The Library of Congress’s efforts to replace the aged THOMAS legislation information database with Congress.gov continue with the additions of a quick search for legislation, the Congressional Record index and a "history of bills" feature.
The Quick Search tool is as a streamlined form-based search using fields similar to the Advanced Legislation Search on THOMAS. Improvements to advanced search on Congress.gov include additional fields and more ways to thoroughly search the data.
Data migrations include Congressional Record Index data dating back to 1995 and legislative text from the 101st and 102nd Congresses from 1989 to 1992. The index even provides annotated entries with links to the referenced Confessional Record and bill details. The state legislature websites page was moved over from THOMAS and now features a map linking to U.S. states and territories legislative pages.
The Congress.gov Appropriations Table now includes fiscal years 2003 and 2004, and the Action on Legislation feature to browse by date has been expanded to include amendments.
Throughout the year, the Library of Congress has added to Congress.gov email alerts, treaty documents and better default bill text, enhancements to the search, browse and accessibility features, user driven feedback, Senate Executive Communications and a series of tip videos. It encourages feedback from users for future improvements.
Posted on Dec 17, 2015 at 11:55 AM0 comments
By Mark Fitton and Greg Bishop | Illinois News Network | Watchdog.org
SPRINGFIELD — Tired of carrying a wallet? Ready to go all digital, including your state ID?
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has put out a request for information as the state considers the possibility of paperless driver’s license to be carried on a smartphone or other device, such as an electronic tablet.
There’s virtually no cost at the moment for the state to let potential providers know it’s interested in an endeavor and letting them answer questions and make pitches.
But the RFI represents only the early stages of considering such an effort, secretary of state’s spokesman Henry Haupt said.
“This is in the very beginning stage,” Haupt said in an email, adding the secretary’s office is working with a state task force established by the General Assembly.
“Our office is doing our due diligence to look into the feasibility,” Haupt said.
A top concern, he said, is cybersecurity.
Another concern, he added, is accessibility and acceptance by law enforcement, travel hubs including airports and businesses outside Illinois. One hurdle in that respect: There are no national standards.
Haupt noted the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is looking into developing guidelines. States issuing electronic driver’s licenses would want to be sure, after all, that those licenses are honored by states who do not offer digital licenses. And, of course, cost questions will need to be examined, Haupt said.
Companies who respond to the request for information may make presentations to the state in February.
Read the full story on Watchdog.org.
Posted on Dec 11, 2015 at 11:26 AM0 comments
Virginia’s Mach37 cybersecurity accelerator gained an important endorsement this week with a four-year platinum sponsorship from General Dynamics Mission Systems.
The agreement will help further Mach37’s public-private partnerships that leverage Virginia’s university, industry and government cybersecurity assets to produce new innovative products and companies.
The Mach37 90-day program competitively selects entrepreneurs to be coached in creating and launching cybersecurity businesses, which are then pitched to investors. So far, the program has yielded 29 new cybersecurity companies.
“Mach37 gives us access to Virginia’s smartest minds and innovative technologies, accelerating the delivery of cybersecurity products and solutions that our customers need, when they need it,” said Nadia Short, vice president and general manager of the Cyber Systems line of business for General Dynamics Mission Systems.
This four-year platinum sponsorship was created to supplement the original funding for Mach37 by the Virginia General Assembly.
Posted on Dec 08, 2015 at 11:55 AM0 comments
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a digital services marketplace to attract high-quality vendors. According to an 18F blog post published Dec. 3, the EPA “plans to create a marketplace of vendors who specialize in modern digital practices such as human-centered design, agile software development and DevOps.”
The EPA is conducting market research on the various digital services vendors offer; those findings will help the agency develop a strategy for a potential multiple award. The EPA also plans to evaluate vendors based on their environmentally sustainable business practices.
18F’s consulting team said it has been working “hand in hand” with the EPA to help with its digital transformation. According to the blog, the EPA’s marketplace will be based on 18F’s Agile Delivery Services marketplace.
Posted on Dec 07, 2015 at 11:21 AM0 comments
The most subtle movements by soldiers can adversely affect advanced and precise targeting devices. With the goal of improving the accuracy of targeting systems, the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command conducted a series of tests to determine the effect soldiers’ motions have on their ability to accurately target weapons.
The initial testing focused on collecting baseline motion data, with researchers developing a sensor to capture soldier motion data that could be incorporated into targeting systems and used in laboratory settings for prototyping.
Researchers then conducted tests that would capture soldiers’ motions as the they carried the sensor in various exercises -- such as running, bounding, crawling, moving up and down ramps, dropping to the ground and targeting -- activities that are similar to those they may encounter in combat. The test results indicated that regardless of the soldiers’ size or shape, their motion data was very similar when they were engaged in the same activity.
The results will help researchers develop more accurate targeting systems that will reduce target location errors, reduce time to engage and decrease the number of munitions required to prosecute targets.
Posted on Dec 03, 2015 at 1:28 PM0 comments