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Archive for September 2009

DorobekInsider: NASA names Linda Cureton as the new NASA CIO

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NASA has announced internally that NASA Goddard Space Flight Center CIO Linda Cureton will be the new NASA CIO.

NASA has taken its time conducting an extensive search to replace former NASA CIO Jonathan Pettus. Pettus decided to step down last year. In January, Bobby German was named the acting CIO. NASA actually conducted two searches — one last year that eventually lapsed and one starting in January. NASA officials determined that it was best if the new administration had a role in the selection process.

Cureton has been a rising star in the CIO community. She is well respected — and well liked at NASA Goddard. And she has become one of the most thoughtful leaders in the government CIO community. She is also an active user of collaborative tools — she has one of the better government IT blogs — and she actually uses Twitter. And she spurred NASA Goddard to create Spacebook, which is something like Facebook but for NASA Goddard. Hear Cureton talk about Spacebook with Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller here.

She also teaches piano lessons — I don’t know how she has the time.

Her current bio:

Ms. Linda Y. Cureton is the Director of the Information Technology and Communications Directorate and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). As the CIO, Ms. Cureton is responsible for ensuring that GSFC’s information assets are acquired and managed consistent with Agency and Federal Government policies. She is responsible for ensuring that the Center’s Information Technology strategy aligns with NASA’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. The Information Technology and Communications Directorate: provides the information infrastructure and tools that effectively and securely support management, science, research, and technology programs; develops, implements, and operates specialized IT systems to support mission planning and operation; and provides systems that disseminate information to the public and that preserve NASA’s information assets.

Prior to her arrival at GSFC, Ms. Cureton was the Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Science and Technology and the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The Office of Science and Technology is responsible for providing leadership in the innovative and efficient application of science and technology used to collect, clarify, and communicate information needed to reduce violent crime, collect revenue and protect the public. As the ATF Deputy CIO, she was responsible for ensuring that the use of Information Technology for the Bureau’s mission and business requirements fulfill customer and stakeholder needs.

Previously, Ms. Cureton served as Associate CIO, Acting Deputy CIO, and Acting CIO of the Department of Energy. There, she had a broad range of responsibilities including: strategic planning, network and information security, information architecture, capital planning and IT investment, network and telecommunications services, operational support of voice, data, video, LAN/WAN, and computer systems, and application development and maintenance for corporate systems.

Ms. Cureton also served the Department of Justice in the Justice Management Division and was responsible for managing the Department of Justice Data Centers, which supported mission critical computing requirements for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Prisons, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

As a strong advocate for the practical application of technology, she serves as a member of organizations such as the Government Information Technology Investment Council, the Information Technology Review Board, and Women in Technology.

Ms. Cureton earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Howard University in 1980 graduating magna cum laude with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Latin. She also received a Master of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1994, and a Post-Master’s Advanced Certificate in Applied Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1996.

She performed extensive research in numerical analysis and has been published in the “Journal of Sound and Vibration.”

She currently resides in Maryland with her husband and mother.

Cureton’s on Twitter, Facebookand LinkedIn

She was on a Women in Technology panel that I moderated earlier this year. Read the “liner notes” here.

Written by cdorobek

September 21, 2009 at 11:21 AM

DorobekInsider: What you read for the third week of September 2009 for DorobekInsider.com, the Daily Debrief, and Federal News Radio

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The stories you read during the third week of September 2009 (the 13th-19th) on the DorobekInsider.com, the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and FederalNewsRadio.com.

