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Citizens can now rate government agencies the same way they rate their favorite burrito spot.

The federal government has officially partnered with Yelp, best known for its online restaurant reviews, to provide a way for citizens to rate such things as agency field offices, TSA checkpoints and national parks.

Under the deal, agencies will take ownership of their Yelp pages to engage with users. The feedback will help agencies improve their operations and relationships with citizens.

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Government websites see a tremendous amount of traffic at about 400 million hits per month. Some sites, such as the IRS, see hits surge depending on the time of year, while others are constantly at the top of the list. The most trafficked domains in August:

51.6 million hits: National Library of Medicine46.6 million hits: National Weather Service21.5 million hits: Internal Revenue Service19.4 million hits: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention17.8 million hits: USAJOBS

SOURCE:, Sept. 3, 2015

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Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled the Surface Book, what it's calling "the ultimate laptop."

Microsoft came to its latest press conference on Tuesday armed with more than a few announcements. But none shook the tech world quite like the news that Windows creator was entering the notebook market.

After concluding the announcement of the new, slimmer and more powerful Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet, Surface creator Panos Panay teased audiences with a new addition to the Surface family — a device performs like a tablet and a notebook computer.

"We made the ultimate laptop," Payan said. "This is the fastest 13-inch laptop ever made, anywhere, on any planet."

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Research based on interviews with 302 public sector cybersecurity leaders suggests that better use of data analytics would improve cyberdefense. The findings:

86%: Mining Big Data can improve IT security.76%: IT teams tend to be reactive rather than proactive.61%: Better data could help detect breaches.51%: Agencies would monitor threats in real time if possible.49%: Data should be used to perform post-attack reviews.

SOURCE: MeriTalk, “Go Big Security,” May 2015

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Public cloud deployments can be tricky for federal agencies looking to protect the public’s information. To help government move to the public cloud, CDW has outlined three critical security factors that can reduce data security risks for public cloud deployments in a new white paper available here.

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A recent study estimates that federal spending on vendor-provided cloud computing services will increase at a 21 percent compound annual growth rate between now and 2019. The growth is attributable to a number of factors, including agencies looking to the cloud to provide shared services, according to Deltek's “Forecasting Federal Cloud Computing, 2014-2019: The Market Keeps Growing,” report from November 2014.

2015: $2.375 billion2016: $2.8 billion2017: $4.075 billion2018: $5.245 billion2019: $6.48 billion

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“No matter what you do, the most important thing is to focus on the experience of the end user. Everything else is just a detail about the process for achieving that.”

Robert Read is a developer at 18F, a specialized team of coders and developers at the General Services Administration that focuses on bringing innovation to the government. Read discusses whether project teams should code or design first when tackling projects in a recent post on the 18F blog (, one of FedTech’s 50 Must-Read Federal IT Blogs. See the full list here.

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The National Security Agency is working on a new website to streamline its hiring process, partnering with other intelligence agencies on a data-centric approach.

The site will administer exams to would-be applicants and then create reports about job candidates for hiring managers, says Kathy Hutson, NSA’s human resources director.

By improving the quality of applicants selected for interviews and further testing, the semi-automated process should save hiring managers time in finding the right people to work in jobs that require high skill levels, Hutson says. Ultimately, intelligence agencies also want to improve retention by identifying and hiring candidates that are the best fit for these federal jobs.

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Microsoft's next big operating system upgrade arrived Wednesday, and brings with it a host of new features.

Along with the sleek, new user interface design, the biggest changes that come with Windows 10 are the return of a traditional start menu, Microsoft's new web browser Edge, and Cortana, a personal digital assistant. Windows 10 also comes with a new feature called Continuum which allows for seamless transition of work from a tablet to desktop.

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