Author Archive

Company Update

Posted: January 24, 2011 by f3technologies in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized
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In response to questions that we have received from shareholders over the last few days, F3 remains focused on executing against our business plan and strategies for 2011.

We are extremely excited about how our innovative products and partnerships help independent artists in creating sustainable careers and cities in improving communication with their residents to combat crime.

Our partnerships with Consolidated Independent, Music2Q and Ditto Music are all important relationships to help us expand awareness of FargoTube, build a significant catalogue of content and provide important connections for artists. In addition, our participation in the 2011 SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, will be a key milestone for the company and we look forward to demonstrating FargoTube to a large film and music audience.

We thank you for your support of F3!

Frank Connor
CEO

Commentary On Q3 Expenses

Posted: November 17, 2010 by f3technologies in F3 Technologies, Uncategorized

F3 Technologies Inc. recorded payroll expense of $251,877 for the third quarter of 2010.

Of this amount, $197,250 is a non-cash expense. This amount includes $126,000 recorded for the valueof stock issued during the quarter to three employees and one advisor to the Company representing compensation for past services of $45,000 for 2007 through 2009, and $81,000 for current and future services. The Company has made no commitments for additional future stock awards.

The expense also includes $71,250 in deferred compensation of the Chief Executive Office and the President of the Company. As a policy decision, deferred compensation will be payable only when the Company is profitable and has sufficient liquidity to comfortably meet these obligations.

Additional cash payroll expenses recorded during the quarter included $47,629 covering two domestic staff members, $3,412 for Romanian employees, and $3,586 for payroll taxes.

Interactive Defense’s updated, overhauled website is now live at http://www.interactivedefense.com.

The site includes several new pages with additional information about IDS, and will eventually include a demonstration video in Flash and possibly interfaces that will be modeled on those used by our customers — police officers and city residents.

A couple of weeks ago, the service signed its first major customer, a forward-thinking and influential police department in the metro-Atlanta area. We’ll make a more formal announcement in conjunction with the city in the next couple of weeks when the city is ready to launch its own multimedia awareness campaign.

Meanwhile, we’re moving forward in discussions with public-safety agencies in several other sizable cities. The overhauled website is part of the next phase: making it easier for new client cities to adopt IDS in a smoother, more automated fashion that won’t require extensive visits to the cities, as the first few rollouts are requiring.

Interactive Defense System is a groundbreaking platform for city residents and police officers to communicate with one another. It allows police to put out immediate text- and e-mail alerts on missing children, criminal suspects and dangerous situations. It allows residents to share crime tips more directly with officers and with each other, request officer assistance, and notify police when their homes will be vacant due to moves or vacation.

Interactive Defense, LLC, is a joint venture of F3 Technologies, Inc., and Noble Heroes, Inc. IDS is a specialized version of F3’s Interaction Community Systems networking solution for homeowners associations and other member groups. Several common features and the ability to connect the two platforms translate into sales synergy: When city governments and public-safety agencies adopt IDS, residents in those cities get a look at what Interaction can do for their homeowners associations and realize how easy it is to adopt Interaction.

IDS includes two unique virtual networks: Safety Center for community members and HeroSpace for municipal employees. The Safety Center allows police and residents to trade up-to-the-minute information on important safety issues. HeroSpace is a professional network for firefighters, police officers and other municipal employees that fosters interdepartmental collaboration and the efficient use of time and resources.

A police department can invite residents to join its Interactive Defense network using contact information that other municipal departments already have on file. In most cases, residents and municipal employees will be able to access Interactive Defense through one or more of the city’s existing websites.

F3 Technologies, Inc., and Noble Heroes, Inc., are preparing to relaunch the website of Interactive Defense System, the public-safety platform we developed. The overhauled site will go live around July 13 or 14; in the meantime, here’s a preview:

The site will include new pages with additional information about IDS, and will eventually include a demonstration video in Flash and interfaces modeled on those used by our customers — police officers and city residents.

Interactive Defense, LLC, recently signed its first major customer, a forward-thinking and influential police department in the metro-Atlanta area, and is moving forward in discussions with public-safety agencies in several other sizable cities. The overhauled website is part of the next phase: making it easier for new client cities to adopt IDS in a smoother, more automated fashion.

A little background on Interactive Defense System: it’s our groundbreaking platform for city residents and police officers to communicate with one another. It allows police to put out immediate text- and e-mail alerts on missing children, criminal suspects and dangerous situations. It allows residents to share crime tips more directly with officers and with each other, request officer assistance, and notify police when their homes will be vacant due to moves or vacation.

