龙八8国际

          
          

                    Archive for Dec 2006


                    Linux Laptop

                    What's the best laptop for running Linux? I want the Wi-Fi to work, the thing to sleep reliably, and so on. In the past I've favored Thinkpads, but would willingly shift to something else if it had better behavior with Linux.
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                    MacBook Pro Narcolepsy

                    Jon Udell is complaining about PowerBook rot. I think his TiBook issues are mostly age and to be expected. My TiBook is still going strong, but has a broken hinge. My son's using it at College. I think it's still the best piece of Apple gear I've ever owned. Newer {Power,Mac}Books have been another story for me. I'm pretty hard on them, docking and undocking multiple times per day, using them pretty much non-stop for 12-15 hours per day, lots of compute intensive activity, and so on. Still, I've not had a single one that hasn't been in the
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                    Dave Fletcher's Top Ten for Utah IT

                    Dave Fletcher offers up his annual Top 10 in Utah IT for 2006. Among them are the State's wining of three different eGovernment awards and the fact that Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Orem all place in the top-10 digital cities. While you're there, check out his mashup showing the location of state buildings on Google maps. Now, if facilities (or some concerned citizen) would combine that with data on annual cost of the building to maintain, etc. we'd be getting somewhere.
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                    On Bad Sinatra

                    It's fairly easy to follow your favorite blogs when they're updated frequently. I read Dave and Doc in my browser, because I know whenever I visit there will be something new and interesting. Infrequently updated blogs are another matter--that's where RSS is a perfect match. I mentioned Steve Yegge last week. Another infrequent poster who's well worth reading is Steve Gillmor. His most recent Bad Sinatra post is a great example. He can be hard to read--especially if you don't follow tech industry news and trends very closely--but there's some great observations in the post and Steve's spot on.
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                    On Demand Publishing Creates 21st Century Photo Album

                    Photo Album Cover(click to enlarge) A while back, Moira Gunn interviewed Eileen Gittins, founder, president and CEO of Blurb, about publishing a first-quality, professional-looking books for Tech Nation on IT Conversations and that got me thinking. For Christmas I made for my wife and two oldest children a photo-book of our vacation to Europe last summer. It was a universal hit. As the Apple ad says, it was pretty easy to do in iPhoto. Make no mistake however, selecting, editing, and arranging 200 some odd pictures takes some time. iPhoto has a "Buy Book" button at the bottom of the
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                    Presence for Your Presents

                    I put a piece about user-centric presence up at Between the Lines this morning. Hope you're enjoying the holidays.
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                    What's Your Interface?

                    Steve Yegge is a great writer. The latest from Stevie's Blog Rants proves it. Take 15 minutes and read it.
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                    Composition as a Programming Activity

                    When I started programming, you had four choices on the IBM 370 system that the University of Idaho made available to students: Cobol, Fortran, Basic, and APL. I learned Fortran and Basic, avoided Cobol because it was for "business", and looked on APL with wide-eyed wonder. "Someday," I thought, "when I'm all grown up, I'll learn APL." Well, of course, that day never came (I never grew up and I never learned APL). I'd kind of thought APL was dead--after all, you don't hear about it much. People refer, jokingly, to APL as a "write-only" language because it's very
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                    OpenID Delegation

                    Simon Willison (whose blog used to be green) has an excellent tutorial on setting up OpenID delegations so that you can use your own domain name (see what I said about persistence here) as your OpenID. In fact, you can use any URL where you control the resource (what gets returned when you GET the URL) as an OpenID. Delegation is an important part of OpenID because it allows you to switch OpenID identity providers, your OpenID stays the same. Just change the link tags in the resource associated with the URL you're using as an OpenID and you're
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                    Giving Away Pre-Loaded MP3 Players

                    Today I walked past a classroom and noticed an MP3 player left on the piano at the front of the room. For some reason it reminded me of an abandoned pen. We're used to seeing pens lying around, but there was a time when they were expensive and highly prized. I'm fairly sure you can produce a reasonably featured MP3 player for less than $20. How long before they're like pens--everywhere, given away, easily abandoned, even disposable? They're probably cheap enough now to be given away as schwag at conferences. If you're considering that, you might want to also
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                    Images and Video in Collaboration

