Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ray Gun a "Disruptive Innovation"

Technology fortunes have been made with disruptive innovations that have turned industries inside out.

Now, it seems the Department of Defense is slow to employ a new disruptive innovation as reported by, and searchable under "Active Denial System." In short, the device is a directed-energy device, but not a laser or microwave. There have been programs on TV illustrating this or a similar device, where even the OIC and the TV host were willing to be guineau-pigs in demonstrations for the camera.

MSNBC quotes many high-level military leaders asking for the device to control unruly crowds that cover insurgent activities resulting in the deaths of innocents. While concerns are voiced that the general public may view the device as a "torture weapon," sunburns are not nearly as bad as bullet wounds.

Potential public perception aside, the only dispute on practicality seems to be whether the weapon is deployable. Defense research agencies seem to say "no," and defense industry manufacturers seem to say "yes."

Doubtless, such a unique weapon would itself become a prime target in the urban battlefield. But could the risk to our soldiers and the $$ cost be any greater than already endured?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Security & Technology Conference 2007

Sponsored by: Network Computing Architects
Thursday, September 6th, 2007
Hyatt Regency Hotel ~ Bellevue WA

To download a full Program guide please visit
Registration: Near Capacity
Register Today~ Use Code NCA2007SUS for a full access complimentary ticket.

Grand Ballroom
7:00- 8:00 am Registration and Networking Breakfast Sponsored by BSI
8:15 am Conference Kickoff Tom Gobeille, NCA
8:30 am Keynote: The Internet as Innovation Engine Howard Charney, Cisco
9:30 am Keynote: Information-Centric Security Dennis Hoffman, RSA
10:30 am Keynote: Web (2.0) Security: Reputation, Malware Detection and Data Leak Prevention Dr. Paul Judge, Secure Computing
11:30 pm Keynote: Intelligent Growth Through Technology Grant Degginger, Mayor of Bellevue
12:00 pm Visit the Exhibitors booths and receive raffle tickets
1:45 pm Panel: ERM vs. Growing and Provocative Technology-based Risks Moderated by Kirk Bailey, UW
2:45 pm Panel: Security as an Enabler? Moderated by Heather Clancy, Entrepreneur Magazine
3:45 pm Changing the Perception of Information Security Preston Hogue, NCA
4:30 pm Practical Guidelines for Implementing IP Telephony Wayne Bailey, NCA

Register Today! Use code NCA2007SUS

Regency Ballroom A
1:30 pm Architecting a Robust Self-Healing VoIP Infrastructure
2:15 pm Dynamic Network Access Control
3:00 pm Unified Communications & Mobility
3:45 pm Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

1:30 pm The Emergence of the Application Ready Network - What's it all about?
2:15 pmNot to Scare, but Make Aware: Physical Security
3:00 pm Enterprise Data Protection
3:45 pm Information Centric-Security & Regulatory Compliance

Regency Ballroom B
1:30 pm Improve Application Performance on your WAN and Save Bandwidth Costs
2:15 pmBusiness Continuity: Identifying the Inadequacies of Conventional Core Network Services Infrastructure
3:00 pmControlling the Image Epidemic
3:45 pmCisco's Self-Defending Network: Your Questions Answered Here!

1:30 pm Microsoft Dynamics for Customer Relationship Management
2:15 pm Unified Communications "A Changing Landscape".
3:00 pm How Law Enforcement supports the private sector - we're here to serve you! Kevin T. Saito, FBI Cyber Squad
3:45 pmRemote Vendor Access™ (RVA): Not all Access Should be Treated Equally

5:00 pm Prize Giveaways - must be present to win

Evergreen Room, Hyatt 2nd Flr.(for conference attendee's only)
5:00-7:00 pm Happy Hour Sponsored by Juniper Networks

Copyright ©2001 NCA - Network Computing Architects Inc.
Voice: 877-KNOW NCA (877-566-9622)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Protection from Identify Theft - 8 Cities Left!

More than 5,000 Washington residents become victims of identity theft each year! Attorney General Rob McKenna announced a 15-city statewide tour on identity theft - come participate in one or more of these events!

Guard it! Washington is a partnership between the Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and AARP to help protect businesses and their customers from identity theft. The 15-city tour kicked off July 12 in Yakima and will end on Oct. 18 in Oak Harbor. It includes public forums, free community shred events and events for business leaders.

