self. Brown rolled out a November ballot initiative that would relax mandatory prison sentences for potentially thousands of inmates.

 

The State Worker: Union, Jerry Brown stuck on pay vs. benefits

After 28 bargaining sessions in nine months, despite a contract that expired last July, the state’s 10,000-employee maintenance workers’ union hasn’t reached a labor pact with Gov. Jerry Brown.

With dozens of manufacturers pushing to get self-driving cars onto the road, California has grappled for the last several years to craft rules that protect public safety without hindering the development of a potentially life-saving technology.

When the Department of Motor Vehicles finally unveiled draft regulations in December, they significantly slowed the timeline for public availability of autonomous vehicles until the state is confident that they are safe.

California Wrestles With Making Self-Driving Cars Public

Companies that are developing self-driving cars of the future want government regulators to clear the road for public access to the technology, once it emerges from current prototype testing. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is wrestling with how to keep the public safe as an imperfect technology matures — but not regulate so heavily that the agency stifles development of vehicles with potentially huge safety benefits.

Tech News for January 27

State Government Plans Big Push into Office 365

California is moving toward implementing an enterprise standard that would encourage state agencies and departments to migrate to Microsoft’s cloud-based email and productivity tools, officials tell TechWire.

The Department of Technology recently announced that agencies and departments can now order Office 365 as one of the state’s vendor-hosted software subscriptions (VHSS) via three different service bundles. The packages include a combination of Word and productivity tools, Exchange email, Skype videoconferencing and SharePoint; 50 GB email boxes and unlimited archiving. Data will be stored in Microsoft’s government cloud.

The Department of Technology will be procuring Office 365 on behalf of state agencies and departments through a pre-existing contract vehicle that Riverside County brokered with Microsoft under the Department of General Services’ Software Licensing Program.

The decision to go with Office 365 was a statewide decision, said Chris Cruz, chief deputy director of operations for the Department of Technology.

[Techwire] 01/27

CalHR Surveying State Workers to Consolidate and Update IT Job Classifications

The California Department of Human Resources is encouraging IT professionals working in state government to complete an online survey due Jan. 27 that could help create new job classifications and update existing ones.

The IT Classification Consolidation / Update Project has convened a team of more than a hundred subject matter experts and state executives to consider how job classifications can be revised. CalHR and the Department of Technology are leading the effort, along with other stakeholders. One of CalHR’s strategic goals is to consolidate job classifications across state government.

[Techwire] 01/27

Governor Appoints Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Chief

Tyson Eckerle was appointed deputy director of zero-emission vehicle infrastructure at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday. Eckerle has worked there since 2014 as a zero-emission vehicle infrastructure project manager.

Eckerle formerly worked with Energy Independence Now since 2009, and has served as its executive director since 2011. According to its website, EINow is “dedicated to advancing fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and the hydrogen fueling infrastructure required to catalyze a rapid transition to a clean energy and transportation economy.”

[Techwire] 01/27

Report: Emerging Technologies Put California Jobs in Public, Private Sectors at Risk

A new study has some worrisome revelations for the future of the global job market: By 2020, more than 5 million jobs could disappear in the wake of advancing technology.

According to The Future of Jobs, a report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) earlier this month, millions of jobs around the world could largely evaporate as the larger employment market adjusts to the ever-rising tide of technology in what the group calls the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The impacts of these substantial shifts aren’t likely be limited to just the private sector either. With office and administrative roles among those in danger of shrinking opportunities, state and local governments will likely have to adjust the way they hire and manage their staff pools as well.

[Techwire] 01/27

5 Steps to Speeding Up Smart Government (by Slowing Down)

All around the world, technology leaders are trying to work smarter, innovate and do more with less. From the Internet of Things to smart cities, from big data collection to connected drones, everyone’s trying to gain that competitive edge.

At the same time, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay current with emerging technologies while mitigating security vulnerabilities. What can be done to keep up? Surprisingly it may be best to slow down, look around and catch your breath. That’s right — if you want to speed up innovation, many experts suggest slowing down first.

Why? To rethink, re-examine, realign and refocus your strategic plans related to emerging tech and innovation.

[GovTech] 01/26

It’s back to the negotiating table for transportation funding, threat of cuts

When the California Transportation Commission said last week that it planned to sharply reduce funding for transportation projects due to declining gas tax revenue, the resulting publicity served to reinforce Gov. Jerry Brown’s appeal for new taxes and fees to pay for road and highway work.

The announcement, issued one day after Brown renewed his pitch in the State of the State speech, followed a year in which Brown and the Legislature failed to agree on a multibillion-dollar road funding package. The commission’s estimated spending reduction, $754 million over five years, cut deep.

[SacBee] 01/26

California’s high-speed rail agency hires new CIO

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s High-Speed Rail Authority, the agency responsible for planning and building a new bullet train system to eventually link Sacramento and San Diego, hired retired Army Col. Keith Tresh as its new chief information officer.

Tresh will oversee the technology partners involved in the project and their contracts. A former California state chief information security officer, Tresh acknowledged that taking the tech exec job for the controversial $68 billion project will be a challenge.

“It’s fluid, it’s very high visibility and there are so many disparate pieces to bring together,” Tresh told StateScoop in a phone interview. “Ensuring we have one fluid system for everyone, statewide is probably the biggest challenge.”

[StateScoop] 01/26

Tech News for January 26

Rauner creates new Department of Innovation and Technology

Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday moved to consolidate all of the state’s far-flung information technology functions into a new Cabinet agency that he said will save money and improve operations. Rauner signed an executive order creating the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology to be led by his chief information officer Hardik Bhatt. “We are in the Stone Age on our software and our systems,” Rauner said at a news conference at the Department of Corrections headquarters in Springfield. “It is critically important that we upgrade our systems. We spend the third most of any state on (information technology). Despite all of that spending, we’re one of the lowest ranked states for the quality of our digital systems.”

[sj-r.com] 01/25

Government background checks still don’t require review of social media profiles

The Obama administration has announced a new set of rules for government background checks — but still doesn’t require a review of applicants’ social media profiles, leaving the government well behind the private sector in vetting high-risk employees. After a series of high-profile bungles, the administration on Friday announced that it was changing the name of the background check investigations agency and revamping the office to which it reports. Key among those changes is giving the Defense Department, which has the biggest need for security clearances and makes up the majority of background checks, a leading role in setting up and running the National Background Investigations Bureau.

[washingtontimes.com] 01/24

In Wildly Overbroad New Investigation, California Telephone Regulators Gasp For Relevance

California’s scandal-plagued Public Utilities Commission is at it again. Just before Thanksgiving, the agency surprised everyone by launching a comprehensive investigation into the state of competition in the increasingly obsolete analog telephone network. The new proceeding re-opens a ten-year old decision that largely deregulated the state’s four incumbent local telephone companies. That decision seemed uncontroversial even at the time. The incumbents had long been required to make their networks available to competitors at regulated prices, leading to an explosion in new local phone companies. Today, the agency’s data base includes over 400 providers.

