Saturday, December 26, 2009

One Post a Week is Not Enough

As the year is coming to a close it is clear that this year was not a prolific one for blog posting, especially here on Living and Working in a Virtual World. I can certainly speculate on a number of reasons for the decline, with the likeliest culprits being Facebook and Twitter. Certainly the total number of postings of items online was greater than in the previous years, but they were split between many different social network and publishing sites.

I expect that is not unusual for others as well.

Blog posts are different than Facebook status updates and entries and Twitter tweets. Certainly entries on Twitter came fast and furious during certain days, because entries into that system are characteristically different than for other publishing venues. Though I only tweeted on specific days, they were generally on conference days and at presentations.

But I am not satisfied what has been posted on this blog. I know of on way I can post at least as many times in the next year as in 2009, and yet make them a bit more valuable. I have spoken several times on the number of technology companies in the South Puget Sound and so if I were to post information about only one per week, it would equal the number of posts from this year on its own. So that is what I will be attempting in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas to Everyone

Things have been busy, as they are for most, with teaching and taking classes, winding down the quarter and getting ready for the holidays.

Rehearsals kept things busy as well, for the 9th Avenue School of Dances Nutcracker, which ran at the Fife Theater Arts Center. Almost the whole family was in this one, and maybe next year I can get the oldest to rejoin the cast.

Here is a photo of our former nanny, who also danced in the show, with my wife (the maid), my second eldest (party scene and soldier), third (party scene, angel and chinese dancer) and my son (party scene and mouse). I am hovering over them as Herr Drosselmeyer.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

End of the Quarter Colloquium for Fall 2009

In the last year, several events have been held to try to create an atmosphere of networking in the technology sector. Margaritas at the Matador, after work beers sponsored by the WTIA at Meconi's, and ironically the one event with no drinking called "Barcamp" at Suite133. We just came off of a very successful South Sound Tech Conference as well.

What may be overlooked, in regards to keeping up with what is happening in technology on an ongoing basis, is the end of the quarter colloquiums at the Institute of Technology. Students at the undergraduate and graduate level participate in a day of presentations regarding internships, readings and research. Those of you who have interned students may have already attended one. If there is a subject area you are interested in, you are welcome to attend and network as well.

This Friday is the colloquium for Fall 2009. Here is some info on it.


Institute of Technology Student Colloquium

Fall Quarter 2009

Speaker Session One (Cherr Parkes Building, room 108):

09:30am Spatial-Temporal Access Control for e-Health Services
Apaporn Boonyarattaphan (Dr. Yan Bai (Chair), Dr. Sam Chung, Dr. Ankur Teredesai, Dr. Radha Poovendran)

The transformation of healthcare from human-based to online services can expose e-health to the security threats as other online applications. The identities of legitimate e-health users need to be verified cautiously before the access is granted. Given that any healthcare services only happen at certain times and certain locations, we propose use time and location to perform security control. In particular, we will develop and implement a prototype of the Spatial-Temporal Access Control (STAC) for e-health services to authenticate and authorize users. The traditional mode, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), is too rigid to handle the dynamic authentication and authorization requirements of e-health applications. STAC is beneficial for e-health services since it allows us to define the spatial and temporal constraints for e-health authentication and authorization decisions.

10:00am Finding the Best Parser for PRISE - a Comparative Study
Craig Truzzi (Dr. Martine De Cock, Dr. Ankur Teredesai, Drs. Timur Fayruzov)

The Protein Interaction Search Engine (PRISE) is a biomedical text mining system intended to help researchers find interactions between proteins described in full text. One of the cornerstones of PRISE is an English language parser. The parser is essential for the text mining process, as it converts a plain English text sentence into a set of features, such as part-of-speech (POS tags) and grammatical dependencies, which are used to extract interactions. In the current PRISE implementation, the Stanford Parser is used to process the text. It is a high quality parser that implements some interesting features, but it is too slow and allows PRISE to process only a couple of thousands of abstracts per day.

In this presentation we will explain how a study of the (dis)advantages of various other parsers as documented in the literature led us to propose the parser NO-RERANK as an alternative for the Stanford parser in PRISE. We have implemented this other parser into PRISE to empirically evaluate its impact on the system. In this talk we will reveal whether the replacement gave rise to an increase in efficiency and effectiveness and, if so, to what extent.

10:30am Ranking of Protein Interactions for PRISE
George Dittmar (Dr. Martine De Cock, Dr. Ankur Teredesai, Drs. Timur Fayruzov)

The Protein Interaction Search Engine (PRISE) is a biomedical text mining system intended to help researchers find interactions between proteins described in full text. This presentation will discuss our work towards developing a new ranking module for PRISE to help rank abstracts returned to the protein researcher. The main objectives of our project were to evaluate current ranking and output schemes used by PRISE and test them against newly proposed ranking strategies. We will discuss the implementation of different ranking schemes over different annotated biomedical data sets, as well as present precison@k values and what they mean in terms of the results obtained doing test runs of the different schemes.

