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                          Archive for Dec 2002


                          Warflying

                          The January 2003 issue of Red Herring has an article on my warflying experience. I'm anxious to try it again now that I've built my own Pringles Can antenna.
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                          Utah eGovernment Notes

                          Two items of interest regarding eGovernment in Utah. First, Utah has earned seventh place in the Center for Digital Government Sustained Leadership Award. This measures eGovernment performance over the last 5 years. Second, Utah's enterprise IT planning process is the feature of a story in Governing Magazine. Ellen and I talked quite a few times about this story and I think she got it mostly right.
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                          Blogging and Academic Research

                          Jon Udell references articles from Andrew Odlyzko and S?bastien Paquet in an article about peer review, academic research, and blogging. Being a once and future (I hope) academic, I have given some thought to this question myself. I think S?bastien misses a very important point on why more academics don't blog as part of their research efforts: tenure and promotion. Tenure and promotion depend on one thing (protestations about teaching aside): published papers in established research journals. In this false economy, every other activity, including blogging, is in constant competition for the resources that could be applied to publishing
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                          Your Medical Record: Technology is the Prescription

                          Two weeks ago, my mother-in-law had surgery on her wrist. Last night she was in some pain, so my sister-in-law called the doctor and he phoned in a perscription. They picked it up, got it home, and went to use it only to discover that it contained Ibuprofen. My mother-in-law is allergic to Ibuprofen. This sort of thing must be very common. The Center for Drug Safety reports 2.1 million cases of adverse drug interactions each year with 100,000 deaths. Other sources report similar numbers. Many of these could be prevented by a simple technique that has nothing to
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                          Another Entry in the Utah Blogroll

                          A friend of mine, Pete Kruckenberg, is a network engineer for UEN, the Utah Education Network. Pete's responsible for some very forward thinking there, including GigE lines to the Uintah Basin for connecting rural Utah schools to the net at high speeds and the use of local exchanges. Pete has recently started a blog and I'm anxious to read what he has to say.
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                          One More Reason to Hate Direct Attached Disks

                          I've written before about the benefits of enterprise storage solutions. In short they promote better file management, backup, and security. Today the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting a story that is a perfect example of why this is true: Thieves who broke into a government contractor's office snatched computer hard drives containing Social Security numbers, addresses and other records of about 500,000 service members and their families. The company, Phoenix-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance, provides managed health care to the military in 16 states, including Utah. It serves about 1.1 million active-duty personnel, their dependents and retirees. TriWest spokesman Jim
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                          ALIN - Application Layer Internetworking

                          I just discovered (via Sam Ruby) Rohit Khare's work on application layer internetworking, or ALIN. Rohit gave a talk at the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies conference last May and has a powerpoint presentation and some rough notes online. What I've been calling Layer-5 routing, Rohit calls Layer-7 or ALIN. I'll defer to him since he's got the powerpoint done (not to mention that he's probably thought it through more). Reading Rohit's presentation, I realize I left out a very important feature in my thoughts on ALIN: message store and forward. I was thinking of transport as orthoganal to the idea
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                          Using CUPS for DeskJet Printing with a Netgear Print Server

                          For some time, I've used a Netgear PS110 print server to connect printers with just a parallel port to my home network so that my printers can sit in a more convinient location. Now that I'm using OS X, I was a little worried that it might not work. Turns out it works just fine using CUPS. Here's what I did: Connect the DeskJet to the PS110 Go to http://127.0.0.1:631 to access the built-in CUPS administration tool. Its already running---you don't need to start it. Select "Add Printer" Select a name, etc. This isn't critical. The PS110 speaks LPD,
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                          Ron Galloway

                          Those who read this blog regularly will know that I post frequently. I haven't written much since last Friday. I'm not taking the holidays off. My father-in-law, Ron Galloway, was killed in a snowmobile accident on Saturday afternoon and its been a whirlwind 3 or 4 days since then. Its a tough thing to go through but its just keeps coming at you, so you just keep sluggin away. I spoke at the funeral this afternoon and now its time to get ready for Christmas. Goodbye Ron, we'll miss you.
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                          CIO vs CTO Redux

