Archive for Mar 2007


Google's Solar Power Installation

Anthony Ravitz is talking about how Google installed 1.6MW of solar panels at their headquarters. He starts by talking about all of Google's green initiatives. The solar project, with financial incentives from PG&E, has a payback of 7.5 years. Solar works best at the same times that peak power is needed. Google's is the largest commercial installation of solar in the US. It uses 9212 Sharp 208 photovoltaic modules. The modules we put on standing metal seam roofs. On sloped roofs, they're mounted flat on the southface, but on the north face, they're kicked up. On flat roofs, they're
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Bruce Perens on Software Patents

Last week Scott and I talked to Bruce Perens for the Technometria podcast. Bruce happened to be in Utah (although we did the interview over the phone) because of Brainshare. He wasn't in town to attend, but to protest the recent agreement between Novell and Microsoft. We had a good discussion of software patents, why he thinks the Novell-Microsoft agreement is bad for open source, and the change to the GPL to combat the deal. You can read a summary and listen to our discussion on IT Conversations.
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Generation C: Matt Webb

I didn't capture this whole talk, but here's what appealed to me most. Matt describes what he calls "Gen C" using a collection of C words: Communities, connected socially and electronically, creative, controlling, complex. He says that as a "paid up member of Gen C, I want to help design my products." I think that's a key point that product manufacturers are missing. Many people have a desire to tinker with things and will if you give them the opportunity. Just as important: the product shouldn't require that you tinker with it to make it work. Things like Flickr
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Why to Not Not Start a Startup

With all the ETech stuff I've been immersed in, it's easy to forget there's other stuff happening. This Paul Graham essay dispelling myths about startups is one you don't want to miss. It goes well with Marc Hedlund's tutorial from Monday.
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Hacking Organizations: Chad Dickerson

Chad Dickerson, who I've known since he was the CTO at InfoWorld, and runs the Yahoo! Developer Network, is giving a talk about how to hack an organization. When Chad put together the Yahoo! Hack day, he had to hack everything from the way brand managers thought about brand to talking the groundskeepers into letting people camp on the lawn and turning off the sprinkler system.
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The Core of Fun: Raph Koster

Raph Koster introduces himself as an alien from another planet: a game designer. He's the author of The Theory of Fun. He starts by introducing structure in music and art with some cool audience participation. There are different dimensions to fun: Hard Easy Visceral Social Hard fun is about solving problems. The problems tend to be mathematical Therefore the grammar of hard games ignore presentation. He applies the theory of fun to Amazon.com and concludes that it's not structural, not fun. There a lots of sequential steps and don't provide any "fun" or feedback. The magic ingredients: Territory -
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Is This an Apple Conference?

This is a big hotel. There are several other conferences going on at the same time as ETech. I was in the gift shop during the break. A guy with a badge from one of the other conferences saw me standing in line, MacBook in hand, and asked me "Is that an Apple conference or something? Everyone there is using an Apple!"
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Learning from Muggles

Danah Boyd is talking about learning from muggles. If we consider the technologists to be the wizards, that makes the normal user a muggle. There's a real danger in designing for ourselves. Danah describes four stages people go through in their lives: Identity formation and role-seeking - young people are trying to make sense of the societal roles around them. We are defined, in large part, by the people around us. Friendship and interaction become important. Integration and coupling - This period is trying to find meaningful labor and determine how they can contribute. A lot of twenty-somethings are
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The Coming Age of Magic: Ubiquitous Computing User Experiences

Mike Kuniavsky(click to enlarge) Mike Kuniavsky, the founder of Adaptive Path, has a company called Thing M, a device design studio that "Lives at the intersections of ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, industrial design and materials science." He's giving a talk on The Coming Age of Magic. The idea is that Moore's Law has pushed the price of computing so low that it is nearly disposable. Computing can be everywhere. People have talked about ubiquitous computing for a long time, but the era of cheap, low-power computing, and wireless communication has arrived. We no longer need to serve as the
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IT Conversations Meetup

I just got back from the IT Conversations meetup here at ETech. I really enjoyed meeting people, talking about what they like and don't like, and hearing how they use IT Conversations. There were about a dozen people there. Doug Kaye was able to come and I think people enjoyed quizzing him about the beginnings of IT Conversations and giving him feedback on some of the technical aspects of how things work. Thanks to everyone who came! If you weren't able to be in San Diego for this meetup, we plan on having more in other parts of the
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What's IT Conversations?

