RIP ClaimId.com

Posted 20 December 2013 by n9kju
Categories: On-line Identification and Privacy

Tags: ,

I was trying to access the page I had set up at ClaimId.com last week. I was not able to access their site. I have written about this site previously in this Blog (as well as a follow-up). So I contacted Fred Stutzman, after I found his name on some OLD e-mails from the claimid-users mailing list. I hoped I could find out how long the site would be off-line.

Fred responded that they were having some problems with their “legacy code” that has been running for a long time. It would have taken considerable effort to re-architecture the service. And based on the page one is greeted with when you now visit their site, it appears this service is no more.

I always thought that the ClaimId site was a great idea and I have several accounts set up using the openid.claimid.com URI. The OpenID usage can be shifted to another service. But the listing of the sites that are either written by me or written about me will be harder to replace.

For those of you who were using this site, the problem becomes how to retrieve the information you had collected and posted on ClaimId. It occurred to me that this might actually be a very useful time to run a Google Search for my missing page and then examine (even save) the cached copy of my old page on the ClaimId service. I was able to do that and I have the info I need to reassemble the “by me” content listing.

I dropped a note to Fred about how I was able to recover my content. He wrote me back and shared a link for a script put together by Joel Purra that accesses the cached page and generates a nice dump in a json format.

I could not tell you how long the cached copies of people’s ClaimId.com pages will be available. If you have useful data to recover, I’d suggest you do it soon. If you find another service like ClaimId, please add a comment below. I’ll look at anything my readers offer as alternatives. And I’ll write up information on any that I find to be potentially useful.

So I’ll say thank you to Fred and others who made the service available. May it Rest In Peace.

The Nov 2010 Top500 Supercomputer list

Posted 18 November 2010 by n9kju
Categories: High Performance Computing

The Top500 Supercomputer list is published twice a year, in June and November. The November release comes out during the annual SuperComputing conference. This years new release came out November 16th, 2010, the 36th Top500 Supercomputer List. There is no prize for where one places on the list. You just get “bragging rights”.

With my work at Fermilab’s HPC department, I help keep several clusters up and running. Our fastest production cluster is called J/Psi and it placed as #308 on this 36th edition of the list. This J/Psi cluster placed as #188 on the list last June. When J/Psi was in burn-in testing, it placed as #110 on the June 2009 list. We have a new cluster not yet in production and undergoing burn-in testing. We ran the Linpack benchmark against it and it is listed as #216 on the list.

Those of you who were at the LISA 2010 conference last week may have sat in on the “Storage Performance Management” presentation by Matt Provost of Weta Digital. He mentioned their five clusters of high performance compute nodes. Those five clusters placed as #462 through #466 on this November list. These same clusters were ranked #279-283 on the list last June. They were listed as #144-144 a year earlier in June 2009.

The one other fact I wanted to note from this current list. Of the top 30 clusters listed, nine of them are DOE (U.S. Dept of Energy) related sites. Being as Fermilab is a DOE site, I’ll point out with pride that 30% of the Top 30 sites are DOE research facilities. There are lots of other facts and/or statistics that one can draw from these lists. But these are the ones that are of interest to me.

I encourage you to check out the list. What jumps out as interesting to you? Do you work with or use a system on this list? Or is there some Top … list that your systems are listed on?

Getting ready for LISA’10

Posted 18 October 2010 by n9kju
Categories: Conference

Tags: ,

I started this particular Blog right after the LISA ’09 conference in Baltimore. I’ve not posted to it as often as I thought I would. But with LISA’10 less than 4 weeks away, I have a few things I need to put out there and I think this Blog is the proper medium for doing that.

I’m pleased to see different things being mentioned on Twitter. I’m very pleased to see that the LISA’10 web page lists the #lisa10 tag right at the top. I know that I found Twitter to be quite useful at the conference last year. I have a #lisa10 tag search column defined on my TweetDeck client.