[forbes.com] 01/25

California Plans to Crackdown on Encrypted Phones

Privacy in the digital era is a buzzing phrase. While California introduced a bill touting the life-saving potential of decrypted smartphones in the fight against human trafficking, world leaders debated Privacy and Secrecy in the Digital Age during the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos. From one end to the other, governments are juggling two difficult issues. Protecting citizens while respecting consumer privacy is the ideal scenario. Yet, it looks like it’s impossible to achieve. A rapid surge in terrorist attacks in the past year has put consumer privacy and encrypted smartphones under pressure once more. Paris, France and Riverside, California pinpoint the extreme advantage terrorists gain by making use of the same online communication tools we’re all gleefully using.

[themonitordaily.com] 01/25

VMware Reportedly Laying Off 5 Percent of Its Workforce

Virtualization giant VMware is getting ready to announce layoffs even as Dell and EMC, which owns 80 percent of VMware, jump through hoops to make their $67 billion merger a reality. Fortune is reporting VMware will cut up to 900 employees, which is about 5 percent of its global workforce, this week. VMware could not immediately be reached for comment, but some are speculating the layoffs may be related to the impending merger. EMC plans to shave $850 million from its budget by cutting an unstated number of jobs, according to a regulatory filing at the end of last year. Most of the job cuts should be completed by the end of the first quarter and wrapped up by the end of the year. Some industry watchers believe the VMware cuts are a natural progression.

[toptechnews.com] 01/25

Barracuda Launches Security Suite for Office 365

If you’re worried about how secure your Microsoft Office 365 deployment is,Barracuda Networks(CUDA) might have a solution for you. The network security provider recently announced the launch of Barracuda Essentials, a cloud services suite for Office 365 that contains three of the company’s enterprise security solutions. While Office 365 already comes equipped with its own assortment of security solutions to protect enterprise assets, Barracuda essentials acts as an add-on product, and is designed to be attractive to those who are particularly security-conscious, according to the company. The suite includes Barracuda Email Security Service, Barracuda Cloud Archiving Service and Barracuda Cloud Backup.

[talkincloud.com] 01/25

Ben Carson Wants to Create New Federal Agency for Cyber Security

Presidential hopeful Ben Carson believes the only way to keep the U.S. safe from major hacking attacks and data breaches is to create a new federal government agency. The retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential nominee said on Monday that he would establish a National Cyber Security Administration that would act as a central hub for all of the government’s cyber security programs and initiatives. Carson, who generally opposes new government spending and advocates for shrinking down the government, did not say how big the NCSA would be or how much it cost. But he stressed that it would not be “a new federal bureaucracy.”

[fortune.com] 01/25

UMass recieves $4.2 million federal grant to support students studying Cybersecurity

The University of Massachusetts has received a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to bring a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program to the campus, the first public university in New England to receive such an award, according to a press release. The program will support and expand several of the university’s advanced programs that educate and train Cybersecurity researchers and professionals, according the grant.

[masslive.com] 01/25

NIST Kicks Off Wireless Infusion Pump Cybersecurity Project

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is launching a project to improve the cybersecurity of wireless infusion pumps. To do so, NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is looking for vendors to provide it with the components and technical expertise required to simulate the hospital environment in which infusion pumps operate. In a notice published in the Federal Register Monday, NIST said the goal of the project is to help health providers secure wireless infusion pumps on an enterprise network.

[raps.org] 01/25

Revitalizing FedRAMP: Key To Improving Federal Adoption Of Cloud Computing Services

Although the federal government stands to save millions of dollars by moving services and applications to the cloud, the transition to cloud computing has been rocky and agencies remain reliant on outdated legacy systems, according to a recent report. Tony Scott, the Federal Chief Information Officer, says the federal government today spends 80 percent of its $80 billion IT budget to maintain outdated, legacy, duplicative systems. And until the process for acquiring cloud computing services— the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)—receives an overhaul, federal agencies will continue to miss out on the benefits of cloud computing.

[hstoday.us] 01/25

Six SBIR-STTR Proposals Selected for Award for SSL Technology

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science has selected for award six Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)-Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposals targeting advances in solid-state lighting (SSL) technology.

[energy.gov] 01/25

Government Technology Magazine Names BlueLine Grid, the Nation’s Public Safety and Security Collaboration Platform, to GovTech 100

Government Technology magazine has selected BlueLine Grid as part of the GovTech100, an annual index of companies that are delivering innovative technology solutions for state, local and federal government clients. The GovTech100 includes the leading 100 U.S. companies focused on government as a customer that have developed innovative offerings to improve government or have created new models for delivering services. “We’ve been transforming the way public safety agencies communicate internally, with each other, and with their private sector partners,” BlueLine Grid CEO Dave Riker said. “We appreciate the recognition from the industry experts at Government Technology.”

[prnewswire.com] 01/25

Tom Cullerton: Technology upgrades are key to government efficiency

To streamline the state’s information technology functions the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), a new state agency, was created today. “To increase government efficiency we need to make major investments in our state’s technology systems,” State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) said. “Today’s technologies provide an excellent opportunity to increase government efficiency, eliminate redundancies, provide cost-savings to taxpayers, and simplify residents’ interactions with government.” DoIT will spearhead Illinois’ efforts to modernization. All technology decisions will be centralized and put under the umbrella of this new agency. Cullerton said Illinois has the talent and innovation to create a world-class government technology model.

[dailyherald.com] 01/25

The government’s top scientists built these amazing technologies that we still use today

Many of the staples of modern technology we take for granted have roots in the military’s research and development arm. Created after the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) makes investments and conducts research into game-changing technologies with national security implications. Just this week, the agency announced planned funding for military cyborgs. While the agency’s breakthroughs on cyborgs or stealth technology may not have obvious civilian applications, much of DARPA’s past research does.

[techinsider.io] 01/25

Top Cybersecurity Firm in U.S. Named

Colorado Springs added more ammunition to its efforts to lay claim as a national cybersecurity hub when root9B was ranked this month as the world’s top provider of cybersecurity services. Cybersecurity Ventures, a New York-based online publication, put the company at the top its first-quarter list of the world’s top 500 leading companies that provide such services, describing root9B as bringing “a rare combination of extensive real-world cyber defense experience, senior level cyber experts with backgrounds protecting U.S. federal agencies and commercial enterprises, deep subject matter expertise in most cybersecurity disciplines.”

