Government IT

Sequestration and Its Impact on Big Data

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Many have heard the word “Sequestration” bandied about in the press, but few seem to know what it means. It refers to budget cuts to federal spending that began on March 1, 2013 as an austerity fiscal policy enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The spending reductions are approximately $85.4 billion during fiscal year 2013, with similar cuts for years 2014 through 2021. Starting the week of July 8, 2013, many civilian federal workers will be forced to… continue…

How Sequestration Will Pinch IT

Posted In Silicon Valley
U.S. Capitol Building
Although the defense sector has been the focus of discussion on how sequestration will impact technology, the overall industry is sure to feel the pain as well. For those of you who haven’t looked at the news for the last six months or so, sequestration is the name given to the automatic spending cuts that began to slice into both domestic and defense programs on March 1. In California alone, a minimum of 5,000 tech jobs, excluding those in aerospace… continue…

Europeans Flog Themselves with Cyber Attacks

Cyber Europe 2012
A massive denial of service attack hit more than 300 European public and private institutions this week, including major government agencies such as the UK’s spy agencies MI5 and MI6 and several banks. The interesting thing is that the assault wasn’t by some hacker. It was a coordinated attempt by the agencies and businesses themselves. Welcome to the latest round of defensive planning for the next real cyber war. The Cyber Europe 2012 exercise was run by the European Network… continue…

All the NSA Cares About is How Well You Know Tech

Posted In Looking in Tech
NSA Logo
I ran across a clever advertisement from the National Security Agency (NSA): If you were a prominent, active competitor at the recent DEF CON, they want to talk to you about a job. In addition to the usual laundry list of skills — like design/analysis of LANs/WANs, JAVA, C++, rapid prototyping and algorithm development — they’ve specifically called out that their ideal candidates have “a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.” That phrase “equivalent experience” opens the door to people who… continue…

Power Pwn Monitors Network Security… and Secretly

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The device in the picture might look like a surge protector, but it isn’t. It’s a $1,295 security device called the Power Pwn, which was put together by Vermont-based Pwnie Express, with a little financial assistance from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Power Pwn contains hidden Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters, along with a range of hacking and remote access tools. It’s designed to allow network administrators to remotely test network security, without arousing any suspicions. Pwnie Express has… continue…

The Pentagon’s Four-Step Cloud Strategy [DiceTV]

Cat Miller
The Defense Department unveiled a four-step strategy intended to create a department-wide computing environment, in part using commercial services and the cloud.

Pentagon Reveals A Comprehensive Approach to the Cloud

The Defense Department’s new top-to-bottom cloud strategy is intended to lead to a DoD-wide environment and leverage a range of commercial services, as well. Said department CIO Teresa M. Takai: The DoD Cloud Computing Strategy introduces an approach to move the department from the current state of a duplicative, cumbersome, and costly set of application silos to an end state which is an agile, secure, and cost effective service environment that can rapidly respond to changing mission needs Behind all… continue…

Homeland Security Is Looking for These Words in Social Media

If you update your Facebook status with the news that you got food poisoning from the pork you ate on your trip to El Paso, you may catch the attention of the Department of Homeland Security. Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the DHS released its 2011 Analyst’s Desktop Binder, which includes a list of hundreds of words monitored by the department’s National Operations Center to identify “media reports that reflect adversely… continue…

Bills Make Northern Va. ‘More Attractive’ to Tech Companies

With six strokes of a pen, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation Tuesday its sponsors say will make Virginia more competitive in creating and retaining high-tech jobs. Before a crowded room inside the newly opened Falls Church headquarters for Acentia, McDonnell (R) signed the Data Center Sales Tax Exemption (House Bill 216 and Senate Bill 112) and the Extending Virginia Telework Tax Credit bill (HB 551 and SB 238). Del. Mark Keam (D-35th District) served as chief patron of the bills.… continue…

Military Tech

We don’t tend to cover military tech very often, but coming back from Memorial Day weekend, I thought I’d teach you all a new acronym. UGS, or Unattended Ground Sensors, is a technology that has evolved over time to become quite useful in monitoring battlefields, unguarded perimeters, and even borders safely, minus the collateral damage of land mines. In the Vietnam era, sensors were used with mixed results. Many lasted only a few hours or gave off false alarms, or… continue…