Monday, May 30, 2005

more traveling with mara

I finally got around to putting together a slide show of our recent Mexico trip. I just can't say enough nice things about Tulum.


and since I'm being cliche'...three's a crowd.


two is better than one.

freak of nature.

According to Wikipedia, The phrase "cor gi" translates to "dwarf dog" in Welsh.


An interesting identity question that I pass on the way to work each day:

Given that the artist poses the question in the first person, I tend to trust "me." As soon as you direct the question from the third person, it's the asserted attributes of the entity that are trusted, and not the entity itself.

Of course, as the always excellent read of luke razzel's blog points out, names can be a bit tricky too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


What could be better than traveling with Mara?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hey Crackhead!

Paul Graham has 3 Simple Rules for building a startup:

  1. Start with good people
  2. Make something customers actually want
  3. Spend as little money as possible

I work in the posterchild facility for Rule #3...a warehouse attic above a gay porn production facility.

What I find particularily ironic about this is that A) They seem to be doing a better job of executing on Rule #2, and B) they're called Titan Media. I mean what are the chances? Titan Media producing Blue Movies below a software startup called Blue Titan...

At this point, you're probably wondering what the heck this post has to do with crackheads. Well...I've come to have a mature understanding of a few of the subtler points of life in SOMA.

First off, apparently the music in porn is dubbed in after the movie is made. This means nothing covering up the uhmm...noise...from below. This is suprisingly disruptive to the engineering processes, and, when properly timed to coincide with important meetings, an effective deterrent to investment and customer acquisition.

The other thing I've learned (at my poor motorcycle's expense) is that, in a pinch, you can smoke crack out of sparkplugs.

This brings us all the way back to rule #1 - start with good people:

Monday, May 09, 2005

Don't Bother Calling Support.

I was recently using one of BEA's many SOAP stacks, and discovered that while comprehensive, their documentation isn't actually accurate...a particularily frustrating combination.

Lucky for me, I happen to sit next to the guy who used to be in charge of all of them. He clued me into the site of manoj, who writes the server stack - apparently its where support sends people.

If you're using web services on'll need this:

Negative Assertion

Here is an intersting aspect of my digital records of the skateboarding ticket I received back in college.

I'd be a little scared by this if the State of Wisconsin were at all threatning...that is assuming you're not a feral house cat Ahh....wisco...

If you're feeling especially geeky today, you can query my WI criminal record over SOAP

Google...Directory Service or Server?

Another interesting scientific paper (don't worry - the last for awhile) is the Google Labs write up on GFS.

As I read this paper, I was struck with the architectural similarities to Directory Server as well as work we'd done on a system called the "distributor'". While many Directory servers have reasonably good vertical scaling capacity, there is a certain point where the management functions of a system becomes too fragile, sequential operations take to long, and the statistically low write volumes (that tend to be a directory design center & increasing liability) still result in large write volumes as a function of a user population. Deployment of a single physical system, while technically viable, starts failing to meet design constraints in ways which simply aren't an issue at low scale. Ultimately, decomposition of data into smaller logical "chunks" not only allowed better aggregate write throughput, but also allowed parallelization of time dependent operations (backup, recovery, etc).

I had a lot of fun working on this with some of my favorite people there - Steve Shoaff and Neil Wilson. I hope that Sun let's this loose. - in the meantime, read about GFS.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Stand near the edge...

Here's an intesting read on how ideas emerge from holes.

So, why's this the first post to my blog?

Having spent 5 years in the IdM industry, and having done so at one company (err...3? Netscape/iPlanet/Sun? ), I recently decided to jump through a structural hole, and see what was on the other side. As it turns out, it was a small SOA startup.

8 months later I've decided to jump on the bandwagon, and I've decided to call my blog xmldap - a nice hybred between my old and new industries, which is what I intend to write about...I hope you enjoy.

The paper itself does a nice job articulating (and partially quantifying) the intangible social capital assigned to social supernodes (see the 6 degrees of bowen ). As the new generation of emergent identity systems gets designed, we must provide for liberal acceptance of tokens/assertions/claims. Physical manifestations of social networks like LinkedIn have tremendous potential as transitive "trust" overlays...picture a Web of Trust model without key management. Some powerful Identity claims exist in untapped form (eBay reputation, social webs, etc ) - as in any good protocol design, let's be liberal with what we accept.