How the pandemic changed the future of work for government agencies

Written by

FedScoop Staff

In order to keep social service programs running and agencies operable during the lockdown, government leaders learned that being too cautious about updating their infrastructure had handicapped their ability to deliver on their mission.

The insights come from a series of interviews — assembled in a new report — in which agency leaders shed light on how the pandemic has accelerated their agencies’ plans to adopt cloud- and AI-enabled tools.

future-ready
Read the full report.

The report, “Pandemic Fast-Tracks Plans for Future-Ready Government,” produced by FedScoop and StateScoop and underwritten by Google Cloud, highlights agencies’ response to resolving infrastructure and scaling challenges in order to stand-up a remote workforce and better service constituents.

When millions of citizens’ lives were disrupted, they turned to the government online for answers. However, websites and other digital services weren’t built to meet these high demands. The

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Consequences of decades of global nutrition transition — ScienceDaily

Just a handful of rice and beans — a part of our world is starved. Hawaiian Pizza and ice-cream — another part of our world is stuffed, throwing away food every day. This gap is likely to worsen, while food waste will increase and pressure on the environment will go up, a new study shows. Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) assessed the consequences if the current nutrition transition, from scarce starch-based diets towards processed foods and animal products, continues — the calculations combine, for the first time, estimates for under- and overweight, food composition and waste. Their findings provide a startling look ahead: By 2050, more than 4 billion people could be overweight, 1.5 billion of them obese, while 500 million people continue to be underweight.

“If the observed nutrition transition continues, we will not achieve the United Nations goal of eradicating hunger worldwide,” explains

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Google Expands Pay App With Bank Accounts and Debit Card

Alphabet’s Google said it expanded its Google Pay app to enable users to open back accounts, pay friends and manage budgets.



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© TheStreet
Google Expands Pay App With Bank Accounts and Debit Card

The updated application debuted Wednesday.

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Alphabet partnered with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union to launch the mobile bank accounts with plans to add 11 new partner institutions in 2021.

“Along with our bank partners, we were looking to make banking more relevant for the mobile-first generation,” Caesar Sengupta, general manager of payments at Google, told CNBC Wednesday.

“It will help our partners make banking more approachable to that generation, and not only make it more relevant, but make it more fun.”

Google will have so-called Plex checking and savings accounts, which have no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum-balance requirements.

People who sign up for Google bank accounts can request a physical debit card,

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Do humanities graduates have the same job prospects as science graduates?

The claim

The Federal Government’s “job-ready graduates” package has come under fire for building unfairness into university student fees.

From 2021, new science students will while fees for many humanities and social science courses will double.

Education Minister Dan Tehan the legislated changes would “incentivise students to make more job-relevant choices”.

However, Margaret Gardner, chair of the Group of Eight research universities, the policy ignored the evidence on which degrees actually lead to employment.

“People who do humanities degrees and social science degrees get jobs at about exactly the same rate as science graduates,” she said.

Is she correct? RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates.

The verdict

Professor Gardner’s claim is a fair call.

Employment rates, covering either full-time or part-time work, for humanities and social science graduates are roughly the same as those for science graduates.

Census data for 25-34 year-olds with a bachelor degree shows that 94.7 per cent

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‘Silicon Mountain’ Advocates For More Tech Re-Use

When Apple released the iPhone 12 earlier this year, much of the ensuing outrage centered around the charger. In an attempt to shift to a more sustainable model of minimal packaging, the Cupertino computing giant announced it would not be including a power brick with every handset, as it had customarily done in the past. Predictably, some consumers were annoyed at the thought of having to buy an extra $19 USB-C charger adaptor on top of the already pricey device.

While the new charger policy made for clicky headlines, and momentarily focused public attention on just how many glossy plastic cubes we all have floating around our homes, it does little to address the broader problem of e-waste. Every time a new iPhone hits the market, millions rush to buy the latest, shiniest version. Inevitably, the devices they already have join billions of pounds of glass, heavy metals, and other

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Apple slashes App Store fees for most developers

Apple is chopping by half the long-controversial commissions it charges on the sale of apps and services sold by smaller developers on its App Store, saying it wants to help them grow their businesses amid the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic



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© Apple Inc.
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The new program takes affect January 1, and impacts those making up to $1 million a year in app sales, the Cupertino, California-based technology company said Wednesday in a statement. 

Apple will reduce to 15% from 30% the App Store fee for those developers, along with those new to its store. The revised payment structure will affect the “vast majority” of developers who charge for apps and in-app purchases on Apple devices, the company said.

The smaller commission will help “developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams and continue to make apps that enrich people’s lives,”

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New Apple Laptops Change the Game

(Award-winning tech columnist Jon Markman publishes of Strategic Advantage, a popular daily newsletter about the  digital transformation of business, entertainment and society — and how to invest in it. Click here for a free two-week trial.)

Tech reviewers are now posting opinions of Apple’s ((AAPL) -Get Report) latest computers running a proprietary processor and the machines are so impressive they will force competitors to follow.

Apple is doing to personal computers what Tesla ((TSLA) -Get Report) is doing to automobiles, only faster and with wider implications. The entire computer processor ecosystem is about to be disrupted.

Investors need to be on the right side because the losers will be decimated.

To recap, Apple is transitioning away from Intel ((INTC) -Get Report) chips for its computers to proprietary units based on designs from ARM Holdings, the same architecture that powers iPhones and iPads. The first

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EU Rules ‘Hindering Banks’ In Tech Advances, Study Warns

Law360, London (November 17, 2020, 5:12 PM GMT) — Increasing regulatory requirements are hindering progress as the banking sector adopts emerging technology and new ways of working, according to a study by audit firm PwC and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

The study was published on Monday as new regulations that will govern use of technology loom — including the European Union’s proposed Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets and the Digital Operational Resilience Act — the report’s authors said.

The proposed EU legislation package, which was published in September, focuses on regulating digital currencies and ensuring that banks can resist cyberattack.

“Innovation is crucial for banks to…

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In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat

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Apple’s ‘Batterygate’ Saga Wraps Up With $113 Million Settlement

Apple CEO Tim Cook makes his settlement face.

Apple CEO Tim Cook makes his settlement face.
Photo: Mandel Ngan (Getty Images)

Younger readers might not know, but there was once an annual tradition in which Apple would release a new iPhone, old iPhones would suddenly start performing poorly, and users would speculate about a conspiracy to get them to buy the shiny new thing. It turned out that a conspiracy, of sorts, did exist, and Apple has been trying to make the whole embarrassing saga go away for years. On Wednesday, the finish line came into view after Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that an investigation involving 34 states is concluding with a settlement and no admission of guilt from Apple.

In 2017, Apple admitted that updates to iOS were throttling older iPhone models but framed it as a misunderstanding. Apple said that the software tweaks were intended to mitigate unwanted shutdowns in devices

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