Briefs: Cop Cars Get Solar Panels

Computer outage probe begins in Virginia; innovative CIO of Manor, Texas, moves to the private sector.

by / November 2, 2010
Dustin Haisler, former CIO of Manor, Texas

The town of Fenwick Island, Del., is installing small solar panels on its police cars to help run the increasing amount of electronics in them.

Police use scanners, laptops and several other devices while working in the field, and those electronics usually run off the car battery. The solar panels reduce the amount of time the vehicle must idle, which extends the life of the car battery, the town’s police chief said.

The solar panels have been installed on four of the town’s squad cars.


Computer Probe Begins in Virginia

Virginia’s technology agency has picked an independent auditor that will examine a weeklong computer outage in August that knocked the Department of Motor Vehicles and other agencies offline and halted government services.

The audit, which was ordered by Gov. Bob McDonnell, will be conducted by Agilisys Inc. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) said the audit, which began Monday, Nov. 1, could take up to three months.

In late August, a storage area network failure in a VITA data center initially knocked out 485 of the state’s 4,800 servers and interrupted service to more than two dozen state agencies.

The audit will include a root cause analysis and corrective action plans. Northrop Grumman, Virginia’s IT partner, has agreed to pay the full cost of the audit.

Google Program to Pay Users for Finding Security Bugs

In an effort to tighten Web security, Google has launched an experimental program to reward users who find bugs in its Web properties. Google will pay cash for those who locate any vulnerability, and will give a public thank you to those providing Google with constant security help.

“As well as enabling us to thank regular contributors in a new way, we hope our new program will attract new researchers and the types of reports that help make our users safer,” Google posted yesterday on its online security blog.

The program is a sequel to the Chrome open source project, which the company implemented earlier this year to create a more secure Chromium browser.

Depending on the gravity of the bug that’s discovered, Google will pay between $500 and $3,133. Acceptable Web properties include,, and As of now, Google’s client applications like Android, Picasa and Google Desktop will not be accepted, but may be added to the program in the future, according to the blog post.

Source: Google

Manor, Texas, CIO Dustin Haisler Moves On

Manor, Texas, CIO Dustin Haisler has left the public sector to become director of government innovation for tech startup Spigit.

Spigit delivers collective intelligence via social media, a function that’s similar to the innovative crowdsourcing program Haisler implemented in Manor. Haisler’s platform, called Manor Labs, rewarded the public for innovative ideas. The public voted the ideas up or down on the website, and some of them were eventually implemented in real life by the city.

That program and others garnered Haisler Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers award in 2009.

Source: GovFresh