Daily Archives: August 5, 2006

Mobile computing will enable Identity 2.0!

I was keen to attent the Sydney Architect Council meeting Thursday last week because Kim Cameron was presenting on Windows Card Spaces and Identity 2.0 subjects. The session was extremely interesting and I loved some of the perspectives he had.

At the moment I am all about user “empowerment” where the end users, not the IT professionals take control of their computer systems and where the answer to most of the user wants are “yes”, not “maybe, but really no”. It was refreshing to see someone of Kim’s standing recognise this shift and be actively engaged in building the infrastructure to support it.

One of the things that really resonated with me was “The Laws of Identity” which are:

  1. User Control and Consent
  2. Minimal Disclosure for a Constrained Use
  3. Justifiable Parties
  4. Directed Identity
  5. Pluralism of Operators and Technologies
  6. Human Integration
  7. Consistent Experience Across Contexts

If you look down that list its almost all about identity from the users perspective. I think the way this is going to go is that everyone will own their own personal “identification device”, this will most likely be your mobile phone, then, when you go to get access to something (anything) you will swipe your phone near the thing you want to get access to (door, PC, ATM) and it will challenge your device to present an InfoCard. On the device you will select what InfoCard to send and then if all goes to plan you’ll get access to what you need.

I wonder what it would take to modify a swap card door to exchange InfoCards over bluetooth with a Windows Mobile device . . .

Yo bro!

My Man Mitch Bumper StickerRocky sent me an e-mail with this photo of a bumper sticker (you know, the ones that go on bumpers) with the text “MY MAN MITCH”. Yo bro! I wonder what message the sticker is trying to send . . .

Paul Glavich ships the Password Strength Extender

AtlasI caught up with Paul at the Sydney Architect Council last week. Anyway, Paul has been a busy guy and has release a Password Strength Extender control as part of the Atlas Control Toolkit (CodePlex site). This is pretty good stuff, quite a few sites are starting to give feedback about the strength of passwords that users are entering.

The implementation takes a set of properties which define the minimum complexity requirements like the mimum number of special characters. I actually prefer passphrases to passwords, especially when the password is something that I will have to enter without having to refer to Password Minder.

One thing about this component – after reading the code, I don’t think that my 30+ character passphrases would get higher than 75% password strength – yet I think that is plenty strong enough.

Jesper Johansson leaves Microsoft . . .

Some interesting news via Andrew Dugdell’s blog. Jesper Johansson is leaving Microsoft and heading over to Amazon. I know of Jesper through some of the things that Rocky Heckman has said. This is obviously a good hire by Amazon but I fear we may not hear much more out of Jesper once he joins – after all, Pat Helland seemed to go completely dark after he left Microsoft.

An uneasy post engagement review . . .

I’m a new subscriber to Christopher Hawkins blog – “Effective Software Management”. I am always in awe of those people that start their own business and take on the responsibility of employing others and effectively ensuring their welfare (so I tend to subscribe to a lot of blogs written by that kind of person).

As I was reading one of his most recent posts I spied a like to a post entitled “11 Clients You Need To Fire Right Now”. It is a kind of refreshing point of view and it is a reminder that the “customer is NOT always right”. I’m not suggesting that people start treating their customers like dirt – but just have enough self confidence to know when you think you are right.

I’ve had a pretty rough week and a half working with a particular client and yesterday it was time to sit down and have a bit of a chat to see how we thought it was going. I wasn’t too happy with the way the engagement was going and I had actually tried to call it off at the end of last week because I was having trouble delivering value. The client insisted that I turn up on Monday and the engagement limped along for another four days.

During the review I had to embrace some criticism, but I also had an opportunity to give some honest feedback of my own. I’ve come away from this week with a distinctly sour taste in my mouth (poor reviews sting) and I’m going to need to spend some time pondering where I went wrong and what I could have done better. I’ve already discovered that :-

  • I engage better with development teams than I do with operations teams.
  • when engaging I need to be introduced to stake holders, I can’t be effective in stealth mode.
  • chances of success are inversely proportional to the number of decision makers.
  • I need to avoid flipping the bozo bit early in an engagement.

Some of you might be wondering why I am throwing this dirty laundry out here on my blog (I’ve avoided naming names). Well the fact is I know some of our customers read my blog and I think honesty counts – maybe the next time I engage with them they can be part of my early warning system if any of the above conditions exist.

String.Format(…)

Chris Martin points to a great String.Format(…) reference by Steve Tibbett. Once you’ve grokked the basics of String.Format(…) Steve’s guide is a good quick reference for the various ways that you can format the output of an object in .NET. The comments are also fantastic, especially the ones like Jorge de Cardenas (although I probably would have written that as:

string output = value == 0 ? “no” : “yes”;

But I guess it would depend on whether they could rightfully expect anything other than zero or one. Anyway – I digress, a very good reference – bookmarked and subscribed!

Paul’s TechEd Session Picker

Paul Stovell is a bit of a WPF gun at Readify and what I like about his style is that he produces things that are genuinely useful. His latest tool (and I know I am posting up about this late – but remember I apologised) is a TechED session picker which pulls down the RSS feed containing all the session details at Microsoft and then allows you to schedule your time there – good stuff!

E-mail work item queries around.

Check out the numbers that DevDiv is getting out of their Team Foundation Server installation. The thing about Microsoft dogfooding TFS internally is that you know that its going to get a bashing by one of the most prolific software producing organisations in the work and that means that all of us in enterprise development land have a lot of headroom to grow into.

One of the statistics that I would like to see is how many Team Projects have been created. That would give us some indication as to how many of those work item queries have been created are developers taking a custom view.

I have actually been fortunate enough to use Product Studio (internal Microsoft tool) which probably informed a lot of the work item query capability, and one of the things that was useful with that tool was the ability to build a query and then e-mail it around to other people.

This is actually possible with Team Explorer as well. If you right mouse click on a query and select “Copy” then go to the desktop and right mouse click and select “Paste” a file with a *.wiq extension will be placed there. The WIQ is an XML document containing information about where the query came (server and Team Project) and some embedded WIQL (Work Item Query Language). You can open this file up and edit the query, but also e-mail it around to other team members.

Features like this are really useful for team leaders who have identified a slice of bugs/tasks in a Team Project that need to be addressed and would like to focus the team.