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IRL conferences are back

After more than a year-and-a-half of state and local government IT agencies racing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by dramatically — and often rapidly — scaling up their use of cloud computing, the head of Amazon Web Services’ state, local and education practice said Monday that there’s been a permanent shift in how government is approaching service delivery. “It was never a question of ‘if we should go to the cloud’ but ‘when?'” Kim Majerus, AWS’ vice president of U.S. public sector for the state, local and education markets, said in an interview with StateScoop ahead of the cloud giant's first in-person event in nearly two years. Benjamin Freed reports.

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.

Big funding for big data

Civis Analytics, a data analytics firm that helps state and local governments use data to refine their public engagement strategies, on Monday announced it raised $30.7 million in a Series B funding round. The funding came from several venture capital firms, as well as Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive. Civis, which was founded by veterans of former President Barack Obama's campaigns, now plans to branch into work with the federal government. Ryan Johnston has details.

Where cybercrime hits hardest

People of color are more likely to suffer from identity theft and financial impact from the fallout, according to survey data collected by internet security company Malwarebytes with the nonprofits Digitunity and the Cybercrime Support Network. The survey found, for instance, that just 47% of Black, indigenous and other people of color were able to avoid a financial impact due to identity theft, compared to 59% of overall respondents. Compared to overall respondents, BIPOC on average reported roughly $200 more in financial losses. Tonya Riley reports for CyberScoop.

A helpful robot?

Researchers at the University of Michigan this month announced new work funded by the National Science Foundation to develop robots that can assist firefighters, search-and-rescue teams and other first responders working in dynamic environments. According to a university press release, engineering professors are leading a three-year, $1 million project to develop bipedal and four-legged robots that can map and traverse rough terrain where it may be unsafe for humans. Colin Wood has the story on EdScoop.

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