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                          Archive for Jan 2003


                          OS Backup Survey Results

                          Yesterday, I asked what people are using to backup OS X. All the advice I got said "Retrospect." This MacWorld
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                          And Now or Something Completely Different: Star Bridge Systems

                          I continue my tour of Utah high-tech firms. I see two to three people or companies per day on average and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Today I met with a company called Star Bridge Systems.. They make software for programming arrays of FPGAs into special purpose computers. Some of their claims would be completely unbelievable if they didn't have people like NASA and the NSA giving them credibility. They seem to be in pretty good shape, version technology, lean operations, and paying customers. If you've read the article in Red Herring about the Tyranny of Moore's Law (not
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                          OS X Backup

                          I've had my powerbook for about a month now and am pretty comfortable with it. I don't have many complaints---its just an awesome machine. I'm starting to worry about things like backing up. Thats' my question for today: how do you back up OS X? I've found lots of commercial packages, and I don't mind spending money to get something, but I'd like to know its going to work. My most likely backup scenario is across a network to a SMB mounted drive.
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                          On the Topic of Identity...

                          As long as we're on the topic of identity, I just read Andre Durand's paper on The Phases of Identity Infrastructure Adoption at Digital ID World. Andre's done a great job of laying out the problem and arguing for an adoption path that leads to acceptance of an individual's control of their own digital identity (an odd sounding phrase if you haven't read the paper).
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                          NECCC Paper on Identity

                          NECCC is the National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council. You may think, given the name, that its about business, but its really about eGovernment. It just sprung up before the term eGovernment was in vogue and back then, eGovernment was called eCommerce by folks. They have a comprehensive paper on the identity problem which lists current Federal laws as well as those of California (which is seen as a bell weather state). It also talks about options, and how governments could respond. They're more ecumenical than I was in my article in Digital ID World. As an aside, the paper
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                          Global XML Web Services Architecture

                          Yesterday I wrote about the web services framework that Microsoft and IBM have pushed forward. That framework has taken for in the Global XML Web Services Architecture, or GXA. The architecture is apparently the product of a consortium headed by IBM and Microsoft with help from Verisign, BEA Systems, RSA Security and SAP. I frankly don't know how much of a consortium it is and how much is being driven by Microsoft, but I'm hopeful that the results won't be .NET specific. As I wrote yesterday, the goal of GXA is to fill the gaps that SOAP, WSDL, and
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                          Conspiracy Theories Aplenty

                          I was contacted by three different people today about the fact that my name is still in the Utah Master Directory, even though I've left the State. Why its still in there, I don't know. I did request that it be left in a for a few days after the first of the year because I hadn't had a chance to send a thank-you email to the Cabinet and hadn't yet downloaded some of my old email due to my father-in-law's funeral over the holidays. This, of course, didn't stop the conspiracy theorists in the State (and there are
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                          Government Computer News

                          My comments on web services are covered in a short article in the January 27, 2003 issue of Government Computer News under the title "Former Utah CIO Offers Pointers." I really like that they point to my blog. :-)
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                          Hey Apple! A Feature I Want in iChat

                          I was just sitting here working and noticed on my AIM buddy list that someone had gone red. That is, they marked themselves as "being away" even though they're still logged in. This of course is perfect. One of the things i like most about IM is presence; that is, knowing when someone is around in my virtual world. The problem is that people don't usually do this. They let the machine mark them as idle (not bad) or log out (which means they could be there and just not logged in). What I want is for my computer
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                          Web Services Framework

                          Over the next little while, I'll be working my way through some web service stuff that I'll document here. If you're not very familiar with web services, join me in my study. If you're an expert, feel free to skip these. At a W3C workshop on web services on the 11th and 12th of April, 2002 (forever ago in WS years), IBM and Microsoft presented a web services framework that addresses some specific issues directly related to interoperability of decentralized services. In some ways, the need here is the same as the void that PingID is trying to fill
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                          Wasatch Digital IQ

