Archive for Mar 2003


Public Service Tip No. 9: Breaking Through Management Hardpan

If you're a gardener, you're probably familiar with the term hardpan, a soil condition where the individual soil grains become cemented together by bonding agents like calcium carbonate, forming a hard, impervious mass. Hardpan often forms a few inches below the surface of the soil. When this happens, the soil doesn't drain, because water can't percolate down through the hard pan and plants dry out and die because their roots can't get to water below the hardpan. Its a tricky gardening problem but it can usually be dealt with by creating drainage holes through the hardpan and backfilling with
Continue reading...


Salt Lake City Joins Utopia

Salt Lake City has elected to join 17 other Utah cities in UTOPIA, the fiber to the home (FTTH) project that promises to provide high speed internet, data, voice, and video services to over 750,000 Utah residents. Utopia is currently preparing bonds for sale and hopes to begin construction this summer. The bonds will be revenue bonds, not general obligation, which means that they are not backed by taxes. Good for the taxpayer, but harder to sell. I think Utopia is a grand experiment and I'm anxious to see how it progresses. There's some additional information on the Utopia
Continue reading...


Fat Pipes

I had lunch today with Ragula Bhaskar, the CEO of FatPipe Networks. I really enjoyed talking to him. FatPipe sells network devices that aggregate bandwidth from multiple providers for use by a single LAN. Why would you want multiple providers? Redundancy and extra capacity. They essentially eliminate the need for complex BGP configurations by selling a canned, configurable device. I remember the headache we had installing dual OC-3's in the Utah Excite\\@Home office---and we were a networking company with some of the best network engineers around. FatPipe's market is ordinary companies that might combine a DSL with a T1
Continue reading...


WS-Reliability

Joseph Chiusano reports that the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) Technical Committee has accepted the WS-Reliability specification submission from Sun. From the specification: "Reliable messaging" means the set of mechanisms and procedures required to send messages reliably. This includes the processing of Acknowledgment messages, re-sending of messages, duplicate message elimination, and message ordering. The purpose of WS-Reliability is to address reliable messaging requirements, which become critical, for example, when using Web Services in B2B applications. The following features are within the scope of the specification: Asynchronous messaging at the application level Three reliability features: guaranteed delivery, duplicate elimination,
Continue reading...


Corda's TroopTracker

Corda Technologies, a local Lindon high-tech company has put up a site called TroopTracker to highlight their OptiMap and PopChart products. I don't know much about either them or their products, but I've got an email into their CEO and once I visit with them, I'll post more. Overall, I think the map is engaging. The question, that the site really ought to answer, is how hard was it to create. If it took X hours and just using raw flash would take 2X hours, that's interesting. Even more interesting if its a factor of 10 or more.
Continue reading...


Conference Wrap-Up

The conference wrapped-up with Tom Siebel and Governor Leavitt making a pitch for Utah as a place for high-tech build-out. What does this have to do with digital identity? its a message from the sponsor. Someone has to pay the bills. :-) The panel I was on went well. I was the sole "customer" type there. Everyone else on the panel was selling something. I was the one who'd been in the position of buying. The conversation also turned to the role of government in the digital identity process and, as you know, I've had some thoughts in this
Continue reading...


Kevin O'Neil: Framework and Approach for Protecting Digital Identity

Kevin O'Neil, the Executive Director of the International Security, Trust, and Privacy Alliance and CEO of CYVA Research is speaking on "Framework and Approach for Protecting Digital Identity." The ITPSA is an alliance of companies like IBM, Motorola, and others who are creating "policy configurable" frameworks for security and privacy. The framework consists of services and capabilities that a security/privacy product must have. Interesting that many of these folks are also involved in Liberty Alliance. I get the impression as he talks that he views ISTPA as complementary to Liberty. Ah, he just said it: ISTPA is an affiliate
Continue reading...


Bill Smith: Digital Identity in a Networked World

Bill Smith, who is the Director of Liberty Alliance Technology at Sun and the Secretary of the Liberty Alliance organization, is speaking on "Digital Identity in a Networked World." Bill starts off by posing a scenario where your car tells you that a gas station with the brand of gas you like to buy is coming up on the right, its $0.10 less than average and you have a quarter of a tank left. Sounds like a great application for OnStar. He poses another scenario where the same car gets in a accident with you driving and the arriving
Continue reading...


