Friday, June 13, 2003

For years, I have been trying to elevate the discussion on determining our wireless platform and direction.  Next week, I should be getting a chance to test the Samsung i700.  This device looks like the right direction.  It has an integrated digital camera, higher res monitor, integrated phone with higher speed data access, etc. Here's a review in infosync world.  I would like to see integrated support for Bluetooth and 802.11 so that you don't have to use the single SDIO slot.

Several months ago I mentioned the National Environmental Exchange Network.  The June issue of Maine's IS newsletter has an update on the project.  The XML Design Rules are 221 pages and available for comment. 

I met yesterday with a group that came together to analyze the status of the State's Medicaid service on the web.  Previously, the effort to create a web presence has been disjointed with various groups doing their own thing with respect to Medicaid services and no central focus.  A new team will bring these efforts together and give focus to the various stakeholders, including clients, providers, employees, advocates, etc.  I expect to see a lot of progress in this area over the next few months.

DARPA, the agency that brought you TIA, is now working network centric concepts for a multi-mission combat system that will be overwhelmingly lethal, strategically deployable, self-sustaining and highly survivable in combat through the use of an ensemble of manned and unmanned ground and air platforms (Future Combat Systems).

The State of Utah just sold $407 million worth of bonds at a rate of only 2.8% - that a week after the New York bonding agencies reconfirmed our AAA bond rating.  The bonds will fund a variety of projects including a new library at Utah State University.  Another project approved during the 2003 legislative session, the State Archives building, is already moving ahead on a rigourous schedule.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information has created the Journal Archiving and Interchange Document Type Definition for exchanging journal content.  NCBI provides free full text access and search on over 80,000 articles through its PubMed service.

Ross Mayfield tells us that free WIFI is popping up all over Estonia.  I love the Baltics.

2:08:58 PM    

  Monday, April 07, 2003

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of the President's 2004 budget.  The Homeland Security budget shows an increase of 20% over the previous period. 

The President is proposing a number of new programs for homeland security. The largest is Project BioShield, which would, among other things, create incentives to increase research for new vaccines. The President is requesting permanent, indefinite funding authority to enable the government to purchase vaccines as soon as they are demonstrated to be safe and effective. The Administration estimates that this proposal would require about $890 million in mandatory budget authority in 2004 and would cost about $3 billion over the 2004-2008 period, but the President's budget did not provide enough details about this proposal for CBO to provide an independent estimate.

Last week. the Infectious Disease Society of America strongly supported the project, stating that it will "provide important incentives to accelerate pharmaceutical research to ensure the availability of drugs and other tools to respond to bioterrorism outbreaks."

The NIAID sponsors this site on Biodefense research.

With unemployment at 5.8% in March,  more Utahns are going online to find or upgrade their employment.  That is actually a decrease from 2002 when the rate was 6.2%.  The options for online jobseekers are increasingly diverse. is a tremendous resource for both employers and job-seekers.  It allows employers to manage the whole process online in partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.  The latest bulletin from the Department had this to say about high tech employment in the state:

[High tech employers] showed a marked improvement in their employment situation. If their improvement were an indication that the technology sector has righted itself, this would signal a foundational shift in the economy that can lead to a much brighter employment picture as this year unfolds.

See the latest Trendlines Report for more info.

The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has a new website.

12:38:37 PM    

  Monday, March 03, 2003

The Center for Infectious Disease at the University of Minnesota maintains Bioterrorism Watch, which is a regularly updated chronology of bioterrorism-related events and issues.
7:26:18 AM    

  Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Gov. Leavitt pauses during State-of-the-State addressExcerpt from Tuesday's State of the State address (Mike Leavitt):

The Thousand Day plan also fostered a new biotechnology/human genetics project called GenData.  GenData is a non-profit enterprise formed by the state, the University of Utah and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.  It combines the unique genealogical information found in Utah with genetic and medical data contributed by Utah families into a database that will create a scientific treasure used to cure and treat diseases like diabetes and cancer that touch every family.  It will attract venture capital and pharmaceutical and medical research organizations from all over the world.

Many related projects to GenData already exist such as the Breast Cancer Gene database, the Evaluation of a Family History Tool for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention projects (CDC will fund three projects, proposals are due by February 19th), Online Mendelian Inheritance of Man, and GeneCards.

CDC (Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention)  also sponsors HuGE Net, a global collaboration of individuals and organizations who develop and communicate epidemiologic information on the human genome.  Here's an online multimedia introduction to human genome epidemiology.

7:33:09 AM    

  Monday, January 06, 2003

Oil spill on the coast of GaliciaWired recently ran a story on how bloggers in Galicia (Spain) covered an oil spill off the Spanish coast.  Their accounts contradicted the government's account and included photos of the tragedy.  MundoActivo (formerly Operacion Galicia), a Spanish weblog, led the charge.  This kind of interaction certainly empowers citizens in their relationship with government through the creation of global communities of interest.  Here's a powerpoint presentation from MundoActivo of the damage.

