Blake Harris

Contributing Editor

December 1, 2009

Crime Scene Measurements Can Now Be Taken From a Single Image

Two researchers have developed a procedure that will enable forensic police to extract measurement data from crime scenes using just a single photograph.  

October 27, 2009

Acoustic Security Tracking of Water Vessels

Alexander Sutin and a team of acoustics experts at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey are developing a system that tracks the traffic by listening to the noise it produces

October 23, 2009

Wearing Your Cell Phone Could Weaken Bones

Wearing a cell phone on your belt may lead to decreased bone density in an area of the pelvis that is commonly used for bone grafts.

October 16, 2009

China Researchers Develop a Quantum Cryptography Network for Secure Local Government Communications

According to a report in the Chinese Science Bulletin, the Key Laboratory of Quantum Information (CAS), University of Science and Technology of China has recently demonstrated a metropolitan Quantum Cryptography Network (QCN) for government administration in Wuhu, China.

October 13, 2009

UAV Completes 23-Hour Flight Powered by Fuel Cell

The latest news is that the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell UAVhas flown 23 hours and 17 minutes, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight.

October 5, 2009

New Technology Detects Chemical Weapons and Drugs in Seconds

Scientists at Queen's University Belfast are developing new sensors to detect traces from chemical weapons in a matter of a seconds. The sensors will also sense traces of illegal drugs.

September 18, 2009

Europeans Launch a New Generation of Robots Suitable for Community Services

Tecnalia Technological Corporation has introduced innovative robots at Euskotren's station in Atxuri (Bilbao) and which are mobile, multifunctional, collaborative, autonomous and polyvalent, suitable for a wide range of work from street cleaning and rubbish collection to accompanying elderly people.

September 14, 2009

"Electronic Nose" To Detect Exposure to Hazardous Toxins

Researchers have created what they refer to as an optoelectronic nose - an artificial nose for the detection of toxic industrial chemicals that is simple, fast, inexpensive, and works by visualizing colors.

September 9, 2009

Explosive Reference Kit Will Ensure Explosive Screening Is Reliable

the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with support from the Department of Homeland Security, has developed a new certified reference material, Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2905, Trace Particulate Explosives.

September 4, 2009

Protecting the Power Grid Focus of New Stimulus Funded Research

In the two new research projects, Phadke is the principle investigator (PI) and Thorp is the Co-PI of a project with funding of $1.5 million, while Thorp leads the Virginia Tech team as a subcontractor for the second $1.1 million project. Both projects seek to enhance the effective use of synchrophasors.

August 26, 2009

Novel Online Tool to Rank Death Rates

A new Web site,, developed by researchers and students at Carnegie Mellon University, allows users to query publicly available data from the United States and Europe, and compare mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region.

August 25, 2009

Global Warming Impacting Human Health, Communities Unprepared

Spearheaded by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) amongst others, there is growing awareness (and a growing body of science to back it up) that global warming is already taking a serious toll on human health, especially in the form of heat waves that will increasingly affect communities in the decades ahead.

August 18, 2009

"Layer 2" Data Center Networks Scaled to 100,000 Ports and Beyond

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego have set out to develop software that will allow data centers to function as single, plug-and-play networks, but that will still scale to the massive size required of modern data center networks.

August 7, 2009

No Matter the Technology, Words Matter in Public Health

As important as the actual delivery mechanism is how emergency messages for the general public are communicated, and specifically the choice of words, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

August 4, 2009

People Key to Boosting Productivity of Existing Technology

Faith in a company's technical resources can boost productivity, a TAU study finds.

July 10, 2009

Workshop Examines Challenges of Coastal Migration

A recent workshop organized by LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone), a core project of the International Geosphere-Bioshphere Programme and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, has highlighted the increasing challenges of popolation mirgration.

June 8, 2009

Software Glitch Adds Thousands of Phantom Ballots in Rapid City Election

According to the Rapid City Journal a software glitch added 4,875 phantom ballots in a South Dakota election for a seat on the Rapid City Council last week. The bug was about to cause a runoff vote.