Interactive Defense System is a specialized version of F3’s Interaction Community Systems networking solution for homeowners associations and other member groups. Several common features and the ability to connect the two platforms translate into sales synergy: When city governments and public-safety agencies adopt IDS, residents in those cities get a look at what Interaction can do for their homeowners associations and realize how easy it is to adopt Interaction.

But back to IDS. It includes two unique virtual networks: Safety Center for community members and HeroSpace for municipal employees. The Safety Center allows police and residents to trade up-to-the-minute information on important safety issues. HeroSpace is a professional network for firefighters, police officers and other municipal employees that fosters interdepartmental collaboration and the efficient use of time and resources.

A police department can invite residents to join its Interactive Defense network using contact information that other municipal departments already have on file. In most cases, residents and municipal employees will be able to access Interactive Defense through one or more of the city’s existing websites.

HOA-ly moly! Looks like it’s embezzlement week for homeowners associations. HOAs in metro Denver and the Outer Banks of North Carolina lost a total of more than $1.5 million to a couple of crooks. In North Carolina, an HOA’s property manager embezzled $860,000 in dues from the HOA to pay for personal expenses. The woman issued checks to herself and other businesses, used the HOA’s credit card, and withdrew money from the HOA’s bank account, apparently over a period of about five years, WRAL-5, the CBS-affiliated television station in the Raleigh area, reported on Wednesday.

In Denver, an employee of a property management company stole a total of $700,000 from several homeowners associations, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday. In November, an employee at a different property management company was arrested in a seperate case of alleged embezzlement.

That’s scary stuff for homeowners who are asked to fork over hundreds of dollars a month, sometimes backed up with the threat of foreclosure. They expect the money to fund algae-free pools and landscaping for their streets and entrances, not a gambling spree at the local casino.

“That is very disconcerting,” Rita Guthrie of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Community Associations Institute told 7NEWS in Denver. “It is of great concern, I think, to anyone in (the property-management) industry.”

F3 Technologies developed its community-management system, Interaction Community Systems, with extensive input from our in-house accounting expert, Stephanie Miller, who teaches accounting systems at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Interaction enhances the internal controls around cash receipts and cash disbursements for HOAs, as well as reporting.  Interaction has an electronic payments feature that reduces the number of checks received and handled by people, thus eliminating opportunities for embezzlement.  And Interaction makes communities’ finances more transparent by allowing members easier and more immediate access to reports than they get with other management platforms.

And not just that — Interaction doubles as a social-networking site for residents and community members. They can post pictures from the cul-de-sac kickball game on a “wall” where it’s visible only to their neighbors. They can put out an alert about a stray dog. They can even post links to articles about theft and embezzlement in someone else’s HOA.

Our first subscription agreement for Interactive Defense is now signed!  Per the request of the city, we will be announcing the formal signing of the contract in conjunction with a city-initiated multimedia educational campaign in August.

In the meantime, the team is working closely with city officials as they prepare for a pilot launch of site to 3 local homeowner associations in the next 2 weeks.

For more information on this contract, see the press release we put out when the client signed a letter of intent.

Looks like another jurisdiction is stepping up its efforts to communicate directly with citizens. That’s not a big surprise for anyone who has followed current events in the last 10 years or so, and certainly not for us at Interactive Defense, LLC. State and local law-enforcement agencies have implemented Amber Alerts, Reverse 911, and other systems with growing frequency. Many states have used “Silver Alerts” for a year or more when senior citizens or people with dementia go missing. Maryland State Police are introducing the latest alert system, “Blue Alert,” to warn police and citizens that a suspected cop killer is at large.

Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts use existing mass-media channels for communication, while several systems are based on new technology or software. The new system in Maryland will operate similarly to Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts, police spokesman Craig Shipley told me. It isn’t clear whether broadcasters will interrupt regular programming, like they do for Amber Alerts, or whether police will hope that news outlets will report on the alerts, as they do with Silver Alerts.

Maryland was already in the process of implementing the “Blue” system when a state trooper was shot in early June. In response to the shooting, the state’s governor ordered the rollout to be sped up.

It’s sad that a horrible tragedy has to occur before people take action. Amber Alerts are named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped and murdered near Dallas, Texas, in 1996. Most states now issue Amber Alerts for children believed to have been kidnapped, and each state develops its own criteria for putting one out, based on factors like the reliability of the information on the disappearance.

