President-elect Barack Obama's plan to build a Google-enabled government began modestly this week with its new Change.gov Web site, which includes the means to apply for a job in the new administration.
Stories by Patrick Thibodeau
With the economy struggling and financial markets in a state of chaos, this is becoming a hard time to be an IT manager.
The overall economic cost of Wall Street's collapse has yet to be totaled. But it's clear that IT departments will be laboring under some changed conditions in the months ahead.
The collapse of Wall Street may prompt financial services firms to increase their use of offshore outsourcing and cut more jobs in the US on top of the layoffs they have already announced.
A US House subcommittee is charging that a US$500 million IT project intended to "connect the dots" on terrorists and help prevent another 9/11 is a failure; it can't even handle basic Boolean search terms, such as "and, or and not."
Three years ago, Chris Collins, a US native, flew to China to take a job teaching English at a private school. He began studying Mandarin on the plane. Today, at 25, he is the international business development manager for a Chinese software outsourcing company, MaesInfo, speaks the language and lives in a high-rise apartment in Chengdu.
Any employee can get in trouble for personal blogging on company time, but US government workers, as one NASA employee has discovered, can get into a special kind of legal trouble if they also write about politics. They risk violating a 1939 US law called the Hatch Act, which requires federal employees to keep their jobs and political activity separate.
IBM disclosed Monday that it has been "temporarily suspended" from new business with US federal agencies, as well as being subject to a federal grand jury probe over a bid it submitted for work.
David Farris, IT manager at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, has been working for five years to change some of the processes within his 300-employee organization. He hopes the changes will lead to significant savings in the IT department, which now spends about US$100 million annually.
When it comes to testing an IT system, William Cross, the CIO of Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc. in Tampa, Fla., uses an approach that his staff describes as "brutal." But it's a system Cross hopes will avoid sleep-disturbing middle-of-the-night production failures -- part of a larger effort to keep his staff from getting stressed out.
The era of voluntary reliability standards for electric utilities has ended, and power companies now face a set of US federally mandated rules that can cost them up to $US1 million a day in fines if they turn the lights out on their customers.
Karen Evans is the US government's top IT executive - essentially, its de facto CIO. Her official title is administrator of the office of electronic government and IT at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Evans, also director of the Federal CIO Council, recently spoke with US Computerworld about the government's IT operations
When Roger Hardy, IT director for the US city of Jeffersonville, gets an alert from an automated monitoring system that his data centre air conditioning is failing, he has 20 minutes to fix the system before the computer room's temperature reaches what he describes as its "death point".
To help reduce the demand for electricity, the US EPA is recommending that companies and government agencies consider a broad menu of approaches to cutting their power usage, from seeking more efficient software to installing larger servers and virtualization technology.
The San Francisco Bay Area's naturally cool weather could help IT managers cut electricity costs. But Mark Bramfitt, who manages energy reduction programs for the high-tech sector at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., knows that most data centres are walled off from green alternatives.