Thursday, June 30, 2005

Whither IPv6?

Roy Mark, InternetNews

WASHINGTON -- Without more government leadership on the transition to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), U.S. commerce could potentially face "devastating" competition from Europe and Asia.

According to testimony before a House panel Wednesday, Europe and Asia have invested more than $800 million in the next generation IP protocol designed for more address space, mobility and security in peer-to-peer networking. Japan's NTT has more IPv6 customers than all American companies combined.

United States IPv6 Summit

Security, Privacy and PR

Have You Been Stolen?

IN FEBRUARY, Bank of America Corp. acknowledged that computer tapes with personal information on federal employees had been put on an airplane in December and then lost, putting 1.2 million people at risk of identity theft. In May, Time Warner Inc. announced that it had shipped similar information by truck and lost it, too, compromising data on 600,000 employees. The next month it emerged that a unit of Citigroup Inc. entrusted computer tapes with information on fully 3.9 million customers to United Parcel Service Inc.; the tapes never showed up at their destination. What's more, losing tapes in transit is only one way that companies can compromise personal data. In the most recent security failure, credit card companies admitted that hackers had penetrated the database of a payment-processing firm. As many as 40 million credit card numbers may have fallen into the hands of criminals.

Security breaches and violations of privacy are going to be the next speciality in crisis communications.

CardSystems Hit With Class Action Lawsuit
Adam Shostack concurs.

What happened to Technorati?

Since it was redesigned it is either painfully slow or does not work at all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

First draft of revised Data Reference Model released

Joab Jackson, Government Computer News

The federal Data Reference Model working group released the first draft of the DRM Specification today. The working group is now soliciting feedback from government agencies before it submits the DRM to the Office of Management and Budget this fall.

The release of the DRM draft is an “important milestone” in the federal government’s efforts to better share information, said OMB chief architect Richard Burke. He spoke at the Data Reference Model Public Forum held today in Washington in conjunction with the federal CIO Council’s quarterly Emerging Technology Components conference.

Mark my words, this standard will drive the industry. Such is the power of the federal purse.

Data Reference Model Public Forum

Press releases in the age of the Internet

The Evolution of the Press Release

But you need to think differently about writing your releases in this new age. You can extend the power of your press releases beyond the media by positioning them for search engines. In effect, your press releases become a long-lasting, online, searchable database about your organization.

Of course your online media room can’t work this way if your press releases are in PDF format. Put them in HTML.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The enterprise architecture framework blues

EA creating new stovepipes

Enterprise architecture is supposed to make cross-agency collaboration possible, but it’s also creating a new set of barriers, said Mary McCaffery, senior adviser to the Environmental Protection Agency chief information officer.

Agencies are taking their own framework approaches in developing enterprise architecture, she said, speaking today at a breakfast panel sponsored by the Bethesda chapter of AFCEA Internationa.

“They have their favorite tools, they have their favorite approaches,” she added. In the case of agencies with which the EPA needs to share data, “our approach is to get those people in a room and see if they can’t design across agency enterprise architecture.”

A victory for national security

Supreme Court Won't Hear CIA Leak Case

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday increased the likelihood of jail time for two reporters, refusing to take up a case that pits the news media's promise to protect confidential sources against a grand jury's demand for information.

The justices' decision not to intervene leaves reporters Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine in contempt of court for refusing to reveal their sources in a leak probe involving CIA officer Valerie Plame. Each reporter faces up to 18 months in jail.

Tom Hilton put it very well:

This isn't your run-of-the-mill story about reporters protecting their sources; in all probability, the communications with Cooper and Miller either were criminal acts in their own right or establish definitively that criminal acts were committed. (Obviously, there is a speculative element to this--everything substantive is sealed--but it's based on such information as we do have at this point.) That crosses the line between protecting a source and complicity in a crime.

(And yes, Novak should be doing time. But that doesn't mean Cooper and (especially) Miller shouldn't.)

Rodney Graves comments.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy submarine force explains why Plame, Cooper, and Miller matter.
Why Fitzgerald needs their testimony.
Why Miller's testimony may be crucial.
Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Monday, June 27, 2005

E-gov faces budget cuts

David Perera, Federal Computer Week

It's not officially summer until Congress cuts the Office of Management and Budget's e-government funding request. The House Appropriations Committee called the initiative fundamentally flawed and reduced OMB's e-government fiscal 2006 budget from $5 million in directly appropriated funds to $3 million, just $24,000 more than was appropriated for fiscal 2005.