I firmly believe that the “Hallway Track” is one of the most valuable things about a LISA conference. It is no surprise to me that when they listed “reasons to attend” right there on the first web page, they list “Face Time with Industry Leaders” as their first reason. I have been able to sit and chat with a number of the people who teach tutorials and write the books that we all read. I’ve learned that these folks are quite approachable. I’ve offered some detailed feedback to a few of the presenters after I sat through their sessions. They appreciated the constructive comments that help them polish their presentations.

I’m particularly looking forward to connecting face to face with several friends I have met through Twitter. I met Matt (@standalone) on twitter before the conference. I attended his BoF session on Blogging. I believe Matt will be leading the Blogging team for this year’s conference. It was great to get to know him in Baltimore and I look forward to seeing him again in San Jose. There are several other folks I met in Baltimore and I’m not sure how many of them I will see again next month.

For me, it is the people that I meet and get to know at the conference that make it so very valuable. I’ve attended many of these since my first back in 1995. It gets a little easier to choose training sessions and Workshops when I can look at the lists and say “I’ve already been in Tom Limoncelli’s (@YesThatTom) Time Management class“. That leaves me open this year so I can attend the Knowledge Management workshop on Monday morning, led by Mark Burgess.

I will be leading two BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions again this year. I’m repeating the two I did last year. The first is a GPG Key Signing BoF and the second is a CAcert BoF, both on Tuesday evening. I will be submitting more detailed descriptions for both of these soon. And I plan to put up some added comments and instructions for those who plan to attend.

Follow-up on Facebook “Privacy” Settings

Posted 7 January 2010 by n9kju
Categories: On-line Identification and Privacy

Tags: ,

I offer this as a follow-up to my earlier posting when Facebook changed its “privacy” policies.

I recently came across another Blog post that confirms everyone’s need to be concerned about the new Facebook privacy (or should we say lack-of-privacy) policies. Check out Dan Raine’s post called “I Know Everything About You from Your Email Address“.  Dan’s posting offers a link to an article at Wired.com entitled “Rogue Marketers Can Mine Your Info on Facebook” discusses how truly scary it is when you look at how much information people can collect through Facebook under their new privacy poolicies.

I respect that Dan is up front and honest about what information he collects about people who visit his site.  And I see the red flag that he points out.  There is so much information that is so easy to collect now that Facebook has changed its default settings making more of every users publicly accessible, unless you the user go in and change those settings.

Writing is a Process of Discovery

Posted 6 January 2010 by n9kju
Categories: Writing

Tags:

I just watched a 90 minute PBS program: “American Master – Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio In Red Shoes”.  I really enjoy listening to his “The News from Lake Wobegon” podcasts.  I appreciate his unique sense of  humor and his down to earth way of looking at life.  He is such a fabulous story teller.  He does not talk down to others as he tells his tales.  More importantly, he does not put other people down as he tells his stories.  He meets his listeners on their level.  I find him not only entertaining, but also very refreshing.

Perhaps a good part of why I enjoy his stories is that it seems like he comes from “my people”.  No I’m not from Minnesota and he’s not from Illinois.  But we both come from good Lutheran traditions.  There’s lots of Germans, Norwegians and Swedes in our history.  We both have fond childhood memories of church potlucks, large family gatherings and growing up in public schools with unique personalities all around you.  We both love the fact that when you sing in a Lutheran church, there will be people singing all four voice parts and that’s Okay.  One of my favoirite parts of this program was when he was wondering around the Minnesota State Fair and talking to people about one of his favorite rites of spring, Rhubarb pie.

I think the part that I most appreciated tonight was his love of writing.  He was an English Major in college and I believe he even got a Masters Degree in English.  He mentioned one of his early jobs in radio where he would play music like big long symphonies. Then he could write while the music played and just have to turn on his microphone to tell the listeners what it was they had just heard or were about to hear.  He enjoyed that in part because of the time it gave him for writing.

I have aspirations of doing more writing. I have a variety of blogs that I keep.  Most are not updated often, but I do enjoy writing when I make time to do so.  I want to make more time for writing.  It takes a different kind of thinking than what I do all day where I work.  Oh, there is some creative thought that goes into the problem solving, programming and customer support things I do at my job.  But writing requires that I try to let my creative side out for more of  a long walk rather than just a quick trip to the mailbox.

