Tech News for January 5


The public sector serves a population more technologically savvy and advanced than ever before. The use of mobile phones, acceleration of social media and overall speed at which technology continues to evolve have set the bar high for local and federal governments to keep up with these changes. Couple this with a strong legislative environment that continues to introduce new programs and services that require 21st-century technology, and we can see a clear transformation on the horizon in the way governments operate on a fundamental level.

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Lenovo unveils trio of droolworthy ThinkPads, including a modular tablet

Over the years, Lenovo’s transformed the ThinkPad series of laptops from bulky to svelte machines that you’d actually be proud of using in public. At this year’s CES, the company unveiled the next generation of ThinkPad devices and we have to admit, they look pretty darn hot.

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Nvidia to equip self-driving cars with water-cooled ‘supercomputer’

If Nvidia’s new “supercomputer for cars” called Drive PX 2 works as promised, self-driving cars won’t fall into a lot of trouble with the police. The water-cooled computer, introduced at CES on Monday, will go into a trunk and help self-driving cars better recognize signs, lanes and objects. The computer throws a lot of computational horsepower to process images based on which vehicles can analyze on-road situations and take action.

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​2015 Government Technology in Review: Mobile Security, the Cloud and Police Body Cameras

While no one would dispute that the past year has seen some game-changing advances in government technology, some might be surprised at just how deep these changes run. It was a year characterized by heightened concerns over security, on the one hand, paired with a growing public awareness of the pros and cons of increased police surveillance, including body cameras on police officers. In these arenas, as in the realm of mobility, technologists showed they could develop products and processes that helped to further the mission of government while enhancing the public good.

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Salesforce buys SteelBrick from California and wind power from Virginia

Cloud giant has announced two new acquisitions, one intended to boost its bottom line and the other to shrink its carbon footprint. The acquisition of California based start up SteelBrick gives it a quoting and billing system for SMEs that runs within the Salesforce cloud platform. Meanwhile, it has announced an agreement to source 40 megawatts of green power, from a new West Virginia wind farm, through a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA).

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Budget date set as California Legislature cranks into gear

Welcome to Essential Politics, designed to keep you up to date on what’s happening across the Golden State. The focus today is in Sacramento, as lawmakers return from recess to begin the 2016 session. Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason raised the curtain on what to expect as the typical chaos of the Capitol may be intensified this year, given turnover among three of the four top leadership positions and increasing overlap between ballot measures and legislative action.

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Cybersecurity Industry Predictions for 2016

Happy new year everyone! Late last year, I wrote a blog with a few predictions for 2016 focused on threats and enterprise security. Here are a few of my additional expectations for the cybersecurity industry.

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​Is Cloud Computing Saving The Pentagon Money? Watchdog Still Doesn’t Know

Last year, the Defense Department inspector general embarked on a mission to determine whether cloud computing actually saves the Pentagon money. One year later, that question remains unanswered, according to an IG audit released Dec. 28, which criticized the Pentagon for lacking a standardized definition for cloud computing and an inventory to track cloud-based contracts.

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Ghods Named Government Practice VP for Direct Technology

Davood Ghods has been named vice president of government practice for Direct Technology, a software and IT consulting firm in Roseville, Calif., the company announced this week. Direct Technology, a veteran-owned business, develops software solutions for 911 emergency response, energy efficiency and other verticals. The firm has clients in state and local government and the commercial sector.

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Text-to-911 Deploys in South State Counties

Residents in San Bernardino County and parts of Riverside County are now able to use their phones to text emergency services thanks to a new program launched earlier this month called “Text 911.” The new service launched on Dec. 15 was implemented to help those who are hard-of-hearing, deaf, or otherwise cannot use their phones to make a call in life-threatening situations.

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White House Publishes 5.02 Million Visitor Access Records

Millions of names have been released since President Obama announced the White House would begin publishing its visitor logs in September 2009. The latest iteration of the visitation records, published Dec. 30, puts the cumulative total at more than 5.02 million visitor names published over the course of the last six years. Amid criticism that meetings with lobbying interests were not adequately shared with the public, watchdog groups rallied and litigated for the White House to open the lists as part of the public record.

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White House aims to engage private sector, international organizations in global cybersecurity standards development

The Obama administration issued a strategy late last month that it hopes will better position the United States government to support the development of international cybersecurity standards. The strategy seeks to make the government an active participant and facilitator in the standards development process, said White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel in a Dec. 23 post to the White House blog. The strategy covers interagency coordination, collaboration with industry and international partners, and identifies the federal agencies tasked with participation in international standards development, training and education.

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