And Another Thing

BORDER WATCH: Texas' latest plan to
shore up its border with Mexico involves,
in one respect, turning it into a
sort of 1,200-mile Neighborhood
Watch program, via the Web. Gov.
Rick Perry recently set aside $5 million
to install cameras along the border'
at key areas; the plan couldn't
cover the whole distance'to collect
video that will then be posted to a
Web site. Federal and local agencies
would monitor the site and send
agents when something suspicious
happens. But because it's on the Web,
citizens can watch from home, too,
and call a toll-free number to alert authorities
if they see anything untoward.
Officials say the goal is not just
to stem illegal immigration but to add
another line of investigation and defense
against the drug trafficking,
thefts and violent crime common
along the border. The plan could help,
not just in catching illegal immigrants
and criminals but in working as a deterrent.
It could also get citizens involved
in their favorite way'without
leaving their seats'although the
number of false positives and prank
alerts might be interesting to watch.


NOT YOUR FATHER'S GPO: Looks can
be deceiving, and unless you've
stepped into the hulking, red-brick
Government Printing Office headquarters
just outside Capitol Hill, you'd
have no idea what lies within. At an
early June open house, GPO officially
took the wraps off its new Digital
Media Services unit'a merger of the
agency's Creative Services, Web Management,
Technical Review and e-PUB
divisions. Featuring slick new digs and
the latest in imaging technology, DMS
houses a wide swath of products,
ranging from designs for the new electronic
passports to digitized animation
videos that use much of the same
technology that has graced big-screen
features. It's part of GPO's ongoing
move from paper to digital processes.
The agency produces much more new
content electronically than by printing,
and is in the process of digitizing
historical documents. DMS is 'providing
enhanced services to our agencies,'
Jim Bradley, managing director
of GPO's customer services, told GCN
during a tour of the new facilities.


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