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Six years have passed since the global news coverage of Sofia's abduction to Syria and she has now been waiting for more than two years for the Broward County Court's decision in Florida to evict the occupants of her home, so she can return to the U.S. and "finally" resume her normal life at the age of eight. In 2011, her mother's Florida Attorney Susan R. Brown convinced Honorable Judge Arthur Birken to give temporary custody of Sofia to her mother; months later Sofia ended up in Syria with her mom and stayed there for several years until the civil war broke. A year after the Broward County Court's "worst custody ruling" in Florida, and after world-wide media outrage, Honorable Judge Arthur Birken contacted me and extended the sole custody of my daughter to me. This didn't help get Sofia out of Syria for three more years. In the mean time, since June 2015, Sofia's... (more)

Industry Experts Discuss the State of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Expo on Ulitzer "With cloud computing, price to deploy applications goes through the floor while flexibility to scale those applications goes through the ceiling!" says WaveMaker CEO Chris Keene, in this lively round-up of CEO and CTO opinions to get a sense of The State of Cloud Computing compiled and published by Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo is taking place this week at the Santa Clara Convention Center (November 2-4, 2009). Keene's take on what's driving Cloud Computing enterprise-wise is just one of several high-profile contributions. Those contributing to Geelan's impromptu survey include: RightScale CEO Michael Crandell; the Chairman & CEO of WaveMaker, Chris Keene; the CTO of GigaSpaces, Nati Shalom; Lew Cirne, Founder & CEO of New Relic; Mitchell Kertzman of Hummer Winblad Venture Partne... (more)

A Bedtime Story for Sofia Who Remains Abducted in Syria

Diane Macedo of Fox News worked on Sofia's story for more than a month, studying documents, interviewing more than a dozen people, and fact-checking before publishing her news story on Monday and airing our interview. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story On Monday, she also published a detailed article on Sofia that was picked up by a dozen or so media outlets around the world during the week. ▸ Fox News Story on Sofia's Abduction to Syria When Sofia returns safely home, she will pay her first visit to Diane at the Fox News headquarters in New York City. ▸ US Leaves Its Youngest Citizen Behind Syria The following is a short weekend "bedtime story" for my daughter while she still remains abducted in Syria. Twitter updates on Sofia @FuatKircaali One day, during his travels, Daddy found a "little green Swiss frog" on his bed as he arrived in his hotel room. Daddy took the little g... (more)

Cloud Computing Debate: Booz Allen Hamilton Comments on Recent McKinsey & Co. Report

(In a recent discussion document titled "Clearing the air on cloud computing", Will Forrest of McKinsey & Co. offered his view on cloud computing. Unedited comments on the report from Mike Cameron and Rod Fontecilla, Booz Allen Hamilton Principals are provided below, published at their request.) The recent McKinsey report on cloud computing “Clearing the air on cloud computing” has caused a bit of a stir, primarily since it purports to demonstrate that cloud computing can be twice as expensive as traditional data centers in some applications. Since this report makes a claim to an analysis of cloud economics, we would like to weigh in with a couple of comments regarding the report. The McKinsey report, as presented, seeks to be the “other voice” and offer a contrarian view of cloud computing. The first thing we noted was the statement, on slide 7, that “Cloud comp... (more)

Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers Now Open

Early Bird Savings Cloud Expo Cloud computing is a game changer. The cloud is disrupting traditional software and hardware business models by disrupting how IT service gets delivered. Entrepreneurial opportunities abound as this classic disruptive technology begins to proliferate, so it is no surprise that SYS-CON's industry-leading International Cloud Expo is going from strength to strength. The 5th International Cloud Expo, to be held April 19-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is fast approaching. Topics on which submission are welcome include all aspects of providing or using massively scalable IT-related capabilities as a service using Internet technologies (see suggested examples below). Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is The Cloud: submit your speaking propos... (more)

Microsoft’s First Step Toward Cloud Computing

Azure Session at Cloud Expo Pundits talking about how Windows 7 is all about Microsoft competing against Apple, recovering with Vista consumer adoption disaster, or getting people off of XP, are missing one other – extremely important – part of the Windows 7 story. Windows 7 and its server counterpart – Windows Server 2008 R2 – are actually the first real step in Microsoft’s Windows Cloud Story. Before Windows 7 Microsoft could offer some services (such as Exchange Online) from the cloud – but could not provide full enterprise directory, security and so on – now they can. Microsoft has always called its SaaS plan Software + Services, emphasizing that it can enable rich Windows and application experience over the internet. The reality however has been that in most cases these have been limited to a few web-enabled (e.g. Outlook) or pure web (e.g. SharePoint) applicati... (more)

