News Staff


October 15, 2019

What is syngas and how is it made?

Answer: It's an alternative fuel you get from shredding and heating plastic to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

October 15, 2019

Trimble Acquires Utility-Serving Gov Tech Company Cityworks

Cityworks, which serves utilities and local governments, has been doing business independently since the late 1990s, but it is now joining the publicly traded multinational software company Trimble.

October 14, 2019

Uber has made it easier to bring who along on your ride?

Answer: Your pet!

October 11, 2019

Can an electric car power a house?

Answer: Technically yes, but you should not try it at home.

October 10, 2019

How many Americans don’t know that Facebook owns Instagram?

Answer: 70 percent.

October 9, 2019

Team-Up Aims to Give 911 Dispatch Access to Camera Feeds

CentralSquare and Genetec are integrating their public safety software together in the latest of a long string of gov tech company partnerships this year. This move is meant to improve awareness of emergency responders.

October 9, 2019

This app can find what in baby pictures?

Answer: Eye diseases.

October 8, 2019

RapidSOS Adds $25M to Last Year’s $30M Funding Haul

With major partners like Apple, Google and Microsoft already in its corner and more than $90 million in total fundraising, the New York-based startup is poised to continue expanding its footprint in the U.S. and abroad.

October 8, 2019

Illinois Governor Signs Tax Law to Attract New IT Investment

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law an exemption from sales tax for data center investors who build a $250 million facility in the state. The legislation's effectiveness will be measured with an annual report.

October 8, 2019

Why did someone hack TOMS Shoes?

Answer: To tell people to get offline.

October 7, 2019

CivicPlus Integrates Civic Feedback Software into Platform

The company, which is one of the largest website-builders for local government in the U.S., is partnering with the Canadian startup Civil Space to work more resident feedback into its platform.

October 7, 2019

Can a drone weigh a whale?

Answer: Yes!

October 4, 2019

Microsoft: Iran-Linked Hackers Targeted Presidential Campaign

The hacking group known as Phosphorus, active since 2013, has been involved in myriad attempted cyberattacks against American officials and organizations, including at least one campaign in the race for the U.S. presidency.

October 4, 2019

What is this tech company rescuing smartphone users from?

Answer: Dead phone batteries.

October 3, 2019

Traffic-Collision Predictor Waycare Raises $7.25M

With millions in new investments and two new board members, the Israeli company’s cloud-based AI platform is preparing to expand across North America and further develop its traffic-safety platform.

October 3, 2019

Alexa can now help you get a job where?

Answer: McDonald’s.

October 2, 2019

DemandStar Procurement Network Enlists 102 Members in a Year

The e-bidding platform and online marketplace says it now includes about 78,000 small and minority-owned businesses in the United States competing for $3.4 billion in annual contract value.

October 2, 2019

Which major shipping company can now make drone deliveries?

Answer: UPS.

October 1, 2019

Washington State Recruits New CISO Out of South Carolina

WaTech CIO Jim Weaver announced that South Carolina's deputy CISO Vinod Brahmapuram will be the IT agency's new state CISO. He comes with experience in cybersecurity as well as risk management and regulatory compliance.

October 1, 2019

Who built this iPhone charging cable that can hijack a computer?

Answer: It wasn’t Apple, even though it sure looks like it.

September 30, 2019

What would make it easier to find your car in a parking lot?

Answer: The ability to just make it come to you.

September 27, 2019

Tech Firms Partner on Procurement, Contract Management

Agiloft and Periscope Holdings hope that procuring new contracts and managing them will be more simple and efficient for government and other customers with their software tools combined.

September 27, 2019

How can you type on your phone without looking at the screen?

Answer: With the help of this new smartphone case.

September 26, 2019

Can Amazon’s Alexa talk like Samuel L. Jackson?

Answer: She will be able to soon.

September 25, 2019

How is Australia putting AI to work on its roads?

Answer: By using it to catch drivers on their cellphones.

September 24, 2019

Why would you want a drone that can operate a nail gun?

Answer: So that it can put shingles on your roof for you.

September 24, 2019

StreetLight Data Introduces New On-Demand Traffic Metrics

The company is slicing its data, which it gathers through GPS devices, in more ways. Now transportation officials can ask for the average number of vehicles on a stretch of road in an hour and in a day.

September 24, 2019

Kleykamp Joins Georgetown’s Beeck Center as a Data Fellow

The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University announced on Monday that Connecticut's former chief data officer, Tyler Kleykamp, has joined the innovation hub's Data + Digital team as a fellow.

September 23, 2019

Do you have to ride Lyft’s bikes where it tells you to?

Answer: No, but it might be a good idea.

September 20, 2019

Where besides Twitter can you go to settle arguments online?

Answer: This new website that’s specifically designed for it.

September 19, 2019

Washington CISO to Head Cybersecurity for Health-Care System

State CISO Ronald Buchanan stepped down to guide cybersecurity efforts for Oregon-based St. Charles Health System. IT Manager of Security Policy Scott Bream will fill the role until a new CISO arrives in October.

September 19, 2019

Can you pay for your Amazon.com purchases with cash?

Answer: Yes.

September 19, 2019

Public Water Safety Startup Draws $7M Investment Round

120WaterAudit provides water testing, as well as software for finding lead pipes and managing compliance programs. Launched in 2016, the company operates in 12 states and has now pulled in a Series A investment round.

September 18, 2019

How much does it cost to use this emergency rescue beacon?

Answer: Nothing!

September 18, 2019

Self-Driving Taxi Company Voyage Raises $31M, Plans New Car

Voyage has a fleet of self-driving taxis in The Villages, Fla., a fast-growing community of senior citizens. It plans on using new investment money to expand its fleet and introduce a third-generation vehicle.

September 17, 2019

Replica Raises $11M and Spins Out of Sidewalk Labs

The new software company will remain a partner of Sidewalk Labs, using de-identified mobility data to build predictive models for where and why people get around in cities in an effort to better inform land use.

