Tech News for June 3

NASCIO implores states to embrace the IoT, set policies around connected tech

State IT leaders can’t afford to wait any longer to embrace the Internet of Things and set policies around the new technology, according to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. The trade association released a policy brief on IoT issues Wednesday, laying out a series of strategies for states to adopt amid the rise of connected technology nationwide. “Cities and municipalities have been working toward the designation of ‘smart city’ for a while now,” Darryl Ackley, New Mexico CIO and NASCIO president, said in a statement. “While states provide different services than cities, we are seeing a lot of activity around IoT to improve citizen services and we see great potential for growth. The more organized and methodical states can be about implementing IoT, the more successful and useful the outcomes.”

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5 Steps To Proactively Engage Your Security Team on Projects

Whether you are working on a new IT initiative in government or you’re a seasoned project manager, at some point you will probably need to work with your agency’s Information Security team. These teams have a huge responsibility on their shoulders because they are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all new programs do not adversely affect the security posture of the organization. For that reason, they can be perceived as difficult to work with, or it may seem like they are there to slow a project down. But, in reality, they are there to ensure that your project or program isn’t susceptible to hackers, can be recovered during a disaster, and doesn’t expose any confidential data. I asked our staff to provide helpful suggestions on how to improve the interaction between project management and security teams, and they came up with several great tips to make your next project a breeze when it comes to information security.

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IBM and Cisco Combine the Power of Watson Internet of Things with Edge Analytics

Cisco (NYSE:CSCO) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced a global collaboration to provide instant Internet of Things (IoT) insight at the edge of the network. Now, businesses and organizations in remote and autonomous locations will be able to tap the combined power of IBM’s Watson IoT and business analytics technologies and Cisco’s edge analytics capabilities to more deeply understand and act on critical data on the network edge. Today, billions of interconnected devices and sensors are gathering vast amounts of real-time data about the physical world. In recent years cloud computing has offered companies a powerful way of storing that data and turning it into valuable insight. But for businesses without easy access to high bandwidth connectivity, these capabilities are sometimes out of reach or take too long. To address the problem, IBM and Cisco have joined forces to offer a new way to produce immediate, actionable insight at the point of data collection. The new approach is designed to target companies operating on the edge of computer networks such as oil rigs, factories, shipping companies and mines, where time is of the essence but bandwidth is often lacking.

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Blackman: Governing the Sharing Economy with Technology

What would happen if you and your family were living paycheck to paycheck and you lost your job tomorrow? For more than half of all Americans, this is an all-too-real fear as they have less than a thousand dollars in the bank and little to no financial cushion should a catastrophic life event occur. Whether out of necessity or a desire for greater financial freedom, one of the modern marvels of the headline-grabbing sharing economy is that it can provide citizens immediate access to income if they need it and flexible work arrangements that can fit into complex lives — that is, if the right technology is in place to help them quickly. Perhaps you have a spare room that could be posted for availability on Airbnb, or a car you could drive for Lyft or Uber. I would venture to say that many Americans are reassured knowing that they can leverage opportunities within the sharing economy to put food on the table, make the next rent or mortgage payment, or pay unforeseen medical bills. And there are others who are using these opportunities to live life on their own terms — for example, driving an Uber in the morning so they can be available to coach their child’s soccer team in the afternoon.

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Friday Bid Roundup: CHP, Dept. of Public Health, Health Information Integrity Office, and More

1. The California Department of Public Health’s Center for Health Care Quality is interested in redesigning a public website that gives consumers access to information about California’s licensed long-term care facilities and hospitals. The website, called the Health Facilities Consumer Information System, was implemented in 2008. RFI responses due June 30.

2. The State of California Office of Health Information Integrity is seeking via an RFP a consulting firm with expertise in HIPAA and project management to work from the office’s Sacramento headquarters. Among the scope of work, the contractor will provide “subject matter expertise on privacy, security, and transaction code sets in regard to health information, and contribute to the compliance review team.”

3. The Department of Technology is seeking IT consulting services with focus on expertise in the Riverbed tool suite. According to an RFQ released on June 1, the state said a “rapidly growing need is the ability to benchmark application projects” as more IT projects migrate into the OTech data center. The satet will use the tool set to identify projects that are “M&O” ready. RFQ responses are due June 16.

4. The California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection on June 1 released an RFQ for fleet management software. Responses are due July 15. The department wants a solution with no customization needed.

5. The Department of Technology in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol is doing market research on audio logging recorders. The records muste be Next-Gen 911 ready and built in open architecture and be available commercially off the shelf, according to the draft requirements. RFI responses are due June 6.

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Protecting Pedestrians with Connected Vehicle Technology

When it comes to vehicle safety, we often envision protecting the lives of occupants traveling inside a vehicle. But while roadway fatalities have successfully declined in recent years, the number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have increased. In 2014, there were 4,884 pedestrians killed and an estimated 65,000 injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes in traffic crashes. As such, I declared pedestrian and bicyclist safety a top priority for the USDOT and the deployment of connected vehicle technology has the potential to yield significant safety benefits for all pedestrians including cyclists, people in wheelchairs, children in strollers and passengers getting on and off of buses.

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Banking expert warns of potential for ‘really bad’ cyberattack

Cyberattacks on banks need to be looked at with the same kind of urgency as physical threats, because there is the potential for things to get really bad, banking and cybersecurity expert Ben Lawsky said Wednesday. “We live in a world where each day we are surprised by something new when it comes to the sophistication and the capabilities of hackers,” he said in an interview with CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” “You have groups of hackers around the world who are innovating all day long. All they do is try and figure out ways to disrupt our system. It could be really bad.”

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Nearly 90,000 Bay area patients’ records at risk 00:00 01:47

We all have to trust our doctors with very private information. For many, that’s been compromised by a cyberattack. Nearly 90-000 thousand Bay area patients may be at risk. “It’s painful, it really is,” says Dr. John Wachter from Eye Associates of Pinellas. He prides his practice on helping people. Now, he and staff have to focus on notifying some 87,000 patients, at their 3 locations that their name, address, date of birth, even Social Security numbers could be in the hands of hackers. “We all try to do the best we can to protect information, and every time you put another safeguard in there’s someone out there trying to work its way around it,” says Wachter. It’s part of a nationwide security breach.

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California Communities Respond to Police Surveillance Purchases with Oversight Ordinances

In San Jose, the police department purchased a drone without notifying the public or the City Council. The police department did not have to disclose its purchase, since the drone was obtained through a Homeland Security grant rather than funds appropriated by the city. In Oakland, the government was preparing to go forward with a Domain Awareness Center that would have allowed for citywide surveillance using public and private cameras. The city only had to scale back its program after public outrage. Incidents like these have ignited a debate across California about surveillance practices and the equipment used to perform them, sparking discussion about facial recognition databases, drones, stingrays, and license-plate readers.

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Wave of Website Renovations Hits Government

Is it time to give the government website a makeover? For years, city and state sites have been designed as portals through which the public could find as much information as possible. The motto was clearly, “the more, the better.” But the result has been an overwhelming hodgepodge of columns and boxes filled with tiny text, drop-down menus that run on and on, and buttons everywhere. With so much information crammed on to a home page, visitors are lucky if they manage to find what they’re looking for, says John McKown, president of Evo Studios Inc., a Web design firm that works with municipalities. “The problem with so many government websites has been information overload.” That’s certainly the case with the city of Philadelphia’s website, which contains more than 66,000 pages and documents, some of which have never been viewed, according to Aaron Ogle, the city’s former civic technology director.

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