Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 7 May 2007

Pentagon Study Disturbing

The DOH Center's Institute for the Inherently Obvious partnered with the Department of Defense to issue a recent report, causing quite a stir in the top brass at the Pentagon. According to the jointly conducted study, "soldiers who deployed longer (greater than six months) or had deployed multiple times were more likely to screen positive for a mental health issue". Mental health professionals expressed shock at the news and demanded an investigation into the methods and funding of the study in question. "The longer tours of duty were intended to reduce combat-related stress, so these conclusions are highly suspect", said Dr. Richard Daft, author of It Hurts When I Go Like This: Overcoming Your Irrational Obstacles.

Local Man's Brain On Vacation

Local software developer Pascal Babbage arrived at work to find that his brain had unexpectedly gone on vacation. "No one told me anything about it--I am pretty much always the last to know what's happening around here", said Babbage. As a result, Babbage reports spending the entire day idly surfing the web, taking a two hour lunch, and basically being unproductive. "I really have no idea what I did all day", reports Babbage, who added, "I kept asking myself what I should be doing, but all I ever got back was an out of office message".

Most co-workers report not noticing anything different about Babbage, though they did provide insight into the possible causes of the unexpected absence of Mr. Babbage's higher reasoning functions. "Pascal's been working very hard, though of course we have no idea on what, if you want the truth", said one co-worker. "I have seen him here late every night for the last month, working on some mind-numbing PowerPoint presentation for upper management", said another. In addition, other reports indicate that Babbage has been completing an advanced degree, teaching an undergraduate course, and foolishly attempting to maintain a social life, though the latter charge cannot be independently verified.


New Security Protocol Established

In an effort to guarantee the privacy of taxpayer records, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has instituted a revolutionary new policy, designed to circumvent all known security issues with current technology. "We are very excited about this new policy", says Mark W. Everson, Commissioner of IRS, "it provides a solid footing for the future, by relying on the best existing technology we could find".

The new technology, known as WaxSE (pronounced "waxy"), has been tested by a number of labs and all have reacted positively. "I was dumbfounded, when I came across WaxSE", said Cindy Williams, a Principle Research Scientist of the MIT Security Studies Program. Stanford professor Dan Boneh, a specialist in computer security and applied cryptography, echoed the sentiment, saying "I thought I had seen everything, until I saw WaxSE". Both labs report that the very latest in digital technologies has absolutely zero impact on the WaxSE methods used by the IRS.

Security experts on a time-and-materials contract from CSC came up with the design, based on a thorough 24-month requirements process with internal IRS employees, followed by a 36-month public review and comment process, leading to a 48-month logical design process, directly handing off to a 60-month development process, which dovetailed into a 2-week testing window, culminating in a nationwide testing with 1500 taxpayers over the next six tax cycles, followed by provisional implementation with 6000 more taxpayers over the subsequent 10 tax cycles, resulting in an on-time deployment after only another 24 tax cycles for slow roll-out. The core of the WaxSE architecture is a reliance on signet rings, which will imprint a 256-bit security encryption image onto a thermally-enhanced, tamper-resistant media. "CSC assures us that Wax Signet Encryption [WaxSE] is founded on time-tested security principles. The IRS is not willing to be at the bleeding edge of technology, when there are taxpayer records at stake", says the IRS's Everson.

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© 2006, 2007 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler