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Recommended Reading for 11/17-08


Security by the numbers
Source: E-Government Bulletin

The United Kingdom’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance has proposed a new approach to securing sensitive data, according to the E-Government Bulletin, produced by London-based publisher Headstar.

Rather than using labels such as confidential or secret, the group would apply a “business impact code” ranging from 0 to 6. The higher the number, the more adverse the consequences would be if the information were compromised, according to the group.

Each code is associated with a set of security measures, with the higher numbers indicating more complex — and costly — solutions.


How to explain cloud computing to CFOs
Source: CIO

Bernard Golden, a technology consultant who writes a blog for CIO.com, discusses a report aimed at helping chief information officers talk about the benefits of cloud computing in terms their chief financial officers can understand.

One important point is that cloud computing usually works on a pay-as-you-go model, which is something a CFO should appreciate immediately. A second point is that cloud providers typically get better pricing on equipment because they buy in volume.
However, it would also be useful to have a strategy for explaining cloud computing to CIOs, Golden writes.


A guide to network-based governance
Source: Center for Technology in Government

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG), based at the University at Albany, has developed a framework for improving interoperability across governments.

According to CTG research, governments have found that a hierarchical bureaucracy makes it difficult to collaborate and deliver services to the public.

Instead, governments should aim for “a network form of organization where new groupings of persons and organizations must learn to work together and share information, exchange knowledge and respond to demands in new ways,” CTG states.

The center’s framework explains how to make that model work.


Note to Obama: Forget the polls
Source: The Municipalist

The Municipalist blogger (“Where government and Web 2.0 collide”) opines on the idea of creating a Web site, called my.america.gov, to serve as “the world’s largest focus group.”

Josh Bernoff, a technology analyst at Forrester Research, proposed the idea, suggesting that President-elect Barack Obama appoint “a U.S. Community Manager, with a small staff, to moderate and harvest [online] discussions to solve the country’s problems.”

Bernoff pitched the Web site as a way to tap into the creativity of people across the country. But the Municipalist worries that the program could turn into “a mass bully force.”


Recommended reading 10-27-08

Advice for the next president
Source: Computerworld
Information technology bigwigs, concerned about the United States’ ability to compete in the global market, urge the next administration to invest more money in long-term research.

For example, Ed Lazowska, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, calls for the federal government to double its investment in fundamental research during a 10-year period.

Computerworld t
alked to eight other high-tech luminaries, including Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf, who suggested increased funding for weather data collection, analysis and prediction to cope with effects of global warming.



Mobile tech: It’s personal
Source: Center for Technology in Government
Government agencies seeking to deploy mobile technology should heed their employees’ personal preferences, according to a report from the Center for Technology in Government.

For example, new laptop computers will not necessarily make employees more productive if they live or frequently work in areas with unreliable connectivity, the report states. And employees who ride crowded trains or buses to work might not feel comfortable using expensive equipment.

“Taking into consideration individualities when selecting a technology can also help with buy-in and acceptance,” the report states.



Online wins match with paper
Source: E-Government Bulletin Live
The people of Redbridge, a borough of London, have spoken: Online beats paper when it comes to communicating with government.

Earlier this year, the Redbridge Council invited people to share their thoughts about the council’s spending priorities. The council created an online budget simulator for people to use but also sent a paper form to every house.

According to the E-Government Bulletin Live, a London-based blog, approximately 3,200 people went online to give feedback, compared to 1,900 people who returned the paper form.


The state of the blogosphere
Source: Technorati
The blog is not the distinct medium it once was, according to the State of the Blogosphere 2008, recently published by Technorati.

As “the Blogosphere grows in size and influence, the lines between what is a blog and what is a mainstream media site become less clear,” Technorati says. “Larger blogs are taking on more characteristics of mainstream sites, and mainstream sites are incorporating styles and formats from the Blogosphere.”

Technorati also found that the most popular blog topic was news, with music and video a distant second and third.

The report also offers up this li ttle factoid: “Sarah Palin had more tagged posts than Obama or McCain after her speech at the Republican National Convention.”



chartRecommended reading 10-20-08

Women in IT: A mid-career barrier?

Source: Mercury News

Why do so few women in the technology field make it to the upper echelons of their organizations?

According to a recent study, it is because so many of them drop out or drop back in the middle of their careers to focus more attention on their families and their health.

The study, by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and Stanford University, found that 43 percent of midlevel technical women said they had suffered poor health due to excessive work-related stress, compared with 36 percent of midlevel technical men.

A quick fix for boring meetings
Source: BNet
In this short (2:35 min.) video, human resources consultant Edward Muzio explains a technique for making meetings more interesting and productive.

People drift off or get frustrated when meetings appear to have no purpose and no end in sight. So Muzio shows how managers can use a simple template, drawn on a white board, to organize a meeting and keep participants on point and interested.

The template ensures "everyone knows what they are doing and what to expect," Muzio said.


How to do how-to Web sites
Source: PC World
PC World explores the art of how-to Web sites by studying the masters: Lynda (for learning software), HowStuffWorks (just what it says) and six others that aim to pass on practical information.

Two such sites — Yahoo Answers and Instructables — largely depend on the content contributed by "informed members" of their user communities. Other sites tap into a team of experts of create content and answer user questions.

Livemocha, now in beta, helps people learn new languages by pairing them with native-speaking "language buddies."


Health hazards for IT workers
Source: Computerworld
Health experts discuss the bodily damage incurred by many technology workers.

Of course, the long hours spent sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen can lead to aches and pains, due to poor posture, and eye strain.

But desk jockeys also tend to eat too much junk food, leading to weight gain, which in turn could cause high blood pressure, heart problems and other worrisome conditions.

The article
includes a sidebar on five easy changes for better health.



chartRecommended reading 09-29-08

Innovative IT governance
Source: NASCIO

As part of a larger study of state te chnology funding strategies, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers reports on the different processes that states use to make decisions about technology investments.

F or example, through its Project Delivery Framework, Texas requires agencies to create a business model and multiphase development strategy that runs from launch to the evaluation of the final product.

And Kansas requires all agencies to annually update a three-year information technology strategy that details their plans and budgets for IT projects.

Links to online documents are included, when available.

Misinformation and the Web
Source: Web Monkey

The Monkey Bites blog written for software developers picks apart the idea of creating a truth rating system for Web sites.

Web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee recently pitched that idea as a way to help users filter through the mass of information and misinformation floating around the Web.

Monkey Bites highlights some key questions: Who would be responsible for assigning the truth rating? If it were done automatically, how would such a system work? And what happens to a Web site that is rated as trustworthy but mistakenly propagates misinformation?