September 17, 2019

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Gains FedRAMP Authorization

The cloud hosting service now has the official nod of approval from the federal government, having passed through a program that uses high standards for cybersecurity. It joins several other cloud hosts in FedRAMP.

September 17, 2019

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Answer: Better Wi-Fi.

September 16, 2019

What online platform led to a breakthrough in an old missing person case?

Answer: Google Earth.

September 13, 2019

Why is an airline flying drones around its planes?

Answer: For inspections.

September 12, 2019

Company to Give 50 Websites to Small Water & Sewer Districts

CivicPlus, which makes websites and other communications tools for government, is running the promotion specifically for the smallest water and sewer districts around. The giveaway includes 18 months of hosting.

September 11, 2019

Former Oakland County, Mich., CIO to Join e.Republic

Phil Bertolini, former deputy county executive and CIO of Oakland County, Mich., will come on board as co-executive director of the Center for Digital Government, the research and business intelligence arm of e.Republic.

September 11, 2019

How long did it take the newest iPhone to become a meme?

Answer: A few minutes.

September 11, 2019

Public Messaging Meets Feedback in Gov Tech Partnership

Shortly after partnering with a budget simulation company, Bang the Table is now integrating its resident engagement, feedback and analysis tools with the public communications platform offered by Granicus.

September 10, 2019

Which fall TV show return is most anticipated in your state?

Answer: Google can tell you.

September 10, 2019

Motorola Solutions Extends Investment with Silver Lake

With a growing assortment of newly acquired public safety tools in its product lineup, Motorola Solutions is continuing its financial and managerial relationship with the global tech investor.

September 9, 2019

South Dakota Names Heather Perry Interim BIT Commissioner

Gov. Kristi Noem appointed Perry as the interim information and telecommunications commissioner this week. She replaces outgoing Pat Snow, who held the same post under former Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

September 9, 2019

Can a dating service make Facebook popular again?

Answer: Facebook seems to think so.

September 9, 2019

4 Gov Tech Startups Among Finalists for Urban Tech Challenge

The new innovation competition from Ashoka and QBE North America will receive pitches next month from 10 startups aiming to improve well-being in cities. A winner and runner-up will each receive cash prizes.

September 6, 2019

How much has Facebook invested in detecting deepfake videos?

Answer: $10 million.

September 6, 2019

CEO of Street Data-Gathering Startup RoadBotics Steps Down

Mark DeSantis, an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, co-founded the company in 2016 with the idea to use smartphone video to assess road repair needs. Now, he's stepping aside.

September 5, 2019

OpenGov Acquires ViewPoint, Adds Permitting and Licensing

Within days of announcing a massive fundraising haul and months of getting new leadership, the enterprise software company’s third acquisition in four years adds another dimension to OpenGov’s growth.

September 5, 2019

Which state is the first to ban flavored e-cigarette sales?

Answer: Michigan.

September 4, 2019

Colorado Blockchain Report Identifies Barriers, Opportunities

A governor-appointed council reviewed opportunities for and obstacles to blockchain technology in Colorado for one year before releasing its findings outlining statutes, laws and regulations in need of modernization.

September 4, 2019

Are there traffic cops in space?

Answer: No, but maybe there should be.

September 4, 2019

Axon Names Facebook Virtual Reality Leader to Board

The company once known mostly for the Taser has pushed further into video with its body cameras. Now it is bringing in an expert in virtual reality, and its CEO is talking about "empathy-based VR training."

September 3, 2019

OpenGov Raises $51M Series D Round, Plans More Growth

With more than $140 million in total investment, a full leadership team now in place and enterprise software serving more than 2,000 government customers, the company is poised for major new developments.

September 3, 2019

Where did all the e-scooters in Miami go?

Answer: They’ve been put away until after Hurricane Dorian passes.

September 1, 2019

Data on America’s Most Digital Counties 2019 (Infographic)

A visual, data-driven look at nearly 60 counties across five population categories doing impactful work with technology to move government forward, including Internet of Things, cybersecurity, emerging tech and more.

August 30, 2019

Why might thieves of car parts be targeting hybrid vehicles?

Answer: Their batteries.

August 30, 2019

Longtime County Government CIO in Michigan Retires

Phil Bertolini, the longtime deputy county executive and CIO of Oakland County, announced his departure from local government service Friday after a 31-year career bolstering collaboration and innovation.

August 29, 2019

Why is the BBC developing its own virtual assistant?

Answer: Because it can understand British accents better than current offerings.

August 28, 2019

Ontario Systems Names Jason Harrington Its New CEO

Harrington will retain his title as president and take over from retiring co-founder Ron Fauquher as CEO, steering the company after the acquisition of Justice Systems and acquisition by New Mountain Capital.

August 28, 2019

How long does Ford expect its autonomous vehicles to last?

Answer: Four years.

August 27, 2019

Who is the intended audience of a new musical Alexa skill?

Answer: Dogs!

August 27, 2019

Loss of Windows 7 Support Leads to $1M Upgrades for Maine

The software upgrade for 10,000 computers comes sooner than expected, with CIO Fred Brittain saying he doesn’t want to do without updates from Microsoft after it discontinues support for Windows 7 next year.

August 27, 2019

Cook County, Ill., Code for America to Clear Pot Convictions

The county, which is home to Chicago, will partner with the national civic tech organization to clear tens of thousands of cannabis-related convictions that are eligible for erasure in the wake of a newly passed law.

August 27, 2019

Virginia Expands Data-Sharing Platform in Opioid Fight

Gov. Ralph Northam has expanded the state's Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation, a data-sharing platform, to include Roanoke Valley, where opioid-related deaths have quadrupled in recent years.

August 26, 2019

Georgia Signs $25M Contract for Single Sign-On Capability

One year after signing a $218 million contract with Unisys for cloud services, and one month after a ransomware attack took public safety agencies offline, the state is investing again in security and cloud support.

August 26, 2019

How delicate is the new Apple credit card?

Answer: Very.

August 23, 2019

How quickly is the Amazon Rainforest burning?

Answer: Too quickly — a rate of one football field a minute.

