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Archive for Oct 2007


ProQuo - Stopping Junk Mail

I just created an account at Proquo and spent 15 minutes stopping the insane amount of junk mail I get. Most of the "do not mail" lists you get on with a simple click and some require filling out a form off the site. The most obnoxious was the DMA, which charges a dollar "to cut down on fraud"--yeah, sure. Like I trust them. The credit card link, unfortunately, didn't work--I'd love to get Capital One out of my life. I'll see if in a few months the volume has significantly reduced and let you know.
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CTO Breakfast Recap

The first item on today's schedule was to get an update on the EMC acquisition of Berkeley Data Systems. Scott gave us a report on his recent trip to the Millenials conference last month. This led to a discussion of workplace hiring and the differences in hiring kids out of school right now. They don't ask about salary nearly as much as they ask about challenges, number of supervisors, and so on. They want multiple assignments so that they can move from one to another as they get bored or hit a roadblock. We had a discussion of Scratch,
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Barx: A Proxy Resolver for XRI

Victor Grey and Kermit Snelson have created an XRI proxy resolver in Ruby called Barx. In it's most simple form, a proxy resolver returns an XRDS document when given an XRI. From the spec: "Proxy resolvers enable applications even those that do not natively understand XRIs but can process HTTP URIs---to easily access the functions of an XRI resolver remotely." An example is xri.net. Barx implements the entire XRI resolution spec with the exception of SAML trusted resolution. According to Victor, "[t]he proxy resolver is a fast HTTP server based on Mongrel and Merb that can be run as
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VMWare Fusion Clock Synchronization

When you install Linux in Fusion, make sure you install the tools. But just installing them isn't enough. Clock synchronization is turned off by default, so you need to start up the tools interface: sudo /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox Then click the box for synchronizing the guest time with the host. If you don't, the guest will lose time.
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CTO Breakfast Reminder for October

We'll be having the CTO breakfast next Tuesday at the cafeteria on the Novell Provo Campus (Building G) at 8am. Note that it's Tuesday not Thursday or Friday like it usually is. Bring your ideas, thoughts, and questions. We always have a great discussion and your input would be welcome. Here's the future dates scheduled so far: Nov 29 (Thursday) No CTO Breakfast in Dec Jan 24 (Thursday) Feb 28 (Thursday) Put them on your calendar now. Alternately, you can subscribe to the Google calendar for the CTO Breakfast.
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Starting a High Tech Business: Get a Clubhouse

I'm starting a new business called Kynetx (nothing to see there yet). 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 third installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way---if so, please let me know! One of the things I realized pretty quick after getting serious about a new startup was that you need a clubhouse. It's fine to work from home, meet in coffee shops, and go cheap at first, but eventually you want to get real
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Google Web Toolkit

I just posted my interview with Bruce Johnson on the Google Web Toolkit. This was a fun interview and I learned a lot. GWT allows you to write AJAX applications in Java that then gets compiled to Javascript.
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What Should I Buy? Parallels or Fusion?

InfoWorld asked me to do a head-to-head review of Parallels and Fusion. That review appeared today. As a frequent user of both virtualization packages, I really enjoyed this review since it gave me an excuse to dig deep on some things and to talk to the product managers for both. One thing is clear: there's some stiff competition between Parallels and VMWare and the users are the winners. These are both great products that perform well. VMWare has a performance advantage--especially when you need multi-core performance. Parallels, I think, has a slight advantage in usability and a pretty big
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Squaw Peak Ride

Orem and the north end of Utah Valley from the Squaw Peak lookout(click to enlarge) I rode to the Squaw Peak lookout today for my afternoon ride. I've never been on that ride before--last year I made it 1/2 a mile up the road before I turned around. I really wanted to do it this year. I figured after riding the Alpine Loop last week it would be doable--but not easy. That was accurate. The Squaw Peak lookout is 2200 feet above the valley floor and you're doing most of that in a little under 5 miles. The whole
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Rivers, Trends, and Leaderboards

Dave Winer's been experimenting with keywords in his river of news idea. Doc thinks its the future of newspapers. I agree that a river is a better way to get the news than the old news cycle. It's interesting to compare Dave's NY Times keywords with Google trends, the most searched on keywords for the last 24 hours. Almost nothing in common--not that you'd necessarily expect there would be. People looking for the kind of information you get from the Times make up only a small portion of Google users, I'd expect. Dave's keywords are only updated once every
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Don't Say This About My Product!

