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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog
Location: Ontario, California, United States

Sometime audio artist. Email comments on this blog to the gmail account mrontemp.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Dot EU

From AP/Yahoo:

The European Union insisted Friday that governments and the private sector must share the responsibility of overseeing the Internet, setting the stage for a showdown with the United States on the future of Internet governance.

A senior U.S. official reiterated Thursday that the country wants to remain the Internet's ultimate authority, rejecting calls in a United Nations meeting in Geneva for a U.N. body to take over....

At issue is who would have ultimate authority over the Internet's master directories, which tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic.

That role has historically gone to the United States, which created the Internet as a Pentagon project and funded much of its early development. The U.S. Commerce Department has delegated much of that responsibility to a U.S.-based private organization with international board members, but Commerce ultimately retains veto power.

Some countries have been frustrated that the United States and European countries that got on the Internet first gobbled up most of the available addresses required for computers to connect, leaving developing nations with a limited supply to share....

From the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce:

U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System

The United States Government intends to preserve the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System (DNS). Given the Internet's importance to the world’s economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure. As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.

Governments have legitimate interest in the management of their country code top level domains (ccTLD). The United States recognizes that governments have legitimate public policy and sovereignty concerns with respect to the management of their ccTLD. As such, the United States is committed to working with the international community to address these concerns, bearing in mind the fundamental need to ensure stability and security of the Internet’s DNS.

ICANN is the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS. The United States continues to support the ongoing work of ICANN as the technical manager of the DNS and related technical operations and recognizes the progress it has made to date. The United States will continue to provide oversight so that ICANN maintains its focus and meets its core technical mission.

Dialogue related to Internet governance should continue in relevant multiple fora. Given the breadth of topics potentially encompassed under the rubric of Internet governance there is no one venue to appropriately address the subject in its entirety. While the United States recognizes that the current Internet system is working, we encourage an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders around the world in the various fora as a way to facilitate discussion and to advance our shared interest in the ongoing robustness and dynamism of the Internet. In these fora, the United States will continue to support market-based approaches and private sector leadership in Internet development broadly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I haven't really explored this service yet, but here's a link to information about the last 30 days of posts on this blog, including:

  • Inlinks - links to otechno.blogspot.com from feeds on other sites.

  • Outlinks - links from otechno.blogspot.com's feeds to other sites.

  • Entries - new and modified posts discovered in otechno.blogspot.com's feeds that are read by PubSub.

You can dig down deeper if you like. For example, here's a list of this blog's outlinks on Wednesday, September 21.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Reminder about the Biometrics e-Symposium

The Biometrics e-Symposium begins in a few hours. Registration is free. Here's the press release:

Free Global Biometrics Web Conference With World-Leading Experts

The Biometrics E-Symposium™ will be held online on the 28 September 2005, and archived thereafter. It is accessible free of charge and from the convenience of your own workplace.

London (PRWEB) September 15, 2005 -- World-leading experts (see below) have confirmed their participation as speakers at the Biometrics E-Symposium™, Setp. 28 2005 (http://www.biometrics.e-symposium.com). Organised by e-symposium Ltd in association with the iAfB, the IBIA, the EBF and the BI, this pioneering international web conference will see some of the industry’s most influential experts engaging in presentations and round table debates. The online nature of the ‘e-vent’ means that delegates around the world can tune in to live and archived presentations from the convenience of their own workplace and submit questions to the experts.

System requirements are very basic (a soundcard and an Internet connection), no plug-in or software are required to join in and registration is free of charge.

Program Highlights:

Gary McDonald (Chairman, New Technologies Working Group, ICAO)
>> Opening Keynote

Asa Hutchinson (Former Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security, White House & Chair of Venable’s Homeland Security Group)
>> Closing Keynote

Dr Frank Paul (Head of Unit "Large-scale IT systems", European Commission)
>> Large-Scale Biometrics Systems

Maxine Most (Principal, Acuity Market Intelligence)
Omid Omidvar (Program Manager, Advanced Technology Program, NIST)
Carter Morris (Chair, Interoperability Consortium, American Association of Airport Executives)
>> Round Table: Evolution of the Biometrics Market - Wishful Thinking vs. Practical Reality

Philip Statham (CESC Biometrics Program Manager & Chairman of the UK Government Biometrics Working Group)
>> Biometric Security and Security Evaluation

Axel Munde (Head of Biometrics, German Information Security Agency)
>> Conformity Assessment

John Daugman (Professor, Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University)
>> Iris Recognition

Raj Nanavati (Partner, International Biometric Group)
Scott Moody (President & CEO, AuthenTec, Inc.)
Angela Sasse (Professor of Human-Centred Technology, University College London)
>> Round Table: Consumer Acceptance of Biometrics

Dr. Fred Preston (Director of Identification, Police Information Technology Organisation)
>> Biometrics in Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

Bob Mocny (Deputy Director, US-VISIT, U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
>> US-VISIT Update

Randy Vanderhoof (Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance)
Christer Bergman (President & CEO, Precise Biometrics)
Joseph Kim (Associate Director of Consulting, International Biometric Group)
>> Round Table: Combining Biometrics and Smart Cards

Henning Daum (IGD, Security Technology Division, Fraunhofer Institute)
>> 3D Face Recognition Testing

Walter Hamilton (Chairman, International Biometric Industry Association, VP and General Manager, Biometric Solutions for SAFLINK Corporation)
Clive Reedman (Chair, International Association for Biometrics & Consultant UK Passport Service)
Martin Walsh (Chairman, European Biometric Forum)
Ted Dunstone (Chair, Technical Committee, Biometrics Institute & CEO, Biometix)
>> Round Table: Towards International Biometrics Standards

Other presentations will tackle cutting edge topics such as Passports and ID Cards, Identity Theft of Biometric Security Systems, AFIS & APIS Systems, UBID - The Universal Biometric Identification Vision, Determination of Iris Colour from DNA, New Biometric Applications, Biometric Solutions and Optical Memory Cards.

For more information on the Biometrics E-Symposium™ and to register free of charge, please visit http://www.biometrics.e-symposium.com.

e-symposium Ltd is the world's leading 'e-vent organizer' and specializes in staging high profile international web conferences (E-Symposia™) for non-profit making associations, institutes, media houses and corporations. For more information, please visit www.e-symposium.com.

# # #

Kable on Biometrics

From Kable:

Governments are likely to face "cost overrun and system failure" in setting up new identification systems but ID projects will still proliferate, providing business for IT suppliers over the next 10 years, according to a report issued on 27 September 2005....

Over the next few years, some key schemes will focus on facilitating citizens' interaction and access to government information, the report says. These systems include e-job seekers portals, e-learning portals and a telephone number for life.

Kable foresees that the virtual phone number could become part of a personal identification code on an identity card or passport. The number would be stored on public sector records for organisations to use when contacting citizens. Additional digits could be encrypted and used for digital signatures and access to personal data online....

PC Magazine Reviews HP iPAQ rx1950 PDA

From the review:

A good business PDA for PIM and integrating into corporate networks via Wi-Fi.

Cheapest PDA with Wi-Fi. Slim and lightweight. Good battery life. Good integration with Exchange servers.

Not much memory. No push e-mail upgrade. New Word Mobile is balky.

Are You Sure Abe Lincoln Done It This Way?

As evidence mounts that evidence is mounting (since evidence counts in large amounts), legal professionals need access to all of this information. Enter Renew Data:

ActiveVault™ Evidence Management Platform

RenewData's ActiveVault Evidence Management Platform ("ActiveVault EMP") is the electronic evidence industry's leading technology platform for media and data extraction, native file filtering and production output. This patent-pending platform is designed for rapid execution of large scale projects enabling large volumes of data to be processed in the most expeditious manner. The ActiveVault EMP is designed to ensure that legal professionals can achieve their schedules, maintain high levels of quality and control the expense of electronic evidence management. This proprietary platform is not sold or licensed as a separate product and is the foundation of RenewData's unique service offering....

Here's how the technology can be used:

Challenge: A global financial and insurance institution under SEC investigation preservation orders, for the past year, was under subpoena to produce and deliver emails and user files going back several years. The company was backing up 45TB's of data every day to meet the court's preservation orders. In addition, the company had 13 locations that all used different backup systems and environments making it even more difficult to produce and deliver the required data.

Solution: The company turned to RenewData for a solution that could extract large volumes of data from multiple, complex backup environments for production. In addition, the company needed a solution for producing evidence for follow on and similar matters. RenewData quickly and cost-effectively extracted the Exchange and Lotus emails, producing backups for every 6 months, then archived the data for follow on matters to the investigation. The patent-pending, non-native environment extraction technology and single-instance storage in RenewData's ActiveVault Extraction Suite enabled efficient processing of the large volumes of data and reduced the amount of data to be archived.

Results: RenewData was able to exceed the company's data extraction requirements with a highly scalable extraction solution and continues production for follow on matters, as well as archiving the company's data on an ongoing basis. In addition, RenewData's ActiveVault Preservation Manager has enabled the company to archive the company's data for future matters and investigations, thus avoiding duplication of the extraction process and enabling the company to implement retention and destruction policies.

