White House unveils executive order to strengthen financial security

In the wake of major credit card breaches at Target, Home Depot and J.P. Morgan over the past year, a new executive order from President Barack Obama will require consumer-facing federal agencies to upgrade their point of sale terminals to a more safe, encrypted technology by the start of 2015.

Tech groups laud Lee’s nomination to lead patent office

In a move applauded by members of the tech industry, President Barack Obama has selected former Google Inc. exec Michelle Lee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Audit finds Commerce Department cloud contracts fail to meet FedRAMP requirements

An independent audit of the Commerce Department’s cloud computing contracts found services that did not comply with FedRAMP along with other security-related deficiencies.

New NOAA system creates high-res weather ‘mesh’ for forecasters

NOAA recently activated its high-res Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system in order to better predict severe weather, like thunderstorms, tornadoes or snow.

Tech firms, associations lead response to cybersecurity framework

The nation’s critical infrastructure is massive in its size, diversity and geographic spread — literally tens of thousands of financial, transportation, power, telecommunications, manufacturing, health care and government organizations from coast to coast. So it may have been a surprise to some when the National Institute of Standards and Technology posted a mere 52 responses last week to the Obama administration’s voluntary framework for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

Patent Office, China establish electronic exchange for application priority docs

A new service will allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to exchange documents with its equivalent office in China, the agency announced Friday.

Smart meters highlighted in updated NIST Smart Grid standards

NIST released an updated version of its Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework, which further integrates the use of smart meters within the grid.

‘Shark Tank’ meets smart cities at NIST’s Global Cities workshop

NIST hosted its Global Cities Challenge workshop Monday with over 200 people coming together to harness the Internet of Things to advance the world’s cities.

NSTIC head Jeremy Grant wants to kill passwords

I may have been a little hasty last week when I predicted that the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace may “never see the light of day,” and this week NSTIC head Jeremy Grant let me know it.

NSTIC is moving forward, but does it even have a chance?

How would the implementation of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace actually work, or could it even work?

FirstNet releases RFI for nationwide public safety broadband network

FirstNet issued a request for information Wednesday seeking input on establishing its nationwide interoperable public safety network.

Global security association helps translate NIST framework

The Information Security Forum, a U.K.-based association of leading companies from around the world, released a “mapping” document Monday that for the first time helps companies that currently use the ISF’s standard of good practice—known simply as the standard—to guide their information security programs to know if they are in compliance with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity framework.

FAA allows use of drones in search for missing Texas woman

Christina Marie Morris of Fort Worth, Texas was last seen in Plano, Texas, Aug. 30, and after more than 10 days of searching on foot, by car and on horseback, the search will take to the skies via drone.

NOAA’s Daniel McCrae on moving mobility plans past the hardware

McCrae, who manages a mobility system for NOAA, said mission focus should be the ultimate guideline for developing an agency’s mobility plan.

What to expect at NIST’s Global Cities Challenge

The Internet of Things, and the ways cities can leverage this emerging technology, is evolving at a rapid pace. Some cities have embraced it fully, while others are trying to keep up. Sokwoo Rhee, a presidential innovation fellow who is working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, hopes to close that gap during an upcoming conference where innovators will meet with global city planners in order to bring everyone up to speed. Rhee on Friday laid out the plans for NIST’s Global Cities Challenge, which will be held later this month at the agency’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, headquarters. The…

NIST producing guide to help government vet mobile apps

The National Institute of Standards and Technology knows that even the best apps can have unseen and undiscovered vulnerabilities. With agencies trying to balance the versatility of mobility with also keeping data secure, NIST is asking for the public’s help in creating a guide that will allow agency security analysts to scrutinize mobile apps.

Issa launches investigation into USPTO telework abuse

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Tuesday it has launched an investigation into alleged abuses of telework privileges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Issa claims telework abuse and fraud has been a significant contributor to the massive backlog of patent applications and said such activity appears to be widespread.

Feds working to overcome challenges, early failures in public-facing mobile apps

As agencies continually release public-facing mobile apps to better serve American citizens, the directors and strategists behind their creation are the first to admit there is room for improvement.

Misconduct report batters USPTO’s celebrated telework program

The U.S. Patent and Trade Office has been celebrated both in and out of government for its decade-plus of teleworking practices. But upon the closer look of an internal investigation, some teleworking patent examiners appear to be gaming the system while their supervisors have no tools in place to deal with the misconduct and the directors in charge look the other way.

New Census app turns big data into big trivia

The U.S. Census Bureau released an app Wednesday that pulls trivia questions from the bureau’s American Community Survey.

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