Friday, October 31, 2008
The contractor, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) prepared an economic and workforce profile of Hawaii's science and technology industries. Overall, the report found that in 2007 the private technology sector contributed over $3 billion to the state's $61 billion economy (5% of the total).
Combining the public with the private sector, the technology sector accounted for more than 31,000 jobs, 3.6% of the state's total employment. Of particular relevance for our own potential growth, over 7,000 of these public sector jobs were attributed to the state's large military presence.
The report notes that many defense workers are involved in the commercial market segments as aerospace and ICT industries overlap significantly.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
USA Today's article about the Pentagon's interest in spaceship delivery of 13 (what a number!) soldiers to hot spots around the world immediately brought to mind that old book and its derivative film.
Of more intriguing interest is the idea that our ideas for the future are presaged in science fiction, the notion that is only sometimes explored in other media.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
“The chief responsibility of the United States Government is to protect its citizens, and while doing so it is critical that we do not overshadow the obligation to protect the privacy and rights of Americans,” said Adam. “This legislation will provide clear and commonsense legal avenues for the Department of Homeland Security to pursue those who commit crime and wish to do our country harm without infringing on the rights of American citizens. Importantly, it will provide travelers a level of privacy for their computers, digital cameras, cellular telephones and other electronic devices consistent with the Constitution and our nation’s values of liberty.”
The Travelers Privacy Protection Act was introduced in response to a Department of Homeland Security policy, released on July 16th that allows customs agents to “review and analyze” the contents and files of laptops and other electronic devices for an unspecified period of time “absent individualized suspicion.” This policy was issued following report of U.S. customs agents requiring citizens and legal residents to relinquish their laptops or cell phones to DHS authorities for lengthy periods of time while the devices were searched, and in some cases, contents of the devices copied. Reports have also surfaced that some devices had been confiscated and returned weeks or months later with no explanation.
The legislation requires reasonable suspicion of illegal activity for Department of Homeland Security agents to search the contents of laptop computers or other electronic devices carried by U.S. citizens or lawful residents, and it prohibits profiling travelers based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin. Additionally, the bill requires probable cause and a warrant or court order to seize information uncovered during a search, and specifies that searches carried on for more than 24 hours become a seizure. This bill also ensures that information acquired during an electronic search is protected by strict disclosure limitations, with exceptions for sharing information about possible criminal violations or foreign intelligence information. The Travelers Privacy Protection Act also ensures that DHS provides information on its border search policies and practices to Congress and the public.
Congressman Adam Smith recently secured $24.6 million for military projects in the Puget Sound region. The funding was included in a spending package that included funds for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and military construction projects for fiscal year 2009. “The package helps restore our military’s readiness and provides our troops and families with the support they need. I’m also pleased that we included funds for important science and technology projects at Ft. Lewis, McChord Air Force Base and around the region,” Adam said.
The spending package was signed into law by the President on September, 30th.
Funding for important regional projects, many involving local companies, include:
· $8.6 million for Washington State Air National Guard’s 262nd Information Warfare Aggressor Squadron to build a new cyber-warfare facility for use by the (IWAS) at McChord Air Force Base.
· $200,000 for the Madigan Army Medical Center Digital Pen project to acquire digital pens that capture and upload writing electronically while also recording care in ink on paper to improve the process of recording and transmitting patient care information; ADAPX of Seattle.
· $4.4 million for the University of Washington’s Institute of Surgical and Interventional Simulation (ISIS) to upgrade existing facilities, expand their existing partnerships with Madigan Army Medical Center and VA Puget Sound, and explore ways in which surgical simulation can enhance the treatment and rehabilitation of soldiers; University of Washington, Seattle.
· $3 million for the Oregon Biomedical Engineering Institute, for research on limb and tissue regeneration for battlefield injuries using bone marrow and stem cells; Oregon Biomedical Engineering Institute of Portland.
· $1.6 million for million for Optical Neural Techniques for Combat/Post-Trauma Health Care with the potential to provide full restoration of hearing for injured soldiers; Aculight Corporation of Bothell.
· $3.2 for Mobile Object Infrastructure Technology enabling the U.S. Army Intelligence Command (INSCOM) to continue research and development of solutions to network computing challenges, including bandwidth and information-sharing constraints; Topia Technology of Tacoma.
The bill also contained several initiatives to revitalize defense laboratories and enable them to better support critical research and development missions. Other important programs that received funding include:
·$40 million for Impact Aid, which compensates school districts with a significant population of students from military families. School districts surrounding Ft. Lewis and McChord rely heavily on the program.
·$1.5 million for the Technology and National Security Program (TNSP) at the National Defense University.
·$1.7 billion for Department of Defense basic research (President’s request) which represents a 16% increase in real terms over the FY2008 budget.
·Several initiatives to revitalize defense laboratories and enable them to better support critical research and development missions.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Obviously, you shouldn't get all Death Wish on someone if you track your stolen computer down, probably best to call the cops. There are other questions I have as well; such as how easily the client is fooled and how you get the actual information and how granular it is. But as far as a tool that is lightweight and secure (the data is only accessible to one user -- you) it looks pretty neat and I'll be installing it on some staff laptops here in the library to test it.
The software is free to all community members and private businesses. Install it and let me know what you think!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
They sought to address four questions:
- What are the core components of an effective entrepreneurship support program?
- What is the essential infrastructure of an entrepreneurship eco-system?
- What are new avenues for research?
- What steps should be taken next to facilitate high-growth entrepreneurs?
- They determined the programs should structure their services to address entrepreneurs core needs
- These needs are: a) relevant market knowledge; b) access to talent and capital; c) networks
- Research on the programs value would be useful
- Policymakers and stakeholders need greater awareness
Key components of an effective entrepreneurial support program should include:
- a recognition that limited resources forces concentration on particular segments
- structure to what the customer base needs
- function as brokers in the community, building bridges
The value of the entrepreneurial support program depends on three features:
- Ability to efficiently facilitate networks
- Management of peer-to-peer and mentoring programs
- Strength of program leadership
On the question of the entrepreneurial eco-system, the summit says that programs work best if they are part of a wider regional vision. The steps necessary to promote innovative entrepreneurship?
- Engage in partnerships with key community stakeholders
- Provide support in regulatory and business assistance
- Cultivate human capital for workforce development
- Facilitate access to capital
- Promote the commercialization of invention
- Create organizations as part of a wider regional vision
Things are moving forward with the South Sound Technology Conference to be held on November 21st, though many elements of the program still need to be solidified.
As of yesterday I received confirmation that we will be holding the conference for the first time in the new William W. Philip Hall, which will accommodate in the configuration requested up to 300 attendees. Now of course we have to fill it.
Current program notes.
Various community and educational leaders.
Right now this may cover "cloud computing" but may in fact be a local tech company presentation as well.
Panel: "Funding Innovation"
The intent is to have someone from the Tacoma Angel Network, the Washington Technology Center, A local financial institution and the small business association on the panel to talk about funding for projects.
Sagem Morpho is lined up to showcase their new facial recognition solution.
Panel: "Fostering Innovation"
The afternoon panel will be on Fostering Technological Innovation and will be moderated by Senator Jim Kastama of Puyallup.
There is at least one birds of a feather discussion following to cover reestablishing connections between our South Puget Sound technology companies as part of the South Sound Chapter of the WTIA.
As this is a work in progress, everything is subject to tweaking from week to week. However, when word comes in on the location, the program will be firmed up and the communication to potential attendees will heat up.
If you are interested in driving your own particular birds of a feather discussion let me know and I will post.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008