August 22, 2019

Florida Joins Electronic Registration Information Center

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida has joined 29 other member states of the center, which allows elections officials to crosscheck voter registration and reach out to eligible but unregistered voters.

August 22, 2019

What device could be giving away all your passwords?

Answer: Your smartphone.

August 21, 2019

How did ‘Old Town Road’ become so popular?

Answer: Artificial intelligence can tell us.

August 21, 2019

Accela Hires New CTO, Highlights Progress Toward the Cloud

The company has been pushing toward the cloud for years, and the CTO it just hired — as well as the new CEO who joined Accela in December — both come from software-as-a-service backgrounds.

August 20, 2019

Cybersecurity Training for Government Moves Up the FedRAMP

Proofpoint’s interactive training modules and assessments aim to help government agencies train employees on safe Internet practices, reducing the likelihood that malware attacks or other scams will be successful.

August 20, 2019

What’s the latest news on Tesla's Starman?

Answer: He just completed his first orbit around the sun.

August 19, 2019

New York’s Interim CIO Calls for ‘Tangible Accomplishments’

Joseph Rabito has been named interim director and chief information officer for the Office of Information Technology Services. In a memo to staff, he outlined a push for efficiency and better investment of state resources.

August 19, 2019

Why did the FCC fine Jimmy Kimmel Live! $395,000?

Answer: For using the tone for the national wireless emergency alerts.

August 16, 2019

U.S. Customs IT Outage Snarls Airports Around the Country

A technology outage Friday afternoon delayed travelers throughout the U.S. The agency said it was working to fix the "temporary" technological setback, but gave no details on what the cause might be.

August 16, 2019

How mad are users about Google Nest’s new privacy feature?

Answer: Really mad.

August 15, 2019

Illinois Puts $420M Toward Broadband Internet Expansion

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Thursday launched a $420 million statewide broadband expansion project and appointed 25 public- and private-sector individuals to the broadband advisory council.

August 15, 2019

Amazon’s Rekognition software can now detect what emotion?

Answer: Fear.

August 14, 2019

How many states have sued to stop the T-Mobile/Sprint merge?

Answer: Fifteen, plus the District of Columbia.

August 13, 2019

Someone found a way to turn a Tesla into what?

Answer: A surveillance tool.

August 13, 2019

Minnesota Gov. Taps Off-the-Shelf Solution to Replace MNLARS

FAST Enterprises was selected to deploy its vehicle services software to replace the Minnesota Vehicle Licensing and Registration System over the next year and a half. The contract will cost the state about $33.9 million.

August 12, 2019

How many U.S. police departments have partnered with Amazon’s Ring?

Answer: At least 234.

August 9, 2019

Florida Deploys Telehealth Portals in 63 Public Schools

The new installation of telehealth portals in 63 public schools throughout six counties in Northwest Florida is aimed at providing mental health services to students still recovering from Hurricane Michael.

August 9, 2019

What do you call a drone that sails on the sea?

Answer: A Saildrone.

August 8, 2019

Why would you want a robotic tail?

Answer: For balance and agility.

August 7, 2019

West Virginia Taps OpenGov to Streamline Financial Reporting

State government in West Virginia is responsible for reviewing many aspects of local government finance. Now the state is using OpenGov to improve the way those governments report their data.

August 7, 2019

Westminster, Colo., Names Longtime Employee as IT Director

Emily Littlejohn, the city's new IT director, has worked with the city since 2012, having performed in a number of capacities within the Parks and Recreation, Human Resources and Library departments.

August 7, 2019

Uber Leader to Head Marketing for Gov Tech Startup PayIt

Alexandru Otrezov, fresh from the ride-share company Uber, will be joining PayIt, which offers digital services and payment solutions for state and local government, as chief marketing officer.

August 7, 2019

How hard is it to kill this robot cockroach?

Answer: Almost impossible.

August 6, 2019

Arkansas Announces $25M Grant for Broadband Expansion

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the Arkansas Rural Connect program to help communities with at least 500 residents receive funding for broadband infrastructure to provide residents with high-speed Internet access.

August 6, 2019

Can The Boring Co. dig all the way to China?

Answer: No, but it looks like it is going to get there another way.

August 6, 2019

New Alliance to Feed Police Data into National Search Engine

Mark43, which sells dispatch and records systems to law enforcement agencies, is offering free integration to customers who also use Forensic Logic's COPLINK X, a nationwide search engine for police.

August 5, 2019

Open Mobility Foundation Chooses Franklin-Hodge as Director

The city of Boston's former CIO will lead the new foundation, which governs the transportation-focused Mobility Data Specification. The nation's three largest cities and Microsoft are among the foundation's members.

August 5, 2019

Are EVs more likely to be stolen than non-electric cars?

Answer: No.

August 2, 2019

Where might facial recognition be able to reduce wait times?

Answer: At the bar.

August 2, 2019

New York State CIO Robert Samson Announces His Retirement

The decision, which takes effect as of Aug. 15, will mark the end of the veteran IT leader’s second career. Samson came out of retirement in May 2017 to accept the CIO position with the state.

August 2, 2019

Denver Hires Chief Data Officer, Looking for New Cyber Chief

Assuming the role of chief information security officer is filled before December, each of Denver’s three top officials for IT, cybersecurity and data will have been in their roles for less than 18 months.

August 1, 2019

Arizona’s New Security Officer Served 10 Years in the CIA

Tim Roemer, a former nonpartisan detailee to the White House Situation Room and congressional liaison for the Central Intelligence Agency, has accepted a position as the state’s chief information security officer.

August 1, 2019

Cisco to Pay $8.6M for Flaws in Software Sold to Government

The company has settled a suit with 15 states and several other government entities that alleged it continued selling video surveillance management software after learning of serious security flaws.

August 1, 2019

What upcoming music event will be streamed live on YouTube?

Answer: Lollapalooza.

August 1, 2019

Optibus Adds Multi-Route Planning for Buses to Platform

Optibus, which makes cloud-based software to manage public transportation, has added functionality to allow users to work on multiple bus routes at the same time, hoping it will allow for more rider-focused scheduling.

