Reading List: A Podcast, Steve Jobs' Email, and an Interactive Data Tool

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In our news-gathering efforts, we come across plenty of tidbits of interest that aren't squarely in Techwire's sweet spot (gov tech and procurement in California), but which are interesting and bear mention nonetheless. Here are some recent links we like: 

Tech entrepreneur and open source advocate Luke Fretwell (whose commentaries appear periodically in Techwire) and Jessica Carsten, a public-private-sector consultant, have kicked off a new podcast, The Government We Need.

In the latest episode, the guest is IT security professional Bruce Schneier, who’s also a privacy specialist, cryptographer and writer. He lectures at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, he blogs at Schneier on Security, and he’s written more than a dozen books, his latest being Click Here to Kill Everybody.

The topic of this episode of the podcast is "How government can secure us in the internet+ era.” 

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Forbes magazine has issued its ranking of the best employers by state — and California state and local government can hold their heads high.

Among California government agencies that are touted are the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, UC Irvine, San Diego County, Sutter County and Riverside County.

The rankings include public and private sector, as well as education and health-care-related employers. For details on where the entities ranked, and how the state fared as a whole compared to the other states, check out the full article here.  

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Ever wonder what it was like to get an email from Apple icon Steve Jobs? An old email he had written, which was introduced and made public as part of a lawsuit that Apple ultimately lost, offers some relevant pointers: Use the recipient’s name. Provide context for what you’re trying to convey. Think through what you want to say before writing. Compose your message thoughtfully, clearly and succinctly. And use a sign-off.

Want to read his email? Click here. 

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Do you love data? Like to ski? Enjoy meteorology? Indulge your interests with a look at a data visualization maintained by the California Department of Water Resources. It's labeled Daily Statewide Hydrologic Update, but its content isn't as dry as its title. It's an interesting, interactive map with plenty of clickable data points. The state is doing more and more with data visualizations like this, and that's a good thing.

Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.