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2010 October 21 — Why Now?
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Same Old Story

CNN reports on the latest failure: Report sharply critical of delays, costs of FBI case management system

Washington (CNN) — The FBI’s troubled new system designed to help agents and analysts electronically handle evidence, reports and documents is now about $100 million over budget and two years behind schedule, according to a report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog.

The stinging report by investigators for Inspector General Glenn Fine is sharply critical of the lack of progress on the automated case management system known as Sentinel. The project was intended to move the FBI from an outmoded paper-based system to an electronic system for handling and sharing information about criminal cases.

Sentinel was launched with fanfare in 2006 after a previous effort collapsed, costing taxpayers more than $100 million. Sentinel was supposed to be completed at a cost of $451 million in 2009. Lockheed Martin was hired to develop the system.

Serious problems developed last year during the development of the second phase of the four-phase project. The intended user-friendly system had “serious performance and usability issues and had received overwhelmingly negative user feedback during testing with FBI agents and analysts” the report said.

The FBI has been attempting to move to a computer-assisted system for decades, and the cost has to be approaching a billion dollars. What they want to do is now a standard content management system, like blogging software, although it was relatively rare when they started the project. The underlying problem is that the FBI has never hired its own IT professionals to, at least, design the system and accurately describe the requirements, everything has been handled by contractors who would have no reason to understand exactly what the FBI does, and what the personnel need to do their job.

This is another example of the hidden cost of outsourcing basic functions.

October 21, 2010   2 Comments

About Time

The CBC reports that NPR fires news analyst for comments on Muslims

National Public Radio says it has terminated the contract of longtime news analyst Juan Williams after comments he made about Muslims on the Fox News Channel.

The U.S. radio broadcaster reported its move on its website. It said Williams appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on Monday and told host Bill O’Reilly that he gets worried and nervous when he sees people dressed in Muslim-style clothes on airplanes.

Actually, I would have sent him to report from Phoenix, Arizona for a while to see how he liked the local sheriff.

NPR has a number of on air personalities who would probably be happier working for Rupert Murdoch, and since there will surely be cuts coming after the elections it is time to “prune the deadwood from the orchard”.

October 21, 2010   4 Comments

Tropical Storm Richard – Day 2

Tropical Storm RichardPosition: 15.9N 80.5W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: South-Southeast [160°] near 2 mph [ 3 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 105 miles [165 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1006 mb.

Currently about 190 miles [305 km] East-Northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua-Honduras Border.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coast of Honduras from the Nicaragua-Honduras border westward to Limon.

Despite wind shear, dry air, and weak steering, the storm has spun up to tropical storm strength and is expected by the models to become a hurricane.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

October 21, 2010   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Richard – Day 2