Internet Driver’s License

“Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer, recently called for the creation of an ‘Internet Driver’s License’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying, ‘If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.’ Really? It’s been a while since I’ve seen something so:

  1. Brilliant: As it will serve to start some VERY heated discussion
  2. Dumb: Do you need a license to use your phone, access a public space, enter a public library
  3. Sycophantic: such obvious fawning obsequiousness towards special interests shows real colour.
Over the years I have heard many people chime in on a general “right” to access that which we call the internet. Some have even gone as far as to question the general right/ability to post anonymously. Posing that nobody really needs it. Really? Seriously? Maybe we should require people to register all their activity with their local government office as well? Check. Or perhaps give them general access to your (perceived) private communications. Oh… wait that’s already happening. Imagine if somebody with a uniform and badge walked up to you and “required” you to provide identification and then noted
  • what you were reading at the library
  • who you were calling from your phone/a pay phone (do they still even exist?)
  • what you were looking for at the visitor center
  • etc.
Those examples seem ridiculous but so is the idea of an “internet license.”
Look, it’s like this. Not everybody is bad, and not everybody is perfect. If you try and implement something like this, though highly improbable, it’s not inconceivable that one day some internet storm troopers are gonna be looking to ask you a few questions down the road. So hide the clown porn…
Maybe somebody should propose that a license be required if you want to be allowed to create your own standards, operating systems, and applications?

Windows 7: Aka Watch Microsoft Rinse and Repeat the same mistakes

So… the detail is out and it is not impressive for a variety of reasons. If any of you recall a screenshot of a literal plethora of different versions of Windows 7 floating around a while back, you may now smirk and / or groan. Yes, Microsoft have, in my opinion, once again shot themselves in the foot.

The following will be the actual new SKUs for the OS:

  • Windows 7 Starter (limited to three apps concurrently)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging markets)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (adds Aero, Touch, Media Center)
  • Windows 7 Professional (Remote Desktop host, Mobility Center, Presentation mode)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (volume license only, boot from virtual drive, BitLocker)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (limited availability, includes everything)

This is verging on idiotic, there is no sane need for so many versions of Windows 7. All that is needed is:

  • Minimum
  • Home Media
  • Enterprise

This is naught short of a cash grab and is not going breed any goodwill. Lead the way or make way still applies. Feel free to call me Microsoft… Or just get out there and read /.

Nifty: Microsoft Business Data Catalog Definition Editor for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Ah Microsoft, you giveth and you taketh.

The Microsoft Business Data Catalog Definition Editor for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 aka MSBDCDEFMOSS2007 (all me…) is a nifty yet hobbled tool fresh(ish) from Microsoft. In brief its features include:

  • Underlying XML is abstracted by the design surface and properties window
  • Drag and drop web methods, tables, or views to create line of business (LOB) connections.
  • Entities and methods are created automatically from database metadata and WSDLs.
  • Additional method instances can be added to further enhance the database or web service connection.
  • Method instances can be tested from within the tool, enabling incremental development of LOB connections

That said… Here’s the catch. (For now I hope…)
The tool is unusable with SQL Server 2005/2008 schemas… So, you cannot use it against AdventureWorks, BUT you can use it against AdventureWorksDW. If you dare to try, you will be rewarded with a “Could not process Table ‘….’. Also, make sure you have SELECT Rights on the Table/VIEW”.

Helpful links

When did you last check your backups?

I am oft called “paranoid”, which I prefer to think of more as “highly aware”, when it comes to backups. The more baskets you have, the better your chances when you need to catch something. STSADM export function is your friend. Use it, test it, and do so frequently (I do it with virtual environments.) Because when the fan starts going chunka-chunka you do not want to be left wondering anything more than how many hours downtime are coming. Case in point, about not testing your backups not SharePoint / STSADM, Journal space literally evaporated this week…

Journalspace is no more.
DriveSavers called today to inform me that the data was unrecoverable.
Here is what happened: the server which held the journalspace data had two large drives in a RAID configuration. As data is written (such as saving an item to the database), it’s automatically copied to both drives, as a backup mechanism.
The value of such a setup is that if one drive fails, the server keeps running, using the remaining drive. Since the remaining drive has a copy of the data on the other drive, the data is intact. The administrator simply replaces the drive that’s gone bad, and the server is back to operating with two redundant drives.
But that’s not what happened here. There was no hardware failure. Both drives are operating fine; DriveSavers had no problem in making images of the drives. The data was simply gone. Overwritten.
The data server had only one purpose: maintaining the journalspace database. There were no other web sites or processes running on the server, and it would be impossible for a software bug in journalspace to overwrite the drives, sector by sector.
The list of potential causes for this disaster is a short one. It includes a catastrophic failure by the operating system (OS X Server, in case you’re interested), or a deliberate effort. A disgruntled member of the Lagomorphics team sabotaged some key servers several months ago after he was caught stealing from the company; as awful as the thought is, we can’t rule out the possibility of additional sabotage.
But, clearly, we failed to take the steps to prevent this from happening. And for that we are very sorry.
So, after nearly six years, journalspace is no more.
If you haven’t yet, visit
Dorrie’s Fun Forum; it’s operated by a long-time journalspace member. If you’re continuing your blog elsewhere, you can post the URL there so people can keep up with you.
We’re considering releasing the journalspace source code to the open source community. We may also sell the journalspace domain and trademarks. Follow us on twitter at for news.”