                          Earlier, wrote about the differences between a CIO and a CTO. Doug Kaye offered another: CIOs are primarily concerned with how their company consumes and applies technology. CTOs are primarily concerned with how their company creates and exports technology. I think the producer/consumer contrast is quite appropriate. Of course, in the process of consuming, CIOs create new things and in the process of creating, CTOs consume technology, but coupled with the other statements in my earlier post, I think this has the right context and serves as a good summary.
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                          Switched

                          With my resignation, I find myself, for the first time since 1988, in a position where I must buy a computer. With my own money on the line, I chose a Mac (actually, I chose OS X). This week, my new 1GHz, 1Gb RAM, Gbe, Powerbook arrived. I've spent a few days moving all my data and work from the XP machine I used. I'm now pretty much completely switched over and the XP box has been relegated to a single purpose: Groupwise for the few remaining emails I'll get from the State. The week after next, I'll return
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                          CIO Magazine Talks Blogs

                          CIO Magazine has a section called "Trendlines." The Januray 3rd issue contains a trendline on blogs that features my blog. They highlight the fact that I blogged the NASCIO conference in October. They say "Windley's log of dated posts covers life as a CIO, thoughts on technologies like instant messaging and Web services, and reports from events, like the St. Louis confab."
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                          Conflicts of Interest

                          After I wrote my last post, I thought I'd better write a general statement on conflicts of interest. When I was working for Utah (still am for a week or so) my interests were clearly defined. As that changes, people may wonder about what personal stake I have in things I talk about here. I do not want this site to become a series of advertisements or for people to have to question things I say. So, my general policy is that I will disclose a conflict if it exists and say nothing if it does not. So, you may assume, for
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                          Vultus

                          I spent 90 minutes this morning with a company in Utah County (Lindon, actually) called Vultus. I was pretty impressed. If they'd shown me that product three years ago when I was building consumer oriented eCommerce tools, I'd have written them a check on the spot. Its that cool. Here's what it does: Vultus has created a Javascript library and professional IDE that allows you to create a think client experience without any client footprint. Since the Javascript runs in the browser (IEv5 or later, Netscape v7 or later, or Mozilla) lots of interesting things can be done that just
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                          CIO vs. CTO

                          One of the questions I hear with some frequency is "what's the difference between a CIO and a CTO?" Having been both, I think I have some insights that might be helpful. First let me talk about what I think they have in common: In both jobs, a key role is helping technologists understand what the business needs and helping the business understand what the technology can do for them. Both roles require a strong technologist with a strong grasp of business (kind of a corollary to the last point, but slightly different). Both should be strategic thinkers. Both should be excellent leaders.
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                          Deseret News Quotes My Blog

                          David Politis wrote a fairly complimentary article about me in the Monday Business Section of the Deseret News. Its interesting that he quoted from my blog extensively and linked to my resignation letter. David finishes with this observation: In my opinion, the big takeaway from this entire mess is that Leavitt will have his hands full in finding a tech- and politically-savvy CIO for the state. In this time of financial shortfalls up on Capitol Hill, the risk is that continued advancement of technology services within state government will get a short shrift minus a strong CIO at the helm. And
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                          Craig Burton's Application Services Automation Layer

                          Interestingly enough, after writing about Level 5 Routing for Web Services this morning, I happened to have lunch with Craig Burton. Craig has started a company called JanusLogix this is doing something along those lines. Craig calls it the application services automation layer. Lot's of protocol heavy stuff (which won't surprise anyone who knows Craig). I'm hoping Craig will get some additional white papers and other information on the JanusLogix web site soon, because what he's up to sounds like interesting stuff.
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                          Level 5 Routing for Web Services

                          Last night I couldn't sleep, so I started to put together some thoughts I'd been having lately regarding web services and level 5 routing. Some might want to quibble and call it level 4, but since the transport for SOAP is HTTP (a level four protocol), I'll call it level 5. The idea is pretty simple: the advent of standards for application integration has brought us to the point where applications can be put together by scripting calls to existing services. Because the APIs are exposed and documented and the calls happen "in the clear" instead of buried inside a
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                          Web Services: Incrementally Exposing Your APIs

                          The December issue of the Web Services Journal has an article by Henry Bowers on "Building Business Rules in Web Services Applications." What caught my attention was the ability to do something like this incrementally in the same way I advocate doing incremental transitions to web services for data in my paper on Enabling Web Services. At one point, Henry says: [Another] approach is to separate business rules from the business logic. Depending on the construction of the applications, this can be fairly easy. For example, the 400 pages of if/else statements mentioned earlier are located in a handful of
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                          IM TCO

