Tech News for May 17

Seven priorities for innovating with data in government

The recurring debate on how the federal government spends, or should spend, nearly $90 billion annually on information technology invariably revolves around a fundamental question: What must agencies do to manage and protect data more effectively? More than a dozen senior government and private sector IT leaders gathered recently at FedScoop’s headquarters to explore that question. The not-for-attribution discussion touched on a variety of issues, from the demands of data stewardship and how data supports an agency’s mission, to opportunities for innovating with data, to the challenges of keeping up with the explosion of data streaming into, and being produced by, government agencies.

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Governor Brown Appoints Two New Fish and Game Commissioners

Governor Jerry Brown on May 6 announced the appointment of two new members of the California Fish and Game Commission, – Russell Burns of Napa, a hunter and angler, and Peter Silva of Chula Vista, a water policy official. Burns and Silva replaced Jim Kellogg and Jack Bayliss, who resigned at the end of last year. Kellogg resigned over frustration with the increasingly anti-fish and wildlife conservation direction the Commission was headed in, while Bayliss did not discuss why he resigned. The California Fish and Game Commission became embroiled in a heated controversy over the past couple of months when they broke a promise to anglers to conduct regional reviews of “marine protected areas” created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative every five years. On April 13, the Commission moved forward with a controversial final Marine Protected Area “Master Plan” that instead postpones regional environmental assessments to once every 10 years.

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Cloud Computing Industry 2016 Market Growth, Trends, Analysis, Research, Size, Demand and Development:

The cloud computing market is a rapidly expanding industry that has been gaining a lot of attention in most business verticals. In the business world, the use of cloud infrastructure and business software for cloud solutions has increased tremendously. Services such as platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) have become increasingly popular and are anticipated to continue boosting the cloud computing industry in the coming years. The recovering global economy and the surging demand for IT services are the key factors driving this market.

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Los Angeles Connects to 100 Gbps Education Network

Los Angeles will become the first large city to connect to California’s 100 Gbps education network, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced May 12. The California Research and Education Network (CalREN), which is operated by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), today connects schools, libraries, researchers and 10,000 member institutions. Connecting city departments to the network will open new data-themed opportunities for government, Garcetti said. “The city of Los Angeles is already unmatched in digital transparency, but speed and accessibility are just as important in the 21st century,” Garcetti said in a press release. “This agreement means that young people, students of all ages, some of the world’s leading thinkers and educators can now access the city’s digital resources up to 1,000 times faster. When we open our data to the public, and commit ourselves to making it more easily available, we create limitless potential for innovation, discovery and new understanding.”

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California Finalizes Special Provisions for Hosted Platform and Infrastructure Services

The Department of General Services has completed and released model contract provisions for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud computing agreements. The special provisions identify standards for data ownership and protection, data location, security incident notification, data storage and retrieval, and a several other factors sprecific to “as a service” offerings. The special provisions will apply to any contracts entered into on May 13 or thereafter, DGS explained, and will be accompanied by a Statement of Work that includes more specifics and requirements.

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Microsoft and SAP’s Cloud Computing Platforms to Interoperate

Microsoft Corp. and SAP SE are linking up their software products to make it easier for businesses to rent applications online and workers to manage travel and meetings.SAP’s Hana data analysis tools and S/4 Hana applications will be able to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service by the third quarter of 2016, the companies announced Tuesday. The move will let Microsoft customers run SAP software without installing it on their own servers. Workers using Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of applications will also be able to plan trips and manage expenses using SAP’s Concur software directly within Outlook.

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California Legislative Update

The California legislature has reached the midpoint of its 2016 legislative session. The Governor has signed four bills of significance to California private sector employers. In addition, a few dozen workplace-related bills have moved beyond their initial policy committees, and many have passed their house of origin and proceeded to consideration in the other legislative chamber. Major bills still in process would change private arbitration of employment disputes, and would create predictive scheduling requirements for some employees working on a shift basis. This report summarizes the new laws and key bills still in process, and identifies other bills that still could make it to the finish line this year. The Legislature is required to complete its work for this year’s session no later than August 31, 2016. After the Legislature enters its final recess, Governor Brown will have until September 30, 2016 to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature at the end of the session.

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California Governor Vetoes Transparency Legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed a bill intended to shed light on billions of dollars in state spending and consultants who help companies win lucrative government contracts. AB 1200 by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, would have required individuals or entities to register as a lobbyist if they are paid more than $2,000 per month to communicate with state agencies and influence state contract awards. “Given that the laws regulating state procurement are voluminous and already contain ample opportunity for public scrutiny, I don’t believe this bill is necessary,” Brown wrote in his veto message.

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