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State of INFOCOM, August 2010
Sunday, 22 August 2010 13:00
Begin transmission…

Greetings Marines,

Well another IC has come and gone, but sadly this year I was unable to attend. However, I did notice that my newly minted DCO spent some time under a desk yet again. Of course like last year there is photographic evidence. He really needs to learn how to find a bed, as I've heard that they are far more comfortable than the floor. However he did well at giving the INFOCOM report at this years IM so I have to go a little easy on him. Now that he has settled back into his new office it's time to start putting him to work.


New and Current

This section contains stuff that INFOCOM is currently working on that that is new and exciting (well to us it is!).
  1. Both the SFMC and SFMCA sites have had their libraries updated to include the new 2010 manuals. Also a new Documents Compendium CD is available.
  2. The SFMCA site has been updated to include a section for Team Delta. This includes a listing of inductees. Check the SFMCA site for more information on what Team Delta is.
  3. I was able to attend the IM via Skype. There were some technical difficulties, but I was still able to participate, even if it was just a disembodied voice. Attending via Skype allowed me to clarify some things immediately as well as learn of some very last minute uniform changes.
  4. This IC also saw quite a few Marines stepping up to volunteer their time and expertise in fixing the hotel's wireless network, and setting up the streaming. From what I understand they left the hotel with a better Wi-Fi setup than when they arrived. For their actions the following marines were awarded the Communications Service Award; Steven Gordon, John Roberts, Wade Hoover, Dave Blaser, Mark Anbinder, Rolando Gomez, and Troy Cash.
  5. The weekend of IC two issues with the report forms manifested themselves. The first issue was that certain marines where finding that their IP addresses where banned and this prevented them from submitting their reports. The second issue was that a special list that I set up to receive the submitted reports stopped receiving them sometime after midnight on August 1, 2010.

    The first issue is caused when a submitters IP address is listed on one of the global blacklists for spam. The forms check to see whether a submitter's IP address is on one of two lists, and if there is a match, it prevents the submission of the form. So either these marines were unfortunate enough to be assigned an IP address that had been used for spam at some point in the past, or their machines are infected and sending out spam and they are unaware of the issue. But never-the-less I turned off that feature and so the forms will no longer to check for blacklisted IP addresses. It has been suggested to use CAPTCHA, but the form system I use does not support CAPTCHA, and for a good reason; most CAPTCHA systems have been defeated and really are worthless at this point. There are however a few other spam checking features in the forms, so hopefully those will catch the spam. If spam submissions start to increase to a point where the only remedy is to reinstate the blacklists, I will have to do so.

    The second issue had me scratching my head, as all the email was being sent by the system when a form was submitted, but the list wasn't receiving it. I played around with some settings, unsubbed and resubbed the report system and waited to see what would happen. Several hours later it started receiving reports once again. Then to really make things interesting all the reports that were submitted when the issue occurred were delivered on the 18th of August. So some email server, somewhere out there was holding on to them for some reason or another. But as I sit here and write this everything appears to be back to normal.
  6. SFMC Press Kit/Fliers/Etc.: Slated for later in 2010 this project entails the creation of a SFMC Press Kit and other promotional material.
  7. Recruiting Videos: These videos will be composed from various footage, and will showcase the SFMC. Mr. Hof has already put a call out for material. For more information regarding the project please contact him directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To date Mr. Hof has not received a single submission. With convention season upon us and with the IC coming up it would be nice to get some SFMC related video footage so that we can put something together.

SFMC Site Stats

This section contains some interesting stats for the SFMC sites.These stats are compiled from PingDom.com and Google Analytics.

All stats below are for the period of July 1, 2010 to July 31, 2010
  1. Server Uptime: There were a total of 1 outages translating to 0h 15m 4s of downtime. This translates to a 99.97% up-time for the month of July.
  2. Visitors: 1,494 visitors viewing a total of 18,149 pages spending an average time of 4 minutes on the site.
  3. Top 5 Countries visiting: Unites States (1,217), United Kingdom (70), Canada (66), New Zealand (35), Australia (21)
  4. Top 3 Browsers: IE 8, FF, Chrome
  5. Top 5 downloads from the SFMC library: SFMC Uniform Items List, June AoD!E, May AoD!E, April AoD!E, March AoD!E
  6. Top 5 downloads from the SFMCA library: MOSC Application Package, Special Operations, Medical Manual, Infantry Manual, SFMC Enlisted Manual

