• United States
IDG Enterprise Consulting Director

Ginormous contest to win free pass to VORTEX 2005

May 20, 20043 mins
Data Center

Try not! Do or do not, there is no try!Yoda, Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Dear Vorticians,

Surprised were you quoted Yoda did I?

The green one’s elliptical admonition is appropriate this week as the final installment of the Star Wars series premieres to boffo box office and so-so critical reviews. Myself, I lost touch with the Force after the above-mentioned epic – and well before the hated Jar Jar Binks arrived on the scene. But I’ll be forced to see Episode III next week because I’m speaking at a customer gathering hosted at a local cinema by a major security vendor and, after the crowd absorbs my own elliptical wisdom, the lights will dim and George Lucas will hold sway. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you complete this latest inter-galactic ride, let me know what you think.

On another cultural note, Network World columnist and longtime pal Mark Gibbs shared an interesting news item with me this week. Seems the folks who put together the Merriam-Webster dictionary asked visitors to their Web site to suggest words that ought to be included in the dictionary. The top reader selection? Ginormous – a combination of gigantic and enormous. That monster of a word was followed by ‘confuzzled,’ meaning to be confused and puzzled simultaneously, and ‘whoot,’ an expression of joy. Likely, these suggestions were not the product of ‘lingweenies’ – tenth on the list – meaning a person incapable of making up new words.

I have some ginormous news of my own. I’ve decided to run a little contest here at VORTEX Digest – and the winner gets a free pass, worth more than a couple of grand, to attend VORTEX 2005 in San Francisco on Oct. 24-26. What do you need to do to enter? It’s simple – tell me about the most ingenious use of RFID that you’ve come across.

Lately, I’m learning more and more about the intriguing ways people are applying radio-frequency identification technology. For example, the aforementioned Vortician Gibbs generated sacks of mail to Network World when he wrote about one California school district’s plan to make students carry RFID-tagged badges in order to keep better tabs on them.

Also, according to Business 2.0 magazine, casinos like the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Steve Wynn’s new, glittering joint Wynn Las Vegas are testing chips with embedded RFID tags, with the hopes of better tracking the behavior of gamers (the casinos don’t like when you call them gamblers). And at a recent conference, I met with a data-center equipment company that’s tagging wires to enable operators to see when configuration changes are made.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which this breakthrough technology is being applied. RFID is one of the brightest tech stars right now and I’m eager to learn more about how you – or your customers, clients, partners – are using the technology.

The rules of this contest are pretty simple. Share a case study about yourself or another company. I’ll be the sole judge and jury and I’ll pick what I think is the most innovative application. Enter as often as you like. If you think it will help your chances, write your answer on a $100 bill (kidding). Winner joins me, Geoff Moore and a slew of other industry leaders at VORTEX 2005 on my dime.

Send your entries to

Next week: letters about Juniper/Cisco and a variety of other topics.

Bye now I tell you.