Mac makes work; Got Gucci?; Hooray for Hollywood; The next generation; And the winners are...

Mac makes work bills itself as a single access point for more than 1,000 federal grant programs. And single, in this case, says a lot. The Web site’s electronic grant applications work only with Microsoft Windows operating systems and are incompatible with other platforms, such as the Apple Macintosh systems.

The Web site will, however, expand its reach by offering a platform-independent viewer. Working with PureEdge Solutions, which created’s electronic forms, the site’s managers plan to offer the viewer by November.

Now, Mac users must use a Citrix Systems server on the Web site to get a viewer that acts like a Windows viewer. Grant applicants using other operating systems, such as Linux, Unix and GNU, have to take an extra step to complete grant applications via the Citrix server.

Got Gucci?
Computer Services Corp. is well-known as a government integrator, bringing information technology solutions to federal agencies. But CSC has another, less-well-known side. In a notice on its Web site, the company disclosed that the Italian fashion industry has tapped CSC’s expertise to gain control of costs and distribution problems. Luxury fashion houses want to own their own stores, said Angelo Calabrese, solution delivery manager for fashion at CSC Italy.

CSC is now working with more than 150 fashion clients to use a Web-based solution to contain costs, meet customer demands and plan marketing strategies. “Luxury companies increasingly want to own the whole distribution chain,” Calabrese said in a statement. Ferragamos, anyone?

Hooray for Hollywood
Hollywood is finally getting hip to IT and its potential for a story line. In two new movies, IT plays a starring role. In “Firewall,” Harrison Ford, the film’s dashing hero, is forced to rob a bank electronically. After all, he developed the code to keep it safe, so thieves think he should be able to hack into it easily.

In “The Sentinel,” due out in May, action hero Michael Douglas is a Secret Service agent who allegedly turns into an assassin. We’re sure Hollywood knew that the FBI’s Sentinel project would be the basis for all future federal investigative case management systems — or did they?

The next generation
It’s never too early to teach children about IT. And IMC did just that last week when it invited a group of elementary school students from Kent Elementary School in McLean, Va., to see how the Internet works. IMC is a solutions company based in Reston, Va., that has a partnership with the school. It created a program to help students of elementary age to understand and see, firsthand, how technology is applied.

And the winners are...
Five federal information-sharing programs recognized Feb. 15 with awards are:

  • The Bidirectional Health Information Exchange, a collaborative program between the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments that helps with the exchange of patient health information.

  • The State Department’s Interagency Data Exchange Application, which issues visas and performs background checks for immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications.

  • The Geospatial One-Stop e-government initiative, an Interior Department program that provides thousands of federal, state and local governments with access to geospatial data services via the portal.

  • The National Sex Offender Public Registry, a Justice Department program that makes state and territory public sex offender registries available online for public searches.

  • The Radio Frequency In-Transit Visibility system, an Army program that uses radio frequency identification tags to track military cargo in transit worldwide.

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