Threats in the Age of Obama

I'm a contributor to this impressive new book that examines what threats we face in the coming years.  An excellent compilation of contributors and expertise which is highly recommended. You can purchase the book at Amazon today


Mac mini as video distribution platform

When I had my house built, I went to the trouble of trying to create a video distribution system that would allow one Tivo/DirectTV receiver to be controlled and broadcast throughout the house. While the system worked in theory, it was plagued with problems, mostly relating to the IR repeaters being eternally flawed. Eventually, I gave up on the system and put DirectTV boxes with all the essential TVs. Over the weekend, I was able to revisit the video distribution system using the following components: -Mac Mini - This is the hub of the whole system with SlingPlayer, VLC, iTunes, DVD player, and Firefox. -Video modulator - sends a video source over channel 35 to every TV in the house. -iPod Touch, iPhone, and laptop (for remote control…


Change.gov to become whitehouse.gov

This is an interesting approach. I'll be curious to see how they make this work. Talk about signal to noise ratios....(AFP)


iPhone News Network

An interesting scenario developed on my drive home, that is a perfect demonstration of emerging technology. First, I read a Twitter message (while stopped at a red light!) that there was major Steve Jobs news and AAPL stock was tanking. I then saw a Twitter message from Leo Laporte that he was covering it live. I tuned my iPhone into the Twit.am stream and listened to the coverage over the 3G network.  No skipping, pauses or rebuffering at all. The amount of time from seeing the alert to hearing the full-story was about 3 minutes.  Talk about redefining "breaking news".


Good quote

Going to be thinking about this one going into the new year. There is no such thing as information overload, there’s only filter failure. - Clay Shirkey A little out of context, but still appropriate for 2009.


Feds consider searches of terrorism blogs

The Homeland Security Department may soon start scouring the Internet to find blogs and message boards that terrorists use to plan attacks in the USA. The effort comes as researchers are seeing terrorists increasingly use the Internet to plan bombings, recruit members and spread propaganda. "Blogging and message boards have played a substantial role in allowing communication among those who would do the United States harm," the department said in a recent notice. Homeland Security officials are looking for companies to search the Internet for postings "in near to real-time which precede" an attack, particularly a bombing. Bombings are "of great concern" because terrorists can easily get materials and make an improvised-explosive device…


2009 – The year of living cyberdangerously

The reliance on computers to operate key infrastructures has created a tunnel of vulnerability previously unrealized in the history of conflict. I first wrote that sentence in 1993 as part of my M.A. thesis on information warfare and my thesis adviser made me remove it for being "overly sensational".  Final revenge was mine, however, when I snuck it into the 1996 Defense Science Board on Information Warfare.  Now you can search on that phrase and get a few dozen results as its been coopted along the way by other reports as well.  Regardless, my little pet phrase will be old enough to drive this year and the infamous "Can You Trust Your Toaster" paper is a teenager. While I've always believed that cyberthreats are misunderstood and that…


What’s cooking?

One of my favorite recipes.  I'm sick of searching for it, so I'm blogging it in hopes that others can enjoy.  The Wegmans branded products can easily be replaced with more generic items.  Enjoy! Steamed Meatballs with Asian Green Beans Serves: 4 1 lb 90% or 85% Ground Beef 1 egg 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs or 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Garlic Sauce, divided 1 bunch green onions, trimmed, sliced 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped 1/2 oz fresh ginger root, peeled, finely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper Salt to taste 1 cup Instant Brown Rice 1 pkg (12 oz) Green Beans 1 red sweet pepper, seeded, cut in thin strips 1 Tbsp sesame seeds 1 tsp sesame oil Combine ground beef, egg, bread…


It’s all about the …..


Back to the basement

Yesterday was my last day of employment at the Terrorism Research Center/TIS.  As an original co-founder of TRC in 1996 and it's only active President and CEO, I was able to grow the company beyond any of the expectations we originally had.  It has been a fun and tremendously rewarding experiencing that will serve as a foundation for everything else I accomplish in my professional career.  I am greatly indebted to the remarkable team of folks I had the privilege of working with as we built the company.  I've often noted that one of my greatest skills as an entrepreneur was my ability to attract and retain talented and passionate employees. Without them, TRC would never have emerged as one of top research, analysis, and training…


We are seeing the future of terrorist cells

Just posted over at the GroupIntel Blog. (Link)


Social media intel sources

I've got a blog post up on GroupIntel that discusses some of the sources that I was impressed with during the Mumbai attacks.  Check it our here -> Social Media Intel Links


Definitely felt like a swing day

with regards to the significance of social media and web 2.0 for tracking a real-world crisis.  As Mike Arrington correctly points out the most up-to-date and accurate information about today's terror attacks in India came from Twitter, Flickr, and other social media sites.  Also for the first time today, the site www.homelandsecurity.com linked not to CNN or another major news site in their early coverage, but to Mahalo.com.  Mahalo was tracking new information and posting it to a dedicated page about the attack and included Twitter and other unconventional sites in their sourcing. A few weeks ago I spoke with my friend Bob Gourley about some ideas I had for Twitter Early Warning on major events (earthquakes, terrorist attacks, or even…


Classic quote

“I always say that in investing you want to buy stock in a company that has a business that’s so good that an idiot can run it, because sooner or later one will. We have a country like that.”  - Warren Buffet


T-mobile redeems itself

I had a follow-on call from the President's office at T-mobile today.  They sorted out a way to get us G1 phones to try on our business account.  They are shipping them at a discounted rate, and sending a few extra sim cards (as I lost mine) for free.  Representative was very professional and customer oriented once I was able to talk to him live (as opposed to the voicemail message I describe below). Interestingly, the same rep that left me a VM with all the negatives of the G1 and tried to move us to purchase new Blackberries, explained to me today that he has the G1 and he loves it.  Go figure.  I guess he was just following the script before. Regardless, well played T-mobile.  Well played.


Jungledisk acquired by Rackspace

Rackspace today announced a series of cloud computing initiatives including storage (in competition with Amazon S3).  Great news.  Competition is good. They also announced they acquired Jungledisk, which is the tool I use to access my S3 account.  Having Jungledisk support Rackspace cloud will be nice, but I hope they don't eliminate or diminish the S3 support as I am dependent on Jungledisk at this point.  Only time will tell, but the thought of Jungledisk moving away from S3 support makes me nervous.