First… DorobekInsider.com

  1. DorobekInsider: Avaya wins the auction for Nortel Government Solutions, Nortel says
  2. DorobekInsider: OPM’s Berry reorganizes giving the CIO a more prominent role
  3. DorobekInsider: GSA’s Mike Sade, formerly with Commerce, quietly retires
  4. DorobekInsider: DOD’s developing Web 2.0 policy — and collaborating around security
  5. The DorobekInsider Reader: National Security Personnel System recommendations
  6. DorobekInsider to judge Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest
  7. DorobekInsider: What you read for the second week of September 2009 on DorobekInsider, Daily Debrief
  8. DorobekInsider: CIO Council publishes gov 2.0 guidance
  9. DorobekInsider: What happened in the federal government when we were away on vacation
  10. DorobekInsider: What are the most annoying buzz words?
  11. DorobekInsider: What question would you ask President Obama — Mine: Define “bureaucrat&r
  12. DorobekInsider: 9/11 remembrances… and 9/11 hopes
  13. DorobekInsider: The buzz of federal government IT: Two scorching IG report on VA IT… sex, lies… but no video tape
  14. DorobekInsider: GSA names Dave McClure to lead the Office of Citizen Services
  15. DorobekInsider: The VA IG reports — what are the next steps? We ask government IT veterans

The most read items on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris:

  1. Spending season: Why this FY is different
  2. Who will inherit your TSP account?
  3. Pay parity still lacking for federal civilian employees
  4. Special fed shakes his groove thing on WFED
  5. Nortel Government Solutions, Avaya sign agreement
  6. TSP Talk: Tobacco Bill signed into law
  7. GAO: Long-term costs of BRAC uncertain
  8. TSA employees closer to collective bargaining
  9. Md. BRAC coordinator reacts to GAO report
  10. Some DISA workers facing tough decision
  11. How Web 2.0 is changing responses to emergencies
  12. FSS preview: NIST releases cybersecurity report
  13. Washington Center, IRS partner up to turn interns into feds
  14. GSA’s McClure, Coleman discuss Apps.gov, moving to the cloud
  15. Thursday Afternoon Federal Newscast
  16. How the per diem rates are calculated
  17. Fed agencies make ‘Best Place to Launch Your Career’ list
  18. New FAR regulations create unintended consequences
  19. CMAP: A new leadership program designed for you
  20. Sunlight Foundation’s mock SCOTUS site now online
  21. OPM wants to change sick leave rules
  22. Your Turn preview: The ABC’s of LTC coverage
  23. DataMasher wins Sunlight’s Apps for America 2 contest
  24. SalesForce.com assists agencies in moving to the cloud
  25. Moving money from an old 401(k) into your TSP
  26. DHS one step closer to having its own home
  27. VA deputy secy responds to troubling IG report
  28. DoD will hire thousands of new workers
  29. Wednesday Afternoon Federal Newscast
  30. Analysis: Where does NSPS go now?
  31. BRAC update from two local congressmen
  32. DHS renews SBINet contract with Boeing
  33. Your Turn preview
  34. FCC preps for communications during an emergency
  35. New wiki Riski pulls together financial regulatory proposals
  36. E-Verify ruling & contractors
  37. Will Maryland be the new home of cybersecurity?
  38. What do students think of the Where the Jobs Are report?
  39. Why you might want to be wary of cloud computing
  40. Booz Allen Hamilton uses 2.0 tools to work with the gov’t
  41. Analysis: PPS Where the Jobs Are report
  42. Get ready for Internet 2020
  43. Federal Contracting workforce is growing
  44. Microsoft Federal focuses on options in the cloud
  45. How well do CBP checkpoints work?
  46. NCPC plans to rehabilitate the Lincoln Memorial
  47. Senate examines security clearance process
  48. Fallout from that USCG exercise on 9/11/09
  49. On contracting and saving dollars

And the most rad news stories from FederalNewsRadio.com:

  1. Short time deadline looms for federal Long Term Care
  2. Agencies report progress, at last, on security clearance reform
  3. Move money from other funds into the TSP
  4. OMB launches cloud storefront, Apps.gov
  5. Federal Teleworking: A look at the numbers
  6. How to move money from other funds into the TSP
  7. Senate: Con artists are using stimulus scams to fleece citizens
  8. NASA, OMB to make cloud announcement next week
  9. Smithsonian: Help pick a new setting for the Hope Diamond
  10. How Web 2.0 has changed the business of government
  11. OMB controller nominee Werfel would take deeper look at DoD’s books
  12. Handicapping the winners and losers in the race for Defense dollars
  13. DHS uses week-long COOP, telework exercise to prepare for pandemic
  14. Senate plots cybercrime counterattack
  15. Long-time fed Meyerriecks to come back at ODNI
  16. Power outages prompt move of National Park Service datacenter
  17. TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky: Office to be needed for ‘years’
  18. The FCC breaks down silos to help Americans discount, not disconnect
  19. Spouse beneficiary rules to change for TSP
  20. Helping the federal government transition to the cloud
  21. DHS renews SBINet contract with Boeing despite shortcomings
  22. Security, efficiency top of mind for deploying federal cloud
  23. Lawmakers press White House on naming permanent cyber czar
  24. Apps.gov overview clears up the confusion over cloud computing
  25. White House cuts federal pay raise
  26. Veterans Affairs’ “Innovation Competition” is leading by example
  27. Google, SalesForce help government transition to the cloud
  28. Federal News Radio Reports
  29. Czar Wars: Sen. Susan Collins voices accountability concerns
  30. RAT Board’s Devaney keeps the stimulus faith
  31. CIO Council offers cyber guidelines for Web 2.0
  32. FHA to bring on first chief risk officer
  33. NSPS remains on life support
  34. Apps for the Army coming this month
  35. GSA equips employees with Web 2.0 rules
  36. OPM preparing for pandemic by adjusting sick leave policy
  37. Senate panel gets stimulus tracking update
  38. NIH to test use of commercial identity management providers
  39. Embassy guard scandal brews in Afghanistan
  40. DHS marks new milestone with St. E’s campus groundbreaking
  41. Telework, transportation top issues for BRAC
  42. OPM shops for a culture change
  43. Agencies taking diverse paths to performance measurement
  44. The reconstruction of NSPS
  45. TSP Roth 401(k) option: A history
  46. The end for NSPS?
  47. Analyst: USASpending.gov needs serious improvements
  48. Contractor integrity, performance to face higher level of scrutiny
  49. Predator drones help CBP along all borders
  50. GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates

Written by cdorobek

September 20, 2009 at 7:50 PM

DorobekInsider: CIO Council publishes gov 2.0 guidance

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The federal CIO Council has published guidance for the secure use of “social media” — and they are branding it version 1.0.

The formal title: Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media by Federal Departments and Agencies, v1.0

And abstract:

The use of social media for federal services and interactions is growing tremendously, supported by initiatives from the administration, directives from government leaders, and demands from the public. This situation presents both opportunity and risk. Guidelines and recommendations for using social media technologies in a manner that minimizes the risk are analyzed and presented in this document.

This document is intended as guidance for any federal agency that uses social media services to collaborate and communicate among employees, partners, other federal agencies, and the public.

Note: The Federal CIO Council does not endorse the use or imply preference for any vendor commercial products or services mentioned in this document.

I’m reading the full document right now. My immediate reaction is to do away with the term “social media.” And it isn’t just a semantic issue. First off, I don’t think the term “social media” is accurate. Most of them are tools more then they are “media.” And yes, there is a social aspect to these tools, but the reason they are powerful is that they are collaborative. So I prefer the term “collaborative technologies.”

Yesterday, I heard NASA Goddard Space Flight Center CIO Linda Cureton speak at an Input breakfast — and she made the same point… And so does Harvard Business School Prof. Andrew McAfee in his upcoming book Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges.

I’m reading the document now… and I’ll post my thoughts over the weekend. I hope you will share your thoughts as well.