July 31, 2019

Verizon 5G Goes Live in Four More Major U.S. Cities

The company announced Wednesday the addition of Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Detroit; and Indianapolis, Ind., to its growing list of next-generation Internet-capable cities. Five other cities already have the service.

July 31, 2019

Is infinite scrolling illegal?

Answer: Not yet, but Congress is exploring the possibility.

July 31, 2019

The Boring Company Raises $120M to Dig More Tunnels

The company, one of several companies led by Elon Musk, is proposing huge tunnel projects in Chicago, Las Vegas and San Jose, Calif. It just got an injection of capital as it pursues those efforts.

July 31, 2019

Iowa Gov Appoints Transportation IT Chief as New State CIO

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the appointment of Department of Transportation IT Director Annette Dunn to the role of state CIO. She replaces Robert von Wolffradt, who stepped down as state CIO in January.

July 30, 2019

GovQA Takes Equity Investment from Frontier Capital

The company, which makes workflow software for the public sector, has taken on an investment partner in order to expand its offerings in areas requiring information exchange such as Freedom of Information Act requests.

July 30, 2019

How quickly can these contact lenses zoom?

Answer: In the (double) blink of an eye.

July 29, 2019

Milwaukee County, Wis., CIO to Leave for Marquette University

After nearly 30 years of service to the county, Laurie Panella has accepted the job of chief information officer with Marquette University. She begins in the new role Aug. 19.

July 29, 2019

Can a car play chess?

Answer: It can if it’s a Tesla.

July 26, 2019

What is the secret behind this easily foldable drone?

Answer: It’s spring-loaded.

July 26, 2019

Idaho Governor Uses Tech to Simplify State’s Rulemaking

Gov. Brad Little unveiled new rulemaking steps this week, releasing a list that includes online posting of rulemaking public meetings, a new subscribe feature for administrative bulletins and more.

July 25, 2019

Can you use the sun to sail through space?

Answer: Bill Nye thinks so.

July 24, 2019

Cityzenith Raises $100K in Crowdfunding in Six Weeks

The Chicago-based SaaS company has pulled in more than $6 million in investment since launching its first product in July 2016, trying to get a head start in an industry that's expecting heavy growth in the coming years.

July 24, 2019

Is there such a thing as remote control dogs?

Answer: Yes, thanks to a haptic vest.

July 23, 2019

Arkansas Governor Taps State’s First-Ever Broadband Manager

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that Nathan Smith, who helped craft the Arkansas State Broadband Plan, will lead the efforts to expand Internet access to communities with more than 500 residents by 2022.

July 23, 2019

Pennsylvania Looks to Add Chief Data Officer Position

The newly created position in Pennsylvania will report directly to the chief information officer, with the state’s online job opening for the gig set to close for new applicants on Aug. 2.

July 23, 2019

How much is Equifax being fined for the 2017 data breach?

Answer: About $4 per person.

July 22, 2019

How might humans be able to stop glaciers from melting?

Answer: By showering them with artificial snow.

July 22, 2019

OpenGov Adds Katherine August-deWilde to Board of Directors

After the addition of two advisers and a new president in March, the company’s fourth high-level appointment in 2019 gives it an experienced boards of directors, with several co-founders and partners of major businesses.

July 22, 2019

Motorola Solutions Buys Body Cam Maker, Consolidating Market

The buyout of WatchGuard brings Motorola Solutions into some of the largest police departments in the country, simultaneously creating a potential path for facial recognition to those departments.

July 19, 2019

CenturyLink Looks to Build Bridges Between Legacy 911, Cloud

The Louisiana telecommunications giant says its new subscription service works as a bridge between old technologies and cloud functionality for governments that can’t yet afford a full-scale overhaul.

July 19, 2019

Can a trucker drive two rigs at once?

Answer: Yes, if they’re both Peloton Technology trucks.

July 19, 2019

AI Road Assessment Startup RoadBotics Raises $7.5M

The Carnegie Mellon University-linked company, which raised a $3.9 million seed round at the end of last year, has pulled in more capital — and customers — as it continues on a rapid growth trajectory.

July 18, 2019

What could be more unnerving than a regular flamethrower?

Answer: A flamethrower attached to a drone.

July 17, 2019

What do you get when you combine T-Mobile and Taco Bell?

Answer: T-MoBell.

July 16, 2019

Who will appear on the U.K.’s new £50 note?

Answer: Alan Turing.

July 15, 2019

Hennepin County, Minn., Board of Commissioners Names New CIO

After the departure of CIO Jerry Driessen, the Hennepin County, Minn., Board of Commissioners chooses new CIO Glen Gilbertson, who has more than 23 years of experience working within the county.

July 15, 2019

Where can you go with Google’s new AR in Search feature?

Answer: Into the Apollo 11 spaceship’s cockpit.

July 12, 2019

Can a robot do the #BottleCapChallenge?

Answer: Yes.

July 11, 2019

Why did Virgin Orbit just drop a rocket on California?

Answer: To test it for spaceflight.

July 11, 2019

Digital Counties 2019: Winners Push Shared, Citizen Services

In the 17th annual Digital Counties Survey, the top 58 counties nationwide stand out for their commitment to using tech to improve quality of life, shore up cybersecurity, support municipal resources and more.

July 10, 2019

How many satellites does Amazon want to launch into orbit?

Answer: 3,236.

July 9, 2019

St. Louis County, Mo., to Invest $650,000 in Tech Upgrades

A slew of bills will go before the St. Louis County Council tonight for final approval. The pieces of legislation allocate funding for a new website, mobile app upgrade and system backups in the cloud.

July 9, 2019

How did Toyota add 27 miles to the range of a Prius?

Answer: Solar cells.

July 9, 2019

Utah Expands Teleworking Program After Successful Pilot

State officials in Utah hope to roll out a teleworking program for 2,555 eligible employees during the next 18 months to reduce vehicle emissions, save taxpayer dollars and increase staff productivity.

