Tip of the hat

Big ideas often come in small packages. And that certainly was the case for Jack Kilby, the engineer who invented the integrated circuit and paved the way for the development of the computer chip.

Kilby worked for Texas Instruments, where in 1958 his invention led to a revolution. His work won him a Nobel Prize and helped launch the Digital Age, leading to the development of PCs, mobile phones and microwave ovens. Kilby died of cancer last week.

Hot enough for you?

The National Treasury Employees Union had a big win — sort of — when the Federal Labor Relations Authority ordered Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to negotiate with the union over workers' right to wear shorts in hot weather.

Last year, CBP banned the wearing of shorts by employees working in airport and seaport cargo areas and at land borders. The only exceptions were the Southwest border, south Florida and Puerto Rico. CBP officials opposed the hot-weather clothing on the grounds that it would look unprofessional, increase employees' sunburn risk and limit officers' ability to kneel or crawl.

With new orders to negotiate a compromise, NTEU President Colleen Kelley said she hoped CBP would "send a message to employees that it supports them in their work, rather than continuing to engage in senseless litigation."

On the move

Women and most racial minorities are on the move in the information technology workforce, just not in the right direction, according to a new study released by the IT Association of America.

The report "Untapped Talent: Diversity, Competition and America's High Tech Future" states that the percentage of women in IT has actually declined by 18.5 percent since 1996, thanks largely to dropping employment in largely administrative job categories. Meanwhile, some minorities are underrepresented in the industry's workforce by more than 50 percent.

"America is competing in the global economy with one hand tied behind her back," said ITAA President Harris Miller. "With competitors like China, India and Western Europe on our heels, we can ill afford to miss out on anyone with the right aptitude, skills and motivation to succeed in technical fields."

Blogs are catching

Blogs are everywhere, and if you don't believe us, just check out blogs. EDS has created the Next Big Thing Blog that features EDS Fellows, the company's visionaries, discussing the future of technology.

Company officials promise that the blog will be an unfiltered vehicle for its leading technology experts to candidly discuss trends, attitudes and the impact of technology on our lives. The blog is spearheaded by Jeff Wacker, who is billed as EDS' only futurist. He offers his thoughts on subjects ranging from the latest employment patterns to "tech mania."

While you're online, check out's blogs at

Oh, Canada

Our neighbors to the north seem to be craving e-government. A study finds that 74 percent of Canadians are regular Internet users, and 79 percent of those have accessed government information and services online in the past year. Half of the Canadians polled said the Internet is now their starting point for contacting government agencies.

By comparison, a survey Federal Computer Week conducted last year found that Americans rarely turn to government Web sites for information. In fact, only one out of 12 respondents had visited the GovBenefits site, and only 11 percent said they had visited www.recreation. gov.

Got a tip? Send it to

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group