Find a link to the document here… or read it below:

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

September 18, 2009 at 3:45 PM

DorobekInsider: What question would you ask President Obama — Mine: Define “bureaucrat”

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President Obama is running the gambit this weekend — five Sunday public affairs shows. My personal favorite is the new CNN Sunday show, State of the Union with John King, and not just because my good friend, Michelle Jaconi, is the executive producer. (Yes, the show is remarkably produced, but… if you haven’t checked out the 11p ET segment, they pull together what has been on all the other Sunday shows… I’m not quite sure how they get it all done, but… it’s great stuff!)

In addition to CNN’s State of the Union, President Obama will also be on ABC’s This Week, NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, and Univision.)

And CNN’s State of the Union Twitter feed asked the simple question yesterday: If you could ask one question for President Obama, what would it be?

My question: Federal workers have felt bruised out of the health care debate — and the important work that feds do has been diminished — almost dismissed. At every turn, people denouncing the work of government — and then, even the president used the “b-word” — bureaucrat — in his NYT editorial, as the WP’s Federal Eye pointed out:

As the health care reform debate continues, some close observers have noticed President Obama’s increased use of the word “bureaucrat” when assuring audiences that the government will not intervene in future health care decisions.

In Sunday’s New York Times, Obama stated, “If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need.”…

Use of “the b-word” is frowned upon by federal workers unions and other longtime members of the federal bur… (gulp), uh, federal government community.

While I don’t really have a problem with the term, I understand most government workers do — and my sense is that is largely because of the tone that goes along with it.

Max Stier, the president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, wrote an op-ed in the WP on Saturday headlined, What Ever Happened To ‘Cool’?

It seems that you are willing to use — at least for the sake of health-care reform — the misguided language that government workers are incompetent and can’t be trusted. It’s a flawed strategy that only perpetuates the lack of trust in our government and reinforces negative stereotypes.

One can legitimately agree or disagree with the proposal to have a publicly run health-insurance option as part of comprehensive health-care reform, but there is no need to denigrate the quality or ability of our federal workers during this debate.

The truth, as you know, is that government “bureaucrats” are getting it right every day. They are on the front lines working to address the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, working on issues related to two foreign wars, working to ensure that we remain competitive in an increasingly global market, and working to keep us safe day in and day out.

They deserve better from their president. As the nation’s leading public servant, you are their boss, and they take their cues from you.

And we’ll be talking to the Partnership for Public Service about this today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris.

So… my question for the President: What would he say to federal workers these days? What’s the message that he is sending?

What question would you ask the president?

Written by cdorobek

September 18, 2009 at 9:47 AM

DorobekInsider to judge Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest

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Coming up in just a few weeks — a great benefit: The Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest… and the great part about it — I get to be one of the judges.

The contest is in it’s 16th year — and it is an opportunity for journalists, politicians, sports figures and other celebrities to compete for the title of Funniest Celebrity in Washington.

The Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest, now in its 16th year, is an opportunity for journalists, politicians, sports figures and other local celebrities to compete for the title of Funniest Celebrity in Washington…

There are three rules defining who can compete for the title:
* Someone who is from Washington can compete
* Someone who lives in Washington now can compete
* The person can not be a professional comedian who performs comedy for a living.

The event features anywhere between eight and twelve celebrities, each performing three to five minutes of stand-up comedy. If they prefer to do a humorous skit or song, that is fine.

Contest Information:

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: The DC Improv Comedy Club and Restaurant
Address:
DC Improv
1140 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036-4001

More information on this year’s event…

REP. JACKIE SPEIER, DAN GLICKMAN ADDED TO FUNNIEST CELEBRITY LINE-UP
GEICO Gecko to Appear; Washington Legend Chef Geoff Tracy, Washington Examiner’s Mark Tapscott and Others to Compete for Comedy Crown on September 30

WASHINGTON, DC – Washington’s most entertaining night just got funnier, as producer Richard Siegel announced more politicians, pundits, policymakers and general celebrities to compete in the 16th annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest. The event takes place on Wednesday, September 30th at 7pm at the world-famous DC Improv (1140 Connecticut Ave, NW).

