The DHS RFI “Minimum Standards for Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes; Mobile Driver’s Licenses” is NOT due on June 18 (it’s now due July 30)

Back in April I wrote about a Request for Information that was issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Its title: “Minimum Standards for Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes; Mobile Driver’s Licenses.”

The information was due to DHS on June 18 (tomorrow), and my post included a “shameless plug” offering to help companies with their responses.

No company requested my assistance.

But all is not lost, because you can STILL request Bredemarket’s assistance in composing your responses, because, according to Jason Lim, the due date has been extended.

DHS will hold a virtual public meeting on June 30, 2021 on mDL REAL ID RFI to answer questions regarding the RFI and to provide an additional forum for comments by stakeholders and other interested persons regarding the issues identified in the RFI.

DHS is also extending the comment period for the RFI by 42 calendar days to provide an additional period for comments to be submitted after the public meeting. New deadline is July 30, 2021.

If you want to register for the public meeting, click on the link at the bottom of Jason Lim’s LinkedIn post. I’ve already registered myself (the meeting starts at 7:00 am PDT, but at least I don’t have to commute to go to the meeting).

And the shameless plug still applies: if you need assistance in managing, organizing, writing, or checking your response, contact me (email, phone message, online form, appointment for a content needs assessment, even snail mail). As some of you already know, I have extensive experience in responding to RFIs, RFPs, and similar documents, and have been helping multiple companies with such responses under my Bredemarket consultancy.

Yes, Walmart IS a technology company

I recently wrote something that mentioned various technology companies, and I initially included Walmart in the list.


The post cataloged the companies that former coworkers were now working, and I wrote it knowing that one of my former coworkers was a Walmart. Well, you don’t know what you think you know. It turns out that this former coworker is no longer at Walmart (as I write this, she is at Comcast), but I had THIS entire post written up about Walmart as a technology company. So I’m going to go ahead and post it anyway.

Technology for better living

While many of us don’t think of Walmart as a tech company, in truth it is a tech company, and technology innovations play a key part in Walmart’s corporate dominance in its markets over many other players.

Sometimes Walmart dominates so much that other stores go out of business. This is a 2011 photo of a Sears big box store with subway station in Rego Park, QueensNew York CityNew York. This location closed in 2017. By Jim.henderson – Own work, CC0,

I was first exposed to Walmart’s technology orientation many years ago, even before Walmarts began opening in earnest in Southern California. At the time I was working for a consumer goods company, and Walmart was one of my company’s customers. Obviously Walmart was a big customer, and big customers have the power to tell their suppliers what to do.

Today’s acronym is EDI

And Walmart wanted the consumer goods company to do EDI.

EDI stands for “Electronic Data Interchange,” and it offers a computerized method for two business entities to communicate business data between each other. Thus, Walmart was asking my employer to transmit data relating to our shipments of product to various Walmart stores, and Walmart incorporated this data into its internal inventory systems.

EDI has progressed a long way since I worked for that consumer goods company (the graphic above does NOT illustrate the flow that my former employer was using), but the basics remain the same.

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a standard format for exchanging business documents. These documents are exchanged between suppliers and retailers. EDI is made up of two components: translation and communication. During the translation process, the business data is changed into a standardized EDI format.

Once the business document is translated into a standardized EDI format it is communicated (electronically sent) to the intended recipient. Just like with translation, there are various methods of EDI communications available. The method that is used by Walmart and their suppliers is AS2.

Not AS3, not AS1. AS2. Walmart is Walmart.

But not just EDI

And as you may guess, Walmart uses a number of other technologies to keep its mammoth business running. Such as blockchain.

How do you know your food is safe to eat?

This isn’t a question many of us often ask ourselves. But lately, food safety has been in the public eye: 2018 has already seen a large outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce and Salmonella in a number of products from eggs to breakfast cereal….

Today, Walmart and Sam’s Club sent a letter to suppliers of fresh, leafy greens asking them to trace their products all the way back to the farm using blockchain technology. Suppliers are expected to have all these systems in place by this time next year.

Again, Walmart is Walmart, and it wanted the suppliers to comply. And the suppliers had some work to do to come into compliance.

The basic requirement for those in far-flung rural areas includes a mobile device with geolocation features, so that other information such as date of harvest and size of the crop can be associated with specific coordinates. In cases where a farm might not be covered by wireless access, the information can be uploaded when there is coverage.

