FedScoop » News http://fedscoop.com Federal technology news and events Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:24:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DC’s Top 50 Women in Tech http://fedscoop.com/dcs-top-50-women-tech/ http://fedscoop.com/dcs-top-50-women-tech/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:30:40 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=56525 In light of National Women’s History Month, FedScoop is highlighting the vibrant, talented and forward-thinking women who shape the conversation on technology in D.C. What these 50 movers and shakers, all with diverse backgrounds, have in common is their passion for using tech as a force multiplier to push government and industry to the next level by leveraging and improving information technology services in unprecedented ways.

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In light of National Women’s History Month, FedScoop is highlighting the vibrant, talented and forward-thinking women who shape the conversation on technology in D.C. These 50 women are movers and shakers, all with diverse backgrounds, representing government, Congress, the commercial sector, defense and academia. What they all have in common is their passion for using tech as a force multiplier to push government and industry to the next level by leveraging and improving information technology services in unprecedented ways. Our selection process took various forms: We did Twitter campaigns, asking for suggestions on extraordinary women in the technology field. We also received recommendations from the community, and conducted our own research. In addition, we asked the women themselves whom they would recommend for this honor. And thus, the list was born and then completed over several months. We know by limiting our list to 50, we are going to miss other terrific women in the field and we commend those who may not have been selected this year. The list of these 50 women is in no particular order, without any rankings. These 50 innovators, every one unique in her own way, all deserve to be considered #1 — there are no runners-up here.

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Hagel gets glimpse into future of DARPA tech http://fedscoop.com/hagel-gets-glimpse-future-darpa-technology/ http://fedscoop.com/hagel-gets-glimpse-future-darpa-technology/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:24:54 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57853 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel checked out some of the latest technology coming out the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at a special event Tuesday.

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DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talk about the latest updates on technologies coming out of DARPA. (Photo: DOD)

DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talk about the latest updates on technologies coming out of DARPA. (Photo: DOD)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel checked out some of the latest technology coming out the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at a special event Tuesday.

In the secretary’s conference room, Arati Prabhakar, director of DARPA, provided Hagel with a demonstration of the agencies’ prosthetic technology advancements. Fred Downs Jr., a veteran who lost his arm while serving in Vietnam, demonstrated how he was able to control his prosthetic arm, which he said took only a few hours to learn.

“Through a combination of foot movements, he’s able to control the elbow, wrist and fingers in a variety of movements, including the ‘thumbs-up’ sign he gave Hagel,” according to a Defense Department release.

The arm is designed to mimic the shape, size and weight of a human arm. Because it’s modular, it can replace a lost hard, lower arm or complete arm.

This type of technology would have a major impact on the lives of injured troops, Hagel said.

“This is transformational,” he added. “We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Another impressive piece of technology was a prosthetic arm and hand that respond to brain impulses. Matt Johannes, an engineer from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, demonstrated how users can control the equipment with their thoughts by using a sensor implanted in the brain.

The next step in this technology is placing sensors in the fingers that can send sensations back to the brain. The tactile feedback system should be operational in a few months, according to Dr. Justin Sanchez, a program manager at DARPA who works with prosthetics and brain-related technology.

“People said it would be 50 years before we saw this technology in humans,” Sanchez said. “We did it in a few years.”

Hagel also got to check out an overview of DARPA’s Robotic Challenge, a competition to develop a robot for rescue-and-disaster response, inspired by the devastation following the nuclear accident in Japan in March 2011.

The last three technologies were demonstrated behind closed doors, but according to a defense official speaking on background, Hagel was briefed on three other DARPA programs:

  • Plan X, a foundational cyber-warfare program to develop platforms for DOD to plan for, conduct and assess cyber-warfare in a manner similar to kinetic warfare
  • Persistent close air support, a system which will, among other things, link up joint tactical air controllers with close air support aircraft using commercially available tablets;
  • A long-range anti-ship missile, planned to reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. The program also focuses on innovative terminal survivability approaches and precision lethality in the face of advanced countermeasures.

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Six red FDA projects on IT Dashboard exceed $195 million http://fedscoop.com/six-red-fda-projects-dashboard-exceed-195-million/ http://fedscoop.com/six-red-fda-projects-dashboard-exceed-195-million/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:14:02 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57828 The Food and Drug Administration has six red projects on the IT Dashboard, totaling up to more than $195 million.

