Dec 31, 2015

Critical IoT Communications | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings

Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.

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AlertLogic's Cloud Security Demo | @CloudExpo @AlertLogic #DevOps #Microservices

In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, provided the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” used open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees learned where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructure. They also witnessed a cyber-attack from both sides – attacker and defender. An inside view of how indicators of compromise are researched to develop security content to be deployed for detection based on these attacks.

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Email Marketing Experts ???Official Email Marketing??? Added New Opt-In Business Opportunity ...

Official Email Marketing is one of the most highly rated Email Marketing Service providers, who have been providing extremely deliverable bulk email ...
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The Biggest Performance Testing Stories of 2015 | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

We thought it’d be fun to offer a look back at some of 2015’s biggest performance testing stories. Or in some cases, maybe all that was tested was our patience. Either way, here’s a quick trip down memory lane. Here we are - just a day away from 2016. It's hard to believe the year is over. It's even harder to believe everything that happened this year. If you build and test software you probably powered through a ton during these past 12 months, to the point where you can't even understand where the time went. Yet if you pick your head up and think about all that's transpired, you might be surprised.

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Announcing @AppNeta to Exhibit at @DevOpsSummit New York | #DevOps

SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deliver them.

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DigitalGov’s 2015 Year in Review

A 2016 New Year concept: an hourglass with sands of 2015 flowing into the bottom chamber for 2016.

Pogonici/iStock/Thinkstock

As we look ahead to 2016, we wanted to take a minute to look at our most popular content in 2015 and reflect on our second year. This was a big year for DigitalGov as we saw our session traffic nearly double and our weekly and daily email subscribers increase by 15%. DigitalGov was also named as a 2015 must-read blog by FedTech magazine, which is due to the great contributions from our guest authors, representing 42 agencies and departments across the federal government!

Looking over the content we published this year and at the pieces you were most interested in, we were happy to see that your interest spans several areas of the digital space, including: security, user experience, accessibility, social media and Terms of Service, and information about our services.

So as 2015 comes to a close, we want to THANK YOU for reading, sharing and commenting. You can look forward to more interesting content in 2016. If there’s something you’d like to see featured on DigitalGov, let us know.

Top 10 spelled out on note cards clipped to a clothesline, with the night sky and twinkling lights in the background

Jason Enterline/iStock/Thinkstock

Here are the top 10 most-popular 2015 articles (in terms of pageviews):

10. HTTP vs HTTPS: Is it Time For a Change?

9. Using Personas to Better Understand Customers: USA.gov Case Study

8. Using Section 508 Guidance to Improve the Accessibility of Government Services

7. Sharing the Essentials of Animated Gifs for Public Services

6. Why Your Social Traffic Looks Low in Analytics Tools

5. 8 New Federal-Friendly Apps and Services

4. How Will You Celebrate Customer Service Week?

3. Five-Star Customer Experience in Public Service with Yelp

2. From Elephant to ELK: How We Migrated Our Analytics System to Elasticsearch

1. 15 Government Customer Service Trends for 2015

You can also read about what our division, the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), was up to in 2015.

Multi-colored and sparkly Happy New Year 2016.

titoOnz/iStock/Thinkstock


by Andrea Sigritz via DigitalGov

How ABMC Got Started with Mobile App Development

In the sea of apps, users get choosey with which apps can take up space on their phone. With one uninstall click the user can decide to breakup with the app if they have a bad experience. To keep your app from being all alone, the MobileGov Community of Practice put together six Mobile User Experience Guidelines to help keep mobile users in love. DigitalGov University hosted a webinar in which the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) highlighted two of these guidelines.

Mobile phone with app interface screens

totallyPic.com/iStock/Thinkstock

When ABMC was deciding how to pursue app development, their work consisted of User Experience Guidelines 2 and 4: follow user interface guidelines and government regulations from the beginning of development and test at multiple points in the process.

Sarah Herrmann, Digital Communications Manager at ABMC, said ABMC’s mobile strategy is to provide a wireless tour guide experience for monuments located around the world. After thorough research and requirements writing, ABMC decided to develop mobile apps that would have static and consistently-functional content.

In the research phase, Herrmann phoned other agencies, read helpful DigitalGov articles on mobile topics, and took a look at Apple and Android development pages online for extra tips. Having requirements set up and written down early helped her team focus on the same goal.

Herrmann heavily supports the act of writing everything down. Even at the beginning of planning, try to incorporate all the requirements into your mobile strategy so the end product won’t be faulty and it will be easy to see if any aspect of the plan was neglected.

Herrmann suggests developing a clear design model before coding starts. ABMC used wireframes before consulting developers. Coming from a small agency, Herrmann knew she would have to get creative with testing and retrieving feedback.

Before the app’s release, ABMC asked the Federal CrowdSource Mobile Testing Program to help organize mobile testing because there was a concern over having too much content for a mobile app. They created a small test-case, based around a representation of future users, which had really positive results.

“Please, please, please think about your audience,” Herrmann explained in the webinar. The user’s end goal should always be in mind, and working with these user experience guidelines will help.

You can also view the webinar in its entirety.


by Ashley Wichman via DigitalGov

M2M Interaction with @IoTBot | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #BigData

"We specialize is business process automation and our focus today is the Internet of Things and we are promoting a platform called Connect2me," stated Yasser Khan, Founder of Plasma, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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Dec 30, 2015

Anders Wallgren Talks IoT | @ThingsExpo #BigData #IoT #M2M #Wearables

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a major topic of discussion in the tech industry. Many people want to know: how is the IoT influencing me already? That’s one of the themes of this week’s conversation between Electric Cloud CTO Anders Wallgren and Software Engineering Daily Host Jeff Meyerson. IoT continues to grow, with the proliferation of smart homes, wearables, smart cars, mHealth devices and more. For example, new cars today come pre-wired with hundreds of millions of lines of code already, and much of the embedded software is already connected to the Internet. This always-on connectivity offers manufacturers the ability to automatically update software and firmware on IoT devices and can greatly increase the rate of new feature updates, and the usability and usefulness to end users.

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Email Marketing Experts “Official Email Marketing” Added New Opt-In Business Opportunity Email ...

