Blog Postings

May 31,2013

14:57

NATIONAL CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2013

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

For centuries, the United States and nations in the Caribbean have grown alongside each other as partners in progress. Separated by sea but united by a yearning for independence, our countries won the right to chart their own destinies after generations of colonial rule. Time and again, we have led the way to a brighter future together -- from lifting the stains of slavery and segregation to widening the circle of opportunity for our sons and daughters.

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate those enduring achievements. It is also a chance to recognize men and women who trace their roots to the Caribbean. Through every chapter of our Nation's history, Caribbean Americans have made our country stronger -- reshaping our politics and reigniting the arts, spurring our movements and answering the call to serve. Caribbean traditions have enriched our own, and woven new threads into our cultural fabric. Again and again, Caribbean immigrants and their descendants have reaffirmed America's promise as a land of opportunity -- a place where no matter who you are or where you come from, you can make it if you try.

Together, as a Nation of immigrants, we will keep writing that story. And alongside our partners throughout the Caribbean, we will keep working to achieve inclusive economic growth, access to clean and affordable energy, enhanced security, and lasting opportunity for all our people. As we honor Caribbean Americans this month, let us strengthen the ties that bind us as members of the Pan American community, and let us resolve to carry them forward in the years ahead.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2013 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Categories: All , Technical
14:53
Investing in R&D remains a top priority and it seems to be paying off
Categories: Technical , All
14:53
Investing in R&D remains a top priority and it seems to be paying off
Categories: Technical , All
14:53

NATIONAL OCEANS MONTH, 2013

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

From providing food and energy to helping sustain our climate and our security, the oceans play a critical role in nearly every part of our national life. They connect us to countries around the world, and support transportation and trade networks that grow our economy. For millions of Americans, our coasts are also a gateway to good jobs and a decent living. All of us have a stake in keeping the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes clean and productive -- which is why we must manage them wisely not just in our time, but for generations to come.

Rising to meet that test means addressing threats like overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Alongside partners at every level of government and throughout the private sector, my Administration is taking up that task. Earlier this year, we finalized a plan to turn our National Ocean Policy into concrete actions that protect the environment, streamline Federal operations, and promote economic growth. The plan charts a path to better decision-making through science and data sharing, and it ensures tax dollars are spent more efficiently by reducing duplication and cutting red tape. Best of all, it puts stock in the American people -- drawing on their knowledge and empowering communities to bring local solutions to the challenges we face.

By making smart choices in ocean management, we can give our businesses the tools they need to thrive while protecting the long-term health of our marine ecosystems. Let us mark this month by renewing those goals, reinvesting in our coastal economies, and recommitting to good stewardship in the years ahead.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2013 as National Oceans Month. I call upon Americans to take action to protect, conserve, and restore our oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Categories: All , Technical
14:43
Tablets are cannibalizing PC sales -- but while iOS and Android feast, consumers have left Windows RT to starve. Can Windows 8.1 save Microsoft's lightweight OS?

Categories: Influential
14:43
Tablets are cannibalizing PC sales -- but while iOS and Android feast, consumers have left Windows RT to starve. Can Windows 8.1 save Microsoft's lightweight OS?

Categories: Influential
14:03

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Iowa and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of April 17-30, 2013. 

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding in the counties of Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Muscatine, Ringgold, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, and Wayne.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. 

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Joe M. Girot as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. 

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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13:59

newpolicy

Recently the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat released two very important documents, which finally put some meat into the pro-collaboration and engagement statements frequently being made by both the Clerk of the Privy Council as well as the…

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13:59

newpolicy

Recently the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat released two very important documents, which finally put some meat into the pro-collaboration and engagement statements frequently being made by both the Clerk of the Privy Council as well as the…

Categories: All , Technical
13:51

Yesterday, the White House released a memo outlining the prospects of the upcoming Health Insurance Marketplace to increase choice and control for consumers. The Marketplace (aka Exchanges) will be operated differently in each state, but will nonetheless serve as the single application through which folks will be able to see if they qualify for financial assistance, compare insurance options and evaluate insurance providers. …

Categories: All , Technical
13:51

Yesterday, the White House released a memo outlining the prospects of the upcoming Health Insurance Marketplace to increase choice and control for consumers. The Marketplace (aka Exchanges) will be operated differently in each state, but will nonetheless serve as the single application through which folks will be able to see if they qualify for financial assistance, compare insurance options and evaluate insurance providers. …

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13:50
What ever became of the new statutory provision requiring agencies to “identify low-priority program activities?"
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13:28
It’s not always possible to separate the hardware from the data.
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13:08
By Ryan Kamauff In this podcast I examined some of the top cyber stories of the past week. The Chinese IP theft issues are still going strong, requiring comment from the President as well as leading some people down some pretty freaky paths. GSA has unveiled their government-wide MDM program which will be a big boost to mobile [...]

