Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Posts Tagged ‘Technology

DorobekINSIDER: OMB memo lays out the policies to secure cloud computing using FedRAMP

leave a comment »

The Office of Management and Budget this morning posted a new memo [PDF or below] by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel laying out the administration’s initiative for cloud computing security.

FedRAMP logoKnown as FedRAMP — Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program— it is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a “do once, use many times” framework that will save cost, time, and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments.

The memo, titled Security Authorization of Information Systems in Cloud Computing Environments, has been widely anticipated and lays out the administration’s steps toward securing cloud computing.

Earlier this year, at a speech in California, VanRoekel suggested that FedRAMP could become mandatory.

Cloud computing is at the heart of the Obama administration’s key technology initiatives and is a prominent part of the White House 25 point IT reform plan [PDF].

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

December 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Gartner’s 10 technologies worth watching

with one comment

I mentioned earlier in the week that the Gartner Symposium has been going on this week down at Disney World in Orlando.

One of the interesting things that Gartner presents each year around this time is its list of technologies worth watching for the next year. Technically, Gartner describes them as “strategic technologies,” which the market research firm describes as “one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.”

With that, the list of strategic technologies:

  • Virtualization
  • Cloud computing
  • Servers — Beyond Blades
  • Web-Oriented Architectures
  • EnterpriseMashups
  • Specialized Systems
  • Social Software and Social Networking
  • Unified Communications
  • Business Intelligence
  • Green IT

So they don’t have Web 2.0 together — Gartner has broken it up into various bits.

These are directed at industry over all. We all know that governments are… different. For example, I still think that cloud computing is a tough sell in government. Enterprise mash-ups can be incredibly powerful. (See the CJD-fav Virtual Alabama.)

Get more information and details on this list here… and Gartner has even posted a video with officials talking about why these matter.

Written by cdorobek

October 15, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Posted in Technology

Tagged with , CJD’s brush with greatness… e-book edition

with 3 comments Kindle eBook

This past weekend, before starting the new gig on Federal News Radio, we traveled out to this very nice resort in Tuscon, AZ for a few days of R&R before jumping in to the new job.

As I was wallowing in the pool, I saw a gentleman reading a Kindle. The Kindle, for those of you who have not seen it, is’s e-book. As a gadget guy, of course, I was one of the first in line late last year when it was introduced… just before the holiday season, of course.

So, I saw this guy reading the Kindle. I asked him, ‘So, do you like your Kindle?’

‘Of course,’ he said. ‘Do you have one?’

‘Yes,’ I answered. ‘I love it.’ I then went on to give him my review of the Kindle. I do, after all, adore my Kindle. That being said, I do have some recommendations. (More on that in a moment.) I told this person my critiques and then told him that I understood that some of them might be in Kindle 2.0 because I had read that Amazon was preparing to come out with a next generation of Kindle — Kindle 2.0, if you will.

Minutes later, from the other side of the pool, I thought to myself… that person looks a lot like Jeff Bezos, the CEO of (Famous people like Bezos don’t have “Fortune” across their foreheads when you see them out in the ‘real’ world.) And, when I got back to my room, I Google’s Bezo’s wife, figuring that there may be many people who may look like Bezos, but the chance of seeing a man who looks like Bezos with a woman who looks like his wife is right there between slim and none.

And, as you may be able to predict by now, in fact, I did tell CEO Jeff Bezos my thoughts about the Kindle.

So… back to my own review of the Kindle. (I have pulled other reviews about the Kindle together here.) It is unclear about how successful the Kindle has been, there is no doubt that it is a significant step in how we will view ‘paper’ in the future.

As I said, I am a gadget guy. Yes, I have an iPhone, which I adore, despite the short battery life… and I will get the latest iPod when it comes out. What can I say — I love to be on the bleeding edge. And so when introduced the Kindle e-book late last year, as a regular and long-time user, I was in line.

Over the nine months that I have had my Kindle, I have a number of friends who immediately say, ‘Argh! It’s not a book! This official marks the end of civilization as we know it!’ (OK — they may not use that exact language, but… it’s not far from it.)

