Monday Dec 21, 2009

The Ecstasy and Agony of Evernote

Evernote is an essential workhorse in my daily life.  I currently have 3,467 notes in my various Evernote notebooks, using an Evernote premium account.  I use the product multiple times every day for note-taking (I have a reputation as a prodigious note-taker), personal journal (almost daily), electronic filing (I rarely file paper any more) and as a general, all-around information repository.  I particularly like its architectural model using intelligent client applications synchronized with a server-side database.  This allows me to keep information in sync on my laptop and desktop machines (both Windows) as well as my iPhone

That is the “ecstasy” part.  The “agony” came when I installed the long-awaited new Windows client (version 3.5 beta) last week.  What I hoped would be a major improvement of the Windows client, was, instead, a deep disappointment. While I liked a few new features, such as the mixed view, the core note taking engine is still very primitive.  If anything, it was a step  backwards.

The two biggest problems are the very awkward and limited outlining capability and the complete lack of templates.  The new table feature is extremely basic.  I  submitted suggestions in all three areas several months ago, but apparently these seemingly basic functions for a product with “Note” in the name weren’t desirable enough to see the light of day.

It is very painful when I have to drop back to Microsoft OneNote to get access to a decent outlining editor, and then transfer the result to Evernote, rather than have a native capability for outlining.  For a guy who thinks in outlines, all I can say is, “Arrrgghh!”

Perhaps Evernote should open up their architecture so third parties could create plugins to provide functionality not available in the core product.  For example, the Thunderbird add-on “QuickText” provide very useful email message templating capability for a product that lacks such a feature.  Perhaps other plugin vendors could provide decent outlining and table functionality.

Here’s hoping that Evernote someday gets it right. Please!

Wednesday Dec 16, 2009

Strategic News Service: Tech Predictions for 2010

Mark Anderson, publisher of Strategic News Service, talks about his yearly technology predictions in the following Business Week library video.    An overriding theme seems to be that consumers are demanding, and progressively getting, highly personalized, context-aware, mobile services and content. This demand driving big changes in hardware platforms, operating systems, media distribution and pricing, and network infrastructure. Much of the work I am involved with at Sun is focused directly on these major shifts in markets and technology. This whole area is rife with large, market changing opportunities.

A longer audio presentation, recorded December 10, 2009 at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, is available. Listen to the presentation now.

Thanks to Kip Meacham for sharing the link.

Friday Dec 11, 2009

Mark Mail ... Gotta Like that Name

Tonight I stumbled across a website for Mark Mail, a “free service for searching mailing list archives.”  I tried searching for “Discovering Identity” and found nine entries, two of which referred to this blog.  I suppose that means this blog is waaaaay out in the long tail of the Mark Mail economy.

But I still like the name.

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Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

Happy Veteran’s Day!

It’s after 11pm in my San Francisco hotel room, where I arrived after a successful meeting in New York City, a transcontinental flight and late dinner.  But I can’t go to sleep without sharing a wonderful video pointed out to me by Twitter acquaintance Mame Hampton (@momthebom).

Thanks to all the wonderful soldiers and veterans who have done so much and are continuing to serve so well to keep us free!

And thank you, Mame, for sharing this wonderful message with us.

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Friday Oct 23, 2009

Happy Birthday iPod!

Can you believe it?  The original iPod was unveiled eight years ago today!  Little did we realize what a dynamic industry upheaval was launched that day.

Our oldest grandson also turned eight years old a few days ago.  He should always be able to remember when the iPod was launched.  When he is an old guy like me, he’ll be able to authoritatively tell his grandkids, “I grew up with the iPod!”

By the way, the photo is a stark reminder that age has affected Steve Jobs much differently than the music distribution revolution he helped lead.

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Monday Oct 05, 2009

CIO Roundtables: Identity Management - Pathway To Enterprise Agility

CIO During the second and third weeks of November, I will have the distinct pleasure of accompanying Michelle Dennedy, Chief Governance Officer of Cloud Computing for Sun Microsystems, in a series of three CIO Roundtables in New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC, and two CIO breakfast seminars in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. 