And yes, agriculture has moved far away from the family farm and is now accurately described by the term “agribusiness,” but I’m sure these agribusinesses weren’t thrilled about requiring the capture of geolocation, date, and harvest size data as a mandatory step in harvesting. And if there are any family farms left, they REALLY weren’t thrilled. (Not that small family farms are doing business with Walmart, but these requirements are going to flow down to smaller food sellers also.)

So yes, these data capture and blockchain requirements are onerous from the suppliers’ perspective. But think of Walmart’s perspective for the moment. If Walmart can convince its customers that its foods won’t make them sick, and if Walmart’s competitors can’t do this, then Walmart has a clear competitive advantage.

The retailer was motivated to focus its first “substantive, not symbolic” declaration as a result of several highly publicized E. coli outbreaks in the United States… — including five deaths — that were related to tainted romaine lettuce, according to Frank Yiannis, vice president of food safety and health for Walmart.

And not just Walmart

And these and other modern technologies are necessary for Walmart or any multi-billion dollar firm, or even much smaller firms. As I said, eventually consumers will demand blockchain or similar food tracing from all grocery stores.

Dollar General store in Arlington, Georgia. By Michael Rivera – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Yes, even Dollar General is embracing technology, but as far as I can tell it is concentrating on consumer-facing technology and hasn’t adopted blockchain yet. But I could be wrong.

These days, long after my former consumer goods employer went out of business, you’re not going to run your business on a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, even if Lotus IS integrated.

Additional countries issue the EU Digital COVID Certificate (a/k/a the Digital Green Certificate)

First, a correction.

When I first began writing about the Digital Green Certificate, I referred to it as…the Digital Green Certificate, noting the confusion that the name could cause with climate activists and the like.

Well, it turns out that climate activists have no cause for confusion, because the name of the certificate is NOT the “Digital Green Certificate.”

It’s the “EU Digital COVID Certificate,” as noted here.

With that out of the way, let’s revisit developments since the first seven countries began issuing the EUDCC on June 1.

By Tuesday, June 15, the list of issuing countries will expand to 14:

Italy is one of the first EU countries to begin issuing the EU Digital COVID Certificate, alongside Austria, BulgariaCroatiaCzechiaDenmark, Estonia, GermanyGreece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, and Spain.

The remainder of the countries should be issuing the EUDCC by July 1.

(Bredemarket Premium) I can’t TELL you the law enforcement AFIS vendors in each state, but…

Well, it’s time for another post in the Bredemarket Premium series, in which posts are only viewable by paying subscribers.

I thought about this topic when I was asked by someone NOT in the automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) industry to explain the industry. And I told him some things that would benefit people who ARE in the AFIS industry. Some people already know these things, while some people don’t. One example: which AFIS vendors service which customers?

For purposes of this post I will concentrate on state-level law enforcement AFIS in the United States, although AFIS are available at many government (and enterprise) levels for many markets in many countries.

As I detail in the post, I actually know all of this information myself, but I can’t share it. So this post is intended to tell you how to obtain this information yourself, from publicly available sources. And I’ll even give you a few pointers to get you started.

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Requests for Comments (RFCs), formal and casual

I don’t know how it happened, but people in the proposals world have to use a lot of acronyms that begin with the letters “RF.” But one “RF” acronym isn’t strictly a proposal acronym, and that’s the acronym “RFC,” or “Request for Comments.”

In one sense, RFC has a very limited meaning. It is often used specifically to refer to documents provided by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

A Request for Comments (RFC) is a numbered document, which includes appraisals, descriptions and definitions of online protocols, concepts, methods and programmes. RFCs are administered by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). A large part of the standards used online are published in RFCs. 

But the IETF doesn’t hold an exclusive trademark on the RFC acronym. As I noted in a post on my personal blog, the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently requested comments on a draft document, NISTIR 8334 (Draft), Mobile Device Biometrics for Authenticating First Responders | CSRC.

While a Request for Comments differs in some respects from a Request for Proposal or a Request for Information, all of the “RFs” require the respondents to follow some set of rules. Comments, proposals, and information need to be provided in the format specified by the appropriate “RF” document. In the case of NIST’s RFC, all comments needed to include some specific information:

  • The commenter’s name.
  • The commenter’s email address.
  • The line number(s) to which the comment applied.
  • The page number(s) to which the comment applied.
  • The comment.

Comments could be supplied in one of two ways (via email and via web form submission). I chose the former.

Cover letter of the PDF that I submitted to NIST via email.

On the other hand, NIST’s RFC didn’t impose some of the requirements found in other “RF” documents.

  • Unlike a recent RFI to which I responded, I could submit as many pages as I liked, and use any font size that I wished. (Both are important for those respondents who choose to meet a 20-page limit by submitting 8-point text.)
  • Unlike a recent RFP to which I responded, I was not required to state all prices in US dollars, exclusive of taxes. (In fact, I didn’t state any prices at all.)
  • I did not have to provide any hard copies of my response. (Believe it or not, some government agencies STILL require printed responses to RFPs. Thankfully, they’re not requiring 12 copies of said responses these days like they used to.)
  • I did not have to state whether or not I was a small business, provide three years of audited financials, or state whether any of the principal officers of my company had been convicted of financial crimes. (I am a small business; my company doesn’t have three years of financials, audited or not; and I am not a crook.)

So RFC responses aren’t quite as involved as RFP/RFI responses.

But they do have a due date and time.

By Arista Records –, Fair use,

Marketing messages at multiple levels

Today is podcast day on my content calendar, and I decided upon a title for my next podcast before I even started recording it.

The title? “All clear for an IPO.”

When I selected that title, I knew that 100% of the listeners would discern that the podcast had to do with some company’s initial public offering.

And I knew that 5% of the listeners would understand the significance of the word “clear” in the title.

And I additionally knew that 1% of the listeners would understand the significant of the word “all” in the title.

If you listen to the podcast episode, you’ll understand the significance of these two words, if you didn’t already know their significance.

This is an example of a marketing message that works at multiple levels. Some people will take the title at face value, while others will discern deeper information.

Personally, a lot of my writing is like this, with dense links to illustrative material and occasional phrases that have multiple meanings.

But what happens when a marketing message has multiple meanings and the marketer doesn’t know it?

I am a lover of comedy, and one of my favorite comedy groups from the 1980s is the Pet Shop Boys. Now you might think of the Pet Shop Boys as a music group, but you’re wrong. The duo is actually an accomplished comedy group, with their comedy present in their musical, visual, and lyrical output.

Musically, seek out the Pet Shop Boys’ recording of “Always on My Mind” and compare it to, for example, Willie’s version. Tongue is firmly in cheek here.

Visually, I can sum things up in two words: Chris Lowe. While Neil sings away in videos or in concert, Chris has perfected the fine art of standing there.

“We had a video director once who said I stood still very well,” Chris informs me proudly. “It’s not easy, you know. A lot of people can’t do it. It’s an art form.”

And how about those lyrics? On the surface, songs like “Opportunities” sound like the lyrics came from a Thatcherite manifesto, but anyone who was aware of the currents in United Kingdom politics in the 1980s would obviously know that the Pet Shop Boys didn’t really mean that. Right?


I wonder how many Allstate insurance customers are singing along with a song dripping with sarcasm.

However, I suspect that Neil and Chris enjoyed making a quick pound off of an American insurance company. After all, they got lots of money in return.

…the duo’s U.S. Top 10 “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” has entered (Billboard) magazine’s Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart at No. 5, after appearing in an ad for Allstate Insurance that aired during Super Bowl LV…

What if you built a spaceship and nobody came?

Things were different a few years ago.

As I write this, one of the big news stories involves Jeff Bezos’ plans to go on a spaceship built by his company Blue Origin. Not many people can afford to go on a spaceship, but Bezos certainly can.

Back in 2017, when you referred to a tech CEO going to a spaceship, you thought of Apple CEO Tim Cook staying on this planet and going to Apple Park, Apple’s new building in Cupertino. One of Steve Jobs’ last great accomplishments, Apple Park was a $5 billion corporate headquarters that provided Apple employees with an insanely great place to work.

Of course, not everybody went to an office to work in 2017. In fact, Silicon Valley had discussed this in 2013 when Yahoo’s then-CEO Marissa Mayer saw all of the Yahoo employees working from home and deemed it, um, essential that Yahoo employees work in the office whenever possible to help build Yahoo’s culture.

In February 2019, remote culture advocate Sarah Dixon looked back at the Yahoo episode. Among other things, Dixon stated:

…there’s no doubt that Mayer’s announcement did some damage to the acceptance of remote working. If you’ve tried to persuade a reluctant boss to let you work from home, they may have even used Yahoo! as the reason they don’t think it’s a great idea.

Ah, way back in 2019. I remember those days.