Windows on a Palm?

From AP/Yahoo:

The software that popularized the handheld computer was dealt a large blow Monday, as Palm Inc. announced that it would use Windows software in its latest Treo smartphone.

The announcement comes at the expense of the PalmOS, which is maintained and sold by PalmSource Inc., a company that was spun off from Palm Inc. in 2003....


A tagging service for gadgets? Why?

Here's the bottom line: BoomerangIt makes it easier for lost or stolen items to find their way back to you.

All you do is register your valuables in our secure database and attach BoomerangIt labels to those items. (You name it, we have a label for it.) If you lose something, whoever finds it will see the label instructions and can easily report a Found Item on our website or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-2BOOMIT. Then we take care of getting your property back to you....

What people are saying about BoomerangIt:
"It's nice to know that if I lose my digital camera, it might not be gone forever. Whoever finds it can contact me through BoomerangIt."
-- Genevieve Keller

"For someone like me who tends to lose a lot of things or at least misplace them, BoomerangIt makes me feel a little more comfortable knowing that there is a greater chance of getting something back. It's a small price (to pay) for that reassuring comfort."
-- Jason Graham

"I like (BoomerangIt)! As many gadgets and technological items as I have, I need a service like this."
-- Jeff Roller

"...BoomerangIt provides a valuable way of documenting items. In the event that they were lost or stolen, the insurance company could refer to this..."
--Gabriel Bissell

They offer a variety of products, including the following items of technological interest:

Small Business Pack $79.95
50 Accessory Labels
50 Multi-Purpose Labels
10 Snap-On Luggage Tags
110 registrations / 10 years
The Small Business Pack serves two important functions: it gives you a well-organized, accessible anytime/anywhere record of ownership, while helping lost or stolen property find its way back to you. So for about seven cents a year per item, you can protect thousands of dollars worth of your company's assets, track them for internal accounting or insurance purposes and assure yours and your associates’ peace of mind.

Label-It-All Pack $39.95
10 Multi-Purpose Labels
20 Accessory Labels
30 registrations / 10 years
The BoomerangIt Label-It-All Pack is a great value if you are looking to protect many household items. If lost or stolen, your belongings may not be gone forever - and with this pack it's only about a dime per item per year for your piece of mind! You get enough labels for everyone's cell-phones, PDAs, cameras, portable CD and DVD players, as well as for all the handheld computer games, scooters, tennis racquets, and all the little things kids tend to misplace. This is a good option for protecting your home office assets, too.

Six-Pack (Accessory Labels) $14.95
6 Accessory Labels
6 registrations / 10 years
The 6-Pack (Accessory Labels) works great for all your portable electronics - cell phone, PDA, camera, CD or MP3 player, chargers and other accessories, a label even fits on the back of a wrist watch.

Monday, September 26, 2005

IPAQ rx1955 Information

Excerpts from Hewlett Packard press release:

HP today expanded its mobile offerings, including new and enhanced HP iPAQ Pocket PCs and a mobile printer, to make it easier than ever before for active professionals to stay connected and be more productive while on the go.

The introductions include the all new HP iPAQ rx1950 series Pocket PC, an enhanced HP iPAQ hx2000 series Pocket PC, the new HP Deskjet 460 mobile printer and upgrades to Microsoft Windows Mobile™ 5.0 for select HP iPAQ models.

The new HP iPAQ handhelds are equipped with the latest Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system and deliver enhanced mobile communication, entertainment and productivity through simpler navigation and access to data. Stylish and affordable, the HP iPAQ rx1950 combines integrated wireless(1) technologies, music, photo and digital video capabilities with a sleek design....

The Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system on the new HP iPAQ rx1950 and HP iPAQ hx2000 series makes it even easier to manage essential business and personal information to the fullest.

The software's persistent storage feature helps prevent the loss of data, settings and installed applications even if the battery is removed or drained. Windows Media Player 10 makes multimedia handling a snap since users can sync high-quality music, video and photos from a Windows PC to an HP iPAQ.(3) The integrated Personal Information Manager software boosts the efficiency of calendar, contacts, tasks and email features to further improve the customer's mobile experience....

The HP iPAQ rx1950 with integrated wireless(1) enables customers to stay connected and get more done. Key features include:

  • Integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b), enabling high-speed wireless access to the Internet, email, music and more(1);

  • Up to 33 MB of user-available memory;

  • Secure Digital slot for greater storage and expansion;

  • Removable/rechargeable lithium-ion battery for continuous power;

  • Compact and lightweight at 4.4 ounces.

The HP iPAQ rx1950 series...[is] now available for the following estimated U.S. street prices(8):

HP iPAQ rx1950: $299...

(1) A standard WLAN infrastructure, Wi-Fi infrastructure, other Bluetooth-enabled devices, separately purchased equipment, and a service contract with a wireless airtime provider may be required for applicable wireless communication. Wireless Internet use requires a separately purchased service contract. Check with service provider for availability and coverage in your area. Not all web content available....

(3) Intended for your original content and other lawful uses....

(8) Actual prices may vary.

From Engadget:

As noted previously, it looks a lot like the h4150 and, in fact, the two are bordering on identical....Notably, it’ll have WiFi but no Bluetooth. The biggest differentiator here is the price which, at $300, is quite a bit less than its predecessor went for back in its heyday.

But not everyone is impressed:

Pathetic devices. Anyone who would order an iPAQ over the Dell Axim X51 line would have to be nuts! I remember DavesiPAQ slamming the X51v release a week ago. I guess he wil have a lot of crow to eat now.

Unless HP has some Ace up their sleeve they are working on (and can release sometime before next Spring), they are going to have a hard time selling any PDAs except at the retail stores where naive customers can't see what Dell has to offer.

Glad I didn't listen to DavesiPAQ. I'll be very happy with my new X51v that arrives this Thursday!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Joining the Wired Community to Watch Yourself Face Death

I made an observation on this in someone else's blog, but I'm not linking directly to that blog entry (I have my reasons).

Anyway, let's look at what the Lowell Sun had to say about a recent event:

Taryn Manning says watching TV at her seat as a JetBlue airliner circled the region for three hours before making an emergency landing was the most “out-of-body experience I ever had.”

The film star in Hustle & Flow was among 140 passengers as the plane, which had a crippled nose wheel, touched down safely Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport. No one was injured.

“When we saw our plane on TV as ‘breaking news' ... it was the most surreal, out-of-body experience I ever had,”....

JetBlue airliners have satellite television monitors installed in the backs of seats. Passengers on the Burbank-to-New York flight watched their own drama unfolding on the news until just before landing....

JetBlue offers a variety of DIRECTV channels on its planes, including several news channels. But its true secret isn't the TV - it's the automation, stupid:

JetBlue, started four years ago by a duo of airline industry veterans who amassed $160 million in capital, began
JetBlue Airways President Dave Barger (right) says he and CIO Jeff Cohen have an ongoing brainstorming session about IT projects that will improve existing business processes.
with a simple plan to offer high-end customer service at low-end prices (averaging $99 each way). So while passenger-facing elements emphasize service and comfort—JetBlue boasted a new fleet of Airbus A320 planes with all-leather upholstery and seat-back TVs when it first flew in 2000—executives have invested heavily in automation, from ticket sales that stress direct-sale Web purchases to electronic tagging on bags.

"They've redefined what is expected of a startup airline," says Stuart Klaskin, a Coral Gables, Fla.-based aviation consultant. "They said, Let's completely wipe the slate clean. And from a technology standpoint and a customer service standpoint, they have done things that most other people in the airline industry have only thought about."

So far, that combination of being a late arriver and early adopter is serving JetBlue well. The airline operates at 70 percent of the cost of the biggest carriers....

In 1984, [JetBlue CEO David] Neeleman cofounded Morris Air, a Salt Lake City-based airline that became the first to offer ticketless travel, a program developed in-house. In 1993, Morris Air was snapped up for $130 million by low-cost leader Southwest Airlines, which picked up the e-ticket tack and brought Neeleman on board as an executive planning committee member. But he lasted just six months, frustrated, he says, by the lack of automation there. "When I got to Southwest, you couldn't even make a reservation on the phone. You were instructed to go to the airport to buy your ticket," Neeleman says. "And they were still using the old mainframe system they had inherited from Braniff."...

In 1984, Neeleman cofounded Morris Air, a Salt Lake City-based airline that became the first to offer ticketless travel, a program developed in-house. In 1993, Morris Air was snapped up for $130 million by low-cost leader Southwest Airlines, which picked up the e-ticket tack and brought Neeleman on board as an executive planning committee member. But he lasted just six months, frustrated, he says, by the lack of automation there. "When I got to Southwest, you couldn't even make a reservation on the phone. You were instructed to go to the airport to buy your ticket," Neeleman says. "And they were still using the old mainframe system they had inherited from Braniff." When he left the Dallas-based airline, then-CEO Herb Kelleher asked him to sign a five-year noncompete agreement....

