Saturday, December 29, 2007

New to me local tech blogs

From the DC Technology Group:

Web Consulting Washington DC, It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Dr. DigiPol
Nick Whitmoyer
Diplays Awesome Dot Com
Blue Screen Joy - A Software Tester's Journey; The first step to making something better is to point out what is wrong with it. Blue Screen Joy is Andy Roth's blog about the pursuit of quality in software, technology, and life.
3 Dog TV
Will Brown is Online
Marketing Conversation
East Coast Blogging
The Adventures of Andrew Lee; Entrepreneurship, Encounters, Exhortation
Just - ideas and development for the life of your website
Paul's Web Space 2.0; Politics, Culture, Technology
James Marantan Software Architecture Blog; A blog about Software Architecture, ASP.NET, C#, VB.NET, SQL Server, Oracle, GIS, CAD, Security, Policies, Workflows, Project Management, and Business.
Forum One Tech Blog
Red Bloguera
The Commute from Hell; A personal blog by Michael Tolosa
Dito’s SEO Strategies, SEO, Search Marketing, Google, and more…
Leslie Bradshaw, a blog about life in DC
product four
Kristen Taylor blog
The Montoya Herald; coming soon to a blogroll near you
Challenges; Challenges is the personal weblog of Marc Benton. Marc is an IT guy with over 15 years of professional experience in government and private business in the Northern Virginia region.
LitheBlog: Exploring Lean and Agile
My Adams Morgan
centricle: home of the internet's Kevin Smith
The Reinvented Blog; about the digital world and how it impacts design, communication, and thought
Ryan J Powell
Software Craftsmanship
The Officially Official Blog of Searchles
EliteFrontier; Rodney Degracia’s technical and paste blog
dambalah; thoughts of a haitian hacker…
Web Consulting Washington DC; It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
The Lack Thereof
John F Croston III; “It’s only words and photos on the internet”
Eric Austin Litman’s Weblog; Internet entrepreneur and evangelist.
MPL's blog, Evangalist making marketing & the Internet work together
The Qloud Blog
corey brown’s blog
Manifest Density
With The Band, Notes on Tech, Social Media, and Entrepreneurship … Are you with the Band?
dready blog v2.0
Incessant Rantings
ryan moede :: social media, Emeging thoughts on social media
Walking Along My Path
Andy Rankin, Nobody is Listening
Software Sports
Conrad's Blog, A blog about the Science of Knowledge Representation
Alex Eagle's weblog, Thoughts on software development, Java, life, work, smart programmers, and things I think are awesome.
Brian Wynne Williams, thoughts, observations, and commentary from an entrepreneur / CEO / husband / dad / consumer / producer / fan / advisor / participant
Rockcreek Software
Inflexion Point
modulus, Matt Bowen's periodically published comments on content, communications, and code.
15 Meanings, Finding the Meaningful in the Meaningless
David Russell
Bad Ass Ideas, We built this blog on rock and roll
kgiff - The Unofficial facebook blog
Nerd Meridian, Or the evening geekiness in the East
Clearspring Community Blog
JOBMATCHBOX, Jobs, Job Hunting, Hiring and Social Networking, My writing is gold!
siliconsoul, The simple ramblings of a geek
Maryland Media
Doug March, design, development and music intelligence

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Theocratic terror

Benazir Bhutto did not like the term Islamic terrorism because it confused terrorism with her religion. She preferred the term theocratic terror. I also prefer this term because it focuses the mind on the problem, the idea that religion is the basis for political power and that terror is a legitimate tool, rather than a particular religion.

It is little known in this country that it was the Hindu Tamil Tigers who were the originators of the suicide bomb. Sadly it spread across South Asia and the Middle East.

Today Bhutto fell to terror. Pakistan has been plagued by theocratic terror for decades. Most of those whose lives were stolen from us by terror are unknown, but no less precious to their families. There are many broken hearts, and after today, even more.

Pakistan is a very important technology power and could be even greater if they can resolve their political problems. Let us hope they can reach a just resolution of their problems soon.

Edit -
Bhutto asserted to David Frost less than two months ago that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Recording Amtower Off Center

This morning was spent recording tomorrow’s edition of Amtower Off Center, which will be about blogs, wikis, and how government contractors can integrate these tools into their communications effort. Listen for it tomorrow at 2pm on WFED 1050 AM in Washington - simulcast on

Below are links to some of the sites mentioned in tomorrow’s show:

Mark Amtower
Mark Amtower Federal Direct
Government Express
Government Marketing Best Practices
Epiphany Book

Debbie Weil (my fellow guest)

Tech on the Potomac RSS reader

Government Blogs:
CDC Chatter
Library of Congress Blog
Blogs by Government, collection of links
Peer to Patent Community Patent Review in Cooperation with the USPTO
Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice Wiki

The New PR Wiki
Anti-Astroturfing Project

AIIM’s eDoc Magazine, What are some of the Records Management implications of blogs?

