April 1, 2013
Over the past week, my family has been observing the Passover holiday, during which my daughters (ages 7.5 and 5.5) are learning all about the Hebrews’ journeys through the desert of Sinai. During those 40 years, the Hebrews were provided shelter, nourishment and guidance by “Clouds of Glory” which followed their meandering path unceasingly, and became enshrined in the liturgy, ritual practice and common identity of modern Hebrews.
Of course, those Clouds and “the Cloud” we typically discuss in technology provide identical benefits: security, stability, omnipresence, and mobility. These days, without “the Cloud,” our modern technological society would cease functioning; our documents, data, and identities have been inextricably bound into the nebulous digital ether, in which 99.99999% uptime isn’t good enough, and only infinite redundancy is sufficient.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Cloud is no longer a dream for some Government agencies; it’s happening. This week, Business Insider reported that a large Intelligence agency plans an unprecedented, 10-year relationship with Amazon Web Services as a “private cloud” implementor. This is the first of such news from the Intelligence sector, but it’s surely not to be the last.
March 29, 2013
I engage with a variety of civilian agencies as they prepare to rollout their telework program. Everyone is looking for a tool to support their mobile worker and provide them with an interactive, rich environment that includes video, audio and desktop sharing among many other features. Multiple device and cross operating system support is also a requirement. You never know who you will need to collaborate with online!
March 26, 2013
The following post originally appeared in the Adobe Standards blog.
On March 9th, at the Open Future reception at SXSW, Adobe announced support for the OpenStand initiative. Our rationale for this was simple – OpenStand is good for the Web, good for users, and good for Adobe. It increases innovation, openness, and allows greater participation in evolving the Internet.
The Internet is built on standards. These standards come from all sorts of organizations – some formal and supported by governments, some less formal and created by industry associations, and some driven by users who believe in collective action. OpenStand takes a simple position on these organizations – if the organization is open, transparent, balanced, has due process in creation, and has broad consensus – then the organization and its specifications are legitimate.
March 24, 2013
The US Army in Afghanistan is using Adobe Connect to provide a place to meet 24/7/365 for the people and organizations involved in trying to keep the peace. This includes 20 or more base clusters and many NATO partners. The main room typically has 20 or more attendees in it at all times of the day – keeping in touch with what is going on. The main focus is sharing a map of current incidents and deployments. Breakout rooms are used when attendance in the main Connect meeting room begins to grow and various side conversations develop.
(The map gives all attendees on the team excellent situational awareness)
March 22, 2013
It’s finally Spring, which means warm weather (I hope), longer days, and most importantly, the Adobe Civilian Government Road Show and MAX!
One of the best parts of my job is being able to get out and meet with our customers to help them understand and use our products more effectively. We’re taking our demos on the road in late April/early May for three Adobe Digital Government Forums:
- Baltimore, April 25
- Atlanta, April 30
- Denver, May 2
More details on the venues, registration, etc. will be coming soon. In the interim, have you registered for Adobe MAX yet? MAX will be held May 4-8 in Los Angeles, CA. It is the premiere event for designers, developers, and other content creators and creative professionals to learn about our digital media tools. There are always tons of hands-on sessions as well as government-specific topics and gatherings, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about our products and how they can benefit your agency. We’ll have several members of our government team onsite at the event as well.
Also, if you’re not able to get out to some of these events, let the events come to you; our webinar series features a variety of topics for technical and executive audiences.
Hope to see you soon!
March 14, 2013
Government customers at all levels, federal, state & local and civilian agencies are always concerned about security. For good reason, according to an IDC report, nearly 36% of government agencies have experienced an information leak in the past 12 months. We know it’s a problem, but what tools can be used to help us stem the leaks of information?
Next week, on March 21st at 2 pm est, I will be delivering a webinar to address these points. I will be covering two major topic areas. The first, primarily for IT managers, will discuss application security in Adobe Acrobat and what this means to their agencies.
