Feb 29, 2016

Your Testing Team | @DevOpsSummit #BigData #DevOps #APM #Microservices

A typical software testing team might have a business expert, a toolsmith, a few technical investigators, and perhaps a manager. A savvy manager knows one of the investigators is interested in mobile, another in APIs, and tries to ‘steer' the work toward the right person. This brings up some questions. What happens when the workload doesn't allow this - the mobile expert goes on leave, or the team members complain they are "pigeonholed"?

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Digital Transformation & Mobility | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings

The C suite must understand the battle they are fighting before they can develop and implement a winning digital transformation strategy. The commercial battlefield is data, and the effectiveness and speed of competitors’ information logistics systems will make all the difference. The C suite's overall doctrine must be achieving information dominance in their target markets.

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Oil Prices Recover, Canadian Dollar Outlook Bullish

Oil Prices Recover, Canadian Dollar Outlook Bullish
Exchange Rates UK - 6 hours ago
Oil prices had recovered at the end of last week thanks to the prospect of a meeting between oil producing nations both inside and outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), boosting the Canadian Dollar. However, CAD has been ...
CANADA FX DEBT-C$ weakens as G20 underwhelms but oil rally limits drop - Reuters
Bank of Canada Expectations Ushers CAD To Top Spot in G10 - MENAFN.COM

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Oil Prices Recover, Canadian Dollar Outlook Bullish

USDCAD – Canadian Dollar Gaining Pace

USDCAD – Canadian Dollar Gaining Pace
FXTimes (press release) (registration) - 6 hours ago
The US Dollar was down against the Canadian Dollar. There is a consolation pattern forming on the hourly chart of the USDCAD pair, which may act as a catalyst for the next move.
Canada Records 4Q Current-Account Deficit of C$15.38 Billion - Wall Street Journal

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USDCAD – Canadian Dollar Gaining Pace

Weekly Top 10: DevOps in the Enterprise – Taking the Plunge By @Anders_Wallgren | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

While DevOps has moved into the mainstream and is no longer a novel idea, taking the plunge towards DevOps still make some enterprise organizations and IT leaders weary. This week’s Top 10 news should quell some fears, as there was no shortage of best practices and tips for a smooth transition to DevOps in the enterprise and how to sell the practice to any team. Continue reading for more on cultural transformations, tips for microservices and the emerging trend – DevSecOps.

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Canadian dollar, TSX up as trade talks progress with EU

Canadian dollar, TSX up as trade talks progress with EU
Times Colonist - 16 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar was volatile this morning after the federal government announced it's another step closer to ratifying a major trade deal with the European Union.

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Canadian dollar, TSX up as trade talks progress with EU

The Content Corner: Facebook Expands Access to Instant Articles

As I begin to wind down my time at The Content Corner, I have realized that one of my biggest content concerns uncovered during my tenure is digital sharecropping. The recent announcement from Facebook that they will soon open their Instant Articles publishing capability to everyone was reason enough for me to revisit the topic of owning and controlling our content one more time.

An Instant Article by National Geographic seen on a smart phone.

Source: Facebook

While I dislike the term digital sharecropping (coined by Nicholas Carr), I haven’t found a better or more succinct explanation for this ongoing drive for private companies and platforms to own our content (while we do all the work).

There are legitimate concerns to this ever-increasing practice, especially for those of us within the public sector. But after further exploration of Facebook’s announcement, I am personally less concerned with Instant Articles’ potentially detrimental effects and more excited about their possibilities. People far more influential and savvy than myself, such as Gawker founder Nick Denton, seem to have warmed to Facebook’s publishing platform as well. But before I explain why Instant Articles may not be the danger that I originally thought, let’s briefly examine what they are in the first place.

What Is Instant Articles?

Facebook launched Instant Articles as a way for a limited number of early partners to develop content in a more Facebook-friendly format. For example, Instant Articles load as much as 10 times faster than external links and allow for additional branding and rich media displays. If you are asking yourself the question of why you should be interested in Instant Articles, anything that can get your content in front of Facebook’s 1.5 billion plus users ten times faster is worth a serious discussion.

Screen captures of CNN Instant Article in Feed and opened within Facebook

The format is also built on an open format utilizing HTML5 which helps ensure your content is as clean, responsive, and flexible as possible. I think the markup that is required by Instant Articles is a great way of reinforcing the importance of structured content and content models and keeps the sharing and reuse of our content front and center during the process.

Automatic Article Creation

Another feature that helped me change my opinion about the dangers of Instant Articles is the ability to use your own RSS feed to create and publish articles. You do have to make sure the RSS feed meets the formatting requirements of Instant Articles, but your CMS may be able to easily accommodate this depending on its flexibility.

ElementDescriptionRequired

<title> The headline of the article. Yes
<link> The canonical URL for this article on your site. Yes
<content:encoded> The full content of your article, in HTML form. Remember to escape all HTML content by wrapping it within a CDATA section. Yes
<guid> A string that provides a unique identifier for this article in your feed.
<description> A summary of your article, in plain text form.
<pubDate> The date of the article’s publication, in ISO-8601 format.
<author> Name of the person who wrote the article. Use multiple <author> elements for multiple authors.

Once you have an approved RSS feed, Facebook will automatically ingest your content into the Instant Articles platform, allowing you to choose whether all content in the feed is automatically published or whether it stays as a draft and you manually publish.

Instant Articles also allows you to edit content imported via your RSS feed or to manually create articles within the admin interface.

As opposed to the very real concern about generating content that can only live on a specific social media platform, this allows you to simply create a more Facebook-friendly version of your content. Your content simply becomes more responsive or adaptive (and they are not the same—more on that in a later column) and remains shareable outside of the Facebook ecosystem.

This sentence from Facebook’s Dev News page says it all: “Each Instant Article is associated with the URL where the Web version is hosted on the publisher’s website.” Your content remains on your site; if applicable, an Instant Article version of your content will be displayed and will leverage the speed and media features that Facebook has, but in other instances a user will be directed to your site. So instead of being a digital sharecropper, Instant Articles serves a more traditional social media function as a place to display your own wares.

Is the mad grab for your content over? I don’t think so, and I still feel we should remain cautious where we generate custom content as opposed to sharing our content. I remain protective of the place our agency websites play in maintaining a clear brand identity to our citizens. However, I also respect the need to display content in the fastest and most accessible manner technology allows. Facebook Instant Articles seems initially like another way to honor both of those goals. Anyone out there thinking of leveraging Instant Articles? Is anyone already doing it? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

You’ve just finished reading the latest article from our Monday column, The Content Corner. This column focuses on helping solve the main content issues facing federal digital professionals, including producing enough content and making that content engaging.


by Tyrus Manuel via DigitalGov

IoT and Location-Based Services | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings

Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mario Proietti, CEO of LocationSmart, will discuss how Internet connectivity enables location-based services to take advantage of everything available on the World Wide Web and how this data helps expand the possibilities for how we communicate, collaborate and commute.

