Trump gets a U.S. Supreme Court victory on immigration detention

Reuters | March 19, 2019

The Supreme Court on Tuesday endorsed the U.S. government’s authority to detain immigrants awaiting deportation anytime - potentially even years - after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions, handing President Donald Trump a victory as he pursues hardline immigration policies. The court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines, with its conservative justices in the majority and its liberal justices dissenting, that federal authorities could pick up such immigrants and place them into indefinite detention anytime, not just immediately after they finish prison sentences.

Spotlight

The Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division of the Census Bureau recognizes Carmen DeNavas-Walt for her 42 years of service with the Census Bureau. Ms. DeNavas-Walt retired in 2015. She was the primary author of the income section of the Current Population Reports, Series P-60, for 25 years. Ms. DeNavas-Walt spent her career com-mitted to providing timely and accurate estimates of income and earnings and to mea-suring change in these national-level estimates. Her expertise, dedication, and guidance will be greatly missed.

Spotlight

The Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division of the Census Bureau recognizes Carmen DeNavas-Walt for her 42 years of service with the Census Bureau. Ms. DeNavas-Walt retired in 2015. She was the primary author of the income section of the Current Population Reports, Series P-60, for 25 years. Ms. DeNavas-Walt spent her career com-mitted to providing timely and accurate estimates of income and earnings and to mea-suring change in these national-level estimates. Her expertise, dedication, and guidance will be greatly missed.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Esri Provides Open Access to Critical Federal Geospatial Data

Esri | July 13, 2021

Esri, the worldwide leader in location intelligence, said today that it gives up access to dozens of high-priority, high-demand national data layers, referred to the government users as National Geospatial Data Assets, in cooperation with federal agencies (NGDA). This development is essential for national decision-making in sectors such as infrastructure development and disaster response. Cartographic boundary files and demographic data from the US Census Bureau are being made available, as are National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Inventory of Dams (NID) database, which the US Army Corps of Engineers manage. This new set of federal maps and applications is now available via ArcGIS Online. It contains approximately 75 national geospatial datasets on dams, bridges, federal public lands, runways, rail nodes, and more updated regularly from federal sources. Those looking for this information can access it through the web; no ArcGIS user license is required. Anyone can use, distribute, and modify the data with appropriate attribution under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. These datasets will also be accessible as Esri REST services and Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) API Features for interoperability. Esri will also make the NGDA datasets available via a custom explorer app on the launch page. The commercial sector will profit from the increased availability of NGDA datasets. Big companies with assets and interests spread throughout the United States, such as major merchants and insurance companies and railroads and utilities, need data that crosses cities, states, and regions. Having high-quality national data on hand saves organizations the time and money to collect and analyze it. Esri's effort contributes to the broader vision of the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA), which aims to enable more individuals to utilize geospatial data and remove more barriers to interoperability. This is the company's second dataset made accessible to the public this year that does not need an ArcGIS license to view. In addition, Esri published the first-ever high-resolution (10-meter) global land-cover map for 2020 in June. The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World offers these open data services, the world's most comprehensive collection of geographic information, including maps, applications, and data layers. About Esri Esri, the global industry leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, assists clients in maximizing the value of data to enhance operational and business outcomes. Esri software, founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, is used by over 350,000 organizations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities, as well as over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Esri has regional offices, worldwide distributors, and partners in over 100 countries across six continents, offering local assistance. Esri creates the most creative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics because of its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Defined.ai to Play Significant Role in Accelerat.ai, the Government of Portugal-Approved AI Initiative

