Tech News for June 13

Cyber security and how we need to prepare for the future

With the advent of “smart living” and the leaps and bounds that technology takes almost on a day by day basis, it becomes important to think about how secure our digital footprint is in our work and personal lives, all of which is connected. Vigilance and security becomes just as important as the technology that it revolves around in our day-to-day exchanges in the world. But that’s a discussion for another day. The point of this article is to take one country, one developed economy, technologically advanced on the global stage and see what learnings can be taken away from things that went right or wrong on a national level.

[] 6/12

3-D Government: How Will Augmented Reality (AR) Disrupt the Future of Technology?

It was another early Monday morning on the treadmill. While jogging, I was flipping through the Weather Channel: “Severe storms in Florida.” Headline News — “Golden State trounces Cleveland in game 2 of the NBA Finals.” CNN: “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prep for California primary.” And … CNBC Squawk Box: “These glasses will change the technology world as we know it. The smartphone will be replaced.” I stopped the treadmill. (I rarely do that in the middle of a workout) and asked myself: “Really! Again?” My memory instantly took me back to the Google Glass unveiling in 2012 — and the many troubles, including privacy. You may remember that Google Glass was even banned from bars, movie theaters, Las Vegas casinos and many other places.

[] 6/12

Can Big Government deliver a big economy?

When is a booming economy bad news? When it’s an economy structured like California’s. In a new study making the rounds, when the personal-finance website WalletHub fed the Golden State to its experts, they spit out great numbers – top-five-in-the-nation rankings for high-tech job growth, fast-growing firms, and, yes, startup activity. All told, the site concluded, Californians enjoy the nation’s third-best economy. “California has blossomed into the seventh-largest economy in the world,” the experts cheered, “boasting a [gross doemstic product] of $2.3 trillion, which was comparable to Brazil’s $2.2 trillion, in 2014.”

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California gang database: Long Beach advocates, law enforcement at odds over possible new rules

Lawmakers are debating a bill that, if signed into law, could have implications for a law-enforcement database used to help track gang members statewide. Assembly Bill 2298, authored by Assembly member Shirley N. Weber, D-San Diego, proposes regulations for CalGang — a shared gang database. While supporters say the changes would provide much-needed due process and introduce transparency to a system that operates in the dark, others say the bill’s proposals are too broad and could hinder investigations into increasingly complex and wide-reaching gang operations. Weber and other advocates say the database plays a role in deportations, arrests, gang injunctions and other civil or criminal legal proceedings.

[] 6/11

We need to protect our nation from cyber attacks

Here in the United States, we are lucky to live in one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world. And while this provides an unprecedented level of access to information, it also makes us one of the most technologically-vulnerable countries in the world and exposes us to possible cyber-attacks. In fact, at this very moment, there are hackers across the globe working to find weaknesses in the digital systems that help run critical infrastructure like the electric grid that we rely on to power our daily lives. A successful cyber-attack on the grid or other American infrastructure could have catastrophic consequences for our country. That’s why we need to take proactive steps to safeguard against these threats.

[] 6/12

June 16: Bidders Conference for Child Welfare Intake Implementation Services

The Office of Systems Integration has scheduled a bidders conference for its recent RFP for Intake Implementation Services on the state child welfare system modernization project. The conference will begin on June 16 at 10 a.m. at the Employment Development Department Auditorium, 722 Capitol Mall, in Sacramento.

[] 6/13

Montgomery: In the Next Natural Disaster, Technology Will Help Save Lives

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was devastating. Today there are new ways to help communities help themselves in the aftermath of a disaster. At 5 a.m. on April 18, 1906, San Francisco was decimated by a powerful earthquake. Between the quake and the fires that followed, 3,000 people lost their lives. More than 100 years later we still live with the risk of another giant California earthquake. And while we’ve made great strides in construction, building retrofitting and fire safety, the next life-saving innovations are going to come from the technology sector.

[] 6/13

State Budget Deal Finds Middle Ground on Big Tech Projects

The $122.2 billion budget deal the Brown administration and legislative leaders have agreed to puts funding toward several technology systems while seemingly putting other potential IT projects on hold. The framework of a deal hammered out in the Budget Conference Committee and closed-door negotiations was revealed on Thursday evening, well ahead of a state constitutional deadline to pass a budget. Here are some points of note, according to committee documents: The compromise puts $10 million in the General Fund toward the Brown administration’s Precision Medicine initiative, and stipulates the program must maximize matching funds and non-state funds.

[] 6/10

What Works Cities expands to 12 more cities, launches toolkit for city leaders

Twelve U.S. cities have been selected to join What Works Cities, a national program to help municipalities do more with their data, according to an announcement Monday. The new member cities join 27 more that are already participating in the Bloomberg Philanthropies-sponsored initiative, which provides technical assistance and advice on how to best analyze and use data to make decisions. The initiative is overseen by Results for America.

[] 6/13

Firm aims to work with competitors in chase for California web portal contract

A software development firm vying for a contract with California’s Department of Health and Human Services is opening up its code to competitors in an effort to spur collaboration and build a system more helpful to its users. Last week, the Berkeley-based company CivicActions posted the results of its initial work in response to a request for information from the department, as it looks to construct a new case management system for the state’s social workers to investigate child abuse. The company is hoping other firms bidding on the project will be able to seize on their work, as well as take advantage of the feedback CivicActions has gathered from the people who might be most directly affected by the new system.

[] 6/10

GIS: An Established Technology Finds New Purpose

It was a mild winter for most parts of the country. But don’t tell that to residents in the Washington, D.C., region, which got clobbered by a 30-inch snowstorm in January. As government workers sent plows out into the streets, residents were able to do something rather unique: enter their address on the city’s website and find out when the snowplows would be nearby. The map also showed where the city received 311 requests for snow removal and gave users a chance to look at recent photos from road cameras showing driving conditions. The secret sauce behind this application and others like it is location-based data, digital maps and software known as a geographic information system. GIS has been one of the longest running success stories in government technology. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, GIS was a godsend to city operations, helping plot development plans, track road and sewer repairs, and manage natural resources and other assets.

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