New microchips and tablet computers gather government interest at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Facebook amends its terms of service for state governments, the National Archives makes searching for historical documents even easier, and the Federal Communications Commission issues a call for Open Internet proponents to put their programming skills into action, all in this week’s edition of the Gov 2.0 Roundup.
–Though its focus is aimed squarely at the average Joe, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week showcased a few items that may find some interest from within government agencies. Leading the pack of new products that caught the eye of Government Computer News author Dan Rowinski are a range of microchips from Intel and AMD that promise improved speed and enhanced graphic capabilities at a more affordable price point; tablet computers including BlackBerry’s Playbook and a Motorola tablet running the Android operating system Honeycomb; and a slew of 4G devices from Verizon, which may prove especially interesting to agencies whose employees use commercial bandwidth for their agency-issued cell phones.
–After working with the Colorado’s Office of the Attorney General and top legal officials from more than a dozen states for the past year, Facebook announced this week that it will amend its terms of service for state government agencies. By removing an indemnity clause and making other changes, including striking the terms requiring all disputes to be settled in California, Facebook’s terms of service for state governments will no longer conflict with state constitutions. The Colorado Attorney General’s office plans to launch a Facebook page now that the dispute has been resolved.
–If you tried to search for information in the National Archives and Records Administration’s website last year, you may have experienced the frustration echoed by many historians and researchers—it was difficult to find what you needed. NARA staffers heard of the frustration and took action, combining 3 standalone databases into one and allowing users to access the combined collection via the Online Public Access website. According to NARA, the website is a first step toward the agency’s goals of increasing its electronic holdings and giving people an easier way to find and interact with relevant information.
–Does your Internet connection mysteriously slow down on some sites, yet perform just fine on others? And how can you tell the difference between a simple network slowdown and a deliberate attempt by your Internet provider to influence your web behavior? Thanks to the Open Internet Apps Challenge launched this week by the Federal Communications Commission, identifying the source of your Internet issues just got easier. The challenge invites developers and researchers to create and submit tools that will help consumers detect Internet provider interference and other practices that are inconsistent with the notion of a “free and open Internet”, according to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Entries are due June 1 with voting scheduled to start on June 15.
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