December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber attackers might have compromised computer files of more than 40,000 employees following an attack on federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

OPM issued a statement on the breach and began notifying employees that files might have been compromised.

“While there was no conclusive evidence to confirm sensitive information was removed from the system, it is possible that personally identifiable data may have been exposed,” reads an OPM statement.

KeyPoint Government Solutions conducts background checks for government agencies. One of its competitors, USIS, suffered a breach earlier this year.

December 9, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

'Tis the season to head out and about to shop, travel and visit with family, and the free ParkMe app could make your activities easier this year. It features location and rate information for lots and garages near you along with a live map of available street parking. In addition, ParkMe provides detailed directions to the parking, including photos so you know what to expect. Find real-time information on lot availability, make reservations in advance for select areas and set the parking timer to avoid having your meter run out.

December 4, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Ho ho ho—it’s that time of year again, and though Christmas Day is a still a few weeks away, the folks at NORAD have launched their wildly popular Santa Claus tracker apps and website, giving children (big and small) a chance to play games, watch movies and countdown to Santa’s departure from the North Pole.

Then, on Christmas Eve, they can track his up-to-the-minute progress as Santa and the reindeer embark on their world tour.

November 4, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

You might hit the gym or stay active for your health, but do you exercise your brain? The scientifically designed program Lumosity provides personalized training to help you improve memory, attention and a wide variety of other cognitive skills. The program, based on extensive research in the field of neuroplasticity, currently boasts more than 50 million members in more than 180 countries. Lumosity's in-house research and development team collaborates with researchers from 36 top universities around the world, including Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley, to transform common neuropsychological tasks into fun, challenging games.

October 29, 2014
By Rachel Lilly
Shelley Smith, founder and president of Premier Rapport, discusses taking risks and achieving results at the inaugural Women in AFCEA event.

If you had 60 seconds to introduce yourself, could you get your message across? When forming new connections, your seemingly simple elevator pitch becomes a Hail Mary pass—one shot to get it right—and you can’t try again if you fumble.

Understanding how to communicate your story effectively is just one important skill for women—and really anyone, regardless of gender—hoping to take risks and achieve results in the workplace, explained Shelley Smith, founder and president of Premier Rapport, during the inaugural Women in AFCEA fall event. Ask yourself, “Is the risk greater if I do or is the risk greater if I don’t?”

October 22, 2014

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of the "U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, Volumes I and II," which focuses on strategic and tactical objectives to support the federal government’s accelerated adoption of cloud computing.

The road map leverages the strengths and resources of government, industry, academia and standards development organizations to support technology innovation in cloud computing, according to a written announcement from NIST.

October 21, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

With the Ebola outbreak dominating headlines and flu season looming, it's difficult to know where to turn for fast, reliable health information. That's where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comes in, offering a variety of apps to help you protect yourself.

September 16, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

Driving somewhere unfamiliar and in need of a gas station? Starving but not sure which restaurants are nearby? The free AroundMe app for iOS and Android identifies your location and shows you a complete list of nearby businesses in the category you select. Find a restaurant, movie theater, gas station, hotel, hospital, bank, bar, grocery store and more.

For each listing, you can view the location on a map and the best route with step-by-step GPS directions. Add the information to your contact list or email it to a friend.

September 11, 2014

This article is written by our sponsor Riverbed. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect view of AFCEA International or SIGNAL Media.

There is an enormous opportunity in the Defense Department information technology to streamline operations, reduce costs and increase security. Two enabling policies from the Federal CIO are Cloud First and Shared First.

Riverbed provides actionable advice for tackling a low-risk, high return-on-investment (ROI) cloud project.

Today’s Status Quo

September 2, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

SafeTrek app helps users feel safe in dangerous areasHave you ever felt unsafe or just uneasy walking alone at night or in a secluded area? Many people keep their phones close at hand, but in a real emergency, you may not have time to dial 911. The SafeTrek app for iOS and Android offers a solution.

Created by a group of students at the University of Missouri, the SafeTrek app monitors your location and can automatically notify police.

August 25, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

“There's an app for that” is truer than ever these days. As bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and bring-your-own-app (BYOA) concepts are increasingly infiltrating government agencies, public sector information technology departments must consider the impact these apps and devices have on their own environments. In this blog post, we’ll look at two security strategies in use at agencies today and how to balance security and flexibility in today’s mobile environment.

Security Strategy 1: Pure Separation

August 21, 2014
By Rita Boland

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated two $10 million projects to create separate cloud computing testbeds called Chameleon and CloudLab. Through the efforts, the academic research community will develop and experiment with novel architectures and architecturally enabled applications of cloud computing.

August 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.), shares his views on leadership.

Adversity can create heroes and leaders alike.

Sometimes, it's the worst that life has to offer that brings out the best in people, says Adm. Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.), and an executive vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton.

As the U.S. Coast Guard's 23rd commandant, he served as a front-line witness to stressors that can make or break a leader.

July 31, 2014
By George I. Seffers

A recently announced study by Juniper Networks found that 51 percent of government information technology decision makers plan to adopt software-defined networking (SDN) within the next two years. Twenty-five percent of government respondents to the Software-Defined Networking Progress Report said improved performance and more efficient networks will be the primary benefit, while 18 percent cited simplified network operations.

July 24, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Sometimes, skippers glean keen insight on being better leaders not from their superiors, but from their peers. Such was the case for two U.S. Navy leaders who, as junior sailors years ago, learned lessons from each other on the power of endurance and follow through and the importance of a sharing a sincere thank you.

July 23, 2014
By Cyndy Hogan
A Wave Glider SV2 moments before deployment.

The Wave Glider ocean drone collected and transmitted weather data during one of Asia’s biggest typhoons this month. This information will allow scientists to better predict intensities of typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes with the goal of saving lives and minimizing property damage. The drone, from Liquid Robotics, was piloted remotely through the path of category 5 Typhoon Rammasun, navigating sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts up to 175 mph with waves more than 45 feet. It gathered real-time wave, temperature, conductivity and current data from the surface of the ocean, even as seaports and transportation systems in multiple countries were closed due to the storm.

July 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Information and Technology awarded its fourth and final contract for its Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract to help veterans navigate technical access to health care services.

July 22, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

Do you love listening to podcasts? The new Overcast app, developed by Marco Arment, co-founder of Tumblr and creator of Instapaper, offers a simple, intuitive interface to listen to all your favorites.

What makes Overcast stand out from the many podcast options found in the app store? It allows users to download podcasts and listen anytime, even offline; search and browse new episodes; create custom playlists; subscribe to shows; enhance and normalize speech volume with Voice Boost; and adjust playback using Smart Speed to pick up extra speed without distortion.

July 8, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

Have you ever walked into a business meeting and wished you could know a bit about each person to spark real conversation and bypass typical small talk? The free Refresh app for iOS aims to make it possible by providing a quick overview of the people you're about to meet, aggregating information from across the Web.

The app syncs with your calendar, contacts and scheduled meetings to display relevant insights from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email about the people you will meet.

June 12, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The White House is going green. Well, more like slate gray. And only on the roof.

The White House’s recently installed rooftop solar panels generate renewable energy from the sun and help in lowering the residence’s energy costs. Over the past eight years, use of solar electricity in the United States has increased 10-fold, and added 23,682 jobs last year, mostly in the installation field, according to a survey by the nonprofit Solar Foundation.