Radar photos from the Laboratoria de Teledeteccion of the Universidad de Vigo of the oil spill

A Simulation from the Instituto Hidrografico Portugues

More information from the University of Vigo

Blogpocket is another excellent Spanish weblog.

SmartMobs, by Howard Rheingold - author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution and Greater Democracy, a team blog by David Weinberger among others, are two more interesting reads on issues related to how technology is transforming society.

9:29:40 AM    

  Monday, October 14, 2002

The Department of Community and Economic Development has created an online forum to discuss the merits of establishing a BSL4 laboratory in the state of Utah.  A biosafety level 4 lab, or BSL4, would be used for developing countermeasures for biological and chemical agents.

More information on the BSL4 proposal.

12:56:16 PM    

The competition among states is stiffening according to an article in Government Technology.  Linda Johnson writes,

"This is no longer a bicoastal phenomenon," with states including Utah, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin now battling for a piece of the pie, said Walt Plosila, head of the technology partner program at Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit research and development contract center. Forty states have made life-science businesses the centerpiece of grand visions of high-tech clusters.

Meanwhile, Utah continues to make advancements in biotech that should help keep the state at the forefront.  Utah State University is helping to extend biotech education into the high schools. A symposium from high school science and agriculture teachers will be held on November 4th.  The USU Biotechnology and Genomics Research Center supports a wide variety of biotech research.

The Utah Life Science Association is offering a seminar series entitled Biotechnology and Medical Devices for Utah Professionals.  Just part of the overall effort to stimulate the Utah biotech economic ecosystem.

8:41:55 AM    

  Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Progress is being made in cloning pigs that don't have the genes that make humans reject pig tissue.  The idea is that pigs will be able to provide a tremendous source of organs for humans.  First, however, they want to try the transplants on baboons to see how it works.  That makes for an interesting triangle.
9:30:19 AM    

  Tuesday, September 17, 2002

A new study, State Technology and Science Index: Comparing and Contrasting California, evaluates the states based on 73 separate measurements in five categories: Research & Development Inputs; Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure; Human Capital Investment; Technology and Science Workforce; and Technology Concentration and Dynamism.  Utah's score based on these criteria is very close to states like Washington, Virginia, and Connecticutt.

Utah also ranked eighth in the research and development category which has positive implications for future development.  The state also ranked high (6th) in the technology concentration and dynamism category.  The study also mentions that Utah ranks first in percent of households with computers.

One area where Utah dropped into the third tier was intensity of engineers.  Governor Leavitt began taking steps to address this shortage several years ago by boosting the engineering programs in the state.  Funding and building space has already been provided in support of the state's university level engineering programs.  A particularly interesting indicator is the fact that Utah ranks fourth in terms of high tech LQ.  This refers to the number of high tech industries that have higher than average concentrations.  Utah ranks only behind California, Massachussetts, and Colorado for this indicator.

12:43:49 PM    

  Monday, August 26, 2002

Visit my TechUtah blog for weekend posts:

  • The Utah Blogging Revolution?
  • Blogging the Enterprise
  • Legal IT
  • U.S. Secret Service rolls out cybersecurity task forces
  • Sento does McAffee
  • Demographics
  • Myriad Genetics
  • Local Officials need Homeland Help
  • Technology in Buildings
  • More on Facilities Management

7:04:30 AM    

  Tuesday, August 20, 2002

A panel studying technologies that will be most important to the US strategic plan identifies six technologies - gene therapy, wireless communications, image understanding, cloned or tailored organisms, MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS), and nanotechnology - as those most likely to have "high impact" on U.S. national security.  The National Coordination Office for Information Technology Research and Development has prepared a report that summarizes technology priorities associated with the 2003 Bush budget proposal.  The report  identifies:

The report emphasizes the overall importance of Federal technology R&D in maintaining critical strategic advantages:

The first computers, the Internet, the graphical user interface, high-end parallel processing, the first end-to-end optical networks, advanced computational modeling and simulation, and search engine technologies are just a few of the results of Federal information technology (IT) research that have fueled the digital revolution from which we all benefit.

PDF Version of the entire report

12:57:16 PM    

  Monday, July 29, 2002

Utah Among Few States to Act on Bioterrorism Legislation

I think this (see SL Tribune article) is probably due to the combination of events related to 9-11 and the anthrax scare (I think we had about 26 incidents in Utah, several in State buildings) along with our Olympics preparation, as well as Utah's normal penchant for preparedness...

9:47:11 PM    

  Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Biotech Blog

In an earlier post, I mentioned Utah's efforts to create an economic cluster associated with biotechnology.  The effort is part of Governor Leavitt's 1000-Day Plan.  I found this Biotech Blog dedicated specifically to that industry.

11:35:39 AM