Yesterday Steve Gillmor gave me the perfect answer for when people ask me what IT Conversations is. It goes like this: You: What's IT Conversations? Me: Are you familiar with NPR? You: Yes... Me: It's nothing like NPR. Does that help? Bonus link: Doc Searls offers up Irrational Public Radio. From their homepage: Where other news sources leave off, Irrational Public Radio starts, and proceeds almost mercilessly. For the discerning listener, IPR is a stalwart of integrity, a bastion of integrity, and just a huge heaping platter of integrity. We commend you for your taste and your fetching personal
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Medieval Tech Support

Kelly Flanagan sent me a link to this video about medieval tech support teaching someone how to use a book. Just read the captions unless you speak Norwegian.
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Advanced Analytics in the Anonymized Data Space: Jeff Jonas

Jeff Jonas gave a great keynote this morning. (Here's a paper from IEEE Security and Privacy that explains some of this.) This afternoon he's adding context. Literally. Contexts allow seemingly unrelated records to become related. The idea is that two records get created in two different data stores, because of some common event, but the common event is unobservable to the organization and the perceptions around that event are not connected. When the organization queries these data sources to make a decision, the fact that these records are related might not be known. He calls this enterprise amnesia. The
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ETech 2007 Photos

I've posted some pictures from the Emerging Technology (ETech) conference on my gallery site.
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Hierarchical Temporal Memories

Jeff Hawkins of Numenta (and also founder of Palm and Handspring) talked about brains and computers. He discussed hierarchical temporal memory in detail. There's a platform you can download and play with. I was busy listening and didn't get good notes.
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Creating Alternate Realities: Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal(click to enlarge) Jane McGonigal is a "happiness hacker." Or at least that's how I'd summarize what she said. She does this by designing alternate reality games. Alternate realities do away with limitation in an effort to explore possible alternatives to current situations. (Slide to be here by Friday.) Jane gives a "forecast from the future" of things she thinks will be important for technology and tech companies. Here are the things she mentions Quality of life is the primary metric for evaluating everyday technology Positive psychology is a principle influence for design The public expects tech companies
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AWS and Your Data Center: ETech 2007

Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO, is talking about their Web services--specifically the outsourced data center products (S3, EC2, and SQS) that I've written about before and that were the subject of an IT Conversations interview I did with Doug Kaye and Jeff Barr. Werner begins by making a case that (a) scaling is critical to Web businesses and (b) scaling, economically, is really hard. I was just twittering with Phil Burns last night about servers. He just took delivery of four for TagJungle. He's got a lot of work ahead of him setting them up. When TagJungle grows again, Phil
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Kathy Sierra

Update: Read about Kathy Sierra, Chris Locke, and Due Process. Kathy Sierra, who's blog I've come to enjoy very much, canceled her tutorial yesterday and session this morning because of death threats (warning--this link goes to graphic material) she's received on her blog and on other blogs. This saddens me deeply and makes me angry. I'm sad and angry that someone--anyone--has to endure this kind of fear in their life. What's more, I'm sad that these actions have silenced someone who has so much to offer to the world. It's unacceptable. It's hateful. It's simply wrong.
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Secrets of Mental Math: Arthur Benjamin

The closing keynote for Monday night, usually something fun and light, did not disappoint. The speaker was Arthur Benjamin, author of the book Secrets of Mental Math. He's a "mathemagician" doing mental math at lightening speed. He did magic squares, 4 digit number multiplication, day of the week calculations, and other things. It was very fun and entertaining.
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IT Conversations Meetup Tuesday

Don't forget that we're having an IT Conversations Meetup tomorrow night at 7:30pm. The session in the Gregory A room of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Doug Kaye's in town and will be joining us. Come and give us feedback, ask questions, and talk about anything at all. I hope you can make it.
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O'Reilly Radar: ETech 2007

Technology, hackers, Gibson, alpha-something-or-other, future, etc., etc., etc. You've heard the O'Reilly schtick before. Tim knows you've heard it before, so he skipped it and give as a new quote from Dale Doherty: "You guys aren't pulling your weight around here. You're not having enough fun!" Make Magazine is fun. People are doing what they do for the sheer joy of it. Snowboarding wasn't started as a business, rather for fun. Linus Torvald didn't start Linux for a business--he started it for fun. Finally, the Gibson quote. Tim talks about his future son-in-law putting a design for a new
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Applied Web Heresies: ETech 2007