July 8, 2019

How will FaceTime ensure that callers maintain eye contact?

Answer: By faking it.

July 5, 2019

With Uber Eats Dine-in, you can eat your meal where?

Answer: In the restaurant that you ordered it from.

July 3, 2019

What is the only thing that can control this robotic arm?

Answer: Thoughts.

July 2, 2019

NGA Names States, Territories for Cybersecurity Program

The National Governors Association will assist workgroups in identifying and protecting critical infrastructure at all levels of participants' governments during workshops, which will be held between July and December.

July 2, 2019

How crowded will your commute be tomorrow?

Answer: Just ask Google Maps.

July 1, 2019

What annoying part of the Facebook app could be going away?

Answer: The red notification dot.

June 28, 2019

Where does this smartphone hide its selfie camera?

Answer: Under the screen.

June 27, 2019

Axon Decides Against Facial Recognition for Body Cameras

A report on face-recognition technology from the company’s independent advisory board raises serious concerns about face matching, and recommends treating face recognition with caution.

June 27, 2019

Who will get to name NASA’s next Mars rover?

Answer: K-12 students.

June 27, 2019

Vision Zero Network, Road Safety Company Numetric Partner Up

The company, which makes tools to help governments find and fix dangerous stretches of roadway, will become an official supporter of the network. In return, the network will promote the company in its activities.

June 26, 2019

What was historic about SpaceX’s most recent launch?

Answer: A lot of things.

June 25, 2019

Can an iPhone automatically block robo calls?

Answer: Yes, if it's running iOS 13.

June 24, 2019

What can you now see from anywhere in the world?

Answer: Stonehenge.

June 21, 2019

Cohesity Integrates Data Unification Tool with AWS GovCloud

As the public sector amasses more data than it knows what to do with, a California-based company takes aim at fragmentation and storage. The company is now offering one tool through Amazon's government-focused cloud.

June 21, 2019

Another Mobile App Lets Cops Use Cellphones Like Body Cams

Blueforce Development is actually the second company to try the concept out in recent years, but its app plugin would allow users to integrate with facial and object recognition software for the video they stream.

June 21, 2019

What powers Cornell’s new robo-fish?

Answer: Robot blood.

June 20, 2019

What does San Francisco want to ban now?

Answer: E-cigarettes.

June 19, 2019

BlackBerry Renews Government Push, Nears FedRAMP Clearance

The cloud-based endpoint management solution awaits final approval from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, having met its stringent security standards for cloud software.

June 19, 2019

When is Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency?

Answer: 2020.

June 18, 2019

IBM and Cúram to Pay Maryland $15M for Health System Debacle

Beset with problems attributed to various contractors, Maryland’s health insurance exchange website launched a saga of investigation and litigation that cost the state tens of millions for the better part of a decade.

June 18, 2019

What, besides data, is Facebook helping to collect?

Answer: Blood.

June 17, 2019

What’s missing from Volvo’s new big rig truck?

Answer: A cab.

June 14, 2019

How long is this beverage-maker’s new energy contract?

Answer: 5 billion years.

June 13, 2019

Alabama Governor Announces CIO's Decision to Step Down

Chief Information Officer Jim Purcell will cease to be the acting secretary of the Office of Information Technology on July 1 after two years in the position. Marty Redden will take over as acting secretary.

June 13, 2019

Where is Uber Eats going to start making drone deliveries?

Answer: San Diego.

June 12, 2019

Polaris Wireless Helps Mark43 Put 3-D Locations into CAD

The integration of 3-D location technology with computer-aided dispatch promises to give police, firefighters and other emergency responders the ability to track their teams indoors with floor-level accuracy.

June 12, 2019

Laura Meixell Jumps from Pittsburgh to Allegheny County, Pa.

Meixell, who served for more than five years of tech and innovation work for the city, will be joining the region’s county government as enterprise data architect.

June 12, 2019

When can you stream Steven Spielberg’s new horror show?

Answer: Only at night.

June 11, 2019

What would make deepfake videos even more concerning?

Answer: A tool that lets you change what someone says just by typing it.

June 10, 2019

Which retail giant wants access to your home?

Answer: Walmart.

June 7, 2019

Six States Tapped by NGA for Election Security Policy Academy

The National Governors Association has selected the states to undergo cyberattack policy and response training geared toward helping them better prepare for the 2020 presidential elections.

June 7, 2019

Does Uber have flying cars?

Answer: No, but it is getting helicopters.

June 6, 2019

New URBAN-X Cohort Has Ideas for Public Spaces, Firefighters

Seven more startups have joined URBAN-X’s accelerator program, which now offers $150,000 and 20 weeks of hands-on help from a global network of experts. Four of them are gov tech companies, tackling a variety of niches.

June 6, 2019

How is IKEA helping people adapt to small living spaces?

Answer: With robotic furniture.

June 5, 2019

What might an AI name its pet cat?

Answer: Probably something like Sparky Buttons, or maybe Tom Glitter.

June 4, 2019

What can Lyft drivers get for free in Portland, Ore.?

Answer: EV charging.

June 3, 2019

Michigan Announces Nationwide Search for New State CIO

The state is looking for a ‘visionary leader’ to represent and spearhead IT matters, following in the footsteps of David DeVries and serving under the direction of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and DTMB Director Tricia Foster.

June 3, 2019

How do Uber drivers feel about the new low-star passenger ban?

Answer: On the whole, they seem to support it.

May 31, 2019

How cute is this robot cat?

Answer: Too cute.

May 30, 2019

Nebraska Governor Signs Bill Expanding 5G Potential

Gov. Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremonial bill signing for the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act.

May 30, 2019

Contactless payment for public transit is coming to which major city?

Answer: New York City.

May 29, 2019

How can you get exactly the pizza you ordered?

Answer: With Domino's AI-powered DOM Pizza Checker.

May 28, 2019

Which popular work of art has been brought to life by AI?

Answer: The Mona Lisa.

May 24, 2019

How is the London Underground going to track riders?

Answer: Through its Wi-Fi connection.

