Testing post from Wildfire!

January 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Testing post from Wildfire!

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Life After Google Reader

March 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Posted in Research, Social Networks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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News gathering onlineI’ve used Google Reader to marshal news feeds from blogs and other web sites for a long time now.  I described my strategy in a blog post  almost 2 years ago.  Now, it seems, Google is going to kill Reader, leaving me (and a very large number of other users) to find an alternative tool.

I get that if a service is free then you have no comeback.  I also know there are other tools that could be used instead.  My beef is that a service I’d set up and which has been serving me well for a long time is now going away, without warning and without any apparent logic behind the decision.

This post on O’Reilly Radar makes a good point – certainly one I needed to think long and hard about.  Om Malik’s brief post on the demise of Google Reader raises a good point:  If we can’t trust Google to keep successful applications around, why should we bother trying them out?

So, with Reader due to cease in July, it was time to look for a replacement.  The first breakthrough was finding this post on the blog page for Feedly.  The blog explained that migrating from Reader doesn’t have to be a pain, because:

  • If you log into Feedly with your Google account, then Feedly automatically synchronises with your Google Reader feeds.
  • So, when Reader shuts down in July, Feedly just takes over – no further action required!

There’s also free apps for IOS (separate versions for iPhone and iPad) and Android, allowing me to move away from the trusty but slightly clunky Feeds app that I’ve been using to read items offline.

So far, so good.  Now, I like to be able to share items that particularly interest me with my contacts on Twitter, LinkedIn and (very occasionally) Facebook and I’ve been doing that using my favourite integration platform IFTTT.  This relies on the fact that IFTTT has connections (they call them channels) for both Google Reader (my source) and each of my targets (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook).  The Google Reader channel lets me trigger an action any time I star an item in Reader and then lets me use elements in the post to my targets (blog name, title, URL).  Sadly there’s currently no channel on IFTTT for Feedly, though I made sure I submitted a request for one.

So the next step was to find an intermediate platform.  The Feedly equivalent to Google Reader’s star action is called “save for later”.  Investigating the settings in Feedly I found that you can configure the s”save for later” function to post items to Pocket,  which does have an IFTTT channel.  So, now I can rewrite my IFTTT publishing rules to use Pocket and anything I bookmark (save for later) in Feedly will appear on Twitter, LinkedIn and (if I choose) Facebook.  Result!

As a bonus, I found that for anywhere I can email a link (say in a tweet), I can send that email to Pocket and the page the URL points to will be added to my queue in Pocket as well.

testing post from Wildfire!

December 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

testing post from Wildfire!

London Riots – The Aftermath

August 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Not my normal security-related subject matter, but I had to pull together some highlights (wrong word?) of the appalling events in London over the past few days.The sequence below, taken from Twitter and Flickr and assembled in Storify (http://www.storify.com), show clearly that the vast majority of people in the UK are sickened by the mindless violence and sheer greed of the criminals who did this. The story also shows (to me at least) that when it comes down to it, the people of the UK, and particularly Londoners, will always rise above attempts to terrorise them and just get on with sorting things out.

Something we can all do to help.  Publish the banner on your website or your blog or retweet the post.  Let people know, so they can turn out to help with getting things back to normal.

For me, this picture sums up the violence of the whole thing.  This morning’s television news showed footage of a 150 year old family run furniture store ablaze.  Why?  What did that achieve?

But, as bad as things get, people act with kindness and show their appreciation to the police..

And then this morning, I can only echo Professor Brian Cox on Twitter (above).  it really does restore your faith in human nature.

People turned out in droves, responding to a spontaneous campaign to clean up the devastation left by the rioters.

#riotcleanup pictures on PicFog

riotcleanup pictures

Check out this site for more pictures of the clean up operation around London.

Now something else we can all do to help.  Look at the pictures from the Met Police.  If you know any of these clowns, tell the police.  They need to be stopped before someone gets seriously hurt.

2010 in review

January 2, 2011 at 11:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 23 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 37 posts. There were 75 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 9mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 7th with 32 views. The most popular post that day was OneNote in the Cloud.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were 74.125.155.132, mobilenoter.com, ifreestores.com, iheartonenote.com, and stumbleupon.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for onenote iphone, iam governance, one note iphone, motorola5200, and mobilenoter.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

OneNote in the Cloud September 2009
12 comments

2

OneNote, iPhone and Wi-Fi January 2010
8 comments

3

Send Back Pictures to OneNote January 2010

4

1st Impressions – IBM and IAM Governance August 2009
1 comment

5

OneNote to go … September 2009
2 comments

New Year’s Resolution

December 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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2010 has been a bit of a watershed for me and the new direction for my career has left me seriously short on time.  Sadly, one of the things that has suffered is the time I’ve devoted to this blog.  I’ve promised myself that I’m going to rectify this in 2011, by posting on this blog once a week throughout the year.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun and it will be inspiring.  Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to keep me going, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous New Year,

Tom Mellor

Happy Holidays

December 19, 2010 at 12:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This time last year, we were cruising the Caribbean, on our way to the Panama Canal.