                    Last week I was working on a short piece for InfoWorld about collaboration--what companies spend too much money on and what they don't spend enough on. One inexpensive collaboration tool that is underutilized is video. I'm not talking about video conferencing, but the now near ubiquitous ability to create and easily distribute short videos. If there's anything YouTube has taught us, it's that user-created video is coming into its own. In a recent article called Video Knowledge, Jon Udell references the work of Sean McCown, a professional database administrator who writes the Database Underground blog for InfoWorld. Sean's been
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                    Rohit Khare and Decentralization

                    Yesterday I put another edition of the Technometria Podcast on IT Conversations. This one is Matt Asay and I talking with Rohit Khare. We had a great conversation about decentralization that ranged from the stock market to Nigerian 419 scams. Today I posted another edition of IEEE Spectrum Radio--a panel discussion of the FBI Virtual Case File debacle. This is a case study in how to screw up a software project.
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                    Making XRIs With XRDS

                    User-friendly view of my XRDS file(click to enlarge) Yesterday I posted a piece on XRIs and i-names at Between the Lines. Now that 2idi, my i-name registrar, is supporting forwarding, I've configured several XRIs that resolve to specific places on the 'Net including my blog, RSS feed, and even me at Skype. I mentioned William Tan's FoXRI extension to Firefox that allows native resolution of XRIs (e.g. xri://=windley/(+blog)) instead of using an XRI proxy. Playing with that tool, I realized that the XRDS document for =windley was pretty skimpy. William informed me that 2idi has a new experimental feature that
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                    Haskell vs. Java Smackdown

                    Defmacro.org has a small example of Haskell's expressive power and the same code written in Java. Both take five lines of code to "[go] through a parse tree of Haskell source code, locates every reference to an identifier that ends with 'Widget', puts it on a list, and removes duplicates so every identifier is represented in the list only once." Impressive. I believe that Haskell code is a bit more general and defmacro.org argues that it's more maintainable. You be the judge.
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                    Limit Simultaneous Connections in Apache

                    Yesterday I wrote about the comment storms that were happening on my blog. Many people made some great suggestions and I plan on implementing many of them in the coming weeks. I found something, however, that was pretty simple and, so far, seems to be working beautifully. Mod_limitipconn is a small Apache module that allows you to limit the number of simultaneous connections from any given IP address for any particular resource or mime-type. It built and installed without a hitch--within 15 minutes I was in business. Here's the configuration I'm using to limit connections to the comment CGI:
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                    Comment Spam Storms

                    Update: Be sure to read the comments. There are lots of good suggestions on solving this problem. Here's what I did to stop spam storms About three times per day my server gets hit my a comment storm. Someone with a botnet is trying to spam my blog and they're going about it stupidly. They don't get any comments through because of a simple textual CAPTCHA that I installed in June. The storm occurs because the spammers try to post over 100 comments in the space of about 1 minute from five or six different IP addresses. Naturally, the
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                    Le Web

                    On Dave Winer's blog, I saw a post about Le Web 3. Can you say "le web"? I thought that the language police got mad about non-French words. Is there a French version of "web" (I seriously want to know)? I listened to Jean-Benoit Nadeau on Diane Rhem last week speaking about his book The Story of French. The interview was good and I enjoyed it. Looking on Amazon, I see that Nadeau is also the author, along with Julie Barlow, of Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French.
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                    Top Ten ITC Shows for November

                    Here are the top ten IT Conversations shows for November (based on individual downloads of the MP3): Mark Thompson - Success Built to Last Sean Carroll - The Making of the Fittest More Than Just A Game - Supernova2006 Tony Giordano - a PhD in Biotech Managing Vendors Before They Manage You - Technometria Ryan Freitas - Facilitating Collaboration Ross Mayfield - Technometria Panel Discussion - Rise of the Videonet Web 2.0 Panel - SofTECH Erik Larson - The Transatlantic Hunt for a Murderer
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                    OpenID and XMPP

                    Via Scott Kveton, a link to an OpenID server that uses XMPP authentication (the undelying protocol for Jabber). Fun stuff!
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                    Your Conference, On Demand

