It’s been a busy or boring two weeks, depending on how you look at it. On the plus side: helllllloooooow, Nvidia GT630. Granted, it’s an entry-level gaming card, but for my 1024×768 monitor it’s the perfect fit. NFS: Most Wanted (the Criterion edition) on full high settings: what more could you want?
On the downside, no Internet. My fingers are itching from not being able to write. It’s remarkable how depressingly out-of-touch you get without the services of Twitter and Facebook. Hell, in the time I’ve been offline, the League of Legends has gone through a major season 3 change and even WordPress’s image system seems to have been upgraded.

Anyway, I wanted to share a story I stumbled onto a while ago while researching stuff for Readme. In late November, reports confirmed that the US Air Force had indeed scrapped the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), a massive Enterprise Resource Planning software project that’s been worked on since 2005.  I didn’t really pay much attention to it, because we do Sri Lankan news – the US had enough press of their own.

Today, I came back to read the article. The reason the project was scrapped? After $1 billion in accumulated costs, the project still needs another $1 billion and 8 more years for a quarter of the planned stuff to go live. According to the IDG News Service, the total estimated cost was US $ 5 billion, so they decided to haul it onto the chopping block.
From a software standpoint, it’s a mess. The ECSS, running on Oracle software, was supposed to replace over 200 legacy system and “provide the Air Force a single, integrated logistics system–including transportation, supply, maintenance and repair, engineering and acquisition–for both the Air Force’s general and working capital funds,” according to this survey (http://www.gao.gov/htext/d1153.html) by the US U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Of course, in a military structure as large as that of the US, an ERP along these lines would have made handling big bucks much more efficient. Modernization is not just a catchphrase: it’s a must. The problem occurs when a) you add a vast scope to b) mismanagement. According to the GAO survey, the majority of US Government ERPs are far behind schedule, over budget, and are in fact causing the very problems they were meant to dissolve – the mismanagement of money. The US Marine Corps’ Global Combat Support System, supposed to have been deployed in late 2009, is now projected to be 10 times more expensive than the initial $126 million budget.

That is just fucking ridiculous. I mean, seriously. These people wait for years and billions of dollars to realize they’re behind schedule? TO THE FAIL BOAT, MARINES.Now let’s not worry too much about the incredible waste of money and time, because (speaking as a Sri Lankan) it’s not our money or time. But it’s bloody ridiculous anyway. Hooray for mismanagement. Let’s hope we don’t see this kinda thing in Sri Lanka, because we certainly can’t afford it.

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