Saturday, 02 October 2004

I'm sitting in California at a geek conference (til tomorrow), and so I am missing the up-close excitement of what's happening at St. Helen's. The USGS raised the volcano cautionary level to III (press conference video link - WMV) today and evacuated the immediate area. Geologist say all indications are that magma is moving underground in the crater.

There's a good slideshow on KATU TV's web site from Friday's eruption. The KATU web site has a lot of great information and video, and you don't have to sign up and start getting spammed to access it, unlike on some other PDX news station sites. Score one for KATU - that's customer oriented content publishing. Thanks to KATU's decision-makers for that.



Add/Read: Comments [1]
Mt. St. Helens | Random Stuff
Saturday, 02 October 2004 16:11:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Friday, 01 October 2004

http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Cascades/CurrentActivity/current_updates.html

Mount St. Helens Notice of Volcano Alert, October 2, 2004

A notice of Volcano Alert (Alert Level 3) was issued today at 2:00 p.m. PDT

Immediately after the small steam emission at 12:15, seismic activity changed from principally rock breakage events to continuous low-frequency tremor, which is indicative of magma movement. We are increasing the alert level to Volcano Alert the highest alert level indicating that an eruption could be imminent.

The cause and outcome of the accelerating unrest is uncertain. Explosions from the vent could occur suddenly and without further warning. During such explosions the dome and crater floor are at greatest risk from ballistic projectiles, but the rim of the crater and flanks of the volcano could also be at risk. Explosions would also be expected to produce ash clouds that rise several to tens of thousands of feet above the crater rim and drift downwind. Currently wind forecasts from the National Weather Service, combined with eruption models, show that ash clouds will move to the northwest. If ash emissions are large, drifting ash could affect downwind communities. Minor melting of the glacier could trigger debris flows from the crater that are large enough to reach the Pumice Plain. There is very low probability that downstream communities would be impacted by these hydrologic events.

We continue to monitor the situation very closely and will issue additional updates as warranted, whether activity escalates or returns to background levels.

----------------------

Mount St. Helens Update, October 1, 2004, 7:00 P.M.

Current status is Alert-Level 2-Volcano Advisory

The increasingly energetic seismic swarm of the past week culminated in a small 25-miunute-long eruption around noon today from a vent just south of the lava dome. The vent opened in a portion of the glacier that had become increasingly crevassed and uplifted over the past few days. This deformation was probably driven by piston-like uplift of a portion of the lava dome and crater floor. The eruption sent a steam and minor ash plume to an altitude of about 10,000 ft. It drifted southwestward accompanied by minor ashfall in areas close to the volcano. Seismicity dropped to a low level for several hours after the eruption, but is gradually increasing with earthquakes (maximum Magnitude about 3) occurring a rate of 1-2 per minute. We infer that the system is repressurizing. As a result, additional steam-and-ash eruptions similar to today’s could occur at any time.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Mt. St. Helens | Random Stuff
Friday, 01 October 2004 20:22:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

I didn't know I was going to be asked to speak, but Chris roped me into participating in a panel session first thing this morning, the topic of which was “the future of security.” It was an honor to do so, and the conversation was a good one. The audience was involved and had great questions and comments. The participants on the schedule were:

  • Chris DiBona (moderator)
  • Neil Wyler aka Grifter
  • Fred Felman of Zone Labs
  • CJ Holthaus
  • Nico Sell
  • Dan Appleman - whose book, Always Use Protection, should be read by every teen (and adult) who uses a computer
  • Robert Scoble joined in
  • and me
  • Picture below thanks to noded.com

    Being involved up on the stage, I don't clearly remember everything we talked about in detail. I used/borrowed/stole the “PPT” mantra often used one of my friends and mentors, Jim, in my words during the panel discussion: “Security is about three things - People, Process and Technology.”

    Security as a topic of conversation or debate, especially when discussed among geeks, seems always to attract such a strong technology focus. But the other two aspects of security - process and people - cannot be ignored. If you remove any one part from a security effort, it cannot ultimately succeed. If you have a successful security strategy and program already up and running, you cannot afford to forget to address and maintain all three components. If you do, again, it's bound to fail eventually.

    Technology is important, though. You can't discount the fact that when you run computers and networks, technology is what you're securing, so you'll almost certainly use more technology to help you.

    The panel discussed hardware security technology, and (as expected) the “patch and fix” and other typically Microsoft-centric topics and questions came up.

    My response to the Microsoft-Security debate: Think about football teams. The team that plays tough games season after season and gets its butt kicked over and over will eventually learn the basics, and then will evolve into a mature powerhouse of a team. You just hope the other teams (the ones that had been kicking your team's butt) don't get too lazy or take any thing for granted. Or, if they do, that you have not made an investment in that team.

    Three years ago, I was looking at Microsoft as a team I had a relationship with, but who I could not count on to win the game. Today my position is just the opposite: Microsoft has learned the hard lessons, has had their butts kicked, and has emerged from the fray a stronger, better and more mature company in the security arena. They may only be 60% there, as Scoble noted on the stage, but this is a team that I feel I can count on to do the right thing and fight the good fight.

    This was a good session, covering a lot of ground. Feedback from audience members afterward was positive, which was cool. Security has become a hot topic in the past year or so in the user world, and will become even bigger in the future.

    Again, because it bears repeating: Always Use Protection - buy it now. <eom>



    Add/Read: Comments [0]
    GnomeDex | IT Security
    Friday, 01 October 2004 15:25:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
    #  Trackback

    I'm at Gnomedex, in the "Maximize your blogging potential" panel session, listening to all these guys talk. The conversation quickly moved to multimedia content and delivery as well as devices and tools. Here are some of my observations, paraphrasing the speakers.