20 IT mistakes to avoid
Source: CIO

CIO magazine follows up on a 2004 article that identified the most common mistakes that organizations make on IT policies and strategies.

One mistake is to have an overzealous password policy. For example, when users are forced to change their passwords too often, they might cope by jotting down their passwords in their work areas — a serious security faux pas.

Another mistake is to end up with employees who are indispensable because of their specialty knowledge. Both the organization and its employees are better off with a multitalented workforce.

A lesson in password security
Source: AppScout

AppScout, a Web site published by Ziff Davis (PC Magazine), provides a concise explanation of how someone broke into the Yahoo e-mail account of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

The article provides technical details for those who are interested but a big lesson for everyone else: It could happen to anyone with even rudimentary personal information available online.

The comments on the article generally fall into the category of political rants, but some readers offer some useful tips and observations.



chartRecommended reading 09-22-08

20 ideas worth stealing
Source: Information Week
Information Week highlights innovative technology ideas that major organizations already have tried and proven.

For example, Wells Fargo runs a stock exchange to scrutinize technology ideas submitted by employees. After being reviewed by a committee, ideas are place d in an exchange where employees trade them. Ideas that trade well get further reviews and poor performers a re removed.

Another idea: BearingPoint developed a wiki to help employees manage and collaborate on projects, with additional support from instant messaging software.


How to find poor performers
Source: CIO
CIO magazine talks with chief information officers and management experts about the challen g es of dealing with poorly performing employees.

The discussions about spot bonuses and quick firings might not be relevant to federal managers. However, the article also covers other management strategies for finding and fixing performance problems.

For example, some CIOs review the performance of all employees and then rank them from best to worst, which helps CIOs focus on problem areas.


California train crash: The online database
Source: L.A. Times
The Los Angeles Times has created an online database of people killed in the Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth, Calif., on Sept. 12.

The database can be sorted by name, sex, age, marital status and place of residence. It also includes information, if available, on why each person had been riding the train. Of the 16 passengers with known reasons, 10 had been commuting from work and four from school, one person had been at the doctor’s office and another at a funeral.

The site provides a forum on which readers can write tributes. As of Sept. 16, more than 1,000 tributes had been posted.


A grave turn for Web 2.0
Source: New York Times
Jeff Taylor, founder of the Monster.com online job site, wants to drag the obituaries into the social-networking world.

Taylor, who also operates a social-networking site for baby boomers, is launching Tributes.com to provide a place for people to memorialize the recently deceased and share information about funeral arrangements.

Placing an obituary of 300 words or less is free. Posting one with video or audio will cost as much as $80 annually. People also can sign up to receive e-mail alerts about recent deaths, based on the person’s last name, school, military unit or ZIP code.



chartRecommended reading 09-15-08

Security spending on the rise
Source: Network World
Data breaches and related security concerns are encouraging an increase in security spending, according to a survey by Forrester Research.

Information security now accounts for 10 percent of information technology budgets in the private sector, up from 8 percent in 2007, the survey reports.

With the increased spending comes increased scrutiny, according to Forrester. Many technology managers now need to go through more red tape to get new security purchases approved.


The sociology of s ocial networking
Source: New York Times
The Sept. 7 New York Times Magazine looks at how Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking tools are re-engineering our social dynamics.

The key change is what social scientists call ambient awareness, the idea of being in constant contact with other online users.

Many people who initially question the value of that contact eventually find such connectivity intrigu ng and addictive, according to the article.

The business of Twitter
Source: BusinessWeek
Twitter might not seem to be a promising tool for organizations to use for communicating with customers, given its 140-character limit on messages.

But a growing number of businesses have learned to use the technology to reach customers in new ways, according to BusinessWeek.

The key capability Twitter brings is a real sense of engagement, business executives say.
Twitter provides a direct interaction with customers that e-mail and other Internet technologies can’t match.


Should a tech manager be IT savvy?
Source: CIO magazine
Ask a techie what he or she wants in a manager, and you will likely hear the usual answer: someone who understands technology. However, that’s not the whole story, according to CIO magazine.

True, techies want someone who knows enough about technology to make smart decisions about resources and schedules.

But when pressed, techies also say that their managers’ people skills are more important than their tech savvy. In particular, managers need listening skills, the CIO article states.



chart Recommended reading 09-08-08

Why time management matters
Source: BNet
Blogger Salma Shah hypothesizes that a person’s perception of time ultimately could help or hinder their success in the workplace.

People who fail to take time seriously — perpetually missing deadlines or arriving late at meetings — tend to be perceived by their co-workers as “feeble, wishy-washy and inept,” S hah writes.
Shah speculates t hat most people develop their att itudes toward time during childhood but adds that learning time management skills can help them counter their natural tendencies.


How to lose your best employees
Source: ComputerWorld
Managers beware: Your top workers can and will get new jobs if you give them good reason to start looking.

In a recent article, ComputerWorld highlights five mistakes that managers make that can drive away employees.

The first mistake is to “keep the creative juices bottled up,” management experts say. This is particularly true with technology employees, who often have strong views, one expert said.


A cautionary tale of Google Docs
Source: New York Times
New York Times blogger David Gallagher explains how he ended up being the unintended r ecipient of some sensitive corporate data posted on Google Docs by a major publishing company.

As Gallagher explains, someone sent him an invitation to collaborate on some Google Docs spreadsheets showing traffic data for numerous corporate Web sites. The invitation was intended for another dgallagher.

“There was a time when it would have taken a fair amount of criminal activity to get access to this much information about a company’s internal workings and Web site performance,” Gallagher writes.

Management by the numbers (literally)
Source: Business Week
In an excerpt from his book “The Numerati,” Stephen Baker explains how IBM has attempted to improve productivity of its tech consultants by automating some basic management decisions.

The concept requires developing extensive profiles of all consultants, with details about all their skills and experiences that might figure into a management decision — though staying away from confidential personnel records.

The goal is to develop algorithms that make it possible to commoditize employees so that software can be used to analyze their potential value to specific projects, taking into account both their talents and their salaries.



chartRecommended reading 09-01-08

Government 2.0: An insider's perspective
Source: Mashable.com

Mark Drapeau, a fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, discusses his recent work exploring the potential defense applications for social-networking technology.

The research project, known as Social Software for Security, aims to examine the available technologies and their uses across government and identify potential obstacles to the military’s use of them.

Ultimately, Drapeau’s team will provide Defense Department leaders with recommendations for developing an overall strategy for deploying social software that has national security uses.

The mind-set list: Class of 2012
Source: Beloit College

Students starting college this year will take a lot for granted that their parents probably find amazing, including Global Positioning System devices, electronic tax filing and the Hubble space telescope.