The committee voted June 21 for the cuts as part of the Treasury, Transportation and independent agencies fiscal 2006 bill. It now faces a vote by the full House and a markup of a similar version by a Senate appropriations subcommittee.

In addition, the committee rejected an OMB request to use $40 million in excess funds generated by the General Services Administration for e-government projects in fiscal 2006.

In a report accompanying the bill, committee members chastised OMB for wanting to spend GSA's money. "If OMB seeks funding for an initiative under its direction, OMB should request those funds under its own appropriations complete with a comprehensive budget justification," the report states.

The committee also directed GSA in cases where it is running a surplus of at least $40 million to "evaluate the pricing structure of its services" to determine if GSA is overcharging agencies.

Our elected representatives have effectively told GSA to never run surpluses.

This was not a good decision. Whether it is a question of convenient and responsive government or interagency cooperation we need e-Government.

In praise of the humble press release

Tom Murphy asks a question, "Why is it that proponents of blogging believe that blogs must rape and pillage everything that has gone before?"

A press release can do what no other tool can do. It can alert a reporter to story he has never heard about. Whether the story is a new product announcement or an interesting case study, no other tool is so well suited to communicating the essentials in a time efficient manner. No other single tool is as effective in placing a story.

What is the difference between different between EDMS and ERMS?

(Electronic Document Management System). Term to describe the storage and management (including retrieval) of documents which are input to a computer system via a variety of mechanisms (including scanning device, conventional software products such as Word Processors, faxes, email)..

ERMS, Electronic Records Management System
An automated system used to manage the creation, use, maintenance and disposal of electronically created records for the purposes of providing evidence of business activities. These systems maintain appropriate contextual information (metadata) and links between records to support their value as evidence.

Now you know.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Program Management Summit Call for Participation

Program Management Summit

November 17-18, 2005
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC


Deadline for Abstract Submission is Tuesday, July 19, 2005.

The FCW Media Group, producer of E-Gov Institute events and publisher of Federal Computer Week, is pleased to announce a Call for Participation for the 3rd Annual Program Management Summit, to be held November 17-18, 2005 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. This is your opportunity to participate in the Summit as a member of the faculty.

The annual Summit will bring together government program managers to discuss their experiences and share strategies for success. The program is designed to address the current needs of government management professionals in their efforts to meet program objectives, manage risk, measure performance, and deliver results.

Voices from the front, the soldier blogs

All the Kings Horses

A heightened sense of mortality lends to a particular brand of introspective soul-searching that has become a trademark of wartime writing. The difference today, of course, is that technology makes idle ramblings instantly available to everyone.

For some of us, we have discovered that we can instigate knowledge and awareness among the American public, galvanizing political action.

Knowledge is power, but I imagine some would prefer that neither belong to the public. That having been said, however, it isn't for the Army or the government to curb the creative impulses of those under the knife. It is very un-American.

Violating operations security aside, there have been numerous blogs snuffed out because they have been deemed "bad for morale". Suffice it to say that my own could easily be the next. I will not give up my soap box easily, though. It's all I have in this miserable place.

The soldier blogs are excellent PR for America’s armed forces. Reading these journals gives you a good opinion about those defending us and what they are trying to do under extremely difficult circumstances. Americans have learned some deeply disturbing things about what is being done in our name. It is likely we will shortly discover things that are even more disturbing. The greatest antidote to this are the soldier’s themselves. Shutting down these journals would be a colossal blunder in a war that has seen too many colossal blunders.

Edit my press release

Open Source Press Releases

Open source press releases. James Governor at MonkChip’s discusses Ian Skerrat’s press release at the Eclipse Foundation. Ian is releasing two press releases to the public for comment before he issues three press releases to the wire.

Ian is looking for feedback on the press releases. He also wrote an earlier post, and has already collected some comments. Gaining feedback from customers for products is a good way to gain ideas about your products. The purpose of public relations is to get other people talking about your product or idea.

This strikes me as ingeneous; but very difficult to sell to clients.

Network World’s All Star Awards


Network World is looking for entries for its inaugural Enterprise All-Star Awards program. The Enterprise All-Star Awards will honor user organizations that demonstrate exceptional use of network technology to further business objectives.