I don't think I'd want anyone saying this about my product. Can't believe Apple's saying about their own product.
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Fixing MacBook Pro Sleep Problems

One of the things I loved about my Powerbook was that it slept--and woke--reliably. I would go weeks without rebooting my machine and I bragged about it often to the poor saps who had to use XP on their laptops. I haven't been singing the praises of OS X stability as loudly lately because ever since I went to the Mac Book Pro (MBP), my machine has had issues with sleeping and waking to the point that it probably got rebooted once a day. Well, no more! I tried something a few weeks ago that has made my MBP
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Amory Lovins on IT Conversations

Social Innovations is a sister channel to IT Conversations. They have a 10 part series of lectures by Amory Lovins, the Cofounder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. The series is a from set of five lectures he delivered at Stanford earlier this year. I'm cross posting the Lovins lectures on ITC. The first lecture (see part I and part II) is on energy efficiency for buildings. This lecture has been highly rated by SIC listeners and I think ITC listeners will enjoy it too. The second lecture, on energy efficiency in buildings (see part I,
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Mini Mail is Very Useful

Getting control of email so it doesn't control you, is easier said than done. One of the problems I run into is having the email client open on my desktop all the time. When I'm coding, I frequently just close it all together. Sometimes though I want it open and want to delete things that can be deleted and reply to things that need to be to be replied to and ignore the rest. Mini Mail is an application helper for Mail.app that shows a tiny window with just enough information. The best way to describe it is to
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Security on the Cheap

Larry Dignan at Between the Lines has posted some great tips for making your business more secure without spending much money. These are things everyone ought to be doing, but many aren't.
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Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for September 2007

Update: I've updated this with ratings data. Normally the top 10 report includes the ratings for each show. The way I get access to the ratings data has been inop for some weeks now. I've delayed doing the report for September in hopes that I'd get access soon, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen soon. So, I've generated it without the ratings data for now. Rob Levy - Tech Nation (Rating: 3.80)Some technology companies founded and headquartered in the United States aren't outsourcing to India and China, but are spreading technology centers around the world instead.
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Riding the Alpine Loop

Timp(click to enlarge) At the beginning of the summer, I had two biking goals: ride a century and the Alpine Loop. If you've been following along, you know that I rode the ULCER Century in August. I rode the Alpine Loop on Friday and had a great time. The fall colors were simply spectacular. The yellow aspens were so bright that they almost hurt your eyes to look at them. It was a little cloudy and cold, but there was almost no wind and that made for a very nice ride. The Alpine Loop is a highway (US92) that
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New Series on the Conversations Network

This last week, the Conversation Network (IT Conversation's parent) launched a new channel: Media Conversations. The new channel, like IT Conversations and Social Innovations Conversations, produces high quality audio shows from a variety of sources. A first for us: Media Conversations includes video for some shows. The video is of a series called "Future Talks." The first two shows are with Gerd Leonhard and Glen Hiemstra. I've listened to both and found the very interesting. In addition to the video, you can just get the audio tracks via RSS if you like. I'll be pulling in some shows from
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Batteries in Your Clothes

This story about using nanotechnology to create wearable batteries puts last weeks story about a man's iPod battery catching his pants on fire in a whole new light.
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Weather in Your Feedreader

Do you live in your feedreader? If so, you might like to get the weather there too. Just use this URL: http://xml.weather.yahoo.com/forecastrss?p=84042 Simply substitute your zipcode for 84042 (unless you want to know what the weather is where I am). Not in the US? You can use city codes instead. The whole thing is documented on the Yahoo! Developer Network.
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Starting a High Tech Business: Legal and Banking