Ongoing
While most of the items listed in this section hardly, if ever, change, they are included just as a reminder of some of the ongoing projects and activities that INFOCOM is involved in. Yes, we do more than get drunk and play ping-pong!
  1. INFOCOM is publishing the Attention on Deck! Extra. We would like to hear from you about how we are doing. Also don't forget to submit your stories and articles too! The AoD!E is totally reliant on submissions from the membership. If you would like to tell us how we are doing or would like to submit an article please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  2. Standard maintenance on the SFMC and SFMCA websites continues. If you notice anything amiss please do not hesitate to contact me. 
  3. SFMC Manual CDs are available from the SFMC QM store. All orders for CDs are forwarded to me once payment is received by the QM. Once I receive confirmation of payment I burn and ship them out from my location. Please allow 1 to 2 weeks for delivery.

The Future
This section contains items that are on the road map for release at some future date or are just pipe dreams. But hey even pipes have to dream!
  1. Since last month the Magic 8 Ball said the future was hazy, this month I will be using a fortune cookie to see what the future holds...and the fortune is "Help I am being held captive in a fortune cookie factory!". Umm...so how about them Pike City Pioneers?

Staffing
Staff, volunteers, victims...they are all the same.
  1. PHP/Javascript/Flash Developer: With Sean O'Connell leaving FLEET and the SFMC INFOCOM is once looking for a PHP/Javascript/Flash developer for various projects. Applicants must have knowledge of PHP, Javascript, or Flash, and HTML. If interested please forward a copy of a STARFLEET and real world resume and if possible any examples of prior work to COINFOCOM.
  2. General INFOCOM lackey: INFOCOM has a lot of projects going on at once and so needs a few people to help out here and there. If you have any web design, graphics, publishing, presentation, etc... experience and are willing to help out, please by all means contact and send me your STARFLEET and real world resume and if possible any examples of prior work. Also be sure to specify what area you would like to help out in (graphic, web design, publication, etc...). This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to help out the SFMC on an international level and to get their foot in the door.

Awards

Add another ribbon to your fruit salad. Impress your friends! Get the Girl! Please note results may vary.

Do you or someone you know publish a newsletter or some other SFMC related literature or media (audio/visual)? Do you or someone you know design and create SFMC related websites? If you do then why not nominate that marine for the communications Achievement Award? To nominate a marine for the award just go here: http://bit.ly/cEQhPV (takes you directly to the award form). Please note that the site, newsletter, video/audio must be related to the SFMC in some way.

SFMC Calendar of Events
Did you know the SFMC site has a calendar of events? To access it just click on the link in the Knowledge base. Also on the pages of the site and to the left there is a mini-calendar that shows which days are important in the SFMC and right below that is a listing of the next 3 upcoming events. If you would like to have your SFMC related events listed on the calendar just email me with the information.

Need help with your groups website?
If there is any Unit, Battalion, or Brigade that needs help in setting up a website or fixing one please feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to see what I can do to help. Be sure to have an idea as to some of the site basics (what information is to be on the site, what you want the site to do for you, etc...) as it will help me help you.

SFMC Quartermaster Store

Did you know the SFMC QM has a website of its own? Well it is more than just a website, it is also a fully functional online store! So if you need some SFMC ribbons to complete your rack head to
http://qm.sfi-sfmc.org and purchase them  today.

The SFMC Quartermaster also has a Spreadshirt store. That store can be accessed right through the SFMC website under the "Stores" menu item.

What do YOU want from the SFMC?
If you have ideas you think we should take a look at, please let us know. You can reach the members of the General Staff  as follows:

SFMC Commandant: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
SFMC Deputy Commandant: dep This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sergeant Major, SFMC: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Commanding Officer, Finance Command: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Commanding Officer, Forces Command: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Commanding Officer, Information Command: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Commanding Officer, Training and Doctrine Command: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Remember, we are here to serve you and your needs. We can't do that without your input. Help us make the SFMC even better.

Until next time,

End Transmission....
End of Line
 
--
MGN Sean "Cerberus" Niemeyer, SFMC
COINFOCOM