A little over a year later, attitudes toward remote working changed in ways that even Sarah Dixon couldn’t have imagined. In March, Dixon’s coworker Gabriela Molina was providing a step-by-step guide to working remotely during COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of us were forced to work from home, whether our companies liked it or not. Security systems were updated. Videoconferencing systems installed on our computers were used much more frequently. Additional collaboration tools were adopted.

But now, at least in the United States, COVID-19 is receding. More and more people are theoretically able to go work. Yet many people continue to work from home today, including employees of some major tech companies.

Apple, however, would like its employees back in the spaceship three days a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday). After all, Apple spent $5 billion on the thing; might as well get some use from it.

But some Apple employees aren’t so eager to return to the practices of old.

…we would like to take the opportunity to communicate a growing concern among our colleagues. That Apple’s remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit. Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple. This is a decision none of us take lightly, and a decision many would prefer not to have to make.

The letter from the Apple employees uses many terms such as “flexibility,” “empowered,” “unconstrained,” and “tearing down cross-functional communication barriers.” The employees claim that remote work allowed them to do their best work ever…and they don’t want to go back.

It’s hard to predict how all of this will play out for Apple and other companies. On the one hand, many companies are taking advantage of distributed working models. Ever since August, my consultancy Bredemarket has conducted ALL of its business without setting foot inside any of my clients’ offices. Actually, my clients themselves aren’t setting foot in their own offices; for one of my clients, I frequently deal with two employees who live several states away from their employer’s office.

On the other hand, out of sight, out of mind. Unless your corporate culture has a habit of firing up Zoom or Facetime at any moment to talk to someone, interactions with remote workers are going to be more limited than they were if you were down the hall from each other.

My perspective on this is admittedly unusual. From 2017 to 2020, my corporate supervisor was on the other end of the country from me. Over the nearly three years that I reported to him, I probably saw him in person less than a dozen times. So I sort of had an experience with remote work before COVID sent all of us home in March 2020, and things worked out well.

But how are you going to get a company with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, who paid more to build their corporate headquarters than many companies make in a year, to change its way of doing things and “think different”?

Pangiam acquires something else (in this case TrueFace)

People have been coming here to find this news (thanks Google Search Console) so I figured I’d better share it here.

Remember Pangiam, the company that I talked about back in March when it acquired the veriScan product from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority? Well, last week Pangiam acquired another company.

TYSONS CORNER, Va., June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Pangiam, a technology-based security and travel services provider, announced today that it has acquired Trueface, a U.S.-based leader in computer vision focused on facial recognition, weapon detection and age verification technologies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed….

Trueface, founded in 2013 by Shaun Moore and Nezare Chafni, provides industry leading computer vision solutions to customers in a wide range of industries. The company’s facial recognition technology recently achieved a top three ranking among western vendors in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 1:N Face Recognition Vendor Test. 

(Just an aside here: companies can use NIST tests to extract all sorts of superlatives that can be applied to their products, once a bunch of qualifications are applied. Pay attention to the use of the phrase “among western vendors.” While there may be legitimate reasons to exclude non-western vendors from comparisons, make a mental note when such an exclusion is made.)

But what does this mean in terms of Pangiam’s existing product? The press release covers this also.

Trueface will add an additional capability to Pangiam’s existing technologies, creating a comprehensive and seamless solution to satisfy the needs of both federal and commercial enterprises.

And because Pangiam is not a publicly-traded company, it is not obliged to add a disclaimer to investors saying this integration might not happen bla bla bla. Publicly traded companies are obligated to do this so that investors are aware of the risks when a company speculates about its future plans. Pangiam is not publicly traded, and the owners are (presumably) well aware of the risks.

For example, a US government agency may prefer to do business with an eastern vendor. In fact, the US government does a lot of business with one eastern vendor (not Chinese or Russian).

But we’ll see what happens with any future veriTruefaceScan product.

(Bredemarket Premium) Publicly available information on a major biometric firm’s plans

During my years in competitive analysis (either as a formal role or on an informal basis), I conducted the vast majority of my analysis using publicly available information. This could be obtained from a government agency via a public information request, or from a paid service that shares information to paying subscribers.

By Hoodedwarbler12 (talk) – I (Hoodedwarbler12 (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., Public Domain,

And in some cases the information is freely available to anyone who knows how to use it.

However, if you want to continue reading this post, the rest of the post is NOT free. This is the first “Bredemarket Premium” post, which requires a subscription to read. For more information about Bredemarket Premium, see my recent mailing to my mailing list.

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