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never
always
not if it was done when on a break
how could you ask that you unpatriotic fool?
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Is using TMF while officially at a U.S. military job a waste of taxpayer resources?.

You mean as opposed to playing solitare/minesweeper? Going to the designated area to smoke a cigarette? Standing around the watercooler?

There are hundreds of ways to waste time on any job, what makes TMF so special?


Jim
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No. of Recommendations: 0
At my base, someone else made the decision for me--TMF is blocked on the network. They allow access to CNN, sports, etc. during lunch, but alas no Fool. A tad frustrating--I used to spend my lunch break eating at my desk perusing the boards and headlines at My Yahoo (also blocked).

• Jeff
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No. of Recommendations: 15
I think there aren't hard and fast rules world-wide. There are different levels of access from different locations and systems.

If the system administrator blocks the access, you may ask for a change but I think the unclas systems are for official business and most secure systems don't have out of network access except for super users.

That said, what is the definition of official business? These discusions on this board have been of a nature where official business is discussed most frequently.

Everything including morale, supervision, management and benefit program questions and discussions are just some of the topics, as official in their nature in subject matter as you can get that I've seen here.

I'd wager that most of those folks here from the DOD arena who frequent TMF are no strangers to 14 hour or even longer days at work. I'd rather have someone come in here from their work computer for topical subject sharing than play Solitaire.

This board in particular, I think, is an efficient way of communicating with peers and subject matter knowledgeable friends who shoot straight from the hip and call it like it is, something not necessarily available in the average cubicle in many installations or offices.

The side benefit to other TMF boards is the mindset of getting your financial side of the house in order.
According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, if the basics are taken care of, as the TMF philosophy supports, any member who elevates themselves above the lowest levels of needs to be filled will then be free to fulfill the needs of others, such as subordinates.

TMF would be linked to official websites, if I had my way.

Tigerman, Imho
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No. of Recommendations: 1
TMF would be linked to official websites, if I had my way.

-------------------------

I wonder if there are official channels to go through to request the block be dropped... heck, it's done through software and can be manually changed...


CaveGirl
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I wonder if there are official channels to go through to request the block be dropped... heck, it's done through software and can be manually changed...

I have never had the fool blocked by the base but have lost access to many other sites that are common and routine news and education sites. Each time it happens I simply call the NCC and tell then that it should be taken off their firewall list or they can manually configure their websense or smartcomputing firewall software.

You may have to submit a formal letter to them.

All you can do is ask. Happy surfing.

-Ryan
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No. of Recommendations: 5
I have used the Fool at least two dozen times on duty to assist anc counsel some of my NCOs and soldiers on getting their stuff straight. Used it several times for personal finance classes.

Is doing this wrong, to keep great soldiers in? You know the ones--they are great on the job, but don't have much of a clue beyond their pay is directly deposited?

The couple of hours spend gaining knowledge to sow the seed is much cheaper than the thousands of dollars involuntary separation entitlements and unemployment dollars out the window. Not to mention your Uncle Sam's loss of tax base.

Just a thought.

Shbarnes
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Is using TMF while officially at a U.S. military job a waste of taxpayer resources?

Would that we could use the TMF model in some of our work applications.

I've suggested to more than one person, including the head of our Computer Support Agency, that the way TMF does discussion boards is precisely the way we should be doing collaborative work every day. Can you imagine leveraging the power this tool in discussing military matters....?

Everything from pay problems, leadership challenges, and doctrine development could greatly benefit from leveraging the ability to include more folks than the military can put on one base at one time together to solve a problem.

I run a discussion group using Listserv, but it is nowhere as useful as the TMF tool. There are news groups apparently that one can subscribe to using Outlook, but these are obscure elements, and not widely understood by most users. Not to mention the fact that setting them up is one challenge, figuring out what's available another, and even getting the right folks up on line a problem.

I've suggested that the Army's Knowledge Online should strongly investigate TMF's model and then make it happen. Time's awaisting.

Disclaimer: This message was composed while I'm at work...wasting time...shoot me, bend my dog tags, make me work in Washington...375 days and counting....
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I have never had the fool blocked by the base but have lost access to many other sites that are common and routine news and education sites. Each time it happens I simply call the NCC and tell then that it should be taken off their firewall list or they can manually configure their websense or smartcomputing firewall software.

----------------------

I am the closest thing to the NCC... yesterday my security guy changed the Surf Control software from chat <which did the lockout in the first place> to finance but is unsure that will be permanent as the updates are sent in at midnight every day... but today is a new day and I am still here... I think he is afraid to make the decision overriding software because as you know, software is always correct :)

We are a small shop and everyone is afraid to challenge the powers that be...


CaveGirl
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Just in case you need a bit more ammo for the powers that be:

As a US citizen and taxpayer, I want smart, motivated soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Part of being smart and motivated is getting yourself into a position where financial problems don't run your life, you can plan for your family and your future and you learn the valued of deferred gratification in terms of material possessions.

TMF teaches all those things and more. Anyone, and I mean anyone, not just the financial gurus and NCOs in charge of troops, who learns here and passes that knowledge along to colleagues and peers, is creating smarter, more motivated service members.

Frankly, I think TMF saves Uncle Sugar money that is better spent on other things.

My cap's off to those of you with access who are learning and passing along those lessons. And to those of you asking for access.

And I love the idea of the Army using the TMF discussion board interface. You're right - it's the best I've seen. Too bad TMF won't license the technology. It'd be a win-win for everyone.

Anybody at FoolHQ listening?

JMO,

Foolishjk
*TMF v. Solitaire? No contest.*
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Your at Buckley right...I will be there in 45 days! We'll make it happen!

-Ryan
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No. of Recommendations: 1
From the perspective of an Active Duty Officer in the Air Force (but don't confuse that with "speaking for all Officers in the AF"), I would pretty much agree with everyone else who has answered before me. As long as it's done during lunch break or after duty hours, I don't see it as a problem. A major I work with disagrees, though, and thinks it's fraud/waste/abuse because it is for personal means and not for the purpose of which it is intended (the computer, that is). Course, that same major sends out humor every once in awhile via email, too. (hmmm...he's doing it as a morale builder? lol) I admit I have logged onto TMF at work a time or two, but not anymore. I strictly do it at home....probably in due, partly because of the environment I work in. The job and/or boss you work for can be a factor, although I'm not sure it should be.

Brant
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No. of Recommendations: 6
I put "other". I think it really has to do with your job.
If there is something to be done, and I choose to surf TMF instead, then it is a waste of taxpayer money as well as a FWA issue.
However, I am in maintenance. When there is nothing to fix, all additional duties are up to date and everything is clean, why not go to TMF?
Why not go to the BX or the Mall for a few hours too? I can't "wish" things to break so I am gainfully employed.
I have already done so much "made up" work (re-drawing wiring diagrams, making up Visio presentations of who's desk is where, taking things apart, blowing them off with canned air, putting them back together, re-typing continuity books so all the fonts match, re-writing continuity books so all the grammar is correct, sending new troops right out of tech school out to the SP shack for a tube of K9-P lube or to the hospital for falopian tubes and so on.)
So, what I am saying is this....if you have a job to do, but screw off at TMF instead, then you are a drain on the system. However, if there really isn't anything to do but kill 9 hours a day, what's wrong with visiting TMF.

By the way...I make all my troops read the TMF guide to getting out of debt, and if they are getting married, having a baby, buying a car or whatever, I always send them the 60 second guides to whatever they are doing. It's a great learning tool.

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No. of Recommendations: 0
I agree that the fool can be a great tool for counseling troops. The computer one uses to work are for official use only, but also for Morale purposes. If one has no work to do (and I don't mean they just don't want to do their work) furthering ones knowledge and education is a benifit to the military and the government. An educated person tends to make educated decisions and this is greatly needed in the military. I have had to many peers and subordinates with no clue as to how to manage their finances, which can drain military resources as the supervisors are required to counsel them, send them to Financial Readiness classes and for financial counseling. All of which take time away from work. If we can use some of these tools here to help educate our people it is well worth it. The problem is when those few people abuse the system they tend to ruin things for us all.

Ben
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