Winston Bumpus: The Evolution of Digital Identity in a Web Service World

Winston Bumpus, the Director of Open Technology and Standards for Novell is speaking on "The Evolution of Digital Identity in a Web Service World." Winston says there are three reasons to do something: it will save you money, it will make you money, or the government requires it Obvious, maybe, but nicely said. His point is that government requirement are one of the biggest drivers toward standardization. Not surprisingly, given Novell's history, Winston talks about identity as a representation of an entity, including, people, data, systems, locations, and so on. Directories manage these identities. The value of a directory
Continue reading...


Phil Becker on Identity -- Why Now?

Phil Becker is the Editor-in-Chief of Digital ID World, which I have contributed to before. Phil is also the organizer of the Digital ID World conference. The title of his presentation is "Why Digital Identity and Why Now?" Phil makes the point that while Hollywood frequently gets technical details wrong (or purposefully distorts them for entertainment value), they are very good at identifying trends. He has a great presentation using audio clips from movies starting with "2001: A Space Oddesy" that he uses to track societies perspective on computers from mainframes to PC's to hackers. His point is that
Continue reading...


Digital Identity Summit: Mark Sunday

This afternoon's event is the Digital identity Summit. Evelyn Rodriguez of the Koru Group is the organizer of the event. Evelyn is trying to use identity to tie together web services, CRM, and network security and today's speakers will be talking on those subjects. The first speaker today is Mark Sunday, the CIO for Siebel Systems. Siebel recently moved their entire production operation from California to Utah. They run in two redundant data centers. Mark's first comments are a bow to the idea that digital identity is important in a service-oriented economy. Unless we're willing to establish a digital
Continue reading...


Venture Capital Conference

The web services summit doesn't begin until this afternoon. This morning's event is a venture capital conference hosted by Cadence and the State of Utah. The idea is to showcase Utah companies in front of some valley VCs. Cadence has a recent Utah presence in Sandy. There are about 90 Cadence employees in Utah right now and that number is expected to grow to 200 within 18 months. Ray Bingham, the CEO of Cadence has Utah roots. He was born in Heber UT and graduated from Weber State University. Even so, Ray maintains that Utah competed on its own
Continue reading...


Washington Technology Mention

My blog got a brief mention in this weeks Washington Technology magazine. The follow-up paragraph promotes blogging as a way for "agency experts" to organize and publish information. I'm not aware of any bloggers who work for the Federal government and blog about their work on a regular basis. Anyone else know?
Continue reading...


Pattern Recognition

I just finished William Gibson's new book "Pattern Recognition." I liked it very much; I think its his best book since "Neuromancer." Unlike many of Gibson's book, this one is set in the present and has a decidedly high-tech theme without being about geeks. I find Gibson's writing to be evocative and full of intense imagery with plenty of conceptual surprises. These concepts are fertile ground for sowing new ideas. Reading it reminds me of what I liked about Wired magazine way back.
Continue reading...


Public Service Tip No. 8: Scavengers Get Fatter than Predators

Among carnivores there are two primary means of finding food: killing your own and eating something that someone else has killed. The conventional wisdom is that it is better, and more respectable, to be a predator than it is to be a scavenger. The truth of the matter is that being a predator is dangerous. The animals that you're killing frequently fight back. What's more, being in control of your own destiny, so to speak, isn't necessarily the best strategy for getting fat. Scavengers frequently fare better than predators. This fact should not go unnoticed by those entering public
Continue reading...


Digital Identity Summit

I'm off to San Jose today to speak at a summit on Digital Identity. There are some interesting speakers coming including Mark Sunday from Siebel, Bill Smith from the Liberty Alliance, and Phil Becker from Digital ID World. I'll be blogging the conference, so stay tuned.
Continue reading...