Newly-announced contestants include Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), former Secretary of Agriculture and current President of the Motion Pictures Association of America Dan Glickman, prolific Washington-area restaurateur Chef Geoff Tracy and Washington Examiner Editorial Page Editor Mark Tapscott. They join political commentator Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, veteran contestant Grover Norquist (President, Americans for Tax Reform), Richard Miniter (Vice President of Opinion, The Washington Times), Count Gore De Vol (WDCA-TV), Anna Mulrine (US News and World Report) and Jeremy Ben Ami (J Street Family of Organizations) in competing for the title of Washington’s Funniest Celebrity.

Also added to the show are special performances by the GEICO Gecko, star of nationwide advertising campaigns and Robert George from the New York Post. Former Funniest Celebrity champion Matt Cooper of Talking Points Memo, will also perform in a non-competitive set.

Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from bringing good humor to Congress, as well as to his home state of Nebraska, where he served as Governor before joining the Senate.

Baratunde Thurston, a popular Washington-born comedian and editor of The Onion, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Former CNN Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre, WFED-AM anchor Chris Dorobek and WTOP-FM’s “Man About Town” Bob Madigan have been added to the list of judges. Previously announced judges include, Karen Tumulty of Time Magazine, Patrick Gavin from Politico, Margaret Carlson from Bloomberg News, Kiki Ryan and Jeff Dufour from The Washington Examiner, Clarence Page, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist from The Chicago Tribune, and Nora McAlvanah of The National Journal will lead an all-star cavalcade of judges for the event.

Legendary ABC news anchor Sam Donaldson will throw out the ceremonial first joke.

Individual tickets for the event are $200, while a VIP package of a table for eight, seating with a celebrity and VIP reception passes costs $5,000

Proceeds from the event will benefit STANDUP FOR KIDS, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 to help rescue homeless and at-risk youth. With national headquarters in Atlanta, GA, STANDUP FOR KIDS is run almost entirely by volunteers. For more information, please visit www.standupforkids.org.

For more information about the Contest and tickets, contact Richard Siegel at (202) 250-9193 or visit www.funniestcelebrity.org or www.dcimprov.com.

Written by cdorobek

September 15, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Posted in Circuit, community

DorobekInsider: Avaya wins the auction for Nortel Government Solutions, Nortel says

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Update: On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris Tuesday, we spoke to Chuck Saffell, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Nortel Government Solutions, Nortel’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary. Hear that conversation here:

Many people have been watching what happens with Nortel Government Solutions after the parent company, Nortel Networks, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Nortel has scores of government users — it operates one of the largest voice over IP networks anywhere for the Social Security Administration.

Nortel announced today that Avaya for Nortel’s enterprise solutions business, which includes Nortel Government Solutions, $900 million cash, with an additional $15 million reserved for an employee-retention program.

The WSJ notes:

With the acquisition, Avaya’s market share will surpass Cisco’s in North America, giving it access to Nortel’s corporate customers, which include more than 80 of the Fortune 100 companies. Avaya will also be able to expand its distribution capability through Nortel’s network of reseller partners.

Last week, Verizon issued a court filing arguing that the sale of Nortel’s enterprise business jeopardizes critical U.S. law enforcement, anti-terrorism and national defense interests, because, the WSJ reports, Avaya has said that it won’t take on Verizon support contracts.

“Communications networks critical to the operation of the federal government, and the defense, safety, health and security of the American public are at risk,” Verizon said in a court filing Wednesday.

Avaya said it was in discussions with Verizon to try to negotiate arrangements to support the Verizon contracts, the WSJ reports.

