Aug 26, 2008

Department of Entropy

[UPDATE: The directive can be downloaded here.]

FYI: The Department of Entropy released a 26 page Directive today for comment which requires every Lab to change its domain name to *.energy.gov, prohibits individual projects from having their own logos, and says that Lab buildings must display giant DOE logos on them (and no other logos)!

What D- Fourth Tier Marketing Major did they let out of community college to write this thing?

Why won't anyone in Congress wake up to the truth: the abuse in DOE is all with the Feds. They are totally and completely incompetent and they seem destined to destroy the Labs through outlandish incompetent micromanagement and ludicrous policy.

Things like this cost millions of dollars of defense and science money - all because some moron thought "hey, let's all get the same domain name."

MEMO TO CLOWNS: The Labs are respected because they are not Federal Agencies. LEAVE THEM ALONE. Don't HELP.

Someone in Congress, anyone in Congress, please help us - DOE is going to kill the Labs - it already has killed several...

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

wait for the news hit in a few weeks to months. there may be a reason related to the domain name change. it does give the computer guys a chance to install a new set up....perhaps they need to do this NOW and the DOE stuff is simply a distraction

Anonymous said...

Went to the doe site to look for draft directives for comment and the link is under construction. LANL has been in a downward spiral since the days of Pete Nanos. LANS is a sham and Bechtel is in over their heads. All they do is pad the workforce with managers who are total zeros. Some even less than zeros. Good competent people are leaving left and right and less people wind up doing most of the work.

Anonymous said...

Too late, game over.

Anonymous said...

"Someone in Congress, anyone in Congress, please help us - DOE is going to kill the Labs."

Sorry, but St. Pete has left the auditorium.

Anonymous said...

"What D- Fourth Tier Marketing Major did they let out of community college to write this thing?"

The same one who will someday be working as a richly paid Bechtel managers at the lab... as your lab boss!

Anonymous said...

7.15pm is confused about the difference between an IP address and a domain name. This has nothing to do with what you think it does.

Anonymous said...

This idea from DOE is severely irrelevant for the National labs, and the nuclear sites.

(If Gen. Leslie R. Groves had micromanaged Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer during WWII, the Manhattan project would have been a failure.)

Anonymous said...

Those jerks at DOE. Think they own the place. Oh, wait, nevermind.

Anonymous said...

How will this improve security?
How will it improve productivity?
How will this decrease costs?
Sounds like the big dog is running around marking his territory.
It's better to be pissed off than pissed on, or work at a national lab and get both.

Anonymous said...

Methinks the Department of Energy wants to take credit for something, anything, even the National Laboratories, given that they've botched energy policy so badly.

Wait, the DOE has botched running the National Laboratories too.

Anonymous said...

Don't these idiots at the DOE have anything else to do?

This is clear evidence that the DOE is overstaffed!

Anonymous said...

Is it a good thing to put up big DOE signs to advertise how badly you have managed your responsibility?

The signs strike me as analogous to a sign saying "Old renters have left, now renting to pedophiles only."

LOL

Anonymous said...

Why don't they just federalize the workforces at the labs too... save paying a contractor shell company $86 million for basically just handing out paychecks... DOE has completely perverted and destroyed the concept of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, along with the term Government Owned-Contractor Operated.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should be using the Spanglish spelling.

Deparmento of Henergy


abbreviated

Doh

;-)

Anonymous said...

You mean this directive?

http://www.directives.doe.gov/cgi-bin/explhcgi?qry1590459668;doe-373

Anonymous said...

APRIL FOOLS!!!!!

Oh, wait... It's a little too early for that.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like that only thing required concerning the internet is a DOE logo that links to www.energy.gov on each web page, plus a reference to somewhere within the *.energy.gov domain on all "communication products", whatever that means.

Here's the relevant section:

f. Website References.
A web URL within the energy.gov domain must be displayed on all
communications products. This would take either of the following forms:
[word or acronym].energy.gov
or
energy.gov/[word or acronym].

g. Websites.
(1) The DOE logo must be appear in the top section of all websites. The top
section is defined as the top 1/3rd of the screen as typically visible on most
users’ screens.
(2) The DOE logo must appear as part of the standard format and architecture
of all pages and must be an active link to www.energy.gov.
(3) No more than one logo in addition to the DOE logo may appear at the
same level as the DOE logo.
(4) If there is a third approved logo associated with the work (for example, a national laboratory or NNSA facility logo that is the parent of a facility
that may have an approved logo) the third logo may appear somewhere
else on the page, below the two logos at the top.
(5) Of the non-DOE logos, which logo appears higher is at the discretion of
the parent organization.

rdarlington said...