11:00am Twitter Authority Based Search
Rinkesh Nagmoti (Dr. Ankur Teredasai, Dr.Martine De Cock)

Microblogging services such as Twitter are increasingly becoming a valuable source of information and are therefore gaining tremendous importance for web search and real time data analysis. In this project we propose Authority Ranking algorithms for Twitter users to improve Information Retrieval and Search for Twitter. We also demonstrate a web based tool which allows users who are interested in searching Twitter, to compare various search results. The demonstrated tool includes a twitter search engine interface that comparatively presents relevant tweets to the end-user. The end-user then provides her preference for one search result over another; and the tool records this preference and reports on overall search statistics. These statistics helps in analyzing the Authority Ranking Algorithms which in turn helps in improving algorithms which powers the real time microblog search.

11:30am A Working Prototype of a Daily Dietary Social Network
Billy Lybyer, Andrew Park, James Tolman, Jung Shin
Dr. Ankur Teredesai)

The social web is becoming increasingly pervasive with the advent of mobile interfaces that allow real-time, on the fly publish-subscribe mechanisms. Given the advances in this domain, aggregating information about what one eats on a daily basis should not be difficult, yet collecting, querying and sharing this data with healthcare professionals such as doctors and nutritionists is still a challenging task. Integrating such data with other electronic medical records data systems may lead to significant benefits for not only the subscriber but the overall society. Many restaurants now provide information about the contents of their menus online and there is avid interest amongst users to collect and share this information as effortlessly as possible.

The focus of this project is to develop a working prototype of a social network whose main intent is the sharing of daily dietary food intake amongst its members. The main access point to the network would be by the use of an intelligent mobile application. The members of the social network would be able to take photographs of the food they eat and add textual ‘tags’ to their photos using their phone. An additional option is to allow just textual information about their food intake not associated with any photos.

12:00pm Computer Cooking Contest 2009 Website
Wilfredo R. Ortiz (Dr. Isabelle Bichindaritz)

This presentation explains the difficulties and actions taken to update a web application written for the Computer Cooking Contest 2009. This contest involves creating a website that can be used to research and search for recipes based on certain user-entered criteria. The portion I dealt with was a restructuring of the web application layout, including server configuration, database interactions and the user interface (web design).

This project required expanding on the original project's design, and implementing cleaner user interfaces for the searches as well as modifying how search results were parsed and displayed. These now use JSPs, Javabeans and JSTL tags for easier and more configurable display and greater customization and standardization across pages as opposed to the previous HTML pages. The difficulties in deploying a Netbeans project to an external Tomcat server served as a valuable lesson, including how to implement Catalina to run Java servlets.

This project matched closely with my current internship and allowed me to expand my knowledge of the techniques and software that were used there. In fact, by completing this project I was able to work more effectively due to a better understanding of the frameworks and technologies involved. This was especially true in the case of Javabeans and the JSTL library, which I had little experience using beforehand. Overall, the project did not hinder but in fact enhanced my internship experience, and is an example of how classes at the University of Washington Tacoma can prepare you for your chosen career field.

12:30pm Avue Technologies Internship
Wilfredo R. Ortiz (Dr. Isabelle Bichindaritz)

This presentation will describe my experiences as a Software Development Intern in a professional field working at Avue Technologies. As a first foray into the field for a full-time student it is important to know what technologies and techniques are currently in use, and how the time spent and information acquired at the University of Washington Tacoma's Institute of Technology ties into a career in this area. That is the purpose of this presentation.

As far as relevant technologies go there are several that were familiar and several that took time to learn. New to me was the Spring Framework, a Java framework for building applications, and in this case web applications. Also presented was Enterprise JavaBeans Technology, another architecture for building web applications. Furthermore, I gained experience concerning database/website interaction and an introduction to several development tools that I had never worked with before this internship.

Overall my time spent at the university did assist in preparing me for entering this career field. The intensity and magnitude of the work involved in the professional sector served as the greatest difference from the University environment. Looking back at my time spent at Avue Technologies this quarter, I now see why an internship is recommended for this degree choice, because without it you will have little to no idea what you will be dealing with when you enter the job market.

01:00pm Research In Motion: Software Development in a Mobile World
Tim Simon (Dr. Daniel Zimmerman)

As cellular phones continue to increase in power and popularity, the mobile development market also continues to grow and change. It is predicted that in 2014, 6.67 Billion mobile applications will be downloaded. In 2009, the Blackberry RIM market share increased from 40.4% to 47.5% (IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2009). As mobile applications are significantly less complex than desktop programs, it is possible for a small group or even an individual to develop and market software targeted at the ultra-portable market.

This presentation will give a brief look at the mobile market, and then delve into techniques used for creating mobile applications in the Blackberry Research In Motion (RIM) environment. The discussion will cover the development environment, unit and black-box testing, style differences, and API, as well as difficulties that can be expected during the coding process. After this presentation, the viewers should have an idea of how to begin developing for the mobile environment in general, and the RIM platform specifically.

01:30pm From Design to Release - Game Development
John Emerson (Dr. Daniel Zimmerman)

A common adage in the game development industry is "The last 10% of the project is 90% of the work". I have found this to be true, so I intended to take a game project from the design stage to distribution stage, and overcoming all hurdles in the way. Not having succeeded, I'll examine why and present the progress that I've made.

