Jackson Shaw makes the point that the last thing that most enterprises need is to take on is provisioning their SaaS identities when they are still struggling with their internal identities:
We have a standard called “Services Provisioning Markup Language” (SPML) which was specified to help provision identities via a web service. Does your SaaS vendor support that standard? I’ll bet they do not! What do you do then? I’ve met with hundreds of customers over the years and many are still struggling with provisioning inside the enterprise! Throw in SaaS provisioning – via some hairbrained interface because the vendor doesn’t support SPML – and it only adds to the organization’s identity management complexity.
Of course having an SPML capability in a SaaS is not going to be much help if the enterprise doesn’t have a provisioning system in place with SPML support. SPML support is not widely available in provisioning systems (although there are a few that have it out of the box).
Ashraf Motiwala echoes the point and also points out that enterprise are going to want to leverage not only their internal provisioning systems, but also their workflow and role management systems as well:
Recreating a workflow engine, role management, delegation, etc. in the cloud seems to just create redundancy for these capabilities, especially for organizations that have already dropped a few dollars to deploy an IdM solution on premise. Why would I drop my existing investment here? (Perhaps there is a compelling case, but I just don’t see it.) I would much rather find a solution that proxies the SPML requests from my existing provisioning solution that handles all the complexities (or “hairbrained interfaces”) for the SaaS apps on the backend!
The upshot is that SaaS vendors should be rolling out SPML interfaces to their services. But just like with the traditional enterprise software vendors, they most likely won’t do it until the customers demand it. Until it becomes a selection criteria it probably won’t happen.
Can the TSA really detain someone just for carrying a manuscript? Apparently so:
Sable wrote of his experiences: ‘Flying from Los Angeles to New York for a signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe Wednesday (May 13th), I was flagged at the gate for ‘extra screening’. I was subjected to not one, but two invasive searches of my person and belongings. TSA agents then ‘discovered’ the script for Unthinkable #3. They sat and read the script while I stood there, without any personal items, identification or ticket, which had all been confiscated.’
‘The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble. The first page of the Unthinkable script mentioned 9/11, terror plots, and the fact that the (fictional) world had become a police state. The TSA agents then proceeded to interrogate me, having a hard time understanding that a comic book could be about anything other than superheroes, let alone that anyone actually wrote scripts for comics.’
Yeah, this is really helping.
As sure as night follows day when you give petty bureaucrats the authority to regulate something they will inevitably try to expand their powers and ban more things. The Obama administration wants to ban more kinds of knives:
Hunters, whittlers and Boy Scouts, beware – your knives may soon be on the government’s chopping block.
The Obama administration wants to expand the 50-year-old ban on importing “switchblades” to include folding knives that can be opened with one hand, stirring fears the government may on the path to outlawing most pocket knives.
Critics, including U.S. knife manufacturers and collectors, the National Rifle Association, sportsmen’s groups and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, say the rule change proposed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would rewrite U.S. law defining what constitutes a switchblade and potentially make de facto criminals of the estimated 35 million Americans who use folding knives.
“Boy Scout knives, Swiss Army knives – the most basic of knives can be opened one-handed if you know what you are doing,” said Doug Ritter, executive director of Knife Rights, an advocacy group fighting to defeat the measure.
“The outrage is gaining steam,” he said.
This is a silly and pointless fight to take on. Banning more types of knives will not increase public safety. In fact there is really no justification to banning traditional switch blades. If anything we should be getting rid of these knife regulations, not expanding them.
I teach knife safety for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Any knife can be dangerous when not wielded safely. How it opens is irrelevant except for the consideration that the harder a knife is to open or close the more likely you are to hurt yourself with it.
Apparently the FTC has too much time on their hands according to this AP article:
Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon.
What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.
The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.
It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight.
So if Kim Cameron praises Cardspace in his blog, does that trigger an FTC inquiry? I mean we all know he works for Microsoft but does he have to put a disclaimer in each posting? Or is once the main page enough?
What makes this all the more silly is that tonight ABC will run an hour long infomercial for Obama’s nationalized health care, the cost of which the administration estimates to be more than 1.5 trillion dollars (and we all know it will never be that cheap). How come the FTC isn’t investigating that?
Oh wait, I forgot who runs the FTC now.
Apparently the CLEAR program is defunct. As with any identity effort this raises the question about what happens to the data, especially biometric data, if the service provider goes out of business.
Kevin Kampman wants to know what happens to his data:
Jackson Shaw wants to know what happened to his scans:
…a copy of your biometric information (but not your name) is retained by the Transportation Security Clearinghouse to prevent fraudulent enrollments under alternate identities.
