Monday, February 28, 2005

New to blog roll

EGov Electronic Government Blog

eGovernment & eDemocracy

Column Two, News and opinion on all things KM & CM from down under.

Federal Lawyer Guy

The diplomacy of standards

Chinese Angry Over ISO Move to Take WAPI Off the Fast Track

China's efforts to make its WiFi security technology a global standard suffered a setback last week when the International Organization for Standardization opted to slow consideration of adopting China's WAPI technology while leaving a rival technology on a fast track for approval. There is some intriguing speculation on the IT Manager's Journal about what may be behind the move away from WAPI. There are apparently suspicions that China has a backdoor into WAPI and would be able to eavesdrop on compliant networks. The Chinese have the same concerns about rival 802.11i - believing that the US National Security Agency has cracked its 128-bit encryption scheme.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Civil service blogging comes to Washington

Tom Murphy points to Washington Flack, observations from a government communicator.

Why journalism matters, Abdulkareem Al-Khaiwani

On Tuesday, the World Association of Newspapers issued a letter to the President of Yemen in response to the charges and subsequent jailing of a Yemeni journalist, Abdulkareem Al-Khaiwani.

Referrer log spam comes to Presto Vivace Blog

Referrer Log Spamming, what it is and how to fight it.

Civil service blogs, Utah leads the way

Blogging at Public CIO

Public CIO Magazine has an article on blogging called The Coming of by Blake Harris that I’m part of. Blake asked a lot of good questions and we talked for a while.

That is why the Utah state government’s brash foray into blogging stands out. A few months after becoming Utah’s CIO in 2001, Phillip Windley began blogging personally.

“It wasn’t very long after that — a month or so — that I realized there could be a lot of value to an organization if there were people inside the organization who blogged,” Windley explained. “I could see how when I wrote stuff on my blog, people who worked for me and people who worked in IT throughout the state, as well as others, would respond to it. I thought, “This is cool. I’ve got a channel to essentially talk to these people.’”

Government bloggers face special challenges. It will be very difficult to create a culture where authors will feel free to write without political retribution.

DHS names privacy committee

Federal Computer Week:

The members include:

Joseph Alhadeff, vice president and chief privacy officer for Oracle Corporation

Ramon Barquin, president of Barquin International in Bethesda, Md.

J. Howard Beales, associate professor at the George Washington University

D. Reed Freeman, chief privacy officer and vice president for Claria Corporation in Arlington, Va.

James Harper, editor and executive director for and director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute

Kirk Herath, chief privacy officer and associate general counsel for Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio

David A. Hoffman, group counsel and director of privacy for Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Ore.

Lance Hoffman, distinguished research professor at the George Washington University

Tara Lemmey, chief executive officer for Lens Ventures in San Francisco, Calif.

Joseph Leo, vice president for SAIC

John Marsh, distinguished professor of law at George Mason University School of Law

Joanne McNabb, chief of the privacy protection office at the California Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento

Charles Palmer, department group manager for security, networking and privacy, at IBM

Richard Purcell, chief executive officer with Corporate Privacy Group in Nordland, Wash.

Paul Rosenzweig, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation

John Sabo, manager of security, privacy, and trust initiatives at Computer Associates

James Sheehan, general counsel for Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Penn.

Lisa Sotto, a partner and head of regulatory privacy and information management practice group at Hunton and Williams, New York, N.Y.

Michael Turner, president and senior scholar for the Information Policy Institute in New York, N.Y.

Samuel Wright, senior vice president for government relations at Cendant Corporation in Washington, D.C.

Steve Chapman explains that no one is above the law

The press goes too far in Plame case

CHICAGO - The news media have sided strongly with reporters Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper, who are threatened with jail unless they disclose their sources in the Valerie Plame case. Right now, that decision is starting to look like Custer's Last Stand. It's a battle the press can't win and doesn't deserve to win.

The investigation stems from a column written by Robert Novak in which he blew the cover of CIA operative Valerie Plame. She is the wife of a former ambassador who had been critical of the U.S. case for invading Iraq, and Mr. Novak said he had gotten her name from "two senior administration officials." Mr. Cooper wrote an item stating that "some government officials" had provided the same information to Time. Ms. Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, spoke with a leaker as well but didn't write a story.

Valerie Plame was the case officer in charge of monitoring the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Because of her betrayal her network has collapsed and our ability to protect ourselves from such an attacked has been severely damaged.

No allied intelligence agency will share information with a nation who betrays its own case officer over a political vendetta. That will continue until the perpetrators (let’s not call them leakers) are brought to justice.

Everyday this case is unresolved leaves our nation in danger.

RSS feed directory

Nooked Launches Beta of Corporate RSS Feed Directory

Nooked has launched the beta of an RSS Directory that company president Fergus Burns says aims to answer the question "how do I find RSS feeds."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Frozen Sea" Seen on Mars

National Geographic

February 23, 2005—The miles-wide, ice floe-shaped landforms in this new aerial view of Mars may be just that—ancient ice sheets. Noting their similarity to floes at Earth's poles, a team of European scientists speculates that an entire frozen sea is buried intact in this equatorial region. Released today by the European Space Agency, the image was captured by the agency's Mars Express spacecraft.

JSR Update: A Web Services and XML Special Round-Up

One Nomad points to this article that gives a list of all web-services related JSRs.

From the Java Community Process Program - A Look at the Key JSRs From Among the 20 Or So That Offer Benefits for Web Services

Leahy Calls For Hearings On Info Brokers That Are Emerging As Private Intelligence Agencies

ChoicePoint Episode Is Latest Tripwire Warning Of The Need For Privacy Protections

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, Feb. 22) – The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a longtime champion of the public’s privacy rights, says ChoicePoint’s sale of personal and financial records of thousands of Americans to con artists is a tripwire that should trigger a broad congressional examination of the rapid rise of private intelligence bureaus with little oversight and few rules that protect public privacy.

“New technologies, new private-public domestic security partnerships, and the rapid rise of giant information brokers that collect and sell personal information about each and every American have all combined to produce powerful new threats to privacy,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. “It’s time to turn some sunshine on these developments so the public can understand how and why their personal information is being used.”

Leahy is calling for a series of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the privacy, security and civil liberty implications of recent trends in information technology, including the creation of digital dossiers on individuals and the sale of personal data to the government as these enhanced information-gathering technologies continue to emerge.

Memo to industry - do not hire an army of lobbyists and PR agents to explain why America does not need privacy. Work with Leahy and others to address the very serious problems revealed by this incident.

Via our good friend at Privacy Digest.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Trevor Cook on PowerPoint poisoning

Death by Slides

So pervasive is this dependence, that anyone who turns up to do a talk without a nicely turned out set of slides gives the impression of being under prepared or a bit of a dinosaur.

The reasons for the success of Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software are by no means obvious. In fact, those old enough to recall the horror of the once popular after-dinner slide show, when living room walls became impromptu screens, must marvel at the triumph of its modern corporate equivalent. This triumph is all the more surprising because PowerPoint mixes the least interesting varieties of written, verbal and visual communications in ways that simply don't work. In reality, this mediocre mixture does little more than download information, often slowly and with condescension.

The words on the slides are mere notes, outlines that would once have been crafted into short reports for readers to peruse at their convenience. These slide outlines are dumbing down corporate prose because few people can write an insightful analysis in brief bullet points.

Do politicians use presentation software? Ministers? Teachers? Union Organizers? Of course not. No one who speaks in front of groups for a living would dream of using PowerPoint. So why does anyone else? Unless you have some visual graphic that dramatically adds to your presentation, you are better off speaking without slides.

It is true that in technology slides are expected. Doing the unexpected is a great way to set yourself apart in a positive way.

From the Onion, Project manager leaves suicide PowerPoint presentation

Nobody ever won a war with their customers, NY Post edition

NYPost using IntelliTXT technology

IntelliTXT is rearing its head again, this time at a major newspaper - the New York Post. It's unclear when the Vibrant Media technology arrived on their site, but none of these ads were coming up for me earlier this week in the minimal time that Internet Explorer was in use - just the pop-unders that defy toolbar action.

Considering some of the reaction that the IntelliTXT ads have faced by bloggers, including here at TMD and at PaidContent, among others, it's surprising that a major publication has gone ahead with this service. Perhaps the click through really are that high of a rate and some of us are missing something, but I'm not likely to believe that. It's not normal, not contextual, and isn't something that positive comments have been thrown around about, at least from most Internet-savvy folks.

If your advertising method is so objectionable that readers go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it, your business model is not sustainable.

New name, new layout

Technoflak has been renamed Presto Vivace Blog to reflect its corporate nature. For obvious reasons the URL will remain the same.

My late father, who was the marketing director of a data communications company, invariably referred to himself as a peddler. In that spirit I refer to myself as a flack.

The purpose of this blog remains unchanged, to chronicle Potomac area technology events as well as build a dialogue with public relations professionals, marketers, journalists, software developers, project managers, analysts, IT departments, and end users.

I have also put my blog roll on Blogdigger.

Hope you like the changes.

Spoofing with attitude

FBI Virus Warning

“The FBI warned Tuesday that a computer virus is being spread through unsolicited e-mails that purport to come from the FBI.

The e-mails appear to come from an address. They tell recipients that they have accessed illegal Web sites and that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI's ”Internet Fraud Complaint Center,“ the FBI said.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Economic indicators

Markets fall as Asian banks move away from dollar assets

Financial markets reversed yesterday on concerns that Asian central banks were diversifying out of US dollar assets and that demand for oil would remain persistently strong.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Treasuries dip on diversification fears

Concerns about bigger supply and weaker demand sent Treasury prices lower and yields higher on Tuesday.

Bonds fell on news that South Korea's central bank was looking to diversify its $200bn in reserves, suggesting it would sell some of its dollar holdings and therefore US government bonds. South Korea has the fourth-biggest reserves in Asia.

The news from Korea coincided with the US Treasury's announcement of a scheduled $24bn sale of two-year notes on Thursday, which helped undermine prices. There was also concern over a possible rise in US consumer prices, due for release on Wednesday.

Another bad sign.

In praise of the Associated Press Stylebook

Public Relations Tactics

Why has the Stylebook become indispensable to so many people?

Goldstein: That's a tough one. I think primarily because of the AP itself, which is an indispensable news service to anybody who prints the news. We just have that outreach to begin with. And there aren't any real stylebooks that do it on a national basis the way we do. There are local stylebooks — the New York Times has its own; many newspapers have their own. They're all pretty much based on ours. But what we're doing is finding the common denominator. We're finding the areas that work best throughout journalism, rather than regionally or even locally. So I think the AP Stylebook has become almost a textbook for journalism students, and it carries on because we keep it up-to-date and continue improving, enhancing and expanding it.

This is a very handy tool for any writer.

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Thank you iz reloaded for reminding me today is Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Technoflak at one

Technoflak began one year ago today with this post about the evils of acronyms. Since that time I have been invited to participate in Global PR Blog Week 1.0 and the New Communications Forum.

It has been a remarkable experience. Thank you for reading this and a special thanks to those who have left comments.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Legal aspects of blogging

Constantin Basturea has created a great resource page on the legal aspects of blogging.

On President's day

President George Washington's Farewell Address

Friends and Fellow Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address


AT this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Fear not the blogosphere, The News & Record leads the way

North Carolina’s News & Record shows us what can be accomplished when a newspaper is open to new ideas and does not get distracted by the “bloggers vs. journalists” red herring.

Beginner's guide to the blogosphere

"Greensboro is cool," wrote weblog savant Dave Winer after visiting with staffers from this newspaper and other local bloggers earlier this month. It's true. Our town is becoming something of a mecca for Internet innovators. No sooner had Winer departed than Dan Gillmor, author of the influential book, "We the Media," came to town to check out our blogging scene. "Another day, another guru," sighed Lex Alexander, the guy in charge of the News & Record's online outreach.

Consider all the terrific publicity raining down on Greensboro and the News & Record. The town and newspaper is getting attention from technology and blogging aficionados from all over the world. This is just another example of blogging’s tremendous PR potential.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

XTV Media World Junction India discovers Nearson

My client, Nearson, got some press in south Asia-

The Nearson 7-dBi high gain rubber duck antenna is an economical and flexible solution to the poor signal quality of wireless network.

The Nearson 7-dBi antenna brings the performance of an infrastructure antenna to a portable antenna that is small, lightweight and very cost-effective. It attaches directly to standard connectors found on industrial radios or 802.11 b&g Access Points. Range of reception in many environments is effectively tripled, reducing the need for extra Access Points, amplifiers or repeaters, thereby saving both the cost of installation and its associated aggravation. Link quality is improved, reducing packet loss and increasing effective throughput.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Rumors of Email's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Part IV

This one could also be entitled "What Are The Bloggers Smoking?"

So yes, new media do arrive on the scene and perhaps make a dent in all prior media, but I'm having a hard time thinking of that one comes in and clocks another one mano a mano.

Information Law & Policy in the Digital Age

Session 3, March 9, 2005: Digital Rights Management (DRM)

With the increase in digital information comes the increase in measures to protect it. Some of the protections, however, may take away your rights under existing law. During this session, we will discuss the importance of digital rights management (DRM), including:

- What is Digital Rights Management and how does it relate to copyright law, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

- The technology of DRM: Selected tools for authentication, authority, access, and accountability

- What are the costs associated with rights management?

12:00 PM Bring your Brown Bag Lunch
12:00-2:00 PM Presentation and Discussion

AeA David Packard Conference Center
601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
North Bldg - Suite 600
Washington, DC

METRO: Archives/Navy Memorial Metro Station.

COST: Free. Seating is limited.

Center for Child Protection and Family Support

CAMPAIGNS Advocacy PR: CCPFS touts study to media to boost child-abuse forum

It's not easy for small nonprofit agencies with limited budgets to launch massive PR efforts.

So when the Independent Public Relations Alliance (IPRA) agreed to help the Center for Child Protection and Family Support (CCPFS) promote its first forum on child abuse and child victimization - on a pro-bono basis - the CCPFS was in luck.

"The [CCPFS] had a really well-defined need," says Sandra Wills Hannon, IPRA's pro-bono committee co-chairwoman, about why, of 18 applicants for IPRA's pro-bono services, the CCPFS was chosen.

"They told us that they wanted help publicizing their research study and to create and produce a forum," she adds. "They had very tangible goals, whereas [other applicants] had much more global needs."

Eighteen members of the IPRA, a component of the National Capital chapter of the PRSA, donated more than 1,000 hours to the effort and, in turn, revamped CCPFS' external image.

Because... Every child deserves a childhood

IPRA is a great group, I try to go to the luncheons every month.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Congratulations Argyn

One Nomad’s Blog is included in Network Computing’s Staff Favorite Alternative Tech Blogs

Congratulations Daddy du Guadier

Juliette is born !

Establishing standards for web services

I stumbled across this CIO Magazine article from October, 2003:

The Battle for Web Services

The Web services vision is grand: a universal set of communications protocols to enable computer systems and business processes to seek each other out over the Internet, lonely hearts style, and have deep, meaningful interactions with no human intervention. Even in today's rudimentary state, Web services standards such as simple object access protocol, or SOAP (see "Core Web Services Standards," Page 58, for the list of current standards), are proving to be valuable integration technologies. A Gartner survey of 110 companies found that 54 percent are already working on Web services projects or have plans to begin soon, and IDC (a sister company to CIO's publisher) estimates that companies will do $2.2 billion worth of Web services projects in 2003 and $25 billion in 2008.

"The potential revenue impact of these standards is enormous," says Whit Andrews, research director for Gartner. But the very size of that financial prize waiting for the winners of the Web services standards competition makes it "difficult to remain involved in a standards effort that involves your competitor," he adds. Gartner goes so far as to predict that the alliance between IBM and Microsoft will break down by the end of this year, given that the companies are direct competitors in the application server and database markets that make the biggest use of Web services.

While slightly dated it is a great introduction to this topic and has some excellent reference data.

Core Web Services Standards

XML (extensible markup language) The lingua franca of Web services. All Web services can communicate in XML.

SOAP (simple object access protocol) A communications protocol for Web services.

WSDL (Web services description language) An XML-based language for describing, finding and using Web services.

UDDI (universal description, discovery and integration) A phone directory for Web services that lists available Web services from different companies, their descriptions and instructions for using them.

The Standards Scorecard

What It Is: Founded in 1993 under the name SGML Open, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards worked on the standard generalized markup language until XML came along in 1998. Then it shifted its focus to XML and later Web services.

Its Agenda: Oasis focuses on the high-level Web services used in applications. It lets individual technical committees decide whether they want to consider specifications that have royalties attached to them.

What It Is: Founded in 1994 by the inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Consortium is famous for Internet standards such as HTTP and HTML.

Its Agenda: Though it has traditionally focused on the Web infrastructure level, W3C has moved into Web services as an extension of its core standards like XML. All submissions it ratifies into standards must be free of royalty fees.

What It Is: Founded in February 2002 by Microsoft, IBM and seven other vendors, the Web Services Interoperability Organization focuses on developing tested implementations of Web services standards in packages called profiles. Sun has called it "a shadow government for standards."

Its Agenda: To deliver installation-ready Web services packages, complete with tools and guidelines.

Liberty Alliance
What It Is: Cofounded by Sun in 2001, Liberty Alliance's mission is to develop Web services specifications for identity management using security assertion markup language, an Oasis security standard.

Its Agenda: Liberty focuses exclusively on identity management and security issues.

The author, Christopher Koch, criticizes the standards bodies for being dominated by vendors. I share this view, which is why I think following the work of the Federal XML Work Group and COLAB Community Wiki is so important. The federal government is the one end user with sufficient market power to enforce its standards.

Iranians for Peace

Thanks to David Fletcher for pointing to Iranians for Peace.

Why journalism matters, Radio Free Nepal

Tom Biro has a fascinating interview with the author of Radio Free Nepal.

DemoGod is not ecumenical

Please Use a Compatible Computer

Steve Rubel on how not to pitch bloggers

Steve Rubel has a brilliant piece on how not to pitch bloggers which bears an uncanny resemblance to my how-to-pitch-bloggers presentation notes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Managing Citizen-Centric Web Content, NCC AIIM gets a preview of the IAC's White Paper

eGovSIG IAC eGovernment Shared Interest Group, Best Practices Committee

Gene Zapfel of Unisys and Bill Webner of Booz Allen Hamilton, offered a preview of the soon to be released State of the Practice White Paper entitled “Managing Citizen-Centric Web Content.”

The meeting began, as all NCC AIIM meetings do, with the opportunity for job seekers to stand up and describe their expertise and for employers to stand up and announce job openings. Gene Zapfel began his remarks by saying that he had never been to an event where people stood up and said why they were really there (general laughter). Truthfully, this is one of the chief benefits of membership. For job seekers, it is a great opportunity to present themselves, and for employers, it is a unique opportunity to identify the most motivated talent in the industry.

Zapfel described the Industry Advisory Council(IAC) as a group from private industry who tries to help government move forward. It is able to consult with government without the problem of favoring one company over another. The government members of the Shared Interest Group are senior executives who are in a position to transform eGovernment practices. Whatever IAC does is driven by government.

The eGovernment Shared Interest Group has seven committees: Funding & Business Models, Government Performance, Collaboration & Communication, Best Practices, Excellence in Government Award, Program Committee, and Homeland Security, which has now become its own Shared Interest group.

Zapfel concluded his remarks by laying out the eGovernment SIG’s objectives for 2005: produce a study on content management best practices, select a new topic, and liaison with the federal CIO council. With that, he introduced Bill Webner to give the preview of the white paper.

Bill Webner opened by describing himself as an “honorary member of IAC by virtue of this white paper.” He said, “Until two weeks, ago I was under the mistaken impression this was going to be a progress report.”

Webner began his preview of the State of the Practices White Paper with some disclaimers: it is in draft form; the Best Practices committee is in the final week of critical review. The paper is a review of the current proven practices of web managers. It is not a best practices paper, as the committee did not consider themselves in a position to proclaim what the best practices are. It is not “technically centric, nor a product analysis.” The paper highlights trends, and does not go into them in depth. It is the result of interviews with civil servants concerned not with technology, but policies and procedures. The Best Practices committee went to agencies, asked questions, aggregated data, and drew some conclusions.

Saying that the the NCC AIIM meeting represented a preview party of sorts, Webner joked, “What could be better than a look at the executive summary?” He went on to say that the subcommittee was still looking for feedback and encouraged the audience to ask questions and ask each other questions.

Fourteen different organizations participated in creating the white paper. From a contractor’s point of view, it was a great opportunity to learn about the competition. Webner said, “Unfortunately, there are a lot of smart people in competition with me.” But it is good for government, because there are many good ideas.

The interviews were scheduled for one hour, but they all went well over an hour, in Webner’s case almost two hours. The current trends are: strong cross-government collaboration, information sharing, and support. There is an increase in solicitation and use of citizen satisfaction data. Webner emphasized that the study concerned only public web sites and not intranets or back office systems integration.

The study asked, “What more should we be doing to get to the next generation of websites? What should we be doing to take advantage of proven methods?”

The agencies’ offices of public affairs were consistently the facilitators for expanding the use of public web sites, both in content and information sharing. (Technoflak would observe that this is a great example of the sort of leadership professional communicators can offer their organizations and the public at large.)

Government web teams typically use centrally managed taxonomies with sub-taxonomies emerging. Commercial off-the-shelf software is helpful, but there are no consistent standards.

Webner explained that in assessing best practices, value is measured over time; what lasts has value.

He said that the study called for a deeper understanding of agency/mission services and how websites can be used to achieve each agency’s mission. Government and industry need to formalize the content capture, update and experience processes. User interfaces must be more intuitive.

Webner said that five years ago there was tension between program staff and IT departments. The tension eased off after the program/public affairs staff got more authority over technology. But it seems to be a case of be careful what you pray for, as program staff have been overwhelmed by the details of technology. With that, Webner opened the floor for questions.

The first questioner asked Webner to comment on the contrast between the OMB strategy of let’s find everyone doing the same thing and do it together and all the stovepipes emerging from the agencies. How do cross-agency web groups undertake initiatives? What are the implications of those initiatives?”

Webner responded by repeating that the committee was not in a position to define best practices yet. “We did more cross-program work within agencies.” He said cross-agency initiatives have not been properly supported.

Zapfel said, “We looked at where most of the numbers/activity was taking place; it is not in cross-agency initiatives.”

Carolyn Offutt asked asked how the white paper defined web teams and web councils.

Webner responded that web councils were from across the enterprise, typically from those in senior positions; they are self-selecting. Web teams are more operational.

Jason Goetz closed the question period with the observation that this presentation generated the most interaction that he had seen.

Both presentations were mercifully free of acronyms, unheard of in technology presentations and all the more surprising coming from government contractors. More like this please.

Witch hunts and their aftermath

Jim Horton points to this critically important article:

U.S. Admits 'Missing' Los Alamos Disks Never Existed

The admission by the Energy Department that two allegedly "missing" secret computer disks never existed -- and the University of California's penalty of $5.8 million -- cap one of the biggest security shake-ups the U.S. nuclear weapons industry in post-World War II years that resulted in a temporary shutdown of all U.S. nuclear research facilities last year.

As Horton points out, those smeared by these false allegations will never recover their reputations. Those guilty of making false charges will never be held accountable. This is a terrible problem for us as a nation, not simply for the gross injustice of false allegations, witch hunts are themselves a security breach.


The staff at Los Alamos has created their own blog.

Monday, February 14, 2005

6th Annual Web Communications and Strategies Conference

Call for Papers

Proposals must be submitted by March 16, 2005 (extended!)

Dear Colleagues,

As Chair of the 6th Annual Web Communications and Strategies Conference, it is my pleasure to invite you to submit a proposal for the 2005 conference to be held in Salisbury, Maryland, July 18-20, 2005.

Higher-education represents, sometimes, a different set of interests in Web Development and Web Marketing than the corporate world, so here are some themes, from last year's end-of-conference survey, that will be of interest to our marketplace ... as either a seminar or a workshop.

Google and privacy

Technoflak just received the following email-

Warning about Google-No privacy here

Google has implemented a new feature wherein you can type someone's telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and then you will be given a map to their house. Everyone should be aware of this! Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked. Before forwarding this, I tested it by typing my telephone number in My phone number came up, and when I clicked on the MapQuest link, it actually mapped out where I live. Quite scary. Please look up your own number. Read below for details. Think about it--if a child, gives out his/her phone number to someone they can actually now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The safety
issues are obvious, and alarming.

In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to: Google
Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information,simply click on your phone number. Removal takes 48-hours. If you are unlisted in the phone book, you might not be in there, but it is a good idea just to check. If your number does come up if you hit map, it will show you a direct map to your house... Please forward on to friends and family

Memo to Google, strongly suggest you remove this feature for all but commercial and government listings before close of business eastern time.

In honor of Valentine’s Day

A Profitable Language of Love

Info sharing can be perilous—just ask Energy and DHS

Government Computer News:

It’s a cautionary tale: Five months worth of sensitive federal briefings on terrorism show up on a nongovernment Web site. Supposedly, only government eyes would ever see them.

Agencies must share information to improve homeland security, but the risk of leaks rises as the circle of data users expands. The recent glitch at the Energy Department that led to dozens of sensitive Homeland Security Department documents being posted on a public Internet site illustrates that sharing data comes with serious cybersecurity challenges. ...

Neither Energy nor Homeland Security would release specifics on the incident, but DHS spokeswoman Michelle Petrovich said the problem arose from a special crawl application in the Google search engine that located the data posted on what Energy believed was an internal Web site.

The only thing more dangerous than sharing information is not sharing information.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What is a white paper?

A document from Government that outlines the way policy and services will operate in the future.

Now you know.

Break-In At SAIC Risks ID Theft

Washington Post (reg. req.)

Some of the nation's most influential former military and intelligence officials have been informed in recent days that they are at risk of identity theft after a break-in at a major government contractor netted computers containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information about tens of thousands of past and present company employees.

The contractor, employee-owned Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, handles sensitive government contracts, including many in information security. It has a reputation for hiring Washington's most powerful figures when they leave the government, and its payroll has been studded with former secretaries of defense, CIA directors and White House counterterrorism advisers.

Bad news. Very bad news.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The New York Times, registration free

The Latest Headlines from New York Times Blogspace.

How to toss astroturf and cultivate the grassroots

Reading Tom Murphy’s and B.L. Ochman’s posts about companies who hire people to pose as enthusiastic customers, I could only shake my head in disappointment.

Every company has happy customers; why not engage them? Look through your mail and identify your most enthusiastic customers. In addition to thanking them for their kind words you should also tell them about discussion groups and web logs who follow the industry.

Sample letter:

Dear Mr. Happy Customer:

Thank you for your kind words about TheLittleEngineThatCould’s new WidgetWare software system. I have shared your letter with our development team who appreciate your feedback. We will also take into account your suggestions in the next release of WidgetWare.

In view of your interest in the industry you might be interested in following the Yahoo discussion group [ULR] and these popular industry blogs:

Then sit back and let nature take its course. If you routinely notify your happy customers of discussion groups and blogs which follow the industry, it is only a question of time before some of them mention your product in a favorable light.

Nominate your customer

Technoflak just received another notice for awards, this time for Baseline (deadline Feb. 28). The best PR advice I can offer is to nominate your customer. When your customer looks good, you look good.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

XML Levels Educational Playing Field For Blind and Visually Impaired

The Content Wrangler:

For the blind and visually impaired new technology has literally opened up the doors to education. They can listen to a textbook on a computer or read it using refreshable braille. Yet students with print disabilities have had to wait six months or longer for an accessible textbook to be made available to them.

This is set to change, however, thanks to a reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA). The act, signed by President Bush on December 3, 2004 is geared to give students with visual disabilities the same access to educational materials as their sighted peers.

Key to the effectiveness of this act is the requirement of a standard national file format for the production of textbooks in electronic files. This will make conversion into accessible formats such as braille, large print or digital text much faster.

It is great to see that technology is being used to extend opportunities. Unfortunately Blogger is not Section 508 compliant, so only sighted people can read this.

Government Solutions Center Pioneer Awards

7th Annual Government Solutions Center Pioneer Awards

Presented at the Web-Enabled Government Conference & Exhibition

Conference: June 1–2, 2005 • FREE Exhibition including Award Winners’ Display: June 2, 2005

Awards Banquet: June 2, 2005

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC

The submission deadline is 5:00PM Eastern on Thursday, February 17

Q. What are the E-Gov Institute’s Government Solutions Center Pioneer Awards?

A. For the past seven years, the Government Solutions Center (GSC) awards program has recognized public sector organizations for their efforts to deliver results-oriented government services during the prior year.

In 2005, fifteen winners will be recognized at an awards banquet and will showcase their winning programs at the 5th Annual 2005 Web-Enabled Government Exhibition, which will focus on Transforming the Business of Government.
This year’s Awards Program will feature success stories that show how agencies are meeting “Proud to Be Goals”, making progress on the objectives outlined in the President’s Management Agenda, measuring performance results, and taking steps to streamline information-sharing across enterprises.

The government programs selected for this popular venue actively participate in the Web-Enabled Government Exhibition by presenting how they have improved government operations with innovative application of technology and strategy to streamline processes. Nominations are encouraged from all levels of government, including U.S. federal, state, and local government organizations, as well as successful programs from outside the United States.

In addition, the 2nd Annual Government Choice Award will be selected by attendees visiting the Web-Enabled Government Exhibition who will vote for the best Government Solutions Center Award winner. The Government Choice winner will be announced during the Awards Banquet.

And announcing the first annual Successful Public/Private Sector Partnership Award. This new award will recognize a government agency and its industry or association partner(s) that have worked together to successfully complete a program within specifications defined by the partners.

Q. What are the Selection Criteria?

A. Each candidate program must provide a completed nomination form for consideration by the GSC Selection Committee.

Advice to all government contractors, encourage your best customer to apply.

On the value of patents

Patents are like nuclear bombs, you just got to have some.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Controlled substance drug dealers can run but can’t hide

From my client, The Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute:

Ashburn, VA—How can law enforcement catch a drug dealer who goes to dozens of doctors to obtain prescription drugs to resell on the illegal market? Twenty states have established centralized databases to track prescriptions of controlled substances. In those states, law enforcement, under controlled circumstances, can use their state’s database to identify those who go to multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions for the same drugs. The cost and time involved in drug diversion investigations has been dramatically reduced in states that have established prescription monitoring programs. The monitoring programs also help substance abuse agencies in these states to refer people who seem to have addiction problems to appropriate treatment programs. Recent efforts to plan, implement, and enhance these programs have been largely supported by the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the Department of Justice.

A Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is a system in which prescription data for designated schedules of pharmaceutical drugs are reported to a central point and incorporated into a database. Within the parameters established by a state’s law and/or regulation, this data is collected, requests for reports from those authorized by statute /regulation are fulfilled, and – ideally if the law/regulation permits – data is analyzed to spot trends that may signal an emerging drug of concern, diversion issues (e.g. “doctor shopping”) with reports going proactively to those who can respond (e.g. diversion investigators, physicians, regulatory boards, addiction treatment professionals).

This is why all the discussion about standards matters. This is how good data communications makes a difference in our lives. There are parasites who predate on human weakness and we need good systems to catch them.

A quick note to my friends in the civil liberties movement - you cannot defend liberty with unworkable computer systems. The defense of liberty is a political question. Politics mandates the architecture and the technical community develops the tools. It is a question of making all the pipes fit together.

Homeland security state contact list

Scroll to your state or territory to see who your Governor has appointed as your state's homeland security contact:

Happy New Year

The year of the rooster.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Why Technoflak is still using spreadsheets

'Sunset Policy' Stymies Loyal Quicken Users

Users of the popular Quicken financial management program are facing a yearly ritual this April that many dread and none enjoy -- a ritual that does not involve any 1040 forms.

It's Intuit Inc.'s forced retirement of the online components of slightly dated versions of Quicken, which has long dominated the personal finance management-software market.

This year, the 2001 and 2002 versions of Quicken got the ax, as Intuit informed affected customers via postal mail, e-mail and pop-up messages in the program. On April 19, those programs will no longer be able to download financial data (such as stock quotes or bank statements), make online bill payments or be eligible for technical support.

As soon as someone offers financial management software with adequate privacy protection and support Technoflak will buy it.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Where are the analyst blogs?

They’re hanging out at the Analyst Cafe.

Are you a data warehouse and/or business intelligence professional?

Call for Participants: Ventana BI and Data Integration Standardization / Consolidation Survey

Ventana Research invites data warehouse and business intelligence professionals to participate in a short survey on activities and plans related to BI and data integration initiatives. All qualified participants will receive a $125.00 membership to the Ventana Research Performance Management Community, and a research report on the findings. The survey closes on February 28, 2005. ...


The survey for this study is designed for end users of BI and data integration software. Solution providers, software vendors, consultants, and systems integrators may participate in the survey, but are not eligible for incentives.

Advice to vendors, identify your best customers and encourage them to participate in this survey.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Department of Dumb?

Pentagon sites: Journalism or propaganda?

The Defense Department runs two Web sites overseas, one aimed at people in the Balkan region in Europe, the other for the Maghreb area of North Africa.

It is preparing another site, even as the Pentagon inspector general investigates whether the sites are appropriate.

The Web sites carry stories on subjects such as politics, sports and entertainment.

Information warfare

The sites are run by U.S. military troops trained in "information warfare," a specialty than can include battlefield deception.

But not, it seems, very well trained.

Why journalism matters, the struggle for Nepal

Freedom of press effectively gone from Nepal

Internet access is blocked, they can’t even blog.

Free speech is for everyone

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Over at The Blog Post I saw the following entry: Does the First Amendment apply to us bloggers as "the press," or are we merely citizens exercising our freedom of speech and expression? This was in response to an article in The Christian Science Monitor:

Are bloggers journalists? Do they deserve press protections?

An Apple lawsuit against the operators of fan websites stirs debate on whether bloggers can claim legal protections.

By Randy Dotinga | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

In the small universe of powerful bloggers, Joshua Micah Marshall and John Hinderaker are separated by 900 miles and an even wider political divide. Mr. Marshall leans to the left from Washington D.C., while Mr. Hinderaker, a Minneapolis attorney, sits firmly in the conservative camp. But the two men do share something in common: No one is really sure what to think of them.

Are they journalists with an obligation to check facts, run corrections, and disclose conflicts of interest? Or are they ordinary opinion-slingers, like barbers or bartenders, with no special responsibilities - or rights?

It is self-evident that we are endowed by our creator with certain rights, including free speech. It is not a privilege for press lords and those they ordain as journalists. It is a universal human right which no temporal authority can legitimately take away.

Let us put aside for the moment the public relations catastrophe of APPLE suing its most energetic product evangelists, and confine ourselves to the legal issues. First of all, does the preliminary release of a new product announcement constitute a violation of a trade secret? That seems hard to believe. Second, are bloggers covered by California’s shield law?

If it were up to Technoflak there would be no shield laws. They degrade our society by creating a political culture where no one will take responsibility for their words. Even worse, shield laws invite the criminal element to use journalists in such a way that the law can’t touch them. Let us be done with the evil practice of leaks and anonymous sources.

Fear not blogosphere, Dan Gillmor lays out the opportunity

Where Newspapers Can Start the Conversation

Newspapers, with few exceptions, are strangely oblivious to the huge opportunity in citizen journalism. More than almost any other entities, they could be taking advantage of their innate advantages. Yet they are not.

Yes, newspapers have been losing circulation and power, but they retain a surprisingly deep reservoir of credibility and authority in their communities. The reservoir must be replenished, and it is the citizens who -- given the opportunity -- will be able, and perhaps glad, to help.

The key is in having the conversation with the community and, even more, helping community members have a conversation among themselves. Newspapers, given their positions, can be at the center of this conversation -- not the object of it in most cases, but the enabler and, to some extent, agenda-setter. (The Greensboro (North Carolina) News & Record is a leader in this arena already, and has plans to move much farther.)

Precisely so.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

New to blog roll

Defense Tech

Intel Dump

Liquid Tweak, a technology blogger from Hagerstown, MD

As part of her effort to promote the Potomac area technology economy, Technoflak is always looking for technology bloggers in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Managing Citizen-Centric Web Content - An IAC Study Review

NCC-AIIM Monthly Meeting
Thursday, February 10, 2004

NCC-AIIM teams up with IAC (Industry Advisory Council) on Thursday, February 10, 2005 to deliver an outstanding ECM program. Our IAC colleagues will present a summary of their soon-to-be-released State of the Practice White Paper entitled “Managing Citizen-Centric Web Content”. The study was prepared by the IAC eGovernment Shared Interest Group, Best Practices Subcommittee co-chaired by Gene Zapfel of Booz | Allen | Hamilton Inc. and Joe Linza of Software Performance Systems, Inc.

Federal Web managers are challenged to improve the citizen focus of agency Web sites and are seeking real-world examples of successful public-facing Web content management practices, strategies, and solutions. Web managers are proactively seeking this assistance in response to expectations of an increasingly Web-savvy citizenry. Also, legislative mandates are now designed to make “citizen-focused” and “results-oriented” a central tenet of the business of government.

With the assistance of the government sponsor of this study, over a dozen federal agencies and organizations volunteered their valuable time and experiences. They represented a cross-section of Web sites and business environments with a mix of agency size, constituent size, and mission focus.

The study report shows how these web managers effectively deliver citizen-centric content via online channels, and how they shape their content management strategies. The report also presents vignettes of specific success stories that demonstrate these guidelines in action.

Georgian Prime Minister Found Dead


TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, who helped lead Georgia's revolution that toppled the corruption-tainted regime of Eduard Shevardnadze, died early Thursday in a friend's apartment from what officials claimed was an accidental gas leak from a heater.

Georgia's interior minister said there was no reason to suspect foul play, but a lawmaker reportedly pointed the finger at ``outside forces.'' His remarks were aimed at Russia, which has ties with Georgia's separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and prompted a terse response from Moscow.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Unsolicited commercial track backs

Trackback SPAM

Just when I thought that I'd seen the last of comment SPAM on my website after turning on TypeKey - I was surprised to find that my inbox was full of trackback notifications - 40 of em! Puzzled by this I logged into Movable Type, only to find that there is now Trackback SPAM!!!!! ARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!

Track back spam is invariably for fraudulent products. As I have said before, we need to start sending these con-artists to jail.

Putting things in their proper perspective

Brazil and free software

I think the 'revolution', that Larry Lessig so enthusiastically describes in his travelogues to Porto Alegre, is at risk of being a superficial and elitist--as some comments at his post put it correctly.

There are so many other priorities of 'free' (i.e.'accessible') that need to be addressed urgently that the debate over open source seems very futile. I'm talking about food, education and health, just to mention the most basic ones.

How annoying is Spyware?

Really annoying.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wireless data transmission problems?

My client, Nearson has the answer:


Now there is a solution to the poor signal quality of wireless networks that is as economical as it is flexible, the Nearson 7-dBi high gain rubber duck antenna. Blind spots and patchy signals can be replaced by high quality reception without the cost or power consumption of high-powered radios.

The Nearson 7-dBi antenna brings the performance of an infrastructure antenna to a portable antenna that is small, lightweight and very cost-effective. It attaches directly to standard connectors found on industrial radios or 802.11 b&g Access Points. Range of reception in many environments is effectively tripled, reducing the need for extra Access Points, amplifiers or repeaters, thereby saving both the cost of installation and its associated aggravation. Link quality is improved, reducing packet loss and increasing effective throughput.

Nearson's 7-dBi antennas are 11 inches tall, thin, flexible and articulating. They come with industry standard SMA & TNC connectors as well as Reverse Polarity versions for FCC Part 15 compliance. There are models available with flying leads (a Nearson innovation in 1999) for OEM adoption with U.FL compatible and MMCX connectors. These flying lead models eliminate costly patch cables and offer a variety of methods to attach to an OEM's enclosure. The 7-dBi antennas are available immediately for volume production.

Blogs and the establishment press

The frustration journalists feel with blogosphere is very understandable. On the one hand readers/listeners/viewers complain of bias, that they want objective reporting and resent what they consider “trying to tell us what to think”. On the other hand readers say they like blogs because of the conversational tone and personal voice. This must be infuriating for reporters and editors alike.

I think this has to do with the imbalance of power. Readers identify with bloggers as someone like themselves. News organizations by contrast are seen as giant, powerful institutions accountable to no one.

D.C. Area Tops in Fraud Complaints

Reports to FTC Up 17% Nationwide in 2004

If the number of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission are any guide, consumers nationwide, and particularly in the Washington metropolitan area, are getting little relief from fraud and Internet-related crime.

According to an FTC report released yesterday, residents of the Washington region -- including parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia -- led the nation's metropolitan areas last year in filing consumer fraud complaints to the agency.

Is that because Greater Washington has been targeted in some way? Or is it because Washingtonians are more likely to report this sort of thing?

Use this form to submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection about a particular company or organization.

Could i-Names be the answer to unsolicited commercial email?

Shel Holtz

i-names could solve a lot of problems

I just spent $25 for an i-name. It’s mine for 50 years. It might end up being worthless, but there’s promise to this concept. It could end up becoming a standard if the word spreads.

I learned about i-names from Mike Vincenty, a friend, colleague, co-author, and IT guy. Identity Commons is the group behind i-names. According to their site, Identity Commons “seeks to foster trusted electronic communications by creating the technological and social framework for an open global trust network. We are a creating a member-owned international federation that empowers individuals and organizations to own, control and share their online identity and profile information in an environment of mutual trust and peer governance.”

Here’s a simple explanation. Instead of putting my e-mail address into a message posted to a bulletin board or even in my e-mail signature, I use my i-name address. When you click on it, you get my identity page that includes information I’m willing to share. If you want to contact me, there’s a form for you to complete. I’ll receive notification of the request.

My i-name is good even if my e-mail address changes, since I can change my e-mail address in my account settings. Give it a try; here’s my i-name link: That’s the universal address you’d see in a plain-text e-mail or post; it would also be the link behind an HTML version that would just show my name.

