March 1, 2010    /    by

Action Required: End Coming for Windows 2000

Microsoft is warning that the extended support phase is ending for Windows 2000 (server and client), on July 13, 2010 .  In addition, other products with lapsing service ...

Microsoft is warning that the extended support phase is ending for Windows 2000 (server and client), on July 13, 2010 .  In addition, other products with lapsing service include: Windows XP Service Pack 2, Vista RTM, and Windows Server 2003.

Here's what GCN was reporting : " On Wednesday, a Microsoft lifecycle support blog post hinted at grim prospects for those who don't upgrade before that time. Simply put, the end of extended support for those products means that no more security updates will be delivered to patch vulnerabilities in those operating systems. Support articles will remain online, but just for a year. READ MORE

February 21, 2010    /    by

Pa School Laptops: Reasonable Security or a Privacy Violation?

Many schools around the nation issue student laptops. But what activities are allowed with those laptops by students or family members? What policies apply? What ...

Many schools around the nation issue student laptops. But what activities are allowed with those laptops by students or family members? What policies apply? What happens if a laptop gets lost or stolen? Equally important, what can be done if policies are broken?  How are policies enforced? What privacy rights do students have? What if network or security staff use these tools inappropriately?

These are just a few of the questions being asked by students, parents, lawyers and school administrators around the nation after a student claimed that his school spied on him with a webcam . In case you're not familiar with the case, here's an excerpt from philly.com : READ MORE

February 15, 2010    /    by

A New Buzz in the Air

 What's all the Buzz about? No, I'm not referring to the Olympics, an uptick in the economy or even springtime bees. Google ...

 What's all the Buzz about? No, I'm not referring to the Olympics, an uptick in the economy or even springtime bees. Google has a new social network service called Buzz. What makes this a bit different is the linkage with Gmail and other Google products. The Internet is full of analysis of Buzz -v- Facebook, so I won't go there.

 I haven't tried the product yet, although I have seen it pop up within my personal Gmail account. In fact, I wasn't even going to blog about this topic, until some interesting developments around privacy emerged last week. My view is that state and local IT officials can learn from this rollout. READ MORE

February 2, 2010    /    by

Vancouver Olympics: New Technology, Security & Infrastructure

 This is not your grandfather's winter games. Every Olympic city makes major investments in technology, security and infrastructure in the 21st Century, and ...

 This is not your grandfather's winter games. Every Olympic city makes major investments in technology, security and infrastructure in the 21st Century, and the Vancouver Winter Games are no exception.  The Olympic Cauldron will be lit on February 12, 2010. And yet, the hard work began immediately after Canada was selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics back in 2004.

Want some examples? READ MORE

January 25, 2010    /    by

Oracle, Sun and You

Now that Oracle's acquisition of Sun has been approved by the European Commission , what's next? That is, what does this merger mean for government technology ...

Now that Oracle's acquisition of Sun has been approved by the European Commission , what's next? That is, what does this merger mean for government technology leaders around the country?

Some readers may be thinking that this is old news, but this major deal has been on hold since April 2009 due to competition concerns.  The merger now looks certain to go through in the next few months or sooner.   READ MORE

January 17, 2010    /    by

Google - China Situation Has State & Local Implications

The world-wide media was full of stories this week regarding the Google situation in China. Articles ranged from the Global Implications of Google's ...

The world-wide media was full of stories this week regarding the Google situation in China. Articles ranged from the Global Implications of Google's Stand to a new perspective on Global Net Intrigue. There is no denying that this is a potential Internet game-changer in many ways that go way beyond just security and hacking challenges we all face over the next decade.

 But I"d like to point out a few related issues that may not be immediately evident. For example, what implications might this announcement have for cloud computing and/or Offshore Outsourcing? READ MORE

January 11, 2010    /    by

National Broadband Plan Delayed But Coming Soon

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski has asked congressional leaders for more time to deliver the much anticipated National Broadband Plan, ...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski has asked congressional leaders for more time to deliver the much anticipated National Broadband Plan, now due Feb. 17. According to Government Computer News (GCN), Genachowski said that,"this extension will not affect the FCC's budget for the National Broadband Plan, which was mandated as part of the National Recovery Act, and asked that it be accepted March 17."

 This entire process, which was kicked off last April, has taken much longer than orginally anticipated. The plan is an important driver for the nation's economic recovery. State and local governments have been very engaged in this broadband planning process, and many state planners are waiting eagerly for the final plan which will provide more guidance. Here's another excerpt from the GCN article: READ MORE

January 4, 2010    /    by

Watch Out - the Vooks are Coming!

What's around the corner for 2010? What new invention will be the next iPhone, iPod or blackberry? Are there any hot ...

What's around the corner for 2010? What new invention will be the next iPhone, iPod or blackberry? Are there any hot tech topics that CTOs need to be considering for their infrastructure budgets? Just as important for technology professionals, what Christmas presents might be showing up at a government office near you?

Over the holidays I was reading about upcoming innovations and technology predictions for the new year and beyond. Along the way, I came across a new term called "vooks." READ MORE

December 28, 2009    /    by

Remembering the First Decade

 As we approach a new decade in 2010, my mind instinctively goes back in time and scans the past decade.  My thoughts easily jump ...

 As we approach a new decade in 2010, my mind instinctively goes back in time and scans the past decade.

 My thoughts easily jump back to ten years ago as we prepared for Y2K and the new millennium. I recall the fear and excitement as we watched the local, national and international news on New Year's Eve to see if computer programs would crash and send the world into chaos. Our government technology teams spent over three years preparing for that night, and I remember the relief when all went well. READ MORE

December 21, 2009    /    by

Effectively Deploying Wireless LANs

Wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) have been around for years, but how can state and local governments manage wireless networks efficiently and effectively from an ...

Wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) have been around for years, but how can state and local governments manage wireless networks efficiently and effectively from an enterprise perspective? Assuming continued technology changes with budget challenges, what governance strategies can help balance security requirements while ensuring adoption and ease of use?  

Rhea Linn, who is our wireless LAN project manager for the Michigan Department of Information Technology's Office of Telecommunication, wrote an excellent article on this topic for State Tech Magazine. The article is offered as a best practice for wireless security and safeguarding wireless LANs. READ MORE