Wow, this reminds me of when they wrote a formal definition of CREM without consulting anybody in IT!

From what I'm reading, ALL web pages are required to have a DoE logo, including pages for things like tabulated weather data or other such functional pages. Perhaps they mean all public web pages, not necessarily those for internal use.

Also, to the guy asking about IP address vs. domain names, think of this like your phone book. An IP address would be analogous to your street address (or phone number), and the domain name your last name. DNS is a directory service, much like a phone book, that translates between the two. The domain name itself is usually used in conjunction with a host name (like your first name), but there is no requirement to do that. Typically you'd see "www" or something to that effect in front of the domain name, but again, no requirement to do that -at least outside of the DoE.

That being said, there is no way to improve security by changing a domain name, unless you plan on both never telling anybody about the change and hoping nobody finds out, thus preventing anybody from accessing your servers.

www.lanl.doe.gov or energy.gov does seem to be the most appropriate way to handle the hierarchical naming convention of DoE facilities. It's the most logical way to group sites and servers inside the constraints of current technology. LANL.gov is not a branch of the government, nor a local/state government, so therefore it probably should be moved under doe.gov or energy.gov.

What this effectively does is centralize all of the DoE's name server (DNS) control, although most likely they will distribute the actual maintenance between each facility.

-A formerly disgruntled LANL IT and computer security guy

Anonymous said...

Does it matter that DOE does not own the computers here,LANS does?

Remember GOCO. LANS is buying the computers and owns them. DOE gives LANS money to do the buying.

Legally, the web site probably belongs to LANS since all the employees running it no longer work for the government and should not be using a .gov site without permission.

Anonymous said...

"A formerly disgruntled LANL IT and computer security guy"

just curious -- are you no longer disgruntled? are you still a LANL IT etc guy?

Anonymous said...

4:54 is dead wrong. LANL, LLNL, etc are not constituent parts of DOE - they are quasi-independent organizations which are required to maintain separation from DOE and from their parent companies (like all FFRDCs). The only FFRDC that is a subcomponent by domain name of its agency sponsor is JPL. All the rest are not.

Anonymous said...

7:15 pm is correct about a big computer issue currently being worked at LANL. it will be a shock to the yellow network when it is implemented. LANL will say "no comment" if asked directly.

9:05 is a little snooty in their comment of course there is a difference between IP and domain and yes the DOE logo crap may not have anything to do with what IS happening at LANL, but wait for the reworking of the yellow system.

Anonymous said...

it's the usual ploy of making big CHANGES that mean nothing and add no value... how about the worthless new badges that will cost HOW MUCH? And to what gain?

Anonymous said...

"Does it matter that DOE does not own the computers here,LANS does?"

No, the government owns the computers. LANS does not.

"Remember GOCO. LANS is buying the computers and owns them. DOE gives LANS money to do the buying."

Yes, Government Owned, Contractor Operated. Not contractor owned.

"Legally, the web site probably belongs to LANS since all the employees running it no longer work for the government and should not be using a .gov site without permission."

Which part of your ass did you pull this from?

Eric said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federally_funded_research_and_development_center
The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30533.pdf

These two URLs are very useful discussions of FFRDCs

Anonymous said...

5:06 PM - Beg to differ, but since LANL (like all other national labs) is a Contractor-Operated Goverment-Owned (GOCO) facility, DOE (or another federal agency in some cases) does indeed own the computers (and everything else down to the paperclips). LANS doesn't "own" anything, and what it does purchase is done so with funding from the USG.

Anonymous said...

What is really abusive is that this is a DOE Order. Under other authorizing legislation, this has the force of law. While extreme, a violation of this order could subject one to civil or criminal penalties. Go to jail because you elevated your logo above DOE? Sounds ridiculous, but I've seen equivalent idiocy in classification and other rules.

To prevent abuse of non-essential orders, there are other regulations which require certifying agencies to attest to the critical impact on health, safety, or the environment before issuing the order and to obtain DOE undersecretary concurrence on this point.