April 23, 2009

Automated Fingerprint Identification Improving

A NIST test shows that emerging software that automates the extraction of distinguishing features from latent prints is more advanced than expected.

April 22, 2009

Guidelines for Organization-Wide Password Management

When employees have so many complex passwords to remember that they keep them on a sticky note attached to his computer screen, that is almost a sure sign that your agency or organization needs a wiser policy for passwords -- one that balances risk and complexity.

April 20, 2009

Wi-Fi Could Help Combat Pirates Terrorizing The High Seas

High-speed wireless communications using the Floating Area Network technology and security buoys can help provide a universal maritime security.

April 7, 2009

Programming Sensor Networks Getting Cheaper and Easier

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University now have created a new, simpler programming language for wireless sensor networks, which the researchers say is designed for easy use.

April 6, 2009

Hospital Pioneers New "Personal" Electronic Health Record

The new records system offers patients the ability to select and store personal medical information generated during their doctor and hospital visits at New York-Presbyterian.

March 12, 2009

More Federal Support Needed For Local Decision Makers Coping with Climate Change

Many state and local officials and private organizations are basing decisions -- such as how to build bridges or manage water supplies -- on the assumption that current climate conditions will continue, but that assumption is no longer valid.

March 11, 2009

Stimulus Funds Offer Huge Opportunity for Local Governments (Opinion)

Stimulus bill has billions for broadband, health IT and electricity grid upgrades. Now local governments need funding processes that deliver maximum benefit.

February 17, 2009

Broadband Stimulus - A Once-In-A- Lifetime Opportunity

The big news over the weekend is Congress' approval of a compromise stimulus bill that includes $7.2 billion to help deploy broadband in rural and other undeserved urban areas, $17 billion for incentives for health care providers to adopt electronic health records, and $11 billion to update the nation's electricity grid.

February 10, 2009

Senate Bill Passage Brings IT Stimulus Spending In Sight

With the passage of the US Senate version of the $838 billion economic stimulus bill today, and the reconciliation of the Senate and House versions now in progress, we begin to get a clearer picture of what new IT stimulus spend to expect.

December 18, 2008

Obama Urged To Build Smart and Sustainable Communities

As an initiative of the Digital Communities' CIO Task Force, local government and IT industry partners have joined together to offer their advice and support to the Obama Administration.

October 30, 2008

CIOs and First Responders Say Flawed 700MHz Public Safety Plan Needs New Approach

Public safety officials and chief information officers (CIOs) from many of the largest cities and counties in the US, as part of the Digital Communities 700Mhz CIO working group initiative, have banded together to protest the FCC's new proposed rules for the 700MHz D-Block auction.

October 29, 2008

Larger Cities View FCC 700MHz "D Block" Public Safety Plan as Critically Flawed

Major cities and counties believe the FCC plan to pair the public safety spectrum with the commercially-auctioned "D-Block" of spectrum to create a nationwide network is critically flawed.

August 19, 2008

Fusion Centers May Strengthen Emergency Management

All-hazards focus by fusion centers improves emergency operations.

April 20, 2008

Chicago Fusion Center Gives Police New Criminal Investigation Tools

Chicago's new Crime Prevention Information Center equips the city to prevent terrorist attacks and revolutionize investigations.

March 9, 2008

The Expanding Focus of Digital Communities

Broadband, regionalization, sustainability and citizen engagement will drive coverage.

November 11, 2005

Making the Quantum Leap

W.R. Clement, noted writer, software developer and policy analyst, explains how connections and important shifts in thinking serve to uncover why social changes occurred as they did in the past.

August 26, 2005

Making Sense of Shared Services

"[The evolution of e-government] started in the '70s with legacy systems, then through the Internet where you had a thousand Web sites bloom, to where we are today -- where sharing technology and developing a shared service environment really isn't a technological problem so much as a change management problem"

May 26, 2005

Bargain Hunter

The Lone Star State goes it alone to secure better savings.

