Biometic Bits - Volume 2006 - Issue 01-01 - January 3, 2006
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Table of Contents

01. Personal data security law takes effect - By Becky Yerak - Chicago Tribune - December 31, 2005

02. Program to track foreign visitors gets mixed reviews - Border loopholes: Critics say too many people arriving in the United States are exempt from the regulations - By Nicole Gaouette - Los Angeles Times - Salt Lake Tribune - Dec 31, 2005

03. Homeland Security still lacks cohesion and efficiency, report says - BY JAMES GORDON MEEK - New York Daily News - The Mercury News - Dec 29, 2005

04. Research Abstract - Upgrading NetWare NDS Environments: Options and Business Value by Quest Software - June 2005
 - VENDOR WHITE PAPER - (.pdf) (266 kb) - 20 pages

05. U.S. Installs Visitor Tracking Stations - The US-VISIT program to collect information on incoming foreigners and screen them steps toward full operation. -  By Nicole Gaouette - Los Angeles Times - Dec 31, 2005

06. Security becomes a touchy proposition - By Mike Berman - Scripps Howard News Service - December 31, 2005

07. Press Release (US Department of Homeland Security) - DHS Completes Foundation Of Biometric Entry System - Represents Major Advance to Immigration and Border Management  - Dec 30, 2005

08. Speedier airport access in works - Convenience programs allow travelers to bypass long security lines by offering pre-screening services for a fee. - By CANDI CALKINS - Palm Beach Daily News (Florida) - Dec 31, 2005

09. Scrapping of elections imminent, Haiti on the verge of another crisis - Dominican Today - Dec 30, 2005

10. Today's Budget Tomorrow's Plan - By Doug Henschen -  Intelligent Enterprise - January, 2006

11. Focus on Signals, Not the Noise - Focus on finding data signals amid the noise
. - By David Stodder - Intelligent Enterprise - January, 2006

12. Airport Security Mkt. is About to Get More Bullish - Airport Business -  Airport Security Report via NewsEdge Corporation - Dec 30, 2005

13. Mexican thumbs-up for Aussie fingerprint deal
- The Australian - Dec 31, 2005

14. Review of 2005's most important immigration news stories - - Dec 30, 2005

15. Middle East's Security and Safety trade fair set for end January - Khaleej Times - Dec 30, /2005

16. Today's America a burden on the future - ICH - By Manuel Valenzuela - [UK] - December 30, 2005

17. The Story of Maher Arar: Unfolding US-Canada Police State - December 29, 2005

18. APC Biometric Mouse Password Manager Review
by  André Gordirro - - Dec 29, 2005

19. Press Release - Identix experiencing growing demand for biometric authentication systems with Fiscal 2006 orders exceeding $2.2 million - SecureID News - December 29 2005

20. Press Release - Bioscrypt, HID and OMNIKEY team to develop a door-to-desktop card solution -  December 29 2005

21. Press Release - What big eyes you have...the better to hear you with - Infrared communications system lets binoculars transmit sound. - - Dec 29, 2005

22. Immigration czar faces court backlog order
- By Shaun Waterman - Monsters and - Dec 29, 2005

23. Casinos leery of biometrics, new pay systems - BY VALERIE MILLER - Las Vegas Business Review Press - Dec 27, 2005

24. Blown away by new technology - By Selma Milovanovic - The Age [Australia] -  December 30, 2005

25. 2006 i-Technology Predictions: SYS-CON's Annual Round-Up of Techno-Prognostications - Software Development Activists, Evangelists, Gurus, and Executives Speak Out
- By Jeremy Geelan - SysCon Technology - Dec 31, 2005

26. Scanners latest tool in contraband fight - NewsNine [Australia] Dec 29, 2005

27. One Million Biometric PCs To Be Sold: Lenevo
  - EFY News Network - Dec 29, 2005

28. Press Release - Federal Court Orders Department of Homeland Security to Issue Proof of Lawful Status to Permanent Residents - Unfounded Security Concerns Do Not Justify Withholding Documentation Beyond a Reasonable Time - Dec 28, 2005

29. Blair’s 12-point plan to tackle terror fails to get full marks
- The Peninsula  [Quatar] - [From the Times]  Dec 29, 2005

30. Watchdog report: Delay in sitters' crime checks - State has OK'd some with serious criminal pasts to baby-sit for welfare program. - By Clea Benson -The Sacramento Bee [California] - December 31, 2005

31. State's missing persons staff stays busy - By BEN TINSLEY - Forth Worth Texas STAR-TELEGRAM - Dec 29,2005

32. House Hears From Grassroots; Is Senate Listening? by Phyllis Schlafly - The Conservative Voice - Dec 28, 2005

33. DHS shoves fingerprint tech forward - By Wilson P. Dizard III - Government Computer News - Dec 28, 2005

34. U.S. Visit: New Level Of Airport Security At JFK - Security Measure Founded After '93 WTC Bombing Implemented
- WCBS TV (NY) - Dec 27, 2005

35. Pragmatics to support Justice automated booking system  - By Roseanne Gerin - - Dec 27, 2005

36. Adoption of infotronics stressed - Chennai On Line [India] - Dec 31, 2005

37. Wear do we go? - by CROY, NANDINI RAGHAVENDRA & SANJEEV SINHA TIMES NEWS NETWORK - The Economic Times (India) - Jan 1, 2005

38. 2005 offbeat escapades: science, records and strange stories [The following are extracts from a longer list] - The Daily Times [Pakistan] - Jan 1, 2006

39.  At the scene in Atlanta - WVU forensics program sets up learning lab for bowl game By Carl “Butch” Antolini - The Register Herald [West Virginia] - JNan 1, 2006

40. Match points - By Dorothy Yagodich - THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] - Jan 1, 2006

41. CM inaugurates computerised attendance recording system
- Web India 123 - Guwahati - Jan 1, 2006

42. Doña Ana suspect turns out not to be suspect - The U.S. Border Patrol thought they had their man.
- Alamogordo News (New Mexico) - January 1, 2006

43. A year later, RCMP helping Thais identify victims of tsunami - Brandon Sun [Canada} - Jan 1, 2006

44. Alleged al-Qaida aide said to fake death by SELCAN HACAOGLU - Associated Press - Houston Chronicle - Jan 1, 2006

45, Tech lab arms cops with new sidekicks - Cyber files decoding evidence of new era - BY KATIE WANG -  The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) - Jan 1, 2005

46. Israeli consortium lays the groundwork for genetic 'credit card' - By David Brinn -  -  January 01, 2006

47. Zero tolerance urged on foreign criminals - By Philip Johnston - The Telegraph (UK) - Jan 2, 2006

48. Wanted: Up-Front Security - Security built into software and systems will be a high priority for businesses in 2006. - By Larry Greenemeier,  InformationWeek  - Jan. 2, 2006

49. Editorial: VIP screening a better way to fly? - [Florida] -  January 2, 2006

50. Crystal ball displaying technical advances by Gerard Voland  - Fort Waytne [Indiana] Journal Gazette - Jan 2, 2005

51. Press Release - Identity Management Solution promotes enterprise security. - [Date of Original Release - Dec 5, 2005]

52. University's thumb rule malfunctions - By: Kiran Tare - MidDay [India] December 30, 2005

53. Press Release - Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Homeland Security Accomplishments and Priorities - December 20, 2005

54. Identity Federation - By Tim Pickard, RSA Security - IT -  Jan 2, 2006

55.  FINDINGS; Is That a Finger or a Jell-O Mold? The Scanner, It Turns Out, Has No Way of Knowing  - By ERIC DASH  - NY Times -  December 20, 2005

56. Press Rlease - HID Announces Availability of iClass OEM 13.56 MHz contactless smarct card read / write module - Security - Jan 2, 2006

57. Press Release - Axis unveils biometric ATM - Plans IPO, acquisitions in India, US - Sameer Godse / Pune January 03, 2006

58. Is That a Bull's-Eye On Your Wallet?
- By John Sparks - Newsweek International - Jan 8, 2006

59.  Two Cents: Lenovo ThinkCentre M51
- By Miriam Jones - Government Technology - Jan 2, 2006

60. Five things to expect in 2006 - By Thomas Frank - USA Today - January 3, 2006

61. 100-year-old firm has lock on growth - Rolland Safe & Lock is evolving along with its tech-heavy industry - By VICTOR GODINEZ / The Dallas Morning News - Jan 3, 2006

62. Oracle unveils comprehensive identity management suite - - Jan 3, 2006

63. Simple Sign-On - Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Journal - Jan 3, 3006

64. Press Release - WinMagic Disk Encryption Technology Now Included with New Toshiba Dynabook Notebooks in Japan - Military Imbedded Systems - Jan 3, 2006

65. Press Release - Experts unite on biometrics
- Research and Development Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge - Jan 3, 2006

01. Personal data security law takes effect - By Becky Yerak - Chicago Tribune - December 31, 2005
Source  Next  Contents

A law requiring businesses to promptly notify customers of security breaches involving their personal information takes effect Sunday in Illinois, one of a growing number of states trying to curb identity theft.

But data security observers see several shortcomings in such laws, including that they could be difficult to enforce or could backfire for some consumers.

The Illinois legislature passed the Personal Information Protection Act last May, making it the second state, after California, to require companies to promptly alert consumers of security breaches involving their personal information, Susan Hofer, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, said Friday.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the legislation in June, and the law takes effect Sunday.

Nearly 20 other states have passed so-called "breach notification" laws, according to the Public Interest Research Group.

Illinois' measure was inspired by a 2004 incident in which Georgia-based ChoicePoint sold the personal information of more than 145,000 people, including 5,000 Illinois residents, to identity thieves posing as legitimate businesses. Even after ChoicePoint caught on to the breach, consumers were not notified until months later, in response to a California law requiring the disclosure of security breaches of personal information, according to Blagojevich's office.

The Illinois law "can help individuals take steps to protect their assets and identities before thieves wreak havoc on their credit," Blagojevich said in a statement after signing the bill.

The law does not specify exactly how quickly consumers must be notified if data is lost or stolen, but generally says data collectors must notify consumers "without unreasonable delay" after learning of a security breach.

"Prior to this law, there were no requirements for companies to notify individuals about possible security issues," Hofer said.

But one privacy and data protection lawyer said a federal law also is needed because state laws vary so widely.

"A company that does business in a lot of states may have problems," said Chris Wolf, chairman of the privacy and data security group of law firm Proskauer Rose. "It's like trying to play a game of Whack-a-Mole to try to comply with different laws" absent federal legislation.

The Illinois Bankers Association, however, doesn't seem to think the new notification law will be onerous.

"In the case of banks, they have pretty much followed that anyway," said association spokeswoman Debbie Jemison. "It's not going to be a huge difference."

Also taking effect in Illinois Sunday is a law allowing victims of identity theft to place a freeze on their credit report, preventing its release to any party without their consent.

That law "looks decent--no fee for placing the freeze or lifting it, reasonable time limits on when the credit bureau has to respond," said Beth McConnell, director of the public interest group in Pennsylvania. However, "it could have been stronger by allowing any consumer to freeze their report as a preventive measure, not just ID theft victims."

But Proskauer's Wolf said the notification law will likely lead to companies ringing alarm bells when consumers needn't be worried. In response, consumers might put a security freeze on their credit accounts, protecting them from misuse but also making it tougher to legitimately use credit and open new accounts, he said.

One identity fraud detection service said such laws do little to prevent the growth in identity theft.

"There are so many ways of using identity information," said Terrence DeFranco, chief executive officer of Edentify Inc., a publicly traded Bethlehem, Pa.-based identity management firm. "If you're the perpetrator you can skate around the alert."

States might be better off putting some of the burden on, say, banks to do a better job of screening who's applying for a credit card, DeFranco said.

02. Program to track foreign visitors gets mixed reviews - Border loopholes: Critics say too many people arriving in the United States are exempt from the regulations
- By Nicole Gaouette - Los Angeles Times - Salt Lake Tribune - Dec 31, 2005
Source Next  Contents

Four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has finished installing the equipment for a system to identify, photograph and fingerprint visitors arriving at every land, sea and air port in the country.

   The absence of a reliable system for tracking visitors was identified as a serious national security gap as the U.S. reassessed its counterterrorism efforts in the wake of Sept. 11. The new program, called US-VISIT, is the country's first comprehensive system to track foreigners and check their information against criminal and terrorist watch lists.
   Described as the ''greatest single advance in border security in three decades'' by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, it is not yet fully operational and has been dismissed by critics who charge that the program's loopholes and its slow implementation have done little to improve national security.

   Even so, observers applauded the news. ''This is a good-news story,'' said Clark Kent Ervin, a former DHS inspector general and director of the Homeland Security Initiative for the nonpartisan think tank the Aspen Institute. ''It's a very, very good first step.''

   But there were caveats. ''At airports, [US-VISIT] has made a great difference,'' said Jessica Vaughan, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies. But, she said, even though it has been installed at land points, it is not being used on most people passing through.

   US-VISIT first debuted in January 2004 with the installation of biometric equipment at airports and seaports. By December of that year, the program had been expanded to the 50 busiest land border crossings. On Dec. 19, DHS met a deadline set by Congress to equip the remaining land crossings by year's end.

   United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology - its full name - is in place at 154 land crossings, 15 seaports and the 115 airports that handle international travel. At these checkpoints, visitors must stop to pose for a digital photo and let border agents take digital impressions of their two index fingers.
   But not everyone who passes through is subject to the program. U.S. citizens, Canadians, most Mexicans, permanent legal residents and diplomats are exempt, so that of the 90 million people who passed through an airport or seaport in 2004, only 42 percent had to stop to have their data recorded.

   At land crossings, where 335 million people entered the United States in 2004, that figure dropped to 1 percent, according to Anna Hinken, a spokeswoman for US-VISIT.

   ''From a national security perspective, the problem isn't so much that Mexicans and Canadians aren't screened, but that a terrorist group or someone a lot more dangerous than a Mexican busboy will show up,'' Vaughan said. ''If someone from Riyadh [Saudi Arabia] figures out they can come through from Mexico with a stolen card, they could probably get through.''
   Another potential flaw is that, apart from a few pilot programs, the program does not yet track visitors as they leave. That shortcoming handicaps the program's national security function as well as its role as an immigration tool, as visa overstays are estimated to account for up to half of illegal immigrants. ''You need both an exit feature as well as an entry feature,'' Ervin said. ''Unless you have both ends, the system still isn't operational.''
03. Homeland Security still lacks cohesion and efficiency, report says - BY JAMES GORDON MEEK - New York Daily News - The Mercury News - Dec 29, 2005
Source  Next  Contents

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security, the sprawling agency created to defend the country against terrorists, is a bureaucratic mess plagued by "major management challenges," a scathing internal report charged Wednesday.

"While DHS has made progress, it still has much to do to establish a cohesive, efficient and effective organization," the department's inspector general concluded.

"Major challenges - now that is an understatement," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who chairs the Democrats' Homeland Security Task Force. "You only need look at their response to Hurricane Katrina to see they have major challenges."

Inspector General Richard Skinner did just that, singling out Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency for "weaknesses" managing relief contracts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita clobbered the Gulf Coast this year.

"When one considers that FEMA's programs are largely administered through grants and contracts, the circumstances created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita provide an unprecedented opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse," the inspector general said.

The federal Katrina Fraud Task Force has led to 122 cases against 147 people charged so far with trying to rip off taxpayers, Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra said Wednesday.

Skinner said that the management problems he identified will determine his priorities for next year's audits, inspections and evaluations - including a promise to "maintain an aggressive" effort to scrutinize border security.

The border security agencies also are struggling to integrate intelligence into daily operations or match border entry screening systems with the FBI's fingerprint database, Skinner found.

He recommended merging Customs and Border Protection with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service. "More than two years after their creation, CBP and ICE have not come together to form a seamless border enforcement program," the report said.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff responded Wednesday that he won't heed the advice.

This week, Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee railed at "33 unfulfilled promises" by Homeland Security since 2002, including not protecting ports and other critical infrastructure, such as electric grids, water systems and the Internet.


04. Research Abstract - Upgrading NetWare NDS Environments: Options and Business Value
by Quest Software - June 2005
 - VENDOR WHITE PAPER - (.pdf) (266 kb) - 20 pages

Full Paper Available Here   Next  Contents

Abstract - Overview:

During the past few years, many organizations have been actively examining the value provided by the directory services on their legacy network operating systems (NOSs) and the reality of having more than one vendor providing that directory service/NOS capability within their IT infrastructure. Due to historical factors, some of these capabilities are based on Novell systems. Such considerations are leading a significant percentage of these organizations to seriously look at consolidating those systems and retiring Novell's presence, migrating to a single directory service/NOS system where feasible.

When upgrading or consolidating their network operating system environments, organizations evaluate their enterprise identity management and directory service capabilities. These services can deliver customer value through use as a repository storing critical identification and credential information for resources and applications.

Network operating systems use identity management and directory services to deliver a centralized location and management point to: 1) administer and control access to file and print services; and 2) coordinate support for core application services such as e-mail.

These services also expand to include support for e-business identity infrastructures as an application resource for user credential authentication information.

Novell and Microsoft are key operating system providers that have extended their capabilities in this area. When enterprises decide to conduct a significant operating system refresh, many will re-evaluate preferences and needs related to these core capabilities.

A pivotal decision point often occurs when enterprises evaluate a move forward from Novell's NetWare to Novell's Open Enterprise Server. Such evaluations will frequently include consideration of Microsoft's Windows Server environment as an alternative.

This paper looks at the background behind these migrations, identifies the underlying benefits supporting them, and provides our view of best practices for a successful migration. These submissions are supported by client feedback, a survey, and three case histories that provide insight into the experience of typical organizations undertaking a Novell-to-Microsoft transition.

05. U.S. Installs Visitor Tracking Stations - The US-VISIT program to collect information on incoming foreigners and screen them steps toward full operation. -  By Nicole Gaouette - Los Angeles Times - Dec 31, 2005
Source   Next  Contents

Four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has finished installing the equipment for a system to identify, photograph and fingerprint visitors arriving at every land, sea and air port of entry in the country.

The absence of a reliable system for tracking visitors was identified as a serious national security gap as the U.S. reassessed its counterterrorism efforts in the wake of Sept. 11. The program, called US-VISIT, is the first comprehensive system to track foreigners and check their information against criminal and terrorist watch lists.

Described as the "greatest single advance in border security in three decades" by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, it is not yet fully operational and has been dismissed by critics who say the program's loopholes and its slow implementation have done little to improve national security.

Even so, observers applauded the news that the Department of Homeland Security had finished laying the foundation for the ambitious program.

"This is a good news story," said Clark Kent Ervin, a former Homeland Security inspector general and director of the Homeland Security Initiative for the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. "It's a very, very good first step."

But there were caveats. "At airports, [US-VISIT] has made a great difference," said Jessica M. Vaughan, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies. But, she said, even though it has been installed at land points, it is not being used on most people passing through.

US-VISIT debuted in January 2004 with the installation of biometric equipment at airports and seaports. By December of that year, the program had been expanded to the 50 busiest land border crossings. On Dec. 19, Homeland Security met a year-end deadline set by Congress to equip the remaining land crossings.

United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology — the program's full name — is now in place at 154 land crossings, 15 seaports and the 115 airports that handle international travel. At these checkpoints, including six in California that include Los Angeles International Airport and the Tijuana-San Ysidro land crossing, visitors must pose for a digital photo and let border agents take digital impressions of their index fingers.

But not everyone who passes through is subject to the program. U.S. citizens, Canadians, most Mexicans, permanent legal residents and diplomats are exempt, so of the 90 million people who passed through an airport or seaport in 2004, only 42% had to stop to have their data recorded.

At land crossings, where 335 million people entered the United States in 2004, that figure dropped to 1%, said Anna Hinken, a US-VISIT spokeswoman.

"From a national security perspective, the problem isn't so much that Mexicans and Canadians aren't screened, but that a terrorist group or someone a lot more dangerous than a Mexican busboy will show up," Vaughan said. "If someone from Riyadh figures out they can come through from Mexico with a stolen card, they could probably get through."

Another potential flaw is that, apart from a few pilot programs, US-VISIT does not yet track visitors as they leave. That shortcoming handicaps the program's national security function as well as its role as an immigration tool, as visa overstays are estimated to account for up to half of illegal immigrants.

"You need both an exit feature as well as an entry feature," Ervin said. "Unless you have both ends, the system still isn't operational."

In early December, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff offered no timetable for beefing up exit tracking. "I have to say it's a complicated question," Chertoff said at a news conference. "We've got some pilot programs. We want to evaluate the utility and what we may want to do to retool that process."

Some critics charge that Homeland Security has dragged its feet on an exit program, saying the department doesn't want to know how many visa violators there are because it lacks the resources to track them down.

Defending the department, Hinken said Homeland Security faces the challenge of creating a tracking system where none existed before. Unlike many other European and Asian countries, the U.S. has not required international travelers to go through immigration checkpoints as they depart.

"It's a building block, we have to start somewhere," said Hinken of pilot exit programs at 13 airports and five land crossings. "In the coming year, we'll evaluate. [At airports] the answer might not be a workstation, it might be part of the checkout process. We believe in testing so we don't roll out something that doesn't work and holds up traffic."

Since January 2004, the US-VISIT system has processed 44 million people and has snared 970 people with criminal or immigration violations. Apparently, no one was stopped for ties to terrorism.

Among problems being worked out is the system's incompatibility with the FBI fingerprint database. Homeland Security is revising its fingerprinting practices.

Congress first ordered the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service to develop a way to track entries and exits in 1996, after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Pressure to create the program surged again after the terrorist attacks in 2001, with both Congress and the Sept. 11 commission calling a tracking system "essential."

But even before its debut in 2004, US-VISIT encountered criticism. In 2003, the General Accounting Office called the program "risky" because its costs could escalate rapidly. Although it has racked up a $1-billion price tag to date, some estimates put the final cost as high as $14 billion.


06. Security becomes a touchy proposition
- By Mike Berman - Scripps Howard News Service - December 31, 2005
Source   Next  Contents

What if I told you that there's nothing more powerful than the first finger of your right hand? Even that superdude in tights would wish he had that much power.

Welcome to the world of biometrics and the future of security for your PC. Verifi FingerTouch Security Professional ($99) from Zvetco Biometrics lets your fingers do the surfing while protecting your valuable information from prying eyes.

Setting the system up was fairly simple. The fingerprint reader attaches to a USB port on your computer and the Verifi ID Manager software had me up and running in minutes.

The fingerprint reader included with the kit is the P3400, which retails for $92, and the software has a retail price of $32 if bought separately, so buying the kit is basically a no-brainer.

Obviously everything in the world of computing isn't perfect and this system is not without its flaws. Unless you place your finger on the reader in the exact position it recorded when you set up the software, it won't recognize it.

Very often it would take several attempts before I could gain access to my computer.

So, you ask, how does it work? According to the folks at Zvetco, the reader uses more than 9,000 elements to create a digital pattern that mimics the fingerprint's underlying structure. Simply put, it looks below the surface of the skin and into the living tissue. This, they say, ensures a high-quality image, and could account for its being extremely picky when you try to gain access to your computer.

For more information, check out

Contact Mike Berman at or through his Web site at

Key Features

It's compatible with Windows 98, 2000, ME and XT.

The sensor uses True Print technology at 500 dpi.

You can personalize your logon to include just a fingerprint or a fingerprint plus a password.

You can set up an e-wallet that is accessible only via your fingerprint.

It can remember logons and passwords, restricting -- and automating -- access to protected Web sites and other sensitive information.

You can restrict access to any program on your computer by using the Application Secure feature.

Secure Disk can set up a secure partition on your hard drive, encrypting and limiting access to sensitive information.

07. Press Release (US Department of Homeland Security) - DHS Completes Foundation Of Biometric Entry System - Represents Major Advance to Immigration and Border Management  - Dec 30, 2005
Source or Source   Next  Contents

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) US-VISIT program has completed installation of biometric entry capabilities at 104 land border ports, as mandated by Congress. Biometric entry capabilities are now deployed at all fixed ports of entry open to US- VISIT travelers.

"The U.S. Government's efforts to strengthen our nation's immigration and border management system have taken a giant leap with the deployment of US- VISIT entry capabilities at all our ports and visa-issuing posts abroad," said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. "US-VISIT is making America safer by enhancing our border management system with next-generation technologies and processes to address the emerging threats, challenges, and opportunities of our 21st century world."

US-VISIT installed biometric entry procedures at the 50 busiest land border ports along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders as of December 29, 2004; meeting the December 31, 2004 deadline. The deployment of biometric entry procedures to each of the remaining 104 land border ports of entry is also ahead of the congressional deadline of December 31, 2005.

US-VISIT is a continuum of security measures that collect biometric and biographic information from visitors at U.S. visa-issuing posts upon their arrival and departure from U.S. air, sea and land border ports. The program enhances security by verifying each visitor's identity and by comparing their biometric and biographical information against watch lists of terrorists, criminals, and immigration violators.

Since January 2004, US-VISIT has processed more than 44 million visitors, which makes the program the largest-scale application of biometrics in the world. Biometrics have enabled US-VISIT to intercept, at U.S. ports of entry, more than 970 people with histories of criminal or immigration violations, including federal penitentiary escapees, convicted rapists, drug traffickers, individuals convicted of murder, and numerous immigration violators.

Additionally, the State Department's BioVisa program, which is fully integrated with US-VISIT, has resulted in over 14,000 hits on individuals applying for visas to travel to the United States.

At many land border ports of entry, US-VISIT has decreased processing time in secondary inspection as a result of the automation of Form I-94 issuance process and US-VISIT's simple, fast and clean biometric processes.

US-VISIT currently applies to all visitors entering the United States, regardless of country of origin or whether they are traveling on a visa, with certain exemptions. Canadian citizens are exempt, as are most Mexican visitors who apply for admission using a Border Crossing Card, also known as a laser visa and travel within the border zone during the 30 day time limit.

For more information, visit .

08. Speedier airport access in works - Convenience programs allow travelers to bypass long security lines by offering pre-screening services for a fee. - By CANDI CALKINS - Palm Beach Daily News (Florida) - Dec 31, 2005
Source  Next  Contents

Longer lines and increased traffic may be signs of the season throughout Palm Beach County, but at Palm Beach International Airport the numbers tell the story. There are 203 commercial flights scheduled for January 2006, up from 147 flights in September.

"The planes don't come in empty," said Lisa De La Rionda, the airport director of noise abatement and community affairs. While 575,823 travelers arrived or departed from PBIA in November, setting a record for that month, about 839,287 airplane seats will be available for January travelers.

Growing traffic at PBIA is not just a seasonal issue, however. There were 197 flights in January 2005. More than 7 million passengers arrived or departed from PBIA in the 12 months ending Nov. 30, a 7.8 percent increase over the previous 12-month period.

With the Transportation Security Administration's December announcement that more passengers will be subjected to random screenings at airport metal detectors, the prospect of navigating security may leave many travelers dreaming of ways to bypass those long lines. What if airports offered a fast-track lane for busy people whose time is worth money?

The idea already is being tested.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, lines expanded as American airports beefed up security measures.

TSA responded with a Registered Traveler Pilot program at five airports: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Los Angeles, Houston, Boston and Washington, D.C. That government-run pilot program used biometric scanning but was shut down in September.

A similar program, Clear, which has been operating at Orlando International Airport since July in a partnership with Verified Identity Pass Inc., now has 12,000 subscribers who pay a $79.95 fee for the convenience. Members submit fingerprints, iris scans and applications for background checks conducted by TSA. Swiping an ID card at an airport checkpoint, along with a fingerprint or eye scan, admits Clear members into a separate security lane.

Cindy Rosenthal, spokeswoman for Verified Identity Pass, said members usually wait no more than 14 seconds, "so you've avoided the entire wait." She said Clear members are not subjected to additional screenings. Currently, the Clear program is available only at the Orlando airport.

"It's not a full-fledged program that is automatically going to be rolled out across the nation," said Lauren Stover, TSA's South Florida spokeswoman. She said that in mid-2006, after Clear completes one year of operations, TSA will evaluate the results and how registered traveler programs may be applied at other airports.

"It appears to be going very well," Stover said. She said TSA is interested in leveraging private sector resources to offer the service and would be willing to work with PBIA and other airports to implement similar programs.

TSA has issued a timetable for developing a nationwide registered traveler program in the "Briefing Room" section of its Web site,, and is expected to announce detailed plans by mid-2006.

De La Rionda said PBIA is waiting for TSA's analysis. "Obviously, our options will be considered once additional information is available of the formalized plan."

"It is each airport's decision to launch such a program at their airport or airline," Rosenthal said.

While TSA handles airport security in partnership with individual airports, she said some terminal buildings are controlled by specific airlines, complicating the issue of who would supervise a nationwide registered traveler program.

Rosenthal said many requests for the program come from the Palm Beach County area. "We get the big cities, too — Chicago, Los Angeles — but we really do get a lot from West Palm Beach."

Rosenthal said she personally traveled through PBIA when visiting her parents during the holidays. "I know that I have stood in those lines that have been way backed up," she said. "I always chalk it up to being all the holiday travelers."

Rosenthal said that Verified Identity Pass has a contract with the airport in San Jose, Calif., but has not yet launched a program there. The company also is negotiating with airports in Sacramento, Calif., and Indianapolis. "But it is all airport by airport. It's not like we can implement ourselves anywhere."

Verified Identify Pass has an early start, but other companies will be competing for the chance to provide expedited clearance.

Saflink Corp., a security company based in Bellevue, Wash., is partnering with Microsoft, Johnson Controls, Expedia Corporate Travels and ID Tech Partners to create a similar registered traveler program.

Tim Wudi, Saflink's chief marketing officer, said the company is proposing an airport clearance card that doubles as a credit card.

Wudi said surveys have shown that many frequent business travelers would be willing to pay $80 for the convenience of a card they could use to avoid long waits while purchasing coffee or reading materials. "You have something that you never really leave home without anyway."

He said Saflink wants to work with airports to provide registered travelers with discounts on parking and coupons valid at airport concessions. "We anticipate fairly significant discounts and incentives that will make the consumers' decision to do this very easy."

Saflink, which has provided security services for more than 35 years to military and public-sector projects, is also developing prototypes for the security kiosks or turnstiles and other equipment that airports would need for a prescreened passenger program.

"At this point none of the airports has done anything other than look for information," Wudi said. He said he expects five to 10 airports may be issuing requests for proposals within the next three months, "so we'll be active in those when they do that."

However, Wudi said Saflink is waiting for TSA to issue more specific policies and operational requirements.

Saflink wants to develop equipment that can be used by members of multiple registered traveler programs at any airport in the nation. "It's the government that needs to get going," Wudi said. "We need to know how the government is going to issue a policy so we can build equipment."

09. Scrapping of elections imminent, Haiti on the verge of another crisis - Dominican Today - Dec 30, 2005
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Electoral crisis could become a political crisis as anti-government protests increase

PORT-AU-PRINCE.- The Haitian authorities will announce this Friday a new postponement of the presidential and legislative elections, revealing Haiti’s difficulties in finding stability two years after president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s ouster.