When his noncompete pact with Southwest expired in 1998, Neeleman sold Open Skies to Hewlett-Packard for an undisclosed amount and began working on the launch of his new company. He raised capital from five previous investors in Morris Air and landed investor George Soros to boot....

Neeleman and [David] Barger made a series of decisions to simplify the business and take advantage of their IT bent.

They developed plans for point-to-point service in high-volume corridors (New York to South Florida, Seattle and L.A.-Long Beach, for example), thus avoiding the costs and business process complications associated with the hub-and-spoke system that major airlines use to reach all markets. "We didn't want to be all things to all people. We wanted to go where we could make money," Neeleman says. So no flights to Chicago yet.

They avoid travel agents (average cost: $14 per ticket). So they set up reservations agents in Utah, where work-at-home operators use voice over IP (VoIP) lines (average cost: $4.50 per ticket). There's also a big Internet reservations push on JetBlue.com (50 cents per ticket). And, of course, all ticketless travel.

They created the industry's first paperless cockpit, equipping pilots and first officers with laptops to access electronic flight manuals and make pre-flight load and balance calculations....

But in a culture so geared up for gadgets, it's also Cohen's responsibility to draw the line between cutting-edge, cool stuff and technology that actually helps pilot JetBlue's financial performance. For example, Cohen quashed wireless check-in at JFK after the airline took over an entire terminal there starting last Thanksgiving. It turned out agents could move people along faster at its 40 counters. "If it doesn't make you efficient, it's not cool," he says....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

From Bean Bags to Pillows

Back at work, I was waiting for a computer software repair when I took the OPN pillow out of my handy dandy Oracle OpenWorld bag.

Allow me to explain. My company is a member of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN), which sponsored an itty bitty game for the partners. We were given fake passports which could be stamped as you did various things (took an OPN survey, attended an Oracle demo, etc.).

If you get 7 stamps, you get an Oracle Partner Network pillow.

If you get 10 stamps, you get something else and a chance to compete for wonderful prizes.

I only got 7 stamps, so I got the pillow, which came with a straw and instructions to insert the straw in the valve to inflate/deflate, and to remove the straw during.

So I inflated, and got a nice pillow. Couldn't find a place to put the straw, but I got a nice pillow.

Tried to deflate, but couldn't.

Perhaps Oracle University offers a course in pillow inflation/deflation for non-technical personnel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This is probably as good a time as any to review two of the caveats that I published when starting this particular blog:

Just because I comment on something doesn't necessarily mean that I know anything about it. In some cases I blog because I want to learn about something that I know nothing about.

Neither my undergraduate nor my graduate degrees are in technological disciplines. For example, my undergraduate degree is in economics. Enough said.

In other words, while I can spell DBA, I end up relying on our company's DBA for explanations of the more technical items.

With these caveats, let me explain that I spent a good part of the last couple of days bringing myself up to speed on Real Application Clusters and Automated Storage Management. I began with Barb Lundhild's presentation on Monday afternoon - here are some of the cryptic notes that I recorded from that presentation:

  • 10gR2 includes cluster verification utility

  • high availability API for your application

  • load balancing advisory

  • Oracle Clusterware - don't need to implement RAC

I also took some notes on Automated Storage Management (ASM) and the need for virtual IPs and node-independent ways of connecting to an application.

As I previously mentioned, I attended the amazon.com presentation at 11:00 on Tuesday. This was given by Grant McAlister, and discussed the use of Oracle Real Application Clusters and Automated Storage Management to enable scaling on Linux with low-cost storage. amazon.com has been transitioning to Linux, and all of their systems now run Linux (and have since 2004). According to McAlister, the use of ASM was a key part of their transition strategy. He discussed various ways of defining diskgroups, recommended the segregation of the data and the flashback area from the other diskgroups.

While I attended the 3:00 panel on RAC/ASM experiences, I didn't have enough of a background to get a lot out of it. Knowledgeable people seemed to like it, however.

Although the main topic wasn't RAC, Gautan Mekala of Dell touched upon RAC in his presentation about transitioning Dell's supply chain management system from the 8.0.6 database to the database. Specifically, he cautioned that if you're going to use RAC, you have to architect your application to take advantage of RAC. The technologies that were employed (Red Hat 3.0 Advanced Server, RAC, ASM, Oracle Data Guard, etc.) allows Dell to manage their production system on Dell computers. Think about the ramifications of this - if someone had told you a couple of decades ago that a PC manufacturer would someday run their business on their own PCs, would you have laughed?

What I Like About You - Your Tablespaces Transport

Because I was attending the amazon.com presentation on the use of Real Application Clusters, I missed the Thomas Kyte presentation listing things he liked about Oracle Database 10g. Therefore, I am depending upon my fellow bloggers to provide an overview of Kyte's presentation.


The 10 Things session was really good. It was presented by Thomas Kyte and the information was excellent. It was also presented in a funny, well educated manner. It was actually 12 things and about 7 honorable mention.

Mark Rittman couldn't make the presentation, but he did snap a picture of the line to get into the presentation.

Here's a preview of the presentation topics from Thomas Kyte himself:

Conditional Compilation in PLSQL
Better trace file information (in the raw trace file, timestamps on wait event records)
Full Database Transports
Asynchronous Commit
SGA Direct Attach
Transparent Data Encryption
Transporting AWR data
Audit trail in XML format
Online Tablespace Transport

Kyte's post-presentation comments are here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Eddie Awad's Oracle OpenWorld Flickr Group

I didn't bring a camera to Oracle OpenWorld (my low res camera phone doesn't count), but those of you who did may be interested in what Eddie Awad has done.

...I have noticed that a number of [Oracle OpenWorld bloggers] have been posting OOW photos on their blogs. That’s great, as this gives us, outsiders, a feel of what people and things look like at the conference form the point of view of an insider. However, in an effort to collect all of these photos in a central and convenient repository, I have created the Oracle OpenWorld - 2005 Flickr group....

The Technology of Beanbag Chairs

Those attending Oracle OpenWorld know why I'm delving into this topic. Suffice it to say that I went to the Oracle Partner Network lounge after lunch to remotely view the Sun keynote, and for some strange reason I didn't take a lot of notes (other than "lower support fees for Solaris v10 vs. Red Hat?").

It turns out that beanbag chairs were controversial in prior years:

Bob Taylor, associate manager of the Computer Science Lab at [Xerox] Parc in Palo Alto, says there was a cultural divide between the other groups of physicists and industrial scientists at Parc and the two computer labs -- his hardware-focused Computer Science Lab and Alan Kay's software-oriented Systems Sciences Lab, which invented Smalltalk using the Alto....

"There were those who were formalists, and others who were iconoclastic, like the computer scientists," Taylor says. "The physicists liked wearing badges and all the formalisms of the corporate world. And they liked working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We came in at noon and worked all night. And they accused us of being on dope and walking around barefoot and wearing our hair long," none of which was true, Taylor adds.

The schism between the two cultures was obvious when Taylor put in a requisition - at Peter Deutsch's (another Parc employee working on the Alto) suggestion -- to buy beanbag chairs for the conference rooms. Parc management tried to nix the idea, saying beanbag chairs would violate corporate standards and wouldn't be professional enough. So Taylor pulled a management trick of his own, suggesting he would have to write a memo back to Xerox headquarters explaining that Parc had shelled out $250 each for conference chairs when they could have spent $35 each for the beanbag chairs. And he got his way.

Ah, the technology:

With more stability and support than its rivals, this beanbag chair with matching ottoman is designed for grownups. Heavyweight and durable 100% cotton cover with polypropylene fill. Available in black, denim, khaki, celadon, light blue, light yellow or hot pink. USA.

The beanbag chairs here, by the way, are sponsored by Novell.

One quick comment

I should give up this computer soon (didn't bring my laptop to Moscone), so I'll quickly say hello to the OOW attendees who got to this blog from the Oracle OpenWorld 2005 Blog Center. A couple of my posts are listed there now [1] [2]. See, I can supply valuable content at times.

On Presentation Errors

Killing time in Moscone West, waiting for my next session.

When I talked about Jacqueline Woods' session on Monday, I neglected to mention that she had computer problems partway through the presentation. Her computer started beeping at her (and no, it wasn't an ESPN fantasy football message), then locked up. She was able to proceed, even without slides or notes (the woman knew her material), but you could tell that the problem bothered her.

So why do I mention it today? Because it gives me a chance to tell a bad story about myself.

About a year ago I was scheduled to give a presentation. Can't remember whether it was 60 or 90 minutes, but it was a nice long one. And boy, was I prepared. In fact, I was so prepared that I went to the meeting room about an hour ahead of time, took my laptop to the podium, plugged it in to the outlet, proceeded to the first slide, and waited. Boy, was I ready.

Some time later the presentation began, and I was giving it my all - that is, until my laptop suddenly died on me.

My boss came up to the podium - my new boss, by the way - to help me figure out what was going on. It turned out that the outlet that I used for my laptop was not live, and that I had been running on battery power all that time - until my battery gave out.

