A public servant who gets things done

Vivek is leaving his position as chief information officer of the whole USA after making major contributions to the country.

The deal is that it’s hard to get stuff done in Washington, with lots of entrenched interests, and sometimes projects that don’t get done, or worse, get done and make things worse.

Vivek both helped get projects done and helped slash other projects, savings billions of dollars in the short term and enabling a lot of other good projects.


Startup app from SBA

There’s a lot going on in Washington, people trying new ways to provide real help to citizens in a cost-effective manner. Often that involves social media or other such tech.

Here’s something new from the Small Business administration … and remember, small businesses are the big job creators in the U.S.:

SBA’s Mobile App helps entrepreneurs find local resources so they can start or grow their business through professional mentors, workshops and introductions to funding or contract opportunities. SBA’s resource partner network includes 10,000+ business mentors, 3,000+ locations, and hundreds of procurement centers and commercial lenders throughout the US. Aspiring entrepreneurs can use the built-in startup cost calculator to get their plans in action before meeting with a mentor or attending a business planning workshop. SBA videos and official notices are also available via the app so entrepreneurs have info on-the-go.


Voto Latino gets young Latinos to register to vote

Hey, I’ve been working with these guys; they do a great job helping people with their voting rights.

Check out and their Facebook page, maybe do me a favor and Like it.

Here’s a little more from their site.

Founded in 2004, Voto Latino is shaking-up America’s political establishment by bringing thousands of young Latinos into the political process. A non-partisan, nonprofit civic engagement organization, Voto Latino has produced award-winning, multiple-media campaigns headlined by celebrity voicesthat encourage young Latinos to register to vote and get engaged. Voto Latino strongly believes it is this new generation of young American Latinos who will shape America’s democracy for a generation.


‘I’m the creeper; catch me if you can!’

In 1971, this sentence started popping up on computer screens all across ARPANET, the network we recognize today as the ancestor of the modern Internet. The whimsical message, it soon emerged, was the work of “Creeper,” the first-ever self-replicating computer program. Created by a Massachusetts researcher, Creeper traveled from computer to computer, displaying its simple message before hopping to the next one. It didn’t delete any files, it didn’t snatch any personal information — it just said hello. Someone even developed a companion program, “Reaper,” that followed Creeper around, removing it from infected systems.


American ingenuity

The Internet as we know it today started as a small Department of Defense project as early as 1969. Back then, the Pentagon was looking for an alternate way of communicating, beyond the telephone system, during wartime threats. The best plan was to communicate across a “web” of networked computers — a program that was to be run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Created just after the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1959 and long heralded as the whiz-bang arm of the Pentagon, DARPA quickly stepped into action and perfected the ARPANET, as it was first called, by 1983.

Just think, American ingenuity has done what hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, thousands of soldiers’ lives and all the might of the U.S. military war machine could not — spread democracy like a prairie fire.


Social Security customer service

Ssa Hey, the folks at the Social Security Administration are moving ahead, providing increasingly better customer service through the Net.

Think Social Security is just for your grandparents? Think again! You probably didn’t know that, in addition to making retirement payments and issuing Social Security cards, the program offers other types of coverage — for people of all ages! To find out more, as well as get answers to questions like “what’s that FICA tax that comes out of my paycheck?” and “why should I worry about planning for retirement now?" check out this webinar, “Social Security 101: What’s in it for me?” The broadcast starts at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 10 and will feature a brief presentation followed by an interactive question-and-answer session. RSVP and watch the webinar at this link. There’s something in it for you!


SeeClickFix gets local gov't stuff done

Hey, if you see some kind of local problem that the city should fix, the folks at SeeClickFix really do have an app for that. You can report the problem with a photo and geotagging, informing local gov't. In San Francisco, it's tied into the 311 system.

Here's a problem along with a little of what it looks like in both the app and Web contexts — real impressive:

SFConnect Screen shot 2011-02-19 at 7.16.23 PM


Organic Health Response/Inveneo: Using the 'Net to fight AIDS in Kenya

OHR Links graphic

The folks at Organic Health Response are doing really good stuff, using IT and environmental sustainability on Mfangano Island in western Kenya to work against HIV/AIDS across Lake Victoria.

Chwera Chwera Microclinc

They're working with Inveneo; their deal is to get IT, such as computers, telephony, and Internet access to those who need it most — people and organizations in rural and highly underserved communities of the developing world.


Rare earth

When you get up in morning and you are trying to find your cell phone, you probably aren’t thinking about neodymium, but maybe you should.

Neodymium is a rare-earth element that plays an essential role in making certain that your cell phone works. Without neodymium and other rare-earth elements, cell phones wouldn’t be as small or as powerful as they are, televisions wouldn’t be as big and as thin as they are, and many other of the creature comforts that we now rely on wouldn’t be around.


Rockefeller Censorship

Get a load of this, folks. A sitting United States senator is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pull the plug on cable networks such as MSNBC and Fox. You heard right, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) lamented recently that programming by Fox and other cable daysides apparently gets in the way of politicians and their ability to obfuscate and deceive the public.  

While holding a hearing on the FCC, Rockefeller was reported saying, “It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future.”

Since when did having more scrutiny of politicians and their activities by news organizations lead to the travesty of justice Rockefeller is claiming? Apparently, Sen. Rockefeller and his colleagues don’t like to be bothered by a meddling media, investigating their moves and challenging them on questionable actions.  

I guess it’s a relief that Rockefeller failed to realize the FCC has no jurisdiction over cable airwaves.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook-, and follow him on Twitter at