I’ve finally had time to spruce up the site a bit! Feels good to move things around.  You know me, I like playing with the federated identity options — so have taken out the google identity toolkit.  I have a half-formed plan to install the Facebook plugin and then perform experiments on their new anonymous login and granular consent features….  of course that will eventually come out too.    Commenting and registration methods have never been stable, at least not since the infocard integration was taken out. Good thing you’re all hardy :)  so if you want to comment and say hi, you’ll probably have to recover your password.

copyright Pamela Dingle 2014



A Domain of my Own

Winter SunTada!  I’ve finally made the leap, and have transferred my blog from wordpress.com to my own web hosting site.   I’m now free to install whatever plugins I wish (and I bet you can guess what my plans are in that department).

I would appreciate it if you could update your feeds and bookmarks to use my new URL:  http://eternallyoptimistic.com.  The old address will redirect you, but I would prefer to grab what little google-juice I might  :)

If your feed stops working or links don’t work, or if you see things have gone awry, please drop me a line, either as a comment here, or using my contact form and I’ll set it right.

Justice for Azigo Post

Yesterday’s Azigo post is now stylin’, with extra features like images and bullets!    If you held off of reading that post because the large bricks of unformatted text were making your eyes bleed, you can go back now:  http://eternaloptimist.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/azigo-a-go-goes/

Otherwise,  check out the comments on the post,  also two corrections:

  • Through my own ignorance, I mistakenly intimated that the desktop portion of Azigo was going away, when in fact Adobe AIR *is* the desktop portion, and in fact the goal is to move all functionality into Adobe AIR.  I hope I improved the situation with that explanation, and that there doesn’t need to be a correction to the correction :)
  • There is a card usage/history section, I just didn’t see it.  In fact, if you look at my own screenshot, you can clearly see the  “History” tab just above Dr. Evil’s head.  Apparently my powers of observation took a dip there…

Apologies for the formatting wackiness, and the omissions/errors,


For those of you using Netvibes

To my horror yesterday – I found that all of my NetVibes folders had been blown away, and around 80 different feeds had been placed into a single tab called “Lost & found” after I created a new tab called “Funny!”.

It turns out that if you export an OPML File, even when the folders are missing, and then re-import, you can get your folders back (don’t click the “create new tab on import” checkbox, because then you’ll have 2 sets of everything). At least, my folders came back, YMMV.

I recommend saving an OPML file of your feeds anyway – I didn’t even think to do so until I was in a bad position, and only then did I realize how valuable that list was.

Lost and Found

Mystery Solved; Questions Abound

I must say – I feel privileged to have learned a lesson today.

At this year’s Catalyst conference, I saw Jonathan Schwartz speak at the Sun hospitality suite. Jonathan’s vision of the future is that one day, systems he deems as “uninteresting” such as e-mail systems, ERP systems, and such will be outsourced to Web 2.0 darling companies, who will host these boring but necessary functions, so that companies can focus on the sexy stuff.

The exact logistics of such a strategy were left to everyone’s imagination, although what was implied was that such a strategy would result in fewer servers being maintained, and fewer IT staff to do the maintaining. In other words, a CxO’s wildest dream.

Risk & Liability involved with such a strategy were not discussed.

Now – as it turns out, I happen to be a student of Mr. Schwartz’s methodology, on a very small scale. As someone who did not wish to pay for or maintain a server from which to publish my personal blog, I contracted with a Web 2.0 darling company called wordpress.com to host my blog alongside hundreds of thousands of others. It is and was a steal of a deal — they maintain the machines & the software, and I get to blog for free!

Today, however, I feel that I may have encountered the fly in Mr. Schwartz’s enthusiastic ointment. As you may have seen from my last blog entry, I was the subject of some syndication feed shenanigans this afternoon. Apparently so were a lot of other people.

During the course of administering their many separate hosted accounts, the wordpress.com staff installed software that mixed RSS feeds up for some unknown number of blog accounts, resulting in content from one persons’ blog being published under the name of someone else.

I can’t help but wonder – did somebody get my content? Was it a swap, or an off-by-one? I don’t suppose I’ll ever know.

How about a quick post-mortem cost assessment based on the following factors:

  1. Probability of loss of reputation due to my identity being associated with someone else’s content or vice versa.
  2. Probability of loss of income or other tangible asset due to either my identity being associated with someone else’s content or vice versa.

In my case, there was little cost. A few people might have come to erroneous conclusions about my personal life – but for the most part, my reputation and income stream were not affected. Additionally, it is technically possible that a bunch of strangers saw my content and assumed it belonged to someone else. Heh, more power to them if they were able to make sense of it.

But. What if this wasn’t my personal blog affected. What if this was, instead, my corporate ERP system affected? Or my corporate Email system? What happens when a hosting company mixes up the account identifiers of two different companies’ finanical accounts? What could the possible cost be, in both reputation and income, of your company’s confidential data being temporarily disclosed to another company’s users? Or of your company’s identity being temporarily associated with somebody else’s confidential data?

Can’t happen you say? Surely those kinds of hosting companies would be more careful? Yeah. You keep on believing that. It will be impossible until the day it happens. Then it will be irreversible.

Here be dragons. Mark my words.

Not mine

Not really me

For those of you who don’t know me well enough to have become suspicious at seeing my name next to a blog post entitled “Help! My two year old is a screaming monster!”, it appears that there has been a mix-up over at Planet Identity.

My name & the name of my company are currently attached to blog entries from an incorrect web address within the Planet Identity aggregator. I have no idea whether my own web address has been replaced altogether on the site (if so, this post is somewhat futile, since nobody on Planet Identity will see it), or whether both my blog entries and this other blog’s entries both get to make it to Planet Identity under my name. All I can hope is that this problem can be fixed as soon as possible, and the incorrectly referenced blog entries removed.

In the meantime, please don’t assume that everything with my name attached within the last day has come from me. I would ask you to click through to the actual blog page and to ensure that the blog you get to is http://eternaloptimist.wordpress.com.

Thank you,

The real (as in really mortified) Pamela Dingle.