Monday, June 4, 2007

Google Earth Link to JFK Terror Plot

There’s the old adage that any press is good press. Except when you’re connected to a foiled terrorist plot. Reports are linking the masterminds of the JFK Airport Terror Plot with Google Earth and aerial photographs downloaded from the online service.

But officials said the four men determined to carry out their attack, having conducted “precise and extensive” surveillance of the airport using photographs, video, the recollections of Mr. Defreitas and satellite images downloaded from Google Earth.
(Source: NY Times)

A Google Spokesperson responds, according to this CNET report, of any possible link:
"Google takes security concerns very seriously, and is always willing to discuss them with public agencies and officials. Our experience is that security concerns can best be addressed through dialog with the relevant governmental experts."

This isn’t the first time Google’s mapping products have been connected to negative press. You may recall speculation a few months ago that CNET Editor James Kim may have used Google Maps to receive ill-fated driving directions in Oregon.

TechEd 2007: Photos from the Keynote

As promised, here are some photos I took from the press section during the keynote address. Sorry there aren't more, I had to duck out to do a live shot with Steve & Rebecca on Newsradio 750 KXL. Look for more photos from TechEd throughout the week.

For more photos, visit my TechEd keynote photo gallery.

TechEd 2007: Notes from the Keynote

The keynote just wrapped here at Microsoft's TechEd conference in Orlando. A packed audience listened eagerly to hear a roadmap of upcoming releases and product announcements from the software giant.

Microsoft SVP Bob Muglia appeared on stage with actor Christopher Lloyd of the “Back to the Future” series after a splashy and entertaining video introduction poking fun at previous keynotes (and unrealized “vision”) -- and making light of failed Microsoft Products (the other Bob and his sidekick Clippy). Christopher Lloyd took on the role of “MS-BS Detector” promising to sound a honking noise if the keynote were to drift into “vision” territory. The gimic was certainly memorable, but the keynote itself? Not so much.

Here’s a rundown of the product announcements from this morning’s keynote:
  • First public beta of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • Microsoft launched a new strategy known as “Dynamic IT” with a suite of Microsoft Optimization tools
  • Windows Server 2008 Core Installation option
  • Windows Server 2008 will include Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) web server software
  • Microsoft Forefront security software sees updates
  • Windows Vista’s add-on “Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack” gets new components to virtualiation, asset control, error monitoring, policy management and troubleshooting
  • Microsoft has acquired Engyro Corp.
  • Microsoft is acquiring Dundas Data Visualization’s Data Visualization products
  • Office Business Applications include Open XML – an SDK was released today.

And finally, from the Department of Codename-Translation:
  • ”Katmai” is now officially Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
  • ”Orcas” is now Visual Studio 2008 with a Beta2 available later this summer.

The session ended with video montage timeline respective loook at Microsoft TechEd over the past 15 years. For more on Microsoft TechEd, check back soon or visit Microsoft’s Virtual TechEd site. I took some photos of Bob Muglia and Christopher Lloyd onstage from the press row and will post them here in a few minutes.

Welcome to TechEd 2007!

Microsoft’s annual TechEd conference kicks off today in Orlando, Florida. About 14,000 attendees from around the world are expected to accept Microsoft’s challenge to “Make Your Mark”. Despite arriving late last week, I feel like, well… it’s Monday! :-p

I’ll be here all week tracking the latest developments throughout the conference. Of course if you have any questions, please drop me a line.

First up on the agenda is a keynote by Bob Muglia, Microsoft SVP / Server and Tools Business. We’re expecting to hear updates on the new Longhorn (Windows Server 2008) platform as well as projects with codenames such as Orcas and Katmai. What do all these mean and how will they impact your business’ IT plans for the coming years? Stay tuned – right here – and on the air for the latest from Orlando!