Defined.ai | June 21, 2022

Defined.ai (formerly DefinedCrowd), the leading provider of data, models and tools for Artificial Intelligence, announced its role in Accelerat.ai, which the Portuguese government fully approved it. Portugal is one of the first European Union countries to implement the Covid 2019 Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Digital Transformation Mandate by the European Union, which Accelerat.ai is a part of. Accelerat.ai is a consortium of Portuguese companies backed by the government, with an investment of €48 million (~$51 million) to speed up the digital transformation of Portugal's public and private sectors. The project, born from the EU Digital Compass 2030 initiative, is financed partly through a €16 billion ($17 billion) award granted to Portugal as part of the initiative. It is also the first of many projects from Portugal's Center of Excellence for AI. The mandate of the consortium is to make it easier to develop trustworthy AI apps and use unbiased data in European Portuguese. Accelerat.ai works on the European Portuguese language problem, which has yet to be effectively addressed well in the field of Conversational AI, especially in the public sector and industry-specific domains as the big tech companies usually focus on other markets. If a developer wants to use voice interfaces in the Portuguese market, they have to use APIs in English or Brazilian Portuguese, which is not what the Portuguese people prefer. Today, António Costa Silva, Minister of Economy and Sea, Sir John O'Reilly, President of the Jury, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner, and António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, will officially announce the winners of the public audit and contest, including Accelerat.ai as the winner of a process that began exactly one year ago. Defined.ai will play a leading role in Accelerat.ai, a consortium of companies that includes Talkdesk, Devscope, Instituto Superior Tecnico de Lisboa (Inesc id), Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Clarin, NOS, IBM, Microsoft, and KPMG. Interested clients include Caixa Geral de Depositos, Novo Banco, Santander, SPMS/SNS (Healthcare Ministry), AMA (Digital Transformation), Social Security Ministry, EDP (electricity and gas), the Telco NOS, the popular Retail provider Worten, and the Insurance company Fidelidade. Dr. Daniela Braga, Founder and CEO of Defined.ai, was a key player in proposing the creation of a Center of Excellence in AI in Europe and starting the Accelerat.ai consortium and project. (Defined.ai gives AI builders the data they need to train their models.) This ambitious project is aimed at dramatically improving private and public customer service through virtual assistants paired with contact centers as a service in European Portuguese. In its early stages, Accelerat.ai’s goal is to improve customer service in Portugal's private and public sectors and speed up the country's digital transformation. It will develop proprietary technology that can easily scale up to other EU markets since what changes after that is the data. Accelerat.ai will work on a conversational AI framework for modern contact centers that can handle multiple languages. This will improve customer service and cut costs by automating 80 percent of customer support resolutions. It will give customers access to the latest technology in a way that doesn't depend on the cloud provider, infrastructure, or technology. Customers will be able to choose which ASR, NLU, or TTS works best for them. The business model will be based on subscriptions that are flexible and easy to set up. This will make it possible to create 200 highly skilled AI jobs in Portugal. Some of the applications will have a voice and video-enabled avatars that will speak to people when they call the Portuguese Healthcare system to schedule a Covid booster or call Social Security to check on the status of a maternity leave pension. Customer service in the top European languages will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and at a lower cost. Initially designed to help the Portuguese, it will impact all EU citizens in the future because of its multi-language modularity. About Defined.ai Defined.ai is on a mission to enable the creators of the future. At Defined.ai, we believe AI should be created as we raise our children, with the responsibility to make it the best version possible, to be fair, kind, inclusive and to strive for a better world. That’s why we provide high-quality AI training data, tools, and models to the creators of the future. We offer data scientists the solutions to get it just right, from datasets to bootstrap their models which keep their projects moving, to the final tuning in domains and perfection in accents and phonetics. We host the leading AI marketplace, where data scientists can buy and sell off-the-shelf datasets, tools and models, and we provide customizable workflows that can be used to generate datasets tuned to their needs. And, because the future of AI is complicated, Defined.ai can also offer professional services to help deliver success in complex machine learning projects. Defined.ai has offices in Seattle, USA, Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, and Tokyo, Japan, and has raised more than $80 million in investment.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Cygnus Technologies and Carahsoft Announce CloudStack Offering to Deploy Zero Trust Data Management Capabilities

Cygnus Technologies | September 18, 2021

Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, and Cygnus Technologies, a cloud-focused technology reseller and services provider, today announced the availability of CloudStack, a turnkey cloud services stack that enables Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Public Sector organizations to rapidly deploy scalable zero trust data management capabilities. CloudStack is designed for rapid deployment to manage, migrate and secure mission critical data which is created, shared and consumed across edge, cloud, data center and hybrid environments. The solution stack leverages an API-first, platform agnostic architecture for maximum development flexibility, allowing Public Sector customers to select their compute, storage, data protection, application, infrastructure monitoring, networking and zero trust security components from a flexible configuration menu. This speeds the deployment of foundational cloud services technologies that can be managed either internally or by a third party as a service. We are proud to offer a solution that will enable the Public Sector to revolutionize how it handles and protects its data. We are also thrilled to collaborate with vendor, services and reseller partners across the channel to make CloudStack responsive to the requirements of customers’ highly complex missions and environments. Maryam Emdadi, Vice President at Carahsoft Under the partnership agreement, Carahsoft will serve as the lead distributor for CloudStack, and Cygnus Technologies will provide installation and configuration services. Hardware and ancillary software is supplied by Carahsoft’s vendors, including: Cygnus is proud to partner with Carahsoft to introduce this Capabilities Bundle from our Constellation Solutions Portfolio. CloudStack is a modular commercial cloud services capability designed for Public Sector, DoD and Intel customers who need highly secure configuration options to meet their mission requirements. Chris Prophett, Managing Partner, Cygnus Technologies CloudStack is delivered as a fully assembled, crated and ready-to-configure system. This offering is available through Carahsoft’s Cloud Purchasing Program (CPP) and the company’s reseller partners. Through CPP, customers can purchase cloud products and services on a monthly or prepaid basis to match their mission and usage needs. By offering an online portal and pay-as-you-go option, CPP is suited to Government agencies and Public Sector organizations seeking to avoid the costs and vendor lock in of the traditional procurement process. More information is available on Carahsoft’s dedicated CPP resource center. CloudStack is available to the Public Sector through Carahsoft’s NASA SEWP V contracts NNG15SC03B and NNG15SC27B and the company’s NASPO ValuePoint, NCPA and The Quilt cooperative purchasing contracts. About Carahsoft Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles. About Cygnus Technologies As a value added reseller, the Cygnus Technologies team brings deep experience advising Public Sector agencies on all technology aspects of their respective Cloud Adoption journeys. We work to earn our customers’ trust by focusing on their business needs, and by helping them drive operational excellence by executing more efficiently and cost effectively against their Mission Objectives as they embrace the Cloud.

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