The upside is that most of these systems take a pro-active approach, with alerts being issued while a suspect is still at large. The one that F3 Technologies has co-developed is particularly pro-active in that it includes both an alert system and other social-netorking tools that can help police and citizens identify problem areas before an actual crime is committed. Our software, Interactive Defense System, features two-way alerts: Local residents — not just law-enforcement officers — can put out alerts, both to other residents and to police, and via e-mail and text-messages. Interactive Defense, LLC, our partnership with Noble Heroes Inc., expects to sign its first big client in the next few days.

News from the road

Posted: June 24, 2010 by f3technologies in F3 Technologies, FargoTube

An update from our sales team’s three-day trip to Nashville late last week: They met with several country-music producers, representatives from record labels, a video-production company, and a couple of people from a country-music television channel (there are several such channels, so your first guess may not be correct). On Wednesday, we sat down with two gals from a public-relations firm who will probably be able to open a lot more doors for us. 

Best of all, FargoTube appears to have generated some buzz: “People are starting to already know who we are before we meet them,” our business-development manager, Stephanie Miller, told me on Monday. It may have a lot to do with the affiliate agreement that we signed a couple of weeks ago with Strange Celebrity Entertainment, LLC and its business-savvy president, Kendall Bard.

Our activities in the world of country music started with a single personal connection we had in Nashville. But it’s shaping up to be a very promising market for us, and we like to think that the momentum we’re building there will allow us to crack markets even without previously existing connections.

A nice little coup for FargoTube earlier this week. We got it linked from http://www.sagindie.org/directory/national-124-distribution-companies.html and listed in SAGIndie’s directory of distribution companies for independent filmmakers.

You’re probably aware that the Screen Actors Guild is the primary professional resource and labor union for actors, directors, key grips, and all the other talent in the U.S. film industry. The guild launched SAG Indie in 1997 as an additional resource for the growing number of filmmakers and television producers outside the major studios or, as SAG puts it, a “gentle and loving union between the hard working thespians of the world and the passionate filmmaking mavericks who buck the system.”

While FargoTube is a powerful tool for any sort of video content, it’s especially important for moviemakers who don’t have access to the vast distribution networks that large integrated studios have. Independents have to put in tremendous efforts to reach viewers, including aggressive networking within the industry, and submitting their works to film festivals from Tribeca to Telluride to Toronto. Big events often lead to distribution arrangements, but mainly for the relative handful of films that are screened there.

FargoTube is an entirely different way of doing business: It allows filmmakers to promote and sell their work at the same time instead of treating one as a step to the other. It puts the artists in direct contact with viewers.

FargoTube delivers videos in “tubes” – social networks set up and customized by filmmakers and other content owners. Fans can create profiles with pictures of themselves, e-mail other fans and set up their own networks of friends within each tube.

The service is free for filmmakers, who collect a significant portion of revenue from their films on FargoTube. A tube owner can set up a preview period or trailer for a video before the viewer is prompted to purchase the entire video or sign up for a subscription.

Tubes allow multiple revenue streams. One creator might charge for each viewing, while independent studios with multiple short films or webisodes might choose to allow access on a subscription basis. Owners can also allow advertising as an additional revenue source. They can announce upcoming releases and screenings in upcoming film festivals.

In short, FargoTube is a versatile tool that can either supplant or magnify existing distribution channels and marketing tools. We’re confident that independent filmmakers will start using it in significant numbers once they see what it can do for them.

A recent IBISWorld research report on the music publishing industry included plenty of reasons to be optimistic about FargoTube and other online entertainment services. IBISWorld expects overall revenue growth in music industries to accelerate to an average annual rate of 3.4 percent between now and 2015, with the strongest growth concentrated in music publishing. The rap on traditional media companies such as newspapers and recording studios is that the internet is killing them off, but IBIS says that’s not entirely true. Artists and entertainment companies that embrace new business models are likely to grow substantially, IBIS says. Musicians who can popularize themselves through concerts, digital downloads and online social networks can go on to reap big profits. IBIS predicted that licensing fees associated with advertisements will be one of several revenue streams that grows for musicians. 

Musicians and independent record labels represent only one of several markets that FargoTube will begin to target in the next few days, but its other markets are somewhat similar. The internet has put the film industry in a predicament similar to that of the music industry, albeit a less severe one.

In any case, the numerous musicians and indie labels who have exploited online channels for their music are starting to exploit FargoTube in the same way for their video content. And as the internet plays a role in the growth of more musicians, we believe more of them will turn to FargoTube.