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The Food and Drug Administration has a half-dozen red projects on the federal IT Dashboard, meaning they rate 1 out of 5 — the lowest score possible – which may indicate a larger accountability problem with federal IT spending.

The six projects — Collaboration Tools, Customer Support, Enterprise IT Software Licenses, IT Infrastructure and Data Center Management, CDER Drug Data Management and CDER Pharmaceutical Quality and Pharmacovigilance — total more than $195 million.

Rob Foster, deputy CIO at the Department of Health and Human Services, said because of the way the ratings are created, one minor missing component can be the result of low scores on six projects that are all new, save one.

“The IT Dashboard has an algorithm; if one beta element is missing, it can reduce the score,” he told FedScoop.

Dave Powner, director of IT management issues at the Government Accountability Office, agreed, saying something like an incorrectly defined requirement can lower the rating.

HHS is aware of the issue. The Capital Planning Investment Control is sitting down with program managers responsible for these programs, according to Foster.

Because the six projects are relatively new, it’s very important to figure out the root cause of the red rating, Powner said.

Statistically speaking, across the IT Dashboard HHS has more than one-third of the red projects. FDA is responsible for 14 percent of those 42 red projects.

However, the findings of the Dashboard can be deceiving, according to Powner.

“When you look across the board, only eight out of 27 agencies have projects with a red rating,” he said. “There are 760 major investments on the Dashboard, and 42 that are red; are some agencies just being more honest than others?”

Which, inherently, is the problem with the IT Dashboard.

“We need to improve the reliability and accuracy of the Dashboard,” Powner said. “And OMB needs to do more with that area.”

All departments have their individual systems for how they score their projects, and each agency has a specific process of questioning and rating. Foster equated that process to how teachers have their own way of grading.

“Does every teacher grade the same?” he asked.

Powner said some CIOs use the Dashboard as a warning signal. If they are not getting the information on the project, they will give it a red rating. In that sense, CIOs are using the Dashboard as a warning to various sectors/divisions/projects in their respective agencies that they need to provide the data, he said.

GAO has been working on this front, making sure agencies are reporting accurate data, and have submitted five reports to Congress on the state of the Dashboard.

A report from early January 2014 titled, “Agencies Are Managing Investment Risk, but Related Ratings Need to Be More Accurate and Available” found that delays in updating the Dashboard and the way investment performance was tracked resulted in inconsistencies.

There is a hearing in May on this very topic, according to Powner.

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FedWire: New air and space exhibit, DARPA tech, and green schools http://fedscoop.com/fedwire-new-air-and-space-exhibit-darpa-tech-and-green-schools/ http://fedscoop.com/fedwire-new-air-and-space-exhibit-darpa-tech-and-green-schools/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:00:39 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57819 FedWire is FedScoop’s afternoon roundup of news and notes from the federal IT community. Send your links and videos to tips@fedscoop.com.

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FedWireFedWire is FedScoop’s afternoon roundup of news and notes from the federal IT community. Send your links and videos to tips@fedscoop.com.

Hubble instruments highlight new air and space exhibit.

DARPA officials show tech under development.

Recognizing green schools on Earth Day.

Air Force secretary’s first 100 days in office.

JGSDF showcases latest air-defense systems.

ONR researchers explore a changing Arctic.

White House tools you can use.

Army’s cyber-electromagnetic branch.

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‘Pictures of the Year’ exhibit returns to the Newseum http://fedscoop.com/pictures-year-exhibit-returns-newseum/ http://fedscoop.com/pictures-year-exhibit-returns-newseum/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:12:04 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57818 See the most dramatic, award-winning photos from news events across the world this weekend at the Newsuem.

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FedScoop’s Social Studies keeps tabs on the latest lifestyle news and events around the Beltway.

African migrants crowd the moonlit Djibouti shore trying to capture cell phone signals from neighboring Somalia to contact relatives abroad. "Signal", which will be on display at the Newsuem,  won first place in the Feature category in Pictures of the Year International, one of the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism contests in the world. Credit: John Stanmeyer, Freelance (PRNewsFoto/Newseum )

African migrants crowd the moonlit Djibouti shore trying to capture cellphone signals from neighboring Somalia to contact relatives abroad. “Signal”, which will be on display at the Newsuem, won first place in the Feature category in Pictures of the Year International, one of the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism contests in the world. Credit: John Stanmeyer, Freelance (PRNewsFoto/Newseum )

Log out of Instagram. You will find the world’s best photos on display this weekend at the Newseum.

In an exclusive showing debuting Saturday, the museum will feature the “Pictures of the Year” exhibit, featuring a collection of the award-winning news photos taken in 2013. The images will be selected from those honored by Pictures of the Year International, one of the most prestigious photojournalism contests in the world.

“The return of ‘Pictures of the Year’ is testament to our commitment to showcasing the very best of photojournalism at the Newseum,” said Cathy Trost, senior vice president of exhibits and programs at the Newseum. “These images remind us of the extraordinary power that photographs have to spark wonder, spur action and ignite change in the world.”

Visitors will see dramatic photos from events like the Boston Marathon bombing and light-hearted snapshots from sports and entertainment. The exhibit will be open April 25-Sept. 1, 2014.

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FedScoop documentary on women in STEM hits DC http://fedscoop.com/documentary-women-stem-hits-dc/ http://fedscoop.com/documentary-women-stem-hits-dc/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:35:17 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57811 FedScoop will premiere its first mini-documentary tomorrow during an invitation-only screening at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. Get an exclusive preview today.

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FedScoop will premiere its first mini-documentary tomorrow during an invitation-only screening at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.

The documentary, “Tenacity,” runs 15 minutes and explores the challenges and triumphs women have experienced in the workplace, focusing particularly on leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, known as STEM.

“I’m thrilled to unveil our first-ever FedScoop mini-documentary on such an important topic,” said Goldy Kamali, CEO of FedScoop. “This is journalism that will make a difference in our community by raising awareness of the very real challenges women overcome in business and industry, and will show young women that anything is possible.”

The screening of the documentary will be followed by a panel discussion, and the video will air publicly April 25 on fedscoop.com.

“The experiences that these women and other commentators shared with us were truly eye opening,” said FedScoop national security reporter Dan Verton, who co-produced the documentary with FedScoop technology reporter Colby Hochmuth. “I was struck by the messaging we send to our nation’s young women. Although women have accomplished a lot in the workplace, the fight to even the playing field, particularly in technical careers and senior leadership positions, is far from over.”

“I hope that everyone who watches the film gets the same experience out of it as Dan and I did while making it: being truly inspired,” Hochmuth said. “There are so many women doing amazing things in the tech field today, and I hope this will serve as a call to action for both men and women everywhere to recognize the work left to be done.”

“Tenacity” features in-depth interviews with some of the top women leaders from government and industry, including:

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Ellen McCarthy, chief operating officer, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency;
  • Stephanie Hill, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions – Civil;
  • Maria Horton, former CIO at the National Naval Medical Center;
  • Marisa Raether, senior principal consultant, Intuitive.IT; and
  • Alec Ross, former senior innovation adviser for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

(Trailer) “Tenacity: Women Redefining Leadership”

Produced, written and edited by: Colby Hochmuth and Dan Verton
Running Time: 15:24
Airs publicly: April 25, fedscoop.com, including extended interview clips.

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NIST’s Dr. Ron Ross on management challenges http://fedscoop.com/nists-dr-ron-ross-management-challenges/ http://fedscoop.com/nists-dr-ron-ross-management-challenges/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:00:08 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57620 Dr. Ron Ross, fellow at NIST, talks with FedScoopTV about some of the management challenges that today's tech trends present.

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Dr. Ron Ross, fellow at NIST, talks with FedScoopTV about some of the management challenges that today’s tech trends present.

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FedWire: Krypton-dating technique, Earth Day and ALIAS http://fedscoop.com/fedwire-krypton-dating-technique-earth-day-and-alias/ http://fedscoop.com/fedwire-krypton-dating-technique-earth-day-and-alias/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:00:34 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57802 FedWire is FedScoop’s afternoon roundup of news and notes from the federal IT community. Send your links and videos to tips@fedscoop.com.

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FedWireFedWire is FedScoop’s afternoon roundup of news and notes from the federal IT community. Send your links and videos to tips@fedscoop.com.

Mechanical casualty carrier.

How NASA celebrates Earth Day.

How Krypton dating helps date ancient Antarctic ice.

Secret sauce of effective progress reviews.

NIST removes cryptography algorithm from random number generator recommendations.

ALIAS seeks to provide flexible advanced autopilot capabilities.

Getting the incentive auction right.

The White House egg roll:

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Library of Congress’ Sean Lang on government tech collaborations http://fedscoop.com/library-congress-sean-lang-government-tech-collaborations/ http://fedscoop.com/library-congress-sean-lang-government-tech-collaborations/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:00:49 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57581 Sean Lang, CISO at the Library of Congress, talks about successful tech collaborations between the library and other agencies.

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Sean Lang, CISO at the Library of Congress, talks about successful tech collaborations between the library and other agencies.

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Verizon data breach report offers 10-year look at cyber-crime http://fedscoop.com/verizon-data-breach-report-offers-10-year-look-cybercrime/ http://fedscoop.com/verizon-data-breach-report-offers-10-year-look-cybercrime/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:00:20 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57773 A decade of data breach information has revealed an unprecedented level of insight into the trends and patterns of cybercrime, including industry-specific trends that for the first time can be mapped to 14 critical security controls.

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A decade of data breach information has revealed an unprecedented level of insight into the trends and patterns of cyber-crime, including industry-specific trends that for the first time can be mapped to 14 critical security controls.

According to an advance copy of Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, obtained by FedScoop, 49 organizations from 95 countries contributed data on more than 63,437 security incidents, including 1,361 confirmed data breaches. That’s a huge increase from the 19 contributors representing just 27 countries in last year’s report.

“It’s a really good sample of what’s going on in the world,” said Stephen Brannon, a principal with the Risk Team at Verizon. During the last 10 years, Verizon has collected and coded data on more than 100,000 security incidents.

But the 2014 report represents a significant departure from past years. It not only includes incidents that did not necessarily lead to a confirmed data breach, but it maps the incidents to nine basic attack patterns. It then maps those attack patterns to specific industries and makes specific recommendations based on the SANS Institute’s Critical Security Controls list.

Frequency of incident classification patterns (Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 2014).

Frequency of incident classification patterns (Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 2014).

The 10 years of data included in the report reveals nine overall threat patterns. But for the first time, Verizon researchers have been able to map those specific threat patterns to specific industries, enabling executives in those industries to make better decisions about what security technologies to purchase.

Among the most problematic trends identified in the report was the significant increase in the number of external hacker threats that organizations now face.

“The number of internal and partner actors has stayed steady and external actors have been increasing year over year,” Brannon said. “There are definitely insiders and partners that you have to worry about, but by the numbers there are a lot more people outside the organization perpetrating security incidents.”

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GSA continues real estate consolidation efforts http://fedscoop.com/gsa-continues-real-estate-consolidation-efforts/ http://fedscoop.com/gsa-continues-real-estate-consolidation-efforts/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:34:56 +0000 http://fedscoop.com/?p=57767 The General Services Administration, the country’s largest property owner, is targeting real estate as part of an effort to cut costs and reduce the government’s carbon footprint.

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The General Services Administration, the country’s largest property owner, is targeting real estate as part of an effort to cut costs and reduce the government’s carbon footprint.

GSA has identified 19 projects across the country that it can work with other agencies on to consolidate into a federally owned space. The agency provides workspace for more than 1 million federal workers, making up more than 9,000 properties, or 377.9 million square feet of workspace.

The investment will save agencies $17 million in annual rent payments and reduce the government’s leasing costs by more than $38 million, GSA said. A list of the identified projects can be found here.

“By consolidating these locations, we are not just eliminating redundant rents and space, but also encouraging collaboration among government workers by creating open workspace,” GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said. “We’re ushering in a new day for office space throughout the federal government.”

GSA has made strides in reducing its real estate price tag with its Total Workplace initiative at GSA’s 1800 F St. office space in D.C. Its new office space ventures away from the traditional cubicle work environment, instead opting for a more open workspace to promote collaboration and increased productivity in less space, according to the agency.

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