This year, looking out the window of V1951 Towers, I can see the Christmas lights in the trees reflecting on the snow.It’s been another frenetic and eventful year, with business making an unexpected but thus far fruitful change of direction.

We’re taking just a short break over the holiday period and we’ll be back in the office (and back on WordPress) from Wednesday December 29th, but in the meantime, we’d like to wish all our friends and colleagues

Best Wishes for the Holidays

and a

Happy and Prosperous New Year

We look forward to chatting with you again in 2011.

Kind Regards,

Tom and Hilary

New Blog, Old Friend

March 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m always on the lookout for interesting new blogs, especially in my main subject area of Identity and Access management.  Of course, I try to follow the blogs of the best known gurus in my field.  However, I reserve space on my blog roll (over to the right =>) for people that I know and trust.

In this spirit, I just added a link to the “Joined Up Thinking” blog, maintained by Stephen Swann.  Stephen is Belfast based and we met around 8 years ago on opposite sides of an IAM project for a retail bank.  I stumbled upon Stephen through Twitter – he showed up in a search, fed through to Google Reader – and we took the advantage to reconnect through LinkedIn. 

Stephen is an experienced and thoughtful professional and I’ll follow his blogging with great interest.  I strongly recommend that you do too.

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Season’s Greetings

December 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After what you might term an eventful year, Mrs V1951 and I are headed off somewhere warm to test our remote access capabilities.

We’ll be back in the office (and back on WordPress) from Monday December 28th, but in the meantime, we’d like to wish all our friends and colleagues

Best Wishes for the Holidays

and a

Happy and Prosperous New Year 

We look forward to chatting with you again in 2010.

Kind Regards,

Tom and Hilary

An Offer too Good to Refuse

August 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Programme Management, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Thinking String - Unravelling Complexity

Thinking String - Unravelling Complexity

I was delighted (and more than a little anxious) to be asked recently by Simon Perry to contribute to his Thinking String website. As you may know, Simon has established Thinking String as a federated consultancy, providing expert and hype-free guidance to technology vendors, service providers and academia which are developing solutions that enable an effective and equitable low carbon economy.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Simon for a number of years, when we were both part of CA’s EMEA Security team.  More recently, Simon was ranked the 2nd most influential analyst on Green IT and Sustainability in the Analyst of the Year annual survey, conducted by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR).

I’ll be writing for Simon from time to time on matters concerning risk and programme management, as well as my own subject area of Identity and Access management.

 Destined to Fail?

My first article for Thinking String  addresses the problems that seem to surround delivering large scale infrastructure projects and programmes successfully.  By large-scale infrastructure projects, I’m thinking of those projects, which span all (or most) Business Units and locations and impact upon multiple business processes.   Admittedly, my observations are drawn mostly from enterprise security management deployments (in particular Identity and Access Management), although I suspect that the same is true of other technology management areas, such as Network and Systems Management and Service Management.  You can read the whole article on the Thinking String website, but I’ll include the key points here:

  • Make a plan – and stick to it!  Once the design is signed off, resist the temptation to adopt a new version or service pack, unless there’s a very clear need for some functionality to overcome a major problem.
  • Listen to the vendor. They know what they’re talking about (most of the time).  Consider the use cases that need to be satisfied during the selection phase and select a vendor that closely aligns with those. During deployment, the closer you can then stay to the chosen vendor’s logical architecture, then the more likely it is that the deployment will be successful.
  • Beware Showstoppers.  Be sure that the governance arrangements for your project are adequate to ensure that the impact to your project will be considered by the decision makers and also that you have a channel to “escalate” if a project assumption should prove false.
  • Deliver frequently in small increments and prioritise by value returned.  Deliver key use cases first and make regular deliveries of additional functionality, to ensure that the Business can see the value of continuing.

Infrastructure projects can and of course do succeed in delivering value to the Business.  But, to achieve this, you need to put a lot of effort into programme management and in particular into publicising your project and its successes to the Business.  Above all, keep in mind that just because it’s infrastructure, doesn’t mean that it’s all about IT.  Remember that people and processes are involved too.

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