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                    Archive for Jan 2006


                    Internet Explorer 7 Beta

                    Microsoft has released a public beta of Internet Explorer 7. Supposedly more secure, less prone to phising attacks, blah, blah blah.
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                    CTO Breakfast Report

                    Today's CTO Breakfast was a lot of fun. There were about 30 people there. I was afraid that with the day change we'd have fewer people, but not so. Any more and we'll have to get a bigger room. We talked about a lot of interesting things. Here are some pointers to some things people brought up or mentioned: Ross Livingston couldn't come, but sent me a note about a company in North Dakota that's exploring the use of weather balloons to provide cell coverage. The idea is to launch the balloons on the west end of ND and
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                    CTO Breakfast Tomorrow

                    Remember that we're holding January's CTO breakfast tomorrow morning at 8am in the food court (BLDG L) at Canyon Park Technology Center (former Word Perfect Campus). Come prepared to talk about things you've seen in the last month. I just got back from visiting Brian Chee's Network Testing Lab in Hawaii this morning and I'll tell you a little about what I learned. Directions and dates of future meetings can be found here. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
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                    IIW2006 Venue

                    We're looking for a venue for Internet Identity Workshop 2006. We're planning to hold it in the Bay Area in May. We need enough space for about 100 people and a way to hold 4-5 breakout sessions during part of the workshop. The workshop will last two days. If you have an suggestions, please let me know.
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                    Wanted: Linux Developer

                    Ken Knapton at Content Watch is looking for a developer with Linux roots. Here's a list of the skills required: In-depth understanding of Linux operating system and development practices Demonstrable experience developing Java and/or C++ applications 3-5 years of work experience in Software Development Server-side development experience preferred Bachelors Degree in Computer Science or related field Knowledge of Java/C++ and object-oriented design and development The job's located in Utah. If you're interested, contact Ken directly.
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                    Governing Federation

                    I'm doing a feature story for InfoWorld (to appear in March) on governing federated identity relationships. The core of the story is that the technology to do federated identity is here, works, and is maturing; technology isn't the biggest problem. The real problem comes down to governance. Once you start sharing identity information with partner companies and customers, the real gotchas lie in hammering out the relationships between all the parties involved and defining who has what kind of access to what data. Of course, my book is chock full of my ideas on that. One thing I don't
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                    Owning Identity, Not Reputation or Transactions

                    Bob Blakeley, who writes frequently about identity issues has an interesting post entitled On The Absurdity of "Owning One's Identity" in response to Kim Cameron's first law. The first law states: Technical identity systems must only reveal information identifying a user with the user's consent. Bob, rightly, recognizes that this really isn't a law and goes on to give various reasons why it's unenforceable. Drummond Reed points out, that Kim's talking about "technical" systems, not the processes that might be built on top of them. Even so, there are some interesting issues here that point out why identity and
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                    Synapse Milestone 1

                    The Apache Synapse project released Milestone 1 yesterday. From the homepage: "Synapse is a mediation framework for Web Services. Synapse allows messages flowing through, into, or out of an organization to be mediated." Milestone 1 supports: Simple mediation based on regex and xpath rules Onbound routing of messages Deploy simple Java mediators to perform logging, routing, message transform etc XSLT transformation of messages HTTP Proxy support Stages and in/out handling of messages There are a number of SOA intermediary vendors, like Infravio supporting Synapse in the hope that it will spawn a standard, open source reference architecture for Web
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                    SOA Governance Feature

                    The SOA Governance feature I did for InfoWorld is up today. There are four parts: Governing SOA - Rules, standards, and policies are the difference between playing with SOAP and real SOA. A degree of tolerance for SOA -- There's a danger in going too far. Exclusive: Infravio brings structure to unwieldy SOA -- A review of X-Registry 5, one of a handful of tools that form and infrastructure for governance. Understanding UDDI -- A quick reference to UDDI-compatible registries. This was a fun series to do and I learned a lot writing it. Steve Fox wrote an intro
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                    Ruby on Rails and OS X

                    Devlin Daley gave a presentation in our 601R class on Rails so that we could discuss frameworks and the choices Rails had made. While he was talking, I poked around a little since I wanted to get Rails going on my Powerbook and found this great little tutorial on getting Rails working on Mac OS X (Tiger). The tutorial walks you through setting Rails up with SQLite and creating a simple application. I only ran into two problems with the tutorial as written. First, when you load the Ruby Gem for SQLite, it says to type: sudo gem install
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                    CIO Magazine Goes Podcast

                    CIO Magazine has a podcast which is the content of the magazine, or at least some of it, read out loud. Interesting feature for people who commute and want to get to articles they just don't have time to read at the office.
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                    Stable Architectures

