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Good to Know…Week of August 29, 2011

FCC to Examine Wireless 911 Problems Following Quake
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has asked commission staff to examine reports that some wireless calls to 9-1-1 centers could not get through because of congestion on cellphone networks after Tuesday’s unusual East Coast earthquake.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

Quake Bolsters Calls for Public Safety Wireless Network
Disruption of cell phone service by a rare East Coast earthquake on Tuesday prompted renewed calls for Congress and regulators to provide a dedicated wireless network for emergency workers.
To read this article, go to: Reuters.com

Text Messages Aren’t Enough When Natural Disasters Strike
Just in time for Hurricane Irene’s arrival, a new survey from the Red Cross claims that social media is increasingly being used by Americans seeking information on natural disasters. A reliance on social media and text messages during emergencies has hidden dangers.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

Feds Launch Performance.gov
The website is designed to highlight government efforts to cut waste and improve efficiency. The site organizes content by eight areas of focus and by 24 Cabinet-level federal agencies.

To read this article, go to: GovTech.com

BART to Limit Shutdowns of Wireless Service
BART directors, slammed with criticism over the transit system’s decision to shut down underground wireless service to stop a demonstration, agreed Wednesday they should limit use of that tactic to extreme situations in which public safety is endangered.

To read this article, go to: SFgate.com

In North Carolina, a Reversal on Municipal Broadband
Several years ago, the city of Wilson, North Carolina, decided to take its digital destiny into its own hands. The city built its own broadband network and began offering service directly to businesses and citizens. The first paying customer signed up in 2008.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

Mobile Apps are Reshaping Government Services and Operations
Federal agencies so far have launched about 75 mobile apps aimed at everything from allowing citizens to more easily browse proposed legislation to helping anglers alert their peers when they’ve just released a short fin mako shark.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

What is Anonymous? It is Not Pro-Privacy.
A drumbeat of hacktivism in the past year or so by shadowy groups, including one called Anonymous, has culminated in a number of recent breach-and-release attacks on servers holding personal information. Some individuals speaking for — or at least of — Anonymous describe the group as pro-privacy, but that is hard to swallow.

To read this article, go to: GCN.com

Most Feds Don’t Believe Innovation is Rewarded, Study Finds
A new “innovation snapshot” from a group that promotes excellence in government concludes that although nine out of 10 federal employees are seeking ways to perform their jobs better, only about four out of 10 believe innovation and creativity are rewarded.

To read this article, go to: FederalDaily.com

Georgia Works Eyed for Potential National Job Model
Georgia may have one of the nation’s highest jobless rates, but a state program aimed at getting the unemployed back to work is being touted as the basis for a federal jobs program President Barack Obama will unveil next month.

To read this article, go to: AJC.com

Do Green Jobs Really Exist?
Not only do they exist, but they just might provide jobs for those in manufacturing, and in middle America.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

Can Taxing Trucks by the Mile Help Save Transportation Funding?
Transportation researcher Richard Mudge is looking for ways to make sure states can afford to fix and build roads and bridges, even as gas taxes become less effective. Like other experts, he wants to start taxing vehicles for how far they drive, instead of the current system based on how much gas they use. The difference is that Mudge wants to start using the system on trucks, not cars.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

45% Say Government Should Reduce Spending on Roads and Highways Until Budget is Balanced
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that just 18% believe a billion dollars spent by the government on new highways would do more to create jobs than a billion dollars spent by private companies to expand business. Sixty-eight percent (68%) say private companies spending money to expand their own businesses would do more to create jobs. Another 14% are undecided.

To read this article, go to: RasmussenReports.com

Report: Lack of College Completion Could Cost States Billions
Recent studies on the value of a college education have focused almost primarily on its benefits for students. But new research suggests that finishing college can provide a much-needed boost to states as well. A report released today from the American Institutes for Research finds that students who do not complete college could cost states billions in lost income taxes, which could prove crucial as cash-strapped states are facing increasingly steep cutbacks.

To read this article, go to: DiverseEducation.com

Fighting to Save the MPA
Some publicly funded universities may eliminate their Master of Public Administration programs, but schools are getting creative to avoid that.

To read this article, go to: Governing.com

Five Ways Students Will Feel Budget Cuts
With billions of dollars cut from education budgets across the country, students are confronting some major changes as they return to school this year. Schools have been facing cuts for the past several years, but federal stimulus dollars softened the blow. Now, the federal money is dried up.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org


Public Administration Expert Tracks 9/11 Nonprofits
More than 250 new nonprofit groups developed after the 9/11 attacks and generated nearly $700 million in the first two years of operation. In exploring why so many nonprofits sprang up after the disaster, and how they performed once established, a Binghamton University researcher offers key lessons that may help in future crises and in improved coordination between new and existing relief agencies.

To read this article, go to: Newswise.com


Israel: IEI’s Land Of Oil And Money
Israel may be the world’s next energy superpower. But is this good for the Jews?

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

AU Leaders Come Under Pressure to Pledge Aid for Horn of Africa
African Union leaders meeting in Ethiopia are expected to commit $50m to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

To read this article, go to: Guardian.co.uk

If Climate Change Isn’t Happening, Why The Fight For The Arctic?
Every northern country is making territorial claims to land being exposed under melting ice, creating a truly cold new Cold War near the North Pole.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

How a Pharmaceutical Giant is Battling Malnutrition on the Ground in Haiti
Abbot could have just given money to Partners In Health and called it a day. Instead, they’ve been on the ground helping to build a factory to make hunger-destroying peanut paste.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

Three Self-Delusions That Influence Your Decisions And Productivity
Why do you put things off, buy over-priced items, and stick with decisions that aren’t paying off? Your strangely wired brain, silly. The author of You Are Not So Smart shows us a few common mental defects, fallacies, and traps to watch out for.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

@ Brookings Podcast: Low Wages and High Unemployment for U.S. Men
Expert Adam Looney discusses disturbing trends for men in the U.S. work force today: nearly one man in five is unemployed, wages for men who do have jobs are historically low, and workforce opportunities for men are shrinking. Looney says the trends are caused in part by changes in the global marketplace, and one of the best ways to improve the situation is to increase opportunities for higher education.

To view this podcast, go to: Brookings.edu

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