25 May 2010

When Quality, Security Count

I recently collaborated with Jon Erickson at Dr. Dobbs Journal ("Running light, without over byte!") on an article about static source code analyzers.   At my previous job at ACI Worldwide, I had inaugurated the use of one of these, Klocwork Insight, although we looked at four others.  If you happen to be interested in this topic, you can find it here.

11 May 2010

An Iconic Relationship

He friends her, she IMs him, he emails, they tweet, he texts, they iChat, she calls, they reach altered states with designer cocktails, have sport sex, and never see each other again.


10 May 2010

Observations of the new world - part 1

My brain is of course being massively altered right now.  Being paid to try to make sense out of social media is Ken Kesey being paid to test out psychedelics.

Blog: TooTallSid  Twitter: @TooTallSid  Facebook: Sid Sidner  LinkedIn: Sid Sidner

Above you see my four outlets.

I am starting to get rocking on Twitter.  I use the program Tweetdeck and really like it. It has PC and iPxxxx versions.  You can fire up the PC version in the background in the morning and check it every now and then.  It supports the idea of columns, which is a terrific idea.  I have learned most of what I know about Twitter in the last two weeks from Tweetdeck.

My personal blog is just a great place to capture once, ideas like this.  Then I can send a blog link by email, Twitter, Facebook status or message, or handwritten on a note for use with a carrier pigeon.

Facebook is for personal stuff.  Statuses, musings, comments, photos - just fun.  No business, although I plan to turn Ping Identity's corporate page into a way to share the human side of PingIdentians.  I am careful about two things w/ Facebook, however. (1) I don't post anything that could be used for identity theft, such as to calculate my birthday or out-of-wallet info like mother's maiden name, and (2) I avoid religion, sex, politics, and death, since those are always bound to offend somebody that I know and like, or don't know and want to like.

I haven't started in on LinkedIn, except to make sure that my shoes are shined and hair parted on it.  LinkedIn is my professional image and it needs to be crisp as a new $100 bill.

Well, back to watching the nurse w/ the clipboard, who just doesn't understand what is happening inside my head...

Like Velcro for Negative Experiences and Teflon for Positive Ones

[From quotationoftheday_request@yahoo.ca]

Quotation of the Day for May 10, 2010

"That same circuitry is active in your brain today in the amygdala, hippocampus, and related structures. It's hard-wired to scan for the bad, and when it inevitably finds negative things, they're both stored immediately plus made available for rapid recall. In contrast, positive experiences (short of million dollar moments) are usually registered through standard memory systems, and thus need to be held in conscious awareness 10 to 20 seconds for them to really sink in.

"In sum, your brain is like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive ones."

- Rick Hanson, psychologist, and Rick Mendius, neurologist, writing in the journal Inquiring Mind.


Submitted by: Lynn Kisilenko
April 30, 2010

07 May 2010

Liberal AND Conservative

I think the current polarization of the American electorate is just a false dichotomy.   I have many friends who vote way different than me, but we still can agree on basics.  Who is NOT for family values, for instance?  Nobody.  Who wants the U.S. to keep getting deeper and deeper in debt.  Nobody.  I would call myself a liberal Democrat, but I am a big fan of Christy Todd Whitman, Olymipa Snowe, and the Govenator.

Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam have put together a book that irritates conservatives and liberals alike.   But it is just packed with great ideas.  The first half of the book is an analysis of 20th century politics starting with the New Deal and continuing through 2006.  I found it very believable and illuminating.  Their central contention is the working class in America are the real drivers of politics.  As the political parties embrace the needs of the working class, they succeed.  As they turn away, they fail.  Former Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, coined the term "Sam's Club Voters" for this bloc.

The second half of the book are the two authors ideas about how the Republican Party can regain the trust and votes of the Sam's Club voters.   I don't accept all their ideas, but here's the deal: if I don't, what would I put in their place?  This is the whole point of reasoned, civil discourse among people.  If you disagree with someone, you have to articulate a better idea and be willing to defend it, without resorting to demagoguery (e.g not Rush Limbaugh, not Keith Obermann).

Besides a lot of very thought provoking ideas, this book is also crammed with names and sources to go look up.  If you are a political junky, you have a wealth of material here.  I think this book could easily form the basis of a one or two semester course.