[techwire.net] 01/26

California State Workers Get Green Light to Use Uber and Airbnb

California state workers who want to use transportation and lodging networks — known in some circles as the “sharing economy” — can now do so for official government business under the state’s travel policy, according to the Department of General Services. In recent memos, the California Department of Human Resources outlines how the state is enacting the provisions of AB 229, legislation signed last year prohibiting the state from disallowing use online services such as Uber, Lyft or Airbnb. The rule is effective through 2018.

[techwire.net] 01/26

DMV Hosting Two Public Workshops on Draft Autonomous Vehicle Regulations

At two upcoming public workshops, the auto industry, interest groups, consumers and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to weigh in on California’s proposed regulations for deploying autonomous vehicles. FutureStructure reported last month that the draft regulations made public last month would require a licensed driver who has obtained a certificate to drive an AV be sitting behind the wheel and capable of taking over driving if necessary. By extension of that rule, the department won’t allow the public use of any cars that are capable of driving themselves without a human behind the controls.

[techwire.net] 01/26

LA Unified Inches Toward Districtwide Tech Upgrades, Wireless Access

The Los Angeles Unified School District is modernizing its technology to the tune of $788 million, and some schools have launched pilots of new infrastructure that reduces costs. Eleven elementary schools are testing out technologies that connect the public address system, telephones, audio visual equipment, intercommunication and notification services to the tech devices, using a single “pipe” that lowers costs to the district, according to LA School Report, which noted that the approach is similar to how most homes today receive phone, TV and Internet access.

[govtech.com] 01/25

Tech News for January 22

Know the Basics of Data Breach Notification Laws

In 2002, California was the first worldwide to pass a law requiring businesses and agencies to notify data subjects of data security breaches. Since then, the state has regularly updated its data security breach notification law, including in 2015, as summarized in the last installment of this series. This article examines a few key requirements of California data security breach notification laws that have not changed as of Jan. 1, 2016.

[therecorder.com] 01/20

New privacy bills to hinder data collection could affect 100M Americans

On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union unveileda new campaign to introduce a slew of pro-privacy bills in 16 states across America and the District of Columbia. In what it has dubbed “#TakeCTRL,” the ACLU has partnered with various lawmakers in states ranging from Hawaii to New Hampshire to propose new laws that, among other restrictions, would require a warrant for the use of cell-site simulators, impose “rapid deletion” of data collected by an automatic license plate reader, and limit educational institutions’ ability to access data about what students do on school-loaned computers.

[arstechnica.com] 01/20

Now California state wants to ban sale of encrypted smartphones

California: home of the world’s biggest technology companies, terrible bagels, and the only place that can suffer both drought and floods at the same time. Despite the state’s deep tech roots, California’s legislature is considering banning devices that come with unbreakable encryption.

[zdnet.com] 01/21

California Department of Insurance Approves Coverage Options for Ride-Hailing Drivers

Personal taxi-type services like Uber and Lyft have changed the landscape for those working for and using them in some unexpected ways, and related industries are just starting to catch up. Case in point, State Farm is introducing a new coverage endorsement in California to help fill insurance gaps for its policyholders who use their personal cars to provide rides for this type of Transportation Network Company (TNC), State Farm officials said.

[techwire.net] 01/21

CompTIA Names Tech Champions for 2016

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) this week recognized California Assms. Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) and Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) as Tech Champions for 2016. The annual honor goes to lawmakers who display “leadership and support of the technology industry in the California state Legislature.” Chang and Low both are members of the Legislature’s new Technology and Innovation Caucus. CompTIA has 2,000 member companies and has issued nealry 2 million IT certifications, according to the organization.

[techwire.net] 01/22

Cal Fire Requests More Staff to Ward Off System Failures, Boost Data Security

Cal Fire would like to spend $3 million to boost its IT staffing levels in order to address a “significant threat of system failures” and protect against cyberattacks, according to state documents. Cal Fire, which is formally known as the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is proposing 14 new staff positions that would start in July 2016. Cal Fire reports that it currently employs 15 IT support personnel at field offices and five at its Sacramento headquarters; there were a total 74 IT positions within Cal Fire in 2015. Cal Fire wrote that it does not presently have staff exclusively dedicated to data security or project management.

[techwire.net] 01/21

IBM Beefs Up Cloud Video with Ustream Buy

Big Blue today snapped up one of the best-known names in the cloud-based live video streaming services market. IBM now owns Ustream, a big name among enterprises that are leveraging video.

[cio-today.com] 01/21

State Procurement Officials Rank 2016 Priorities

The National Association of State Procurement Officials on Wednesday, Jan. 20, released its list of the top 10 priorities for state procurement, based on a national survey of its members.

[techwire.net] 01/21

GTL Showcases Integrated Technology at ACA Trade Show

Global Tel*Link (GTL), the leading provider of integrated correctional technology solutions, today announced the latest release of its highly secured integrated technology platform. This new correctional technology solution enables the comprehensive GTL suite of leading-edge corrections technologies to connect to each other through a centralized platform. GTL will be demonstrating this integrated, broad portfolio of solutions, including facilities management, inmate communications, investigative solutions and monitoring capabilities, at the American Corrections Association’s 2016 Winter Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 24-26. Attendees of the ACA conference will witness how GTL’s ultra-secure Inspire™ wireless tablets and groundbreaking multi-service Flex™ units deliver services to inmates through the company’s secure software portal.

[prnewswire.com] 01/21

DOJ spokesman is department’s new acting secretary

The spokesman of the Department of Justice has been named acting secretary following President Benigno Aquino III’s appointment of his classmate Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa to the Supreme Court. Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said Undersecretary Emmanuel Caparas has been appointed acting secretary.

[gmanetwork.com] 01/22

Cybersecurity much more than a compliance exercise

Even as an overwhelming majority of large global enterprises feel vulnerable to data breaches and other security threats, too many organizations continue to approach cybersecurity as a compliance exercise, according to a new survey from the security vendor Vormetric. In a poll of more than 1,100 security executives around the world, 91 percent of respondents consider their organization to be vulnerable to internal or external data threats.

[cio.com] 01/21

Dan Walters: Governor’s same old, same old

No Latin phrases. No paeans to pioneer ancestors. No quotes from obscure philosophers. A brief reference to climate change. Just a couple of mild quips. The man who used to give State of the State speeches off the cuff now writes them out and reads them with virtually no textual deviation. Gov. Jerry Brown’s monotonic address Thursday, just shy of 20 minutes, essentially repeated everything he has been saying lately about everything, without a single new angle on any issue.

[sacbee.com] 01/22

Tech News for January 21

Introducing the GovTech100: Civic Innovation’s Next Phase

Something happened to civic tech in 2015. It grew up quickly. And changed its name. What emerged in its place was the GovTech market — broader and more robust than civic tech had been originally defined, a namesake of its own dedicated venture capital fund, and indicative of new opportunities for transformational change in the public sector.

