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February 13, 2016

Posts in "Federal Tech"

February 9, 2015

The Week Ahead: Lincoln Labs Event and Internet of Things Hearing

Among this week’s events, Lincoln Labs hosts its Reboot Congress event, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the Internet of Things and the Technology Policy Institute holds an event on patent legislation.


The Cato Institute hosts an event on ridesharing and regulations.

Project GOAL hosts an event on Internet safety and older adults.


Lincoln Labs begins its Reboot Congress event, which continues through Thursday.

Public Knowledge and the R Street Institute host a Capitol Hill briefing on copyright law.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the Internet of Things.

The Technology Policy Institute hosts an event titled “Patents in Theory and Practice: Implications for Reform.”


A subcommittee of the House Education and the Workforce Committee holds a hearing on emerging technology and student privacy.

A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on recent Supreme Court patent cases.

Some subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee hold joint hearings titled “Bridging the Gap: America’s Weather Satellites and Weather Forecasting” and “Can Americans Trust the Privacy and Security of their Information on

New America hosts a congressional briefing on mobile broadband and net neutrality.

February 2, 2015

Obama’s Budget on Cybersecurity, Digital Service Teams and Commercial Crew

Here’s a look at some of the Obama administration’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal to Congress on the issues of cybersecurity, digital service teams and NASA’s commercial crew program:

  • CQ Roll Call’s Shawn Zeller reports that President Obama’s budget request on Monday “raises the ante” in protecting government, business and consumers from cyberattacks.

He reports (subscription): “The administration pledges $14 billion — $1 billion more than the current year — toward securing government computers, working with the private sector to protect its technological infrastructure and conducting more research on how to stop hackers from stealing information.”

  • The NASA budget proposed a very small increase for the overall agency, but a big boost for its commercial crew program. The agency proposed $1.2 billion for the commercial crew program, which would be $439 million, or 55 percent, more than the fiscal 2015 level.

In September, NASA announced contracts for Boeing and SpaceX to complete development of systems to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. After certification, the companies will conduct between two and six crewed missions to the space station.

NASA has been relying on the Russia Soyuz vehicle to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station and the agency has been trying to aid development of U.S. private companies’ capabilities to transport the agency’s astronauts to the space station instead.

NASA Chief Financial Officer David Radzanowski told reporters on Monday that the funding level requested for commercial crew reflects contracts with those companies and milestones laid out in them. If the companies achieve them, then NASA would need $1.2 billion, he said.



December 22, 2014

November 10, 2014

Postal Service Network Breach Compromises Employee Data

Courtesy of USPS

Courtesy of USPS

Data belonging to more than 800,000 United States Postal Service employees has been compromised in a computer network breach.

The breach, discovered in mid-September, is being investigated by the FBI. Remediation of the hack did not begin until this weekend, although planning began immediately, according to the agency.

“Acting too quickly could have caused more data to be compromised,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said in a statement.

Names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of employment and other information are among the compromised data. According to the agency, employees at all levels were affected, from letter carries to the postmaster general.

However no customer credit card information from online purchases at or at post offices were exposed.

New security measures were implemented over the weekend to prevent future breaches, Partenheimer said. Enacting the new safeguards caused system outages and slowed the delivery of external email.

Notification of employees began on Monday. USPS is providing free credit-monitoring services for one year.

November 3, 2014

The Week Ahead: Antitrust, Crypto-Currencies and Farming & Space Tech Transfer

Attention will be focused on the mid-term elections this week, but there are other events happening as well that cover issues including antitrust, crypto-currencies and farming and space tech transfer.

Full story

September 30, 2014

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Should Evaluate Currency Reader Program, GAO Says

GAO Currency Reader

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has started the process of distributing thousands of currency readers to the blind and visually impaired and a recommendation recently released by the Government Accountability Office pretty much boils down to this: evaluate the program to figure out if it actually works.

Full story

September 29, 2014

The Week Ahead: Sports Blackout Rules, Net Neutrality & Education Technology

In addition to the Federal Communications Commission being scheduled to vote on a proposal to eliminate the sports blackout rule, several net neutrality-related events are happening this week, including the FCC’s economics-focused Open Internet roundtable session.

Full story

August 18, 2014

Wikipedia, Cybersecurity, and Aspen Forum This Week

Events on Wikpedia, cybersecurity, startups, and government use of technology to lower costs are on tap this week and the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in Colorado continues early this week.

Full story

July 18, 2014

3D Printing in Space: There’s Much to Learn, Report Says


This 3D printer creation by Joshua Harker, shown in Paris in November, was not printed in space. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Three-dimensional printing has been a hot topic lately, with Home Depot even starting to sell the machines in some stores and the National Institutes of Health maintaining an exchange for 3D printer files. What about using 3D printing in space? There are potential benefits, but we still don’t know the full scope of this technology, and its capabilities in the short-term have been exaggerated, says a new report by the National Research Council.

Full story

July 3, 2014

Government Email Preservation: A Chat With CREW’s Melanie Sloan

Controversy over missing Internal Revenue Service emails has been in the headlines recently, but Melanie Sloan and Anne Weismann at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argue the real problem is a systemic issue with federal agency record-keeping. In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, they write that Congress has long known that federal agencies have not been preserving records but hasn’t done anything about it.

Technocrat talked with Sloan, the group’s executive director, and here’s some of what she said:

Full story

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