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Lapse in Federal Government

Mon, 10/14/2013 - 11:23am
Meaghan Ziemba, Editor

“Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.” Unacceptable.

As an editor who is constantly searching for the latest innovational news, the above subhead greatly annoys. I encountered this message during a daily search for the “Photos of the Day” spot in WDD’s daily newsletter, typically, NASA.gov is doing some amazing satellite work. I’ll refrain from describing my hand gesture I made towards the screen when the message popped up.

I’m not a very political person. Never have been. Yes, I lean more towards one side than the other, but I never try to sway others, or try to bait others into arguments. I use my right to vote, but never discuss my decisions with those around me. I simply don’t like to argue about certain beliefs or opinions I hold, and it’s no one’s business.

All politics aside, the government shutdown is affecting all of us in more ways than we may have thought. For example, one of my co-workers had plans to visit Yellowstone National Park with his wife for vacation. Now they need to come up with an alternate destination.

Various government-funded sites are not being updated due to the shutdown, creating a road block for anyone trying to research a certain topic or for writers searching for the facts on certain stories.

But how about the technological side of things? According to the VDC Research, “Delays in inspecting and approving products at or for OEMs in medical, aerospace, and defense markets will ripple back through the supply chain and therefore, will impact embedded board and system suppliers […] and the processor and memory suppliers.”

If inspection procedures and services are delayed for an extended length of time, we can expect the U.S. ports to be affected, which in turn will influence the progress of the consumer electronics market.

Another big organization affected by the shutdown is NIST, which is responsible for the national standards of many physical quantities, as well as calibration services for measurement and test equipment. A lot of test and measurement products are suffering a huge set back because they cannot be calibrated.

So how long can the technology market survive a government shutdown? So far, things seem to be running fairly smoothly, except for restrictions to the information I need for developing stories. But what about the products that require calibration or inspection before they go on the market? What do we tell the individuals who rely on those products?

Hopefully the two sides can find a compromise so we don’t have to find out.

What are your thoughts? Comment below or send them to meaghan.ziemba@advantagemedia.com.

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