Government

To the Next Administration: Use Tech to Implement Every Program

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We asked attendees at the upcoming Techonomy 2016 conference "What is the most important tech-related issue the incoming administration should tackle?" Tech leader and publisher Tim O'Reilly responded that the biggest challenge will be bringing a tech-centric approach to everything government does.   More

Analytics & Data Government

This Company’s Business is Opening Up Government Data

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Boston and Barcelona, Spain have something in common with Yelp and Zillow–they’re taking advantage of open data. Along with all the ways it’s reshaping business, opening up data to the use of outsiders is beginning also to reshape how city, state, and federal agencies work. Socrata, a privately-held government-data platform provider based in Seattle, is making a business out of facilitating this trend.   More

Government Healthcare

Data Sharing: Key Challenge for Cancer Moonshot (& American Health)

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If we're going to make progress in healthcare, we need to connect up the data. A report for the national Cancer Moonshot initiative highlights the massive problem disconnected databases have become in the fight against cancer. But this problem isn't limited to cancer. The well-intentioned HIPAA act of 1996, for example, included strict privacy controls that have turned into a problem for medical research generally.   More

Community Insights Government Internet of Things

Grow Civic Tech––But Respect Today’s Systems

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People have always relied on tech to make civil society more efficient and accessible. Now, the rapid evolution of the net and standards-based protocols are already enriching a variety of civic activities, such as voting. It will get better. A great example of what's possible is a simple system we at Microsoft developed to support the 2016 Iowa Caucuses for both parties.   More

Global Tech Government Society

A Zimbabwean Pastor Built an Anti-Corruption Movement with Facebook

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With his country falling apart around him, straining under the weight of corruption and oppression, Evan Mawarire took to Facebook Live to vent his frustration. What has emerged is a nationwide movement of Zimbabweans, united under the hashtag #ThisFlag, who are eager to restore Zimbabwe to its former glory and end the scourge of corruption.   More

Government Society

Why Can’t We Register to Vote Online? (and Other Ways Tech Could Improve Democracy)

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American democracy is out of date, in large part because we have failed to take advantage of voting technology. Turnout is now low and the experience of voting and registering inconvenient. Most Americans must still go to the DMV to register. The infrastructure is old and creaky. But an influx of new tech could bring American democracy out of the stone age, and possibly reinvigorate the entire system.   More

Government Society

UPDATE: What You Should Know about Mike Pence and Tech

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After weeks of conjecture, we finally know who Trump's running mate will be as he enters the final months of the presidential race: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. His tax cuts have helped turn Indiana into the Silicon Prairie (or so he claims), but he also lost a fight with tech executives like Marc Benioff over LGBT discrimination. Here's what you should know about Mike Pence and tech.   More

Government Jobs

A Quick Tech Guide to Trump’s Potential VP Picks

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As we wait for the final announcement on who will accompany Donald Trump during his boisterous run for the White House, we take a look at the top three contenders and what their history is with tech. Why does Elon Musk hate Chris Christie? Exactly when did Newt Gingrich become an online tech reviewer? And why are some Silicon Valley companies picking up and moving to Indianapolis?   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

Obama: Genetic Data + Precision Medicine Will Improve American Health

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Lost in a news cycle rife with heartbreak, the Obama administration made a major push last week for its Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). Also referred to as personalized medicine, precision medicine is based on the idea of using a trove of genetic and clinical information to determine ahead of time which drugs will work best for which patients, at which doses, and in which combinations. It could be the first step in an important breakthrough for American health.   More

Government Internet of Things Learning

Giant Texas School System Makes a Giant Internet Commitment

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The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, with 114,000 students, is decidedly Texas-sized. But the district's latest project lives up to that grand scale: updating its entire digital network to bring 100G broadband internet access to every square inch of its classrooms and offices. Cypress-Fairbanks CTO Frankie Jackson is on the front line of an emerging challenge in education.   More