  • Adam Kalsey (Moderator)

    Adam went from 200 page views a month to thousands a day because he wrote about relevant things that mattered to people. If you're posting content to the web, you have a goal in mind. If you get slashdotted because its interesting to others, but you decide you can't afford it, you'll stop doing it.

    On multimedia blogging, he noted that if its going to take off, things like indexing and searching of multimedia formats will have to happen.

    In the keyword filtering department as a way to deal with too much content, he points out that keyword searches are not always the best way to deal with selecting information, because of the fact that what I think are relevant keywords may not agree with the way the author wrote the content.

  • Robert Scoble

    Microsoft employee and internal button pusher, Robert's well-known and got his job at Microsoft in no small part because of his blog. He started blogging because he was running a conference and wanted to document it. He wants to know, "What's undiscovered here?"

    "Something has happened in the past month." He notes that PODCasting has taken off all of a sudden. Robert consumes about 900+ feeds a day, compromising about 2000 blogs (some feeds combined). How is he going to deal with 1000 audioblogs a day? With audio he can only consume 2 or 3 shows a night, so becoming a star is a harder things to do.

    For text feeds, he's like his news aggregator to start building keyword searches automatically, based on his reading behavior.

  • Nick Bradbury

    Nick is a (great) shareware author of three rather famous pieces of software, and uses blogging for personal and business use.  His FeedDemon software is what I use as my content aggregator for tons of blogs and other content sources. He says the biggest problem with information now is that there's some much info out there now that you can't deal with it all, so you don't necessarily know what you're missing. I agree. I'd pay good money for something that would help me see what I need and want to see, inside the content I already subscribe to.

  • Ross Rader

    Ross of Blogware says its a pain to do all these different blogging things. The whole Web 2.0 movement should be about making things useful. Lots of utilities are great, but if Dad can't use it?

    Audio and other multimedia blogging shows that the Internet is continuing to change and that it's important to give these things a chance and to see where it goes.

    Enclosures are binary attachments to a syndication feed, and you can determine when that attachment gets downloaded (send it to me between 2 and 5 am).

    Ross also distinguished between managed and unmanaged content, and pointed out that the goal is to get people involved in the creation of content, and making it available and usable by others. If you want to publish your content, you can do it, in your own place.

  • Jason Shellen

    Jason works at Blogger, one of the huge blogging services, owned by Google. He noted that the San Francisco web design community was one of the first adopters of the technology, because it provided the ability to remove the focus from "I am going to create a page" to "I am going to write about something." Blogger/Google has started to address the "How do I do more than write text" with audioblogger.com and Picasa/Hello/BloggerBot.

    "I'm going to go out on a limb and say everything shouldn't be in a blog."

    Jason sees blogging and formats as continuing to grow and expand, and that the forms of media, he expects, will change over time. But he wants to have the ability to use the new media formats on the device of choice.

    Timeliness of blogs: There is a time factor to all of this. Everything has a time and date. Email has this too, as does IM. He notes that there is a need for a tool that will "bring me all the stuff that's important to me."

  • Dave Taylor

    Dave writes several blogs, and sees blogs as content and data management systems. He uses one web log to hold a Q&A of common questions he gets from people. He emphasizes the fact that he sees it not as a cool HTML thing, but rather as being all about the content.

    "I can publish with anything and boom, I'm out there just like anyone who has a multi-million-dollar marketing department."

    Thoughts from others in the audience:

    Scott with Feedster talked about enclosure feeds (images, video clips, porn enclosures are common). He notes that the one constant of new media is that when porn starts to become available on a new media format or mechanism, that form of media will succeed. He also pointed out feedstertv.com, which deals with enclosures on RSS feeds.

    On the next steps with categories, filtering, automation, etc: "RSS is the web services we've been waiting for, let's make it DO something."

    The TiVo suggestions metaphor: Letting the machine tell me what I want to watch usually produces garbage.

    The whole date-based/time-based thing with weblogs is what makes things tough for old stuff. Adding categories, internal or site-restricted search engines. It's a publisher's decision what tools to use to organize information.

    ----

    The focus of the discussion seemed to settle on multimedia blogging, then multimedia content in general, and what that means to the blogging universe. PODcasting and audioblogging is taking the place of drive-time radio content. Radio broadcasting 's future is in question. ReplayRadio is a new service available to time-shift talk radio content.

    Ultimately the answer to most of the questions that came up seems to be "better tools."

    Eventually a question was asked about how many people in the audience deal with information overload, and how people deal with the volume. The mix was interesting to see. Some seem to be in a place where their RSS aggregator has consumed their lives. I'm just the opposite - RSS saves me tons of time every day in my job. For others, it takes up time. Apparently it depends on what you do and how you use it.

    This was a great session.



  • Add/Read: Comments [1]
    AudioBlogging | Blogging | GnomeDex | RSS Stuff
    Friday, 01 October 2004 11:36:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
    #  Trackback

    I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Rice of audioblog.com last night, and he showed me a few cool new tricks, one of which is available now. If you use audioblog.com to do audio posts (and you should), you can now download your audio as a MP3 file. PODcasters out there might be interested in this new capability.



    Add/Read: Comments [0]
    Tech
    Friday, 01 October 2004 07:25:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
    #  Trackback
     Thursday, 30 September 2004

    Add/Read: Comments [0]
    GnomeDex
    Thursday, 30 September 2004 15:25:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
    #  Trackback