The Circuit

The Cold War is Over — or Is It?

Scientists at the Energy Department's laboratories don't like polygraphs one bit, according to a new report from the House Intelligence Committee. Investigators said employees at one laboratory wear buttons that say, "Just say no to the polygraph." Other lab employees expressed the view, "You trusted me to win the Cold War, now you don't."

Can't a Program Get a Hearing in this Town?

For the second year, the House Government Reform Committee cancelled a hearing for an update on FTS 2001, the General Services Administration's multi-million-dollar telecommunications contract. The June 22 hearing would have been the first committee review of the program since 1998.

A committee spokeswoman said the hearing was slated for the same time as a subcommittee's review of the Cyber Security Information Act, and members of the reform committee wanted to attend that hearing. But a source familiar with the committee's hearing agenda said GSA and vendors wanted the hearing scrubbed when it became clear that not all the testimony would be positive. "It was "hearing theater,'" the source remarked. "[GSA] had a script, and the vendors had a script." But the curtain never went up because at least one witness intended to ad lib.

A Diet for Everyone

The Agriculture Department recently reported that the nation's schoolchildren are flunking at healthy eating. If you think your child is in that group, there's some help for you. An interactive site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a digital report card for both you and your child, helping to calculate body mass and fat. The body-mass-index Web calculator provides the information in both American and metric measurements so there are no excuses for mistakes about portion size. Move over, Weight Watchers.

New Words for the Millennium

Unless you've been living on a desert island for the past decade, you certainly should know what "24-7," "dot-com" and "zettabyte" mean in the world of information technology. Now, those words, among others that have their roots in the technology revolution, have made it into the latest edition of Webster's New World College Dictionary. IT Moves and Shakes in More Ways Than One

More than 1,700 senior IT executives attended the IT World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan, last month. Keynote speakers included Microsoft Corp. CEO Bill Gates, Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore and dozens more. The local press hailed the gathering as a must for IT movers and shakers.

As it turned out, the attendees got to experience another kind of shaking — an aftershock from Taiwan's latest earthquake, which registered 6.7 on the Richter scale. Among those who felt the earth move under their feet were Don Upson, Virginia's technology secretary; Tom Hewitt, president of Global Government; and Harris Miller, ITAA president. We hear they were happy to get back to Washington, where the earth shakes only during an election year.

Have a tip? Send it to circuit@fcw.com.

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