Gloria Gaynor does security

Gloria Gaynor and Security

Saw this great post by Emergent Chaos. It seems Gloria Gaynor now does security!

Excellent 🙂

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Giving an online Identity to the masses

Jason Kolb has recently been discussing here how the internet is forming an integral part of our lives. He further goes on to describe (here) his quite ingenious plan for giving out domain names to the masses. Not top-level domains as current internet savvy people have, but sub-domains that the ordinary “Joe Public” can have. As Jason states:

“Obviously, it’s not feasible to expect the general public to pay $7.99
a year for something as abstract as a domain name.  The only way to
really make this happen, I realized, is to give them away.  However,
it’s not realistic to think that there’s any possible way to buy
everyone on earth a domain name.  The registration fees alone would
just be massive.  However, you can give away sub-domain names, for absolutely nothing.”

What a great idea Jason! I can’t believe that no-one has thought of this before but it does appear that you are the first.

Not only does this make sense to allow more people to gain their own “online presence” but also removes the problem of finding unique top-level domain names. I know this too well already. Recently, I have jumped on the domain name ownership list by deciding to host my own online presence. When I went looking for a domain name to use I tried to two obvious ones (well obvious to me):

http://www.toal.com
http://www.paultoal.com

Both were already registered. Therefore, as you will see if you are reading this, I ended up opting for

http://www.pdtoal.com

What Jason is doing is minimising this problem. However, how long before I can’t register paultoal.atmy.name or pdtoal.myidentity.name because someone else has got them 🙂

DON’T FORGET MY BLOG HAS NOW MOVED TO HTTP://BLOG.PDTOAL.COM

Giving an online Identity to the masses

Jason Kolb has recently been discussing here how the internet is forming an integral part of our lives. He further goes on to describe (here) his quite ingenious plan for giving out domain names to the masses. Not top-level domains as current internet savvy people have, but sub-domains that the ordinary “Joe Public” can have. As Jason states:

“Obviously, it’s not feasible to expect the general public to pay $7.99
a year for something as abstract as a domain name.  The only way to
really make this happen, I realized, is to give them away.  However,
it’s not realistic to think that there’s any possible way to buy
everyone on earth a domain name.  The registration fees alone would
just be massive.  However, you can give away sub-domain names, for absolutely nothing.”

What a great idea Jason! I can’t believe that no-one has thought of this before but it does appear that you are the first.

Not only does this make sense to allow more people to gain their own “online presence” but also removes the problem of finding unique top-level domain names. I know this too well already. Recently, I have jumped on the domain name ownership list by deciding to host my own online presence. When I went looking for a domain name to use I tried to two obvious ones (well obvious to me):

http://www.toal.com
http://www.paultoal.com

Both were already registered. Therefore, as you will see if you are reading this, I ended up opting for

http://www.pdtoal.com

What Jason is doing is minimising this problem. However, how long before I can’t register paultoal.atmy.name or pdtoal.myidentity.name because someone else has got them 🙂

My Blog is Moving

At long last I have bought my own domain name and some web hosting space.

I have always put this off in the past due to time and effort. However, since starting my blog a few months ago, I have realised that I would like to be able to customise it further than the hosted WordPress site lets me. Therefore, I decided it was time to host my own.

Therefore, my new blog is hosted at http://blog.pdtoal.com.

N.B. PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RSS READERS WITH THIS NEW ADDRESS.

I will continue to post to both sites for a while until the stats of my old blog drop.

For the moment, my new blog is fairly similar in look and feel. However, as I progress I hope to add a number of plugins and customise the look and feel to something I am happier with.

I have copied all my historic posts over from my original blog but a problem with WordPress seems to prevent me from migrating the comments as well. Therefore, you will notice that my new blog has no historic comments on it. If anyone has any ideas how to migrate these, great, please let me know.

Back from Amsterdam

I’m back!!

After 4 days in Amsterdam I have returned. What a great place. Both Natalya and I really enjoyed our time there. As usual, we tried to cram loads of stuff in to a very tightly packed 4 days. I can safely say that we managed it. Without boring you too much with all the details, below are some of the main places we visited and things we did together with details of what I thought of them. If you want to see my photos, then click here.