Find more at CTOvision.com
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13:06
Tablet shipments will grow 58.7 percent over last year in 2013.
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13:04
Some Navy workers have lumped their furloughs together to recover some lost pay.
Categories: Influential
13:01

Diplomatic Center
Brasilia, Brazil

1:08 P.M. (Local)

VICE PRESIDENT TEMER: (As interpreted) It’s my pleasure to welcome Vice President Joe Biden.

And on a more personal note, I’d like to say that some time ago as a representative of Brazil at taking office of the President of Mexico, I was happy to sit next to Vice President Biden.  And there we had the opportunity to have a long conversation at the time, at a Latin America dinner there, for a very long dinner.  So we had the opportunity to talk about many issues that are of interest to Brazil and the U.S.

And particularly at the personal level, both of us were from the legal field, and we had the opportunity to exchange a lot of ideas on that occasion.  And I think that has strengthened our ties of friendship I believe between myself and Vice President Biden.

And it is precisely within the context of growing and closer ties between Brazil and the U.S., and that's the setting for the visit of Vice President Biden, following the visit paid by President Obama, and followed by a trip of President Dilma to the United States.  And now in July, President Dilma will pay a state visit. 

And as you may know, a state visit is a very special visit to the United States.  And that is done only once a year.  That's the information I have received.  And that reveals --  that shows the importance of the relationship between Brazil and the U.S. and also the closer relationship between the U.S. and Brazil.

And I say so to you, the members of the press, that it’s very often said that we in Brazil have had -- have kept a very close relationship with African and South American and the Arabian countries.  And that is true because we did build those closer ties.  But we have not withdrawn from a very close relationship with the United States of America.  We also -- because the bilateral trade between Brazil and the U.S. is a very close one after our -- second only to China -- and the relationship -- trade relationship between Brazil and the U.S.  And so we are both sides very much interested in strengthening these ties, the commercial ties, which are being strengthened by these visits I have just mentioned.

And talking to Vice President Biden we have addressed topics that he had already addressed with President Wilma, especially in the field of energy, of technological innovation regarding a program we are very proud of here in Brazil, which is the Science Without Frontiers.  And I have underscored to Vice President Biden that the U.S. is the country that is most sought after by those who receive the scholarships from the Science Without Borders program.

And as a sign of this we have over 5,000 students -- graduate and undergrad students -- who have gone to the U.S. so as to add to their own education the technological knowledge they receive in the U.S. and bring it to our country.

And I also comment on a statement he did in Rio de Janeiro saying that it is not -- democracy and social development are not incompatible.  And as a rule I highlighted to Vice President Biden that in our country, we adopted in our country since in our institution we have been able to bring together the concepts of liberalism with those of the welfare state.  And liberalism is perceived as the wider freedom, the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and also -- and specifically the freedom of press -- with a high degree of preservation of individual rights. 

And on the other hand, we have been able to adopt the rules of the welfare state as we ensure the right to housing, which have generated programs such as the family grant program, the housing program Minha Casa, Minha Vida, which has allowed millions of people to graduate from extreme poverty and move up to the middle classes in our country.  And this has promoted an international insertion over our country and international scenario and -- within the international scene.

So we have -- as I said, we have addressed topics such as energy, technological innovation.  We also have referred to several international issues, and I wish -- I’m very pleased to share some opinions with Vice President Biden regarding international conflicts -- as example, the issues in Syria and the Palestine-Israel conflict.  And we have both highlighted that there is a strong coincidence in the stands taken by both governments of Brazil and the U.S.

And I have not left -- I did not forget to mention and I was well received by Vice President Biden, we have been reinforced of the interest of Brazil to have a seat at the U.N. Security Council as we have also received the support for application of Sao Paulo in Brazil for the 2020 Expo.  So next week in Paris, there will be another event which will be defining the city to host the Expo 2020.  And Brazil and Sao Paulo are applicants, and so we are advocating this possibility.