Alice Marshall On LinkedIn
Mark Amtower on LinkedIn
Debbie Weil on LinkledIn

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dept. of very bad ideas

Businesses Generally Ignoring E-Discovery Rules

Anti-net neutrality fear mongering in progress

Arts Technica has a fabulous take down of Brett Swanson’s Wall Street Journal article alleging that the Internet is facing a coming “exaflood” unless we get rid of this pesky net neutrality. Swanson is a scholar at the Discovery Institute.

This is just one of many articles we will see alleging all manner of ills unless we let the telecoms have their way in charging us more for the same service.

It is important that small businesses understand the stakes in this. Do you want to pay more for Internet service just so your customers are able to access your website with the same ease of your much larger competitor? Because those are the stakes in this fight. And it is not just a Washington fight, what the telecoms were unable to win at the national level they will try to gain at the local level unless they are stopped. So it is critical that small businesses stay active and continue to monitor developments.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One Laptop Per Child, Washington, DC

OLPC LC-DC Holiday Meetup
December 18, 7 PM
Mayorga Cafe & Lounge
3301 14th. St. NW (map)

We will have three special guests with us from other OLPC organizing groups:

* Bryan Berry, External Relations Manager, OLE Nepal
* Christoph Derndorfer and Aaron Kaplan from OLPC Austria

Bryan, Christoph, and Aaron will be giving us an overview of their progress in organizing local OLPC groups in their countries, and ideas on how to expand OLPC LC/DC.

Then we’ll have an in-depth geek-fest and discussion around XO laptop usage right here in Washington DC. Be sure to bring your enthusiasm, your commitment, and of course, you shiny green G1G1 XO laptop!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Compliance opera

Microsoft Sued Over (Lack of) Standards Compliance
Opera is asking the European Commission for two remedial actions. First, it asks the EC to require Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows, and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop. Secondly, it asks the Commission to make Microsoft agree to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities.

Regrettably, Opera isn't specifying which "open Web standards" are not being followed, but one can reasonably suppose that a major point of contention is XHTML 1.1, which IE7 still doesn't support properly.

Opera tells EU that Microsoft's IE hurts the Web
In a complaint, Opera claimed Microsoft continues to abuse its dominant position on the desktop by tying its Internet Explorer (IE) browser to Windows, and hinders interoperability by not following accepted Web standards. It asked the EU's Competition Commission to force Microsoft into separating IE from Windows, and to demand that IE support several standards.

In a statement, the commission said Opera should "obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers preinstalled on the desktop.

"Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities," Opera said. "Microsoft's unilateral control over standards in some markets creates a de facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain and technologically inferior, and that can even expose users to security risks."

Standards selection can equal vendor selection, that is what this fight is about and why the public should be given sufficient facts to understand the debate.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Talking Points Memo
Last week over at TPMmuckraker, Paul Kiel told you about Hank Asher, the confessed drug smuggler turned multimillionaire database guru who hooked up with Rudy Giuliani on a couple of different business ventures. Very mucky looking stuff, especially after Asher's name popped up in the public corruption indictment of the Orange County sheriff.

Now Time has a big new story out on the deal Rudy's firm had with one of Asher's database companies, Seisint. Turns out Giuliani Partners pulled down $30 million in one year on the Seisint contract.

A confessed drug smuggler with a database company? Does anyone not get why privacy protection is important? Does anyone not get why enterprise software stories matter?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blogs and media relations

The Daily Dog quotes Catherine Saillant of the LA Times on how to pitch reporters:
Open the door with kudos or comments about past coverage—nobody likes a cold pitch. "Being friendly is a big part of building relationships with us," Saillant says. "Not every call or email has to be a pitch. For example, just let us know that you’ve read a story recently. If I did a piece (which I did) on mobile home park conversion, then a good call would include your referencing the piece and saying, for example, that you represent an expert on law around that issue. If it’s a continuing story—which stories about legislations usually are—then I might be able to come back to an expert later."

One of the things a flack can do with a blog is link to the reporters who cover their practice area. There is no reporter in the world who has so many readers they would enjoy getting a few more, and reporters who work for less known trade journals really appreciate a link. Blogging gives flacks a chance to recognize good reporting in their practice area. It is a time efficient way to build a relationship with a reporter and much more meaningful for them then the PR knick knacks we mail to them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

New to me Sarbanes-Oxely blog

Sox First

Department of what are you talking about?

Public Knowledge has a post about a proposed law that will increase penalties for copyright violations ('cause suing their customers is working so well for industry). What is the name of the law? Which committee is considering the law? What is the current status? The post does not say, nor does it provide links.