                          Wasatch Digital IQ is a magazine that covers the high-tech industry along the Wasatch Front. For those of you not familiar with Utah, the Wasatch Front is the range of mountains along which 80% of Utah's population lives in a 100 mile strip. WDIQ has recently upgraded their web site in a major way with articles online, and other, daily features. They've even added a blog section some guest "columnists" will blog about particular topics. Overall, I think they've done an outstanding job on the upgrade.
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                          PingID and SourceID

                          Anyone who was at Digital ID World last year probably thought PingID was already launched, but today is actually their official birthday. PingID provides a "network" for processing federated identity transactions in the same way that Visa or Mastercard provides a network for processing credit card transactions. Network in this sense doesn't mean wires and routers, but rather the protocols, agreements, and legal framework that makes transactions between two unacquainted parties possible. Like Visa and Mastercard, PingID is member-owned, meaning that the companies who use the network have an equity stake in it. According to the PingID web site,
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                          Representations and URIs

                          Jon Udell references a discussion that has been raging on what a URI represents. Jon quotes Tim Berner-Lee who summarizes it, succinctly, as follows: What does "http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ 0679600108/qid=1027958807/sr=2-3/ref=sr_2_3/103-4363499-9407855" identify? A whale "Moby Dick or the Whale" by Herman Melville A web page on Amazon offering a book for sale A URI string All the above I find this question fascinating since it takes me back to my formal computer science roots. A long time ago, I was a formal methods researcher. Sherman, fire up the way-back machine: In the late 80s there was a huge battle raging in some
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                          Semantics for Web Service Description

                          David Booth, a W3C Fellow, has a picture which I've seen in several talks and wanted to document. The picture shows how a web services description (WSD) is referenced by the client and the server, but, more importantly, how it references semantics. XML semantics has been something of a pet peeve of mine in the past. Here's the picture: The point that David makes is that the server and the client have to agree on semantics. If they don't, of course, the result is gibberish. The semantics might be in some formal langauge, although not very many people enjoy
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                          Superbowl.com

                          I just noticed a link on Technorati to superbowl.com. I used to own that domain (1994-1996) so it always sparks my interest. I did the Superbowl sites for Superbowl XXIX and XXX in conjunction with the host committees in Miami and Phoenix. In 1996 the NFL sent us a "cease and desist" order and said we'd be in court the next week. They had more lawyers than I knew, so we transfered the domain to them and got out of the Superbowl business.
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                          Federal DRM and Web Services

                          If you're at all interested in what the Federal Government will do with web services, one thing to keep your eye on is the Data and Information Reference Model that's one layer in the Federal Enterprise Architecture. The DRM is important because its the key to transforming government. Application integration is only part of the problem. Fundamental data analysis and modeling is the foundation upon which collaborative applications can be built. If you follow the link to the web site, you may be disappointed small amount of content there; the DRM is the least developed of the enterprise architecture
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                          Email Consolidation

                          I've heard that the email consolidation project that the Cabinet approved as part of Utah's IT plan will be axed. This doesn't surprise me. If I were still around, I'd have probably let it die as well. The project isn't failing for technology reasons. The project is failing because: Agency IT personnel won't cooperate. It was a gamble from the start to take the very people who are running email in the agencies now and ask them to come up with a plan for changing it. They have little motivation to do so since they like the status quo.
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                          New Technologys, Sensor Nets, and Tranparency

                          In a perfect example, of why I love blogs, Dave Flecher was pointing to this article from Technology Review about 10 Technologies that will Change the World. Look at the first one and then read my article from earlier this week on sensor grids. Imagine having real time data from large cooperative grids of sensors like these. I think places like DARPA and NSF ought to require web access to data in machine readable form (aka web services) for any research they fund. These kinds of sensor nets bring to mind David Brin's thought provoking book, The Transparent Society.
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                          Public Service Tip No. 4: Living with the Redbilled Oxpecker