Enter here

The case for bouncers: freedom requires rules and a way to enforce them

Elizabeth Albrycht has a great post on the problem of enforcing good conduct on wikis and other open media –

As we look at the costs of blogs and wikis, in particular, we must build into that some measure of what it is going to cost to make sure that spam, pornography and other unwanted content is kept out. Today, there are technical tools to help you, but none of them are truly foolproof. You will need a person, or team of people, to keep an eye on things. By building the cost of this into the budget for the entire endeavor, you will rapidly come to a decision as to whether it is feasible or not.

Call for Entries: 2005 CMP Business Technology Optimization (BTO) Awards

From Elizabeth Albrycht

Business technology optimization (BTO) maximizes the business value of IT. Leading companies across the globe are implementing BTO initiatives and improving business results, controlling costs and minimizing risks.

CMP BTO Excellence Awards

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Compare and Contrast

TSA Defies Congress; Collects Personal Information on 15 Million Passengers.

In a Freedom of Information Act request by the watchdog group Judicial Watch, the FBI has redacted information on bin Laden to protect his privacy rights.

About Copyright

A brief introduction to copyright

10 Big Myths about copyright explained

ISO 18629

Peter Coffee, EWeek

I found myself thinking along these lines when I saw last week's bulletin from the National Institute of Standards and Technology concerning an emerging process specification language called ISO 18629 -- if it has a more euphonious name, I haven't uncovered it yet -- which purportedly "uses artificial intelligence (AI) and mathematical logic to represent computer commands." Oh, my aching head. Imagine: a language that doesn't just let you demonstrate how smart you are, but that adds its own intelligence to yours.

A few deep breaths later, I'm willing to be persuaded that ISO 18629 is a good idea burdened by an over-hyped description. There's nothing wrong, in principle, with a language that's designed to work with a sophisticated run-time environment -- one that's capable, for example, of inferring specifics of ideas like duration and sequence from the context of what's going on. In fact, this seems like a pretty natural extension of the polymorphism that we've seen in object-oriented languages for years.

Telling an object to print itself, for example, can result in any number of different behaviors depending on whether it's a piece of text or a color graphic -- or even a turtle-graphics script that drives a robot around on a piece of paper on a classroom floor. I can likewise imagine telling one process to begin "after" another process, relying on metadata of the latter process to tell the former whether that means "after I'm up and running in a stable mode" or "after I've run to completion without errors."

Is that an example of artificial intelligence? No, but it's a style of programming that makes it natural to think about systems as if they were built from individually intelligent elements, instead of trying to put all the intelligence in top-level executive code while dealing with all of the lower-level modules as if they were mindless idiots.

Programmers, what do you think of this?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hosting freedom

Adopt a Chinese blog

"Here's a great way for bloggers and others with decent web hosting to help fight internet censorship in China and other restrictive countries. Adopt a Chinese Blog aims to match up censored bloggers with volunteer hosts."

Adopt a Chinese blog wiki


Solar sail gets ready for launch

A solar sail spacecraft launches on Tuesday, to demonstrate an elegant new way to power interplanetary probes.

The Cosmos-1 mission is privately funded - half the money will come from a TV studio - and lift-off will be from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea.

The sail reflects particles of light, or photons, from the Sun, gaining momentum in the opposite direction and driving the spacecraft forward.

Some think solar sails offer a cheaper, faster form of spacecraft propulsion.

Hard to believe this could be profitable in the foreseeable future; but it is too cool for words.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The case for transparency in pricing

It's Suspiciously Cozy In the Cybermarket

In September 2000, got headlines when customers found that the same DVDs were being offered to different buyers at discounts of 30, 35 or 40 percent. Amazon insisted the discounts were part of a random "price test," but critics suggested they were based on customer profiling. After weeks of bad press, the firm offered to refund the difference to buyers who had paid the higher prices. The company vowed it wouldn't happen again.

Frequent computer users I've talked to -- like my fairly hip students -- don't really believe such assurances. Frankly, it's hard for any dispassionate observer to believe there's no "price customization" when associates from the influential McKinsey consulting firm write in a 2004 Harvard Business Review article that online companies are missing out on a "big opportunity" if they are not tracking customers and adjusting prices accordingly -- either to attract new buyers or get more of their money.

Secret police market research is ghastly PR. No one likes to be spied on.

Your customers talk to each other; if you treat them differently they will find out. Post your prices openly, put them on your marketing literature. Systems Integrators tell me they can’t do that because every installation is different. Perhaps, but in most cases 80% of their installations will consist of the same configuration with the same installation, training and maintenance package. Nothing inspires more confidence than transparent pricing.


