Federal Bytes

PUBLIC AFFAIRS? Linda Tripp - yes, that Linda Tripp - began her first full day of work last week in a new Defense Department job, a federal government spokesman confirmed.

Tripp will work as a public affairs specialist for the Defense Manpower Data Center - an information-intensive operation that maintains data used in tracking military service records, health benefits, military readiness and other data.

We won't even attempt to make a poignant comment on Tripp's new assignment. We imagine you're as sick of hearing about Monicagate as we are. After all, it is probably not in our best interest to peeve her because we news folks at FCW will probably be phoning Tripp often for information.

So you can rest assured when you read in FCW that "a spokeswoman at the Defense Manpower Data Center said...," Tripp is indeed hard at work for her boss, President Clinton.

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DAD, YOU'RE GROUNDED. When the Federal Aviation Administration received an "F" from Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) for its progress in fixing the Year 2000 problem, Dan Mehan, the new FAA chief information officer, said his kids pounced on the opportunity to scold Dad about bad grades.

"The kids reminded me that they were expected to get A's and B's," Mehan said last week at a Federal Sources Inc. breakfast co-sponsored by FCW.

But we bet his kids never had to walk to work in the snow, uphill both ways, each and every day....

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LIKE A VERSION. Richard Clarke, national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counterterrorism at the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, said his group will borrow from the software industry's modus operandi when it releases its "National Plan to Defend American Cyberspace" report in June. Instead of labeling the first version of the report as a "draft," Clarke said his group will issue it as "Version 1.0."

"And like some unnamed software companies, we will put it out on the market before it works," Clarke said. He said interested parties in and out of government will be able to comment on the crude Version 1.0, allowing his group to debug the report in light of these recommendations and issue an improved Version 2.0.

One assumes that the final product will be Year 2000-compliant.

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Inter-NOT! House Science Committee leadership worked itself into a bit of a tizzy last week after CNN aired an interview with Vice President Al Gore. In the interview, Gore said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Committee members explained in a press release that the Internet's "initial development, a system called ARPANET, here-to-for [sic] had been credited to scientists in the 1960s, with approximately 30 universities having ARPANET by 1971. Al Gore did not serve in Congress until 1979."

In a statement, committee chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said, "Vice President Gore taking credit for creating the Internet certainly gives new meaning to the term 'March Madness.' "

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