Internet Security, Entrepeneurship, and Science Innovations

We are making progress on the book. We have finished the first draft of Chapter 4, “Security and Cybercrime,” and we are starting the review process for it. One more chapter is being assembled — on the history of Network Solutions — and the first draft will be completed this week. Our agent Ike Williams will submit the finished chapters in our proposal to prospective publishers early in the New Year.

I managed to keep myself busy last week. In addition to my normally scheduled meetings for the week, on Tuesday Mary Ann Beyster and I met with Doug Mellinger, who used to be at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City. He established for the Kauffman Foundation a commission to determine what the nation needed to do to produce more entrepreneurs. I was on the commission, and I was of course interested in entrepreneurs who shared the wealth. The commission met twice a year in a building not far from the Capitol. We each came from different backgrounds, and our group put together several white papers that were given to members of the Carter Administration with further dissemination to Congress. Doug was interested in touching base with me after all these years to see what I was doing. His company also has business here in town so he combined the two things. I was disappointed to learn that the final report that was painstakingly prepared by the Kauffman Foundation for submission to the government seemed to have minor impact.

The next day I met with Martin Hayter and the folks at the UCSD Medical School who are working on genome therapy projects. They gave us a presentation on their activities and current research on genomics. The research program in my estimation is just getting going. A top-notch staff is being hired with some real luminaries and prize winners. Laboratory facilities are being built and a program is being developed. Although the mission is not totally defined yet, the focus will be on basic and clinical research devoted to the discovery of potential therapeutic agents that would enhance the action of current drugs.

On Thursday Mary Ann and I went to lunch with Brian Hays and his associate Barry Butler. We discussed their project to enhance the throughput of the desalinization plant on Catalina using their new reverse osmosis technology with an improved membrane. If the design is correct, the output will be four times what the current plant can produce. The old plant is running now while the new plant is being built. If the new plant works, it will be a real breakthrough. Their new little company — Vari-Ro Inc., located in Solana Beach — plans to combine their desalinization plants with solar or wind energy generation plants. It’s a fairly innovative approach. Their company is patterned after SAIC and their employees own it, so I’m following them closely.

Betty and I had dinner at the Beach and Tennis Club Saturday night with Ed and Joy Freeman while the winds were howling outside. Ed is a previous director of Scripps Institute of Oceanography here in La Jolla. He’s a good friend and I value his opinion on what’s going on in science, including ocean science. He has very wide interests.

I’m looking forward to the Christmas season which is upon us. We currently have one party scheduled, which is coming up soon for the members of the Foundation for Enterprise Development and our supporters at the Beach and Tennis Club.

— Bob