[techwire.com] 01/21

Why Jerry Brown’s State Of The State Won’t Overstate California’s Case

What should Governor Brown say on Thursday? As someone who’s collaborated on these addresses with a past California governor, a word of advice: check out last week’s Hoover Institution Golden State Poll. The annual Sacramento ritual begins at 10 a.m. that morning. For local network affiliates across the Golden State, that requires choosing between the governor and a fourth hour of Today, The View and The Price Is Right.

[forbes.com] 01/20

The case for looking to the states, not the federal government, to protect your privacy

A year ago, President Obama stood behind a podium at the Federal Trade Commission and called for legislation that would set a single national standard for when companies have to tell consumers that their personal information was stolen or misused. “Right now, almost every state has a different law on this, and it’s confusing for consumers and it’s confusing for companies — and it’s costly, too, to have to comply to this patchwork of laws,” he said.

[washingtonpost.com] 01/21

Cybersecurity 2016: Out with the Old, in with the New

In 2015, we determined that the important criteria of cybersecurity include the need for proactive defensive approaches, what weaknesses exist in current cybersecurity technologies, how even billion-dollar systems are being hacked, the current and future dangers if we don’t fix these problems, and the need to do this all in milliseconds.

[govtech.com] 01/13

Big data offers both risks and rewards

Most of us in the business world long ago learned the value of data about customer behavior. You know the drill: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. That’s not going to change. But as customer data becomes more critical to even the smallest business decisions, danger looms. Consumers are growing more concerned every year about privacy.

[bizjournals.com] 01/15

Intel Refocuses, Sets Sights on Internet of Things

The Oregon chipmaker has worked with point-of-sale companies to provide processors for the computers that ring up sales in the majority of America’s stores.  Eventually, the technology will save retailers so much money they won’t be able to afford not to use it, he said.

[govtech.com] 01/20

San Francisco mayor hopes to lead push to end gun violence with technology

At Wednesday’s U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting in Washington, D.C., Lee detailed how San Francisco is using new technology to cut down on shootings and how it is working to encourage the private sector to do the same.

[statescoop.com] 01/21

State Procurement Officials Rank 2016 Priorities

The National Association of State Procurement Officials on Wednesday released its list of the top 10 priorities for state procurement, based on a national survey of its members. “For the second year, state CPOs [central procurement officers] collectively ranked process reform and reengineering as the number one priority for state procurement in 2016. This includes encouraging streamlined procurement processes, modernize procurement law, reduce laws and regulations complexity.”

[techwire.net] 01/21

Cal Fire Requests More Staff to Ward Off System Failures, Boost Data Security

Cal Fire would like to spend $3 million to boost its IT staffing levels in order to address a “significant threat of system failures” and protect against cyberattacks, according to state documents. Cal Fire also reports that it currently does not have enough technical expertise to manage its public website, “which has caused failures in the past.”

[techwire.net] 01/21

These 5 Facts Explain How Technology Is Shaping Our World

Every year, 2,500 or so global political leaders, businessmen and thinkers descend on Davos, Switzerland, for an annual meeting to discuss the world’s big issues. This year’s overarching theme is the disruptive nature of technology—these five facts explain how digital-age technologies have already transformed our world, for better and for worse.

[time.com] 01/20

Tech News for January 20

TaxAct Detects Data Breach and Suspends Customer Accounts

Tax preparation software developer TaxAct disclosed a data breach, leading the company to suspend the accounts of more than 9,000 customers. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company, part of Blucora Inc., said the data breach affected a small percentage of its customers. “TaxAct recently suspended a small number of accounts—less than 0.25 percent (less than ¼ of 1 percent)—after identifying instances of suspicious activity,” said a company spokesperson contacted by Accounting Today. “The attacker did not gain access to income tax returns for the vast majority of the suspended accounts. Of those accounts suspended, a very small number, less than 5 percent of the ¼ of 1 percent, involved returns being accessed.”

[accountingtoday.com] 01/19

Measure to curb California public pensions is pulled – for now

Beleaguered by fundraising doubts and attacks from organized labor, two former California officials said Monday they are backing off plans to place a measure on the November ballot intended to curb public pension benefits. Instead, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio said in a joint announcement, “We have decided to re-file at least one of our pension reform measures later this year for the November 2018 ballot.” Reed said in a telephone interview that he is disappointed but undeterred. Professional fundraisers and potential donors, he said, believed that economics, politics and a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision would strengthen the likelihood of passing a pension measure in two years.

[sacbee.com] 01/18

THE FUTURE OF CALIFORNIA POLITICS TAKES SHAPE IN FRESNO

A major political movement wrapped up today after an important weekend at the YMCA Youth and Government convention here in Fresno. They do know how to party, but these teenagers also know how to build a government from the ground up. This is the last day of a political convention and the culmination of a campaign. You have 3500 students from all over California at the Fresno Convention Center for a very raucous caucus. They’re going to elect a student governor for the next year, picking 5 nominees her in Fresno before another convention in Sacramento. They have candidates all over the place, including Blake Sloan, who are all now running for the 69th youth governor.

[abc30.com] 01/19

4.7M Calif. Medical Records Affected by Data Breaches Last Year

Last year, more than 4.7 million medical records were affected by data breaches in California, according to federal data, the Orange County Register reports. That number is up significantly from 2014, when just 400,000 medical records were reported compromised (Leung, Orange County Register, 1/18). Several large-scale health care industry data breaches occurred in California last year.

[californiahealthline.org] 01/19

California fines Uber $7.6M over slow response to data request

Unlike a taxicab, its rates fluctuate based on demand. The $13 fee was eventually refunded. But on Jan 13, state lawyers recommended a ruling that gave Uber 30 days to pay the fine or else lose the ability to operate in California. When contacted byFortune, Uber did admit that what happened to the Lees shouldn’t have happened, calling the driver’s actions “unacceptable”.

[theindianrepublic.com] 01/19

As Video Surveillance Grows, Police Departments Hunt for Storage Options

When the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office first considered deploying video cameras in patrol cars, some veterans of the Louisiana force resisted the idea. But after the cameras were installed last May, virtually the entire department embraced the change, says Deputy Sheriff Michael Rainwater. “We have obtained evidence that we normally would not have gotten. People have incriminated themselves sitting in the backseat of the car,” Rainwater says, adding that people sometimes mutter to themselves on camera about their crimes even while officers are searching their trunks. “Some of it is comical.”

