Bye-bye Hilton

The Interceptor is a Hilton Gold member, which means Federal Computer Week pays for him to spend a lot of nights at various Hilton properties as he covers what seems to be an endless round of widget, gadget and gizmo conferences.

But no more Hiltons for the Interceptor.

That’s because the Capital Hilton on K Street NW in Washington, D.C., has decided it no longer wants to do business with Hal Koster and Marty O’Brien, who for the past couple of years have hosted wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at their Fran O’Brien’s Stadium Steakhouse in the basement of the hotel.

Hilton officials said the decision to terminate the lease was “not at all related” to the Friday night veterans’ dinners.

That’s a corporate line with which I disagree. I think the Hilton booted Hal, Marty and the veterans because it did not want to install an elevator to transport the veterans down to the restaurant, as requested by Koster. It’s hard to imagine that a place within 10 minutes of the White House can ignore the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But beyond the elevator issue, I think the Hilton did not want the sight of amputees from Walter Reed Army Medical Center possibly upsetting its guests, including lobbyists for the defense industry who would prefer not to see the aftermath of war.

So the Hilton said goodbye to Koster, O’Brien and the vets, and I am saying so long to every property operated by the company.

Please join me in letting the Hilton know what you think of the vet booting by voting with your wallet, and tell the folks there, too.

Not even close to a rounding error

The Defense Department’s fiscal 2007 information technology budget of $31 billion looks as if it will make its way through the House Armed Services Committee with only a 1 percent reduction, according to Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.), chairman of that committee’s Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

On the other hand, Saxton intends to get tough on DOD as it develops new business IT systems. He wants to see those systems finished in five years.

Sometimes it takes that long to round up the office coffee pots and develop a logo for the business system.

The incredible, amazing Army PC deal

The Interceptor hears that those clever folks at the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems and the Army Small Computer Program struck an unbelievable deal on the $5 billion Army Desktop and Mobile Computing-2 contract awarded last month. One reseller, I’m told, priced its offering about 60 percent below the manufacturer’s price.

As the old joke goes, maybe that reseller thinks it will make up the per-PC loss in volume…

Baaah, baaah, one sweet bill

President Bush vowed to veto any 2006 emergency supplemental appropriations bill that was more than the $92.2 billion he requested, but Congress can’t keep from adding items to the measure that have nothing to do with supporting military operations and troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or hurricane relief in the Gulf Coast states.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was amazed by the earmarks and amendments to the emergency bill, including $15 million for the Agriculture Department’s Lamb and Ewe Replacement and Retention Program, $120 million for sugar cane and beet growers in Florida and $6 million for sugar cane growers in Hawaii, which he pointed out was far from Hurricane Katrina’s path.

I hope after the Senate is done with sheep, cane and beets, there will be enough money left for the Army to buy some discounted computers from the ADMC-2 contract.

Fight terrorism with e-forms

One of the hottest buzz phrases is “global war on terrorism,” or GWOT, which every company selling to DOD wants to include in its marketing pitch.

So I cannot blame Mary Ellen Power, marketing vice president for Silanis Technology, for letting me know that her company’s electronic signature solution, included as part of a forms content management program, will help support the Army’s role in GWOT.

Power said that with the help of Silanis, more than 50 of the 125 forms that the Army uses to provide operational support for GWOT could be signed electronically.

The electronic signatures are tightly integrated into the document management process, Powers wanted me to know, which sure made me feel better, as loosely integrated stuff gives me the vapors.

I am sure that soon I will hear from a type font company hyping their key role in GWOT.

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