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Feb 28, 2016

[session] Expanding WebRTC Capabilities Beyond the Typical Use Cases | @ThingsExpo #RTC #WebRTC

For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.

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How Frederick the Great and Napoleon Taught Me to Become a CTO | @BigDataExpo #BigData

Those of us who have been in IT since the early 90’s are all guilty of training our internal business partners to ask us for things that they don’t really want. We have trained them to ask us for reports. It started with the best of intentions – giving the business users information from our systems that they couldn’t get in any other way. I used to run a mainframe for a bank and did all of the nightly processing. Every night I would print off a four hundred page report that weighed in close to fifty pounds –at least that’s how I remember it – containing all of the checking account activity for our customers over the last twenty four hours. It’s hard to imagine anyone actually culling through it line by line every morning, looking for who knows what. I printed out that report dutifully none the less. I never did find out what they did with that report.

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Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing By @KRBenedict | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Economies are changing. Industries are changing. Markets are changing. Consumers are changing and shopping differently. As competitive advantages evolve into market standards, areas of competition move. Today we see fields of competition move to data utilization and digital transformation initiatives. When considering how your company needs to digitally transform, there are three very important questions to ask.

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Low Canadian dollar, fuel costs are boosting RV industry

Low Canadian dollar, fuel costs are boosting RV industry
Globalnews.ca - 53 minutes ago
WATCH ABOVE: With cheaper prices at the pumps, does that mean things like recreational vehicles are seeing a dip or a spike in sales?

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Low Canadian dollar, fuel costs are boosting RV industry

Digital Operator – From NetOps to DevOps | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

A headline theme underpinning the goal of telcos becoming ‘Digital Operation Centres of the Future‘ is the adoption of already proven best practices from the enterprise market. This makes sense given that community is now well into their Cloud migration programs, with ‘unicorns’ like Netflix and Uber Taxis at the forefront of this innovation wave, very far ahead at the very cutting edge where these new ideas are first proven in practice. By this I mean that they not only pioneered the concept of a Microservices Application Architecture implemented on AWS, but they then also open sourced all the components they built to do so.

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IoT Security: Five Fundamentals | @ThingsExpo #IoT

A key and wide-ranging tech trend that’s affecting enterprises and consumers alike is the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s a development that’s already transforming how we work and live as entrepreneurial minds continue to create use cases for billions of connected things. Transformations of this magnitude come with growing pains. Gartner recently revealed unexpected implications arising from the IoT, pointing out that by 2020, firms will have increased annual security budgets by 20 percent (up from less than one percent in 2015) in order to address security compromises in the IoT. Even more disturbing is that Gartner expects that a black market exceeding $5 billion will exist to sell fake sensor and video data that enables criminal activity by 2020.

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CAD to USD: Why the Worst Is Not Over for the Canadian Dollar

CAD to USD: Why the Worst Is Not Over for the Canadian Dollar
Profit Confidential - 25 minutes ago
Bearish Outlook for the Canadian Dollar It wasn't that long ago when the Canadian dollar was on par with the U.S.
Bank of Canada Expectations Ushers CAD To Top Spot in G10 - MENAFN.COM

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CAD to USD: Why the Worst Is Not Over for the Canadian Dollar

Feb 27, 2016

Continuous — Build, Break, and Fix Fast By @HoardingInfo | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

If you pay any attention to modern software delivery conversations, it sometimes feels like you are being beaten over the head with a Continuous magic wand. Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Documentation, etc. The idea is so easy that it’s frustrating: Go fast. But the benefits of going fast are well beyond more builds to your user base. Perhaps the greatest value is long term, and hidden in how you can break the application continuously without fear because you can fix it continuously as well.

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When Hybrid Cloud Becomes Hybrid Fog By @CWvanOrman | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Hybrid cloud is an appealing infrastructure model. With hybrid cloud, you can keep hosting applications and data on your own premises where necessary, while taking advantage of cloud economics and elasticity as appropriate. Unfortunately, IT organizations are often unprepared to manage application infrastructure that spans the on-premise data center and multiple clouds. The result: they achieve vastly superior infrastructure economics — but still can’t consistently ensure a great customer experience.

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[session] Bridging the Gap Between Cloud Applications and Storage By @Tintri | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Your cloud is highly, if not completely, virtualized. So, you need scale and agility that conventional LUN- and volume-based storage, built for physical workloads, just can’t provide. Spending hours mapping applications to LUNs and constantly tuning performance no longer delivers guaranteed performance SLAs and quality of service (QoS). Even after that, you still lack visibility in a multi-tenant, multi-hypervisor environment, and resorting to guesswork in planning and troubleshooting certainly isn’t a stable way to scale, either. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will investigate the fundamental disconnect between your virtualized applications and underlying storage. Work in VMs, not LUNs or volumes.

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Canadian Dollar Edges Higher as Investors Reduce Short Positions

Canadian Dollar Edges Higher as Investors Reduce Short Positions
Nasdaq - 18 hours ago
TORONTO--The Canadian dollar edged higher against the U.S. dollar Friday, capping off a week of strong gains against the U.S.

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Canadian Dollar Edges Higher as Investors Reduce Short Positions

Orchestrating Your DevOps Toolchain By @Anders_Wallgren | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

Modern software delivery involves many teams, each with their own preferred “tools of the trade” for building, testing and deploying code. This morning on #c9d9, we talked about the value of integrating these teams and tools in a way that provides shared visibility and control across the end-to-end process with…. (drum roll please) orchestration! We talked about the differences between orchestration and automation, the value that orchestration provides in regulated industries, and how to foster CAMS (culture, automation, measurement and sharing) within your teams. Michael added a letter to that now-famous acronym… a P… for patience! “If you don’t start this with the understanding it will be a long process,” Michael said, you are in for a disappointment.” So, is PCAMS (or “CAMPS”) now a thing…?

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Low Canadian dollar brings in worldwide bidders for Edmonton auction

Low Canadian dollar brings in worldwide bidders for Edmonton auction
CBC.ca - 21 minutes ago
The auction put around 8000 items on the block including front-end loaders, bulldozers and cranes. The deals on the equipment for foreign buyers may have been a little bit more of a steal at this auction because of the low Canadian dollar, more than ...