                          This story is part of a ongoing series of tips for those who might be entering public service. One of the interesting things about working in the Governor's Office is that any time you can't make it into work, you can catch up on the day by reading the paper. Even knowing this beforehand doesn't prepare you for the overpowering, suffocating nature of the press coverage. Even in a small state, the press hangs onto the political machine in a manner not unlike the symbiotic relationship that the redbilled oxpecker has with the rhino. The press depends on government
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                          Wireless Broadband

                          I live in Lindon Utah, a small community too small to attract capital from companies like ATT or Qwest. Consequently, my broadband choices have been pretty limited. When I worked for the State, I had an ISDN connection to the State network that was good enough. Being reasonably fast and always on, it did the job. Leaving the State forced me to get another solution and given my available options, fixed wireless was the most obvious choice. I've shied away from wireless broadband in the past because, frankly, most of the companies are small and calling up customer support
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                          Earthviewer as the GIS GUI

                          I got an email from Dave Lorenzini of Earthviewer today. He'd seen my articles on the open GIS consortium and grid sensors. In my Open GIS article, I'd said: I think its interesting to compare this with Earthviewer. In my opinion, Earthviewer has one real advantage vis a vis other GIS tools: their user interface. David confirmed that the goal of Earthviewer is to work with all of this GIS data and sensor information and provide the user interface to the data. They shine there and I haven't seen any other tool that does what Earthviewer can. Earthviewer has
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                          Wi-Fi TCO

                          Ever since I wrote the piece on wireless workplace wisdom for Matt Jones, I've been thinking over the whole Wi-Fi ROI issue. One side of that equation is total cost of ownership, or TCO. Here's what I've been thinking so far. TCO is an attempt by IT professionals to consider the true cost for a given technology. Its pretty easy to ignore some pretty significant costs when you get emotional about a new technology and can't wait to deployit. Take, for example, desktop machines. The cost of the machines is only a small portion (about 10%) of the total
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                          GCN Article

                          Government Computer News published a short piece about my talk in DC last week.
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                          More on Grid Sensors

                          Dave Fletcher picks up on my riff about grid sensors or sensor nets and mentions a couple of sites that give real time data for
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                          Digital ID and Government

                          Digital ID World has published an article I wrote on Digital ID and eGovernment. The conclusion of the article is that governments need to be the foundational players in digital ID, just as they are in the physical world.
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                          Grid Sensors

                          Last week, I wrote about using the temperature sensors installed in cars in a cooperative way to monitor weather conditions in over a large area. It strikes me as I've thought about it over the week end, that there are sensors everywhere and society would be better off if they were widely available. Let me give some examples. One obvious example is the huge number of sensors that are installed on highways all over the country. These range from traffic cameras on freeways to strain gages on bridges. There are traffic counters installed at most stoplights, many of them
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                          OnStar as an Open Platform

                          OnStar is a mobile data service that GM has developed and currently deploys in many of its passenger vehicles. They also sell it to other automakers for use in their vehicles. It currently serves 2 million customers and adds another 4500 subscribers every day. GM processes 200,000 calls per month for route information, another 14,000 for roadside assistance, and 15,000 for more for remote door unlocking. Add to that the 375 stolen vehicles that are recovered using OnStar each month. This would be a great jumping off point for a piece on identity or privacy, but that's not what's
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                          Sleeping with the Enemy

                          An article in the December 2002 issue of Baseline magazine talks about securing your network from insiders. Its based on a rather fascinating story of a programmer named Chris Harn who worked for the world's largest betting software vendor, Autotote, and rigged the system to pay-off $3 million to one of his co-conspirators. The article gives the following advice: Limit Access - Set strict limits on who has access to production servers, where data is most sensitive, and enforce them. Create Activity Logs - Activate auditing mechanisms and review such logs randomly and religiously. Monitor the Network - Establish
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                          BlueOxide Collaborator Registry

