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.


Open Source intelligence, as in open source labor and sources

Another good article on Gray Goose in the Washington Post.


Will Terrorists Go Nuclear? (book review)

Will terrorists go nuclear?  That is the essential questioned posed by counterterrorism expert Brian Jenkins in a book of the same title. Jenkins has written a sobering and critical analysis of this question that spans over his decades of research on the topic.  In fact, the book shares the title of a research paper Jenkins wrote over 30 years ago and it is that essay he uses as the entrance point for his observations.  The issue of nuclear terrorism is one that has haunted policy makers, enriched movie producers, and fevered American apprehension for 30 years and the strength of Jenkins book is his categorical and tempered analysis of how each of these complex areas play into the nuclear terrorism debate. Playing the role of mythbuster,…


Love this video

I still show this video in my class every semester at Georgetown.  Nice to see it digitized: Solar Sunrise:  Dawn of a New Threat


Mark Cuban nails it

This is exactly my frustration with the current market crisis we are currently going through.  Those that facilitated the crisis with irresponsible risky behavior are free of any sort of financial risk.  It is all reward, no risk at the leadership level and this introduces what I believe are unacceptable consequences.  Take a look at the list of multi-millionaires created through management failures.  Required reading here. Which is exactly why we need to re-establish a link between risk and reward in public companies. The first step should be the following law: If the government must step in and provide any sort of financing or guarantees for any part of a public company's business, then all officers and directors lose all rights to…


Apple for the win

2.1 update is a major improvement for me.  My 10 hour backup was reduced to 2 minutes. I envy my friend Eric who will only ever know an iPhone with 2.1.


Apple’s free pass?

I'm a big fan of Apple. Anyone that reads this blog is certainly aware of that fact. However, I can't believe that Apple is getting a free pass in the media over all the iPhone issues users are encountering. For example, on my iPhone: A backup takes 8-12 hours for 12GB of data over USB 2.0! Application installation takes several hours as well for a few MB of data. Huge corruption issues with the phone. Mine went dead on me, and A-list blogger like Leo LaPorte are experiencing the same issue.  On restore, the phone is taking over three hours to install only 916MB of data. Applications fail on the phone all the time. I had to laugh today at the Apple Genius bar when Johnny the Genius told me that he couldn't tell me how to get the phone…


Gray Goose…not the vodka

Lots of interesting online press about this project I am participating in: The online posse to unmask Russia's hackers is ready to ride. Two weeks back, we linked to an open source effort by IntelFusion's Jeff Carr to figure out who, exactly, participated in the recent Russian cyberstrikes against Georgia and Estonia. (It's a problem in the savviest of analysts have had a bitch of a time solving.) Within 72 hours, Carr reports, he had "over 100 volunteers," from college students to "high-ranking members" of the intelligence community.  (Wired)


Think Tanks 2.0?

I've been thinking a lot about Mike Tanji's Think Tank 2.0 concept that he has been pitching over at Haft of the Spear. Couple that with the discussion on tools on Mike's blog, but also on Bob Gourley's CTO Vision and I was struck with a key realization that while the Think Tank 2.0 concept is sound, what we really need is Think Tanks 2.0 (note the intentional plurality). Namely, we need to figure out how to get the community of emerging next generation think tanks and colleague bloggers to better collaborate on projects, share information and basically build out a Think Tank Network using the newest tools and technologies available.  A good example is the Gray Goose project I just volunteered for.  I know two people in the group, yet…


Ning – roll your own social network

I'd been remiss about checking out Ning and finally took the time after seeing it mentioned in Mike Tanji's Think Tank 2.0 discussions and reading about it in the book Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good. Ning lets users create their own social networks based on their particular community of interest and then provides the underlying tools to manage and operate the social network.  Features include social networking (profiles, friend relationships, etc), discussion forums, photo sharing, video sharing, blogging, sub-group establishment with a subset of features for the group, and a handful of other social media capabilities. Users are able to configure their own site, but I found it to be quite limiting and included only the ability to add…


Chertoff interview on cyber issues at Wired

Beware the filching.  I won't summarize it here, just go read it.  [Link--->]


So close yet so far

Amazon at some point has offered the option to by an electronic version of your book for a small sum should you desire immediate access.  If they'd offer this as a Kindle download, perhaps even for free, I think they'd hit a homerun.


iPhone application store – love/hate relationship

I love the iPhone application store.  Third party applications are real enablers on the iPhone and increase the value of the product in incredible ways. I hate the iPhone application store.  I hate the fact that one of my dream programs (iTether) was released as NetShare on the Application store, then removed, the added, then removed again.  During this whole time, I didn't get a copy so no tethering for me.  I hate how buggy the update process is.  iTunes tells me I only have 1 program that needs to be updated, but when I click the update button 27 applications download!?  WTF Apple, let's get change management under control please.  I also hate how buggy updating applications via the iPhone can be and I'm not the only one reporting…