Cities Government Transportation

Parking ticket? There’s a Bot for That

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A legal chatbot called DoNotPay helps users appeal parking tickets through a series of simple questions: Was the signage confusing? Were signs clearly visible? Was the parking bay large enough? It has already helped overturn 160,000 parking tickets in New York and London and has saved users over $2 million, but for its young creator, parking tickets are just the beginning.   More

Business Global Tech Government

Obama’s Big Start-up Seminar

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President Obama wants to encourage young entrepreneurs, and if he has to go out and lecture them himself, he’s willing to do it. Over the course of the two-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit last week, the president found time to share tips with young business owners on pitching their ideas. Plus, he talked with Mark Zuckerberg, and interviewed young entrepreneurs from Rwanda, Egypt, and Peru.   More

Government Society

Report from Europe: Brexit Vote Reflects Global Failure

Middle Eastern refugees in Greece in 2015. The Brexit vote stems largely from fears about such people ending up in the UK. Photo courtesy Shutterstock, copyright Anjo Kan

The shocking Brexit vote in the UK may be a landscape-altering moment that will shift how we have to view the world. At a top-level conference in Germany there was both near-despair and some hope. But nobody was sanguine, and the overarching issue of how to deal with a world increasingly awash with refugees loomed very large.   More

Business Government Jobs

As Race Heats Up, Clinton Talks Tech

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Having fought off an ambitious Bernie Sanders and now preparing to enter a brutal fight with a fiery and unpredictable Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is taking a bit of a detour this week into the world of tech. She wants to forgive student debt for young entrepreneurs, bring broadband to every home in America, and defend net neutrality. Plus, Silicon Valley is starting to get on board.   More

Global Tech Government Internet of Things

The Internet in China is Censored, Controlled, and Flourishing

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Behind an ever-expanding protectionist wall – The Chinese state calls it the Golden Shield – nearly 700 million regularly use the internet to send chats, buy merchandise, order car services and more, sometimes on platforms more innovative than anything back in the U.S.. As Chinese citizens start to access the internet, China has ensured that the economic benefits do not leave its shores.   More

Cities Government

Creating a Smart and Equitable City

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New York City is already a smart and innovative city. But it is not enough just to have cool tech. Being a smart city means also being an equitable city ─ “distributing the future more evenly” across all five boroughs. A new set of city guidelines have been painstakingly developed to help all city agencies and their partners move into the Internet of Things with fairness and effectiveness.   More

Finance Government Society

Accelerating Financial Inclusion with National Digital Currencies

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Central banks from England to China have floated the notion of issuing their own national digital currencies. The banks may issue digital currency units alongside notes and coins and adjust the mix over time. If they do, it could accelerate and help scale a wave of service innovations that advance financial inclusion, stimulate economic growth, and spur social progress.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

NIH Fast-Tracks Giant Precision Medicine Study

President Obama visiting the National Institutes of Health in 2014. Now he wants citizens to have access to the data in an upcoming gigantic healthcare study open to one million Americans. (photo: NIH)

At a genomics conference last week, National Institutes of Health official Kathy Hudson provided an update on the government’s gigantic Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). NIH aims to make real progress before the next president takes over–and to enable any American who wants to to take part.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

Senators Seek to Legislate DNA Privacy—But Is It Really Possible?

Senator Elizabeth Warren joined with Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming to protect some DNA data. (photo U.S. Treasury Department)

A new bill introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mike Enzi would add important privacy protections for genetic data generated by federally funded scientists or housed in government databases. It aims to protect research participants who expect their data to remain confidential. Even if the bill passes, though, the genetic data may not always be protected. But some genomics leaders now say full protection may not even be possible.   More

Government Society

So Far, Presidential Candidates Mostly Disappoint on Tech Issues

Hillary Clinton got the best grade for her tech-elated positions, but even she only scored a B+. Photo: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

The next President has the chance to either help the U.S. increase its lead around innovation or watch our country fall further back into a morass of bad policies and failed programs. Working with Engine, a tech policy organization, Tusk Ventures looked at where each of the candidates stands on tech-related issues. So how did they do? Not so great.   More