Sponsored by Sun and moderated by CIO Magazine executives, these events will address the topic, “Identity Management - Pathway To Enterprise Agility”,  providing excellent forums to discuss such pertinent questions as:

  1. How does strategic Identity Management contribute to business growth and not merely fulfill technology “need to do” requirements?
  2. What Identity Management steps should you take to enhance business effectiveness?
  3. How can good security governance is be good business?
  4. Is your Identity Management system tuned for emerging marketplace requirements?
  5. How does Identity Management address cloud computing?
  6. How is Identity Management is enabling enterprises to capitalize – and not merely cope with – these realities?

To read more information about specific locations, including registration information, you can download .pdf fliers for each event:

  1. Washington, DC – November 10th
  2. New York, NY – November 11th
  3. San Francisco, CA – November 12th
  4. Vancouver, BC – November 13th
  5. Toronto, ON – November 17th

Thanks! Hope to see you there.

Sunday Oct 04, 2009

Location Monitoring with Twitter

Dare we think that Twitter might actually improve our quality of life?  Just ask Dilbert.

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Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

Security and Compliance in the Cloud

This morning, I listened to an excellent webinar entitled “Pinning Down Cloud Computing,” hosted by Yankee Group Research.  Yankee Group Vice President Camille Mender and Senior Analyst Agatha Poon explored the popular topic of cloud computing, focusing much on the business details enterprises must pay attention to if they are to successfully harness the promises of cloud computing – important things like uptime/availability, maintenance, penalties for non-performance,  limitations of liability and privacy / data protection, to name a few.

I liked the following diagram used to discuss the different levels or tiers of a cloud “stack” architecture.  The “Security and Compliance” bar to the left is a good way to illustrate the importance of information security and related compliance activities at each tier of the stack.  Of course, Identity Management is a critical underpinning of that security and compliance functionality.

yankeecloudstack (Diagram Copyright © 2009 Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved.  Used with permission.)

It was pointed out that the top three barriers to cloud computing uptake are:

  • Security (39%)
  • Reliability (35%)
  • IT governance (33%)

The cloud computing market is still maturing.  So far, only a small percentage of enterprises are shifting a large part of their IT budgets to the cloud.  Recognizing the essential role Identity Management plays in security and governance is critical to accelerating that movement.

Sun Java Communications Suite 7

Congratulations to the Sun team for today’s release of Sun Java Communications Suite 7.  Did you know that there are over 150 million seats of the Sun Java Communications suite in production?  Telcos and other service providers all over the world use this suite for high scalability and performance in a service provider environment.


I particularly like the “Convergence” web client that provides a state-of-the-art AJAX Web 2.0 client experience for users.   It’s great to see the innovation rising out of this great group of Sun people.

Tuesday Sep 01, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday - Internet!

I opened my copy of the Arizona Republic today to read an interesting Associated Press Article entitled “Internet turns 40; barriers imperil its growth.”  I was a junior in high school way back in the day when, on September 2, 1969, “about 20 people gathered in Kleinrock's lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, to watch as two bulky computers passed meaningless test data through a 15-foot gray cable.”  I was oblivious to it then, and little did I realize how my entire career would be affected so profoundly by that pioneering work.

Despite the challenges that face the Internet now, a few of which are pointed out in the article, it has been enjoyable to pause a few minutes to reflect on the advances in technology over that span of time and try to anticipate what the next 40 years may bring.

In the photo above, “Internet pioneer Len Kleinrock poses next to an Interface Message Processor, a device used to develop the Internet 40 years ago at UCLA.”  Gotta love all those switches on the front panel!

A related article published in the Globe and Mail includes a summary time line of key milestones in the development of the Internet.

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Monday Aug 31, 2009

Windows Live Writer: New Favorite Blog Editor

This past weekend, I adopted Windows Live Writer as a blog editor to post to my personal and professional blogs.  Now, I can use the same user interface to post to Roller (Discovering Identity), Blogger (Dixon Digest) and WordPress (I Love Freedom).  I really like the way it works with photos and how it handles WordPress Tags.  I sense that I have barely scratched the surface of its potential.  Time will tell.

Saturday Aug 29, 2009

links for 2009-08-30

Friday Aug 28, 2009

links for 2009-08-29

Thursday Aug 27, 2009

links for 2009-08-28

Monday Aug 24, 2009

links for 2009-08-25


Discovering Identity was founded on in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

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The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.


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