Monthly Archives: October 2005


Saw an intriguing article last week, focusing on the development of a new security paradigm called “deperimeterization”. This is a term apparently coined by the Jericho Forum, and essentially describes a model where applications take a more proactive role to securing their own information and interactions, and rely less on the “wall & moat” model of today’s networks, with firewalls, DMZ’s, etc. The Jericho Forum envisions an environment where the “walls come tumbling down” and B2B, B2C, etc. interactions are done on open networks. Will it work? I sure don’t know, but the current model of security reminds me of the proverbial “Dutch Boy” with his finger in the dike, trying to hold back the network problem of the day. Read this article for an analysis, and be sure to read the Jericho Forum visioning white paper.

How good is the Wikipedia?

A popular question today is “how good is the wikipedia”? Can you really trust the information that you get from it? My own view is that it’s a reasonable compiliation, and generally speaking, folks do look at things and try to keep it on track. I find the technology entries to be consistently of higher quality that those of general knowledge, but I suspect that many of these articles are read and tweaked frequently. The Guardian newspaper in the UK has an interesting article where they had SME’s (subject matter experts) review a few entries. Check out what they said

The oldest computer?

Well, I’ve often asked students when the first working “computers” were created, and watched their interest when I tell them about the Difference Engine of Babbage (Designed 1821-1833, first constructed 1837-1843 by Georg & Edvard Scheutz, based on Babbage’s design, but their own implementation) [Blaauw & Brooks, Computer Architecture, spring 1995 draft, and the Wikipedia]. Babbage’s work was based on ideas from Johann H. Muller in the 1780’s. However, I saw a blurb on Slashdot today that pushes the date of possible computers way back. I was unaware of the Antikythera mechanism, which is apparently an ancient Greek analog computer designed for celestial calculations. There is now a model (a best guess, of course) that has been constructed and is on display in Athens. Fascinating!

Interesting NY Times article on Google Mashups…

There is an interesting article in the technology section of today’s NY Times on Google map mashups. One that’s fascinating is the mashup that purports to locate an airplane in flight, listing the location, altitude, speed, and arrival time. I didn’t try it, as it appears to cost $10/month…but I love the combinations of technologies that are being pulled together via AJAX and other similar tools/philosophies. These somewhat organic combinations of widgets, API’s etc. are part of the Web 2.0 “movement.” Lots of good stuff out there! Of course, the facility that our kids have with technology can be surprising, and who knows what folks will think of next…

A walk in the woods…

Today is a beautiful day here in central NC. Carolina blue skies, 70 degrees, and a fresh breeze. Jan and I finished breakfast, loaded the dogs into the truck, and left the high schooler slumbering in bed (after a late night return from a Marching Band competition). We drove about a dozen miles to Eno River State Park. The dogs (both chocolate labs) were quite excited. Anakin, the 10-year old, has been to Eno many times and knew exactly where he was. Lessa, who is only 7 months, is always excited ;-). We left the truck at 10AM, and walked in over the swinging bridge across the river and headed up the Cox Mountain Trail. This is just about as close to hiking in the mountains as you’ll find in piedmont NC…Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough is also pretty, but not as nice a walk, as it’s not as remote or long a trail as Cox Mountain (about a 5 mile loop). Up and over the steep part of the mountain, and we headed down to the little ravine where there’s a wet-weather rivulet that runs into the river. Lessa caught the scent of water and ran ahead to find a small pool and splash around. We headed down the trail to the river, running low as we’re in a moderate drought here now. The dogs love the water, especially Lessa, who jumped into the river from the bank about 4 feet up, without worrying about how she’d get back out. She will fetch sticks until she drops. You know the old adage about age and cunning beating youth and strength? Well, I’d throw a big stick into the water, and Lessa would swim across the river to get it (about 50-60 feet) and Anakin would catch up with her coming across, and grab the stick and the two would then swim back with it together, sometimes one ending up with it and sometimes the other.

It’s a small world sometimes, and as we were throwing sticks, we saw a friend from Scouts, whose sons have graduated from my troop . Had a nice conversation, as he was recount the joys of now having sent both his kids out of the house and off to college, etc. It seems that the week after the last one left, he and his wife headed to Australia for a month.

Hiked back away from the river, and Lessa was whining to get back to the water. We thought we’d let her play under the bridge for a while on the way out, but it was noon now, and there were far too many folks and other dogs in the park for that.

If you go to Eno, be sure to walk away from the parking lot a bit. There are several trails where you’ll only see a handful of folks.

Back home now, sipping a bit of Moscato on the patio. A nice way to spend an autumn day.

Web-based IM

This program from Meebo is really interesting! This provides the “webmail” equivalent for IM. I saw this in Network World in the Mark Gibbs column. I have not used it extensively, just logged on and off a few times and sent some test messages between my AIM accounts. However, it seems to work as advertised! Try it!

October outing, Troop449

BSA troop 449 took held its October outing over the weekend of 10/8 & 10/9 at Moorefields, just south of Hillsborough NC. Moorefields is a private historical site but it is open for many uses. Be sure to call (919)732-4941 for permission to visit. Moorefields is a neat place, with the old plantation house built in 1785 as the summer home of US Supreme Court Justice Alfred Moore. It’s got acres of open space, woods, and frontage along 7-Mile Creek. Troop 449 has used it for camping for many years. On this trip, we brought our tools and worked on clearing some of the many trails on the property.

This trip was a bit damp, but it’s nice to get out in the woods!

Wireless power — at last!

Cool! Wireless power at last. Excerpt below:

“Splashpower wants to cut the charger cord

(InfoWorld) – You can use them while jogging, take them into the
woods, or ride with them on the open sea, but portable gadgets still
need to head back to base every time their batteries need recharging.
The power cord remains the final connection to the wired world for
many devices now that technologies like Bluetooth are replacing data
cables — but it too might be going away if a U.K. startup gets its