Web 2.0

September 6, 2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is joining other federal government agencies in expanding the use of Web 2.0 social networking techniques to promote innovation. The department has unveiled the Digital Transportation Exchange, in which citizens, industry, all levels of government, and other stakeholders are invited to design "a thriving online marketplace for the agile creation of transportation solutions," according to DOT Chief Information Officer Nitin Pradhan. The DOT is in the midst of a legally mandated public comment period on the DTE concept. On September 16, a stakeholder meeting is scheduled at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

September 1, 2011
By H. Mosher

You can't consider the future of computing and the Internet without looking at what software giant Microsoft and Internet heavyweight Google are up to. Rita Boland continues her Semaphore Series on the topic by tapping the expertise of Lewis Shepherd from Microsoft and Vint Cerf from Google in 'What's Now and What's New.'

August 16, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

A changing of the guard is underway in the federal information technology (IT) arena, with Net Generation newbies beginning to fill the void left by retiring Baby Boomers. Seasoned employees hold expertise and institutional knowledge, while young talent brings with it technical savvy in the world of Web 2.0. In her article "Government Prepares for Work Force Changes" in this month's issue of SIGNAL Magazine, News Editor Rita Boland explores the changes taking place in the makeup of the IT workplace, and how organizations can prepare for a smooth adjustment.

June 8, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

Soldiers may not have time to utilize an iPhone app in the field, but the creator of an application called BulletFlight claims it could improve the accuracy of military snipers in training. Developed by Knight's Armament Company and available through Apple's iTunes App Store for $11.99, the app eliminates some of the math involved in long-distance target shooting and calculates the trajectory of a bullet's flight path to ensure users hit the target. It allows shooters to input wind speed, atmospheric conditions and distance for the intended target.

May 21, 2010
By Paul Strassmann

According to the National Security Agency, in 1928, Secretary of State Henry Stimson, closed down the Department's intelligence bureau. His rationale was that "Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's mail."

We have now a comparable situation in the Department of Defense. New policies and guidance have been issued that declare, in effect, that well-behaved gentlemen and gentlewomen should abstain from reading potentially toxic attachments to social computing messages.

Such policies and guidance do not promote the security of defense networks and should be therefore modified.

March 29, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

Google. A noun so popular it became a verb. Everyone who uses the Internet knows about Google the search engine, and most are familiar with the free Gmail service, but what about the company's other offerings? From helpful business applications that enable more collaboration with fewer messages to tools that help individuals keep their Web pages organized, Google offers features that make the Internet experience more efficient and fun.

Google Reader

April 6, 2010
By Katie Packard

I keep up with all things social media and Web 2.0 related by reading Mashable, one of the largest blogs focused specifically on these topics. Now fans like me can read Mashable on the go with the Mashable iPhone app. The free tool allows users to browse by channel, category, tag or author; share stories via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook; save stories to read offline later; and more. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.

March 23, 2010
By Katie Packard

Fans of the magazine Popular Science--and those who are interested in science and technology--will enjoy the magazine's app, PopSci Reader. The free application grabs the magazine's RSS feed and offers users the most recent articles with images. Users can even read articles offline because the last feed pull remains cached. There's also a "share" feature, so users can e-mail their favorite articles to friends. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.

March 16, 2010
By Katie Packard

You don't have to be a dummy to need help preparing for a test. The ASVAB Practice for Dummies app helps future warfighters get the best score possible on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam. The application, which costs $9.99, offers three full-length practice tests; study tips; practice questions in several categories such as communication, technical skills and arithmetic; and more.

March 9, 2010
By Katie Packard

You know it's coming--tax season. There's a reason I went into publishing: I'm terrible at math. So for people with poor accounting skills like me, tools like the H&R Block Tax Answers app are a lifesaver. The free application offers befuddled taxpayers the chance to pose their questions to tax experts and browse others' questions, find definitions for hundreds of tax terms, determine their tax know-how by taking quizzes, and find a local H&R Block office. For more information or to download the application, visit the iTunes store.

