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Charles Keating

At the end of June, the Senate Intelligence Committee introduced the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014, the latest variation of cybersecurity laws. Similar bills have failed to pass over the last four years, and in my opinion, rightfully so because of very reasonable concerns that they were overly broad in their power to potentially discard privacy and trample individual rights.  read more »


On July 5 and 6, our first GAMCON (Gaming, Anime and Music Convention — www.gamconvention.com/) is coming to the Kitsap Conference Center at Harborside in Bremerton. This local incarnation is similar to those which enjoy huge success in other parts of the country. West Sound Technology Association (WSTA) is a premier Kickstarter backer of this event, thanks to a generous donation on its behalf by Professional Options, a longtime WSTA supporter and sponsor. read more »


I expect readers have already heard about Heartbleed, which compromised websites and appears to have existed for at least two years. Unlike specific site hacks, this affected a substantial portion of the Internet. No one knows to what extent it was exploited, but safe to assume it was, and like water finding the lowest spot, eventually those with nefarious purposes will get their hands on the data. The call has been out there for everyone to change their passwords and use strong, unique ones — all great advice — but have we done so? read more »


Recent Federal Communications Commission proposals to allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to charge content providers for faster Internet access on the basis of “commercial reasonableness” has uncorked a grand debate between those who want more or less regulations and openness. Issues of competition, innovation, rights, privacy and intellectual property all overlap in this high-stakes tug-of-war for the Internet. The short-term outcome is anything but clear, but change is coming. read more »


Recent events have prompted an update on the state of IT and future directions. I’ve written previously about the advantages of cloud services, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trends, and virtualization.

For business owners, the buzzwords don’t matter. They care about purpose, cost and reliability. Then they weigh pros and cons, view other features, and finally — want to know when to implement. As trusted advisors, clients expect us to delve into details and explore the edge of what’s possible, and recommend best-fit and best-practice solutions when they are ready. Their focus simplifies the decision-making process, but the ‘when’ piece can still be murky. A convergence of business and technology trends has made 2014 a critical year for making transitions happen. read more »

Technology For Business

Several recent trips have served to be both inspiring and challenging when viewed in the context of our region. This is a dilemma I have been dealing with for a long time, more acutely since our recent West Sound Technology Association (WSTA) annual summit held in September on Raisbeck Aviation High School and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Western Washington Summit 2013 brought together Doug King, CEO of Museum of Flight; Reba Gillman, principal and CEO of Raisbeck Aviation High School; Susannah Malarkey, executive director of Technology Alliance; Dr. David Mitchell, president of Olympic College; Tim Thomson, CEO of Port of Bremerton; and Ed Stern in his leadership capacity with Puget Sound Regional Council. Raisbeck is an example of what is possible when private, public and nonprofits collaborate. The school has been in existence for 10 years, and recently moved into a $43.5 million campus adjacent to the Museum of Flight and Boeing. read more »

Technology And The Internet

For anyone watching the news, advances in technology are a daily fixture. At the same time, the economy has been struggling to break out of the doldrums the last few years. When the last recession started in 2008, economists held out hope that technology — clean, green, IT and other forms — would lead the recovery. This makes sense given both the dynamism of technology and how broadly it modifies other economic sectors.

Statistically the recession ended in 2009, but the gains have been uneven and slow. Surveys show most workers feel the recession is continuing, with persistent unemployment, under-employment, and structural changes — with more people contracting or working part-time and fewer traditional full-time job openings. It’s all part of the “new normal.” read more »


The governor recently announced plans to create a new charter agency, Consolidated Technology Services (CTS), which would handle the procurement of state technology services from outside entities. Currently, the state uses the Department of Information Services (DIS) to provide information technology (IT) services to state agencies. This plan is expected to save the state $32 million over four years out of a total spending of close to one billion for IT infrastructure. read more »


West Sound Technology Association (WSTA) is celebrating its tenth year. There are a lot of things to be happy about — great members, hardworking leaders, support from the community, outstanding educational programs, and fun networking events. Initially formed to help local technology professionals provide awareness of local resources and networking opportunities, our mission expanded quickly because of the vital role technology plays in supporting our economy. Technology provides high-wage; environmentally friendly jobs and by promoting efficiency helps all sectors of the economy. read more »

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