Craig Burton Leaving JanusLogix

Craig Burton is stepping down as CEO of JanusLogix. Craig's been looking for additional funding for JanusLogix for a while and its been hard to come by. That's too bad because Craig's got some very neat ideas and I'm convinced that sooner or later, someone will build and sell the kind of software that Craig envisions. Sounds like he's going back to strategic consulting. I wish him well.
Continue reading...


Blog Going Crazy for Earthviewer

My blog is going crazy today. Something (I don't think its a someone) is searching for "earthviewer" on every major search engine and even some minor ones and then following the links multiple times. I've talked about Eathviewer quite a bit in my blog and so it shows up fifth if you google earthviewer. Its possible, I guess that the war has caused some surge in interest in Earthviewer, but it doesn't feel right.
Continue reading...


Productive Knowledge Workers

I spent the day (and will spend tomorrow as well) at BYU as part of their annual President's Leadership Council (PLC) event. I serve on the advisory board for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The highlight of the morning was a talk by Stephen Covey (of Seven Habits for Highly Effective People) who is on the PLC. The talk was vintage Covey and its easy to see why he's so sought after as a speaker. The material was inspiring, and presentation fluid and flexible, and you can tell he has a real passion for the topic. One
Continue reading...


Open Source Dominant?

This timely story on open source from CIO magazine says that 54% of the 375 CIO's they surveyed said that open source software would be their dominant server platform. Saying it doesn't make it so, but it does indicate an expectation and a level of awareness that I think is unprecedented. The article says: ...for years open source has been dismissed as pie-in-the-sky, a toy for geeks. But today open source is undergoing a business revolution. The article's conclusion? CIOs who don't come to terms with this revolution in 2003 will be paying too much for IT in 2004.
Continue reading...


eGovOS Conference Wrap-Up

I had to bug out of the conference early to catch my flight. I was afraid that security at Reagan would be a nightmare, but it was a breeze. My closing thoughts on the conference: There were quite a few people there. Tony said 700 registered. There were still some unclaimed badges at the end, but I'd bet that 500 people were there at one time or another. There were five parallel tracks going all three days. I found something interesting each hour and sometimes more than that. Tony and I were talking yesterday: there's not as much energy
Continue reading...


Matt Asay on Open Source

Our own Matt Asay is speaking on on "The Open Source Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism." For those of you not up on the Utah high tech scene, Matt is a Stanford Law school grad who once worked for Lineo as the GM of their residential gateway business and now works for Novell. Matt is the host and force behind a series of monthly VC breakfasts that have been happening in Salt Lake City. Matt's talking about open source and his slides are clearly marked with a familiar "red N" logo in the corner. This is generating
Continue reading...


Transparent Coding

K. S. Shankar (Doc) from IBM just said something which is similar to a comment that Michael Bernstein made via email earlier. Michael said "the knowledge that other people will be reading your code (whether shallowly or deeply) has a significant effect on how you code." What Doc said is a corollary: when people find a bug that you're responsible for, its embarrassing and people will work hard to fix them quickly. The point is that it comes down to transparency and the value that it has in many circumstances. I'm a fan of transparency as a tool for
Continue reading...


Optimizing Commanilties and Differences

What few things need to be the same so that everything else can be different? This question, poised by Michael Tiemann, CTO of Redhat, is at the heart of many of the decisions facing IT today. This question defines the power of web services as well as the move toward managed desktops in corporations. Finding the balance in this question is a critical decision facing technologists as they develop enterprise architectures and operating models so that IT can serve the business.
Continue reading...


Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative

Jason Matusow is the Shared Source Manager from Microsoft. I notice that he's not wearing a name tag. I'd bet that isn't accidental: Jason started his talk by referring to the scene in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where cows are brought out so that people can be introduced to their dinner. The audience appreciated that analogy. He opened by making these points: Access to source code is not the primary concern for most people Having an option to work with the source code is important to to a few individuals and many organizations Few people who have access to
Continue reading...


Dell's Support for Open Source Software

Craig Lowery is a Software Architect and Strategist for Dell. Much of his talk was interesting, but not particularly new. However, he highlighted this statement and it caught my attention: Dell believes that all the major pobjections to OSS have been addressed and its ready for the enterprise now. This doesn't mean that they're ready to start shipping Linux on the desktop again, although Craig says that they're reconsidering it.
Continue reading...


