Countdown: Spending cuts, cloud computing success

The Federal News Countdown guests are:

Larry Allen, President, Allen Federal

Tim Hoechst, Chief Technology Officer, Agilex

Larry Allen’s stories
#3 Improving the purchase card program
From Federal Computer Week:


One of the most positive changes introduced into the procurement system during the 1990s was the government credit card, called a “purchase card.” In the days before the card, every purchase, even small ones on the order of $25, had to go through an agency’s contracting shop.

#2 Former White House, congressional leaders call for faster appointment process
From Government Executive:

A bipartisan group of former lawmakers and White House operatives say in a Washington Post op-ed on Wednesday that “the federal appointments process is broken and urgently needs substantial reform,” specifically a bill in the Senate that would exempt more appointees from the confirmation process.

#1 Spending Cut Hokum
From Wall Street Journal:

A mini-revolt is brewing among Republican backbenchers on Capitol Hill now that the specific spending cuts in Friday’s budget deal are being revealed. After separating out the accounting gimmicks and one-year savings, the actual cuts look to be closer to $20 billion than to the $38 billion that both sides advertised. This is not going to help Speaker John Boehner’s credibility with the tea party.

Tim Hoechst’s stories
#3 Federal IT Reform Finds Success In The Cloud
From Information Week:

Cloud computing so far has been one of the most successful strategies of an ambitious plan to reform IT projects and programs across the federal government, officials said Tuesday.

#2 Mobile App Talent Pool Is Shallow
From Wall Street Journal:

This year, magazine publisher Hearst Corp. intends to add five software engineers to its mobile development staff. Social-networking company Ning Inc. plans to nearly double its mobile development team. And Web start-up Where Inc. is on track to double its mobile staff this year after quadrupling it in 2010.

The problem: The talent pool isn’t growing nearly that fast.

#1 DARPA works to build electronic neural architectures that can learn, adapt, and respond
From Nanowerk:

Today’s warfighters possess the ability to meet the dynamic demands of the battlefield by relying on their knowledge and training to make the right decisions in demanding complex situations. In contrast, unmanned systems and electronic devices, while able to collect and process information, are limited in their efficiency and flexibility, and current computer systems can only process information according to their programming. What if warfighters could access an entirely new class of electronic systems that can meet the demands of dynamic environments.