Archive for the ‘Web2.0’ Category

Don Bowen Update: 2008-10-03

October 3, 2008

Wednesday I took a longer lunch and went golfing with my friend Shannon for his birthday. I was beating him by one stroke going into the 9th and ended up losing by one. Curse his fancy hybrid club 🙂

Shannon’s dad runs a garage door business and after we returned he adjusted my door (long a problem) like a professional. I felt like it was my birthday. Shannon has also been helping me fix the ethernet wiring in my house. It’s only been wrong for six years! A rank amateur must have done it. Yes, I’m sure of it because it was me 😦 Thanks, Shannon!

I was supposed to sing in the choir on Wednesday night, but just didn’t feel up to it physically. Thursday I felt even more like I was coming down with something. I could not get warm. Even a hot bath didn’t help. Fortunately by late afternoon I was doing much better.

Thursday night I went to soaking prayer. Our friend Bonnie Christe has been having frequent migraines over the past two years, so I asked her to join. I recently got to meet Dave and Kim Pendergrass when Dave shared his testimony via video at Northwoods. Dave has prostate cancer that has metastasized and like me needs a miracle. I hunted him down and felt like I was instantly bonded to the two of them. When I suggested to Kim on Tuesday that they join us at soaking prayer she said the timing was perfect. So they did.

Noah and Bonnie Christe, me, Dave and Kim Pendergrass

It was a great time and all of us left encouraged, full of hope and believing God is going to perform miracles. We know that just because we prayed doesn’t mean God will do something, but we know that nothing can stay the arm of the Lord if He does want to act – nothing. Leesa Tiethoff runs the Northwoods’ Prayer Ministry and the vision is people being able to drive on campus 24/7 and be prayed for. I believe I am the biggest beneficiary of this ministry. Thanks, Prayer Team!

I was glad today was Friday and happier that it was not a treatment Friday. Sometimes I think about only having a week until treatment like Eeyore and not Tigger, but I’m working on it.

My big surprise today was a visit from my boyhood and high school friend Paul Butler. Paul’s with Humana and was in town for meetings with OSF Health Plans. I was so happy he stopped by on his way back.

If I had seen him anywhere but at my front door I would not have recognized him. It’s been at least 20 years and maybe 30! But as soon as I heard his voice it was like being back in Macomb in seventh grade together (with his twin Pat). Paul, we will definitely come up to visit you and Karla. We didn’t get to talk about any of the “good” stories, but we will. 🙂 Thanks for making my day!

Walking and biking has been a problem this past week. My feet still hurt and no cushion depth seems sufficient for my butt bones on the bike. No pain, no gain, I guess. I’m still finishing Isaiah and came across this favorite passage the other day:

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.

12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.

13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

(Isaiah 41:10-13)

Not fearing is easier said than done when you have a life-threatening illness, but this helps:

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
I need a miracle, God specializes in them, pray BIG!
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My friend Trey speaking on Identity Management at Assetworld

November 6, 2007

My good friend, Trey Drake, is going to be speaking at Annual Facilities Management Systems North American Users’ Conference in Albuquerque, NM. He’s going to talk about Identity Management and in particular about OpenDS and OpenSSO. He’s going to demonstrate a number of things, but one of them is the REST-based web services API recently added to OpenSSO. I’m anxious to hear what kind of feedback he gets.

The fascinating social graph

November 2, 2007

I really enjoyed reading Brad Fitzpatrick’s entry on Thoughts on the Social Graph. This may be one of the most accurate and succinct problem statements ever. It definitely expresses my sentiments and that of many of my friends. Here it is: “People are getting sick of registering and re-declaring their friends on every site“. I also love his “corollary”, “Developing “Social Applications” is too much work“.

I want registration for social applications to be like the Verizon commercial, at least visually, in that when I sign up, my network comes along with me for the ride.

Of course I don’t want double the network. I want my wife to have her own 🙂 Hopefully you get my point.

