The new year is approaching. When looking back to 2004 it was not a good year for the society as such, and it ended with the disaster of the flooding in Asia. Let's hope 2005 will be better and people will feel more safe and that it is more peaceful.
At my work it was the usual time in December. Some of the backlog could be solved. I received some complaints from customers on this and have taken it seriously. The beginning of December was finishing lots of casework. I could not spend very much work on research and development and contacts with other communities. I even had to cancel an appointment for a European project in Paris.
The end of December was more quiet, and I had time to think on what goals had been reached and of course what did not went well. The writing of articles, chapters of books was really behind what I planned. It is often more difficult to reach those, since caswork and other things go first. I had to spend lots of time on recertification, and that was a cause that I could not publish.
We were also thinking on 2005. For our European project FIDIS another meeting will take place in September, and we also have to finish the report. The European funding of projects is very bureaucratic, and I do not think that the goals of Europe will be met in this way. It even can slow down the R&D-projects in Europe, since scientist have to take care about bureaucratic procedures and not about the real work (in FIDIS the coordinator is making it as comfortable as possible within the rules, and he is doing that fine). That is the way that lots of things are going nowaday, to many people are making to many plans, but never reach there goals. It also is the same at the work, that they ask more and more time spend on project plans with also kind of models like Prince 2, and consultants claim that it works, but it does not. It only protects them against claims for court. In some way we have to find a middleway in this kind of procedures, since I also know there has to be some planning and control.
When making plans, we are looking into the new developments in 2005. Lots of wireless nets and influence of smaller devices and embedded systems are expected this year. Biometrics will also have some influence in the products, however I expect that developments are going more slowly then some people expect. In the government for law enforcement we are developing more open source product (for example TULP2G in sourceforge.net).
In February I will be at the meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Science. I am looking forward to this meeting in New Orleans. As last year, we have organized a workshop on digital imaging, and special sessions on these topics. I will give several presentations over there, which I have prepared partly at the end of December. Furthermore, I will be serving as Secretary of the Engineering Sciences Section. There are also ideas of establishing a computer sciences section within the AAFS, so we will also talk about this idea.
For the ENFSI Forensic IT working group in Europe we are planning a steering committee meeting in March, and a conference in September, which will be hosted by us in Amsterdam. I think we really should go a step further and special attention will be given to validation of forensic software tools.
All other plans are focused on my casework and some R&D projects on video codecs, image processing of fingerprints, and of course my work as scientific coordinator in our department.