Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


NYC launches portal for city agency reports

NYC launches portal for city agency reports

New York City is now making city agency reports available for public viewing in one consolidated hub. 

The new online portal, currently in beta for gathering feedback and hosted on GitHub, stores thousands of reports issued by NYC agencies—for which the city’s records department serves as the historical repository.

The site lets the public easily and quickly search through city reports by document title, description, agency, type of report and category. The portal features a mobile-friendly design and embedded PDFs, which allow users to view documents without manually saving to their computer.

So far, about 12,000 publications are currently online, the city said in its announcement, with 7,000 more submitted and others being added as they are issued. 

Led by the Department of Records and Information Services and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the portal was built with the help of students from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. 

Upcoming features include full-text search, relevancy scores, CSV export and APIs that will allow other applications to access the database.

Posted on Apr 06, 2015 at 8:21 AM0 comments


Atlantic cod

NOAA partners with fisherman to save cod populations

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is partnering with local fisherman in Massachusetts to develop a tech-based solution for saving cod populations. But first they have to find the fish.

The scientists plan to locate mating and spawning clusters, once favorite targets for fishermen, and cordon them off as a way of protecting the species and allowing it to repopulate.  Using microphones on the sea floor and unmanned autonomous underwater vehicles, scientists are trying to get better information on the locations of spawning cod.

Local fishermen are contributing their knowledge about the “dynamics of fish populations and how patterns of distribution change in space and time,” said Bill Karp, director of science and research at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass. “That knowledge is extremely difficult for a scientist to obtain, so the opportunity to work with fishermen and learn from them is very advantageous.”

Using information gleaned from the microphones and unmanned underwater vehicles that transmit data each time they resurface, scientists hope to turn that information into verifiable, measurable ways to track and protect the cod.

Posted on Apr 03, 2015 at 8:21 AM0 comments


IBM opens network tech testing facilities

IBM opens network tech testing facilities

IBM has opened two labs where clients can evaluate and test software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV) and analytics-driven automation in near-real environments.

Tailored for large enterprise networking systems and telecommunications operators, the centers -- one in Dallas and the other in Nice, France, will let clients experiment with solutions that feature resilient, high-performing and continuously available networks. Clients can test technologies from IBM and partners Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Juniper Networks, Riverbed and VMware.

The Network Innovation Centers will help clients support proof of concepts, validate technologies and demonstrate use cases. Key areas supported by the centers include:

  • IBM supported networking solutions from leading network technology providers in legacy, cloud and hybrid IT environments.
  • Integration of legacy and SDN-NFV based networking environments.
  • Use of analytics for proactive network operations.
  • Demonstration of networking functions on an open multivendor cloud environment.
  • Validation of hybrid solutions through provisioning of network functions and users in the IBM SoftLayer Cloud.
  • Demonstration of how enterprise workloads interact with the new carrier network technologies being deployed.

The centers' resources can be accessed on site or remotely, IBM said, and clients can bridge the capabilities of the two centers simultaneously to design solutions to meet the specific needs of the environments.

Posted on Apr 03, 2015 at 8:21 AM0 comments


CIS offers pre-hardened resources for Amazon cloud

CIS offers pre-hardened resources for Amazon cloud

The Center for Internet Security announced the availability of Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for a variety of operating systems, which will enable organizations to reduce time, cost and risk in their cloud deployments.

Offered via the AWS Marketplace, the launch instances are hardened according to secure configuration baselines prescribed by CIS’s expert consensus teams. The AMIs are accessible for use by any organization using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and available for six CIS benchmarks-hardened systems: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server, Red Hat Linux 6 and 7, Amazon Linux 2014.09, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and Centos Linux 7.

The CIS AMIs, which can be obtained on demand on a computer-hour basis, are the only virtual machines available in the cloud that are preconfigured based on CIS’ internationally recognized secure configuration recommendations, according to the cybersecurity nonprofit.

Amazon EC2 Regions in the United States where the CIS AMIs are available include U.S. East (N. Virginia), U.S. West (N. California) and U.S. West (Oregon).

“The need for flexible, affordable and secure resources is urgent, and as more organizations move their business into the cloud, the CIS AMIs are a cost-effective way for entities in the public and private sectors to customize solutions that meet their needs,” said William F. Pelgrin, CEO of the Center for Internet Security.

CIS produces consensus-based secure configuration benchmarks and content and serves as a cybersecurity resource for state, local, territorial and tribal governments.

Posted on Apr 01, 2015 at 8:21 AM0 comments


What’s new at Data.gov

What’s new at Data.gov

Data.gov, the home of the government’s open data information, has announced a new features for its open data platform. 

First, Data.gov has added a new “Open With” menu that will enable users to directly open datasets with Plotly and CartoDB – both data visualization tools. Plotly converts datasets into graphs, and CartoDB,can be used to quickly turn geospatial data into maps, some of which can be seen in this gallery of maps using government data.

The Open With menu also now supports KML and zipped Shapefiles. Data.gov will continue to add third-party tools to it. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also worked with Data.gov on an interactive data visualization tool to better illustrate the agency’s support for community building.

The tool allows the public to explore FEMA grant data related to fire, preparedness, mitigation and public assistance. The tool visualizes disaster declarations by state, hazard and county.

Data.gov also launched a customer service platform for users to request data and report problems with current datasets. The new Help Desk is based on the Open311 specification commonly used by local governments to allow citizens to request non-emergency municipal services and track progress of those requests.

On Data.gov, users will be able to request specific data to be released, submit issues (such as broken links or downloading problems) and check the status of those requests.

Currently the form is available on the Contact Us menu, but it will soon be integrated with datasets on the site. The developers also plan to make the Help Desk API available to agencies and organizations outside government.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 at 1:15 PM0 comments