02:00pm FPGA Design Engineer Intern
Daniel De Jager (Dr. Larry Wear)

Daniel De Jager discusses his experience working as an FPGA Design Engineer for EMAG Technologies, an Ann Arbor MI based company that specializes in original solutions to complex RF problems. In his work, he was tasked with designing a device that upon receiving a trigger signal will start creating a 2.5Gbit/sec signal of arbitrary content. This project allowed him first-hand experience of a practical application of FPGAs. During his stay at the company, he was able to practice design methodologies taught at UWT and make good use of those skills to go from concept to practical design and working simulations.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Visit by the Brazilian Delegation

This has been a busy month and today is no different. The SST Conference is on Friday and we already have enough registrations to make me think we could be pushing 200 attendees this year. Nice.

But even before this Friday we are pleased to be hosting a delegation of educational leaders from Brazil who are visiting the Institute. Their objective is to stimulate the scientific and technical cooperation between the University of Washington and Brazilian institutions.

They spent some time is Seattle yesterday and today they will be joining our Director and Associate Director, Dr. Orlando Baiocchi and Dr. Larry Wear, along with myself on a trip out to Intel Dupont. Thanks to Rick Meeder and Tomm Aldridge of Intel for arranging it. I have been on the Intel tour before and the work they are doing in the Dupont facility is fascinating.

We will also be giving them a tour of the campus here and show them around our research labs.

Brazilian Delegation

* Dr. Jorge de Almeida Guimarães
- President, CAPES, Ministry of Education

* Dr. Sandoval Carneiro
- Director of International Cooperation, CAPES

* Dr. João Fernando Gomes de Oliveira
- President, Institute of Research Technology (IPT) São Paulo

* Dr. Amaro Lins
- President. Federal University of Pernambuco

* Dr. Alvaro Prata
- President, Federal University of Santa Catarina

* Mr. Pedro Costa
- The Information Company, with business in Brazil and State of Washington

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Junie B. Jones and the Tacoma Childrens Musical Theater

In 2006 The Tacoma Musical Playhouse launched the Tacoma Children's Musical Theater. I was very lucky to be in one of the first productions when it launched, "The Wind and the Willows" directed by Nancy Wilkinson. One of my fellow actors in that show, Chris Serface, is now the Director of Education for the TMP and directs June B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, the children's show currently running at the theater. Adapted from the book by Barbara Park with book, music and lyrics by Joan Cushing the story follows Junie B's difficulty in accepting a new member to the family while at the same time deciding what to bring for show and tell.

She won't have anything to do with her new baby brother until she hears Grandma refer to him as the "cutest little monkey." Junie B. can't wait to bring the best show-and-tell to class: a real live monkey! With lessons of identity, change and the inevitable trials of childhood woven with a little mischief ("monkey business"), this show is not to be missed!

The Tacoma Children's Musical Theater was an opportunity to bring more fully produced musical shows to the South Sound, specifically aimed at young audiences and families. Junie B. Jones is not only a fun show full of great actors, (everyone does a great job, but the Show and Tell scene is not to be missed) ((Taylor Niemeyer who was "Dorothy" from TMP's The Wizard of OZ is a PERFECT Junie B) but it is a testament to the work done to bring children in to see musical theater. We had a sold out show last Sunday, a full house on Tuesday and had to add an additional performance on Thursday to accommodate all the elementary school classes that wanted to come see the show. This weekend is close to selling out and it is a shame to have to turn people away at the door, especially with a 300 plus seat theater.

What has also been fun is the atmosphere in the lobby after the show. Whereas in the mainstage shows it is a tradition for the actors to great folks after the performance in the lobby, in the kids shows it is a bit like a character greeting at Disneyland. The actors who play Junie B, Lucille, Grace, Meanie Jim and Crybaby Williams are all big draws, and get to sign autographs and take pictures.


Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business
Directed by Chris Serface

Junie B. Jones : Taylor Niemeyer
That Grace : LaNita Hudson
Lucille : Jessilyn Carver
Meanie Jim : Taylor Richmond
Crybaby William : Jon Huntsman
Mrs. : Kae Blum
Boss of the School : Charlie Long
Mother : Carol Richmond
Father : Andrew Fry
Grandma Miller : Susan C. Smith
Grampa Miller : Dan Engelhard


Here is a bonus Rat and Toad picture from 2006

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paris, Madrid, New York to Tacoma

More about the world traveling Richard Purcell, keynoter at the SST Conference on the 20th. He has just finished up a globe hopping set of conference presentations from Paris, Madrid and other major cities, so it is no surprise that Tacoma is next on his agenda.

Richard Purcell has been a leading voice in addressing consumer privacy and data protection challenges since the late ‘90’s. He leads Corporate Privacy Group (CPG), focusing on sustainable and effective information security and privacy programs. He advises multi-national corporations, Internet start-ups and government agencies. CPG specializes in Web-based courses for security and privacy awareness and practices. As Microsoft’s original privacy officer, he designed, developed, implemented and managed one of the world’s largest and most advanced privacy programs.