“Official Email Marketing” is one of the most highly rated Email Marketing Service providers, who have been providing extremely deliverable bulk email ...
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Canadian dollar drops quarter-cent

Canadian dollar drops quarter-cent
Caledon Enterprise - 13 hours ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was down about a quarter-cent early Wednesday before North American stock markets opened. The loonie traded at 72.08 cents US, down 0.26 from Tuesday's close.

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Canadian dollar drops quarter-cent

[slides] Security Practices That Hinder Business By @HaseebBudhani | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

How do you securely enable access to your applications in AWS without exposing any attack surfaces? The answer is usually very complicated because application environments morph over time in response to growing requirements from your employee base, your partners and your customers. In his session at DevOps Summit, Haseeb Budhani, co-founder and CEO of Soha, shared five common approaches that DevOps teams follow to secure access to applications deployed in AWS, Azure, etc., and the friction and risks they impose on the business.

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Canadian dollar drops half cent

Canadian dollar drops half cent
Brampton Guardian - 6 hours ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was down about half a cent Wednesday morning after North American stock markets opened lower.

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Canadian dollar drops half cent

Canadian dollar and business outlook

Canadian dollar and business outlook
Western Producer (subscription) - 1 hour ago
WINNIPEG, December 30 The Canadian dollar weakened against its US counterpart on Wednesday, as crude oil futures handed back gains.
CANADA FX DEBT-C$ falls, pressured by slide in crude oil prices - Reuters

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Canadian dollar drops one-third cent

Canadian dollar drops one-third cent
Waterloo Record - 14 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was down about one-third of a cent Wednesday morning as North American stock markets traded lower.

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Canadian dollar drops one-third cent

The Data Briefing: Design for Developer Experience (DX) and Data Prosumer Experience (DPX)

Recently, DigitalGov devoted an entire month to exploring how good user experience (UX) helps government design better digital products and services. UX is the art and science of understanding how people will use a website or mobile app to solve a problem or meet a need. UX is a combination of neuroscience, communication theory, information architecture, content strategy, graphic design, and responsive programming to build an experience that is inviting and beneficial to users.

Along with UX, there are two new types of experiences that organizations are encouraged to design for: the developer experience (DX) and the data prosumer experience (DPX). Both types of experiences recognize the role that data plays in building digital products and services and have much in common with UX. Even so, DX differs fundamentally from DPX, and both are a different twist on UX.

Illustration of API code and interface

vasabii/iStock/Thinkstock

Developer experience (DX) focuses on the developers who use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to build mobile apps and other online products and services. Like UX, DX is built around the concept of “empathy” or deeply understanding the needs and expectations of the developers. However, developers’ expectations of APIs are different from the average user who may never directly work with an API. To create a good DX, API designers need to do the following:

  • Create documentation for the API, which is thorough and complete. API designers need to approach the task of documenting an API as if they were encountering the API for the first time and without prior knowledge of the API’s architecture, functions, and data.
  • Use good programming practices to create robust and understandable endpoints (how to request data from the API).
  • Create understandable and informative status codes, error codes, and data structures.
  • Respect the developers’ time and resources by providing code samples (in as many of the more popular languages as you can), easy-to-use authentication methods, and multiple ways to contact someone for help.

The fifth piece of advice for building a good DX is to never assume. Never assuming is also good advice for creating a good data prosumer experience. Data prosumers differ from developers in that data prosumers create and use data at the same time—even though they may not be developers. For example, data prosumers create data when they query a federal website about a topic such as securing a small business loan. The data prosumer creates data for the federal government by giving information about their small business and personal financial situation. In return, this information is paired with pre-existing government information to determine the best small business loan alternatives. Both the data prosumer and the federal government benefit from the exchange of data. Designing for a good exchange of data ensures that the information form interfaces are intuitive and well-designed. It also means that all parties’ privacy is well-protected and how the data will be used is understood by both sides.

At the heart of UX, DX, and DPX is the experience that is built on empathy. Federal government website builders, API developers, data designers, and government communicators must overcome their “curse of knowledge” of their data and APIs to emphasize how users may approach the data or API. Creating a good experience means that the data or API will be more readily used, which is a benefit to both the agency and the American public.

Each week, The Data Briefing showcases the latest federal data news and trends.

Dr. William Brantley is the Training Administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Global Intellectual Property Academy. You can find out more about his personal work in open data, analytics, and related topics at BillBrantley.com. All opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the USPTO or GSA.


by Bill Brantley via DigitalGov

Canadian dollar drops half cent

Canadian dollar drops half cent
Waterloo Record - 10 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was down about half a cent Wednesday morning after North American stock markets opened lower.

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Canadian dollar drops half cent

CX Community—Year One

Customer experience, or CX, is everywhere these days. Companies tout how they’re improving the customer experience with faster service, greater convenience or better products. If you’re wondering how customer “experience” differs from customer “service,” customer service usually involves a single interaction, such as a phone call to your cable company, while the customer experience encompasses the entire relationship, e.g., from how you originally selected your cable company, to their service throughout the course of your entire relationship with them.

How does this relate to government? Well, since government is primarily a sole-source provider, people typically don’t have another choice—they must work with us to fulfill critical tasks such as paying taxes or getting a driver’s license. To me, that means we have an even greater responsibility to provide excellent service.

A growing crowd forms the shape of a rising graph arrow.

OlegSirenko/iStock/Thinkstock

That’s why I feel honored to lead the government Customer Experience Community of Practice (CX-COP). We opened our doors for business in April 2015, and in our first nine months, we’ve tripled our membership, growing to almost 600 members representing more than 130 U.S. government agencies. The fast growth of this community signals that there are lots of people out there who care about making government better.

A big focus for the CX-COP in 2015 was on education. First, we conducted a training needs survey to discover the type and level of training people needed. Based on that survey, we hosted six CX training events in 2015:

Marketing concept target and Customer Satisfaction on wall background

maxkabakov/iStock/Thinkstock

You can view more CX training on our CX Playlist. We also published several CX-related stories on DigitalGov, and encouraged agencies to participate in Customer Service Week by sharing lessons learned and hosting activities designed to improve customer service.

Finally, we’re developing a CX Toolkit to help agencies improve their CX programs. The Toolkit will feature hiring and onboarding tips to build a customer-centric culture, best practices for using voice-of-the-customer data to make meaningful improvements, guidance on designing customer-friendly digital experiences and more.

