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Pew Research Internet Project: Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age

Full Article: Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

Killer Apps in a Gigabit Age: Themes

  • People’s basic interactions and their ability to ‘be together’ and collaborate will change in the age of vivid telepresence—enabling people to instantly ‘meet face-to-face’ in cyberspace with no travel necessary.
  • Augmented reality will extend people’s sense and understanding of their real-life surroundings and virtual reality will make some spaces, such as gaming worlds and other simulated environments, even more compelling places to hang out.
  • The connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real-time personalized information in an ‘always-on’ environment. This integration will affect many activities—including thinking, the documentation of life events (‘life-logging’), and coordination of daily schedules.
  • Specific economic and social sectors will be especially impacted; health/medicine and education were mentioned often.
  • New digital divides may open as people gain opportunities on different timelines and with different tools.
  • Who knows? ‘I have no idea due to rapid change.’ ‘The best Internet apps are yet to emerge.’ ‘If I knew, I wouldn’t tell you, I would invest in it!’
  • Advances will be gradual for various reasons: Bandwidth is not the issue. The US will lag because a widespread gigabit network is not easily achieved.

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CRS Insights: Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights (October 1, 2014)

CRS Insights: Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights (October 1, 2014)

Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

On September 16, 2014, President Obama announced a major increase in the U.S. response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Department of Defense (DOD) submitted requests to Congress to make excess Overseas Contingency Operations funds appropriated for FY2014 available to support this effort. The requested funds would be used to provide humanitarian assistance, including:

  • transportation of DOD and non-DOD personnel and supplies;
  • coordination of delivery of supplies from both DOD and non-DOD sources such as isolation units,
  • personnel protective equipment, and medical supplies;
  • construction of 17 planned Ebola treatment units;
  • and, training and education in support of sanitation and mortuary affairs functions to limit the spread of the Ebola outbreak.

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FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues

FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues (PDF) Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Military personnel issues typically generate significant interest from many Members of Congress and their staffs. Ongoing operations in Afghanistan, along with the operational role of the Reserve Components, further heighten interest in a wide range of military personnel policies and issues.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has selected a number of the military personnel issues considered in deliberations on the initial House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 and on the bill that was enacted and became law (P.L. 113-66). This report provides a brief synopsis of sections that pertain to personnel policy. These include end strengths, pay raises, health care, and sexual assault, as well as less prominent issues that nonetheless generate significant public interest.

This report focuses exclusively on the annual defense authorization process. It does not include language concerning appropriations, veterans’ affairs, tax implications of policy choices, or any discussion of separately introduced legislation, topics which are addressed in other CRS products. Some issues were addressed in the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act and discussed in CRS Report R42651, FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues, coordinated by Catherine A. Theohary. Those issues that were considered previously are designated with a “*” in the relevant section titles of this report.

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New GAO Reports

Source: Government Accountability Office

  1. VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Improve Administration and Oversight of Veterans’ Millennium Act Emergency Care Benefit. GAO-14-175, March 6. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-175 Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661405.pdf Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/661389

  2. Electronic Health Record Programs: Participation Has Increased, but Action Needed to Achieve Goals, Including Improved Quality of Care. GAO-14-207, March 6. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-207 Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661402.pdf

  3. Nuclear Nonproliferation: Stronger Planning and Evaluation Needed for Radiological Security Zone Pilot Project. GAO-14-209, March 6. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-209 Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661394.pdf

  4. 2013 Sequestration: Agencies Reduced Some Services and Investments, While Taking Certain Actions to Mitigate Effects. GAO-14-244, March 6. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-244 Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661445.pdf Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/661235

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Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2014-2020 Strategic Plan

Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2014-2020 Strategic Plan (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

We serve a shrinking, but increasingly diverse, Veteran population. The number and complexity of disability claims continues to increase. Changes in health technologies, health legislation, and health care delivery systems will impact both public and private sector health care models. Technological advances in all disciplines are changing the way we communicate, learn, shop, travel, monitor our health, conduct warfare, and even memorialize the fallen. Our service to Veterans must reflect these changes.

This VA Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2020 builds on our prior (FY 2011-2015) strategic plan. We will continue to significantly transform how we operate as a Department. We will keep the promises we have made to increase access, eliminate the claims backlog, and end Veteran homelessness. In addition, this plan places a stronger emphasis on defining success by Veteran outcomes; enhancing the quality of and access to benefits and services through integration within VA and with our partners; and developing our workforce with the skills, tools, and leadership to meet our clients’ needs and expectations.

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New GAO Reports

Source: Government Accountability Office

1. National Mediation Board: Strengthening Planning and Controls Could Better Facilitate Rail and Air Labor Relations. GAO-14-5, December 3.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-5
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659361.pdf

2. VA Health Care: Improvements Needed in Processes Used to Address Providers’ Actions That Contribute to Adverse Events. GAO-14-55, December 3.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-55
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659379.pdf

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