I really wanted to go to Putting the Fun in Functional: Applying Game Mechanics to Social Software by Amy Jo Kim, but my inner geek won out and I went to Applied Web Heresies with Avi Bryant (slides). I hope someone else took good notes. The basis for the talk is Seaside, a web framework for Smalltalk that Avi wrote several years ago. The problem with Seaside is you're not going to use it! There are a lot of interesting ideas in Seaside that people should know, so this tutorial is way of spreading the ideas outside of Smalltalk.
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Coder to Co-Founder: Etech Tutorial

I'm sitting in Marc Hedlund's tutorial, Coder to Co-Founder: Entrepreneuring for Geeks. Looking him up on the Web, I found, what else, a post he'd done about twitter about how Twitter is wall for the Web (and some other things). Something from Nothing: Marc makes the point that being employee number one for a company is easier than being the founder because being employee number one implies something's already there--a name, an idea, money, and so on. You should work on the idea that won't leave you alone. It's Good to Be King: It's fantastic to have an idea,
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InfoWorld Ends Print Publication

As was rumored last week, InfoWorld announced today that it would end the print side of its business. Its sad for those involved and apparently, many didn't know until it came out in rumors. On one hand I'm surprised, as you always are, an on another I'm not. Let me note that I'm a contributing editor at InfoWorld, which means that I write for them, but I have no inside knowledge Heaven knows I wasn't consulted on this. Even so, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see a business where more and more of the revenue comes from
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Novell Demos InfoCard Selector for OS X and Linux

I just put a story up at Between the Lines about the InfoCard selector that Novell demo'd today at Brainshare. Very cool stuff.
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Utah Stories

Richard Markosian is the creator of a Web site called UtahStories.com. I love the idea and I love the execution. The site hosts a collection of short video documentaries about current events, people, and history in Utah. There's a menu item called "Tell Your Story" that is "temporarily unavailable" so I'm not sure what the model is for user submitted stories. I'd love to see a way for podcasts and video to co-exist on the site.
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Authorization Models and Delegation

I promised yesterday that I'd talk a little more about our discussion on delegation. I've since had a profitable discussion with Devlin and Bryant as well. The problem with delegation is that it requires something that has eluded organizations since computer security first became an issue: how do you build good authorization models? Most applications are built without much prior thought to the authorization model and then it gets slapped on afterwards. For organizations, it's even worse. The business has fuzzy ideas about authorizations and they change them all the time. "Oh, we're spending too much money on catering;
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IEEE's Glenn Zorpette Hits Trifecta at ABM Awards

One of the regular hosts on IEEE Spectrum Radio on IT Conversations is Glenn Zorpette. He just won three awards from the American Broadcast Media for this article on Re-engineering Iraq. He also produced some audio from the piece which we featured on IT Conversations. I enjoyed both the article and the show on IT Conversations. It's been one of the most popular shows in that series. If you missed it, go back and listen. I think you'll enjoy it enough to want to go read the article.
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CTO Breakfast Links for March 2007

Mentioned at this morning's CTO Breakfast: I brought up Twitter. Until last week I'd never heard of it, now it seems I hear about it several times a day. I signed up to play with it. My first reaction is that the Web site is sloooooooooooow. Kathy Sierra wonders if Twitter is too good. The basic question is whether the level of interruption justifies the potential good. I think I'm siding with Kathy on this one. Barry Bryson brought is TomTom, a Bluetooth enabled GPS device that ties to the Treo (and other things) and gives you portable navigation
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Blistering Blister Packs

Dave Weinberger has a humorous look at the dangers or blister packs, which he refers to as "physical DRM." He includes a list of things that are easier to open, including "an unripe, fused pistachio shell." Wired had a piece on Tales from Packaging Hell a while back which is not nearly as entertaining.
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John Backus Dies

John Backus, the inventor of FORTRAN, BNF, and winner of the 1977 Turing Award (read his lecture) has passed away at 82. I tell my CS330 students about Backus and the development of FORTRAN every semester when we discuss BNF (he's the "B" in BNF). As I said when Ralph Griswold died a few months ago, Computer Science has always been a discipline where the founders were still around. That's changing.
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On Impersonation and Delegation