In 2016, we plan to expand the Toolkit, and continue to offer quality, practical CX training. Please let me know if you have a resource or best practice to contribute to the toolkit, or an idea for a speaker or training topic that we could feature in 2016. Also, if you haven’t joined the CX-COP listserv yet, please visit our CX Community page to sign up!


by Rachel Flagg via DigitalGov

Canadian dollar recovery will have to wait – Scotia

Canadian dollar recovery will have to wait – Scotia
Financial Post - 7 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar is at a more than 11-year low versus its U.S. counterpart, but that doesn't mean it's time to be a buyer of the loonie just yet.

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Canadian dollar recovery will have to wait – Scotia

Canadian dollar drops quarter-cent

Canadian dollar drops quarter-cent
Waterloo Record - 59 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was down about a quarter-cent early Wednesday before North American stock markets opened. The loonie traded at 72.08 cents US, down 0.26 from Tuesday's close.
Canadian dollar drops by a quarter of a cent - Globalnews.ca

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Canadian dollar drops quarter-cent

Top 18 Database Blogs | @BigDataExpo #BigData #IoT #Microservices

In today's rapidly changing IT world, database experts who wish to remain relevant must keep up-to-date on all kinds of technology - both database-related and other. DBAs should understand new data-related technologies but also other newer technologies that interact with database systems. Don't ignore industry and technology trends simply because you cannot immediately think of a database-related impact. Many non-database-related "things" eventually find their way into DBMS software and database applications. An example for that is Agile methodologies, such as DevOps and Continuous Delivery which until recently were not thought of as part of the database eco-system. My list of the top 18 news and opinion sites that DBAs, database developers, SysAdmin, and other database pros should check on a regular basis

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Steady, Markets Await US Housing Report

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Steady, Markets Await US Housing Report
MarketPulse (blog) - 48 minutes ago
USD/CAD has posted slight gains on Wednesday, as the pair trades at 1.3860 in the European session. In economic news, today's highlight is US Pending Home Sales, with the markets expecting the indicator to improve to 0.6%.

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Steady, Markets Await US Housing Report

The DevOps Push | @DevOpsSummit @IsomorphicHQ #DevOps #IoT #Microservices

"In the DevOps area there are a lot of people looking to adopt more and new efficient processes and that's worked well for us and the technology we provide," explained Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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SQL Orchestration with @DanKLynn | @CloudExpo #BigData #Microservices

"There's a very common problem that the enterprise data industry hasn't solved yet - as companies add data and new features into their application they add new data stores that are specialized for those purposes and it becomes an operational nightmare to manage. We think we have an interesting angle on that," explained Dan Lynn, CEO of AgilData, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 17th Cloud Expo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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Mobile App Development | @CloudExpo @MobiDev_ #BigData #IoT #Cloud

"Mobility is really important in today's business. Businesses should be on the go as mobile devices are everywhere. Mobile and cloud work together and are connected with what we do," explained Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 17th Cloud Expo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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Dec 29, 2015

Monetization of Everything | @ThingsExpo @IanKhanLive #IoT #BigData

"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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The Commodities Correlation for the Canadian Dollar

The Commodities Correlation for the Canadian Dollar
Bloomberg - 1 hour ago
Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at Deutsche Bank, discusses the Canadian dollar, its link to commodities and the outlook for the economy.

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The Commodities Correlation for the Canadian Dollar

DevOps Resolutions for 2016 | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

At year-end, we often consider where we’ve fallen short over the last twelve months – and how we can do better over the next twelve. For IT leaders, DevOps is likely to be a primary concern for 2016. As application awesomeness becomes more important to the business, IT must get great code into production faster. DevOps success is thus imperative – especially if you’re competing against digital-first market disrupters. DevOps, though, isn’t just about engineering better processes. It’s also about cultural transformation. This reality makes some IT leaders uneasy, because excellence at operational management – rather than cultural leadership – got them where they are today.

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Deluxe's Aplus.net Jumps On Pre-Owned Domain Trend

Aplus.net, Deluxe's domain registration and website hosting company, is now offering premium domain names, Linzi Breckenridge, ...
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Rough ride: Motorcycle industry and the low Canadian dollar

Rough ride: Motorcycle industry and the low Canadian dollar
Hamilton Spectator - 21 minutes ago
"If it's at par, it's good for the Canadian importer. But where it is now, you need to try to find every advantage you can," says Bob Ramsay, president of the Toronto-based Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council.

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Rough ride: Motorcycle industry and the low Canadian dollar

18F Reflects on Their Most Meaningful Projects in 2015

2015 was a big year for 18F. We almost doubled in size, worked with 28 different agency partners, and released products ranging from Design Method Cards to cloud.gov. Internally, we improved onboarding and our documentation by releasing guides on topics as diverse as content, accessibility, and creating good open source projects.

To mark the end of the year, we reached out to everyone at 18F and asked them to reflect on a meaningful project they worked on this year. We didn’t define “meaningful”—for some people, it was the main product they worked on; for others, it was developing a relationship with a partner agency or learning about a new tool. Below, everyone at 18F shares what they learned, what they did, and how they grew.

Accessibility

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, 18F, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and DC Legal Hackers hosted an Accessibility Hackathon on March 31, 2015.

“I loved organizing the accessibility hackathon and it’s been a blast working on the micropurchase experiment and the Agile BPA work.”—Alan deLevie

A tweet by Acessibility Partner using the a-1-1-y hack hashtag
A tweet by Rebecca Williams using the a-1-1-y hack hashtag

Blog

We published over 130 posts this year on our blog and featured 70 team members and 10 guests as authors.

“The projects I covered for the blog, most recently USEITI, were an amazing opportunity to hear about how our developers and designers approach making a better government for the American public.”—Greg Boone

“I’m very proud of all the work that went into the blog this year including the wide range of posts we’ve published, the improved editing process, and all the new authors and voices we were able to represent.”—Andre Francisco

HTTPS

18F worked with government teams to help submit a number of government domains to be hardcoded as HTTPS-only. Eric Mill wrote blog posts explaining that effort and the importance of HTTPS. Unsurprisingly, he chose the HTTPS work as the most enjoyable project he worked on this year.