It is called the "Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (“PRO IP”) Act of 2007", and Slashdot has a vigorous discussion about the act.

When you are an expert and talk about an issue all the time it is easy to forget that most people do not have the basic information. One of the strengths of blogging as a medium is that you can write for your fellow expert and provide links for those who need additional information.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Regulatory Compliance and data security

Study: Frequency of Data Loss Connected To Compliance Efforts
For companies that continue to look for the business and financial value of regulatory compliance initiatives, listen up. There is a direct correlation between a company's compliance record and its ability to protect sensitive data, according to a new report.

Companies that perform well in compliance audits also excel at protecting their data, according to the study, released today by the IT Policy Compliance Group, a Cleveland-based research firm. By contrast, companies that performed poorly on regulatory audits tend to have the worst data protection records.

There have calls for changes to Sarbanes-Oxley. This is evidence that it is working.

As the credit implosion continues there will be calls for more regulation. The best thing investor relations pros can do in this situation is impress upon management the necessity of telling the truth, even if that means bankruptcy. Now is the time for accountants, lawyers, and PR pros to work together to salvage what they can.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Murdoch acquisition watch

Rupert Murdoch takes over Sydney Morning Herald

Murdoch's News Corp. in talks to buy LinkedIn: report

Murdoch Adds Beliefnet To His Media Arsenal

Murdoch has been a busy boy.

Judge upholds Presidential Records Act

Government Declines to Appeal Ruling Opening Up Presidential Records
This week, the Bush administration decided not to appeal a federal district court judge’s decision that invalidated a crucial section of Executive Order (EO) 13233, which broadened the rights of presidents and former-presidents to withhold federal records from the public for indefinite periods of time.

On October 1, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly gave historians and researchers a partial, but significant victory in a lawsuit questioning the legality of the Executive Order. The judge struck down the section of the EO that allows a former president to indefinitely delay the release of their records.

The records management systems developed to comply with federal requirements drive the rest of the industry.

Today! Live debate over Open Office XML

Office Open XML
Not to be confused with (an unrelated office suite) or "Open Office XML" (a colloquial synonym for XML).

Office Open XML (commonly referred to as OOXML or OpenXML) is an XML-based file format specification for electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents.

Weigh In On the OOXML Issue During Live Debate's Robin 'Roblimo' Miller will moderate a live debate today, Wednesday, December 5 at 1pm US EST (GMT -5), between the GNOME Foundation's press officer Jeff Waugh and fair competition advocate Roy Schestowitz.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Do you have a policy on code reuse?

How Mainstream Can Code Scavenging Go?

How to Deal With Stolen Code?

Have a policy, communicate your policy in a clear, but low key way. Deal with violations in a low profile way.

Call for speakers, Flex developers

We want you! Speak at the 360Flex Europe
360Flex Europe (7 to 9 April 2008) is one of the coolest european event of 2008 dedicated to Flex.
With Tom and John we're moving forward trying to find speakers, in the Flex community.
We'd like to have as many community speakers as possible.

So if you are a Flex developers and you want to share your Flex development experiences this is your momentum.

New to me local buisness blog

Why Go Solo, Official Plugged In Blog for Why Go Solo.

Added to the Tech on the Potomac RSS reader.

Monday, December 03, 2007

New to me local marketing blog

Advercation = Advertising + Education

Added to Tech on the Potomac RSS reader.

It's a great time to be in e-Discovery!

Watchdog: White House Lost A Lot More Than 5 Million E-mails
The chief counsel for a private watchdog group which recently scored a legal victory over the Bush administration on its improper records archiving said that the number of e-mails missing from the White House archives was far greater than previously reported.

The credit crash and our times

Credit — lending between market players — is to the financial markets what motor oil is to car engines. The ability to raise cash on short notice, which is what people mean when they talk about “liquidity,” is an essential lubricant for the markets, and for the economy as a whole.

But liquidity has been drying up. Some credit markets have effectively closed up shop. Interest rates in other markets — like the London market, in which banks lend to each other — have risen even as interest rates on U.S. government debt, which is still considered safe, have plunged.

Many innocent players are going to get caught up in this. Banks which made stupid loans will panic and refuse to make good ones, or won't be in a position to. During the in the aftermath of the junk bond collapse in 1991 a business associate of mine had his line of credit cancelled. My friend was a VAR selling almost entirely to the federal government. His receivables were in the form of federal purchase orders, as safe as you can get short of currency. He could not bid on business without the ability to buy inventory on credit, so he had to turn away millions of dollars in business. There were many situations like this in 1991 and there will be even more in 2008.

What is truly sickening about this is that so many saw it coming and tried to raise the alarm. It does not speak well of our national discourse and political culture that we allowed it to happen.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Creating tutorials for how to use software

Review: Wink 2.0
Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users.