Here's the justification for this order:

http://www.ornl.gov/doe/doe_oro_dmg/Justification%20Memos/o575_x.pdf

Note they 1)ask for accelerated implementation (60 days), and 2)provide the "critical" justification. Please read this justification and explain why this is essential to protect health, safety, or the environment? By my reading, this is a complete abuse of the process.

Finally - you have to have concurrence from various DOE undersecretaries including DOE Energy, DOE Science, and NNSA. Kindly note this has been scratched through by the submitter, with a nice "N/A" scrawled in its place.

IMHO, this rises to criminal abuse of the DOE order submission process, and the IG should investigate how this order was released without following proper procedures, approvals, and with abusive justifications.

Anonymous said...

For 9:21 and 9:50;

Go read the actual law before making ignorant comments. Not GOCO sound bites but the real law.

You will find that 'own' is a very interesting concept as are FFRDCs.

It would help other readers if the two of you did not just make things up based on no research at all.

Anonymous said...

One small correction to the previous post. Security is another valid justification for DOE orders as well. Health, Safety, Environment, or Security. Any of these provide a critical justification for issuing a new DOE Order.

Anonymous said...

Let's just have a big frig'n DOE seal tatooed on the forehead and butt of all lab employees.

That should do the trick, seeing as DOE/NNSA now own the souls of any unfortunate employees still left working at either LANL or LLNL.

This is a sad sign of the times at the labs.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that all of the good web sites within the DOE complex are NOT produced by DOE, but rather they are done by the contractors. As a CIO of DOE if you want to say "look at what I did" you issue the edict that makes sure that DOE is given top billing. They are paying the bills.

Think of it like this - you tell Picasso to make a painting, and since you are commissioning it, you insist that your name be put on it in a prominent spot to grab some glory.

Was the thought of getting the labs to toe a tighter line what got Bodman's heart racing this week?

Anonymous said...

To 9:21

1. "Which part of your ..."

Nice turn of phrase. You should have fun next year in seventh grade.

2. "Which ... " The answer is Federal Law such as FARS and Congressional legislation. Your turn.

Anonymous said...

10:25 et al.

According to Bill Eklund, University Counsel, University of California Office of General Counsel, “An Introductory Guide to UC’s Ties to LANS LLC and LLNS LLC and their Management of the Weapons Labs at Los Alamos and Livermore”

"All real property, facilities, and equipment at LANL and LLNL are owned by the federal Government. This distinguishes these Laboratories from other National Laboratories, notably Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which are located on the contractor’s premises."

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Anonymous said...

What's the recent deal with the yellow net?

Anonymous said...

to 10:45
So you are saying that

Supplies, computer programs, people, salaries, benefits, rented equipment, and things that, by contract, are not called equipment (small items like staples and pension funds) are owned by LANS and not the federal government.

At one point, the US Postal Service was going to fund a new research building at LANL. This building would have been owned by the Postal Service not DOE.

The verbiage by the UC counsel has lots of subtleties in it. Remember, LANL is not part of UC and UC owns part of LANS but is legally distinct from LANS. UC is at arms length to LANS' finances and ownership, by design.

"Put that ..." a nice phrase from the 40's or 50's. This phrase is not used by anyone under 75 years old. It is now 2008. You might want to get a little more current.

Anonymous said...

On a less confrontational and more pragmatic note, the question of who actually owns what, at LANL and under LANS,is a very big and apparently unresolved issue as is the applicable law for FFRDCs and government/private organizations.

Hidden under the UC counsel's boilerplate are lots of untested issues.

Anonymous said...

DOE doesn't produce anything... the employees of the companies that DOE hires to run its facilities do the actual work. Remember clause H-17 in the LANS/LANL contract...

"CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEES

In carrying out the work under this Contract, the Contractor [LANS,LLC] shall be responsible for the employment of all professional, technical, skilled, and unskilled personnel engaged by the Contractor in the work hereunder, and for the training of personnel. Persons employed by the Contractor shall be and remain employees of the Contractor and shall not be deemed employees of the NNSA or the Government"

I'm on a WFO project, and I've always felt it slap in the face of my sponsor that I have to put that silly DOE auspices statement on my papers/documents before sending to my sponsor. DOE had nothing to do with the work and no DOE employee provided any input to my work - so why do I have to put on my hard work their logo, name, and a statement that my work was done by them. I work for LANS not NNSA/DOE, and LANS is producing/reviewing/generating the work for my sponsor not DOE/NNSA.

