Ben Miller

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects.

The award-winning, longtime C-level executive will leave California to become chief information officer of the state where he first became a technology chief.
Having recently stepped down as San Rafael’s director of digital service and open government, Rebecca Woodbury is continuing her work at her new company, Department of Civic Things. Her focus: helping small jurisdictions change.
The idea is that chatbots, which typically use some form of AI algorithm, can handle common questions and leave less common or more complicated questions for human staff to answer. They’ve made inroads in, among other places, Placer and San Joaquin counties.
Two key California cities' chief information officers discuss the solutions they're using to enable municipal employees to work remotely during "shelter in place" orders.
A Palo Alto tech company aims to use open source technology to help local agencies aggregate and analyze dockless mobility and rideshare data.
Intended to offer redundancy, the facility now highlights the possibilities in a cloud-forward posture, a remote workforce, improved backups and more.
It might seem counterintuitive, but in the public safety space, tech startup entrepreneurs say that big agencies with big budgets might not be the most innovative. Many like the creativity and agility of small agencies.
A recently formed business that was created from the merger of three gov tech companies has announced that it's closing its only California office in March — but it's expecting that most of its employees in the state will remain and work remotely.
A longtime local government official who led technology, innovation and community development efforts in several cities is joining Oracle to work on a renewed push into public-sector software. The move brings Oracle a recognized local government voice in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as a person who has a lot of experience with a company Oracle recently began competing directly against: Accela.
Startups are producing lots of transit data that could help inform government policy — but not everyone agrees on what should be shared.
As California replaces its money-bail system with "risk assessments" to determine who is most likely to fail to appear for their court dates, Uptrust is expanding its tool that it says helps people stay in compliance.
The e-scooter company Bird's offering is tailored toward some of the exact complaints of cities like San Francisco and San Jose.
As electric scooters have proliferated in California cities this year, a lot of local governments and citizens have voiced increasing concern about some problems their riders can cause — blocking sidewalk access for people with disabilities, riding in places they aren’t supposed to and putting pedestrians in danger. Now Bird, which is based in Santa Monica and has deployed its scooters in about 40 U.S. cities, has released a tool meant to help local government address some of those problems.
The city of Napa is trying to add a tech-enabled, personalized experience to its local tourism scene, like what the tech giants of San Francisco and Silicon Valley have already made commonplace in visitors’ lives.
The CEO was only on board for a little more than a year, but a lot happened in that time. Now, as he leaves, the company is taking on a major cloud computing partnership.
The company said transparency, among other functionalities, can help reduce the amount of time it takes for a city to approve development.
Ed Daihl, chief executive officer of the gov tech company Accela, is stepping down after a little more than a year at the helm and will shift to an advisory role.
There was a time when Microsoft meant the opposite of open source. The question of whether that’s still true is the crux of the disagreement between open source believers who are excited by the tech giant’s recent $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub and those who are dismayed by it.
The city of Sacramento is piloting digital license plates on a couple dozen of its electric cars, and the potential benefits of the dynamic new devices are many, including safety, diagnostics and public information.
City Innovation head Tracy Colunga highlights what happens when multiple departments agree to share data that uncovers the high impact of repeat offenders.
Here's a look at some of the companies that drew attention at last week's Bridge SF conference in San Francisco. They're doing business with, among others, cities in the Golden State.
The Startup in Residence program, which matches tech companies with local government workers to help them solve public-sector problems, wants to grow a lot bigger. Today, some California success stories were showcased at a conference.
A new Silicon Valley startup called UrbanLeap is putting together a cloud-based platform for government — especially local government — to pilot-test products and services. It may be the first such product on the market.
Google says a majority of state and local government websites aren’t doing enough to protect the people visiting them. Starting in July, that browser is going to start prominently telling those users that the sites they’re visiting aren’t secure — and that includes Los Angeles’ and San Diego’s.
That slow-moving stalwart of investing, the old municipal bond, is about to meet the trendiest tech in the country right now: blockchain. And in Berkeley, the people behind the initiative want to open the bond to investors using both U.S. dollars and some as-of-yet-unspecified cryptocurrency.
As a California commission with the power to recommend policy to the state Legislature studies artificial intelligence, it is getting mixed signals about just how heavy-handed the state should be in regulating the technology. Some think the state should wait to regulate AI until it knows more about it, and some think it should approach AI with more caution.
In a world of big tech investment, where a company with a zany idea may flare up and fizzle out or it may hit the stock market at a billion-dollar value, is there room for technology that helps city hall update its application forms? It’s beginning to look like the answer is yes — especially in California, home to 31 of the GovTech 100 firms that serve state and local government in unique, innovative, effective ways.
The California Child Welfare Digital Services project, which the state government’s technology officials are treating as a pilot for agile methods, has awarded an early contract for development operations to CivicActions.
When voters in the state chose to legalize marijuana in November, they also gave the government a deadline by which they needed to start licensing cannabis businesses: Jan. 1, 2018.
Uber and Twitter are not in the business of elections. But they are involved in U.S. elections, and in the future they are looking to insert themselves further into the process.