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08/18/2020
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WorkScoop

City council meetings get an upgrade

One of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been an increased interest from the public in civic affairs — in May, officials in several cities reported record-high numbers of viewers at their city council meetings. Now, officials in San Antonio and Phoenix say they're building on that interest by installing new capabilities in their remote participation platforms, making it easier for people to comment on agenda items and participate in the meetings. There's a growing need, said Laura Mayes, a San Antonio spokesperson, to allow people to "participate from the comfort and safety of their homes." Ryan Johnston has more.


A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.


Government tech has arrived

Palo Alto, California, Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental has a new book. It's called "Smart Cities for Dummies," and in a recent interview, he told StateScoop it's not really a technology book, but a book about how to improve everyone's lives. "I don’t need to get into the more technical side of things," he said. "Most people working directly in our field don’t care. What they care about is can their environment be more beautiful, quieter, can the air be cleaner, can the energy be lower cost?" Check out the Q&A for more of his thoughts on how smart cities could improve the world.


NYC staying in (cyber) shape

Cybersecurity fellows from New York University convened virtually on Monday for an annual exercise put on by the New York City Cyber Command. The goal, officials said, was to prepare for a post-coronavirus world in which the increased prevalence of remote work could give hackers more ways to cause trouble. During the Cyber Simulated Threat Response and Incident Knowledge Exercise, or Cyber STRIKE, fellows had their abilities tested to detect and mitigate attacks against government, educational and corporate organizations. “If you don’t know or see your environment, you don’t know what you’re working against,” New York City Chief Information Security Officer Geoff Brown said in a panel discussion that ran alongside the exercise. Benjamin Freed has more.


Crashed and rebooted

Monday was the first day of school for K-12 students in North Carolina, but many reported being unable to log in to the state's online platform for hours and couldn't access lessons or assignments. Officials said the system crashed when some of the platform's 2 million users attempted to log in at the same time. Officials have since provided updates that students should be able to log in now, but the incident highlighted the continued struggles educational institutions are facing as social-distancing guidelines stretch their digital capabilities. Ryan has the story.


SPONSORED BY GOOGLE CLOUD

From AI to chatbots, tech shines in agencies’ COVID-19 response

AI-enabled tools are helping federal agencies respond to the spike in people seeking information and services. At first many agencies saw a major uptick in citizens just wanting more information about the virus. And quickly, that transitioned into Americans seeking services like unemployment with hundreds of thousands of people in certain states calling for information. Google Cloud’s Jeff Brown addresses the importance of cloud-based tools to manage service needs. Hear the full discussion.


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