[statetechmagazine.com] 01/19

How manufacturing leaders are falling for the public cloud

85% of line of business (LOB) decision makers in the manufacturing industry are using at least one form of public cloud service, according to a new research study. The report, released jointly by EMC, VCE, and VMware – all now part of Dell in some capacity after the whopping $67 billion deal for the former in October – polled more than 600 decision makers overall across six industries, with one sixth each on telecoms, finance, retail, public sector, oil and gas, and manufacturing. Yet it was the latter which provided the most interesting results.

[cloudcomputing-news.net]

IBM, CSC Team for Hybrid Cloud Expansion

IBM has expanded its partnership with CSC, a Virginia-based IT services provider, with the goal of developing joint applications to support mobile, analytics and cognitive intelligence across hybrid cloud platforms. The partnership centers around the integration of the IBM Cloud, which includes services such as analytics, mobile, networking and storage, with the CSC Agility Platform, which allows customers to use hybrid clouds across multiple cloud providers as well as their traditional IT environments.

[talkincloud.com] 01/19

Gartner’s 2016 CIO Priorities Are Right on the Money

Gartner’s top CIO priorities were just released, and BI and analytics is at the top followed by cloud, mobile and digitization. To us, this comes as no surprise. We have been advocating pervasive BI and analytics for revenue generation and customer facing applications for many years. We believe that BI and analytics have to be built into the business model (as opposed to in the cost centers). But let me explain why this is important. Take a deeper look at the Gartner 2016 CIO Agenda Survey. The key conclusion from this survey is: “The 2016 CIO Agenda Survey data shows that digitalization is intensifying. In the next five years, CIOs expect digital revenues to grow from 16% to 37%. Similarly, public-sector CIOs predict a rise from 42% to 77% in digital processes.”

[informationbuilders.com] 01/19

This Explains Why America’s Cybersecurity Efforts Continue to Fail

Experts have been ringing alarm bells for years and issuing explicit warnings about the long-lasting damage that cyber breaches can inflict on business assets, customer trust, and brand reputation. When the coverage of the Sony SNE -8.78% hack erupted at the end of 2014, it became clear that no business, no matter which industry or how sophisticated, is safe from cyber intrusions. And, just before we rang in 2016, adversaries reminded us of the kinetic effects of cyber attacks when we saw the hack of the Ukrainian power grid causing a blackout for thousands of households.

[fortune.com] 01/19

Cybersecurity is job #1 for NASCIO

It should come as no surprise that cybersecurity is the top concern for state IT executives. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers, in its recently released federal advocacy priorities, called cybersecurity its top issue and also highlighted the importance of flexibility in federal regulations, the nationwide public safety broadband network (FirstNet) and information sharing. “Cybersecurity is a top concern for state CIOs, and with the tremendous growth in data that we anticipate, securing our public networks and the state’s digital assets are and will remain a top priority for NASCIO,” said NASCIO President Darryl Ackley, who is New Mexico’s secretary of information technology.

[gcn.com] 01/19

FairWarning Becomes First-Ever Corporate Sponsor of the HIMSS Cybersecurity Command Center at HIMSS16

As the first-ever corporate sponsor of the HIMSS Cybersecurity Command Center,FairWarning will bring its patient privacy and information security solutions and expertise to the exhibit floor at the 2016 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. from Feb. 29 – March 4, 2016. The HIMSS Cybersecurity Command Center presented by FairWarningwill educate attendees about the latest information security threats, cutting-edge information security technologies and best practices, to arm organizations with information so they can better defend against cyber adversaries. It will also feature educational sessions on the cyber issues of the day, as well as challenges to determine an organizations’ cyber-preparedness.

[businesswire.com] 01/20

Assessing the State of Cybersecurity in Government

n November 2015, Tenable released the inaugural Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, with research conducted by the CyberEdge Group. The report asked over five hundred security professionals from around the world to grade their organizations’ ability to assess cybersecurity risks and to mitigate exploitative threats. The results of the survey were reported on our blog in summary and by industry. Today, we take a closer look at the results for governments and provide recommendations for improving the state of cybersecurity in government agencies around the globe. First, a clarification. When the Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card report refers to “government,” it includes much more than the US federal government. This global report covers responses from governments worldwide, in any country, state, or local jurisdiction.

[tenable.com] 01/20

California Starts Planning for Rebid of $864M Health Benefit Exchange System

California is beginning to plan for the re-procurement of CalHEERS as day-to-day management of the system moves the Office of Systems Integration (OSI), state officials told TechWire. The multifaceted California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS) project includes the public-facing Covered California Web portal that allows Californians to shop for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the back-end rules engine that determines eligibility and enrollment processes for the California Health Benefit Exchange, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs.

[techwire.net] 01/20

Department of Insurance Looks to Modernize Network, Legacy Systems

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) plans to replace 95 IT network switches that will reach end of life in summer 2016 and is continuing work on its Menu Modernization Project. “CDI’s existing network infrastructure has not been significantly upgraded for over a decade and only incremental upgrades have been performed since initial setup,” the department reports in a proposal to spend nearly $1.7 million in fiscal year 2016-17 to support the replacement. The Department of Insurance’s IT network connects the department’s 1,400 employees at 12 different office locations to applications such as the CDI, Menu, Integrated Data and Fraud Integrated Database, as well as provides access to email, video conferencing, a VoIP telephone system, two call centers and supports the department’s public-facing applications.

[techwire.net] 01/20

Sacramento City Websites Suffer Brief Outage

Sacramento city websites were down for approximately an hour on Tuesday morning. The city’s main page, as well as the websites for the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento Fire Department, were affected. Mayor Kevin Johnson held a news conference Tuesday afternoon, where he confirmed the shutdown and that it had affected the city’s network and email system as well. However, emergency services were not impacted due to a backup server, he said. Maria Macgunigal, Sacramento city’s chief information officer, also confirmed to TechWire the loss of power, commenting only that “there was a power failure at the primary data center today that impacted the availability of the City’s website.”

[techwire.net] 01/20

Tech News for January 19

Data Leaks Expose Private Information Without Being Hacked

Thirteen million MacKeeper users; 3.3 million Hello Kitty fans;191 million U.S. voters. Recently, those people’s names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, among other personal details, were found on the Internet because of leaky databases. The number of those affected is astounding — made especially terrifying by the fact the data are out there, no hacking required.

[govtech.com] 01/18

New California Legislation Protects Student Data

A new California law limits the use of student data for advertising, The law, effective January 1, 2016, was signed into law in 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown and prohibits the operators of education websites, online services, and apps from using any student’s person information to create targeted advertising or a commercial profile. According to a U.S. News article, the new law also prohibits selling student information and requires education technology companies to maintain reasonable security procedures for the students’ personal data and to delete information at a school’s request.