So, the TSA has my biometric information but not my name in order to prevent fraudulent enrollments under alternate identities? Hmmm, does that mean that the TSA has my biometric information but not my name but does have my social security number? Otherwise, how would they prevent fraudulent enrollments?
Yet one more reason not to use biometric authentication.
In the Pipeline is my favorite chemistry blog. He has a regular series called “Things I won’t work with” in which he describes chemicals so dangerous the even he (as a professional chemist) won’t allow in his lab. In his most recent installment he describes a chemical so foul smelling that it made is forbidden list on that basis alone. Here he names Hell’s Dumpster:
My recent entries in this category have, for the most part, been hazardous in a direct (not to say crude, or even vulgar) manner. These are compounds that explode with bizarre violence even in laughably small amounts, leaving ruined equipment and shattered nerves in their wake. No, I will not work with such.
But today’s compound makes no noise and leaves no wreckage. It merely stinks. But it does so relentlessly and unbearably. It makes innocent downwind pedestrians stagger, clutch their stomachs, and flee in terror. It reeks to a degree that makes people suspect evil supernatural forces. It is thioacetone.
Or something close to it, anyway. All we know for sure is that thioacetone doesn’t like to exist as a free compound – it’s usually tied up in a cyclic thioketal trimer, when it’s around at all. Attempts to crack this to thioacetone monomer itself have been made – ah, but that’s when people start diving out of windows and vomiting into wastebaskets, so the quality of the data starts to deteriorate. No one’s quite sure what the actual odorant is (perhaps the gem-dimercaptan?) And no one seems to have much desire to find out, either.
Interesting research for some brave and ollifactory challenged soul.
If you haven’t read the rest of the things in the list, you should. It’s especially frightening to know there is a chemical that sets sand on fire and eats through asbestos fire brick.
Posted in Science
Tagged Chemistry, Fun
Dave Kearns notes the city of Bozeman is walking back its requirement that applicants supply user ID and passwords to all social networking sites. But then he closes with:
Just one more reason to drop the use of passwords in favor of a biometric authentication. Even Bozeman, I’d hope, wouldn’t ask you to leave your finger on file!
Is the glass half empty or half full? Either way it’s covered with prints, which you should think about before jumping into biometrics. Then watch the Myth-Busters fool several fingerprint readers with covertly obtained fingerprint samples. After watching that you probably are going to start feeling uneasy about fingerprint readers.
And it seems facial recognition systems can be fooled with pictures of the face blown up to full size.
I wouldn’t bet the farm on voice authentication either.
IBD lays the wood to ABC in this editorial on their infomercial pushing nationalized health care (via Instapundit). They coin the great phrase “Self-nationalization” in the editorial:
As much of the U.S. private sector, including health care providers, resists government takeovers, what a sorry sight to see ABC News leap forward to make itself a propaganda arm of the government.
But that’s the story as ABC crosses the line from journalism to advocacy in turning its coverage of health care over to the White House.
This Wednesday, on every show from “Good Morning America” (kicking things off with an interview with the president) to “World News Tonight” (broadcast from the Blue Room) to a prime-time special called “Prescription for America” (and emanating from the East Room), the network will puff the Obama administration’s trillion-dollar plan to nationalize U.S. health care.
The all-day, White House-based coverage itself amounts to a nationalization — this one of a major media outlet in support of an administration that will return the favor for access at the cost of objectivity and the public’s right to know.
The word propaganda is way over-used. But in this case it is entirely appropriate. And it’s shameful.
Apparently ABC news is going to produce what can only be described as an infomercial for the administration’s push on nationalized health care:
ABC News will host an hour-long special on health care reform in the U.S. next Wednesday from the White House East Room — a move that ABC is defending but critics are calling a surrender to the Obama administration’s effort to control the debate.
The prime time special — called “Questions for the President: Prescription for America” by ABC News — will be a nationally televised event during which President Obama will answer questions presented by audience members selected by ABC News.
Participants will present a broad range of ”divergent opinions in this historic debate,” according to the press release announcing the event. Viewers will also be able to submit questions via ABCNews.com.
I won’t be watching this dog and pony show, but I predict one question won’t quite make the cut:
If we can really achieve cost savings with your plan, why can’t we achieve those cost savings now with Medicare? I mean what’s wrong with doing a proof-of-concept before we change health care for everyone?
It’s sad to see a major news organization flush its journalistic ethics like this.