Wednesday Apr 22, 2009

Another intra-net community

Another tip from midweek, by Miles Berry, the british education community is adopting a community software product called the learning landscape for schools, its based on code from http://elgg.org/. Schools have even more concern that they control access to their communities than business and one of elgg's advantages is that you can install it on your own server and place it behind your firewall.

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Wednesday May 21, 2008

Discussing security and privacy in Italy

 CSI Piemonte, an italian public sector co-operative visited Sun yesterday to talk about today and tomorrow's Security with Alec Muffet and Dave Walker, and I had the honour of hosting and MC'ing the meeting.

While discussing data centre networks i.e the network inside the firewall and how to build the firewalls, a number of products and companies were discussed, these include CSE Piemonte themselves, Tripwire for intrusion detection, Zeus, traffic management, ActivIdentity, part of an SSO solution, Tier-3, leveraging Behavioural Intelligence, Sun's Access Manager, "Privacy on the Line" a book by Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau, Endevours Technologies, Sun's Security Community's publications, Shibboleth, for single sign-on, and juniper.net/, looking at their virtual firewalls. Alec also spoke about some of the ideas he developed in his blog article Hankering For A World Without “Identity” or “Federation”. This latter conversation was very wide ranging and reviewed the significant differences between the UK and Italian data privacy laws, particularly in the field of medical data and records. The italian laws seem very citizen-centric, which is what we'd hope for in a democratic Republic. The CSI Piemonte people told us that

"The Italian Government is prohibited from asking for citizen's information twice"

which is really cool but it still has problems sharing it around the government between departments and bodies. In the UK, this is causing me problems with the Student Finance company at the moment. I'd like the Passport Agency and the Inland Revenue to pass my details on to them, so I don't have to collect all the stuff they ask for. I suppose that they can't ask the Inland Revenue because they want to know more than they do. Go figure.

I recorded these URL's as we discussed them on my del.icio.us feed in real time, i.e. as of this article's publication date, well, yesterday actually. (I suppose I should create a tag for the meeting, to ensure that all the URLs have a common and exclusive tag, but I havn't, and del.icio.us doesn't enable you to query a date range, which is why I repeat the list above, and I can't be bothered to write a script that displays how many days ago the meeting took place.)

I also think, or hope at least, that  this is an article, where the snap shots add value to the article. If you hover most of the links above, you get a preview of the web page. 

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Monday Aug 14, 2006

A more exciting journey than expected

We arrived after a long and interesting journey. We've done the journey before and so the surprises were all at Gatwick and due to the emergency security processes. We had taken the advice to get their early and so were fortunate enough to be one of the first to be checked in, although somehow we still got seats nearer the back than front.

The security guards were very strict, confiscating throat sweets and a suduko puzzle, but since no-one had any hand luggage (and we were pretty early), the security checks were actually quite quick. We also didn't have to charge onto the plane to make sure that our hand luggage could be fitted in among the bastards that think a suitcase is hand luggage. (If its got wheels, its not hand luggage in my book, put it in the hold and wait for it to catch up with you at the other end. Here's another hint, if you take a bag (or lets face it a second bag) that's bigger than intended, you deny space to others; this is not the behaviour of good neighbours.) Despite not having any hand luggage, sufficient people in front of me found enough to place in the overhead racks to delay my exit from the plane, although why I worried I don't know since my holiday luggage had to catch up with me before I could leave Kalamata.

We travelled from Kalamata to our final destination by Taxi. This was fortunately an air conditioned Merc. So I tried to settle down and admire the mountain and sea views. This is in fact very important since double white lines in the centre of the road do not seem to mean either do not overtake, nor this is the centre of the road. I also started to get worried when our driver started to use his mobile phone, but I soon relaxed when I realised that he didn't use his second hand for steering anyway, so we were in no more danger. NB Its illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving a car in the UK.

Bottom line, Gatwick is always operating at the edge of its limits and it can be quite unpleasant, this was one of the easiest journeys through the airport I've ever had and the flight may not have been the most dangerous part of the journey :)

This was posted on the 24th August and back dated to the day it occurred.

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