Since then, I've added one step to presentation preparation - check and make sure the battery icon isn't displaying on the laptop.

Monday, September 19, 2005

An Insurance Business? Funding Open Source

From InfoWorld:

When it comes to open source vendors and innovation, Bill Gates doesn't waver. In an interview at Microsoft's annual Professional Developers Conference (PDC) last week, Gates told CNet, "I don't think that someone who completely gives up license fees is ever going to have a substantial R&D budget and do the hard things, the things too hard to do in a university environment."...

You can't make money giving away products. You can, however, profit by selling support and services around those products, and that's the way many open source companies, including JBoss, are run. Customers can download the code for nothing, but if they want somebody to call when things start falling apart, they have to pay.

The interesting thing about this model is that when you strip it down to brass tacks it looks an awful lot like an insurance business. Customers pay for a number to call even though they hope to never dial it. The problem is that in practice these support contracts don't work like health insurance; they're more like dental insurance.

With group health insurance, everybody pays but only a few get sick. As long as the majority of group members are young and healthy, the insurance provider still turns a profit, even if a few members file major claims.

Dental plans aren't structured quite the same way, for one main reason: With dental insurance, everybody files. What's the first thing you do when you join a new dental plan? Get your teeth checked. That's why the deductibles are so high and the annual caps so low. Dental plans are structured to let every subscriber get two check-ups per year, in hopes that regular preventative care will ward off bigger problems. Anything extra comes out of the insurer's bottom line....

[U]nless I'm missing something, Gates might be right. Without additional revenue from software licenses, "pure" open source companies have two options: either charge support fees that are substantially higher than those of proprietary software vendors, or else forget about innovation.

Which leads me to my next question: Is that situation so bad?

Let's say this is the shape of the software industry for the next 10 years. A proprietary company comes up with an innovative idea and it's successful. The open source community scrambles to duplicate this idea. Eventually the open source version matures, it catches on, the product category becomes commoditized, and customers gravitate toward the lowest-cost option. Meanwhile, a new innovative idea has come along. Rinse, repeat....

Jorn Barger Revisited

Remember the joke from Jorn Barger? If you liked it, check out Jorn's site, which has a blog (or perhaps it's a blog which has a site - it's kinda unclear).

L.A. Weight Loss and Oracle OpenWorld

I'm watching the local ABC TV outlet (Redskins won!) and just saw an L.A. Weight Loss commercial, which reminded me of one thing that I did like about the Willie Hardie presentation.

Noting that the availability of the less expensive Standard Edition and Standard Edition One have benefited small and midsize customers such as L.A. Weight Loss, Hardie noted that this company had trimmed the fat in its budget.

You may groan now. But I liked it...

Oracle Acknowledges the Ontario Technoblog (Sort Of)

As of now Oracle OpenWorld 2005 Blog Center hasn't (to my knowledge) directly linked to any of my posts about Oracle OpenWorld (which have been devoid of content until an hour ago [1] [2] [3] [4]), but it has linked to a post that linked to one of my posts about Oracle OpenWorld. (Links are like that.)

Here's part of what Just Another Nerd said:

I've been inspired by the Ontario Technoblog to write more about my experience on getting to OpenWorld.

Like any good technophile my journey started well before my flight left. Deciding on thing like:
How many laptops should I bring?
What other things should I bring?
MP3 Player, Blackberry, Other cell phone, camera
Where am I staying?
Best Western...by the airport - they have free wireless!...


In case you're wondering, my answers to JAN's questions are as follows:

  • 1 (I only have access to one)

  • Cell phone/charger, peer review notes, cheat sheet for "Music Man," Rewards Network restaurant list

  • Hilton Garden Inn...by the airport - they have free high speed Internet!...(faster, thus better than wireless

The Nerd also has a valuable tip, but I don't really have the time to pursue it:

Many people talk about how expensive it is to get around SF...so far I haven't spent a dime on getting around the city. Most places that I want to go are around the Fisherman's Warf area (Alcatraz, Golden Gate...etc). The best way to get to these places for free is to take one of the many OpenWorld busses. Take the bus from your hotel to the convention center...from there pickup the #5 bus (at Moscone South) and get off at the first stop (Holiday Inn) go north about 2 blocks and you're at Fisherman's Warf! The #5 runs about every 20 minutes ... all day! It takes about 20-30 minutes to get from the Moscone center to the Holiday Inn. Once you're done hope back on the bus at the Holiday Inn and enjoy the trip back to the Moscone Center...all for "free."

And in another post, the Nerd had some valuable advice:

I would like to add one piece of advice for everyone attending OpenWorld...this really only applies to about .5% of the people here, but maybe one of them will read this and make the conference better for everyone.

Things NOT to do at OpenWorld:

  • Answer your cell phone in the middle of a session and talk for 10 minutes. If the call is that important get up and leave the room...we paid money to listen to the speaker, not you.

  • Don't stop at the top/bottom of the stairs to read/dial your phone/talk with a friend/look at your schedule. The stairs can fit about 2 people across...if you stop at the top or bottom you create a "road block" for the 1000 people behind you. Please move off to the side.

  • Don't stop in the middle of the hall way either. Please see the above for reasoning.

By the way, when Just Another Nerd talked about blocking 1000 people, the Nerd wasn't kidding. For example, the keynote sessions took place Monday morning in Moscone Center North. They are scheduled to end at 10:30, giving people one-half hour to scatter to a bunch of sessions in Moscone North, Moscone South, Moscone West, and some surrounding hotels. Around 10:45 I had to get to a session on the third floor of Moscone West. There were probably thousands of people getting on the escalators on the first floor of Moscone West, heading up to the second and third floors for 11:00 sessions.

Juan Loaiza on The Future of Database and Information Technology at Oracle OpenWorld

This afternoon (Monday, September 19) at Oracle OpenWorld, Juan Loaiza of Oracle gave a presentation entitled "The Future of Database and Information Technology." It probably wouldn't surprise you to learn that Loaiza stated that Oracle is delivering the future today, and no one else is. However, it's instructive to see what he said.

Loaiza claimed that some people are stating that "IT doesn't matter" (i.e. is just a commodity that can be bought for less money) and that relational database technology is "good enough." At the same time, business executives are complaining that IT isn't delivering enough value, and that they can't access their data. Loaiza then discussed the silos of data that exist at companies - one company had 4,000 separate databases at one point - and noting that these isolated solutions are causing a huge problem.

Taking the variables of cost, service quality, and access to information, Juan Loaiza advanced three concepts:

  • Reduced cost via "total integration"

  • Better service quality via an "unlimited/unbreakable platform"

  • Better information access via "resilient agility"

Total integration can be realized via

  • an infrastructure grid - applications, database (with real application clusters), storage

  • database deployments - let multiple applications access data, and use Oracle's transportable tablespaces to port data from other sources

  • product stacks - applications, application servers, database, clusterware, and backup from one company - Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and SAP are taking this approach

  • content stores - relational database, images, spatial data, XML, and documents all stored together

  • business intelligence

The unlimited/unbreakable platform is satisfied by Oracle features such as grid computing, flashback, automated storage management, Data Guard, etc.

When speaking of agility, Loaiza acknowledged that a single change in SQL can ruin a database, leading administrators to lock down the database. When the database is an enterprise-level database, administrators are more prone to lock down the database. This, however, prevents users from ad hoc access to the data. "Resilient agility" allows users to access the data while protecting it against problems (runaway SQL, transactions that reduce access for higher priority transactions).

My Personal Problems (Oracle OpenWorld and Willie Hardie on Oracle for Small and Mid Size Businesses)

Maybe it's just me and my personal experiences (including presentations given to audiences who will not tolerate vendor commercials), but I really wish that Willie Hardie's presentation at Oracle OpenWorld had been less of an Oracle commercial and more of a true learning experience about the needs of small and midsize businesses.

I'll grant that this may be a minority opinion, but if someone is giving a presentation entitled "Oracle Database 10g for Small and Midsize Businesses," I would hope for the following:

  • A presentation that focused exclusively on the needs of small and midsize businesses.

  • A presentation that included material from small and midsized businesses.

Well, that isn't the presentation that Willie Hardie chose to give today (Monday, September 19) at Oracle OpenWorld. Hardie started by talking about how Oracle is the number one database in the world, and then listed the features in Oracle Database 10g, starting with the "g" word (grid). (Real meaningful to the small business.) Hardie did discuss a number of features that benefit small businesses (for example, the ease with which spreadsheet data can be imported into Oracle HTML DB), but the statements that didn't come from Oracle came from large vendors - "small business is important to us," said the large vendors. But not important enough to get a small businessman or businesswoman up there to speak for themselves.

Again, this may just be me, but I was hoping for something more.

[OE UPDATE: But I liked this.]

Jacqueline Woods on Licensing at Oracle OpenWorld

I attended the Jacqueline Woods session on licensing at Oracle OpenWorld. Most of you don't care. I'll give you a few highlights anyway:

  • Two new pricing models include "capacity on demand" (only pay for the CPUs that you're actually using) and "software as a service via financing" (one payment per month for the license and the support).

