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Everything is a tech story now

As people increasingly expect public services to be available online and easy to use, nearly everything government touches is now an issue of public technology. But software, data and gadgets alone are no fix if the individuals actually accessing the services are not considered, according to Tara Dawson McGuinness and Hana Schank, authors of the new book “Power to the Public," which argues for user-centered design. “Very frequently, there is no single person whose job it is to wake up and think about the user experience,” McGuinness said. Benjamin Freed has more.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

New hookups for NYC public housing

New York City last Thursday took another step toward its goal of providing universal broadband access with an announcement of new partnerships expected to connect an additional 30,000 residents. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced the city selected five vendors — and is in negotiations with a sixth — to provide low-cost, high-speed internet access to people staying in 13 of the city’s public housing complexes. Colin Wood reports.

The latest on Colonial Pipeline

A cyberattack has temporarily halted operations at Colonial Pipeline, a massive pipeline system that moves more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily between Texas and New York, the company said Friday. The company said it “proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems.” The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Saturday the cause was ransomware. “This underscores the threat that ransomware poses to organizations regardless of size or sector," a CISA statement read. Sean Lyngaas is following the story for CyberScoop.

Alaska launches broadband task force

A task force of legislators, local public officials and broadband experts will spend the next five months assessing the gaps in Alaska’s current broadband network, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said last week. The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband is the third such board to be created in recent years in the place broadband advocates often rank as the least-connected state in the country. Ryan Johnston has details.


Using AI to augment public health services

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, cloud and artificial intelligence-enabled tools have been a great help to advancing research, collaboration and mission activities. Particularly encouraging is the way public health leaders are able to share biological information across the globe. Google Cloud’s Dr. Alexander Titus discusses the promise of AI to improve how agencies respond to future public health needs. Listen to the full conversation.

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