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links for 2010-08-14

  • Administrations failing to look at new technologies to improve cost cutting, says Gartner

    by Dan Worth

    V3.co.uk, 11 Aug 2010

    Governments need to take advantage of new technologies to enhance cost-cutting initiatives without reducing their effectiveness, according to a new report from Gartner.

    The analyst firm's From Modernization to Survival report argues that, while budgets are being reduced, the benefits of technology to further reduce spending are not being explored.

  • Today Gartner published a press release about a research note I wrote a few weeks ago: “From Modernization to Survival: Radical Cost Reduction in Government," which looks at four areas for possible cost reduction, and identifies various initiatives in each:

    Sourcing and Procurement

    * Use public cloud services.
    * Use community source and the cloud as alternatives to incumbent vendors.
    * Pursue crowdsourcing.

    Project and Portfolio Management

    * Cancel high-risk, high-profile programs.
    * Enforce rigorous yet lightweight portfolio management.

    Joined-Up and Open Government

    * Link interoperability frameworks to immediate benefits.
    * Shut down channels (including e-channels).
    * Open government: do not engage unless it’s for a reason.

    Workforce Management

    * Aggressively implement teleworking.
    * Task and reward employees for cost-saving innovation.

    Please take a look at either the press release or the research note for further details

  • Although most Web Standards compliant browsers can deal with favicons in a variety of formats like GIF, JPG or the more suitable PNG formats, the Microsoft Windows Icon format (.ico) is the lowest common denominator for favicons, in that they're recognised by MS's Internet Explorer 6.0 and later versions (as well as Opera, Firefox, Konqueror, Safari, etc.). ICO files have the additional property that they (somewhat non-intuitively) can contain multiple images within one file, namely multiple versions of the same icon, but at different colour depths and pixel resolutions.

    To provide the maximum favicon compatibility and utility, this morning I wanted to work out how to create a multi-resolution favicon.ico file, preferably with proper full alpha transparency (which allows variable transparency, allowing icons without coloured backgrounds to look smooth and professional on any background over which they might be superimposed).

  • Celestine Chua starts with Be receptive to what others say
    While it's good to enter the communication with a clear objective of what you want, don't be so focused on it that you tune out on important messages the person is trying to communicate. Don't expect the answers to come in a certain manner and certain style. Have a focus and at the same time keep your mind open.

    Even if the people come across as critical, learn to deal with critical people and be open to criticism. Many people are quick to shut out criticisms but in the process they lose out on a lot of valuable advice and feedback. Don't take criticisms personally. Look for the message in the criticisms instead. Ask yourself: "What made the person say this? What lessons can I take away from this? How does this relate to my situation?" With an open mind, you can have more answers to what you seek.
    Look out for the subtext
    Be Positive
    Respect the Person

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