                    There's a very informative article in InfoWorld about how Con-Way, the trucking company used SOA to migrate away from their legacy applications piecemeal. The effort required making the architecture explicit first, with the right level of granularity, and then building interfaces. Then various parts can be changed as needed and reintegrated to create new apps. The article says: Although the Con-Way effort began eight years ago, the basic architecture has remained stable and has allowed the company to change its technologies while maintaining the underlying business logic and adding new business logic as the market demands. From Lessons from
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                    Using Screencasts to Augment Instruction

                    Ever since I saw what Jon Udell was doing with screencasts, I've wanted to use them to augment some of my courses. If you're not familiar with the term, a screencast is a short video that, usually, shows th screen of a computer and has a narrative explaining what's going on. I think screencasts have a lot to offer instruction. In my CS330 class, we use Scheme. Learning Scheme is something the students have to do to complete the course, but it's not really what the course is about. Screencasts provide an excellent medium for introducing students to things
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                    CTO Breakfast Date Change

                    I've had to change the date of the CTO breakfast for January. The schedule originally had us meeting on Thursday the 26th or January, but I've got to leave for Hawaii that morning (I know, but someone has to do it). So, instead, I've moved the breakfast to Tuesday the 31st of January. We'll be meeting at the Food Court in Building L of Canyon Park Technology Center (former WordPerfect campus) at 8am. The reason I'm going to Hawaii is to visit Brian Chee's network testing lab and I'll report on that. Please come with a few new things
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                    Intel iMac vs. G5 iMac Boot Times

                    You Tube has a short video showing an Intel iMac and a G5 iMac booting while they sit right next to each other. The Intel G5 boots almost twice as fast. I'm anxious to get my hands on a MacBook.
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                    Geek Dinner Tonight

                    There's a geek dinner tonight in Sandy. The discussion topic will be geek law. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to make it.
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                    Algorithmic Authorizations

                    Yesterday I was reading Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change by Clayton M. Christensen, Erik A. Roth and Scott D. Anthony and came across a story about how credit scoring changed the loan industry: In 1956, Fair, Issac created a standard predictive risk-assessment tool. It dramatically simplified the process of judging creditworthiness with a statistical methodology that plugged variables from an applicants credit history into an algorithmic formula that produced a score. Credit scoring's robust, scientifically based, quick assessment enabled a broader population of less-skilled people to make lending decisions. It occurred to me
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                    Understanding UDDI

                    UDDI interactions with various SOA players(click to enlarge) As part of the SOA governance feature and Infravio X-Registry review that are going to be in InfoWorld in a few weeks, I'm trying to come up with a short (less than 200 words) sidebar and graphic on understanding UDDI. My first draft of a graphic is shown on the right. Here's text I'm thinking of including with it. Naturally, it has been simplified to meet space requirements. The question is "does this capture the spirit of UDDI and communicate useful information or does it confuse because of details left out?" Help
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                    Asterisk Users Group in Utah

                    There's a new Asterisk user's group forming Utah and their first meeting is tonight. If you're not familiar with Asterisk, it's an open source PBX that is extremely capable. Update: The formatting bug in the hCalendar that Jon mentions has been fixed. The formatting kept the "download" link from appearing. I also changed the spelling. :-)
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                    Most Popular Posts for Fourth Quarter

                    Here are the most popular articles from Technometria in the fourth quarter of 2005 and the percentage of all page views they accounted for: Video iPod and Tivo - 6.41% How to Start a Blog - 5.25% Using VLC to Create iPod Ready Video - 3.77% Did You Know? DVD-R vs. DVD+R - 3.32% Ruby on Rails (OSCON 2005 Tutorial) - 2.57% Two of these, the one on starting a blog and the Ruby tutorial, were in August's most popular posts as well. As you'd expect all of these are fairly well placed on Google. Browser statistics for Technometria
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                    IT Conversations Is Branching Out

                    My favorite podcast network, IT Conversations, is growing up and becoming The Conversations Network (TCN). IT Conversations will be one of, eventually, many channels in TCN. Doug Kaye discusses the logic behind this move and it's implications on his blog. Good luck to Doug on this new move--his efforts to build IT Conversations have changed how I get information and enriched my life. I'm grateful.
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                    Felonious Acts on the Internet

                    I just posted a piece at Between the Lines that talks about a new federal law that make pseudonymous annoyances a felonious act. Good thing I don't blog under a pseudonym--I'm sure I annoy all of you from time to time.
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                    SOA Governance and WS Lifecycles

                    SOA Governance Links the Producer and Consumer Lifecycles (click to enlarge) I'm trying to put together some graphics for the SOA Governance article I'm working on. Once concept I like is the idea that governance links the producer and consumer lifecycles. I've tried to capture that idea (roughly) in the graphic at the right. I'd sorely appreciate comments on what's wrong with it and what I'm missing or might communicate more clearly another way. One thing that confused me for a second was that I wanted to put "discover" as a "design time" activity, but that's really only "design time"
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                    DarwinPorts is Hot