Last week, Provisory Electoral Council (CEP) president Max Mathurin had requested an extension of a few days to evaluate the January 8 elections’ technical feasibility.

Since then, the declarations from Haitian leaders leave no doubts of the new delay, the fourth this year.

"It is more and more probable that the elections will not be able to take place in the announced dates," member of the CEP told the press. "We cannot guarantee honest and credible elections," said Pierre Richard Duchemin, in charge of the CEP’s electoral registry.

The elections, initially programmed for November 13, were successively postponed for November 20, December 27 and January 8.

Close to one week before the first electoral balloting, under United Nations supervision, the authorities were unable to distribute the 3.5 million new biometric identity cards to the electorate, made in Mexico, which would have allowed them to vote.

For their part, provisory president Boniface Alexandre and prime minister Gérard Latortue have stated their desire for the Council can establish "a more realistic" calendar, without specifying a new date. Whereas the commercial attaché of the United States in Haiti, Timothy Carney, called on the CEP "to take their time before presenting another calendar", recognizing that the complex electoral process was "in a country that has known fatal upheavals in the political, social and economic plane."

This electoral crisis could become a political crisis at a time when anti-government protests increase.

Some political parties that participate in the electoral contest threaten to take the Electoral Council to court for what they consider serious damages due to the numerous delays, and protest against "the foreign influence in the electoral process." Others demand the Government’s resignation as a "sanction" for the electoral crisis.

A group of 20 parties, members of the National Council of Political Parties, demanded the ouster of Gérard Latortue and the formation of a national coalition government in charge of organizing the elections 90 days after taking office.


10. Today's Budget Tomorrow's Plan - By Doug Henschen -  Intelligent Enterprise - January, 2006
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Better access to information is a leading theme in readers' 2006 IT budgets, with document management, portals, dashboards and enterprise reporting all comanding more investment. Mobile and wireless solutions and service oriented architecture top future technology adoption plans, but here's why security trumps all other trends behind the spend.

As anyone who manages a household budget can attest, there are necessities and then there are niceties. Planning ahead, these budget keepers probably know they'll have to spend more on necessities like energy and, thanks to all the hurricanes, homeowners insurance in 2006. Then, perhaps, there will be money left over for niceties like finishing the basement or some landscaping.

So it goes for organizations setting technology priorities, although it's a bit more complicated. For one thing, there are many more "owners," each with different priorities. Then there's the tendency for last year's nicety to become this year's necessity — do you remember when data warehousing was exotic? Finally, much more than pride is at stake in keeping up with the corporate Joneses; today's "speculative" investment might lead to big market gains or improvements in profitability.

To get a sense of our readers' technology priorities, our Intelligent Enterprise Strategic Management Survey explored 2006 spending plans in 28 categories and drilled down on adoption plans for 27 leading-edge technologies. Some of the results surprised us, starting with the fact that security and privacy were at or near the top of both lists. Other priorities were more predictable and fell into the theme of improving information access.

Tighter security and better information access are longstanding IT imperatives (and in some ways work at cross purposes), but cost factors and influences can change dramatically from year to year. Let's look at the technology trends and regulatory and business pressures setting today's agenda, starting with our take on why security now trumps other imperatives.

First, Protect the Data

We were perplexed when we got our first look at the survey results related to 2006 budgets and technology interests (see "Listening Posts" at right and on the following page). More than half the readers we surveyed said they'll spend more on security, privacy and identity management in 2006, and nearly equal interest was expressed in security and privacy technology innovations. It's not that security and privacy issues aren't on our radar, but we hardly expected them to rank first for increased 2006 spending and second in future interest.

A look at the breakdown of respondents helped clear things up, with nearly 60 percent of the sample representing bank, insurance, financial service, health care, government, defense, retail, telecom, education, media/marketing and outsourcing firms. These firms are managing and analyzing sensitive information, and when consumer information is involved, there's usually a regulatory compliance demand on the front burner.

The Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) got teeth last April, with an initial deadline passing for health-care providers, health plans and payment clearinghouses to protect electronic health information. In March, four federal agencies issued new information security rules for U.S. Banks. Citing the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision required banks to inform customers in the event their personal data is exposed due to a security breach. And in July, a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) deadline kicked in requiring all the federal government's 8,623 IT systems to be certified and accredited as secure.

California's Security Breach Information Act (SP 1386) has been the model for legislation on data-breach notification, and together with new bank rules, it forced a series of high-profile revelations about consumer data security breaches — by ChoicePoint, Citigroup, Bank of America, LexisNexis and MasterCard, among others. Nothing generates legislation like scandal, so now a gaggle of federal-level information security and privacy bills are floating around Capitol Hill (see our Dashboard story).

The costs of negative publicity are far steeper than basic improvements in security. First steps include adding more robust network firewalls, application firewalls, intrusion-detection systems and developing more rigorous patch and virus protection routines. Encryption is a next step that makes sense for information such as trade secrets and sensitive data on laptops, but it's expensive and a full-employment program for DBAs when applied more broadly. DBMSs (database management systems) and BI (business intelligence) systems often provide or support encryption methods, but few companies implement them systematically because it's difficult and expensive to rework applications designed to use unencrypted data.

Web services and service-oriented architectures present unique security challenges that demand devices such as XML security gateways. These gateways were once a burgeoning area for specialty companies, but leaders including Sarvega and DataPower have been snatched up by Intel and IBM, respectively.

Our readers aren't often the front-line security watchdogs, but it appears that regulatory compliance demands and, more importantly, the threat of negative publicity have made their mark on budget priorities.
Improve Access

Part of the reason security challenges are getting tougher is that organizations are doing everything they can to make it easier for those they trust to access information and applications. Half of the Intelligent Enterprise readers polled confessed that their organizations make poor decisions because users can't get enough good information. No wonder content and document management, portals, performance scorecards and dashboards and enterprise reporting ranked second, third, fourth and sixth, respectively, among 28 categories for possible increased spending in 2006.

What's behind the demand for content and document management? You've probably heard that 80 percent of information in the enterprise is "unstructured" — meaning documents, reports, e-mail messages, Web pages and other content not typically stored in databases. What you may not have heard is that 80 to 90 percent of that content usually isn't managed.

While data warehouse and BI pros may gripe about data stores that remain untapped, the gaps on the structured side are tiny compared to the canyons of unmanaged content. A statistic from IBM is telling: The acknowledged leader in enterprise content management (with 20 percent of the ECM market by some estimates), IBM reported in 2004 that it had some 11,000 corporate ECM customers compared to about 400,000 DB2 customers.

IDC studies project only modest ECM growth of about 9 percent over the next few years, but industry giants Microsoft and Oracle are counting on a bigger, broader market for a lower-cost, every-seat style of basic document management in the form of Microsoft SharePoint and Oracle Content Services. SharePoint had already racked up some 32 million seats by last summer. Oracle says between Content Services (introduced last summer) and Oracle Files, it has more than 2,600 enterprise customers and "millions" of seats. IBM offers Workplace Documents as a basic document management tool, but at present it seems more focused on its ECM offerings.

Portals, too, will draw more of your dollars this year. The latest enhancements to portals include collaboration and content management features as well as access to reports, KPIs, scorecards and business activity monitoring (BAM). Portals are also interacting with applications, composite applications and processes.

Plumtree was well down the application interaction path when it was acquired by BEA last fall. That deal effectively marked the end of the stand-alone portal era, with the market consolidating to the infrastructure vendors, such as IBM, BEA, Sun, Oracle and Microsoft, and application vendors, including SAP, BEA's Plumtree lineup, and the other Oracle, meaning PeopleSoft and Siebel.

Microsoft dipped its toe in the application camp recently, adding 30 out-of-the-box applications for SharePoint Services, including absence and vacation scheduling, meeting management, marketing campaign management, loan initiation and case work management apps.

Will your portal be part of your infrastructure or your applications? Either way, many organizations have made or will be making leaps to service-oriented architecture to gain even better and more flexible access. And either way, the portal is a given IT asset that requires upgrades and reinvestment.

Give 'em a GUI

In the performance management and BI arena, our "performance scorecards and dashboards" and "enterprise reporting" categories address access and analysis imperatives, but we think the former is what's driving most of the interest.

Scorecards and dashboards should be a sign of deeper performance management initiatives aimed at improving planning and developing clearer strategic goals. To manage toward those goals, top financial and business executives need more detailed and timely information. Scorecards help aggregate and display that information, and dashboards deliver it to the key executives who need to react when business conditions change.

The scorecard was invented for the purpose of measuring and comparing performance against strategic and operational goals, and dashboards were first "executive" dashboards designed to display up-to-the-minute performance. The danger with these terms is that they're fast becoming ubiquitous. So many products now feature "scorecards" and "dashboards," you have to wonder if this phenomenon is really about performance management.

We put the word "performance" up front with a specific market in mind, so we hope the 43 percent of respondents who said they're spending more on scorecards and dashboards know what they're getting. Cross your fingers that the scorecards are grading and the dashboards are dialing into carefully selected variables tied to strategic performance objectives.

Nearly 42 percent the readers we polled said they'll spend more on enterprise reporting, the most visible example of the trend toward "operational BI." Rather than hoarding intelligence at the top, organizations know they must empower employees with information. Enterprise reporting tools are giving a broader community of users self-service access and more control over when and how they receive their reports.

Enterprise reporting figured prominently in nearly all the many BI suite upgrades in 2005, with examples including SAS's Web Report Studio, Hyperion's SQR (picked up in the Brio acquisition), and MicroStrategy's Report Services 8. Enterprise reporting is for everyone, but as the casual user's gateway to BI it must be accessible and easy to use. Thus, Web-based delivery and simple GUIs are musts. For vendors, the trick is hiding enough sophistication and control behind the scenes to please the analysts who drill down and design their own reports.

Whether it's because users are clamoring for information on demand or because BI gurus are tired of responding to special requests, our readers are investing more in enterprise reporting.

What's Next?

Other aspects of your 2006 budget and technology adoption plans seemed surprising at first, although less so upon closer examination. For example, for what many consider a "mature" category there was surprising interest in DBMSs, but then the footprint of the DBMS has been steadily expanding. IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have been blending in content management (as described earlier), BI and even data integration into the DBMS, which may be helping drive upgrades. Certainly Microsoft's recent and long-anticipated SQL Server 2005 release has many anticipating new licenses in 2006.

Looking at your interest in leading-edge technologies (see "Listening Post" at right), we discussed security and privacy, but more than half of the respondents also said they had either deployed or were testing, planning to deploy or closely tracking mobile and wireless solutions. It's a topic that network infrastructure publications have been all over, and with all the alerts tied to key performance metrics, processes and all forms of business activity monitoring, it makes sense that our readers are interested, too. Why go to the trouble and expense of getting to actionable, real-time information if you can only expose it to users at desktops during business hours? Without anytime, anywhere connectivity, all the talk about business responsiveness and agility rings hollow.

Less surprising was the high interest in service-oriented architecture and Web services (and the promise of faster, lower-cost, flexible and responsive IT), data visualization (for deeper, yet clearer analysis and understanding), 64-bit computing (for choke-free performance as the number and complexity of queries mounts), and Radio Frequency Identification and streaming data processing. The last two will go hand in hand, although streaming processing is already used for rapid-fire financial transactions and security incident detection.
How We'll Change

Thanks to the more than 1,131 readers who participated in our survey. We learned a lot and have many more statistics we plan to share. More importantly, we'll respond to your feedback by modifying and adding to our editorial calendar. We've already been in touch with our colleagues at Secure Enterprise to explore ways we could investigate encryption and other data protection technologies and trends.

Graph that appeared in original article are not reproduced here. See: Source

11. Focus on Signals, Not the Noise - Focus on finding data signals amid the noise. - By David Stodder - Intelligent Enterprise - January, 2006
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The data explosion shows no signs of slowing. According to Winter Corp.'s 2005 TopTen Program, Yahoo! has more than 100 terabytes of data (actual; not storage space allocated, which is a misleading measure) in its Oracle-based data warehouse (DW). This marks the first time that Richard Winter's survey of the largest, most heavily used databases has reported a system with more than 100 terabytes. AT&T runs a close second, with almost 94 terabytes managed by its internally developed "Daytona" system. The telecommunications industry generally has the biggest databases, says Winter, with volumes rising in financial services and insurance.

Securing such crown jewels — including unstructured content and document sources, business processes, and strategic applications that generate and use the data — is the top 2006 IT budget priority for Intelligent Enterprise readers, according to our Strategic Management Survey. To be sure, this month's cover package identifies other objectives that vie for attention: but security, fraud detection, privacy, identity management and the surrounding issues of regulatory compliance dominate readers' agendas. Pick up any newspaper today and you needn't ask why.

Alas, we do have to ask why most organizations still don't address these challenges strategically, which would help them apply the full force of their IT innovation and intelligence. "Compliance is proving to be more of a distraction than a catalyst," notes Edwin Bennett, global director of Ernst & Young's Technology and Security Risk Practices, in the company's recent Global Information Security Survey report. Bennett's view is that organizations are missing "the opportunity to promote information security as a strategic imperative to their businesses."

Mobile and distributed computing immediately come to mind as big tests for information security pros; however, regulations are what draw the interest of CEOs, CFOs and heads of corporate functions and lines of business. Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and recent legislation such as the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act force organizations to take more visible responsibility for their entire ecosystems of partners, outsourcing contractors, suppliers and customers. If they don't, "the value created by these arrangements can quickly diminish or disappear due to perceived or real security, privacy or identity breaches," Bennett warns.

Will the New Year bring a tipping point, marking a new resolve to address security, fraud, privacy, identity management and compliance in a holistic and strategic fashion? Large firms in telecommunications, health care and other industries have been applying data mining for years to combat fraud; packaged solutions and services vendors are now bringing this specialized knowledge into the midmarket. As we explored in November, more companies are using risk analytics for a blend of regulatory and strategic purposes. The clamor for auditing and activity monitoring tools that can detect security and regulatory violations will lead organizations to reconsider how they deploy operational data stores and other time-sensitive repositories, as Michael Jennings discusses ("Not Your Father's ODS").

With data pouring in on top of already bulging sources, the key challenge will be to enable decision makers and automated systems to sense the signals amid the noise: that is, pick up key information from the background that protects the business from harm. Automated compliance may be a common goal, reflecting a desire to shift focus to more strategic matters. But with the stakes rising, companies that fall short of gaining the ability to understand why something happened and how to adjust for the future do so at their peril.

David Stodder is the editorial director and editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise.

See also Reader Survey - Voice of Our Readers: The 2006 Strategic Management Survey
What's top of mind with Intelligent Enterprise readers? Seizing information advantage, no matter what the technology obstacles are. And they want vendors to step up


12. Airport Security Mkt. is About to Get More Bullish - Airport Business -  Airport Security Report via NewsEdge Corporation - Dec 30, 2005
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The next few years present an excellent opportunity for investing in firms that develop or sell airport-security equipment, according to a new market analysis by the consulting firm Frost and Sullivan.

For one thing, the airport security market is giving all indications it will start another boom period, following an initial rush of federal spending that came on the heels on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) purchases from security firms spiked at nearly $6.5 billion. That created a temporary "overcapacity" of equipment, according to Rani Cleetez, a Frost financial research analyst.

In the following year, 2004, aviation-security spending from TSA dropped to about $2 billion. Recently, there has been an annual 20 percent increase in spending that Frost expects will continue into 2007 and 2008. This translates into another spike.

In fact, the top 30 firms in the field, which earned a collective $2.6 billion in 2004, are expected to bring in more than $6.1 billion in 2009. The global aviation services market is now worth $69 billion, with 75 percent of that represented by airport security equipment. North America and Europe account for 40 percent and 35 percent of that smaller market segment of security equipment.

Furthermore, the "market mix" in both North America and around the globe is not expected to change significantly over the next few years, says Ken Herbert, Frost's global vice president, and co-author of the analysis with Cleetez. "Market mix" refers to the regulatory, political and economic conditions that can confound predictions for the growth rate in particular industries or market segments.

Frost was founded in 1961 with a mission of "providing market consulting on emerging high-technology and industrial markets

Within the airport-security equipment industry, the firm expects to see particularly healthy growth rates in an unusually high number of industry sub- segments, which are rank ordered in the box at right. But Cleetez cautions against taking this ranking too literally, as there is actually not that much separation between these sub-segments. For example, the top-rated area, digital surveillance, is given a 22.4 percent projected growth rate and the second-place area, explosive detection, will be at 21.9 percent. (The firm does not want to disclose the exact growth rates in the other areas.)

Although Frost & Sullivan puts biometrics in the third position, SITA's "Airport IT Trends Survey" released earlier this fall shows that only about 3 percent of airports globally have deployed passenger biometric identification systems. With issues such as reliability, privacy and technical standards still being worked out, most airports are probably in a wait-and-see mode. But as these issues are inevitably resolved, SITA believes this percentage will jump to 33 percent within the next four years.

Similarly, the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for baggage management remains on the periphery, with only 6 percent of airports deploying it, SITA says. But by 2008 or 2009, RFID could make a "serious impact" when that percentage could jump to 45 percent. Adoption of RFID for cargo handling should be slower. While no airports currently make use of this RFID application, the rate could be 22 percent in another five years. "The technology's high start-up costs make the value proposition for individual airports unclear," SITA says. The firm's survey, now in its second year, is supported by Airports Council International and Airline Business magazine.

Meanwhile, Frost's Cleetez and Herbert note that numerous smaller firms have jumped into the aviation security market, many since 9/11. To survive, these smaller firms are going to have to make sure they have enough money budgeted for research and development (R&D). In a field with an emphasis on technological updates, change and innovation, this is a critical area. Another factor is that TSA considers R&D investments an important criterion in deciding whether to award certification.

The larger security firms are able to invest heavily in R&D, and it's a prime factor that keeps them on top. L-3 and Bioscrypt, for example, invest as much as 12-18 percent of their revenue in R&D.

To compensate, smaller start-up firms will have to continue in their efforts to attract venture capitalists who specifically agree to help fund this area.

A different kind of market sub-segment involves small U.S. airports, where there is an increasing awareness of security needs. Many have already made significant purchases of digital surveillance and explosive detection systems.

After North America, the next part of the world that is gearing up for a boom is the Asia-Pacific region, Cleetez adds.

>>Contacts: Rani Cleetez, +91-44-52044523,; Ken Herbert, 33 (0) 1-42-81-38-22,; Thomas Frankl, SITA, +41 22 747 6296,<<

Security Priorities

The following are Frost and Sullivan's 10 sub-segments of the airport security industry as ranked by their growth rates from 2004-2009:

1. Digital surveillance

2. Explosive detection

3. Biometrics

4. Perimeter and access control

5. X-ray and infrared

6. Metal detectors

7. "Others" and integration

8. Closed-circuit television

9. Intercom and video door phones

10. Alarms and sensors

Source: Frost and Sullivan

13. Mexican thumbs-up for Aussie fingerprint deal - The Australian - Dec 31, 2005
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AN Australian technology company is looking to break into the place most visitors to Mexico would want to break out of - the nation's infamous prison system.

But forget stories of tequila-filled jail wardens or sloppy tortillas - Argus Solutions is helping bring Mexico's prisons up to speed in curbing the trafficking of contraband into its facilities.

The move will help Argus, which develops biometric applications for identity management, to crack the North American law enforcement market from south of the border.

Argus recently signed a deal to sell its Australian-built fingerprint identification technology to Mexico's prisons in what it hopes will be the first of several sales in the North American market. While the value of the deal is modest - about $40,000 - Argus chief executive Bruce Lyman says it is an ideal launching point into the market.

Argus has teamed up with San Diego biometric firm ImageWare Systems to provide the software behind the fingerprint identification technology.

"We had actually been targeting a lot of correctional services opportunities that exist in California and Arizona," Mr Lyman said. "(Then) this other opportunity came up.

"The nice thing about it for us is that it becomes a North American market reference point for us."

The technology is now used in several Australian prisons to manage the movements of visitors and prisoners.

"We want to manage people visiting, we want to manage them in, we want to manage them through and we want to manage them back out - we want to know where they are at any given time in the facility," he said.

"We want to do it in such a way that the person who was in here this week is the same person who visits or is incarcerated in 12 months' time. A lot of people are trying to make sure people don't change identities and become part of that smuggling network."

Argus also provides iris scanning technology, which it hopes to sell in North America alongside its fingerprint software.

While the technology would help slow drug trafficking, Mr Lyman said the greatest advantage would be streamlined people management.

14. Review of 2005's most important immigration news stories - - Dec 30, 2005
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Australia launches biggest immigration drive in 40 years

As a result of a desperate need for new skilled immigrants, Australia's Department of Immigration's decided to admit an extra 20,000 skilled migrants this year, taking the 2005/2006 intake to almost 100,000. The country is focusing on attracting workers from the UK and other parts of Europe, holding expos in various countries. If you are considering immigration to Australia, please visit the list of skilled occupations and fill out our online assessment form. can help you with the application process.
Eastern European immigrants transforming the UK

Although there were fears that low cost workers from the East would steal jobs, Britain has absorbed these workers from the new European Union member states with hardly a ripple. Unemployment is still low at 4.7 percent, and economic growth continues apace. Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and other Easterners are arriving at an average rate of 16,000 a month, a result of Britain's decision to allow unlimited access to the citizens of the eight East European countries that joined the European Union last year. The workers are reputed to be highly skilled and highly motivated. Many have already begun investing in properties, and plan to settle in.

Scotland's Fresh Talent Initiative a huge success, to be copied by England soon

In 2005, Scotland launched its Fresh Talent Initiative, which allows foreign graduates to live and work in Scotland for two years. The policy was hailed as a major achievement, when it was revealed that about 10% of all foreign students eligible to extend their visas had done so. The scheme was so popular, in fact, that it began to annoy university principals in England, who felt Scotland was being given a special advantage to woo students in a lucrative international market. England announced at the end of 2005 that it would be launching a similar initiative.

England announces a new managed migration program

England announced a new migration scheme, to be introduced in spring 2005, including a five-tier point system for migrants, ranging from easy access and full residence rights for the most highly skilled and those with large sums to invest. Only the top two tiers of workers would be allowed to bring families or have the chance to settle in Britain after five years. The scheme calls for temporary entry permits for low-skilled workers without their families, although this is similar to what already exists, and biometric residence permits for all foreign migrant workers without which they cannot work or access government services. Although the new program came amid much publicity, we at are uncertain how different it actually is from current policy.

European Union considers work permit scheme

In the final days of 2005, the European Commission unveiled new plans on economic migration to the European Union aimed at creating legal alternatives to illegal immigration. In order to boost Europe's attractiveness to highly qualified workers, the Union is considering introducing an EU-wide work permit. The work permit would be introduced by one member state but be valid throughout the 25-nation bloc. It will be up to each member state to decide whether and how many people are admitted every year, but Europe will deal with common standards, the Commission announced.

2005 sees US torn over immigration policy

The United States struggled with its immigration policy in 2005. While the country's IT experts fought for additional H1B visas, which allow mainly high tech workers to work in the US, much of the public's attention was diverted to the issue of illegal immigration. It is acknowledged that illegal immigration benefits the economy because those migrants are willing to take gruelling physical jobs that Americans don't want, but American volunteers strongly opposed to illegal immigrants set up border patrols along Mexico to stop the daily flow of workers. At the end of 2005, the US's most recent decision has been to build a fence along the border with Mexico, and not to increase the number of H1B visas.

Rioting breaks out in France, Australia

Riots spread all over France as second and third generations of Islamic immigrants, who are experiencing social discrimination, vented their frustrations. The riots started in a few places throughout France in late October and spread in November, forcing the French government to declare a state of emergency. Similar rioting then broke out in Australia, shocking the normally tolerant and laid back country. The attacks amounted to the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in this nation since Australia was established in 1901. On a positive note, the riots have led to a great deal of soul-searching among all nationalities of both countries particularly in Australia, which has embraced the concept of a multicultural society, in which non-European immigrants were not pressured to assimilate culturally into mainstream society.


15. Middle East's Security and Safety trade fair set for end January - Khaleej Times - Dec 30, /2005
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DUBAI — Organisers of the region's largest Security, Safety, Fire and Police event, "Intersec 2006", have announced that the eighth edition, set for January 29 - 31 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, has grown by 30 per cent compared to its last showing.

Organised by Messe Frankfurt, it gathers together the world's specialists in the areas of police, security, fire, health and safety. More than 400 exhibitors are taking part including industry leaders such as Panasonic, ADI International (Honeywell), Dedicated Micros, Norbain, Simons Voss and Pelco.

Running parallel with Intersec is major conference programme presenting crucially important information about contemporary security, fire and safety issues. In fact, the programme is so up to date it includes valuable but alarming case studies gleaned from experiences such as the catastrophic terrorist attacks as recent as the London bombings in July.

Featuring acclaimed specialists such as Andrew Trotter QPM, Deputy Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, Frank Cruthers, First Deputy Commissioner of the New York Fire Department, and Simon Ancliffe of Evacuation Strategies, the programme is a 'must see' event.

Intersec is being produced with the support and co-operation of many local government departments, including His Excellency Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamin, Commander in Chief of Dubai Police and Colonel Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence.

According to Imke Huelsmann, Intersec's show manager, "the growth and success of Intersec is attributable to the increased number of international companies recognising the opportunities that exist in the Gulf area. Most GCC countries have major projects underway that require increased attention to security and safety needs," she said. "Many of the show's visitors come from Africa where many countries are investing in new homeland security, border control projects and national ID Cards."

In recent years Intersec has established specialist sections reflecting these needs, particularly for Police, Fire and Health & Safety. These are represented in four specialist zones under the identities of MEPEC, MEFEC, MESH and MECSEC.

"MEPEC", the Middle East Police Exhibition & Conference, focuses on suppliers of products and services for the police force and homeland security, forensic equipment, biometrics, smart cards, armoured vehicles and C4I.

"MEFEC", the Middle East Fire Exhibition & Conference is the another core sector. It deals with civil defence and fire issues, attracting exhibitors with products such as fire trucks, emergency vehicles, smoke detectors, alarms, extinguishers and rescue equipment.

16. Today's America a burden on the future - ICH - By Manuel Valenzuela - [UK] - December 30, 2005
[This lengthy essay is too long to reproduce here. It offers a very pessimistic view concerning the use of security measures and other factors to restrict civil liberties and generally control the population.]
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17. The Story of Maher Arar: Unfolding US-Canada Police State - Center For Research on Globalization - December 29, 2005
[This lengthy chronology sets out the sequence of events relating to Maher Arar, beginning with his arrival at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on September 26, 2002, and ending with his October 5, 2003 release from Syrian prison. It is too long to reproduced here]
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18. APC Biometric Mouse Password Manager Review
by  André Gordirro - - Dec 29, 2005
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Combining a mouse with a biometric device seems like a no-brainer. Yet when APC first launched its Biometric Password Manager as a single device it didn’t hit us that it should be someday incorporated into a mouse shell. Now the company is releasing exactly that: a Biometric Mouse Password Manager (aka BioM34) that enables mouse usage, password management and file encryption in a single gadget.

The mouse per se would be a non-descript optical mouse if not for the sensor on its back that allows for fingerprint reading. Dull gray and with loud clicking buttons, the device is a somewhat big mouse that performs its regular functions well – including gaming (it was put through test on an online dispute of Battlefield 2).

The password management is on par with the previously released single unit Biometric Password Manager: it’s done by APC’s proprietary software, Omnipass. If you are a first time user, it will be a breeze to install and run it; however, if you own a previous version, be prepared for a bumpy ride.

Figure 1: The BioM34. -

Installation and Finger Recognition

If you have no previous version of the Omnipass software in your machine, just plug the mouse into an available USB port of your laptop or CPU tower and insert the software CD to begin the Omnipass installation. The program will then begin the process of “finger enrollment” – that is, the recognition of your chosen fingerprint to serve as your door to all websites and Windows applications. Just click on the finger of your choice and then place it on the scanner on top of the mouse. The software will then repeat the scanning eight times to unsure a flawless reading. OmniPass can register up to 20 different users or individual fingerprints.

Figure 2: Fingerprint selection.-

This process is all very simple and intuitive. However if you do have a previous version of the Omnipass software, it will not be that simple. First, you have to uninstall the old version – the new one doesn’t just upgrade over it. This is a drag because you have to remember to export your old profile (to a folder of your choise, or even the desktop area) – otherwise you’ll loose the bunch of passwords you’ve already registered with Omnipass. In our case the uninstall feature had a few problems and we had to reinstall the old version of the software just so we could then uninstall it. It was very, very frustrating.

The frustration just increased when we tried to import the old version’s profile: a conflict arose between the new registration we’ve had to do when installing the software and the profile import. The headache reached such a peak that we started the installation all over again, this time dismissing the old profile import and deciding to loose the passwords we previously had registered. It was an acceptable loss due to such dire straits.

Password Registering and Browser Issues

Once you enrolled a finger, it’s time to run programs and visit websites that ask you to log in. The OmniPass instantly recognizes a password field and asks if you’d like to enter that particular username and password into the database. It works beautifully – if you are an Internet Explorer user. If you run Mozilla’s Firefox, however, you’re lost in the woods. The Omnipass doesn’t support Firefox, although APC has promised that this will change in the near future. If you are a Firefox advocate, you should leave browsing password-requiring websites (like Ebay, Hotmail etc) to Internet Explorer to fully enjoy the features of your Biometric Mouse.

Figure 3: Password registering.-

By clicking on the software system-tray icon you can access the application controls. There you can manage users, enroll new fingers and also chance settings. You can even change identities – multiple same user accounts – so you can access passwords for work-related and leisure time-related websites, for instance. To switch identities, just select the one you’d like to use when you log in to OmniPass. The application allows as many identities as the user wishes it.

Encrypting Files and Folders

Besides managing passwords, the Biometric Mouse also allows users to encrypt and decrypt Windows files and folders. The OmniPass software adds encryption options to the right-click menu in Windows. Encryption adds a .opf extension to each file – so if you ever move the data to a PC or laptop that doesn’t have the OmniPass software installed, they cannot be decrypted. And be sure to decrypt all of your data if you ever uninstall the program.

You can choose from a list of cryptographic service providers (CSP) on the application settings. By default, RSA Data Security’s RC2 is selected.

Figure 4: Encryption selection.

Figure 5: Encrypted files.


    * Wired optical mouse with two buttons, scrolling wheel and fingerprint reader.
    * Weight: 0.4 lbs (180 grams)
    * Height: 1.6 inches (4 cm)
    * Width: 2.7 inches (6.8 cm)
    * Depth: 4.7 inches (12 cm)
    * Cord Length 6.00 feet (1.80 m)
    * Interface: USB 1.1
    * Average Price in the USA*: USD 50.00
    * More information:

* Researched on on the day we published this review.


Strong Points

    * Enables mouse usage, password management and file encryption in a single gadget.
    * Easy configuration and finger enrollment for first time users.
    * Never misread a fingerprint.
    * The encryption feature is a big plus.

Weak Points

    * Doesn’t support Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
    * Complicated upgrade from previous version of the software.
    * Conflicting import between saved old profile and the newly created one.

