Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.
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Former NASA Web Manager Is Crowdfunding Her Discrimination Suit Against the Agency

April 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As a Web manager and open government lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Megan Eskey used social media and other innovative approaches to publicize NASA activities. Now she’s using those same tools to publicize a discrimination complaint against her former employer and to crowdsource funds to support her suit and...

Sometimes the Best Big Data Questions Raise the Biggest Privacy Concerns

April 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One useful definition for the unstructured data that underlies most existing and theoretical big data projects is that it was often collected for some purpose other than what the researchers are using it for. That definition was provided by Chris Barrett, executive director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute during a...

Remember the Woes? State Exchanges Had the Same Problems

April 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A parade of executives managing state online health care marketplaces shared stories with Congress on Thursday that echoed the turbulent tale of the federal site Troubles included glitchy launches, conflict with vendors and patchwork personnel changes. The fixes and workarounds instituted by state exchanges often included hiring 100 or...

Census Needs Better IT Plans for 2020, Auditor Says

April 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Census Bureau should keep a more diligent testing schedule for information technology initiatives related to the 2020 census or it risks not having a firm plan in place by a 2015 deadline, according to an auditor’s report released on Thursday. Census plans to improve technology in 2020 include...

The Human Genome’s Secrets: Unlocked and Online

April 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After spending decades helping unlock the secrets of the human genome, the National Human Genome Research Institute wants to unlock educational materials about the project from their home at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The museum and the genome research institute partnered on Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, a...

Is Google's Problem 'Big Data Hubris' or Insufficient Data?

April 1, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The trouble with Google Flu Trends might not be “big data hubris” as charged by a recent analysis in the journal Science, but rather that Google’s data simply wasn’t big enough to be sufficiently predictive, a program director at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity said on Tuesday. The Science...

What Kind of Tech Exec (or Potential Exec) Are You?

March 31, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal technologists face myriad challenges from delivering quality services on a tight budget to keeping employee morale up when salaries are down. Everyone would like to be highly productive, maintain tight security and have a perfectly integrated suite of tools to work with. Unlimited opportunity for innovation would be helpful...

Leaders Split on Whether the Obama Administration Can Accomplish Its IT Goals

March 31, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal information technology leaders are about evenly split on whether their agencies can achieve a slate of ambitious IT reform goals established by the Obama administration, according to survey data gathered by the Government Business Council. About 32 percent of the 74 civilian and military information technology leaders surveyed by...

Obamacare Sees Social Media Surge Ahead of #Deadline

March 31, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Members of the Obama administration weren’t the only ones with eyes fixed on, the once glitch-ridden federal health insurance marketplace that was receiving record site visits as consumers tried to buy Obamacare plans before the deadline Monday. Social media users also were fixated on the landmark health care reform:...

All For One

March 28, 2014 When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, the response and recovery were considered a disaster for government. There was no clear chain of command. Communication broke down between federal agencies and state and local responders. And many of the hurricane’s victims, left homeless and broken by the disaster,...

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