Sep 30, 2016

Adobe @CloudExpo Bronze Sponsor | #AdobeB2B #IoT #M2M #DigitalMarketing

Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not only to make great content, but to manage, measure and monetize it for maximum impact.

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Cloud Expo Drives IT | @CloudExpo @IoT2040 #IoT #APM #DevOps #BigData

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

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Manufacturing Disruption with #IIoT | @ThingsExpo #IoT #API #BigData

Industrial IoT continues to cause disruption; not just in manufacturing, but across many other industries as well. In the last few months we’ve been keeping a pulse on the state of digital transformation across the business landscape and have been discovering exciting new implementations of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This week we’re highlighting the disruption Industrial IoT is instigating as product development and lifecycle management continues to evolve.

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[video] #Blockchain Keynote at @CloudExpo | #IoT #M2M #Bitcoin #Ethereum

In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereum.

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[session] Introducing #VPaaS | @ThingsExpo #USaaS #IoT #RTC #WebRTC

Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your audience anywhere, in an enterprise grade secured environment, low-level video ingestion, processing, management, distribution, and playback. And experience microservices, the Big Data analytics to answer all your end-user consumption and behavior questions.

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Creating Wall-Sized Interaction at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

As any experienced retailer will tell you, the customer experience begins at the store entrance. Note the friendly Walmart greeter, the approachable minimalism of an Apple Store, and the calculated whimsy of Anthropologie. Store designers understand that a customer’s decision to make a purchase is often made within seconds of entering.

The same holds true for visitors entering a museum. And while most museums are not expert peddlers of merchandise (though some museum stores certainly are), the savvy ones value the entrance experience and work to iterate and improve.

Interactive wall at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) entrance.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum faced challenges orienting visitors to its expansive building and impressive array of exhibitions. According to a 2013 visitor study (PDF icon PDF, 191 kb, 19 pages), “two in five visitors found the entrance inviting, but one in five did not know which way to go next; one in five thought it looked too empty; one in ten couldn’t see if there was an information desk; and one in ten found it confusing.”

This finding revealed a potential pain-point in a visitor’s experience. It also spotlighted a huge opportunity: tackling the problem would improve the overall impression of roughly 6 million annula visitors. The museum proceeded with plans to revamp, and on July 1st of this year, reopened a transformed introductory space, the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. The new installation features a streamlined look, a more open and spacious floor plan, and a new Welcome Center. It is designed to grab visitors’ attention with iconic objects like Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and the Apollo Lunar Module, and entice them to explore the rest of the museum and its collection.

To help orient and excite visitors, the museum went big – a 12 by 16 ft. interactive wall to be exact. The wall is made up of 21 panels, with the lower (and reachable) portion being touchscreen. Plainly visible from the Jefferson Drive entrance, the wall draws visitors through the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall and provides an illuminated canvas to touch, move, and learn about items from the museum’s collection.

The wall is a surprisingly kinetic experience. Museum objects like the 1903 Wright Flyer and Amelia Earhart’s flight goggles are framed inside bubble-like circles, waiting to be tapped and explored. Visitors, especially children, love to swirl and “throw” the bubbles in various directions. Powered by a virtual physics engine, the bubbles bounce off each other and interact in a life-like manner.

Close up on Space module on interactive wall at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

Taking more time with the wall reveals thoughtful information architecture and a simple interface. Visitors can tap museum objects already floating on the screen, or they can drill into major themes like People, Aviation, and Space. Tapping “Space,” for example, reveals space-related objects and sub-themes that can be further explored like Exploration, Spacecraft, and Human Spaceflight. Each object has a short description and a floor map showing its location in the museum. Objects can be added to a personal favorites list on the museum’s new GO FLIGHT app via a unique PIN number.

The interactive wall was built after many months of ideation, prototyping, and user testing. At the outset, the team established core objectives, namely:

  • give an overall impression of the museum and its underlying curatorial theme (“aviation and human spaceflight transform the world”);
  • orient visitors to the collection and help them find items on display;
  • promote and connect to the GO FLIGHT app;
  • and be a short experience that keeps people moving and doesn’t impede traffic flow.

Prototyping a wall-sized interactive proved challenging. While the overall process was no different from prototyping for desktop or mobile, the outsized scale was sometimes unwieldy. The team drafted full-length paper prototypes, hung them with masking tape at the same height the real interactive would be, and tested them with museum visitors. To model interaction, the prototypes were composed of multiple sheets of paper. Every time a user tapped the “screen” two staff members would hang a new sheet, simulating a user’s journey through the interface.

Paper prototyping and user testing for the interactive wall at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

The team conducted three rounds of paper prototyping, testing with five or six visitors each time. Every round provided valuable insights and swayed the design direction. Staff debated the merits of including a search box to help people find museum objects, but prototype testing quickly showed the feature was of little interest to visitors. The original interface of slide-out menus and in-depth filters was abandoned after observing people getting lost and confused. After prototyping with paper, the full-sized wall was created by Bluecadet, an interactive design firm in Philadelphia. Testing the live touchscreen experience with school groups and adults resulted in multiple iterations and finer design improvements.

The project was further informed by a model of museum visitor types by Dr. John Falk, author of Identity and the Museum Experience. Falk’s model identifies five key types of museum visitors: explorers, facilitators, experience seekers, professionals/hobbyists, and rechargers. Each type holds certain behaviors, for example an “experience seeker” prioritizes seeing iconic, must-see objects, and an “explorer” is inclined to follow their curiosity and take a more serendipitous path. Keeping Falk’s visitor types in mind helped the team design for varying user needs and motivations.

The interactive wall has been on display for three months now and the team is closely following its metrics. In fact, one of the first post-launch tweaks was to configure Google Analytics to run more effectively on the wall. Looking at the numbers so far, the team wants to better promote the GO FLIGHT app and increase the number of people who sync with the app from the wall.

Woman using the interactive wall.

