Lap of Luxury

On the Coast Guard's new 87-foot Albacore patrol boat, even the bathroom is flush with new technology. The $5,000 electronic toilet is a techie's dream. It's lightweight and only uses a liter of water. When it backs up, just hook up the Panasonic Toughbook to the cord on the side and the software will fix it. The laptop computer also is loaded with a tide and current program that can be used when it isn't acting as a high-tech plunger. Now that's "backing up your files."

Firing Back

Speculation that the assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence office may be dismantled has led some malcontents to claim that they don't have to do the office's bidding. But Margaret Myers, the Pentagon's acting deputy chief information officer, is taking no guff. "It is all based on rumor, and probably unfounded rumors," Myers said. "Some of the stuff we're trying to do is hard stuff, so we don't need distracters like that." Take that, you rebels.

Point, Counterpoint

Computer Sciences Corp. may have a way to really make the Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program profitable, says one critic. It seems CSC recently signed a $50 million task order - along with about six smaller orders - to increase the basic $681 million contract. "What a great way to make money if you can raise revenue that much before the first line of code or first successful action is taken on the core contract," the critic said. Not so, said a CSC spokesman, as this $50 million covers stuff originally left out of the contract. "There is a clause in the contract that allows us to accept or agree to expansion of services to other areas," the spokesman said. Concerning the first line of code, the critic is technically correct because the company is not developing any code but is instead using SAP Public Sector and Education Inc.'s applications out of the box to meet the customer's needs. "I think the CSC program manager and the government program manager disagree with the 'first successful action' quip." There's a safe bet.

NMCI Fair Play

In the interest of fair play, the Interceptor has promised to publish the good and the bad about the $6.9 billion Navy Marine Corps Intranet. NMCI will afford hundreds of sailors and Marines the opportunity to work on the world's largest intranet and be trained on some of the most advanced and sophisticated information technology systems, according to a recent Electronic Data Systems Corp. press release. Some lucky sailors and Marines working in IT career paths will be selected to help provide service and technical support for NMCI. In a shocking oversight, the press release failed to mention that NMCI is absolutely critical to the Navy's future, will revolutionize warfare as we know it, shift a few paradigms along the way, help feed all the hungry children of the world and contribute substantially to the betterment of all mankind. Just teasing, folks. No more phone calls, please.

NIMA: Got Tech?

When a group of lawmakers wrote to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld requesting that the Pentagon stop the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's attempt to outsource 600 jobs, the agency couldn't arrange media interviews. The program manager - who works with a premier U.S. intelligence agency capable of providing satellite imagery of Saddam's nose hairs and Slobodan's new hairdo - was traveling and incommunicado. No e-mail, no cell phone, nada. I'd suggest a carrier pigeon, but that might mean the loss of a government job. And the Interceptor doesn't need a pack of concerned congressmen on his tail.

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