Years ago "Beltway Bandit" was the name given to any commercial organization that tried to help the government accomplish its mission. You don't hear the terminology as often these days. I think that is because the government and many private contractors have figured out how to work together. The contractors need to make a profit and the government needs to accomplish its mission without having too many people on their payrolls. That makes it appear that government is shrinking when in fact it really isn't. Then again there are lots of things that aren't exactly what they seem. Of course there are still bandits up here, but I think most of them are ones we elected.
I'm back in Northern Virginia for a few meetings. It is always a shock coming here from Southwest Virginia. Of course after driving Interstate 81 for a few hours, you're prepared for almost anything.
Using my Rojo account which Pat Mathews got me hooked on, I found a neat new on line community, Plazes, which tracks your location and lets you discover others in your geographic location. It's still in beta, I would like to see some others in our area join the community. After all we are a technology corridor. Sean and Pat are holding down the Blacksburg area. I you would like to join, just head to the Plazes website. If you are interested in a nice Java based RSS reader and aggregator, check out BlogBridge. I like the BlogBridge Collections but I am a big fan of doing everything in a browser, FireFox to be specific and it is pretty hard to beat the really clean interface of Rojo.
Ben at macslash gave me a tip on a great new chat client for MacOS X, Adium. It does tabbed chatting and supports multiple services at once. To me it is much more professional looking than iChat. You can download it the Adium website. They also get bonus points from me for the PayPal donation button. I don't mind donating for good software. I prefer it to paying through the nose for bloated commercial software.
On another note, a Canadian college student, Tim, whom I met through his blog has penned a good suggestion on health care. I agree with him that I am tired of hearing that the only choices are the Canadian or the US system. Let's try to find out if there are some other countries where things might be working. We need to do something. The cost of health care is making some of our industries uncompetitive. It would be nice to see our government get off their tails and come up with some constructive solutions for this instead of all the posturing that we see.
My SUSE 9.3 Linux update has shipped. I wonder which will arrive first, my OS X Tiger or my SUSE 9.3. Then the question is, does one or both deliver real value or just hype. We'll soon see.
On another note I googled myself. My blog has done wonders for my "Sobotta" goggle ranking. One of these days perhaps I can get ahead of the "Sobotta Atlas of Human Anatomy, Version 1.5."