By the way, many thanks to the people who emailed me with suggestions for things to do during my visit to the capital of The Netherlands (see my previous post).

Anne Frank’s House (more info)
We did this on the first day and I was extremely impressed with it. However, it was a little bit spooky walking round the actual house that Anne and her family were hidden in during WWII and thinking about what they must have gone through.
Verdict: 9/10 – A definite recommendation

Van Gogh Museum (more info)
I must admit that I aren’t a great art lover at the best of times but thought I couldn’t come to Amsterdam without trying to appreciate some of the many art exhibitions. Whilst I found the first couple of floors of paintings quite interesting, my interest started to slip by the third floor and the currently touring japanese exhibition.
Verdict: 7/10 – I’m sure an art buff would love it

Boom Chicago (more info)
We booked this before we went through Expedia. From the write-up it looked like the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway”, i.e. improvised comedy. The show was preceded by a three course meal and cocktails (optional) and then two hours of side-splitting humour. I was in tears half of the time, I found the show so funny.
Verdict: 10/10 – The highlight of the holiday. A must-see!!

Half Day Trip to Delft Pottery (more info), The Hague (more info) and Madurodam (more info)
After sitting on the bus for an hour we had a quick 30 minute look around a hand-made pottery factory (the factory itself wasn’t hand-made, just the pottery :-). We then sat on the bus for another eternity whilst been shown a panoramic tour of “The Hague”. We got to see all sorts of important buildings. However, we didn’t leave the coach. We then finished off at Madurodam, the miniature village. This was the best part of the tour although we only got 1 hour here so it was a quick jog around, much to the digust of Natalya who wanted to spend at least 2 hours here. However, the village itself was very interesting with the level of detail amazing.
Verdict: 7/10 – Should have had more time at Madurodam

Heineken Experience (more info)
This was an exhibition situated in the ex-factory of Heineken. It was extremely interesting and most of the exhibits etc were actually within parts of the factory. For example, some of the exhibits were inside the aluminium tanks that they used to leave the beer to stand for several weeks. The museum was helped along by the 3 free drinks you got as part of the admission price. Surprisingly, to drink you could have Heineken, Heineken or more Heineken (although they did do soft drinks for the softies!).
Verdict: 9/10 – Well worth seeing

Canal Boat Cruise
Well what can I say about this. I think this is almost a mandatory tour for all tourists to Amsterdam. You sit in a boat for an hour and get driven around the canals with interesting architecture being pointed out.
Verdict: 8/10 – A nice sit down Overall Verdict: I would definately visit Amsterdam again. It was interesting, clean, easy to get around and there was plenty to do and see. Also, it is close enough that you could fly out for a couple of days and not feel you have spent all your time travelling. Now that I am back, I have plenty of catching up to do regarding the identity and security world. I’m sure there will be more posts on that soon.

Now that I am back, I have plenty of catching up to do regarding the identity and security world. I’m sure there will be more posts on that soon.

Back from Amsterdam

I’m back!!

After 4 days in Amsterdam I have returned. What a great place. Both Natalya and I really enjoyed our time there. As usual, we tried to cram loads of stuff in to a very tightly packed 4 days. I can safely say that we managed it. Without boring you too much with all the details, below are some of the main places we visited and things we did together with details of what I thought of them. If you want to see my photos, then click here.

By the way, many thanks to the people who emailed me with suggestions for things to do during my visit to the capital of The Netherlands (see my previous post).

Anne Frank’s House (more info)
We did this on the first day and I was extremely impressed with it. However, it was a little bit spooky walking round the actual house that Anne and her family were hidden in during WWII and thinking about what they must have gone through.
Verdict: 9/10 – A definite recommendation

Van Gogh Museum (more info)
I must admit that I aren’t a great art lover at the best of times but thought I couldn’t come to Amsterdam without trying to appreciate some of the many art exhibitions. Whilst I found the first couple of floors of paintings quite interesting, my interest started to slip by the third floor and the currently touring japanese exhibition.
Verdict: 7/10 – I’m sure an art buff would love it

Boom Chicago (more info)
We booked this before we went through Expedia. From the write-up it looked like the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway”, i.e. improvised comedy. The show was preceded by a three course meal and cocktails (optional) and then two hours of side-splitting humour. I was in tears half of the time, I found the show so funny.
Verdict: 10/10 – The highlight of the holiday. A must-see!!

