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July 24, 2008



Man, we were well fed yesterday. Every meal time we managed to find an event where the food flowed—and we thought you were all on vacation in July. Actually, maybe the Army was on vacation yesterday, because there were so many generals at AFCEA NOVA Army IT Day we are wondering who stayed back to run the branch. We joined more than 1,000 government contractors and consultants at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons to hear about the ongoing development of Army IT programs and admire the latest in camouflage jackets.


See, we told you there were a lot of people there, and when you're dealing with the Army everything is really well organized. The northern Virginia branch of AFCEA (the whole shebang, we learned, has 19,000 individual members and 134 chapters) holds monthly luncheons September through June, featuring top government speakers who talk about how technology enables national security. But we hit the jackpot: This was one of their three annual IT service all-day conferences, each devoted to a different branch. 


Thet guy in the camo is Army CIO Lt. General Jeff Sorenson, here with Cisco Systems' Clayton Bernard, Lucy Jebavy and Pat Finn. Jeff controls the Army's mere $10 billion IT budget and is focusing his efforts on LandWarNet, the Army's new information network for personnel worldwide. Jeff toured Cisco's data network centers in May so already knew his picture mates. Say, isn't it ironic that a camouflage uniform would make someone stand out in a picture?


Major General James Nuttall is Deputy Director of the National Guard. He told the audience the Guard is trying to appeal to new recruits through aggressive advertising, most notably at NASCAR. "We got a call saying they found a driver we could sponsor and it just happened to be Dale, Jr.," James says. "We said, 'Sure, we'll interview him.'" The National Guard also appeared on two episodes of The Learning Channel series "American Chopper" where a custom motorcycle was built resembling a Patriot helicopter. We're trying to picture that.


Brigadier General Nickolas Justice (cool name, scriptwriters take note) and CYIOS Corporation's Tim Carnahan. Nickolas is the PEO for C3T, or to say in English, he oversees (we think) the communications used in theater. He's based at Ft. Monmouth in New Jersey, but is transferring his operations to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in the next year and—get this—is looking for employees. He even gave us an order. "Put an ad in your publication saying we need engineers and communications experts to come work for us pronto." Done, sir.

Meyerrose Breakfast

We also picked up breakfast yesterday at an INPUT event with National Intelligence CIO Dale Meyerrose at the Tysons Ritz, with 300 other early risers. Dale has only 180 days left on the job, so he was busy on Tuesday signing two metadata standards to increase information sharing between federal agencies. But his successors will have to be busy, too: Dale told the audience that two percent of the power in North America is used to power data centers, but that they will need roughly 10 times the power in the next five years as more are built. "People see these centers as data warehouses, but with the amount of secrets they hold, it's imperative we take steps to make sure they are protected and powered."


Environmental Sciences Research Institute's Jenifer Clines and BBN Technologies' Kim Gavin. The two are friends whose firms are working together on a project: ESRI makes mapping software that BBN, an IT research company best known for its role in the development of file sharing that helped lead to ARPANET and the Internet, is using to track shipping discrepancies in boats traveling through the Malacca Straits. Even better, the two are leaving soon for a conference in San Diego.


Leverage Information Systems Bill Milligan and Jinfonet Software's Ed Carlson. Leverage just installed a wireless video surveillance system for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that will have the capability to run all license plate numbers against local and national databases to search for stolen or suspicious vehicles. Jinfonet makes embedded software that collects data on nearly any computer application. And this just in:  Ed recently returned from Juneau, Alaska, completing his more than 20-year mission to visit every state capital. (We assume Juneau's the capital.)


Fluke Networks Kirk O'Connor and Vivisimo's James Fitzgerald. Vivisimo is a corporate search engine that allows a company to search information on its own network. The company just announced that USA.gov, one of its clients, has expanded the software so it can search all government web sites. Fluke Networks, based in Everett, Washington, tests telecommunications networks and has 96 of Fortune 100 companies as clients. Kirk will set about trying to get the other four on board as soon as he re-adjusts to the work week; he just got back from a wedding in Ireland.

Story ideas? David@Bisnow.com.

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