Openness As an Inherent Good

Yesterday, Fazal Majid reacted to my post on Whit Diffie's talk by saying: I don't really buy this argument [that more eyes looking at code make it more secure] - unlike ordinary bugs, security reviews like the ones done by the OpenBSD team require a strong commitment and extended effort. They are not likely to arise from casual source reading. Fazil, of course, is right. Finding bugs in general, and security issues in particular, requires a purposeful, planned, carefully executed review. This morning, almost in response to this issue, Mary Ann Davison from Oracle is discussing open source software
Continue reading...


My Talk: Enabling Open Source Projects in Government

My talk is about how to make open source project viable in government. My slides are here. The summary of my talk is: Educate and encourage employees Preach open source Start open source pilots Find specific ways to insert open source into the RFP process Work with vendors Add open source to architecture standards documents (see Utah's standard) Use the political process to push open source
Continue reading...


Iowa's Enterprise Authentication and Authorization Strategy

Tony Bibbs, from Iowa, is speaking on Enterprise Authentication and Authorization. Iowa has long been a leader in this area. This service is very similar to Utah's Master Directory project (which Dave Fletcher wrote a little about just lately), but its based on a collection of tools including some which are open source. The service provides a single repository for accounts, a single credential set (not the same as single sign-on), a way for users to self service, a single point for conducting security audits. The service consists of three parts, a client library with clients in ASP, Java,
Continue reading...


eGovernment in Rhode Island

Jim Willis, the Director of eGovernment for the Secretary of State in Rhode Island, is talking about the use of open source in the Rhode Island's eGovernment projects. The eGovernment project is in the Secretary of State's office and the Secretary has the authority to determine what format the regulations filed with them will take. Not all states have a single repository of regulations (Utah does, in the form of the Administrative Rules division), but for those that do, this is a very powerful piece of authority. Willis makes that argument that because Government data should be open, the
Continue reading...


Linux as Platform

Ian Murdock, from Progeny Linux Systems, is speaking on "Rethinking the Linux Desktop: Linux as a Platform, Not a Product." In the "Why is Linux Popular category, Ian says that Linux, and other FOSS products, are primarily "user-centric" whereas traditional software products are "vendor-centric." At first blush, I'm not convinced I believe that statement, but in the context he was speaking, I'd give it to him: Linux is a pretty flexible platform for all kinds of integrated products (like cell-phones or routers or TiVo) whereas Window's is not necessarily so (although Microsoft's trying). This would be Ian's point, I
Continue reading...


GXA Specifications

I'm listening to Joseph Chiusano from Booz Allen Hamilton talk about GXA specifications, about which I've written a considerable amount. Joseph has been very active on this front and contains a lot of useful reference to how these specifications might be used to enhance eGovernment. I'm hoping I can get a URL to his presentation. Here are a few summary quotes: GXA is poised to play a major role in advancing the adoption of web services through its robust specification of mechanism for web services such as security, policy, coordination, federation, and routing Several GXA specifications (WS-Transaction and WS-Coordination)
Continue reading...


Beware the False Advocate

During the morning break, a group of 5 or 6 guys came in dressed in Revolutionary War get-ups representing the NYLXS, or New Yorkers for Fair use. They are passing out flyers entitled "Beware the False Advocate" which denounce Tony Stanco, the organizer of the event because he has allowed people to come who don't preduce open source software (notably Microsoft). The flyer reads, in part: The sponsors of this gathering, in the person of their representative Tony Stanco, Esq., have elected to include participants whop neither produce Open Source Software not support it. in fact these organizations are
Continue reading...


FOSS: Free and Open Source Software at DOD

The second presentation I went to this moring was by Terry Bollinger on the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the Dept. of Defense. I heard this talk in January when I was out for Susan Turnball's workshop and blogged the results then. I went to it again to jog my memeory and get some ideas flowing for my own talk which I discoved this morning that I'm giving this afternoon rather than tomorrow as I thought.
Continue reading...


