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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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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...

These Are the Tech Trends Government Might Not Be Ready For

April 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Technology forces including the Internet of Things are changing public and private sectors alike, but governments face unique challenges in fully implementing emerging technology: outdated hiring practices and concerns about the privacy of citizen data, among others. The federal government may soon be stymied by a shortage of young, creative...

Meet the Federal Government's Health Care IT Champion, Karen DeSalvo

April 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Karen DeSalvo has a vision for health care in the United States. It’s one in which sick patients don’t have to interrupt their drug treatments every time they switch hospitals, and in which health care providers aren’t hindered by bureaucracy and outdated file keeping. Digitizing medical records, she believes, enhances...

DOD to Start Its Own Digital Service Team

April 24, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department plans to establish its own digital service team, modeled on the less-than-a-year-old White House tech group responsible for troubleshooting HealthCare.gov and other federal IT projects. The announcement of the Pentagon tech team came during a recent trip to California's Silicon Valley area, during which Defense Secretary Ash...