For most members of the class of 2012, these mode r n-day wonders have been around as long as they can remember, accordi n g to the annual mind-set list published by Beloit College. The list highlights the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college, according to the list’s site.

Also on the list: karaoke machines, the movie "Home Al one," Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and, of course, wizard Harry Potter.

Tough questions about telework
Source: ComputerWorld

With more employees looking to work from home because of rising gas prices and other factors, ComputerWorld interviewed human-resources experts and information technology managers about the complexities of telework.

Experts say employers should consider a handful of key issues, one of which is the exit strategy.

Employees need to understand that any telework arrangement is subject to change , one manager said. One solution is to set an expiration date.

Other issues to consider: part-time vs. full-time telecommuting, performance measures, and telework and collaboration.

Part terrier, part blogger
Source: Time

Time magazine reports on the emergence of social-networking sites designed for pets. Not pet owners, but pets.

A case in point: Doggyspa e .com, a social-networking site with almost 700,000 pooches — with a little help from their owners — contributing photos, videos and blogs. In the near future, canine members will be able to form groups and forums.

Unlike other pet-oriented sites, the owners take a backseat on Doggyspace, said Levi Thornton, Doggyspace's founder and chief executive officer. "It's all about the dog."

Another canine-oriented technology expert makes the case that dogs "are natural social-networking beasts."



chartRecommended reading 08-25-08

Don’t touch that cell phone!
Source: BNet
In a podcast interview, Gloria Mark, a professor at the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine, discusses her research into the effects of workplace interruptions.

Mark found that typical information workers are pulled away from their work every three minutes — either by a cell phone ringing, an e-mail message popping up or someone walking into their office or cubicle.

Workers clearly suffered from the stress of the high mental workload that comes with these frustrations, Mark said.

Technology’s toll on privacy and security
Source: Scientific American
Scientific American takes a long look at the emerging privacy and security threats that come with global Internet connectivity.

For one article, a reporter demonstrated how easy it is to steal someone’s identity with a little digging on social networks, blogs and search engines. Another feature examines the Web’s role in war and terrorism.

The special report also takes an international perspective by highlighting how Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and other countries are dealing with these same problems.

Building the right team
Source: NASA blog
In a recent blog post, Linda Cureton, chief info m tion officer at NA A’s Godd r Space Flight Center, shares some insights into the essentials of team-building.

She echoes the thoughts of business consultant Jim Collins, who said the first step is getting “the right people on the bus” — those who have the knowledge, skills and drive. But it is also important to provide the team “with a clear and compellin purpose,” Cureton writes.

Cureton notes that her first lesson in team-building came not when she was a CIO but when she was a young French horn player at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. Check it out.

Rome reborn
Source: University of Virginia
During the past 11 years, three universities have been working together to create a 3-D tour of Rome as it appeared in the fourth century — June 21, 320 A.D. to be exact.

Rome Reborn 1.0 reflects what historians know about t he city’s topography, urban infrastructure and individual buildings and monuments, according to the project’s Web site, which is hosted by
the University of Virginia, which worked with the University of California of Los Angeles and the Politecnico di Milano to develop the program.

Besides providing a useful tool for educators, virtual Rome will enable researchers to run urban or architectural experiments.



chartCarey’s recommended reads 08-18-08

This week, we are culling some reading suggestions from Robert Carey, chief information officer at the Navy Department. Carey spoke last week at an executive briefing sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council, and these are some items cited in his presentation.


Verizon 2008 Data Breach Investigations Report
Source: Verizon Communications
This report, released June 11, found that nearly nine in 10 corporate data breaches could have been prevented if reasonable security measures had been in place. The report also includes key recommendations to help organizations protect themselves and be proactive.

Verizon spent four years analyzing 500 forensic investigations that involved 230 million records. Among the report’s key findings:


  • 73 percent of breaches resulted from external sources.

  • 18 percent came from insider threats.

  • Insider breaches were much more damaging than those from external sources.

  • Most breaches resulted from a combination of events rather than a single hack or intrusion.

  • 39 percent of breaches were attributed to business partners — and that number grew significantly during the study period.

  • 90 percent of known vulnerabilities had patches available at least six months before the breach.

  • 83 percent of the attacks were not highly difficult and 85 percent were the result of opportunistic attacks.

  • 87 percent were considered avoidable through reasonable controls.


“Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital”
by Heidi Squier Kraft

One of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.

Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.


“The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century”
By Thomas P.M. Barnett
The other recommended read from Carey is, “The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.

The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:

“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”
The book essentially consists of  that briefing. 



chartPointers: Recommended readings 08-11-08

How to start a mentoring program
Source: BNet
BNet provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.
The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.
The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.

A reading list for tech leaders
Source: Wall Street Journal
The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.

The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.

Life way before DOS
Source: New York Times
The New York Times reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.

The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It
featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.

The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based.

Six degrees of separation revisited
Source: InformationWeek
For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.

The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.



chartRecommended reading 08-04-08

A complex IT generation gap
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.

In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors.

DHS blog dust-up
Source: The Municipalist

The Muncipalist,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”

In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.

Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”

What not to worry about
Source: New York Times

With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the New York Times highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.
The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes.

The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”

The perfect solar storm
Source: Scientific American

Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fa led.”

Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage.

"If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another
superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states.



chartRecommended reading 07-28-08

EPA wants to make you a star
Source: Environmental Protection Agency
www.epa.gov

The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.

Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on EPA’s Web site and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting.

A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.

To infinity and beyond
Source: San Jose Mercury News
www.mercurynews.com

NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.

According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.
The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”

The urgency of telework
Source: Navy Department
www.doncio.navy.mil/Blog.aspx

In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.
The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.

He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility.
“Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”


An uncommon view of common sense
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
analogyspace.media.mit.edu

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.

One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of.

The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site.



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by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: & ldquo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style=&q ot;">

 


by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &l quo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style="& uot;>

 


 


by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &l quo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style="& uot;>

 


by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re searchers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &am p;l dquo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:="" style=" amp; uot;>Recommended reading 07-21-08

Congress, franking and Twitter
Source: Sunlight Foundation
www.sunlightfoundation.com
letourcongresstweet.org
A group dedicated to making Congress more accessible to the public has launched a Web 2.0-style petition to encourage lawmakers to use Web 2.0 technology.

The Sunlight Foundation has organized a petition based on Twitter, a Web site and service that enables users to post and distribute 140-character messages via mobile phones, instant messaging and other applications and devices.

The group hopes to persuade the congressional Franking Commission not to pass any rules that would restrict lawmakers’ use of technology to communicate with their constituents.


In search of deep searches
Source: San Jose Mercury News
www.siliconvalley.com

Google might not have the final word in search engines, at least not with venture capitalists.