Whitfield Diffie on Security and Open Source

I'm at the opening session of the eGovOS conference. Whitfield Diffie, Chief Security Officer at Sun and co-inventor of the Diffie-Hellamn algorithm is speaking on the security aspects of open source software. The argument comes down to: More eyes looking at the code means that there will be fewer bugs leading to security issues. More eyes looking at the code means that there will be a greater chance that bugs will be exploited to cause security issues. "Security is political and is always associated with someone's interests." The result of this observation is that lion's share of responsibility for
Continue reading...


Off to DC for EgovOS

I'm off to DC to attend the Open Source in eGovernment event that Tony Stanco is putting on. I'll be speaking on Tuesday and I also have some other appointments while I'm there. I'll be blogging the conference, so read along if you're interested. I hope they have W-Fi.
Continue reading...


Public Service Tip No. 7: Practice Your Duck and Cover Drills

In 1950, the Civil Defense community created a movie called "Duck and Cover" which featured Bert the Turtle. Bert became a cultural icon. By default, he also became the mascot of many public sector employees. (See Bert in action in "Duck and Cover" (quicktime).) To illustrate this, one of the people who worked for me in Utah told me once (with a straight face), "I was starting on that, but I began to notice that I was out in front of everyone else and that's a very uncomfortable position to be in. They might not follow." This was a
Continue reading...


HB 240 Update: Court Challenge?

The state auditor (not the same as the legislative auditor) has indicated that he will challenge HB 240 in court if the Governor signs it. The concern is a line in the Utah Constitution that denies the state the ability to own equity in a private company. The bill was specifically written to overcome these concerns, but apparently Auston Johnson is not satisfied. This is a concern that will have to be dealt with before the fund is viable. For the record, Auston Johnson is an elected official and will respond to his constituents. Write him at austonjohnson@utah.gov.
Continue reading...


Digital Asset Management

There's a great article in the February issue of Baseline on Digital Asset Management. The title makes it sounds like its all about AOL, but they just their book group as an example. The point of digital asset management is to develop processes and systems to support them that allow the enterprise to maximize their return from their digital assets. The AOL book group is a particularly good example because it shows how a book is more than just a single asset and how the assets can be used for multiple purposes. For example: The book itself might be
Continue reading...


Its Not a Bug, Its a Feature

I should point out, with respect to yesterday's post about Word crashing that this isn't an OS X bug, its a feature. Real operating systems keep programs from accessing resources (like memory) that they aren't entitled to. Keeps the security problems to a minimum.
Continue reading...


Word Crashes Without Dual Monitors

Lately, MS Word (OS X) has been crashing on me. Its starts by complaining that files are corrupt and then quits. Reinstalling Office on my PowerBook didn't seem to give any relief. Today I realized that it only crashes when my PowerBook is operating away from home. When I'm home, I usually work in a dual monitor environment. So, I started playing around and found out that if I close Word with some of its Windows on the external monitor, it won't run again until it has an external monitor again. I haven't been able to find any fixes
Continue reading...


Would You Like Wi-Fi with That?

This article reports that McDonalds will soon be offering Wi-Fi access in select cities as part of their "value meals." The next hour will cost $3. They're not the only ones: Besides McDonald's, Internet surfers will also be able to tote their laptops to 400 U.S. Borders book stores, hundreds of hotels and a pair of U.S. airports where WiFi access will be available by summer, companies announced Monday. Having Wi-Fi will only be a competitive advantage for McDonalds in the short-term. Let me illustrate why: You don't pick McDonalds over Wendy's because you like their toilets. You just
Continue reading...


Open Source in eGovernment

I'm speaking next week at the Open Source in eGovernment workshop in Washington DC and I'm stating to put some thoughts together for it. One thing that caught my eye was this news report on a bill that has been introduced in Oregon regarding open source software. This bill is not as draconian as a similar bill that was introduced in California (and has yet to pass). The California bill would have mandated open source software. The Oregon merely requires that open source be on the acceptable software list. While I was Utah's CIO I worked to get open
Continue reading...


