Logistics, Logistics, ...

A story in the Auburn Plainsman reports problems that could either go away or get much, much, worse. Our concern today is that EVERY license issued in EVERY state will involve one or more operations on centralized federal data bases.
" These databases must also be contacted whenever a new license is issued. But these databases are overloaded and frequently shut down, sometimes for up to two hours at a time. When this happens, issuance of new licenses is delayed until the databases can restart.

Compounding the problem is the federal mandate known as the Real ID Act, which requires all states to send a query to a central database in Washington D.C. every time a new license is issued."

Now it may happen that by 2008, the pipeline to these federal data bases will become much faster and wider. Or these databases could remain much the same, and be buried under an avalanche of queries:
“In the beginning, only a few states were sending information through the pipe to D.C.,” said Col. Mike Coppage, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. “But because of the Real ID Act, now all 50 states have to send information down that pipe. The pipe has not gotten any bigger. When it gets to Washington, their computers lock up.”

Coppage also said to issue new licenses, the federal government requires the state to query five federal databases, and if any one of them becomes overloaded, the entire state has to wait for it to restart before any new licenses can be issued.

The databases are owned and maintained by Digimarc Corp., which won a contract to produce new licenses for Alabama in 2003. The issuance system was supposed to be completed by March 2005, but was not. Alabama has fined Digimarc $1.6 million for the delay.

And by gosh, here's Digimarc again. We may be hearing a lot about this company for the next few years; there may be a lot of Real ID eggs in its basket.


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