According to a recent report in the San Jose Mercury News, dozens of companies are offering services that focus on specific sectors or topic areas — what is known as a vertical search.

One company, Retrevo, helps users find the best prices on electronics. Several firms, including Kayak and UpTake, drill deep for rates, reviews and other information for people planning vacations.

The article notes that a recent survey identified more than 173 million Web sites, “roughly double the number of two years earlier.”


Success in shared services
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government
www.businessofgovernment.org

When it comes to determining the success or failure of a shared-services initiative, conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong.

Researchers at the IBM Center for the Business of Government recently surveyed federal, state and local agencies to learn what factors were critical to the outcome of sharing information technology services across agencies.

Most survey participants believed that the greatest challenge was people oriented — meaning overcoming resistance to change. But IBM’s research suggests that the most critical element was more basic: good old-fashioned project management discipline.


The impending demise of the mouse
Source: Forbes
www.forbes.com/technology

The computer mouse, a fixture on most office desktops for more than two decades, might soon be unnecessary, according to a recent article on Forbes.com.

A number of companies are working on “touchless” technology, which enables people to control their computers using hand gestures.

One such entrepreneur is John Underkoffler, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. Underkoffler was an adviser to the makers of the movie “Minority Report,” which features Tom Cruise using hand motions to edit digital videos.



chartRecommended reading 07-14-08

Election 2008: Who’s googling whom
Source: Wall Street Journal
blogs.wsj.com/buzzwatch
Google has launched a new Web page for political junkies in searching for yet another metric of the popularity of John McCain vs. Barack Obama.

As reported by the Journal’s Tom Weber, Google’s 2008 U.S. Election Trends site makes it possible to view the frequency of searches for the candidates’ names by users in each state.

“ As wi th any dataset, it ehooves users to k ee p in mind how sampling is affecting the results,” Weber wrote. For example, the data does not show how many of hose users are of voting age.


Innovation pays in the U.K.
Source: BBC
news.bbc.co.uk
Government officials in the United Kingdom are intrigued by the concept of the data mashup, in which an application pulls data from different systems and puts it to new uses.

The United Kingdom has terabytes of data related to criminal justice, health and education, and officials are looking for new ways to tap into that data to improve public services.

According to a BBC report, the Power of Information Task Force will award cash prizes to people who come up with the most innovative ideas.


The Web 2.0 cop-out
Source: Gartner
blog.gartner.com

Social-networking applications probably should not be a high priority for most government agencies, Mark Raskino wrote on Gartner’s Innovating Government blog.

“The truth is that most governments have a large backlog of potential high-value projects that could work by simply exposing great information databases to businesses and private citizens the old way,” wrote Raskino, a vice president of research at Gartner. “Governments should do this by using plain old-fashioned Web 1 because it is well-understood, cost-effective and low-risk.”


Web 2.0 and reputation management
Source: New Zealand government blog
blog.e.govt.nz

Blogger Matt Lane, an online collaboration specialist at New Zealand’s State Services Commission, provides a primer on how organizations can manage their online reputations.

Fact-checking relevant Wikipedia entries is a must, Lane wrote. However, “do not delete factual criticisms or controversies [because] it is underhanded, impossible to do clandestinely and will end up in the press,” he added.

Other lessons include how to find out what people are saying about your organization in the blogosphere, in the Twittersphere and on social-networking sites.



chartRecommended reading 07-07-08

IT in Iraq
Source: Wall Street Journal
Former Marine Tyler Boudreau discusses how instant messaging, e-mail and other software are reshaping military operations in Iraq.

Those changes are not always for the better, he told the Journal. For example, one of the unintended consequences of e-mail is that commanders have a much easier time second-guessing the decisions of
subordinates.

“While I don’t think IT created micromanagement, I think it made micromanagement a lot easier,” Boudreau said.


What good is a blogger?
Source: ZDNet
Blogger Mitch Ratcliffe suggests four ways in which organizations might benefit from employing bloggers as part of their public outreach strategies.

A blog can be a “marketing channel,” of course, but Ratcliffe wrote that organizations should think in terms of “influencer engagement” and “team reputation building.”

He also wrote that the leaders of every organization with an online presence should think of t h mselves as being in the media busin e ss.


The downsi d e of the Internet
Source: The Atlantic Monthly
Nicholas Carr, author of the book “Does IT Matter?,” has a new question: Is Google making us
stupid?

In an article published in The Atlantic Monthly and expanded on in a new book, Carr examines recent research that suggests that the Internet, where Google and search engines enable a form of power browsing, are changing how people read.

If it’s true that reading changes how our brains work, Google might be rewiring our brains — and not necessarily for the better.


Visualization: The big picture
Source: NASA
NASA officials have always had a knack for seeing the big picture, but the hyperwall-2 takes that ability to a new level.

The system combines the processing power of 128 high-resolution screens and was designed to help scientists visualize massive amounts of data — as much as 475T — in one display. Hyperwall-2 can handle graphics as large as 250 million pixels, making it the world’s highest-resolution visualization system, according to NASA.

Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, working with engineers at Colfax International, developed hyperwall-2. They will use it to study global weather patterns, design future space systems and conduct other data-intensive activities.



chartRecommended reading 06-30-08

Research beyond Google
Source: Inside Higher Ed
www.insidehighered.com
Two universities are trying to improve the research skills of students who have become overly dependent on Google and other Internet tools.

According to a recent article in “Inside Higher Ed,” Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley are bringing together faculty and research experts to develop assignments that incorporate training in solid research methodology.

The goal is to expose students to “a set of research practices and a mind-set that encourages critical thinking about competing online sources,” the article states.


The real snail mail
Source: New Scientist Blogs
www.newscientist.com/blog/technology
Researchers at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom have developed an e-mail application that delivers messages via snails equipped with radio frequency identification chips.

According to the New Scientist Technology Blog, the snails, moving at 0.03 mph, pick up e-mail messages when they pass an electronic reader and deliver them when they reach a reader at the other end of their tank.


Web 2.0 meets presidential politics
Source: techPresident
www.techPresident.com
Should voters be concerned that John McCain doesn’t know how to use a computer? Not according to Mark Soohoo, the McCain campaign’s deputy Internet director. But a former Internet guru on the staff of former presidential candidate John Edwards begs to di — and techPresident.com captured her on video.

The site bills itself as a “group blog that covers o w the 2008 presidential candidates are using the Web...and how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign.”

One of its latest ventures was a debate on technology and government featuring representatives of McCain and Barack Obama, which was channeled via Twitter.


After the flood
Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
www.nga-earth.org
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s crisis response Web portal now provides public access to some unclassified commercial-satellite imagery of waterlogged regions in the Midwest.