Calling All Blogs

This blog was featured in the Tech Republic article (free subscription required) by Bob Artner. Other bloggers featured in the article include Dave Winer, Tim Oreilly, and Mike Chambers. I think its ironic that Dave is their first mention and yet Radio doesn't get a mention in the paragraph talking about blogging software. Go figure. So far, the discussion comments are mostly on the "I don't get it" side. I think some members of the blogging community ought to go give them the answers. I think its interesting that the differences between blogs and web pages, public outlook folders,
Continue reading...


Subscription Aggregation and Routing

I've mentioned Rohit's Khare's work on application level internetworking or ALIN before. While Rohit and others talk about general Web Services networking, including proxies, switches, and routers, I've recently been introduced to a company via Jon Udell called PreCache that is really about one thing: subscription routing. The issue with a publish subscribe model isn't new. Think about RSS and how news aggregators work. The news aggregator has to poll each of the RSS feeds once an hour or so to see if anything has changed. For my simple web site there's about 125 of you who do that.
Continue reading...


Disconnectedness Defines Danger

I don't frequently write about issues other than information technology on these pages, but I just finished an article Thomas P. M. Barnett, from the US Naval War College, called The Pentagon's New Map which I found enlightening and strangely connected to a few other things I've recently read. To give you a feel for the article, here's one of my favorite quotes: ...it is always possible to fall off this bandwagon called globalization. And when you do, bloodshed will follow. If you are lucky, so will American troops. If you find this article interesting and would like to
Continue reading...


World of Ends: What the Internet Is

Doc Searls and David Weinberger have written an essay entitled World of Ends: What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else. This is a must read for anyone trying to interpret the Internet (amazing, isn't it, that after all these years it still isn't well understood). There are some important lessons for implementors of eGovernment, public policy wonks, and elected officials. Jerry Mechling ought to make it pre-requisite reading for his Eight Imperatives workshops at the Kennedy School. (That reminds me: Dave Winer and Jerry need to get togther--I'll have to send a note.)
Continue reading...


Dawn of the Application Network

Web services are the foundation for all this work in application integration, but we're only beginning to see the benefits of Web services. Web services differ from past integration technologies because of the standard way that program APIs are exposed. Exposed APIs allow for interoperability, but just as important is the ability to bolt new functionality onto existing applications. Web services create an abstraction layer where applications are seen as black-box nodes on a network. Data and transaction streams are seen as application layer messages on the network. These messages can be conditioned, filtered, and modified in real time
Continue reading...


SCO vs. IBM

As reported in this story at Infoworld and this story in the Provo Daily Herald (for some local color), SCO has filed suit against IBM for allegedly distributing source code that belongs to SCO in violation of a license agreement between the two companies. This isn't too surprising. One of the major investors in SCO (ne'e Caldera) is the Canopy Group. The Canopy Group believes in intellectual property and they believe in protecting it. They also are not afraid to litigate. This has been a successful strategy for SCO in the past and companies remember success and try to
Continue reading...


Speaking at Federal Computer Week's CIO Summit

I've been asked to speak on Web Services at Federal Computer Week's CIO Summit in Atlanta on May 6th.
Continue reading...


GXA Components: WS Referral

I've been cataloging the GXA specifications and trying to provide my own roadmap to what's happening in that area. I've created an index to the articles under "Global XML Web Services Architecture." Today, the topic is the web service referral specification. Microsoft describes the WS-Referral, or web services referral in this specification. WS-Referral is meant to be used in conjunction with the WS-Routing, the web services routing specification. Both of these specification anticipate and describe the behavior of pieces of software called "SOAP routers" that route SOAP messages along a path from their origin to their intended recipient. WS-Referral
Continue reading...


HB 240 Passes Establishing a VC Fund of Funds

HB 240, which establishes a contingent tax credit backed "fund of funds," was passed by the Senate yesterday with some amendments and sent back to the house for concurrence. The House concurred and so now HB240 awaits the Governor's signature before it becomes law. Here is the bills text as ammended. Here is a complete list of actions on the bill. In the end, 21 Senators voted for the bill and 7 against. Looking at the list of names that voted against it surprises me a bit. I thought some of them were a little more progressive than this
Continue reading...


eGovernment and Sex Offenders

Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the rights of States to publish the pictures and other identifying information of sex offenders on the web. Utah has an online sex offender registry that is pretty well put together. I believe this is a great application of eGovernment. The Government owns the data, its a public record, and putting it on the web gives transparency in an area that could make a real difference in people's lives.
Continue reading...


