NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Perspective

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The daunting problems that faced the launch of the HealthCare.gov website in October were merely symptoms of the federal government's often snail-like pace at integrating digital innovations common to everyday America. A December New York Times report revealed that The Federal Register (the daily journal of the U.S. government) still receives original content from some agencies on virtually obsolete 3.5-inch floppy disks — and (because of unamended legal requirements) its work-order authorizations from some agencies on disks hand-delivered inside the Washington Beltway by courier. Contractors can be frustrated as well since, though they operate with top-of-the-line digital efficiency internally, they must sometimes downgrade to interface with their government clients.

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