The NGA Earth application allows users to choose from three views: a map, aerial imagery or combination of the two. A user could begin with a map, zooming in on Des Moines, Iowa, or St. Louis before switching to the aerial view.

The NGA Web site, created after Hurricane Katrina, supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders who are coping with disasters such as this month’s floods.


chartRecommended reading 06-23-08

DOD joins the blogosophere
Source: Defense Department
The Defense Department has joined the world of blogs with DOD Live. The blog launched April 15. Most of the recent entries point out highlights on the Pentagon Channel, but it’s a good start. 

The blog includes a long list of links to other sites and a full archives. One recent entry reported the illness of U.S. Marine Jack Lucas, a World War II veteran who won the Medal of Honor for his heroism on Iwo Jima. Another spotlighted the Navy’s role in providing a hospital ship for a humanitarian mission in the Philippines.

Learning the Web
Source: W3C
W3C wants government to do a better job with the Web, so it has launched an online forum for governments — and citizens, researchers and anyone else interested — to investigate the best ways to use the Web for governance and public participation.

W3C is an international consortium, so the forum is not about only the U.S. government.  But it arose out of two workshops that W3C held in 2007, one in North America and one in Europe.

According to W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee, the forum will foster open standards and, in particular, semantic Web standards.

Words to live by
Source: Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal rounded up excerpts from 26 college graduation speeches that political figures, writers, media stars and other speakers have given in recent weeks.

The highlights included:
“Whatever you choose to do, you invest your lives in something that is bigger and greater than yourselves and your daily concerns.”
— Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary

“Change the world in new and exciting ways and, in Science Guy terms, hugely gigantic big ways.”
amp;mda h; Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

Beware Facebook apps
Source: Washington Post
As government users grow more comfortable with Facebook, they’ll be tempted to add applications that let them play games, list books they’ve read and otherwise expand the site’s social interaction.

Many of those applications are likely benign, but some developers of third-party apps might be collecting the data in the user profiles — such as hometown, religious affiliation, marital status or employment history — to use for marketing or other purposes that users might not welcome, according to The Washington Post.

Normally, a Facebook user’s full profile is visible only to the user’s designated friends. You can control who sees your information.
But third-party applications can also see that information and relay it to the developers who created the application. 

Be careful what you put in that profile.



chartRecommended reading 06-16-08

A NASA CIO joins the blogosphere
Source: NASA
Linda Cureton, chief information officer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, recently joined the ranks of CIO bloggers. Her first entry, on May 30, is “The Art of Change Leadership.”
 
A sample grab: “When we become CIOs, we have to realize we are not working in a dictatorship and that we need change leadership competencies in order move the change agenda forward,” Cureton wrote. “The CIO’s failure to effectively execute the art of change leadership will result in change that is merely temporary or in 18-month CIO life cycles.”


Government of the future
Source: IBM
A report by IBM’s Institute for Business Value identifies six megatrends that are reshaping how government operates. Those trends — including changing demographics, environmental concerns and social-networking technology — are converging to create a perpetual collaboration mandate for government agencies.

IBM has posted an executive summary of the “Government 2020” report on its Web site, but users must register to receive the full report.


10 social-networking security trends to watch
Source: CRN.com
CRN explains how some familiar security threats are finding their way into the Web 2.0 world. This slide show takes readers through each threat — such as spyware, worms and phishing — and its impact on social-networking applications.

“The explosion of social networking has reinvented communication as we know it, creating new opportunities to develop friendships, romances and business contacts all over the world — a fact which has not gone unnoticed by the malware authors and organized crime,” the article states.


Star Trek: The Cake
Source: TrekMovie.com
A Baltimore bakery recently made a cake that — no kidding — re-creates the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. According to TrekMovie.com, the cake will be featured on “The Ace of Cakes” on the Food Network.

“The ‘Trek’ cake is not the first pop-culture franchise that Duff Goldman’s bakery has taken on, t e Web site reports. “In the past they have done Harry Potter, ‘Star Wars’ and others.”



chartRecommended reading 06-09-08

The impact of IT on businesses and their leaders
Source: Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business School.
Harvard Business School Associate Professor Andrew McAfee discusses the ramifications of information technology on organizations and individuals. Although ostensibly focusing on businesses, most of McAfee’s musings might apply equally well to government agencies.

Recent topics include the grand challenges for 21st-century management and the multifaceted impact of social-networking software.


Input enters the blogosphere
Source: Input.
Input, a market research firm based in Vienna, Va., has started a corporate blog focused on trends and developments that shape government/industry relations.

For example, a recent entry discussed the ongoing debates about modernizing the nation’s emergency alert. Other topics from recent weeks include “Booz Allen Splits in Two,” “Are Expectations For Health IT Off the Chart?” and “A Five-Year, $8 Million Health Project Scrapped to Start Fresh.”


Father’s Day potpourri
Source: USA.gov.
The team at USA.gov, the federal government’s Web portal, has compiled a page that highlights statistics, history and gift ideas related to Father’s Day.

Quick facts: The government estimates there are 64.3 million fathers in the United States, with 2.5 million being single fathers and 159,000 being stay-at-home dads.

One more: 30 percent of children younger than six who live with married parents eat breakfast with their fathers every day.


The Gadget Lab
Source: Wired.
Wired’s Gadget Lab blog highlights news and products that rate high in the coolness factor.
Consider the Asus digital photo frame, which can double as a second, albeit small, computer monitor. The frame, which has an 800 x 480 display area, includes a USB port and a slot for a memory card. The product can mirror a primary display in its entirety or just a portion of it.

