Day 1 of U.S. gov't shutdown: ailing, NASA grounded isn't off to a great start, but Wall Street and VC partners seem more concerned about the pulse of Twitter's IPO.


Culture clashes on privacy; Silicon Valley, the government and you

Culture clashes on privacy; Silicon Valley, the government and you

The closure of the U.S. Government has caused a mess just about everywhere, and technology is one of the verticals bleeding the most publicly so far.

Here's a quick recap about some of the big ticket items related to tech on day one alone:

  • Unquestionably this one has gotten the most attention -- not just because it launched today but also because healthcare is at the heart of the heated debate that has led to the current state of affairs. While the new health insurance marketplace is live and accessible, many visitors are having trouble setting up accounts. Government officials have attributed the glitches to heavier-than-expected waves of traffic.
  • Website shutdowns: With non-essential staff on furlough for the duration of the shutdown, some government agency hubs will not be updated -- or even maintained at all. One example is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health intelligence service warned in a notice published to its homepage on Tuesday that "the information on this website may not be up to date, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted." Presumably a nationwide epidemic would be an exception -- or at least one would hope.
  • NASA: Let's not forget it's not just Americans within the borders of these 50 states that need to be concerned with the shutdown. In all seriousness, this affects many people from here to outer space. Again, many government agencies are being forced to furlough their employees, and one of the biggest cutbacks is being seen at NASA. The space agency's workforce is being cutback from approximately 18,000 people to fewer than 600. However, officials have promised that support for the crew on the International Space Station will not be hampered.
  • Twitter: Work visa applications are going unread and much-needed paychecks for many Americans are going to be delayed, but Wall Street analysts and Silicon Valley venture capitalists seem more concerned about the pulse of Twitter's IPO than anything else. This media frenzy might not have been one of the most predictable question marks a result of the shutdown, but it's causing concern among some as it is being reported the social network will make its initial public offering actually public this week. To recall, the San Francisco company finally announced (via Tweet) in September about its S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, Twitter refrained from revealing its value and proposed initial stock price. Regardless, the SEC is expected to stay open for the next few weeks. Thus, so long as the shutdown doesn't last that long, Twitter's IPO should go just fine -- at least as far as that announcement is concerned.

Again, there are many, many more agencies, departments, and services across all industries affected by the federal government shutdown. But this is also only day one, and it's hard to predict still at this point how long the shutdown will last.


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