And as final remarks, I wish to highlight how honored we feel with your visit.  And as you will see in the words to be followed by Vice President Biden, he is much more communicative than myself, and he will speak very properly about the reasons that have brought him to Brazil and the enthusiasm he takes home after his contact with Brazil. 

And as you see, Vice President Biden, the press will pay keen attention to your words.  Thank you.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President.  Let me begin by saying I don't want to go home.  I wish we were able to stay and take advantage of the hospitality longer.  My wife and my granddaughters are with me as well, and they are now looking at that beautiful lake and the gigantic swimming pool in the hotel we’re staying in.  I think I’m going to have trouble getting them on the plane.

If you wonder about -- and I joked earlier in my visit in Rio de Janeiro where some Brazilians refer to Brazil as a developing country, you are no longer a developing -- you are a developed country.  And if you need any evidence of that is the World Cup, Pope Francis coming here first, the Olympics.  And now my friend is lobbying me on 2020.  I tell you it’s amazing.

We have become friends.  We got a chance to not only learn about each of our countries a little more when we were at the inauguration of the President of Mexico, but we learned we have some deep and common interest, particularly constitutional law which we both taught, as well as my passion and his for equality for women worldwide.  And it’s been a common bond beyond what -- I guess you didn't like what I said, huh?  You turned the lights out.

But let me say that earlier today I had a wide-ranging discussion with your President.  She’s a leader who is literally laser focused on addressing the issues that matter most to the people of Brazil.  And the good news is the issues that matter most to the people of Brazil are the issues that matter most to the people of the United States.

And I didn't have to spend long -- although we had a long conversation that went well beyond what either of us had anticipated -- I now understand why President Obama considers her such a good partner.  And that's why we both -- the President and I -- are anxious, truly anxious for her to visit in October. 

We occasionally have -- in the past have had more than one state visit in a year, but the President wanted to make a statement that the first state visit of this year is extended to your President as an evidence of our respect and our desire to further deepen the relationship.

And we’re extremely pleased that the President actually accepted the invitation.  And this is the first state visit in the second term.  And as I said a reflection -- a reflection of our great respect for your country.

As I said on Wednesday, I believe that 2013 can and should mark the beginning of a new era in U.S.-Brazil relations.  But words will not get us there.  We have a good deal of work that we have to get done between now and the end of the year to make that promise a reality.  But we’re on our way.

Over the past four years, the President of the United States has been here.  I have been here.  Ten of our Cabinet members have been here.  That has never happened before in the history of the relationship to the best of my knowledge between our country and yours.   And it is a clear reflection of how important we believe this relationship to be. 

We both acknowledge that there are gaps between what we have accomplished together and what we are capable of together.  And I discussed with your President and Vice President the ambitious agenda that I think we should be focusing on to bridge that gap.

We spoke about how to deepen trade and investment in both our nations.  Our annual trading relationship has now surpassed $100 billion a year, but there is literally no reason -- no reason why the world’s largest and seventh largest economies can’t increase that fivefold over time.  That would generate so many jobs in both our countries and further tighten the relationships between our countries.

We spoke about how to remove barriers to trade and also how to achieve greater certainty for investors in both our countries.  You have significantly increased direct foreign investment in the United States, and we welcome it, and we seek more.

On energy, we discussed how we can build a partnership that reflects the ambition of both our countries in this area.  As some of you know, two days ago, I spent time at your state-owned and actually now private and state enterprise going through a deep briefing on the promise of pre-salt oil that is immense.  The find is immense.

We also talked about how we could work together on areas that you have far surpassed us.  You produce 50 percent of your energy with renewable energy.  Our goal is to get to 20 percent by the middle of the next decade.  We have a lot to learn from you -- a lot to learn from you.

We also think -- and it’s been discussed you may be able to learn something from us in being able to access shale gas.  The access of shale gas in an environmentally sound way has radically altered America’s energy prospects -- radically altered those prospects.

Energy now, natural gas is less than $2 in the United States.  It’s $17 or more in Europe and other places.  It has great potential for your country, as well as for ours.

We discussed the growing place and presence on the world stage that Brazil has, and we made plans to do more to fight hunger in Haiti and promote development in Africa.  And I want to applaud Brazil’s $900 million write-off of African debt.  You are not only a serious player in the international community, you are an incredibly responsible player.
And as I said on Wednesday, and I said to you earlier, Brazil is no longer an emerging nation.  Its actions like the one that I’ve just mentioned show -- show -- how Brazil has emerged.  That doesn't mean there isn’t more work to do.  Both Brazil and the United States have to keep working at the persistent challenges we face:  delivering jobs to our constituencies, growth, tackling inequity, promoting opportunity and security for all.