Recently, Richard was named to the Executive Director position of the Privacy Projects, an information management think tank and research organization. In 2009, he was appointed Chairman of the Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee for the Department of Homeland Security, a committee on which he has served since 2005.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Register Now SST 2009

South Sound Technology Conference 2009:
Entrepreneurship and the South Sound Technology Cluster

Come to the 10th annual South Sound Technology Conference, the technology showcase for the Tacoma and the South Puget Sound region. On Friday November 20th in William W. Phillip Hall on the University of Washington Tacoma campus civic and industry leaders, government representatives, university faculty and students will come together at a free conference to hear panels speak on building technology companies in the South Sound and leveraging the commonalities of the companies that are here. A lunch keynote from the CEO of Corporate Privacy Group, Richard Purcell, former Chief Privacy Officer of Microsoft and chairman of the board of TRUSTe will highlight the middle of the day. Breakout sessions that include discussions on sustainability and poster presentations from Institute of Technology students will occur once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

The South Sound Technology Conference, provides a forum that increases the awareness of technology as it impacts our daily personal and professional lives, and even more importantly, the role it can play in the development of our regional economy. The conference charter is to further the continuous growth of technology in the South Sound region and provide information about global technology issues.

Bruce Kendall, CEO of the Economic Development Board of Pierce County will kicks things off with a discussion of entrepreneurship and the economic development of the South Sound Region. The morning panel that follows will pick up the topic with Tacoma entrepreneurs such as Derek Young, Mark Briggs and Brian Forth. Graham Evans of the Washington Technology Center and John Dimmer of the Tacoma Angel Network will talk about funding and innovation.

The afternoon panel will feature companies from the area that represent the data integrity, information assurance and Cybersecurity cluster that is growing in Pierce County. Breakouts will include discussion of how to support that infrastructure and will also give attendees the opportunity to view student research projects at the Institute of Technology.

The yearly event is made possible by the hard work of many volunteers, the generosity of corporate and community sponsorship such as the City of Tacoma, the Institute of Technology, University of Washington Tacoma and GRIDWORK as well as the support of honorary co-chairs Congressman Norm Dicks and Congressman Adam Smith.

For more information, contact conference chair
Andrew Fry - - 253-692-4583
To register, go to and sign up under the “attending” menu.

Sponsor links

Friday, October 30, 2009

Building a Tech Company in Tacoma and the South Sound

Are you an entrepreneur in the making? Do you have the next big web 2.X idea and just need to fill in the business, finance, marketing, sales and development holes to launch the next Google, Facebook or Serra Media?

Well, your timing is good. Over the next few months there will be plenty of discussion, networking and resources to help you flesh out a business idea, make the necessary contacts and launch your company here in the South Sound.

To whet your appetite you might review the Exit133 post from September on the topic "What is the Condition of Tacoma's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem?"

Also, the Tacoma Angel Network is partnering with six other angel groups for a MIT Enterprise Forum startup demo. You can read about it on the TacomaTechConnect blog.

Plans are in the works for a 72 hour startup weekend in January of next year. If that interests you then talk to me about it at...

Entrepreneurship in the South Sound - Creating Connections

The South Sound Technology Conference, held November 20th in William W. Philip Hall, will start off with a presentation and a panel, both of which you budding entrepreneurs do not want to miss.

Bruce Kendall, CEO of the Pierce County Economic Development Board will talk about entrepreneurship in Tacoma and the development of downtown. His presentation will lead into a panel of professionals, investors and experts that I will moderate.

Brian Forth, SiteCrafting
Graham Evans, Washington Technology Center
John Dimmer - Tacoma Angel Network
Derek Young, Seasonal View
Mark Briggs, Serra Media

Some things of note from this group include:

Sitecrafting continues to grow as a company and recently launched a Spokane office. Brian frequently hosts meet ups and networking events for developers and clients at his company.

Graham will talk about the Washington Innovation Summit which is held annually and next Spring is being hosted by Tacoma.

John Dimmer is an experienced investor and entrepreneur in his own right who is an Entrepreneur on Campus at the University of Oregon and a judge of their business plan competition (as well as my former business partner and high school classmate).

Derek is not only the founder of Exit133 but has recently launched Seasonal Views.

Mark is the former interactive content editor for the News Tribune and author of Journalism 2.0 but is currently building the company he started last year, Serra Media.

Wow. I mean. Come on. Don't you want to hear these folks impart wisdom?

If you do, register for the conference because there are a limited number of spots for the event.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Washington Clean Tech Open Gala

I have written about the Clean Tech Open before, but as a refresher, here is a blurb that they supply about themselves.

The Clean Tech Open is a catalyst for clean tech innovation. A non-profit organization founded in 2006, it provides today’s clean tech innovators with the tools, training and connections they need to become tomorrow’s viable clean tech businesses. The core of the Clean Tech Open is an annual regional business competition, supported by expert volunteers and mentors, that provides entrepreneurs with the crucial business training, services and insights they need to successfully go to market. The Clean Tech Open has assisted dozens of companies in raising nearly $140M in funding, and spurred the creation of hundreds of jobs in California. Fueled by a network of over 400 volunteers and sponsors, the Clean Tech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s clean tech sector a thriving economic engine. Past alumni successes include Adura Technologies, Cool Earth Solar and GreenVolts.

This year was the first in Washington, and 56 companies presented. I know that at least two or three were from the South Sound, though unfortunately none made the finalist list. But, and this is an important but, there is always next year. In fact, it is expected that the Clean Tech folks will be part of the morning breakout session at the SST Conference on November 20th, to discuss Clean Energy and Sustainability. More to the point, how companies and people from around the South Sound can prepare for next years Open.

