Federal Bytes

Inside Washington

Government watchdogs looking for examples of open government need look no farther than NASA employee Dave Lavery.

Lavery telerobotics technology program manager in the space agency's Office of Space Science has a Toshiba CCD desktop camera in his office that allows viewers to check up on him via the Internet (ranier.oact.hq.nasa.gov/staff/Dave- Cam.html).

An Apple Computer Inc. Macintosh 840av and MacWebCam software completes the setup which Lavery refers to as the "Amazing DaveCam." As of last Friday more than 45 000 people have digitally dropped by to watch Dave work or alternately his empty work space which includes a pink flamingo identified as Humphrey.

Rock 'n' roll star (1)

NASA last week provided a special treat for the Mars Pathfinder which although continues its mission has been all but forgotten by the general public. On Aug. 12 NASA "woke up" the small land rover with a song "written especially for the occasion." The tune was called "Mars Rovin' " and was performed by the Tempus Time Travellers.

In the preceding 30-plus days NASA has chosen songs from a variety of music styles to begin the Pathfinder's daily sojourns many with clear thematic links to the mission.

Past choices include "Let the Good Times Roll " by Ray Charles "So Far Away " by Dire Straits "Love Me Like a Rock " by Paul Simon and the "Theme from `Rawhide ' " by the Blues Brothers.Rock on.

Rock 'n' roll star (2)

Competition is fierce in the telecommunications market but Sprint may have found a way to set itself apart.

Sprint chief executive officer William T. Esrey this week will announce an alliance with legendary rock band the Rolling Stones. Sprint said it planned to announce the deal at a press conference in Brooklyn N.Y. under the Brooklyn Bridge.

This unusual move immediately raises questions about how AT&T and MCI might respond. The Beatles have broken up and The Kinks disappeared from the charts years ago although The Who frequently seems willing to shill for a few more bucks.

We hesitate to speculate how this new development might affect competition on the General Services Administration's FTS 2000 follow-on and other upcoming procurements.

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