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Low Canadian dollar brings in worldwide bidders for Edmonton auction

Feb 26, 2016

Pound to Canadian Dollar Stays Weak Despite Today's Sterling Recovery

Pound to Canadian Dollar Stays Weak Despite Today's Sterling Recovery
Exchange Rates UK - Feb 25, 2016
Brent Crude oil has pushed above the key US$35 per barrel resistance level to reach US$36.09 today, keeping the pound to Canadian dollar spot rate weak despite a mild recovery for the Sterling. The rise follows the news that there will be a meeting of ...
Weekly Trading Forecast: Dollar Attempts a Recovery as Euro, Pound and Yen Stumble - DailyFX
Pound Sterling US Dollar GBP USD Exchange Rate Forecast Slips on US GDP Data - Currency News

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Pound to Canadian Dollar Stays Weak Despite Today's Sterling Recovery

Would You Put Corporate Applications in the Cloud? By @PSilvas | @CloudExpo #Cloud

There once was a time when organizations wouldn’t consider deploying critical applications in the cloud. It was too much of a business risk from both an access and an attack perspective—and for good reason, since 28 percent of enterprises have experienced more security breaches in the public cloud than with on-premises applications. This is changing, however. Over the last few years, cloud computing has emerged as a serious option for delivering enterprise applications quickly, efficiently, and securely. Today almost 70 percent of organizations are using some cloud technology. And that approach continues to grow. According to the latest Cisco Global Cloud Index report, global data center IP traffic will nearly triple over the next five years. Overall, data center IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent from 2012 to 2017.

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Canadian dollar and business outlook
Western Producer (subscription) - 6 hours ago
WINNIPEG, February 26 The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart on Friday, as crude oil futures gained ground.

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Lower Canadian Dollar Cushions Blow of Lower World Hog Markets

Lower Canadian Dollar Cushions Blow of Lower World Hog Markets
ThePigSite.com - 15 hours ago
CANADA - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reports the lower Canadian dollar is helping cushion Canadian pork producers from reduced international pork prices resulting from higher supplies, writes Bruce Cochrane.

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Lower Canadian Dollar Cushions Blow of Lower World Hog Markets

Testing with Streaming Analytics | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DevOps #Analytics

Getting adequate test coverage in a pre-production environment and catching issues before the changes go live has always been a challenge in cloud-based environments. There are different practices to performing testing in production. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bhuvaneshwari Krishnamurthi, Software Engineer at Microsoft, will focus on how streaming analytics can be used to achieve TiP by doing a live replay of the real time traffic from production against a pre-production environment.

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Kintone Named "Bronze Sponsor" of @CloudExpo and @ThingsExpo | @Kintone_Global #IoT #M2M

SYS-CON Events announced today that Kintone has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. kintone promotes cloud-based workgroup productivity, transparency and profitability with a seamless collaboration space, build your own business application (BYOA) platform, and workflow automation system.

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Cancer, Cloud and Privacy Shield By @Kevin_Jackson | @CloudExpo #Cloud

For more than 10 years, the rapid rise of cloud computing has enabled an even more rapid application of cloud to genomic medicine. In fact, since the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) lifted a 2007 ban on uploading their genomic data into cloud storage, the explosion in cloud use has accelerated. Some of the most impressive accomplishments in this field have included the: Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) project, that brings together whole-genome sequencing data from the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) projects. This resource describes over 2000 tumor and matched control samples that cover more than 30 cancer entities. Academics will be using the EMBL-EBI Embassy Cloud and high-performance computing centers at the University of Chicago, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Seoul, the University of California in Santa Cruz, the University of Tokyo and the Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ).

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2016 Conference Tracks Announced | @CloudExpo @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.

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Four Secrets to Managing Your Testing Workflow By @JustinRohrman | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud

Take your typical project. New code appears in pieces - the front end is ready, but the API that front end makes request on isn't even on a test server yet. There is a performance optimization project going on the side. One tester is dealing with a critical support issue, another is supposed to get a new feature any minute now, and the last is completely blocked. This is normal life in software testing. Work comes in fits and starts, and is often hard to predict. How do we manage the flow of work and keep testers productive? Here are a few things that have worked for me.

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What do Mac & Cheese and Power of Attorneys Have in Common?

They ranked among our top three most popular e-mails in 2015.

At USAGov, we know that e-mail is often our #1 driver of traffic to our content, and nine out of 10 times it’s our go-to outreach tool for disseminating timely information. But doing e-mail sends consistently and effectively isn’t always clear cut, especially when you have a combined 1.3 million subscribers.

We send e-mail blasts to our subscriber lists about all sorts of content based on what they signed up to get. Topics range from immigration to travel, health, and jobs.

Example: Kraft Recall of Macaroni and Cheese Boxed Dinners

We primarily use e-mail to:

  • Support a marketing campaign
  • Drive traffic to timely content on our websites
  • Promote social media chats or events
  • Amplify information or alerts on behalf of other government agencies
Email concept with mailbox

adempercem/iStock/Thinkstock

With every e-mail, a lot of consideration goes into the draft, quality and purpose of why we’re sending a particular communication.

Before we draft the email and hit send, we ensure that the message is:

  • Timely and useful
  • Mobile, tablet, and desktop friendly.
  • In plain language, clear, and action-oriented.
  • Reaching the right audience—In the future, we would like to explore segmentation and targeting (geo-specific when appropriate, for example when we do disaster communications).

The e-mail team also monitors and stays up to date on consumer trends and promotes content on our sites that might be of interest to the public.

Example: Power of Attorney and Your Responsibilities

What e-mail has done for us:

  • Contributed to major traffic spikes on our web pages.
  • Spiked calls to our call center. For example, an email we sent about tax identity theft triggered a high number of calls.
  • Informed the public about a campaign and increased public participation in social media chats.

Experimentation and Measurement

We evaluate every message we send by reviewing our data about a week after an e-mail’s sent. Unique open rates and click rates—both numbers and percentages—help us evaluate what content performed well. We know, for example, that we have a lot of visitors to USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov seeking information on immigration. We align that information with our e-mail sends, and the open rates and click-through rates prove the value of knowing what people are interested in.

At the end of every month, our internal performance measurement team provides us with a detailed report of how our messages performed. This is valuable information that informs and influences our e-mail content strategy. We combine the data from e-mail behavior with data from website visits and calls to our contact center, 1-844-USA-GOV1. All of these factors determine what we invest time writing about.

Many factors go into a successful e-mail, from subject line, to preheader text, to bypassing spam filtering systems. After you checked all these off, you also need to consider images.

We’ve noted that eight out of 10 times e-mails with images outperform e-mails that don’t include images. An image should always support your content and should include alternative text for screen readers.

Things to Consider

There are numerous things to take into consideration as you explore e-mail sends and campaigns. Here are some key questions to explore for your strategy:

  • Are your e-mail marketing writers familiar with your content strategy? Do they understand your organization’s voice?
  • Will you have dedicated resources to employ a consistent communications output?
  • Will you be able to ensure quality control so messages are well-written, timely, culturally relevant, and targeted?

