Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


Louisville debuts mobile-first website

Louisville debuts mobile-first website

The city of Louisville, Ky., joined the ranks of the “mobile-first” brigade when it unveiled a new website last week using the Drupal content management system as the basis of its content strategy and migration plan.

In announcing the website, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer acknowledged the importance of web services to the success of municipal governments. "We live and work in an increasingly digital world, and one of our top goals is to make more data and services available online," Fischer said.

To do that, the city contracted with Fig Leaf Software to create a platform that made it easier for mobile users to navigate the site. The firm implemented the mobile-oriented design using Drupal on the Acquia platform.

It also incorporated the Google Search Appliance, a rack-mounted device providing document indexing and search functionality that can be integrated into an intranet, document management system or website. 

Posted on Dec 03, 2014 at 12:49 PM0 comments


Social media use growing in law enforcement

Social media use growing in law enforcement

A new report looks at law enforcement’s current social media practices and processes and how the usage landscape has changed over the last two years.

The LexisNexis 2014 Social Media Use in Law Enforcement survey solicited feedback from 496 participants at every level of law enforcement – from rural localities to major metropolitan cities and federal agencies.  Some key points include:

  • Eight out of 10 law enforcement professionals actively use social media as a tool in investigations
  • The most common use is for crime investigations (63 percent)
  • More than half (51 percent) are using social media for crime prevention activities
  • 40 percent use it to monitor special events
  • 34 percent use it to notify the public of crimes, emergencies or disasters

Read the full report and associated infographic.

Posted on Dec 02, 2014 at 8:53 AM0 comments


States leveraging group purchasing for procurement efficiency

A recent analysis of state and local government and education spending finds that although the number of bids has declined, overall spending has increased.

The Onvia State & Local Procurement Snapshot for Q3 2014 analyzes contracting activity across the nation.

Compared with the same quarter last year, the Q3 2014 analysis finds a 3.2 percent decline in opportunity volume, or the number of state, local and education bids and RFPs submitted for open bidding by government agencies, which indicates slowing growth. 

However,  a decrease in opportunity volume does not necessarily indicate a decrease in state and local government spending, according to Paul Irby, a market research analyst at Onvia.  "What we're seeing happen much more often now is one agency awarding a contract to a vendor, then several agencies purchasing off of that single contract for future purchases."

The firm analyzed procurement activity of a sample of cooperative purchasing agencies across the country and saw a 16 percent increase in their procurement volume over the prior year. “Many of these contracts will be purchased off of many times, resulting in a decrease in opportunity volume even if spending is equal to or higher than last year,"  Irby said.

Onvia's Snapshot analyzed several other trends in state, local and education agency procurement for the period, including:

  • A noted decline in telecom contract volume compared to last year, which could be related to both an ongoing migration to VoIP services and the shift from agency-provided wireless devices to government agency BYOD adoption.
  • A 10.5 percent decline in opportunity volume among education agencies. Education is one of the sectors most strongly impacted by cooperative purchasing initiatives as districts aim to pool purchasing activity in an effort to negotiate better pricing and increase procurement efficiency.

With an increase in cooperative purchasing activity resulting in fewer contracts of greater potential value and with higher state and local tax revenues expected to increase overall government spending in 2015, competition among government vendors is also on the rise, the report said. 

Readers can download the full report from Onvia.

Posted on Dec 01, 2014 at 11:51 AM0 comments


NIST revises cryptographic specs

NIST revises cryptographic specs

NIST is requesting comments on its revision of SP 800-90A, Recommendation for Random Number Generation Using Deterministic Random Bit Generators.

This guidance specifies techniques for generating random bits using deterministic methods, based on either hash functions or block cipher algorithms.

According to the announcement, the revision removes the previously approved Dual_EC_DRBG that was based on the use of elliptic curves and includes other changes that are listed in the final appendix of the document.

Comments should be sent to rbg_comments@nist.gov with "SP 800-90A comments" in the subject line by Dec. 31, 2014.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM0 comments


Mozilla releases Firefox browser built for developers

Mozilla releases Firefox browser built for developers

Mozilla released what it calls the first browser for developers.

 Firefox Developer Edition includes tools for building, testing and scaling all from one place, eliminating the need to, “bounce between different platforms and browsers, which decreases productivity and causes frustration,” according to the announcement by Dave Camp, director of developer tools at Mozilla.

Among features built into the browser are:

A distinct theme that includes quicker access to the developer tools.

Experimental developer tools, including the Valence add-on, used to  connect the Firefox developer tools to other browsers such as Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS.

A separate profile. Run the Developer Edition alongside a different release or Beta version of Firefox.

WebIDE, Develop, deploy and debug Firefox OS apps directly in the browser or on a Firefox OS device.

Responsive design view: See how a website or web app will look on different screen sizes without changing the size of the browser window.

In addition, Firefox Developer Edition replaces the Aurora channel in the Firefox Release Process. Like Aurora, features will land in the Developer Edition every six weeks, after they have stabilized in Nightly builds.

By using the Developer Edition, devs can gain access to tools and platform features at least 12 weeks before they reach the main Firefox release channel.

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM0 comments