                          I wrote about BlueOxide's XML Collaborator tool yesterday. I missed part of it. The tool's core functionality is an XML registry. The XML editing tools are support structures for the registry itself. One of the things Kevin (BlueOxide CTO) just said is that there are collaboration features built into the tool. In general, that's a good thing, but I hear more and more people talking about their tool having collaboration features (@Task was another one. I'd rather they use something like Groove's web service API to get this functionality. Of course there are a lot of tools, and integrating
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                          DLA Logistics Metadata Registry

                          This afternoon I'm attending a meeting of the XML registry project team. The first speaker is Jim Keppler, talking about an integrated repository for logistics metadata. The work was done for the Defense Logistics Agency. The system is a registry for DLA data elements. In addition to allowing these data element schemas to be registered, the system also supplies tools for creating and managing the metadata. Some features: Core data element administration Metadata management support SOAP inteface to core data element metadata JDBC interface to data source metadata Web browser interface The motivation behind the registry is fairly simple:
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                          PDF and eGovernment

                          Adobe is presenting. So far, its been the standard "PDF is great and the government should use it" kind of sales talk, but they're starting to talk about the document server. Sounds remarkably like Cocoon, but with only a PDF output capability. He refered to this as "document and bill presentment." Next topic is form entry. They apparently can do two things that are interesting: The first is pulling data out of the completed form. I've always thought of PDF forms as static things that people filled out by hand and sent in by snail mail. The second is
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                          Federal XML Working Group

                          This morning, I'm attending the monthly meeting of the federal XML working group. Unfortunately, there's no Wi-Fi (or any other net connections I can see) so this will be posted later. First up is John Dodd talking about connecting XML with the Federal Enterprise Architecture. John is with Computer Sciences Corp. and working with the IAC (Industry Advisory Council). The focus is" cross government information sharing." Gee, where have I heard that before? Interestingly, one of the first things that John brings up is that the introduction of web services to government will cause people's roles to change and
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                          Open GIS Consortium

                          I've written about a GIS tool called Earthviewer. Jeff Harrison is giving a talk about a group called the Open GIS Consortium, or OGC. OGC is trying to do something similar, but more general and more extensible. They have markup languages for lots of things including geographic data, sensor data, mobile data collection devices, mapping data, and so on. They did a demo last month where they pulled in data from dozens of different data sources all over the world using web services for emergency response. During the project, they actually flew a plane over the area they were
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                          XML Collaborator

                          Kevin Williams from Blue Oxide is giving a demo of their XML collaborator. This is a tool that views and edits XML Schemas and other XML metadata. Bascially a GUI for XML metadata. I wrote about an XML editting tool called Xopos earlier. I'm glad to see some of these tools that don't require Visual .NET Studio to work.
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                          My Talk on Web Services

                          I spoke from 1:30 to 2:45. When I started, I wasn't sure I had enough material, but we ran out of time. A common problem. The were a lot of questions and a good discussion. The audience was clearly made up of some people who had a good grasp on the concepts and were ready to discuss as well as some who were learning. I think the talk served both groups well, based on feedback I got after the talk. Here are the slide for my talk.
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                          Leveraging Collaboration and Co-Sourcing

                          Michael Kochanick, from CollabNet is speaking on leveraging collaboration. Some points: About 75% of software is written for a specific purpose and never see the light of day. IT flexibility and agility is the main driver for business agility in information driven businesses. Component-based software development hasn't worked well. Component-based software development is analog to supply chain integration initiatives. Open source is the biggest library of reusable software in the world. FOSS shifts flexibility and power towards the end user/developer. FOSS is a "rising tide" of commoditized infrastructure. Collaboration makes sense for non-differentiating modules. This is called "co-sourcing." An
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                          Free and Open Source Software

