Circuit poll: Disruptive technology

101 people responded to the question “Which technology do you find most disruptive?” Here is what they said.

Instant Messaging - 36.6%

Social-networking sites - 18.8%

Personal digital assistants - 13.9 %

Smart phones - 10.9 %

MP3 players - 6.9%

Chat rooms - 6.9%

Second life - 3.0 %

Blogs - 3.0%

‘Firefly’ fan club

Chief information officers are a somewhat geeky crowd.
Transportation Department CIO Dan Mintz is a big fan of the Fox TV show “Firefly,” a science fiction program created by writer and director Joss Whedon, who also created the popular programs “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”

“Firefly,” which only had 14 episodes before it was canceled, had an incredible cult following.

Mintz hosted a regular lunchtime gathering for “Firefly” fans to watch the show.

“Firefly” inspired a 2005 film, “Serenity.” The DOT group wanted to watch that movie together, but the 119-minute running time was more than feds can allocate for lunch without triggering some oversight issue.

The movie session, however, was allowed to go forward when the agency’s general counsel determined that it could be classified as a team-building exercise.

Mintz spoke last week at a breakfast forum sponsored by Input, the market research firm.

His presentation was peppered with quotes from “Firefly” characters.
Having never seen the show, we couldn’t quite make sense of them, but apparently others could.

More missing laptops

It’s not only agencies that have trouble tracking their laptop PCs.
The Associated Press reported last week that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Boston campaign headquarters was broken into.

The thieves apparently took a TV and several laptops.

Romney’s campaign staff told the AP that the incident appeared to be a routine burglary. He said the computers were password-protected and the hard drives were encrypted.

This isn’t the first such crack into a presidential campaign’s headquarters. In August, Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) Hartford office was broken into. A 47-year-old homeless man was charged with taking a TV, a computer and other electronics, AP reported.

Rising Star deadline

The deadline for nominating an outstanding person for Federal Computer Week’s Rising Star awards program is coming up fast. The final, final deadline is Sept. 21.

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.

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