May 23, 2019

Where will the heaviest electric garbage truck in the U.S. be used?

Answer: Seattle.

May 23, 2019

Idaho Gov. Signs Executive Order Forming Broadband Task Force

The task force is charged with mapping the state's existing services and pinpointing gaps in broadband infrastructure to aid in the eventual development of a comprehensive statewide plan.

May 22, 2019

What could one day replace your credit card?

Answer: Your palm.

May 21, 2019

Alex Alben Out as Washington’s Chief Privacy Officer

Wilford Saunders Jr. has been tapped as Alben’s acting replacement. Saunders is a veteran of government IT work with many years of experience in the Washington State Department of Commerce.

May 21, 2019

Y Combinator Puts Out Call for 'Government 2.0' Companies

The incubator has worked with several gov tech companies in the past, but this is the first time it's formally and explicitly called for startups in the space. It doesn't, however, want to "replace government."

May 21, 2019

What might be making New York crosswalks more dangerous?

Answer: Texting.

May 20, 2019

Which company is slowly taking over the world of drone deliveries?

Answer: Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

May 17, 2019

Clark County, Nev., to Search Nationally for Replacement CIO

Chief Information Officer Michael Lane left his post May 17 after almost six years of working in Clark County IT as both the CIO and deputy CIO.

May 17, 2019

How many governments does it take to bust a $100M cybercrime ring?

Answer: Six, plus Europol and Eurojust.

May 17, 2019

Nextdoor Raises $123M Investment Round, Expands in Europe

The social networking platform that also works with local governments and public safety agencies has pulled in a lot of money for a company its age. It's using it to jump into two new European countries.

May 16, 2019

How can you prevent your Uber driver from being too chatty?

Answer: Ask for a quiet ride when you book.

May 15, 2019

Avenu Acquires Two Document-Focused Companies in Louisiana

The deal, done with Avenu under ownership by a private equity firm, will bring together a company focused on document scanning and a company that stores files and other data and provides government software.

May 15, 2019

Why is Amazon giving its employees $10,000 to quit?

Answer: It’s not because it doesn’t like them.

May 14, 2019

Colorado Gov. Touts Increase in Rural Broadband Access

The state wants 100 percent of households to have access to high-speed Internet, and toward that end it will put $155 million toward rural broadband expansion projects during the next five years.

May 14, 2019

Can AI make whiskey?

Answer: Not entirely, but it can come up with the recipe.

May 13, 2019

Mastercard Partners with Kisio for New Transportation App

By partnering with Kisio and its own City Possible network, Mastercard aims to create a ‘mobility-as-a-service’ platform in which passengers can search, book and pay for multiple transportation options through one app.

May 13, 2019

Who will listen to your life story when no one else will?

Answer: An AI voice assistant.

May 10, 2019

Do robots feel pain?

Answer: No, which is why they could be a good way to help people express negative emotions.

May 9, 2019

How much does it cost to own a Bird scooter?

Answer: $1,299.

May 8, 2019

Q&A With ArchiveSocial's CEO on Building a Gov Tech Startup

Today, ArchiveSocial announced a $53 million investment from Level Equity. We sat down with ArchiveSocial’s founder and CEO, Anil Chawla, to get his perspective on growing a successful company in the gov tech market.

May 8, 2019

How much does this 3-D printed dress weigh?

Answer: 30 pounds.

May 8, 2019

NIC Acquires Marijuana Permitting Platform Complia

The acquisition expands NIC’s dozens of tailored licensing services to include the burgeoning cannabis industry, which contends with differing regulations at the federal, state and local level.

May 7, 2019

Code for America Gears Up for Annual Summit in Oakland

The leading civic tech organization, known for its disruptive approach to using technology in government, will welcome a wide range of guests, including speakers from the private sector, public sector and nonprofits.

May 7, 2019

Can AI make people’s writing better?

Answer: Microsoft certainly seems to think so.

May 6, 2019

FirstNet Reports Usage Milestones, New Technologies

The nationwide public safety broadband network reports more than 600,000 device connections, more than 7,250 user agencies, and performance numbers that are 25 percent faster than commercial networks.

May 6, 2019

What is Instagram going to start hiding?

Answer: Likes.

May 3, 2019

What did a drone just deliver for the first time?

Answer: A live human kidney.

May 2, 2019

Is Amazon's Alexa bilingual?

Answer: Not in the U.S., but she will be soon.

May 1, 2019

How does ClimaCell make its weather predictions?

Answer: With data collected from cellphone signals.

April 30, 2019

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Names Interim CTO Amid Corruption Probe

As CTO, Andy Molls inherits the supervision of a $25 million ERP project, as well as a key role in an IT department under scrutiny by state prosecutors for conflicts of interest, mishandled money and other allegations.

April 30, 2019

Is Earth about to be hit by an asteroid?

Answer: No, but some scientists are going to pretend that it is.

April 29, 2019

NIC Names Seasoned Technologist Brian Anderson as New CTO

The former software engineer and technology strategist will bring experience from more than half a dozen companies to a leadership role in NIC, which provides digital-service tools for some 6,000 government agencies.

April 29, 2019

What does Twitter want its users to start reporting?

Answer: Election misinformation.

April 26, 2019

How far can the new Tesla Model S go on a single charge?

Answer: All the way from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

April 25, 2019

Verizon Announces 5G Mobile Service to Come for 20 Cities

These cities, along with others yet to be announced, join Chicago and Minneapolis, which are the first in the world where customers have access to the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service.

April 25, 2019

Where does this pacemaker get its energy?

Answer: Heartbeats.

April 24, 2019

Illinois, Puerto Rico Tap AmpliFund for Grant Management

The grant management platform has been integrated for agencies in Illinois and Puerto Rico, with the promise of relieving some of the government’s burden of compliance oversight and finding new funding opportunities.

April 24, 2019

Can snow create electricity?

Answer: Yes.

April 23, 2019

How is this Swiss company cleaning up the air?

Answer: With giant vacuum cleaners.

