Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday fun

Bosch Aerospace Theater

Great headlines

Playing dumb is no pretext in HP testimony

When control gets out of control, HP edition

Lawmakers Scold HP as Top Lawyer Resigns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co.'s top lawyer resigned on Thursday as U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers scolded current and former top executives for invading individuals' privacy to find the source of boardroom leaks.

It is more than a little ironic that this hearing was held the same day the US Senate effectively abolished the right of habeas corpus.

I wanted to go to the hearing for myself, but was unable to because of the press of end of the month business. I plan to write much more about this, but not until I have had a chance to do a little research into the chain of events.

There are many things that went wrong at HP, but one of the problems was the leaks. Members of the board of directors should be willing to speak on the record. One of my all time favorite West Wing shows dealt with leaks and the atmosphere of distrust they leave in their wake. I think this is a good time to quote it:


There's an old saying: "Those who speak, don't know; and those who know, don't speak." I don't know if that's true or not, but I know that by and large the press doesn't care who really knows what as long as they've got a quote.

Last Friday, we had our Week Ahead meeting in the Roosevelt Room. Some of you were there, most of you weren't, but I'm talking to all of you now.

Bruno Gianelli and I were leading a discussion about whether or not the President should stop in Kansas on his way back from the West Coast, and I remarked that the Vice President is polling better than the President right now in the Plains states... and that if the President is re-elected, it's gonna be on the Vice President's coattails. That remark made its way to a White House reporter.

We're a group. [chuckles cheerlessly] We're a team. From the President and Leo on through, we're a team...We win together, we lose together, we celebrate and we mourn together. And defeats are softened and victories sweetened because we did them together.

And if you don't like this team... then, there's the door. It's great to be in the know. It's great to have the scoop, to have the skinny, to be able to go to a reporter and say, "I know something you don't know." And so the press becomes your constituents and you sell out the team.

So, an item will appear in the paper tomorrow, and it'll be embarrassing to me and embarrassing to the President. I'm not gonna have a witch hunt. I'm not gonna huff and puff. I'm not gonna take anyone's head off. I'm simply gonna say this: you're my guys. And I'm yours... and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Corporate citizenship

Advanced Data Tools (not a client) links to user groups from its website. It is a little thing, but such an easy way for corporations to promote their industry.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tom Murphy has a new home

Murphy's Law

A strategic approach to public relations

What niche does your company occupy? Do you do web services projects or content management? Do you cater to the medical market or the financial services market? These may sound like obvious questions, but it is amazing how easily they are overlooked. The answers to these questions will provide the basis for your PR strategy.

Once you identify your niche, you can start planning how best to communicate to your audience. What are your customers’ preferred sources of information? The easiest way to find out is simply to ask them. Once a year Presto Vivace sends out an email to our customers, present and former, asking what are their preferred news sources. More recently we have begun to ask which, if any, blogs they read.

It is also necessary to ask what your customer’s customer reads. That is why I attend so many meetings of local tech groups. This is the audience my clients are trying to reach.

Participating in IT standards discussions offers a great opportunity to meet the players, both competitors and customers. A good standards committee will prevent any single vendor from dominating the standard; but participation will enable you to both keep abreast of emerging trends and ensure that your product is not blocked. Participation in a standards committee is also an opportunity to advance your industry. If that isn’t part of your PR plan, then you don’t have one. Wanting to do the right thing for your industry is part of what separates PR from snake oil.

It is not only useful to participate in your industry’s trade associations, but also to follow your customer's market. For example, if your company provides litigation support software, not only should you be a member of AIIM, you should also buy advertising in your local bar association’s newsletter and even attend an occasional meeting.

Of course, the best PR is to make your customer look good. Almost all the trade magazines have annual “Best of” issues. Resist the temptation to nominate your company; nominate your customer. Nothing is more likely to cement your relationship. If you learn of a “Call for Participation” in a trade conference or seminar, forward it to your customer and encourage them to apply. What do you think would be more persuasive? Giving a presentation on your view of your industry? Or your customer explaining how your company solved their problem? Understanding this is the difference between simple promotion and strategic public relations.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Free anonymous browsing

A modified version of Mozilla Firefox that lets users browse the web anonymously has been released.

