Jul 23 2012

FedBytes: Technology in All Shapes and Sizes

Supercomputers, social media and the cloud are in the headlines this week.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about technology in government is that it permeates every agency, department and employee. From CIOs to secretaries, technology is playing a key role in productivity and mission-critical tasks. Here, the latest news from inside the federal government.

  • A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report says agencies have made progress on the federal “cloud-first” policy. Each of the seven agencies that the GAO studied (Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, State, and Treasury departments and the General Services and Small Business administrations) have incorporated cloud computing requirements into their policies and processes. Two of the seven agencies did not meet the deadline to implement three cloud services by June 12, but both plan to do so by the end of the year. Read more on GAO.gov.
  • The mobility strategy of the General Services Administration (GSA) is to deliver needed digital services anytime, anywhere, on any device. GSA’s new Digital Services Innovation Center is intended to help other agencies achieve that goal as well. Read more on the GSA blog.
  • The Energy Department is looking to develop computers that run 1,000 times faster than a 1-petaflop supercomputer. Under a research and development program known as FastForward, the department awarded contracts to technology vendors, including AMD, Intel and NVIDIA, to develop systems that can conduct 1 quintillion floating-point calculations per second. Read more on InformationWeek.
  • Harvard doctoral students have spelled out four ways that social media could change the face of conflict in the developing world. The first seems important enough that we wouldn’t really need the other three: help ensure the safety of innocent civilians by keeping them informed and connecting them to humanitarian organizations. (The three other ways are worthwhile, too.) Read more on CNN.
  • The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has a new strategic plan that includes goals to improve access to geospatial intelligence and provide more detailed analysis. Read more on AFCEA.org.
  • According to a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences, IT can help address a variety of problems regarding sustainability, such as water management, food production, biodiversity and urban planning. “IT will play a vital role if the nation and the world are to achieve a more sustainable future.” Read more on FierceGovernmentIT.

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