See also: APC Biometric Password Manager Review at

19. Press Release - Identix experiencing growing demand for biometric authentication systems with Fiscal 2006 orders exceeding $2.2 million
- SecureID News - December 29 2005
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Recent orders for its fingerprint readers totaling some $600,000 has biometric technology provider Identix optimistic about future demand for its authentication technology. Just half way into its fiscal year, the company is already ringing up $2.2 million in sales which, it says, are driven by the growing need for more secure access to companies' PCs, particularly in the banking and healthcare industries.

Receives New Purchase Orders Totaling Approximately $600,000 for Deployment of Fingerprint Biometric Authentication Solutions into Commercial & Enterprise Logical Access Markets

MINNETONKA, Minn.-- Identix Inc. said it continues to see solid demand for the company's biometric authentication technology in the commercial and enterprise space. During its fiscal 2006 year, which began July 1, 2005 and ends June 30, 2006, Identix has already received more than $2.2 million orders for deployments of its BioLogon authentication software and enabling BioEngine authentication technologies and accompanying single finger readers. Included in that total are the recent orders for biometric logical access solutions for the banking and healthcare markets, which have an aggregate value of approximately $600,000. Identix expects to recognize revenues from these new orders in its fiscal 2006 second and third quarters, ending December 31, 2005 and March 31, 2006, respectively.

Driven by the growing need for heightened security and the important requirement for better identification prior to granting access to PCs, company applications, and specific databases and company information, leading commercial entities are continuing to adopt biometric authentication solutions to safeguard sensitive information. Identix is experiencing growing demand for biometrically enabled logical access solutions in industries including banking, healthcare, and government agency enterprise, which often require employees to access particularly sensitive information.

"The benefits of biometric authentication for logical access in enterprise and commercial markets are being realized across the United States," said Identix President & CEO Dr. Joseph J. Atick. "Industries such as banking and healthcare, where there is an especially important requirement for the utmost confidentiality in accessing records stored in PC and network databases, are leading the way in recognizing the power of heightened security that biometrics can add to any logical access application. Our biometric solutions are easily integrated into existing workflows and help provide users with the confidence that only authorized individuals are accessing certain PCs and/or confidential records. We believe we may continue to see growing adoption and deployment of biometric solutions throughout the commercial and enterprise arena and are confident that Identix is well positioned to capitalize on this prospective area of growth."

About BioLogon
Providing fingerprint and password support and designed to integrate seamlessly into a network's OS for central administration, configuration and maintenance of user account and security policies, BioLogon offers complete multi-factor authentication solution. BioLogon accepts multiple user account login methods, including biometrics and PIN combinations, enabling increased security, lower administrative costs, and added convenience.

About Identix Incorporated
Identix Inc. is the world's leading multi-biometric technology company. Identix provides fingerprint, facial and skin biometric technologies, as well as systems, and critical system components that empower the identification of individuals in large-scale ID and ID management programs. The Company's offerings include live scan systems and services for biometric data capture, mobile systems for on-the-spot ID, and backend standards-based modules and software components for biometric matching and data mining. Identix products are used to conduct background checks, speed travel and commerce via secure identification documents, prevent identity fraud in large-scale government and civil ID programs, and control access to secure areas and networks. With a global network of partners, such as leading system integrators, defense prime contractors and OEMs, Identix serves a broad range of markets including government, law enforcement, gaming, finance, travel, transportation, corporate enterprise and healthcare.

More information on Identix can be accessed via the company's web site,

20. Press Release - Bioscrypt, HID and OMNIKEY team to develop a door-to-desktop card solution -  December 29 2005
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A multi-factor authentication product co-developed by Bioscrypt, HID, and OMNIKEY, will support fingerprint biometrics, contact and contactless smart cards, proximity cards, common passwords and USB tokens tokens, virtually eliminating a company's need for multi-credentials.

Bioscrypt VeriSoft Access Manager Enables HID iCLASS and Prox Cards, in Combination with OMNIKEY CardMan Readers, to be the Authentication Tool for Access to Facilities and Computers

TORONTO-- Bioscrypt Inc., a leading provider of identity verification technology, HID Corporation, the premier manufacturer of access control cards and readers, and OMNIKEY, one of the world's leading manufacturers of innovative smart card readers, announced today that VeriSoft Access Manager will be the authentication software application that allows cards to be used for access control to facilities and computers.

With the introduction of VeriSoft Access Manager, Bioscrypt has delivered a software application to market that promotes multi-factor authentication, supporting fingerprint biometrics, contact and contactless smart cards, proximity cards, common passwords, USB tokens, virtual tokens and Trusted Platform Modules (TPM).

The inherent flexibility of the VeriSoft Access Manager application permits organizations to unify user identities across the enterprise with the authentication standard of their choice. In collaborating with OMNIKEY and HID, an integrated solution has been developed that provides off-the-shelf support for HID iCLASS contactless smart cards and Prox cards for identity verification on computers.

"Bioscrypt is committed to providing the solution for secure access control across the corporate enterprise whether to protect physical assets or assets that reside within the information technology network," said Robert L. Williams, President and CEO of Bioscrypt. "The inherent flexibility of VeriSoft Access Manager offers organizations a choice of authentication methods, whether it is single or multi-factor and we look forward to working with OMNIKEY and HID in support of card based user verification."

OMNIKEY CardMan(R) readers are economical PC-linked desktop readers that help end-users to experience the convenience, speed, and security of HID iCLASS or prox technology for desktop applications including log-on to Windows(R), networks, web sites, and applications as well as the secure storage of user names, passwords, and personal information.

"We are seeing that organizations are looking for ways to consolidate the number of credentials required by their staff while maintaining if not improving security," said Kurt Schmid, Chief Executive Officer of OMNIKEY. "Specifically, companies are looking for ways to eliminate the need for multiple credentials such as passwords. The combined Bioscrypt/OMNIKEY/HID solution offers a single credential for enterprise wide access control."

Bioscrypt initially began working with HID in May of 2002 with the introduction of iCLASS technology in Veri-Series readers. Using HID's iCLASS technology, users can read the unique serial number from their iCLASS card and can read/write to the non-HID application area. The read/write feature allows users to store passwords and other data associated with the implementation of computer access. Information can be securely encrypted and stored on the iCLASS card and then submitted automatically for use with the appropriate applications.

"We are pleased that Bioscrypt's newest offering, VeriSoft Access Manager, will allow end-users to use their HID iCLASS or proximity card at the door and at the desktop," says Holly Sacks, Executive Vice President of Marketing for HID. "This type of Innovation promotes the fact that use of a single card for both physical and logical access control is much more convenient and secure for both the enterprise and the user."

With VeriSoft Access manager, users simply present their iCLASS card to an RFID-enabled CardMan reader to unlock the power of their iCLASS or prox card at the desktop! For end-users who currently use iCLASS contactless smart cards or HID prox for building access, as a corporate or student ID, or for transit or cashless vending applications, CardMan RFID-enabled readers are the ideal solution for securing access to Windows and the Internet world.

OMNIKEY, one of the world leading manufacturers of innovative smart card readers, offers the most diversified product portfolio available on the market today. Having established a tight collaboration with key decision makers in the card manufacturing and software industries, OMNIKEY sits at the table of innovation. OMNIKEY's smart card readers for PCs can be utilized by any application including logical access control, digital signature, GSM authentication, secure banking and online transactions, loyalty programs, and healthcare solutions. OMNIKEY, headquartered in Walluf, near Wiesbaden (Germany), is part of the ASSA ABLOY Identification Technology Group (ITG). OMNIKEY's regional offices for North and South America reside in Irvine, California with technical support in Atlanta, Georgia. The Asian Pacific operation is located in Hong Kong. Design, production management, and quality control of OMNIKEY's products are carried out in the company's two R&D centers in Linz, Austria and Erfurt, Germany. OMNIKEY readers are distributed worldwide through a global network of partners, including value added resellers, system integrators, and OEMs. For more information, visit the OMNIKEY Web site at

About HID Corporation
HID is the premier global supplier of contactless access control cards and readers for the security industry. With over 250 million credentials (cards, fobs and keys) in use worldwide, HID leads the industry in 13.56 MHz and 125 kHz RFID card and reader technology for a wide range of applications including access control, IT secure authentication, time and attendance, digital cash/cashless vending, automotive vehicle identification, and biometric verification. HID's award-winning product line includes iCLASS(R) 13.56 MHz contactless smart cards and readers, 125 kHz proximity, magnetic stripe, and Wiegand technology cards and readers as well as the recently introduced VertX(TM) CS central station managed access controllers. The company also provides specialized card manufacturing services including custom preprinted graphics, micro printing and anti-counterfeiting elements, holograms or ultraviolet ink for increased card security. HID's corporate offices are located in Irvine, California, with international offices supporting more than 100 countries. The company is part of the ASSA ABLOY Identification Technology Group. To learn more, please visit

About Bioscrypt Inc.
Bioscrypt Inc. is a leading provider of identity verification technology. The Company's solutions combine the convenience of touch with the high security of fingerprint-based biometrics for simple and secure access to facilities, equipment and information. Using the "bioscrypt on board(TM)" brand, the Company offers packaged products, OEM components and software licensing to leading security solution manufacturers and integrators worldwide for physical, wireless and network security applications. Among the many leading edge companies and partners using Bioscrypt technology are the U.S. Army, NASA, American Express, the New York Police Department, Kronos, NATO, Continental Airlines, Intel, Atmel, HID Corporation, Honeywell and Northern Computers. Bioscrypt's patented technology is interoperable with leading fingerprint sensors and is both platform and operating system independent. Bioscrypt is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol BYT. For more information, visit the Bioscrypt Web site at


21. Press Release - What big eyes you have...the better to hear you with - Infrared communications system lets binoculars transmit sound. - - Dec 29, 2005
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Public release date: 29-Dec-2005

Contact: Colin Babb
Office of Naval Research

The six ships, one submarine, and more than 5,500 Sailors and Marines of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG)-1 are getting the chance to test and evaluate a new low cost, low power, optical communications system. The Office of Naval Research supported development of four prototype systems, called LightSpeed, that use infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to communicate point to point.

The prototypes easily attach to current handheld and "Big Eyes" binoculars to allow transmission of digital voice over a range of two to five nautical miles, and could be used for communication between ships at sea and platforms in the air and on the ground. LightSpeed operates outside the radio frequency spectrum and has essentially unlimited bandwidth. Efforts are under way with Naval Network Warfare Command to seek approval of optical transmission of full motion video and data at 1Mb/s.

Torrey Pines Logic, Inc. (San Diego), has been working on LightSpeed technology since 2002, and came to the Navy's attention in 2003 when Commander Gisele Bonitz of ESG-1 first saw it demonstrated. When Bonitz wondered if LightSpeed could be used on ships, her command's science advisor encouraged her to contact ONR's Tech Solutions office, which runs a website through which Sailors and Marines can ask for--and suggest--solutions to technology challenges (

In 2004, Torrey Pines began receiving ONR funding through Tech Solutions for prototype development, and also through its Information, Electronics, and Surveillance Science and Technology Department to develop an advanced beamsplitter. The company now receives Tech Solutions funding for advanced prototype development and field testing, with project management provided by SPAWAR Systems Center in Charleston, S.C.

LightSpeed can be attached to any optical device and offers simultaneous voice and data transmission; eye-safe, secure communication; and an ultimate range up to the horizon. These benefits could outweigh limiting factors such as necessity of maintaining line of sight and degraded performance in dense fog.

Initial applications will focus on vessel boarding search and seizure communications to pass biometric data back to ship, as well as ship communications during "radio blackout" situations. LightSpeed technology is also being considered for submarine communications with aircraft, explosive ordnance disposal communications, unassisted UAV landing/surveillance, flight deck personnel/asset tracking and communications, and convoy communications.


22. Immigration czar faces court backlog order - By Shaun Waterman - Monsters and - Dec 29, 2005
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WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- The Senate has confirmed the president`s nominee to head the U.S. agency that naturalizes immigrants -- just in time for him to face a federal court order to speed up the issuance of Green Cards.

In a statement this week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff welcomed the confirmation of Emilio Gonzalez as the new director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the part of the Department of Homeland Security charged with overseeing the process by which immigrants become U.S. nationals.

But last week, a federal court ordered Gonzalez`s agency to start giving out Green Cards to about 6000 people the immigration courts had awarded legal permanent resident status to, but who had so far been denied documentation, in some cases for several years.

Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued the injunction to enforce a ruling she made in August, when she found the agency`s failure to issue documentation in a timely manner to be arbitrary and capricious, and in violation of its non-discretionary duties.

She blamed the bureau`s \'Byzantine organizational structure and antique computer systems.\'

\'You have a paper records-based system where an official cannot take any action on a case unless the actual file is on his desk,\' Javier Maldonado, one of the attorneys that won the injunction in a class action lawsuit told United Press International.

As a result, legal residents were left in limbo -- unable to work legally, or travel abroad sometimes for months or years -- while officials attempted to marshal the necessary documentation.

Maldonado is executive director of the Texas Lawyers` Committee, a non-profit that advocates for immigrants and refugees throughout the state of Texas.

He said that most of the people on whose behalf the suit was filed had been in deportation proceedings, which they had fought by successfully gaining legal permanent resident status -- normally on the basis of family ties or marriage to a U.S. citizen.

But he said officials at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services often didn`t recognize the court`s ruling -- or could not obtain the necessary documentation of it. \'The right hand doesn`t know what the left hand is doing,\' he said.

According to court papers, the bureau has abandoned the pre-Sept. 11 practice of issuing temporary documentation -- like a passport stamp -- to legal permanent residents, citing the superior security of the new biometrically-encoded, machine readable Green Card.

Bureau Spokesman Chris Bentley told UPI that the agency could not comment on the matter, because it is considering whether to appeal, but in court papers, it has said that national security considerations mean officials should not have to meet any deadlines for issuing Green Cards.

Until the permanent resident`s file, paperwork from the court, background check information and biometric data like fingerprints are all in one place, officials have argued, it is not possible to ensure the integrity of the system and guard against possible efforts by terrorists and other malefactors to game the naturalization process.

The judge called these arguments \'illogical and unacceptably vague as a legal justification for withholding documentation.\'

She also pointed out that the agency outsourced all its biometric data collection, creating another crack into which documents could drop, delaying the process further.

Janice Kephart, a counsel to the Sept. 11 commission who has testified before Congress several times on national security and immigration issues said the case highlighted the department`s failure to develop the technology that the bureau needed.

The case was \'Ridiculous ... an embarrassment,\' she said.<!--page-->

\'This has got to be the last time that (Citizenship and Immigration Services) gets its knuckles rapped for not having an electronic records system,\' she said.

Kephart, now a private sector security consultant who wrote a study this year of the use of immigration benefits by terrorists, calls the bureau staff reviewing applications for U.S. citizenship and residency \'our last line of defense.\'

The administration \'has to get a grip on the (technology) issue,\' she said.

Gonzalez faces a heavy in-tray at the bureau, which has come under fire recently on Capitol Hill where conservatives have criticized it for issuing Green Cards and other immigration benefits without conducting sufficiently rigorous background checks -- more or less the opposite of what the California court castigated it for last week.

He will also oversee the task of re-designing the naturalization test -- the ticklish and politically sensitive task of deciding what those who want to become Americans need to know before they can be granted citizenship.

Tuesday`s statement from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was confident Gonzalez, confirmed Dec. 21, \'will be a valuable asset and knowledgeable partner, leading (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) in exciting new programs to improve customer service, enhance national security, and eliminate the immigration caseload backlog.\'

Gonzalez, 48, is a Cuban-American, like his predecessor at the agency who left in June to be ambassador to Spain, Eduardo Aguirre.

According to the Miami Herald, Gonzalez`s family left Cuba in 1961, the year Fidel Castro proclaimed the \'socialist character\' of the revolution there -- and the year Cuban exiles, trained and financed by the CIA staged the disastrous and bungled invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the island`s southern coast.

Gonzalez, four years old, left Cuba aboard a ship carrying Catholic priests and nuns expelled by the Castro government, the paper reported. He became a U.S. citizen five years later.

Gonzalez is a 26-year veteran of the military, whose career included postings to the U.S. Embassies in El Salvador and Mexico, and culminated as a special assistant to Gen. Peter Pace, then in charge of U.S. Southern Command.

In 2002, he became director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the White House`s National Security Council, but left in July 2003 to work for Tew Cardenas, a big Washington law firm.

Supporters tout his military service national security credentials. Critics have questioned his lack of any legal or immigration background.

23. Casinos leery of biometrics, new pay systems - BY VALERIE MILLER - Las Vegas Business Review Press - Dec 27, 2005
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Don't expect to be using that contactless credit card on your next visit to a Las Vegas casino. While 7-Elevens and McDonald's may let you pay for Big Gulps and Big Macs by waving your cards, the gaming industry isn't betting on its success just yet.

Some 3.5 million contactless cards are already in circulation but casinos have been hesitant to tackle the swipe-less systems, even though they have often embraced other computerized technologies.

Likewise, another high-tech form of identification -- using a customer's fingerprint in lieu of a card -- is not likely to be smudging the digits of high rollers anytime soon.

The gaming industry has been slow to adopt these new-fangled payment systems for a number of reasons but start up costs head the list.

Initially, the traditional credit-card machines would have to be swapped for the new readers. Another added expense for casinos would be the need to replace their popular players' cards (Chase's Blink or MasterCard PayPass are the industry contactless cards leaders), said Joe McDonald, the chairman of the Gaming and Wagering Protection Council for the Washington, D.C.-based American Society for Industrial Security.

"To replace player rewards cards, you are probably talking about $5 per card, and then you look at somebody walking through a casino who drops 20 cards on the floor. You have to replace their cards. And to change out the reader, you are probably talking $75 per machine," said McDonald, who is based in Las Vegas.

The innovative cards could be redundant if used for gamblers, he adds. Important marketing information, such as demographics and amount of play, are already tracked by resorts' rewards systems. The contactless payment system involves the customer holding the card one to two inches from the electronic reader, which detects the pertinent data and transmits the credit-card transaction via radio frequency identification.

The biometric identification/payment method requires customers to place their index finger in an electronic reader, which can identify the patron from unique points on the extremity. The users enter their phone number or zip code and select the account to which the payment will be debited, providing they're already in the data base.

Harrah's Entertainment has delved into fingerprint biometrics for some back-office functions, including cash rooms, but like most of the industry, has limited the technology to employee use. The gaming giant does have the biometric Automated Cash Machine (ACM), which employs facial recognition for check cashing, at its Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino and Las Vegas properties. After an initial facial scan using a small screen on the ATM, patrons can cash checks using any Visage ACM without the assistance of a cashier.

ATM owner Global Cash Access describes the machine as a "cash dispensing virtual cashier," and its executive vice president of domestic and international sales, Diran Kludjian, sees many pluses for gaming use. "A lot of times, people max out their ATM limit at $250 or $300, but the check limit is $500, and there are a lot of people who are [still] check writers who don't want to use ATMs."

Despite reports to the contrary, Caesars Palace was not going to implement fingerprint recognition in lieu of room keys at its new tower, stated Tim Stanley, Harrah's Entertainment chief information officer.

"We don't use it for consumers for two reasons. For one, (casino) customers have a natural animosity to giving their fingerprint. In Las Vegas, that doesn't play," he said. "The second issue is that most of the stuff has several steps that you might have to go through to make it work. It doesn't always work, and most of this fingerprinting stuff has a Big Brother feel to it."

Image problems could impede the use of biometrics for casino patrons, concurred Avivah Litan, an analyst for the Connecticut-based Gartner Group. "The cons are that gambling tends to be an anonymous activity and people might be reluctant to give their fingerprints," she said. "Fingerprints are very invasive from a privacy point of view. I wouldn't imagine that anything invasive would be a big selling point for a casino."

"There are a lot of people who don't want to be known as checking into hotels," McDonald said. "You know, 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.'"

However, according to Curtis Arnold of, a consumer credit card information site, there could be an upside to contactless technology. "Studies have shown that cardholders using the technology spend more," he said.

While a secure transaction is an issue because it's done via radio waves, Harrah's Stanley worries about the implications of using credit card-equivalent cards for player rewards. "The chips in the cards are costly and casino customers tend to lose things a lot," he said. "Right now, if you lose a rewards card, the only thing somebody else can do is add points to the card."

The Golden Nugget's vice president of marketing, Dan Shumny, speculates that casinos may be slow to embrace the newest technology because they are simply going through a technological overload as it is.

"My feeling is that casinos lag behind other industries when it comes to technology. We have so many systems in place and we are trying to make those work," he said. "You have to have educated people running them."


24. Blown away by new technology - By Selma Milovanovic - The Age [Australia] -  December 30, 2005
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Prison officer Graham Mauldon is checked by the new scanner at the Melbourne Assessment Prison
Photo: Andrew de la Rue [Photos omitted]

HIGH-TECH scanners that detect tiny particles of drugs and explosives are the new tool in fighting contraband in Victoria's maximum security prisons.

The first of the $300,000 walk-in scanners — the most modern in Australia — went into service yesterday at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, checking visitors for 40 types of drugs and 40 explosive substances.

Visitors entering the prison will be checked by the Ionscan Sentinel II, which blows puffs of air over each body, releasing the residue of any narcotics or explosives attached to the skin, hair or clothes. The scanner takes eight seconds to analyse the particles. If any contraband is found, the machine alerts authorities and snaps a digital photograph of the person being scanned.

The scanner will also soon be introduced at the new remand prison in Ravenhall and at the Barwon Prison.

"We find that people are finding more sophisticated ways of trying to bring contraband into prisons," Corrections Minister Tim Holding said. And, as the state's maximum security prisons now housed accused terrorists and suspected gangland killers, a greater security level was needed to ensure the safety of prisoners and their visitors.

New biometric iris scanning technology was also introduced at the Melbourne Assessment Prison on Christmas Day.

Visitors' eyes are scanned as they enter and exit to ensure the people leaving the prison are the same as those who come in.

The security upgrades come after the instances of white powder substances entering prisons more than doubled in the last financial year.

The most common items seized from prison visitors are cannabis, heroin, speed, syringes and other drug paraphernalia. Weapons, drugs and items such as a tattoo needle hidden in a bar of soap and a razor blade stuck to a toothbrush were among some of the 1243 items seized last year.

Drugs were also found on children, concealed in women's hair or in the tips of pointy shoes.

"Over the last five or six years our system has made massive inroads to decrease the amount of drugs in our prison system but they still get in, in small quantities," said Trevor Craig, general manager of south-east region prisons. "Machines like this technology will obviously decrease that even further."

The new machines follow security upgrades at the MAP and Barwon Prison and the introduction of more X-ray and metal scanning equipment. Since 2002, prison officers have also doubled the number of searches conducted on visitors.

25. 2006 i-Technology Predictions: SYS-CON's Annual Round-Up of Techno-Prognostications - Software Development Activists, Evangelists, Gurus, and Executives Speak Out - By Jeremy Geelan - SysCon Technology - Dec 31, 2005
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According to SYS-CON Media's worldwide network of software development activists, evangelists and executives - including the creator of Ruby on Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson  - 2006 promises to be a vintage year for software development...

Take Microsoft, for example: A new client OS is on the way, Microsoft Vista, due late in 2006, giving rise to the obvious question: will the new cool 3D user interface be enough to move user to upgrade? We’ll see. Maybe the new built-in security, performance features, and integrated search will be enough to convince users – after all, why go to the Web if built-in web-enabled services and integrated information search allow the Web to come to you?

Or consider the world of PDA Devices. Everyone is looking for the next killer Palm or BlackBerry.  But are they looking in the right direction for the next killer PDA? What about unexpected places – for example Nintendo?  Check out the new Nintendo DS: could you imagine it running Pocket PC or Palm OS? That would make a very cool gadget. And what about iPod, have you seen the new iTunes-enabled Cingular Phone? It could be closer than you think.

On the pages which follow you will find the collected wisdom of some of the most acute prognosticators in the industry. As always with JDJ and SYS-CON Media, we ask not pundits and sideline commentators but activists, folks whose connection with software development and/or the software industry is daily, intense, and driven by real-world concerns of ROI and the business case for innovation, not just innovation for innovation’s sake.

As ever, please don’t hesitate let us have your own thoughts. “None of us is as smart as all of us,” they say, a philosophy that has even spawned a book*. We will publish a round-up of Readers’ Predictions in the February issue of Java Developer's Journal.

Let’s begin this year’s round-up with the predictions for 2006 of Mitchell Kertzman, now at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners but still famous for having been the founder and CEO of Powersoft, which merged with Sybase in February 1995. When someone with over 30 years of experience as a CEO of public and private software companies tips LAMP, for example,  it lends a certain credence to an already strong trend that we have sought to cover in SYS-CON Media’s various publications such as LinuxWorld Magazine and over at
MITCHELL KERTZMAN: AJAX, LAMP, Virtualization, SaaS, Open Source

Since I’m in venture capital now, I try to put my (and others’) money where my mouth is, so my predictions will tend to match up with my portfolio.
In no particular order:

1.  Rich application interfaces, including (but not exclusively) AJAX.  Enterprise developers/IT managers have finally realized that the browser interface was a step backward to the 3270 and forms mode. That was good enough for a while, but not anymore.
2.  LAMP in the enterprise. If you follow my portfolio company, ActiveGrid, you’ll find one of the leaders of the J2EE app server market now offering a far easier to build and less-expensive to deploy platform.
3.  Virtualization. With three strong virtualization platforms (VMWare, Microsoft Virtual Server and XenSource) now available, there will be more and more software products built not on traditional hardware/software platforms, but on virtualized platforms. Check out Akimbi Systems, which provides a very exciting application for QA and test in the enterprise.
4.  2006 will be the year of acceptance of the importance of roles in the whole world of identity management and provisioning. Bridgestream is the leader in role management integrating with the leaders in identity management, directory services and provisioning.
5.  The two trends that will not be new for 2006 but which will continue their growth are Software as a Service (SaaS) or on-demand software and Open Source, which continues to find acceptance in the enterprise.

Our second prognosticator is David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Rails a.k.a. Ruby on Rails, who will be joining Jesse James Garrett on the faculty of SYS-CON's pioneering "Real-World AJAX" One-Day Seminar on March 13, 2006 in New York City. Just like Kertzman, Heinemeier put AJAX center-stage in his predictions, which culminate with a No. 5 reflecting a lively sense of end-of-year humor.


1. The most important business applications will be hosted. Companies with more leg in the 21st than the 20th century will be running their most important applications online. The business won’t identify with Office or Windows, but with applications like Basecamp and GMail. It’ll become a legitimate question to ask why non-tech companies would bother running their own infrastructure.

2. AJAX becomes the rule, not the exception. Most new web-applications will launch with varying degrees of AJAX usage. Those that doesn’t will be berated for it and quickly scramble to do it by version 1.1. This will put more pressure on development environments to support AJAXdevelopment in their core. Those that doesn’t will lose mindshare.

3. Tags will shed cool, but gain prevalence. We will stop to notice the use of tagging by its presence and start being annoyed by its absence. All new collaboration, organization, and management tools will employ tags as a standard part of how things are done.

4. “Enterprise” follows “legacy” to the standard dictionary of insults favored by software creators and users. Enterprise software vendors’ costs will continue to rise while the quality of their software continues to drop. There will be a revolt by the people who use the software (they want simple, slim, easy-to-use tools) against the people who buy the software (they want a fat feature list that’s dressed to impress). This will cause Enterprise vendors to begin hemorrhaging customers to simpler, lower-cost solutions that do 80% of what their customers really need (the remaining 20% won’t justify the 10x -100x cost of the higher priced enterprise software “solutions”). By the end of 2006 it will be written that Enterprise means bulky, expensive, dated, and golf.

5. Ruby on Rails achieves world-wide mindshare domination. Ruby book sales jumps another 500%, half the new Web 2.0’ish companies launch using Rails, RailsConf sells 400 seats in record time, three major companies announce baked-in support or services for Rails, and all major vendors dealing with web-technology starts talking about how they will either work with Rails or put their own stack “on Rails.”
* James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations
Our next set of predictions comes from Jim Milbery, CTO for Chicago Growth Partners in Chicago, with thirty-plus companies under his wing (.NET, Java, ColdFusion, Python – “you name it,” as he says). He also acts as the “virtual CTO” for a number of companies in his portfolio.

JIM MILBERY: SANs, AJAX, Web 2.0, Blog consolidation, InfoSec

1. Data Storage – The proliferation of blogs, the raw size of XML documents (and everything is XML these days) are going to drive us to a new emphasis on storage (SANs in particular).

2. AJAX everywhere – IE gets new life out of the proliferation of AJAX. More high-profile sites are going to adopt AJAX as a means of extending the life of the browser in the near term. We may even see the return of some application-development tools around AJAX (something more than just component libraries).

3. Dashboard apps – Even with the proliferation of AJAX we are going to see a serious rise in client-specific apps that are based on Web 2.0 technologies – think iTunes.

4. Blogging acid-reflux – The massive interest in blogging continues to rise, but reliance and confidence in individual blogs sags – high-profile blogs that are industry-specific begin to dominate and provide a bit of “editing” to the process.

5. William Strunk Jr. rolls over in his grave – The illustrious author of The Elements of Style officially rolls over in his grave. I thought that basic writing skills were bad as seen in e-mail documents, but blogging takes things to a whole new level of poor grammar and punctuation.

6. Information Security - We start to get serious about protecting applications during the coding process – not just as an afterthought.
No exercise of this sort would be complete without the predictions of IONA Technologies CTO, Eric Newcomer - blogger and SYS-CON.TV pundit. Here they are:

ERIC NEWCOMER: Semantic Web, SOA, Standards, Open Source, AJAX

1. Several of us who have been saying for years that the Semantic Web has no commercial value will be proven wrong, although it still seems unlikely that technologies such as RDF and OWL-S will really do everything people think they will.

2. The distributed processing architecture for SOA infrastructure will gain adoption over the hub-and-spoke architecture, which is just too limiting and expensive compared to the more flexible and cost effective distributed approach.

3. The OASIS WS-Transactions specs will be completed during 2006 as stated in the WS-TX TC charter.

4. Customers will begin to push harder than ever for real software standards, in increasing recognition of the comparatively higher costs of doing business in a proprietary world.

5. The open source world will become recognized as a source of innovation, not just the commoditization of existing ideas. The open source world doesn’t suffer from the kind of organizational inertia that can inhibit innovation behind closed doors.

6. AJAX will become established as the solution for “browsers for SOA” but it will not solve the problem of how you access all the data still contained in legacy environments, which still need to be service enabled – with their mission critical qualities of service preserved.

Next up is Alan Williamson, Technology Evangelist for SpikeSource and distinguished former editor-in-chief of JDJ – as well as chief architect of BlueDragon:
ALAN WILLIAMSON: Java, BitTorrent, Googlecrash, Adobe, IE
Here are my modest predictions for 2006:
1. Java has been in the dark for the last few years, its time to come back around again is here. Sun has some interesting initiatives in the pipeline.
2. The movie industry will wake up to BitTorrent (and the likes) and actually figure out a way to utilize this revolution instead of trying to close it down. You can’t push back the tide. The BBC is going to be launching BBC2 as the first broadband television channel in 2006.
3. Google shares fall or even crash. Everything that goes up has to come down and contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the biggest player on the Internet and people will start distrusting them as Microsoft and Yahoo! crank up their offerings.
4. In fear of Microsoft Vista (and AJAX), Adobe will offer all Flash development tools for free which will result in a major surge in adoption.
5. IE7 will probably more than likely eclipse FireFox again.

