IT/Web: December 2010 Archives

NASA's ExplorNet

Keith's note: According to a Tweet by @KevinDJones, a NASA MSFC-associated social networking consultant, "Recording videos for NASA's soon-to-be ExplorNet. I love this!"

I'll be willing to bet that most of NASA knows nothing about "NASA's soon-to-be ExplorNet". Expect some confusion, though: the name is already is use elsewhere. But this domain is for sale.

Preparing for the Space Shuttle Program's Retirement: A Review of NASA's Disposition of Information Technology Equipment

"NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released a report that found significant weaknesses in the sanitization and disposal of NASA computers and hard drives used in the Space Shuttle Program. These weaknesses resulted in information technology (IT) equipment being sold or prepared for sale even though it still contained sensitive NASA data. This Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit examined IT sanitization practices at four NASA Centers - Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers and Ames and Langley Research Centers - and found serious issues at each. We concluded that NASA did not ensure the proper sanitization of excess IT equipment before releasing it outside Agency control."

Keith's note: Here's the premise: Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) - a series of long workshops (often known as "Hackathons") are held in multiple locations around the world wherein people come together to share their skills and create things (software etc.) that can be of use to others locally and globally. Wonderful idea. NASA becomes involved - thus offering the potential to bring its resources to bear - and ingest ideas from external and novel resources. Doubly wonderful - I can smell the synergy. Add in NASA's Deputy Administrator, the Secretary General of the United Nations at the opening session and there's an emergent property - one of heightened visibility for the concept and the participants. I'm sold. Marvelous concept. Gimme more.

NASA sends representatives from the Chief Technologist's and Chief Information Officer's organizations. What are they doing? Well, that's uncertain. NASA civil servant participants Robbie Schingler (NASA HQ CTO Chief of Staff) and Nick Skytland (NASA HQ CIO office) and perhaps others are big fans of social media tools yet they did little to use these tools other than to retweet several generic items about the event as a whole. They made no mention of what they - or NASA - were actually doing at this event. Were they coding? Organizing? What? So much for being "open and transparent". This is especially ironic given that Schingler and Skytland work on NASA's Open Gov efforts, often serving as agency evangelists in this regard.

NASA Internal memo: Message to Headquarters Employees Regarding WikiLeaks and Government Requirements on Handling Classified Information

"This is a reminder for all employees that classified information, even if posted in the public domain, remains classified and should not be accessed, downloaded, copied, or retransmitted utilizing Government IT resources or equipment. Although information posted to WikiLeaks is in the public domain, the information remains classified. The NASA Headquarters Information Technology and Communications Division (ITCD) has initiated temporary blocks to the WikiLeaks sites. The purpose of the block is to protect NASA's administration network from inadvertently storing spilled "classified" data."



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This page is an archive of entries in the IT/Web category from December 2010.

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