  • Also some talk about metering software usage and looking for peak usage. Woods cited fantasy football servers as an example - these servers will have peak usage around Sunday or Monday, but lower usage the rest of the week.

  • Multi-core processor licensing will be cheaper than licensing of separate processors.

  • A lot of talk about cluster licensing, both for hot clusters and failover clusters.

  • Discussion of a Lifetime Support Policy, with some level of support 6+ years after a product is introduced. Better than no support at all, and when you think about the obsolescence in this industry, the policy is commendable.

Paul Otellini and a "Wi Fi Free" San Francisco at Oracle OpenWorld

I already audioblogged about this, but for the benefit of my deaf readers, let me note that during his keynote address, Paul Otellini of Intel misspoke at one point, saying that the mayor of San Francisco wanted to establish a "Wi-Fi free" city. He quickly corrected himself, noting that the mayor actually wanted "free Wi-Fi."

Richard Rendell watched the Intel speech from the same spot that I did:

With so many people at OOW the keynotes are being video broadcast in other rooms - I'm in room 104 right now watching the Intel part of the keynote. There are about 1,000 people in the foyer of Mosone North watching a video screen there. Many are sitting on the floor and on beanbags pounding away on their laptops or scribbling notes. Many people standing also. Chuck Phillips focused on Fusion and announced Oracle Applications will in the future also work on WebSphere. We are a happy to compete he said. The underlying message of his keynote was that via our midtier we can interoperate with anything that has a standard services interface. People were gathered around monitors setup throughout the Moscone complexes as I walked here. There were queues just to get a coffee....

Here's Oracle's take on Otellini's speech:

[Charles] Phillips thanked the attendees and turned the microphone over to Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel.

"Oracle is a critical partner and you are all critical technology partners," Otellini said, sweeping his hand across the crowed.

"Growth is back in the technology industry," Otellini said. "And I'm here to talk to you about what's driving this growth and give you the heads-up on what's to come."

"The reason for growth is that as an industry we've continued to invested, innovate, and build products that people want." Otellini gave some impressive numbers of units his company has shipped over the past year and noted that what's driving the growth is laptops. Laptop use is growing, he said, because of something that didn't even exist a few years ago: WiFi. "WiFi has become the new normal, and that's what people to expect technology companies to do—create the new normal. We're committed to mobile technology."

Otellini went on to discussed multicore processors and announce five new business units built around Intel mobile architecture: Mobility, Digital Home, Digital Health, Channel Platforms, and Digital Enterprise.

"We're customizing microprocessors and the chipsets around them to bring new capabilities into all of these platforms."

At the end, attendees filed out clutching their complementary t-shirt emblazoned with the words, "I'm hot pluggable, are you?"

Well, except for me. I left early. But I have too many t-shirts anyway.

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Latest Oracle OpenWorld Coverage

I will not arrive in San Francisco for another 12 hours, but others have already arrived or are on the way there.

Jared, on Saturday:

Well, I made it to Open World in San Francisco! It looks to be quite the experience. Today was a fairly slow day. I'm doing the Xtreme Weekend training so I just had one class....

Getting here was quite the event. I was supposed to have a one way flight...with a stop in Houston. They decided to have us change planes so that translated into walking across the entire airport! Once I arrived in San Francisco I was told that my hotel reservation had been cancelled...that, is not cool!

Everything turned out fine, I have a roof over my head and free wireless internet...that happens to wig out rather often, but it works...mostly.

Bitman faced some challenges also:

Arrived yesterday, very late. They must have had the worst pilot available at Air west - a more bumby, swinging and lack of information you have to look long for. Delays and long waits, had me at the hotel at 10pm....

Day 1 - September 17th
Everything seems to be running pretty smooth so far. The bus came on time, and registration was a breeze. Getting in with the first bus is most likely part of that success :)....

After registrering - which was a breeze - I walked about San Fransisco and surveyed the close by blocks. I found a Quiznoss and got a bite to eat, and then headed back to the conference center. I walked the grounds and found the keynote area ... and 15000+ chairs lined up!! One of the banners boasted 25000 accounts setup for the attendies during the conference. No matter, there's gonna be some rush come Monday morning when this thing starts for real....

And here's the perspective from the daughter of an OpenWorld attendee:

Today my dad went to San Francisco to go to the Oracle OpenWorld convention. He woke at 5, and my mom drove him to the airport. He'll be staying there for about a week...I told him to get me a lot of pens at the convention. I love logo pens. But they have to be cool logos, mind you =o

As of this moment I happen to be carrying a pen from the Covered Wagon Motel in Lusk, Wyoming. I think this one's cool, but others may not.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Internet Hunting

In this post I'm concentrating on the technological issues.

From Government Technology:

California Bill To Outlaw Internet Hunting Goes to Governor
Sep 02, 2005 By News Staff

The sport known as "Internet hunting" would be banned in California under SB 1028 by Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), which was approved Monday by the Senate on a bipartisan 27-5 vote and now awaits the Governor for his signature.

"Killing animals over the Internet is about as sporting as shooting fish in a barrel and it ought to bother animal lovers and true hunters everywhere," said Bowen. "It takes absolutely zero hunting skill to log onto a web site and click a computer mouse to kill an animal."

An Internet hunting site sets up rifles near waterholes or wildlife feeders and connects them to video cameras that allow cyberspace "hunters" to watch their computer screen until they spot a target. The "hunter" then uses their computer to line up the rifle and fire a shot. One person in Texas has received national attention for being the first remote-assisted hunting operation to be open for business at www.live-shot.com....

Live-shot.com explains how it works:

LIVE-SHOT is similar to a trip to the rifle range with one very notable exception. Everything is done through a computer and the internet. A paid membership will allow for access to the range viewing camera(s) at any time. Members can then schedule a reserved session time which allows exclusive control of the shooting system to fire at a choice of various reactive targets. Please note that the shooting range is an outdoor facility located on a secluded ranch in the Texas hill country. Please take this into consideration while shooting is taking place, as weather can affect accuracy.

Shooting sessions are normally scheduled at the beginning of each week. We watch the local weather forecast and coordinate sessions with the weather and range personnel. An e-mail is sent to all active members when sessions are available.

At all times during a shooting session, someone is at the shooting station and is available to answer questions (telephone, e-mail, instant messaging, web-cam), provide assistance, and ensure a quality experience. This person has the ability to override the firing mechanism of the system to minimize the chance of a dangerous or illegal discharge from occurring.

Whole House FM Transmitter

I surfed from KOER to this site (via Google Adsense):

Whole House
FM Transmitter

My Personal Radio Station ™

Simply The Best You Can Buy Without An FCC License...

Broadcast your favorite audio to every FM radio throughout your entire home from any device that has an audio out or earphone jack

My Personal Radio Station™ will transmit in stereo from any audio device such as PDA, MP3, MD, iPOD, DVD Player, Home Theater, Boom Box, Home Stereo, CD Player, Tape Cassette, Walkman, XM radio, Sirius, Computer (mac or pc) to any FM radio in your home...

This digital FM Broadcaster operates on any one of 7 FM stations (106.7, 106.9, 107.1, 107.3, 107.5, 107.7, 107.9) and uses regular AC power. You can also power it with the optional battery pack or optional car adapter

The higher you place the antenna the farther you will transmit. The broadcaster comes with complete easy to follow plug & play instructions including tips on getting the best distance possible

Simple to set-up, just listen for an unused station in your area on your FM radio -- set the transmitter to that station and you are done. The transmitter stays on that station until you change it -- it will not drift between stations because of the stereo PLL Digital Tuner Technology

Semantics, Cerebra, Oracle OpenWorld

Another press release:

Press Release Source: Cerebra Inc.

Cerebra to Demonstrate Automated Semantic Web Services at Oracle(R) OpenWorld
Friday September 16, 8:00 am ET

The Next Big Thing in Service-Oriented Architecture Available for the First Time in a Commercially Packaged Product

CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 2005--Cerebra® Inc., the leading provider of standards-based semantic technology products, will demonstrate the strength of newly released Cerebra Suite version 4.1 at Oracle® OpenWorld at San Francisco's Moscone Center September 19 - 22 by using their run-time inference engine to mediate Web Services and automate response to business changes. Cerebra is a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork.

How do organizations typically respond to a sudden disruption in the supply chain, or a change in business policy, or a request for an ad hoc report that requires reclassification of existing data? For most, the response occurs in "IT time," and involves explicit coding and/or manual processes, which take business and IT resources away from core business functions.

For the first time, in the Cerebra booth at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference, attendees will be able to see, within a typical Oracle environment, accurate and trusted automated response to an unanticipated event in real-time, using the appropriate corporate data and policies to draw the correct conclusions and reflecting the results in the context of the business user via a dynamically updated dashboard.

FUSE. INTERPRET. AUTOMATE. Bringing their theme to life, Cerebra will show conference attendees how they can use products available today to make SOA implementations successful by ensuring reuse of application elements.

