Buzz Factor

The most-read stories on FCW.com during the past two weeks

1. Telework: Senate gives unanimous thumbs up
Summary: A new bill would give federal employees the presumptive right to telework and would require agencies to come up with plans for letting them do so.
Outlook: Similar legislation failed to pass in the House, so don't break out your bunny slippers yet.

2. NASA’s new FISMA approach and what it means for you
Summary:  NASA is ditching paper-based reports in favor of real-time monitoring.
Outlook: The Federal Information Security Management Acet is undergoing changes, and every agency will feel the effects. (Story, Page 3)

3. Social media divides federal workforce
Summary: Graybeards say social networking is a frivolous time suck, while young feds embrace it.
Outlook: The real issue here is that different generations take different approaches to performance management.

4. Why agencies can’t attract top talent
Summary: FCW readers tell us that young hires find several things unappealing about working in federal offices.
Outlook: Whether it’s a new coat of paint or an updated operating system, agencies have lots of opportunities to freshen up to court new hires.

5. VA sets the telehealth table
Summary: VA’s pioneering telehealth efforts could expand as part of broader health care reform.
Outlook: VA’s remote monitoring of patient health has reduced hospital admissions and resulted in other benefits, which makes it an attractive model for wider use.

6. Legislation would freeze agencies’ hiring
Summary: House Republicans proposed a measure that would address federal budget deficits by instituting a hiring freeze.
Outlook: Despite vocal opposition, that proposal and a similar one in the Senate remain in play.

7. Unions fight proposed pay freeze for feds
Summary: Federal employee unions oppose measures in the House and Senate that would freeze employees' pay and limit agencies’ ability to hire new workers.
Outlook: This promises to be a contentious battle for some time.

8. Are password rules just bad magic?
Summary: In response to our recent articles on strong passwords, a security expert explains why he believes most of the rules for creating and managing complex passwords are unnecessary and even counterproductive.
Outlook: Everybody has an opinion, but security breaches remain an ongoing worry for anyone who uses a computer.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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