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                    Archive for May 2009


                    You're Gonna Need It

                    Normally, I subscribe to the "YNGNI" philosophy: You're Not Gonna Need It. The idea is don't over engineer things because you'll likely spend a lot of time on things that never get used. This post is about an exception to that rule that I wish I'd followed. When I started designing KRL, there wasn't much in the way of variable scoping and it didn't really need it. Each rule was a local scope and there were no global variables. Only one ruleset ever operated at a time. Consequently, I took the easy route and instead of designing a proper
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                    Agile Roots, ErrorStack, Phones, and Games

                    At this morning's CTO Breakfast Kay Johansan announced her upcoming Agile Roots conference in Salt Lake City on June 15-16. This looks like a high quality confernce and it's nice to see it local. Tyler Whitaker also demonstrated the new graphing capabilities in ErrorStack. As someone building a distributed system, I love the idea of ErrorStack--a cloud-based error system that just does errors and does them well. I'll probably start using it to track errors for Kynetx. We got a look at the phone that Google gave out at IO yesterday. Someone who was there and got one showed
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                    The Eighth Internet Identity Workshop - IIW2009A

                    Image by Adriana Lukas via Flickr I can't believe that a week has passed since IIW8 ended. I was planning on writing a wrap-up blog post then and time has just slipped away. When we were planning for this IIW, we were pretty worried about whether people would come and whether we'd get sufficient sponsor support. As it happened, things turned out fine. We had more people than ever--about 180. And while some sponsorships went unsold, overall we had great support for which we're grateful. The workshop itself was one of the best ever. There was a lot of
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                    CTO Breakfast This Thursday

                    We'll be holding the CTO Breakfast this Thursday (May 28th) at 8am in the usual place (Novell Cafeteria). Despite it's name, you don't have to be a CTO to attend--just interested in technology, where it's headed, and the problems of starting and building a high-tech business in Utah. All are welcome. Here's a list of future breakfasts. May 28, 2009 (Thursday) June 26, 2009 No breakfast in July August 28, 2009 (Friday) September 24, 2009 (Thursday) Be sure to put them on your calendar. I have also created a Google Calendar with dates for the CTO breakfast that you
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                    Context Automation: Slides from Gluecon

                    I've post my slides from my talk at Gluecon on Wednesday at SlideShare. Context AutomationView more presentations from windley. I haven't had time to do audio for this yet. I hope to at some point.
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                    Securing a Cloud Infrastructure

                    George Reese (author of the new book Cloud Application Architectures: Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud) is talking at Gluecon about securing cloud infrastructures. Two recent surveys found "security" was the number one concern of companies considering a move to the cloud. George says the key to making customers comfortable with cloud security is transparency. Without security: You cannot know if the infrastructure meets your requirements. You can't comply with critical regulatory requirements So...demand transparency. That ought to be a critical part of deciding what cloud infrastructure to use. Control isn't the real issue: people don't build their
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                    Why Didn't PubSub Become Twitter?

                    Image by photopia / HiMY SYeD via Flickr Ever since Steve Gillmor published his Rest in Peace, RSS article, I've been thinking about RSS and Twitter. Steve says: I haven't been in Google Reader for months. Google Reader is the dominant RSS reader. I've done the math: Twitter 365 Google Reader 0. All my RSS feeds are in Google Reader. I don't go there any more. Since all my feeds are in Google Reader and I don't go there, I don't use RSS anymore. From Rest in Peace, RSSReferenced Tue May 12 2009 10:02:38 GMT-0600 (MDT) I've been wondering
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                    Contrasting Kynetx and Greasemonkey

                    Kynetx Network Service, or KNS, modifies a user's Web page using Javascript. The ability to customize pages in the browser is a powerful capability, but it goes well beyond that by allowing data from multiple sources, even other Web pages, to be used as part of that customization. Sure we can change change colors, fonts, and layout, but we can also mashup Web sites to produce completely new experiences. Described as I have, KNS is not unlike Greasemonkey, a popular plug-in for Firefox that allows user scripts to modify Web pages. In fact, in a recent post Paul Madsen
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                    Starting a High Tech Business: Does Your Mom Use It?

                    I'm starting a new business called Kynetx. As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. This is the eightteenth installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way---if so, please let me know! Yesterday, Steve had an interesting experience which proved one of our claims. We've always said that we were trying to build a Web augmentation service that even our Mom's would use. This is in contrast to, say, Greasemonkey, which is a great tool, but it's decidely aimed at
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                    Programming Languages as a Notation

                    I was listening to Jon Udell's interview of Joan Peckham on computational thinking and the subject of whether a general education computational thinking course should include programming. I've thought a lot about this and have some strong opinions. Computational thinking will be, at its heart, a study of algorithms. That's what computer science is, after you strip away the blinking lights: algorithms. Teaching computational thinking will involve the elucidation of a set of skills that computer scientists use to solve problems that have usefulness in other domains as well. Each of those will involve some kind
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                    Twitter Honeypots

                    Image by windley via Flickr When I was building the twitterbot for @utahpolitics, I set up a test account: @uptesting that I don't use for anything. It has 38 followers even though it's just test messages and hasn't had a tweet since early January. The followes are mostly a good list of Twitter spammers or people who follow a lot of people to get a lot of followers. Setting up a bunch of honeypots on Twitter and then adding anyone who follows them to a blakclist wouldn't be such a bad idea. Someone's probably already built it.
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                    Starting a High Tech Business: Paying Yourself

                    I'm starting a new business called Kynetx. As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. This is the seventeenth installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way--if so, please let me know! When you start a business you put a lot of yourself into it: time, ideas, and, of course, money for things like servers, supplies, and people. In addition to whatever money you put into the business, you also are spending money just living. Starting a business is not
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