FUSE. The demonstrated solution makes use of data from cross-organizational sources. Examples: relational, web services including salesforce.com, and graph data from an RDF datastore within Oracle Database 10g Release 2. These are all integrated, along with metadata, rules, services and documents, into a model which provides semantic reconciliation across the organization's various business domains.

INTERPRET. In real-time, the Cerebra Server inference engine interprets the meaning of the change or event in context and within policy, using explicit and implicit facts, without moving or transforming data.

AUTOMATE. Cerebra uses reclassification and services mediation to identify right response and resources to execute against corporate objectives. Cerebra's integration with Oracle BPEL Process Manager and Business Rules automates execution of business actions within context.

"Demands posed by new approaches such as outsourcing and SOA are creating a perfect storm of need for this capability. Regulatory requirements put pressure on organizations to maintain consistent automated assignment of business policy across multiple departments and divisions," said Vickie Farrell, VP of Marketing at Cerebra. "Traditional technologies and approaches were not designed to meet these needs. It's no wonder semantic technology has so much attention."

The Web will reach full potential when data is shared, processed and understood by automated tools as well as people. The "Semantic Web" is an extension of the current Web in which information is given well-defined meaning, enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. Semantic technology is the first generation of innovation toward achieving that vision.

"You can't create and maintain consistent interpretation of business data by all stakeholders across and between organizations, enabling true component reuse, without a semantic reconciliation layer," said John Kelly, Cerebra CEO. "Oracle and Cerebra have collaborated to deliver new-generation semantic technology for commercial use, allowing users to align all information producers and consumers transparently to applications, providing a core layer of successful SOA implementations."

"Oracle Database 10g Release 2 is the world's first mainstream commercial database to provide direct and native support for semantic technology," says Ken Jacobs, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle. "Cerebra and Oracle have already enabled many of our customers in the life sciences, healthcare, government and geo-spatial industries to use semantic technologies to create exciting new solutions to real-world problems. Leveraging the power, scalability, security and availability of the Oracle technology, these new semantic capabilities are sure to find wide application in commercial enterprises."

The integrated solution uses XML-based data language standards OWL and RDF adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for enabling the Semantic Web. Building on but going beyond XML, RDF and OWL specialize in linking data and capturing intended relationships in a well-defined way, facilitating reuse and dissemination of domain knowledge to dispersed business communities. See full implementation in action at Cerebra booth #1742 at Oracle OpenWorld.

About the Standards

Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a graph-based data language. RDF systems can represent any data traditionally stored in a relational or hierarchical (XML) data management system. But, because graphs assume very little about the data they contain, they can evolve more easily without disruptive data migration issues, a superior approach when data needs to be highly interconnected.

Oracle Spatial 10g Release 2 introduces the industry's first open, scalable, secure and reliable platform with native support for RDF "triple" structures. This support is based on the Oracle Spatial network data model, an optimized graph model. The RDF triples are stored, indexed and queried using object-relational RDF data types. This unique capability ensures that application developers can deploy fast, secure, semantic applications that can include tens of millions of RDF-described relationships.

OWL (Web Ontology Language) extends RDF schema, enabling expression of richer relationships and providing a much enhanced inferencing capability.

Cerebra Suite is the industry's first native OWL implementation of an inference engine which incorporates:

algorithms scaled for commercial data volumes and performance requirements
reasoning over external legacy data sources, including databases and web services
standard, usable run-time XQuery language akin to SQL
OWL and RDF together enable machine-processable semantics. And Oracle and Cerebra together have built and integrated products that apply them to real-world problems in the commercial enterprise.

About Cerebra

Cerebra is the leading provider of standards-based, enterprise-ready, semantic technologies. Cerebra enterprise solutions offer Global 2000 organizations short-term payback through lower maintenance costs and project risk, and new integration and application capabilities, while providing a standards-driven pragmatic roadmap towards the model-driven Adaptive Enterprise. Cerebra's products provide an enterprise-strength integration and business application environment on an SOA-ready platform based on the W3C's OWL, RDF, XML, SOAP, and WSDL standards. Cerebra's corporate offices include Carlsbad CA, Menlo Park CA, Boston MA, Washington DC and Manchester UK. For more information, visit http://www.cerebra.com.

About the Oracle PartnerNetwork

Oracle PartnerNetwork is a global business network of 15,000 companies who deliver innovative software solutions based on Oracle software. Through access to Oracle's premier products, education, technical services, marketing and sales support, the Oracle PartnerNetwork program provides partners with the resources they need to be successful in today's global economy. Oracle partners are able to offer customers leading-edge solutions backed by Oracle's position as the world's largest enterprise software company. Partners who are able to demonstrate superior product knowledge, technical expertise and a commitment to doing business with Oracle can qualify for the Oracle Certified Partner levels.


Oracle, JD Edwards, and PeopleSoft are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Cerebra Inc.
Vickie Farrell, 760-476-0650 x 126

Source: Cerebra Inc.

Oracle Announces Keynote Series

From PRNewswire/Oracle/Yahoo:

Press Release Source: Oracle Corporation

Oracle Announces Keynote Series for Oracle(R) OpenWorld San Francisco 2005
Friday September 16, 8:00 am ET

Industry Leaders from HP, Intel, NetApp, Oracle and Sun Address Attendees at Upcoming Conference

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL - News) today announced the keynote series for Oracle® OpenWorld San Francisco, Oracle's global business and technology conference to be held September 17 - 22, 2005 at Moscone Center. With keynote presentations from HP, Intel, NetApp, Oracle and Sun Microsystems, Inc., this year's event will highlight the latest in technology and industry trends.

Oracle executives will deliver keynote addresses offering insight into how Oracle is helping companies better compete, execute and adapt. Executives from Oracle's partner companies will also address the audience to highlight collaboration efforts with Oracle and strategies for bringing joint solutions to the market. Keynote presenters at the upcoming conference will include:

Monday, September 19
-- 9:00 am - 10:30 am PT -- Charles Phillips, Oracle President will
deliver a welcome keynote and introduce the keynote from Paul
Otellini, President and Chief Executive Officer, Intel.
Tuesday, September 20
-- 8:30 am - 10:30 am PT -- John Wookey, Oracle Senior Vice President
will present a keynote on adaptability and insight and introduce the
keynote from Mark Hurd, Chief Executive Officer and President, HP.
-- 1:45 pm - 2:30 pm PT -- Scott McNealy, Chief Executive Officer, Sun
Wednesday, September 21
-- 8:30 am - 10:30 am PT -- Chuck Rozwat, Oracle Executive Vice
President, Server Technologies will deliver a keynote about Oracle's
leadership in grid computing and service-oriented architecture (SOA)
and introduce the keynote from Tom Mendoza, President, Network
Appliance, Inc.
-- 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm PT -- Larry Ellison, Oracle Chief Executive Officer
will present a keynote entitled, "Doing Business in the Information

For those unable to attend the show in-person, Oracle OpenWorld Online will offer live streaming video of key conference events, including the keynote speeches, as well as the latest product strategy, "how to" advice from experts and online demos of the latest cutting edge Oracle products. All of the streaming video content will be available on demand at: http://www.oracle.com/openworld/online/index.html .

More information on the keynote series and Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco can be found at: http://www.oracle.com/openworld/sanfrancisco/conference/keynotes.html .

About Oracle

Oracle Corp. is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle please visit our website at http://www.oracle.com


Oracle, JD Edwards, and PeopleSoft are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Source: Oracle Corporation

Satellite-Based Emergency Network in Los Angeles County

From Government Technology:

The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management and Network Innovation Associates Inc. are installing a LinkStar satellite private network from ViaSat Inc. for the County's first responder network.

The Emergency Satellite Communications Network (ESCN) is designed to be the backbone for the Emergency Management Information System (EMIS) that L.A. County fire, law enforcement, health, and safety agencies rely on for communications in the event of a disaster. The three-year contract, valued at approximately $1.5 million, includes networking equipment for 137 locations, plus network services through the ViaSat Customer Care Center.


All the attributes of satellite communication make it a natural fit for emergency operations. Disasters often cut or create gaps in terrestrial service, but, by virtue of its wireless nature and wide area coverage, satellite networks are immune to interruptions on the ground.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's all a soap opera - Oracle, Siebel, IBM, NetSuite - Stay tuned next week for Oracle OpenWorld

This person is involved in this other person's business...this person hates this person...stay tuned until next week. In addition to what I've already noted, take a look at the latest from InfoWorld:

Oracle's agreement to buy Siebel Systems immediately raised questions about the future of Siebel's CRM OnDemand service - a venture in which Oracle rival IBM is deeply involved. Executives from both Siebel and Oracle say the hosted CRM (customer relationship management) service will go forward, but IBM is likely to be left out of Siebel's OnDemand future....

When Siebel CRM OnDemand launched two years ago, Siebel and IBM characterized it as a joint venture, developed and marketed jointly by the two companies. Now Siebel is casting IBM as a partner of convenience that can be abandoned without any customer disruption.

