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Army Acquisition Chief Looks Beyond Fixed Pricing

April 2, 2007 Congress wants the Army to expand its use of firm fixed-price contracts, according to its top procurement executive. But no single contracting method can reform the acquisition process, said Claude Bolton, assistant secretary of the army for acquisition, logistics and technology. For one thing, the Army has used plenty of...

Future Combat Systems Goes Woof!

April 2, 2007 One of a series of professional-looking advertising shorts to support the Army’s struggling $120 billion Future Combat Systems features an earthquake-devastated city resembling Los Angeles. (Click here to watch it; scroll down to “Aftershock.”) The video, released earlier this year, highlights the airborne networking capabilities FCS should provide, its robotic...

Army May Not Be Ready For Passive RFID

April 2, 2007 The Army wants to overcome challenges to passive radio frequency identification tags -- which, unlike active RFID tags that are powered by batteries, only emit radio signals when a scanner provides energy by scanning the tags. Although the service is under a Defense Department-wide mandate to adopt passive RFID tags,...

April 1 Fun For Geeks

April 2, 2007 I laughed and laughed yesterday when I saw the April Fool’s edition of CNET News. Luckily, they have a permanent link. My two favorite fake news stories: Homeland Security backs privacy plan: DHS official Stewart Baker says monitoring Americans through remote activation of computers' built-in video cameras will identify terrorists....

from govexec

Tripped Up

April 1, 2007 Close scrutiny and tough rules slow down interagency contracting shops. Nothing much distinguishes Crystal Square V, a generic office building at 251 18th St. South in Crystal City, Va., just outside Washington. The main tenant-the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity-is mostly hidden behind the fortified walls of a sensitive compartmented...

from govexec

Walking the Talk

April 1, 2007 Getting first responders on the same wavelength requires more than just new technology. Interoperability among first responders is a state of mind. That is, the ability of emergency incident commanders to talk to their counterparts in other jurisdictions and disciplines is not simply a matter of buying new equipment. According...

User-Oriented Netcentric Warfare

March 30, 2007 This week in updated military netcentric terminology: "Common operating picture" is out. "User-oriented picture" is in. “The user is the one who knows what they need,” said Cheryl Roby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for resources. Roby spoke Thursday at the annual Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems industry day...

Be Thankful To Be A Civil Servant

March 30, 2007 Being a civil servant is a calling. But keep in mind that no matter how bad it might get, it’s often much worse in the private sector. Consider what electronic retailer Circuit City is doing. Here's what the San Diego Union Tribune reported this week: Circuit City said yesterday [March...

The Lowdown on Google Apps

March 30, 2007 Google’s ballyhooed venture into Web applications may be suffering a setback. As InfoWorld has been reporting, Google’s premium online application suite has suffered three significant downtime failures in March. “Google is having problems keeping its uptime pledge to some paying customers of its Google Apps suite of hosted services, throwing...

Patent Office On Speed

March 29, 2007 The United States Patent and Trademark Office is trying out a program to speed up the time it takes to issue a patent. The Commerce Department agency announced earlier this month that it issued its first patent under an accelerated examination program that began in August 2006. “In return for...