Please support Pedaling for Patriots!

Over the past few months, it has been an honor to work with Rob and Kim Richer on their dream to ride their bikes (pedaling kind) from coast to coast to raise awareness and money for the CIA Officers Memorial Fund.  They started their ride today and are documenting everything on the website Pedaling For Patriots. If you can make a donation to this great cause, please do.  In the least, please spread the word to your friends and colleagues by linking to their site on your blogs, Facebook and Twitter streams.  Your support is greatly appreciated!


Snapshot in time – September 11, 2001

A few interesting screenshots from the Terrorism Research Center on September 11, 2001. Here is a message that Neal Pollard and I wrote that greeted our visitors when they first hit the terrorism.com domain. Having founded the company on the 1st anniversary of the OKC bombing we were sensitive to drawing too many conclusions too soon and were worried about the backlash against Muslim Americans. In reality, we had already drawn some of our own conclusions and were sharing them with our customers and colleagues. However, given we were the top result for "terrorism" on Google and were getting millions of visitors, we felt we had a responsibility to provide calm consistent messaging focusing energy on the rescue operations.  Several months…


Furthering the Field: A Comprehensive Program for Cyber Conflict Studies

Furthering the Field: A Comprehensive Program for Cyber Conflict Studies *Revised and Updated Invitation* The Cyber Conflict Studies Association invites you a one-day conference on 21 September 2010 to review and discuss six ongoing studies in cyber conflict, with a keynote address by Richard A. Clarke. The principal investigators and authors have a broad range of international experience – from the White House to Wall Street, academics and PhDs to cyber warfare practitioners and lawyers. Please join us to hear about and participate in these on-going studies: Strategic Cyber Conflict Issues by Dr. James Mulvenon International and U.S. Legal Issues for Cyber Conflict by Eneken Tikk and Maeve Dion Cyber Conflict at the Operational Level…


iPad first impressions

This is an excellent device. Category changer like the iPhone was with smart phones. I'm typing this post on my iPad with a paired bluetooth keyboard and it is a great combination with a total weight of less than two pounds and no keyboard in the way when I don't need it on planes and trains. Lots of complaints that this is a consumption device and not a creation device. While that argument is reasonable, I think the contrarian pundits aren't thinking outside the box. If I could get Coda for iPad I'd be a happy camper....are you listening Panic Software?


Thoughts on the iPad

I'm really excited to add the iPad to my technology arsenal. Here are a few reasons why, along with some things that I hope are present in this generation and what I'd like to see in iPad 2.0 Reasons I want one now: In the past two years, there have been many times that I've wanted to travel with just my iPhone, but found the interface just a tad bit too small to handle my on-the-road computing requirements. The larger size of the iPad and support for BlueTooth keyboards means I'll be able to have the best of both worlds; a larger touch-screen interface with the ability to hook up a keyboard when I need one. It's a killer entertainment device. Listen to music, watch movies, or read books and magazines in a great form factor with a 10…


We all live in the future now…

While I'm not usually one to dwell on the significance of a new decade, 2010 seems worth reflecting on.  This post covers a hodge-podge of issues keeping in tune with this blog's general charter of technology, security, and obscurity.  Hopefully, there's something for everybody. When I first started working national security issues, 2010 was one of the decades we always forecasted towards for planning and wargaming purposes. It was far enough in the future to put our futurists caps on, but still close enough to be tangible. It was the future. As we enter into 2010, I can't shake this feeling that we all live in the future now. Here's why... Devost's law of exponential change Massive change becomes twice as easy every 36 months. The…


Your Movements Speak for Themselves: Space-Time Travel Data is Analytic Super-Food!

This is a must read blog post by Jeff Jonas - Mobile devices in America are generating something like 600 billion geo-spatially tagged transactions per day. Every call, text message, email and data transfer handled by your mobile device creates a transaction with your space-time coordinate (to roughly 60 meters accuracy if there are three cell towers in range), whether you have GPS or not. Got a Blackberry? Every few minutes, it sends a heartbeat, creating a transaction whether you are using the phone or not. If the device is GPS-enabled and you’re using a location-based service your location is accurate to somewhere between 10 and 30 meters. Using Wi-Fi? It is accurate below10 meters. (Jeff Jonas)


23 devices my iPhone has replaced

I started thinking about what a converged device the iPhone is and compiled this impressive list of devices I used to carry that are now replaced by my iPhone.  This is an unprecedented level of convergence if you ask me.  A quick informal tally shows that the iPhone is replacing $2700.00 dollars worth of equipment and several pounds worth of gear. 1) Blackberry - I used to carry a dedicated Blackberry for email in addition to my phone.  Most users will just use their Blackberry as their phone, but I was never really happy with the BB form factor as a phone.  The iPhone serves as both my email retrieval device and phone. 2) Phone - See above. 3) iPod - My iPhone has a built in iPod.  No need for a dedicated device, though in all honesty I…


What will stick in Second Life?