                    It seems like every semester something happens that causes me to do a systems scramble right before things get going. This year, we decided to move all our Web offerings in the ECLab onto our new XServe over Christmas break. It had to happen sometime and now's as good a time as any. One of the things I needed to get on to the XServe (running OS X) was netpbm. I've never used DarwinPorts before, but a google of netpbm and OS led me to it. I have to say that it totally rocks. Usually installing netpbm on a
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                    CIO Reporting Relationships

                    Found these interesting paragraphs in a story in CIO Magazine on their annual CIO survey: There has been a corresponding change in your place on the org chart. Just over three-quarters of you now sit on the company's management committee. Your most prevalent reporting relationship is to the CEO. That's been true in all of our "State of the CIO" reports, but since 2002, in response to the cost-cutting fixation that gripped many companies and the fearful reaction to Sarbanes-Oxley, the percentage of CIOs reporting to the CEO had been going down while the percentage reporting to CFOs had
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                    Software for Starving Students

                    Jordy Gunderson alerted me to the 2006.01 release of Software for Starving Students or SSS. SSS is a collection of free and open source software all on one convenient CD ROM (actually, it's an ~500Mb image that you download using BitTorrent). The images come in versions for Windows and Mac. I tried it out and it's well done and very convenient. Each package has a description of what it is, links to the Web site for the package, and an install button. Getting it via BitTorrent is problematic at BYU because of port blocking. I had to grab it
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                    Vlogging in Utah

                    Phil Burns and his vlogging tool, Blastyx, are featured in a Salt Lake City Weekly editorial (of all places) on vlogs. Maybe CW is branching out into high tech. Applying their unique style of vicious mudslinging and blatant disregard for the truth to high tech reporting would certainly liven things up.
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                    Modularity Rules

                    A number of my colleagues don't believe you can teach design, or at least that teaching design is hard to do. I not only disagree, but feel that if we're to help students prepare to be influential, we have to teach design. Good programmers are also good designers, many are good architects. But for the most part, they've picked that up as an implicit part of their education. Explicitly people taught them the nuts and bolts of programming. Consequently, I'm always on the hunt for books that I think future CTOs and CIOs ought to read. I found a
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                    My First Web Server

                    Jeremy Zawodny's reminiscing about his first Web server and got me thinking about my first server. In 1993, I left the University of Idaho's CS department to take a position at BYU. I was a formal methods researcher and at that time, the only way to run FM software was on big servers. So, I spent a summer at BYU waiting for my HP Workstations to show up. Kelly Hall had transfered to BYU from Idaho with me as a grad student. We were both bored. Kelly came in one day talking to me about HTTP and something called
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                    Virtualization Testbed

                    Suppose you had a couple of quad processor boxes with 16Gb of RAM each attached to a 1Tb SAN and enough VMWare ESX licenses to do whatever you wanted on the platform. What would you do? We're wrapping up some initial VMWare performance studies on the boxes and I'm looking for ideas about what research projects to do with them next. I have a few ideas, but I'm curious if you have any.
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                    SOA at Work

                    Ever wonder if anyone actually uses SOA of if maybe this is all a bunch of vendors looking for a problem to solve? Joe McKendrick has a list of ten companies using SOA right now to solve real problems. Good reading.
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                    Weinberger on Wikipedia

                    Dave Weinberger expertly deals with the John Seigenthaler Sr./Wikipedia controversy and the media feeding frenzy around it. There's an interesting twist with anonimity, psuedonimity, and identity in the story. The mainstream press seems incapable of understanding the significant, yet subtle difference between anonimity and psuedonimity.
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                    Blogging and Democracy

                    The Senate Site is a great example of how small inexpensive tools can provide huge wins for democracy. The Senate Site is a group blog sponsored by the majority leadership of the Utah Senate, but people who aren't senators or members of the majority party also write sometimes. To see why I think this is a valuable tool, look at this post by Sen. Buttars on his proposed legislation to control how teachers talk about the origin of life. I think the bill is ridiculous, but I'll save that for later. What I'm more interested in here is that
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                    NSA Cookies Cause Holiday Stir

                    Seems that the NSA turned on persistent cookies in violation of a Federal rule that proscribes them unless there is a "compelling need." Of course there are a few people turning this into some kind of conspiracy or sign of gross incompetence. Of course, none of these people are concerned about the millions of other Web sites that use cookie. Bizzare. Jeff Jarvis also comments on this story and how the media thinks they got some huge scoop here. Here's a white paper (PDF) that I wrote when I was Utah CIO about cookies and privacy. We were having
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