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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Sorry, Apple: Hong Kong Way Ahead with Mobile Payments

September 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I experienced the mobile payment future last year on a 10-day trip to Hong Kong — but it was with the Octopus Card used to access the city's subway and rail system, not a smartphone with near-field communications like the “Apple Pay” introduced with much hype yesterday. The Octopus Card,...

Army Eyes 4G Cellular Tech for Combat Communications

September 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Army’s communications research center wants to evaluate the use of commercial, broadband cellular technology for battlefield communications, a move that could herald the beginning of the end for a similar system the Defense Department has struggled to develop and deploy since 1997. The Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development Engineering Center...

The VA Has Way Too Many Websites for Veterans Care

September 9, 2014 Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said he plans to launch a new digital services team in the agency to help winnow down its numerous websites as part of a plan to improve the services VA delivers to veterans. During a press conference Monday, McDonald decried the large number...

How About More VA iPad-Toting Health Service Reps?

September 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Nashville, Tennessee, Veterans Affairs hospital at one time had 12 customer service reps wearing easy-to-spot red coats and equipped with iPads hanging around the front door to provide instant service to vets entering the facility, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said at a press conference yesterday. McDonald said these red-coats...

VA Secretary Wants to Improve Digital Services for Vets

September 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said he plans to launch a new digital services team in the agency to help winnow down its numerous websites as part of a plan to improve the services VA delivers to veterans. During a press conference Monday, McDonald decried the large number...

Lockheed Wins $45 Million Award for Continued Cross Domain Software Support

September 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department awarded Lockheed Martin a new $45 million contract for its “Radiant Mercury” system, which is used to sanitize and share classified information — including, purportedly, classified satellite imagery — across a variety of security domains. Developed as a Navy project in 1992 and installed on command ships...

Army Spends $181M on Smart Label Technology to Track Military Supplies

September 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Army launched a procurement last Friday valued at $181 million for barcode-based automatic identification technology gear to track supplies globally for all four military services, the Coast Guard, other federal agencies and NATO allies. The contract covers, among other things, barcode readers and printers connected to Wi-Fi access points...

Intelligence Research Agency Plans First Industry Confab

September 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity plans to hold its first industry day since its founding in 2006. The purpose of the gathering – held Oct. 29-30 – “is to provide a unique look at the breadth and depth of IARPA's research through briefings, discussions and demonstrations,” including the Aggregative...

CRS: Cops Can Get Kitchen and Lawn Care Gear from DOD

August 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Congressional Research Service has produced a report on the militarization of law enforcement unearthed by Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, which shows the Defense Department is a good source of gear far beyond the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles in the news...

New DOD-VA Health Records System Coming to More Facilities Soon

August 29, 2014 CORRECTION: This story and its headline has been updated to correct the original version, which erroneously reported the Defense Department had missed its own deadlines for installing health-records viewers. The program met its pilot goals. The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have installed a software viewer that allows clinicians...

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