But the world has much to learn from Brazil’s success.  You’ve shown that nation’s need not choose between democracy and development, between market-based economies and smart social policy.  I think that is -- I think you underestimate what a profound impact the last 15 years and the way you’ve arrived at your success has had on the rest of the world.  There are scores of nations today, from the Arab Spring, across all continents trying to determine is it possible -- is it possible -- to have development and democracy.  Brazil has demonstrated that it is possible.  Not only possible, but it’s the best path to development.

We talked about the critical importance of tapping our people’s shared passion for innovation in education.  My wife, who is with me today, is a full-time professor at a community college.  She teaches a full load.  She has an expression she’s used for the last 10 years:  Any country that out-educates us will out-compete us.  Any country that out-educates us will out-compete us.

You not only have great raw materials and great resources, you have human resources that are tremendous, and we are anxious to work with you.  When President Obama announced his 100,000 Strong initiative, and your President announced your Science Without Borders -- I believe that's the name of -- Science Without Borders or Without Frontiers, we embraced it.  And the fact of the matter is 5,000 Brazilian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees are in a total of 46 states within the United States of America attending what we respectfully would suggested are the finest research universities in the world.

It is good for us, and it is good for you.  We always learn -- we learn from that.  The reason we have been successful is because we’ve invited the world in, because we’ve expanded immigration, and we expand invitations to come and see us.

But there’s a secondary reason I might say, Mr. Vice President, we think this is so important.  You and I were talking about this very briefly on the way down. 

Ladies and gentlemen, those nations that are the closest, cooperate the most, and even when they have differences, negotiate those differences are those nations where each other’s nation understands, has a feeling for, has a taste for, has a sense of the people in the other nation.  There’s only way to do that:  Be there.  Be there.

That's why through our ambassador, we have gone from 12 weeks I believe it is to two days or three days to get a visa.  That's why we’re doubling the consulates we have here available.  We want Brazilians coming to the United States -- not merely for commerce, but to see us, to begin to understand us with our faults and all -- our faults and our strengths -- because we’re convinced that if our people see firsthand what’s happening here in Brazil, meet firsthand your people and the same occurs, this relationship will become tighter and tighter.

Ladies and gentlemen, finally I want to raise an issue that the Vice President and I have pursued in our public life, the scourge of violence against women.  Your administration, Mr. Vice President, your leadership has taken on domestic violence, and you’ve pulled it out of the shadows.  I’m the author of the Violence Against Women Act in my country, the first fundamental change we’ve had in terms of how we legislatively view the role of the government in accommodating the end of domestic violence.

You’ve set up domestic violence hotlines that have significantly increased reporting of abuse and opened new shelters for victims, exactly what we did.  There was a famous Justice of one -- of our Supreme Court.  He said, the best disinfectant is sunlight.  Sunlight is the best disinfectant.  And shining a bright light on the abuse of women, shining a light on the abuse that takes place is the one certain way to end the abuse.

I leave Brazil full of optimism -- optimism -- about what we can accomplish together.  This is a moment of -- for relationships to begin to take on a different texture, a greater depth.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are the first, you are the seventh largest economy in the world.  We are both great democracies.  We both are inclusive peoples.  It is hard to imagine how this hemisphere can meet its potential without the relationship between the two largest nations in the hemisphere working together, and the international implications of that are profound.

So I look forward, as the President does, to your President’s visit.  I look forward to coming back many times, and I look forward to the great good we can do for both our people by working together.

And, Mr. Vice President, thank you for your hospitality, and I want to thank the press for paying attention in my visit to what I’ve had to say.  I appreciate it very much.  (Applause.)