>From Alan Williamson we move to another uber geek, Danny Ayers – technical author, Semantic Web developer and blogger, who “got rather carried away,” as he put it. But his ten predictions all have an uncanny ring of truth to them.
DANNY AYERS: SOA, REST, Single Sign-On, SemWeb, iComm, Structured Blogging
1. A consortium will identify and strongly promote a subset of the WS-* stack, leading to an acceleration in the growth of SOA. Meantime there will be a significant increase in deployment of purely REST-based services. HTTP will be sexy again.
2. IBM, Sun and Oracle will announce a joint identity management initiative, with Google’s single sign-on being the leading competitor.
3. The rebranding of the Semantic Web as “Semantic Technologies” and “Web of Data” will enable previously dismissive pundits to hype it as the Next Big Thing. There will be real growth in these areas, but not as yet meteoric. Yahoo! will reveal its answer to Google Base, built using Semantic Web technologies. Nokia will join VoIP to the Semantic Web.
4. Mobile devices will become still more sophisticated and more ubiquitous. There will be a growth in “base station” software and smarter notification and synchronization between the desktop/LAN and mobile device. Apple will explode onto the mobile phone market with their iComm, which will include a new user interface paradigm and make Star Trek noises.
5. Support for RSS in Microsoft Vista and Internet Explorer 7 will be indistinguishable from Windows 95’s Active Channels following the company’s removal of new features due to security concerns. There will be massive growth in enterprise-oriented knowledge management systems based on RSS and Atom. There will be a new generation of RSS/Atom aggregators exploiting data published using XHTML microformats and Structured Blogging.
6. Traditional search engines will increasingly be augmented with metadata-based directed query capabilities, initially driven by keyword tagging, but increasingly with reference to “Semantic Technologies.” Social networks will become a factor.
7. A new market in commodity packages combining data storage and protocol support will begin to appear. These packages will allow plug-in scalability and cross-system synchronization, with implementations being built variously on Grid architectures, Atom Stores, general XML stores and RDF triplestores. Google will release a boxed Data Appliance Solution, with replication on their own servers.
8. Service mash-ups will become increasingly sophisticated, with microcompanies able to compete head-on with the big companies’ portals.
9. While advertising will become more sophisticated in its targeting, user attention tracking will lead to other revenue sources becoming more attractive, and the feedback loop from online opinions to product development in the real world will begin to close. Market research will begin to counterbalance search engine optimization as the road to fortunes.
10. A clear divide will appear between companies which approach the Web in a participatory fashion and those which produce 21st century networked version of the shrink-wrap product. The continuing growth of open source will drive the companies in the latter group to attempt increasingly desperate measures to counter the decline in their revenue. More ridiculous patents will be granted, existing ones will be stretched to the limit in courts. Lawyers will make lots of money.
J P Morgenthal, managing partner for the IT consultancy Avorcor and the author of Enterprise Information Integration: A Pragmatic Approach, is as usual very forthright in his foresight:
J P MORGENTHAL: VPMNs, AJAX, VoIP Phones, SaaS, Semantic Technologies

 1. Private mail networks:  With people getting slammed I believe we will see the rise of VPMN (Virtual Private Mail Networks).  Essentially, these are analogous to VPNs, allowing private network traffic run over the public backbone. They use common SMTP protocols to deliver mail, but unless you have permission to send mail to the recipient the mail will be rejected.

2. AJAX: We will see the rise of even stronger support for more powerful portable client-based applications based on Web protocols.

3. Composite Applications: With the rise of SOA and BPM, it’s going to get even easier to develop applications that require less low-level coding skills and which are more flexible and can respond faster to changes in business.

4.  VoIP Phones: Advancements and growth in high bandwidth wireless networking means that wireless devices will be IP addressable, which means that the next wave of phones will leverage the public Internet for phone communications and common WAN/LAN. Windows CE and Palm devices will be able to provide voice services. Gone are the days of buying a phone dedicated to a single network provider.

5.  Self-publishing: Garth Brooks & Wal-Mart, LuLu, MusikMafia. These names all represent a rise in successful self-publishing. Book, magazines, music are all media that are being self-published over the Internet. Soon, this will be expanding to software as Software as a Service (SaaS) becomes more popular.

6.  Metadata:  Metadata is finally being recognized as a critical enterprise asset. It’s now being managed properly and leveraged for its properties for automation.

7.  Semantic Technologies: People and organizations are finally starting see the value in being able to describe data in context and defining the relationships between data.  Semantic technologies enhance and extend the basic power realized by relational database technologies to data anywhere in the world.

JDJ’s Enterprise Editor, Yakov Fain, has ten predictions, several of them directly involving Java.

YAKOV FAIN: Java 5.1, AJAX, “CSMB,” Outsourcing, Yahoo!
1.    Enterprises will finally start using Java 5.  The sooner 5.1 version is released the better.

2.    AJAX hype will calm down. AJAX is an interesting technology, and  will become one of many techniques used in  Web applications development. Nothing more.

3.    Fat clients will be more widely used in distributed enterprise applications. Java still has a chance to be used in this area,  if someone will create an IDE with an easy to use and powerful Swing GUI designer.  JDeveloper and  NetBeans are leading here.  Adobe (formerly Macromedia) tools will become more and more popular.

4.    Smart development managers will start creating mixed open-source/commercial environments. For example, you can use open source J2EE servers in Dev and QA and their commercial counterparts in Prod and Contingency environment. The same is applicable to DBMS, messaging et al. Some open source vendors are already moving in this direction by creating products that are 100% compatible with particular commercial tools.

5.    A new software architecture  for small and mid-size businesses should arise.  IMHO a good candidate is what I call "Client-Server Message Bus"  (CSMB). A set of client server applications can talk to each other using open source messaging and an enterprise service bus. Note: client-server applications can have more than two tiers, i.e. RMI client, RMI Server and DBMS.

6.    Programming will become the trade of the younger generation. Middle-age programmers will be leaving the coding arena and moving to  business analysis and management. You can't beat a 25-year-old Indian programmer who's ready to join any  project tomorrow (in any place on Earth)  sharing a room in so called guest apartment. The code quality of such a programmer may not be as good as was expected by the employer, but this will be a little secret  for some time, and smart kids will have enough time to learn how to program on the job.

7.    A number of CIOs will come out of the closet and publicly admit that the real cost  of outsourced projects is high, because for every two young Indian programmers you need a local business analyst who will write super-detailed functional specifications and validate their work. But outsourcing is here to stay (at least in the USA) and not because overseas programmers charge less, but because just finding local programmers will become a difficult task.

8.    Yahoo! will come up with  some new innovative Web products that  will be able to compete with Google's software. If not Yahoo!, who else?

9.    By the end of the year the broadband Internet will give DSL and cable Internet  a run for its money.  The wireless companies just need to cut the prices of their broadband service, and the masses will start leaving their "traditional" ISPs.

10.    Java use will steadily increase despite the fact that various replacements are being offered. Java is more than an excellent object-oriented language enriched by tons of productivity libraries (networking, multi-threading, security et al). It's a mature and proven platform for development of all kinds of applications for all kinds of hardware. Java in programming plays the same role as English in the real world: no one says that Italian language will replace English any time soon; on the other hand, songs in Italian sound great.

Peter Zadrozny, StrongMail's CTO, naturally has some e-mail predictions:


1) E-mail will be re-engineered to stop spam and phishing, so it will help legitimate businesses better utilize the channel for secure communications such as statements, purchase orders, customer service, etc.

2) As part of the email re-engineering effort every sender will have to implement the authentication standards. Unfortunately, there will still be various authentication standards.

3) AJAX will be adopted like wildfire.

4) As PHP becomes more widely adopted as a highly productive, quick and dirty language, more and more people will realize that for serious enterprise grade, industrial strength applications they will have to use Java and JEE.

5) Service Oriented Architecture will continue its very slow and quite advance in the enterprise. A few years from now everything will be SOA and we will not remember how it happened.

Erik C. Thauvin, as befits the author of Erik's Linkblog and owner of, ranged far and wide in his predictions. They started with combative opinions on RoR and Web 2.0:

ERIK C. THAUVIN: RoR, Web2.0, Open-Source Java, IE 7, Google, Yahoo!, spam, VoIP, and WiFi

1. Ruby (on Rails) and the such will still be touted as taking over Java, but in reality will be as insignificant as they are today.

2. Web 2.0 will solidify its status as a powerful buzzword. A lot of fluff, very little stuff.

3. Sun will once again dangle the open-source carrot as Mustang get closer to its release date.

4. The IE 7 rate of adoption will be phenomenal, especially compared to Firefox.

5. 60% of Google's services will still be in "beta".

6. Yahoo! will be the first Internet portal to come up with a compelling set of mobile-based services.

7. No spam salvation. Many will try, all will fail.

8. VoIP and Wi-Fi will become even more so synonymous.

Patrick Hynds, CoEditor-in-Chief of Information Storage & Security Journal and CTO of Critical Sites, noted that while he doesn't often venture to predict things, he does have enough experience "to hazard some guesses as to what this year will bring relative to the field of security."

PATRICK HYNDS: Rootkits, .NET 2.0, Terror Hacking

Here goes:

1. Security will continue to be a hot topic and will rise in the priority list of executive (finally) due to the public failures of some big names (still TBD).

2. Rootkits are already all the rage with the bad guys, 2006 will see the arrival of tools to combat them at the consumer level as spyware and anti-virus packages continue to awaken to this threat.

3 .NET 2.0 will help developers write more secure code then ever before, but we will continue to be our own worst enemy by subverting good systems with bad practices.

4. Brute force attacks will become more prolific and password security will take center stage once the code is deemed "secure enough."

5. We will likely see the first public case of terrorists using hacking to bring down a public utility (whether it is the Internet or the power grid) . "I went out on a limb with that last one," Hynds added, "as it hasn't happened yet (successfully) though I thought it was a good bet back in 2002. Security is a war, don't fight fair. You can be assured that the script kiddies, organized criminals and terrorists won't."

The CEO and Founder of "enterprise LAMP" specialist ActiveGrid, former Sun executive - and CTO of its AppServer division - Peter Yared, included Sun in his prediction as to how 2006 will unfold.


"Since lightweight architecture is the best way to build rich AJAX applications that tie together services, 2006 will be the year of lightweight servers, whether it is LAMP, lightweight Java (Tomcat, Struts, Spring, Hibernate), Ruby on Rails, or a thinned down .NET.  Sun is going to have to finally address both scripting and open source with Java, as more and more developers move from J2EE to scripting languages and lightweight servers."

Last word goes to Quest Software's Tyler Jewell, who has a thought-provoking speculation about Google...

TYLER JEWELL: Web 2.0, “GoogleNet”

“If you are going to be covering the Web 2.0 phenomenon, will you be highlighting the interesting moves that Google is making with buying up dark fiber, massive Internet bandwidths, and building prototype data centers that can be located at various points around the world?  When you look at it all, it’s possible that Google is building a new Internet, a new ISP offering new services never before conceived of.  It’s an interesting concept.”


26. Scanners latest tool in contraband fight - NewsNine [Australia] Dec 29, 2005
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Scanners that can detect tiny particles of drugs or explosives carried by prison visitors will form the front line of the fight against contraband in Victoria's maximum security jails.

The new $300,000 ion scanner, the first in Victoria and the most modern in Australia, can detect 40 drugs and a further 40 explosive substances.

The first of the scanners went in to service on Thursday at the Melbourne Assessment Prison which is the first port of call for all prisoners entering Victoria's corrections system and therefore the first line of defence for the detection of contraband.

All 21,000 visitors to the Melbourne Assessment Prison each year will be checked by the scanner, which blows jets of air over their clothing and bodies that release particles of any contraband.

The machine examines the airborne particles and provides a result in 10 seconds.

It can screen up to seven people a minute.

As well, new biometric iris scanning technology was introduced to the prison on Christmas Day.

Digital photographs of the coloured parts of the eyes of every prison visitor will be compared with images of their eyes scanned each time they enter and leave the jail.

No two human irises are identical.

Similar iris technology is already in use in NSW and WA.

Corrections Victoria south-east region prisons general manager Trevor Craig said prison officers were already conducting more searches and using new detection equipment to unearth contraband had a valuable new tool.

"This is the best in the world at the present time," Mr Craig said.

"Over the last five or six years our system has made massive inroads to decrease the amount of drugs in our prison system but they still get in, in small quantities.

"Machines like this technology will obviously decrease that even further, thus creating a safer prison system and a prison system that will benefit the community even further."

Police Minister Tim Holding said the ion and iris scanners were a significant boost to prison security at a time when the state's jails held terrorism and underworld suspects.

"We find that people are finding ever more sophisticated ways to bring contraband into prison, so the importance of having technologies like this shouldn't be understated," he said.

"It's very important that these prisons are appropriately secured and that people visiting them are appropriately screened when they come into the prison environment because these people can potentially pose a real risk to prison security, to the security of other prisoners, prison staff and, more generally the Victorian community if they were able to flee prison custody."


27. One Million Biometric PCs To Be Sold: Lenevo  - EFY News Network - Dec 29, 2005
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Lenovo estimates that password resets account for 35-50 percent of all helpdesk calls. By automating and securing the password reset process through Lenovo's password manager software and integrated fingerprint reader, users can avoid timely and costly support calls.

Thursday, December 29, 2005: “Security is critical to our customers, and they rely on Lenovo to deliver innovative, cutting-edge PC solutions,” said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president, Notebook Business Unit, Lenovo.

“It's very unusual to find a new feature that makes your PC more secure while making it much easier to use. The ThinkPad fingerprint reader is popular because it is one of those rare exceptions. By tying strong passwords to your fingerprint, you can make PC security simple and effective in order to protect your customers' data, as well as your own personal information."

ThinkPads with integrated fingerprint readers make security simple, enabling users to access password-protected personal and financial information, web sites, documents and e-mail with a swipe of their finger while protecting data from unauthorised access. The integrated fingerprint reader is part of a broad set of security tools including Lenovo's Client Security Solution 6.0, which provides security software and an embedded security chip.

According to Gartner, biometric security2 brings a lot of advantages such as, biometric information cannot be lost, stolen or forgotten; organisations can verify users’ identities with a high degree of confidence; used in conjunction with smart cards, biometrics can provide strong security for [public key infrastructure] credentials held on the card; users aren’t required to present a card or to remember passwords or personal identification numbers ; biometric systems eliminate the overheads associated with password management; and organisations can implement recognition systems, not just simple authentication systems

“We place a huge priority on security and deployed ThinkPad notebooks with fingerprint readers because they were the only notebooks to offer an integrated hardware and software security solution,” said Mike Sink, director of infrastructure, Kichler Lighting. “Lenovo's ThinkPad notebook with integrated fingerprint reader has been an immensely popular tool with our employees while providing a higher level of security and convenience.”

28. Press Release - Federal Court Orders Department of Homeland Security to Issue Proof of Lawful Status to Permanent Residents - Unfounded Security Concerns Do Not Justify Withholding Documentation Beyond a Reasonable Time - Dec 28, 2005
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal court issued a permanent injunction against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ordering the agency to provide documentation of lawful status ("green cards") to a nationwide class of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have been denied such proof for months and, in many cases, years. The December 22, 2005 order by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the Northern District of California added teeth to her August 2005 summary judgment ruling, in which she held that the DHS's policy of withholding documentation from persons already determined to be LPRs by Immigration Courts was arbitrary and capricious, and violated the DHS's nondiscretionary duty to issue documentation in a timely manner. In issuing a permanent injunction, the court rejected the DHS's national security contentions, concluding that such arguments were "illogical and unacceptably vague as a legal justification for withholding documentation." The plaintiff class is represented by Cooley Godward LLP, the Texas Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). The DHS had acknowledged that the class, originally estimated to exceed 12,000, numbered in excess of 6,000 persons as of October 2005.

John C. Dwyer, a partner at Cooley Godward, which is handling the suit on a pro bono basis, welcomed the ruling, stating: "It's unfortunate when it takes an order from a federal judge to get the federal government to do what they are obligated to do by law. Judge Patel got it right, and we hope that the Department of Homeland Security will now finally provide the documentation to which these lawful residents are entitled."

The permanent injunction requires the DHS to issue documentation of lawful status to class members within a set period of time after the class member appears at an appointment at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office and requests documentation. The applicable time period depends on whether the class member was adjudicated as an LPR before or after April 1, 2005, when the Justice Department changed certain regulations that apply to class members. Generally, the court's injunction requires the DHS to issue documentation within 30 days of the first USCIS appointment for post-April 1, 2005 grantees and within 60 days for pre-April 1, 2005 grantees. The time periods afford DHS the opportunity to verify that the class member was granted LPR status and allows for collection of biometrics information, such as fingerprints and photographs. The injunction also required the USCIS to post a notice to class members on its website containing instructions for obtaining documentation. A class member may start the process of obtaining documentation by making an appointment at a local USCIS district office and presenting the Immigration Court's order granting LPR status along with proof of their identity. The DHS's failure to abide by the injunction is to be remedied through contempt proceedings before the court.

Javier N. Maldonado, Executive Director of the Texas Lawyers' Committee, commended the ruling, stating: "We are extremely pleased with the court's injunction. Our clients will now have the opportunity to fully enjoy the important rights and privileges of being a lawful permanent resident in the United States, that is to work, travel, attend school, and pursue the American dream."

The lawsuit, Santillan, et al. v. Gonzales, et al., was filed in federal district court in San Francisco in July 2004. The class action suit charged that DHS offices nationwide are consistently rejecting and delaying lawful permanent residents' requests for documentation of their LPR status. Green card delays, which have lasted from months to years, have created serious hardships for immigrants and their families.

The Department of Homeland Security has 60 days from the entry of the injunction to file an appeal.

The public interest litigation partnership of Cooley Godward's Pro Bono practice and the non-profit Texas Lawyers' Committee was facilitated by the Litigation Assistance Partnership Project (LAPP) of the American Bar Association (ABA).

You can receive a full copy of the summary judgment order by going to or

About Cooley Godward LLP

Cooley Godward is an established provider of strategic litigation and business transaction services and a recognized leader in the representation of high-growth private and public companies, financial institutions, venture capital firms and nonprofit organizations. Our singular focus on providing the highest quality legal services has enabled our clients to achieve their strategic business objectives and garnered for Cooley recognition as one of the country's leading law firms. Cooley Godward is also nationally known for its award-winning Pro Bono practice. Last year, more than 300 Cooley attorneys contributed over 28,000 hours to non-profit organizations, disadvantaged communities and low-income families. Cooley was recently named to The American Lawyer magazine's 2005 "A List," the publication's annual ranking of "the best of the best" among the nation's top law firms. For more information, visit

The Texas Lawyers' Committee is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and defending the rights of immigrants and refugees throughout the state of Texas. For more information, visit

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation's premier Latino civil rights organization founded in 1968, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, higher education scholarships and when necessary, through the legal system. For more information, visit

The Litigation Assistance Partnership Project (LAPP) is a program of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation that links the pro bono resources of private firms with legal service and public interest programs across the country. Please visit

29. Blair’s 12-point plan to tackle terror fails to get full marks
- The Peninsula  [Quatar] - [From the Times]  Dec 29, 2005
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LONDON: Opposition parties have claimed that Tony Blair has climbed down on many of the pledges in the 12-point plan to tackle terrorism that he announced after the 7/7 bombings in London.

The Prime Minister promised that “the rules were changing” to expel preachers of hate. But none has been thrown out of the country. In comparison Germany has expelled more than 20 imams, Italy has deported four, as have France and Spain, and Holland three. Only one prominent figure has been banned from Britain: Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the leader of the radical group al-Muhajiroun, who went to Beirut to visit his mother and was prevented from returning as “a threat to national security”.

The government also lost its fight to detain terror suspects for up to 90 days after MPs voted to allow police a maximum of 28 days.

Ministers have dropped plans to close mosques after opposition from Muslim community leaders and police, and a “British test” for foreign imams in the UK has been scrapped. Diplomats have also failed to secure deals with ten countries over taking militants thrown out of the UK. However, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, told MPs this month that very significant progress had been made.


1 New grounds for deporting undesirables, closing bookshops; negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with countries to take deportees from the UK, and the introduction of non-suspensive appeals.
ACTION: work is still under way on putting together a list of extremists in the UK. Police and immigration officials have compiled a list of more than 120 undesirables, including half a dozen prominent militants and up to 20 foreign born clerics.

So far none has been expelled. Several planned raids were cancelled at the last minute because of legal disputes in Whitehall over the named suspects. Only three countries — Lebanon, Jordan and Libya — have signed MOUs.

Talks continue with seven other countries, including Algeria. The majority of those being held pending deportation are Algerian. A change in appeals is included in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill, which has received its second reading but has still to be approved.

2 To create offence of condoning or glorifying terrorism, here and abroad.
ACTION: Ministers accept Parliament will not approve this.

3 To refuse asylum automatically to anyone who has participated in terrorism anywhere.
ACTION: A provision has been included in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill.

4 To consult on powers to strip citizenship, applying them to UK citizens and making procedures simpler and more effective.
ACTION: Again, included in provisions for Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill.

5 Maximum time limit of future extradition cases involving terror suspects.
ACTION: Ministers appear to have abandoned plans to set a time limit in favour of speeding up the process short of “compromising fairness”.

6 New court procedures to allow sensitive intelligence to be presented.
ACTION: Still being examined.

7 To extend the use of control orders for those who are British nationals and cannot be deported.
ACTION: Up to now 17 control orders issued, of which nine have been revoked because the individuals are now detained under immigration powers pending deportation. Eight orders are now in force, one of which is in respect of a British national.

8 To expand the court capacity necessary to deal with control orders and other related issues. The Lord Chancellor will increase the number of special judges hearing such cases.
ACTION: The Department for Constitutional Affairs is reviewing the capacity of courts, specialist tribunals and the judiciary to deal with existing and anticipated caseload relating to terrorism, to meet the demands of counter-terrorism.

9 To proscribe Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the successor organisation of al-Mujahiroun, and to examine the grounds for proscription to widen them and put forward proposals in new legislation.
ACTION: Hizb-ut Tahrir is still operating. Criteria for banning groups in the Terrorism Bill.

10 Set new threshold for British citizenship.
ACTION: Provisions included in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill.

11 New powers to close mosques.
ACTION: Dropped after objections from religious leaders and police.

12 Securing borders, new visa controls, and biometric visas.
ACTION: Embarkation controls imposed after 7/7. New technology for immigration controls to be introduced over next five years.


30. Watchdog report: Delay in sitters' crime checks - State has OK'd some with serious criminal pasts to baby-sit for welfare program. - By Clea Benson -The Sacramento Bee [California] - December 31, 2005
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When he was 15, Michael Snyder bludgeoned his grandmother over the head with a bottle and stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife. Then he left her in the backyard of the Los Angeles-area home they shared, covering her body with towels and a blanket that soon soaked through with blood and rain.

When an uncle arrived for a visit more than a day later, Snyder led him to where 71-year-old Sylvia Alvarez lay on a patch of concrete, according to an investigator's report from that day in February 1989. The uncle called police. A juvenile court judge found that Snyder had committed second-degree murder and sent him away to a California Youth Authority lockup, Los Angeles juvenile court documents show.

A decade later, after Snyder was freed, state workers issued him a criminal-background clearance so he could get a job as a state-paid baby sitter for a welfare recipient who needed someone to watch her children while she worked.

The Snyder case isn't the only one in which people with serious criminal histories have been cleared to care for welfare recipients' children, The Bee has found. A review of 37 legal cases from 2005 in which the state sought to deny or revoke background clearances found that state workers sometimes missed serious criminal records.

The state issued a clearance to a woman whose day-care license previously had been revoked after she allegedly committed child abuse and was convicted of driving under the influence. The state also cleared a woman convicted of cocaine trafficking in Nevada.

The cases involved unlicensed caregivers - people paid to watch children from only one family in their homes. Most participants in the state's welfare-to-work program, known as CalWORKs, hire unlicensed babysitters such as friends or relatives.

Because public funds pay for the CalWORKs child care services, the Department of Social Services requires a background check. People who obtain background clearances are then listed in TrustLine, a registry of unlicensed child care workers that is billed as a way potential employers and parents can rest assured that their caregivers haven't committed crimes.

The state uses the same background-check system for workers at licensed care centers and foster homes, who must be cleared before they can work.

But the background checks for CalWORKs baby sitters have been particularly controversial because the caregivers are paid with public funds and because it is the only program in which caregivers are allowed to work before their background checks are complete. The system was designed that way to make it as easy as possible for welfare recipients to find child care so they can start working quickly.

The Bee's review found that the state's background-check process could be so slow that it sometimes took years to bar people who had committed serious crimes from watching the children of CalWORKs recipients. In the meantime, Californians convicted on assault, domestic-violence and weapons charges, among other offenses, were allowed to earn state funds.

It took two years for the state to cut off Damond Bryant, a Los Angeles gang member who had served prison time for a shooting. It took state workers more than three years to bar Danny Woods, a Mojave man convicted of fraud and carrying a concealed weapon.

Advocates for children and working parents say they are concerned.

"People falling through the cracks says to me that reviews internally have to be improved," said Patty Siegel, director of the Child Care Resource & Referral Network, a nonprofit organization that takes the TrustLine information provided by the state and makes it available to parents seeking child care. "Everybody depends on the criminal-record review process being timely and being accurate. It's a resources issue, and I think it's a training issue."

Jo Frederick, director of the Community Care Licensing Division, the arm of the Department of Social Services responsible for the background checks, blamed the mistaken clearances and the delays on law enforcement agencies' tardiness in forwarding information to the division during a time of heavy workload. New technology and safeguards have reduced the risk of such problems occurring now, she said.

"What I would call the structure of licensing, in terms of bringing efficiencies and protections, all of those things are new since those cases," Frederick said.

Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for the state Department of Justice, said delays almost always happen because local police departments and courts fail to enter information into their computer systems quickly, not because of a high workload.

In an attempt to reduce children's exposure to potentially dangerous caregivers, the Department of Social Services next year will enact regulations preventing TrustLine applicants from working until their background checks are complete, said Shirley Washington, a spokeswoman for the department.

That move is likely to spark controversy among advocates for welfare recipients, who favor an approach in which applicants will have to stop working only if the state learns they have rap sheets. That would still cut down the time people with criminal backgrounds are allowed to care for children, because applicants with records currently are allowed time to petition for an exemption, a process that can take months.

Neither approach would solve the problem of people who are mistakenly cleared in the first place.

State officials declined to discuss how Michael Snyder, the man who murdered his grandmother, slipped through the system. Frederick said she could not talk about the case because it involves juvenile records.

Under state law, juvenile records of certain serious crimes, such as murder, are public. The juvenile court in Los Angeles released information on Snyder's homicide case to The Bee.

Snyder worked as recently as last year at a San Bernardino County group home for foster youth run by Trinity Children and Family Services, according to Trinity officials. That position requires a background clearance.

And as of November of this year, Snyder still appeared in the TrustLine registry as a person with a clean record. State officials did say that he has since withdrawn his name, though they declined to elaborate.

Though Frederick said she could not comment on Snyder's case specifically, she said the division usually would assign an investigator to review juvenile records, especially records involving crimes so serious an applicant cannot apply for an exemption.

"Where we think a nonexemptible crime occurred, we would typically deny that or revoke the clearance once we did an investigation into the underlying facts," she said. "That's about all I can say."

Frederick said technological problems and law-enforcement delays were to blame for the other cases in which the state revoked the clearances of people who should not have received them in the first place.

One of those people was Vera Bennett of Vallejo, whose state license to provide foster care and day care was revoked in 1998 because she repeatedly hit children, transported children without seat belts and car seats, left infants unsupervised, and was convicted of driving under the influence, according to the petition the state filed to revoke her clearance. In 1999, the state alleged, Bennett also beat her live-in boyfriend with a karate stick.

But in 2000, the state granted Bennett a clearance through TrustLine to watch the children of a welfare recipient. In March 2005, the state filed a revocation petition.

According to Frederick, the state workers who issued Bennett's TrustLine clearance did not have access to Solano County computer records showing that Bennett's license had been revoked and why. That technological loophole has since been closed, she said.

Janice Kennon of Los Angeles also received a TrustLine clearance - in 2002. She had been convicted of cocaine trafficking in Nevada in 1997. The state revoked her clearance in 2004.

Kennon received a clearance because state rules allow care workers to start work before completion of an FBI background check that would reflect convictions in other states, Frederick said. It can take years for California to obtain information from the FBI's database, and not all states submit criminal background information to the FBI, she said.

The background-check program is supposed to work this way: The state Department of Justice runs the fingerprints of a person who has applied for a CalWORKs babysitting job. The results are supposed to come back to the Department of Social Services within a few days.

People with rap sheets have 45 days to apply for exemptions. If they apply, the state investigates to determine if they have been rehabilitated and their criminal behavior no longer poses a risk to children. Exemptions cannot be granted for violent crimes.

According to the Child Care Resource & Referral Network, it takes an average of four months for the state to cut someone off if they apply for an exemption and don't deserve one. But in some cases, as the Bee review found, it can take much longer.

That's what happened in the case of Damond Bryant.

One afternoon in 1992, a brown Buick LeSabre pulled up alongside a group of teenage boys walking home from school in South Central Los Angeles. According to Los Angeles Superior Court records, Bryant stepped out of the car with a gun.

Bryant, a gang member who went by the street name "No Good," started shooting, court records state. A bullet hit one of the boys. He was rushed to the hospital for abdominal surgery and survived.

Bryant was sentenced to state prison for assault. Upon release, he violated probation by trespassing at a school in the company of gang members, according to a recent legal petition filed by the Department of Social Services. Five days later, in July 2002, he applied for a CalWORKs child care job.

It took until September 2004 to bar him from the program, the state's petition shows.

According to Frederick, the Department of Justice did not notify the licensing division of Bryant's conviction until April 2004. Bryant applied for an exemption in June of that year. The state spent nine weeks investigating before issuing a final denial.

While the state looks into changing its regulations governing unlicensed child care, some state lawmakers are also pursuing legislative solutions.

Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, recently had his staff complete a review of cases involving about 140 TrustLine applicants who were appealing the state's refusal to issue them background clearances. The review found several instances in which the state had paid baby-sitting funds to people previously convicted of abusing children for up to a year and a half.

"This is a big problem," said Ashburn. "We're talking about thousands of kids who are being cared for by people that have done some very serious crimes, and to make matters worse, the taxpayers are picking up the bill."

Ashburn's legislation, Senate Bill 539, would do the same thing as the proposed regulations: require unlicensed child care providers to get a criminal-record clearance before they can earn state funds.

But advocates for welfare recipients favor an alternative approach proposed by Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, who has written a bill that would stop payments the instant the state receives word that someone has a rap sheet. In theory, that should only take a few days to confirm, although it could take much longer in cases where law-enforcement agencies are slow to process records.

