Bob Brewin

Editor at Large Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.
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Electronic health records could be a deadly target during a cyberwar

November 20, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Most health officials worry about hackers stealing sensitive information such as an AIDS diagnosis from someone's electronic medical record, but a technology manager for a health care system in the Pacific Northwest said it's just as likely the digital files could be a target of terrorists or a nation state...

UK Eyes Selling Off Its Weather Service

November 19, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Met Office, the United Kingdom's version of the National Weather Service is on the sales block, the Times of London reported yesterday. While the National Weather Service is operated by a federal agency - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - the Met Office is operated by the UK's...

Keep health IT standards simple, says chief technology officer

November 19, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Health and Human Services Department plans to issue proposed standards for health information technology systems in December, and the government's chief technology officer told an advisory committee on Thursday that policymakers should push for adoption of simple criteria that can evolve. The department should not let "the perfect be...

Treating 419,000

November 18, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow That figure -- 419,000 vets form the Afghanistan and Iraq wars -- staggers the mind, especially when you consider that this is 61 percent above the number the Veterans Affairs Department treated in its 153 hospitals and more than 1,110 outpatient clinics in 2008, according to the report on the...

Senate passes VA bill with $3.3 billion in IT funding

November 18, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which the Senate passed on Nov. 17, includes the largest information technology budget in the department's history -- $3.3 billion. The amount is $800 million more than the $2.5 billion VA budgeted for IT in 2009. The House version of the...

Defense asks industry for help to cut its communications cord

November 18, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Marine speaks into the headset mounted on his helmet while operating a machine gun.Lance Cpl. Kelsey J. Green/U.S. Marine Corps At a time when even children have one, if not two, wireless gadgets, soldiers in armored vehicles still communicate the old-fashioned way: through headsets mounted on their helmets and...

From Defense asks industry for help to cut its communications cord

November 18, 2009 At a time when even children have one, if not two, wireless gadgets, soldiers in armored vehicles still communicate the old-fashioned way: through headsets mounted on their helmets and connected by a cord to an intercom system on their tanks or personnel carriers. Read the full story on

GPS-Equipped Critters Map Sea

November 17, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I consider GPS, along with the Internet, the Defense Department's two greatest gifts to the planet, and I continue to be amazed at the uses folks way outside Defense find for it. That includes a project by the Wildlife Conservation Society to map South America's Patagonian Sea. The wildlife group,...

The Checks Aren't in the Mail

November 16, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last week, when we celebrated Veterans Day, I heard from student veterans at Boston College, George Mason University and George Washington University that they had not yet received their post-9/11 GI bill stipend checks from the Veterans Affairs Department. No stipend checks means no cash for rent or food, these...

Army Afghanistan Tele-Shrinks

November 13, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Army has added about 2,700 behavioral health specialists to treat combat stress during the past two years, with just under 300 deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. But, providing soldiers face-to-face access with psychologists or psychiatrists in Afghanistan remains a challenge due to terrain and the widely dispersed Army forces...

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