                          Jeremy reacted to my post on the enterprise wide IM: I'm wondering what the costs really are. Given that the software (Jabber) is free on both the client and server, what's left? Deployment? That's a one-time cost that's no higher than deploying any other software. Training? IM software isn't terribly complex (compared to Word or Excel). Many already use IM at home thanks to AOL, Microsoft, or Yahoo. The less technically inclined can always ask their kids for help. :-) What Jeremy says is mostly true. This really comes down to total cost of ownership. The one gotcha is that
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                          Applying IT to IT

                          Marc Andreessen has an interesting article on applying IT to IT. I think its fascinating that IT professionals are the most vociferous in stating why automation can't possibly be applied to what they do. The emergence of ubiquitous networks and great software for managing desktops has turned that into an eminently automatable task. IBM reports that they can deliver superior service with a tech to supported PC ratio as high as 350. With a ratio of 1 to 175, we figured Utah would save $7 million per year. Yet many IT professionals are reluctant to embrace these tools and change the way
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                          Office 11, Forms, and Unstructured Data

                          I've been trying to get a hold of a beta version of Office 11, the new version of Office from Microsoft. As I wrote before, I believe it is the first version of Office worth upgrading for since Office 97. Indeed many people still run Office 97 and do just fine. I think that's about to change. Two areas of considerable attention in the enterprise today are workflow for internal processes (think forms) and unstructured data. Office 11 could play a role in both of those areas. As far as I know, there's no workflow engine for Office 11...yet. Still, Office
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                          Presence in the Enterprise

                          This morning, I was talking to some people about X windows and it struck me that running applications remotely (which X could do from the start, of course) doesn't seem as germane to my life as it did back when I was in graduate school (late 80's). I started to ask myself why I wanted to log into 10 different computers back then and it really came down to one thing: presence. The main reason we'd all log into every workstation in the group was so that we could tell who else was there and communicate with them using "write." We
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                          Professional Licensing at Utah.gov

                          In a little over 9 months, professional licensing has become one of the most popular services on utah.gov. Over 30% of all professional licenses renewed during that period were done online. Kudos to the Dept. of Commerce which has really taken eGovernment seriously. Read more on Digital IQ.
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                          Using the DTO Design Pattern with EJBs to Produce XML

                          In reference to my earlier experiments with SOAP and EJBs, Randy Gordon pointed out an article to me on using the Data Transfer Object design pattern to return XML from your EJBs. This isn't (directly) a way of exposing a SOAP interface, but it does offer a fairly convenient method for returning XML data from an EJB method call. For those of you not familiar with DTOs, the pattern creates a single object (usually a regular Java Bean) as a container or aggregator for data being returned from a remote method call. This avoids lot of fine grained network traffic from
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                          Public Service Tip No. 2: Beware the Jabberwocky

                          As part of my series of tips for those entering public service, I offer a chapter on the Jabberwocky of state government: the legislature. One of the hardest things to figure out for a private sector mind in public sector life is the legislature. This was, probably, my largest failing and one thing I'd put a lot more effort into if I were to do it again. One of the great wonders of democracy is that every year we turn the budgeting and operation of a $7 billion organization over to a large, unwieldy group of poorly compensated small businesspeople,
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                          Finding Books at the SLC Public Library

                          Let's say, you're on Amazon looking at a book and you'd really like to read it, but you're not sure its worth buying. Then you hit on a great idea: you'll try something really old fashioned and check it out from the local library! Now, you could schlep down to the library and look it up or maybe even go to Google and see if they have a web site; but, Jon Udell has provided a much convenient way: a bookmarlet (no pun intended). Just drag the following link to the Personal Toolbar in Mozilla or the "Links" toolbar in IE
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                          Tablet PCs: A Frist Look

                          This afternoon I got to spend about 15 minutes playing with a tablet PC from Acer (TravelMate 100) and one from Compaq (TC1000C). I hefted them wrote on them, and played with some of the apps. My first impressions: I think I'd like one of these. They have a very nice form factor that is more usable than a notebook in a meeting, airplane, etc. I liked that COMPAQ keyboard detached. It wasn't a lot lighter, but it was much thinner. The Acer was VERY hot on the bottom. It would cook your legs if you had to sit with
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                          Web Services Ecosystem Meeting