                          Terry Bollinger, from Mitre, is discussing the report that was recently released on "Use fo Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the U.S. Department of Defense." The report is based on a study (survey) done by Mitre in 2002 for DISA. The survey found 115 FOSS applications with 251 typical examples. Apache, PERL, and Linux, not surpirsingly were the most popular. The report is over 162 pages long (Mitre knows well what the government wants from a contractor) and represents an exhaustive look at FOSS and its use in the DOD. The report found that security of FOSS
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                          Federal Enterprise Architecture

                          I'm at Susan Turnbull's Universal Collaboration workshop. Interestingly enough, the NSF has been kind enough to provide a wireless network, so I'm connected. Right now, Bob Haycock of the federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office is speaking right at present. This model describes the process or steps for creating the architecture. Notice that the technical reference model is the last thing created and the business reference model is at the top, right after performance metrics have been created (i.e create desired outcomes). Bob is talking about the service delivery wedding cake which I think nicely captures the foundational elements
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                          Archie-Like Indexing for the Web

                          Dan Bricklin, from whom I first heard about weblogs in February of 2001, has begun a project that is similar to WSIL, but aimed at small and medium sized businesses called SMBmeta. This (and WSIL) are strikingly similar in design to ALIWEB, or Archie-Like Indexing for the Web which was designed to provide the same functionality for the web that Archie provided for anonymous FTP. This, of course was all well ahead of Google or even Excite and Yahoo!. In 2002, when Excite shut down the eCommerce services that they'd bought when they purchased iMALL (my company), there was
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                          More on NOC Blogs

                          In response to my recent article on NOC blogs, Gordon Weakliem asked about the security aspects. In particular, it seems that there can be (and perhaps is) information that you might want a NOC blog, but not want public. In light of that and some other thoughts, a few comments: A NOC blog should probably be built using a system that allows multiple authors. Manilla, Movable Type, and Slashcode would all seem to meet this requirement. It would be unusual for single person to be familiar with all aspects of the NOC. It would be more convinient for everyone
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                          eGovernment Maturity

                          Alan Mather writes frequently about eGovernment in general and particularly in the UK. Today he points to an article on eGovernment in the online section of the Guardian. The article also mentions Alan's blog. Alan has a pretty chart on eGovernment evolution that is analogous to the chart I use for talking about eGovernment maturity. The conclusion that I always make from the chart is that cross agency applications are the thing that governments have to start working on now to reach the next stage. This is the foundation of the message on web services that
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                          Hallelulah! A NOC Blog in Utah

                          Almost six months ago, I wrote about using using blogs as network status tools. Troy Jessup at UEN has done it. Its been active for three days. This is awesome! If you're interested in status of the UEN network (which connects schools and universities over the entire state) just subscribe to the RSS. I wanted ITS to do this for the state network, but they couldn't wrap their heads around the concept.
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                          Virtual Networks of Demand

                          I was talking to another Utah start-up called The Virtua Group today. The CEO is a fellow named Duy Beck. While we were talking, he used a phrase which really got me thinking: "virtual networks of demand." Anytime you get an organization of more than a few people, you start hiring people with particular functional specialties to perform specific tasks. Therefore, getting anything accomplished, requires that you have a workflow (formal or informal) for getting things from one person to another in the right order, at the right time, etc. Another way to think of this is as every
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                          Four Questions Every Start-up Ought To Answer

                          As I go around and visit companies, I usually ask them four questions: What's your product? Who's your customer? Why do they buy your product? What's your competitive advantage? You'd be surprised (maybe you wouldn't) to find that there are companies who can't answer these questions. They might think they're answering them, but usually they're waving their hands a lot while their talking. I want to know the answers to these questions before I ever hear word one about the technology. Sometimes people think the first question is answered by talking about their technology--its not. Questions 3 and 4
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                          Aradyme

