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USDA uses web tool to track changes in community food choice

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is rolling out a new phase of its food environment atlas. The Web tool was originally designed a year ago to let users click on any county in the country, and get data on the local food choices and diet quality that influence an individual community's health. IT was developed as part of the first lady's Let's Move campaign. The latest rollout almost doubles the number of data points for each county in the atlas. It now considers 168 different indicators. USDA says the updates they've just made to the web tool will also let the agency and the site's users track changes in food choice over time. It includes data on everything from the concentration of farmers markets vs. convenience stores in a given community, to the average distance to the nearest grocery store. The site has already logged 100,000 visitors.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 03/02/2011, 03:40pm EST

R&D Dashboard tracks federal research grants, outcomes

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching a beta version of a new R&D Dashboard. The idea is to let anyone who accesses the new site take a look at where federal research and development money is going, how it's being used, and what the outcomes of research projects are. It uses publicly-available data to show users federal research dollars at the state level, the Congressional district level, even down to the specific research institutions getting the grants. The R&D Dashboard is being developed by a team led by the National Science Foundation, and for now it only includes data from the NSF and the National Institutes of Health over the last decade. But OSTP plans to expand the sites to include other types of research grants in the future.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 03/02/2011, 03:37pm EST

In budget talks, DoD ‘not the holdup'

The chairman and the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services committee are determined to find a near-term way to pass a Defense Department budget, and not merely a continuing resolution, for fiscal year 2011, the panel's top Democrat said Tuesday.

Tags: DoD , management , DoD budget , continuing resolution , budget , Mike McCord , Adam Smith , Buck McKeon , Robert Gates ,

Wednesday - 03/02/2011, 12:12pm EST
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DHS to gain real-time access to DoD biometrics

The Department of Homeland Security already has real-time access to biometric data maintained in the FBI's huge database of criminal records. Within the next year, it'll be able to share similar data with the Defense Department.

Tags: DoD , technology , DHS , biometrics , U.S. Visit , Secure Communities Program , CBP , TSA , FBI , Next, LLC , AFCEA , Stephanie Rowe , Bob Mocny , Thomas Killion , Dan Roberts ,

Tuesday - 03/01/2011, 07:18am EST
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DoD wants cyber partnership, not to spy

Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the military's new Cyber Command and the director of the NSA, said DoD can help protect private networks from cyber attack - especially critical infrastructure - without infringing on civil liberties. He said civilian agencies and private network operators could leverage NSA's capabilities without having the spy agency be in charge of security.

Tags: DoD , cybersecurity , technology , Keith Alexander , U.S. Cyber Command , NSA , DHS , Do William Lynn , privacy , civil liberties , Information Technology Exchange Program , industry , information sharing ,

Monday - 02/28/2011, 07:00am EST
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Army forging ahead on smartphone tests

The service says it's getting closer to determining the path forward for issuing smartphones to soldiers in the field. It's something the service says could eventually provide warfighters with an all-in-one platform for training, battlefield communications and more.

Tags: DoD , technology , Army , smartphones , Michael Vane , mobile technology , iPhone , Android ,

Friday - 02/25/2011, 07:54am EST
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Contractors need to do homework before shutdown

A panel of experts said contractors should prepare for a potential government shutdown by figuring out how their specific contracts would be affected in such a scenario. Step one, they said, is for vendors to talk with their agency contracting officers.

Tags: contracting , management , shutdown , budget , White House , continuing resolution , Congress , OMB , Professional Services Council , John Cooney , Alan Chvotkin , Barry Anderson ,

Thursday - 02/24/2011, 07:35am EST
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CR means shorter lead times for Navy moves

The Navy is alerting servicemembers that operating under continuing resolution funding levels in its manpower and personnel accounts will lead to orders to new duty stations on much shorter notice.

Tags: DoD , Navy , DoD budget , continuing resolution , permanent change of station , navy personnel command , Robert Weitzman ,

Wednesday - 02/23/2011, 07:12am EST
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DoD wants vendor input on unnecessary costs

The Defense Department's procurement chief is asking contractors to submit comments on acquisition practices that increase costs but do not add value to DoD purchases. The request is part of DoD's "Better Buying Initiative."

Tags: DoD , industry , contracting , Ashton Carter , efficiency initiative ,

Tuesday - 02/22/2011, 04:55pm EST

JFCOM contractors await closure details

Leaders of the Joint Forces Command in Virginia are planning to meet with contractors this week discuss what the command's closure will mean for their businesses. If all goes according to plan, the lights will be turned out at JFCOM for the final time in a little more than a year.

Tags: DoD , JFCOM , contracting , industry , Robert Gates , Ray Odierno , DoD budget , Kaufman and Canoles , Federal Capture Consulting , Terry Murphy , Butch Bondoc , Scott Rigell ,

Tuesday - 02/22/2011, 07:53am EST
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