The Torpark browser can be stored on and run from a flash USB memory stick, which can effectively turn a PC into an anonymous terminal.

Hacktivismo Press Release

I would be very interested in reviews from security experts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Have a question about SBI-Net?

SBI-Net: Make or buy could be make or break

Staff writer Alice Lipowicz will take your questions about SBI-Net during an online forum Thursday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET.

Federal call for comment, Health IT

HRSA ponders changes to foster health IT in safety-net clinics

The Health Resources and Services Administration is seeking comments from the public on how it can best encourage health information technology adoption in the community clinics it helps to support. ...

... The deadline to send comments to the agency is Oct. 10.

If you have an opinion about this now now is the time to speak out.

She will be missed

Anita Brown, 63; Pushed Internet Use In Black Community

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Companies clueless about software architecture

ZDNet Asia

SINGAPORE--Many companies still do not understand the role of software architects, with some even throwing the job at junior programmers, according to the Asian branch of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA).

IASA Asia-Pacific Chairman Aaron Tan said most IT projects fail because little emphasis is placed on software architecture in most organizations.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Society for New Communications Research Inaugural Awards Gala & Research Symposium

Society for New Communications Research

The Inaugural SNCR Research Symposium, Awards & 1st Anniversary Celebration will be held November 1 - 2 at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston, Mass. Don’t miss this special event featuring the presentation of our first research projects and the unveiling of the first issue of the Journal of New Communications Research.

Unfortunately I will not be able to go; but it sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The wrong way to handle negative press

Tension Escalates Over HP Scandal

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s board of directors yesterday called an emergency meeting for Sunday as a scandal involving spying on board members and journalists escalated and prompted Chairman Patricia C. Dunn to say she would step down if asked.

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, meanwhile, said the case was wider than previously reported and hinted it that it could go grow beyond the Silicon Valley technology pioneer. In an interview yesterday, Lockyer said the investigation stretches back to 2005 and involves an internal investigation that HP conducted of leaks to the media.

Lockyer is conducting a criminal investigation of how contractors hired by HP obtained personal records by posing as someone else, a practice known as "pretexting," to determine who leaked confidential company information to the media.

She hired professional phishers to deal with a leak???????????

Jeffrey Treem sums it up best.


Government Slows Tech Spending

Friday, September 08, 2006

Glorious News

Appeals court upholds state anti-spam law

RICHMOND--The Virginia Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the nation's first conviction under an anti-spam law.

The court rejected an appeal by Jeremy Jaynes, who was convicted in 2004 in Loudoun County of violating Virginia's anti-spam law, the nation's most restrictive law against Internet spam e-mails.

It's a great day for Virginia.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

No, we are not making this up

Google developing eavesdropping software

The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that's adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject.

Time to start thinking about using another search engine.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dundee at one

Today my collie dog turned one. I’ve had him since January. Collies are celebrated for their sweet, placid, affectionate personalities and Dundee is no exception. My previous dog was a pomeranian mix, a very vivacious dog. It is quite a contrast. Both breeds have their charms; but I am really enjoying the collie.

I want to know how to leverage the IASA to help grow my company’s business.

That is the question Nicole Tedesco asked my client, Paul Priess, the founder of IASA. She wrote a very entertaining description of their meeting and it captures the spirit of technology associations.

“But if my company is going to spend money on me doing ‘architecty’ things, then they have every right to know what return they will receive on their investment.”

Paul rose, ostensibly to worm his way to the parking lot where he could grab a quick cigarette hit, but he couldn’t resist making some points while standing up, just before he left. (What a showman!) “How much would it cost to spin up internal education for your architects? How long would it take? How likely will it be that you will be successful? Now, if you could borrow a pre-packaged curriculum from the IASA, how much would that be worth to you?”

It is a very important part of technology and one that is not sufficiently reported in my opinion.