                    I received a flyer (more like a catalog) for SD West 2007 in the mail today. My first thought was that it looked like content IT Conversations subscribers would enjoy. But as I looked closer, I saw that they sell the audio to the event. You can pay an additional $95 with a full pass or $295 with a one-day pass and get unlimited access to the audio and slides from the conference for 365 days after the event. They call this "SD On Demand." I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has been to a past SD Expo
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                    Reconstructing Iraq's Power Grid

                    I just finished listening to the second installment of the new IEEE Spectrum Radio program on IT Conversations. This piece, Reconstructing Iraq's Power Grid is excellent and very interesting. It's not political--but the size and importance of the job is eye opening. These shows are not as easy as just republishing what IEEE sends us. This show, for example, was pieced together from three separate segments and Paul Figgiani did a great job of rearranging lead-ins, music and so on to make it seem like a connected show. If you're wondering if every show in this series is somehow
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                    419 Scams, Black Money, and Greed

                    This piece about a former Congressman in jail because of Nigerian 419 scams caught my eye this morning. Amazing. It makes me wonder how gullible we all are. Clearly greed is the underlying culprit here. Be sure to watch the video on the black money scam. That was new to me. Anyone want to buy a suitcase full of black paper?
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                    Jim Harper Audio On Identity

                    I just posted Jim Harper's talk on identity at IT Conversations. It's a good talk and well worth listening to if you've got any interest in identity and public policy. Unfortunately, we didn't have a mic for the audience, so the Q&A session didn't make it. That's too bad since there was some really good interaction.
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                    IIW2006 Lost and Found

                    After IIW2006B was over last week, we found a few things. Kaliya has them, so if they're yours contact Kaliya to get them back. Here's pictures (click picture to enlarge): Phone charger Glass case IBM power adapter Macbook (65W) mag power adapter
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                    TiVo and the iPod on OS X

                    Getting video from your TiVo to a iPod isn't as hard as it used to be. This hack shows how to do it all on the Mac and have it scheduled to run automatically.
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                    Bohemian Rhapsody in the key of ID

                    On Tuesday evening, we were treated to the debut performance of Bohemian Rhapsody in the key of ID (lyrics by Eve Maler, Laurie Rae, Peter Tapling, Derek Fluker, Bill Johnson, and Wes Kussmaul). Conor Cahill shot a video:
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                    Paper for Voting

                    Legislation pending in Congress would ban the use of paperless electronic voting machines in the 2008 election. When John Dougall proposed the legislation in Utah requiring a paper audit trail, there were some naysayers. John's looking pretty smart now since his legislation ensured that Utah didn't buy machines it would now have to throw out or modify.
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                    Firefox, Internet or Search Engine? You Decide

                    Firefox T-Shirt(click to enlarge) Today I was in REI. I had on my Firefox T-Shirt. The guy helping me with flashlights said "Oh, I love that search engine!" Contrast that with this story: When I first bought the shirt my daughter, who was six at the time, climbed up on my lap and asked "Daddy, why do you have a picture of the Internet on your shirt?" Who was more right?
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                    Computational Reputation

                    I did a session on online reputation (or "computational reputation" as I've taken to calling it to distinguish it from reputation work in other fields). I didn't have time to take notes, but if I find others who have, I'll post an update here. In the meantime, here's the picture of the whiteboard I took and a link to my paper on reputation.
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                    i-names...Again

                    Salim Ismail(click to enlarge) I went to a session on the future of i-names this morning. Drummond Reed started off talking about what they are now. DNS names abstract IP numbers. URLs, based on DNS, typically point to specific locations. XRI provides an abstraction layer on top of the URL. i-names and i-numbers are synonyms. i-names provide a semantic identifier and i-numbers are a persistent identifier. i-numbers are never reassigned, but i-names might be. Having a non-assignable identifier ensures that I can't lose my identity (and the rights that go with it). Any synonym in the XRI namespace resolves to
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                    Trusted Computing...Sounds Great. Is It?

