The month of May has brought some exciting and interesting news including a positive update on Seattle’s economy, the U.S. government’s plan to step into the digital age, and a new patent for…steak? Check out some articles that caught our eye in this month’s News You Can Use:

  • Is it possible for people to interact with government much like they do with Facebook? According to federal Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel, it is.David Saleh Rauf of Politico reports on a recent White House plan for a new “digital government roadmap” to help solve a range of federal digital dilemmas. 
  • Meanwhile, Fast Company reports on Microsoft Research’s announcement to open a new lab in New York City to focus on data-driven social science. The lab will bring in staff from a variety of different research fields to study the way people interact through social networks, and develop social science technologies that could lead to future Microsoft products. Similar research hubs are behind two of Microsoft’s most successful recent products – Kinect and Bing. 
  • Stemming from the Technology Alliance luncheon in Seattle this past week,GeekWire reports on the findings from a Technology Alliance economic impact study of Washington State’s technology sector. According to the study, Washington State’s technology economy continues to grow despite the current recession, with more than 15,000 jobs added since 2010 (4% growth), bringing the total tech employment in the state to 396,818 people.
  • Finally, the Vegas Strip Steak – have you heard of it? Well Oklahoma State University is working on patenting a new cut of meat created by a specific kind of knife stroke. Heba Hasan of TIME reports on Oklahoma State University’s plan to collect licensing fees from its new cut of steak by working with big packing plants.

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