First Coffee for October 28, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for October 28, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is as good as Bruce Springsteen ever got, “Rosalita.” Too bad he peaked so early in his career:

That’s one thing about blackberries, they’re ubiquitous, hardy, durn near indestructible suckers. Got a neighbor you hate? Wait until she’s visiting her mother in Cleveland and plant blackberry vines in her yard. Provides a lifetime of evil pleasure. Just make sure you plant them on the far side of her yard from yours.

Here’s something nifty: Identum, developer of the Private Post PRO e-mail encryption software tool for consumers, is to release a Small Business Edition through retail outlets. It will offer 5, 10, 25 and 50 user licenses. An Enterprise Edition will follow.

Karl Feilder, CEO of Identum, says Private Post lets business establish private communication channels with their “stakeholder communities,” including customers, suppliers, investors and employees.

“At the moment every e-mail you send can be easily intercepted as it travels across the Internet via public networks,” said Feilder.

(No, his name’s not a misprint: First CoffeeSM’s wife was born in the New Zealand town of Feilding. Must be a Brit thing.)

He urged companies to think about how much of their e-mail contains sensitive data. “Private Post also encrypts attachments so if you’re mailing a financial spreadsheet, for instance, you can keep it between you and the recipient,” he said.

Feilder claims Private Post Small Business Edition is “easy to deploy: it is either installed centrally or, because it is so easy to install, can be implemented by individual users.”

For the promised enterprise-wide deployments, the Private Post configuration tool lets IT departments to maintain and enforce control over individual usage of Private Post. It can be configured to meet specific requirements to conform with internal policies for management and governance of e-mail content.

Private Post could also help with data protection regulations, since governments are “encouraging” companies to implement policies that prevent fraudulent access to information held in their care, “particularly information about their customers,” said Feilder.

Identum was founded in 2002 originally as a spin out from England’s University of Bristol cryptography department. The company has spent more than two years developing Private Post. The company is privately owned by its founders, employees and investors.

Redline Communications Inc., a standards-based broadband wireless equipment vendor, has announced its RedMAX family of WiMAX products will be deployed with Cisco Systems, Inc.’s IP products, part of the $22.2 million first phase of an IP network implementation in Saudi Arabia.

INTRACOM Middle East, an information and communications technology vendor, will incorporate RedMAX in a country-wide communications network for Integrated Telecom Company Ltd., a licensed data service provider in Saudi Arabia.

The RedMAX products will be part of a network that will bring advanced communications services to the region, including high-speed wireless voice, video and data services for residential and business users. Redline’s RedMAX base stations and access points will be installed as part of the network, enabling ITC to offer WiMAX services throughout Saudi Arabia.

In addition to WiMAX wireless broadband, the network will include IP solutions from Cisco, digital leased lines, VPN services, metro Ethernet, and international data gateway services.

Even in Sweden and the Philippines they proliferate. Vodafone Sweden has extended its “BlackBerry from Vodafone” portfolio with the addition of three mobile phones that support BlackBerry services developed by Research In Motion. Vodafone Sweden’s new and existing business customers that use the Nokia 9500 Communicator, Nokia 9300 smart phone or Sony Ericsson P910i can now also use BlackBerry Connect.

With BlackBerry Connect, customers get BlackBerry features in conjunction with BlackBerry Internet Service or BlackBerry Enterprise Server, including push-based connectivity, wireless e-mail synchronization and attachment viewing. Additional features supported by BlackBerry Enterprise Server include wireless calendar reconciliation, remote address lookup, IT commands and policy enforcement and advanced security with Triple DES encryption.

The “BlackBerry from Vodafone” portfolio for the Swedish market also currently includes the BlackBerry 7230, BlackBerry 7100v and BlackBerry 7730 devices.

And in the Philippines Smart Communications, Inc. has announced the availability of BlackBerry Connect for new and existing users of the Nokia 9500 Communicator, Nokia 9300 smart phone and Sony Ericsson P910i in the Philippines.

The introduction of BlackBerry Connect expands SMART’s portfolio of BlackBerry products which currently includes the BlackBerry 7100g, BlackBerry 7290 and BlackBerry 6720.

With BlackBerry Connect, customers can enjoy the advantages of BlackBerry services with support for features such as push-based wireless e-mail, wireless e-mail synchronization and attachment viewing on the Nokia and Sony Ericsson devices. Wireless calendar synchronization, remote address lookup, Triple DES encryption, IT commands and policy enforcement are additional features supported with BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

According to the excellent daily e-mail The Writer’s Almanac, it was on this day in 1919 that Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto and passed the Volstead Act, which provided for enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States.

As The Writer’s Almanac says, “ours isn’t the only nation to attempt a ban. Various forms of alcohol prohibition have been attempted since ancient times by the Aztecs, ancient China, feudal Japan, the Polynesian Islands, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Canada, and India.”

The movement to ban alcohol in this country began as a religious movement dominated by women – the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1874, still active today, it claims to be the oldest continuing women’s organization in the world. Incidentally it was also one of the first organizations working to outlaw prostitution, halt domestic violence and give women the right to vote.

Whyzzat? “At the time,” Writer’s Almanac explains, “it was still difficult for women to make a living on their own, and many women had seen their lives ruined when their husbands squandered the family income on booze.”

And you ever wonder why it took so long for women to get the right to vote? It was the liquor industry that put up such a long fight against women’s suffrage, “because they were terrified that women voters would usher in restrictions on the sale of alcohol.”

But Prohibition was a huge failure, right? Nobody stopped drinking and the only result was to benefit organized crime? Maybe in the big cities, but “in rural America, prohibition was quite effective. Both cirrhosis death rates and admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholism fell by more than fifty percent. Arrests for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct also went way down. And while organized crime may have gotten a boost, homicide rates were the same during the 1920s as they were in the previous two decades.”

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