“I really enjoyed helping agencies get their .gov domains hardcoded into browsers as secure.“—Eric Mill

Code

Diversity Working Group

18F is home to many working groups that spin up to collectively address an issue or solve a problem. Several of our colleagues cited their work with the Diversity Working Group as their most meaningful project this year. The Diversity Working Group helps make 18F a great place to work for people of all backgrounds, and is working to address inequalities that exist in the tech sector.

“I really enjoyed working with the Diversity Working Group because it’s shown me that 18F is the most committed to improving inclusion out of anywhere I’ve ever worked.”—Amanda Robinson

“I really enjoyed working with the Diversity Working Group this year because I witnessed how committed they are to making 18F a diverse, inclusive, welcoming place to work.”—Holly Allen

“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the Diversity Working Group this year. I’ve mainly learned a lot more detail about how big the problem is of diversity in tech. I’m very hopeful that we will do all that we can here to address it.”—Jacob Harris

Products We Shipped

analytics.usa.gov

In March, we worked with the Digital Analytics Program, the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), and the White House to build and host a dashboard showing U.S. federal government web traffic.

“I really enjoyed working on analytics.usa.gov. Being empowered to build a MVP quickly and well and keep iterating it was very refreshing.”—Gray Brooks

“I feel honored to be part of the analytics.usa.gov team every time I see another government office use our open source project to make their analytics data publicly available.”—Gabriel Ramirez

The Analytics dot USA dot gov website on December 28th, 2015 had 144,541 visitors at 10:30 am Eastern.

betaFEC

We worked with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to make campaign finance data more accessible to the public. In October, we launched betaFEC, the first piece in a complete redesign of the FEC’s online presence. The project allowed us delve into intricate campaign finance data, plain language, and the FEC’s first API.

“I loved working on the team that helped make betaFEC because I got to work closely with a smart, talented team of public servants at the FEC.”—Noah Manger

“I loved working on the team that helped make betaFEC. It was especially exciting to help our partners at the FEC find how they wanted to express their agency through a modernized web experience, and build an updated look and feel with them.”—Jennifer Thibault

Screen capture of the Federal Election Commission's "Campaign Finance Data" page

CALC

We worked with GSA to launch a powerful new labor category and pricing research tool to help the federal contracting community make smarter, faster buying decisions.

“Working on CALC was meaningful to me, because I know it is saving people hours of work every week, and saving the taxpayers millions of dollars.”—Nick Brethauer

Screen capture of the CALC demo animated gif

cloud.gov

We scaled our infrastructure expertise and created our own Platform-as-a-Service called cloud.gov. The platform frees teams to focus on creating quality services securely hosted in the cloud and uses only FedRAMP authorized, FISMA-ready, hardened machine images, which allows teams to focus on software features and security.

“I’m really proud of the work on the cloud.gov landing site and blog posts. It cemented the idea of Platform-as-a-Service in a lot of minds previously unfamiliar with the concept, and helped us measure the appetite for the service, validating that we were building the right thing before spending a lot more effort to prepare it for rollout to the agencies.” —Bret Mogilefsky

“I have really enjoyed working on cloud.gov because it has allowed me to reconnect with my devops roots, and exposed me to the continuous integration platform Concourse CI which helps me spread the love for AUTOMATING ALL THE THINGS!”—M. Adam Kendall

“cloud.gov has the potential to revolutionize how the government thinks about deployment, security and running systems. I am pretty proud of what we built so far and look forward to see what 2016 brings.”—Diego Lapiduz

“Many of us have experienced first hand how security compliance requirements may hinder the government’s ability to ship new projects. I proud to be working on methods for accelerating the compliance process in the open and excited to see the support and contributions of the open source community.”—Gabriel Ramirez

Screen capture of the Cloud dot gov homepage

College Scorecard

In September, 18F worked with USDS and the Department of Education on College Scorecard, a clearinghouse to provide the clearest, most accessible, and reliable national data on college cost, graduation, debt, and post-college earnings.

“I really enjoyed working with USDS, 18F and the Department of Education on https://collegescorecard.ed.gov because it demonstrated how multiple agencies can come together to build something great.”—Ozzy Johnson

College Scorecard

DATA Act

In May 2014, President Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) [PDF] into law. Once implemented, the DATA Act will make it easier to understand how the federal government spends money. The Department of the Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are leading the implementation, and Treasury has partnered with 18F Consulting to help with a few aspects of the project.

“The best thing I worked on was the DATA Act. In 2012, I first wrote about DATA Act. In 2013, I visited my reps on Capitol Hill about voting for it. In 2014, I went to the Treasury’s federal spending data town hall and kvetched about poor data quality. And then in 2015, I worked with those same Treasury folks to get it fixed.”—Becky Sweger

Data Act reporting graphic

Draft U.S. Web Design Standards

In September, 18F worked with USDS to release the U.S. government’s very own set of common UI components and visual styles for websites. It’s a resource designed to make things easier for government designers and developers, while raising the bar on what the American people can expect from their digital experiences.

“I’m really proud of the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards because it’s the first step at improving government website experiences at scale and creating and supporting a community around them. (By the numbers….we’ve accepted 397 contributions from 49 people. We’ve had 207 people participating in conversations on GitHub issues and 128 people who have submitted GitHub issues. We’ve had 46 code developers — 3 core, 6 regular, and 33 casual users.)”—Maya Benari

“I am honored to have worked on the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards with an amazing group of talented colleagues. It’s truly awesome to see the impact our work has already made and will hopefully continue to make for years to come.”—Julia Elman

“I was lucky to get to coach along some smart folks with the Method Cards and a tiny bit around the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards. Mostly, my role has me looking for more opportunities for the design team to lead, and I’m really proud of them for all the work that they’ve done this year. I feel lucky, every day, to get to work with such an amazing group of people.”—Russ Unger

“I’m proud to have started a project that will make the U.S. [Draft] Web Design Standards easier to use for the >25% of U.S. government websites that run on Drupal. I’m working with members of the larger Drupal community as well as people in government to help these standards scale without the need for custom development.”—Rhys Fureigh

The U.S. Web Design Standards are designed to be viewed on any device.