March 2, 2010
By Katie Packard

I'm a fan of all things Discovery: Animal Planet, TLC, and of course the Science and Military channels. So I'm particularly excited about the Discovery News iPhone application. Fans like me can get instant access to the most recent news articles, videos, special features and more, ensuring they'll always have the latest science and tech information at their fingertips.

February 26, 2010
By Katie Packard

The U.S. Defense Department has announced its policy on "Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-Based Capabilities"--in less formal words, its social and new media policy. This is the DOD's first official policy on new media. It states that the NIPRNET default will be open access so that all of the DOD can use new and social media. Under this policy, prohibited content sites such as gambling sites will still be blocked, but otherwise there will be open access across the department.

February 23, 2010
By Katie Packard

Army Technology Live is the U.S. Army RDECOM's blog. Its purpose is to inform the public about Army initiatives and technologies and to showcase the work produced by the Army technology team. Pretty cool, right? Well, now the self-described "science and technology command" has launched a free iPhone application so that fans can have access to the blog anywhere and anytime. The app downloads current news features, including entries to the Army Technology Live blog, the official RDECOM Web site, job listings, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and more.

February 16, 2010
By Katie Packard

Those of us on the East Coast are probably tired of looking at snow, but even if you're located elsewhere on the planet, you can download the NASA Images iPhone app for a variety of gorgeous sights. The free application gives the public access to NASA's audio, image and video collections in one searchable online resource. Users can search and browse images from nasaimages.org, view images with an interactive zoom feature, watch NASA programs and mission footage, and more.

February 9, 2010
By Katie Packard

Keep up with our country's most important pile of bricks with the White House app, available for iPhones and iPod Touch. The free app lets government junkies have 24/7 access to dynamic content from WhiteHouse.gov. Features include live video streaming, the White House blog and the Briefing Room. For more information, visit the Web site, or download the application on iTunes.

January 26, 2010
By Katie Packard

Are you a government news junkie? Do you need to know every move that Congress makes? Then stay current on the latest news happening in D.C. with Real Time Congress. The Real Time Congress app gives government fans access to the latest information about Congress on their iPhones. The tool lets users receive real-time updates from the House and Senate floors; critical reports and memos when they are published online by party policy committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the OMB and more; daily and weekly notices from the House Majority and Minority whips; and hearing schedules.

February 2, 2010
By Katie Packard

Science nerds, gather 'round! Every Friday afternoon, you can get your science on with Science Friday, a weekly talk show that focuses on timely science topics. But now the show has launched an application that lets fans of the show access podcasts and videos any day of the week. Future versions that feature more social networking options are in the works. The free app works on iPhones and iPod Touch. For more information or to download the app, visit the iTunes store.

January 15, 2010
By Katie Packard

"The Defense Department must take decisive remedial steps to achieve positive controls over all social computing transactions originating from the toxic Internet. The risks are too great to accept insufficient safeguards."--Paul A. Strassman, distinguished professor of information science at George Mason University and former director of defense information for the Office of the Secretary of Defense

January 19, 2010
By Katie Packard

Some people live and breathe the Army 24/7. Now anyone can be all Army, all the time with the U.S. Army iPhone app. Army soldiers and fans can get the latest news about the military branch thanks to the new application. The free tool lets users access the news sections available on www.army.mil, including full-length articles with photos. In addition to news, users can view Flickr photos, videos, the Army's social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the Army Live blog and much more. Soldiers can make sure they stay on top of their Army game by accessing Army fact files, uniforms, ranks, recruiter locations--even the Army song.

January 12, 2010
By Katie Packard

I cannot function without music. It keeps me moving, gives me energy and helps the day go by. With Remote, you can always have music at your fingertips. The free app turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a remote control. Wherever you are, you can control the music on your computer's iTunes library or your Apple TV. You can view songs, playlists and album art; create and update Genius playlists; control your AirTunes speakers; and more. For more information about Remote or to download the application, visit the Web site.