Magnificence and Beauty

Taken over North Carolina, July 29, 2010

It’s like dreaming — so real, until you’re back on your feet and navigating your terrestrial world. But when I’m in the air, flying above the clouds, it is a different place, so removed and foreign from the environment that nurtured by growing. I’ve mentioned before that I was already middle-aged the first time I flew in an airplane.

But I was reminded of the magnificence and beauty this morning, when I slide my pocket Canon’s SD card into my MacBook Pro, and downloaded about 40 shots of Chris Lehmann’s keynote yesterday (I find I can get at least one good picture when I just lay down on the shutter button and let it go, click, click, click, click…)

I took several pictures of the cloud, from the plane window yesterday as we’d started our initial descent into Raleigh. It was a thunder boomer and there were lots of other thunder boomers in the area, though we had a conveniently clear corridor into RDU.

The sun, which had already passed beneath the horizon was evidently still high enough that it still shown directly on the very top of the cloud, producing this gold crown.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head at what molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles can shape themselves into. It’s magic!

The Federal Government’s in the Clouds…

I do not mean this title in the way that many might mean it right now.  I’m talking about cloud computing, and referring to yesterday’s New York Times Bits post, Now Even the Government Has an App Store.  Obama’s CIO, Vivek Kundra announced yesterday on the Whitehouse Blog (The Blog), in an entry titled, “Streaming at 1:00: In the Cloud,” that

..we have launched Apps.gov to help continue the President’s initiative to lower the cost of government operations while driving innovation within government.

He continues in the next paragraph.

Apps.gov is an online storefront for federal agencies to quickly browse and purchase cloud-based IT services, for productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. Cloud computing is the next generation of IT in which data and applications will be housed centrally and accessible anywhere and anytime by a various devices (this is opposed to the current model where applications and most data is housed on individual devices). By consolidating available services, Apps.gov is a one-stop source for cloud services – an innovation that not only can change how IT operates, but also save taxpayer dollars in the process.

The site features Business Apps, Cloud IT Services, Productivity Apps, and Social Media Apps.  Under Social Media, were the only apps that I found that were free.  Categories include:

  • Bookmarking/Sharing
  • Display of Multimedia, Data, Maps
  • Document Sharing on WebsitesIdea Generation/General Discussion
  • In-depth Discussion Tools
  • Livecasting
  • Mashups
  • Opinions and Product Reviews
  • RSS and Other Syndicated Feeds
  • Social Networks
  • and more

I can’t help but wonder how all of those poor, career, two-more years to go, government works think about all of this. 

I suspect that, just like in most work environments, they do not have a lot of choice.

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