I plan to read this several more times.  It is the best set of ideas about the future that I've seen in a long time.

How To Communicate on the Internet: Inbound Marketing

Blogging? Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Search Engine Optimization? Social media? If you're just a little confused or overwhelmed by these concepts, I highly recommend Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Darmesh Shah.  This little book is easy to read and gives you a step by step introduction to how to participate in the Web and find your Voice.

Inbound marketing contrasts with outbound marketing because it is based on pull rather than push.  People find you by word of mouth, or the digital equivalent, hyperlinks.   The Web is becoming a vast social network, where value and reputation are king.  This book is not just about marketing in the conventional sense.  It is about the marketplace of ideas, whether it is commercial, non-profit, or personal.

Each chapter of Inbound Marketing ends with a checklist of actions discussed in the chapter with lines to add your own action items.  As I read the book, the ends of the chapters ended up filled with my ideas, scrawled in the margins and all the free space.

They use the Grateful Dead as a use case, so how could I not like this book?!

The authors have a Web site, hubspot.com, which goes into even more depth.  If you want, they can host your company's Web site.

05 May 2010

Why did I join Ping Identity?

In April I accepted the position of Community Evangelist with PingIdentity.


Internet-scale identity:  This is a smoldering passion of mine.  Two friends at my previous employer, ACI Worldwide, got me thinking about it in 2002.  The more I thought about it, I began to realize that this was one of the great unsolved problems in the world.  In my work with payment cards, online banking, and e- & m-commerce at ACI, I kept always thinking and reading about identity.  When Kim Cameron invented information cards, I really got bitten by the bug. Claims based, user-centric identity feels right.

Ping Identity: I started following the posts of Ashish Jain (then at PingIdentity, now at PayPal).   I tracked down Ashish's email address and started a dialog with him about identity and payments.  He said he was going to be in the PingIdentity booth at the next RSA conference if I wanted to drop by.  I finally met Ashish face to face and he introduced me to Andre Durand, the CEO of PingIdentity.  We started talking; I ranted about my interest in the intersection of payments and Internet-scale identity;  and Andre's eyes lit up and we were on the road to becoming friends.   Ashish also introduced me to Patrick Harding and Pam Dingle, two more members of the PingIdentity braintrust.  One thing led to another and ACI and PingIdentity ended up doing a joint demo and presentation about using  Information Cards to pay at a merchant, using the 3DSecure protocols in the payment card network to authorize the payment.   Next, through PingIdentity, and especially through the great parties they host, I got to know many of the movers and shakers in identity.  Clearly, PingIdentity is at the center of digital identity.

Why now?  I had been at my old job for 11 years, the longest I've been anywhere in my career.  I just turned 60 in February and was wondering what the next 30 years would hold.  And I had just gotten an email from a Marty Halpin at PingIdentity saying that he was looking for a Community Evangelist and that I was part of the group of PingIdentity's friends that might know of someone.  So I walked into the PingIdentity party at RSA Conference 2010 at the Mars Bar and encountered Andre and Patrick.  I asked them if they thought I'd be fit for Marty's job opening.  Andre exclaimed that he thought that it would be perfect fit for my personality and Patrick agreed.   The next day I got in touch with Marty.  We quickly concluded that me as the Community Evangelist at PingIdentity would be good for me and good for PingIdentity.

What is a CommunityEvangelist?  Marty Halpin is a genius when it comes to operations and customers.  As PingIdentity grows, he knows that we will constantly need to knit our various communities together: our customers, our friends and prospects, and our employees.  PingIdentity is focused on the human side of the future - that's why we care so much about identity, and security, and privacy, and trust.  And as a company, PingIdentity believes that people come first.  We want to harness the strength of our communities as we grow and navigate the future.  And I'm the guy to pull it all together for Marty and PingIdentity.

Passion:   After just a short time, I know I made the right decision.  I can feel the creative juices starting to flow.  I have much to assimilate and master, but as I learn about PingIdentity, their communities, and how to use the Internet social media, ideas are beginning to pour out like a fountain.  I am starting to see a vision, hazy for now, but it is leading me on.

I can't believe that I am getting paid to do this!  :O)