Sunday, March 13, 2016

Montgomery MIX: Alabama bets on high-speed exchange

On Jan. 6, Troy Cable saw latency in its transmissions go from 64 milliseconds to 2 milliseconds when it became the first cable and Internet provider to connect to the new Montgomery Internet Exchange.

The need for speed is a driving force behind the exchange, known as MIX, which went live Jan. 20. MIX is the result of a partnership between the city, county, state, Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base and the Air Force’s Air University. It lets residents, government and businesses in Montgomery, Ala., experience faster Internet connections by enabling them to connect via local servers rather than through a data hub hundreds of miles away.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Blair House Plays Host To American History

Washington is home to many buildings that are both iconic and secretive at the same time. Blair House, known more casually as the president’s guest house, is no different.

Built in 1824, Blair House consists of four interconnected townhouses located on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House. The federal-style complex has hosted a variety of heads of state and visiting delegations, but it was originally home to Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first surgeon general of the U.S. Army. It got its name, however, shortly after a circuit court clerk-turned-newspaperman took up residence there in 1837, seven years after Francis Preston Blair first moved to D.C. at the invitation of President Andrew Jackson. Blair’s editorials in a local Frankfort, Ky., newspaper appealed to Jackson, who asked Blair and his wife Eliza to turn a faltering D.C. paper called the Globe into a pro-Jackson administration publication.

The tech that locks down ID cards

Across federal and state governments alike, secure identity cards are getting securer. Whether the card allows for access into a government building or travel to another country, new technologies are making it easier for officials to verify identities.

Take the new Permanent Resident Card, or green card, which lets holders live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently began issuing redesigned cards, the front of which features ink that shifts from gold to green, embedded radio frequency identity (RFID) technology, tactile laser personalization, a laser-engraved fingerprint and a unique background design.