Moonset

Later today the Obama Administration will reportedly announce major changes in the U. S. space program that may amount to the effective end of manned space flight after this decade. As a guy who has been trying to mount his own mission to the Moon I’m not yet sure how I feel about this. Maybe it is a great opportunity, but probably not.

The FY2011 federal proposed budget will be published with the following changes:

— NASA’s Constellation program to replace the Space Shuttle will be cancelled and all hardware development will be stopped including Ares 1, Ares 5 and Orion.

— The Moon is no longer the first stop in the exploration program, replaced […]

The Cybersecurity Myth

DHSThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this week it will hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity experts over the next three years to help protect U.S. computer networks. This was part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the announcement was made by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who also said they probably won’t need to hire all 1,000 experts, which is good because I am pretty sure THERE AREN’T ONE THOUSAND CIVILIAN CYBERSECURITY EXPERTS IN THE ENTIRE FRIGGIN’ WORLD!!!!

So I polled six old friends who ARE cybersecurity experts and they kinda-sorta agreed with me.  More on this below.

But first I have to marvel that I even know six cybersecurity experts and — even […]

Women and Children First

titanicToday is the Labor Day holiday in the USA, so to honor the more vulnerable parts of our society and economy I’m engaging in this fantasy rethinking of our current economic crisis.  If only……

When the “unsinkable” ship Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage in 1911, as any teenage girl will tell you, the rich people got nearly all the lifeboats (except for John Jacob Astor IV who ordered another drink, giving up his seat), dooming the lower-class passengers including, of course, poor Leonardo DiCaprio. Much the same thing seems to be happening in the case of the current economic crisis, where the people who are hurting the most seem to be […]

Medical Records R Us

medical-recordsThis is the first of probably three columns on health care.  The Obama Administration right now has in Congress legislation for reforming the U.S. health system so that sets my agenda. But the point of these columns isn’t to comment, per se, on the current proposals, but instead to look at what I believe to be my two areas of some strength — Information Technology and understanding complex systems — and see how they can be applied to this problem.

And it IS a problem.  That’s the only part of this debate that all sides agree on.  The doctors feel beleaguered and Lord knows that sick and uninsured people sure do, too.  Even corporate fat cats […]

Collateral Damage

blackoutThere was lots of good discussion last time about cyber warfare, cyber security, and U.S. policy, but what most respondents seemed to miss was the international nature of the IT business — all the outsourcing and offshoring that we were told was so great — and its implications for U.S. security.  The upshot is that any U.S. cyber warfare czar will have to effectively function as a WORLD cyber warfare czar, a fact that neither Republican nor Democratic Administrations have yet been willing to embrace, at least in public.

Forget for the moment about data incursions within the DC beltway, what happens when  Pakistan takes down the Internet in India?  Here we have technologically sophisticated regional […]