If you want to know more, they are throwing a gala next week on Thursday the 29th at the ACT Theater in Seattle.

Here is more info on that:

Join us at the ACT Theatre in Seattle for the culmination of the first Pacific Northwest Clean Tech Open business competition where we will celebrate the region's most promising clean technology companies and announce the three 2009 Regional Finalists. The three Regional Finalists will have been selected from an initial pool of 56 companies who entered the competition in May 2009. Each will receive a prize package consisting of cash and in-kind services, and all will continue on to compete against finalists from other Clean Tech Open regions for a national prize of $250,000!

Attendees have the chance to speak with the semi-finalists and meet other key regional players in the clean tech industry at a networking reception with drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the elegant Bullitt Cabaret. Enjoy the keynote presentation by a featured leader in the Clean Tech industry, hear from Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, learn more about the Clean Tech Open's plans for 2010, and join us in enthusiastically recognizing our Regional Finalists as we send them off to the National Competition!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Catching Up with Mark Briggs

Mark Briggs, co-founder and CEO of Serra Media stopped by my class yesterday and gave a number of interesting updates on what has been going on in his life since leaving his position of editor of interactive news for Tacoma News Tribune.

Serra Media continues to grow its customer base even in a down economy. They have not only added several newspapers who are running their "Newsgarden" solution, but have also expanded into crowdsourcing information for shopping deals.

Newsgarden is a social news mapping platform that helps newspapers build community and creates new markets online for them. Already in use by several Washington city papers as well as the Cedar Rapids Gazette, it is being trialed by many others with the potential for a significant increase anticipated.

And as is the case in entrepreneurship and launching a new company, an opportunity presented itself to leverage their platform for a distinctly different use. In a chance meeting with a columnist and blogger from the LA Times, Serra Media was able to create TownLuxe for the Bargain Babe LA site. Bargain Babe Media partnered with Serra Media in July to launch a destination for local bargain hunters to share deals and other shopping insights with local shoppers in the Los Angeles area. There are more locations on tap to launch the TownLuxe solution.

You may be familiar with Mark from his earlier work on both evangelizing the need for newspaper reporters to adopt more interactive and web based reporting tools. He began teaching some web basics, exploring and commenting on the use of blogs and social media tools such as Twitter as speaking on the topics. This led him to write the book and launch the blog Journalism 2.0 - How to Survive and Thrive.. The book has been a success and has been downloaded over 100,000 times in PDF format.

He has a new book out, which will be available for purchase in November of this year called Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing. This book is geared more as a teaching text and I wish him the same success as his first title.

Mark still lives in Tacoma and commented on Exit133 the other day that he wished there were more developer and entrepreneur meet ups here in the South Sound.

We will cover that topic in greater detail on November 20th as he has joined the panelists discussing "Entrepreneurship in the South Sound" at the SST Conference held in William Philip Hall on the UWT Campus. More on that panel at a later date.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tag Cloud of An Exit133 Conversation

Exit133 is pretty pleased with the conversation going on via a post that started with one small twitter comment. To date there have been over 120 comments posted on the topic "Rethinking Downtown Tacoma". The tweet in question was

Tacoma should rethink it’s downtown. Preferably before everyone leaves.

and was posted by Janine Terrano, the CEO of Topia Technology. A Tacoma success story both as an individual and as a company.

Reading through the large quantity of commentary from a wide variety of posters peaked my interest in how this conversation might look as a Tag Cloud. For a short primer on tag clouds, read here. The result is not very elegant, but was quick in the making thanks to MakeCloud. Along with creating clouds from text, they also provide code to create a cloud from your blog.

Larger text means greater emphasis and a more frequent use. I am not that excited to see that "Don't" was the first tag in the cloud, as it seems a bit negative. However without context, which is not provided here, it could just as well come from the phrase, "don't be a hater". Note that streetcars, Tacoma, light rail and downtown are all emphasized.

I would like to see it in a more graphical format, phrasing included and a center point of the key elements. Plus the links only go to Google searches.

But until then, it is interesting in and of itself.

don’t change parking requirements whole downtown plan seems we’re yet moving being sure problem city council it’s people perhaps reason piece coming market tacoma wants posted oct think possible connect tacoma’s neighborhoods streetcars they’re system lots less buildings block large building never once pedestrian businesses can’t enough streetcar buses everywhere anywhere street cars neighborhood day goes take you’re without continue send means always step away walking there’s planning david koch convention center shopping time support retail place live portland seattle built move instead potential 000 idea put routes signal priority traffic everyone else done tacoma1 i’m i’ve happen morgan got talk talking long next needs love isn’t small business streets bigger than land etc anyone drive stores urban years understand level many someone stops few something thinking provide vision around rather actually getting already nothing that’s comes i’ll least outside area university real issues plans options even transportation near might town close waterfront 6th regional maybe mass transit reasons lot still used areas density huge light rail park within dome walk development trying find great future pretty bus allow leave home using station anything because give cities let stop try doing too north roads cool didn’t work connecting help ever somewhere south ride mofo hood hill commerce bad tcc however high pierce money increase feel times own days having projects build agree looking entire plaza together uwt funding point college far life car above say during service avenue minutes along year district stadium population county same sound million tax authority create lid side space project cost local economic demand end broadway save elks sense while i’d keep janine kind mind post both start hopefully major current mall line defiance currently ideas hotel erik foss design mile saying mean free access easy store important ave popular successful brewery aren’t learn route ridership won’t dedicated efficient expensive federal remember imagine caring worth about? jesse lightrail vegas speed funds tag cloud

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

APWG eCrime Summit in Tacoma

eCrime is the internationally focused topic of discussion next week in Tacoma and the discussion has never been more timely. (Check out Mount Rainier in the background of the graphic). Here is a few words from a recent Anti Phishing Work Group report that came across the Reuters news network.

