The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (Spawar) center in Charleston, S.C., is testing Next Generation Internet (NGI) technologies so that the rest of the federal government can enjoy the benefits sooner.
Geographic information systems may be the government's favorite computer application. GIS can map resources, count the population and plot planned improvements. But, historically, GIS applications have run in tightly controlled environments on desktop PCs and workstations.
Most agencies find managing computers that are hardwired to their servers challenging enough without trying to handle tiny devices that users carry around with them. But as those portable devices become missioncritical, then managing them will also become critical.
To try to cut through the fog of war, the Army uses tactical operation systems (TOS) computer networks that collect information about troop positions and movements. But battle is messy, and computers don't respond well when resources unexpectedly become unavailable. In a pervasive computing environment, such disorder would be the norm.
Here in the early days of the Information Age, networked computing is straightforward: string wires among PCs and call it a local-area network, then connect that to the Internet. 'Network' equals 'wires' and 'computer' equals 'PC.'
To reduce the amount of equipment that telecommuters have to lug home and maintain, the Department of Veterans Affairs is issuing home office-class multifunction printers from Hewlett-Packard Co. to employees who work from home.
The term 'multifunction printer,' or MFP for short, conjures up confusing images. People tend to think of a hardtouse, thermal paper fax machine they once saw that could also spew out curledup facsimiles of paper documents (calling them 'copies' seemed a stretch).
Mitsubishi is the gold standard in bigscreen TVs, so it makes sense that the company would work to expand its comparatively small presence in the computer monitor market. At $292, the Diamond Plus 73 is the company's effort to make the benefits of a flatscreen display available to customers on a budget.
Computer monitors, like obsolete televisions, tend to outlast their usefulness. Onceacceptable 15inch SVGA monitors just won't cut it with today's graphically oriented software. What should agencies do with old equipment? It is not only environmentally irresponsible to send them to landfills; that option usually costs money.