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At 18F, The U.S. Looks to Fail Fast on Government IT Projects Instead of Failing Big

BY Alex Howard | Thursday, April 3 2014

The state of govt IT today: Long lines in Columbia, SC waiting to sign-up for HealthCare.gov

Can a new small office inside the General Services Administration start to revolutionize how the U.S. government does information technology? That's the premise behind 18F. Longtime open government observer Alex Howard offers this in-depth report. Read More

With Code.Nasa.Gov, Agency Steps Up Hunt for Its Open-Source Software Projects

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 17 2012

With a new initiative, NASA explores its open-source projects. Image: Artist's concept of KOI-961 star system. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Not everyone agrees that the Obama White House has done everything around open government that it said it would do. But earlier this month, NASA lengthened the list of things that federal agencies could do. In addition to releasing data, like those that are gleaned from the Kepler space observatory, NASA now has code.nasa.gov, a central repository intended to eventually link out to every last open-source project maintained by people within the U.S. space agency. Read More

White House Appoints Steven VanRoekel as New U.S. CIO

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 4 2011

Steve VanRoekel A former Microsoft executive and Federal Communications Commission managing director, Steven VanRoekel, will become the next U.S. chief information officer, the White House announced today. VanRoekel ... Read More

Quote of the Day: 'One Click Away'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 2 2011

Consumer companies are one click away from extinction, so they have to innovate constantly. Yet in enterprise IT, which is far inferior to consumer IT, victory is considered winning that contract. Once companies win ... Read More

British MPs Take a Close Look at Government IT 'Oligopoly' of Major Vendors

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 29 2011

Writing for The Guardian, Michael Cross digs in to a report on British government IT that finds the folks across the pond are over-reliant on large contractors for their IT needs: The central charge is that governments ... Read More

Vivek Kundra's Tips for Smarter Government

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 14 2011

At the Sunlight Foundation* blog, Daniel Schuman recaps ten principles for improving federal transparency that federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra delivered during testimony before a House Committee on ... Read More

Do Lawmakers' Texts During Public Meetings Become Public Documents?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 27 2011

The New Hampshire Union Leader's Beth LaMontagne Hall reports on some navel-gazing in Manchester, N.H., over texting during public meetings: During the June 12 Board of School Committee meeting, [Mayor Ted] Gatsas ... Read More

The Googlization of Wyoming

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 23 2011

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead announced yesterday that all 10,000 of his state employees are now on Google Apps for Government, a version of Google's cloud-based office platform tweaked to meet government standards: Not only ... Read More

An iPad or 50 Amid a Sea of BlackBerrys

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

iPads, iPhones, and other non-Blackberry personal tech devices are gaining traction in official Washington, reports the Washington Post's Michael S. Rosenwald -- though your call on whether the fact that 50 iPads or ... Read More

Where Did You Put Barack Obama's Hologram?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 15 2011

White House photo by Pete Souza At a Chicago fundraiser last night, President Obama had some harsh things to say about the state he found government technology in when he became president in remarks overheard and ... Read More

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization's applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

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