Half Day Trip to Delft Pottery (more info), The Hague (more info) and Madurodam (more info)
After sitting on the bus for an hour we had a quick 30 minute look around a hand-made pottery factory (the factory itself wasn’t hand-made, just the pottery :-). We then sat on the bus for another eternity whilst been shown a panoramic tour of “The Hague”. We got to see all sorts of important buildings. However, we didn’t leave the coach. We then finished off at Madurodam, the miniature village. This was the best part of the tour although we only got 1 hour here so it was a quick jog around, much to the digust of Natalya who wanted to spend at least 2 hours here. However, the village itself was very interesting with the level of detail amazing.
Verdict: 7/10 – Should have had more time at Madurodam

Heineken Experience (more info)
This was an exhibition situated in the ex-factory of Heineken. It was extremely interesting and most of the exhibits etc were actually within parts of the factory. For example, some of the exhibits were inside the aluminium tanks that they used to leave the beer to stand for several weeks. The museum was helped along by the 3 free drinks you got as part of the admission price. Surprisingly, to drink you could have Heineken, Heineken or more Heineken (although they did do soft drinks for the softies!).
Verdict: 9/10 – Well worth seeing

Canal Boat Cruise
Well what can I say about this. I think this is almost a mandatory tour for all tourists to Amsterdam. You sit in a boat for an hour and get driven around the canals with interesting architecture being pointed out.
Verdict: 8/10 – A nice sit down

Overall Verdict: I would definately visit Amsterdam again. It was interesting, clean, easy to get around and there was plenty to do and see. Also,  it is close enough that you could fly out for a couple of days and not feel you have spent all your time travelling.

Now that I am back, I have plenty of catching up to do regarding the identity and security world. I’m sure there will be more posts on that soon.

Amsterdam Holiday next week

Next week Natalya (my wife) and I will be going to Amsterdam for a few days without the kids (I’ll miss them but similarly can’t wait).

Neither of us have been there before so don’t know the best places to go. I know I can look on the gazillion web sites out there but was hoping for some personal recommendations based on peoples’ first hand experiences.

So, if you have been to Amsterdam and can recommend:

  • Places to eat
  • Places to go that are not the typical tourist haunts
  • Things that are a must to do
  • Best ways to get around

then please get in touch and leave me a comment.

We already have a couple of things arranged so will have about two days spare.

Thanks in anticipation!

Funny things kids say

A recent post by Rohan Pinto here, made me think of a comment my 5 year old daughter came up with at the weekend.

Whilst driving along we passed a house which had concrete covering the bricks. The concrete was painted a rather horrible bright blue colour. My daughter enquired:

“Daddy, how does a house made of paint stay up?”

You can’t fault her observation and logic!!

User centric identity and federation working together

Kim Cameron has posted a really good video here explaining how user-centric identity and federation can work together. His blog and associated demonstration is shown using Microsoft CardSpace and Ping Federate from Ping Identity.

I have worked with Ping Identity for some time and was happy with the product and how it, and federation works generally. However, like Paul Squires here, I was struggling to see how it fitted within a user-centric architecture. Whilst I saw the two as complimentary, I didn’t see the link.

This video has clarified this for me and shown that there is a clear interaction between the two.

As usual Kim, thanks for a great demo! If you haven’t seem the demo yet, you HAVE to view it.

YouOS online OS

Rohan Pinto recently blogged here about a new online OS that he had come across, YouOS.

Under his recommendation, I had a look as a demo user and must say from a pure ‘technical geek’ point of view I was impressed.

From the comments on Rohan’s site, YouOS certainly doesn’t seem to be the first web based OS, although it is the first that I have come across. My main thoughts about the OS were:

1) Easy to use
2) Fast to load
3) Like the session continuation

Like Rohan says, I can’t see it being long before YouOS or some other similar company get snapped up by Google.

I do have concerns over long term usability. I found it an interesting new toy but aren’t sure that I would actually use it everyday. First and foremost would be my concern over my data being held online. I like to keep my data locally where I can keep track of it. I’m sure YouOS will eventually offer some type of encryption but for now I do see it as a major concern.

However, I will watch with interest to see where the product goes in the near future.