September 5, 2011    /    by

Why Computer Geeks Need Sports

Where did you first learn what it means to out-hustle the competition? How did you develop that strong will to win? When was the first time you worked hard with teammates to accomplish a goal? For many readers, the answer is likely to be playing sports.

Where did you first learn what it means to out-hustle the competition? How did you develop that strong will to win? When was the first time you worked hard with teammates to accomplish a goal? For many readers, the answer is likely to be playing sports.

Or, if you were not an athlete, what brought your diverse high school or college student body and faculty together when so many forces pulled them apart? What often unites liberals and conservatives today in your city? That’s right, the answer is cheering for your favorite local baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, or other sports team. READ MORE

August 27, 2011    /    by

Hurricane Irene: Using Technology to Prepare and Clean Up

Hurricanes are notorious for disabling technology by cutting off electricity. In some cases, the threat of coming storms can overwhelm our phone systems and websites. But technology is also being used in new ways to prepare for and clean up after natural disasters, like hurricane Irene.

Hurricanes are notorious for disabling technology by cutting off electricity. In some cases, the threat of coming storms can overwhelm our phone systems and websites. But technology is also being used in new ways to prepare for and clean up after natural disasters, like Hurricane Irene.

As Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina on Saturday morning, millions of people up and down the East Coast braced for the worst. Despite reports that the storm had weakened, thousands of people were already evacuated and others who stayed on the coast lost power. Prior to the storm, Major League Baseball rescheduled games.  New Jersey even closed casinos for only the third time ever. READ MORE

August 15, 2011    /    by

Consolidating Data Centers: The New Normal in Government

Governments across North America are now consolidating data centers at an unprecedented pace. This is not just talk, but real action is (finally) occurring.

Governments across North America are now consolidating data centers at an unprecedented pace. This is not just talk, but real action is (finally) occurring. Welcome to the “new normal” in global technology efficiency, with federal, state, local and even international governments participating.

Want proof that this is happening? Here are a few example articles and some excerpts from each: READ MORE

August 9, 2011    /    by

MS-ISAC Annual Meeting Focus 2011: Strengthening Partnerships

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) is holding its annual meeting in Nashville, TN, this week, and the focus is all about ways to strengthen partnerships.

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) is holding its annual meeting in Nashville, TN, this week, and the focus is all about ways to strengthen partnerships. Indeed, the meetings are being held simultaneously with the GFIRST Annual Conference and the InfraGard National Congress to facilitate many joint meetings.  At least 45 state governments, numerous local governments and many U.S. territories are represented at these MS-ISAC meetings, with most states having 2-3 representatives.

  From the initial meeting overview and charge given by Will Pelgrin to the welcome messages Bobbie Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the DHS Office of Cyber Security and Communications, the meetings highlighted the cyber risks and partnership examples. Even during the role call list and comments from the government representatives in the audience, the discussion topics kept coming back to ways that states and locals can work together with DHS and the MS-ISAC to improve information sharing, solve complex cyber problems and provide best practice solutions to members. READ MORE

July 31, 2011    /    by

Anonymous Hackers Continue Assault: ManTech A New Victim

The string of major cyber hacking attacks continued this week, with ManTech International reportedly being the latest company hit. What's to be done?

The string of major cyber hacking attacks continued this week, with ManTech International reportedly being the latest company hit. According to Computerworld Magazine:

 “As promised, members of the Anonymous hacking movement have released hundreds of megabytes of documents that they say were stolen from government security contractor ManTech. READ MORE

July 16, 2011    /    by

Can Crowdsourcing Predict the Future? Forecasting Ace Will Test if Perception is Reality

Going Back to the Future may no longer be just for the movies. The intelligence community has launched a new project which attempts to predict what will happen next by using crowdsourcing techniques.

Going “Back to the Future” may no longer be just for the movies.  The intelligence community has launched a new project which attempts to predict what will happen next by using crowdsourcing techniques.

According to Government Computer News (GCN), “The beta Aggregative Contingent Estimation system (ACES) website, called Forecasting Ace, is funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. It launched July 15.” READ MORE

July 3, 2011    /    by

ICT Infrastructure: Where Can You Find Innovative Ideas That Work?

Where do you get your blog and/or article ideas? I'm often asked that question. Or colleagues want to know: What are the top ten websites you turn to in order to gauge innovative technology trends?

Where do you get your blog and/or article ideas?”  I’m often asked that question. Or colleagues want to know: “What are the top ten websites you turn to in order to gauge innovative technology trends and new ideas that work?”  

I typically provide a simple, safe answer, sounding like many lawyers: “It depends.” I've even promised a few friends to write an article with a more complete answer to these questions. READ MORE

June 12, 2011    /    by

What is a healthy cyber ecosystem?

Sometimes we come across a new word or phrase that is not only different, but intriguing. Which brings me to the topic of today's blog: What is a healthy cyber ecosystem?

Sometimes we come across a new word or phrase that is not only different, but intriguing. Occasionally these new terms or ideas really catch-on and become a part of mainstream thinking and/or technology adoption. While it is rare, these terms can even become a part of everyday language for technology or even non-IT professionals. For example, concepts like “the consumerization of IT” (initially coined by Gartner) are becoming more well-known to techies and phrase like “cloud computing” are showing up in everyday TV commercials. These terms were virtually unknown a decade (or less) ago.

 Which brings me to the topic of today’s blog: What is a healthy cyber ecosystem? If you haven’t yet heard people using these words, I suspect that you will soon. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a white paper in March 2011 entitled, Enabling Distributed Security in Cyberspace: Building a Healthy and Resilient Cyber Ecosystem with Automated Collective Action. What got me thinking about this even more was the term “ecosystem” showing up in recent meetings with technology vendors. READ MORE

May 29, 2011    /    by

Funniest Spam: The Joke is On Them

Recently I decided, if you cant beat the spammers, I might as well just relax on Memorial Day Weekend and enjoy a good laugh on them.

Like most IT professionals, I get too much email. Yes - we block spam (over 92% of inbound email traffic from the Internet at last check). But still, unwanted “stuff” gets through…

At home, I use Gmail, and Google does a decent job at separating out the unwanted spam. Nevertheless…, I occasionally check the spam folder to see if any non-spam (important email) is in the wrong place. Some of these funny messages came from there as well. READ MORE

May 21, 2011    /    by

We're Up, Tired, But Smiling Again

This has been a rough week for our technology operations. The good news is that our critical Secretary of State systems are up and offices are open and helping customers.

This has been a rough week for our technology operations. The various headlines about two different (and unrelated) Michigan government outages tell you why our team is a bit behind on our sleep. The good news is that our critical Secretary of State systems are up and offices are open and helping customers. I’m happy again on a beautiful spring Saturday morning in Lansing.

Here are a few of the background articles covering the outages this week: READ MORE