Monday, March 14, 2005

Recommended listening and heading south

Recommended listening, Kent Seamons - Negotiating Trust

Like it or not, because of growing privacy and security regulations, identity theft and threats of terrorism, computer security requirements are going to increase at SJSU rather than decrease. Mechanisms like SJSUOne are fine for proving association with the university, but simple password/challenge security mechanisms do not provide the kind of granular security requirements the future is likely to require. Password/challenge methods, like SJSUOne, do not work across organizational lines, for example: how do you give a professor at another university access to a resource at our university using SJSUOne?

Password/challenge methods, like SJSUOne, are frustrating and confusing to users and difficult to establish and support and have problems administering, especially for distance learning. They are vulnerable to cracking, for example: if somebody phishes a professors SJSUOne password all his/her digital assets are vulnerable. That is where this IT Conversations podcast comes in! According to Doug Kaye:

How do you establish trust between strangers on the Internet? Identity federation is one way to create a community of trust, but it relies on establishing the trust domains before the interaction. That doesn't work for many Internet transactions. In an all-new IT Conversations series, Phil Windley interviews Professor Kent Seamons who explores in depth some specific ways of solving this problem.

Heading South

This is written Sunday Night: I am in Mojave. I am in a Motel 6 listening to trains go by. Today has been very windy in Mojave. It was rainy and foggy when I came up through the Tehachapi mountains. I couldn't see the trains, but I could hear them.

train at Mojave

As most of my friends know, I am a train buff. I have tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of train photos. My dad was a locomotive engineer for the old Southern Pacific Railroad and I started to photograph trains when I used to go to work with him and ride the trains. The hobby of photographing trains is called railfanning. I discovered photography through railfanning. This is the first time I have railfanned with a serious digital camera.

It is amazing to me to be able to look at my train photos on my laptop before I even get home. I also brought a film camera. I am down to my last three rolls of Kodachrome. I have used Kodachrome since the days of Kodachrome II in the 1960's. Now when I think of Kodachrome, and the subject of film, I think of how the railroads must have pictured steam engines after the diesels came along. I remember reading about a time when a steam engine derailed. Rather than rerail the steam locomotive and put it back into service the railroad just scrapped it on the spot. Diesels had made steam engines so valueless the steam engine was not even worth putting back on the track. The same seems to be happening with film cameras. Great cameras have gotten so cheap. When they break they are not worth fixing. I doubt I will ever buy another roll of Kodachrome. I wonder how long it will be before we will not be able to buy film?

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