GT Spectrum

Reports from the IT horizon

by / March 23, 2007
Sex Offender Database
New database technology was donated to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) by MySpace and Sentinel Safe. The national, searchable sex-offender database contains data on an estimated 600,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. It gives the NCMEC an additional resource to assist federal, state and local law enforcement with investigations regarding missing child cases, Internet-facilitated crimes against children, locating registered sex offenders and potentially identifying fugitives, among others.

The database receives updates from state sex offender registries and is currently used by a MySpace safety team to monitor the MySpace community for convicted sex offenders. --

Online Heist
In what's being called Sweden's "biggest ever" online bank heist, Swedish bank Nordea lost between 7 million and 8 million krona -- the equivalent of $1.1 million USD -- in mid-January. Approximately 250 customers are thought to have been affected by the fraud after falling victim to phishing e-mails. The bank said users were redirected to a false home page, where they were prompted to enter important login information. After entering the information, an error message appeared, informing the user that the site was experiencing technical difficulties. Criminals then used the harvested customer details on the real Nordea Web site to take money from customer accounts. --The Local, Sweden

Ready for Take-Off
A B-52 Stratofortess powered by a mix of synthetic fuel touched down at North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base Jan. 17 to begin cold-weather testing, the last step in the testing and certification process to help reduce Air Force dependence on imported fuel.

The aircraft, permanently assigned to the base's 5th Bomb Wing, underwent ground testing through the beginning of February to determine how well the synthetic fuel, made from a 50-50 blend of traditional crude oil-based fuel and a fuel derived from natural gas, performs in extreme weather conditions.

The first B-52 flight using synthetic fuel occurred Sept. 19, 2006, at Edwards Air Force Base in California -- an aviation first. Since then, the aircraft has been tested extensively, and has made flights with synthetic fuel in all eight engines. -- Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs Office

Open Foundation
The Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group joined forces to create the Linux Foundation, formed to close the gap between open source and proprietary platforms, while sustaining openness and freedom of choice.-- The Linux Foundation

Conversion Cost
The Geospatial Information and Technology Association's 2006 Geospatial Technology Report -- an independent survey of government IT users -- found that conversion of older services, such as paper to digital, has consumed a large share of funding dollars, shown here as percentages of monies spent overall.

  • Paper to digital: 30 percent
  • CAD to GIS: 22 percent
  • GIS version migration: 29 percent
  • Database to GIS: 19 percent

    Source: 2006 Geospatial Technology Report, a publication of the Geospatial Information and Technology Association.
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