One of the problems that Katrina has put into bold relief is the impact of cascading communication snafus on the quick response to disasters. Congress is now calling for upgrading first-responder communications. But it's not as easy as picking a technology and throwing money at it. My experience with the Salt Lake Olympics sheds some light on the nitty-gritty issues.
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.
Just can't get enough of Condaleeza Rice? What about press releases from the NYPD? Well, you're in luck because the State Department and NYPD have both launched podcasts with just that kind of content. Here are your choices from State: the president's foreign policy speeches, the Secretary of State's speeches. And the police departmetn offers safety tips, press releases, and street closure information.
The FCC chairman is advocating a special bureau for disaster communication systems, but telcom representatives are failing to explain what should be done in the future. Meanwhile, VoIP vendors aren't invited to speak.
A survey of corporate users in the US and Europe came up with the surprising conclusion that users are more likely at work than at home to click on suspicious links in an email or install software that might prove to have spyware or viruses. The reason? IT will be there to make everything all better if they really screw it up.
OMB will discard the large collection of software components collected in Core.gov and start over, as the government moves to component-based enterprise architecture.
18 months ago DARPA called robotics scientists for a race in the desert, to see if any self-guided robots could master a challenging course. None could. In October, the second Grand Challenge gets started. And the prospects are markedly better.
While some in Congress are pushing for massive funding - $5 billion a year - to upgrade equipment for first responders, some experts are pushing for something more: a national wireless data network, with dedicated frequencies, that first repsonders could plug into after an emergency, Associated Press reports.
OMB will start assessing agencies' enterprise architectures starting in October. They'll be done by March 2006. Karlu Rambhala has some thoughts on what the assessment is all about, how agencies can comply quickly, and what the benefits will be.
Peter McKay, president and CEO of Watchfire, a security software and services vendor, has a piece in the Federal Times reminding agencies not to neglect the intranet when working on security plans for external web sites. Peter writes: "Given their size and scope, [intranets] present challenges that are similar to those common in external sites. There has also been a tendency for intranets to become dumping grounds for obsolete and irrelevant content. The result can be unforeseen privacy and security risks, wasted employee productivity and unnecessary cost burdens."
The RealID Act requires states to meet a set of requirements for state's driver's licenses. Governors and other state executives have complained that the law, which doesn't specifically allocate funds to meet those requirements is an "unfunded mandate." Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va), discarded that characterization, saying, "States can do whatever they want,