Stay tuned for a series of posts on e-mail content and strategy.

This post was originally published on the USAGov blog by Victoria Wales, a member of the USAGov Marketing and Outreach Team.


by Ashley Wichman via DigitalGov

Retail Benefits from Extreme Apps Development By @Dana_Gardner | @BigDataExpo #BigData

The Extreme Apps for Retail initiative places new knowledge in the hands of on-site sellers -- to the customized benefit of shoppers at the very point of sales and in real time. The next BriefingsDirect big-data use case discussion explores how technology providers have teamed as an ecosystem to deliver new dynamic and rapid analysis capabilities to the retail industry. We’ll explore how the Extreme Apps for Retail initiative places new knowledge in the hands of on-site sellers -- to the customized benefit of shoppers at the very point of sales and in real time.

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Does GitHub Enhance the Need for Code Review? By @daedtech | @CloudExpo #Cloud

In 1999, a man named Eric S. Raymond published a book called, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." In this book, he introduced a pithy phrase, "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow," that he named Linus' Law after Linux creator Linus Torvalds. Raymond was calling out a dichotomy that existed in the software world of the 1990s, and he was throwing his lot in with the heavy underdog at the time, the bazaar. That dichotomy still exists today, after a fashion, but Raymond and his bazaar are no longer underdogs. They are decisive victors, thanks in no small part to a website called Github. And the only people still duking it out in this battle are those who have yet to look up and realize that it's over and they have lost.

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Angular and TypeScript | @ThingsExpo @YFain #IoT #Angular #TypeScript

I was writing a small app in Angular 2 in TypeScript with the on-the-fly transpiling by SystemJS. I needed to implement a router that would switch between the Home and ProductDetail views in a single page app. The root component had two links and was supposed to render either Home or ProductDetail components depending on which link the user clicks. Angular 2 offers a pretty elegant syntax for this:

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Canadian dollar zips from zero to hero

Canadian dollar zips from zero to hero
The Globe and Mail - 13 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar is sitting close to the 74-cent mark this morning, having staged a remarkable rebound from the bottom of the pack to near the top.

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Canadian dollar zips from zero to hero

Canadian dollar soars to 73.85-cent close; TSX up 13 points

Canadian dollar soars to 73.85-cent close; TSX up 13 points
Times Colonist - 11 hours ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar showed strength today, gaining more than three quarters of a cent. The loonie soared by 0.79 of a cent to settle at 73.85 cents US.

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Canadian dollar soars to 73.85-cent close; TSX up 13 points

Feb 25, 2016

IoT Disrupts the Cloud by @AllSeenAlliance | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings

In his session at @ThingsExpo, Noah Harlan, Founder of Two Bulls and President of AllSeen Alliance, will discuss the coming move from Cloud to Edge and what this means for business. Noah Harlan is President of AllSeen Alliance and a Founder of Two Bulls, a leading mobile software development company with offices in New York, Berlin, and Melbourne. He is also Managing Director of Digital Strategy for Sullivan NYC, a brand engagement firm based in New York. He has served as an advisor for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy on gaming and the outdoors, has appeared as a commentator on Bloomberg TV discussing mobile technology, and has an Emmy Award for Advanced Media Interactivity.

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Domain registration company Rightside tells employees that W2 forms were stolen in phishing attack

based domain name services and web hosting company, informed an unspecified number of employees overnight that their W2 tax forms were stolen ...
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Management and Orchestration | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

Early (very early, in fact) in the rise of SDN there were many discussions around scalability. Not of the data plane, but of the control (management) plane. Key to this discussion was the rate at which SDN-enabled network devices, via OpenFlow, could perform “inserts”. That is, how many times per second/minute could the management plane make the changes necessary to adjust to the environment. It was this measurement that turned out to be problematic, with many well-respected networking pundits (respected because they are also professionals) noting that the 1000 inserts per second threshold was far too low for the increasingly dynamic environment in which SDN was purported to be appropriate

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Orchestration Is the Ultimate Order | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

Remember when you were in school, learning math, and you learned about the importance of the order of operations? You do? Okay, good. Pop quiz: 1 + 1 * 8 = ? The answer is 9, not 16. Why? Because multiplication has precedence. If you want to get to 16 with those numbers, we’ll need to add some parentheses: (1+1) * 8 = 16 Because parentheses have precedence over everything else.

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Angular 2 Workshop at @ThingsExpo | #IoT #Angular #TypeScript #JavaScript

SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.

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Small Business Snapshot: Flanagin's Bulk Mail Service

Donna Flanagin, owner of Flanagin's Bulk Mail Service, a business founded in 1996 that mails out postcards, magazines, newsletters and more, ...
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One of Canada's largest banks thinks the Canadian dollar has room to rise

One of Canada's largest banks thinks the Canadian dollar has room to rise
MarketWatch - 1 hour ago
Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said he believes the dollar will experience a “last hurrah” rally against the loonie in the near term as Fed rate-hike expectations shift back toward at least one or two ...
Canada Dollar Rises to 2-Month High on Optimism Oil Losses Done - Bloomberg
CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits 2-1/2-month high as rate cut bets recede - Reuters

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One of Canada's largest banks thinks the Canadian dollar has room to rise

Business Networks Gaining Steam to Power Enterprises By @Dana_Gardner | @CloudExpo #Cloud

A thought leadership discussion on the rise of business networks and how that requires new models of busing and selling as well as new ways of discovering and relating to customers and partners. The next BriefingsDirect innovation thought leadership discussion focuses on the rise of business networks and how that requires new models of buying and selling as well as new ways of discovering and relating to customers and partners. Quite rapidly, we've entered a business world where unprecedented connectivity leads to instant analysis. These insights across entire industries provide powerful new ways for businesses to innovate and to adapt to markets, supply chains, and customer demands.

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Is Your Federal Mobile App or Website in the U.S. Digital Registry?

We have received an amazing response to the U.S. Digital Registry, our new API-generating repository for official third-party sites, social media platforms and mobile apps in the United States federal government.

Screen capture of search results for "Central Intelligence Agency" on Facebook; Facebook's blue and white Verified check mark identifies the real CIA's federal account above multiple imposter accounts.

Federal digital managers have already added over 7,300 accounts and are continuously adding and updating social media and mobile app accounts in the registry. Outside of government, private and public sector organizations have been submitting feedback and offering praise. The Programmable Web said the registry is “the single most important social media initiative across the U.S. federal government in the past four years” and highlighted five potential use cases.