U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

USEITI is part of an international effort to promote open and accountable management of natural resources. 18F worked with a cross-sector partnership between government (agencies that oversee extraction in the U.S.), industry (companies operating in the extractive industries), and civil society (individuals and organizations that represent community and citizen interests) to provide data about how the U.S. manages extractive industries.

“EITI reports have traditionally been thick, printed PDFs full of statistics, meant for a specialist audience. It was so great to be a part of the U.S. process that is leading the world in making this data available online along with tons of rich contextual information to make it understandable.”—Michelle Hertzfeld

Screen capture of a jobs data visualization map of the United States on the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative website

Every Kid in a Park

Earlier this year, President Obama formally announced the Every Kid in a Park program, which provides fourth graders and their families with free access to more than 2,000 federally-managed sites. 18F worked with the Department of the Interior to create the program’s website, which was written at a fourth grade level with the help of fourth graders.

“I really enjoyed working on Every Kid In A Park because I helped develop a project with an amazing team to help kids get to the park!”—Christine Cheung

“Working on the content design for Every Kid in a Park reminded me that government websites can be joyful, inclusive, and easy to read.” —Emileigh Barnes

Students from Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School receive an Every Kid in a Park pass.

Department of Interior, CC BY-SA 2.0, Flickr

Federalist

The Federalist platform provides an easy way for agencies to publish static government websites. The first group to use the platform, the White House’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, launched their website in September. We also used Federalist on a number of other 18F projects including our own blog posts.

“The best thing I worked on this year has been Federalist, especially the launch of the website for the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team. Our team’s work amplified the reach of that team’s effort in support of an executive order. I was able to meet other people devoting much of their lives to making government serve people better. I’m honored to be a part of it.” —Gail Swanson

“I didn’t start working at 18F until the the fourth quarter of this year, making me a new person for most of my time here so far. However, I’ve still still felt incredibly inspired by every project I’ve contributed to and generally in awe of what this place is capable of. One of things I’ve been able to do is help the team building Federalist – a platform that helps agencies launch new websites quickly, with user research. It’s a project that is a clear example of the seemingly simple, yet revolutionary things 18F can do. It’s also an example of 18F’s mission marching forward and being implemented successfully.”—Ryan Sibley

“I’m really proud of the work I did on Federalist because it helped streamline the launch of sites that addressed college affordability data and the quantity of natural resources being extracted from federal lands.”—Jeremia Kimelman

 

The Federalist's beta website homepage, which says, "Federalist is a unified interface for publishing static government websites."

SBIR-EZ

This year, we worked with the Air Force on an application built on the FBOpen API to simplify, streamline, and unify the Small Business Innovation Research application process.

“I really enjoyed working on SBIR-EZ because it opened my eyes to a fascinating program for supporting small businesses.”—David Best

Treasury Department’s #TheNew10

We partnered with the Department of Treasury to develop the content, visual design, and social media campaign for the website announcing new $10 bill.

“I really enjoyed partnering with US Treasury to craft the digital strategy for #TheNew10. We’re putting a woman on the $10 bill!”—Kara DeFrias

Screenshot of the homepage for the website about the redesign of the ten dollar bill.

USCIS

18F has worked with USCIS to develop my.uscis.gov, a customer-facing site to help users navigate their relationship with the agency.

“This year I made an account system that helps immigrants keep their information up to date. It now has hundreds of thousands of users.” —Sasha Magee

A screenshot of the my dot U S C I S dot gov mobile website on an Android smartphone.

Guides, Resources, and Tools

Method Cards

We released a deck of method cards that help research and design teams communicate a shared vocabulary across teams and agencies.

“I loved working on the Method Cards. These are a tool that not only allows junior designers to easily learn new design skills, but they also allow a team to quickly create a shared language. It’s easy to talk about design and research in generalities, but using the method cards teams can pinpoint activities that best fit their need and gets them answers to questions that are slowing down the development process.”—Brad Nunnally

“The first thing I worked on at 18F was the Design Methods. Teaching tools of great design has been part of this job since I started, which means ​learning​ tools of great design has been part of this job since I started. I’ve never learned so much in such a small amount of time.”—James Hupp

An assortment of different colored method cards.

Partnership Playbook

If you or your agency have thought about working with 18F but are unsure of how we work with our partners, we have a new set of guidelines to help you out. The 18F Delivery Partnership Playbook is specifically targeted at federal offices interested in working with 18F to build digital services.

“I loved working on the MVP intake process and the Partnership Playbook to explain how 18F works with our partners!” —Will Slack

rdbms-subsetter

We wrote a new utility to automate extracting random yet relationally consistent subsets of relational databases.

“I loved working on rdbms-subsetter because people in the public developer community got excited about what we’re doing at 18F.”—Catherine Devlin

Writing Lab

We launched a Writing Lab for people to receive writing help from our content and outreach teams.

“This is a tough call, for sure: It’s been a momentous year, and I’m proud of all the work I’ve done here at 18F. If I were to choose one thing, I’d have to say the Writing Lab—we’ve offered on-demand, reliable content help to dozens of projects, and we’re gearing up to help lots more.”—Kate Garklavs

Procurement

In October, we used our “micro-purchase authority” to run an experiment: we contracted for contributions to a specific project and then wrote up what we learned.

“I really enjoyed working on the micropurchase project because helping government agencies quickly buy code is one of many ways that 18F can impact the federal procurement environment. The micropurchase experiment has the ability to make lasting culture change around open source software projects in government.”—Alla Goldman Seiffert

Partner meetings

Our consulting team routinely meets with agencies for agile workshops and short-term engagements. Several members from the team reflected on how much they enjoyed working with agencies this year:

“I really enjoyed participating in initial partner meetings to help evaluate the technical needs of proposed projects. It’s made me realize just how many government agencies are eager to move to an agile, user-centered way of working.” —Alex Bisker

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is pursuing activities to streamline and modernize their Security Accreditation Process. This was inspirational to me, because it represented an agency realizing the “status quo” could not continue and they reached out to 18F for our perspective, but not because they expected us to “hand hold” them through transformation. It has the support of their CIO and other leadership and will require them to transform culture, process, technology, and (most importantly) entrenched habits and expectations.”—Jay Huie

“I really enjoyed working with the EPA because I realized how committed their employees are to their mission — and how excited they are about adopting modern, improved digital practices.”—Randy Hart

“I’ve spent the last few months working with the pesticides division of the EPA, helping them modernize the way that pesticide labels are accessed and analyzed by inspectors. Pesticide labels are a surprisingly complex and important thing to get right, because when they’re wrong people can (and do) die. Bringing modern technology into the work the field inspectors do every single day is going to significantly improve their ability to do their job, and I feel incredibly lucky to get to help with that and know that what I’m doing could genuinely help save lives.”—Lane Becker

Small Business Administration executives collaborate with using LEGOs during a meeting.