Photograph by Eric Long, Smithsonian Institution

Observations and informal conversations with visitors show the wall is accomplishing its main objectives: orienting people and providing an entrĂ©e to the museum’s contents. The team plans to conduct formal focus groups for detailed insights, but just a few minutes of watching reveals the wall’s gravitational pull—upon entering the building, eager children and families walk up with their curiosity piqued. Some engage quickly and instinctively, others take their time and dive deeper into the content. And some people stay at a distance, gazing at the wall as if it’s a piece of digital media art. Regardless, visitors leave the wall with a bounce in their step, having experienced something unique and sensory, ready to go off and explore the museum.

 

(All references to specific brands and/or companies are used only for illustrative purposes and do not imply endorsement by the U.S. federal government or any federal government agency.)

Is your agency using innovative technologies to enhance user experience? Let us know in the comments below or send us an email.

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by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Further Enhancing the Federal Government’s Privacy Practices

Summary: The Office of Management and Budget is releasing updated guidance on the role and designation of Senior Agency Officials for Privacy.

The digital economy has transformed how citizens interact with their Government. Government services related to immigration, student loans, health insurance, and veterans’ benefits are just a sample of the services now available online. By leveraging technology and innovation, the Administration is significantly improving the Federal Government’s ability to provide better citizen-centered services and helping Americans engage with their Government in new and meaningful ways. At the same time, we’re working to ensure that the Government’s privacy practices evolve to appropriately reflect the Government’s use of these ever-changing technologies, while also maintaining America’s position as a leader in innovation.

Digital security concept

MF3d/iStock/Thinkstock

As a part of these continued efforts, today the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is releasing updated guidance on the role and designation of Senior Agency Officials for Privacy (SAOPs)—leaders who have agency-wide responsibility and accountability for the agency’s privacy program. Last issued over a decade ago, the revised guidance updates the role and responsibilities of SAOPs in light of recent innovations in technology and advancements in information analytics so that agencies are better positioned to address the new and complex challenges of the information age.

Specifically, the updated guidance:

  • Requires the head of each agency to assess the management, structure, and operation of the agency’s privacy program, and, if necessary, designate or re-designate an official to serve as the SAOP;
  • Makes clear that the SAOP must serve in a central leadership position and have the necessary authority and expertise to lead the agency’s privacy program and carry out all privacy-related functions; and
  • Requires the SAOP to take a central role at the agency in policy development and evaluation, privacy compliance, and privacy risk management.

The guidance released today recognizes that the success of an agency’s privacy program depends upon its leadership. Further, the guidance joins a growing list of actions this Administration has taken to support the Federal Government’s protection of privacy, such as issuing the updated Circular A-130 to help ensure that agencies take a coordinated approach to addressing privacy and information security and establishing a Federal Privacy Council to coordinate and share ideas, best practices, and successful approaches for protecting privacy across the Government.

As President Obama has stated, privacy has been at the heart of our democracy from its inception, and we need it now more than ever. Moving forward, we’ll continue to work with our agency partners to reinforce the Administration’s commitment to enhancing the Government’s privacy practices and delivering on the actions outlined in Executive Order 13719.

Marc Groman is the Senior Advisor for Privacy at the Office of Management and Budget.

This post was originally published on the Office of Management and Budget Blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Hacking Wars and #MachineLearning | @CloudExpo #API #ML #BigData

It feels like the barbarians are continually at the gate. We can’t seem to go more than a week before a new data breach is in the news, impacting potentially millions of individuals. The targets range from companies like Omni Hotels, which had been breached affecting up to 50,000 customers whose personal and credit card information was exposed, to North Carolina State University, where over 38,000 students’ personal information, including their SSNs, were at risk. As I mentioned in a recent blog ‘Internet of Things and Big Data – who owns your data?’, we have been storing our personal and credit card information in a variety of systems, credit card companies, banks, online retailers, hotels - and that’s just naming a few. The information in those systems is more valuable than gold to the hackers. The hacker attacks are constant, creative, and changing frequently.

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[session] Embedded #IoT Device Security | @ThingsExpo #BigData #IIoT #M2M

Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security has to be weaved into processes without affecting operational reliability, uptime, efficiency and safety requirements. This issue is compounded by the magnitude of smart and connected devices that are projected to be disseminated throughout the network in all verticals.

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Vendors and Government Strengthen Partnership at Technology Industry Day

On September 8th, the General Services Administration (GSA) held a Technology Industry Day to talk to industry leaders about the products and solutions developed by our agency and to hear feedback on how we can better engage industry. We’re thrilled that more than 300 members of the technology industry in person and via the live stream were able to join us for this first step towards a closer partnership and more open lines of communication about how we can work together to transform federal technology.

Technology Industry Day title slide.

As GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said in her opening remarks, “Government can be ever changing, and I want us to be in partnership in making those changes.” The Technology Transformation Service (TTS) is already absorbing the first-mover risk of introducing modern tools and techniques, but we know that only with the help of industry will this transformation be able to spread across the federal government. As we all bring agile methodologies, human-centered design, and modular design to the government, the opportunity to improve federal digital services is immense.

“For me, the future is a future where every public facing government service is easy to understand, is a pleasure to use, works on whatever device you’re visit it on, and gives you fast, efficient service,” said Aaron Snow, Deputy Director of TTS.

If you weren’t able to attend, you can watch the first two hours of the event below and download the slidedeck from the morning presentation.

Find out more about the projects and platforms we talked about during the Technology Industry Day.

Agile BPA

The Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement is a pre-selected pool of vendors specializing in agile delivery services (for example, user-centered design, agile software development, DevOps), developed in partnership by TTS and the Federal Acquisition Service. Agile BPA vendors have built or are building solutions for the Department of Labor, the Office of Personnel Management, the Environmental Protection Agency and more. Learn more about the principles and practices that are driving the Agile BPA. Learn more from Dave Zvenyach and Paul Summers in their Agile BPA lightning talk.