[bsminfo.com] 01/15

Initiative Brings Clean Power To Rural Zones With Microgrid Technology

Building an infrastructure to deliver power to remote rural areas is costly and takes long. Traditional methods of electrification requires hundreds of kilometers of transmission and distribution (T&D), requiring high investments with prospects of low returns. For this reason, in many emerging economies rural zones remain cut off from the power grid. But electricity is essential to help economies improve, for health, sanitation, education and every other need of a society, regardless of its size.

[justmeans.com] 01/15

Ingram Micro Brings IBM Cloud to New Markets

Ingram Micro (IM) has provided customers in five international markets with access to the IBM Cloud as the distributor seeks to increase partner access to infrastructure capabilities from SoftLayer. Beginning immediately, Ingram Micro channel partners in Austria, Canada, France, Germany and the U.K. have access to IBM Cloud through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, according to the announcement. Previously, IBM Cloud had exclusively been available to Ingram’s U.S. resellers.

[talkincloud.com] 01/15

U.S. government to invest $4B in self-driving car technology over 10 years

The federal government wants to get autonomous vehicles on the road more quickly, and says it will fast-track policies and possibly even waive regulations to do it. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx—surrounded by representatives from General Motors and Ford as well as Google and Tesla—said Thursday that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will spend the next six months developing guidance for automakers on what’s expected of self-driving prototype cars and what sort of tests should be used to make sure they are safe.

[canadianmanufacturing.com] 01/15

The Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fight Over Cybersecurity Legislation

Last year, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, a bill allowing companies to share information about cyberthreats with the government and one another, became law. This marked the conclusion of a long battle between the corporate and government interests that supported the bill and the privacy community, which strongly opposed it.

[slate.com] 01/15

FDA outlines cybersecurity recommendations for medical device manufacturers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a draft guidance outlining important steps medical device manufacturers should take to continually address cybersecurity risks to keep patients safe and better protect the public health. The draft guidance details the agency’s recommendations for monitoring, identifying and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices once they have entered the market. The draft guidance is part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medical devices, at all stages in their lifecycle, in the face of potential cyber threats.

[fda.gov] 01/15

CalPERS, CalSTRS invest in data centers

California’s two big public pension funds have been on a bit of a buying spree lately, adding data centers to their investment portfolios. CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, bought a data center in Chicago this week. The purchase came a week after CalPERS purchased a data center in Broomfield, Colo. Separately, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, bought a data center last week in Richardson, Texas.

[sacbee.com] 01/15

The Race Is On: Silicon Valley Pursues Artificial Intelligence

The arms race in Silicon Valley is on for artificial intelligence. Facebook is working on a virtual personal assistant that can read people’s faces and decide whether or not to let them in your home. Google is investing in the technology to power self-driving cars, identify people on its photo service and build a better messaging app. Now Apple is adding to its artificial intelligence arsenal. The iPhone maker purchased Emotient, a San Diego maker of facial expression recognition software that can detect emotions to assist advertisers, retailers, doctors and many other professions.

[govtech.com] 01/18

Hyatt Reveals Data Breach Impacted About 250 Hotels: What You Need to Know

A widespread malware attack on Hyatt Hotels last year hit about 250 locations worldwide — with nearly 100 of those in the United States — according to a list published online late Thursday by the hotel chain, as they shared the latest in their investigation into the breach. It’s the first time the company has released a comprehensive list of the hotels that were impacted by the breach, which was announced in December. The breach came shortly after competitor Starwood hotels told customers they had detected malware in point-of-sale systems at 54 locations.

[abcnews.go.com] 01/15

CORONA: City launches open data site

Diana Narahara, Corona’s finance manager, hovered her cursor over an online map of the city Thursday afternoon. She paused at a blue arrow indicating the Foothill Parkway extension — one of many Capital Improvement Projects underway across Corona — and a terse description of the project, costs, and a breakdown of funding sources appeared. A couple of clicks later, Narahara was looking at individual payments made to vendors for the work.

[pe.com] 01/14

California Reopens CALNET 3 Prequalification Process to Bidders

The California Department of Technology has reopened to bidders the continuous application process for CALNET 3 telecommunications services contracts. A new Request for Qualifications Process solicitation released this month is the first phase of an application process that “will allow for an ongoing expansion of the existing pool of the (Prequalified Multiple Award Contracts) PMAC Bidder’s List, enabling participation in future Telecommunications Services and Systems Category solicitations.”

[techwire.net] 01/19

5 biggest cybersecurity concerns facing CIOs, CISOs in 2016

Last year began and ended with a series of high-profile cybersecurity attacks, starting with the pilfering of 80 million Social Security records at health insurer Anthem and culminating with infiltrations at Starwood, Hilton and Hyatt hotel chains. Expect digital assaults, — ranging from standard malware to more sophisticated, clandestine entries — to continue on leading corporate brands in 2016, according to Raytheon’s Websense business. The cybersecurity software maker, which analyzed threat data from 22,000 customers in 155 countries, says hackers will conjure attacks that target emerging technologies, such as mobile payments and top-level domains.

[cio.com] 01/18

JOHN MCAFEE: We aren’t talking enough about cybersecurity

We all know the publicized issues facing the American voters in the upcoming presidential election. And we have heard each candidate proclaim and re-proclaim, and sometimes change their proclamations on each issue. So forgive me if I insist on listing them here. I obtained the list, by the way, from the whitehouse.gov website. The top five issues are: the economy, education, energy and environment, immigration and health care. The sub issues were listed as: Civil rights, disabilities, fiscal responsibility, foreign policy, taxes and a dozen more. Cybersecurity was not listed at all.

[businessinsider.com] 01/17

AM Alert: What will state medical marijuana regulations look like?

The state-level medical cannabis regulations Gov. Jerry Brown signed last year after years of thwarted efforts will govern every aspect of California’s sprawling pot industry, from cultivation to testing to delivery to sales. Plenty of political observes have their eyes on the legalization ballot fight, but policymakers are also focused on making the medical rules work. Today the California Cannabis Industry Association, whose stepped-up lobbying presence testifies to pot industry players getting organized and politically involved, is putting on a summit at the Crest Theater. Speakers will include state Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma, who has pushed for safer pot banking, longtime law enforcement lobbyist John Lovell, and representatives of the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Medical Association.

[sacbee.com] 01/18

The Future of Information: Linking Cloud, Cybersecurity and Big Data Investment

Sometimes it seems like every other business is a cloud-based company. This internet-based computing service has entirely transformed the way information is processed, organized, stored and shared. Indeed, it seems almost impossible to separate the explosion of big data from cloud computing. However, the rapid transition from old school data management to the highly efficient data centers driving today’s markets has created a need for cybersecurity solutions. With sensitive personal information, healthcare records and financial records being managed by these systems, cloud security has emerged as a vital aspect of protecting this data. As a result, cloud computing, cybersecurity and big data investment have formed an important nexus in the tech space.

