Recommended Reading

What type of CIO are you?; FDA and Web 2.0: Oh, how things have changed; Who built the first computer, really?; Checking up on Big Brother.

What type of CIO are you?


A technology consultant blogging for CIO magazine says chief information officers fall into three categories: strategists, transformers and operations experts.

As Chris Curran sees it, when it comes to hiring CIOs, it is just as important to know their types as it is to know their more traditional qualifications. For example, an organization looking to make strategic changes in direction probably needs a transformational CIO who knows how to get employees behind a plan, not a meat-and-potatoes operations manager.

The problem, of course, is that an organization’s need often changes over time. At that point, the choice is to find a new CIO or make sure the existing one has a second-in-command with the right skills, Curran wrote.

FDA and Web 2.0: Oh, how things have changed

Source: BNet

The BNet blog provides some historical perspective (and a good laugh) on Web 2.0, courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA officials recently announced that they might develop guidance for drug marketers on how they may and may not incorporate Web 2.0 and social media into their campaigns. The notice acknowledged the agency’s own failure to keep up with the changing times.

To make its point, the notice included a link to a 1996 panel in which agency officials introduced pharmaceutical companies to Netscape Navigator — “the last time the FDA went near the topic,” BNet notes.

Who built the first computer, really?

Source: Scientific American

Despite popular acclaim to the contrary, ENIAC was not the world’s first digital computer, according to a recent post on the “60-Second Science” blog.

That distinction goes to a 12-bit machine built eight years earlier, in 1937, by physicist John Atanasoff, who had hoped the system would help solve some problems in quantum mechanics. Unlike ENIAC, however, Atanasoff’s machine was never fully functional, and the physicist gave up on it in 1942.

Nonetheless, his claim to fame was recognized in 1973, when a U.S. District Court judge concluded that the patent for ENIAC was invalid because the famed computer was based on Atanasoff’s work.

Checking up on Big Brother

Source: InformationWeek

Blogger Michael Hickins reviewed recent reports that the White House hopes to gather data on private citizens via Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.

The story goes that the White House New Media operation plans to hire a company “to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans.”

Hickins explained the root of the reports — and why Americans can breathe easy for now. “Advertisers may be stalking you on Facebook and trying to learn your predilections, sexual, sociopolitical, and otherwise, but Big Brother isn't on the case quite yet.”

Let your relationships blossom

Source: MIT Media Lab

Think of it as a social-media dashboard that uses a plant as a metaphor for a loved one. This application, designed by the Information and Design Ecology team at the MIT Media Lab, tracks how well we keep in touch with friends and family through e-mail, instant messaging, social-networking sites and other tools. The more you communicate, the healthier their plants look. It’s a whole new way to feel the guilt.


  • Defense
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) reveal concept renderings for the Next NGA West (N2W) campus from the design-build team McCarthy HITT winning proposal. The entirety of the campus is anticipated to be operational in 2025.

    How NGA is tackling interoperability challenges

    Mark Munsell, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s CTO, talks about talent shortages and how the agency is working to get more unclassified data.

  • Veterans Affairs
    Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer speaks at an Oct. 10 FCW event (Photo credit: Troy K. Schneider)

    VA's pivot to agile

    With 10 months on the job, Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer is pushing his organization toward a culture of constant delivery.

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