Read Nortel’s release here… or below…

Nortel Selects Avaya as Successful Bidder for Enterprise Solutions Business

• Will sell the assets of the Enterprise Solutions Business, and shares of Nortel Government Solutions and DiamondWare to Avaya
• Avaya to Pay US$900 Million in Cash to Nortel, with an Additional Pool of US$15 Million Reserved for an Employee Retention Program
• Canadian and U.S. Court Approvals of Sale will be Sought at a Joint Hearing on September 15
• Combination Provides Current and Future Customers with Investment Protection and Clear Path Forward

TORONTO – Nortel* Networks Corporation announced today that it, its principal operating subsidiary Nortel Networks Limited, and certain of its other subsidiaries, including Nortel Networks Inc. and Nortel Networks UK Limited, have concluded a successful auction of substantially all of the assets of Nortel’s global Enterprise Solutions business as well as the shares of Nortel Government Solutions Incorporated and DiamondWare, Ltd. Avaya Inc. (Avaya) has emerged as the winning bidder agreeing to pay US$900 million in cash to Nortel, with an additional pool of US$15 million reserved for an employee retention program.

The sale is subject to court approvals in the U.S., Canada, France and Israel as well as regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and certain post-closing purchase price adjustments.

Commenting on the announcement, Nortel Enterprise Solutions President Joel Hackney said:

“This is fantastic news for our customers, as this will empower us to continue to deliver industry-leading solutions and services focused on unlocking the enterprise business potential enabled by unified communications. It provides the capability to chart our future with laser-focus, enabling customers to compete in new ways with greater scale and resources. We look forward to working closely with our customers, partners and stakeholders during this pre-close phase to ensure that we continue to innovate to meet customers’ needs with high-performance, efficient and secure communications solutions.

“As we work through integration planning, it is business as usual, and we will continue to focus on supporting our installed base,” Hackney said.

“Through deal close and beyond, we will deliver on our stated customer commitments and maintain high levels of service and support. We will ensure our customers can fully leverage their existing Nortel investment as they benefit from the complementary capabilities of the Nortel and the Avaya portfolio of products and services.”

In addition, given the complementary strengths of the two companies in the U.S. Federal Government market, the combined operations are anticipated to yield a company best-suited to address the unique information technology requirements of the civil government and military. Noted Chuck Saffell, CEO of Nortel Government Solutions:

“The companies’ strengths in the information technologies sector of the U.S. Federal Government are remarkably complementary. Our combined product offerings, as well as our strong professional services business and solutions approach provide a win-win for both our government customers and our business. With our combined knowledge of the federal market, we will be focused on delivering the best-performing, most cost-effective capabilities available to support our customers’ mission. Our goal continues to be helping our customers provide security, livelihood and well-being for the citizens of the United States.”

Customers look forward to the potential the future holds for them.

“Nortel earned the trust of our user group members by delivering innovative, reliable communications solutions and ensuring high-levels of service and support, “ said Victor Bohnert, Executive Director of the International Nortel Networks Users Association. “With the announcement of today’s purchase by Avaya, we look forward to extending that relationship forward to serve the business communications needs of our constituency base across the globe.”

Partners also benefit from the move.

Both Nortel and Avaya channel partners will have opportunities to grow their business as the move to unified communications accelerates and the need for advanced services to design, deploy and manage such solutions expand. “The independent members of the Nortel Distributor Alliance Council are excited about the future potential that today’s announcement brings to the tens of thousands of enterprise customers we support,” said Rick Dawybida, President of DAC Americas. “We look forward to a commitment focused on ensuring customers can fully leverage their prior investments while also getting expanded choices. The combined portfolio capability of Avaya and Nortel will offer the marketplace industry-leading solutions as companies move aggressively to unified communications.”

While today’s auction is a significant step in the overall sale process, it is not the final step. Nortel will work diligently with Avaya to close the sale later this year, subject to the timing of regulatory approvals. Nortel will seek Canadian and U.S. court approvals of the proposed sale agreement at a joint hearing on September 15, 2009. The sale close is expected late in the fourth quarter 2009. In some EMEA jurisdictions this transaction is subject to information and consultation with employee representatives.

