State lines

Digital prison stripes. Pinellas County, Fla., is using biometric software from Viisage Technology Inc. of Littleton, Mass., to check identities at a 3,000-bed correctional facility.

Staff members take digital images of inmates as soon as they arrive at the Sheriff's Office. The Viisage software compares each image against a database of more than 525,000 digital images of people booked in Pinellas County since 1994.

An algorithm translates facial characteristics into a set of computer-readable numbers, called an eigenface. Eigen is German for 'own' or 'individual.'

The Viisage tool turns up the top 50 matches in the Oracle9i database within three seconds, said Lt. Jim Main of the Sheriff's Office. It can show whether the person at the booking station has been jailed previously, caused trouble in jail and so on, he said.

The office then takes the usual mug shots: frontal, side and close-ups of tattoos and scars. The JPEG photos travel statewide over Florida's secure law enforcement network. More than 2,500 law enforcement officers can view the mug shots by browser.

The database, launched about 18 months ago, serves about 329,000 users, Main said.

See y'all. Aldona Valicenti, the first CIO of Kentucky and a past president of the National Association of State CIOs, this month joined Oracle Corp. as vice president of business development and strategy.

Valicenti resigned in November after six years as the commonwealth's CIO. During her tenure, Kentucky wired every classroom in the state to the Internet.

Before becoming Kentucky's CIO, Valicenti worked for Dow Corning Corp. of Midland, Mich., and BP Amoco Corp. of London.

CIO pay scale. It's not so much what you do, it's where you work. New statistics on pay levels of state CIOs, published by Virginia's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, show that they earn from $92,220 to $225,000, with most states paying $90,000 to $120,000.

The commission cited Tennessee's CIO as the highest paid at a salary of $225,000. Virginia is recruiting a CIO, and officials at its IT Investment Board have set a salary range of $175,000 to $200,000.

The legislative audit agency gathered its pay statistics from publicly available sources, including state legislation and news reports.

Maryland ranked as the skinflint on the 15-state list. The Free State pays its CIO $92,220.

The remaining salaries by state were: Montana, $105,000; Michigan, $107,480; Massachusetts, $107,591; Texas, $120,000; California, $123,255; Connecticut, $123,961; Pennsylvania, $125,399; North Carolina, $130,000; Washington, $133,000; Delaware, $133,660; Kentucky, $165,000; and Georgia, $165,000.

The agency published the statistics as part of a report on the state's implementation of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

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