I found it timely as I received to phishing emails today in my inbox. One from a poorly formatted "B a n k of America" site and one from an online payment company. Both bogus of course.

LOS ALTOS, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(Business Wire)--
The APWG`s latest Phishing Activity Trends Report illustrates electronic crime`s innovation and apparently unchecked ambition with new records being reached for such felonious instrumentation as rogue anti-virus software, phishing websites
and crimeware designed to target financial institutions` customers.

The APWG H1, 2009 report found that the numbers of detected rogue anti-malware programs, fake security software that actually infects computers to animate assorted electronic crimes, grew 585 percent between January and the end of June 2009.

Some of the more interesting data points from the report.

Highlights of the H1, 2009 Phishing Activity Trends Report include:

● Unique phishing reports submitted to APWG recorded a high of 37,165 in May, around 7 per cent higher than last year`s high of 34,758 in October.

●The number of unique phishing websites detected in June rose to 49,084, the highest recorded since April, 2007`s record of 55,643.

● The number of banking trojan/password-stealing crimeware infections detected increased during more than 186 percent between Q4, 2008 and Q2, 2009.

● The total number of infected computers rose more than 66 percent between Q4 2008 and the end of the half, 2009 to 11,937,944 - now more than 54 percent of the total sample of scanned computers.

● Payment Services became phishing`s most targeted sector, displacing Financial Services in Q1 & Q2.

So with all this going on, what are we going to do about it. How can we combat it or even keep it in check. These important discussions are going to take place in a city that is active in industry supporting data integrity and information assurance and educational institutions doing research and education to promote cyber security awareness and defense.


As the report concludes.
Those members and researchers from around the world will be considering the results of the H1, 2009 report at the eCrime Congress | Tacoma on Oct. 19-21, a three-day event that combines the APWG`s General Members` Meeting (member-restricted) on the 19th and the eCrime Researchers Summit on the 20th and 21st, (open to the public) a peer-reviewed research conference on electronic crime that the APWG holds annually in conjunctions with the IEEE Standards Association.

Note that there is an open to the public segment on the 20th and 21st.

Barbara Endicott-Popovski, one of the adjunct faculty at the Institute and the Director of the Center of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the University of Washington will be on the panel and many of the Institute students and faculty will be in attendance.

Our friends at Internet Identity were an instrumental part of getting this conference here and putting it on.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Show People do "Curtains" at the TMP

photos by Kat Dollarhide

I am excited to be heading into the second weekend of performances for Curtains, at the Tacoma Musical Playhouse. The musical is set in 1959 Boston, Massachusetts and follows the murder investigation of cast and crew when Jessica Crenshaw, the supremely untalented star of "Robbin' Hood of the Old West", dies during her opening night curtain call. Making things more interesting is the clever and competent detective in charge of the case, Lt Frank Cioffi, who is just as interested in seeing the musical succeed (while falling for a young starlet) as he is in solving the case.

This is an ensemble piece and the cast is full of great characters and talent. I have worked with almost every member of the cast before on other shows and am having a wonderful time working with them here. In "Curtains" there are two stories playing out at once, the show within the show, "Robbin Hood", which has been savaged by critics and in need of a work over, and the whodunnit of the murder. Highlights from "Robbin Hood" feature some great dance numbers including amazing young talent in numbers like "Thataway" and "Kansasland".

Anyone and everyone who was part of the curtain call of in the first scene of "Curtains" finale of "Robbin Hood" is a suspect, including the Producers of the show Carmen and Sidney Bernstein, the backer Oscar Shapiro (me), the esteemed director Christopher Belling, the once married song writing team of Aaron Fox and Georgia Hendricks, the stage manager Johnny Harmon or any of the cast members, including lead dancer and choreographer Bobby Pepper and starlets in waiting, Niki Harris and Bambi Bernet. To make matters worse, they have to contend with horrible opening night reviews, including one from the Darryl Grady of the Boston Globe, and an intrusive investigation led by Det. Frank Cioffi

Sooooo... quick lists
These are the actors playing the roles mentioned above. To give a sense of how theater people build friendships and connections I am listing (guaranteed incomplete) shows that I have done with them in the past.

Carmen Bernstein : Karen Christensen (vocal powerhouse)
Babes in Arms
The Phantom Tollbooth
A Musical Mystery Dinner

Sidney Bernstein : Darrel Shephard
This is my first time working with Darrel but I love what he is doing.

Oscar Shapiro : Andrew Fry
This guy is hot or cold depending, but I have done every show with him.

