Intercepts

Live from Montgomery Ala.: We airlifted the Interceptor mobile unit here to report on the Air Force Information Technology Conference hosted by the Standard Systems Group (SSG). Here's the best from the bit stream.

* Prodigals welcome. DISA director Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds seems unfazed that the Treasury Department would like to develop a secure governmentwide messaging system that sounds a lot like the DISA-backed governmentwide Defense Message System. Edmonds said that in his view Treasury "sooner or later will consider DMS."

* That's technology. Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall was the keynote speaker for the conference via video teleconference (VTC) from the Pentagon.

It took a few tries to get the link working between Air Force headquarters and the Montgomery Civic Center as VTC genies struggled to deliver voice to go along with the video of Widnall that was projected into the hall.

When everything finally meshed Widnall amused the techie audience by deadpanning "This is obviously an experiment."

* SMC II Web cruiser. Telos Corp. used the exhibit hall at the conference to showcase as predicted by the Interceptor its new Pentium 166 Internet server from Dell.

Telos marketing specialist Gino Antonelli said the Army Small Computer shop added the server to the SMC II contract - open to all federal government buyers - early last week.

The new server features a 2G hard drive Windows NT and Internet Explorer. As an added bonus "The Yellow Rose of Texas" plays when booting up. Pricing was not completely ironed out but we hear the Web Cruiser will come in at about $2 600.

* Magic act. Computer shows are like the circus: No matter what the tragedy the show must go on.

Although the Air Force suspended the Zenith Data Systems DT V contract last Monday ZDS kept running the "Wayne Alan Magician" act in its booth as though nothing had gone awry. Looking at the booth a rival vendor commented "After the suspension Zenith needs all the magic it can find."

* From the frozen North. The SSG project manager for the ZDS DT V contract is Capt. Wes Boychuk Canadian Forces.

Canadian Forces? Yep Boychuk is an exchange officer and ended up with DT V whose problems he seems to manage with Canadian aplomb and reserve.

Asked if his highly visible assignment was SSG's way of saying it holds his capabilities in high regard Boychuk answered "I would hope so."

* Infosphere info war? Col. Patrick Ryan commander of the Air Force Communications Agency (AFCA) Scott Air Force Base Ill. said he cut public access to the agency's "Infosphere" Web site because "we were getting a lot of hits from China and North Korea."

Ryan said AFCA plans to set up a thoroughly sanitized public Web site that will deter persistent surfers from China and North Korea.

Putting up Internet news feeds that are banned in both countries might do it.

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