SIGNALScape

Mobility Banks Bucks

September 3, 2013

A recent survey of government employees reveals that federal agencies benefit financially from the flexibility mobile devices afford the work force. Responses from more than 200 federal employees at the management level indicate that 81 percent connect to work remotely at least once a week, 54 percent connect at least once a day and 45 percent connect several times a day. Respondents estimate that, in addition to their full-time work schedule, they spend more than another full workday—nine hours—each week checking their mobile devices for messages and email.

According to input collected through the survey MeriTalk conducted, federal workers believe they would increase their productivity by an additional seven hours per week—or nearly $14,000 per employee per year—if seamless remote connectivity and mobile access to their agencies was available. Among the challenges preventing the extra efficiency are slow connections, cumbersome security procedures and limited network access.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. sponsored the survey.

Cool App-titude: MapMyRide and AFCEA Cycle for STEM

September 3, 2013
By Rachel Lilly
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Are you a cycling enthusiast? Whether you compete in races or just peddle around the neighborhood with your family, the MapMyRide app will help you make the most of your cycling experience.

The free app turns your smartphone into a cycling computer, using the built-in GPS to track your fitness activities. It records your ride details, including speed, distance, calories burned, elevation and the route traveled on an interactive map. Voice prompts can update you on your progress as you go. Feeling competitive? Compete against results from other riders on popular rides in your area. You can even post your workouts to Facebook and Twitter.

Download the app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Several cyclists from AFCEA International headquarters currently are using the app to prepare for the upcoming AFCEA Cycle for STEM event. On Monday, October 7, a team of 20 cyclists will leave Pittsburgh to begin a six day, 335 mile ride to Washington, D.C., to raise funds for AFCEA science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational programs. Visit the website to learn how to become a sponsor of this event, or email Sean McGowan and Terry Rogers to learn more about joining the team or volunteering.

The MapMyRide app sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new websites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

Szykman: Turning Big Data Into Big Information

August 30, 2013
By Max Cacas

 
Current efforts to deal with big data, the massive amounts of information resulting from an ever-expanding number of networked computers, storage and sensors,  go hand-in-hand with the government’s priority to sift through these huge datasets for important data.  So says Simon Szykman, chief information officer (CIO) with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
 
He told a recent episode of the “AFCEA Answers” radio program that the current digital government strategy includes initiatives related to open government and sharing of government data. “We’re seeing that through increased use of government datasets, and in some cases, opening up APIs (application programming interfaces) for direct access to government data.  So, we’re hoping that some of the things we’re unable to do on the government side will be done by citizens, companies, and those in the private sector to help use the data in new ways, and in new types of products.”
 
At the same time, the source of all that data is itself creating big data challenges for industry and government, according to Kapil Bakshi, chief solution architect with Cisco Public Sector in Washington, D.C.
 
“We expect as many as 50 billion devices to be connected to the internet by the year 2020.  These include small sensors, control system devices, mobile telephone devices.  They will all produce some form of data that will be collected by the networks, and flow back to a big data analytics engine.”  He adds that this forthcoming “internet of things,” and the resultant datasets, will require a rethinking of how networks are configured and managed to handle all that data. 
 

Open Data Initiative: Providing Fresh Ideas on Securely Sharing Information

August 30, 2013
By Paul Christman and Jamie Manuel

For years, the Defense department took a “do it alone” posture when it came to sharing information and protecting its networks and communication infrastructures from security attacks. Now in an interconnected world of reduced budgets and ever-increasing security risks, the DOD is fundamentally changing the way it approaches information sharing and cybersecurity. 

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