In this era of e-commerce, a person can pay for a coffee by simply using a cellphone. Clearly, we have come a long way from trading goats and pelts for goods, but the global method of exchanging currency has advanced little. The world largely relies on the paper money system started by the Chinese Tang Dynasty, despite the enormous expense to maintain physical currency.
It is about time federal contractor employees received benefits equal to their in-house peers.
In November, the long-awaited final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor mandated that federal contractors provide paid sick leave to certain employees. The regulation covers both new federal contracts and replacements to expired contracts.
Although some cities and states require that employers offer paid sick leave, no federal law mandates the employment benefit across the board. The United States is the only industrialized nation without paid leave.
The third annual Intelligence and National Security Summit (INSS) kicks off tomorrow in Washington, D.C., a premier gathering of senior decision makers from government, military, industry and academia who will tackle some of the most difficult intelligence quandaries baffling world leaders.
Much debate has taken place recently on the topic of American “greatness.” While I believe this country remains great today, I also believe it has lost some of its momentum for a number of reasons, including a struggling economy. Wages are not climbing, consumer spending is stagnant, and the national debt keeps growing. We need to reinvigorate the middle class with more opportunities for higher-paying jobs so that Americans feel confident and prosperous again. Those opportunities exist, but unlike the last century, more will come from small businesses than big businesses.
My wife and I once passed through three different airports on a trip to visit friends. As I observed each passenger terminal, I was struck by the behavior of the employees.
While the mission of those airports was quite similar—process passengers, route bags, maintain safety and keep to the flight schedule—every airport left me with a distinctly different impression. Some were more efficient, had happier employees, were cleaner and demonstrated qualitative disparities compared with others. What accounted for these differences? Airport leadership.
I recently had the honor of speaking with the men and women of the National Capital Region’s Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The question they asked most often was, “What’s it like to take off the uniform?” I thought about that question and realized that for many of these service members, the transition would be markedly different than it was for me. Not only are some of them leaving the only profession they have ever known, but also they are leaving it with new physical and/or psychological challenges.
Ryan Proscia and his family now have a home.
That wasn't always the case. The 28-year-old wounded Army corporal and his wife of seven years, Jennifer Proscia, used to rely on the generosity of family and friends for a roof over their heads—even if just temporarily. When their luck ran out, they said they just did not know what they were going to do.
Military Warriors Support Foundation ensured they wouldn't have to find out.
Through the organization's efforts Proscia, Jennifer and their two young daughters on Tuesday received keys to their very own home in Spring Hill, Florida.
Silos are products of the inherent lack of ability for teams to communicate with one another. Not because they don't want to, but because they can't. They don't have the communication skills, the soft skills, the same user experiences, the same motivations, experts report.
As we enter 2016, public sector IT infrastructure remains in the throes of an unprecedented era of transformation. Business transformation is the new normal. Evolving missions, policy reforms, emerging threats, changing work force demographics, the move to mobility and the volatile federal budgeting process all demand public sector IT solutions be both increasingly nimble and evermore efficient.
Even the White House joined the fray to celebrate Back to the Future Day.
But be warned, the endeavor can be time consuming and today's a working day, after all.
All day Wednesday, the White House blog hosted a series of conversations with scientists and innovators as administration staffers (some boasting a witty sense of humor) solicited input on what the nation thinks the future will look like in 30 years, capitalizing on the fact that October 21, 2015, marked the date in which Marty McFly traveled into the "future" in the movie Back to the Future Part II released 30 years ago.
The tally is in and the news is mostly good: The federal government saved about $3.6 billion over a three-year period by implementing information technology reforms set in motion by the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB.
Between fiscal 2011 and 2014, agencies netted about $2 billion of the total from data center consolidation and optimization efforts alone, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.
“Notably, of the $3.6 billion total, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and the Social Security Administration accounted for about $2.5 billion,” reads a portion of the report.
We are so conditioned these days to the exciting advances in the world of cyber: Information technology leaps ahead relentlessly, Moore’s law tells us these changes will accelerate endlessly, the consumer world reflects the shared excitement when the new Apple Watch appears, and we all warily watch the explosion of the aptly named Internet of Things, with more than 20 billion devices predicted to be attached to the Web by 2020.
Yet the big revolution of the 21st century will not be in information and cyber. It will be in biology, and it will profoundly affect both day-to-day life and national security.
The new mobile shopping app snach.it aims to combine the deep discounts of Groupon with the instant gratification of Snapchat. It simplifies the shopping experience by offering curated daily deals from top brands, but you only have 30 seconds to purchase, or the offer is gone.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Friday its final guidelines for federal agencies to follow when they provide controlled unclassified information for use on nonfederal systems, such as information on systems used by contractors or universities that work with the government.
The guidance aims to ensure sensitive information remains confidential. The government established the controlled unclassified information (CUI) program to standardize how the executive branch handles unclassified information requiring protection, such as personally identifiable information.
Technology is a wonderful way to stay in touch, but it’s summer and time to put gadgets away for a bit. Whether you live in a region with year-round sunshine or brutal winters, taking those paid vacation days benefits not just you and your family but also the economy.
Do it for your health. An annual vacation can reduce the risk of having a heart attack by 50 percent. Vacationers also report getting three times more deep sleep after returning home. Getting away from the office decreases stress and increases recuperative powers, reducing the number of sick days used annually.
A spate of commercial airliner crashes along the equator in Southeast Asian waters has taken the lives of several hundred passengers and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft equipment. A lack of concrete evidence of mechanical causes often results in a default decision of pilot error.
Yet, the aircraft may have been done in by an unavoidable freak atmospheric effect unique to the equatorial region. The airline flights involved include: Air France AF447, lost June 1, 2009, over the Atlantic near the equator; Adam Air DHI 574, January 1, 2007; Malaysia Airlines MH370, March 7, 2014; and most recently, AirAsia Flight QZ 8501, December 28, 2014.
Terrorists, their supporters and other adversarial groups and individuals are finding new and creative ways to use the law against their enemies. The tactics create hesitation on the battlefield, cast doubt on the legality of military operations and ultimately can change the way nations fight. Recent cases, though, indicate the courts may be catching on.
So often these days, as I sail along in my second year of retirement, people—very nicely—say to me, “Thank you for your service.” I appreciate that deeply, and I think every veteran does. Some veterans have served just a year or two, of course, and some grizzled folks like me stayed in for well over three decades. But regardless of the length of service, we all enjoy that momentary sense of being part of something far larger than just ourselves—Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and so on.
But lately, I have been thinking about the many ways people serve their nation.
The Electronic Security Association (ESA), a professional trade association that represents the electronic life safety and security industry, launched a website geared at connecting people interested in careers in the security with companies that are hiring. GetIntoSecurity.com includes a resources section for job hunters, a resources section for career and guidance counselors, and descriptions of the types of security industry jobs available to students, military veterans and retirees.
National Public Radio (NPR) released a humorous, touching and all-around awesome video today, capturing tweets and photographs by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, who launched to the International Space Station in May 2014 for a six-month space mission.