An Elvis Impersonator(click to enlarge) A couple of my students, Devlin Daley and Bryant Cutler, are doing some work on delegation in OpenID. Kim Cameron has been posting about delegation and that led to some interesting discussions in the lab. First we distinguished between impersonation and delegation. The former is an authentication issue, the second is an authorization issue. Kim's point, and I think fairly made, is that you don't ever want some one other than the entity to whom the identity belongs to authenticate as that identity. Rather, you want the entity (be it a service or human)
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Howard Moskowitz on Technometria Podcast

This week's Technometria Podcast is with Howard Moskowitz, an expert in the field of psychophysics, and author of the upcoming book Selling Blue Elephants. My introduction to Howard from watching this talk by Malcolm Gladwell at TED. That's Gladwell, you'll enjoy listening to Howard even more. He's just a very smart, nice man with a great vision and a great ability to tell stories. Give it a listen. I think you'll enjoy it very much. I know I did.
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Chuck Knutson's Blog

One of my colleagues at BYU, Chuck Knutson, has started a blog and is posting some good stuff there. Chuck's a thoughtful guy, so I look forward to following what he writes. A mixture of management insight (Chuck has industry experience), computer science, academics, and general ramblings make up the topics, as far as I can see.
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Bugatti Veyron At Speed

Niels Makel sent me a link to this video of a Bugatti Veyron at top speed--407 km/h. This is the same car discussed in this IEEE Spectrum show on IT Conversations. Without taking away anything from Spectrum Radio, this video shows that some things are better experienced with video, not just audio. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. It's truly amazing.
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CTO Breakfast for March 2007

We'll hold the March CTO Breakfast this Thursday at 8am in the Novell Cafeteria (see directions here) in Building G of the Provo Novell Campus. At least one person has contacted me and asked if we could discuss what I can best describe as "open source gravitus" in Utah. Does Utah have enough open source happening to create some interesting synergies? This group apparently thinks so. Some of us were at the Mountain West Ruby conference last week and I'm sure that will come up. As always, I'm intrigued by identity. What's eating you? Come talk about it. Here
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Digital Identity Management Workshop 2007

The announcement for the Digital Identity Management workshop for 2007 has been posted. The Call-for-Papers closes June 15, 2007. The workshop itself is being held on Nov 2, 2007 in conjunction with the 14th Annual Conference on Computer and Communications Security. I'm serving again on the program committee.
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Managing Experience: A New Series

Today we launched a new series on IT Conversations, Managing Experience, a set of presentations from the Adaptive Path Managing Experience conference, held in San Francisco, CA on Feb 12 and 13, 2007: Design has emerged as a strategic force in business. Managers building the next generation of digital products are confronted with an increasingly demanding set of challenges. MX San Francisco brings together thought-leaders in design & business to address these challenges. From adaptive path ┬╗ mx san francisco, ca ┬╗Referenced Mon Mar 19 2007 13:15:22 GMT-0600 (MDT) The primary target is product managers, strategists, and designers. But
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An Annoying Look at the Top 100 most Influential in IT

eWeek has a story, or rather four stories on the 100 most influential people in IT. The first installment counts down from 100 to 76. I find it incredibly annoying that they don't just list them out, but rather make you look at a slide show--the better to drive ad views, I presume. This is biggest the complaint I have with ad supported models. Frequently the presentation is made a less effective communication because it's held hostage to the desire to drive ad views. I don't want to make poor decisions on what I say or how I say
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Are You Over 21? Attributes and Identity

Utah Driving Privilege Card(click to enlarge) This story from the Salt Lake Tribune about driving privilege cards and getting into bars is a good example of the issues surrounding identity, attributes, and authorization. For some background, a few years ago, Utah passed a driving privilege card (DCP) law that gave undocumented workers a legal way to drive without issuing them a drivers license. A drivers license has legally mandated identity functions for the federal, state, and local governments that extend beyond authority to drive--voter registration, as one example. The reasoning for issuing any card at all to undocumented individuals
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Jeff Barczewski on MasterView

Jeff Barczewski is talking about MasterView, a template engine for Rails. MasterView is a Ruby gem that enables the creation of Ruby/Rails views in standards-compliant XHTML. The problem with Rails views, at least in Jeff's view, is that you can't use standard HTML WYSIWYG editing tools to create and modify them. MasterView is a Ruby template language, meaning that you can use it without Rails. Jeff showed a demo of how the tool works and how it compares to standard Rails. One advantage is the HTML and directives for a page are kept in one place instead of multiple
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Bayesian Networks in Ruby

