Critical Factors

Deloitte's 2008 Industry Outlook: A Look Around the Corner predicts eight business trends that will cut across multiple sectors of the U.S. economy, including state and local governments:



Environmental sustainability

Rising energy and health-care costs


Technology use and integration

The 2008 presidential election

Talent management


The Bluetooth technology used in hands-free cell phones also is helping Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bleill walk again after he lost both his legs above the knees while on patrol in Iraq.

Computer chips in each leg send signals to motors in the joints of his artificial legs so the knees and ankles move coordinatively. Bleill's prosthetics have Bluetooth receivers strapped to the ankle. The Bluetooth device on each leg tells the other leg what it's doing and how it's moving - whether walking, standing or climbing steps.

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that connects cell phones to ear pieces, computers to printers and MP3 players to speakers. Like many electronics used today, Bleill's must be charged overnight. -

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Karen Stewartson, Managing Editor Karen Stewartson  | 

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.