                          This morning I spoke at a meeting of the Utah Technology Alliance on web services. I posted a copy of my slides yesterday. Rod Linton, who heads UTA, was the host of the meeting and there were probably about 30 people there from Utah companies with an interest in web services. After my talk, Henrique DiAguantini, Utah's International Office spoke on the upcoming trade missions that the Governor's office and DCED are putting together. Henrique is specifically interested in central america, but there will be trade missions to a number of places around the world. I was really looking forward to
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                          Web Services for Payment Portal

                          Speaking of web services, one of Utah's Enterprise eGovernment projects is a common payment portal. Lloyd Johnson is the project executive. Back when we were building payment gateways for First Data Corp., one of the biggest parts of the job was creating SDKs in all the languages that people wanted to interface to it with. As I found out over the weekend, SOAP can solve that problem with a lot more finesse. I don't know that Axis is the right tool, but putting a SOAP front end on the payment portal would be a very slick way of allowing language
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                          Utah Tech Alliance Web Services Meeting

                          I'm speaking at the Utah Tech Alliance's Web Services Meeting tomorrow morning. Here's a copy of the slides I'm going to use. The talk is based on my "Enabling Web Services" white paper with a few slide thrown in about why government should care. I'll be blogging the meeting as I can---maybe I'll feel better about missing Supernova.
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                          Information Week Article

                          My blog gets an mention in this Information Week article on Radio allowing you to do more with less.
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                          Grid Computing for Content Delivery

                          This article in InfoWorld discusses Kontiki's grid based content delivery system. The basic concept is Napster with an eye to what enterprises need. They've taken it one step further and removed the user from having to decide which peer to download from (remember the traffic lights on Napster?) so that downloading from the system is transparent. Just point and click. When people talk about "grid computing" the analogy is usually something about computing utilities, but this is a real world example of a grid solving a real world problem: file downloads. So, next time you hear grid, think content delivery.
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                          One of the Things I'll Miss

                          One of the great things about being a CIO is that you can get technology questions answered quite quickly most of the time. Yesterday I was having lunch with a friend of mine at the David Chase Cafe (great place, btw) and he complained that his T68i phone didn't get very good reception at his house near there. Sure enough, I pulled out my phone and I had no bars. Today ATTWS was in the office for another meeting and so I asked about it. My question was whether they'd built out all their cell sites with GSM/GPRS or were
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                          Good Enough is Best

                          I've received some comments on some of my recent posts of Google and WSIL. Here are a few: Umm..Google is hardly comprehensive. It misses about 90% of what goes on and, for that matter of fact, the ability to "text mine" is far different from the ability to comprehend what you extract. Oy. Where do I start? WS-Inspection (WSIL) is a way of querying a server for what Web Services it provides. It has some primitive linking capabilities, but basically, it is complementary to UDDI, not competitive. More importantly, you could not replace UDDI with it. While I don't disagree with
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                          We're All Supersleuths

                          MSNBC has a pretty good little article by Steven Levy about Google. What struck me was this quote about how Google has made supersleuths of all of us: By empowering the masses to make use of the multi-terabit glory of the Web, Google has made supersleuths of us all. Privacy advocates are going crazy at the Pentagon's plan to track citizens' purchases, Web-site visits and phone calls. But as my search for the eBay seller indicates, with Google everybody is Big Brother. This is exactly the point that David Brin makes in The Transparent Society. Technology has the power to give
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                          Connecting Perl to EJBs

                          As I mentioned on Saturday, I was paying with Axis, the Apache SOAP engine, and found (via Google, naturally) a good little tutorial. Part III of the tutorial shows how to get Axis working with jBOSS (a good open source J2EE application server). I didn't go through the whole tutorial (which shows how to use a Struts like tool to create a connection to the EJB once its had a SOAP interface exposed. Rather, I deployed my class's gateway simulation bean as a SOAP service (took all of 5 minutes). Then, I fired up SOAP::Lite and wrote a little Perl script
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                          Eclipse

                          While I was playing with AXIS today, the tutorial mentioned Eclipse. Eclipse is an open extensible IDE developed by IBM. The project is open source. There's even a OS X version (latest release) available. I downloaded it, but haven't had time to play with it yet. I'll discuss it more later, if its worthwhile. IN the meantime, there's a white paper available that gives and overview. One thing I am aware of is that Eclipse will perform some of the same functions as Xdoclet in preparing EJBs. Xdoclet is for those of us who like command lines, emacs, and build tools
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                          Using SOAP with EJBs