Micro-purchasing

Micro-purchasing is a process is where the federal government makes small procurements to directly buy products and services, as long as the price does not exceed $3,500. Currently, we’re using that process to buy small pieces of open source software and design through the Micro-purchase Marketplace. This process has allowed clients to add valuable features to their products through quick, inexpensive purchases. Hear more about this and other acquisition projects from Alla Seiffert.

cloud.gov

cloud.gov is a shared platform built for government that allows agencies to securely deploy systems to the cloud. It takes care of baseline security and scalability concerns and allows federal teams to focus on delivering quality products. We expect cloud.gov to receive FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authority to Operate in November. We’re also building a system to help automate risk management documentation. Read more blog posts about cloud.gov and watch Bret Mogilefsky’s lightning talk.

DATA Act

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) is a law that, once implemented, will make it easier to understand how the federal government spends money. 18F has been working with the Department of the Treasury to successfully implement the law and help Treasury adopt some modern practices, like working in the open. Renata Maziarz from the Treasury talked about the benefits she’s seen from working in the open.

We have a lot of auditors. We probably have more auditors than we have staff. Working in the open is the best thing because we can just say “Hey, take a look at our open JIRA board. Hey, go take a look at our GitHub site. Everything is out in the open. You’re welcome to comment or question.” I love open.

Hear more about the project from Bryce Pippert, part of the Booz Allen Hamilton team also working on DATA Act implementation.

California Child Welfare System

Last year, California began a process to replace their child welfare services case management system. Through a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, 18F was able to work on behalf of HHS with California’s Department of Social Services and Office of Systems Integration and Code for America to simplify the contracting documents and to incorporate modular contracting, agile development, user-centered design, and open source practices into their project. Hear more from Stuart Drown, the California Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Accountability, about the project.

login.gov

We’re building an authentication platform to make online interactions with the U.S. government simple, efficient and intuitive. This platform will be a service shared by agencies to streamline logging in and to allow the public to securely access personal information and federal government services. Read the Identity Playbook the team is using to guide their work and watch Joel Minton’s lightning talk about the project.

What’s next

The Technology Industry Day generated a heap of valuable feedback and potential opportunities for GSA and industry to work together to better serve the public. We’re going through our notes and following up with the participants now, and we plan to publicly share more thoughts and insights from the sessions soon.

Until then, you can sign up the 18F Acquisitions email list or the general 18F newsletter to stay up to date with all of our projects (or follow our work as it happens on GitHub). If you’d like to start a conversation about working with 18F or have questions about our work, you can email [email protected].

Thanks to everyone who came to the event. Stay tuned for more focused events in the future.

This post was originally published on the 18F blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

[video] @HGSTStorage Approach to #Storage | @CloudExpo #SDS #DataCenter

Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discussed how a new approach is necessary, one that supports the attributes of the cloud with the millions of applications and users depending on it for their business and personal lives. Object storage is the millennial approach to cloud-based data storage, archival, retrieval and cost. Why? Because it delivers significantly higher data reliability and allows virtually unlimited expansion for storage. Perfect for a hash-tagging, selfie-taking, always communicating and collaborating in an on-demand world.

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Climbs as GDP Beats Estimate

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Climbs as GDP Beats Estimate
MarketPulse (blog) - 22 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar has posted considerable gains in Friday's North American session. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3020.

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Climbs as GDP Beats Estimate

[session] Holistic IoTification | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #DigitalTransformation

Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this framework: Anatomy, Ramp-up, Use case, Business case, Architecture, Technology selection, Implementation, and Platform (ARUBA TIP). The interdisciplinary techniques and anti-patterns of this method will be discussed, along with best practices and lessons learned, to help organizations transform to and enable IoT effectively.

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Canadian dollar strengthens the most in nearly 4 weeks as oil soars

Canadian dollar strengthens the most in nearly 4 weeks as oil soars
Yahoo News - Sep 28, 2016
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened the most in nearly four weeks against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices soared on a deal by major oil producers to limit output.

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Canadian dollar strengthens the most in nearly 4 weeks as oil soars

Shift in IIoT #Monitoring | @ThingsExpo #IoT #IIoT #M2M #DigitalTransformation

There’s been a seismic shift in monitoring earthquakes via the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with advanced Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology having reshaped the industrial communication industry. Every device or machine along the network, even at the outermost edge, now has the opportunity to be fully-connected for automated collection and delivery of information. As Sensor-2-Server (S2S) communication technology evolves to keep up with the demand for this connectivity paradigm, new efficiencies are created and Big Data is available to drive actionable intelligence.

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Sep 29, 2016

M2M and #MachineLearning | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #IIoT #API #BigData

Time and again, those keeping a pulse on the Internet of Things (IoT) space frequently hear about the “rise of the machines.” Humanity is not only discovering fascinating ways to integrate machines into our daily lives, but also finding new uses for machines as well. How? Machines are now “internet-connected” just like the smartphones we carry around in our pockets. And this isn’t just on the commercial side with the likes of smart thermostats or connected vehicles – even tractors and oil and gas machinery are industrial examples of where new “things” are now on the digital network.

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[slides] #Kubernetes Cluster and #Ansible | @DevOpsSummit #Docker #DevOps

Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MySQL cluster as a Kubernetes application.

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Digital Transformation | @CloudExpo #BigData #IoT #DigitalTransformation

Those that lead are able to collect and analyze data that followers can't. Think about the first climber to reach the top of the mountain, they have a new and different view slower followers don't. If you believe, as I do, that understanding data is the secret sauce of the digitally transformed enterprise, then having data not available to your competitors is a treasure! Those that achieve digital transformation before their competitors will have advantages - and advantages have advantages. Not only do they have new experiences and new data to analyze and understand, they are able to develop and implement new strategies that make no sense to slower competitors without access to the new data. The digitally transformed can act on data invisible to slower competitors.

