Tuesday Roundup: Data centers, cybersecurity talks, big data forecasting and questionable check-ins
GSA gets good grade for consolidation. The General Services Administration received good marks from its inspector general for efforts to implement the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. A new report found that, between 2011 and 2015, GSA worked to consolidate most of its data processing within three data centers, reduced the physical foot print of the data centers to less than 500 square feet and saved energy. However, the IG found GSA has yet to update its consolidation plan, even as the Office of Management and Budget expanded the initiative and changed fundamental portions, particularly the definition of a data center. GSA is developing a new plan.
More support for cyber order. "Obama administration officials and a bipartisan group of Senate aides met on Friday to discuss a possible executive order aimed at improving cybersecurity," the Hill reports. A White House spokeswoman said the administration believes comprehensive legislation is still needed, but that "current prospects for a comprehensive bill are limited, and the risk is too great for the administration not to act."
7 cybersecurity takeaways. DelTek's GovWin blog offers seven take-aways from last week's Technology Training Corporation conference on Military Cyber Security, including workforce development, trends in cyber-offense efforts, and participants' predictions on cyber legislation and the much-discussed executive order.
Big data's crystal ball. The National Weather Service's use of big data to improve tornado forecasting "could be a model for other federal agencies that are developing their own prediction models that could be used to predict behavior for everything from economic data to the path of a disease," AOL Government reports.
Obama's mixed reviews for spending. The Obama administration's push for IT transformation draws mixed reviews in an InformationWeek editorial: "The administration gets credit for holding the line on federal IT spending.... But the transformation of federal IT, which is still plagued by inefficiencies and outdated technologies, is anything but complete."
Rover all over. NASA generated some social-media buzz by having the Curiosity Rover check in from Mars on Foursquare, but Wired was less impressed, asking: "Shouldn't planet-hopping robots and scientific agencies have better things to do with their time?"
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