Federal Bytes

Pretty tough

There's nothing like the righteous indignation of a congressman to stir the spirits especially when it's aimed at an easy target like the IRS. Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) showed his poetic side this month in a diatribe against the beleaguered agency on the House floor. According to Traficant "Allowing the IRS to reform [itself] would be like allowing Jeffrey Dahmer to head up the Boy Scouts." Uh right same concept. What really caught our ears was not his ire at the IRS in general but at its computer users. "I say it is time to kick these computer cowboys right up their hard drives " he exclaimed.

Another reason to heed the warnings of your computer security officers: Protect your hard drives.

Joe Thompson superstar

We haven't seen too many farewell memos from retiring federal IT executives but certainly they can't get much more grandiose than the one from Joe Thompson GSA's retiring CIO.

"It is done " Thompson began his statement to his troops this month sounding perhaps a bit more biblical than necessary. "I have completed my four-year commitment to the president the administrator of GSA and to the citizens of the world. I will be returning to private life in December to begin visiting all the pretty places in my head." If the last phrase left you scratching your head it might help to know that Thompson lifted it from a Stevie Wonder song although he did not credit him.

Microsoft USA

Several federal IT officials last week were chuckling over a bogus press release circulating via the Internet regarding a recent acquisition by Microsoft Corp. We wanted to share the laughter so here it is in summary.

"In direct response to accusations made by the Justice Department Microsoft Corp. announced today that it will be acquiring the federal government of the United States of America for an undisclosed sum.

"The United States will be managed as a wholly owned division of Microsoft. An initial public offering is planned for July of next year and the federal government is expected to be profitable by the fourth quarter of 1999. In a related announcement Bill Clinton stated that he had willingly and enthusiastically accepted a position as vice president with Microsoft and will continue to manage the United States government reporting directly to Bill Gates."

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