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as OPEC Deal Questioned

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as OPEC Deal Questioned
MarketPulse (blog) - 12 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar depreciated on Thursday erasing the gains from a day earlier when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced an oil output cut surprising the market who was expecting a freeze.
Canadian Dollar Unable to Push Pound Below key Support Level Despite OPEC Deal - Pound Sterling Live
Pound vs Canadian Dollar X-Rate Falls 2 Cents after Surprising OPEC News - Exchange Rates UK

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower as OPEC Deal Questioned

NASA: Open Gov Plan 2016 Outline

Here is the outline for our 2016 Open Government Plan. Let us know what you think. We’ve also posted this on GitHub/NASA for your comments: https://github.com/nasa/Open-Gov-Plan-v4.

NASA and Open Government

NASA is an open government agency based on the founding legislation in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which calls for participation and sharing in the conduct of how we go about the business of expanding the frontiers of knowledge, advancing understanding of the universe, and serving the American public.

Map of Mars Gravity

NASA

From 2010 to date, NASA’s Open Government Initiative has matured, evolved, and adapted to shifting priorities in leadership from the White House, Office of Management and Budget, and NASA executives. The original tenets have not changed; however, the application of open government principles — participation, transparency, and openness — are applied according to priorities of agency leadership.

NASA Organizational Structure

 NASA Organizational Structure

NASA

Cross-cutting Objectives:

The first two Open Gov Plans cite the following five cross-cutting objectives, which still apply:

  1. Increase Agency transparency and accountability to external stakeholders,
  2. Enable citizen participation in NASA missions (prizes and challenges, citizen science),
  3. Improve internal NASA collaboration and innovation,
  4. Encourage partnerships that can create economic opportunity, and
  5. Institutionalize Open Gov philosophies and practices at NASA.

What’s New

Since the last Open Gov Plan in 2014, we’ve made significant progress enriching and enhancing the foundations laid by previous Plans. Though some of these activities listed in this section are not new, we’ve added new capabilities and capacities to continue this good work, as we move forward into the next two years. Here is a top-level look at projects we love. And by the participant response we’ve seen so far, you love them too. This is your opportunity to give feedback.

Keeping Track: From Then to Now

We heard from citizens that tracking progress across all the Plans [2010, 2012, 2014 and now 2016] is difficult. To address this, we collected all the activities from previous Plans. When we publish the plan, these two sections will be organized in a matrix format for easy reference, with an update on progress, and whether or not the activity is complete, closed out, or ongoing. At this point, we’ve listed them with the year we introduced them into our Open Gov Plans.

Historical and Ongoing Activities included in previous Open Gov Plans

  • Freedom of Information Act: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Congressional requests: 2010, 2012, 2016
  • Declassification: 2010, 2014, 2016
  • Records Management: 2010, 2014, 2016
  • Procurement: 2010
  • Web Initiatives: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 (Flagship in 2012)
  • NASA TV: 2010
  • Education Activities: 2010
  • Space Communication and Navigation: 2010
  • Centennial Challenges: 2010
  • Space Act agreements: 2010
  • Tech Transfer: 2010
  • Engineering Network and NASA Technical Report Server: 2010
  • NASA and Data.gov: 2010, 2016
  • Financial Transparency: 2010, 2016
  • Access and Utilization of NASA Science Data: 2010, 2016
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer: 2010
  • Open Innovation Projects: 2010, 2016
  • Open Data: 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Open Source Software: 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Technology Accelerators: 2012
  • Prizes and Challenges: 2012
  • Citizen Science: 2012, 2016
  • Educational Infrastructure: 2010
  • Zero Robotics: 2010
  • IT Labs: 2012
  • PhoneSat: 2012
  • Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation: 2012, 2016
  • Scientific and Technical Information: 2012
  • Collaborative Spaces: 2012
  • Open Government Directory: 2012
  • Collaborative Code Repository: 2014, 2016
  • Digital Strategy: 2014
  • Proactive Disclosures: 2014, 2016
  • Public Notice: 2014, 2016
  • Privacy: 2014, 2016
  • Whistleblower Protection: 2014, 2016

Flagship Initiatives: Historical Plan Matrix

  • Open Source Software Development: 2010, 2016
  • NO LONGER ACTIVE – Nebula: 2010
  • Participatory Exploration Office: 2010
  • NASA Web Environment: 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Climate Data Initiative: 2012
  • NASA Information Architecture and Management: 2014
  • Asteroid Grand Challenge: 2014

Conclusion

We believe NASA will continue to lead federal agencies as we experiment with and create innovative frameworks for citizen participation in our journey to explore the universe of knowledge about our existence in the universe. We understand that not every human will touch space…yet, but in the meantime, we will endeavor to provide opportunities for citizens to engage with us in meaningful ways, and continue to provide access to our research, technology, and data so that it can be used to make their lives better.

This post was originally published on the openNASA blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

[session] How to Monetize Your Data | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #BI #BigData

Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization in a “as-a-service” cloud model, and discuss the role that the data lake plays in monetizing the organization’s growing wealth of data.

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Voices of Veterans: Introducing Personas to Better Understand Our Customers

Understanding our Veterans and their unique needs and experiences is at the heart of creating a more Veteran-centered VA. By listening to their voices and the stories they share, we can design services and experiences that meet the needs of Veterans.

Vietnam Veteran wearing a 101st Airborne Division hat.

VA Center for Innovation

Taking a step towards a deeper understanding of our Veterans, in the fall of 2014, the Veteran’s Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) launched its second Human-Centered design research program. We traveled across the country and spoke to over one hundred Veterans from a variety of backgrounds. Through their voices, we identified seven distinct personas to represent the range of Veterans’ attitudes, wants, and needs with respect to the VA. These personas, and the experiences and needs they represent are being used to transform the VA into a more Veteran-centered, and responsive, service provider. Cynthia and Randy are two of the personas — all of which are based off of interviews with Veterans — we identified, the rest of which can be found in our report.

A woman sorts through documents.