Christopher Belling : Jon Douglas Rake
Radio City Music Halls - A Christmas Carol
Jon is the artistic director of TMP so many shows directed by.

Aaron Fox : Gregory Conn
South Pacific
The Producers

Georgia Hendricks : Heather Malroy
Pinocchio (I was the Fox, she was the Cat) great song.

Johnny Harmon : Chris Serface
The Wind in the Willows (I was a Toad, he was a Rat)
My Fair Lady
The Phantom Tollbooth (he directed)
The Producers

Bobby Pepper : John Huddlestun
My One and Only

Niki Harris : Ashley Coates
The Producers
My One and Only

Bambi Bernét : Hailey Hays
The Producers

Daryl Grady : John Miller
South Pacific

LT Frank Cioffi : Mark Rake-Marona
The Boys From Syracuse
The Fabulous Fable Factory
My One and Only

And for good measure:

Randy Dexter : John Hunstman who sings "Kansasland"
Big River

So when we sing "Show People", pictured above, early in the first act, I am certain we all relate to the sentiment and to the experience working with each other throughout the song.

It is an honor and a joy.

One challenge I was concerned with at the first rehearsal was that many of the scenes take place on the stage as simply that, the stage. The set is the stage we are on and when you are used to rehearsing with set pieces it can throw you off the top. But it didn't take long to accept it as the stage in Boston in 1959 where the previews of Robbin Hood were being held.

When they rehearse the numbers from the show, the set pieces reflect those of the show within the show, and I have heard a number of comments from folks who have seen the show that they were impressed and entertained by them. But then, "who doesn't love red."

There is also a scene played behind makeshift curtains, which is a hoot to say the least. Here is a picture.

Prior to that, Jeffrey Stvrtecky, who along with being musical director and orchestra conductor, plays Sasha Iljinsky, a character in the show. The audience last Sunday loved him.

As for going to a show. You cannot beat a live orchestra, and once again the folks in the pit at the TMP do a engaging, wonderful job.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Getting Back to Blogging

It is amazing how transitory technology solutions are. The minute you think one has made itself a permanent nest in the online ecosystem something else comes along and tramples the habitat.

Friendster was the early winner in social networks, to be eclipsed by MySpace, which was pushed to the side (not entirely) by Facebook, which is making interface changes based on the surge of Twitter users. LinkedIn looks to be in a sturdy spot, but there are online business relationship and connection social networks hoping to get traction.

And with all of this, there is the real world as well.

In that real world, my class Living and Working has started up again, and it is time to reduce the FaceTwittering that has taken up the little online time that I have had, and time get back to blog posting. There have been opportunities to post no doubt. I have been sent articles and emails with suggestions that have been interesting and on target, but my momentum was stalled this Summer with many diversions.

So, expect more. Whether it is a discourse on the power that Twitter users have over the companies that hire marketers to listen in on comments or upcoming conferences such as the international eCrime Conference taking place in Tacoma on Oct 19th. Back to blogging.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do The Puyallup

Heading out to the fair today with the family. Always fun. Two years ago in September I posted a piece on the Puyallup Fair and the Syracuse State Fair, with the lyrics to "Do the Puyallup at the end. Now around this time of the year, I get many visits looking for the song, so I am reposting the lyrics to the song below.

"Do the Puyallup"
musics and lyrics by Saxon Rawlings, (slogan by Denny Hinton)

Oh you can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup.

All the people and the animals down at the fair,
They do the Puyallup like they didn’t have a care
And it looks like so much fun to do
I think I’m gonna learn how to do it too.

I saw a duck and a chicken down by the farm,
A kickn' up the hay and a raisn' such a storm,
That I asked the farmer what they were up to
and he said "Puyallup, That's what they do."

You can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup.

Asked the farmer if he’d show me how to do it
And he said "why son their ain’t nothin to it.
Just move to the music and jump in the air
Like everyone else who comes to the fair"

You can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup

You can do it in the rain or the sun or the fog
It comes real easy like rolling off a log
Get a partner from Tacoma or Seattle or Fife
Even let you do it with your husband or wife.

It’s a natural thing there isn’t any doubt
Folks do it while they’re sittin’ or walkin’ about
While over on the midway on the merry go round
Kids are doin it in circles going up and down.

Now it don’t matter if it’s rain or shine
When you do the Puyallup you have a good time
So guys grab get gals and gals grab a fellow
If you’re worried ’bout the rain just bring an umbrella.

You can do it with a mouth full of cotton candy
Caramel apples, salt water taffy
Hot dogs, hamburgers, man oh man
Hot buttered scones with strawberry jam

I do the Puyallup cause it feels real neat
Put a smile on my face and a tickle in my feet
Ain’t no way not to do it right
You can do it all day and into the night

you can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup

Do the Puyallup

Do the Puyallup

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Upcoming South Sound Technology Conference 2009

If you haven't done so yet, save the date of November 20 for an all day event covering companies and technology in the South Sound. As the program builds out with final details, I will post them here and they will be available on the website for the event at

We have one keynoter set and I have previously discussed the panel and discussion that will be occurring in regards to identifying a promotable cluster of companies in the South Puget Sound based on some commonalities.

