News

National Cancer Institute finds smoking cessation success via text messages

It turns out texting can be good for you. The SMS messages, or texts, that a behavioral health program from the National Cancer Institute sends doubles the likelihood that someone will quit smoking, data shows.

NIST issues identity management considerations for FirstNet

As work moves forward on a nationwide public safety broadband network, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released guidelines for addressing identity management across the new system. 

Mobile phone ownership surges in sub-Saharan African countries, new Pew Research report finds

About two-thirds or more surveyed in seven African countries said they owned a mobile phone with South Africa and Nigeria ranking highest in ownership – with nine in 10 owning a phone.

New feature on FEMA mobile app lets users get weather alerts for up to 5 locations

The weather alert feature expands the app's existing functionality, which includes a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps that display shelters and disaster recovery centers, and safety tips for surviving disasters.

Law enforcement adoption of GIS mobile apps largely determined by expectations, finds study

If you build it, law enforcement officers will come – or rather, they'll come if they think they will do their jobs better. That's the result of a study by the National Institute of Justice, which developed, implemented and evaluated a geographic information system-enabled application that dynamically identifies the location of persons of interest.

Army seeks 'radio marketplace'

Vendors will compete for orders for the full rate production of Manpack radios in a "radio marketplace" that the Army seeks to create.

USGS-led study: Smartphones can create crowdsourced earthquake warning systems

Researchers tested whether a crowdsourced early earthquake warning system would work with a simulated magnitude 7 earthquake and used real data from the 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake in Tohoku-oki, Japan. 

DHS agency announces expansion of mobile security app archiving system beyond Android

The DHS-funded mobile security application archiving technology is expanding to include apps from Apple iTunes, Microsoft Windows Phone Store, Google Play and Amazon.

Study highlights opportunities for law enforcement mobile applications

A recent study examining the use of mobile technology for criminal justice found that three mobile applications custom-developed for commercial smartphones were not adopted, did not provide new capabilities and did not help information dissemination – but that doesn't mean the tests were a failure.

EPA solicits mobile smart tools to help field inspectors move from paper system to digital

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to employ mobile smart tools to help its field officers in collecting data, says a March 30 EPA solicitation. The EPA's post says it's looking for a contractor to develop a mobile field inspection device to replace the current system which is paper-based.

Augmented reality could improve postal operations, says report

The U.S. Postal Service could use augmented reality to improve mail processing, delivery and customer experience, finds the USPS Inspector General in an April 6. Augmented reality allows users to see previously static content on paper or by gazing at a situation like a partially-loaded mail truck, through a mobile or wearable device in a new, interactive way.

Everyday hand motions could protect smartphones from breaches, research shows

Human motion that naturally occurs when people use smartphones could prevent malware from infecting mobile devices, new research suggests.

GAO, DOT at odds over smartphone app

A new smartphone app from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that shares safety scores of interstate truck and bus companies is giving officials at the Government Accountability Office "heartburn."

'Legislative fix' needed for law enforcement to access encrypted devices, FBI director tells panel

James Comey told a House panel that he coudn't quantify how device encryption has affected FBI work, but called it an "obstacle in a huge percentage of our criminal investigations."

Cybersecurity emerging as concern for 911 call centers as they become connected to Internet

As 911 call centers transition to next-generation systems that are connected to the Internet, concerns about cybersecurity among emergency professionals and first responders will grow, a Washington state government technology official recently said during a podcast interview.

Mobile is not (yet) part of government's DNA

Despite recent progress in the area of enterprise mobility the federal government is still cautiously feeling its way through the mobile landscape.

USDA eyes BYOD, faces security and workforce challenges

The Agriculture Department is in the process of drafting a bring your own device, or BYOD, strategy but it still has several security and workforce hurdles to overcome, said Joyce Hunter, USDA's acting chief information officer and deputy CIO for policy and planning.

Broadcasters to FCC: TV white spaces database design flaws put licensed users at risk

The database's purpose is to identify channels that TV stations and others are using so that unlicensed TV band devices don't cause interference.

CBP, ICE still face radio communications challenges along southwest border, GAO says

Agencies in the Homeland Security Department have been trying establish interoperable radio communications along the southwest border, but they've fallen short of testing and managing such initiatives as well as getting users better trained on the upgraded systems.

FTC announces formation of new technology research office, succeeding former mobile unit

The Federal Trade Commission announced March 23 the formation of a new unit that will provide expert research, investigative techniques and insights into a range of technology issues from the Internet of Things to privacy.