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Technology / AI and automation


The federal government squanders billions of dollars a year buying outmoded computer technology, according to a report released by Senator William Cohen of Maine, senior Republican on the Senate govermental affairs committee: Taxpayers should be outraged, he said – The system is indeed broken and it is time to fix it; Uncle Sam spends more than $25,000m a year on computer-related purchases, making it the largest single buyer of computers and computer equipment in the world, but as we all know, as soon as a contract is finally awarded, all the losers appeal it, and the process can go on for years, by which time the machines described in the tender documemts are already obsolete; the report recommends that the government consider alternatives such as leasing equipment and halt all computer purchases until it overhauls the way it acquires new equipment; the report also highlights the wonderful IBM Corp 9020D versions of the 360 and other antique equipment still used by the Federal Aviation Administration, saying that the FAA must buy valves from a manufacturer in Poland and search Radio shack and junkyards for spare parts to keep the system running – the 9020Ds are as large as a truck but are only a tenth as powerful as a basic personal computer it says.

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