VA Center for Innovation

Though Cynthia and Randy are both Veterans, their experiences both in service and after separating are different. They both have different needs and expectations of the VA. Cynthia is a recent business school graduate who founded a company with one of her friends, while Randy is a recovering alcoholic who is trying to get his life back on track, and find stable work. Too often the VA has viewed Cynthia and Randy through the same lens and provided the same services, but in order to become a more Veteran-centered VA, we must recognize their unique experiences and tailor our services to meet them. Cynthia is double-timing to success; she’s moving onward and upwards. She wants a VA that is convenient and easy, a platform to jump-start her career and available whenever she needs it. Randy needs a support system and guidance through his recovery process. He needs a VA that will help him create a stable routine and support him without judgement. Being Veteran-Centered means listening and responding to the needs of our Veterans; Cynthia and Randy are both Veterans, but they have different needs. The better we are at understanding the different needs of our different Veterans, the better we will be at designing and providing the right services.

“VA implies being stuck and needing help. That’s not how I see myself,” — Cynthia

Photo of a woman for the "Cynthia" persona.

Simon Fraser University/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A Fast Tracker, Cynthia needs a VA that is able to adapt to her lifestyle. Cynthia, and other Fast Trackers, are guiding us to develop access to digital services and touchpoints to enable quick, effective interactions that make her communication with the VA fast and easy. Although Cynthia may view VA services solely as a fallback, we can ensure that through improved communication, she understands how the VA can support her if times get tough or her health declines.

“VA is like a family. A dysfunctional family,” — Randy

Photo of a man for the "Randy" persona.

Fred Mancosu/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Randy, a Day-By-Day, is dependent on the VA despite having mixed feelings towards the organization. To help Randy, the VA can continue to integrate with other social service providers, such as Medicare and Social Security, to broaden his support network. From a preventative standpoint, VA can track potential high-risk individuals early in their military career and closely monitor them as they transition out in hopes that with additional support, Veterans like Randy can have a more positive experience upon leaving the military.

A pile of Post-It notes.

VA Center for Innovation

Our other personas include Proud Patriots like Victor; loyal to the VA, he views visits as a social outing where he can interact with friends. Eduardo, a Veteran Supporter, who is not a Veteran himself but needs help navigating VA services as he struggles to care for his son who experienced a traumatic brain injury in combat. Cynthia, Randy, Victor, and Eduardo represent real Veterans’ attitudes, wants, and needs. By using them as our guides and advisers, we can determine if we are creating programs and initiatives that will have a positive impact on a Veteran’s life. Through our personas, we can better understand how to tailor our services to the needs of our Veterans and are one step closer to creating a more Veteran-centered VA.

Since producing our Voices of Veterans report, the personas we helped to developed are in use across the VA, as VA employees and VA sites work to better understand and design for the needs of the Veterans who seek care and services.

Read the full report here (PDF icon PDF; 7.6 MB, 34 pages) to learn more about our methodology, what we learned and the stories of our other personas.

This post was originally published on Medium by the VA Center for Innovation.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Explanations for web host fines vague

The latest case concerns web hosting company WebSupport, whose ... While they were sanctioned €80,000 for registering four foreign domains, the ...
by via Google Alert - DOMAIN REGISTRATION HOSTING

[video] #DigitalTransformation Keynote | @ThingsExpo #BI #IoT #CIO #BigData

A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our personal and professional realm of connected devices.

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[slides] @AndiMann's #DevOps Presentation | @DevOpsSummit #Monitoring

Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful feedback on DevOps processes to all stakeholders. Learn from real-life examples how to use the data generated throughout application delivery to continuously identify, measure, and improve deployment speed, code quality, process efficiency, outsourcing value, security coverage, audit success, customer satisfaction, and business alignment.

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Taming the Digital Dragon | @CloudExpo #IoT #BigData #DigitalTransformation

In their 2014 CIO Agenda report Gartner describe how ‘Taming the Digital Dragon‘ is key to Digital Transformation strategies, with the Hybrid Cloud Platform model as the enabling technology blueprint AND business model. As their ‘We are here' arrow describes Gartner propose we are at the transition point from a second to a third generation of IT, the shift from IT industrialization to Digitization, where the key skills of a CIO are business models and digital leadership, rather than just IT service management aka a shift from the CIO to the CDO - Chief Digital Officer.

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Configuration with #Jenkins | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #ContinuousIntegration

As applications are promoted from the development environment to the CI or the QA environment and then into the production environment, it is very common for the configuration settings to be changed as the code is promoted. For example, the settings for the database connection pools are typically lower in development environment than the QA/Load Testing environment. The primary reason for the existence of the configuration setting differences is to enhance application performance. However, occasionally there are instances where the application code is mistakenly promoted into production without changing these settings. In such cases, such promotion of code can cause performance havoc in the production environment. This blog describes one such scenario.

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Sep 28, 2016

HTTPS Is Not Faster Than HTTP | @DevOpsSummit #WebPerf #DataCenter

Yes, Lori has been reading the Internet again. And what she’s been seeing makes baby Lori angry. It also makes this former test designer and technology editor cry. Really, I weep at both the excuses offered for such testing and the misleading headline. I have read no less than two contrived comparisons of “HTTPS” and “HTTP” in the last two weeks purporting to demonstrate that secure HTTP is inarguably faster than its plaintext counterpart, HTTP.

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Listless Ahead of US Durables

USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Listless Ahead of US Durables
MarketPulse (blog) - 11 hours ago
The Canadian dollar is almost unchanged on Wednesday. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3220. On the release front, In the US, today's key events are durable goods orders.

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USD/CAD – Canadian Dollar Listless Ahead of US Durables

Canadian Dollar Value Could Plummet To Around 70 Cents US Next Year

Canadian Dollar Value Could Plummet To Around 70 Cents US Next Year
Huffington Post Canada - 57 minutes ago
Enjoy a loonie worth 76 American cents while you can. It could fall even further next year. That's the conclusion reached by Martin Roberge, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity Corp.
Loonie rally is over and the currency is heading back to low 70s, says analyst - Financial Post

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Canadian Dollar Value Could Plummet To Around 70 Cents US Next Year

[session] GE's #IoT Connected Airports | @ThingsExpo #M2M #API #BigData

The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical deep dive into the solution delivered via the IoT Cloud platform. It will also address the regulatory change IATA Red 753 from the airline regulatory body around end-to-end custody of the baggage.