The U.S. Digital Registry offers an opportunity for federal agencies to show they are leveraging cutting-edge mobile technologies to engage their audiences anytime, anywhere. Agencies can register their mobile products–mobile websites (including responsive design) and native apps to verify they’re mobile-friendly authoritative sources of government information.

Mobile registrations feed an API and can be leveraged by developers for a number of scenarios. Currently USA.gov leverages the API for both the Mobile Apps Directory and the Directorio Federal de Aplicaciones (Apps) Móviles that highlight agency mobile products in English and Spanish. Agencies could build their own widgets highlighting their agency’s mobile products and social media accounts by that or topic.

Developing for a mobile technology is not a fad, it’s a must. Currently, 68% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone and as that number continues to rise, they will increasingly access and expect services to work well on these devices. Federal websites are currently accessed on tablets and smartphones approximately 30% of the time, according to the Digital Analytics Dashboard. Agencies must find and engage customers at their mobile moments and the registry is just the place to verify they are doing it.

With the Registry, agencies are well on their way to providing a new generation of services that:

  • Delivers authenticated information to users across platforms, languages and topics
  • Supports cyber-security by deterring fake accounts that spread misinformation and steal personal data.
  • Improves performance reporting, data analysis and accessibility of public services

A large blue and white check mark indicating verification is displayed on a mobile phone.

A mobile registration in the U.S. Digital Registry demonstrates an agency’s commitment to serving their customers’ needs anytime, anywhere and on any device. Currently, there are only 323 mobile registrations. We know there a number of agencies with lost native apps and mobile websites (including responsive) that need to be added.

Register your mobile products on the U.S. Digital Registry now and help us spread the word!


by Jacob Parcell via DigitalGov

Bringing Agile Inside

We hear a lot about agile software development being used in work with customers and end users. User stories are developed, coders and programmers turn them into prototypes, then testing is done to make sure the features work and do what is expected. But, agile is more than a way to develop software; it’s a mindset that favors iteration over knowing everything up front.

Loop iteration sprint illustrated as a street arrow.

Connel_Design/iStock/Thinkstock

So how can you have an agile mindset inside YOUR agency? At GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), we have a process where employees “pitch” new ideas to a panel of judges for the chance to win funding and staffing.. It’s like the TV show Shark Tank — we call it The Great Pitch. Since agile favors responding to change over following a plan, we gather ideas and award funding every MONTH, instead of just in step with the yearly budget process.

OCSIT and 18F employees serve as the subject matter expert judges. They evaluate the ideas, give feedback, and present a go/no go decision to the funding team for final approval. The project proposals are judged on:

IMPACT: The potential impact of the proposed solution on citizen experience, open government, secure cloud or smarter IT delivery.

SCALABILITY: The potential scalability of the proposed solution across government.

PROBLEM UNDERSTANDING: The proposal’s understanding and explanation of the problem that needs to be solved.

CUSTOMER NEED: The proposal’s understanding of the customers that the project serves. Ideas are scored and grouped into 3 categories:

  1. Moving forward/being funded
  2. More information is needed, or the project needs to be re-scoped, or
  3. The project will not move forward or be funded
Three rows of different colored paper sticky notes on a wall.

xmee/iStock/Thinkstock

Some of the ideas that move forward are given a portion of their requested funding for discovery. In line with agile methodology, this allows a team to investigate the idea further for a short period of time (a sprint) before moving full steam ahead. This allows us to “fail fast” and not invest too much time and money in a product that is not needed. We average 10-12 ideas a month.

One of the projects funded through the Great Pitch process was the U.S. Web Design Standards. The standards are set of user interface components and visual style guide to help create consistency across all U.S. federal government websites. Federalist, another result of the pitch process, is a suite of tools designed to make it faster and cheaper for government agencies to build websites that are secure, responsive, and accessible. And the network effects go on from there. Services like Federalist are adopted, and past proposals that didn’t get funded initially honed in on a business model and now have paying clients.

At a recent event, I heard a USDA CIO say they have an Innovation Pool, similar to our Great Pitch process. HHS has an Idea Lab. So tell us, are you agile? Do you do something like this at your agency to engage employees and surface, fund and staff their ideas?


by Karen Trebon via DigitalGov

TSX down in relatively flat day for stock markets, Canadian dollar rises

TSX down in relatively flat day for stock markets, Canadian dollar rises
Montreal Gazette - 50 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar was at 73.55 cents US, up 0.49 from Wednesday's close. The April futures contract for crude oil was down 95 cents at US$31.20 per barrel.
CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls with energy stocks; financials up on bank results - Reuters

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TSX down in relatively flat day for stock markets, Canadian dollar rises

Canadian dollar and business outlook

Canadian dollar and business outlook
Western Producer (subscription) - 1 hour ago
Analysts say the loonie has likely hit its lows, and is now bouncing with the reduced likelihood of a US Federal Reserve interest rate increase, and bottoming crude oil futures.

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Ops Briefing: AMP HTML and Brotli By @LMacVittie | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

I’m not going to start with a reminder of how important app performance is. Let’s just all agree we already know this as the first app economy axiom and get on with the post payload. Actually, I know this is true because I’ve watched a staggering increase in the past year in use of web acceleration services including techniques like compression. app optimizations jan 15 to jan 16 ihealth That’s why today’s ops briefing focuses on app performance and brings to your attention two emerging efforts (yes, both from Google, are you surprised?) designed to help you obey the first app economy axiom.

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CAD to USD: The Canadian Dollar Has Hit Bottom, Analyst

CAD to USD: The Canadian Dollar Has Hit Bottom, Analyst
Profit Confidential - 46 minutes ago
The CAD to USD exchange rate will stay near its current level for at least a year, according to a recent forecast from CIBC World Markets.

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CAD to USD: The Canadian Dollar Has Hit Bottom, Analyst

Storage Analytics Engines | @CloudExpo @FalconStor #Cloud #BigData #IoT

Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, will discuss using predictive analytics to monitor and adjust functions like performance, capacity, caching, security, optimization, uptime and service levels; identify trends or patterns to forecast future requirements; detect problems before they result in failures or downtime; and convert insight into actions like changing policies, storage tiers, or DR strategies.

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Data as a Service | @CloudExpo @LakshmiLJ #Cloud #BigData #ML #IoT #M2M

Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS

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IoT Way of Thinking | @ThingsExpo @Ericsson @EsmeSwartz #IoT #M2M

The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver unique customer value for new go-to-market models based on a cloud and IoT way of working. Analytics, IoT service mashups, fail fast business models and contextual data streams enable data to become the new currency for digital citizens and businesses and will determine business success or failure.