Anonymous said...

Looks like DOE hired somebody from Madison Avenue who told them that they needed a consistent brand identity across the entire complex.

Why it's so urgent is a mystery. Lack of consistent brand identity isn't what makes the operation of the Energy complex incompetent. There are bigger fish to fry.

Now wait till somebody at an even higher level of government says that we need to display a US Government logo on every US Government "communication product" across all of the federal government, and it has to be higher up on the page than the DOE (or other departmental) logo.

This is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"What's the recent deal with the yellow net?" - 12:50 AM

The new LANL proxy/filter machines that were recently installed to aggressively block and filter LANL's internet traffic. That's what.

You want to use the internet? Then best do it from home from now on.

Anonymous said...

This DOE "branding" insanity makes me believe some DOE know-nothing bureaucrats must be spending way too much time watching Donny Deutch's "Big Idea" program on cable TV.

The agency is currently filled with a cadre of shallow Get Rich Quick, "big-thinking" total losers.

Anonymous said...

"DOE had nothing to do with the work"

How about paying for your infrastructure, which is much more expensive than you think.

Anonymous said...

"At one point, the US Postal Service was [considering, maybe]to fund a new research building at LANL."

FTFY.

rdarlington said...

To 8/27/08 5:19 PM

I'm no longer disgruntled! I left the lab three years ago, and by that I mean I was laid off. Remember the forced conversion of contractors and all the pay cuts? Never bitch to your DGL about those pay cuts going to fund a re-org (my group split from CCN-2 into CCN-1, 2, and 3, complete with 2 new group leaders and two new DGLs). The guy you complain to may end up being your GL someday. In my case, that was 30 days later. I was out on my ass on his first day on the job. I've always felt the best place from which to rock the boat was smack dab in the middle of the boat, so there was no problem. We get along fine now, and I hold no hard feelings. Hell, I make better money now, can get work done, and have no headaches. I did more in the first three months out of the lab than I did in three years of trying HARD while at LANL. They did me a huge favor. As you can imagine, somebody that likes to get things done might be pretty irritated after three years working with people that refused to do any work and dragged their feet every step of the way.

Anyway, part of what the DoE wants to do seems reasonable, at least in so far as the naming conventions go for computers (whatever.energy.gov). The logo and signs I think is just silly. You don't always want a DoE logo on the output of tabulated data, hopefully they only mean public websites (which I feel is also reasonable).

-Bob

Anonymous said...

8/28/08 10:40 AM

The CIO says "here, eat a piece of S&*$" and everyone does it. The guy has no clue. The dumb asses block and screw up everything out bound. Configure a firewall properly and the idea is to block stuff inbound. It can be done. Get rid of the Windows crap and we would not be in this stupid mess.

Anonymous said...

Man I miss the good ole days of polygraphs and drug tests.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what's going on in TR now that Beason is moving on? Who's taking over the top slots and is the transition going smoothly? Are people staying put or is there a trend of people trying to bail out?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Thanks for answering my question, and I am very glad to hear things are going well for you.

If you were still in IT at the Lab and happier than you used to be, I would be asking next where you found some of that "What's So Bad About Feeling Good" virus.

Everybody's happier when they feel like they're accomplishing something useful, instead of running around in circles. Too bad that so often what makes management feel useful makes the rest of us feel that what we're doing is futile. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground anymore.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

8/28/08 11:37 PM, take a look at the internal job ads. Beason's AD position is being elevated to a PAD with a new title.

Anonymous said...

"Beason's AD position is being elevated to a PAD with a new title." - 7:18 AM

Fantastic, more bloated layers of highly paid management! Way to go, LANS.

Anonymous said...

7:18 am: "Beason's AD position is being elevated to a PAD with a new title."

I don't suppose there's any hope of "de-elevating" PADSTE to an AD in exchange?

Anonymous said...

Nope, Terry's selfish vindictive fat ass ain't going nowhere...