It's been a while since I've posted about Second Life, but this article at Venture Beat sparked some thoughts: The media narrative about Second Life and virtual worlds is starting to get past the hype stage, past the bashing stage, and is beginning to resemble reality. VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi has covered this shift in a thorough Q&A with parent company Linden Lab’s CEO Mark Kingdon. Public misperception of Second Life and the virtual world landscape is beginning to change as we see what it means for the evolution a new global culture and economy. (Venture Beat) Given that we do seem to be moving past the hype stage in SL media coverage and the environment seems to be growing slightly again, I'm curious as to what use cases will be…


Gov20Camp Reaction

I'll admit to being a bit skeptical about Gov20Camp when I heard that attendance was going to exceed 500 people.  While I am familiar and comfortable with the concept of a bar camp unconference, I just hard a hard time imaging how you organize such a large group.  I was one of the first sponsors of the event and did so with the expectation that 50-100 really smart people would get together and share ideas.   I had a hard time imagining what would happen when amplified by a power of 10x.  I'm happy to say I was wrong and this was a tremendous event. Given that no agenda was set until the attendees arrived and proposed topics in the open introduction, the event had some incredibly rich content and discussions.  I was reminded of the…


Google Voice impressions

Google Voice is an interesting service and seems to work well. A couple of observations: 1)Voicemail is not forwarded as an attachment via email. Every other service I have tested does that. 2)SMS integration is very nice and is one area where Google is ahead of the curve. 3)Granularity in settings is severely lagging. For example, I can not pick whether to ring my phones in sequence or all at once. I also can't set it ring a certain number of times. I can not disable voicemail on the service (e.g. to always get the voicemail on my iPhone with Visual Voicemail). All services I've become used to. 4)There is only one widget badge to use...take it, leave it, or design your own. 5)Transcription is a nice service, but spotty at best. 6)…


Kindle2 – initial review

I'm a big fan of the Kindle1 and decided to splurge for the second generation of the device.  Thus far, I've got to say I am happy with my purchase, but here's my twenty-four hour review. Software interface - The software interface is significantly improved in a few key areas.  The most drastic change is the fact that the menu can now be navigated via the four way joystick which makes it a bit more intuitive.  I also like the fact that the screen refreshes quicker making the menus a little less cumbersome to work with. The reading process is the same with faster refreshes and now includes a handy report of how far you are into the book (offered up as a percentage). I also like the addition of the archive as a way to park my read books in…


Social media science fiction book recommendations

Saw this interesting list and decided to come up with four additional books to add to it. The first four SF books you should read if you’re working in social media My additions: Eastern Standard Tribe - Cory Doctorow Great story with a backdrop of feeling connected via what time zone you are online. Global Frequency - Warren Ellis What happens with average citizens try to change the world as part of a real-time reactive global network that can handle any challenge. This is a graphic novel, but exceptionally done. You can also find a pilot for the failed TV project if you search in the right places. Interface - Neal Stephenson What if our political candidates reacted to our Twitter feeds? I'm Cool enough to have a copy of this published…


Free Scott Albert Johnson song – Magnolia Road live

My favorite independent musician and friend Scott Albert Johnson has given me permission to release this live track on my blog for free.   The track is for sale at Scott's site along with his debut album which is highly recommended. Scott is a very talented musician who, along the lines of Jonathan Coultan and Geoff Smith, is working to make his music passion a full-time endeavor.   I've written about his debut album here on my blog in the past (Umbrella Man review).  I'm a big fan and happy to hear that Scott is working on a follow-up album (which I've already pre-ordered).  I've seen Scott perform live a few times in DC and the shows are always excellent.  I love Scott's original portfolio of songs and I'm a huge fan of his cover of…


Pretty clever

For some reason, this attack made me laugh. An interesting blending of meatspace and cyberspace. Hackers in Grand Forks, North Dakota of all places have hit on a clever Trojan Horse: using a fraudulent parking ticket to direct unsuspecting motorists to their virus laden websites. The scam works like this: You come back to your parked car and there's a parking ticket under the windshield wiper. Everything looks official so you go home, and, being a law abiding citizen you visit the website on the ticket as directed. In order to make sure it was your car, you have to flip through a gallery of evidence and find your car. In order to do this, you have to download a toolbar and that's how they get you. The toolbar is loaded up with an…