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Mohana Ravindranath

Staff Correspondent Mohana Ravindranath covers civilian agency technology and IT policy for Nextgov. She previously covered IT for the Washington Post, and her work has also appeared in Business Insider and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
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Many Projects in Pentagon’s Emerging Tech Program Still Stuck in Development

May 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Defense Department program that funds emerging technology development isn’t actually transitioning enough of that technology out of the research phase, a new Government Accountability Office report suggests. By the end of the 2014 solicitation, DOD’s “Rapid Innovation Program” will have awarded contracts for about 435 projects, after receiving 11,000...

Committee Approves Plans for DHS Social Media Group

May 6, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Homeland Security might soon be hiring Twitter experts. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday passed a bill that directs DHS to establish a Social Media Working Group to assess how the technology can be used in disaster response. The Social Media Working Group...

By Infusing Government Services with Tech, Sweden Aims to Bolster Social Welfare and Democracy

May 6, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In Sweden, some taxpayers bypass the paperwork, instead authorizing their payment on their smartphones with a single click. When searching for jobs, citizens are directed to the iTunes or Google Play store and encouraged to download a job search app called Platsbanken, developed by the national employment agency. A nationwide...

Government’s Own Venture Capitalist

May 6, 2015 Nagesh Rao is living in the future—10, sometimes 15 years out. He’s on the lookout for small businesses on the verge of uncovering big tech trends. He doesn’t care about the next hot smartphone app. Instead, he’s searching for emerging technology that could transform industries—clean energy, life sciences, transportation, among...

Lawmaker Wants to Connect More Federal Buildings to the Internet of Things

May 5, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal buildings may be the newest "smart" entities to join the Internet of Things, if a recently introduced Senate bill gains traction. Last month, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced legislation encouraging more federal agencies to embrace new technologies -- digital air conditioning units that can be controlled and monitored remotely...

Senators Beg Techies To Bring Congress Into 21st Century

May 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Addressing a room full of young volunteers at Google's office in Washington, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., weren't asking for votes -- they were asking for tech help. Congressional proceedings are "pretty old school" and low tech, Thune said in remarks. Legislative amendments are often proposed by...

VA Blocked More Than a Billion Cyber Threats in March

May 3, 2015 The Department of Veterans Affairs experienced a significant surge in cyber threats in March, Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren said during a Thursday call with reporters. The department blocked 1.19 billion malware instances and 358 million intrusion attempts into VA systems in March alone, Warren said. This number is up...

VA Thwarts Over a Billion Cyber Threats -- Just in March

April 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Veterans Affairs experienced a significant surge in cyber threats in March, Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren said during a Thursday call with reporters. The department blocked 1.19 billion malware instances and 358 million intrusion attempts into VA systems in March alone, Warren said. This number is up...

OMB Unveils FITARA Guidelines For Public Comment

April 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Months after Congress approved the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act -- designed to prevent government technology flubs like HealthCare.gov’s glitchy rollout -- the Office of Management and Budget has released implementation guidelines. The draft guidance is posted on GitHub in an attempt to “signal transparency in federal policymaking and to...

IT Pros Say Most Businesses Buy Cyber Tech Based on Cost, Not Security

April 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Most IT professionals say their organizations have invested in security technology that was eventually scrapped, a new survey suggests. Ninety percent of respondents said their companies had spent money on cybersecurity technology that was shelved before, or soon after, deployment, according to a survey of about 600 IT professionals. In...