I'm starting a new business called Kynetx (nothing to see there yet). As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way--if so, please let me know! Obviously one of the things you have to do to start a business is actually set up the legal entity. This is actually easier than it first appears. The first question is what kind of entity to set up. The two basic choices in the US are a
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State Sovereignty Doesn't Count for Much Online

Let me pose a hypothetical situation for you: Imagine some backwater town in your state. Now, imagine that some vandals move through town one night and plaster the local water board office with pornographic posters. The town fails to clean it up for a few weeks. Now, imagine that in response, the federal government mobilizes the Army and shuts down every government office in the state. Never happen, right? Well, in a matter of speaking that's just what happened to California earlier this week. The story about GSA pulling down CA.gov makes me shake my head in amazement. Some
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Using CCTVs to Make Movies

This is pretty cool: a group of kids made a movie using already installed CCTVs in a shopping mall in England. The teens are part of a group that regularly engages in "video sniffing," using electronic gear to sniff out the wireless signals that CCTV cameras use to communicate a picture. The Duellists by MediaShed ft MethodsAdd to My Profile | More Videos
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SOA Governance Podcast

As part of preparing for my upcoming tutorial in NYC on SOA Governance (Nov 8, 2007), I went back an listened to this interview I did with Todd Biske and Ed Vazquez for IT Conversations. Todd and Ed are so smart on this topic. I got a lot of good ideas from listening to this again. I changed some of the things I was going to talk about after reviewing this. If you don't care about enterprise IT, it will bore you to death, but if you do, there's some great ideas here.
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Microsoft Keeps Plugging Away

Microsoft release the next Zune to very little fanfare compared with what Jobs generated with even the most recent iPod refresh. For all the crap Microsoft took over the Zune ("oh look! it comes in brown!"), you have to admire the perseverance. The fact is that this is how Microsoft wins lots of battles: "release, watch, redesign, lather, repeat." Office, Outlook/Exchange, and the XBox are all examples of Microsoft powerhouses that were less than exciting in version one. Heck, can you remember Windows 1.0? What a dog. Microsoft has the affluence and smarts to have a long range attitude
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Starting a New High-Tech Business: Setting Up Email

I'm starting a new business called Kynetx (nothing to see there yet). As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way--if so, please let me know! When you start a new technology company, you're going to be talking to a lot of people. You'll want them to get in touch with you. That means phone and email at the very least. In the early stages you can get away with your Gmail or Yahoo!
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Fall Colors in South Fork Canyon

Fall Colors at the top of South Fork Canyon(click to enlarge) I was on a bike ride up South Fork Canyon this afternoon and the colors were spectacular. This picture, from my iPhone, doesn't really do them justice. If you're in Utah county and want to see the colors on the Alpine loop, I suspect that this week is the time to go.
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Using Twitter for Messaging

Dave's given his podcatcher a Twitter account. So, if you're interested, you can subscribe to notices, via Twitter, of what Dave's downloading. "So what?" I hear you ask. You may not care what Dave's listening to, but chances are, someone does. Moreover, Dave's using Twitter as a messaging endpoint in what Rohit Khare calls a "syndication oriented architecture," or SynOA. Jon Udell and Rohit talked about this on IT Conversations a few weeks ago. I'm using Twitter in a similar way in my class this semester. My students are writing servers that send updates to a Twitter account via
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AT&T Doesn't Want Critics as Customers

AT&T's terms of service now allow them to immediately terminate the service of anyone who is critical of the company. From Broadband Reports: "AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes ... tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." Amazing! By the way, have I mentioned lately how happy I am with AT&T's service? Really..., it is. I mean it.
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Think Similarly

This post at CrunchGear showing a 1989 Apple ad encouraging people to "think different" by challenging the status quo, followed by a video about Apple not allowing third party apps on the iPhone touched a nerve following the most recent iPhone update. The latest iPhone update is the first that's fixed anything more than security flaws. There were some minor UI changes--nice to have--and a new icon for the iTunes music store. Besides ruining the symmetry of the application list, the addition really rubbed my nose in the fact that this is a walled garden. "Hey, buy some music
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