                    Here's a great little video on trusted computing. Not much on the details, but well done and aimed at a less technical audience.
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                    The State of User Centric Identity

                    Johannes Ernst has a good summary of the current user-centric identity landscape in his updated triangle diagram.
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                    Beyond Passwords

                    Hacking CardSpace in the Hi-Fi Lounge (click to enlarge) In the session on authentication without passwords (beyond passwords) put, Lisa Dusseault made the assertions (with some help from the room): Existing browsers do not succeed in verifying site identity to users HTML forms for login considered harmful. Browser-based third-party identity systems habituate user to redirect to enter their password (task fixation). When you catch someone in the middle of doing something, they will plow through all kinds of barriers to "get the job done." Current password redirection schemes (most of them) redirect users to authenticate. Any password-based system is vulnerable
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                    Speed Geeking

                    Chuck Mortimore demos XMLDAP(click to enlarge) Speed geeking turned out great. I saw some things that really interested me and I got it in a quick hit. The following projects or demos were done: Earthgrid.org - Video worth paying for xmldap - Chuck Mortimore gave a demo that showed using en OpenID as a CardSpace card to log into Kim Cameron's blog. Safari Inforcard Selector - This is a plug-in for Safari that implements an CardSpace card selector from Ian Brown. AOL WebAIM Service nice demo showing how to get AIM data using a Web API. I would like to
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                    Vendor Relationship Matters

                    I went to Doc's discussion of VRM (vendor relationship management). We had a great discussion around a number of scenarios. There's Doc's (by now) famous rental car discussion. Dave Winer brought up Yahoo! Movies and Netflix and sharing data back and forth between them. This kind of session easily turns into a discussion of how messed up most companies are. Doc summed it up thusly: "Living in a silo is self-destructive." Doc said there were three pieces: transactions, intentions, and preferences. Avery Lyford boiled these down to three points: What you've done What you want What you like Intentions
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                    Lightbulb: Bringing SAML to PHP

                    Pat Patterson spoke on using SAML in a "Web 2.0 World." SAML provides a good mechanism for transporting identity attributes. But to use SAML on the wild Web, you've got to support dynamic languages like PHP. Pat has a mechanism for using SAML from PHP. One way to do this is using a PHP/Java bridge that talks to an existing federation manager. This is overkill if you've got one little site you want to use federation on. Pat has a project, called Lightbulb, that puts SAML directly into PHP. No custom PHP modules required. Future parts of Lightbulb may
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                    Trusting OpenID

                    We started off the morning, as is our tradition by building the schedule for the conference. Lots of good sessions proposed and many I will have to choose between. I love seeing these things come together. I started off the morning at David Recordon and Josh Hoyt's talk on OpenID authentication in the new OpenID 2.0 spec. During a discussion of how OpenID 1.1 works, a good discussion of phishing broke out. Someone asked what's to keep a relying party from purposely misdirecting a user to a site that's spoofing the user's IdP and stealing the user's credentials. David
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                    Introducing User-Centric Identity

                    Doc Searls(click to enlarge) The Internet Identity Workshop (2006B) has begun. I flew in this morning and spent the time before the conference started shopping for things we need for snacks, etc. Today is not an unconference event--that starts tomorrow. Today we have a more structured program intended to get people new to the space up to speed--but people who've been in the identity space for years come anyway. Kaliya and Mike Ozburn started off the day with some discussion of the identity space map. Dick Hardt spoke on the identity lexicon and the laws of identity. Next up was
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                    Podcast Your Way to Fame and Glory

                    I'd like to start a regular feature on IT Conversations that contains interviews with authors of recent IT books. The series, which I'm tentatively calling "Book IT!", would air every other week. I'd expect the host to Select and read the books (most publishers will send a complimentary copy to IT Conversations). Contact the author and schedule the interview. Most authors are happy to publicize their books. Conduct the interview and record the show (phone or Skype interview). This presume you have the equipment to produce a good quality WAV file from a phone conversation. IT Conversations can provide
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                    NIST Report Condemns DRE Voting Machines

                    In what may be the biggest blow for electronic voting machines yet, NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a draft report this week that concluded that paperless direct-record equipment (DRE) voting machines cannot be made secure and recommends optical scan systems (Washington Post story). The report will be debated next week in a meeting of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC). This is the committee that makes recommendations to the Federal Election Assistance Commission. Next week's meeting will be webcast. The report (PDF) stresses the need for "software independence." From the report A voting system is
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