END
1:29 P.M. (Local)

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12:52
Mandatory listing of about 1,600 activities is posted by department on performance.gov.
Categories: Influential
12:50

Dear Mr. Chairman: (Madam Chairman:)

(Dear Representative:) (Dear Senator:) (Dear Mr. Vice Chairman:)

This report to the Congress, under section 804(a) of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, 21 U.S.C. 1903(b)(1) (the "Kingpin Act"), transmits my designations of the following six foreign individuals and groups as appropriate for sanctions under the Kingpin Act and reports my direction of sanctions against them under the Act:

Mihael Karner (Slovenia)
Haji Khotwal Noorzai (Afghanistan)
Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano (Mexico)
Los Caballeros Templarios (Mexico)
Los Urabeños (Colombia)
Los Cachiros (Honduras)

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA

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12:46

May 31, 2013

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

SUBJECT: Delegation of Functions under Subsection 804(h)(2)(A) of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby delegate the functions conferred upon the President by section 804(h)(2)(A) of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (21 U.S.C. 1903(h)(2)(A)), to the Secretary of the Treasury.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

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12:12

Here is an entertaining and informative 52 minute podcast that gives an historical overview of patents and copyright and other "intellectual property" issues from an American perspective. Although they do not discuss government information issues specifically, the history they do discuss provides the context for the public good of public information and the attempts to privatize or commodify public information.

This is definitely informative, but The American History Guys of Backstory (Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh) are more like the Car Guys than your high school history teacher. They discuss everyone from Mark Twain to Phyllis Diller and guests include Ananda Chakrabarty, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Kembrew McLeod, University of Iowa, Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University. Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia, and Chris Sprigman, University of Virginia School of Law.

Listen and enjoy.

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12:12
Coverity, a development testing company, recently announced the results of its 2012 Coverity Scan Open Source Report.
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11:55
U.K. should follow France's model of public-private investment in broadband infrastructure to bolster its economy, telecom consultants say.

Categories: Influential
11:54

Oval Office

11:45 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  It’s a great pleasure once again to welcome our Secretary of NATO, Anders Rasmussen.  He has been an extraordinary partner for us and, I believe, a great leader for NATO. 

Over the last several years, he has helped to orchestrate a very successful Lisbon summit, a very successful Chicago summit.  And, in between, he has been able to mobilize and activate NATO members to take a whole host of actions that have resulted in a more secure world and has helped to underscore the importance of this alliance in the 21st century as a baseline whereby the United States and other member nations achieve security for their people.  So I’m very grateful for his extraordinary service.

We had an excellent discussion today focused on a number of issues that are of concern to all NATO members and are of great concern to the United States.  Obviously, at the top of our list was Afghanistan, where the international coalition that has worked alongside our U.S. troops has achieved significant progress.  And we are now looking over the next several weeks to a new milestone, one that was set in Chicago, where we are transitioning to Afghan lead for combat operations in Afghanistan and NATO members and ISAF members will be shifting into a train, assist, and advise mode.

We’ve seen great progress in the Afghan National Security Forces.  We want to continue that progress.  And central to that will be those NATO members, who are contributing, continuing to work effectively with their Afghan counterparts so that moving into next year we have a successful Afghan election and we continue transition until the end of 2014 whereby our combat roles will be completed. 

We had an opportunity to discuss not only the planning for the next year and a half, but also what kinds of steps we could take post-2014 to continue to ensure that Afghan security forces are effective and can control their own borders, and that NATO members can be assured that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for terrorism in the future.

And what we’ve agreed to is that in order for us facilitate this entire process, that it would be appropriate for us to have another NATO summit next year.  And so Secretary Rasmussen will be working diligently, as he always does, to identify a host country and to plan for a 2014 NATO summit, at which time not only will we be able to underscore this final chapter in our Afghan operations, but also to paint a picture of a future whereby we’re partnering with the Afghan government on behalf of the Afghan people and on behalf of world security.

In addition to talking about Afghanistan, we also discussed the importance of continuing to improve NATO defense capabilities in a new world with new threats.  And Anders has taken the lead talking with all the NATO members about how we start building up greater and greater capacity and integration that requires burden-sharing on the part of all NATO members.  It means that, even during times of austerity, that we work smarter together to ensure that we can meet and are prepared for any threats that may arise, whether it is improving our joint surveillance capabilities or addressing new threats like cybersecurity. 

And because of Anders’s leadership, I think we’ve made real progress on this front.  One of the goals of a 2014 NATO summit would be to lock in some of the progress that’s already been made into a set of commitments that are clearly understood by all the NATO members, and I very much appreciate the work that Anders has done on that front.