Hard-liner, moderate compete in Iran Field narrowed to Tehran mayor, millionaire cleric

Tehran -- The hard-line, working-class mayor of Tehran will face former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate millionaire cleric, in a runoff election for Iran's presidency this week, according to first-round results announced Saturday.

Since when is Rafsanjani a moderate?

Product placement

This afternoon I saw The Deal. It is a political thriller involving oil.

Eschaton described it as liberal porn. My friend described it as a DVD movie. I suspect the gentlemen in the audience will identify with the comic relief elements. The ending has a cynical twist.

During the film I counted no less that four prominent camera shots of the Financial Times. A little heavy handed in my judgment. Apple also had a great camera shot. I am not a purist about these things, but a movie should never look like a commercial.

Community development of Java specifications

Java Community Process

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Archiving all your e-mail is not records management

TrendWatch blog

Just attended the INBOX Messaging Conference a couple of weeks ago and I have e-mail archiving on the brain. Quite a few vendors and some lawyers having been espousing the practice of saving all e-mails, just in case, and I see quite a few frustrated, confused users buying into the concept that if you save everything you don’t have to worry about your users or employees “screwing things up.”

I thought the whole point of a records management policy was to insure that everything necessary to comply with regulations was saved and almost everything else discarded to avert fishing expeditions.

FDIC Alerts Employees of Data Breach

Jonathan Krim, The Washington Post

Thousands of current and former employees at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are being warned that their sensitive personal information was breached, leading to an unspecified number of fraud cases.

In letters dated last Friday, the agency told roughly 6,000 people to be "vigilant over the next 12 to 24 months" in monitoring their financial accounts and credit reports. The data that may have been improperly accessed included names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and salary information on anyone employed at the agency as of July 2002.

The agency said that in a "small number of cases," the data was used to obtain fraudulent loans from a credit union, but declined to specify how many or the credit union involved.

According to the letter, the breach occurred early last year, and it remains unclear why employees were not notified for nearly 18 months. The agency wrote that it learned of the breach only "recently," but did not explain how the breach surfaced or why it took so long to learn about it.

Nor did the letter say how the breach occurred, aside from stating that it was not the result of a computer security failure. In June 2003, the Government Accountability Office concluded that security weaknesses at the agency left some of its data vulnerable, though the report cited some improvements.

One trusts this will motivate our government to do something about this.

Prices data fail to halt Treasury sell-off

By Jennifer Hughes in New York, Joanna Chung in London and David Turner in Tokyo for the Financial Times

US Treasury prices extended their sell-off on Wednesday as the recent negative market tone continued in spite of the second benign set of inflation data in two days. ...

The report showed a slight dip in net foreign buying of Treasuries in April to $24.7bn from $27.8bn. Total net inflows into the US reached only $47.4bn – failing to cover the monthly current account deficit for a second month running and raising concerns about future demand for US assets.

A bad sign. A very bad sign.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

When good people give bad advice, the inappropriate use of technology in marketing

Chris Doran has some dubious advice on Marketing Profs.

Five Ways Technology Can Boost Profitability

1. Identify anonymous Web site visitors

Currently, Web site registration is the leading tool for gathering information about potential customers and generating leads through your Web site. As long as every potential customer completes the registration process, it's a great tool. But many of your potential customers never register, or don't finish registering because they get the jitters for one reason or another. …

First of all, if you are asking users to register to retrieve information from your corporate web site, you urgently need to get over yourself. The only reason to ask visitors to register is for the purpose of conducting secure transactions.

Today, there are powerful tools that can identify visitors to your Web site even if they do not register while they are visiting your Web site. These tools automatically lookup visitors IP addresses so you have are presented with a compiled list of identities of the anonymous companies--and thus potential customers--who are visiting your Web site.

While some IP addresses cannot be linked to an individual company, our research shows that you can identify the company affiliations of more than 50% of the anonymous visitors to your site. And once you know the names of the companies, you can follow up and nurture their interest. …

Tracking visitors makes sense if you use that information to indentify your primary vertical markets. If you are sending prospects email on the basis of their visiting your website, you are pushing your luck.

With new technology recently introduced into the marketplace, you can get to know your customers through their online behavior. You can know what Web pages they have viewed on your site. You can know how long they stayed on each one. You can know what emails they've read and which ones they've forwarded. And you can know what product information they've downloaded.

