- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Dec 09, 2001
Our Capitol Hill antenna is picking up strong signals that the White
House has selected the Defense Department's new deputy chief information
We hear an announcement is due soon, but White House spokesman Jimmy
Orr said the Bush administration "does not make announcements for upcoming
announcements." Orr did say the White House would post the appointment on
its Web site as soon as it was finalized.
We hear that Priscilla Guth.rie, formerly a high-ranking member of the
government information systems division at TRW Inc., may be the big winner.
DOD Enlists Private Sector to Bring Cheer
DOD is teaming with Amazon.com, Compaq Computer Corp. and other firms
to deliver messages and gifts to active service members.
Amazon.com worked with DOD officials to create the Salute Our Troops
Web page (www.amazon.com/salute ourtroops), where customers can buy a $20
gift certificate, and include a personal note, for any service member. Amazon.com
will deliver gift certificates to DOD for distribution.
Elsewhere, DOD is providing logistics and communications support while
Compaq and its partners, Sorenson Media and Digital Island, are providing
the equipment for the Give Thanks America initiative, a way for Americans
to send streaming video messages via e-mail to military personnel around
The initiative, launched simultaneously on Dec. 3 in New York City and
Washington, D.C., ran for three days. The video segments that were recorded
will be uploaded onto the Web and made available for access by deployed
troops, firefighters and police officers.
In addition to those two cities, Americans recorded their messages from
Dec. 7 to 9 at special sites in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Colorado Springs,
Colo.; Dallas; Houston; Salt Lake City; San Diego; and San Jose, Calif.,
with additional sites still to be announced.
NORAD Tracking... Santa
Monitors of our North Pole antenna picked up strong Santa Claus signals
last week and made the mistake of telling some children about it. So when
that signal was lost, we quickly turned to the Internet for help and realized
that the North Ameri.can Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) had been tracking
Santa online since 1997, and off-line for decades before then.
The Santa-tracking tradition began accidentally in 1955 when NORAD's
predecessor the Continental Air Defense Command received numerous calls
from children on Christmas Eve after a misprinted phone number for a "Santa
hot line" in a local newspaper ad inadvertently directed children to the
combat operations "hot line" at CONAD.
The officer who received the first call realized what had happened and
told kids that his staff could see Santa on their radar.scopes, and so a
tradition was born.
A new Web site, which was scheduled to be up and running by Dec. 1 but
remains off-line, will be found at www.noradsanta.org. It was designed
by Analytical Graphics Inc. and Etheriel Web Marketing, in cooperation
with NORAD, and is hosted by America Online. It is expected to receive 80,000
hits per week during the holidays, and NORAD plans to maintain the site
year-round after the holidays.
This is the last Intercepts column of 2001, and we'd like to send our
best wishes for holiday cheer and a happy new year to the entire DOD technology
community. And special thanks to all those at home and abroad defending
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