[investingnews.com] 01/17

New lawsuit targets California state tax building, officials

A dozen state workers are suing the Board of Equalization, alleging that agency leaders for years have known its 24-story headquarters is a health hazard but continue to tell employees that the building is perfectly safe. The lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court stems from mold and other defects at the board’s downtown Sacramento tower where roughly 2,200 employees work for the tax-collecting agency. Sacramento attorney Anthony Perez is seeking class-action status for the case and an unspecified sum of money for his clients.

[sacbee.com] 01/15

California Wants Up to 6 Vendors for Cloud Assessment Services

The California Department of Technology (CDT) is looking to establish contracts with as many as six vendors that would provide cloud assessment and implementation services for entities interested in moving systems into the state’s private cloud, according to state records. In a Jan. 15 correspondence, CDT said it will soon release a bid solicitation for Cloud Assessment, Planning, and Implementation Services. The state is seeking comment on a draft version of the bid available here.

[techwire.net] 01/18

Southern California Assemblyman Proposes Electronic License Plates, Insurance for Drones

Assemblymember Mike Gatto on Jan. 13 introduced legislation that would require license plates, shutoff technology and point-of-sale insurance policies for drones. Gatto, the longest-serving member of the Assembly and chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, said the Drone Registration/Omnibus Negligence-prevention Enactment (DRONE) Act of 2016 responds to the emergence of the new technology and would help protect firefighting efforts and aviation space near airports. Gatto’s legislation will propose tiny physical license plates or electronic plates in order to keep drone operators accountable, and drones of a certain size would be required in incorporate GPS technology that automatically shuts off the drone if it flies too close to an airport.

[techwire.net] 01/18

California Agencies Deploy Data Analytics to Determine Traffic Project Impact

When it comes to the fast-moving field of traffic management technology, there is something of a bubble between what is known — data — and what is unknown. And in that space exists a bubble of uncertainty and potential, a place where government might be able to improve its own operations or even address big public problems like congestion and collisions. So much so, there’s an industry that works in that bubble. Case in point: INRIX. The company, which gathers traffic data from private vehicles, recently announced three contracts in Colorado and California, where it is either selling data or data analytics to government entities hoping to gain better insights into what’s happening on their roads.

[techwire.net] 01/18

Tech News for January 15

How five California agencies plead for money: Our clinic has rodents, our people could die

For a state agency lobbying Gov. Jerry Brown for more money, it can help to state one’s case in pleading – sometimes alarming – terms. The downside, from a public relations point of view, is that the case gets made in writing. Following are five of 492 budget change proposals made recently by California state agencies and reflected in the $170.6 billion state spending plan Brown proposed last week.

[sacbee.com] 01/13

CPUC Requests Funding to Procure Enterprise Business Applications Platform

The California Public Utilities has requested a $5.3 million budget augmentation for 2016-2017 to implement a new platform for enterprise business applications. The Web-based eFiling Administration Support (eFAST) solution would be implemented using a combination of in-house and contract resources, according to state records. “The platform will serve as a hub for customer interaction with the CPUC, including submitting filings (documents and data), maintaining customer accounts, making payments for fees and payments, and submitting inquiries,” the budget request says.

[techwire.net] 01/14

[Insider]

Two Dozen Lawmakers Join State Tech Caucus

The state Legislature’s Technology and Innovation Caucus on Wednesday introduced its 24 members and talked about how the new group could support California’s tech economy and introduce new bills, putting emphasis on the need for legislation that brings tech education to schools, and how they plan to maintain California’s national lead and reputation in tech industry. Many members of the bipartisan, bicameral caucus spoke of their wishes to see greater hands-on computer science and technology courses for students, which they said could ultimately lead to opportunities for high-paying jobs.

[techwire.net] 01/14

Bill Would Enable Unfettered Testing of Self-Driving Cars at Northern California Facilities

Self-driving cars have been crisscrossing California’s public roads and freeways with the state’s permission for more than a year now, and as far back as 2009 when it wasn’t officially sanctioned. Those vehicles, from Google and 10 other car manufacturers, have had a steering wheel, brake and live person in the car to ensure a human can intervene in case the technology fails. New legislation introduced by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would, in effect, begin to take the training wheels off these cars.

[techwire.net] 01/14

[Insider]

California to Manage Money Transmitter Licenses on National Platform

Tomorrow the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) will begin managing licenses for money transmitter businesses on a shared national platform. The National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) allows companies to apply for, update and renew their licenses in one or more states. Beginning Jan. 15, companies applying for a money transmitter license in California may do so through NMLS. Launched in 2008, NMLS is a system of record for state agencies to license companies working in the mortgage industry, money service businesses, consumer lending and debt collection. The system is managed by a subsidiary of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Sixty-one state agencies in the U.S. manage more than 500 licenses through NMLS.

[techwire.net] 01/14

Huntington Beach Could Take Over Broadband Service

Huntington Beach could opt to go into the business of providing broadband service for residents, in essence act as a utility, as a solution to slow Internet speeds. The city has hired an information technology consultant to study its broadband infrastructure. By February, CTC Technology & Energy is expected to recommend to the City Council a plan that will involve either helping private companies better connect with customers or the city in developing its own broadband service.

[techwire.net] 01/14

Five Ways Cloud Computing Has Created Positive Change in 2015

In today’s competitive market, cloud computing offers an outstanding opportunity not just to innovate, but to do so more quickly and more cost-effectively than ever. It is an exceptionally efficient platform for IT-service delivery. Because you can create new virtual servers in a cloud with unmatched speed and consistency, as well as allocate IT resources like processing power and storage automatically on the basis of policies, clouds can bring new services into production much faster than traditional architectures.

[datacenterjournal.com] 01/14

A California police department decides how dangerous you are using this software

In our Edward Snowden era, we think of “mass surveillance” in terms of national security more often than in terms of local law enforcement. But one sort of technology used at the Fresno Police Department in California is shifting that discussion. Fresno’s Real Time Crime Center is a high-tech hub full of monitors, camera feeds and two billion scans of vehicle license plates and locations nationwide. Working alongside all of this is what might be the most interesting piece of tech there: the software Beware. Built by security company Intrado, a subsidiary of West Corporation, the software collects data like arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and social media posts to calculate a person’s so-called threat level.

[mashable.com] 01/15

Seagate Intros 10 TB Helium-Filled Hard Disk Drive

To meet the rapidly growing storage demands of cloud-based data centers, data storage company Seagate Technology is introducing its first 10 TB hard disk drive, the Seagate Enterprise 3.5 Capacity HDD. While the drive features a standard 3.5-inch CMR (communications riser cable) design, it also offers a unique element: a helium-enclosed environment to reduce friction and noise.