Other recent entries report on Dell’s new mini laptop PC, a plastic shield that protects a TV screen from a flying Wii remote and the world’s thinnest luxury phone.
by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: & ldquo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style=&q ot;"> by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &l quo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style="& uot;> by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &l quo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style="& uot;> by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re searchers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &am p;l dquo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:="" style=" amp; uot;>Source: Former Marine Tyler Boudreau discusses how instant messaging, e-mail and other software are reshaping military operations in Iraq.Those changes are not always for the better, he told the Journal. For example, one of the unintended consequences of e-mail is that commanders have a much easier time second-guessing the decisions of subordinates.“While I don’t think IT created micromanagement, I think it made micromanagement a lot easier,” Boudreau said.Source: Blogger Mitch Ratcliffe suggests four ways in which organizations might benefit from employing bloggers as part of their public outreach strategies.A blog can be a “marketing channel,” of course, but Ratcliffe wrote that organizations should think in terms of “influencer engagement” and “team reputation building.”He also wrote that the leaders of every organization with an online presence should think of t h mselves as being in the media busin e ss.Source: Nicholas Carr, author of the book “Does IT Matter?,” has a new question: Is Google making us stupid?In an article published in and expanded on in a new book, Carr examines recent research that suggests that the Internet, where Google and search engines enable a form of power browsing, are changing how people read.If it’s true that reading changes how our brains work, Google might be rewiring our brains — and not necessarily for the better. Source: NASA officials have always had a knack for seeing the big picture, but the hyperwall-2 takes that ability to a new level.The system combines the processing power of 128 high-resolution screens and was designed to help scientists visualize massive amounts of data — as much as 475T — in one display. Hyperwall-2 can handle graphics as large as 250 million pixels, making it the world’s highest-resolution visualization system, according to NASA.Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, working with engineers at Colfax International, developed hyperwall-2. They will use it to study global weather patterns, design future space systems and conduct other data-intensive activities. Source: Two universities are trying to improve the research skills of students who have become overly dependent on Google and other Internet tools.According to a recent article in “,” Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley are bringing together faculty and research experts to develop assignments that incorporate training in solid research methodology. The goal is to expose students to “a set of research practices and a mind-set that encourages critical thinking about competing online sources,” the article states.Source: Researchers at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom have developed an e-mail application that delivers messages via snails equipped with radio frequency identification chips.According to the , the snails, moving at 0.03 mph, pick up e-mail messages when they pass an electronic reader and deliver them when they reach a reader at the other end of their tank. Source: Should voters be concerned that John McCain doesn’t know how to use a computer? Not according to Mark Soohoo, the McCain campaign’s deputy Internet director. But a former Internet guru on the staff of former presidential candidate John Edwards begs to di — and captured her on video. The site bills itself as a “group blog that covers o w the 2008 presidential candidates are using the Web...and how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign.”One of its latest ventures was a debate on technology and government featuring representatives of McCain and Barack Obama, which was channeled via Twitter.Source: The ’s crisis response Web portal now provides public access to some unclassified commercial-satellite imagery of waterlogged regions in the Midwest.The NGA Earth application allows users to choose from three views: a map, aerial imagery or combination of the two. A user could begin with a map, zooming in on Des Moines, Iowa, or St. Louis before switching to the aerial view.The NGA Web site, created after Hurricane Katrina, supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders who are coping with disasters such as this month’s floods. Source: The Defense Department has joined the world of blogs with . The blog launched April 15. Most of the recent entries point out highlights on the Pentagon Channel, but it’s a good start.  The blog includes a long list of links to other sites and a full archives. One recent entry reported the illness of U.S. Marine Jack Lucas, a World War II veteran who won the Medal of Honor for his heroism on Iwo Jima. Another spotlighted the Navy’s role in providing a hospital ship for a humanitarian mission in the Philippines.Source: wants government to do a better job with the Web, so it has launched an online forum for governments — and citizens, researchers and anyone else interested — to investigate the best ways to use the Web for governance and public participation. is an international consortium, so the forum is not about only the U.S. government.  But it arose out of two workshops that W3C held in 2007, one in North America and one in Europe. According to W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee, the forum will foster open standards and, in particular, semantic Web standards.Source: The rounded up excerpts from 26 college graduation speeches that political figures, writers, media stars and other speakers have given in recent weeks. The highlights included:“Whatever you choose to do, you invest your lives in something that is bigger and greater than yourselves and your daily concerns.” — Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary “Change the world in new and exciting ways and, in Science Guy terms, hugely gigantic big ways.” amp;mda h; Bill Nye, the Science Guy.Source: As government users grow more comfortable with Facebook, they’ll be tempted to add applications that let them play games, list books they’ve read and otherwise expand the site’s social interaction. Many of those applications are likely benign, but some developers of third-party apps might be collecting the data in the user profiles — such as hometown, religious affiliation, marital status or employment history — to use for marketing or other purposes that users might not welcome, Normally, a Facebook user’s full profile is visible only to the user’s designated friends. You can control who sees your information. But third-party applications can also see that information and relay it to the developers who created the application.  Be careful what you put in that profile. Source: NASALinda Cureton, chief information officer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, recently joined the ranks of CIO bloggers. Her first entry, on May 30, is “.” A sample grab: “When we become CIOs, we have to realize we are not working in a dictatorship and that we need change leadership competencies in order move the change agenda forward,” Cureton wrote. “The CIO’s failure to effectively execute the art of change leadership will result in change that is merely temporary or in 18-month CIO life cycles.”Source: IBMA report by IBM’s Institute for Business Value identifies six megatrends that are reshaping how government operates. Those trends — including changing demographics, environmental concerns and social-networking technology — are converging to create a perpetual collaboration mandate for government agencies.IBM has posted an executive summary of the “” report on its Web site, but users must register to receive the full report.Source: CRN explains how some familiar security threats are finding their way into the Web 2.0 world. takes readers through each threat — such as spyware, worms and phishing — and its impact on social-networking applications.“The explosion of social networking has reinvented communication as we know it, creating new opportunities to develop friendships, romances and business contacts all over the world — a fact which has not gone unnoticed by the malware authors and organized crime,” the article states.Source: A Baltimore bakery recently made a cake that — no kidding — re-creates the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. According to , the cake will be featured on “The Ace of Cakes” on the Food Network.“The ‘Trek’ cake is not the first pop-culture franchise that Duff Goldman’s bakery has taken on, t e Web site reports. “In the past they have done Harry Potter, ‘Star Wars’ and others.”Source: .Harvard Business School Associate Professor Andrew McAfee discusses the ramifications of information technology on organizations and individuals. Although ostensibly focusing on businesses, most of McAfee’s musings might apply equally well to government agencies.Recent topics include the grand challenges for 21st-century management and the multifaceted impact of social-networking software.Source: .Input, a market research firm based in Vienna, Va., has started a corporate blog focused on trends and developments that shape government/industry relations. For example, a recent entry discussed the ongoing debates about modernizing the nation’s emergency alert. Other topics from recent weeks include “,” “” and “.”Source: .The team at USA.gov, the federal government’s Web portal, has compiled a page that highlights statistics, history and gift ideas related to Father’s Day.Quick facts: The government estimates there are 64.3 million fathers in the United States, with 2.5 million being single fathers and 159,000 being stay-at-home dads.One more: 30 percent of children younger than six who live with married parents eat breakfast with their fathers every day.Source: .Wired’s Gadget Lab blog highlights news and products that rate high in the coolness factor.Consider the Asus digital photo frame, which can double as a second, albeit small, computer monitor. The frame, which has an 800 x 480 display area, includes a USB port and a slot for a memory card. The product can mirror a primary display in its entirety or just a portion of it.Other recent entries report on Dell’s new mini laptop PC, a plastic shield that protects a TV screen from a flying Wii remote and the world’s thinnest luxury phone.