May 13, 2005

Redefining Local Government

Communities are like a ship on the high seas being battered and tossed by hurricane winds and waves ---- a tempest of change

May 5, 2005

Answering the Call

To spend an entire day with Gino Menchini, commissioner of New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), is to experience New York's traditional, hectic pace in technological overdrive

April 27, 2005

Taming the Tamarisk

A new GIS weapon helps a county fight a dangerous shrub.

April 9, 2005

The Power of Connection

John Paul II not only led an international institution with both political and social power, but also established a personal connection with many millions around the world

March 17, 2005

Connectivity: a Barometer of Economic Health

'Cities generate local economic growth by replacing imports from other cities in a process that, rather than being a zero-sum game, stimulates new growth in the city losing the exports'

March 4, 2005

2004 Howard Dean Campaign Manager Joe Trippi, One of Government Technology's 25 'Doers Dreamers and Drivers'

'There has never been a technology this fast, this expansive, with the ability to connect this many people from around the world.'

March 2, 2005

Filling the Bill

Subscription Web-based service allows smaller governments to take advantage of GIS without paying a fortune.

February 14, 2005

Counter-Spin for Open Government

'What lies behind the blog phenomena? It is people just talking to people. And for many, that has become a more real level of communication than what they get from the mainstream media or from their government and social leaders.'

February 8, 2005

The Coming of

In its short life span, blogging has had a serious impact on the media and politics. Now businesses and governments are looking to turn this form of communication to their advantage.

January 26, 2005

Taking License

Virginia's proposal to use radio frequency identification tags for drivers' licenses raises hackles.

January 17, 2005

Tougher Challenges Ahead for Local and State Governments

'Linear analysis will get you a much-changed caterpillar, but it won't get you a butterfly. For that you need a leap of imagination.'

January 4, 2005

A Perfect Match

South Dakota's TaxMatch simplifies the collection of sales tax for merchants everywhere.

January 4, 2005

Ticket Me This

Online service gives people a new way to challenge parking tickets.

December 10, 2004

IT Doesn't Matter... Until Someone Clobbers You With It

Something is happening here that no government institution seeking to serve citizens should ignore completely

November 29, 2004

Enterprise Architecture: The Drive for Integration

Several high-ranking states in 2004's Digital States Survey focus on more than building a pretty portal

October 28, 2004

Enterprise Architecture: The Drive for Integration

Several high-ranking states in 2004's Digital States Survey focus on more than building a pretty portal.

October 26, 2004

When Jobs Collide

CIOs and IT departments may have larger roles to play when dealing with disaster management.

October 4, 2004


San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit police force takes advantage of mapping technology to better share information.

August 3, 2004

Piecing It Together

California GIS Council seeks to better coordinate GIS statewide.

July 14, 2004

Preparing for the Next Disaster

'The role that technology can play to increase disaster readiness does not just involve high-end satellite communication systems and the like. There is also much that can be done by using existing resources and simply thinking more creatively about how to use them to better prepare for disasters.'

July 9, 2004

Virtual Arbitration

Online program helps the New York City Comptroller's Office settle claims via the Internet.

June 3, 2004

Reinventing Wi-Fi Security

As malicious hackers nip at the heels of Wi-Fi security solutions, WLAN administrators must keep up with evolving standards.

June 3, 2004

Clarity and Execution: The Next Steps in Cyber-Security

Clarity and Execution: The Next Steps in Cyber-Security

May 26, 2004

Veritas Unveils Key Features of Veritas i³ 7.0 Application Performance Management Software

Veritas Unveils Key Features of Veritas i³ 7.0 Application Performance Management Software

May 11, 2004

Apple Introduces Xsan Storage Area Network File System

Apple Introduces Xsan Storage Area Network File System

May 11, 2004

Oracle Joins Enterprise Grid Alliance to Drive Adoption of Grid Computing

Oracle Joins Enterprise Grid Alliance to Drive Adoption of Grid Computing

May 11, 2004

Experiments Show Theoretical Speed Limit to Computer Data Storage

Experiments Show Theoretical Speed Limit to Computer Data Storage

May 11, 2004

Old Hard Disks Found a Security Problem

Old Hard Disks Found a Security Problem

May 7, 2004

Strategic Sourcing

Smart procurement practices save governments a bundle.