Anonymous said...

at the end of the day, DOE is the landlord and you must obey their rules. If you want your own domain, yahoo is for free. Who cares if your e-mail is lanl.gov or energy.gov or laboratory.gov, what matters is the quality of work you do. you buy a chevy and it is yours, but still, it carries the Chevy logo.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I left the lab for the same reason, very very hard to do the work, corrupted (to a certain extent) LDRD, usually awarded on friendship, the old boys club criteria, no space for newcomers, no way to get funding being so expensive. sponsors who would not even talk to me because I was so expensive, they are very interested now. put this on top of colleagues trying to stab you in the back, and you get a nice picture of a career advancing place. I was thinking at a certain point I was paranoid, but no, there are better places where things can be done well and with decent (behaving) people.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

You probably should thank your old DGL because you now know there is life after LANL. I am sure it is not all good but at least your new employer wants you to contribute.

I too bailed; I could no longer watch as LANS slowly pushes LANL over the cliff. Fortunately, LANS cannot get their management team to all push in the same direction, so it will be a very slow death.

I was also amazed at how many people sat around with nothing to do for 2+ years. The work ethic is suffering and all LANS seems to care about is how they can spin their efforts on the performance measures.

My hope is that they will get less than an 80% this and next year and they will be gone. And as long as the LANS management is incapable of a concerted push of LANL over the cliff there is still hope for LANL.

Anonymous said...

That's a fairly accurate portrait of LANL today, 10:40 PM. If anything, it's probably become a little worse since you left. The working level scientists all seem to be going through the motions at work, just waiting until they can find the means to get out. It's become so bad that many of the staff can't even bear to talk about it with others any longer. It's just too painful.

Anonymous said...

We are LANS..We are Rectal..We are the BORG...
Resistance is FUTILE...

Anonymous said...

"..sponsors who would not even talk to me because I was so expensive, they are very interested now." (10:40 AM)

This sounds hopeful. Please tell us more.

Are you getting this outside sponsor interest while working at another DOE lab, a university, or is this being directed to you as a private consultant? How tough is it, really, to extract a project from LANL and take it with you to a better and far more supportive location?

Anonymous said...

It's the first week of September, yet there is still no word on what our base raise will be for this year.

Anyone hearing rumors? Anything at all? Are we destined for another year of sub-par 2% increases, or perhaps no raise at all? Or perhaps the base raises this year will be considered LANS LLC "proprietary information"?

Anonymous said...

I've heard the rumor that raises this year will be about twice what they were last year.

Anonymous said...

From 9/4/08 7:20 PM "I've heard the rumor that raises this year will be about twice what they were last year."

Hot damn, as a female scientist with a group full of men I can look forward to a whopping 2% raise this year.

Anonymous said...

"Hot damn, as a female scientist with a group full of men I can look forward to a whopping 2% raise this year." - 7:03 PM

With the new max salary caps rolled out by LANS, a lot of the research staff won't be seeing any raises for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

The LANS theme seems to be:

- WORK HARDER,

- FOR LESS SALARY,

- UNDER DETERIORATING POLICIES,

- WITH INCREASING STRESS & FEAR.

All the while, these strict new policies don't apply to any of the upper management and the salaries at those levels are only heading upwards. It stinks!

Anonymous said...

12:50 PM "All the while, these strict new policies don't apply to any of the upper management and the salaries at those levels are only heading upwards. It stinks!"

Not only those of upper management, but also to any new Bechtel employee that comes in. Someone from OFCCP (Office of Contract Compliance Program) and EEO should come in and find out for themselves what is really happening at LANL.

Anonymous said...

9/7/08 2:00 PM

LANS is a private for profit company allowed by law to do as it pleases. Unlike UC, which was a public entity and open to public scrutiny, LANS does its business behind closed doors. If the LANS Board wanted to give Mike $2 million a year out of its $80+ million annual fee it could, and there would be nothing that NNSA or employees could do.

I'm still waiting from someone in NNSA or Congress to really explain how forcing an LLC on LANL has improved things.

Anonymous said...

LANS may be a private contractor, but they are still subject to EEO, Diversity, Affirmative Action, and responsible to OFCCP and other Public Laws as a government contractor. Their day will come!

Anonymous said...

9/7/08 5:27 PM:
I'm still waiting from someone in NNSA or Congress to really explain how forcing an LLC on LANL has improved things.

According to NNSA's Tom D'Agostino, it's all part of a bold program called "Getting the Job Done!".