by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: “,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fa led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&am ;qu t;" style="">by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: & ldquo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style=&q ot;"> by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &l quo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style="& uot;> by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re sear chers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &l quo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:=&qu t;" style="& uot;> by Heidi Squier KraftOne of two books on Carey’s recommended reading list, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital,” is written by Heidi Squier Kraft, who was a Navy clinical psychologist in Iraq. The title of the book comes from the TV show “M*A*S*H”: “There are two rules of war. Rule No. 1 is that young men die. Rule No. 2 is that doctors can’t change rule No. 1.” It was a difficult lesson.Carey, of course, was on active duty deployed to Iraq, and he said that Kraft’s book captured some of the mind-set of those on duty in the Middle East.By The other recommended read from Carey is, “,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, published in 2004.The book is an extension of an article Barnett wrote for Esquire in March 2003. Esquire’s synopsis of the article and, by extension, the book states:“Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world — and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community.”The book essentially consists of  that briefing.  Source: provides a step-by-step approach to developing a program for turning up-and-coming employees into bona fide stars.The approach can take from three weeks to several months to launch and can cost up to $50,000. But the first step — which doesn’t cost a cent — is to figure out what you expect to get out of the program, according to BNet.The article also outlines three ways to make mentoring a part of your organization’s culture.Source: The Society for Information Management’s Regional Leadership Forum, which trains potential chief information officers, provides its students with a reading list of 30 books that can help them develop their leadership skills.The list includes “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, which can help would-be leaders learn how to deal with adversity. Meanwhile, “The Pearl,” by John Steinbeck, and other novels can foster good discussions about what motivates people.Source: The reports on the discovery of ancient Greek technology that apparently was used to predict solar eclipses and track progress on a four-year calendar.The device was built between 140 and 100 B.C. and was known as the Antikythera Mechanism. It featured bronze gears and dials that helped users of this analog computer to manage solar and lunar calenda rs, re searchers say.The Greeks also apparently used the mechanism to work out the timing of the Olymp iad, on which the modern summer Olympics are based. Source: For decades, conventional wisdom has held that any two people on earth can be linked through no more than six personal contacts: A knows B; B knows C; C knows D; D knows E; and E knows actor/musician Kevin Bacon — or any other person you can think of.The concept was turned into a play, “Six Degrees of Separation,” and a game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”As it turns out, the assumption is pretty much the case, at least when it comes to instant-messaging networks, according to researchers at Microsoft researchers, although the more precise number is 6.6 degrees.Source: The digs into a recent Forrester Research survey about how technology use varies across four generations: Generations Y and X, baby boomers and seniors.In some areas, the classic generation gap is apparent. For example, 54 percent of Gen Yers (ages 18-28) own laptop computers, compared with 22 percent of seniors. But when it comes to online spending, baby boomers (ages 43-63) lead the way, spending more than $750 during a three-month period, compared with $643 for Gen Xers (ages 29-42), $595 for Gen Yers and $595 for seniors. Source: &am p;l dquo;,” a blog about government blogging, reports on a recent controversy that stems from a Homeland Security Department blog named “Leadership Journal.”In a recent post about the DHS E-Verify program, which is designed to enable employers to check on the immigration status of potential hires, a DHS official takes a swipe at the Society for Human Resource Management, which opposes the program.Government agencies are frequent targets of blogs, the Municipalist blogger notes. “But government is now blogging. Which means it’s a new ball game. Which means these advocacy groups must develop new tactics, and better strategies, from new ideas.”Source: With the peak of summer vacation approaching, the highlights 10 instances in which conventional wisdom might lead people to worry needlessly when they ought to be relaxing.The list includes carcinogenic cell phones, evil plastic bags, toxic plastic bottles and unmarked wormholes. The chance of falling into a wormhole while on vacation is remote, but not impossible, the writer states. “I would also concede that if the wormhole led to an alternate universe, there’s a good chance your luggage would be lost in transit.”Source: Is the United States ready for a major solar storm? The July issue of Scientific American looks back to a super solar storm in 1859 — a “once-in-500-years event” — during which “compasses went haywire and t egraph systems fai led.”Such an event likely is a long way off, but storms with just half of the intensity, which occur about every 50 years, could still inflict significant damage. "If we make no preparations, by some calculations, the direct and indirect costs of another superstorm could equal that of a major hurricane or earthquake,” the article states. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping some hidden talent in the general public can help combat a widespread health threat.Officials are looking for 30-second to 60-second videos that encourage people to test their houses for radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.The winner will receive a $2,500 award, and the video will appear on and be shown at the upcoming 2008 National Radon Meeting. A tip of the hat to Steve Ressler, a former Rising Star award winner, for sending us this pointer.Source: NASA officials and scientists gathered in Silicon Valley last week to ponder the future of manned space flight, beginning with a return to the moon.According to NASA officials, the latest effort differs from Neil Armstrong’s mission 39 years ago in its emphasis on a permanent moon settlement as a jumping-off point for further space exploration.The San Jose Mercury News quotes S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, as saying: “We’re going back, and this time we’re going to stay. This is the first step in settling the solar system.”Source: In response to the rising cost of fuel, Robert Carey, the Navy Department’s chief information officer, is challenging managers to find more ways to accommodate employees who want to telework.The need for flexibility “has risen to the critical stage,” given the burden of commuting in terms of time and cost, Carey wrote.He asked managers to find ways to offer their workers the greatest possible flexibility. “Ultimately, the department’s [information technology] infrastructure supports the mobile worker and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “Our work culture must as well.”Source: The is promoting an initiative called AnalogySpace, which applies data-visualization methodology to a knowledge base of common sense.One example uses a six-axis grid to illustrate things people want versus things they are capable of. The resulting “patterns, called ‘eigenconcepts,’ help to classify the knowledge and predict new knowledge by filling in the gaps,” according to the Web site. lt; pan text-decoration:="" style=" amp; uot;>Source: Former Marine Tyler Boudreau discusses how instant messaging, e-mail and other software are reshaping military operations in Iraq.Those changes are not always for the better, he told the Journal. For example, one of the unintended consequences of e-mail is that commanders have a much easier time second-guessing the decisions of subordinates.