About 80 percent of the roughly 20,000 people who apply to TrustLine each year have clean records, and they would be able to continue to watch children without interruption.

Laird's legislation, Assembly Bill 1601, would also require criminal background checks for aunts and uncles who apply to be state-paid caregivers. Currently, close relatives are exempt from the checks.

"There is a very important balance here, because (welfare recipients) are being put back to work, and you can't jeopardize their jobs because we have a process that doesn't work," Laird said.

Laird said his legislation "strikes a balance, but also strongly improves the safety of the process."

Frederick said the licensing division has improved safeguards in recent years. Dozens of new staff members were hired this year, although none was assigned to the criminal-background check bureau.

The department is in line for a budget increase next year, officials say.

Advocates for children say they will be watching to make sure the state is committing enough resources.

"The real problem is that the state is not making sufficient investment to protect the safety of children," said Nancy Strohl, director of the San Francisco-based Child Care Law Center. "There are always going to be problems, but when you're talking about basic health and safety issues for vulnerable young children, those have to be kept to an absolute minimum, if not eliminated."

The state receives about 20,000 applications a year from unlicensed child-care workers who need a criminal background check.

Here are figures from the first half of this year:

* Number of applicants: 10,668

* Number with no criminal record found: 8,490 (79 percent)

* Number rejected because they had criminal records or a history of child abuse: 1,509 (14 percent)

* Number whose backgrounds are still being checked: 485 (5 percent)

The remaining 2 percent (184) dropped out of the program before their checks were complete.

31. State's missing persons staff stays busy - By BEN TINSLEY - Forth Worth Texas STAR-TELEGRAM - Dec 29,2005
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For 22 years after Donna Lisa Williamson disappeared from her North Richland Hills home, her family worried and wondered what happened to her.

Skeletal remains found in Johnson County in May 1993 were believed to be the 19-year-old’s, but there was no way of knowing for sure because technology at the time could not identify them. The answer came 11 years later, when the Texas Missing Persons DNA Database positively linked DNA provided by Williamson’s mother to the remains in May 2004.

This database — housed at the University Of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth — is a resource the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse uses to investigate cold cases that defy standard identification such as dental records or fingerprints. Clearinghouse personnel teach Texas police agencies how to use the database.

The result is closure for families such as Williamson’s.

"It’s disturbing to think of the circumstances in which she died, but at least we know where she is now,” the victim’s mother, Linda Williamson, said during a telephone interview from Tallahassee, Fla.

When traditional IDs fail, the work of analysts with the Austin-based clearinghouse becomes very important.

The analysts are representatives of the main information source on missing and unidentified children and adults in the state. They do everything in their power to get and provide answers. They help police track down people and leads; they work to get information to and from the relatives of crime victims. They can even route disaster victims to help when needed.

The seven-member staff faces an overwhelming caseload — as many as 8,000 open investigations about people missing in Texas. Each year, more than 70,000 people are reported missing in Texas.

Armed only with telephones, computers, a teletype printer, a fax machine, filing cabinets and various maps, the clearinghouse team stays busy helping law enforcement agencies connect the investigative dots.

"Sometimes, it feels like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack, but you just have to stay focused,” said Heidi Fischer, program administrator. "If we can provide just one piece of a puzzle for a law enforcement officer, then we have accomplished something. There is so much more good and satisfaction here than there is bad.”

The clearinghouse, established by the Texas Department of Public Safety in 1986, consists of Fischer, four analysts, and two administrative technicians. They work with police in Texas and other states — even internationally — and have a 24-hour hotline and Web page that allows family members and officials to report and monitor information.

They excel at networking, serving as liaisons between the public and Texas law enforcement agencies and those in other states, said Jan Bynum of Farmers Branch, whose daughter, UNT student Kelli Ann Cox, vanished in July 1997. Bynum said she is in constant touch with the clearinghouse about her daughter’s case.

"They are the central point of contact for almost any kind of assistance you might need,” she said.

Employees of the clearinghouse are quick to get information that could help people, said Ben Ermini, executive director of case management operations for the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.

During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, they persuaded the officials with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to allow Texas evacuees to use their hotline for emergency calls, he said.

The clearinghouse also helps local police track developments in child abduction cases, such as that of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was slain in January 1996, Arlington Police Sgt. Mark Simpson said.

"Anytime we call them, we get their undivided attention, whatever we ask for or about,” Simpson said. "They address those needs and are aware of resources we don’t have or know about.”

Tricia Blake, who researches homicides and unidentified people for the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, said most of the cases she works on are bittersweet because many of the missing people are deceased. But there have been happy endings. About nine years ago, Blake reunited a woman staying in Dallas with her family in Hawaii. They hadn’t seen one another in 20 years.

Then there was the case of a 2-year-old boy abducted by his mother, and whose father searched for him for 16 years without any luck. Blake flagged his birth certificate so that when the boy went to get a copy of the certificate at age 18 it registered on state computers. She was able to locate and reunite him with the father he’d never known.

"They had a really tearful reunion in our office,” she said.

32. House Hears >From Grassroots; Is Senate Listening? by Phyllis Schlafly - The Conservative Voice - Dec 28, 2005
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Late on Friday evening December 16, the House passed Rep. James Sensenbrenner's (R-WI) Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) to require employers to verify the legal status of each employee. No strong-arm tactics were needed to produce the stunning margin of 239-182, including 36 Democrats, because Members had heard from the grassroots.

Over 130 amendments had been submitted to the Rules Committee by the deadline for amendments at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Members of Congress are finally recognizing that immigration will be the hot-button issue of the next election,and they want to distance themselves from President Bush's unpopular guest-worker-amnesty proposal.

The open-borders advocates realized that the House will not acquiesce in Bush's imperious demand that guest-worker-amnesty be part of any immigration bill. So their fall-back position was to insert sense-of-Congress language in the Sensenbrenner bill that would have no legal effect but would signal the House's willingness to deal with guest-worker-amnesty if the Senate passes it.

Early the next morning, word floated through the cloakroom that this language offered by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was likely to be added to the Manager's Amendment: "It is the sense of Congress that a necessary part of securing the international land and maritime border of the United States entails the creation of a secure legal channel by which the foreign workers needed to keep the United States economy growing may enter and leave the country."

At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the 90-Member House Immigration Reform Caucus met and agreed to defeat the rule for H.R. 4437 if language supporting guest-worker programs were added to the bill. Defeating the rule would effectively kill the bill.

On Thursday afternoon, the House manifested its new awareness of the public's demand for border control by passing the Hunter Amendment 260-159, including 49 Democrats. This so-called Fence Amendment mandates the construction of specific security fencing, including lights and cameras, along our southwest border for the purpose of gaining operational control of the border.

The bill orders 700 miles of fencing in sectors that have the highest number of immigrant deaths, drug smuggling and illegal border crossings. The bill also orders the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study of the use of physical barriers along our northern border.

The momentum continued on Friday. By 273-148 including 57 Democrats, the House passed the Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)/Stephanie Herseth (R-SD) Amendment to repeal Ted Kennedy's favorite immigration provision, the Diversity Visa Lottery, which admits 50,000 foreigners every year, mostly from Third World and even terror-supporting countries.

Then, the House passed by voice vote the Jim Ryun (R-KS) Amendment, which codifies the Oath of Renunciation and Allegiance as federal law so that it cannot be changed without an act of Congress. The oath requires naturalized citizens to swear to "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen."

Then, the House passed by 237-180, including 30 Democrats, the Charles Norwood (R-GA) Amendment, which reaffirms the inherent authority of state and local law authorities to assist in the enforcement of immigration law, to provide training on this issue to the local agencies, and to increase law enforcement's access to vital information about illegal criminal aliens.

Then, the House passed by 420-0 the Cliff Stearns (R-FL) Amendment to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney General, and all courts from granting any kind of legal immigration status (i.e., "benefits") to an alien until the relevant databases of criminal records and terrorist watch lists have been checked.

Then, the House passed by voice vote the Ed Royce (R-CA) Amendment, stating that no immigration benefit may be granted until an FBI fingerprint check has been submitted and the results show that the alien does not have a criminal or immigration history that would render him or her ineligible for benefits provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The Stearns and Royce amendments are important because, according to whistleblowers inside Homeland Security, a significant number of those applying for legal status do not go through complete background checks. When certain checks aren't completed within 90 days, current law allows the application to continue on to the next step anyway.

A Bush Administration-supported amendment to reduce the maximum sentence for illegal entry and illegal presence to six months was defeated 164-257. Current penalties remain in place.

The Senate will begin its debate on border security early next year and is predicted to be favorable to the guest-worker-amnesty plans proposed by President Bush, John McCain (R-AZ), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Cornyn (R-TX), and others. The Senate and House bills will then go to a conference committee to work out differences.

Senators who are up for reelection in 2006 had better listen to the House votes.


33. DHS shoves fingerprint tech forward - By Wilson P. Dizard III - Government Computer News - Dec 28, 2005
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The Homeland Security Department is working with the departments of Defense and State, the FBI and the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as technology vendors to develop a new generation of 10-finger “slap capture” units for fingerprint collection.

DHS’ interest in the new generation of fingerprint stations has been prompted in part by secretary Michael Chertoff’s decision announced this summer to require 10-fingerprint records of foreigners crossing the borders.

Chertoff’s decision will bring the DHS’ Ident database of two-fingerprint records, which it inherited from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in synch with the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

The department plans to deploy existing 10-print capture systems to border locations where they would be suitable. But the existing systems have size, mobility, speed and power requirements that make them unsuitable for many locations where DHS plans to gather 10 print records, according to procurement documents.

The market research firm Input of Reston, Va., estimates that the department will issue a request for proposals for the new 10-print scanners in April and award contracts for the units in the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

The federal agencies have formed a user group that has sponsored a detailed “Challenge to Industry” to develop the new units over the next year. The task will include development of hardware and software, according to procurement documents. The government expects to purchase between 3,000 and 10,000 of the new units, according to the documents.

The department held a workshop on the technology in October and responded to questions posed by vendors this autumn.

DHS’ requirements for the new units include dozens of detailed specifications as to their performance as well as mandates that the scanners comply with various data compression and scanning standards that will make them compatible with the FBI’s systems.

Meanwhile, the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service is preparing to draft requirements for the next generation of software upgrades to IAFIS, sources said.

The IAFIS upgrades will include improved capability to link the system’s fingerprint images with other data and evidence about suspects, FBI sources said. The upgrades also will be designed to improve the accuracy of the fingerprint matching system, the sources said.


34. U.S. Visit: New Level Of Airport Security At JFK - Security Measure Founded After '93 WTC Bombing Implemented - WCBS TV (NY) - Dec 27, 2005

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(CBS) NEW YORK After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Congress mandated a passenger screening process to keep criminals and imposters from entering the United States. But that program did not come about for 11 years, and a full 27 months after 9/11.

One passenger undergoing the screening process, known as U.S. Visit, is Rituwanti Naipaul, who often visits family in New York. Before she can enter the country, she'll undergo a criminal background check.

Naipaul's index fingers are scanned, her photograph taken. The data are instantly compared with what she provided when she applied for a visa. Her prints are run through an FBI database to see whether she's a convict. Her name is checked against a terrorist watch-list.

“I think it's very good,” Naipaul says. “You know, it's safe for the country and for the people. It's so simple, so fast.”

The process is swift. A U.S Visit check adds an average six seconds to inspections. But for thousands of visitors, those six seconds can reveal a lifetime of trouble.

“We have many people that have been traveling back and forth under their true identities,” says Dean Dimotsis, Deputy Chief Passenger Operations, Counter Terrorism Division. “We also find out that a lot of these people have criminal histories and aliases.

Since U.S. Visit began in January 2004, 40 million travelers have been processed and 5,500 would-be visitors were held for further investigation. Of those, 885 were turned away or arrested.

At JFK, 701 travelers were detained, with 218 people being denied entry or getting arrested.

Visitors who arouse suspicion are separated from other travelers. An image of the dubious travel document is sent to a forensic lab in the Washington, D.C. area.

Authorities say U.S Visit has already helped reduce the vexing problem of imposters entering or leaving the country with authentic passports.

“We have many people that check in for a flight for a relative or a friend, then give them the boarding card. That person will then, in turn, depart. . . This will close that loop,” Dimotsis says.

U.S. Visit would not have prevented the 9/11 hijackers from entering the country. But fewer criminals are coming in the front door.

“Initially we were getting many hits in the first few months of US Visit," Dimotsis says. "As word spread that it was really infallible as far as identifying people and confirming identity, fewer people have attempted to enter by fraud. So, a lot of criminals actually don't try to come in.”

U.S. Visit is about to extend its reach. By year's end, it will be in place at our land borders with Mexico and Canada. U.S. citizens are exempt from the program. But soon other countries will require fingerprints of visiting Americans.

35. Pragmatics to support Justice automated booking system  - By Roseanne Gerin - - Dec 27, 2005
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Pragmatics Inc. won a $4 million task order from the Justice Department to provide systems engineering, design and development for the system that helps federal law enforcement agencies electronically book, identify and share data about people in federal custody.

The McLean, Va., company will implement the Joint Automated Booking System–Implementing the Strategic Maturity Project-II. JABS automates the booking process for the Justice Department’s law enforcement components by providing users an automated connection with the FBI’s fingerprint system and provides data sharing between entities.

Justice awarded the task order under the Information Technology Support Services-3 (ITSS-3) contract, which lets the agency purchase a range of IT services, such as applications development, networking, systems engineering and Web design.

Pragmatics is one of 12 contractors that compete for task orders under the seven-year contract. Awarded in November 2004, ITSS-3 has a $980 million ceiling. Nortel/PEC Solutions Inc. will supply subcontracted services under the task order.

Pragmatics is a privately owned firm that provides IT services and solutions to many federal defense and civilian agencies and to several prime contractors for federal IT programs.


36. Adoption of infotronics stressed - Chennai On Line [India] - Dec 31, 2005
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Chennai, Dec 31: The future of automotive creations lies in making use of the advantages of infotronics, a senior official of Ford Motor company has said.

K Venkatesh Prasad, group and technical leader, Ford Motor Company, was making a technical presentation before the members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc, here last night, on the subject `21st century automotive product creation and the emerging role on infotronics'.

The technology that is going to rule the automotive creations in the 21st century would have senses, similar to human beings. "It will have emotions, intelligence and specific designs for consumer experience," he added.

The future vehicles will not need a key as the automotive will be able to recognise its owner. With biometrics and intelligent components, the vehicle could be able to respond to ensure safety, help maintain safe distance from the fore-running vehicle, ensure fuel efficiency and communicate status of vehicle and potential preventive options to the driver, Dr Prasad said.

Speaking at the programme, P Suresh Chander Pal, chairman of IEEE Madras section said that infotronics could deliver values and engineering services and India had great potential to produce quality products at competitive prices. (Agencies)

37. Wear do we go? - by CROY, NANDINI RAGHAVENDRA & SANJEEV SINHA TIMES NEWS NETWORK - The Economic Times (India) - Jan 1, 2005
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“The future has already happened, it’s just not very well distributed.”

William Gibson

Brown is the new grey that was the new black. Denim is out, no sorry, denim is in. Given the amount of time that designers are spending these days peering into the past, not many of them are going to agree, but nostalgia is getting a bad name.At it’s worst, it resembles unthinking conservatism.

As one sifted through hundreds of photographs that encapsulated the fashion of the past few years, one realised that though the stills accentuated the art of looking back, the best specimens don’t anaesthetise the sentinels of change. Indeed, many designers have only succeeded in resuscticating one’s craving for the future.

Even as you read this piece, a team of the Applied NanoBioscience Centre at Arizona State University has built prototypes of biometric bodysuits. They can detect chemical attacks, deliver drugs to their wearers, or even perfume scents if your body temperature rises too much.

The military version of the ‘scentsory chameleon bodysuit’ incorporates fuel cells to provide a lightweight source of power for the soldier's equipment. The civilian one can monitor your heart or blood pressure, deliver interactive games or simply work as a wearable computer. You will even be able to download new colours and patterns from the Web to change your appearance!

For some time now, fashion has been scoring points by throwing sharp sportwear detail into the high mix of fabrics. Hi-tech vests have played off soft shirts, while a couple of years ago, hip-hugging drawstring pants sprinted to pole positions. Even Indian designers have started playing with the all-weather stretch quality of these new-age fabrics — but only whose lines really blur the distinctions between leisure and sport.

And there have been some brave designers like Emilio Pucci, Andre Courrèges, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, who nearly 50 years ago began dabbling in space-age fashion, adopting a futuristic look that owed an obvious debt to astronautic apparel.

Fabrics, in particular, began to reflect the silver metallic look of spacesuits; helmets, too, were a striking fashion accessory. Of all the designers, Courrèges stood out, creating designs that sparked a revolution in fashion, emphasising new materials (plastic), new designs, and new attitudes (androgyny).

But, as designer David Abraham says, some of the biggest influences in fashion have come from the sports arena. “The latest styles in activewear are certainly more than meet the eye — and takes cues from the sportsman’s layered needs — for clothing and accessories.

Many coats and pants feature removable linings, reversible fleece components, two-layer shells and features such as mesh-lined pit zips, hidden interior pockets, keyholders, adjustable hoods and a CD player and headphone pockets.”

While designs will come and go, the biggest advances are likely to be made in the fabric itself. In fact, futurologists are predicting a new world of clever clothes.

Designer Suneet Varma tends to agree:”I think new fabrics will definitely take a lead — and fashion designers will embrace the decorative and functional potential of revolutionary materials.In fact, one day fashion fabrics with integral anti-perspiring or scent-releasing features will become ordinary.”

Clothing designed around functionality has been around for a few years now: crumple free shirts that need no ironing and teflon coated fabrics that resist greasy stains are a couple.Yet, it would seem that scientists, not normally known for their fashion sense could be the leaders in tomorrow's fashion stakes.

Right at the forefront of the textile industry, intelligent clothing is being developed that revolutionises our perception of clothes.

Take for example the British firm Electrotextiles, who are making smart clothing called Elektex that actually has a soft fabric keyboard sewn into a pair of trousers. And the trousers can be washed and even ironed. In the works or should one say lab is a tie that works like a computer mouse.

Just think of the future. In the office, phones could be integrated into the lapels of our jackets and the pockets could record meetings. Intelligent health and sport clothing could be produced which would warm the wearer’s body with the aid of battery or stored solar power wearer if it becomes too cold. It could also keep a check on the user's health with the aid of a heart monitor and if problems occur, let a hospital know by transmitting information to the nearest hospital.

But these developments could be just a part of the overall scheme of making clothing as efficient and functional as possible. I remember reading quite recently, that one of the biggest forecasting agencies Promostyly has predicted that there will be a time when clothes will not need finishing seams, and be made of a stretch material that that will require no drying when washed.

Subhinder Singh Prem, MD, Reebok India, tells us that the future is already here. “We will be launching a new Body Wear collection that incorporates seamless technology This summer, and we already working with chemical companies worldwide and may soon launch collections with intrinsic fragrances.”

At this rate, you can’t help but think whether the scientist will replace the designer? Ok — before the alarm bells start ringing — let me tell here even designers agree that they may play a much limited role in the future.

Says designer Narendra Kumar Ahmed: “Science is already leading here, what with DNA cloning, second skins will be developed that will adapt to body types, those could also be decorative. In which case clothes will be looked at only for protecting you from the elements.”

Yet, if you come to think of it, the future hasn’t really travelled that fast — as yet. Five years ago, we should have started wearing corresponding uniforms — standardised, gender-free jumpsuits, one-piece garments, matching unisex wardrobes. Or, at least, that's what a few fashion designers predicted. “Modern people want to wear uniforms,” the late Italian designer Gianni Versace had said in way of explanation in the book Fashion 2001. “You will not have the time to select, to choose.”

As I said, that really hasn’t happened. “As long as human beings remain flesh and bone, have a heart and head — fashion will have a place because it clearly fills an emotional need. And as the world get more fractured politically and socially — identities and images will be the crutch to stand out in a crowd, ”says Varma.

Agrees Wendell Rodricks: ”I see styling in clothing become an issue. You cannot take away vanity from the human race. People wear clothes primarily for function, for status and for decoration, that has been the pattern and purpose of clothing since 8,000 years, whether it is the Africans tribes who wear their beads to ward off evil or to show the hierarchy of the person.

One of the greatest changes we will see will be in the silhouettes, which will get more streamlined, more comfortable. Take the T-shirt, which has been with us from the 70s and has stayed with us. It crosses genders and race.

In the next five decades we will see these getting more stylised and a strong leaning towards minimalism and people will only dress for special occasions and will revert to the culture of wearing hand-made embellishments for those occasions as they will finally get the value that they deserve and be very expensive.”

At a recent briefing at the London College of Fashion BT futurologist Ian Pearson outlined how futuristic technologies could play a part in fashion. How about accessories that double as personal photo projectors, able to display pictures on any surface in front of the wearer? Or clothes made from electro-responsive materials that, by use of an embedded electrical current, can change shape to suit different parts of the day?

Pearson's ideas are based on future projection, taking developments that are happening now and following them forward to a logical conclusion. There are no guarantees, and many of his suggestions are hypothesis, but clearly fashion will be used as a communication tool with technology increasing the ways for it to become possible. The big idea in that case will come from the consumer and not the fashion designer. the future really here?

38. 2005 offbeat escapades: science, records and strange stories
[The following are extracts from a longer list] - The Daily Times [Pakistan] - Jan 1, 2006
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* In Denmark, a 43-year-old man was sentenced to two months in prison for passing himself off as a bona fide prisoner and thereby spending a night voluntarily behind bars. Per Thorbjoern Lonka said he carried out the prank in order to prove that rich people could easily pay someone else to serve their prison terms. The prison guards who locked him up failed to ask for his identity papers.

* A canny youth serving a sentence for assault in a Scottish jail escaped by virtue of the fact that his identical twin was also incarcerated there, but was due for release. When the brother’s name was called, his twin presented himself, and was duly let out. The authorities then had little choice but to free the brother as well.

* Tired of hearing reports of visitors paying grossly inflated prices for taxi rides in his city, the mayor of Prague disguised himself as an Italian visitor — and promptly unmasked a driver whose meter ran at over six times the normal rate. “Disguuised the way I was, I was certainly expecting to be charged a higher price, but not to such an outrageous extent,” he said.

* Local lawmakers in the US state of Virginia threw out a bill that would have banned young people from wearing baggy falling-down trousers, which are currently all the rage. “Underwear is called underwear for a reason” said the congressman who sought the measure.

* Forty-six students in Thailand were banned from the military for life after they tried to cheat their way through the army entrance exam via mobile phones concealed in their shoes.

* A German woman who was mistakenly recorded as being dead by her local pensions office was asked to provide documentary proof that she was, in fact, alive.

* Researchers at National University in La Jolla, California, threw a dinner party and then analysed the leftovers to see if their guests left significant DNA samples on them. Complete profiles were recovered from 43 percent of the sample, and partial ones from 33 percent. Such work could be useful in catching burglars, who often like tucking into the food found in their victims’ kitchens.

* The fashion for television detective series which focus on forensic science may be unwittingly providing tips to real-world criminals, a study by British researchers said. Some forensic scientists were even becoming unwilling to cooperate with the media for precisely that reason.

* The authorities running a cemetery near Tel Aviv were bemused to find tourists beating a path to the grave of a 19-year-old British soldier who died in fighting 66 years earlier. His name, engraved on the headstone, was Harry Potter..

* A Thai businessman who said he was giving up his massage parlour to enter parliament sought to demonstrate his new resolve by smashing a bathtub outside the assembly and then lying immobile in a coffin. The tub represented his former business, and the coffin showed that he was no longer his old self, he said.

* Before setting off to rob a bank, a man in the west African state of Mali put on charms that he believed would make him invisible. He was jailed with gunshot wounds after police guarding the place saw through him, or rather failed to do so.

* A mute young man who was found wandering on a southern English beach, and who was reported to be a virtuoso piano player, had media around the world fascinated for months. He was later found to be a German fame-seeker — and it turned out he didn’t play the piano all that well either..

* The German interior ministry said that people being snapped for ID photographs should no longer smile because it messed up their biometric recognition technology.
39.  At the scene in Atlanta - WVU forensics program sets up learning lab for bowl game By Carl “Butch” Antolini - The Register Herald [West Virginia] - JNan 1, 2006
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Mention the word criminal forensics and immediately most people think about Marg Helgenberger or David Caruso from CBS television’s popular series “CSI” and “CSI: Miami.” You know — glitz, glamour, special Hummers, and unraveling the clues to crack the case all in one hour every week.

What they don’t realize is that in reality it’s just not that way. Not even close.

West Virginia University’s internationally renowned Forensic and Investigative Science academic program has set up a learning lab in Atlanta’s Marriott Marquis ballroom so those attending Sugar Bowl activities this week can get a real feel for what crime scene investigation is all about.

Woodrow Wilson High School graduate and WVU senior Patricia Elswick is part of the forensics team on hand for the event. She says what the CSI television show portrays is actually pretty misleading when it comes to investigating crime scenes.

“It’s not all they make it out to be on TV sometimes,” Elswick said. “They don’t actually show all the grunt work that’s involved.”

Elswick, the daughter of Norman and Thu Elswick of Pax, said she actually developed her interest in forensics from her father.

“My dad would watch shows like ‘Poirot,’ ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘Murder She Wrote,’ and I got interested from there,” she stated.

Pursuing a double major in biology and forensic and investigative science, she said the main reason she chose WVU was due to the quality of the instructors in the forensics program.

“They’ve done it before, they have extensive experience in the field, and they give you a really good idea of what to expect.”

Marlene Shaposky, a senior forensics major from Summersville, says the free trip to Atlanta for New Year’s and the Sugar Bowl is nice, but there is a price.

“It’s great, but we’re working for it,” Shaposky stated. She says upon graduation she is aiming to get a job in the criminal examiner’s track or going on to war school.

The learning lab display, which will be open today and Monday, is an opportunity for WVU supporters to check out the various techniques used to help solve crimes — while also providing those visiting a chance to explore one of the university’s fastest growing majors.

“There are well over 1,000 students in the different disciplines relating to forensic science and national security,” said Max Houck, director of the Forensic Science Initiative and Research Office at WVU.

Among the fields of study available are biometrics, forensic accounting, computer forensics, criminology and investigations, and a new concentration in intelligence and national security. Specialization is also offered in forensic chemistry, forensic biology or crime scene and fingerprint analysis.

West Virginia University is one of nine forensic science programs across the country to be accredited by the Forensic Science Education Program Accreditation Commission.

So what can fans expect? Well, Houck says they plan to have some fun by doing chalk outlines, lifting fingerprints from a football and football helmet, and passing out “IdentiKit” packets to allow parents the chance to record their children’s identifying characteristics.

Becky Lofstead, director of news and information services at WVU, said the forensics program is so well known that CNN will be sending a crew to do a feature on the learning lab on Monday.


40. Match points - By Dorothy Yagodich - THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] - Jan 1, 2006
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Former Fallowfield Township resident John D. Woodward Jr. offered vital information about biometrics and the war on terrorism in two recently published articles.

On Dec. 18, 2005, United Press International published Woodward's article "Security & Terrorism," naming him as an "outside view commentator."

In order to identify a person as friend or foe, Woodward believes "biometrics are important tools to recognize a person based on physical or behavioral characteristics." He explains, people can get fake passports and drivers licenses, can change their names and use disguises to change their looks. "But they can't change fingerprints and can't easily evade other biometric methods of identification."

The FBI has a searchable database of 49 million people arrested in the U.S. for a felony or serious misdemeanor or as a suspected terrorist. This database processes about 50,000 fingerprint searches daily, "with remarkable accuracy," according to Woodward, and has become a mainstay of federal, state and local law enforcement.

In 2004, in response to the insurgency in Iraq, the Department of Defense established a biometric system, compatible with the FBI, "with fingerprints, mugshots from detainees and biometric data from foreigners coming to this country."

Still, Woodward contends, more needs to be done. If the U.S. government championed greater biometric use among federal agencies and international partners using a common standard, he said, the data matches could be an invaluable tool in identifying terrorists and others posing threats.

As an example, Woodward said fingerprints the military obtains from a detainee in Iraq could be searched against all United States and American ally agencies.

"Latent fingerprints recovered from improvised explosive devices in Iraq and from terrorist sites could be searched against the same databases. So could fingerprints of people arrested in the United States, as well as fingerprints of applicants for U.S. visas, to determine if they had previously been enemy combatants," Woodward writes.

The U. S. government, Woodward contends, is not yet searching data effectively because of legal and policy concerns, bureaucratic inertia and resource constraints. A federal biometric information management system would need a policy and oversight structure to protect civil liberties and guard against abuse.

Woodward said a good place to begin the biometric information management system is with the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board whose membership consists of federal, state, and local government law enforcement agencies.

"The United States could also forge ahead at the international level to ensure that biometric data is shared appropriately," he added. "Exploiting the power of biometrics can keep America and its allies safer."

Another Woodward article, titled "Using Biometrics to Achieve Identity Dominance in the Global War on Terrorism," appeared in the September/October 2005 issue of Military Review magazine.

Woodward writes that a fingerprint match identified the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks. "The 9/11 Commission concluded that Kahtani was the operative likely intended to round out the team for Flight 93, which crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania."

In December 2001, U.S. military detained Mohamed Al Kahtani as an enemy combatant in Southwest Asia. The 10 "rolled" fingerprints, one fingerprint of each digit recorded from nail to nail, taken by FBI agents, led investigators to believe Kahtani was the missing 20th hijacker. Woodward said Kahtani was identified because authorities matched fingerprints with those taken in August 2001 when he arrived in Orlando on a flight from London. At that time, despite a valid U.S. visa, he was denied entry because he had a one-way ticket and little money, and could not speak English or explain what he intended to do in this country. Kahtani received "voluntary departure" for a flight to Dubai after officials took his prints.

Woodward said the Kahtani match raised an intriguing possibility: Mohamed Atta had been in Florida in August 2001. Based on surveillance camera footage from the airport, investigators matched a license plate to a car rented by Atta. Other corroboration established Atta at the terminal when Kahtani's flight arrived.

A fingerprint match provided actionable intelligence, Woodward explained. This case study, he said, illustrates the importance of "identity dominance" that the U.S. military must embrace. "It must strive for identity dominance over terrorist and national-security threats who pose harm to American lives and interests."

In the global war on terrorism, identity dominance is a way to track individuals' previously used identities and past activities. It can also answer whether a suspect has been arrested in the U.S. or other countries, used aliases or fraudulent "official" documents, been detained by U.S. or coalition forces, been refused entry into the United States, been linked to a terrorist activity, had his/her fingerprints found on the remnants of an improvised explosive device or been seen within a crowd committing terrorist acts?

Woodward said official identifying documents aren't reliable, because terrorists often provide aliases and fraudulent documents to back them up, along with a cover story that makes their actions seem harmless.

"Fortunately, biometric technologies, based on a person's physiological or behavioral traits, can indelibly link a person to an identity or event," he said. "Names can be changed and documents forged, but a biometric is much less susceptible to alteration and forgery."