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Feb 24, 2016

USD/CAD – Loonie Follows Oil Price Surge

USD/CAD – Loonie Follows Oil Price Surge
MarketPulse (blog) - 10 hours ago
The U.S. dollar depreciated 0.539 percent versus the Canadian dollar in a the last 24 hours that saw the loonie follow the developments in the price of oil.
Canadian Dollar Chances Of Recovery Are Optimistic - FX News Call
Canadian dollar tops 73 cents amid hopes for oil output freeze - Guide2Nigeria

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USD/CAD – Loonie Follows Oil Price Surge

Federal Cloud Through FedRAMP | @CloudExpo #Cloud #BigData #FedRAMP

The Federal Government’s “Cloud First” policy mandates that agencies take full advantage of cloud computing benefits to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a mandatory government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Advantages for business include being able to market to many federal agencies after a single FedRAMP review following the government’s “approve once, and use often” approach.

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Robert Doyle Joins @DevOpsSummit Faculty | @eCubeSystems #DevOps #Microservices

In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, Chief Technology Architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to capturing configuration information between Development, Test and Production, the case study shows how NXTmonitor can create dependencies, automate health scripts and scalable performance groups to handle peak production loads.

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Pound to Canadian Dollar Stabilizes Temporarily

Pound to Canadian Dollar Stabilizes Temporarily
Pound Sterling Live - 11 hours ago
The pound to Canadian dollar exchange rate has fallen steeply in recent days, reaching a low of to 1.9179, from the 2.000 handle, where it was only a few weeks ago - a roughly 5.0% decline in two weeks.
Canadian Dollar Strong as Oil Drop Causes Stock Market Rout - Exchange Rates UK

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Pound to Canadian Dollar Stabilizes Temporarily

WebRTC's Impact in Capital Markets | @ThingsExpo #IoT #RTC #WebRTC

WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus on building intellectual property into their platforms that support customer needs, while also providing the performance, service, and support levels expected by Fortune 100 companies.

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Low Canadian dollar could lead to Edmonton budget changes

Low Canadian dollar could lead to Edmonton budget changes
MetroNews Canada - 14 minutes ago
A Canadian dollar currently worth just three quarters of an American dollar could have a big effect on some of the city's major purchases.

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Low Canadian dollar could lead to Edmonton budget changes

Provisioning the Entire Stack | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

As we move into the world of complete datacenter automation, there is a whole new selection of issues that we are learning to resolve – from custom hardware to a variety of provisioning tools at each level of automation. These are not unexpected issues, but they certainly provide us with plenty to do while we’re trying to reduce the amount of busy work we have to do. We’re currently in the process of stringing together applications at the various layers to do server provisioning, application provisioning, and (for internal apps at least) application deployment. The options out there are a pretty broad swath that runs from all-in-one solutions like Puppet with Razor to specialized solutions hooked together to run the entire automation process. The end result is the same, the differences are in implementation, vendor lock-in, and whether a full solution that can be implemented all at once is more important to an organization than a solution that has the most suited parts that can be implemented in parallel but have to be tied together.

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Canadian dollar and business outlook
Western Producer (subscription) - 7 hours ago
WINNIPEG, February 24 The Canadian dollar weakened against its US counterpart on Wednesday, as crude oil futures fell with optimism for a production cut.

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Canadian dollar and business outlook

Continuous Delivery and Legacy Software | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

The future of software releases is clear. Continuous delivery is here to stay. But does that mean that legacy software systems and infrastructure need to be altogether abandoned? If you polled the people busy redefining best practices today, they’d agree that in a decade we’re going to be effortlessly collaborating on highly complex systems that are updated continuously. QA will...

The post Can Continuous Delivery Accommodate Legacy Software Systems? appeared first on Plutora Inc.

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Miko Matsumura Joins @DevOpsSummit Faculty | #DevOps #IoT #Microservices

One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboarding time for new developers, and how to maximize productivity according to some of the leading companies in Silicon Valley whether in the coding, build, integration, testing or deployment phase.

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Touring Top Colleges with the Peace Corps

I wanted to share our first dabble with data storytelling, a visualization supporting the Peace Corps Top Colleges initiative led by our awesome press team. Our goal was to enhance and expand the experience of the Top Colleges campaign and use of the data beyond the usual suspects like infographics, and other assets to show the reach of colleges and universities. We also wanted to connect all the earned media it receives to an overarching Peace Corps goal that is measurable (in this case lead generation) on the back end.

Screen capture of the Top Colleges Initiative website

The Peace Corps first established the current system, known as the Top Colleges Initiative, of classifying schools by large, medium and small categories and honoring the top 25 schools in each category in 2003. Prior to 2003, the rankings were broken down by large (more than 5,000 undergraduates), and small (more than 5,000 undergraduates) categories only. Some form of the rankings dates back to 1976. This year’s rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2015 data as of September 30, 2015, self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. The enrollment numbers used to designate school size are reported by the universities.

Data storytelling has been a tactic our leadership has wanted to incorporate into our marketing and communications repertoire for a while, so having the support of our Director of Communications, Melissa Silverman, and Head of Marketing, Christine Dobday, made it all possible. We are a testing culture, so we ultimately decided to go this route because we wanted to test out how this type of storytelling plays out in relation to our goals.

The data is fairly simple, we have a cross-sectional data set in an excel spreadsheet that feeds the visualization. But the most important piece of this was to bring all the key players together and on the same page. This campaign is led by our awesome press team – Press Director Erin Durney and Public Affairs Specialists Jenna Bushnell and Sarah Reichle – and they wanted to do more with the data. We worked together to determine what the key functionality should be, the design, and the overall narrative we wanted to share. After that was laid out, we worked in an agile way with a developer to build it out, reprioritizing what we wanted against the timeline and other constraints.

The technical implementation and design was straightforward, we brought on an experienced JavaScript developer for the development piece. This was important for us because we didn’t want to rely on third-party tools and deal with the process of creating and approving a Peace Corps-specific terms of service, which would have delayed the process. The technical piece took about a month but the planning started much earlier.

If other agencies want to embark on this journey and incorporate data storytelling, I recommend laying out the strategy and technical requirements early and give enough time for design, development and quality assurance. The data is obviously the key ingredient to these types of projects, so it’s important to understand what it represents and what it doesn’t, and then designing a visualization that corresponds with the narrative and goals of your campaign. We hope to incorporate this tactic more into our content marketing repertoire where appropriate.

We’re really happy how it turned out. Take the Tour and let us know what you think.


by Andrea Sigritz via DigitalGov

Encryption in the Cloud By @DarrenGuccione | @CloudExpo #BigData #IoT #ML

Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, will reveal what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.

