NewsBrief February 21, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: February 21, 2020

Agencies Grasping the Cost, Benefit Analyses of Moving to the Cloud

(Federal News Network) As agencies shift from cloud first to cloud smart, they must rethink how and why they use these off-premise services. The underlying principle of cloud smart attempts to give agencies the ability to evaluate their options based on their service and mission needs, technical requirements and existing policy limitations. The Office of Management and Budget say computing and technology decisions should also consider customer impact balanced against cost and cybersecurity risk management criteria. OMB also told agencies they should assess their requirements and seek the environments and solutions, cloud or otherwise, that best enable them to achieve their mission goals while being good stewards of taxpayer resources. Seems so simple? Right? Read More

Can Access to Results from Federal Research Projects be Improved?

(Federal Times) The White House Office of Science and Technology wants industry’s input on how it can improve public access to peer-reviewed, scholarly work completed with federal funds. The Feb. 19 request for information published in the Federal Register is another data effort by the White House OSTP, this time asking specifically for comments on public access for scholarly publications, unclassified data and code. The White House wants stakeholder input on the following questions: Read More

Present Your Data Like a Pro

(Harvard Business Review) With so many ways to spin and distort information these days, a presentation needs to do more than simply share great ideas — it needs to support those ideas with credible data. That’s true whether you’re an executive pitching new business clients, a vendor selling her services, or a CEO making a case for change. “Knowing how to develop and deliver a data-driven presentation is now a crucial skill for many professionals, since we often have to tell our colleagues stories that are much more compelling when they’re backed by numbers,” says researcher and consultant Alexandra Samuel. No problem, you may say. A bar graph here, and a pie chart there, and you’re off to the races, right? Read More

Energy’s AI Director Reviewing 600-Plus Projects for Technologies Worth Replicating

(fedscoop) The Department of Energy’s first artificial intelligence director is currently reviewing more than 600 AI projects across its agencies to identify “critical” technologies worth advancing and replicating. Earlier this month, Cheryl Ingstad was named head of DOE’s new Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO), intended to prioritize department resources for AI projects as the coordinating agency. Read More

Air Force Touts Digital U Tech Reskilling Effort

(FCW) The Air Force is taking a servicewide approach to reskilling with its “Digital U” program. Air Force Deputy CIO Bill Marion said that initiatives like Digital U were part of the service’s push to train all personnel in cyber capabilities, unlike other government programs like the Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy that targeted reskilling individuals who displayed technical aptitude. Read More

How the Navy Wants to Fix its Woefully Antiquated Computer Systems

(Navy Times) The Navy’s information technology is antiquated and unable to provide sailors, Marines and civilians with basic resources that any private sector employee with a computer can access, according to a report issued Wednesday by the sea service. The 15-page report “Information Superiority Vision” offers a prescription for how the Navy can cure its IT and cyber security woes. It also details how one of the world’s most advanced fighting forces fell so far behind other large enterprises, at least when it comes to technology. Read More

GAO Launches Upgraded, Mobile-Friendly Website

(NextGov) As of last week, the Government Accountability Office’s external website has the freshest look it’s had in more than a decade – and it now aims to be much more mobile-friendly. The congressional watchdog launched a full site redesign Feb.13, equipped with new features and better access for those who tap in from a mobile phone or tablet. GAO’s Managing Director of Public Affairs Chuck Young told Nextgov Wednesday that it’s the first major upgrade the agency has made to the website since 2007. Read More

NOAA to Use Microsoft AI to Advance Protection of Endangered Species

(NextGov) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research scientists are tapping into artificial intelligence capabilities from Microsoft to advance their efforts to study and protect endangered species. According to a blog post published Wednesday, this spring NOAA scientists will deploy AI to boost their monitoring of endangered beluga whales, threatened ice seals and polar bears, and possibly other animals as well. Read More

Get Ready for the Passwordless Future

(MeriTalk) Most of us have a standard list of go-to passwords for various logins and websites – each fluctuating slightly with upper or lowercase letters, extra numbers, symbols and punctuation. Some of us keep them scribbled on a notepad, while others click “remember me” when logging onto sites, to speed up the process and relieve the stress of remembering them time and time again. But as cyberattacks become more sophisticated, and Federal agencies work to modernize their IT systems and protect vital data, passwords are becoming a thing of the past. And the push toward a passwordless world introduces the need for new standards and technical innovation. Read More

What Can Barnstormers Teach Us about Face Recognition?

(NextGov) New technologies and a lack of regulation cause real and imagined problems. Back in the 1920s, barnstormers crisscrossed the country, dropping into farmer’s fields to offer rides in their exciting new technology, the airplane. These daredevils pushed the performance limits of their aircraft—and all too often, crashed. They also provided an example that’s been repeated time and again throughout history: People rapidly applying new technologies to new uses, and a lack of regulation causing real and imagined problems. Read More