The challenge of identifying terrorists, Woodward said, is that they are highly mobile and elusive, and they deliberately engage in tactics to conceal their true affiliation and allegiance.

Woodward paraphrased Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Security Paul McHale: "Our enemy today is no longer in uniform, our enemy today is no longer in combat formation. Our enemy is probably wearing civilian clothes and is virtually indistinguishable from innocent counterparts throughout civilian society."

Biometrics can be used to thwart such foes, Woodward said. While face-recognition technology does not perform as well as fingerprint technology, it is improving and can be used for screening. Other biometric modalities, such as iris images, palm prints and voiceprints are under way.

"In the global war on terror, using the Automated Biometric Identification System will enable the U.S. military to identify friend or foe to keep America safer," Woodward wrote.

Woodward is the associate director of the Intelligence Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. RAND is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., with U.S. offices in Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. He works at the Capitol location. In May 2005, Woodward went to Iraq to visit sites that employ biometrics to access the effectiveness of the Department of Defense's biometrics efforts there.
41. CM inaugurates computerised attendance recording system - Web India 123 - Guwahati - Jan 1, 2006
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Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi inaugurated the biometric attendance-cum-access control system in the A-Block of the state secretariat here yesterday.

The system is a state-of-the-art fully automatic computerised attendance recording system using biometric sensor (finger print) as well as contactless smart card for a foolproof authenticiation of employees' attendence and access.

An official release said here today the system would ensure the recording of arrival and departure of all secretariat employees.

This would be a permanent record of attendence, and all employees, from the Chief Secretary to the lowest rank, would be required to register their attendence at the opening and closing hours.

The system would be introduced in other blocks shortly as part of administrative reforms, the release added.


42. Doña Ana suspect turns out not to be suspect - The U.S. Border Patrol thought they had their man. - Alamogordo News (New Mexico) - January 1, 2006
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The name, date of birth, height, weight, even the physical scars and fingerprint patterns all matched a man wanted for numerous counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor in Doña Ana County.

But in the end, the Border Patrol had to release him. The man detained wasn't the suspect after all.

A news release from the Border Patrol issued Dec. 29 stated that Fidel Venzor-Melendez, 46, was detained at the Presidio, Texas, border crossing. Venzor-Melendez had entered the U.S. in a taxi.

A database check revealed Venzor-Melendez was wanted in Doña Ana County on 14 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child under age 13, and one count of criminal sexual penetration of a minor.

The suspect was turned over to the Presidio police department and jailed. He was residing in Joshua, Texas, at the time of his arrest.

However, the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office instructed officials in Presidio to release the man Thursday evening, as he was not the same Fidel Venzor-Melendez being sought on the various charges.

Roger Maier, public affairs officer with the Border Patrol's El Paso office, said the man was released when his photo was compared with one the Doña Ana sheriff's office had of the actual suspect.

He said cases of mistaken identity based on so many similar characteristics are "exceedingly rare."

Maier said neither the Border Patrol or the sheriff's office could explain how that happened. "I don't know how that could be explained by anyone," he said.
43. A year later, RCMP helping Thais identify victims of tsunami - Brandon Sun [Canada} - Jan 1, 2006
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EDMONTON (CP) - It may be the image of rows of refrigerated metal shipping containers still housing the bodies of hundreds of victims of the Asian tsunami that will remain fixed in Cpl. Wayne Oakes's mind after a recent trip to Thailand.

The Edmonton RCMP communications specialist spent five weeks there, working at the Thai Tsunami Victim Identification Information Management Centre in Phuket, one of Thailand's most popular resort areas.

Thousands of victims - including tourists from up to three dozen countries - were killed when the monster wave roared onto Thailand's famous hotel-lined beaches Dec. 26, 2004.

When the waters receded, 216,000 people were either dead or missing in such countries as Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. A year later, efforts continue to identify the victims and bring closure to their families.

Two Alberta RCMP forensics experts travelled to Thailand earlier in the year to help with the identifications, and another communications officer will head there in February.

Oakes said his experience handling the media stir after the murders of four RCMP officers near Mayerthorpe, Alta., in March 2005 qualified him to take on the job of fielding international media requests and co-ordinating information at the Interpol-sponsored identification centre in Thailand.

As Oakes clicks through nearly 1,500 photos he snapped during his five-week stay in Thailand during November and December, he keeps going back to images of forensic experts wheeling white body bags in and out of the giant shipping containers where over 800 bodies still await identification.

"When you're in an area and there's 60 steel containers, each of which has the capacity to hold 40 bodies, and there's 800 people who were vacationing, holidaying, working and they're gone in an instant - it's very sobering."

Of 3,750 tsunami victims the information centre has documented in Thailand, nearly 3,000 identifications have been made, largely using dental records, fingerprints and DNA samples.

Because bodies have been exposed to extreme heat, Oakes said getting good DNA samples has been difficult and has only helped identify about 800.

Dental records have helped trace 1,200 victims and have been by far the most successful method of identifying family members, he said.

Forensic experts have even developed a method of getting fingerprints from corpses. Fingers are cut off the body and immersed in kettles of boiling water to make the rigid, dried skin more pliable.

"It rehydrates the digits and enables the technician to then, in most cases, get a print that can possibly result in identification," Oakes said.

Over the last year, nearly 2,000 personnel from 31 different countries have been involved in the identification process, with help from labs in China, Sweden, Britain and Bosnia.

It has included some painstaking work by those international teams, which have sometimes had to use the DNA from a victim's toothbrush to make a positive identification.

"Returning that person to being a person and reuniting them with their family - it's worth being here and it's worth putting that effort into it," said Oakes.

During his stay in Phuket, Oakes watched excavation teams dismantle open sewer tanks on nearby Phi Phi Island in the continuing search for bodies.

"There was a belief that bodies could have gotten washed in there," he said, showing a photograph of the garbage-strewn sewer pits filled with dark, brackish water.

"They completely emptied out the tanks in an effort to see if there was any victims. They found clothing, they found jewelry, several pieces of identification. They found two hotel safes - one was empty and one was full of contents."

They also found chicken bones in the sewer tanks, but this time, human remains were mercifully absent.


44. Alleged al-Qaida aide said to fake death by SELCAN HACAOGLU - Associated Press - Houston Chronicle - Jan 1, 2006
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An alleged al-Qaida operative accused of serving as a key link between the group's leaders and suicide bombers hid his tracks so well that even fellow militants thought he was dead.

Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa, wanted by Turkey for 2003 bombings in Istanbul that killed 58 people, is said to have eluded intelligence services by using an array of fake IDs, employing aliases even with his al-Qaida contacts and finally faking his death in Fallujah, Iraq, in late 2004.

The Syrian radical didn't surface until last August, when an accidental explosion forced him to flee his safehouse in the Turkish resort of Antalya, police say. Officers reported finding bomb-making materials meant for an attack on an Israeli cruise ship as well as fake IDs and passports from several countries.

Police eventually cornered al-Saqa in southeastern Turkey and he is awaiting trial on terrorism charges.

His story is an example of how al-Qaida militants operate in the shadows, changing identities, moving from country to country and covering their tracks to help the loosely organized terror network carry out attacks.

Until recent years, al-Saqa was not well-known to international intelligence agencies despite his conviction in absentia in 2002 - along with al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - for a failed plot to attack Americans and Israelis in Jordan with poison gas during millennium celebrations. He and al-Zarqawi were each sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Al-Saqa later emerged as a key al-Qaida operative in the Middle East. Two Turkish terror suspects interrogated at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said al-Saqa served as a connection between the 2003 Istanbul bombers and al-Qaida, according to testimony obtained by The Associated Press.

"He is a very important person for that region because obviously he knows more people than the locals themselves," said Michael Radu, a terrorism analyst at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. "He probably meets people from different cells, different subgroups who do not know each other, but he knows them so he can have a much better picture."

Al-Saqa, 32, juggled identities, and rumors, to elude intelligence agencies.

Turkish al-Qaida suspect Burhan Kus said at Abu Ghraib that he had heard al-Saqa and Habib Akdas, the accused ringleader of the Istanbul bombers, were killed in a U.S. bombardment of the Iraqi town of Fallujah in November 2004.

"Al-Saqa apparently faked his own death, borrowing a disinformation tactic used by Chechen militants," said Ercan Citlioglu, a terrorism expert at the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

Several accused Turkish al-Qaida suspects recognized al-Saqa's photos but identified him with different names, most calling him "Syrian Alaaddin."

"The al-Saqa case clearly shows how al-Qaida is taking advantage of fake IDs and porous borders to spread its terror, forcing countries to take more sophisticated measures, like taking fingerprints in the United States, to increase border security," Citlioglu said.

Analysts said his capture was a blow to al-Qaida since he would be one of only a few people who understood the infrastructure of an organization that lacks permanent, hierarchical links.

"That is a serious blow because it is very hard to replace these kind of people," said Radu.

But Turkish security officials warn that others still operate in the region. One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described al-Saqa as one of fewer than a dozen al-Qaida "middle managers" who serve as contacts between local cells and the al-Qaida leadership.

Al-Saqa's success in eluding capture for so long underlines the challenges that authorities face in trying to crack down on al-Qaida and the insurgency in Iraq.

He apparently left Iraq after spreading the rumor about his death in Fallujah. Nine months later, police responding to the Antalya explosion discovered more than 1,320 pounds of bomb-making materials, falsified Syrian and Turkish IDs and two Tunisian passports.

All bore al-Saqa's picture. He eventually was captured at Diyarbakir airport in southeastern Turkey with yet another fake Turkish ID.

Only then did Turkish police realize they had captured and deported al-Saqa - without knowing his real identity - in March 2003 for carrying a fake Syrian passport.

Identifying himself as a "mujahed" - guerrilla fighter - al-Saqa admitted to failed plans to make a bomb and to stage an attack on Israeli tourist ships, similar to the attack on the destroyer USS Cole off Yemen in October 2000 that killed 17 sailors, said Emin Demirel, a terrorism expert and author of several books on al-Qaida's structure in Turkey.

According to testimony obtained by AP, al-Saqa told Turkish prosecutors: "I was going to blow up the Israeli ship in international waters."

Prosecutors charged al-Saqa with being a senior al-Qaida member, making bombs and smuggling explosives into Turkey. He is being held at the high-security Kandira prison near Istanbul. No trial date has been set.

Al-Saqa could also be extradited to Jordan, where a military court convicted him, al-Zarqawi and Jordanian-American Raed Hijazi in connection with the failed millennium terror attack. Jordanian prosecutors suggested in their indictment that al-Saqa was an agent coordinating between militants traveling through Turkey to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In Istanbul, Al-Saqa played host to Hijazi and two other militants, including a cousin of al-Zarqawi, helping to arrange their travel to Pakistan for training in neighboring Afghanistan, court documents said.

Kus, the terror suspect held at Abu Ghraib, said al-Saqa was known to have provided passports to insurgents in Istanbul. He said al-Saqa brought $50,000 to Istanbul for the 2003 bombings at the British consulate, the local headquarters of the London-based bank HSBC and two synagogues. A total of 58 people were killed and hundreds suffered wounds.

Kus said al-Saqa and fellow ringleader Akdas cheered and shouted "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is great" - as they watched TV news in Syria about the bombings.

Seventy-two suspects were eventually charged in the attacks. The next hearing in that case is scheduled for Jan. 24.

Kus, charged with helping to build the Istanbul truck bombs, said he later traveled from Syria with Akdas to Iraq, where al-Saqa was a commander in Fallujah, then an insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad.

<>Associated Press reporter Jamal Halaby in Amman, Jordan, contributed to this report.


45, Tech lab arms cops with new sidekicks - Cyber files decoding evidence of new era - BY KATIE WANG -  The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) - Jan 1, 2005
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Everything about the new FBI regional computer forensics laboratory in Hamilton Township screams the word "geek."

The carpeting is emblazoned with maroon 0's and 1's -- the binary digits to which all computer codes can be reduced. A bookshelf in the main laboratory area features books about Unix, Windows XP and Quickbooks. And there are the 21 workstations, each crammed with computers, diskettes and other gizmos.

This is the new age of solving crimes: bits and bytes.

As technology has touched nearly all corners of society, crime has followed with it. Details about prostitution rings, drug deals, terroristic threats, pyramid schemes and missing persons cases can be stored in everything from a PDA to a cell phone -- and it is up to the cops to go into cyberspace to find them.

In 2004, the FBI opened the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory dedicated solely to extracting evidence from computers, cell phones, iPods, PDAs and even video game consoles. It is the first on the East Coast and one of eight in the country.

"One of the biggest challenges in digital technology is that none of us can be experts in everything," said Larry Depew, 49, director of the New Jersey Computer Forensics Laboratory.

Before the laboratory opened, the FBI's computer forensics lab was confined to one room in another FBI building in Franklin Township. They had three computers and an 18-month backlog of cases.

In 2004, state Attorney General Peter Harvey offered federal authorities 17,000 square feet of space in the state's Technology Complex in Hamilton. The lab today has 143 computers and 21 forensic examiners from eight police agencies in the state.

The laboratory is wrapped in tight security, with bulletproof windows and doors and cameras posted in corners. Flat-screen security monitors are perched throughout the laboratory, with a split screen showing different rooms in the building. If a visitor is on the premises, a blue light will flash throughout the lab, warning technicians to work discreetly.

The evidence, everything from laptops, cell phones, PDAs, iPods, GPS systems, is stored in pink, plastic heat-sealed, anti-static bags to preserve whatever data is on the gadgets. The rules of computer forensic evidence are not much different from traditional forensics: recognize, preserve, acquire, analyze. But instead of working with fingerprints, or DNA, these technicians are staring into the vacuum of cyberspace, trying to string together a person's computer usage based on their Internet files and other trace elements.

"Digital evidence is just a piece of the puzzle," said Depew, 49, a former field agent, who has a white lab coat with the word "Geek" hanging in his office. "There's no one single smoking gun in most computer cases. It's a series of analyses."

Those searches, however are much more exhausting because of technology itself. Crimes are more complex, aided by sophisticated software that can encrypt information or disguise e-mail addresses. And the search field has widened on hard drives. Today's computers can store as much as 250 gigabytes of information compared with 4 to 10 gigabytes about a decade ago. One gigabyte can hold about 1,000 novels.

The number of cases also has increased.

So far this year, the lab has handled 491 cases from New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and New York. In 2004, the lab handled 340 cases.

One of the crimes this lab was called to work on was an espionage case involving Vice President Dick Cheney's office. Technicians analyzed the Internet activity of Leandro Aragoncillo, a former FBI analyst arrested in October and accused of downloading more than 150 classified documents from FBI computer systems at the Fort Monmouth Information Technology Center.

Depew would not comment directly on that case, but said generally technicians look at the documents used, the Internet use and the browser cookies to piece together a log of a suspect's computer use.

And about a year ago, when a Burlington County woman disappeared, the local police brought her laptop to the computer forensics lab to search for clues.

Within an hour, based upon her Internet searches, forensics experts concluded the woman had not been abducted, but was suicidal. They were able to track her down, but by the time they found her, she had already killed herself.

Elsewhere, forensic experts at the FBI's Kansas City lab were able to trace a computer diskette to Dennis Rader, the notorious BTK killer who terrorized Kansas residents for decades. They also played a role in the capture of Lisa Montgomery, a Kansas woman accused of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett and cutting Stinnett's baby out of her womb. Authorities in that case found e-mail correspondence between the two, leading to Montgomery's arrest.

The lab, however, isn't just about finding evidence. It also serves as a training ground for cops and must also keep up with the latest and newest gadgets.

"It used to be that bad guys were always a step ahead and depending on the nature of the technology, that may still be true to some degree," said Chris Malinowksi, the retired director of the computer crimes unit for the New York Police Department. "But you may find some units out there, where once a new technology comes out, they will beef up that technology."

In fact, Depew said the laboratory bought an XBox 360 recently because they realized data could be stored on that system and wanted to acquaint themselves with the console for a potential case.

"The imagination of the industry and the rapid advance of digital data is the challenge in this field," Depew said. "We have a group of people who are dedicated to getting the job done."
46. Israeli consortium lays the groundwork for genetic 'credit card' - By David Brinn -  -  January 01, 2006
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Imagine this scenario: a patient goes to visit his family doctor complaining of allergy systems. He takes his gene card out of his wallet and hands it to the physician, who swipes it through a runner connected to his computer. Immediately, all of the data about the patient's genome - his genetic makeup - appears on the screen, and from that information, the doctor is able to prescribe the appropriate medication that will be most effective without causing any side effects.

A futuristic pipe dream? Not according to Professor Ariel Miller of the Technion's Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and head of the Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Research Center at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. Miller is leading an ambitious consortium involving scientists and engineers from five Technion faculties, which is attempting to locate genes that will enable tailoring drug therapy to each patient individually. This could solve one of the most difficult problems currently facing physicians: which drug to prescribe to a patient and in what dosage.

"The current mode of most medical treatment is based on trial and error," Miller told ISRAEL21c. "Let's say a patient comes to a doctor and is diagnosed with hypertension. The physician prescribes a medication - but it's basically a gamble as to whether that med is the best one for the patient. Then over the next few months, you see how the patient responds. If there's not sufficient results, you might increase the dosage, and if there are side effects, you might switch the medication.

"So, the possible end result is that for a few months, the patient might suffer from side effects from a medication which is insufficient in the first place."

The Technion gene project will solve that problem by pinpointing individualized medicine tailored to the patient in accordance with his genome. According to Miller, it will enable the attending physician to predict reaction to the drug treatment and will replace the 'trial and error' medical treatment used today.

"If a patient has a certain genome, he'll react to medication differently than a person with another genome," he succinctly explained.

Five faculties and ten scientists - from Medicine, Industrial Engineering and Management, Bio-Technology and Food Engineering, Bio-Medical Engineering and Computer Science - have joined together for project, including Technion faculty and physicians from Rambam, Carmel and Haemek Medical Centers, together with their assistants.

"The computer scientists among us will develop methods to analyze the genetic data and genomes that will be provided to them by the physicians and scientists," explained Professor Ron Pinter, of the Technion's Faculty of Computer Science, and an expert in bio-information who is coordinating the project with Miller.

"Ultimately, we hope to create the guidelines that will enable physicians to more effectively administer medication. The bottom line is that we'll be able to provide the tools that will be able to tell which medication that's available on the market will be the most effective for a given patient," he told ISRAEL21c.

The project is being sponsored by the Wolfson Foundation of Great Britain and the Galil Center at the Technion, and was launched following the initial success of research that Miller and his team have conducted over the last four years related to pharmacogenetics - the science of tailoring medications according to an individual's genome.

"Around four years ago, coinciding with the work on the Human Genome Project [the 13-year effort to identify more than 20,000 genes in the human DNA lineup], we decided to deal with the issue of how it can be used to physically change the way patients are treated," said Miller.

A team of neurologists and scientists from the Technion - in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade and with the pharmaceutical company Teva - tried to answer a relatively simple question related to Teva's groundbreaking drug for multiple sclerosis - Copaxone.

"The Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Research Center at the Carmel Medical Center were very involved in testing Copaxone, the world's leading drug for treatment of MS - we were the first to discover how Copaxone worked in humans," said Miller.

The question they attempted to answer was - when you have a new MS patient, how do you decide whether to give them Copaxone or something different?

"For every treatment, patients are categorized as 'good responders', 'poor responders' and 'adverse responders'. We genotyped - or analyzed - hundreds of patients who have received Copaxone over the years, then compared their genetics. We looked for things like if there was a common denominator among all good responders, and likewise with the other responders," Miller said.

"We've received positive preliminary results. We fished out a number of genes that possess crucial 'SNPs' ['single nucleotide polymorphisms' - which are DNA sequence variations that occur when a single nucleotide in the genome sequence is altered.] These genes define whether a patient will respond to a medication or not. Now we need a bigger, more advanced study which is why we've launched this expanded group under the headline 'Personalized Medicine,'" added Miller.

Lack of information as to what drug is suitable for which patient and what dosage is needed, harms patients and creates unnecessary expenses arising from hospitalization as a result of drug reactions and even disability caused to patients, according to Miller.

"Going back to the hypertension example, if you misdiagnose for many months, it could result in the patient having a stroke, or myocardial infarction. This project will help prevent side effects, the resultant hospitalization, and will avoid giving medication which doesn't fit. It will have a major economic impact, by lowering hospital stays and money spent on ineffective medication. We're talking about millions of dollars," said Miller.

Among the issues that the consortium will be investigating besides the continued MS research are - treatments for psoriasis - does a patient respond better to UV or to sunlight? And antibiotics - why certain people who get certain antibiotics suffer hearing loss. And, according to Miller, the issue of personalized medicine is not just for medication, but also for lifestyle.

"For example, we may map the genome for the kind of person who is prone to get a headache after drinking a glass of red wine."

With five faculties and many researchers involved in the project, Miller and Pinter are optimistic that the varied skills and interests of the team will work together in harmony.

"Part of the problems are already behind us - we've agreed on a common agenda," said Pinter, who has a masters and PhD from MIT and has worked for 20 years in industrial research and computation biology. "We've developed a good rapport among ourselves and have developed a common language. We're enlisting our own toolboxes, skills and techniques to benefit whatever we know in the specific context of a problem.

"We've already taken the first steps by organizing four research teams to work together on specific issues. The first team to actually meet is looking at the issue of data integration - how to organize multitudes of data types, and how to get the most amount of information available. This will help us learn where we need to conduct more research and experiments," Pinter said.

According to Miller and Pinter, the gene project highlights the unique ability of the Technion to integrate engineering, scientific and medical capabilities, one that is not surpassed in the world.

"I think we're among the world's leading teams in the field, and we've just received grants from the Wolfson Trust for the purchasing of cutting edge technology for genotyping, which will allow us to do a number of things we hadn't been able to," said Miller. "We have a unique environment at the Technion - a combination of top scientists, physicians and engineers. When I go to speak abroad, I say it's like putting together Harvard and MIT," he said.

Added Pinter, "the Technion is unique in that it's a technical university with a medical school. There's very few in the world. Here you have people with skills in engineering, math and computer sciences working side by side with researchers in medical science and with practicing physicians."

In the future, Miller hope the project will lead to the development of new drugs according to the patient's genome. But in the much more immediate future, there's the gene card.

"The vision that the patients will come to the family physician with a disk on key - a 'Health Key,' or maybe it will be like a credit card. All the information of their genome will show on the computer, and the physician will be able to match it to the right medication.

"This is not so far off in the future. In some diseases, it's already applicable. The FDA announced two years ago that only women with a certain genetic makeup would benefit from a certain medication for breast cancer. So now every woman with breast cancer who is recommended to take this medication is going through genetic studies."

While coordinating the various faculties and individuals involved in the consortium is a daunting task, Miller is accepting it with good spirits, and a bulldog determination that focuses on the goal line. "In the future such a personal health card can save human lives."


47. Zero tolerance urged on foreign criminals - By Philip Johnston - The Telegraph (UK) - Jan 2, 2006
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Serious criminal behaviour by foreign nationals should be met with zero tolerance, a report says today. It calls for a presumption that deportation will be recommended for any offence that brings a 12-month jail sentence.

One in eight prisoners - about 10,000 - is a foreign national and the increase in overseas inmates has taken up 3,500 more spaces in the past five years than had been expected.

Every year the courts recommend deportation in only about 600 cases but no statistics are kept to show whether these are actually carried out.

The study by the UK think-tank Migrationwatch suggests that the arrangements are haphazard and that the guidelines to the courts, unrevised for 25 years despite the big rise in foreign inmates, are unclear.

The Home Office says that any foreign national sent to prison, with the exception of certain Commonwealth and Irish nationals, is liable to deportation.

The Home Secretary can make such an order after a recommendation by a court or on his own initiative on the grounds that the offender's presence is not conducive to the public good. But no one knows how many are removed.

A few years ago the Government introduced a scheme under which foreign national prisoners serving sentences of more than three months were to leave jail up to four and a half months early, bringing them into line with the home detention curfew for domestic prisoners.

Paul Goggins, the Home Office minister, said at the time: "There are many foreign nationals in prisons, some of whom will be suitable to deport before the end of their sentence.

On removal from prison they will be deported immediately to their country of origin. This will have a positive impact on the prison population as well as making a saving to the taxpayer."

The Home Office said that 1,500 prisoners had been removed under the scheme in the past year, although its parliamentary answers admit that deportation figures are not kept.

Migrationwatch says the system is unfair to those who are deported because proceedings usually begin only towards the end of the sentence.

As there are opportunities for appeal, the inmate can be kept in custody long after the term handed down while legal arguments continue.

The report calls for central records to be kept, including biometric information that should be available to posts that issue visas overseas to prevent offenders applying under a false identity.

The Sentencing Advisory Council is drawing up guidelines to the courts on how and when deportation should be recommended.

In a consultation paper last year it also criticised the lack of official figures. The last statistics it could find dated from 1996, when 360 court recommendations were made and 270 carried out.

Migrationwatch says: "At present, it is not possible to make deportation part of the sentence. The law should be changed to permit this to reduce the amount of time spent by foreign prisoners in Britain's heavily overcrowded jails."

"There should also be a presumption that deportation should be recommended for certain offences, including drugs, people smuggling, forgery of travel documents, serious offences of violence and sexual offences."

48. Wanted: Up-Front Security - Security built into software and systems will be a high priority for businesses in 2006. - By Larry Greenemeier,  InformationWeek  - Jan. 2, 2006
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Companies have made big investments in security, and even though keeping security current isn't as exciting as, say, investing in technologies that generate revenue, it still ranks among businesses' top priorities.

In the coming year, businesses and software vendors won't expect any reprieve from ever-inventive malware and hackers. InformationWeek Research's Outlook/Priorities 1Q 2006 survey of 300 business-technology professionals ranks updating security tools, policies, and procedures as the third most-important priority for businesses in early 2006. It's a priority beaten only by efforts to simplify or optimize business processes and cut IT costs, and ranked higher than boosting worker productivity and improving customer service.

Still, only 62% of respondents flagged security as a top priority. That's the lowest percentage in InformationWeek Research's past six priority studies. It was rated a top priority among 82% of respondents at this time last year, and received an all-time high respondent rate of 91% in the 2Q 2004 study.

One reason may be that some businesses have just completed major security updates. Another reason might be that more businesses are making security a strategy of their software and system development from the onset, rather than adding on security technologies after software or systems are deployed. "There's a shift in spending from add-on threat prevention to building in security from the ground up," says Paul Stamp, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Vendors Sign on
It's an approach software vendors are taking, too. While regular patch downloads from Microsoft, Oracle, and others have become the norm, in the coming year, look for vendors to redouble their efforts to get things right the first time.

Late last month, Oracle said it planned to start using Fortify Software Inc.'s Source Code Analysis tool to look for potential vulnerabilities in software being developed, including its application server, collaboration suite, database server, and identity-management software. "Patches are expensive for us to issue and for customers to apply," Oracle chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson says. "What you want to do is avoid this in the long run."

Oracle chose Fortify because other products couldn't analyze a code base the size of Oracle's, Davidson says. Oracle's technology stack consists of more than 30 million lines of code and is constantly changing as the company develops new versions of software.

Fortify's software also proved more accurate than other code-analysis tools Oracle tested. "False positives have been the bane of my existence," Davidson says. "A high false-positive rate makes the security problem worse. You have programmers chasing their tails."

Code-analysis tools aren't new, but they're doing new types of things. Earlier incarnations were primarily designed to test programs to make sure that areas of code executed according to plan, so that users got the experience that vendors promised. New technologies such as Fortify's, as well as Agitar Software's Agitator, Parasoft's JTest and C++Test, and Watchfire's AppScan, are tuned to address security holes during the application-development and testing phases. "Instead of looking at what the code should be doing, we look at what the code should not be doing," Fortify CEO John Jack says.

Another way software vendors and businesses developing their own custom applications will improve security this year is to build security features such as user authentication, data encryption, and identity management into the software.

There are products coming onto the market that will help. 2factor Inc. in February will begin shipping its Real Privacy Management software development kit, which is designed to let companies develop applications that perform continuous, mutual authentication and encryption. Unlike Secure Sockets Layer encryption, 2factor says its new product will authenticate and encrypt every transmission for both sender and receiver across any network, on any device.

Be Authentic
Improving user authentication in general also will be a focus this year. The Liberty Alliance Project's new Strong Authentication Expert Group--which includes American Express, the Defense Department, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel--is preparing a framework to help companies implement two-factor user authentication (meaning two separate forms of authentication are required for a user to gain access).

The framework will offer open specifications that let authentication technologies such as hardware and software tokens, smart cards, and biometrics interoperate across networks. It's an important development because the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, a government standards body, has stipulated that financial-services companies must create two-factor authentication for online applications by year's end.

The next step in the evolution of authentication technology is mutual authentication between a business and its customers, which lets customers create a personal page that they use each time they log on to a company's Web applications. If the customer is directed to a logon page without the specified personal information, such as a favorite phrase or a digital photo of a pet, the customer is warned that the page might not be legitimate.

The initiative for Open Authentication, a consortium of 55 technology and user companies--including Diversinet, PortWise, and VeriSign--advocates this approach. It has submitted a draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force, an international standards organization, that outlines how to create mutual authentication within Web applications.

Since security is a numbers game that weighs risk against cost, companies in 2006 would do well to assess the level of risk in their IT environments and invest accordingly in security technology and user education. The price of securing networks and Web applications may be minimal when compared with lost business opportunities or, worse, lost or stolen data.

49. Editorial: VIP screening a better way to fly? - [Florida] -  January 2, 2006
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One critical reason why airline passengers cooperated with the intrusive screening that followed 9/11, and grudgingly tolerated its excesses, was the sense that we were all in this together. And we were. First class and tourist, Cabinet secretary and custodian alike removed their belts and shoes.

Now the Transportation Security Administration is getting more selective — and that has its good and bad points.

TSA plans to train screeners at 40 major airports this year to ferret out suspicious characters. The strategy includes engaging travelers in casual conversation. Fliers who raise concerns will undergo extra physical screening and police questioning.

This seems to make sense. With more than 600 million passengers boarding planes each year, authorities need to focus resources on likely suspects.

Civil libertarians complain that this will lead to racial profiling, and worry about the TSA keeping demographic data secret.

These concerns are, so far, ungrounded. The psychological techniques have been tested during the past year at a half-dozen U.S. airports, including Miami International Airport, and no problems have been reported. Besides, would the ACLU prefer that demographic data be publicized?

TSA, meantime, is considering creating separate VIP screening for passengers. Travelers willing to pay a fee to a private company, probably $80 or more, undergo a background check and provide some sort of biometric ID could breeze through a separate screening — and keep their shoes on and their pants up.

In a test at Orlando International Airport, the average wait for the VIP screening was four seconds; for regular people, over four minutes. The maximum wait time for the VIPs was three minutes; the maximum for regular people, more than half an hour.

Understandably, frequent fliers like the idea. But should the government be creating preferred classes of people at taxpayer expense?

If the express-lane program ends up lengthening the lines for everyone else, that would seem to be taking two steps backward.