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Agile Testing Automation | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #APM #Microservices

Agile software development is slowly but surely becoming the norm for a significant contingency of software developers. What used to be rigid, step-by-step processes that were siloed between specific teams have transformed into a collaborative, adaptive methodology that ultimately leads to the creation of superior solutions. As an integral component of software development, agile test management has also been evolving to be more accommodating to agile processes. Testing automation in particular is still coming into its role as an agile tool and, for some teams, this may create unique challenges. Still, by taking the following into consideration, testing teams can reap all the benefits of testing automation in an agile environment.

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The Data Briefing: The Challenge of Opening up Federal Government Algorithms

Algorithms are becoming more important as the amount of data grows, and the complexity of government and business processes grows. Put simply, an algorithm is just a set of steps for solving a problem. If you shop online, use an online social network or a mobile app to plan your route, then you are using an algorithm: A sophisticated algorithm that uses large amounts of data to make hundreds (or thousands) of decisions in milliseconds. Algorithms control the movement of trillions of dollars, determine the flow of goods throughout the world and whether people have the credit rating to buy a home.

World map technology

phloxii/iStock/Thinkstock

Because of the impact of algorithms in the world, the federal government has two challenges concerning algorithms. The first challenge is how businesses and nonprofits use federal government open data in third-party algorithms. For example, high-speed trading algorithms use federal government economic data to execute trades in fractions of a second. An out-of-control algorithm could cause major economic damage in the time you took to read this sentence. Other algorithms can be used to evade government regulations as a recent automaker did in circumventing emissions controls.

As there is growing concern over how the private sector uses algorithms, there is the second challenge over how the federal government uses algorithms to carry out government business. A 2015 study found the algorithms used to determine Social Security benefits contain errors in estimating demographic trends and the solvency of several federal trust funds. There have been several cases where the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was successfully used to compel federal agencies to disclose their algorithms. FOIA requests for algorithms have also been successfully denied because of privacy concerns or the possibility that such disclosure could expose a third-party’s trade secret.

Opening up federal government data has been a boon for the American economy and has helped revolutionize the delivery of government services. Opening up the design and use of algorithms in the federal government will also revolutionize the delivery of government services while increasing transparency and citizen confidence in the federal government’s operations. The harder argument is how much control the federal government should have over how federal government open data is being used in third-party algorithms. Whatever the decision, opening up federal government data is the first step in confronting the issues posed by the escalating importance of algorithms, machine learning and the Internet of Things in how the federal government will operate in the future.

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

DevOpsSummit ‘Top Influencer' | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.

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Canadian dollar has likely 'seen its worst,' CIBC says

Canadian dollar has likely 'seen its worst,' CIBC says
The Globe and Mail - 3 minutes ago
The worst is probably over for the Canadian dollar, even if “one slight dip” is still in the cards, CIBC World Markets says.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar has likely 'seen its worst,' CIBC says

IoT = Cloud + Big Data + Analytics | @ThingsExpo #Cloud #IoT #BigData

Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a foundation and necessary defense for customer and cloud solutions, cyber becomes more and more commoditized. The real impact is how do we deliver a confidence or trust to customers and their customer journey with our organizations.

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Feb 23, 2016

Mobile App Tactics and Digital Marketing | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #API #ML

Mobile apps and data collection go hand in glove. Mobile devices are powerful sensor platforms that are never more than 2 meters away from their owners 24 hours a day. These sensor platforms and the data collected from them are golden to mobile commerce vendors and digital marketers, and for that reason every business wants a mobile app. The challenge, however, is not every product or brand justifies an app.

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IoT ID Management and WebRTC | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #RTC #WebRTC

We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, looked at how this identity problem can be solved and discussed ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.

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Low Canadian dollar could mean more staycationers in BC

Low Canadian dollar could mean more staycationers in BC
CKNW News Talk 980 - 15 minutes ago
But the government is also hoping a low Canadian dollar encourages British Columbians to spend their vacation dollars at home.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Low Canadian dollar could mean more staycationers in BC

Angular 2 Overview By @YFain | @ThingsExpo #DevOps #IoT #Microservices

This article was excerpted from the book “Angular Development With TypeScript.” The Angular 2 framework is a re-write of popular framework AngularJS. In short, the newer version has the following advantages over AngularJS. The code is simpler to write and read It performs better than AngularJS The application architecture is simplified as it’s component-based/li>

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Mobile Performance Testing | @CloudExpo #DevOps #IoT #M2M #ML #BigData

If you read the title and assumed this post would be filled with baseball analogies, you’d be right! It’s game day and all those fans who fill up major league stadiums, those are your application users. They are invested in the game and have shown up to watch the players (i.e., your application) perform. Depending on how the game plays out, your audience will either head home elated or full of disappointment. The great thing is that in your case, unlike in the case of traditional baseball games, there doesn't have to be a loser. You can consistently ensure happy mobile users by setting yourself up for home runs and the crème de la crème, grand slams.

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Application Delivery Playbook | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

When major companies start getting into the nitty gritty of updating their software delivery processes, governance always pokes its head into the mix. The ability to control and secure a software release has traditionally been a hands-on experience due to its many complexities. But at what costs? As more software delivery processes become automated, the traditional manual processes used for corporate governance are creating bottlenecks that slow down software releases and promote inefficiency. Forrester recently released a new report on this subject: “Use DevOps And Supply Chain Principles To Automate Application Delivery Governance Processes: The Modern Application Delivery Playbook.” The report aims to give companies insight into state of governance processes in the software release process today, and understand how they need to evolve in order to meet the needs of tomorrow.

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Jason Bloomberg Joins @DevOpsSummit Faculty | @TheEbizWizard #DevOps #Microservices

Cloud computing is unquestionably one of the driving forces of DevOps, as the automation of operations transforms enterprise software development. DevOps, however, is more than a technology trend, as it represents a move toward silo-busting, self-organizing horizontal teams that drive business velocity. At the same time, enterprise Digital Transformation represents an upheaval across the enterprise, as customer preferences and behavior drive enterprise technology decisions. This transformation extends well beyond technology, however, as companies must rethink their organizational structure, moving toward silo-busting, self-organizing horizontal teams... sound familiar?

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Interoute Named “Bronze Sponsor” | @CloudExpo @Interoute #BigData #IoT #ML #DevOps

SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional third-party data centers across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises and many of the world’s leading service providers, as well as governments and universities.

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Commvault Bronze Sponsor in New York and Silicon Valley | @CloudExpo @Commvault

SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform modern data environments. With solutions and services delivered directly and through a worldwide network of partners and service providers, Commvault solutions comprise one of the industry’s leading portfolios in data protection and recovery, cloud, virtualization, archive, file sync and share.

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AppNeta to Exhibit at @DevOpsSummit | @AppNeta #DevOps #APM #Microservices

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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IoT Keynote at @ThingsExpo | @Citrix #IoT #M2M #API #ML #InternetOfThings

In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).

