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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. — Winston Churchill

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Aircraft
Author: Mark Dixon
Sunday, May 10, 2015
10:24 am

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird has to be one of the coolest airplanes ever built. Fast, beautiful, mysterious … this plane is full of intrigue!

Sr71

The National Museum of the US Air Force states:

The SR-71, unofficially known as the “Blackbird,” is a long-range, advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft. The first flight of an SR-71 took place on Dec. 22, 1964, and the first SR-71 to enter service was delivered to the 4200th (later 9th) Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., in January 1966. The U.S. Air Force retired its fleet of SR-71s on Jan. 26, 1990, because of a decreasing defense budget and high costs of operation. 

Throughout its nearly 24-year career, the SR-71 remained the world’s fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. From 80,000 feet, it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth’s surface per hour. On July 28, 1976, an SR-71 set two world records for its class — an absolute speed record of 2,193.167 mph and an absolute altitude record of 85,068.997 feet.

The closest I ever got to one of these beauties was at the Hill Aerospace Museum near Ogden, Utah. Quite a sight!

 

Do We Need a Mobile Strategy?

Identity, Mobile
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 8, 2015
11:44 am

It is quite amazing to me how many customers I visit who are really struggling with how to handle mobile devices, data and applications securely.  This week, the following cartoon came across my desk. the funny thing to me is that the cartoon was published in 2011.  Here is is 2015 and we still struggle!

Marketoonist

 

Mcdonnell XF-85 Goblin

Aircraft
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 8, 2015
9:39 am

I have long been fascinated with airplanes of all kinds. This post is the first of a series of photos of wacky and wonderful aircraft.

We start first with one of the coolest airplanes I have every seen, the Mcdonnell XF-85 Goblin. Only two were built and I saw one of them in the Wright Patterson Air Force Base museum back in the mid 1980’s.

From the Nation Museum of the Airforce site:

The McDonnell Aircraft Corp. developed the XF-85 Goblin “parasite” fighter to protect B-36 bombers flying beyond the range of conventional escort fighters. Planners envisioned a “parent” B-36 carrying the XF-85 in the bomb bay, and if enemy fighters attacked, the Goblin would have been lowered on a trapeze and released to combat the attackers. Once the enemy had been driven away, the Goblin would return to the B-36, hook onto the trapeze, fold its wings and be lifted back into the bomb bay. The Goblin had no landing gear, but it had a steel skid under the fuselage and small runners on the wingtips for emergency landings.

Pretty neat little airplane!

Xf85

 

We Passed!

Technology
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, May 7, 2015
3:10 pm

In order to register for an interesting online service this afternoon, I had to perform an Internet speed test.  It was nice to know that we (my computer, my internet connection and I) passed quite handily!

A lot of water has passed beneath the proverbial bridge since 300 baud acoustic coupler modems!

Internetspeed

 

KuppingerDole: 8 Fundamentals for Digital Risk Mitigation

Identity, Information Security
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
1:45 pm

Mk

Martin Kuppinger, founder and Principal Analyst at KuppingerCole recently spoke in his keynote presentation at the European Identity & Cloud Conference about how IT has to transform and how Information Security can become a business enabler for the Digital Transformation of Business

He presented eight “Fundamentals for Digital Risk Mitigation” 

  1. Digital Transformation affects every organization 
  2. Digital Transformation is here to stay
  3. Digital Transformation is more than just Internet of Things (IoT) 
  4. Digital Transformation mandates Organizational Change
  5. Everything & Everyone becomes connected 
  6. Security and Safety is not a dichotomy 
  7. Security is a risk and an opportunity 
  8. Identity is the glue and access control is what companies need

I particularly like his statements about security being both risk and opportunity and that “Identity is the glue” that holds things together.

Wish I could have been there to hear it in person.

 

First American in Space – May 5, 1961

Space Travel
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
1:24 pm

Fifty four years ago today, on May 5, 1961, a long time before I knew anything about Cinco de MayoMercury Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. blasted off in his Freedom 7 capsule atop a Mercury-Redstone rocket. His 15-minute sub-orbital flight made him the first American in space

His flight further fueled my love for space travel that had been building since the Sputnik and Vanguard satellites were launched a few years previously.

 

Alan Shepard, Mercury-Redstone Rocket

 

IAM Euphemism: Opportunity Rich Environment

Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, May 4, 2015
8:36 pm

Recently I heard a  executive who had been newly hired by a company describe their current Identity and Access Management System as an “Opportunity Rich Environment”. Somehow that sounds better than “highly manual, disjointed, insecure and error-prone,” doesn’t it?

 

 

A Message to Dad

Family, Space Travel
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
10:03 pm

This in an advertisement from Hyundai, but it has a really cool message. Enjoy!

 

In Pursuit of a “Known Traveler Number”

Identity, Travel
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
4:59 pm

Precheck

I have been using the TSA PreCheck service since soon after its inception in 2011, without paying an enrollment fee, after being invited by US Airways to participate. This has allowed me to use the simpler and faster TSA PreCheck lane at airport security, rather than joining the majority of fliers in regular security lines. However a couple of weeks ago, I received a notice from American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, that I now needed to register for a “Known Traveler Number” (KTN) so I can continue to use the PreCheck service. I don’t really know why my gratis status is no longer acceptable, but it apparently it is.

So, I filled out a pre-registration form at Universal Enroll last week, booked at a screening appointment at a registration center a few miles from my house, and went through the final process today. 

Today’s registration process was unexpectedly painless. It took less than 15 minutes, including a short wait in the lobby, fingerprinting, stepping through a series of Identity Proofing steps and paying the $85 fee. Alas, I still don’t have a KTN.  That is supposed to be issued in a week or two after some big computer in the sky processes my information. Then, I am supposed to be set up to use the PreCheck lane every time.

The downside?  The government has me in yet another identity database.  My KTN will be linked to my SSN, as well as to my fingerprints and other personal identification data. Big Brother seems closer than ever before!

Next step after the KTN?  I will need to get a new Arizona drivers license that is Real ID compliant before January if I want to continue flying. Yet another Federal tentacle into my life! 

 

Welcome Home Apollo 13

Space Travel
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, April 17, 2015
7:57 am

Apollo13

Forty five years ago today, the embattled crew of Apollo 13 safely returned home. Against great odds, aided by terrific ingenuity from crews on the ground and undoubtedly by divine providence, the Apollo 13 crew survived an oxygen tank explosion and resultant failure of other systems through improvisation, steely dedication and pure grit.  

I was just finishing my junior year of high school when this occurred. Apollo 13 has been an inspiration to me ever since.

 

Photo: Astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Haise are shown soon after their rescue still unshaven and wearing space overalls. 

 
 
 
 
 
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