50. Crystal ball displaying technical advances by Gerard Voland  - Fort Waytne [Indiana] Journal Gazette - Jan 2, 2005
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As we begin a new year, it might be encouraging to consider some of the emerging technologies that will enter our lives by 2010.

I prefer to take this five-year view, rather than trying to predict innovations for 2006, because many factors can affect the development of new products and systems.

•In the realm of entertainment, two next-generation videodisc DVD storage formats will be marketed widely during the next year.

The Blu-ray format (developed by Sony) has the capacity to store up to 30 gigabytes of data, and the HD-DVD system (developed by Toshiba and NEC) has a storage capacity of 50 gigabytes. Each system will allow users to record televised programs broadcast in high-definition mode with its correspondingly huge amount of video and audio data.

In addition, new holographic videodiscs with light reactive crystals are being developed that will allow information to be stored not just on the surface of a disk but through it as well, increasing the storage capacity to 1 terabyte (equal to 1,000 gigabytes). A laser will scan the different layers of information, allowing people to store as many as 300 motion pictures on a single holographic disk.

•In the world of computers, Microsoft will introduce its new operating system, Windows Vista, by the end of 2006, providing both higher performance and much greater protection against viruses and worms than currently achieved.

•Wireless Internet communication will become more widespread as long-distance broadband connection networks further develop.

Currently, WiFi local area network access points operate over relatively short ranges, spanning distances of only a few hundred feet, meaning that the user must be within a small hotspot range. In contrast, new WiMax systems will use towers (similar to those for cell phones) to extend their operation to hotspot sectors of 25 miles or more, permitting people to communicate from virtually anywhere.

As a result, the number of mobile device users should increase dramatically from the 650 million worldwide in 2004 to a much larger number. Hopefully, both individual and collective productivity also will increase.

•Soldiers will wear clothing that includes an on-board computer and shock-absorbing materials to better protect the wearer from bullets and shrapnel.

Combatants will be able to communicate more confidently with aircraft and fellow soldiers, sharing data in a secure and immediate form. And the weight of this equipment and clothing will be less than half of that carried by today’s soldier.

•Cybernetics will become more prominent in health care and rehabilitation.

For example, within the next two years a cyber hand developed by researchers in four countries is expected to be implanted in amputees, allowing users to control their artificial hands through the central nervous system in a natural way.

•Given the worldwide concern about a possible pandemic, revised manufacturing methods for quickly producing effective vaccines for bird flu and other influenzas will be developed.

•Biometric identification techniques, radiation and motion sensors, surveillance mechanisms and other devices will be augmented by new systems for the war of terror.

The use of more traditional technology also will be expanded; for example, England has been installing a national surveillance camera system to better monitor automobile travel, with up to 35 million license plates expected to be scanned each day in early 2006.

When fully implemented, the database system should be able to record all automobile travel throughout the nation for a span of two years or more. And all of us will continue to debate the relative costs and benefits of such systems in terms of enhanced security versus diminished personal privacy.

•Sports will be affected by new technologies, as illustrated by Adidas’ new soccer ball, the +Teamgeist.

With fewer seams and thermal bonding of materials, this ball is rounder and more balanced than traditional soccer balls. Moreover, it retains little water when wet, reducing the increase in weight from about 10 percent for regular balls to less than 0.1 percent, providing players with more-consistent performance characteristics under a variety of conditions. It will be the official ball of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.

•And as technology and the global economy advance rapidly with each passing year, outsourcing of higher tech jobs to other nations is likely to accelerate – making it more critical than ever that the United States retains its position as the leading developer of emerging technologies and their use in new products.
Gerard Voland is the dean of the School of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Send questions and comments to him a

51. Press Release - Identity Management Solution promotes enterprise security. - [Date of Original Release - Dec 5, 2005] - Full text of originla release is at source   Next  Contents

January 2, 2006 - Novell® Identity Manager v3 facilitates deployment and management of automated, policy-driven user provisioning solutions. Ensuring security and compliance, cross-platform provisioning and identity management solution delivers visual modeling, workflow, and self-service capabilities. Tools help create and adapt new, complex approval workflows; simplify and control user access; protect sensitive data; and comply with corporate and regulatory mandates.

52. University's thumb rule malfunctions - By: Kiran Tare - MidDay [India] December 30, 2005
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On January 2, the thumb will rule Mumbai University. The 20 departments of the university have invested around Rs 40 lakh on 20 biometric machines, which will record attendance for 2,000 non-teaching staff on the basis of their thumb impression.

This, say varsity sources, will give an accurate record of an employee’s time of arrival and departure. But the machines at the university campuses at Fort and Kalina are able to record only the arrival time.

How it works

The biometric machine is an electronic device, which records name and time the moment a person places his thumb on the tray. The thumb impression of each worker has a code number with his personal details.

Only half the job

The machines at the university, however, are doing just half the job. Said Sheela Karekar, who works in the accounts department, “We tried out these machines and found that they accept the thumb impression just once. The outgoing time isn’t recorded.”

Siddhi Breed, an establishment department worker, said, “A colleague pointed out that it even accepted the impression of another finger.”

While the university is silent on the matter, an official, on condition of anonymity, admitted the problems in the machines. “But we are working on it. We hope for a speedy solution,” he added.

53. Press Release - Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Homeland Security Accomplishments and Priorities - December 20, 2005
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Secretary Chertoff:  Well, I want to thank the Provost, and I want to thank Frank, and I want to thank the University for hosting me in this return engagement at George Washington.

It is true that I was here about nine months ago outlining a first draft of a vision for where the Department of Homeland Security might go.  And of course, at that point, I had no way of foreseeing the challenges we would face in 2005, but at least we had a sense at that point of some of the broad outlines of what we would be trying to develop during the course of this year as we position ourselves for, really, the 21st century challenge of homeland security.

So it's particularly, I guess, opportune for me to come back to this site of my first major speech on the topic of homeland security to take a look backward to 2005, give you a kind of report on where the Department is as I see it, and some prediction of where I think we're going to go in 2006.

I don't think it's a revelation for me to say that for the Department of Homeland Security, 2005 was a year of change and challenge.  The year brought changes in the form of new leadership of the department, as well as a comprehensive plan, which we call the Second Stage Review, to change the department's priorities, operations, and organizational structure.

The year also brought some significant challenges, most notably in the form of unprecedented and devastating hurricanes that stretched our existing capabilities beyond the breaking point. 

As a result of both the changes and the challenges, we see once again what an enormous opportunity but also an enormous responsibility we have, as we fashion this still-young department, and as we help it to mature as quickly as we can into the department that will serve the country for the balance of the 21st century.

What's our best assets and our strongest resources?  Well, I'm happy to say there's no question that it is the over 180,000 men and women who I am proud to call my coworkers in the field of homeland security.  I have had a chance in the last 10 months to get out and about and meet and talk to and shake hands with literally thousands of men and women who serve the nation at the Department of Homeland Security from sea to shining sea, in the air, on land, and in Coast Guard cutters on both oceans.

For me, the true spirit of DHS is summed up by some of the individual stories of what our men and women have accomplished in this last year.

During Hurricane Katrina, Coast Guard Petty Officer Matt Laub and his team flew 16 separate helicopter rescue missions.  They lifted hundreds of stranded survivors to safety -- some from flooded rooftops, others from weakened balconies, and all facing rising flood waters.  In all, Matt and his comrades saved 153 people.

Border Patrol agent Raymond Rivera risked his own life in a joint operation to break apart human smuggling rings in Nogales, Arizona.  His actions led to the arrests of more than 100 illegal migrants, the seizure of more than 50 vehicles, and more than two dozen felony prosecutions.

Charles Dille and his team of TSA screeners worked non-stop over a 28-hour period to load more than 7,000 Katrina survivors onto airplanes at the New Orleans airport so they could be evacuated to safety.

These DHS employees, and thousands more like them, represent the best of this department.  They are professional, they are tireless, they are dedicated, and all of them have made tremendous personal sacrifices for a cause greater than themselves.

To all of my colleagues gathered here today and to those stationed all around the country and overseas, I want to thank you for your hard work during the year 2005.

By any measure, it was a remarkable year for the department, in terms of what we faced.  Across our country, we made significant strides protecting vital infrastructure and assets, preventing security breaches, ensuring safe travel and trade across our borders, protecting privacy and civil liberties, and expanding critical partnerships at every level. 

At our borders, we caught more than one million illegal migrants attempting to enter our country.  We seized more than $100 million in counterfeit goods, and prevented more than 2 million pounds points of illegal drugs from reaching our communities.  We also stepped up interior enforcement efforts, arresting 1,600 illegal gang members and convicting 1,300 human traffickers and 5,700 drug smugglers.

By the end of this year, 2005, we will have fully implemented the biometric entry portion of the U.S.-VISIT system at 115 airports, 14 seaports, and 150 land ports of entry.  This will strengthen our ability to allow legitimate travelers to come and go easily while we are still able to detect potential threats with greater speed and accuracy.

This completed rollout of U.S.-VISIT marks a major milestone for the security of our nation.  We've also strengthened identity document security requirements and established more vigorous entry procedures for those requiring visas and those traveling through the western hemisphere.

To protect our skies, we've adjusted screening procedures and enhanced technology to counter the increasing threat of explosives.  We've given our federal air marshals greater flexibility so they can blend into their surroundings and maintain their cover during airline flights.  Here in Washington, we reopened Reagan National Airport to limited private and commercial aircraft, but under stringent security guidelines.  And we also -- and this is probably the most popular decision I made during the year, eliminated a post-9/11 requirement that kept passengers in their seats coming in and out of Reagan National for 30 minutes.

All of these items I've discussed embody the principle of common-sense risk management that I outlined here when I spoke to you in March.  And now we're going to put our money where our mouth is, as far as risk management is concerned. 

To ensure that our homeland security efforts are targeted to areas of greatest risk and need, we have integrated additional risk-based criteria into our grant-making formulas.  Now, any, federal, state or local entity that receives a homeland security grant has to demonstrate how that funding contributes to our national preparedness goals and enhances specific capabilities of the region and the nation.  And later this week, I anticipate announcing the first wave of grants that will benefit from this enhanced, risk-based formula.

Partnerships, of course, are also critical to our success at home and abroad.  We've made unprecedented efforts to reach out to state and local governments in the past years.  In August, we hosted a first-ever national meeting between senior DHS leadership and state homeland security advisors and state emergency managers.  We held this working meeting, actually, before Hurricane Katrina, because we recognized that, of course, all wisdom doesn't reside in Washington, and there's a tremendous amount of wisdom, creativity and also responsibility that has to reside at the state and local level.  We're going to work to expand these partnerships with state and local leaders and the private sector as we move forward, particularly in the area of catastrophic planning.

We also continue to actively build partnerships overseas.  With our neighbors in Canada and Mexico, we launched the Security and Prosperity Partnership to achieve better coordination on issues affecting our shared borders.  These efforts have yielded agreements to developing a joint trusted traveler program, and to work together to address common threats.  In Europe, Asia, and across the globe, we continue to expand vital screening, data-sharing, and cargo inspection programs to dismantle threats before they reach our shores.

Now, earlier this year, over the summer, I announced the results of a comprehensive review of our entirety of the department's operations, policies and structures, which we called the Second Stage Review.  And I'm pleased to report that many of the challenges that we identified that needed to be made under this review have been made, and I want to thank Congress, because Congress acted earlier this year to appropriate the money to let us do that.

Among the things we've accomplished -- and some of them were recommended by people who have studied the issue in this room -- were a department-wide policy office, a strengthened and integrated intelligence shop with a chief intelligence officer and a larger role in the intelligence community, the ability to plan and the ability to conduct joint operations across the department, and a renewed focus on preparedness at every level.

Over time, these improvements are going to enhance and strengthen our ability to operate effectively as one department, particularly in emergency situations like those we saw in the hurricanes of this past autumn.

Ultimately, this is part of a significant step forward in getting the department out of the initial start-up phase, which has been accomplished over the last couple of years, and into the kind of organizational structure, system and process that will guide us for many years to come.

Moving forward, our goal is very simple:  Build on the areas in which we've been successful, and continue to learn lessons where we have improvements that need to be made, and then put those improvements into effect.

So we meet 2006 with urgency and purpose.  And now I want to talk a little bit about three principles which will drive our programs and our philosophy in the weeks and months ahead:  working together as a team, following the discipline of risk-management, and turning adversity into opportunity.

Well, one lesson we have to take to heart is the importance of teamwork.  If we are to really be a Department of Homeland Security and not a collection of individual components, we have to come together as a team and take full advantage of the tremendous assets, resources and capabilities at our disposal.  Well, that's easier said than done.  And here, I'm going to do the somewhat unusual thing of departing from the prepared text and talking a little bit just kind of almost conversationally about what I think we need to do in the area of teamwork-building.

What is a team?  A team comes together to achieve a goal.  And so the first step in our building a team at DHS is to be very clear about what our missions are and very oriented on what the outcomes are.  The test of our success will be measured only by what we accomplished, not just by the effort that we put into it.  And I want to tell you, when I look back on my own experience, I have a very clear sense of what it means to bring agencies together as a team.

In the '80s, one of the major initiatives of the Department of Justice was the war against organized crime.  And of course, you all know the mafia had been around since the '30s.  And there were decades of government efforts to break the back of the mafia that were not particularly successful.  I've got two FBI directors here who remember this very well and were very instrumental in the changing strategy.

Well, what did we do?  We stood back and we analyzed organized crime as a system.  And we recognized that what mattered wasn't how we collected a lot of statistics in terms of output -- how many arrests we made, how many searches we accomplished, how many wiretaps we put up.  What mattered was, what was the impact and the effect we were having on organized crime:  Are we truly breaking the structure and the back of organized crime?  And with that mission focus and a definition of the goal, the FBI and the Department of Justice retooled its strategy, and it started to look at a measurement of success that was, what is being accomplished.

And we quickly learned that in order to understand how to achieve success, we needed to look at every element of the enforcement process and analyze how it contributed to the goal of eliminating the top leadership and the biggest earners that were part of organized crime.  And as we began that process, what became clear is, no effort mattered unless it contributed to the result of convictions and long sentences and forfeitures of illegal money and liberating labor unions and legitimate institutions from the grip of organized crime. 

So we started to build intensive plans with very clear defined roles and responsibilities, in which everybody understood that the law enforcement efforts, the work in the laboratory, the searches, the wiretaps derived their meaning only in terms of their contribution to the ultimate success of conviction and sentence.

And that worked.  I would venture to say the Department of Justice achieved unparalleled success in the 1980s and afterwards in transforming organized crime.  And it happened because we learned to work as a team, clear understanding of what the goal was, clear understanding of how every piece contributes to achieving that goal, and then unifying everybody in the pursuit of that goal.  The question was no longer, have I done my job; the question became, have I made my contribution to the completion of the mission.

Well, I think that's a pretty good template for what we do at DHS, and I think the reason DHS was established by Congress and signed into law by the President was to bring that mission focus and that teamwork approach to the big challenges we have in this country.

Right now we're facing a huge challenge at the border with illegal migration.  Let's not kid ourselves; we've been digging ourselves into this hole for over 20 years.  This has been talked about in the '80s, in the '90s, and in 2000.  And we have that problem now maybe looming more largely than ever -- certainly a bigger issue for the public, I think, than it's ever been.

How do we address that problem?  We can't afford to turn away from it, and we can't afford simply to use techniques that haven't worked.  Well, I think our approach here in DHS is to bring the kind of mission focus and team approach that worked when we focused on organized crime to play into the challenge of dealing with illegal migration.  The President has made it very clear that has to be our mission:  securing the border and addressing illegal migration.  And now our responsibility is to translate that mission into a clear set of goals and a team to make that happen.

Well, we did it by launching something we call the Secure Border Initiative, which was the result of planning, execution and evaluation that's been undertaken not by individual components, but components brought together as a team.  And I think it's a good template for how we're going to move forward in other respects.

Let's talk about planning.  We got together not only Border Patrol, who had real operational experience on the border, we brought our investigation agents, our detention and removal officials, the people who are responsible for arranging to get apprehended migrants back to their home countries.  We got them all together in a group and we said, let's map and analyze the system.  Let's remember that our goal is not just catching people at the border, or locking them up.  Our goal is getting them from the point of apprehension back to their home countries, and doing it with sufficient regularity and precision that we will actually deter people from coming across, because they will come to realize that when they cross the border illegally, they will be caught and sent home again.

And so we looked at the entire process by breaking it down piece by piece.  We analyzed where there were sometimes blockages in the process.  Sometimes they're very simple things, like finding ways to compress the amount of time it takes to send somebody back to their home country so we don't have to detain them for months at a time.

And then we built a very rigorous and specific plan all across the system, from apprehension to return, to make sure that we could line up all of the elements of the team, everybody's position clear, and with a clear focus and understanding of how those positions contribute to the achievement of the overall mission.

How do we execute it?  Having built the plan, we made it clear to the component head that this was going to be the template that they would be expected to use in moving forward.  We got them together in regular meetings to plan and monitor the actual implementation of this integrated initiative.

And then we did the third thing.  We built a set of tools to evaluate how we're doing.  Every week, I sit with the Chief of the Border Patrol and the Chief of Customs and Border Protection and the Chief of ICE and the other significant players in this effort, and we go over exactly how we're doing in terms of apprehensions by country, how quickly we are able to move people back to their home country, what are the obstacles in terms of processing people, what are the obstacles in terms of getting resources to where they need to be, what are the additional tools we need to keep moving forward.  And that process of constant review and evaluation means that, having set the goal, we are always marshaling our resources in a way that makes sure we achieve it.

Now, we've already started to show some real accomplishments.  Some of them are in the area of resources.  We've now got 1,700 additional Border Patrol agents who are going to be deployed to the southern border over the next year.  In the last year, since I came into office in 2005, we have gotten the authorization to train and hire 1,500 agents nationwide.  We've finally given the green light to finishing that border fence, that border infrastructure system near San Diego, which languished in litigation for probably close to a decade.  And we've deployed new technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles, to give us better tools to assist our Border Patrol agents to carry out their missions.

We've also accomplished, in some less visible ways, by increasing the bed space in our detention facilities and by compressing the time it takes to remove people from the country when they're here illegally, using expedited removal, we have dramatically cut the time we need to process people that we get from certain countries that we apprehend from certain countries.  And as a consequence, for the first time, we're beginning to see more people being sent back to their home countries than we're catching coming in from those countries.

That statistic is ultimately the measure of success.  In order to be able to move to the ultimate goal of detaining and holding everybody we catch at the border who comes across illegally, we have to make sure that our exports of illegal migrants exceeds our imports of illegal migrants.  And we're going to continue to watch that every week to make sure we are moving forward to that goal.

To me, the Secure Border Initiative, with all of these tools -- joint planning, joint execution, and joint evaluation -- is the way forward, not only to finally coming to grips with and addressing this intractable problem of illegal migration, but it is the way forward for everything that we will do in this department.  Whether it's preparedness, whether it's dealing with cargo containers coming in, whether it's dealing with intelligence reform, we've got to operate in a unified way with a joint plan, joint execution, and joint measurement.

Now let me talk about risk management.  I remember standing here about ten months ago, nine months ago, in March, talking about risk management as the principle that would guide our department.  And of course, we all know that means we look at threat, vulnerability and consequence as the template for allocating our resources and ensuring we're getting the best protection for our homeland security dollars.

Now, when I did that, there was a lot of applause in the room and then there were a series of editorials and articles that were written afterwards saying how great that was, and I didn't find a single person who disagreed with that.  But I knew, as you know, that while everybody likes talking about risk management in theory, when you apply risk management in practice, people don't necessarily like the way it plays out.  And the fact of the matter is, we have begun to apply risk management, not in theory but in practice.

Risk management means not risk guarantee.  It doesn't mean we protect every single person against every risk at every moment in every place.  And that means we make tough choices.  And tough choices means focusing on the risks which are the greatest.  And that means some risks get less focus.  I understand -- and I know all you understand -- that to each individual, the risks that touch him or her personally are the most urgent and of greatest concern.  But I know you also know that as someone who has responsibility for making decisions that touch on all Americans, I have to weigh, with limited resources, the allocation of resources based on the greatest risk, and that means some people are going to be disappointed.

So it's not surprising to me that as this year has gone on, risk management has often been a virtue that is applauded in theory but actually criticized in practice.  I am here to tell you that notwithstanding the criticism, and in full recognition that I am going to make people unhappy sometimes, I'm still going to abide by risk management, because I think that is my responsibility to the public at large.

And I'm going to give you an example of that in something that has been in the news lately, and that is the retooling we are doing at TSA.  When I came on board, TSA was much criticized for being rooted in the threats that we faced on 9/11, with no adaptation to any changes in the threat picture, with a very rigid way of making decisions, and almost a comical way of deciding who is a risk and who is not a risk.  And I'm not going to say that we have completely addressed those concerns or we have reached an end state.  But we have started to do some things, I think, that do respond to the need to be more risk- focused and more rational in the way we do our work at TSA.

First of all, we've gotten consequence-focused.  9/11 taught us that perhaps the greatest danger, or the greatest consequence that can happen when a plane is hijacked is when it becomes a weapon of mass destruction.  We all remember than 19 hijackers used box-cutters or knives to get into cockpits and take over planes.  Experience also tells us that another risk with big consequences is when a plane gets blown up.  And we've dealt with that issue, we've seen that play out over decades of dealing with terrorism.  And we also acknowledge that there are risks that happen every day in airplanes when you have a passenger who gets a little violent, or maybe has too much to drink, or is disturbed and threatens to attack or assault someone on the crew.  But we do have to assess which are the greatest risks and which have to be the principle focus of TSA.

In the wake of 9/11, TSA did a lot of things to deal with that very top risk, which was plane as weapon of mass destruction.  We hardened cockpit doors, we licensed federal flight deck officers to carry weapons, we dramatically increased the flight air marshal program, and we did a lot more screening at the entrance to our airports, to the gates.  What that has done is it has really reduced the risk that someone is going to get into a cockpit and take a plane and make it a weapon of mass destruction.

We have to take account of that change in risk.  If we're not, we're not adjusting to meet the new threats.  At the same time that that risk went down, we see an ever-increasing sophistication in the kinds of explosive devices that we encounter all over the world.  And we have to train our screeners now to become more alert and more adept at detecting devices that are not as obvious at they might have been ten years ago, and that means looking, for example, at the way detonators operate and different kinds of chemicals that can be part of explosives.

So TSA made a very deliberate and careful study of the amount of time and effort screeners were putting into looking for potential weapons that could be used to get into a cockpit, as opposed to explosive devices.  And judging the difference in the risk, based on some very concrete steps that had been taken to secure those cockpits and make sure people cannot take over airplanes, the common-sense judgment, backed up by reliable data, was, we ought to shift our focus away from some things like nail scissors or sewing scissors or little screwdrivers, and into areas like increased training and increased focus on possible explosive devices.

This was, to my mind, an example of adjusting risk based on changes in vulnerability, changes in what our protocols are, and, therefore, changes in consequence.  And I think that while people may disagree -- and I know there's vigorous disagreement about this change and this increased focus on explosives and less focus on nail scissors or sewing scissors -- I think we've got to be doing this kind of thing if TSA is going to live up to the promise of being a risk management focused organization.

Now, I think that the experience we've had with TSA teaches us a couple of other lessons.  First of all, some of the criticism about the change on the nail scissors has been, well, if you allow people to come on with nail scissors, you have the possibility of passengers getting unruly and using nail scissors to attack a flight attendant or attack another passenger.  Well, I acknowledge that as a possibility.  But I want to come back to the original foundation of TSA.  I don't think TSA was stood up in order to deal with what are serious but nonetheless non-terrorist related threats on aircraft.  TSA was stood up and was given the authority to impose restrictions on passengers because there was a particular high risk threat from terrorists.  TSA owes it to the public to keep that mission focus. 

If you look at the history of government programs -- particularly programs that deal with restrictions for security -- they have a tendency to get mission creep.  You start out by saying, we're going to put this program into effect for a really serious risk, and then pretty soon people start to migrate the risk into all kinds of other areas.  We've seen that with some of our database screening.  It started out as an anti-terrorism program, and then pretty soon people were saying, well, we should use it to get people who are fugitives in drug cases, or deadbeat dads.  And without denying that all of these are worthy goals, mission creep is a problem with the integrity of our programs because it undercuts the promise we make to the public when we impose a restriction.  And that promise is we're going to do only what is necessary to restrict you to deal with the threat that we have identified.

So to me, again, what TSA has done here, it has kept faith with the American public by saying, we're not going to do mission creep; we're going to keep focused on the original mission.

And, finally, I think it's important that we lighten up restrictions sometimes.  We did, in fact, lift the 30-minute rule out of Reagan.  We did, in fact, open the door to some private aviation into Reagan.  We did, in fact, allow a little bit more flexibility with respect to what you can bring on a plane.  The message to the American public has to be this:  We are constantly retooling and reevaluating the measures that we put into place because we want to make sure we're not over-protecting, just as we want to make sure we're not under-protecting.  If we can lighten up, we're going to do it.  We're not just going to put the heavy hand of the government on the scale pushing downward; sometimes we're going to put the light hand pushing upwards.  I think that's a philosophy that the American public understands.

We're going to continue to do smart things in TSA.  We're going to inject an element of randomness into searches.  That's something which has been proven overseas to be, and proven in the New York City subways to be a useful technique in making sure that terrorists can't predict what we're going to do.  We're now looking at behavioral pattern recognition as a way of increasing the tools that our screeners have in identifying people who may be threats.  That's a technique that's used overseas in other countries and has worked well.

The message here is always going to be we're not going to lay the heavy hand of the government on simply to lay the heavy hand on.  We're going to lay the smart hand of the government on; we're going to retool; we're going to reevaluate; we're going to keep focused on the mission and we're going to try to do our job in a way that is consistent with American liberty and American prosperity.

Finally, let me turn to the third principle:  turning adversity into opportunity.  No discussion of 2005 would be complete without talking about Katrina and Rita.  These hurricanes demonstrated weaknesses in our preparedness, response and recovery efforts at all level of government, federal state and local.  And while so many of our employees and agencies distinguished themselves with tremendous acts of heroism and devotion to duty, I have to acknowledge candidly that one agency still bears a burden in the aftermath of that storm.  This was by far the largest disaster ever faced by FEMA.  And let me be very clear about it, it was a catastrophe that was truly without precedent; a catastrophe that this agency had never faced before.

Despite the heroic efforts of many FEMA employees, this agency continues to face enormous criticism.  So I want to be very clear about something.  To the men and women of FEMA, let me say this:  This department supports you a hundred percent; we acknowledge the extraordinary effort put in by FEMA employees who worked literally day and night to do what they could, sometimes with very inadequate tools, in order to help people who were in distress.  We had people who were living in the Superdome with evacuees, who were suffering with the evacuees.  And I think we deserve -- they deserve our acknowledgment of their heroism and sacrifice.

So this agency faces a little bit of a tough time now.  And I have to tell you, I'm sure it's not pleasant to see FEMA being made the butts of joke -- be the butt of jokes and the butt of criticism even now, months after the hurricanes.  But the challenge in this adversity is an opportunity.  It's an opportunity to dramatically retool FEMA and make it better -- not because the people aren't terrific, but because we need to give the people the tools they are entitled to have to carry out their mission.  So out of this challenge and out of this adversity we will rebuild and we will retool FEMA -- maybe even radically -- to increase our ability to deal with catastrophic events.

Now, when we talk about retooling FEMA, we're going to do it in a way that's focused on people -- the victims of the disasters that we are here to serve and the dedicated people who sacrifice so much to serve those victims.  Our effort is going to be designed to empower the men and women of FEMA to act with efficiency and urgency, to cut some of the bureaucracy out, and to let them do their job where it's most needed, as quickly as possible.  We don't want to stifle the people in the field with unnecessary bureaucratic process and procedure; we want to make sure we have accountability, we want to be responsible stewards of the public funds, but we want to make sure we can act quickly to save lives and address people's anxieties and concerns on the spot, as quickly as possible and as thoroughly as possible.

This is a big effort.  We're working now with the White House, which of course is conducting a comprehensive lessons-learned in Katrina.  But I am convinced that out of this review, in very short order, we're going to announce measures that will allow us to build the capability of FEMA into a 21st century organization, one that can deal with the routine hurricane -- if there is such a thing -- but also one that can deal with a catastrophic event, maybe an event that comes only once a hundred years, maybe one that will come next year, but one we surely have to be able to face and ready to respond to in a 21st century fashion.

So I think in the next weeks you will be seeing that we come forward with some specific plans to strengthen FEMA's logistic systems, give the leadership of the department better situational awareness about conditions on the ground, and to improve our customer service, our service to the people, who, after all, are our clients, the people who suffer when they are the focus of a catastrophe.

So these are just some of the areas we're going to explore in 2006, but we do anticipate some very significant, far-reaching changes in FEMA to get ourselves ready for hurricane season in 2006 and whatever else nature or human beings have to throw at us.

As the year draws to a close, I guess I'd like to echo some remarks I made when I spoke in March.  I said that as a nation, we have every reason to be resolute about our fight against terror, every reason to be optimistic about our ability to enhance security but also preserve liberty, and every reason to act urgently in doing both of those things.

For me, the experiences of 2005 have surely tested our capabilities, but they have demonstrated our resolve.  They've strengthened our determination, increased the urgency of our efforts, and underscored the solemn responsibility that all of us have to face on behalf of the American people.

I look forward to working with you, with those who are part of DHS and those who are merely admirers and supporters in 2006, as we continue to protect our nation against all hazards, manmade and natural, and as we carry out our other important duties in protecting the homeland.

Thank you.  I wish you the best for the holiday season and a very happy New Year.

54. Identity Federation - By Tim Pickard, RSA Security - IT -  Jan 2, 2006
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According to Burton Group, identity federation can be defined as ‘the agreements, standards and technologies that make identity and entitlements portable’. There are three main federation models - simple (point-to-point), hub and spoke (uni or bi-lateral) and circle of trust (many-to-many).

Today, most federated identity implementations are limited to point-to-point, also known as pairwise, deployments either between different business units or business partners with existing relationships. According to Gartner’s ‘Hype Cycle for Identity and Access Management Technologies, 2005’, federated identity management is defined as an emerging technology which is ‘Climbing the Slope’, with estimated market penetration of one to five per cent of target audience during 2005.

The success of the next wave, likely to consist of industry-specific federations and the stage following that, whereby federations are achieved across industries and between organisations with little or no past history, depends heavily on a number of factors. Not least on proving that the business benefits of federation are achievable, and that the potential pitfalls and barriers can be overcome.

In a recent survey conducted by my company, participants were asked whether they planned or had already embarked upon a federation solution and if so what was their primary business use case. Over half (51 per cent) stated that integrating applications across business units or divisions was their primary motivation. Some 12 per cent claimed that providing access to outsourced services was the main business driver and a further 12 per cent were application service providers wanting to streamline the delivery of services. Of the remaining respondents, 7 per cent were developing a customer-facing portal and needed to enhance the end-user experience and 4 per cent wanted to connect with supply chain partners. No-one was attempting to cross sell with third-party products and services.