Process and Documentation

It’s not something that often gets public attention, but we worked really hard to improve 18F’s internal processes and documentation this year. Ensuring that our daily standups run smoothly and our documentation is complete will ensure that we have the capacity to continue to learn and grow.

“I have really enjoyed working on the Team API and Hub-related initiatives because I believe that making this information easily accessible throughout 18F will help the organization continue to grow and thrive. Furthermore, this work helps put into practice the culture we’re building at 18F, which we hope that other federal agencies, contractors, and even other private organizations can learn from.”—Carlo Costino

“The best thing I’ve made this year has been working on the soon-to-be-public 18F Handbook in collaboration with my colleagues. I’ve learned so much. Creating company-wide documentation has forced me to think about how content governance relates to organizational design.”—Andrew Maier

“I loved working on our team process (stand-ups, grooming, planning. and retros). I think this helps us centralize team tasks, so we can better prioritize. It also helps us work through team issues/blockers a lot more quickly and efficiently. Creating a long-term roadmap will help even more.”—Michael Torres

“I loved working on reworking 18F’s onboarding processes. Improving onboarding dramatically improves how people work and feel about their workplace. It’s really exciting to think about how we might now scale best practices out and learn from other agencies.” —Melody Kramer

“The best thing I worked on this year was the Product Manager Guide! It’s not done yet, but we’re nearly there, and it’s awesome because it’s helping us to sync as a product team on our shared understanding while also sharing our best practices with the wider world. Portions of it will be published as an 18F Guide before the end of the year!”—Anna Heller Sebok

“I think the best thing that I’ve made this year has been the Official Guide to Travel at 18F. Taking on the complexity of Concur and the rules of government travel and splitting them into manageable steps seems to have reduced confusion as well as the amount of time spent helping people stuck in various parts of the process. I’m excited to continue the work in 2016, pinpointing the remaining areas of confusion and improving the Guide to address those.”—Ethan Heppner

Screencapture of interaction with Mrs Dolores Landingham, an onboarding bot developed by the A P I team.

Growing Our Team

This year, our Talent team streamlined their processes and almost doubled our workforce. They started working in agile cycles and launched a new website about applying to 18F. Several people from across 18F reflected on the work the Talent team has completed.

“I really enjoyed working with 18F Team Talent, because I discovered all of the amazing work and labor of love done to recruit, hire, and retain the most innovative talent.”—Pia Scott

“As an admin, I’m used to working on my own and not with teams, so I really enjoyed working on our new talent process with Bill, Jamie, and Esther and working through all the hiccups/issues we faced during the first sprint and how we are working on improving them for the second sprint. This work also forced me to use GitHub, which I am glad I am learning.” —Jennifer Moran

“In fiscal year 2015 with the help of our partners in the Office of Human Resources Management, the Talent team onboarded an additional 85 innovators (for a total of nearly 160 today) who are enabling agencies to rapidly deploy tools and services that are easy to use, cost efficient, and scalable. When our employees are asked, “what’s the best part of 18F?” the response is almost always: “THE PEOPLE.” We like that.”—Jen Tress

“The best thing I worked on this year was successfully recruiting some truly awesome people.”—Leah Bannon

“I helped initiate the talent team’s transformation toward innovation and product focus by introducing a work system that integrates principles and methodologies from lean and agile. (The team completed two pilot sprints and we are now working on v2.)”—Bill Rooney

This post was originally published on the 18F blog by Melody Kramer, 18F Team Member.


by Andrea Sigritz via DigitalGov

Canadian dollar and business outlook

Canadian dollar and business outlook
Western Producer (subscription) - 1 hour ago
WINNIPEG, December 29 The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart on Tuesday, as crude oil futures gained ground.

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Trends on Tuesday: Providing Anytime, Anywhere Government Through Mobile App Competitions

Agencies have used an open data competition approach in their quest to provide anytime, anywhere government. For example, in 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted the Apps for the Environment challenge and has a hub for apps created using EPA data.

Fighting businessmen

Bplanet/iStock/Thinkstock

Here’s an update on challenges hosted by other agencies:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), hosted a nationwide Reference Data Challenge to create mobile apps through Devpost. The concept behind this challenge was that developers could help scientists and engineers through organizing data.

Meru Lab Reference's Element Info screen on the Android app.They awarded a total value of $45,000 to three challenge winners.

  • The ChemBook App holds details and properties on elements and compounds.
  • The LabPal App combined four different NIST datasets to assist anyone involved in the fields of chemistry, engineering, or physics.
  • The Meru Lab Reference App allows users to view up-to-date chemical species with the help of near field communication (NFC).

In November, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced a new competition, Addiction Research: There’s an App for that to see how mobile apps can affect future addiction studies.

NIDA is requiring all apps be created using Apple Inc.’s ResearchKit, which is designed specifically for biomedical and health research. For the challenge, NIDA encourages addiction researchers to collaborate with developers and engineers to create a winning research app.

The competition runs until April 29, 2016, and the winning app will be announced in August 2016. Three prizes may be awarded: $50,000 for 1st place; $30,000 for 2nd place; and $20,000 for 3rd place—for a total prize award pool of up to $100,000.


by Jacob Parcell via DigitalGov

The Evolution of IoT with @Luxoft | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings

"What is the next step in the evolution of IoT systems? The answer is data, information, which is a radical shift from assets, from things to input for decision making," stated Michael Minkevich, VP of Technology Services at Luxoft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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Applying IoT to Reduce Power Losses | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #BigData

Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.

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Philips multigroom 7000 review

My confidence to this product is as tiny as its axle. I cannot image I switch its heads from time to time on it. I feel like a precision machine operator, not a lazy consumer that likes simple product that just works. It seems to me it is a product designed by an engineer for engineers.

