Can You Disconnect on Vacation? Plus the 7 Gov Stories

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via Mediaite: CIA Joins Twitter, Sends Out Cheeky First Tweet via @mediaite

The Agency’s first tweet

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Federal News Radio: More problems with VA scheduling systems revealed- “A “complicated” scheduling system, unrealistic goals for treating veterans at VA medical facilities and manipulation of wait-times by VA staff have left as many as 57,000 veterans waiting more than 90 days for their first medical appointment, according to anew audit released by the department Monday.The internal report comes weeks into a growing outcry about delays at VA facilities.”

  2. HealthCare.Gov Floats to Amazon’s Cloud in Revamp [The Wall Street Journal]: The Obama administration has turned to to host certain components in the latest sign that cloud is gaining traction in the government sector. The move will give the government more flexibility in the amount of computing power it uses to run its health exchange, experts say, allowing it lower costs outside of peak usage periods.

  3. CIA cites officers for harassment [The Associated Press] Fifteen CIA employees were found to have committed sexual, racial or other types of harassment last year, including a supervisor who was removed from the job after engaging in “bullying, hostile behavior,” and an operative who was sent home from an overseas post for inappropriately touching female colleagues, according to an internal CIA document obtained by The Associated Press.

  4. Nextgov: IRS Illegally Gave Taxpayer Data to the FBI in 2010, Republicans Say: “The IRS sent the FBI a huge database containing sensitive taxpayer information on nonprofit conservative groups, possibly in violation of federal law, House Republicans allege. The lawmakers claim the transfer was part of an intentional effort to potentially probe the organizations for illegal campaign activities. The IRS confirmed the data leak, but FBI officials were unaware of it being used in any investigations.”

  5. GovExec: Lawmakers Want to Overhaul Pay and Benefits for Border Patrol, Firefighters- “Congress is considering sweeping legislation to overhaul pay and benefits for two specialized groups of federal employees. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Monday debated the 2013 Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act, which would eliminate the controversial Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime pay supplement. The bipartisan bill would attempt to standardize pay for Border Patrol agents and prevent them from double dipping into overtime compensation when the extra hours are unplanned.”

  6. Federal Times: GSA hub brings startup methods to government- “Successful tech startups know how to meet their customers’ needs and can quickly adapt to change. They also know how to fail fast — and federal agencies are taking notice. The government wants to apply similar expertise and concepts within its walls through a new General Services Administration initiative: 18F.”

  7. FCW: Senior White House official talks cyber goals, legislative outlook- FCW recently sat down with Ari Schwartz, senior director for cybersecurity at the White House, to discuss a critical juncture for cybersecurity policy — namely, whether congressional action can reinforce and complement White House policy goals.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…

  • Facebook Increases Public Service Verification to Improve Citizen Engagement [DigitalGov]: Facebook is now the first social media platform to start verifying all federal government pages with their signature blue checkmark using the Federal Social Media Registry API.

  • Would You Rather Not Know? One year after Edward Snowden’s leaks, we’re better off for the debate he started [Former former covert CIA ops officer Valerie Plame in Politico]: I firmly believe in the need for strong intelligence capabilities to keep our country secure. But as a citizen, I also believe that our intelligence services must protect both the nation and the freedoms that make it worth protecting. It has now become clear that the government has lost sight of that dual responsibility. And by violating the Constitution and evading proper oversight by Congress and the courts, the intelligence community is undermining the democratic system that it aims to protect.

  • So Far, Big Data Is Small Potatoes [Scientific American] The science journalist John Horgan on the limits of big data correlations — useful, but not enough.

  • Computer passes ‘Turing Test’ for the first time after convincing users it is human [The Telegraph] For the first time in history, a “super computer” has passed the iconic Turing Test. Designed by computer-science engineer and World War 2 codebreaker Alan Turing, the test requires that a computer dupes 30 percent of humans using it into thinking they’re interacting with a real person during a five-minute exchange. At the Royal Society in central London, the computer program “Eugene Goostman,” which was designed to simulate a 13-year-old boy, tricked 33 percent of judges into thinking it was a human. “Eugene” was developed by Vladimir Veselov, a Russian-born man who lives in the United States, and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko. who lives in Russia. While others have claimed their programs passed the Turing Test, this was declared as the first official time.

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