May 7, 2004

Building Blocks

The justice system looks at analyzing information exchanges and adopting standards in its effort to build integrated information systems.

April 14, 2004

EMC Introduces CLARiiON Disk Library

EMC Introduces CLARiiON Disk Library

April 14, 2004

Seagate Extends Serial Technology

Serial Attached SCSI and Serial ATA drives work together harmoniously in system in first public demonstration.

April 14, 2004

First SMI-S Products A Turning Point for Storage Industry

First SMI-S Products A Turning Point for Storage Industry

April 14, 2004

Lower cost, high capacity drives plug and play

Lower cost, high capacity drives plug and play

April 14, 2004

HP Drives Down Cost of Storage Area Networking

HP Drives Down Cost of Storage Area Networking

April 14, 2004

Storing the U.S. Library of Congress on a 50-Cent Coin

Storing the U.S. Library of Congress on a 50-Cent Coin

April 5, 2004

Veritas Releases Data Lifecycle Manager Update

Veritas Releases Data Lifecycle Manager Update

April 5, 2004

Crossroads, LeftHand Alliance to Develop Fibre Channel SANs for IP Servers

Crossroads, LeftHand Alliance to Develop Fibre Channel SANs for IP Servers

April 5, 2004

'Best Practices in Storage' Award Winners Announced

'Best Practices in Storage' Award Winners Announced

April 5, 2004

Plasmon Supplies Drives and Media for HP StorageWorks Optical Libraries

Plasmon Supplies Drives and Media for HP StorageWorks Optical Libraries

March 26, 2004

In Search of the Big Idea

After almost 20 years as president of Public Technology Inc., Costis Toregas is stepping down -- but he's hardly retiring.

March 5, 2004

Turning up the Heat

Cerritos, Calif., becomes one giant Wi-Fi hotspot.

March 2, 2004

Resurrecting the Court

After massive flooding, Hyde County turned to satellite links and wireless networks to get its courthouse back in session.

February 4, 2004

Joseph Stiglitz: Globalization and the Search for Balance

Joseph Stiglitz: Globalization and the Search for Balance

July 29, 2003

A Vote for the Future

Wi-Fi voting goes off without a hitch in Fairfax, Va.

April 28, 2003

Unwiring the Wired

Illustrating how mobile technology provides freedom and flexibility.

April 4, 2003

Hung Jury

State courts struggle to find balance between electronic access and privacy rights.

February 20, 2003

New York Gov. George Pataki

The Empire State ramps up for 21st-century government and economic development.

December 30, 2002

Q&A with New York CIO James T. Dillon

New York launches a $400 Million Wireless Network.

October 31, 2002

Wireless Taxes

Taxes collected from cell phone users are meant to finance E-911 services, but critics say the money has been used for different purposes.

October 31, 2002

Kentucky Gets Connected

In an effort to assess and plan for the state's competitive future, the Connect Kentucky initiative was born.

August 8, 2002

E-Government Makes Global Progress

United States still lags behind Canada and Singapore, report says.

July 1, 2002

Emergency Link

As part of a security upgrade in many of America's leading businesses, a new communications link establishes a secure hotline between leading CEOs and key homeland security officials to deal with any future terrorist threats.

October 1, 2001

Handing over the Reins

Outsourcing your states network management is a complex and risky proposition. Given previous debacles, is it still worth consideration?

June 11, 2001

Reaping Global Rewards

Investing in e-government yields practical results worldwide.

May 6, 2001

Drawing the Line

Better technology is making it easier for politicians to manipulate voting districts in favor of a single party.

April 3, 2001

Point of View

Redefining the Digital Divide

December 12, 2000

Wired for a New World

Through multiple e-government initiatives, Canada is striving to become the world's most wired government.

November 30, 2000

The Lessons of Y2K

John Koskinen examines the impact of IT's biggest challenge.