We had a chance to talk about Libya, where we obviously had a very successful NATO operation to liberate Libya from a decades-long dictatorship.  We now have a Libyan government that is in a transition process.  And part of where we think we can be helpful is to ensure that a democratically elected Libyan government has the capacity to control its borders to ensure that it does not become a safe haven for terrorism.  And I think NATO has an important role to play on that front, and I know that Secretary Rasmussen recently met with the Prime Minister of Libya and had discussions about how we could provide assistance.

We are very supportive of those efforts because we think it’s critical that we have strong partners in places like North Africa that are able to meet the security needs of their own people but are also working with the international community to meet the security needs of all of us. 

And finally, I congratulated Anders on the excellent work that was done to achieve an agreement with respect to the Kosovo situation that has the potential to be historic and indicates the degree to which NATO forces in that region continue to play a very important role in underwriting the security of people who historically, obviously, have been racked by all sorts of conflict and violence.  And we’re very supportive of those efforts. 

It’s one more example of the kind of leadership that Secretary Rasmussen has shown during the course of his tenure.  We appreciate the fact that he has extended that tenure longer than he and his family originally anticipated, but we’re all very fortunate that he’s taken on this assignment.  And I look forward to continuing productive work with him and his entire team at NATO over the next year of his service.

Thank you very much.

SECRETARY RASMUSSEN:  Thank you very much, Mr. President for your kind words.  Thank you for the support.  Thank you for your strong commitment to a strong NATO.

NATO brings together 28 nations that share the same values -- freedom, democracy, the rule of law.  And those 28 nations offer a pool of forces and capabilities that is second to none.  After almost two decades of operations, our forces are stronger and more experienced than ever.  And in these tough economic times, NATO's collective and multilateral defense is far more effective and far more efficient than any individual national capability.  Through NATO, you get more value for money -- you get more security for money.

Now, our main operation is our ISAF mission in Afghanistan.  Our goal is in sight.  Soon, we will reach an important milestone.  The Afghans will take the lead for security across the country.  Our troops will move into a support role.  By the end of 2014, our combat mission will be completed, our combat troops will return home, the Afghan security forces will take full responsibility for the security -- but we will still be there to train, advise, and assist. 

And to that end, we are now preparing a training mission to be established from 2015.  It will be a very different mission -- a non-combat mission with a significantly lower number of troops and trainers.  So we are determinedly moving towards our goal:  an Afghanistan that can stand on its own feet.  But the Afghans will not stand alone.  We are prepared for an enduring partnership with the Afghan people.

As we draw down our operations, we will enhance the modernization of our defense to ensure effective protection of our populations against new and emerging security threats and challenges.  That's why we are building a NATO missile defense, strengthening cybersecurity, and we will step up joint military exercises, training, and education to maintain and further develop our ability to work and operate together.

Today, the President and I have discussed this vision of change from a deployed NATO to a prepared NATO.  And we look very much forward to further outlining and discussing this shared mission with NATO allies at the summit in 2014. 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you, Secretary.

SECRETARY RASMUSSEN:  Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you, everybody. 

END
11:57 A.M. EDT

Categories: All , Technical
11:48
Herb Zien, CEO of LiquidCool Systems, says costs can be easily recouped through more efficient operations.
Categories: All
11:22
An increasing number of IT groups are finding themselves adding one or more Hadoop clusters to the mix. Project Serengeti virtualizes Hadoop clusters, making them easier to deploy and easier to manage. It's one thing for a vendor to claim that, and it's another thing entirely to find a customer that agrees with you. This blog post comes to you courtesy of Sasha Kipervarg, the Director of SaaS Operations at Identified -- a targeted analytics-based SaaS offering for recruiting professionals. I was curious about how people actually use Serengeti with VMware, and Sasha was kind enough to be interviewed. I found a lot that was interesting here -- maybe you will as well? The Business Of Talent Recruitment Identified has a neat business model: use powerful algorithms that uses social feed data to help zero in on hard-to-find talent. Their first product -- Identified Recruit -- helps recruiters target scarce healthcare professionals such as registered nurses -- and has meet with good success. From my perspective, there's obvious room to expand in other dimensions: tech professionals as well as other hard-to-find talent. Their "secret sauce" isn't in the data itself -- it lies in their ability to extract signal from... Chuck Hollis http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2013/05/project-serengeti-hadoop-infrastructure-made-easy.html
Source: Chuck's Blog
Categories: All , Technical
11:19
As a three-kilometer-wide asteroid nears its closest approach to Earth this afternoon, there's no fear of a collision but space buffs are eagerly getting a close up view as it passes us by.
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