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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 thursday >

First POST: Creeping

Senator Al Franken's tough questions for Uber's CEO; how the NSA could make its phone metadata program permanent; global privacy groups launch a personal spyware catcher called Detekt; and much, much more. GO

Recreation.gov and other Govt Projects Move Toward Embracing New Digital Approach

A draft request for proposals for the revamping of Recreation.gov will include a requirement that reservation availability data be publicly accessible and that all proposals detail how they will enable third-party sales, as two members of the United States Digital Services have joined the government team overseeing the RFP, meeting some key demands of civic technologists and consumer oriented technology companies. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Ubermenschens

Surge-pricing in effect for Uber privacy violations; why "privacy" policies should be called "data usage" policies; pols silent on Uber mess; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Uber Falles

Uber exposed for plan to dig up dirt on journalist critics; sneaking a SOPA provision into the USA Freedom Act; high-speed free WiFi coming to NYC; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Differences

How to use Twitter to circumvent campaign coordination rules; the net neutrality debate keeps getting hotter; charting the gender balance at dataviz conference using dataviz; and much, much more. GO

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