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Good to Know…Week of December 26, 2011


A FEDERAL HOLIDAY POEM
A Federal Holiday Poem
Twas the night before Christmas, and all ‘cross the Web
Not a surfer was surfing, except for some feds…

To read this poem, go to: GovExec.com

STATE AGENCIES
Five Lessons from Overwhelmed Agencies
Last week, Stateline took an in-depth look at what’s causing growing backlogs of work at state agencies across the country. Here are five lessons gleaned from dozens of interviews with state officials, including those who are currently struggling with a backlog and some who have successfully cleared one up.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

TECHNOLOGY
Readers’ Choice: GCN’s Top 10 Stories of the Year
What were GCN’s readers most interested in during the past year? In a word: mobility. In two words: mobility and security.

To read this article, go to: GCN.com

Tech Projects Top $7B List of ‘Stupid’ Federal Spending
Federal spending on technology may be innovative and interesting, but it can still be a prime example of government waste, according to a new report from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

To read this article, go to: GCN.com

The Future of the Internet’s Here. And It’s Creepy
Two new studies are offering a sneak peak into the future of the Internet: 24/7 digital surveillance of citizens is about to become affordable for repressive regimes worldwide. Do NOT text a friend about this.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

ENERGY SAFETY
Congress Moves Toward Tougher Stand on Pipeline Safety, But is it Enough?
A bill to strengthen pipeline safety regulations passed the House and Senate last week and now awaits President Obama’s signature. But while many applaud Congress’s move toward more oversight, others question whether the impending law goes far enough to prevent oil and natural gas pipeline accidents.

To read this article, go to: ProPublica.org

EDUCATION
Coursekit Aims To Overhaul How Teachers Run Their Classrooms
At every turn, each new tool that a teacher wanted to try out would require a fight with administration. The frustration was palpable. “Why are the IT people making pedagogical decisions?” lamented one teacher, “Why do they get the final say about what does and does not happen in my classroom?”

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

HOUSING
Growing Number of Homeless Families Squat in Foreclosed Homes to Avoid Shelters
They may lack heat and a consistent water supply, but the vacant dwellings aren’t as ‘depressing,’ as one New York mother puts it. Advocates say the number of squatters nationwide is rising.

To read this article, go to: LATimes.com

TAXES
Tax System Seen as Unfair, in Need of Overhaul
Public dissatisfaction with the tax system has grown over the past decade, and the focus of the public’s frustration is not how much they themselves pay, but rather the impression that wealthy people are not paying their fair share.

To read this article, go to: PEWResearch.org

HEALTHCARE
HHS Releases Proposal for Essential Health Benefits Package
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlined its approach for defining the essential health benefits package that insurers must offer under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

To read this article, go to: Governing.com

Federal Health IT Market Set to Grow to $6.5B by 2016
Federal spending on healthcare IT will reach $6.5 billion by 2016, according to a new survey from Deltek, Inc. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent –outpacing forecasted growth of just 1.1 percent for overall federal non-health IT spending for the same period.

To read this article, go to: HealthcareITNews.com

6 Health IT Usability Myths and Realities
A lot has been said about usability, whether it’s in regard to EHRs or other healthcare apps. We asked Shahid Shah, software IT analyst and author of the blog The Healthcare IT Guy, to debunk some of the myths and explain some of the realities of health IT usability.

To read this article, go to: HealthcareITNews.com

INTERESTING…
The Leadership Hall of Fame
We have spent a year looking at the most influential business books and authors. Here is a complete syllabus for an education in being a leader. Which are your favorites? And which leadership classics did we miss?

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

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