April 22, 2019

Sacramento County Joins Pot Conviction Clearance Initiative

The new partnership makes Sacramento the fourth California county to partner with Code for America. Developers estimate that this will clear roughly 5,300 eligible convictions related to marijuana.

April 22, 2019

What was the Weather Channel's Thursday forecast?

Answer: Cloudy with a chance of ransomware.

April 19, 2019

Is Your Smart City Watching You? There's an Icon for That

In lieu of fine-print user agreements or nothing at all, a prominent urban innovation startup offers a visual language to tell people, at a glance, when they’re being scanned or surveilled, by whom and for what purpose.

April 19, 2019

Utah Embarks on a Mission to Familiarize Residents with AVs

Over the next year, a small electric autonomous shuttle will be deployed to showcase the potential for rapidly evolving transportation technology across the state.

April 19, 2019

Greenhouse gas emissions can't hide from what?

Answer: Satellites.

April 18, 2019

How many robo dogs does it take to pull a truck?

Answer: 10.

April 17, 2019

Atlanta Creates Advisory Board to Consult With Its CIO

The new body comprises members from the public and private sectors, with participants coming from organizations that range from Equifax to Georgia State University to the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

April 17, 2019

What tech will be instrumental in restoring Notre Dame?

Answer: Lasers.

April 16, 2019

Cook County, Ill., Looks to CfA to Expunge Pot Convictions

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told local media that she hopes to start expunging minor cannabis convictions soon, noting that the nonprofit civic tech group Code for America might be able to help.

April 16, 2019

Why does NASA want people to take pictures of trees?

Answer: Because the agency would like help checking its work.

April 15, 2019

Google Fiber to Pay Louisville, Ky., $3.84M After Exit

The money will go toward restoring certain roads and public rights-of-way affected by the private company's recent decision to discontinue efforts to establish the high-speed Internet service in the city.

April 15, 2019

What America's Governors Are Saying About Tech (Infographic)

Now that all 50 governors — including a robust crop of new faces — have made "State of the State" speeches, Government Technology takes the opportunity to break down how many touched on various technology topics.

April 15, 2019

Motorola Solutions Adds Situational Awareness to Emergency Suite

Motorola Solutions is the latest on a growing list of companies to offer cloud-based software that collect data from IoT devices and send it to first responders and call centers with its CommandCentral Aware platform.

April 15, 2019

These students created an AI that predicts what?

Answer: Who will live and who will die in the final season of Game of Thrones.

April 12, 2019

North Dakota Adopts Statewide Cybersecurity Approach

A newly signed law gives the Information Technology Department the authority to define cybersecurity for all public entities within the state.

April 12, 2019

Who could be receiving the FAA’s first drone delivery license?

Answer: Wing, a sister company of Google.

April 11, 2019

Who have Oregon police caught from their 'Most Wanted' list?

Answer: A Roomba robot vacuum cleaner.

April 10, 2019

Detroit Hires Its First Director of Digital Inclusion

The role, which will be filled by Joshua Edmonds, is aimed at helping the city address digital equity issues, specifically when it comes to expanding access to the Internet for residents of Detroit.

April 10, 2019

Why did Lime temporarily pull its scooters in Lubbock, Texas?

Answer: So that Texas Tech fans wouldn’t damage the scooters or endanger themselves.

April 9, 2019

Gatewood Out as Georgia CISO, Allen Steps Into the Role

Though details are vague, the state has replaced the name of former CISO Stanton Gatewood on its website with that of David Allen, who comes from the Georgia Army National Guard's IT leadership.

April 9, 2019

New Innovation Project Targets Small and Rural Governments

The program, launched through a partnership between ELGL and UrbanLeap, is specifically focusing on cities, counties and towns with fewer than 30,000 residents. Other similar projects have often focused on big cities.

April 9, 2019

How can 5G potentially save patient lives?

Answer: By enabling remote surgeries.

April 8, 2019

Cask Spins Off Digital Transformation into Separate Business

Cask Government Services will focus on program management and other operational support for federal agencies, while Cask NX will offer end-to-end consulting on digital transformation.

April 8, 2019

Geotab to Acquire Public Fleet-Focused BSM Technologies

The joining of two telematics firms will add thousands of government vehicles to Geotab’s customer base and BSM products to its ecosystem. In return, BSM customers get access to Geotab’s tools, marketplace and expertise.

April 8, 2019

i3 Verticals Buys Texas Software Firm NET Data for $24M

The publicly traded i3 Verticals mostly works in payment processing and serves both the private and public sectors. NET Data, meanwhile, offers a variety of services to several government verticals.

April 8, 2019

How easy is it to find cybercriminals operating on Facebook?

Answer: Very easy.

April 5, 2019

Who says Netflix films should be eligible for Oscars?

Answer: The U.S. Department of Justice, that’s who.

April 5, 2019

Sidewalk Labs Wants People, Not Tech, to Study Public Spaces

The Alphabet-backed company has created a new app that it hopes will make it easier for people to study how other people use common spaces like parks to better inform decisions about those spaces.

April 4, 2019

CitySourced Merges With Rock Solid in Private Equity Deal

Civic engagement company CitySourced is joining forces with Rock Solid, which does similar work but also has a diverse software portfolio that spans energy companies, the medical field and back-office government tech.

April 4, 2019

Two Special Districts Leaders Honored by GovTech Magazine

Downers Grove Sanitary District Administrative Supervisor Clay Campbell and San Antonio Water System VP and CIO Sree Pulapaka are among those recognized in the 2019 class of Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers.

April 4, 2019

These self-driving cars are learning to drive like whom?

Answer: Race car drivers.

April 4, 2019

ProudCity Aims to Build More Disaster Recovery Websites

The company has a history of helping wildfire-stricken communities in California set up recovery websites quickly. Now it's launching a website theme so it can do so for more local governments.

April 3, 2019

Uptrust Brings Court Texting to 4 More California Counties

The company, which makes technology to help defendants avoid unnecessary jail time, is going live in Ventura County, Calif., while preparing to launch in three others in a push toward the state's highly populated south.

