Most government agencies and corporations in the Gulf had good, remote backups of their data. For those who didn't, loss of data adds to the difficulties.
CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz hosts ZDNet Government -- ZDNet's politics and policy coffeehouse -- where civics lessons meet technology, nothing is sacred, and everything is fair game.
David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.
Military leaders and other government officials are said to be concerned about the quality of images in Google Earth.
Electronic medical health record software is expensive and difficult. So a coalition of doctors and insurers are deploying the system via web services. The result: ease of use and low costs.
Philadelphia thought it had the go-ahead for Wireless Philadelphia, even after the state tried to outlaw it. Now CIO Diana Neff faces doubting City Council members and continued lobbying from Comcast.
Sean Gorman's graduate research into infrastructure vulnerability led to some public data becoming unavailable, in the interest of national security. Now with a book out on his research, Gorman points out that we need to understand our problems before we can fix them.
Three of the five primary recommendations of a bipartisan report on election reform are IT-related. This shouldn't be too surprising: like any other business process, voting has a heavy IT component
As predicted here a week ago, FEMA's website still requires applicants to use Internet Explorer to apply for aid. Last week there was heavy coverage of the fact that FEMA had said they were working on allowing other browsers to access the site. Today, FEMA's message is the same as a week ago.
The Justice Dept.'s database of registered foreign agents could supply a wealth of information to the public, journalists, and government investigators - but the system is antiquated, and inaccessible, and - charges a journalism center - that's the way Justice wants to keep it.
As IT professionals, we must always be cognizant of the fact that change is a risk factor that must be accounted for and managed. Even if the changes are completely for the better, they will be resisted, often quite vocally. And even the smallest modification can cause a maelstrom of discontent far exceeding the magnitude of the change, if it isn't handled right.
MIT engineering professor Yossi Sheffi notes that a core reason for government's initially tepid response to Hurricane Katrina may have been cultural. "If this root cause is not addressed systematically then all the special commissions, forecasting tools, special gear, and training available will not fix the problem," Sheffi notes. Upgrading communications gear and dedicating bandwidth to emergency personnel won't create a culture where bad news is communicated quickly and fearlessly.