As previously announced, the Company does not expect that its common shareholders or the preferred shareholders of Nortel Networks Limited will receive any value from the creditor protection proceedings and expects that the proceedings will result in the cancellation of these equity interests.

Written by cdorobek

September 14, 2009 at 6:24 PM

DorobekInsider: DOD’s developing Web 2.0 policy — and collaborating around security

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Too often, enterprise 2.0 and security seem to be in conflict.

The Defense Department is on the front lines of this debate. DOD is now fleshing out its policy that could be released publicly later this year.

Much of this started when it was reported that the Marine Corps banned Web 2.0 applications. (As NextGov’s Bob Brewin notes, the Marine Corps didn’t bad Web 2.0. They just banned it on the Marine Corps networks. Hear Brewin talk about it here.) Some might argue that it is an issue of symantics — if you ban these applications from your network and computers, doesn’t it become a difference without a difference.

That being said, the Marine Corps stories spurred the Pentagon to look at the formulation of a DOD-wide policy. And the Pentagon has been collecting ideas and opinions online at web20guidanceforum.dodlive.mil. On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief, we spoke to Jack Holt, DoD’s senior strategist for emerging media. Hear that conversation here. (Read Holt’s intro to the Web 2.0 Guidance Forum — and the comments — here.)

There have been a few Web 2.0 policies out there. The Navy was the first… and GSA issued one earlier this year… And we told you about the British government’s Web 2.0 policy earlierwe even got to talk to them about it — but the DOD policy could be the significant moment for the evolution of enterprise 2.0.

Unfortunately, there are a few factions that have evolved — the big ones are the Web 2.0 camp, of course… the other being the security camp, who argue that these tools just aren’t safe.

It seems enormously important that these factions talk to each other — in fact, why not use these tools to collaborate to find a solution. Both sides have very important issues, but there isn’t nearly enough respect for the opinions of the two sides.

* Web 2.0 — These tools tend to get discounted — they are unfairly called “social” networking. Harvard Business School Prof. Andrew McAfee, author of the upcoming book Enterprise 2.0, notes that he specifically doesn’t call it social networking because that discounts the use of these tools. In the end, enterprise 2.0 is about collaboration and information sharing — and that has been an issue confronting the government… in fact, confronting all organizations… for years. Enterprise 2.0 tools are built on the concept that all of us are smarter then each of us individually. And you can just read the 9/11 Commission’s final — in the end, we had the information around 9/11. We just couldn’t connect the dots. These tools could help us deal with that. We’re just in the early stages of that, but… there seems to be so much potential here.

* Security — The fact is we have to figure out how to do all of this securely. Government agencies — particularly DOD — have information that can’t be ‘out there.’ But there are also issues about some of these applications themselves — and, unfortunately, some of these companies seem to scoff at their responsibility for securing their applications. If this can’t be done securely, it won’t work. The questions is — what is the security framework?

One of the big issues is we don’t have to secure everything. Linton Wells II and Mark Drapeau recently wrote a paper for the National Defense University looking at national security and social software. One of their assessments was we have to determine what actually needs to be secure — and what doesn’t. I’m hoping that some of those issues will be addressed in the Obama administration’s transparency and openness initiative.

But the Defense Department deserves a lot of credit for trying to bring the Web 2.0 and the security people together. It seems to me there are real opportunities here — for both Web 2.0 and security.

Some additional reading:

Dennis McDonald’s Challenges Facing Development of a DoD “Web 2.0 Policy” [August 12, 2009]

Federal Times op-ed by Navy CIO Rob Carey: Navy, Marine Corps put Web 2.0 technology to work [February 24, 2009]

Federal News Radio 1500 AM: Agencies trying to find balance between Web 2.0, cybersecurity [August 28, 2009]

Written by cdorobek

September 14, 2009 at 7:44 AM