Some Manitobans paying more for hot holidays thanks to low Canadian dollar

Some Manitobans paying more for hot holidays thanks to low Canadian dollar
CBC.ca - 9 minutes ago
If you're looking to go on a holiday south of the border this winter and still haven't booked your tickets, be prepared to pay more.

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Some Manitobans paying more for hot holidays thanks to low Canadian dollar

Hedge funds increase their bets against the loonie

Hedge funds increase their bets against the loonie
The Globe and Mail (subscription) - 11 hours ago
Hedge funds and other large speculators increased bets the Canadian dollar will drop against its U.S. peer in the wake of the Federal Reserve's first rate increase in almost a decade as renewed weakness in crude oil weighed on the domestic outlook.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Hedge funds increase their bets against the loonie

Dec 28, 2015

Price of oil loses another 3%, dragging Canadian dollar back below 72 cents US

Price of oil loses another 3%, dragging Canadian dollar back below 72 cents US
CBC.ca - 16 minutes ago
The benchmark price of North America's main oil blend lost more than three per cent to change hands below $37 US a barrel on Monday, dragging the Canadian dollar below the 72-cent US level in the process. West Texas Intermediate was going for $36.85 ...

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Price of oil loses another 3%, dragging Canadian dollar back below 72 cents US

OCSIT’s 2015 Customer Survey—What We Learned

Three years ago, GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) set out to design a system to consistently measure customer satisfaction across our office. We were inspired by the Digital Government Strategy, which tasks agencies to adopt a customer-centric approach to service delivery.

A word cloud of Government Customer Experience Index survey responses.

Armed with tools such as the Digital Analytics Program (DAP), which offers guidance on common customer satisfaction metrics, we developed a Government Customer Experience Index (GCXi) for OCSIT. Loosely modeled after the Forrester Customer Experience Index, it’s been invaluable to help us consistently measure customer satisfaction across our major lines of business.

The Process

We identified a few core questions that would help us determine how well we’re serving our customers. The questions measure overall satisfaction, customer loyalty, and ease of use for all our programs, as well as task completion for our websites. By asking the same questions across the board, we’ve been able to benchmark satisfaction over time for individual programs, as well as collectively across the office (18 programs in total).

In 2015, we surveyed more than 8,800 customers from 135 government agencies via email, and also incorporated our core questions into the customer satisfaction surveys on several of our websites (including USA.gov), to hear from both agency and citizen customers.

Finally, we shared the survey data with the entire staff, and we instituted an action planning process to help our program managers evaluate the feedback, and take strategic, data-driven action to follow up on the findings.

Easy and Relevant

This year, we added a new core question, asking how easy it is for you to use our programs. We learned that we have some work to do in this area, particularly with more technical programs such as FedRAMP (cloud computing), Electronic Capital Planning and Investment Control (eCPIC), and Digital Analytics Program (DAP). In response, these programs now offer more frequent training, agency consultations and/or “office hours” for customers to call in and get one-on-one assistance.

In the fast-moving tech world, it’s important to be proactive, so when a listserv conversation highlights a knowledge gap, we build a training class. When an agency wants to try a new social tool, we partner with them to implement a federal-friendly terms of service agreement. We’re streamlining our training library with event recap articles, to help you quickly review the highlights if you don’t have time to watch an entire event. Finally, we’re curating topical playlists of video content to make it easier to find past events.

What’s Working Well

During the the past three years, the GCXi showed us that our agency customers, those colleagues who work at other government agencies:

  • Depend on the Communities of Practice we sponsor to network, learn from their peers and keep up-to-date on requirements and best practices. Thousands of you are listening and learning via our listservs, even if you don’t speak up.
  • Want to consume content (including webinars and training from DigitalGov University) when and where it’s most convenient for you (this is particularly important for people outside of DC).
  • Appreciate services tailored to government—easy, free, timely and convenient.
  • Love the open sharing of data, through the new analytics dashboard, for example, with its ability for cross-agency benchmarking.

Some of our favorite customer quotes include:

“This is one of the best things I have discovered in my government work.”
“Presents innovative things happening in government in a way that others (myself included) feel like we can implement in our own agencies.”
“Having one group coordinate and share knowledge that helps the entire community is incredibly useful and important.”

We Heard You

We also received a ton of constructive feedback that’s helping us to improve how we work, so we can better serve you. Here are some examples, along with changes we made:

“The meetups look awesome but…I don’t live in DC :(

  • We improved remote participation options for our events, such as offering “online only” programming for large events, such as our 2015 DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit, or hosting hybrid events for both in-person and remote participants.

“I have not heard of anything referenced here except for FedRAMP, and I’ve been in the Government for 18 years! What are all these things?”

  • Our program managers are conducting more outreach, holding office hours and hosting training sessions to increase awareness of the services we offer to agencies.

“It would be nice if there was more information outreach and something that really simplified (walked-users through) what each of these components are and how to use them.”

  • Many programs now have “101” courses that cover the basics. Browse the playlists on the DigitalGov YouTube channel to see all the on-demand training available.

What’s Next

As 2015 winds down, we’re looking ahead to continue this learning process in 2016. If you’ve participated in past GCXi surveys, we thank you for sharing your candid feedback. As you can see, we take it to heart and will continue to use your feedback to make our programs even better.

Our mission at GSA/OCSIT is to support other agencies, particularly with technology. What else can we do to make your job easier? You don’t have to wait for a survey to tell us—we’re always listening! If you have an idea or suggestion, please leave a comment here, or email the person who manages your favorite community of practice.

To wrap up, I want to share one final comment we received, which encompasses not just OCSIT, but all of you in our communities, too!

“Keep up the great work. It’s critical for us to keep talking, sharing and improving the way we ‘live digitally’ across government, and improve our services for our citizens!”


by Rachel Flagg via DigitalGov

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Dips in Holiday Trade

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Dips in Holiday Trade
MarketPulse (blog) - 39 minutes ago
There are no real surprises in these weak figures, as the Canadian economy has been hit hard by the steep decline in oil prices, particularly in oil-producing areas locations such as Alberta.
USD CAD: This Is Bad News for the Canadian Dollar - Profit Confidential
USD CAD Continues to Struggle December 28 2015 - DailyForex.com

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Dips in Holiday Trade

IoT and Hyper-Contextual Marketing | @ThingsExpo #IoT #InternetOfThings

Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, explored examples of brands transforming their businesses by tapping into this powerful aspect of the IoT. He also reviewed some emerging techniques being used for hyper-contextual engagement in consumer IoT apps.

