The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Thursday the 30th of August, 2012
- The winners are in for the best state and local government websites. First place winners are the state of Alabama, Orange County, Fla., and Louisville, Ky. Government Technology says the honors went to websites that demonstrated innovation, usability and maximum functionality for users.
- The Air Force is is looking for help to prepare for the cyber war of the future. They are looking for 10-page concept paper proposals. CTOVision.com says unlike in most previous unclassified announcements which tended to focus on cybersecurity, the Air Force is interested specifically in what it calls “Cyberspace Warfare Operations.” The capabilities the Air Force is looking for are Cyberspace Warfare Attack, Cyberspace Warfare Support, and related technologies. Proposals are due by December 31st.
- The National Archives and Records Administration says it has reviewed nearly all of its 400,000 page backlog of old declassified documents. Federal News Radio says Archives got help from an executive order in 2009 creating the National Declassification Center. It fostered a more uniform approach to how agencies classify and declassify documents.
- Hurricane Isaac has knocked out power to the Joint Reserve Base at New Orleans Naval Air Station in nearby Belle Chasse. NextGov reports the base is running on backup generators. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also on hand. They've deployed a large truck-mounted mobile emergency response center equipped with a satellite communications system and multiple radios to the Louisiana state emergency operations center in Baton Rouge to facilitate communications with first responders.
- Meanwhile scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are testing some new tools to help understand hurricanes. NextGov reports the agencies are using unmanned boats and aircraft, including a massive drone. The three-year program is just starting, and for now NASA’s plan is focused on basic research, rather than real-time forecasting. Still, the aircraft's 116-foot wingspan and ability to stay in the air for nearly 30 hours has scientists optimistic.
- The Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs are ready to expand 16 pilot programs and offer veterans’ health information exchanges nationwide. Federal Times reports, the new exchanges will build on the success of the pilots, where VA and DoD physicians in Indianapolis, Richmond, Va., San Diego and other cities share veterans’ health data with each other and the private sector.
- A leading postal workers' union says the new Republican Party platform is anti-letter carrier. The National Association of Letter Carriers say Republicans would destroy their jobs and the Postal Service. Federal News Radio reports the GOP platform says the Postal Service must downsize in the Internet era. It says mail delivery from the days of the "Pony Express" cannot go on, and it implores Congress to explore ways to privatize parts of the mail-processing system.