28 August 2009

WordPress Hack Update (Google Reader)

As promised, I am sharing a remedy that I found this post in the wordpress.org site describing the problem I was having with WordPress. I have to say though, it frankly amazes me that WordPress is being hacked like that. I mean, it's been around a while. I would have expected it to be pretty hardened by now but in looking around for a remedy I read all kinds of horror stories about different exploits. Great interface, nice themes, pretty simple to use but I will not recommend it to my non-tech friends, even though it's open source, because of the security issues. It just requires too much technical knowhow to keep it running securely. Comments?

26 August 2009

(too) OpenID

Since I am getting totally into identity tech these days I figured it was about time to set up my OpenID and start using it myself. Being a Gmail user it seemed a no brainer to use my Google OpenID as my AP.

I checked the docs for my Google OpenID and presto whamo, I have my OpenID all set to go. Next, I decided that Facebook would be my first RP. So, after digging around on the web for a few minutes I found some instructions on how to do that. It's under Settings | Linked accounts. So easy.

So, I click on "Add" and up comes a list. There's Google, Yahoo and a bunch of others, so I pick OpenID and click "Link New Account" and Google comes up to verify that I am cool with the linkage. Nice. I check the list and Facebook wants my email address, cool, my Language, okay, makes sense and ... what... what's that... my Contacts? Facebook wants my Contacts List!?

No deal.

There is no option for me to just do authentication with Facebook using my Google account so I won't use my Google account. I am disappointed in Facebook (but not surprised).

Plan B. Looking for a nice OpenID provider that has nothing else to offer but my ID. :-)

07 August 2009

Google Reader Spam

Ugh! If you're using Google Reader to read this - well - you may not be able to read this because somehow some clever (but annoying) spammer has figured out how to inject spam into my posts for people using Google Reader. I would love to hear from any of my readers about a remedy for this. If I find one first, I will post it here.

Oh, and if you don't already know, I am using WordPress (for now).

(Note from Herb: As of December 2009 this site is now on Blogger)

05 August 2009

Upgrading my WP Site

I was recently hit with spam on this site so have finally upgraded to the latest and greatest version of WordPress.... it cost me nothing and I learned a cool technique for checking for blog spam... if there are more than two unique URL links in a post, it's probably spam so it gets held. Simple. I like it.

31 July 2009

OSCON 2009

As many of you know I had the privilege of attending OSCON 2009 last week. I just want to say, for the record, that it was easily the best conference I have ever been to. From the presentations, to the speakers to the BoFs, the whole thing was well organized, well executed and totally worth the 3,200 clicks I put on my motorcycle to get there. :-)

One of the things I got by going was the sense of community and the sense of contribution. Here were people from all walks of technology, from people just starting out to veterans of 20+ years, from database to Web 2.0 to Gov 2.0 to algorithm fanatics to social media creators all gathered to talk about their passion for creating, improving, using and championing free software. I am thrilled to do my part as a contributing member of these communities and am grateful for the opportunity.

The main takeaway though for me was the sense of leadership. The open source community is chock-full of leaders. People who dare to see and meet the call of something bigger than themselves and who are willing to stand for the result while it is only a possibility and who will act to make it real.

It's completely unreasonable to get an idea, collaborate with people all over the world in your spare time for months or years at a time, create world class software and then give it away for free to anyone who wants it, with no strings attached. And, that's exactly what is happening 24 hours a day 365 days of the year, all over the world.

It's completely unreasonable.

And it's so much fun.

Thanks OSCON for the excellent week. See you in 2010.

Ps: see some of the OSCON action by going to the OSCON site and viewing their videos of some of the talks.

24 July 2009

DataZoomer 3.0 Released

FYI, DataZoomer 3.0 has been released on Google code under the GPL3 license. Comments and contributions welcome.

29 May 2009

Bring Out Yer Dead

Palm's tenacity reminds me of that old Monty Python movie, I think it was "Life of Brian", where the guy is roaming the streets collecting bodies for his cart saying "Bring Out Yer Dead" and one of the guys on the cart says, "I'm not dead yet.".

Palm has recently released the Palm Pre handheld do-it-all, which is great, but the really interesting thing I just found out is the Palm Pre syncs with iTunes - Apple 2.0! Good on them for making bold moves. I think that's the right strategy in their position.

I like Palm and they remind me of Borland. Borland Software, was a company that created software development tools that blew the doors of of all of the competition in terms of innovation and performance. (They invented little things like what to do with the right mouse button).

Their marketing efforts were terrible but their software was amazing. (life lesson: superior technology doesn't win). What I always found fascinating about Borland was that they always seemed to be going out of business. It seemed they were going out of business for 20 years!

But what they did right was they made bold moves. They were innovative and they were not a company to ask permission. They would just add some crazy awesome new functionality and their fans would love it. They were the rock stars of development tool developers.

I can remember breathing a sigh of relief every time they released a new version of Borland C++ or Delphi because I wasn't sure they were going to make it to the next version. But they always did...

Until they stopped making those bold moves. Borland is no more. Okay, there is a company around called Borland, that does some of the same things, but the old innovative Borland is gone.

So, good on Palm, for continuing to innovate, to make bold moves. I think playing in Apple's recently acquired playground (embrace and extend) is a smart move for them and it's good for us as for the last year or two there hasn't been much competition.

They're clearly not dead yet.

16 May 2009

Open Source Vancouver

The City of Vancouver, BC is making a fantastic bold move toward openness. A move many governments would do well to notice. It's the future. Facebook for government is an interesting idea but, it's not nearly enough. This, on the other hand, is game changing. This is government 2.0.

02 April 2009

Web 2.0 Expo

I am attending the Web 2.0 Expo here in San Francisco. It's clear that technology is changing our world but I am realizing that it's changing our world much more than I had considered. If you're interested I am currently tweeting as I attend. My username is herblainchbury if you would like to follow.