On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- If you turn on your TV, open a newspaper or log on to any social media site you are bombarded with the impending doom surrounding the fiscal cliff. And while the dreaded cliff might still happen, there might be a way to lessen its impact. The key could be good management. Click here for the full recap.
But up front: Have you heard of CyberCity?
CyberCity allows government hackers to train for attacks. CyberCity has all the makings of a regular town.
The Washington Post says there’s a bank, a hospital and a power plant. A train station operates near a water tower. The coffee shop offers free WiFi. But only certain people can get in: government hackers preparing for battles in cyberspace.
The town is a virtual place that exists only on computer networks run by a New Jersey-based security firm working under contract with the U.S. Air Force.
Computers simulate communications and operations, including e-mail, heating systems, a railroad and an online social networking site, dubbed FaceSpace. Think of it as something like the mock desert towns that were constructed at military facilities to help American soldiers train for the war in Iraq, reports Robert O’Harrow Jr.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- Both Republicans and Democrats outline their fiscal cliff plans. The Washington Post reports, private talks between President Obama and top congressional leaders in search of a deal to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff” are accelerating. Obama telephoned House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) over the weekend, in a sign that high-level negotiations are advancing with only weeks to go before an automatic series of spending cuts and tax hikes starts to hit nearly every American.
- The White House moves on cybersecurity. Politico says the Obama administration is crafting an executive order designed to keep the country’s most important digital systems safe from hackers and spies—a new regulatory burden sure to make many in industry recoil.
- GSA announced four new federal-compatible Terms of Service (TOS) agreements with Hackpad, GovLoop, Quora and Measured Voice. Digital Gov says all of the new amended TOS are following the new preferred format — “click to agree,” where agreements are online and do NOT need to be formally “signed” before your agency can start using the product. This approach is much more efficient for you, your agency and the vendor, and there is virtually no wait to get started once your agency decides to sign up.
- David Kappos, director of the Patent and Trademark Office, will step down at the end of January. The Wall Street Journal reports Kappos joined PTO in 2009, giving up a job as the top patent attorney at IBM. Kappos helped guide a law overhauling the patent system through Congress. He also made the agency more efficient, reducing the application backlog from 750,000 to just over 600,000. Under Kappos, PTO set up its first satellite offices scheduled to open next year. Deputy director Teresa Stanek Rea will become acting director.
- The House will start considering a bill that would put the Homeland Security Department under an oversight microscope. The DHS Accountability Act of 2012 would establish in Congress an independent advisory panel. The panel would assess DHS management and come up with recommendations to improve it. Its main focus would be reducing duplication and boosting efficiency. The panel would also look at whether duplication and waste harm the department’s ability to perform its main mission.
- Mary Schapiro is stepping down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her last day will be December 14. President Obama will name commissioner Elisse Walter as the new chairman. Schapiro leaves after four years on the job. She helped lead the administration’s response to the 2008 financial crisis. When Schapiro took over, the SEC had just been dinged after failing to catch the multi-billion dollar Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. But the SEC still has a lot of work to do, writing new regulations required by the Dodd Frank financial oversight bill the president signed into law in 2010.
- And on GovLoop – you still have time to attend our half day in-person training event going on next Thursday here in the District. NextGen plus will feature:
- Insights to become a brilliant communicator
- Launch your gov career with savviness
- Learn to network within and outside of your organization
- Training takes place next Thursday
- Register before Saturday and you’ll save some money!
The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Are CIOs getting in on the holiday spirit? FedTech Magazine: Most government employees spend at least 40 hours at the office each week. If you add time spent commuting, socializing with friends and family and sleeping, when is there free time for holiday shopping? There isn’t. At least that is what one-third of workers surveyed last year said when they were asked whether they shopped online for holiday gifts while at work. In the past, CIOs have been adamant about preventing this from happening, but as the popularity of online shopping increases, many in management have realized that banning it simply isn’t possible.