So what drove me to write this long note.  It was a part of this program where Mr Keillor was talking to a group of students about writing that piqued my interest. Part of what he said was:

“You start with what you know.  But writing is a process of discovery.  It is not as if we are taking a (photo) plate out of our head and laying it down on paper and printing from it.  We’re not. Writing is an act of discovery.  And the moment you start, with a character or maybe with yourself,  and you learn about that character by writing about that character and you wind up in places that you never thought you were going to go.  That’s the whole reason for writing, is for discovery. You do not know what you yourself think, until you put it into words.”

It seems like many of the things in my life are changing.  The kids are out of the house, one in an apartment and one in a college dorm.  My wife and I are reconnecting as we learn to live in an empty nest.  My position at work changed significantly last year.  And I’m dealing with a few new health challenges.  And on the plus side there are 30 pounds less of me than there were 6 months ago.  This is a time of adjustment and discovery for me.  I look forward to seeing what writing can help me discover.

Beware of Facebook “Privacy” Settings

Posted 10 December 2009 by n9kju
Categories: On-line Identification and Privacy

Tags: ,

I have more than a passing interest in on-line privacy and on-line ID protection.  Sure, I have lots of different accounts on the Internet and a few Blogs.  It is not that I am terribly private or keeping to myself.  I am a member of several social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.  But I am also a participant at ClaimId.org (see my earlier posting on “Claim your on-line identity“).  I am also a volunteer with organizations that promote electronic encryption and authentication.  The point is, I care about these topics.  And I have read Facebook’s Privacy Policy.

I am one of those people who reads those privacy agreements. It is not because I enjoy legalize or boring documents.  It is because these documents tell one more about what privacy you give up when you agree with them, than they tell about how your privacy is protected.  I am particularly troubled by the changes at Facebook this week.  This morning, they initiated new changes to their privacy settings. They warned us this was coming.  But what I have seen so far has not been very clear about how these changes affect your privacy.  And I believe we all need to look carefully at this.  To be fair, they did put up a decent page to explain the new choices, but it is only a good start.

Hopefully you have visited the Facebook privacy settings area, where you can adjust how much of your information is visible and who can see it.  If you have never changed those settings from their defaults, you were probably sharing more information that you thought you were.  And if you have agreed to allow various applications to have access to your information, then your information is almost certainly more public than you thought.

What data are we talking about sharing

I expect most of us have a profile picture up and maybe your birthday, the name of your significant other, your home town and/or one or more phone numbers. That’s not a bad thing as long as it is only shared with those you choose to share then with.  I have all that information and more, but I am careful to make sure that only my acknowledged Facebook friends see this.  I had to adjust the default settings for this limited privacy.  Now even if I go in today and select “old settings” for my new Facebook privacy policy, there are things shared now that were not shared before.

Facebook’s new “privacy policy” now defines the set of publicly available information to include: Name, Profile Picture, Gender, Current City, Networks, Friend List, and Pages.  These are bits of information that you can not restrict access to by any means short of not sharing it with Facebook.

There are other things which you do get to decide who does and does not get to see it.  These include your birthdate, your family and relationships,  your education and work information and any phone numbers you have listed.  And from my perspective, the biggy is that Facebook wants to make all your status updates public. I don’t mind my friends seeing all this, but I don’t want it all publicly searchable.

I know that all my postings on twitter are public and searchable.  But since I know that, I am careful what I post there.  Up until today, I was fairly certain which things I post on Facebook are public and searchable and which are not.

The most important thing to consider is that under the new default basically everything that Facebook knows about you will be publicly available and searchable by places like Google and Yahoo.  The old policy let you choose which information was available only to your friends, or even friends of friends or to friends and a network you may belong to.  If you have set these privacy settings so that your information is only shared with your friends, that will still be true, if you select “Old Settings” when prompted about today’s privacy policy changes.  With some noteworthy exceptions, please read on.

