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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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VA Wants to Buy Data Storage the Way It Buys Electricity

February 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department launched a potential procurement yesterday to acquire storage systems for its five data centers on a metered basis, the same way households and businesses buy electricity. The VA Enterprise Operations division provides computing services -- including storage, disk mirroring and tape backups -- to department users ...

Defense Mulls Location-Specific Health Record Licenses

February 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Pentagon may develop its next generation electronic health record system -- slated serve 9.6 million patients and 70,000 clinicians -- through a series of enterprise licenses crafted to meet the specific requirements of a variety of military hospitals and clinics, according to a notice to industry posted on the ...

DARPA Wants to Help You Search the Web Better

February 10, 2014 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has kicked off a project to fine tune Web searches by topical domain rather than general subjects, allowing it to “maintain technological superiority in the area of content indexing and Web search on the Internet.” DARPA plans to use the system initially to counter ...

Another Day, Another Shutdown for the VA Claims System

February 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This post has been updated with a comment from VA. I have received reports from Veterans Benefits Administration offices that the paperless Veterans Benefits Management System once again experienced a nationwide shutdown, an occurrence so routine it soon will not fit the definition of news. Eric Jenkins, a ratings service ...

Five Major Drug Chains to Adopt Blue Button Prescription Standards

February 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Five major national pharmacy chains with a total of more than 20,000 stores throughout the country have signed on to the Blue Button health information sharing initiative pioneered by the Veterans Affairs Department in 2010, the White House said in a blog post. CVS, Caremark, Kroger, Rite Aid, Safeway and ...

DARPA Launches Project to Revolutionize Web Search

February 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has kicked off a project to fine tune Web searches by topical domain rather than general subjects, allowing it to “maintain technological superiority in the area of content indexing and Web search on the Internet.” DARPA plans to use the system initially to counter ...

AFGE Rep: VA Paperless Claims System Shuts Down on a Weekly Basis

February 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department’s $492 million paperless Veterans Benefits Management System routinely shuts down on roughly a weekly basis, according to reports from members of the American Federation of Government Employees who use the system. AFGE members reported “during the last month that VBMS shut down on roughly a weekly ...

Army Needs More Uniformed Personnel to Maintain Tactical Network Gear

February 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Army needs to raise the number of uniformed personnel managing and maintaining its increasingly complex battlefield communications networks, the Pentagon’s test organization urged in its annual report to Congress. J. Michael Gilmore, director of operational test and evaluation for the Defense Department, evaluated two Army exercises conducted last year ...

Uh Oh – Not Enough Berths for Chiefs on New Ford Carrier

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A line buried deep in the Pentagon’s 2013 evaluation of major systems says the Navy has underestimated the berthing requirements for its next generation aircraft carrier, the $12 billion USS Gerald Ford, slated to join the fleet in 2016. A variety of new-fangled systems was supposed to reduce manning requirements ...

Failures Beset Navy’s New Aircraft Carrier and Patrol Planes

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A number of problems in key systems of the Navy’s next generation aircraft carrier and patrol aircraft threaten their operational effectiveness, the Pentagon’s test organization said in its annual report to Congress. J. Michael Gilmore, director of operational test and evaluation for the Defense Department, also highlighted software problems with ...