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Piecemeal attempts to modernize an aging electric power grid have left it vulnerable to cyber attacks. Security has been an afterthought, according to a new report released by McAfee, a security technology company.
It's the end of an era at the U.S. Treasury Department. As of January 1, paper savings bonds are no more. The agency is taking another step away from paper and into electronic transactions as new savings bonds transition exclusively to an electronic system. Treasury estimates the move away from paper will save it around $120 million per year. From now on, the way to get electronic savings bonds is through the agency's e-commerce website at TreasuryDirect.gov, where users with paper savings bonds can also convert them to the electronic variety.
Dashboards are all the rage on federal websites these days. At the Federal Communications Commission, they're letting website visitors create and customize their own. The MyFCC tool is still in the beta testing stage, but the idea is to let users choose from a menu of widgets that tap into the FCC's most commonly requested data sources to build a custom dashboard. There are about two dozen widgets available as of now. And, the FCC is letting users log with credentials from third parties like Google or Facebook so they have one fewer password to remember.
The Treasury Department is taking a cloud-based approach to the Freedom of Information Act. The GoFOIA system includes three new services to make the submission and tracking of FOIA requests electronic. Members of the public can now submit their requests through a guided web portal. Agency personnel can then log in and view those requests through a dashboard format to chart the volume of pending FOIA filings. It also includes a new electronic document management system so Treasury employees can collaborate on putting together their responses to requests.
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How exactly does an agency store a tweet? And how do agencies know when the latest 140-character mini-message rises to the level of a permanently valuable historical record? A new Presidential memo tasks the National Archives and Records Administration with answer these social-media stumpers.