                          I spent a few hours today playing around with Axis, the Apache Software Foundation web services tool. One of the things I wanted to do was to get a SOAP interface to some EJBs running on jBOSS. There's a half done tutorial at the jBOSS site, but there are no examples in it yet. Google led me to a great little tutorial on Axis and, in part III, jBOSS. I recommend starting with part I and working your way through it. It says, BTW, that you need Java 1.4, but I found that 1.3 worked just fine. One of the
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                          Public Service Tip No. 1: Process Is More Important Than Results

                          With the rash of new Governors, there's bound to be a new crop of state CIOs as well. Given that, and my recent resignation, I will, from time to time, offer a tip or two on things I learned in the public sector in hopes of sharing my experience with those contemplating such a move. Public service tip no.1 is "Process Is More Important Than Results." I had lunch with Rich North, who works in the Legislative Research and General Counsel's office right before Thanksgiving. At one point during the lunch, he said something to me that left me incredulous:
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                          The Tide is Going Out

                          This week alone five state CIO's have left the service of their states: myself, Richard Varn of Iowa, Larry Singer of Georgia, Judy Teller of New Jersey, and Rebecca Heidepriem of Wisconsin. I think that three of those are due to Governor changes. I expect more in the coming weeks. These changes are likely to bring some changes to the complexion of eGovernment across the states. Tom Davies writes about this in the latest issue of Governing Magazine.
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                          SmartUtah Tech Expo

                          This morning I spoke at the SmartUtah Foundation's Tech Expo in Box Elder county. Here's a copy of my slides. The talk was very well received and I had a number of people express their regrets at my resignation. I also received a nice award from SmartUtah for "outstanding leadership in the promotion of electonic communities in Utah."
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                          The Real Time Enterprise

                          These two articles from CIO Insight, one a case study on GE and one by Cap Gemini's Christopher Meyer speak about the benefits of real time enterprise. There's a follow-up interview with GE's CIO, Gary Reiner as well. GE plans to save $10 billion with their real-time management systems. Of course, that remains to be seen, but its clearly a trend that cannot be ignored. Meyer says its "unavoidable." My paper on the "Road to the Future" discusses the tactical steps that an enterprise must take to even be in a position to use real-time management systems to drive business decisions. Among
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                          Resignation

                          I submitted my resignation as CIO for the State of Utah this morning. It is effective December 31, 2002. I have many mixed emotions: anger, sadness, excitement, and relief, among others. In my letter, I said: With recent events, I have come to realize that I have become an impediment to implementing our vision for eGovernment and an efficient and effective information technology infrastructure. The conversation has increasingly become about me instead of the important work that needs to be done to benefit the citizens of Utah. Because of that, I have decided to step aside. I also went on
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                          Utah's Christmas Tree

                          Mrs. Leavitt lit the 2002 Christmas tree at noon today. Each year we get a big tree and set it up in the rotunda. I put together a photo album showing the tree arriving and being set up in the Capitol Rotunda.
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                          Scalability and Complexity

                          Sean McGrath asks in a recent article whether the complexity of frameworks like J2EE and .NET is necessary and uses, as a counter example, the web itself as an example of something that is elegant and simple, yet very scalable. This question is at the heart, I think, of the arguments made by the RESTians. The question caught my eye because I was having a conversation with a few of my student yesterday after class about a very similar topic. Each year, when I teach my class on building large scale distributed systems there is, of course, much more to cover.
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                          XML and SOAP in Wisconson

                          I ran into this XML and SOAP standards project on the Wisconson eGovernment web site. Its good to see a statewide effort in this area. They've even got approved standards. A little touch of irony, the categorization number they chose for this standard is 403.
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                          eGovernment and Pollution

                          Utah has a convenient, online system for renewing vehicle registration, but I still hate it. Why? Emissions inspections. I live in one of the counties in Utah where emissions testing is required before I can register my car and so even though I can register my car online, I still have to schlep down to the emissions inspection station and wait in line there and pay $25 to have them tell me all is well. Registering a vehicle won't be convenient until I no longer have to do that. I think that eGovernment can help. Now, I'm all for clean air
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