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Frank Konkel

Frank Konkel is Nextgov’s executive editor. He writes about the intersection of government and technology. Frank began covering tech in 2013 upon moving to the Washington, D.C. area after getting his start in journalism working at local and state issues at daily newspapers in his home state of Michigan. Frank was born and raised on a dairy farm and graduated from Michigan State University.
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The Next Step in Securing the Border: Fido and a Smart-Sensor Collar

October 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the future, sensor-equipped collars could let your dog tell you all about its day. If it sounds a little far-fetched, consider that the U.S. government is exploring the possibility of outfitting its border-protecting canines with futuristic collars that can, for example, translate a dog’s stress level through its bark...

NASA Awards Flurry of Contracts for IT Services Under SEWP V

October 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA has a host of new vendors to buy IT services from, after awarding 56 contracts to more than 40 companies under the latest version of its Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement, known as SEWP. Announced Oct. 1, SEWP V is the fifth generation of the multiaward governmentwide acquisition contract. This...

Why a Refrigerator-Sized Spacecraft Could be Humanity’s Best Hope Against Solar Storms

October 1, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Space is a violent place, and currently the only tool that helps predict solar storms is NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer, operating 10 years beyond its design life. Realizing the severity of the risk posed by solar storms – like the one that narrowly missed Earth in 2012 – the U.S....

NOAA Taps New Head for Satellite Programs

September 30, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tapped one of NASA’s top spaceflight officials to lead the division responsible for overseeing billions of dollars’ worth of environmental satellites. NOAA tapped Stephen Volz to be the new head of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services, filling a position left...

Fuzzy Math on Data Centers Could Sink Further Savings, GAO Warns

September 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The federal government hasn’t struggled to close or consolidate the growing number of energy-guzzling data centers, but a new Government Accountability Office report suggests agencies and overseers need to improve how they tally up cost savings or the feds could miss out on billions in further savings. The new audit...

Intelligence Community ‘All In’ on New Technology Plan

September 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Three years after top officials within the intelligence community first gathered to formulate a new approach to handling technology within its 17 component agencies, the resulting plan’s foundation has been laid and agencies are off and running. Called the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise, or IC-ITE (pronounced “eyesight”), the plan...

Every Part of the US Government Has Probably Already Been Hacked

September 10, 2014 Cybersecurity has been touted by the Obama administration as one of its top technology priorities over the past several years, but heightened visibility alone has done little to deter adversaries that include state-sponsored hackers, hackers for hire, cyber syndicates and terrorists. Consider the testimony today from some of the nation’s...

Is There Any Part of Government That Hasn’t Been Hacked Yet?

September 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Cybersecurity has been touted by the Obama administration as one of its top technology priorities over the past several years, but heightened visibility alone has done little to deter adversaries that include state-sponsored hackers, hackers for hire, cyber syndicates and terrorists. Consider the testimony today from some of the nation’s...

GSA’s McClure to Lead Cloud Strategy at Private Firm

September 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Long-time innovator and public servant Dave McClure, who announced his retirement from the General Services Administration in April, has joined Vienna, Virginia-based Veris Group LLC as its chief strategist. The chief strategist is a new position at Veris, according to a press statement, and will put McClure in the role...

Pentagon Accepts Bids on Long-Awaited Health Records Contract

August 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department on Monday opened its Healthcare Management Systems Modernization contract to bids, beginning what could be an $11 billion effort over the next decade to modernize the way the Pentagon provides health care to service members. DOD’s goal is to use this single award contract to eventually replace...