Carl Youngblood is speaking on Bayesian networks in Ruby. He starts by pointing out that building complete logical systems by building rules is necessarily a futile task. The answer? A system that accounts for ignorance and degree of belief probabilistically. He quote Norvig: "Probability provides a way of summarizing the uncertainty that comes from our laziness and ignorance." After a brief tutorial on how probability can be used to overcome the weaknesses of predicate logic, Carl launches a discussion of Bayesian inference and networks. That took quite a while, but was a good tutorial on the problems. Carl is
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Ara Howard: Ruby Queue

Ara T Howard(click to enlarge) Ara T Howard, a research associate at The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, is speaking about Ruby Queue, a tool for distributing the workload to nodes in a Linux cluster. He wanted something lean and fast and considered the existing packages like openMosix too heavyweight. The queue doesn't do scheduling--the type of work his group does processes long jobs that use lots of nodes. He determined to build something extremely simple, an NFS mounted priority queue that nodes could pull jobs from as needed. NFS has lots of cruftiness, but the truth
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Mountain West Ruby Conference

Registration desk(click to enlarge) I'm at the Mountain West Ruby conference today. The venue is the Salt Lake Public Library, which haps a very nice auditorium. There's a good slate of speakers. I'm looking forward to getting some information about Ruby besides Rails. I'm hoping to get some of the audio from the conference for IT Conversations. There's some good talks here and I'm anxious to see what kind of response we'll get to Ruby content from IT Conversations listeners.
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Where is OpenAttributes?

Gunnar Peterson, has a thought provoking post on OpenID and attributes. He quote heavily from another interesting post on names from Mike Neuenschwander. The idea is that names, without attributes are not very useful. I agree wholeheartedly with the assertion that we have to get OpenID and other wide-area identities past simple authentication for them to really be useful. Mike says: I understand why from a programmer's perspective, it would be so much more convenient if everybody could simply have one globally unique, unambiguous, resolvable name. But such a quaint design constitutes a wanton disregard for reality. The tech
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Server Migration

I was reading Sam Curran's blog and he was talking about intelligent server migration. This, of course, is interesting to me since I just got done doing the same thing. Sam had a more difficult situation in that he has users to make changes to the database. While that's true on a blog with comments, it wasn't a huge concern to me over a weekend. Dealing with DNS really is the biggest problem. It took almost 48 hours for DNS changes to propagate to the point where the old server was done taking traffic. I think next time, if
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Are MBAs Too Dumb to Use RSS?

I was over at between the lines and saw an ad for BNET. I don't usually click on online ads, but I was intrigued. BNET is a business Web site. I found an article on The 7 Interview Questions You Must Ask, which I thought was pretty good. Make no mistake: this is not Harvard Business Review. The articles are short and entertaining, perfectly matched to our ADD culture. Still, I enjoyed reading some of them and I'll probably be back. One thing that's a little shocking: no RSS feed. What are these guys thinking? Aren't MBAs smart enough
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The Cost of DST Changes

One of the conversational topics I ran into over and over the first of this week was "what does all this DST patching cost?" Larry Dignan has an estimate and the numbers aren't pretty. By Larry's estimate we spent $1 billion in IT costs and saved $360 million. Sounds like the kind of investment that the Feds make all day long.
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Putt's Law

If you like Dilbert, you'll love Putt's Law and the Successful Technocrat. At least that's my conclusion after listening to Susan Hassler interview Archibald Putt on IT Conversations as part of the IEEE Spectrum Radio series. Putt isn't the author's real name. In fact it's a psuedonym that Putt has used since 1976. The first version of this book came out in 1981 and is most famous for Putt's law: Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Reading some of the
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Should Dell Pre-Load Linux?

On a page with the words "Dell recommends Windows Vista Business" emblazened at the top, Dell is running a survey on factory installed Linux for desktops and laptops. Let them know what you think.
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Doc Searls and the Giant Zero

Last week, Scott Lemon and I had a very enjoyable conversations with Doc Searls about a concept he's calling The Giant Zero. The concept is simple. In Doc's words: The metaphor is a play on the meaning of both World of Ends (which I co-wrote with fellow Berkman fellow David Weinberger) and The Stupid Network, by Berkman alumnus David Isenberg. (David is also my given name, by the way. Coincidence?) The origin of the metaphor, however, is Craig Burton, who was the first to observe that an end-to-end architecture in which every point is essentially zero distance from every
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iProvo Prepares to Cross 10,000 Subscriber Mark

iProvo is Utah's second largest municipal broadband project. The largest, Utopia, is a consortium of cities from around the state. iProvo, on the other hand, is a project of the Provo City. A story in today's Deseret News says that iProvo now has 9,480 subscribers. The graphic accompanying the story shows the growth since August, 2005. The trend is nearly linear, up and to the right. iProvo used to believe that they needed 10,000 customers to break even, but that number has gone up to between 12,000 and 14,000. The big question is whether they can hit break even
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New Server