As it exists now, an i-name is a great way to avoid spam, since spammers can’t do anything with harvested i-names. By building the infrastructure, though, the organization hopes to allow you to use a single password for all the password-protected sites you visit and enter personal data once and use it on forms across the Web.

If it sounds a little like Microsoft’s Passport concept, it is, with the notable difference that you control your information instead of another company.

Sounds too cumbersome to Technoflak.

In the age of the Internet everyone is a press lord

What do you do when Fox News runs a sensational story that is fabricated from the whole cloth? If you are the parents of Stevens Creek Elementary, you put up a web site refuting the lies:

Stevens Creek Elementary has not "banned the Declaration of Independence"

It has been widely and incorrectly reported that the Declaration of Independence has been banned by the principal of Stevens Creek Elementary School, Patricia Vidmar, and the Cupertino Union School District. This started with a press release issued by the Alliance Defense Fund in late November, in connection with a lawsuit being brought by Stephen Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at the school. The assertion has been extensively repeated on the television and in newspapers across the country, and even abroad.

As concerned parents at Stevens Creek, we do not have ready access to the media to correct these misrepresentations. This website is our attempt to set the record straight. Misleading and inflammatory reporting in a number of places has subjected school staff and parents to over 3000 hostile phone calls and emails, many of them profane. As a result, the teachers, staff and principal of Stevens Creek Elementary operate under the protection of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's department.

We, the Parents, a grassroots organization of over a hundred Stevens Creek parents, invite you to browse our site and discover for yourselves the true face of Stevens Creek Elementary.

Who is the Alliance Defense Fund?

Watch this one, it will teach us a great deal about how the Internet can be used by those with limited means to answer a smear.

How blogs are changing customer relations

Managing Production Design:

Tirade on Stupid User Interfaces

I have several accounts with a credit card company: two cards and a merchant account. They don't want the expense of printing monthly statements for the merchant account, so they sent me a letter to enroll my merchant account in online statements to avoid the paper charge.

In my default browser (Safari), I attempt to log in. I can't (Problem #1). In fact, I end up in browser limbo, with some message about too many redirect (Problem #2). I try to log in in Explorer. I can't. It tells the me password is wrong (Problem #3). I call the 800 number three times before I get someone who tells me I need a new user id. I ask why. The nice lady says, "We keep our businesses separate, so you need a user id." I say, "But (and I'm starting to rave here), the web UI looks the same. I have tabs at the top of each page that allow me to move back and forth. If you've integrated the web page, why not integrate the user ids???" (I'm definitely speaking loudly, because I'm so angry with the stupidity, waste of my time, and lack of documentation.) Poor lady just keeps saying they keep their business separate (Problem #4).

Rothman is generous, she does not name the company in question. Other bloggers would not be so nice. Public Relations is not getting your name in the press. Public Relations has to do with how your company relates to the public. There is no press release or advertising campaign in the world that can undo the damage of poor customer service.

New rules economy?

These are the new Dotcoms of the new rules economy...

There is a new kind of Dotcom company that will emerge during Internet 2.0—this current and very distinct emerging phase of the internet. I’m not sure what to call the new Dotcom but I know what it is. It is a startup company that plays by the new rules of the economy. New rules companies will decimate established companies in many/most sectors. And it will happen very quickly when it happens.

If a flack had written that we would be ridiculed for hype. However, I think he is on to something regarding the importance of open source software, self-funding and avoiding venture capitalists.

The Blog Post

Technoflak has been invited to join the writers at The Blog Post. My first post is up. Traveling under false colors, a case study, hope you like it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Lois Ambash

On my last evening in Napa I had the pleasure of dining with Anita Campbell and Lois Ambash, who has some very kind words for Technoflak’s presentation. We talked about the conference, technology, society, family and every imaginable subject. A truly splendid evening.

Check out her blog, very interesting view of the social impact of technology.

Why independent software developers and systems integrators should blog

Ounce for ounce, small businesses will get more for their marketing buck from blogs than from any other online activity. In that sense, blogging is a relevant trend in the small business market.

Nationwide Event Planned to Commemorate Tsunami Tragedy

Washington, DC – The Society for Indonesian-Americans (SIA) announced today plans to conduct a nationwide candlelight vigil commemorating the tragic event of December 26, 2004 befalling Indonesia and other South Asian countries. Simultaneous events will be held in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 4. The local event will take place from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in Washington DC. at the Embassy of Indonesia located at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., between 20th and 21st street.

The program will consist of a moment of silence, several speakers, films, and photographs. Participants will be linked together via a nationwide conference call. The keynote speaker will be Ambassador Soemadi D.M Brotodiningrat. In addition, a representative from Mercy Corps will provide an update on their tsunami relief efforts on site in Aceh, Sumatra, the hardest hit area in the region.

George Tirajoh, Chairman/President of SIA, stated “The Society for Indonesian-Americans (SIA), based out of Washington, D.C., is promoting solidarity and remembrance among Indonesian Americans and Friends throughout the United States for the victims of the tsunami 40 days after the tragedy (which is a traditional time of memorialization) on February 4, 2005. We encourage all members of the community, regardless of nationality, who wish to pay their respects to attend. SIA looks to the future as Indonesian-Americans playing an important role to bridge communication, understanding, and trust between Indonesia and the U.S. ”

All those wishing to attend are invited to the Embassy for the activities which begin at 7PM. In addition to the program as described above, donations of clothing and children’s toys will be welcomed.

For complete details, please visit the SIA website at

Tsunami, the aftermath

Angelo Fernando has continuing coverage.

Why open source is the way of the future

Because the next generation of programmers are learning that proprietary systems are unreliable and expensive.

Hanging out at the Analyst Café

Special Report: The State of Analyst Weblogs, Part 1

Blogs present a fundamental cultural change for the analyst business. Analyst business processes assume analysts have control of interactions with clients and research subjects. These processes also ensure that findings and opinions are subjected to scrutiny and polish before public release. Blogs fly in the face of those processes.

This is great news for small PR firms like Presto Vivace, Inc. Traditionally analysts have been the most inaccessible part of this business.