“While I don’t think IT created micromanagement, I think it made micromanagement a lot easier,” Boudreau said.Source: Blogger Mitch Ratcliffe suggests four ways in which organizations might benefit from employing bloggers as part of their public outreach strategies.A blog can be a “marketing channel,” of course, but Ratcliffe wrote that organizations should think in terms of “influencer engagement” and “team reputation building.”He also wrote that the leaders of every organization with an online presence should think of t h mselves as being in the media busin e ss.Source: Nicholas Carr, author of the book “Does IT Matter?,” has a new question: Is Google making us stupid?In an article published in and expanded on in a new book, Carr examines recent research that suggests that the Internet, where Google and search engines enable a form of power browsing, are changing how people read.If it’s true that reading changes how our brains work, Google might be rewiring our brains — and not necessarily for the better. Source: NASA officials have always had a knack for seeing the big picture, but the hyperwall-2 takes that ability to a new level.The system combines the processing power of 128 high-resolution screens and was designed to help scientists visualize massive amounts of data — as much as 475T — in one display. Hyperwall-2 can handle graphics as large as 250 million pixels, making it the world’s highest-resolution visualization system, according to NASA.Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, working with engineers at Colfax International, developed hyperwall-2. They will use it to study global weather patterns, design future space systems and conduct other data-intensive activities. Source: Two universities are trying to improve the research skills of students who have become overly dependent on Google and other Internet tools.According to a recent article in “,” Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley are bringing together faculty and research experts to develop assignments that incorporate training in solid research methodology. The goal is to expose students to “a set of research practices and a mind-set that encourages critical thinking about competing online sources,” the article states.Source: Researchers at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom have developed an e-mail application that delivers messages via snails equipped with radio frequency identification chips.According to the , the snails, moving at 0.03 mph, pick up e-mail messages when they pass an electronic reader and deliver them when they reach a reader at the other end of their tank. Source: Should voters be concerned that John McCain doesn’t know how to use a computer? Not according to Mark Soohoo, the McCain campaign’s deputy Internet director. But a former Internet guru on the staff of former presidential candidate John Edwards begs to di — and captured her on video. The site bills itself as a “group blog that covers o w the 2008 presidential candidates are using the Web...and how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign.”One of its latest ventures was a debate on technology and government featuring representatives of McCain and Barack Obama, which was channeled via Twitter.Source: The ’s crisis response Web portal now provides public access to some unclassified commercial-satellite imagery of waterlogged regions in the Midwest.The NGA Earth application allows users to choose from three views: a map, aerial imagery or combination of the two. A user could begin with a map, zooming in on Des Moines, Iowa, or St. Louis before switching to the aerial view.The NGA Web site, created after Hurricane Katrina, supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders who are coping with disasters such as this month’s floods. Source: The Defense Department has joined the world of blogs with . The blog launched April 15. Most of the recent entries point out highlights on the Pentagon Channel, but it’s a good start.  The blog includes a long list of links to other sites and a full archives. One recent entry reported the illness of U.S. Marine Jack Lucas, a World War II veteran who won the Medal of Honor for his heroism on Iwo Jima. Another spotlighted the Navy’s role in providing a hospital ship for a humanitarian mission in the Philippines.Source: wants government to do a better job with the Web, so it has launched an online forum for governments — and citizens, researchers and anyone else interested — to investigate the best ways to use the Web for governance and public participation. is an international consortium, so the forum is not about only the U.S. government.  But it arose out of two workshops that W3C held in 2007, one in North America and one in Europe. According to W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee, the forum will foster open standards and, in particular, semantic Web standards.Source: The rounded up excerpts from 26 college graduation speeches that political figures, writers, media stars and other speakers have given in recent weeks. The highlights included:“Whatever you choose to do, you invest your lives in something that is bigger and greater than yourselves and your daily concerns.” — Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary “Change the world in new and exciting ways and, in Science Guy terms, hugely gigantic big ways.” amp;mda h; Bill Nye, the Science Guy.Source: As government users grow more comfortable with Facebook, they’ll be tempted to add applications that let them play games, list books they’ve read and otherwise expand the site’s social interaction. Many of those applications are likely benign, but some developers of third-party apps might be collecting the data in the user profiles — such as hometown, religious affiliation, marital status or employment history — to use for marketing or other purposes that users might not welcome, Normally, a Facebook user’s full profile is visible only to the user’s designated friends. You can control who sees your information. But third-party applications can also see that information and relay it to the developers who created the application.  Be careful what you put in that profile. Source: NASALinda Cureton, chief information officer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, recently joined the ranks of CIO bloggers. Her first entry, on May 30, is “.” A sample grab: “When we become CIOs, we have to realize we are not working in a dictatorship and that we need change leadership competencies in order move the change agenda forward,” Cureton wrote. “The CIO’s failure to effectively execute the art of change leadership will result in change that is merely temporary or in 18-month CIO life cycles.”Source: IBMA report by IBM’s Institute for Business Value identifies six megatrends that are reshaping how government operates. Those trends — including changing demographics, environmental concerns and social-networking technology — are converging to create a perpetual collaboration mandate for government agencies.IBM has posted an executive summary of the “” report on its Web site, but users must register to receive the full report.Source: CRN explains how some familiar security threats are finding their way into the Web 2.0 world. takes readers through each threat — such as spyware, worms and phishing — and its impact on social-networking applications.“The explosion of social networking has reinvented communication as we know it, creating new opportunities to develop friendships, romances and business contacts all over the world — a fact which has not gone unnoticed by the malware authors and organized crime,” the article states.Source: A Baltimore bakery recently made a cake that — no kidding — re-creates the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. According to , the cake will be featured on “The Ace of Cakes” on the Food Network.“The ‘Trek’ cake is not the first pop-culture franchise that Duff Goldman’s bakery has taken on, t e Web site reports. “In the past they have done Harry Potter, ‘Star Wars’ and others.”Source: .Harvard Business School Associate Professor Andrew McAfee discusses the ramifications of information technology on organizations and individuals. Although ostensibly focusing on businesses, most of McAfee’s musings might apply equally well to government agencies.Recent topics include the grand challenges for 21st-century management and the multifaceted impact of social-networking software.Source: .Input, a market research firm based in Vienna, Va., has started a corporate blog focused on trends and developments that shape government/industry relations. For example, a recent entry discussed the ongoing debates about modernizing the nation’s emergency alert. Other topics from recent weeks include “,” “” and “.”Source: .The team at USA.gov, the federal government’s Web portal, has compiled a page that highlights statistics, history and gift ideas related to Father’s Day.Quick facts: The government estimates there are 64.3 million fathers in the United States, with 2.5 million being single fathers and 159,000 being stay-at-home dads.One more: 30 percent of children younger than six who live with married parents eat breakfast with their fathers every day.Source: .Wired’s Gadget Lab blog highlights news and products that rate high in the coolness factor.Consider the Asus digital photo frame, which can double as a second, albeit small, computer monitor. The frame, which has an 800 x 480 display area, includes a USB port and a slot for a memory card. The product can mirror a primary display in its entirety or just a portion of it.Other recent entries report on Dell’s new mini laptop PC, a plastic shield that protects a TV screen from a flying Wii remote and the world’s thinnest luxury phone.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:12 PM


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