I'm upgrading the server that serves this blog and quite a few other sites. There may be some service disruption. If you notice anything weird let me know, please.
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Virtual Appliances

I spent a little time today playing around with a virtual appliance (VA) from VirtualAppliances.net. They have LAMP, Tomcat, Cacti, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and HTTTP server virtual appliances that you can download and run inside a variety of virtualization environments, including VMWare and XEN. I downloaded the LAMP stack VA and it booted in VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro. The VA uses DHCP to get its network address (there's no option or static IP numbers at boot time) and the boot screen gives the relevant URLs for the admin console. There's no way to log in--you use the management
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MeetOMatic.com

I've mentioned meeting wizard before as a way of getting a common meeting time for a group. I've used it off and on with varying success. I just ran across another one, MeetOMatic.com. MeetOMatic is considerably simpler than Meeting Wazard. The problem with both is that they require people to (1) click on a link and (2) check all the dates in the page against their calendar manually, and (3) check boxes on the page with the results. Seems simple, but my experience is that many don't respond. What we need is CalDAV and true, cross platform free-busy.
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Random Reputation Ramblings

I spent the day with Dan Lulich of iovation and gave a talk about reputation to some of the group. I had a good time and really enjoyed a day of talking about reputation with people who live it everyday. Here's a collection of random insights I had about reputation while preparing my talk and in discussions with Dan and others today. David Brin's book, Transparent Society, has a great discussion of the ways that transparency leads to accountability. The message seems to be that accountability costs privacy. There are ways of using reputation that protects privacy, but still
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Making SOA Governance Collaborative

The irony of loosely coupled SOA systems is that they require more, not less rules. Governance manages the rule making process. My InfoWorld feature on SOA governance Teaming up for SOA came out this week. I was writing this article at about the same time we did this Technometria podcast with Todd Biske and Ed Vasquez.
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FreeYourID.com

I played around a bit with FreeYourID.com this morning. The service gives you a personalized URL, email address, and an OpenID. The domains are in the .name TLD. This is an interesting concept: combine three identity services into one and offer real personalization. They're giving free 90 day trials. in some ways this reminds me of a poor-man's i-name. i-names are resolvable to various services. Right now, you've got to use an URL transform to make i-names work, so using them is not as straightforward as it be if browsers did native XRI resolution.
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Reputation for OpenID

I'm teaching a graduate class on reputation this semester. I did the same thing last year and the class project was building a reputation framework. The ideas surrounding reputation intrigue me, if you haven't figured that out from reading this blog. I've had various ideas for this semester's project, but finally settled on the idea of reputation for OpenID. With OpenID gaining steam, there are concerns on user side about how to know whether to trust an OpenID provider. Even if you pick someone with obvious standing, like AOL, how do you know if the site you've been redirected
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Mounting OSX Directories in Parallels

I found this nifty trick for mounting OS X directories from Linux. This is handy when you're using Parallels on your machine and want to easily pass information back and forth. Parallels comes with a utility for doing this from Windows, but not Linux. The idea is to use sshfs, the SSH filesystem. I installed it easily on Ubuntu using apt-get (on Fedora, you'd use Yum) and then mounting a disk on my OS X file system is as simple as sshfs pjw@10.37.129.2:Documents "OSX Documents" "OSX Documents" is an empty directory on the Linux machine that serves as the
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Lonn Johnston on High Tech PR

I just posted the latest Technometria podcast on IT Conversations. Scott, Matt, and I spoke with Lonn Johnston about PR for high-tech firms--especially those involved with open source. I enjoyed the conversation very much and hope you do too.
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Monkey Pornography, Social Status, and Reputation

Britt is further developing his thoughts on relative celebrity. He points to a study that looks at social status in monkeys and their willingness to sacrifice food to look at the faces of high-status individuals and what amounts to monkey pornography. On the flip side, they demand more food to look at the faces of low-status individuals. Male rhesus macaques sacrificed fluid for the opportunity to view female perinea and the faces of high-status monkeys but required fluid overpayment to view the faces of low-status monkeys. Social value was highly consistent across subjects, independent of particular images displayed, and
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Relative Celebrity and Reputation