"Siebel CRM OnDemand was built on Siebel 7.5.2, and the fact is that that product line runs on any database and any application server," said Bruce Cleveland, Siebel's senior vice president of products. "We created a partnership with IBM and we chose for that partnership, for obvious reasons, to run it on WebSphere and DB2. There is no technical linkage. We can make a different decision going forward if we choose."

IBM did not have any executives available for immediate comment. An IBM spokesman said the company plans to continue supporting its joint customers with Siebel....

Siebel's competitors -- most notably Salesforce.com Inc., whose annual user conference was upstaged Monday by news of the Siebel/Oracle union -- are eager to portray the impending Oracle takeover as a disaster for Siebel's OnDemand customers. Six-year-old Salesforce.com has 308,000 subscribers for its CRM service, while Siebel's newer hosted software venture ended last quarter just shy of 40,000 users.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff projected imminent death for the service. "Siebel on Demand, a joint venture between Siebel and IBM, will be the first to be buried," he wrote Monday in an e-mail message to Salesforce.com employees that was also released to the media. "Siebel on Demand is written exclusively on DB2 and Websphere and runs in IBM data centers. Oracle will kill it. Oracle does not sell DB2."...

"Oracle has much more incentive to optimize for their own software. I can certainly see this is going to be an issue going forward for DB2 customers," Kingstone said.

"It's going to be an uncomfortable relationship," Bradshaw said.

Uncomfortable relationships abound in this corporate combination. Oracle head Larry Ellison is a founder and the majority owner of NetSuite, another hosted-software company that competes with Siebel's CRM OnDemand. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson is traveling this week and could not be reached for comment; Oracle also had nothing to say about how Ellison's personal stake in NetSuite will be affected by the Siebel deal.

Some of the questions about Siebel's absorption by Oracle won't be resolved until the deal's close, expected early next year. Still, Oracle executives and customers will have a forum for extended discussions next week: Oracle's OpenWorld user conference begins Sunday in San Francisco. Asked for more detail on Oracle's Siebel strategy, Oracle representatives say to tune in for what promises to be an eventful conference.

Good points, bad points

The existence of the Internet, coupled with various ways in which business can be conducted, has resulted in the following:

  • Programming work can be performed remotely.

  • A organization or an individual with a programming need can hire a programmer for short-term contract work.

  • The Internet itself can be used to facilitate the links between freelance programmers and organizations.

For example, I use the Blogpatrol counter service - when it works. When it doesn't work, someone has to fix it. For example:


I run a free counter service http://www.blogpatrol.com and for some reason the automated password reset feature is not working.

Users are able to request a password reset (http://www.blogpatrol.com/lostpass.php) and the system does reset their password and does send the new password via email...all that works, but when the user tries to use the password it is not valid, and further resets don't work either.

You can see for your self by setting up a test account and then trying the the 'lost password' feature.

Interestingly the signup process seems to work fine, ie. the password received in the first instance does work...it is only subsequent resets which fail.

I am looking for someone who is familiar with this particular script (I know it is quite common) and can fix this for me quickly.

I am happy to escrow payment via SL.

Any questions please hit the PMB before bidding.

Then icogroup, who entered this request, waited for the bids to come in:

znsolutions $9 0 days 2/15/2004 at 11:08 EST
(3 reviews)
I know the problem

danyprundus $10 0 days 2/15/2004 at 10:31 EST
(64 reviews)
I think i know what the problem is.I am sure that i'll be able to fix this small bug

groupx $10 1 day 2/15/2004 at 10:47 EST
(1 review)
Easy work will finish this within an hour. Thanks.

bong $15 0 days 2/15/2004 at 10:20 EST
(27 reviews)
Hello, Can be done easily... Thanks and Best Regards, Bong

vintcn $15 0 days 2/15/2004 at 10:29 EST
(43 reviews)
No problems to fix it right now!

icogroup decided to select bong to do the work. They engaged in some correspondence (not publicly viewable), and the work was completed.

icogroup liked bong's work:

10 icogroup
(78 reviews)
fix password reset feature 2/15/2004 at 10:09 EST Closed
Review: Great stuff...very pleased with the work. Fast and reliable.

And bong liked working for icogroup:

10 bong
(39 reviews)
fix password reset feature 2/15/2004 at 10:09 EST Closed
Review: Great webmaster, great communication, instant payment knows whats he wants, highly recommended.... Will surely work for him in future also.... Thanks Charles :) was a pleasure working for you..

This entire interaction was hosted by ScriptLance.com, a site in the business of "connecting businesses with programmers." Here are some details from the FAQs:

What is ScriptLance?

ScriptLance is a service that connects programmers with webmasters that need custom programming done for their websites. Much like an auction, programming projects are posted and interested programmers bid on them.

Why should [a programmer] use the service ScriptLance provides?

Because we find customers for you, which might be the hardest thing for you to do, especially if you are a busy person. We already advertise ScriptLance.com all over the Internet and attract many customers, all of which could potentially request your programming services. Even if you have many customers already, why not use ScriptLance as an alternative if you need more? You've got nothing to lose! Also, if you have ever had problems agreeing on how to receive a payment, you will benefit from ScriptLance. Webmasters can deposit money in several different ways (credit card, check, etc.) and you can withdraw money in many ways too, which means it's easier to get paid at ScriptLance!

Why should [a webmaster] use ScriptLance for my programming projects?

Because we will find you the best programmers at the price you want to pay. When you post a project on ScriptLance, Programmers essentially compete for your business. It would take you a long time to request an estimate from as many programmers just by browsing the Internet, and you still wouldn't have any real competition going on. Here, programmers bid on your project much like an auction. They can place a new bid if they see another programmer has placed a lower bid than there's, this will undoubtedly result in a low price for you. Plus, with no up front fees at ScriptLance, you've got nothing to lose! Also, if you have ever had conflicts when agreeing on how to pay a programmer, you won't on ScriptLance. You can deposit money in several different ways (credit card, check, etc.) and programmers can withdraw money in many ways too, which means you don't have to worry about payments!

Sounds neat, but there is a drawback which affects the ability of Fortune 100 companies, and even independent companies, to use this service - namely, anyone who looks at the requested work can find out a lot about the organization and about the application. Should competing counter providers be able to learn that Blogpatrol uses MySQL on Linux and requires PHP programming? Worse yet, should competing counter providers be able to learn that Blogpatrol has (had) a bug in its password reset feature? Yes, I know that organizations can post anonymously, but it's possible to figure these things out....

It's a tech world after all

IndicThreads points out that there are two major conferences taking place in the Silicon Valley in September.

Oracle OpenWorld 2005 (17-22 Sep 2005)

Oracle has announced that it will offer industry-focused sessions at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco, Oracle's global business and technology conference to be held September 17 - 22, 2005, at Moscone Center....

BEAWorld 2005 (27-29 Sep 2005)

BEAWorld is scheduled to kick off with the first of six planned worldwide events on Sept. 27 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of the Silicon Valley....


I don't think that I've mentioned the e-Symposia in this blog before. I have in my general interest blog (on 22 July and 31 August).

The e-Symposia are fascinating, both from a content perspective and a delivery perspective. For the content of the next e-Symposium, see below. Regarding delivery, these are delivered over a web connection and are available to professionals all over the world. The e-Symposia people make money from sponsorships, the presenters get to hawk their wares, the virtual attendees learn a thing or two, and everyone is happy.

Here's the latest message from Val Genton:

From: "valgenton"
Date: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:37 am
Subject: Free Global Biometrics Web Conference With World-Leading Experts

Dear Colleagues,

World-leading experts (see below) have confirmed their participation
as speakers at the Biometrics E-Symposium™, 28 September 2005
http://www.biometrics.e-symposium.com. Organised by e-symposium Ltd
in association with the iAfB, the IBIA, the EBF and the BI, this
pioneering international web conference will see some of the
industry's most influential experts engaging in presentations and
round table debates. The online nature of the `e-vent' means that
delegates around the world can tune in to live and archived
presentations from the convenience of their own workplace and submit
questions to the experts.

System requirements are very basic (a soundcard and an Internet
connection), no plug-in or software are required to join in and
registration is free of charge.

