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Joseph Marks

Senior Correspondent Joseph Marks covers cybersecurity for Nextgov. He previously covered cybersecurity for Politico, intellectual property for Bloomberg BNA and federal litigation for Law360. He covered government technology for Nextgov during an earlier stint at the publication and began his career at Midwestern newspapers covering everything under the sun. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown University.
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Are Microsoft's Government Search Days Numbered?

July 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration may be on the lookout for a new commercial search engine to use as the backbone for its government-only search tool USASearch, contracting documents show. The government search engine currently runs on Microsoft’s Bing but with tweaks to the algorithm that limit searches to government domains...

Japanese Drones Hit Middle America in WWII

July 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Drones seem to epitomize 21st century warfare. Along with cyberattacks they suggest the growing distance between a war’s commanders and the outcomes of their decisions. The idea that technology could allow nations to manage warfare from a distance evidently stretches back at least to the 1940s, though, according to this...

Stopping the Next Benghazi Through Technology

July 15, 2013 Since the terrorist attacks on American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya last year, official Washington has been obsessed with figuring out how it happened and who should shoulder the blame. Meanwhile, the State Department bureau charged with protecting U.S. embassies and consulates is trying to prevent the next such attack. And...

New App will Guide Visitors Around the Site of John Brown’s Famous Raid

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Another famous site from the Civil War era may be getting its own mobile app soon. The National Park Service posted a presolicitation notice on Wednesday seeking a vendor to build a mobile app-based tour of its Harper’s Ferry Center in West Virginia, former site of the military arsenal that...

Rebooted Smokey’s Giving Bear Hugs

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow With furloughs and pay freezes in the news, feds could be forgiven for not showing a lot of love these days. But that isn’t stopping one of America’s most recognizable federal employees from doubling down on good feelings. Smokey Bear, who’s spent decades warning America’s campers to beware of sparking...

VA Spent $2 Million on Facebook Ads

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department has spent about $2 million on Facebook advertising to lure new followers and maintain ties with existing followers on the social media site, a government official who asked not to be named told Nextgov. A substantial portion of VA’s Facebook ad spending has gone to the...

Look Who’s Gif-ing Now

July 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One sign of an adept politician is the ability to communicate differently with different audiences. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has taken that adage to a new level with an animated gif-filled post on BuzzFeed urging his colleagues to take action to return student loan interest rates to 3.4 percent. The...

Government Has Dropped the Ball on IT Reform, Lawmaker says

July 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., lashed out at government technology leaders on Wednesday for being slow to adopt cost-saving reforms laid out early in the Obama administration and for failing to adequately report their progress. Federal agencies and the White House Office of Management and Budget have been too slow to...

Social Engagement Shouldn't Wait Until After a Crisis Hits

July 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One of the greatest challenges social media emergency managers face is that the public isn’t very interested in hearing from them unless and until a disaster strikes, they told lawmakers on Tuesday. That can make it more difficult to communicate effectively and efficiently with citizens during a crisis, Albert Ashwood,...

GSA Launches Reverse Auction Site

July 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration launched an online reverse auction tool on Monday that it said will help agencies pay lower prices for common office supplies such as laptops, computer monitors and tablets. Agencies can also use the reverse auction site to buy simple services such as technology training and installation,...