- By Judi Hasson
- Jun 19, 2000
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too
With all the angst over missing computer hard drives at the Los Alamos
National Laboratory, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) was quick to point out that
his public library is better at keeping track of library books than the
government is at keeping track of nuclear secrets.
At a June 13 hearing called by the House Commerce Committee's Oversight
and Investigations Subcommittee to discuss the security breach, Stupak said
that in his hometown of Menominee, if you want to check out Winnie the Pooh
from the library, you have to have a card, and a record is kept that you
removed the book. If you are late in returning it, you get a notice and
are charged a late fee.
"While most Americans would find it hard to believe that the Menominee
Public Library has a more sophisticated tracking system for Winnie the Pooh
than Los Alamos has for highly classified nuclear weapons data," Stupak
said, "that is exactly the situation we are faced with."
Moral: We wouldn't want to leave our copy of Winnie the Pooh at Los
Charging a Fee
Before moving to the Defense Department earlier this month, it appears
that Deidre Lee, former head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy,
made sure one of her high-priority projects the Electronic Posting System does not fall by the wayside. Lee recently asked the FAR Council to figure
out what changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation are needed to designate
EPS as the single online point of entry for government business opportunities.
OFPP wants to have a rule proposed by July 15 and ready for publication
in the Federal Register. Still under discussion: whether agencies will be
charged a fee to use EPS.
Don't want to be the last to know that your favorite Web site has been
hacked? Now you can subscribe to a mailing list that will automatically
let you know when a site has been defaced.
The service is offered by Attrition.org, an irreverent, security-oriented
Web site that is also a clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating news
on hacking and site defacements. The site tracks a wide range of defacements
and includes a separate mailing list devoted to dot-gov and dot-mil sites.
A Gentleman's C
Some agencies are more creative than others when it comes to linking
performance to results. In NASA's fiscal 1999 performance report, the agency
declared that it had met its target in demonstrating the Mars Polar Lander's
robotic arm, even though the lander was lost in December and the arm was
never deployed. The report has House Science Committee chairman F. James
Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) fired up.
"A lot of phrases came to my mind upon hearing that the Mars Polar Lander
was lost," he said in a statement. ""Performance target achieved' was certainly
not among them. NASA's achievement is like Napoleon declaring victory when
his troops were assembled before the battle of Waterloo."
NASA says the only performance target for the Mars Polar Lander was
to demonstrate an advanced robotic manipulator that was better than the
one used on Viking in 1976. Although the Mars Polar Lander's robotic arm
was never deployed in space, NASA viewed it as a success for passing tests
on Earth.Have a tip? Send it to [email protected].