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Are smart cards heading the way of video recorders?

I read an article recently discussing the advantages and disadvantages of smartcards. I know that there have been quite a few distributed, but it seems to me that the adoption rate and the length of time they have been available are a bit out of sync. I would have thought that we would have many more smartcards, used in more places, being as they werer actually invented in 1968, and were widely used in French pay phones starting in 1983.

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Security Today – Magic or just a throwback to a 1960′s episode of Star Trek?

Stealing a quote from Arthur C. Clarke: “Any technology, sufficiently developed, is indistinguishable from magic”. Some people would certainly consider security these days as magic. Okay, so much for that reference, but what does Star Trek have to do with government and security, my typical topics. Star Trek, although mostly about exploration sure seemed to have a bit of a “Space Military” characteristic to it. Isn’t that what the Star Fleet was all about? (no offense intended, Capt. Kirk.)

Lately, I’ve been doing some research for a paper on the integration of physical and logical security (I did an initial paper that you can see here: Click on “The Necessity of Security”) and it dawned on me how very similar the technology of today is to the science fiction of the 1960’s, or in Mr. Clarke’s case, magic. So here is a synopsis of some of my observations. I’m sure there are more; please feel free to reply with what I’ve missed or your own favorites.

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Cloud: Changing the Way We Live, Work, Play and Learn

Cloud is not a passing trend; recent investments into cloud research centers and infrastructure have demonstrated that industries from higher education to governments are taking a serious look at cloud based technology and embracing it as an enabler of networking of the future.

Here are just a few examples of how cloud technology is being used today:

German service provider builds a secure, multitenant cloud for churches and public sector organizations to deliver business applications to millions of end users; enabling customers to dynamically scale resources on demand and accelerated time to market for new services.

Seattle University deploys unified computing and virtual desktop  by converting 20 campus computer labs and over 1500 desktop computers into virtual desktops and as a result decreased operating expenses, prolonged desktop lifecycle, and synced all labs on a uniform software program to ensure faster response times to students, teachers and faculty to help meet educational and administrative needs. Read More »

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Courts, Corrections, and Cuts: Is it time for Connected Justice?

I live in California where we are facing severe challenges in our economy and funding public services ranging from teachers in the classroom to courts and correctional institutions.  In San Francisco, cuts to 25 courtrooms and 40% of staff are underway to address the $13.75 million budget gap.   Longer lines for citizen services and delays up to 5 years for cases coming to trial are expected.

Of course, the economy is not only challenging governments at the state and local level but nationally and internationally as well.

Isn’t it time we use technology to help cut costs and deliver services that are more efficient?

A great example is the City of San Antonio Texas  sharing video across public safety and justice systems. 

See below for more information about Connected Justice. Read More »

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The Big Apple: NYC Digital at the Core

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Municipalities around the world have been targeting broadband deployment, with varying degrees of success, as noted in our recent editorial, Intelligent Communities: A Smart Choice? The biggest U.S. city of all, New York, has committed extensive resources to make its broadband deployment a huge economic success, focusing on some traditional areas — government information, business support — and also some non-traditional areas.

Much of the program, dubbed NYC Digital, mirrors what many municipalities have already done. It includes deploying broadband access throughout the five boroughs to improve digital capabilities for industry, citizens, educational institutions, and city government itself. It also includes the traditional feature of giving citizens electronic access to government services — for example, permits, public records, and street cleaning schedules.

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