Markets are about conversations, not surveillance. Avoid secret police market research.

Adriana has a related comment

What is Event Driven Architecture?

Tarak Modi, TechWeb

Event-based systems are systems in which the constituent modules (or components) have no direct connection to each other. I agree that this statement by itself is quite vague. So, let's explore it further using a typical service-oriented, N-tiered Web application.

An end user submits an order form using a Web browser, which results in a boundary service on the server side being invoked. This boundary service then finds and invokes the appropriate business components, which in turn may invoke a series of other business and data components, and so on. Each component in this system, including those on the client side, knows exactly which component (or set of components) it needs to invoke next, and furthermore, this logic is built into the application itself rather rigidly. Changing this logic in most cases entails a developer making a change to the application code.

The reason for this is simple: components in such a system are directly connected (or coupled) to each other. There are two generally accepted ways of establishing this connection between the two components. The more common approach is through the use of a factory pattern. The "caller" component uses the factory to locate or obtain a reference to the "callee" component. The other way, which is a more recent development, uses a pattern called "dependency injection," in which the "caller" component provides a way for the container to inject (i.e. provide) a reference to the "callee" component during startup (or whenever the "caller" component is created/initialized).

(There is actually a third way to establish the connection. The "caller" component could simply create the "callee" component itself. This is the least desirable way of the three and should be avoided in all except the simplest of systems.)

Now you know.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

On flag day

The Stars and Stripes Forever

A dangerous precedent

Microsoft Censors Blogs at Chinese Portal

SHANGHAI, China - Chinese bloggers, even on foreign-sponsored sites, better chose their words carefully — the censors are watching.

Users of the MSN Spaces section of Microsoft Corp.'s new China-based Web portal get a scolding message each time they input words deemed taboo by the communist authorities — such as democracy, freedom and human rights.

"Prohibited language in text, please delete," the message says.

Dan Gillmor comments.

Communist Chinese astroturf.

Trevor Cook on corporate blogging

Sydney Morning Herald

Companies could overcome their fears by creating guidelines for employees. But, as Cook says: "If you can't trust your employees to blog honestly about the company, then you better have a hard look at the company."

Employees naturally identify with their company and like to brag on its achievements.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Congratulations Joseph Bermudez

Jane’s Defence Weekly wins at Paris Air Show

Jane’s Defence Weekly last night scooped the Northrop Grumman Award for the Best Breaking News Submission at the 2005 Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards.

The article, entitled ‘ North Korea deploys new missiles’, was authored by Joseph Bermudez on 30 July 2004.

Peter Felstead , editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly, said: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. There was extremely stiff competition as, unlike Jane’s Defence Weekly, the focus of the other publications is solely on aviation and ours is tri-service.”

Two other articles were shortlisted at last night’s awards ceremony: Rob Hewson for ‘ China aids Iran's tactical missile programme’ (11 November 2004) and Michael Sirak ‘The end game’ (8 September 2004).

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The effective use of AdSense

Generating Low Cost Terms for Google Campaigns

What's the difference between "Primary" and "Secondary" terms?

"Primary Terms" are those terms that most simply describe your industry or offering, whereas Secondary Terms" have some additional term or word attached to it that makes it longer - and therefore less competitive. Generally, the longer the phrase the less they cost per click because there is less of a chance that someone will click that exact phrase. The upside though, is that less clicks per phrase on a less competitive term usually means a lower cost per click overall.

These tools are very new and we are still learning how to use them effectively.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Al Gore, thank you for the Internet

The Webby Lifetime Achievement Award: Former Vice President Al Gore

Setting the record straight on one of recent history's most persistent political myths, The Webby Awards will present Former Vice President Al Gore with The Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the pivotal role he has played in the development of the internet over the past three decades. Vint Cerf, widely credited as one of the "fathers of the internet," will present Vice President Gore with the award.

If it were not for Al Gore we would still be in the walled off gardens of Compuserve, AOL, Prodigy, etc.

Al Gore and the Internet

Friday, June 10, 2005

Why are data reference models news?

Chris Dorobek has a fascinating piece about site traffic and story selection.

Each week, Federal Computer Week covers stories that can be seen as dense. We always try to do it in a way that makes these subjects accessible and perhaps occasionally even fun. But there also going to be stories about some new data reference model of the enterprise architecture that are just so important, they just have to be covered. Our goal is always to make those stories accessible as well.