That is generally true — until they see it. People largely expect it to be like reading a computer screen. It is nowhere close. It is simply a pleasure to read. (Don’t you wish you could increase the point size of some books? Well, you can with a Kindle.)

I have to say that I have come to really adore my Kindle.

As a regular traveler and a regular reader, I can carry scores of books — and get my beloved newspapers — on my Kindle. Currently, I have some 45 books on theeBook. Each day, I also get the NYT, WSJ, WP and — all delivered electronically.

There are some frustrations. As I told Jeff — yes, we’re THAT close now — I think the on-off switch, which is located on the back of the device, is poorly placed. The holder for the Kindle is also clumsy. And the Kindle isn’t as elegant as it should be. (We’ve all gotten used to Apple’s designs.) And I have grown frustrated with publications, such as the WP, that only provide headlines, requiring that you click through to stories to get more information. (TheNYT offers a paragraph that provides you with more information about the story.)

I also have friends who complain that there just aren’t enough books that are Kindle ready. (To be honest, I just have not found this to be a problem yet.)

So the Kindle isn’t perfect, but… it is simply remarkable. As somebody who loves to read and loves newspapers and magazine, I can carry loads of them with me all in a trim package. I no longer have to worry about where I’ll be able to find my morning papers. I know — I’ll get them delivered right on my Kindle. And it is imminently easy to read a Kindle “page.” The device uses something called electronic “ink,” which is as easy to read as a book.

You can also load your own documents on to your Kindle either by e-mailing them to a specific Web site or by using the connection that comes with your device. (Imagine being able to carry all that reading material right on your Kindle without having to carry around all that paper.)

So, over all, I give my Kindle a strong B+ rating… and I’m anxiously awaiting the Kindle 2.0. (I’m sure Jeff is sending me one!)
Update: I got a note Thursday morning from a friend who also has a Kindle. His critique:

As you know, I agree with you completely. Here are a few faults you didn’t mention: if you want to “flip back” or go forward to re-read or read a page you have to do it page by page; a real time-waster and a pain in the ass. The Next Page and Back “buttons” could be placed more sensibly, especially Back.

I find I’m reading more (and I’m a voracious reader) as I’m never without the Kindle and use it almost every spare moment.

Written by cdorobek

September 10, 2008 at 11:00 PM Google’s Chrome browser

with one comment

You’ve heard of Internet Explorer and Firefox. Well, today, search giant Google launched its browser: Chrome. And it’s back to the browser wars.

Windows users can download the Google browser by going to

There were all sorts of stories about Chrome today, including a piece in Government Computer News, and Google offers something of an explainer. The tech site CNet offers complete coverage including a warning to read the fine print on the Chrome terms of service, which allows the company to install updates automatically, among other things. I’m sure government security czars will love that, right?

What it probably will mean is that browsers are going to start getting better and more innovative again — ah, competition!

I have not downloaded Chrome yet because… well, I have a Mac at home and Google doesn’t have a Mac version yet. Given that Microsoft abandoned support for Mac IE a few years ago, I’m stick with Firefox and Safari.

One quick aside: One of the most novel things about Chrome (pun only partially intended): Google announced the release… by comic book, as Good Morning Silicon Valley noted.

Setting aside the notion that only geeks read comic books, here’s why it’s brilliant, not juvenile: It gets the non-geeks curious, and explains the technological underpinnings and goals of Chrome in an accessible manner. It’s much more effective than, say, a bulleted list on PowerPoint. This is important because many people may not bother to download Chrome when they already have IE so conveniently available on their PCs. (Why, it’s right there at their fingertips, imagine that.) If they read the comic book and understand whatGoogle’s trying to do — something pretty cool, I have to admit, even though I am pretty loyal to Firefox — they may feel compelled to give Chrome a try. Also, the comic book makes the Googlers seem so smart yet non-threatening, albeit a little one-dimensional. They’re Supergeeks out to do no evil, honest. And if you just live for all things Google, the comic book gives you a nice memento for your digital collection, and another reason to brag about how cool Google is.

To be honest, I saw the comic strip, but… I moved on, but I probably don’t qualify as a “supergeek.

Written by cdorobek

September 2, 2008 at 9:57 PM

Posted in Technology

Tagged with , ,