Mapping GIS through space and time

When entrepreneur and former nursery worker Jack Dangermond asks, What is a tree? he's not spouting a cliche he heard years ago in some college philosophy class. He's serious.

Digital Government

Bluetooth backers demo wireless PCs

A group of information technology companies this month demonstrated hardware and software that enable devices to communicate wirelessly, eliminating the need for the cables that typically connect PCs to printers and other peripherals.

FTS 2001 rolls into the Pacific

The General Services Administration has rolled out its highspeed FTS 2001 telecommunications service to the Pacific, a move that should enable federal officials to save money by conducting videoconferences instead of traveling from island to island for meetings. The advent of FTS 2001 to U.S. isla

DOJ's Condon moves to SRA

Mary Ellen Condon, the director of the information management and security staff at the Justice Department, last week left her post to take a job managing information technology projects for the federal division of systems integrator SRA International Inc. Condon, who joined Justice four years ago,

Identix shrinks fingerprint ID

Identix Inc. last month unveiled a fingerprint reader small enough to be incorporated into cellular phones and portable computers. The DFR 300 is designed to control access to electronic devices by checking a user's fingerprint scan against an image already on file. Fingerprint readers have been us

GSA's acquisition policy chief loses battle with cancer

Memorial services were held on Dec. 3 in Takoma Park, Md., for Ida M. Ustad, deputy associate administrator for acquisition policy at the General Services Administration.

FBI cancels mega-modernization project

After months of tussling with Congress, FBI officials have killed plans for a contract that would have enhanced the agency's crimefighting ability by giving its agents new hardware and software for sifting through and sharing information during investigations. As part of the FBI's Information Shar

Condon to join list of former gov execs at SRA

Mary Ellen Condon, director of the information management and security staff at the Justice Department, plans to leave her post this week for a job managing information technology projects for SRA International Inc.'s government sector.

IMC forms FTS 2001 task force

Technology officials representing a group of federal agencies last week announced they had formed a task force to help agencies make a speedier transition to a new governmentwide contract for telecommunications services. The Interagency Management Council (IMC), which represents telecommunications

ESRI wins $22M mapping deal

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency took a big step toward standardizing on commercial mapping software by inking a $22 million deal with Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. for a host of electronic and geospatial mapping products. For NIMA, a Defense Department group that has relied

Bill would boost DNA crime-fighting

State and federal agencies would get more than $50 million to build DNA crimesolving databases in a bill introduced last week by Rep. Benjamin Gilman (RN.Y.) The bill, the Convicted Offender DNA Index System Support Act, aims to ease states' backlogs in processing DNA samples used in databases of

Feds receive 'above average' grade on Y2K

Lawmakers today released the last in a series of Year 2000 report cards, giving the federal government an overall grade of Bplus for its efforts to correct the computer date problem.

Budget should spare IT projects

Congress last week passed a $390 billion spending package that includes millions of dollars for information technology programs at key federal agencies in fiscal 2000. The bill, the result of long and intense budget negotiations between Capitol Hill leadership and the Clinton administration, calls

FBI bets on new IT initiative for security

Anticipating no new money for information security, the FBI is hoping a major computer project currently hung up in Congress will provide the new technology needed to make its information more secure, a top agency official said last week. Mark Tanner, information resources manager at the FBI, said

SEC seeks securities fraud Internet sniffer

The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to develop a network application to scour public areas of the Internet to search for messages, unusual traffic patterns and other clues that may lead to the arrest of criminals engaged in online securities fraud. The SEC this month announced it would sol

Staying connected

Harold Gracey, acting chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, never served in the military unless you count his sixyear stint as a policeman in the National Guard. He was never wounded in combat or stormed an enemy encampment, but he understands what dedication to a miss

Info security tops VA's list

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which has faced information security challenges, has taken a series of steps in the past year to safeguard its computer systems, according to a General Accounting Office report released last month. GAO concluded that VA has made progress in tightening the securit

Feds say funds needed for security

A group of federal technology managers last week said one of the biggest obstacles to making the government's computer systems more secure is lack of money and that Congress should fund security efforts in much the same way it funded the effort to fix federal computers for the Year 2000 problem. Do

Cable firm wired for federal business

Cox Communications Inc., a company known best for its cable TV business, has made a foray into the federal market over the past year, bringing highspeed Internet connections to users in the Air Force and the General Services Administration. The company which has focused its federal business on p

GAO finds holes in Y2K efforts

With only about 60 days left until the new year, many agencies have not finalized plans for conducting business in the wake of Year 2000 problems, and at least one agency the Internal Revenue Service has yet to take an inventory of its computer equipment and software, which means the agency may

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