A new reason for government to get a handle on unmanned aerial systems surfaced this week, when Customs and Border Protection announced that CBP agents had recovered a 30.8 pounds of marijuana dropped from a drone near San Luis, Ariz. The drone delivery was the latest example of how drug smugglers “experiment with different techniques in an attempt to bring narcotics and other harmful contraband into the United States,” said Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik. He said such efforts were in reaction to CPB’s “highly effective enforcement techniques.”
Yuma Station border patrol agents on Nov. 16 observed the octocopter-style drone illegally entering the San Luis airspace from San Luis, Rio Colorado, Mexico. Agents using night-vision goggles followed the drone to its drop point, where they discovered three bundles of marijuana weighing about 10 pounds each. The pot had an estimated value of $15,430.
Last year's crash of a small drone onto the White House lawn, and incidents in California where drone-flying hobbyists disrupted firefighting efforts, have prompted a search for stronger detection and defensive measures. Border security could provide another incentive.
“Our agents’ vigilance was responsible for detecting this particular drone event, but we always encourage members of the public to assist our efforts by contacting the Border Patrol upon seeing suspicious activity,” Porvaznik said.
This article is based on an earlier report from our sister site FederalSoup.
Posted on Jan 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM0 comments
One of the first jobs for Philadelphia’s new mayor, Jim Kenney, will be finding a new chief innovation officer following the resignation of Adel Ebeid late last year.
Ebeid was the city's first CIO, and before that served as the CIO/CTO for the state of New Jersey. Under his management, Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology expanded services provided to city agencies and citizens, embarked upon a citywide technology modernization effort to secure and stabilize the city’s technology portfolio and expanded on the success of open data and geospatial initiatives.
“I feel extremely proud of what the team has been able to accomplish over the last four years,” Ebeid said before he left. “From day one, we focused on building an organization that can sustain change in the future, and I’m proud to leave behind a team who will continue to drive the technology modernization agenda.”
Ebeid will start this new position as the president for innovation and technology of sustainability company Green Diamond Solutions.
Posted on Jan 13, 2016 at 10:47 AM0 comments
NASA has contracted with Science Applications International Corp. to provide services to operate the NASA Enterprise Applications Competency Center. Based in Huntsville, Ala., NEACC manages key business and mission-supporting platforms, applications and infrastructure used across the agency.
According to the contract’s original statement of work, NASA requires a seamless technical IT infrastructure to ensure interoperability both within programs and across its centers and facilities in support of collaboration and secure and cost-effective IT service delivery. The Enterprise Applications Service Technologies (EAST) 2 contract supports enterprise applications, such as financial, human capital, logistics and procurement; center-specific applications; cross-functional infrastructure services, such as business intelligence; and support of the Center for Internal Mobile Applications.
EAST 2 is potentially worth $485 million over eight years. Included in the award is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity feature to provide application service support to additional NASA centers.
SAIC is currently providing support to the NEACC under a $321.2 million EAST contract that is set to expire on Jan. 31. The new contract will begin on Feb. 1 and could run through March 2024.
Posted on Jan 12, 2016 at 11:12 AM0 comments
Amazon Web Services kicked off the new year with a 5 percent price reduction on certain EC2-optimized Linux cloud hosting services, including On-Demand and Reserved instances for R3 running Linux in the AWS GovCloud.
Amazon is also reducing the On-Demand, Reserved instances and dedicated host prices for C4, M4 and R3 instances running on Linux by 5 percent in northern Virginia, northern California and Oregon, as well as certain regions internationally, according to the company's blog.
Smaller reductions were also announced for the same instances running on Windows, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. New pricing for all are now in effect, and will be reflected on billing statements at the end of the month. The new AWS Price List API will be updated later in the month as well.
Posted on Jan 11, 2016 at 2:05 PM0 comments
The Department of the Interior has moved its Financial and Business Management System to the cloud, giving it the flexibility to dynamically reallocate cloud computing resources and better evaluate service level agreement performance. The move will help Interior more effectively plan, budget, allocate and account for its various budgetary, acquisition, grant and asset-management activities.
The system uses SAP and Compusearch core business management and reporting components, and integrates with existing payroll, procurement and travel systems. Working with Unisys and its partner Virtustream, Interior’s migration makes it the first federal organization to move its SAP-based financial management application to the cloud. The system simplifies management of the agency’s SAP and Compusearch cloud infrastructure, Unisys said.
The migration is part of Interior's five-year IT Transformation Strategic Plan, issued in 2011, to significantly cut costs with "a 21st century service delivery organization that provides innovative technologies at lower cost to support our mission areas." The move also complies with the Office of Management and Budget’s Cloud First policy mandating that federal agencies take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing.
Posted on Jan 07, 2016 at 2:05 PM0 comments