Tuesday, October 25, 2005

After a bit of a hiatus, mkeller is back. And that's the last time I'll refer to myself in the third person, he promises.
It's been a busy couple of months since last we spoke. I'll try to distill out the worthwhile stuff.
I got my first piece published in a national mag. It's in November's Wired, on shelves now. Or you can save the five bucks and just go here:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.11/start.html?pg=10

It's a little piece, but I'm alongside Noah Shachtman of www.defensetech.org. I'll consider it an honor being in the same rag as Shachtman, who has been my military/defense technology go-to source for quite a while now.

On the subject of technology, I'd like to bounce an idea off of you people across the wire. I believe that now is the time to begin implementing a hardened and public wireless infrastructure under the umbrella of national security.
Just as the advent of the Internet heralded a time when every citizen could become a journalist, wireless holds the potential for every place to become a newsroom, press, broadcast and radio station or an emergency management center.
Lets take the initiative to progress and truly capitalize technology expenditures for the marketplace of ideas. Besides the benefits of open access to the Internet with its associated benefits of VoIP, open GPS signal triangulation and others, there is also a benefit to connecting concerned expert users all over the country.
When communications went down here, nobody, not even different first-responder groups, could speak with each other. Emergency operations centers were saved during this forced silence by ham radio operators, who drove in from all over the country to coordinate efforts in the days after the storm.
With a hardened and overlapping wireless network, coordinating activities would be much easier.
The Red Cross knew the importance of this. They brought in a Ford Explorer specially equipped with a satellite uplink and wireless communications equipment to get their field staff linked to people and servers at their headquarters.

I know that we are still battling over whether evolution happened, but I can dream, can't I?

Speaking of cool mobile technology during disasters, here's two examples:

1)Cell on Wheels(COW's)- mobile cellular towers that can be trucked in when your stationary ones fall down, bringing back cell communications more quickly.
One example at http://www.pceii.com/static/cow.htm

2)Mobile Integrated Geospatial-Intelligence Systems (MIGS)- from your spooky friends at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Humvee-mounted rolling mapping systems complete with earth observing satellite connections, GPS and connectivity to homebase. I used NGA (formerly NIMA) remote sensing products when I was doing some peacekeeping work in Africa. They have amazing stuff and even more amazing capabilities. NGA is at its best when it's helping humanity instead of looking for a guy in a cave.

9 Comments:

Blogger Jackass Jenn said...

I work for a large networking company and I'm proud to say our teams in the Gulf Coast were and are definately trying to get the VoIP and wireless solutions out to help people. (Am I naive enough to say its completely selfish, no...it IS corporate america) but we are trying and the end benefit hopefully will be more people connected and communicating and also more acceptance so the type of technology you speak of - the immediate drastic mobile technology of zero-hour importance, becomes even more widespread, accepted and available.

PS - still reading faithfully everyday, you guys are doing a great job of sharing.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

I'll second the comment that you all are doing a great job communicating. I've been reading your site since Katrina hit. You've kept me more informed than the t.v. networks. I don't make comments very often, but I do read regularly. Keep up the great work.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Noah Shachtman said...

Honor, my ass. That's a great piece.

And just for that, you get a sloppy, wet kiss right back.


nms

10:44 AM  
Blogger MKeller said...

Double honored.

Point of order, though, Shachtman-

I don't put out without whisky. Call me prude.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say congratulations on your article in Wired. I read it last night without knowing you were the author! I've been reading your blog pretty much every day to get a better perspective of what's going on. My mom and step-dad lost their house in Pass Christian and have been living in a tent on their property since shortly after Katrina. Since I've only been in sporadic phone contact it's great to be able to check your blog and get an even better picture of what's going on. I'm flying down to help out (& have an early Thanksgiving) November 12th and I can't wait to see them.

6:00 PM  
Blogger t_cole said...

Mike.
welcome back. you were missed.
congrats on the article.

the pics of the fires made me cry. more loss...

7:08 PM  
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