A Cold, Wet Blanket of Politics Covers the Copenhagen Climate Summit

The headlines say it all… "Further commitment needed to break negotiation deadlock." The rich nations vs. the poor nations. Industrialists vs. environmentalists. And at the end of the day, looking out over the Pacific Ocean towards Catalina Island from Long Beach, the dense brown sludge of polluted air is a constant reminder we are dumping horrifying amounts of human waste into the oceans and air. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says "world policymakers do not have to choose between a clean environment and economic growth." Schwarzenegger believes people worried about climate change should pay more attention to companies, universities and "ordinary folks" and not put so much emphasis on a multinational consensus. (AP) If you listen to the entrepreneurs and innovators in Silicon Valley, they would tend to agree with Governor Schwarzenegger. Green tech is be... (more)

Jill Tummler Singer Appointed NRO CIO

Government IT on Ulitzer Effective January 1, 2010, Jill Tummler Singer took the reigns as CIO for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). As the CIA Deputy CIO, Ms Tummler has been a proponent of cloud computing for the United States Intelligence Community (IC). According to a recent article by Jeremy Geelan, Singer believes that the cloud will provide a “faster, better, cheaper, and safer” Information Technology solution for the IC. There are shared beliefs among those in the cloud computing community that 2010 will be a break-out year for clouds - and for enterprise cloud computing, in particular. The IC is actively piloting an Enterprise cloud that will meet its unique mission and security requirements." I, for one, share this view and see the IC community as a key early adopter of cloud computing technology. With its pioneering efforts, the FUD (Fear, uncerta... (more)

Uncle Who Kidnapped Sofia to Syria Still a Practicing MD in Chicago

More than a year ago, Sofia was abducted from her home in Lighthouse Point, Florida, by her Syrian National uncle, who is practicing medicine in the Chicago area. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Last March, a Florida judge issued an order to pick Sofia up from the uncle's house in Chicago and return her to her home to Florida. Due to a jurisdiction question in court - since Sofia had never lived more than 6 months in one state at the time of her abduction - the judge later gave temporary custody to her mom until the court could determine final jurisdiction between Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois. Sofia at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on her way home after her initial kidnapping from her home in Lighthouse Point, FL, by her uncle who is a practicing MD in the Chicago area. In July 2010, based on this uncle's instructions, Sofia was abducted by her mom to Syria where she ha... (more)

US Embassy Staff Out Of Syria, Leaving My Two Year-Old Daughter Behind!

The US State Department on Monday said that it has ordered some non-essential US embassy officials in Damascus and all embassy dependents to leave Syria because of the "uncertainty and volatility" in the country. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story As of this morning, and since July 2010, my abducted daughter Sofia Kircaali, a US citizen, remains in Syria and in harm's way. Feras Bankosly, M.D. Last Known Employment Address: Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Medical Education: University of Aleppo - Syria Over the Easter weekend and on Monday, the Syrian government’s crackdown against protesters and demonstrators appeared to be reaching a crescendo, as President Bashar al-Assad apparently refused to grant any further concessions and seems determined to squelch any further expressions of dissent. Demos against the Syrian regime and Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Banias... (more)

SAP and Sybase Launch Next Wave of Mobile Apps

SAP AG and Sybase, Inc., an SAP company and industry leader in enterprise and mobile software, today unveiled the next wave of mobile apps designed for a wide range of industries and mobile workers, from executives to knowledge and task workers. With this new wave of mission-critical apps, which range from process-driven to consumer-facing, SAP continues to expand the industry's most comprehensive mobile portfolio, including platform, apps and security. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® NOW + SAP® TechEd, being held as a co-located event in Madrid from November 8-10. The new apps mobilize key business functions, allowing employees to work at anytime and from anywhere via mobile devices, freeing them from the confines of their desks. This strong momentum of app development further demonstrates SAP's speed of innovation in meeting the demand of business users who ... (more)