A different treatment of Maslow

than the one I gave my public personnel students last Wednesday.

– Chip


Project Aurora and the Militarization of Cyberspace

In December of 2009, security experts at Google identified a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on their own corporate infrastructure as well as that of at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses. According to Google, the
“primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.”

It appears that the hackers used social networds to identify key employees at Google, and then set the stage for them to click on links to malware. According to Joseph Menn at Financial Times,

The most significant discovery is that the attackers had selected employees at the companies with access to proprietary data, then learnt who their friends were. The hackers compromised the social network accounts of those friends, hoping to enhance the probability that their final targets would click on the links they sent.

Read more…

Confidence in the military

During our most recent podcast, I mentioned that it is politically difficult for a president to buck the military bureaucracy. Data from a recent Gallup poll illustrates one reason why:

Hat tip: Matthew Yglesias


WIRED Takes On Anti-Vaxers

Amy Wallace of WIRED magazine has written an interesting article about parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, and how they put all of us in danger. 

“Looking back over human history, rationality has been the anomaly. Being rational takes work, education, and a sober determination to avoid making hasty inferences, even when they appear to make perfect sense. Much like infectious diseases themselves — beaten back by decades of effort to vaccinate the populace — the irrational lingers just below the surface, waiting for us to let down our guard.”    -Amy Wallace


Podcast 6: Discretion in Administration & Law; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Brad, Brandon and Chip discuss discretion in administration and law, as well as the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

XML is Swell

The White House announced on Monday that the Government Printing Office is making the Federal Register available in Extensible Markup Language (XML), a computer language that stresses simplicity, generality and usability over the Internet. The transition to XML presents new opportunities for creative interactions with the Federal Register by making public announcements easier to search, organize, and access.

For example, XML-based language is used for Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Thus, the Federal Register is now available through RSS, which allows individuals to receive real-time feeds of data. Likewise, creative XML-based applications can be seen at Fedthread.org, which allows users to annotate the Federal Register and comment in its margins, and GovPulse, which enables users to visualize the Federal Register by topic or location to see how particular government actions affect individual communities. As new applications emerge that utilize the XML version of the Federal Register, citizens, scholars, and organizations will find it easier to reorganize the Register’s contents in ways that are more meaningful, track issues that are likely to affect their community or profession, and engage in real-time public discussion about the Register’s contents with others.

Open government advocates, rejoice.