Britt's working on a concept he calls Relative Celebrity. The idea is that in the world of the long tail, there is some ranking and "every member of a network must be related to someone who is closer to the action - relatively speaking, a celebrity - and also act as a valued conduit of news, gossip and conjecture for others, acting as that person's relative celebrity." It's an intriguing idea and one that makes me think about reputation and it's value in a global Internet sense. To date, online reputation systems have been localized to a particular Web
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Identity Open Space in Europe

We're going to conduct an Identity Open Space event in Brussels in April. This will be like the one's we've done in Vancouver with Liberty and in Santa Clara with DIDW. Like the Vancouver IOS, this one will also be at the tail end of the Liberty Project meeting--this time in Europe. Here's the Liberty announcement and the IOS wiki. On April 26th, we'll create the agenda (in open space style) at 11am, have lunch, and then begin sessions which will continue until 4pm on April 27th. The early registration fee will be US $195.00 until Friday, March 23,
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Using VMWare Fusion: A First Look

Last Friday I wrote that VMWare had released the second beta of Fusion, their virtual desktop for OS X. Over the weekend I took a little time to play around with it and had a few observations. Note that this is not a formal review--don't take it as one. First, Fusion works well, as promised. No major hiccups to report. I was able to set up a Fedora Core 6 image with only a few issues. Here are some of my discoveries and impressions: Fedora isn't one of the "supported" operating systems. I mistakenly chose "Redhat Linux" thinking that
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VMWare Releases Beta Desktop Virtualization for OS X

VMWare announced the release of Beta 2 for the OS X version of VMWare Desktop, codename Fusion, today. Fusion has a Cocoa-native interface that runs Windows apps side-by-side with OS X windows. Parallels has recently released a similar feature that they call "Coherence." I make increasing use of virtualization in my everyday work. For example, I needed to give my students a consistent development environment for a large chunk of code we're working on. We just created an image and let them download the whole machine. I suspect that VMWare wouldn't be paying the Mac a lick of attention
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Scoblizing Utah

Robert Scoble and Phil Windley. The sun and snow were very bright.(click to enlarge) Robert Scoble was in Utah today for Slopecast, a Rocky Mountain Voices event. I had a meeting at noon, so I wasn't able to make it up for Robert's presentation, but I drove up and we spent some time talking after the event. The event was sold out, as you'd expect, and by all measures was successful. I heard several people commenting how much they enjoyed it. I'm sure the event was recorded, so I'll try to point to it when it's online.
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Why You Should Love CALEA

I published a show from Emerging Telephony on IT Conversations that consisted of three lightening talks by Bill Weinberg, Brad Templeton, and Johannes Ernst. Bill gave a good talk about open phones and why we don't have one yet. Open phones are a subject I care about, so I enjoyed that. Johannes gave one of the best short presentations I've heard on the multiple identifier problem. But Brad really entertained with his talk on why you should love CALEA. Brad's talk starts about 15 minutes in. Actually, I should clarify. Brad didn't really give the presentation, rather it was
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Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for Feb 2007

Here are the top ten shows on IT Conversations, by downloads, for February 2007. If you're looking for something good on IT Conversations, these shows would be a nice place to start. Anibal Acevedo Vila - Tech Nation (No rating yet) Who Owns "You"? - Supernova2006 (Rating: 3.12) Michelle Kaufmann - Tech Nation (Rating: 3.89) Barry Flicker - Slashing Project Time and Cost (Rating: 3.50) Dave Thompson - Tech Nation (Rating: 3.00) Bill Moggridge - Tech Nation (Rating: 3.33) Craig Burton - Technometria: The Enterprise of One (Rating: 2.29) Scott Rosenberg - Dreaming in Code (Rating: 3.45) Jeff Barr,
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EO Wilson in Utah

I'm listening to Doug Fabrizio interview EO Wilson on Radio West. Doug is one of the best interviewers I know and I always enjoy him--I listen to him whenever I can. EO Wilson is in Salt Lake this week as a guest of the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Nature Conservancy. He spoke last night as part of the Nature of Things series. He was just delightful to hear and listen to. EO Wilson is the author of many influential books, including On Human Nature and, his latest, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth.
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