IT/Web: November 2008 Archives

NASA MMO Downselect?

UPDATE: NASA Picks Virtual Heroes and Whitecard for MMO?, Virtual Worlds News

"Last month NASA announced that it had selected three proposals to hear for its upcoming educational virtual world. It appears a decision has been made. We were passed what seems to be, though we haven't been able to confirm, an email from MindArk CEO Jan Welter Timkrans to some members of Entropia, which was up for consideration, explaining that NASA had chosen to go in another direction with the project. The email (below) names Virtual Heroes and Project Whitecard as the winners. UPDATE: We heard confirmation from MindArk about the choice and that the developers of Entropia intend to, as NASA suggested, "move ahead with the project independently."

NASA 2.0.2

Netroots Nation: Progressive NASA and Space Policy Under a New Administration (video) (PartI) (Part 2)

NASA Presidental Transition Action Item Log

69. Information Transparency - List the agency's major information dissemination activities (in reports, on web sites, etc.). Describe how the agency decides what information to publish on the Internet and on paper. Identify the agency officials who manage these decisions and to whom they report. Note: OCIO and OP may have inputs

NASA Internal Memo: Message from the Chief Information Officer: Policy for Use of Removable Media, Such as USB "Thumb" Drives

"There is a government-wide increase in the number of IT security threats originating from removable media which infect systems with malicious code and/or remove sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, and encryption keys from user systems.

- Do not use personally owned removable media devices in government-owned systems.
- Do not use government-owned removable media devices on personal machines or machines that do not belong to your agency, department, or organization.
- Do not put unknown removable media devices into ANY system.
- Keep systems up-to-date with the latest patches and anti-virus signatures."

National Cyber Alert System Cyber Security Tip ST08-001, us-cert.gov
Pentagon bans computer flash drives, AP

Editor's note: Now NASA's Chief Information Officer (CIO) position is open at NASA HQ. But hurry up folks - once again it looks like NASA wants to slip this crucially important position under the Transition Team's nose in stealth mode between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The position is open 20 Nov - 4 Dec. That's 5 working days (2 already gone) and then 2 days for a weekend before Thanksgiving. 1 day is lost on Thanksgiving itself, another lost on the Friday afterwards and then 2 more on the weekend. That leaves 4 days before the position closes at COB 4 Dec 2008.

In reality, only 9 working days are being offered by NASA to announce and then gather applications for one of the more critical positions for an agency poised on the cusp of 21st century innovation and exploration in an ever more networked world.

We've all been wondering when Jonathan Pettus would gather up things to bring with him and engineer his return to MSFC (where critical agency IT systems have no back up power supplies).

Given the critical responsibilities of this position (below), wouldn't it be exercising plain old common sense to allow the incoming Obama team to make this selection? Mike Griffin does not seem to think so. Indeed, to allow such a critical position to be filled in this hectic manner is simply irresponsible on Mike Griffin's part.

Network Security Breaches Plague NASA, Business Week

"In April 2005, cyber-burglars slipped into the digital network of NASA's supposedly super-secure Kennedy Space Center east of Orlando, according to internal NASA documents reviewed by BusinessWeek and never before disclosed. While hundreds of government workers were preparing for a launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery that July, a malignant software program surreptitiously gathered data from computers in the vast Vehicle Assembly Building, where the Shuttle is maintained. The violated network is managed by a joint venture owned by NASA contractors Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT)."


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