Program Highlights:

Gary McDonald (Chairman, New Technologies Working Group, ICAO)
>> Opening Keynote

Asa Hutchinson (Former Under Secretary for Border & Transportation
Security, White House & Chair of Venable's Homeland Security Group)
>> Closing Keynote

Dr Frank Paul (Head of Unit "Large-scale IT systems", European
>> Large-Scale Biometrics Systems

Maxine Most (Principal, Acuity Market Intelligence)
Omid Omidvar (Program Manager, Advanced Technology Program, NIST)
Carter Morris (Chair, Interoperability Consortium, American
Association of Airport Executives)
>> Round Table: Evolution of the Biometrics Market - Wishful
Thinking vs. Practical Reality

Philip Statham (CESC Biometrics Program Manager & Chairman of the UK
Government Biometrics Working Group)
>> Biometric Security and Security Evaluation

Axel Munde (Head of Biometrics, German Information Security Agency)
>> Conformity Assessment

John Daugman (Professor, Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University)
>> Iris Recognition

Raj Nanavati (Partner, International Biometric Group)
Scott Moody (President & CEO, AuthenTec, Inc.)
Angela Sasse (Professor of Human-Centred Technology, University
College London)
>> Round Table: Consumer Acceptance of Biometrics

Dr. Fred Preston (Director of Identification, Police Information
Technology Organisation
>> Biometrics in Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

Bob Mocny (Deputy Director, US-VISIT, U.S. Department of Homeland
>> US-VISIT Update

Randy Vanderhoof (Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance)
Christer Bergman (President & CEO, Precise Biometrics)
Joseph Kim (Associate Director of Consulting, International
Biometric Group)
>> Round Table: Combining Biometrics and Smart Cards

Henning Daum (IGD, Security Technology Division, Fraunhofer
>> 3D Face Recognition Testing

Walter Hamilton (Chairman, International Biometric Industry
Association, VP and General Manager, Biometric Solutions for SAFLINK
Clive Reedman (Chair, International Association for Biometrics &
Consultant UK Passport Service)
Martin Walsh (Chairman, European Biometric Forum)
Ted Dunstone (Chair, Technical Committee, Biometrics Institute &
CEO, Biometix)
>> Round Table: Towards International Biometrics Standards

Other presentations will tackle cutting edge topics such as
Passports and ID Cards, Identity Theft of Biometric Security
Systems, AFIS & APIS Systems, UBID - The Universal Biometric
Identification Vision, Determination of Iris Colour from DNA, New
Biometric Applications, Biometric Solutions and Optical Memory Cards.

For more information on the Biometrics E-Symposium™ and to register
free of charge, please visit http://www.biometrics.e-symposium.com.

Kind regards,

Val-Pierre Genton
Biometrics E-Symposium™ Chair,
CEO & Managing Director
e-symposium Ltd
Tel. +44 (0)20 7613 0800
Fax +44 (0)20 7613 0801....

Here are some other presentations that will be given:

Speaker [confirmed] Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Stream
Zeno Geradts
[Netherlands Forensic Institute, Ministry of Justice]
Presentation Title
Identity Theft of Biometric Security Systems - The Forensic View

Sponsor Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Stream
Joan Vitt
[President AFIXTracker]
Presentation Title

Speaker [pending] Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Stream
Michael Thompson
[Senior Fingerprint Expert, CENTREX]
Presentation Title

Sponsor Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Stream
Richard Gabriel
[President & CEO DNAPrint Genomics, Inc.]
Presentation Title

This is kind of like a TV network airing a show on Nielsen families

From Google:

1. What is Blog Search?

Blog Search is Google search technology focused on blogs. Google is a strong believer in the self-publishing phenomenon represented by blogging, and we hope Blog Search will help our users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves. Whether you're looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice.

Your results include all blogs, not just those published through Blogger; our blog index is continually updated, so you'll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results; and you can search not just for blogs written in English, but in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and other languages as well.

2. How do I find Blog Search?

There are a few different ways you can get to Blog Search:

blogsearch.google.com (Google-style interface)
search.blogger.com (Blogger-style interface)
The Blogger Dashboard
The Navbar on any Blog*Spot blog

It's the same search in each place, no matter how you get to it. The Navbar, however, provides two buttons: one to search the blog you are currently viewing, and one to search all blogs....

8. How does Blog Search work?

Blog Search indexes blogs by their site feeds, which will be checked frequently for new content. This means that Blog Search results for a given blog will update with new content much faster than standard web searches. Also, because of the structured data within site feeds, it is possible to find precise posts and date ranges with much greater accuracy....

11. What search operators are supported?

All of the standard Google Search operators are supported in Blog Search. These include:


Additionally, Blog Search supports the following new operators of its own:


For example, a search such as [mandolin inpostauthor:Graham] will show you posts about mandolins written by people named Graham. Note that you can also use the Advanced Search option to achieve the same effect....

Time for a joke

What kind of joke do you post in a technoblog? Well, here's one from S - Blog:

An SGML fan, an XML fan, and an HTML fan are watching a movie when they notice smoke coming out of a trashcan.

The SGML fan says "We must convince the theater management to hire an expert to write a DTD for emergency-announcements, and sell them an expensive application for archiving announcements, and get them to hire a team to convert all their old announcements to SGML!"

The XML fan says, "There's no time for that! We must train all the audience members to recognise XML, and then start a committee to investigate the possibility of starting negotiations to form a working group to write a paper on the future evolution of emergency-announcement semantics!"

[click here for the rest of the joke]

S - blog took this from molly.com. Molly E. Holzschlag got it from Lisa Rein, and Molly also notes that it was posted to comp.text.xml by Jorn Barger.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Novell Releases SuSE Linux 10

From NewsFactor:

Novell announced that SuSE Linux 10.0 will be available in October 2005 and will include more than 1,500 open-source applications and packages that can be installed for advanced Web hosting, application development and home networking.

The retail version of the distribution comes with installation support and manuals designed to help users get up and running quickly. The desktop in SuSE Linux 10.0 includes the newest version of the Firefox Web browser, the OpenOffice.org 2.0 office suite, messaging clients and graphics-editing applications. It also will have security tools like a spam blocker and an integrated firewall.

SuSE Linux 10.0 also will introduce two advanced technologies meant to entice the Linux enthusiast -- Xen, a virtualization application, and iFolder, a file-access application -- both of which are slated for future iterations of Novell's enterprise-Linux products.


Trackback Ping Constructor

See http://www.forret.com/tools/trackback.asp.

This trackback ping constructor allows you to create a trackback ping, i.e. notify a blog that you are referencing a certain blog post from your own blog. The typical way to use it in Blogger is to provide a link to http://www.forret.com/tools/trackback.asp?title=<$BlogItemTitle$>&blog_name=<$BlogTitle$> somewhere on each post page.

Study of faulty fingerprints debunks forensic science 'zero error' claim

From UC Irvine:

Study of faulty fingerprints debunks forensic science 'zero error' claim

Set of known errors is merely tip of the iceberg, UCI researcher says

Irvine, Calif., September 13, 2005
While forensic scientists have long claimed fingerprint evidence is infallible, the widely publicized error that landed an innocent American behind bars as a suspect in the Madrid train bombing alerted the nation to the potential flaws in the system. Now, UC Irvine criminologist Simon Cole has shown that not only do errors occur, but as many as a thousand incorrect fingerprint “matches” could be made each year in the U.S. This is in spite of safeguards intended to prevent errors.

Cole’s study is the first to analyze all publicly known mistaken fingerprint matches. In analyzing these cases of faulty matches dating from 1920, Cole suggests that the 22 exposed incidents, including eight since 1999, are merely the tip of the iceberg. Despite the publicly acknowledged cases of error, fingerprint examiners have long held that fingerprint identification is “infallible,” and testified in court that their error rate for matching fingerprints is zero.

“Rather than blindly insisting there is zero error in fingerprint matching, we should acknowledge the obvious, study the errors openly and find constructive ways to prevent faulty evidence from being used to convict innocent people,” said Cole, an assistant professor of criminology, law and society.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology.

Cole’s data set represents a small portion of actual fingerprint errors because it includes only those publicly exposed cases of mistaken matches. The majority of the cases discussed in this study were discovered only through extremely fortuitous circumstances, such as a post-conviction DNA test, the intervention of foreign police and even a deadly lab accident that led to the re-evaluation of evidence.

One highly publicized example is that of Brandon Mayfield, the Portland lawyer who was arrested and held for two weeks as a suspect in the Madrid train bombings in 2004. FBI investigators matched prints at the scene to Mayfield, and an independent examiner verified the match. But Spanish National Police examiners insisted the prints did not match Mayfield and eventually identified another man who matched the prints. The FBI acknowledged the error and Mayfield was released.

Wrongful convictions on the basis of faulty evidence are supposed to be prevented by four safeguards: having print identifications “verified” by additional examiners; ensuring the examiners are competent; requiring a high number of matching points in the ridges before declaring the print a match; and having independent experts examine the prints on behalf of the defendant. However, each of these safeguards failed in cases Cole studied. In fact, in four of the cases, independent experts verified the faulty matches.

Despite print examiners’ zero-mistake claim, Cole points out that proficiency tests conducted since 1983 show an aggregate error rate of 0.8 percent. Though that may seem small, when multiplied by the large number of cases U.S. crime laboratories processed in 2002, it suggests there could be as many as 1,900 mistaken fingerprint matches made that year alone.

“While we don’t know how many fingerprint errors are caught in the lab and then swept under the rug – or, worse, how many have still not been caught and may have resulted in a wrongful conviction – we clearly need a full evaluation of the errors,” Cole said. “The argument that fingerprints are infallible evidence is simply unacceptable.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Celebrating 40 years of innovation, the University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

Also see Simon Cole's paper at https://webfiles.uci.edu/scole/MoreThan0.pdf.