Thursday, January 31, 2008


I love the alt-drag function built into X. This allows you to not have to go to the title bar in order to drag a window around on the desktop, just hold down the alt key. It took me ages to find anything equivalent for Win32 and then I replaced the laptop and didn't take the time to re-find it. So for future reference:

The app to use: Autohotkey

And the script as posted on how-to geek which i have copied local for convenience.

It's quite a good emulation and maybe a bit jerky but still in the acceptable realm.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ediscovery pocket guide

I saw over on ediscoverylaw that the Federal Judicial Center released a Pocket Guide to Ediscovery. It's about 30 pages.
I've not yet read it, but it looks to be low on the legal-speak. This is a quick to-do post so I don't forget to at least skim it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why Zero Inbox Is Stupid

I really try. Merlin seemed to really be on to something. The premise makes sense, always keep a keep a clean slate and don't leave it sad. And by "sad", I mean crufty threads that won't and can't leave the inbox. Last I looked I had 346 items in my inbox, 66 of which were unread.
And it's not my fault.
My first instinct was to start measuring. I spent the last twenty minutes googling for some sort of plugin that does some deep analytics of email messages to establish trends. The simple idea of being able to measure simple items such as my top sender, recipient, thread, topic, sender whom I delete, sender whom I reply, hours spent in the inbox, high volume email hours, high volume email days, etc seems to be a rather straightforward and (slightly) useful thing.
jack squat.
I did certainly find some GTD, sales, and project management plugins; none of which seem worthy enough to mention let alone trial. But the fundamental problem is the simple fact that whichever agent I use should not be a burden or a hassle but a tool that enables.
Inbox Zero is a patch to a truly basic problem: corporate email does not scale to the email agents that exist.
This should have been apparent when Merlin couldn't answer a basic question on handling group responses to an email thread in his google presentation. Hindsight is always 20/20. No solutions here, just a sad rant.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Security Through Functionality

I was flipping through my aging moleskin this past weekend when I came across a one liner I had written.

A disadvantage [most security groups] face is the fact that we do not lead architecture changes that improve both security and functionality.

It's easy to lose sight of the ball and focus on restricting of data and permissions instead of enabling technologies securely. Security orgs should be quicker on the uptake instead of challenging every move IT or the business makes.
An easy example would be revamping remote connections to the network. Your company use OWA as the primary connection? Citrix or Terminal Server? SSL VPN? Delve deeper into the setup and find out if it's meeting employees expectations. Then build a case for a better solution (VPN, Outlook over https, nfuse, whatever!).

Friday, January 18, 2008

vi + Outlook

Viemu looks extremely cool. It adds vi key bindings into Outlook. I haven't downloaded it yet ($79!@?!) but it looks like a full blown text editor and I'm not sure if it allows for navigation. I really would just love to have j, k and / bindings at the inbox level for quickly finding and skimming email messages.

I think this may be the first vi-esque program that I've seen that actually costs money. If anyone tries it I'd love to hear their thoughts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mobile Devices and Contexts

My brain has been going down a train of thought over the last few days. This train includes platforms, iPhones, digital natives, and contexts.
First lets start with platforms and what makes a platform succeed. There's even an entire book (which I've not read) called Platform Leadership. I'm beginning to think of things in a platform view in regards to input/output, creating an open structure, enhanceable and what not. The security industry fails all of these at some very basic level but that's a different post.
This contemplation led me to iPhones and blackberries. Expectations and trends to merging worklife with homelife is a fundamental problem. I've not seen any discussions on the separation of these two worlds. Personal data is private to the individual and Corporate data is private to the company. These two things should not be mixed, however blackberries and iPhones are doing just that. And it's unavoidable.
And then we have digital natives who set the expectations higher for their digital wants and expectations. Who wants to carry around a personal cell as well as a blackberry? Who wants separate address books or notes? The upcoming generation does not (I don't). This strengthens the argument for convergence of these two (corporate and individual) worlds.
The embedded market as well as computers in general need to seriously begin work on creating these contexts in devices. Minus an extra SIM, I see no reason why a mobile device cannot have both a work number as well as personal. The employee supplies the device and the company supplies the work SIM. From there on out it's a software issue. Context of data needs done. A certain policy should exist for corporate data versus personal data.
This data context needs created on the mobile workforce. One- because the security industry fails at creating scalable platforms and will not address what is a fundamental product issue. Two- because these devices are interacting with the company data and barring draconian rules (that will be circumvented) it is only a matter of time until the company loses the war. And finally, data is supposed to be easy to use, not arcane.
Incidentally, data contexts could be driven by a form of federated services. Microsoft could make this happen, google or cisco could also make it happen. Once the identity is known and apps understand context then we can apply inherent transparent separation.