On the Scene

GT editors report from the road.

by News Staff / January 13, 2008

More Green for Less Green
SEATTLE - Former President Bill Clinton unveiled a plan to help cities acquire green technology at the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Climate Protection Summit in November 2007. Clinton announced that all USCM member cities will have access to a green technology purchasing consortium operated by his Clinton Climate Initiative.

The consortium offers lower prices on green technology products, potentially helping cities accelerate green-technology deployments. Clinton pitched the program as a chance for local governments to quickly shift market demand toward energy efficiency.    


Instant Command Center
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California state officials got an up-close look at Cisco's Sentinel Incident Commander vehicle in November. Cisco offered tours of the high-tech mobile command center, which uses Internet protocol technology to rapidly establish command, control and communications capabilities at the scene of a disaster or other incident. The vehicle was developed jointly by Cisco and automotive manufacturer L-3 Wolf Coach.


Gentlemen, Start Your Robots
VICTORVILLE, Calif. - For two weeks in late October and early November, 35 teams from around the country competed for a $2 million purse in the third Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge - an event that pits autonomous automobiles against nature, time and each other.

Carnegie Mellon's bot "Boss" won the event overall, receiving the $2 million; Stanford's "Junior" took second and a $1 million check; and Virginia Tech's "Odin" came in third, receiving $500,000. Six teams out of the original 35 finished the 60-mile final event.

The two previous races, in 2004 and 2005, were held on a desert course, with the goal for each bot simply to get from start to finish. This year, DARPA added urban challenges to the competition, such as traffic, four-way stops and other robots, making this year's event far more difficult.


Best of the Best
FOLSOM, Calif. - Aurora, Colo., is the most technically advanced big city in the nation, according to the Folsom-based Center for Digital Government's seventh annual Digital Cities Survey. Aurora topped the 2007 survey in the 250,000 or more population category, followed by Virginia Beach, Va.

Lincoln, Neb., placed first in the 125,000 to 249,999 division, followed by Richmond, Va. In the 75,000 to 124,999 population division, Santa Monica, Calif., placed first with Roanoke, Va., placing second. Jupiter, Fla., and Lynchburg, Va., tied for first in the smallest city category, covering populations of 30,000 to 74,999.

Winners were honored at an awards ceremony in New Orleans in mid-November.


Govtech.com Hotlist
Here are the 10 most popular stories on Govtech.com from Nov. 4, 2007 to Dec. 4, 2007.

1.     EM Grants Within Grasp
The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded more than $960 million in Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grants to the states.

2.     American ITIL
The British blockbuster finally finds an American audience.

3.     Public Trust of RFID
As RFID becomes more prevalent in society, how can the government reduce the public's uncertainties about this mystifying technology?

4.     Reality Check
As millions of people flock to online alternate worlds, can government afford to be virtually nonexistent?

5.     Top U.S. Digital Cities Announced
The winners are: Aurora, Colo.; Lincoln, Neb.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Jupiter, Fla. and Lynchburg, Va.

6.     Personal Computing: The Threat of 'Typosquatting'
In getting to Web sites, neatness counts. If you type in the wrong Web address, you might be in for a surprise.

7.     NYC Announces Comprehensive Technology Strategy: PlanIT
New York City's PlanIT outlines nearly three-dozen technology initiatives designed to ensure wise IT investments.

8.     Pandemic Planning and Response for State IT: "Where's My Staff?"
NASCIO publication is designed to assist state CIOs and their staffs in preparing for and protecting IT infrastructure in the event of a pandemic crisis.

9.     Smarter Evacuations 
Intelligent transportation systems evolve to address emergency management.

10. "Empty" Disk Helps Convict Coffee-Can Murderer
A new technique in law enforcement - called forensic computer science - helps put a murderer behind bars.