The Guard it! Washington schedule is as follows.
Noon Business Presentations: Attorney General Rob McKenna will speak.
Free Shredding from 5 to 7 p.m
Evening Public Forums from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m: Learn how to protect yourself and your family from identity theft and what to do if you are a victim. Register online at or call toll-free 1-800-646-2283.

Guard it! Washington Tour Dates:
PORT ORCHARD: August 27, Monday, South Kitsap High School, Stage Two, 425 Mitchell Avenue
KENT: August 28, Tuesday, Kent Meridian High School, East Wing Auditorium, 10020 S.E. 256th St., Kent
TACOMA: August 30, Thursday, Bates Technical College - South Campus, 2201 S. 78th St.
SHORELINE: September 4, Tuesday, Shoreline Community College, room 2925, 16101 Greenwood Ave. N.
VANCOUVER: September 6, Thursday, Washington State School for the Blind, Fries Auditorium, 2214 E. 13th St.
SEQUIM: September 19, Wednesday, Sequim City Hall Chambers, 152 W. Cedar St.
OLYMPIA: October 4, Thursday, Capitol Campus - Cherberg Building, State Senate Hearing Room 1, 416 Sid Snyder Ave. S.W.
EAST WENATCHEE: October 11, Thursday, Eastmont High School, LGI, 955 N.E. Third Ave.
OAK HARBOR: October 18, Thursday, Skagit Valley College - Oak Harbor Campus, Hayes Hall-137, 1900 S.E. Pioneer Wa
For more information or to register to attend these events, please visit the Web site at:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Update on Technology Issues from Congressman Adam Smith

Smith Votes to Keep America Competitive

Recently, Congressman Adam Smith voted for H.R. 2272, the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act (COMPETES), as part of the House Democrats’ Innovation Agenda. The bill passed by a vote of 367 to 57. Adam and his colleagues in the New Democrat Coalition were instrumental in crafting the Agenda in the 109th Congress.

“It is absolutely essential that the U.S. maintain its competitive edge in the world market. This bill will help us take the strong, needed steps to get our children the education they need to be prepared for the modern economy,” Adam said.

The bill authorizes funding for programs to create more qualified teachers in science and math fields and to support scientific research and innovation through the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The legislation authorizes $22 billion over fiscal years 2008 – 2010 for research, education and other programs at the NSF; $2.65 billion for the research labs, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and other activities at the NIST, and $17 billion, over fiscal years 2008 to 2010, for programs at the DOE, including $150 million for K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational programs.

To read more specifics about the bill please link here:

The bill was signed into law by the President on August 9th, 2007

Smith Votes to Support Technology Efforts, Including Local Projects

The House version of the fiscal year 2008 Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3093) passed by a vote of 281 to 142, with Adam’s support.
A key investment in H.R. 3093 includes:

$831.2 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Research to promote U.S. innovation and competitiveness. These funds will support technology development, help smaller U.S. manufacturers compete in international markets, and help pay for the construction of research facilities.
Local technology projects funded include:

$1.1 million for an upgraded shared Automated Finger Imaging System (AFIS) for Pierce County, WA Sheriff’s Office and the City of Tacoma.

$250,000 for the Rainier Communications Commission for the acquisition of wireless routers to enable the pilot testing of a regional backup communications network for public safety and emergency response purposes, facilitating more effective emergency communications across Pierce County.

House Passes Bills to Promote Renewable Energy, Fight Global Warming

Adam also voted for an energy package that will make our nation more secure, create new American jobs, reduce energy costs to consumers, and fight global warming.

“We face serious security and environmental challenges that are tied to our dependence on oil and on foreign oil in particular. These bills will help protect the environment, promote alternative energy sources grown right here in the United States, and help end our dependence on foreign oil supplies,” Adam said.

H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act, passed by a vote of 241-172. H.R. 2776, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007, passed by a vote of 221 to 189. Taken together, the bills approved by the House will:

* Help reduce our dependence on foreign oil;
* Make the largest investment in biofuels in history; Repeal $23 billion in tax subsidies and royalty relief provisions for big oil companies;
* Close loopholes that offer incentives for business to purchase gas-guzzling vehicles;
* Support cutting edge-research and the development of new energy technologies;
* Reduce emissions by as much as 10.4 billion tons through 2030 -- more than the annual emissions of all of the cars on the road in America today; and
* Call on the U.S. to re-engage and lead the global effort on a binding global warming agreement.