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Canadian dollar strengthens the most in nearly 4 weeks as oil soars

Canadian dollar strengthens the most in nearly 4 weeks as oil soars
Reuters Canada - 3 minutes ago
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened the most in nearly four weeks against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices soared on a deal by major oil producers to limit output.

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Canadian dollar strengthens the most in nearly 4 weeks as oil soars

Russian ruble, Canadian dollar rise on OPEC deal news

Russian ruble, Canadian dollar rise on OPEC deal news
MarketWatch - 1 hour ago
Commodity-linked currencies like the Russian ruble and Canadian dollar firmed on Wednesday after a news report said that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had reached a deal to cap oil output.

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Russian ruble, Canadian dollar rise on OPEC deal news

The Data Briefing: A New Perspective on the Digital Transformation of Government

One day, at an unnamed agency, the Outlook server crashed. The server stayed down for the rest of the afternoon. Deprived of email and meeting calendars, employees wandered around trying to remember what meetings they had to attend. Other employees went searching for people who they ordinarily would email. There was confusion that made people realize just how dependent they were on a single software program. As the Federal government moves toward digital transformation, I have been thinking about how agencies can best weather the transition from legacy systems to the cloud-based, agile applications.

Hand pushing cloud connectivity icon.

Melpomenem/iStock/Thinkstock

I recently read a book in which the author argues that our technology has become so complex, that we need to view our technologies with a biological perspective. He gives examples of complex, barely comprehensible systems such as the financial trading systems, the air traffic control systems, and even laptops. It is also not just technology; our legal systems have also become so complex that no one can fully comprehend how all of the laws and regulations work together. Experts can understand pieces of the whole system, but the entire system and its totality of interactions are unknowable to a single mind.

Technology and legal systems become complex because of the need to model reality (which is complex itself), the accretion of components upon components, and interactions between parts of the systems. Think about the word processing program you use. The modern word processing program has millions of lines of code and hundreds of more features than the first word processing programs. Word processing programs grew because of increasing demands for new features such as desktop publishing, mail merges, and publishing online documents. Code modules are layered upon code modules (accretion) and the interactions between the code modules increased. Rapidly increasing interactions has led to unexpected and unpredictable behaviors that emerge as more code modules that interact with each other.

Abstract modular technology background

pixelparticle/iStock/Thinkstock

So, what does this have to do with Federal government data? A great deal. According to the author, we view our complex systems with “physics thinking.” In physics thinking, we abstract our complex systems to make them more comprehensible. We throw out details and simplify how the system operates. Physics thinking works well when dealing with physical systems in which one electron is exactly like another electron.

However, when viewing an ecosystem, throwing out details and simplifying the ecosystem means we miss subtle interactions with more impact than the interactions seemingly would. These subtle interactions that create emergent behaviors that can upend our best efforts to predict how the system will behave in certain situations. According to the author, we need to shift to “biological thinking” in which we expect a system to evolve in unexpected ways and to manifest new behaviors. Admit that we will not fully understand the systems and expect unexpected behaviors.

With the biological perspective, the author argues that we can better prepare for the occasions when the complex system manifests bugs or fails. Admittedly, this is vague advice. To expand upon this advice, I recommend using the microservices-oriented architecture in which systems are composed of single purpose, self-contained services that collaborate in providing an application. Applications built using microservices continue to function even when some of the microservices fail. Microservice-based applications are loosely-coupled so failing components can quickly be separated from the rest of the application containing the spread of the failure. Microservices are probably the closest we will come to an ecosystem-like way of building applications.

As the Federal government agencies move to digitally transform themselves, a great opportunity reinvents how the agencies operate internally and how agencies deliver government services. The legacy systems that the agencies built operated well for the times they were built. However, new technologies give agencies unprecedented opportunities to innovate their processes and customer service. It just takes a change in perspective to realize the possibilities.

Each week, The Data Briefing showcases the latest federal data news and trends. Visit this blog every week to learn how data is transforming government and improving government services for the American people. If you have ideas for a topic or have questions about government data, please contact me via email.

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

SoftLayer "Platinum Sponsor" of @CloudExpo | #DataCenter #IoT #SDS #ML

SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.

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[session] @ReadyTalk Platform | @CloudExpo #IoT #UcaaS #RTC #WebRTC

Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovative project that reflects shifts in cloud, dev tools, web standards, enterprise mobility and video. Lessons learned could help your company take a similar plunge that will reshape your product portfolio and culture for years to come.

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Lee Atchison Presentation @CloudExpo | @NewRelic #DataCenter #Monitoring

In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.

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The New Vote.gov: Leaner, Faster and Multi-Lingual

One year ago this week, we launched vote.gov (also known as vote.usa.gov). It’s a concise and simple site with a single mission: direct citizens through the voter registration process as quickly as possible. It was created by a joint team of USA.gov staffers and Presidential Innovation Fellows, all of whom work within the General Services Administration (GSA).

Did it work? Yes. In fact, it worked so well that Facebook made it the destination for their 2016 voter registration drive. Last Friday, it received over five million user visits, among the highest count ever recorded by a U.S. government website in a single day.

Screen capture of the new vote.gov homepage.

It was a good site, but there was room for improvement. The site was only available in English.The pages for individual states did not have URLs, so it was hard to share them with other people. We weren’t sure if the front page really needed to be that long.

So, earlier this year, USA.gov worked together with 18F to research, prototype, test, and implement an improved version of vote.gov.

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we’re launching this new version.

The changes are small, but significant:

  • The whole site is now available in Spanish.
  • Thanks to usability testing and analytics, we realised we could remove much of the front page content. The site entrance is now considerably leaner and faster: the total data that a user has to download is less than one-third of the previous amount.
  • The visual design has been updated, and is now based on another USAGov & 18F collaboration: the US Web Design Standards.
  • The site is fully functional without JavaScript.
  • All parts of the site are reachable via URLs, which allows people to share individual state pages directly in  either English or Spanish.