This whole thing is actually pretty funny to me in ways because it mirrors where I started in this business back in 1996 at Caterpillar. Every application had its own view of identity and yet it was clear that monolithic identity store was a pipe dream. That was the dawn of meta-directories becoming big and clearly we’ve come a long way since then, though I still think real identity management is somewhat of a fantasy island. Lots of companies “get it”, but the number who have really implemented it and are achieving commensurate benefits for the investment are much lower.

Social applications like Facebook, dopplr, LinkedIn (some of my favorites), etc. are essentially forcing the common man (ok, tech geeks like me and every other human under, say 30 🙂 into worrying about the same thing.

I don’t have an issue with each of those services/applications wanting to have their own copy of the identities, though it clearly makes things harder. But what’s their alternative? There is no great Identity Provider on the net (though I’m sure Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. are working on it). I agree with Brad that having a single owner of the centralized “owner” of the social graph would be bad. What I want is for each social app to have a way to notify others or receive notifications from others, that something about me or my network has changed.

If there was a way for developers to leverage the social graph that already exists I’ll bet we would see an explosion of cool stuff out there. And more importantly I would only have to say you are my friend once!

Read Brad’s thoughts. They’re good and I don’t want to repeat all of them here. Especially look at “3. For end-users” – I’ll bet it resonates with you too. His non-goals are also spot on.

We do need a better name for this than “Social Graph”, but that’s the easy part of the problem :-). Making the maintenance and usage of it as easy as breathing will be tough, but that’s what makes it so fascinating to me.

I’ve always said that Identity is the Kevin Bacon of the IT world. There is just nothing interesting, imho, that you can do in IT that’s separated by more than one degree from Identity. This is especially true of the “social web”.

Google’s GrandCentral

October 26, 2007

When I worked at Sun I had an Accessline number and I loved it. I just started using GrandCentral from Google as a replacement and it’s not bad. It’s an invite only service right now, but totally free and you can get phone numbers in most areas.

One interesting use for me is to avoid long distance charges to Canada on my cell phone. If I have any of my friends up in Toronto, like Ken McPherson, call me on my cell I’ll be charged extra by Sprint. If I have them call my GrandCentral (GC) number, there’s no change in cost to them, but it only uses cell minutes. Much better.

Two of the cool features include the ability to screen and transfer calls. If someone calls you, you can tell immediately that it is from GC when you hear the GC operator. You press 1 to take the call, but can press 3 to send it to voicemail while you listen in. Should you decide you do want to take the call you just press # and pull it back. Very nice. While talking to someone who called your GC number you can press * and all other configured numbers will ring, allowing you, for instance, to transfer from your office phone to your cell.

There are a LOT more features. The call log, which allows you to bring up a map to your caller is slick.

GrandCentral CallLog

Let me know if you want an invite.

Please support tagging like WordPress!

October 25, 2007

Is anyone else ever frustrated that tagging content is not consistent across all the systems? Why can’t all tagging be done the way WordPress does it? Do I ever need a comma (,) in a tag? I doubt it. Do I need spaces in my tags? Absolutely! Note the tags on this entry, for a silly, but effective example.

Come on del.icio.us, get with the program!

Identity Services Panel at Burton Catalyst ’07

October 24, 2007

I didn’t realize that my friend Gerry Gebel had taken pictures of the Identity Services panel I was on at Burton’s Catalyst in SF this past June.

Identity Services Panel

Andy Rappaport (CA), me, Phil Hunt (Oracle), Nick Nikols (Novell), Bill Dettlebeck (BEA)

Another shot of the panel

There is a lot of interest in Identity Services and we all agreed that the only real way to ensure its success, at least sooner rather than later, is to work together as vendors on the definition and then compete on implementation.

Mark Diodati, who chaired the panel (just outside the camera’s reach), was planning to bring both customers and vendors together, which I hope still happens.

Thanks again, Gerry!