Tech News for May 31

California bills fail to advance on police records, body camera funding

Hundreds of bills face a vote before the California Senate and Assembly next week after passing off the suspense files in both houses on Friday, but a pair of high-profile public safety measures aimed at increasing transparency in law enforcement agencies will not. Among dozens of proposals held this year in their respective appropriations committees, either for costing too much or proving politically unpopular, were Senate Bill 1286, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, to open public access for officer misconduct and use-of-force records, and Assembly Bill 1680, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, to fund a grant program for more local police to buy body cameras.

[sacbee.com] 5/27

Secretary of State’s Office Names CIO as New Projects Emerge

The California Secretary of State’s Office has hired Rita Gass to the position of CIO. Her first day will be June 13. For the past eight years Gass has been the CIO of the California Conservation Corps, where during her tenure the corps won an award in 2014 from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for its rapid deployment of a cloud-based recruiting system. During her time with the corps, Gass also worked as the project director for the department’s ERP replacement project that moved to the cloud.

[techwire.net] 5/31

Natural Resources Agency Adapts IT Management Strategy to Drive Innovation

The mission of the California Natural Resources Agency is “to restore, protect and manage the state’s natural, historical and cultural resources.” In some ways, those goals are timeless. But like any government organization, the agency must adapt to an increasing pase of change, particularly from the technology industry. The traditional style of IT management no longer works, said Tim Garza, the agency’s IT director, during a recent TechWire Industry Briefing in Sacramento. So the Resources Agency has come up with a new model that is horizontal rather than vertical, and puts equal measure on operations, engineering, services and innovation.

[techwire.net] 5/31

June 4 National Day of Civic Hacking to Focus on Sacramento’s ‘Promise Zone’

Sacramento is joining dozens of cities across the country that will bring coders together on Saturday to build solutions for the good of the community. Sacramento’s event will focus on its federally-designated Promise Zone, one of 13 high-poverty and unemployment neighborhoods identified in the U.S. The zone encompasses a swath of area in North Sacramento, downtown and South Sacramento, “from Del Paso Heights in the North Area to The Avenues in the South County,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The local area faces a 34 percent poverty rate and 18 percent unemployment.

[techwire.net] 5/31

Unencrypted Laptops Expose Over 400,000 Patients’ Medical Data

In three separate incidents, the thefts of unencrypted laptops from healthcare providers potentially exposed more than 400,000 patients’ personal and protected health information (PHI). Home prescription delivery provider OptumRx recently began notifying 6,229 people that their personal information may have been exposed when an unencrypted laptop belonging to an OptumRx vendor was stolen from an employee’s vehicle in Indianapolis on March 16, SC Magazine reports. The laptop held customer names, addresses, health plan names, prescription drug information, prescribing provider information and in some cases, birthdates. All those affected are being offered one free year of access to LifeLock identity theft protection services.

[esecurityplanet.com] 5/30

Governments Turn to Commercial Spyware to Intimidate Dissidents

In the last five years, Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, has been jailed and fired from his job, along with having his passport confiscated, his car stolen, his email hacked, his location tracked and his bank account robbed of $140,000. He has also been beaten, twice, in the same week. Mr. Mansoor’s experience has become a cautionary tale for dissidents, journalists and human rights activists. It used to be that only a handful of countries had access to sophisticated hacking and spying tools. But these days, nearly all kinds of countries, be they small, oil-rich nations like the Emirates, or poor but populous countries like Ethiopia, are buying commercial spyware or hiring and training programmers to develop their own hacking and surveillance tools.

[nytimes.com] 5/29

3 common cloud ROI failures you must avoid

I see a lot of cloud computing projects fail in that they do not bring the promised ROI. In my book, if a project cannot live up to the projected ROI, it has failed. There are three common cloud mistakes that lead to such ROI failure, each of which you can easily avoid.

[infoworld.com] 5/31

IBM Introduces New Watson Features to the Twilio Marketplace

Big Blue is teaming up with cloud communication platform Twilio to introduce two new offerings, IBM Watson Message Sentiment and IBM Watson Message Insights. Twilio, which functions as a communication tool for developers and businesses, will make both offerings available as add-ons through its recently announced marketplace, according to IBM. Developers who currently access Watson technology via Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, can also use the two new Watson offerings.

[toptechnews.com] 5/27

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