The potential benefits of successful federation projects are numerous and include facilitating core business models, increasing security and control, decreasing costs, simplifying the user experience and creating a repeatable solution that allows the benefits to be reaped several times over. Federated identity allows new applications, such as secure collaboration, to flourish in certain industries. This can help generate revenue opportunities by helping businesses to win new and retain existing customers and to expand the value of client relationships. Early adopters also have the opportunity to gain competitive advantage over those who are late to realise the benefits.

There are several common pitfalls businesses must consider if they are to make the most of federation projects. In many cases there is far too much emphasis on the technology issues - e.g. getting tied up in the implications of using one standard as opposed to another. While technology is clearly key, the business benefits must be the main thrust of any business case. In some instances the business case is simply not clear enough and organisations have adopted an ‘if we build it, they will come’ strategy. Given the relative immaturity of identity federation, more needs to be done to ensure that business units, partners and fellow industry players fully understand the potential benefits and risks of federation projects, and have the necessary intelligence to embrace and support federated communities.

Too often, federation projects suffer from poor motivation/co-ordination with business partners. This may be because the complexity of the options available has been underestimated and is usually caused by a lack of a clear business case. Another fundamental flaw can be that the operational and potential legal risks are seen to outweigh the benefits. A good way of avoiding this is to ensure that the legal and risk teams are consulted at the beginning and not the tail end of the project.

When developing a business framework, the business opportunity must be meaningful and realistic. The various units of an organisation must be brought in from the beginning and need to understand precisely what it is that they are being asked to embark upon and why. The same is true for partner organisations. Short-term milestones need to be identified in order to justify the investments that are being made - creating small goals and over-achieving them is a valuable strategy. It may sound obvious, but revenues or cost savings must also demonstrably exceed the cost of the project itself. Another key element to any successful federation project is making the solution repeatable. Organisations must avoid complexity for the sake of complexity and start simple, creating a template for the next project using open standards wherever possible.

The role of the legal and/or risk teams is key to ensuring the success of any federation project. Appropriate levels of trust and liability must be established before embarking on the project, which inevitably means involving and securing the buy-in of legal representatives. Most parties will accept some level of risk as part of the cost of doing business, but the benefits must be seen to outweigh it.

Getting the deal done means starting small and breaking the project down into manageable, repeatable parts. Bring the legal team in early and don’t accept ‘liability hysteria’, try and break it down into real life corollaries. Analyse the appetite for risk from partners and seek explicit assumptions of risk from users if at all possible. For customer facing applications, review privacy policies and adjust them if necessary and make sure you have polled customers to determine how likely they are to feel the benefit. In some cases it can also be beneficial to look into insurance options to ensure the organisation is covered if the worst should happen.

Looking to the future, there can be no doubt that federation is here to stay and adoption will increase amongst those organisations for which it makes good business sense. Like-minded parties will find each other and create trusted communities amongst themselves, which will eventually expand to include companies they may not have an existing relationship with. Yet widespread federation will only happen in conjunction with clear understanding of the benefits and evidence that the advantages outweigh potential risks.

The standards debate will undoubtedly impact the viability of making federation a reality and they must continue to evolve in order to facilitate implementations. We may also see the insurance industry offering products to limit liability when federation hits the main stream. But before any of this can happen, it is the visionaries and early adopters creating and realising business cases today who will pave the way for the dynamic federation of the future.

55.  FINDINGS; Is That a Finger or a Jell-O Mold? The Scanner, It Turns Out, Has No Way of Knowing  - By ERIC DASH  - NY Times -  December 20, 2005
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Identity thieves are always looking for new ways to pry out personal information, from trolling through trash cans to phishing for bank accounts online. But here is one method they may not have tried: using fake fingers made from Play-Doh and gelatin, or taking digits from a cadaver's hand.

In a study, researchers at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., tested 66 fake fingers to see if they could outwit biometric devices, which identify individuals based on the physiological properties of their fingerprints or other body parts. The fake fingers went undetected more than half the time.

''Even if it comes from Play-Doh, the scanner has no way of knowing that. It is just taking a picture of an image,'' said Stephanie C. Schuckers, a Clarkson electrical and computer engineering professor who helped lead the research. ''People in the industry are aware this is an issue.''

The results, published this year in the IEEE: Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics journal, highlight a potentially huge vulnerability. Many hospitals and federal agencies use it for tracking people and restricting access. More than a million I.B.M. laptops have print-based safeguards built-in. Even some supermarkets allow their customers to swipe a finger instead of a credit card.

Biometric devices generally work by converting a fingerprint image into a series of numbers, just as a checkout-counter scanner reads a bar code. They do not capture so-called ''liveness'' characteristics, like the blood oxygen content or sweat.

To be sure, some biometric devices rely on an additional form of identification, like a PIN, to guard against fraud. But Dr. Schuckers hopes to introduce new technology that can detect pore perspiration patterns to prevent the biometric devices from being fooled. She has started a company, NexID Biometrics, to start licensing it next year.

Dr. Schuckers conceded it would take determined handiwork to pull off such a fraud. Besides lifting the latent fingerprint off a glass like a forensics specialist on the TV hit ''C.S.I.,'' a thief would need to scan, flip and then use ultraviolet light to etch the image onto printed circuit board before transferring it to the Play-Doh or gummy finger cast. ERIC DASH

Clarkson University
A finger mold used in researchers' efforts at Clarkson University to fool biometric devices.
The following letter to the NY Times was printed on December 27, 2005

To the Editor:

Re ''Is That a Finger or a Jell-O Mold?'' (Findings, Dec. 20): The biometric fingerprint ID on laptops may lead to a direr outcome than the user might desire. When the technology department of our firm introduced these machines to those of us traveling to foreign countries, where the possibility of data theft might be high, one of our team commented: ''Well, let's see. If they want access to my files, they cut off my finger.''

Burt Kozloff
New York

56. Press Rlease - HID Announces Availability of iClass OEM 13.56 MHz contactless smarct card read / write module - Security - Jan 2, 2006
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HID Corporation has announced the expansion of its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) product family with the iCLASS OEM150 module.

The OEM150 is a fully-functional Wiegand/serial, low-power, 13.56 MHz contactless smart card read/write module with a remote antenna designed for embedding into small-format products to enable iCLASS contactless smart card technology.

The compact module can be embedded into OEM equipment as a component in upper-level assemblies for products used in cashless vending, biometrics, time and attendance, alarm system control, HVAC control, process control, computer peripherals, and point-of-sale terminal applications. Integration is as simple as connecting power, data, and control lines. The OEM150 offers the added functionality of RS232, RS485 or USB interfaces by including a plug-n-play expansion module into the provided socket.

The OEM150 joins the previously announced OEM50, OEM100 and OEM300 that are fully functional, multi-technology 13.56 MHz interface devices that meet ISO 14443A (MIFARE®), 14443B, and 15693 standards. The OEM150 is designed to operate in a wide variety of antenna configurations. It is offered with two standard configurations and for OEM developers requiring greater size constraints may use the antenna design guide to develop their own custom antenna.

When the OEM150 module is used with iCLASS cards, the OEM150 offers security features such as RF data encryption and mutual authentication using 64-bit keys for each application area, and optional data encryption standard (DES) or Triple DES for the HID application area. HID provides key management for access control and other data stored in the HID application area.

For access control applications, the OEM150 can read either iCLASS credentials transmitting the Wiegand formatted encoded data, MIFARE Standard, Ultralight, or DESFire credentials transmitting Wiegand data based on the card serial numbers.

"New applications for contactless smartcards are appearing in a surprisingly large variety of vertical markets," said Nathan Cummings, HID's director of Product Line Management, Reader Technologies. "The introduction of our OEM150 increasingly strengthens our product offering and further validates our commitment to providing the right tools for the OEM community."

The iCLASS OEM150 module will be available in the first quarter of next year from HID's network of distributors, OEMs, and system integrators worldwide.

57. Press Release - Axis unveils biometric ATM - Plans IPO, acquisitions in India, US - Sameer Godse / Pune January 03, 2006
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Pune-based Axis Software, a developer of innovative security solutions, is looking for acquisitions in India and abroad.
“We are well-established in the Indian market and looking for acquiring a company engaged in the same sphere in the US. We are also in talks with a domestic company for acquisition. Though the company is financially sound, but for the acquisitions more funds are required. The company plans to enter the capital market with an initial public offer (IPO) in the first quarter of 2007,” said Abhay Khinvasara, president and chief executive officer, Axis Software.
Axis has developed an innovative biometric automated teller machine (ATM). It is the first Indian company to develop such an ATM machine. The machine works by recognising finger print rather than the usual ATM card.
“We have developed three models of this biometric ATM. Further, a new model, combining the virtues of a regular and biometric ATM, will be launched soon. A special ‘retrofit kit’ which could be attached to a normal ATM machine to make it a biometric one is in the pipeline. The new model and kit will be launched within six weeks,” Khinvasara added.
“There is no need to insert card to operate the biometric ATM. This system supports a very user-friendly interface with both audio as well as visual display. Thus, the machine has become very useful for semi-urban and rural population. A person can register his or her finger print with bank and can do financial transactions through ATM very easily. From the bankers’ viewpoint, the machine is very useful as it assures 100 per cent security of transactions. Its hardware is designed in such a way that other biometrics scanners such as iris cameras can be integrated,” assured Abhay Khinvasara.
“We have a tie-up with Jalgaon Peoples Co-operative Bank for providing biometric ATMs. We have installed eight such machines at different branches of the Jalgaon Bank. Now, we are expecting huge contracts from nationalised banks and already in talks with some of them .We expect to finalise our first deal within a month. These machines are being exported to Central Africa and the Middle East,” he said.
We have secured orders from Mangolia and Dubai for providing three machines each. We see a huge potential in these markets and are targeting to sell at least 300 biometric ATMs in Central Africa and the Middle East in a year. We have tied up with ITI for marketing of these ATMs in the country, and for the US, we have tied up with two local companies - Iridian and Identics,” he added.
Axis software, is also engaged in developing ‘Time n Track’ machine with biometric identity facility. The machine is used for ‘check in’ and ‘check out’ purpose in any kind of organisation. “We can also have a update track on what an employee is doing after entering into office, factory premises,” he said.
Thus, apart from recording daily attendance, this machine also serves as a security system solution for an organisation.
“Currently, we are supplying these ‘Time n Track’ machines to a number of municipal corporations in Maharashtra. We are also supplying it to various ordnance factories, information technology companies and also to diamond merchants. Almost thousand such machines have been sold in the domestic market and we are planning to export them to Central Africa,” informed Khinvasara.

58. Is That a Bull's-Eye On Your Wallet? - By John Sparks - Newsweek International - Jan 8, 2006
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Jan. 9, 2006 issue - It sounds like a Hollywood techno-thriller: A shadowy figure in Germany creates an unstoppable Internet worm that hides for years from the cybercops. The trouble is, this is real life. The worm, called Sober, has struck more than 30 times since its release in October 2003. Most recently, on Nov. 22, 2005—Inauguration Day for Germany's first female chancellor—Sober sent spam posing as e-mails from America's CIA and FBI, Britain's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and the German Bundeskriminalamt. Next, authorities were girding for ferocious spam assaults to commemorate the founding of the Nazi Party on Jan. 5.

This high-stakes "hacktivism" makes great headlines, but law-enforcement officials worry that it is distracting attention from a far more worrying trend: rising Internet fraud. While hacktivists seek maximum public exposure to advance a political cause, fraud is all the more insidious because perpetrators and victims conspire to keep it hidden. This year promises to be the worst yet. Identity thieves are expected to steal more than $1 trillion. Cybercriminals are making so much money—more than the illegal drug trade last year, according to the U.S. Treasury—that they've been doing their own R&D.

That research is already bearing fruit. Experts worry that direct theft of data (as opposed to phishing, in which customers are tricked into giving away data) is on the rise. Identity thieves are now able to target specific attacks against specific people or companies, and they can select their targets based on factors like net worth. The pre-Christmas attack on credit-card users at Sam's Club stores in the United States is an example of what lies ahead, says George Waller of the cybersecurity firm StrikeForce Technologies. Several hundred customers who bought gas as the stores had their credit-card data stolen (Sam's Club isn't saying how). "The days of mass worms and things like phishing scams are largely over," says Joe Payne, vice president of the Virginia-based Verisign iDefense, which tracks cybercrime.

In addition to merchants, midsize banks are another likely spot for criminal attacks. While last year the biggest banks threw plenty of resources into improving online security in response to a rash of embarrassing identity thefts, small banks are still vulnerable to everything from keyloggers to worms and botnets. Indeed, $24 billion in bank deposits are at risk each day in the United States alone.

Another innovation among fraudsters is to target kids. Waller warns that keyloggers, an advanced form of spyware, are making their way onto the MP3 files that Junior happily downloads to the family PC. These tiny programs track every keystroke the user makes, allowing fraudsters to monitor and record online transactions.

And then there's China, where Internet penetration is expected to top 10 percent in 2006. Because China's PCs don't generally run licensed versions of Microsoft's Windows, they're not eligible for the security patches Microsoft makes available to its legitimate users. Hackers have already taken control of the PCs of thousands of unsuspecting Chinese and used them as a platform from which to launch spam attacks. These so-called botnets are routinely bought, sold and swapped in Internet chat rooms.

The news isn't all bad. Prices for identity authentication systems using biometric data are falling, and public resistance to them is diminishing. Expect to see them rolled out in the second half of the year in big banks, and later in smaller outfits. Until then, keep your firewalls up and your fingers crossed.


59.  Two Cents: Lenovo ThinkCentre M51 - By Miriam Jones - Government Technology - Jan 2, 2006
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I'm mightily impressed by the ThinkCentre M51 type 8104's small size. It measures 10.9 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches -- about the size of a phone book. In fact, the 17-inch ThinkVision L170p monitor juts past the CPU's sides when centered on top.

The anti-reflective/anti-glare monitor features a 500:1 contrast ratio and 1280 x 1024 resolution. It's attached to a tilt/swivel and height-adjustable stand, which tilts 30 degrees backward, swivels 135 degrees left and right, and adjusts 4.9 inches vertically. A dual input connection allows attachment to two PCs at once.

The CPU opens easily with the push of two buttons, and provides tool-less hard disk and optical drive removal. The CD writing works marvelously, just as it did in the full-size ThinkCentre tower, and CD playback is smooth. The DVD player also performed well, playing DVDs with crisp, clear picture and sound; but both InterVideo and Windows Media Player played DVDs a bit fuzzier at full screen.

It has six USB ports -- two in front and four in back. There are also microphone and headphone jacks, though the sound tended to be blurry when using the headphone jacks.

Maybe I'm too old school, but I still have trouble with biometric scanning. I don't have the hands of someone who has lived a life of manual labor, yet I had trouble getting the keyboard's fingerprint scanner to read my fingerprints.

"Slow down." "Move left." "Align finger." "Try again." "Match failed."

Who knew there were so many ways to screw up a swipe of the finger? Do paper cuts really affect the scanning ability that much? Some of the possible sources of authentication problems are: when fingers are wrinkled; rough; dry; injured; wet; or stained with dirt, mud or oil.

After much frustration, I re-enrolled my fingerprints. That seemed to improve the recognition, though it still took a few swipes to log on. The good thing is that if the computer is that particular about my prints, it will not be fooled by others' fingerprints. They'll get the automatic and firm, "Match failed."

The keyboard does have a nice feel and quiet keystrokes. There's also a handy Access IBM button that users can employ to configure the systems and hardware; set up Internet, printer and wireless networks; find upgrades and downloads; and quickly recover the system if necessary.

All in all, it's a speedy system that looks splendid on the desk.

  • 80 GB hard drive
  • Pentium 4 3.40 GHz processor
  • 504 MB of RAM
  • CD-RW/DVD combo
  • Fingerprint reader keyboard (selected models)
  • USB optical wheel mouse
  • Data link protocol: Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
  • Retails for $1199, including monitor
  • ========================

    60. 5 things to expect in 2006 - By Thomas Frank - USA Today - January 3, 2006
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    From a super-big new jet to a reopened New Orleans, it's likely to be an interesting year for business travelers. USA TODAY reporters take a look at five things that travelers should be on the lookout for.

    * * * [Extract only]

    3: Registered travelers get rolling

    Airport security should get easier for some travelers as the Transportation Security Administration launches a program this year that creates special checkpoint lines with less-stringent screening.

    The Registered Traveler program is open to those who pass a terrorism background check and pay a fee, likely $80 to $100. Participants will get a card embedded with their biometrics — fingerprints and iris scans. They'll use it to get into special lines. On Jan. 20 the security agency will announce RT advantages. It is looking at waiving requirements to remove shoes and coats and take laptops from cases.

    The official start date is June 20, and airports are lining up to get RT ready to go. Verified Identity Pass, founded by former media mogul Steven Brill, has signed with the San Jose, Calif., airport to enroll registered travelers, make ID cards and install and operate card-reading kiosks. VIP is negotiating with Sacramento's airport and was the sole bidder at Indianapolis International Airport, the company says.

    VIP runs the only RT program presently operating, in Orlando, where more than 10,000 people have paid $80 for a one-year enrollment. The TSA has completed test programs at other airports.

    Traveler groups and federal lawmakers have pushed for RT to shorten security lines for "trusted travelers." Some people, such as former TSA administrator John Magaw, have warned that terrorists could enroll and bypass rigorous scrutiny.

    61. 100-year-old firm has lock on growth - Rolland Safe & Lock is evolving along with its tech-heavy industry - By VICTOR GODINEZ / The Dallas Morning News - Jan 3, 2006
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    You might call Rolland Safe & Lock a 100-year-old start-up company.

    NAN COULTER/Special Contributor
    Rick Rolland, president of Rolland Safe & Lock, displays an 1885 Diebold safe from the company's collection. The safe industry began changing a few years ago, he says, to employ greater technology. His 100-year-old business grew 30 percent in 2005.

    Invigorated by advancing technology and new business opportunities, the Dallas-based safe company is exhibiting all the traits of firms a fraction its age.

    Revenue is growing at double-digit rates, new customers are pouring in, and the family-owned business has locked up a new chief executive to manage its growth.

    Owner and president Rick Rolland said the industry has changed over the last several years.

    "I think any small business, or any large business, for that matter, is going to have to accept the change," he said. "It's been exciting for us because it really opens more doors than it closes."

    One hundred years ago, the definition of innovation in the safe industry was an iron sphere that lacked corners and seams and was thus resistant to dynamite.

    Today, cutting-edge safes include electronic keypads, biometric sensors, time-delay devices and even Internet connections.

    Mike Oehlert, technical adviser for the Dallas-based Safe and Vault Technicians Association, said that Rolland Safe & Lock has been more successful than many similar firms in reacting to shifts in the industry.

    "They have focused more on the higher end of things, the commercial marketplace, than a lot of the other shops, the smaller shops, have, and that's what helped them to grow," he said.

    'Smart safes'

    The $10 million company's most recent growth spurt has come from the pawn industry, thanks to the new PawnGuard 35 safe.

    The safe, developed in conjunction with major pawn companies, has 35 steel drawers each linked to electronic time delays to prevent thieves from cleaning out the entire safe in a couple of minutes.

    Austin-based EZ Corp., which has almost 300 pawnshops in 12 states and worked with Rolland to design the PawnGuard, has installed the $12,000 safes in 44 of its pawnshops since they went on sale in mid-2004.

    Tony Gallo, director of loss prevention and risk management for EZ, said the chain is the target of 10 to 20 armed robberies a year, costing about $500,000 altogether.

    In the stores with PawnGuards, there have been nine robbery attempts that, if successful, would have cost about $1 million.

    Mr. Gallo said the future of the industry lies in complex electronic safes such as the PawnGuard and upcoming models that can transmit warnings to a central office.

    "I think that we're going to have what I refer to as smart safes as we go down the line," he said.

    That transformation isn't lost on Mr. Rolland and his firm.

    "We've all accepted the fact that we're not just selling steel anymore," Mr. Rolland said.

    For example, a new line of safes includes Internet connections.

    "Now, in Dallas, you can call up a safe in Seattle and see who went in it and how long they went in it," Mr. Rolland said.

    Employers can also assign a different entry code for each employee and change or deactivate codes when employees leave the firm.

    The locks – called IP locks for Internet protocol – essentially double as alarm systems.

    "I think the real magic with the IP lock is what they call exception reports," Mr. Rolland said. "The exception report would be, say, three successive failed combination access attempts. That IP lock would then send out an e-mail message to their e-mail site or cellphone and say, 'Someone's trying to get into the safe who's not authorized.' "

    When a customer comes to Rolland Safe & Lock, the engineers at the company design a prototype safe and outsource the safe and lock construction to firms around the world.

    Custom design

    Rolland then assembles the two components, as well as handling installation and service, which can be just as critical as the design.

    "If a jeweler can't open his safe on the 23rd of December, he's lost half of his yearly revenue in that one day, in most cases," Mr. Rolland said.

    For most of its history, Rolland focused on small jewelry stores and other single-sale clients.

    In the 1990s, the company began selling to large retail and restaurant chains, clients with hundreds or thousands of locations, each equipped with a safe.

    The company's client list includes Hilton Hotels Corp., McDonald's Corp., J.C. Penney Co., FedEx Corp., the Container Store and Southwest Airlines Federal Credit Union, among others.

    Roughly 60 percent to 70 percent of Rolland's revenue comes from those large commercial customers, who represent about a $500 million market, Mr. Rolland said.

    For the long haul

    Overall, he said, the broader market for vaults and safes has been growing at a healthy pace, fueled largely by banks expanding their branch networks.

    Industry leaders, such as Diebold Inc., dominate the sector serving financial institutions.

    The company also does work for the much larger financial sector, including bank vaults that can cost up to $150,000.

    "Our growth has been double digits since we started focusing on chains in the late 1990s," he said. "We've projected almost a 20 percent growth for next year and have experienced 30 percent growth this year."

    Two months ago, the company brought in a new chief executive officer with management experience at 7-Eleven and other large firms to formulate a growth strategy.

    "The growth opportunity is there, the market opportunity is there, but as we bring in the additional business, it's important that we take care of the customers," said Mike Manor, the new CEO. "Don't go out there and just try to make sales. Take care of the customers for the long haul."

    Mr. Manor said he wants to streamline the company's operations before considering major expansion, possibly through acquisitions. "We want to make sure our process is straight before we make it go faster," he said.


    62. Oracle unveils comprehensive identity management suite
    - - Jan 3, 2006
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    Oracle Middle East has announced general availability of the Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite, a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of products that protect applications, critical systems and data from unauthorized access.

    As part of Oracle’s commitment to information security, the company has focused on rapidly building out a best-in-class identity management suite for heterogeneous IT environments, which are the norm in regional organizations. The culmination, Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite, spans a multitude of home-grown and acquired technologies including: web access control, identity administration, user provisioning, federated identity management, directory services, including virtual directory technologies and enterprise-wide user provisioning. Today, customers and partners around the Middle East can now leverage the Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite in its entirety or deploy individual components of the suite to meet their unique needs.

    “Identity management has become a vital consideration for regional businesses, as companies try to build comprehensive security policies that are consistent and cost-effective. From the benefits of single sign-on to the open, standards-based nature of the software, we anticipate significant regional uptake of Oracle Identity Management,” said Tarek El Shahawy, Technology Solutions and Sales Consulting Manager, Oracle Middle East.

    “Over the past nine months Oracle has demonstrated a serious commitment to providing a strong technical solution for the identity and access management needs of both Oracle customers and the general market,” said Phil Schacter, vice president and service director, Burton Group. “The new Identity and Access Management Suite assembles the component technologies into a package that is easier for customers to understand and invest in.”

    63. Simple Sign-On - Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Journal - Jan 3, 3006
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    Version3, Inc., developer of Version3 Simple Sign-On, has announced the availability of Version3 Simple Sign-On v2.0 Solution Suite -- the most comprehensive enterprise single sign-on solution suite on the market today.

    Integrated with Microsoft Active Directory, Simple Sign-On is an identity management solution based on Microsoft Active Directory, which gives users seamless and secure access to run their Windows and SharePoint- based applications without compromising security.

    At its core, Simple Sign-On is an Identity Management element that frees users from remembering user names and passwords for multiple applications, web sites, and legacy systems. Simple Sign-On can be configured to give users secure access to all required line of business applications using one set of network security credentials.

    Simple Sign-On delivers Enterprise (Desktop) and WEB single sign-on (WEB Portal SSO), Web Integration, Browser based ESSO, Simple Sign-On is tightly integrated with Microsoft Active Directory, leveraging an existing network infrastructure to provide a rich feature set of Application Management tools.

    Users simply supply logon credentials to the network using their Microsoft Active Directory identity and access to applications is provided by shortcuts published to the users desktop."Our new Simple Sign-On 2.0 platform applications are designed to help companies increase security, cut costs and improve efficiency through our application access management suite," said Andy Sakalian, President of Version3, Inc.

    "We've designed a full single sign-on product suite with a very rich feature set and unparalleled integration with Microsoft Active Directory."

    Version3 Simple Sign-On Editions:

    • Enterprise SSO

    • Enterprise/Desktop Single Sign-On

    • Connection Management

    • Application Publishing

    • Multifactor Authentication

    • Kiosk Support

    • Auditing and Monitoring Web SSO

    • Browser based ESSO

    • ompatible for simultaneous Internet and intranet access

    • Includes complete complement of SharePoint interfaces and web parts Enhanced Authentication

    • Mutual Authentication for IIS Server farms

    • Support for non-Windows platforms

    • Supports all current shipments of Microsoft platform products (i.e. Exchange-OWA, SharePoint, Class Server

    • Built-in support for Active Directory Authorization Manager

    Version3's Simple Sign-On solves password management problems by providing single sign-on for Microsoft Windows and SharePoint Products and Technologies with Active Directory.

    This type of application access management allows the user to sign into their network or portal once and get access to all their applications. Administrators need only create one identity access for each user and manage authentication through Active Directory to authorize access to the user's applications.

    "Our goal is to extend Simple Sign-On 2.0 across all applications through Microsoft Active Directory. The enhanced security and administration advantages allows seamless, secure activation of any application accessible via the windows desktop," said Sakalian.

    The upgrade to Version3 Simple Sign-On v2.0 is free to all existing customers who are under a maintenance plan. New users can purchase Version3 Simple Sign-On v2.0 on a per user basis or contact Version3 for enterprise pricing.

    The product is available through authorized dealers and Version3.About Version3Version3, Inc., based in Columbia, South Carolina, provides a comprehensive security and application access management product for the identity management industry.

    Founded in 2002, Version3 develops Version3 Simple Sign-On which delivers Desktop and Enterprise SSO, Web Integration, Browser based ESSO.


    64. Press Release - WinMagic Disk Encryption Technology Now Included with New Toshiba Dynabook Notebooks in Japan - Military Imbedded Systems - Jan 3, 2006
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    (Mississauga, Ontario: January 3, 2006) WinMagic® Inc. (, the innovative leader in full-disk encryption solutions, announces that its SecureDoc® disk encryption software has been bundled with Toshiba's new notebook PCs. Toshiba now includes the SecureDoc disk encryption software in their new dynabook Satellite J50 series and dynabook Satellite T20 series notebooks in Japan when they are shipped to customers.

    SecureDoc protects information stored on laptops and desktops by encrypting the entire disk and employing secure user authentication during a computer's pre-boot sequence where true user authentication should take place. SecureDoc's pre-boot authentication is unique in allowing multi-factor authentication through a combination of password, hardware token, biometrics, and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). WinMagic's SecureDoc encryption software provides a powerful, proven, cost-effective and transparent method to prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

    "As data security becomes a bigger concern for both businesses and government, SecureDoc is quickly becoming the de facto standard," says Thi Nguyen-Huu, CEO, WinMagic. "The fact that Toshiba, the world's largest laptop manufacturer, is offering their customers SecureDoc bundled with their products indicates the importance of our solution in the market."

    SecureDoc bundled in Toshiba notebooks features localized Japanese language, pre-boot integration with international and Japanese smartcards, and tokens such as ActivKey, eToken, iKey, and JUJO's HardKey. The bundled software is called "SecureDoc 90-day trial version" and its usage is limited to 90 days. Users can easily transfer the trial version to the regular version by entering an authorized license code.

    "We are very pleased with our exclusive distributor NCL Communications in Japan," added Mr. Nguyen-Huu. "Within a short time NCLC has brought us several important customer agreements, the latest with Toshiba."

    "WinMagic's SecureDoc is the best solution among several disk encryption tools, in its performance, SmartCard and tokens integration, and the user management features. We are very pleased SecureDoc was selected by Toshiba as the security feature for their new notebook PCs," says Mr. Oda, CEO, NCL Communications K.K.

    The dynabook Satellite J50 series and T20 series notebooks were introduced this month by Toshiba in Japan. SecureDoc full-disk encryption is a substantial part of Toshiba's new offerings to appeal to business customers. An extensive print and web advertising campaign is being launched by Toshiba in support of the new notebooks featuring SecureDoc full-disk encryption.

    For media information, including requests for interviews or review copies of SecureDoc, contact Chuck Hester, APR, director of public relations, Koroberi, Inc. (, by phone at (919) 960-9794 ext. 24 or by e-mail at


    About WinMagic Inc.
    WinMagic® Inc. ( develops disk encryption software. Its SecureDoc® line of products ensures protection of sensitive information stored on desktops and laptops by employing authentication from password to hardware token, biometrics and PKI, commencing right at pre-boot time. WinMagic's award-winning products fulfill the requirements of even the most security-conscious users by focusing on concrete security features while still offering unparalleled flexibility. Utilizing Public Key Cryptographic Standards PKCS-11 from the ground-up for extreme adaptability, the SecureDoc line has earned an impressive list of validations, including NIST Cryptographic Module Validation and FIPS 140-1 Level 2, and is scheduled to obtain the Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4 (EAL-4) certification. WinMagic Inc. is a Canadian company based in Mississauga, Ontario. For more information concerning WinMagic's products or services, please visit the company website, call 1-888-879-5879 toll-free in North America or +1 905 502-7000 worldwide, or e-mail

    65. Press Release - Experts unite on biometrics - Research and Development Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge - Jan 3, 2006
    Source Next[END]  Contents

    The International Biometric Advisory Council (IBAC)made up of representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, IBM, White Plains, N.Y., and international security organizationsare banding together to tackle the serious standards issues that could potentially delay widespread use of the technology.

    Cal Slemp, VP and global leader of security and privacy services at IBM Global Services, says he believes that current efforts are piecemeal and much more can be done to exploit the potential of the federated environment.

    For its part, the IBAC has taken on the challenge of removing doubt around the implementation of biometrics. The council plans to develop a unified approach to encourage cooperation worldwide, as well as provide the European Biometrics Foundation and its partners with cutting-edge advice regarding standards, interoperability, and privacy issues.

    Robert Mocny, deputy director of the US-Visit program, the largest biometric-based immigration and border security program in the world, backs calls for an international body to monitor biometric usage.

    "The IBAC will be an invaluable forum for industry and governments worldwide to understand and respect the responsibility that goes along with the use of biometrics," says Mocny. "The EU is going to start using biometric passports, and other countries will follow. That needs coordinating. We cannot for a minute take this responsibility lightly."
    END  Go to Table of Contents