Archive for December, 2010

The Dunwoody Police Department is drawing more and more attention and praise for its use of social media, including its recent adoption of the Interactive Defense System.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is spotlighting Dunwoody on a section of the IACP website dedicated to social media. The DeKalb Champion newspaper also highlighted Dunwoody’s use of social media this week.

As detailed by the IACP and the Champion, Dunwoody PD began using Twitter in early 2009, when it was rare for law-enforcement agencies to do so. Even by September 2010, only about 24 percent of departments were using Twitter, according my quick calculations using numbers from an IACP survey. DPD also appears to have been ahead of the curve in using Facebook (used by 54 percent of departments surveyed in September 2010) and YouTube (14 percent).

Dunwoody adopted Interactive Defense a few weeks after the platform’s launch this summer. Within just a couple of months, officers credited IDS with helping  to bring in two suspected criminals.  The IACP found that social media had helped solve crimes in about 45 percent of the jurisdictions it surveyed. We expect that number to be higher in next year’s survey as more law enforcement agencies begin using Interactive Defense.

On that note, we at F3 Technologies and Interactive Defense, LLC, would like to wish you all a happy and safe new year. We also wish you a crime-free 2011 look forward to helping you and your city in that regard!

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Please note that FargoTube handles C.J. Miller’s book orders at www.askcjmiller.com. The blog C.J. runs at www.cjmilleronline.com includes links to FargoTube’s home page, but not to the URL where his books are on sale.

 

Sony’s jump into cloud-based music has created quite a lot of buzz in the past week. Its new Music Unlimited service has launched in the UK and a half-dozen other European countries; Sony plans to launch it in the U.S. in 2011.

It includes music from Sony/BMG and at least three other major record labels, which I believe makes it the largest service to challenge Apple’s iTunes. But the concept appears to be more similar to Pandora. It selects songs for an individual user based on feedback that user has given in the past, presumably in multiple channels created by that user.

What strikes me about iTunes and Music Unlimited is that our FargoTube service is like a blend of the two, albeit for now on a smaller scale, and with a couple of unique features of its own. (All three offer both music and videos).

The most basic difference between Sony’s and Apple’s services is that Music Unlimited streams its content, while iTunes’ content is available for download. Various tech bloggers have cast Sony’s challenge as a bet that the streaming format will eventually beat out the download format, in which listeners own the tracks they select.

FargoTube, in contrast to both of those services, lets independent artists offer their entertainment in either or both formats. In most cases, FargoTube users therefore can determine the format that best suits their viewing/listening preferences. All of this ensures that all artists’ presence on FargoTube will remain strong even if one format wanes in the film or music industry as a whole.

The early (and perhaps premature) verdict on Music Unlimited seems to be that it won’t displace iTunes. Readers at Engadget were particularly harsh on Sony.

The good news for FargoTube is that major players in the industry are not only beginning to accept that streaming and subscription services are viable, but they are now implementing solutions in the market. FargoTube is positioned to help independent artists jump on the bandwagon!

 

Momentum for IDS

Posted: December 23, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, Interactive Defense, Uncategorized
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Clarkston Police Department’s move to begin using the Interactive Defense System, which we announced earlier this week, was important for IDS because it represents momentum for the platform; now we’re even more optimistic that more cities will sign on in the next few months.

That’s because the platform grows ever more powerful with each new police department that signs on. Member police departments can share warnings, “wanted” notices and other public safety notices not just with their own citizens, but also with citizens in other cities that are using IDS. In other words, the pool of information grows with each new city that signs on, and that’s particularly important for cities like Dunwoody and Clarkston, two northeast Atlanta suburbs that are only about 12 miles apart from one another.

The Interactive Defense System is generating more news coverage, this time from 9-1-1 Dispatch.

The magazine published this article after editor Gary Allen saw earlier news coverage and asked me a few questions via e-mail. It gives a concise overview of IDS’s features and it serves as a great introduction to our platform for the police chiefs and police communications specialists who read the magazine:

IDS is a set of on-line applications that provide community alerting, crime mapping, home watch scheduling and other features that are easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection.

… The Dunwoody (Geo.) police department was an early adopter of IDS, and officials there say a wide range of city residents are using the IDS features. DPD officials credit IDS with the recent capture of three suspects after they were profiled on the Web site.

A big thank-you to Mr. Allen and 9-1-1 Dispatch!

Early-stage buzz like this is helping to generate interest among other police chiefs in the Atlanta area and beyond. As we mentioned in a conference call yesterday afternoon, IDS is being offered free of charge to the first three to five police departments that adopt it. We’re seeing increasing indications that these police chiefs’ foresight — along with the resulting news coverage — will help to bring in paying customers in a matter of months.

Note: an initial version of the 9-1-1 Dispatch article mistakenly identified F3’s partner in IDS as “Noble Ventures, Inc.” In fact, the corporation’s name is “Noble Heroes, Inc.”

 

Thank you to all of you who participated in our conference call yesterday afternoon. For those who weren’t able to join us, we’re providing a link to the recording.

First Open Mic Monday for FargoTube

Posted: December 7, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, FargoTube

Stephanie and I cruised over to downtown Decatur last night to feast on the weekly smörgåsbord of acoustic music that Atlanta’s best folk musicians serve weekly at Eddie’s Attic (including at least once a month under a FargoTube banner).

(Georgina) Callaghan in the Listening Room at Eddie's Attic; Monday, Dec. 6

This was the first time in my life attending a performance where nobody in the audience budged while the musicians were playing. Eddie’s Attic has that sort of reputation. The space with the main stage has a capacity of 185 and is called “The Listening Room.” You can get an Irish coffee, a pint of Sweetwater 420, or a wheel of brie baked in Jack Daniels batter, but cigarettes and flash photography are off limits, y’all.

My personal favorite last night was Callaghan. She’s a native of England, but her accent was just as Kentuckian as any other singer of American folk music, and she even lapsed in and out of a light southern drawl between songs. Maybe her given name, Georgina Callaghan, explains her move to the Empire State of the South.

Callaghan and FaroTube early adopter Coles Whalen, who is now touring the eastern United States, made Eddie’s cut into a final-round sing off, but ultimately fell to Joy Scout (a.k.a. Emily Kate Boyd). For the 20 other musicians, not advancing to the final round “doesn’t mean you suck,” as Eddie told them. And that goes for Callaghan and Coles, too, to say the very least.

We’ll have last night’s music up on The Attic’s section of FargoTube in a day or two. For now, here’s some of Eddie’s holiday cheer for you:

Stephanie Miller (L), Eddie Owen, Coles Whalen