The largest change will be totally invisible to most users: we’ve switched from a bespoke single HTML page to a multi-page site deployed on 18F’s cloud.gov application platform. This gives our development process more flexibility, and made the above improvements much easier to implement. If this is the aspect that most interests you, feel free to take a look at the source code. As always with our open source projects: code contributions are welcome!

Finally, please share the site. Voting is a great privilege of citizenship. We want everyone who can to register to vote.

Yoz Grahame is a software developer at 18F, part of the GSA’s new Technology & Transformation Service.

This post was originally published on the USAgov blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

[session] Bridging #BigData and #IoT | @ThingsExpo #DigitalTransformation

Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value) intersect with the 4Cs of IoT (Connectivity, Collection, Context and Cognition). He will dive deep into the matrix chart of the 1-to-1 mapping of individual aspects. Case studies and best practices will be discussed to further dissect the synergy in real-world business solutions.

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Serverless | @CloudExpo #Serverless #IoT #Lambda #OpenWhisk #Microservices

About a year ago we tuned into “the need for speed” and how a concept like "serverless computing” was increasingly catering to this. We are now a year further and the term “serverless” is taking on unexpected proportions. With some even seeing it as the successor to cloud in general or at least as a successor to the clouds’ poorer cousin in terms of revenue, hype and adoption: PaaS. The question we need to ask is whether this constitutes an example of Hype Hopping: to effortlessly pivot to the next new thing once the previous one turns out to be just a bit less attractive and certainly a lot more complex then we all thought at first. The Gartner Hype Cycle has been calling this for years the trough of disillusionment, a valley that only the strongest of innovations manage to pass in order to reach the slope of enlightenment or even the plateau of productivity that lies beyond.

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Monitoring Containers | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #APM #Monitoring

With the rise of Docker, Kubernetes, and other container technologies, the growth of microservices has skyrocketed among dev teams looking to innovate on a faster release cycle. This has enabled teams to finally realize their DevOps goals to ship and iterate quickly in a continuous delivery model. Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. However, without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lose a lot of visibility into these containers resulting in operational blind spots and even more haystacks to find the presumptive performance issue needle.

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Mark Thiele to Present at @DevOpsSummit | #DevOps #DigitalTransformation

The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examining how the Internet and the cloud has allowed for the democratization of IT, resulting in an increased demand for the cloud and the drive to develop new ways to utilize it.

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Digital Marketing | @CloudExpo #IoT #DigitalMarketing #DigitalTransformation

One look at the comments section of an April column on digital marketing in TechCrunch, and it becomes obvious that contributor Samuel Scott, the marketing and communications director for data analytics software firm Logz.io, pushed a few hot buttons with his take on marketing tech. Scott argues for a back-to-basics approach to marketing that roots digital strategies firmly in old-school tradition and PR principles. He calls out the communications industry for its reliance on “an echo chamber of meaningless buzzwords” in a piece now shared nearly 16,000 times, with more than 140 comments from passionate supporters, equally spirited detractors and yawns in between.

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[session] Legacy with #WebRTC | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #RTC #UCaaS

Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, will cover real world examples of how enterprises and vendors alike can modernize infrastructure without ditching existing investments.

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Sep 27, 2016

Pulzze to Exhibit at @CloudExpo | @PulzzeInc #IoT #DigitalTransformation

SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.

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[session] #WebRTC: Are We There Yet? | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #RTC #UCaaS

WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled early adopters to integrate and interoperate with existing Telecom, Contact Center and Enterprise Collaboration environments.

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Tintri Returns to @CloudExpo as Exhibitor | @Tintri #SDS #IoT #DataCenter

SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they manage only virtual machines, in a fraction of the footprint and at far lower cost than conventional storage.

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M2M IoT Communications | @CloudExpo #IoT #M2M #RTC #UCaaS #WebRTC

Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Octoblu solved this problem by building an open source, cross-protocol IoT M2M instant messaging platform utilized by thousands of users and companies to allow disparate devices to communicate seamlessly with each other and other platforms.

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BSquare “Silver Sponsor” of @ThingsExpo | @BsquareCorp #IoT #M2M #BigData

SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.

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Art of Rollback | @DevOpsSummit #API #APM #DevOps #ContinuousTesting

Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?

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[session] #IoT Integrity Testing | @ThingsExpo @Parasoft #API #M2M #Sensors

If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expected and enhance your brand?

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The Data-Driven Enterprise | @BigDataExpo #BigData #DataScience #Analytics

I moderated a panel of three CIOs last Sunday at the Solix Empower conference on the subject of data-driven enterprise. The three CIO’s came from different industries. Marc Parmet of the TechPar group spent many years at Avery Dennison after stints at Apple and IBM. Sachin Mathur leads the IT innovations at Terex Corp., a large company supplying cranes and other heavy equipments. PK Agarwal, currently dean at Northeastern University, used to be the CIO for the Government of California. Here are some of the points covered:

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Stable After US Debate and OPEC Meeting

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Stable After US Debate and OPEC Meeting
MarketPulse (blog) - 55 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar is lower versus the greenback as oil prices are falling after comments from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Algiers have put the oil output freeze out of the short term.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Stable After US Debate and OPEC Meeting

TSX falls 63 points; Canadian dollar down

TSX falls 63 points; Canadian dollar down
Times Colonist - 7 hours ago
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 57.8 points at 18,152.63, the broader S&P 500 composite index advanced 5.21 points to 2,151.31, and the Nasdaq composite gained 26.10 points to 5,283.58.

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TSX falls 63 points; Canadian dollar down

Webinar Recap: Snaps and Stripes—Sharing Public Service Stories with SnapChat

What does SnapChat, the disappearing message-and-video platform most used by teenagers, have to do with government outreach and communications programs? Well, SnapChat has quickly become an incredibly effective digital storytelling medium, and content creators across multiple government agencies have adopted it as an important part of their programs.