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DevOps Transformation | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #APM #Microservcies

DevOps is a far cry from the days of traditional software development. It is an amalgamated culture of attitudes, best practices and tools; a journey towards the Holy Grail of Continuous Delivery in which actions speak louder than words. To understand DevOps you have to live its values. Lip service will not suffice. This requires an often wholesale organizational change for IT departments that are often stuck in their ways. A certain amount of trust must be given to those chosen to lead the revolution, but the business still needs ways to measure success. Like in any business venture, creativity is means to an end and return on investment is everything.

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The Benefits of Being Push-y: Reaching Your Audience Through Push Notifications

Need to get in touch with your audience? Give them a little push.

Push notifications allow agencies to connect with their audiences for immediate communication. The Offie of Personnel Management’s OPM Alert app provides a real time look at the current operating status for federal offices in the Washington, DC, area and uses push technology to alert users of status changes.

Push notifications elements set

Olyzel/iStock/Thinkstock

While the most well-known use of the OPM Alert is for weather closings, the app can be used to alert users of other events: for example, the app was used to announce the lapse in federal appropriations in 2013 and the resulting office closures (and the later re-opening). Users are able to opt-in for the type of alerts they want to receive.

The app is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.

Why Push?

A developer for OPM Alert said that the app development team considered several notification options before deciding on push.

“There is no reason to do this app without the push,” the OPM developer said. “The focus of the app is: status updates at whatever time they happen. Nobody is aware or waiting for them, and they need to know that a status update has occurred via push notification. We looked at different notifications—SMS or native push—and because of costs and ease of implementation, we decided to focus on native push.”

Building the App

Because the OPM team wanted to support apps on four platforms, at the time there was only one vendor capable of doing so.

“We found [a company that] was working on their alpha API for push notifications on Windows Phone, and they had a good service level agreement (SLA) for government,” said the developer. “We went with [that company] and worked with them on their alpha. We were able to apply it with advanced segmentation: we had to allow not just push for everyone, but also for people who want push for unscheduled closing, or unscheduled telework, or other options.”

OPM needed to have the capacity to push to 100,000 addressable devices every five to ten seconds. The team considered building their own push notification server but recognized that the costs to build and maintain the server made an outside vendor more feasible.

Coordinating the Effort

Ty Hughes, Web Services Manager at OPM, said one of the most important aspects of the app from a business and customer standpoint is coordination with program offices and OPM in general.

“When the notification goes out, and we update the status on the app itself, we have to make sure the recorded message for the OPM phone line is changed in concert with the status as well as the social media feeds,” Hughes said. “Nothing would cause more confusion than conflicting messaging.”

The team conducts readiness exercises to confirm that both the apps and coordination process are running smoothly. Winter is the busiest alert season, and the team recently did a practice run in preparation. The app also sends out a push notification every night when the status updates, which is a good way for the team to test the app, the developer said. The team’s developers have the app installed, and if someone doesn’t get the daily alert, they can explore why. So far, the only time an alert didn’t arrive was due to an expired certificate, and because of the test, the issue was caught and addressed the following day.

The Push Effect

Whenever there is a possible event in the DC area, the OPM team sees a spike in traffic. When Hurricane Joaquin was coming along the east coast, there were 1,200 new downloads, compared to 100 downloads on a nice weather day.

The mobile app also has analytics that allow the team to see real time views.

“Prior to a status update, we might have a couple of hundred people on the mobile app,” the developer said.  “As we approach the time when we see updates occurring (the 3 am – 5 am time frame), we start to see Web statistics that show traffic tick up to 300 to 400 users.  When we make the update, and the notification goes out, there is an 8 minute delay between when we put it out and when the push is received (we have to clear our Akamai cache). When the push goes out, within 2 to 3 minutes, the real time users spike to 5,000 – 15,000 users. We’ve seen as high as 25,000 users on the mobile app after the alert goes out. Throughout the course of the day, we see 1 million to 2 million unique users between the app and website.”

Traffic between the mobile and desktop versions is split, with 50% typically using each platform. It’s also noteworthy that the app has been adopted outside the DC area: the app has ‘quite a few’ users in Germany that check it to see why they can’t get in touch with people in DC, the developer said.

Lessons Observed

Through observation the team has identified several issues since launching the app. Below are a few highlights:

  • Never underestimate how quickly your app can be adopted. “Luckily, we were going on the side of assuming far too aggressive adoption, but it still surpassed our expectations,” the developer said. “We over planned and could accommodate. I thought 50,000 downloads in the 1st year would be a win; in the first year, we had 200,000 downloads.”The team estimated their numbers based on what other agencies with operating status apps had seen. Currently, there have been more than 500,000 installs. The developer noted that the SLA needs to be based on addressable devices that actually receive push notifications, not on installs: Fewer people are receiving push than the total number who have installed the app.
  • Push notifications can be terrifying; plan and test accordingly.”Push notifications are so permanent once they go out,” the developer said. “You have to make sure that once users receive the notifications, everything is reflective of those notifications. The worst thing to have happen would be to have a cache that wasn’t clear, and when they clicked on the status that they see is closed, they go to the website and see something that still says open.”
  • Stay apprised of recent developments within the various mobile platforms so that you can stay on top of any updates that would affect the push notifications.“We’ve been lucky that [the company we work with] handles Apple, Android, Microsoft, and Blackberry push platform updates for us,” the developer said. “But, I know people who have built their own server solutions and run into extended periods of downtime because of changes at the end point that they were not aware of until something actually broke.” Recently the team released v 2.0.1 of the app to make it compatible with iOS9.

Looking Ahead

Although the OPM Alert app is currently limited to the DC region, there are many ideas on how it can be expanded.

“We are interested in introducing geolocation, so if you are in a field office you can update,” Hughes said. “We are also looking at leveraging this app for an internal notification system and for segmentations. For example, if there is an all OPM alert that goes out over the device instead of an email, we want to be able to segment: all of CIO, all of the Office of Communications, all of ‘Field Office X’ for example.”

There are several reasons segmentation would be beneficial, Hughes said. For example: if there was a power outage in the DC office, and some people are in the building and others are teleworking, it could impact communication channels. Users could get that alert on their phone. It could also be used for alerting employees of a cybersecurity issue, like a virus being circulated through email.

The developer noted that while push is effective, there are limitations.

“We use a native app, but it requires a smartphone,” the developer said. “What about people who are not in that scenario? We knew our population and what our target was. To expand outside of a native app, for something like SMS, we’d have to use something other than push notifications, and that’s when we get into the charges that come along with messaging rates. It would be interesting how we’d handle that in the future if it becomes a requirement. We use an API that could be expanded, and it could be expanded to include SMS notification.”


by Ashley Wichman via DigitalGov

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