April 3, 2019

Former Boston CIO Franklin-Hodge Joins Remix in Advisor Role

San Francisco-based Remix is a gov tech company that has designed and continues to manage online platforms for the transit agencies within more than 350 municipal governments across the globe.

April 3, 2019

How long is the world’s longest electric bus?

Answer: 88 feet.

April 2, 2019

Ever wondered why you are seeing a particular Facebook post?

Answer: Now the platform will tell you.

April 2, 2019

W.Va. to Open Cybersecurity Office, Launch Unification Plan

A law signed by Gov. Jim Justice last week creates a new cybersecurity office within the Office of Technology to assess the vulnerabilities of state agencies and unify security policies.

April 1, 2019

What is a Samsung Firevase?

Answer: A flower vase that doubles as a fire extinguisher.

March 29, 2019

Who were the unknown programmers behind one of the world’s first computers?

Answer: Six women — Kathleen McNulty, Frances Bilas, Betty Jean Jennings, Ruth Lichterman, Elizabeth Snyder and Marlyn Wescoff.

March 28, 2019

PayIt Wins $100M+ Investment for Digital Services Software

The size of the investment — one of the largest gov tech fundings in recent years — represents a major development for the startup, which raised $4.5 million in 2016 and got a contract with the state of Kansas in 2017.

March 28, 2019

What does this viral Twitter prank trick users into doing?

Answer: Locking themselves out of their accounts.

March 27, 2019

Can AI tell you what food to order?

Answer: It’s going to start trying at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

March 26, 2019

This Florida city lets anyone read what online?

Answer: City commissioners’ emails.

March 26, 2019

Trump Nominates Michael Kratsios as Chief Technology Officer

Kratsios, who has been serving as deputy chief technology officer since 2017, has been nominated to fill a role that has been vacant for the past two years. He would be the fourth person to hold the position since its creation in 2009.

March 26, 2019

Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers at a Glance (Infographic)

GovTech’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for 2019 represent an impressive group of IT leaders working inside government offices and on the ground, using technology to push the public-sector forward.

March 25, 2019

Colorado's Technology Office to Hire 'Blockchain Architect'

The Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology will soon name its first "Blockchain and Distributed Ledger (BDL) Solution Architect," the state's chief technology officer announced.

March 25, 2019

What historical event happens on March 29?

Answer: The first all-female spacewalk.

March 22, 2019

Who can learn to code with Code Jumper?

Answer: Children who are blind or visually impaired.

March 21, 2019

This research project aims to eliminate what in wearable tech?

Answer: Batteries.

March 20, 2019

Texas Awards $28M Contract for New Medicaid System

The four-year contract with CNSI revolves around the creation of a new system to enroll medical providers in Texas' Medicaid program. The enrollment system has caused frustration among physicians in the past.

March 20, 2019

Taser Co-Founder Joins Company Pitching Body-Binder to Cops

A new restraining tool is being marketed to law enforcement in the U.S. and abroad as non-lethal and potentially painless. The company is now led by former TASER International co-founder Thomas Smith.

March 20, 2019

Is it safe to leave your dog inside a Tesla?

Answer: Yes, if Dog Mode is engaged.

March 19, 2019

Where have autonomous drones started making deliveries?

Answer: To ships offshore.

March 19, 2019

Seven New Cities Join Mastercard City Possible Network

They include four U.S. cities: San Jose, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Wichita, Kan., and Erie, Pa. The network is meant to bring together cities from around the globe to collaborate on solving common problems.

March 19, 2019

San Antonio Makes Interim Innovation Chief Permanent

Brian Dillard was appointed as San Antonio’s chief innovation officer earlier this month, which puts him in charge of a host of initiatives such as local smart city efforts, innovation zones and the CivTechSA program.

March 18, 2019

Motorola Solutions Acquires Dispatch Provider Avtec

South Carolina-based Avtec is Motorola Solutions' eighth acquisition since February 2016, and brings in a company whose customers include public safety agencies, utilities, railroads, airlines and more.

March 15, 2019

Can smartphones stop arrows?

Answer: Yes, but then you’ll need a new one.

March 15, 2019

Portland, Maine, Makes Two New Tech and Innovation Hires

The city has selected Hanna Pickering as its next director of IT and Lena Geraghty as its first director of innovation and performance management. They will both start work for the local government there on March 25.

March 14, 2019

OpenGov Names New President, Two Experienced Advisers

The company's chief revenue officer will become the president, while Risk Management Solutions CEO Karen White and Premise CEO Maury Blackman, who formerly led Accela, will come on as advisers.

March 14, 2019

Which U.S. cities are getting a 5G mobile network in April?

Answer: Chicago and Minneapolis.

March 13, 2019

New ClearGov Feature Quickly Publicizes Capital Project Info

The feature lets users set up Web pages where they can publish budgets, blueprints, photos, timelines and more to keep citizens informed without calling in. They can also subscribe to receive updates as they come in.

March 13, 2019

Who is advocating for electric scooters?

Answer: The fastest man alive.

March 12, 2019

Gov Tech Giant CentralSquare Announces New Leadership Team

Seven executive positions around CEO Simon Angove have been filled, including decades of cumulative experience in government software, cloud adoption and market strategies for major tech companies.

March 12, 2019

What is the Trashtag Challenge?

Answer: A social media challenge that gets people to pick up trash.

March 11, 2019

How many engines does this Internet-providing drone have?

Answer: Ten.

March 8, 2019

What is the name of Amazon’s joint health-care organization?

Answer: Haven.

March 7, 2019

How long is the newly introduced act to save net neutrality?

Answer: Just two pages.

March 6, 2019

5G First Responder Lab Reveals First Cohort of Companies

Five companies have three months to work with Verizon’s new Washington, D.C., lab and its 5G network to produce next-generation solutions for first responders, with help on marketing and use-case testing.

March 6, 2019

What is the latest way to detect problems with your car?

Answer: Put it through a scanner and let an AI do all the work.

March 5, 2019

Is there such a thing as a perfect backflip?

Answer: Yes, if a robot does it.