                          Today I got to spend some time with another of Utah's high-tech start-ups: Aradyme. Aradyme is a database company run by a couple of folks who have been around the Utah high-tech community a while: Jim Spencer and Kirk Tanner. At first I thought that they might be doing something crazy like trying to go head to head with Oracle or Microsoft, but I should have had more faith in these guys. According to Gartner, 75% of the database market (some $60 billion) is in the small and medium sized business area. Oracle and MS SQL Server aren't in
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                          Government XML

                          The feds have a web site that documents their efforts in XML. There's also one for federal efforts on the web services front. The site has an agenda for the meeting that I'll be speaking at. As long as we're on the subject, Wisconsin's Office of eGovernment has created a standard for their XML and SOAP initiative. I wonder what's going to happen to that with the incoming Governor saying he plans to abolish the office. Its been under attack for some time. Rebecca Heidepriem, the CIO, resigned effective yesterday. I may soon need to link to the Google
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                          UETA and Digital Signatures

                          Many people have never heard of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, or UETA. Even so, if you engage in any kind of transaction on the Internet, even non-commercial ones like downloading open source software, it has affected you. UETA itself is not a law, but rather a model law that the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws developed for states to use. As of December 2002, 41 states have adopted UETA, some with changes. So, what is UETA? A uniform statute relating to the use of electronic communications and records in contractual transactions. Here are some important
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                          Product Management Council

                          Dave has laid out his goals for Utah's product management council, the organization that is responsible for the business side of eGovernment. I'm excited to see that Dave isn't sitting around waiting for something to happen. Rather he's driving the change. I know there are some that are waiting to see what the new CIO will do; I think Val is more likely to be impressed by someone doing something than someone waiting for instructions. I like, in particular, that many of Dave's goals are quantifiable (e.g. create 75 new eGovernment services). Alas, he doesn't have the authority to
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                          Public Service Tip No. 3: Remember that You're Expendable

                          This is part three in an ongoing series of tips for those entering public service. Sometime after my resignation I was talking to someone who had considerable experience working with government at various levels. Before I'd said much at all about the circumstances that led to my resignation, he looked at me and said "Usually its the Chief of Staff." I asked what he was talking about and he replied that usually when the Governor needs to take an unpopular stand that he can't afford to take the heat on, the chief of staff takes the fall. The chief
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                          I Want Tabs

                          I downloaded Safari, Apple's new borwser last night. Its fast and well integrated. I think its kind of gutsy for Apple to launch a browser, but MS has one and I think there's a good case to be made that tight integration with the OS is a nice feature for a browser (even though I'm a Mozilla user). I used it for a while and it seemed to work fine, even though its beta. I have just one complaint that, for now, is a show stopper. I want tabs. If you're a an IE user, you don't know what
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                          A Must Have for OS X

                          The first thing anyone who is a heavy Emacs user does when they get a new computer is figure out how to map CapsLock to Control. The alternative is severe pain in the hand from constantly having your pinky bent under your palm trying to reach the Control key. Just thinking about C-q makes my hand hurt. I'd hadn't been able to find an acceptable mapper for OS X until today. I found out about a little tool called uControl this morning and loaded it up. The installation is easy and the integration with the OS X preference system
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                          Learning to Love EJBs

                          Marc Fleury, the founder of jBOSS is writing a "technology trilogy" called "Red, White, and Blue" (maybe they're going to get rid of the green and yellow on their web site). The first paper, entitled Blue: Why I Love EJBs is available. Its a little difficult to read in spots but worth the effort.
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                          Another Entry in the Utah Blogroll

                          Jim Stewart, who is the technical service director (meaning he builds and operates the network) at UEN, has started a weblog. If he and Peter haven't bought their licenses yet, I know the CIO's office still has a few.
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                          Fatpot: A Silly Name for a Good Tool

