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…


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