New networking organization wants to help tech industry grow


Kansas City,MO (08-13-2002)

From The Kansas City Star
By David Hayes



KCCatalyst, a Kansas City organization formed to encourage technology and life-science entrepreneurs, has set up a networking group for information technology professionals.

The new group, ITKC, is a non-membership, volunteer group that will help the area's information technology industry develop and grow, said David Frankland, chief executive of KCCatalyst.

"In this era of high-tech innovation and speed to market, you network or risk losing out," Frankland said. "This new network is timed to fully unite and tie together Kansas City's fast-growing concentration of information technology-based companies and talent workers."

The group's first event will feature a speech on the future of wireless technologies by Philip Marshall, director of wireless mobile technologies for the Yankee Group, a Boston telecom research firm. The breakfast session is the first of three ITKC breakfast events planned this fall on wireless technology.

Marshall plans to kick off the series with discussion about the effect of the wireless industry on traditional telecommunications, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and the convergence of wireless devices. He will also talk about which technologies are likely to be successful and which might not.

Before and after the session, information technology professionals will get a chance to trade rumors and talk about the state of the area's information technology industry.

"The fact is these networks of people are the `nerve centers' of any strong and growing regional economy," Frankland said.

David Richter, president of Syberos, a Kansas City information security company, was named as ITKC's first chairman.

"Building a strong network for IT professionals is essential if we want to retain and attract technology talent in the greater Kansas City area," Richter said. "ITKC, as a forum for exchanging ideas, sharing new information and combing talent for new innovations, will have a positive impact for our city's technology companies. And it will help the Kansas City area compete with other technology communities in the country."

Others include Russ Johnson, CEO and managing consultant of System Solutions; LuAnn Hadlock, ITKC vice chairwoman; Tim Massey, Digital Archaeology;Doug Allen, chief information officer of Johnson County Community College; and Tim Johnson, executive director for operations and applied technology at the University of KansasInformation and Telecommunication Technology Center.

The breakfast session is scheduled for 8-10:30 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Kansas City Club. Details are available on the new organization's Web site, www.itkc.org. The cost of the breakfast session is $25.

Enough is enough

After spending a couple of weeks where the nights are cooler and water is in lakes instead of bottles, I arrived back at my computer to an avalanche of spam e-mail.

After the counting was done, I received an average of about 30 junk e-mails a day. They ranged from come-ons from online stores I may or may not have shopped at once to dozens of porn and adult solicitations. At least 10 African princes and one lawyer of dollars to me.

The newest take in spam seems to be a con using the PayPal online payment system to do the old chain letter "you send me money and you'll get tons in return" scam.

First off, I forwarded that offer, a couple of bogus product offers and some multilevel marketing schemes to the Federal Trade Commission at uce@ftc.gov. I forwarded a couple of e-mails with embedded porn images to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The rest I trashed without reading.

I get lots of spam; it goes with the job. My e-mail address is all over the Web, included on the bottom of articles posted on www.kansascity.com and other Web sites. Spammers regularly "harvest" the Web for such readily exposed e-mail addresses.

I've resisted anti-spam software in the past because the filters that check for spam e-mail have always had some bugs. During past tests, I had legitimate reader e-mail end up in the trash because the spam filter misinterpreted a word or e-mail address.

But 600 plus spam e-mails? Enough is enough.

So I just wrote and ordered a copy of SpamKiller from software maker McAfee.com Corp. The software checks your e-mail before you do -- filtering it between the mail server and your e-mail inbox using its own built-in rules, and restrictions that you establish.

It's about $30 online (www.mcafee.com), after a $10 rebate.

I'll keep you posted.

For more information, contact ITTC.


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