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AgilData Sneak Peek By @DanKLynn | @CloudExpo #BigData #Microservices

The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organizations as their products become successful and the data grows beyond the initial scope of the database, whether it starts out as relational SQL, NoSQL, or somewhere in between.

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With about 2¢ left to go, bruised Canadian dollar may be nearing bottom

With about 2¢ left to go, bruised Canadian dollar may be nearing bottom
The Globe and Mail - 5 minutes ago
Then, through the second half of 2016, “slightly firmer global economic growth should beget slightly firmer commodity prices, which should beget a slightly firmer Canadian dollar,” said BMO's Michael Gregory and Benjamin Reitzes, who see the currency ...

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With about 2¢ left to go, bruised Canadian dollar may be nearing bottom

Manufacturing + Open Source | @DevOpsSummit @RedHatNews #DevOps #Microservices

Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.

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Dec 27, 2015

This currency will be a winner if oil recovers

This currency will be a winner if oil recovers
CNBC - 35 minutes ago
An uptick in oil prices will give some upside to oil currencies, particularly the Canadian dollar, which is also closely linked to a U.S.

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This currency will be a winner if oil recovers

How to Sponsor @DevOpsSummit 2016 | #DevOps #Containers #Microservices

@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

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Legacy with Migration Containers | @DevOpsSummit #Containers #Microservices

The relentless doubling of compute horsepower every 18 - 24 months known as Moore’s Law is one of the trends that has shaped the IT industry. Machine virtualization and cloud computing have combined to reduce the time it takes to create a new machine that harnesses the latest in computing power to nearly zero. These mammoth forces plus a bit of application developer productivity have resulted in a huge explosion in the number of machines running applications over the past 10 to 15 years. The benefits of staying current and adopting the latest foundational technologies are undeniable. Faster compute, low-cost network and storage, reductions in time to market, agility - both technical and business- is a powerful amalgamation of trends that lays the groundwork for a competitive advantage for many businesses. Figure out how to leverage new technology before your competitors do, or be prepared to find yourself in the unemployment line.

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Dec 26, 2015

A Cloud Gateway at Netflix | @CloudExpo #Cloud #WebPerf #Microservices

An edge gateway is an essential piece of infrastructure for large scale cloud-based services. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Mikey Cohen, Manager, Edge Gateway at Netflix, detailed the purpose, benefits and use cases for an edge gateway to provide security, traffic management and cloud cross region resiliency. He discussed how a gateway can be used to enhance continuous deployment and help testing of new service versions and get service insights and more. Philosophical and architectural approaches to what belongs in a gateway vs what should be in services were also discussed. Real examples of how gateway services are used in front of nearly all of Netflix's consumer facing traffic showed how gateway infrastructure is used in real highly available, massive scale services.

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December 26, 2015 | Year in Review: Canadian Dollar, Gas Prices, Unemployment

December 26, 2015 | Year in Review: Canadian Dollar, Gas Prices, Unemployment
Energeticcity.ca - 11 minutes ago
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - As of Dec. 23, the loonie is set to close at 72.17 cents, up 0.42. According to the Bank of Canada, it averaged 78.67 in January, and rose slightly in the Spring months - to 82.89 in April - before falling to 74.89 in.

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December 26, 2015 | Year in Review: Canadian Dollar, Gas Prices, Unemployment

[video] Beacon Control with Daniel Gillard | @ThingsExpo @Sensorberg #IoT

"At Sensorberg we are providing a cloud-based beacon management platform and this allows you to control the various beacons that you have in your fleet as well as design various campaigns and triggers which the beacons will initiate," explained Daniel Gillard, Business Development Manager at Sensorberg GmbH, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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The Science Behind Alert Fatigue By @MMoscovici | @BigDataExpo #BigData

You’ve likely experienced alert fatigue at some point in your life. You feel exasperated as your phone pings for what seems like the hundredth time in a day, or your eyes glaze over as a glut of new analytics data rolls in. You feel resigned to the fact that an influx of email could very well go on forever.

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Dec 25, 2015

Unify Your Tests – Or Fail | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #WebPerf #Microservices

While testing is often ignored when it comes to DevOps - it could be the most important aspect of achieving true DevOps success. Without rethinking automated testing from the ground-up, the entire DevOps productivity gain cannot be realized. Large tech companies build their own rapid test automation that runs in minutes across functional, performance, security and other tests. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance, discussed how we learn from these real-world successes and achieve a 95% time reduction in creating and running automated unified tests. Otherwise enterprises must make a tradeoff between velocity and quality. Learning from the leaders, that tradeoff does not need to be made.

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IoT Trends to Watch Out for in 2016 and Beyond | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Over the past couple of years IoT has become the most hyped word around the world, and rightly so because we all know IoT is here to stay. So what is IoT? IoT stands for the Internet of Things. It refers to the devices that are connected through the internet. The basic concept is connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet, devices such as cell phones, wearable devices, coffee machines, connected homes even your refrigerator and all those things you can think of. We have collected a list of factors that will demonstrate how rapidly this sector is growing, and some mind-boggling numbers to prove that IoT (Internet of Things) is here to stay for a very long time.

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INOVVO Uses Big Data for Customer Satisfaction By @Dana_Gardner | @BigDataExpo #BigData

INOVVO delivers impactful network analytical services for mobile operators to help them engender improved end-user loyalty. The next BriefingsDirect big-data case study discussion examines how INOVVO delivers impactful network analytical services for mobile operators to help them engender improved end-user loyalty. We'll see how advanced analytics, drawing on multiple data sources, enables INOVVO’s mobile carrier customers to provide mobile users with faster, more reliable, and relevant services.

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[slides] Cloud Lock-In | @CloudExpo #PaaS #Cloud

Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., advocated that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS explode much faster as there is no need to support plethora of clouds by every PaaS vendor.

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Gambling problem: Growth slows for Playtech

Playtech is considered a proxy for the global betting industry, with its business booming alongside the growth of online gambling around th...