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 But the transformation of federal IT, which is still plagued by inefficiencies and outdated technologies, is anything but complete."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?"

rover check-in

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FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


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  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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