                          I had a meeting with a company named Fatpot today. Their forte is connecting disparate systems and they've concentrated in the area of public safety. The system they've built is called "Public Safety Inquiry" or PSI and it serves as a front end for UCJIS (the Utah Criminal Justice Information System), NCIC (the National Criminal Information Center) and things as mundane as the Yellow Pages. Its a great little client that runs on a laptop in the crusier. The user interface design is very well done and much more mature than I'd have expected from such a young company.
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                          New Utah CIO Named

                          The Governor's Office issued a press release today announcing the new CIO. There's also a story in the Deseret News. The choice is Val Oveson. I've known that Val was going to get the nod for some time. Val's not as technical as some of the possible contenders, but he brings with him a wealth of government service, as you can tell from reading the press release. The Governor has told me several times that he's not after a course correction, but someone to push the existing program forward and follow-up on my recommendations. Given that, I think Val
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                          Universal Access Collaboration Expedition

                          Susan Turnbull, of the GSA has invited me to speak at the Universal Access Collaboration Expedition workshop #21 on January 14th in Washington DC. I've been trying to make it out to one of Susan's workshops for some time now. I'll be speaking on web services in eGovernment. I'll probably post a few ideas for my talk here later in the week.
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                          Wireless Workplace Wisdom

                          Matt (BlackBelt) Jones asked me and some others some questions about ROI for wireless in the workplace. I sent him a direct reply, but thought I'd make the answer public here. I'm afraid that I don't have any hard ROI numbers, but maybe some of my own analysis will be worthwhile. I offer it to you for what its worth: I don't see wireless as a replacement for wired networks in most instances, at least in the US. Many buildings are fairly new and either already wired or easily wired after the fact. When I moved into a building
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                          Wi-Fi on Campus II

                          Pete Kruckenberg sent me a reference to a Wired story on Wi-Fi on campus after reading my recent article. Pete says "Just like any other technology, Wi-Fi requires that the classroom dynamics and methods be changed to incorporate and use it. " One of the points that the article makes, and with which I agree wholeheartedly, is that there's no telling what will happen on campus when you give everyone access to ubiquitous wireless networking. College students are incredibly innovative and, contrary to what they commonly believe, have a lot of time on their hands to play around with
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                          \\@Task

                          I had a meeting with a company called \\@Task today. Nate Bowler, who was one of our many stars at iMALL, is their CTO. \\@Task provides thin-client project management and workflow software to customers like Novell and other large companies that you've heard of (since they don't mention them on their website, I won't mention them here). \\@Task combines workflow, collaboration, and project management to actually drive the project or process from the tool rather than using it as simply a static document that records progress. Because it assigns tasks to group members based on the workflow and tracks
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                          Wi-Fi in the Classroom

                          The New York Times has an article today about the increasing use of Wi-Fi in the classroom. BYU has deployed Wi-Fi in many areas, but it wasn't available in the classroom I was in last semester. The article quotes a few professors who are miffed that students are off surfing the web instead of paying attention. I'm not very concerned about that. My philosophy about class has always been that students can come get something out of it if they want or not---their choice. It would be interesting to run EtherPEG in class though and capture some of the traffic
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                          Outsourcing to the Small and Medium Business Market

                          Today I met with two very different companies that are alike in one important way: they provide outsourced services to small and medium sized business. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for small businesses---my Dad owned a small grocery store when I was growing up and I spent my formative years working there doing everything from pulling weeds to running the cash register. Consequently, I always enjoy seeing services aimed at making business better for the small business. The first is a company called Nexpedite. Nexpedite provides "after click" services for eCommerce. That is, the provide
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                          EX-IT?

                          A recent article on eWeek talk about IT workers who, when faced with a career change, got out of IT and into something else. I can't see it. I still get excited when I think of building something new or start tinkering with SOAP or whatever. When I taught at BYU, there were 700 undergraduate CS majors (still are). I talked to many of them who hated to program and were in CS because it was a good way to get a job. I used to advise them to go into sales. :-) I guess those types are probably
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