Infrastructures, encryption and education on the World Wide Web

The draft of the Government Services Information Infrastructure (GSII) Plan, developed by a working group of the Government Information Technology Services Board (GITS-B), is on-line at http//www.er.doe.gov/production/octr/mics/gsiiplan.html. The plan, open for comment from government and non-government readers, lays out a definition, objectives, management strategy and features for the GSII.

The GSII is envisioned as a government infrastructure that supports government business and also provides coordinated access to government information, services and facilities.

A GITS-B working group is coordinating the GSII Plan, but plenty of other government groups are involved. Success in establishing and attaining these objectives, the plan said, relies not only on GITS-B but on the Information Infrastructure Task Force, the National Performance Review, the Federal Networking Council, the Chief Information Officer Council and the Interagency Management Council for FTS 2000, to name a few. Comment is welcome.

NetDay96

The volunteer organization NetDay96 coordinates efforts to wire K-12 schools to the Internet. Point your browser to http://www.netday96.com, and you'll see that California is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else in reaching that goal. In June, Vice President Al Gore spoke before a NetDay96 conference in Washington, D.C., to help "dozens of states replicate the same successful results" that California has had so far.

NetDay96 actually has no office except its Web site; volunteers from across the country operate the "virtual organization" by posting information and updates on the NetDay96 home page. The home page lists companies that have already donated resources to wire schools, and it offers information on how to volunteer to wire schools in your community.

Encryption Export

Encryption export issues continue to boil at a low level within the administration, Congress and industry. For a one-stop spot on the Internet that supplies the text of related bills, laws, reports and public statements relating to government policy and encryption export, point your browser to the Encryption Policy Resource Page at http://www.

crypto.com. Note: This page has the facts, but it also has editorialized content. It promotes overturning much of administration's policy relating to encryption.

Virtually Operational

Here's some nifty stuff at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The GSFC Virtual Environment Testbed presents a cluster of virtual environment tools tailored for NASA's mission operations. These tools allow scientists to check on the health and safety of spacecraft and mission operations facilities using virtual environments and 3-D visualization. Check out these colorful techniques for visualizing parametric data. For example, one software tool, called RibbonSpace, displays multiple streams of data in a 3-D cube. You can find it at http://groucho.gsfc.nasa. gov/eve/VR.html.

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