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New US Digital Service Looks to Avoid IT Catastrophes

BY Alex Howard | Wednesday, August 13 2014

USDS' Mikey Dickerson at the 2009 MySQL Conference (Photo by Jorge Bernal)

At a time when the public's trust in institutions is at historic lows, the federal government's use of technology has an unusual place in the national discourse. After the first Internet president's administration was responsible for the high-profile failure of Healthcare.gov, the issue seemed ripe to drive significant reform on Capitol Hill. Even if some 10 million adults gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act after "Obama's trauma team" made successful fixes to Healthcare.gov, negative public perception has lingered, and for good reason. Under the radar, other projects have continued to sputter, like a $300 million dollar Social Security government IT boondoggle that still has not delivered a working system for submitting disability claims. The crash of the FCC's dated website under the weight of 1.1 million comments this summer didn't help, either. At the same time, the confidence of the technology community has been damaged by revelations of dragnet surveillance and surreptitious backdoors planted in software. Now, the executive branch has launched two new initiatives aimed squarely at these issues, 18F and the just-announced US Digital Service, Alex Howard reports. Read More

First POST: Commercially Reasonable Highway Robbery

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, April 25 2014

Net neutrality advocates cry foul at the FCC; a White House petition for "true net neutrality" takes off; the "promise of hashtag" becomes an Internet meme; and much, much more. Read More

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

First POST: Font of Wisdom

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 28 2014

Charting the various NSA reform proposals; mapping the Twitter/YouTube/Facebook bans; exiting from Facebook?; and much, much more. Read More

Justin Herman To Be A Social Media Lead At General Services Administration

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 13 2012

Managers at federal agencies in charge of developing those agencies' social media presence are getting a new coach. Read More

USA.Gov Wants You to Hack On What You Click

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

Federal officials announced yesterday that they'll be hosting a hackathon on July 29 around using the data produced by the federal URL shortening service, 1.usa.gov. All the data produced by clicks on links from ... Read More

With Kundra Leaving, Hunt for His Replacement Begins

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 20 2011

Blogging for Forbes, Kevin L. Jackson names three possible replacements for outgoing White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. Kundra will leave the administration later this year to join Harvard. Department of ... Read More

Uncle Sam's Animated Bears

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 25 2011

Xtranormal -- the D.I.Y. animation site you might remember for gifting the world tongue in cheek videos videos starring talking bears -- has been added to the United States federal government's list of pre-approved app ... Read More

Watch Party: Today's Gathering of Government Geeks

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, March 17 2011

Today's Government Web And New Media Conference, that annual gathering of online government types that's put on by GSA, is being webstreamed. Enjoy. (Hashtag: #govwebcon.) Read More

Inside the Shortening of the United States of America

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 7 2011

Image adapted from original created by Novell Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Patient Zero

Monica Lewinsky emerges with a mission to fight cyber-bullying; Marc Andreessen explains his political philosophy; tech donors to MayDay PAC get pushback from Congressional incumbents; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Front Pagers

How Facebook's trending topics feed is wrecking political news; debating the FBI's need for an encrypted phone "backdoor"; democratizing crisis data; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Tracking

Questions about whether Whisper is secretly tracking its users' secrets; the FBI's continued push against the new wave of encrypted phones; community service, high-tech-mogul-style; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hosts

Airbnb in hot water in NYC; Knight Prototype Fund backs some civic tech projects; pondering Google's position on net neutrality; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Africa Calling

How some techies are starting to respond to the Ebola crisis; everything you need to know about GamerGate; how Twitter may upset the 2015 UK elections; and much, much more. GO

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