First off, if you are unaware, the annual South Sound Technology Conference is the technology showcase for Tacoma and the South Puget Sound region. For years it has brought together leaders from industry, education, and government, both locally and from around the state, to discuss and demonstrate innovations and ongoing applications which utilize technology. Panel and keynote presentations, including networking opportunities, provide a venue to discuss, explore, understand and deploy technology as a solution, an opportunity and an advantage. SST is perhaps this region's best annual event to learn how technology is transforming our business and community life.

Keynoting at the event will be Richard Purcell, CEO of the Corporate Privacy Group. Here is some bio information taken from their site.

Richard Purcell ranks among the original Chief Privacy Officers in the United States. He created the position at Microsoft in the late ‘90’s, becoming a leading voice in addressing consumer privacy and data protection, domestically and internationally.

As Microsoft’s privacy officer, Mr. Purcell designed, developed, implemented and oversaw one of the world’s largest and most advanced privacy programs, spanning software development, web deployment, infrastructure management, workforce management, and consumer data handling practices. He developed and monitored a distributed team of privacy managers throughout the corporation and its global subsidiaries. Mr. Purcell was a leading advocate of the Platform for Privacy Preferences, or P3P, publicly committing Microsoft’s support in 2000 and working closely with the Internet Explorer development team on incorporating the specification into IE v6.

In 2003, Mr. Purcell left Microsoft to form Corporate Privacy Group, an independent privacy consulting firm focused on establishing sustainable, affordable privacy programs in corporations, agencies and institutions. Privacy Directions™, a training curriculum for corporations designed to institutionalize privacy awareness, practices, and compliance throughout their organizations is a notable early offering.

Mr. Purcell serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for TRUSTe, an independent trust authority for privacy on the Web. Mr. Purcell was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee in 2005. Mr. Purcell advises Fortune 100 corporations, leads privacy training seminars, and lectures extensively.

He is a former member of the Int'l Association of Privacy Professionals, or IAPP, and on their Advisory Board for Privacy Certification. Mr. Purcell is an IAPP-certified information privacy professional. He is a founding member of the Conference Board's Council of Chief Privacy Officers. He served on the Federal Trade Commission's Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security.

Here is a recent interview that he held with the folks at NYMITY.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

End of the Quarter Colloquium at the Institute

Yesterday marked the end of the Summer quarter at the UWT and consequently the end of quarter colloquium for the Institute. Undergraduate students who conducted independent reading, research or internship present on their findings and experiences. Graduate students give updates, findings and the occasional final defense of a thesis or capstone event.

These presentations are open to all, but up until the present are generally attended by mostly other students and faculty. Summer can be tough on attendance because there are no other courses taught in the Computer Science or Computer engineering programs. That means a lesser number of students and faculty present on campus.

Too bad, as there were some excellent and informative presentations given. A graduate student presented on research into algorithms for measuring authority on Twitter, a group of students discussed a project in which they were building a social network infrastructure to support dietary tracking and an undergraduate doing research on 3D rendering models for re-contructive surgery announced his project was selected for presentation at a US medical conference.

I tweeted on some of the proceedings, which you can find at Droid16 on Twitter or over in the sidebar here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MSL Bridge Building with Marshmallows

I had the honor of judging a bridge building competition today. The eighth grade contingent of the Math, Science and Leadership program at the Institute were asked to build bridge structures using toothpicks and mini marshmallows. The bridges then had to withstand several books being piled on top one after the other until the structure collapsed. When they had used all the books from the set they had bought, a water jug was used to additional heft.

Bridges were judged not only on how well they withstood the pressure, but also for original design and efficiency in the use of the materials. The one bridge which stood the longest was reinforced many times over with additional toothpicks and many mini marshmallows. The structure which ultimately was judged the best was constructed out of a lattice of pyramids reversed on themselves.

Cindy from the business school was the other judge, and it we independently were in agreement on all of our picks.

Well done eighth graders.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Barcamping at Suite 133

Got here a little early than many this morning and it was enjoyable walking the quiet streets of Tacoma on my way to Suite 133.

Around 25 people signed up to attend the first Barcamp (the software developers unconference) and by 9:45am most if not all had arrived. I signed up for the 11:30am time slot and will be talking about "The South Sound Tech Universe."

The first session was a discussion of how one might bootstrap a software offering or idea into a sustainable business. Not one that makes the huge dollar, but one that can sustain with a handful of employees. Mike did a great job of conveying the basic ideas to address and the desire to be an entrepreneur.

Next up, Marguerite gave an enthusiastic presentation on branding, prospecting and personal image and how to leverage blogging and twitter.

The time for my presentation came quickly and to bribe my way to a bigger audience I offered a map of the Puget Sound Tech Universe to one of the attendees. The presentation time allotted came and went fast. Before the day began I wondered if I would get tired or bored. No way and no time to do so as the presentations came fast and furious one after the other.

Erik Hanberg
gave an excellent talk on entrepreneurship in technology and business building recommendations. As you may have discerned, I did not go the tech track so much as the business track. But if the presentation in Foo room was too business oriented for you, you could also head over to the Bar room.

All and all a successful first iteration of Barcamp for Tacoma. I imagine another will be forthcoming in Winter.

Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...