Time for Another Audit

According to this story in the Tribune legislative staffers in Utah have been counseled about talking to the press. I wonder if there will be an audit over this blatant gag order? After all, in the executive branch the press is one of the most important conduits that exists for employees to give their feedback to management.
Continue reading...


DNA as Identity

This KSL TV news report is about Clearfield police filing charges against an alleged rapist based on his DNA. The catch is that they have no suspect; no person who the DNA belongs to. Just the same DNA in two rapes. The name on the charges will be "John Doe." This is an excellent case study in identity. Identity is a set of properties. Collect enough properties and only one individual has them all. For example, if the only property I have is that the first name is "john" or eye color is "blue" then there are lots of
Continue reading...


Web Services ROI

Lawrence Wilkes of the CBDi Forum has written a paper called Inside Every Web Service is a Benefit Struggling to Get Out (free registration required). He has some very specific benefits. In the intro to the paper he says: Things like "improving business agility", "reducing time to market", etc are still valid - but not entirely new. Why is Web Services going to deliver this time? Consequently, there is a real need to be much more precise about the specific cost savings and benefits for both business and IT that can reasonably be attributed to Web Services. Wilkes makes
Continue reading...


Move Networks

My most recent stop on my Grand Tour of Utah's High Tech Community was a visit to Move Networks. I had the opportunity to talk to Greg Smith, their CTO, last week. I really enjoyed the visit. After we found out we were both private pilots, we stopped talking about technology and started talking planes. :-) Before that, however, we talked enough for me to understand what they do. Move Networks is a Drew Major (one of the Novell founders) project that is founded on the premise that TCP/IP and, consequently, the Internet and HTTP are optimized for small
Continue reading...


Meat Market Democracy (and HB 240)

If you've got some free time on Wednesday evening, go down to the Capitol and sit in on the House or Senate during the final few hours. They pass dozens of bills very quickly in an effort to get legislation enacted before they are constitutionally powerless on Thursday morning at 12:00:01 am. I call it "meat market democracy" because its raw and aimed at mass production. Its really a sight to see. Afterwards, everyone stands around shaking hands and pretending to like each other. On a related note, this Salt Lake Tribute article declares HB 240 to be "all
Continue reading...


Building Operational Excellence: An Exercise

I'm reading a book by Bruce Allen and Dale Kutnick called "Building Operational Excellence: IT People and Process Best Practices." Allen is a Vice President and Kutnick is CEO of the META group. I'm about one-third through this book and really enjoying it. I'll write a full review of the book later, but there was something that caught my eye in Chapter 2 that I thought was worth noting now. Allen and Kutnick focus on processes which they define as sets of related tasks. They create a process maturity model (PMM) that is based on the Capability Maturity Model
Continue reading...


Profile of a Product Manager

Anyone who spends much time with me knows that I'm passionate about product management. I've got a white paper that describes some of my thoughts around what product managers do. Now, via Dave Winer, we can read the profile of a great product manager: Chris Pirillo is a super-product manager. He's got so many great ideas that he is passionate about. His 29-year-old brain is racing at 150 mph. It's like an encyclopedia in there. A bunch of programmers work for him. He brings them Chinese takeout every night. Chris listens to the users during the day, uses the
Continue reading...


Public Service Tip No. 6: Laugh at the Jester

In ancient times, the jester was a fellow who entertained the king and other nobles at the court. The jester had another, more important, purpose, however. The jester was one who was "without offense," meaning that they could tell the King and Noblemen the truth and thus advise and critique them where others could not. The catch was that they had to do it through jokes. In that way they often wielded much more power than their colorful costumes and humor would otherwise suggest. In modern times, we don't have jesters, but we have a group of people who
Continue reading...