Screen shot of Protected Mode in Acrobat XI. If you don’t know what this means, join our webinar to learn.
The second area I will cover will be for users of Acrobat. I will discuss how to secure your PDF documents and how to remove sensitive information (commonly called redaction) from your PDF documents. I find many times users of Acrobat assume their PDF files are secure because they are a PDF. This is not the case. In Acrobat XI we can apply security at the onset of creating our PDF documents, which is a real time saver.
March 7, 2013
I can’t pretend to understand the many twisting, churning governmental machinations behind Sequestration, or even Snowquestration, but my imagination paints a number of closed-door, deeply-partisan and highly unpleasant confrontations between legislators who pride themselves on one-upmanship, not unlike how Congressman Francis Underwood deviously masterminds passage of Education Reform in Netflix’s House of Cards. In this case, I believe life likely imitates art, not the other way around.
Regardless of the opaque political process behind cutting $1.2 Trillion from Government agencies over 10 years, uncertainty and discomfort have reverberated across all sectors of Government since Monday. One notable example has resulted in the cancellation of the Defense Intelligence Worldwide conference, which has been a critical hub for industry interaction with the US Intelligence Community for years. Adobe looked very much forward to hosting many of our meetings at our 20×20 booth with bleeding-edge demonstrations, try-it-yourself kiosks and (of course) swag giveaways, so we share the frustration and disappointment that the conference organizers, technology vendors and Gov IT personnel must be feeling right now.
March 1, 2013
Last week, you heard from my colleague, Scott Biegel, about his Adobe Connect roadshow through the states. If you missed his post, I encourage you to review it and see when the show will be in your area!
As Adobe Connect Solutions Consultants, we have the privilege of hearing from all of you (our customers) about what is working, what’s not and how you are using our technology in amazing and unique ways. Today, I wanted to share with you a fascinating use case I recently came across from one of my customers.
My customer, a civilian agency in downtown D.C., was asked to administer a timed, written exam to individuals in the U.S. and beyond. Since they had Adobe Connect, they were able to satisfy this requirement in a timely, cost effective way by moving the exam online. All participants of the exam were given instructions on how to login to the online Adobe Connect room at their specified time. Because Adobe Connect allows participants to join from any location all they needed was an Internet connection, a standard web browser and the ubiquitous Flash Player. It is also important to note that Adobe Connect is supported on all iOS and Android mobile devices via the free Adobe Connect Mobile app.
February 28, 2013
One of the perks of a Creative Cloud subscription is having access to exclusive features and products. While much of that content is in the form of exclusive applications (like the Edge Tools and Services), one of the latest new features is exclusive content via ‘Extensions.’ Let’s take a look at the newest benefit the Creative Cloud offers!
What are extensions?
Extensions are small plug-ins that perform a specific function within an application. Different applications have different extensions available to them; while we’re looking at Photoshop for this particular article, there are extensions available for other applications as well. While some extensions are available for non-Cloud users, there are some new ones that are currently exclusive for Cloud subscribers.
How do they work?
You can access extensions directly from the application that you’re working in. For example, in Photoshop CS6, you will choose Window > Extensions to see a list of currently available extensions.
February 22, 2013
While my colleagues attended the Adobe Government Assembly last week (see Jerry’s post), I was in San Bernardino presenting a session for the District Attorney’s Office on Technical Training around Adobe Acrobat XI. About 50 attendees from the district attorney’s office had an entire day of training on how to use tools and technology that improves their effectiveness at prosecuting defendants.
I quickly realized these attorneys often compete with private defense attorneys, who many times have more staff and money to buy better tools. That particular day in San Bernardino was especially telling for my audience, as the manhunt for Christopher Dorner was in full pursuit and their own San Bernardino County officers were at the forefront of the chase. This district attorney’s office would potentially be responsible for the prosecution of Dorner. It really caused me to realize I was teaching them how to leverage a powerful a tool to help them better do their job- prosecute defendants.
Redaction Slide from training.