Should cities be allowed to offer high-speed Internet that’s 50 times faster than what the Federal Communications Commission considers to be the national average? That's the case in Chattanooga, Tenn., but some argue that this level of service puts cities in competition with incumbent Internet providers.
Wilson, N.C., and Chattanooga are among the cities petitioning the FCC “to overrule what city officials call restrictive state laws” against broader high-speed Internet expansion, according to USA Today.
If the Department of Labor's projections hold true, there will be 1.4 million new information technology jobs by 2020. Whether there will be enough qualified professionals to fill those positions is a widespread concern.
But Kansas City, Mo., Louisville, Ky., and Minneapolis are among the cities offering solutions to the problem. City leaders there are collaborating with local IT employers to expand coding bootcamps in their communities, according to a White House blog post. “Coding bootcamps teach participants with minimal to no IT backgrounds how to write computer code on an accelerated time frame (usually between 9 and 12 weeks) and regularly result in high paying jobs.”
The Massachusetts state agency tasked with protecting children from child abuse and neglect is facing its own internal dilemma. Antiquated IT systems and paper-based processes are making it harder for caseworkers to properly investigate incoming reports and coordinate with police and other entities in a timely manner, writes Stephen Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis, and a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
In his Boston Globe article, Goldsmith argues that better IT can save lives, but burdensome procurement cycles and IT requirements are major barriers to technology reform. "Dramatic change that saves lives is easily within reach, but we need leadership from agency heads and political backing from Beacon Hill to get us there."
More than a dozen states have passed laws banning employers from asking workers for login credentials to their personal email and social media accounts. Stateline reports that Maryland, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin are among 17 states with so-called anti-snooping laws that protect both employees and potential hires.
The solar-powered benches, known as Soofas, are popping up in Boston's Titus Sparrow Park and the oldest park in the country, Boston Common, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
In addition to charging electronic devices, the benches also “connect wirelessly to the Internet to upload local environmental data such as air quality and noise levels, as well as information on how much energy is being generated.” The startup’s co-founder and CEO says a number of cities have expressed interest in having Soofas.
It appears that way, according to a recent New York Times article. Reno, Nev., isn’t too far from major tech hubs in California, and the city does not have corporate or inventory taxes. These benefits could be appealing for new and growing companies looking for a place to call home.
While most people associate Reno with the gambling industry, the city is looking to shake that image. Reno is home to an Apple data center, cloud computing developers and is a testing ground for drones.
The city is using a $200,000 grant from the Argonne National Laborator to fund a pilot project that CIO Brenna Berman hopes will give researchers a better analytical understanding of the Windy City, Emergency Management reports.
Up to 30 sensors will be installed on light poles in the city’s downtown area this summer to collect environmental data, including weather and air quality measurements. Other cities, such as San Jose, Calif., are launching similiar projects. Researchers and the public will have real-time access to the data.
A growing number of state and local governments are turning their focus to apps that protect citizens' public health and safety, instead of only targeting tourism or recreation, reports USA Today.
The article highlights several apps, including the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s ReadyNC app. The app has 26,000 users and provides the latest updates on travel and weather conditions in the state.
That’s what the California Supreme Court is going to figure out. The state court will consider “whether government workers must disclose email, text messages and other electronic communication about government matters on their personal smartphones or other private devices,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.