I think the way to make data reference model stories box office is to communicate its impact on interoperability. A good data reference model is the difference between applications working with each other and bottle necks. A good data reference model is the difference between divisions within an agency communicating with one another or not.

I understand it is difficult to make clear the impact of such arcane developments; but readers must be given the opportunity to read these stories if they are to understand technology’s impact on their lives.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Setting a poor example

Public Relations Tactics has a disappointing article about Video News Releases(VNR). The article characterizes the controversy surrounding VNRs as hysteria.

Part of our job as PR professionals is to explain to clients the necessity of showing what Jefferson called "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind". To simply describe the opposition to VNRs as hysteria is to fail to do this.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Another look at message boards

Recently I have rediscovered message boards. One of my clients has a service peculiarly suited to message board buzz. I think we take message boards for granted precisely because they are so important. Comments on a message board have tremendous authenticity within their limited milieu.

I think the best way to use message boards is to simply link them on your corporate web site and hope your happy customers are the ones who post.

Media Guerrilla

Common Craft

Monday, June 06, 2005

'Newsday' Snubs Google, Introduces Its Own Version of AdSense

Graham Webster, Editor and Publisher

NEW YORK As more and more newspapers are embracing Google AdSense and other third-party context-based advertising, Newsday Monday announced its in-house answer.

The Newsday program, called Pay-Per-Click, allows advertisers to place ads on the Newsday Web site associated with specific sections, subject matter, or geographical areas. Unlike classic banner ads -- which are usually paid by "impression," or the number of times the ad is displayed -- Pay-Per-Click ads are free unless someone clicks on them.

I wondered when this would start happening. It is a great idea. Media companies with multiple properties, such as CMP. Ziff Daivs, IDG, etc., would do very well to follow suit.

Something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear

Violence Against the Truth

On Saturday night Hook went to a Santa Fe bar to meet a person claiming to be a fellow Los Alamos whistleblower that called that night. When the person did not show, Hook left the bar after two drinks. In the parking lot he was pulled out of his car and beaten so badly by 3 or 4 men that he had to be taken to intensive care. Hook did not provoke these men. The men concentrated on kicking his head, and Hook's family thinks the men would have killed him if it hadn’t been for the witness who had just walked out of the bar.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Blog

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The civil service wiki

Aliya Sternstein, Federal Computer Week:

Public Web logs that can be modified by anyone with a browser could give citizens more power to affect policy, an Ohio State University expert says.

Philosophy lecturer Larry Sanger, who spoke June 2 at the FCW Events' Web-Enabled Government Conference, said he believes that government agencies should consider using so-called wiki collaboration tools, which are rapidly growing in popularity. Sanger co-founded one of the most widely known applications of wiki technology, the online Wikipedia. The free and popular encyclopedia is updated by its community of users.

Federal XML Community of Practice Wiki

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New 7-dBi, 2.4 GHz Antenna Can Triple WLAN Coverage


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.

For more information visit

From gaming enthusiasts to large warehouse distribution systems, my client's flexible, economic antenna is going to have a big impact on wireless systems.

What is a political blog?

It is a little like p0rnography, you know it when you see it. But if you have ever mentioned a candidate’s name on your blog you could be sucked into this.

Do you think bloggers should have to fill out forms every time they link to a candidate’s web site? Should they disclose links to campaigns in ways Frank Luntz does not?

The Online Coalition has written an excellent letter:

The electorate is best served when the Commission crafts rules that remove actual corruption while encouraging more participation, opinions and choices to permeate the democratic process.

It is in this spirit and for the reasons stated below that the Commission should move forward with its proposal to include the term “paid advertisements on the Internet” under the definition of “public communication,” to extend the protections afforded to volunteers to include individuals and groups of individuals, and to treat certain online publications as falling under the “media exemption” rule.

Send your own statement to the Federal Election Commission at You don’t have much time; Friday, June 3 is the deadline.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The changing model for Venture Capital firms

Burnham’s Beat has a fascinating post about the changing world of Venture Capital investing. Shorter version, there used to be a handful of firms that did venture investing, so they could afford to wait for entrepreneurs to find them. Now there are many venture firms competing for deals, so to win the best ones you can no longer wait for startups to find you. More firms are specializing in certain areas and actively looking for startups that fit their investment outlook.

I would be real interested in hearing from the entrepreneur’s side of this.