A recent New York Times article described how nearly 35 million users in the United States watched highlights and stories from the Summer Olympics on SnapChat. Furthermore, SnapChat allowed individual athletes to broadcast their unique and personal experiences at the Games. Perhaps most importantly, SnapChat is one of the best ways to reach young people—it reaches a reported 41% of Americans aged 18-34. In comparison, the average TV network only reaches 6% of the same demographic. If you want to engage with Millennials, SnapChat is the social media channel for you.

Last week, Edgardo Morales, Outreach and Marketing Specialist at USA.Gov, and Emily Furfaro, Social Media Specialist at NASA, joined Justin Herman, Manager of Government-wide Social Media and Digital Engagement Programs at the General Services Administration (GSA) for a DigitalGov University (DGU) webinar, Snaps and Stripes: Sharing Public Service Stories with SnapChat. Edgardo and Emily talked about their agencies’ work using SnapChat to engage and communicate with the public.

USA.gov on SnapChat

Edgardo and his team quickly identified that SnapChat was the right place to engage with Millennials, a particular interest because USA.gov has a somewhat older audience with an average age of 40, and they want to get the content they create to more people. Another important priority is to make USA.gov more relatable and personable, and to share government information in a fun way.

The team decided to create a recognizable mascot for SnapChat, and found “Presidential” rubber duckies who are now the stars of the USA.gov SnapChat account. The team has even been recognized “out in the field” when they are shooting with the now-famous rubber duckies! They use these mascots to help tell fun and engaging stories – one recent example was a SnapChat story about the new $20 bill from the Department of the Treasury.

USAgov's Snapchat ducks

However, they don’t always use the mascots; it is context dependent. Other types of content they share include immigration information, emergency preparedness, and really anything else that is a priority across the wealth of content and services on the USA.gov website. Recently, they provided a sneak peak of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which was very popular. Currently, they are working with the Peace Corps to do a weekly Peace Corps volunteer SnapChat takeover. They provide access to their account to a volunteer abroad who is sharing stories of their daily life.

Accessibility is always a priority at USA.gov—they plan for accessibility before they start creating content. Edgardo mentioned that they keep it succinct, always have a clear beginning and end of the story, and that they storyboard it in advance using Word or PowerPoint.

After creating the SnapChat story (a story is simply multiple videos strung together on the platform), they download the story, which is done by going to “Memories” on the platform to download or text or email the story to yourself (you can also save each snap to Memories as you shoot each video). Then, they edit the video file for accessibility. They narrate with great detail (including audio descriptions where possible), close-caption it, and add a text transcript. To ensure that everyone can engage with the content, even after it has disappeared from SnapChat, they upload the video to their website, their Snapchat Stories playlist on YouTube, or other social media platforms.

Three screencaps of USAgov on Snapchat.

The team at USA.gov has been using SnapChat as part of their content and social media strategy for about 5 months, and it has quickly become their most-engaged platform. They are producing about 2 SnapChat Stories per week at this time.Almost 50% of the audience watches full stories (the collection of videos with a beginning, middle, and call-to-action at the end).

In terms of metrics, they look at “starts” and “endings,” completed views, engagement, screenshots, and views on other media, like YouTube. SnapChat doesn’t have very advanced tools for marketers around analytics yet because it is so new. Screenshots tend to be very helpful because they show strong intent to remember a call-to-action or important piece of information.

One of the most important tips Edgardo shared was to never snap alone. His team always works at least in pairs when they’re snapping – one person captures the content, and the other looks over their shoulder to make sure that the content is appropriate and that they don’t make any mistakes. Find a SnapChat buddy!

SnapChat in Space!

While Edgardo Morales and team are effectively using SnapChat to reach younger people, for Emily Furfaro in the Office of Communications at NASA, SnapChat is an important medium to complement traditional storytelling that is happening across their mind-boggling 512 social media accounts across 14 different platforms. SnapChat allows Emily and team to package social media content differently and utilize a more playful and relaxed tone.

All of those social media accounts require sophisticated and coordinated content calendars – but they opted for only one SnapChat account which is responsible for telling all of the important stories across NASA. Like USAgov, every NASA SnapChat story starts with storyboarding a beginning, a middle full of content telling a chronological story, and an end with a clear call to action.

NASA has a few different types of stories that they tell on the platform:

  • First-Person Accounts, like when NASA Senior Photographer Bill Ingalls did a SnapChat takeover from the Soyuz landing in Russia;
  • Behind the Scenes; NASA Socials, where NASA selects social media followers to attend important events; and
  • Fact Fridays, an opportunity to promote evergreen content like science facts.

Additionally, NASA cross-promotes stories across their many other social media accounts, and Emily pointed out that Instagram Stories, a new feature on the photo and video-sharing platform, is essentially the same thing as SnapChat Stories, and the content can be published there easily as well.

In terms of calls to action, they usually suggest that people follow one of their specific Twitter accounts for more information. Additionally, they often use “take a screenshot of the next snap for the registration URL” for various events. This tends to result in a thousands of screenshots vs. hundreds, and they always keep the URLs simple and short.

Emily mentioned that they don’t create enough content yet to make the SnapChat “Discover” channel an option. Discover requires that you have 5-10 unique pieces of content for every day of the week, and they don’t produce enough at this point. Depending on the week, they might produce 2 SnapChat Stories, but on busy weeks it can be up to 4 or 5, for example during a spacecraft launch.

Screencaps of NASA's three types of storytelling used on Snapchat; First-Person Accounts, Behind the Scenes, and NASA Socials.

You can follow the NASA Social Media Team on Twitter at @NASASocial, and USA.gov at @USAgov. On SnapChat, just search for NASA and USAGov. The full webinar, with a great Q&A section at the end, is available to watch on DigitalGov’s YouTube channel or the embedded player below.

Learn more about DigitalGov University and register for an upcoming event today! If you’d like to find out how to create an online or in-person DGU event, or partner with them on your own event, please contact the team via email. If you have a .gov or .mil email address, check out the various DigitalGov Communities, like SocialGov and MobileGov, that you can join.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

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