[toptechnews.com] 01/14

The government wants Silicon Valley to build terrorist-spotting algorithms. But is it possible?

Last week, a bunch of important people from Washington, D.C. packed their bags and flew to California to meet with a bunch of important people from Silicon Valley. The occasion was not the usual fundraising dinners or donor-wooing — it was a terrorism summit.

[fusion.net] 01/14

State CIOs agenda targets cybersecurity

The association representing state CIOs has an ambitious policy agenda in the nation’s capital this year, when members and their advocates will be appealing to Congress for help in securing critical infrastructure and for relief from a thicket of federal regulations. At the top of the list is cybersecurity, perhaps unsurprising given that members of the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) ranked that issue at the top of their own set of operational priorities late last year.

[cio.com] 01/15

Drone Legislation Would Require Owners To Buy Insurance, Get UAV ‘License Plates’

A Southern California lawmaker is pushing legislation to require drone owners to purchase insurance policies for their vehicle. Assemblyman Mike Gatto this week introduced the Drone Registration/Omnibus Negligence-prevention Enactment (DRONE) Act of 2016, which would hold owners responsible for registering and obtaining physical or electronic “license plates” for drones

[losangeles.cbslocal.com] 01/14

Government proposes $4 billion for self-driving tech

The Obama administration on Thursday proposed a 10-year, $4-billion push to spark the development of self-driving and connected cars, hoping to one day eliminate roadway deaths. “We ask ourselves, ‘What if human error could be eliminated?’ ” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at the Detroit auto show. “That is a possibility worth pursuing.”

[freep.com] 01/15

State of the CIO 2016: It’s complicated

What can you do to get paid more, earn greater respect, gain access to more resources to address IT challenges and find career fulfillment? The answer is simple: Play an active role your company’s business strategy. That’s the message from the 571 executives surveyed for our 15th annual State of the CIO report. The answer may be simple, but getting there is complex. In fact, your job as a CIO is more complicated than ever before, and the trend won’t likely reverse itself in the coming year.

[cio.com] 01/14

Ransomware a Threat to Cloud Services, Too

Ransomware — malicious software that encrypts the victim’s files and holds them hostage unless and until the victim pays a ransom in Bitcoin — has emerged as a potent and increasingly common threat online. But many Internet users are unaware that ransomware also can just as easily seize control over files stored on cloud services. Toni Casala found this out the hard way. Casala’s firm — Children in Film — works as an advocate for young actors and their families. The company’s entire operations run off of application hosting services at a managed cloud solutions firm in California, from QuickBooks to Microsoft Office and Outlook. Employees use Citrix to connect to the cloud, and the hosting firm’s application maps the cloud drive as a local disk on the user’s hard drive.

[krebsonsecurity.com] 01/14

X-energy Wins Department of Energy Development Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that X-energy has won a $50 milliongrant to develop the Xe-100 pebble bed High Temperature Gas-Cooled reactor (HTGR). The development grant includes $6M in FY16, which will be supplemented with additional investor funding from X-energy.

Tech News for January 14

Innovation Labs Improve Local Governments From the Bottom Up

There is a wave of new innovation at the local level of government, and much of it is coming not from government but from citizens. This is happening through a rapidly proliferating ecosystem of civic innovation labs, platforms that connect citizens with each other and with government to share ideas, define community problems and find solutions. For cities, the challenge will be to learn from, adapt to and manage these new pathways to more effective government.

[govtech.com] 01/13

Sacramento IT officials respond to cyberthreat from ‘Anonymous’

Officials are preparing Sacramento’s IT systems for a potential attack after a video attributed to the online hacktivist group Anonymous threatened to target the city. “City IT, as well as Public Safety IT, are aware of the threat,” Sacramento CIO Maria MacGunigal told StateScoop in an email. “And [they] are taking all appropriate precautions to protect City information systems.” She added police are investigating who might be responsible for the video.

[statescoop.com] 01/14

Self-Driving Cars in California Handed Control to Human Drivers Thousands of Times, Reports Show

Seven companies testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in California have reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles that those self-driving cars handed control over to human drivers 2,704 times. Jessica Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the DMV, said that Cruise Automation, BMW, Honda and Ford were all exempt from submitting the reports because they haven’t held testing permits as long as the other companies. They will be required to report disengagements at the beginning of 2017.

[govetech.com] 01/12

California Lawmaker Retracts Pharmaceutical Cost Transparency Bill

In a surprising last-minute move, the Bay Area lawmaker carrying legislation to increase the “transparency” of prescription drug costs in California on Tuesday pulled his bill off the Assembly Health Committee agenda, saying he didn’t have the votes. Assembly Bill 463, called the Pharmaceutical Cost Transparency Act of 2016, seeks to require public reporting of “select information” about the most expensive drugs — those priced at $10,000 or more — and the real costs for medications and treatments.

[govtech.com] 01/13

AT&T launches push to install IoT technology in major cities

AT&T will soon begin installing Internet of Things-enabled technology in several of the country’s largest cities as part of a push to spread “smart city” innovations nationwide. The massive telecom company unveiled a plan last week at its Developer Summit in Las Vegas to develop a new “smart cities framework,” working with Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology to install connected devices in sections of those cities and on the university’s campus.

[statescoop.com] 01/13

California Prisons Prepare for New Electronic Health Record System

Electronic Health Record System (EHRS) implementation for the California state prison system is expected to proceed in full during 2016 and currently is being tested at women’s facilities in advance of a scheduled phased rollout at 34 adult institutions.  According to state records, the contract with Cerner was recently increased to $177 million — about $5 million more — to reflect project refinements.

[techwire.net] 01/14

Two Dozen Lawmakers Join State Tech Caucus

The state Legislature’s Technology and Innovation Caucus on Wednesday introduced its 24 members and talked about how the new group could support California’s tech economy and introduce new bills, putting emphasis on the need for legislation that brings tech education to schools, and how they plan to maintain California’s national lead and reputation in tech industry.

[techwire.net] 01/14

The California Public Utilities has requested a $5.3 million budget augmentation for 2016-2017 to implement a new platform for enterprise business applications. The CPUC reports it would procure project management services from outside contractors to support implementation, IV&V, as well as vendor services for the primary solution. CPUC envisions the solution would be built on an Oracle-based tool set.

This proposed project is moving through theCalifornia Department of Technology’s project approval process.

[techwire.net] 01/14

Obama Was the Best President Technology Could Have Ever Wanted

Not only did Obama invoke the names of Grace Hopper, Sally Ride and other prominent scientists and technologists during his speech, but his invitation to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to the SOTU address symbolizes the importance with which Obama regards tech (and telling, perhaps, of his fondness for science and technology).

[blackenterprise.com] 01/14