Smith Sends Letter to NSA Urging Streamlined Defense Trade Licensing

Adam and a bipartisan group of his colleagues recently sent a letter to Dr. Stephen J. Hadley, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, supporting industry recommendations to Streamline Defense Trade Licensing – changes which are critical if the U.S. is to maintain its technological leadership role.

The letter urged particular attention be paid to the industry recommendation on streamlining the licensing process related to technology sharing with our allies and partners in the context of U.S. defense cooperative programs and operations.

The number of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) license applications has risen dramatically over the last several years to approximately 70,000. This enormous caseload resulted in a backlog of some 10,000 applications last year and is a problem that cannot be addressed only with increases in personnel or agency resources.

Adam believes significant changes to the way that the State Department manages its caseload are needed - and long overdue – to reduce the number of authorizations required for defense cooperative programs involving U.S. allies and partners and expedites their approval under a programmatic framework in a manner that does not sacrifice national security.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Benchmarking IT Competitiveness

JETRO provided us with a link to the newly (2007) released The Means to Compete: Benchmarking the IT Industry Competitiveness, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Ltd.

This report develops a methodology (explained in detail in the appendix) to rate countries' IT environment, then applies that methodology for 64 countries. The U.S. is cited as the most positive environment in the world for IT firms. That's by virtue of the U.S. ranking as leader or in the top five of all general aggregated categories. But it, like all others (Western European countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan), has weakness. In the U.S., it's the current paranoia about immigration, especially for talented and educated workers who are too frequently lumped into one group with illegal migrants.

The report contends "a skilled workforce is at the heart of any country's IT sector." Plus, with the constantly changing skills requirements, there are concerns that not enough graduates can be developed anywhere. Also, higher level skills have depended on job experiences, a path that's short-circuited with outsourcing. They cite training as an alternative to address that impasse.

The report takes the not unreasonable position that, while success of an industry depends on the aggregate performance of all firms, an individual firm's success is dependent on internal factors as well as the broader competitive environment. This is a shared attribute for all types of business development and investment: "a stable and open business environment."

The report draws into discussion two important aspects of this world-wide industry. One we hear about often is the promise of China and India. However, the report doesn't skip over the weaknesses of these economies and that they in turn have competitors (Russia, Brazil, Malaysia, Vietnam) seeking to take their place. As the report notes, economies that are starting from a blank sheet are able to leapfrog decades of industrial development without being hamstrung by legacy infrastructure.

One aspect frequently overlooked that is examined in this report is the strength of countries (Sweden, Canada, Netherlands, Finland) that excel in only certain aspects of IT, but have not or have not chosen to develop a more robust IT industry. These countries may simply be awaiting a public policy epiphany or leaders to become more broadly competitive.

And least we stovepipe IT, we should consider that "most of the change that's happening in other industries is enabled by IT."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Local Bloggers At the IDA World Congress

Do you want to "Find out how a blog works and why it may be an effective, even vital, tool in your district’s arsenal."?

Then mark your calendars for September 16th and head out to New York for the 2007 World Congress put on by the International Downtown Association. In a round-table talk show session that is titled "Building Your BID’s Buzz Through Blogging", two of Tacoma's own will be sharing their expertise with the world.

Paul Ellis, Director for Metropolitan Development for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and civic blogger and Derek Young, the "unabashedly pro-Tacoma" heart and mind behind the South Sounds premier web site Exit133, will be on hand to present and then discuss how their blogging efforts have helped to shape the town and foster its community.

Paul blogs on the BIA Blog website, and is a contributing blogger to this site as will as On Ramp, which he administers.

Derek's efforts on Exit133 which he created in its current form in 2005, have turned it into a media source for the area and a community forum for discussions regarding the district. As the site states, "Exit133 is about Tacoma. It's about Real Estate, Politics, the Arts, Urban Development, and the interests of our readers."

No doubt we will be hearing from both of them all about the event in September. Enjoy New York and blog from the event if you can.