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By GCN Staff


New Facebook emojis could support counterterrorism

New Facebook emojis could support counterterrorism

It just got easier for local law enforcement to learn  thing or two about crime and security risks by checking Facebook.

Until now, Facebook users who didn’t want to enter a written reply to a post were limited a thumbs-up or “like.” Now those options have expanded to include a heart and four emoji faces representing surprise, sadness, anger and laughter. Reveal News reported that use of emoji could provide law enforcement and intelligence agencies with new torrents of data for sentiment analysis of criminal and terrorism suspects.

Similar to the way Gmail monitors content in emails and search results to deliver targeted advertisements, police could analyze this new source of intelligence to pick up on feelings related to matters of national security

Some federal agencies already use social media-scraping software programs like SocioSpyder and Dunami to mine social sites and look for “networks of association, centers of influence and signs of radicalization,” according to Reveal News. And many police departments make Facebook a key part of their investigative and community-policing efforts.  The new emoji could make that analysis even easier.

Posted on Mar 03, 2016 at 2:25 PM0 comments


Boston seeks chief data officer

Boston seeks chief data officer

Boston is searching for its first chief data officer.  The CDO will be charged with advancing the city’s leadership in data-driven government and expanding its efforts of incorporating more visualizations and analytics into city operations.

In addition to leading Boston’s Citywide Analytics Team,  the CDO will also be tasked with working with other chiefs and commissioners to spread the use of data analytics in the city and collaborate with outside partners, according to the city’s announcement.

The Citywide Analytics Team also released its first Year-in-Review, which highlights successful programs that have demonstrated how data was used to improve government operations and community engagement.

The team led more than 12 data-driven projects, including the recent launch of CityScore, which gathers performance metrics from city departments and provides an overall score for the city, the Building Intelligence System that gives firefighters real-time hazard data while en route to a scene and a city partnership with Waze to track traffic patterns and increase road safety. The city plans to expand the team’s efforts with the opening of this leadership role.

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 at 1:52 PM0 comments


SPAWAR looks to advance GPS system software

SPAWAR looks to advance GPS system software

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command is considering a follow-on contract to sustain the Global Positioning System-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services (GPNTS) system software.The GPNTS navigation system receives, processes and then distributes 3-D position, velocity, acceleration, attitude, time and frequency data in the formats required by shipboard user systems. The Navy uses GPNTS on vessels as diverse as carriers, guided missile cruisers and destroyers as well as fixed-wing aircraft.

The GPNTS system is currently being developed using a commercial, open-systems architecture approach to meet user requirements in a net-centric service-oriented architecture environment.

The planned scope of work would include engineering, development and test activities on a two-year build cycle, which would allow officials to address out-of-date technologies, information assurance, defect resolution and platform integration.

SPAWAR released the RFI Feb. 9. Responses are due by March 10.

This article originally appeared on Washington Technology, a sister site to GCN.

Posted on Feb 11, 2016 at 1:17 PM0 comments


MTA to host transit hackathon

MTA to host transit hackathon

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is hosting its first "bus hackathon," with the aim of improving bus service on Staten Island.

The one-day hackathon will be held March 5 at the Rudin Center in Manhattan. Attendees will be given access to datasets on ridership for express bus routes and performance data for both express and local bus routes. This is the first time the datasets will be released to the public.

Darryl Irick, senior vice president for the Department of Buses and president of the MTA Bus Company, said the hackathon provides an important opportunity to help improve mass transit in New York City.

“The hackathon is an invitation for feedback from our tech-savvy customers as well as an opportunity for New York City Transit to further use innovation and technology to provide our customers with better service,” Irick said in a statement announcing the hackathon.

The event will be sponsored by TransitCenter, with additional support provided by Google and CartoDB, a GIS and web mapping company. The event is open to the public, but registration ends Feb. 20. Details on prizes and the judging process will be announced closer to the March 5 event.

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 at 8:54 AM0 comments


Gigabit Internet comes to KC public housing

Gigabit Internet comes to KC public housing

The Housing Authority of Kansas City, Mo., is working with Google Fiber to give families in subsidized housing gigabit Internet access.

One hundred apartments in the West Bluff housing complex have been wired with Google Fiber, and eight other properties will soon be outfitted as well, bringing gigabit-speed Internet to more than 1,300 residents.

Residents will get free or reduced-cost Internet access as a result of ConnectHome, an initiative by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that aims to bring affordable Internet access to public housing residents in 27 cities across the country.  The program also covers the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma.

Google said it intends to offer the same service to public housing residents in all its Google Fiber cities, including Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Provo, Utah; Raleigh–Durham, N.C; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Antonio, Texas.

Posted on Feb 08, 2016 at 2:11 PM0 comments