IT/Web: January 2009 Archives

Executive Order: Freedom of Information Act, White House

"All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, inorder to renew their commitment to the principles embodied inFOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA. The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should takeaffirmative steps to make information public.They should not wait for specific requests from the public.All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government.Disclosure should be timely. ... Ialso direct the Director of the Office ofManagement and Budgetto update guidance to the agencies to increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new technologies, and to publish suchguidancein the Federal Register."

Executive Order: Transparency and Open Government, White House

"Government should be transparent. ... Government should be participatory. ... Government should be collaborative. ... I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum.The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive."

Editor's note: How will this affect NASA? How SHOULD it affect NASA?

NOMAD Website is Moving - Friday, January 30

"Access to the NOMAD site from outside the NASA network (e.g., home, hotels) will require login using a RSA token and virtual private network (VPN) or secure nomadic access (SNA) on your computer. The NOMAD Website will no longer be accessible publicly to non-NASA employees. The new NOMAD Website includes a calendar. As a reminder, please visit this page whenever you need information about NOMAD activities and issues impacting email delivery."

Editor's note: Of course, NOMAD was once again unclear in what it was telling its users, so this update to explain and clarify last night's update was sent out:

"You received the message below from NOMAD Outreach yesterday. Since the message went out, I received numerous calls and email messages from our customers concerning the message. This message is being sent as a clarification to the below message. Outlook Web Access (OWA) Webmail is available at https://webmail.nasa.gov/ Use your NOMAD email login in order to access your email from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Webmail is frequently an alternative to send and receive email when there are activities scheduled, or issues that arise, which impact your desktop or laptop email client and/or handheld device. The move of the NOMAD website from a public site does not affect how you access Webmail."

UPDATE- NOMAD Connectivity Issues - Monday, January 26, 2009

"The NOMAD Team, Microsoft Technical Support and UNITeS have been working together to determine the root cause of the email connectivity issues. Today, they reported some good news. The cause of the service disruption has been traced back to authentication issues within the environment. Certain conditions can occur that cause the authentication servers to mishandle requests to center resources. When the connectivity issue occurred this morning, the team was able to force a reconnect at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in an extremely short time frame to resolve the issue. They have also devised a way to monitor those secure channels to determine why this is happening. Now that the team knows how to immediately correct the problem, the NOMAD team, NCAD, and Microsoft are trying to engineer a solution to prevent the issue from reoccurring."

Editor's note: Have a look at nasa.gov - right hand side of the page. The top search item today is nibiru a "planet proposed in religion and ufology" according to wikipedia. Alas, NASA doesn't have much on the topic.

Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages, Washington Post

"Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts. What does that mean in 21st-century terms? No Facebook to communicate with supporters. No outside e-mail log-ins. No instant messaging. Hard adjustments for a staff that helped sweep Obama to power through, among other things, relentless online social networking. "It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said of his new digs."

From: Nomad-Outreach Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 09:23:55 -0600 Subject: NOMAD Connectivity Issues

Good Morning, Many of you as NOMAD customers have periodically experienced performance issues over the past three months to include slow email access and response, Outlook Web Access (OWA Webmail) connectivity issues and desktop client connectivity issues. These problems have caused various degrees of disruptions to your normal daily workload.

I apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced because of these connectivity issues. I wanted you to know that we are doing everything possible to resolve the issues.

Reader note: "Apparently, NASA can not even accomplish such simple tasks as having an employee's current leave accounted for in it's time keeping and leave system (WebTADS) at the beginning of the leave year. It's not rocket science, is it? What company of this size has such practices and what is the NASA CIO's position in regard to such lack of functionality and currentness of this system?"

From Web TADS: "WebTADS leave balances are due to be loaded into the system by February 2, 2009."

UK NASA Hacker Update

Nasa hacker: I'll plead guilty in the UK, ZDNet

"Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon has told UK prosecutors he will plead guilty to charges in the UK, a move that could help him avoid extradition to the US. Show related articles McKinnon has been accused by US prosecutors of "the biggest military hack of all time", after entering Nasa and Pentagon systems."

NASA Hacker May be Tried in UK, PC World

"While McKinnon says his exploits did not cause any damage, the U.S. allege that McKinnon stole 950 passwords and deleted files at a naval base in New Jersey, responsible for replenishing munitions and supplies for the Atlantic fleet. They also maintain the intrusions disrupted computer networks used by the military that were critical to operations conducted after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The U.S. estimates the damage caused by McKinnon at $700,000."

RT @egvick: free silicon solar cells for student project groups http://sefspaceworks.com/?q=node

Issue Connecting to the Exchange Server

Monday, January 5, 2009, 8:50 a.m. Central The NOMAD/ODIN team is investigating a slow email connectivity issue for some users. Webmail is available as an alternative at https://webmail.nasa.gov/ for those with slow connections through their desktop or laptop mail client. An update will be posted in 30 minutes.

Monday, January 5, 2009, 5:10 p.m. Central The email connectivity issue experienced by users with mailboxes hosted at JSC has been resolved. The NOMAD and Microsoft teams are continuing to investigate the issue to determine the root cause."


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