Applications and Websites

I have adjusted privacy settings so that most of my information on Facebook is only shared with those I approve as friends.  The Applications and Websites area (let’s just call this Apps, to keep things readable) allows a Facebook friend to share information through Apps that they have joined. I am unhappy that even though I have said the info should only be shared with my friends, Facebook will by default allow those friends to share the information via Apps that I have not joined myself.  That’s right, by default my friends can share information that I want restricted.  I had to go into the Apps area under privacy settings to change this and restrict that data, that I already thought was restricted.

Consider carefully when you do join applications on Facebook.  Most of them ask if they can access your information so “they can better serve you” or to improve your experience.  I understand that having my information makes them better able to customize my experience.  But when I choose to play chess with a Facebook, friend, I do not think they need access to my birthday or my e-mail address.  Most applications do not let me control or restrict what information I share with them.

Know what you are sharing

So why this big long article?  I want to make you aware of the importance of knowing who has access to what information.  I’m sure most people don’t read those privacy statements.  I think it is important that you make an effort to review your privacy settings.  And as Facebook makes broad changes in their privacy settings, I want to strongly urge everyone to take the time to go through the Privacy Settings section of your Facebook account.  I think you will be surprised at what you find.

If you have questions about what you find, please feel free to post comments here.  If you find something that is now made more widely visible than you expected, please post that in a comment as well.  Perhaps you will find something that I missed.  Or maybe someone else will read this and find something they had not thought to look at.

Thanks for taking the time to read this far.  I try to keep my Blog posts shorter than this.  But our privacy (mine and yours) is worth a little extra effort.

FollowFriday: SysAdvent Calendar

Posted 4 December 2009 by n9kju
Categories: General

Tags: ,

One of the Twitter practices that I have found helpful is FollowFriday.  I thought that this being Friday, it might be good to go a step further and post a blog entry with a slight twist.  The intent of a #followfriday post on twitter is to recommend other twitter users that you might consider following yourself.  I’d like to suggest (via This FollowFriday blog post) a blog that you might consider reading and possibly subscribing to.

For those who may not be familiar with the whole FollowFriday concept, I’ll recommend you read an article by Sharon Hayes-Tucci entitled “FollowFriday on Twitter“.  I’ll also offer this brief example (posted via my @n9kju twitter account today).

#followfriday @jordansissel and the SysAdvent Blog (http://sysadvent.blogspot.com/)

The #followfriday hashtag marks this as suggestions for others that you might consider following on Twitter.  If you visit the profile of the username(s) suggested (ie. @jordansissel) you can check to see if this is a twitter user that you might want to follow.

I’ve not seen anyone else tweet to suggest a blog for following. I want to suggest a blog that you should consider following.  Tweets are limited to 140 characters and that’s hardly enough to properly suggest the SysAdvent Calendar Blog.  But by posting this FollowFriday blog suggestion in my own blog, I overcome that limitation.

So what is this SysAdvent Calendar Blog.  Jordan Sissel created the Blog last year (2008). There have been perl advent calendars in years past. The idea was to put out one blog post each day starting Dec 1rst and then for the next 25 days.  This is just like an Advent calendar that you may have had in your house when you were growing up.  At my house, my siblings and I  took turns opening one door on the Advent caledar each day.  Last year, Jordan offered to take postings from other SysAdmins, but he ended up doing almost all the writing himself.  This year, Matt Simmons has been helping contact other SysAdmins to seek submissions for this years calendar.

Each article is written to focus on a single, somewhat-specific idea related to systems administration.  The target audience is the intermediate or senior level SysAdmin.  Having said that, I know that they hope to have at least one posting by a junior SysAdmin this year.

When you do visit the SysAdvent Blog, you will find the most recent posting listed first and older entries are sequenced below that most recent entry.  In fact, if you keep going down the list (back in time) you will find the 25 articles that made up last years inaugural version of the SysAdvent Calendar.

I think this is a really great idea.  I’ve enjoyed browsing through many of the posts from last year.  And I look forward to reading new posts as they come on-line this year.

Please let me know if you find this sort of Blog following article helpful.  I follow a quite a few and I expect several of them would be worthy of a FollowFriday Blog article.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 123 other followers

%d bloggers like this: