Technocrat | November 19, 2018: Power to the People

It was a difficult week for California, as it continued to deal with devastating wildfires that resulted in many casualties and forced at least 52,000 people to evacuate. NASA created maps using satellite data to show areas damaged most by the fires. It’s the latest example of technology assisting first responders in deciding where urgent help is needed.

Technocrat | November 5, 2018: Moving to the (Hybrid) Cloud

It took a few days, but we’re finally not feeling like zombies after the Halloween sugar binge. Speaking of dead things, NASA has put to rest its Kepler space telescope, which is known for discovering more than 2,600 planets outside our solar system over the past nine years. RIP Kepler, the planet hunter. You’ll be missed.

Technocrat | October 29, 2018: Suspicious Activity Detected

As the Pentagon’s Cyber Command began its first operation to prevent Russian election meddling, the U.S. was also dealing with an outbreak of security threats close to home. Law enforcement was on high alert after numerous suspicious packages were sent to prominent liberals, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Robert De Niro.

Technocrat | October 22, 2018: AI And Blockchain to the Rescue

Artificial intelligence is the future, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which made a big announcement last week that it was restructuring its academic program around AI. MIT plans to dedicate $1 billion to a new college that combines AI, machine learning, and data science with other disciplines.

Technocrat | October 15, 2018: Pentagon’s Cyber (In)Security Revealed

It was another stormy week—literally and figuratively speaking. Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle and earned the title of one of the most vicious storms at landfall in U.S. history. NASA’s cameras outside the International Space Station were able to capture details of the fast-moving hurricane.

Technocrat | October 9, 2018: Some (Data) Privacy, Please!

Most of us received the “Presidential Alert” on our phones last week. FEMA wanted to test its new emergency messaging system, but instead ended up creating a lot of confusion and unease. The Integrated Public Alert Warning System, or IPAWS, is designed to inform the public about a major national emergency. Despite the alert’s puzzling name, it didn’t actually come from the president. Still, many are concerned about this type of system and see it as an invasion of personal privacy.

Technocrat | October 1, 2018: A Prime Way to Procure

The government can learn a lot from the private sector when it comes to using technology in innovative ways. Just look at Tinder’s new “Swipe the Vote” campaign, designed to educate young voters and get them to the polls this November. The social dating app may not be an obvious choice for increasing voter turnout, but it’s an ingenious way of driving civic engagement among 18-to-24-year-olds.

Technocrat | September 24, 2018: To Shut Down or Not to Shut Down? That Is the Question

There may not be a government shutdown this year. The budgetary stars have aligned so far. That’s a big deal, given the government’s history of blown deadlines.

Technocrat | September 17, 2018: Escaping Tech’s ‘Valley of Death’

All eyes were on Hurricane Florence last week, as it threatened to pound the Carolina coasts. Both NASA and the NOAA released impressive images of the massive storm, captured by a fleet of weather satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station. For first responders on land, monitoring areas where Florence touched down was challenging. That’s when technology came to the rescue. A group of Purdue University researchers created an online platform to help first responders monitor social media posts for people in need of help.

Technocrat | September 10, 2018: Spend IT Like It’s Hot

Schools are back in session nationwide. (Sorry, kids!) It’s also a busy time for the federal government, which is in the midst of its “use it or lose it” end-of-year spending frenzy. With only a few months left in the current fiscal year, eight of the 10 highest-spending federal agencies have not used as much as 40 percent of their budgets, according to one report. But that’s no excuse to waste government money, cautioned a bipartisan group of senators in letters sent to CFOs at 13 agencies.