Progress on the JAAS Book

We’re winding up the first draft of the first 1/3 of the JAAS book. There’ll be plenty of editing and rewriting, for sure, but at least we have the raw-material to play around with now.

The next section is planned to be about using/integrating JAAS with other systems: LoginModules for Windows, Unix, etc.; hooking JAAS up to Tomcat, JBoss, WebLogic, WebSphere, etc.

My question to you, dear readers, is, are there any other systems you’d like to see written up?

For this part of the book, I’ve had to whip out my old Windows box:

Two Laptops

It’s like an old man, this laptop: it’s got a wheezy fan, the lower left side of the keyboard doesn’t work so I have an external keyboard plugged in, the WiFi card I have for it works 10% of the time (I need to go by the office and get the card that works). And today, I found out I need to convert the drive to NTFS 5.0 to run Active Directory.

Re: OmniGraffle for Code Diagramming

Check Permission Sequence

Probably thanks to a link from Erik’s Linkblog, several people responded to
yesterday’s post about using OmniGraffle for UML
(or, as it’s properly, but weirdly put…”the UML”):

OmniGraffle for Code Diagramming

Authentication Sequence Diagram

I’ve started doing diagrams for the JAAS book. My primary computer is a PowerBook, which came with OmniGraffle, so I started using that for UML diagrams. I then downloaded a trial of OmniGraffle Pro, which has better UML stencils and sorts of other wing-dings.

So far, I like it. It’s not as clean as Together, but it’s also about, what?, 60-100 times cheaper? ;> Also, it has a really good interface: you know, the standard Mac app interface where things just seem to make sense. It looks all-purty too.

I looked into getting Visio (for compatibility, etc.), but MS doesn’t seem to have a Mac version. OmniGraffle will import/export to Visio XML (whatever that is), but until I see it actually work round-trip, I’m suspicious that it’d work too well. We’ll see.

So, all that said, does anyone have recommendations for diagram tools on the Mac? Does anyone have experience using OmniGraffle?

Cannibalizing Agents vs. The Heavies on Top

Though he’s talking about the American intelligence community, Thomas Barnett sum up a problem all large, action/producing oriented companies have very well:

It was interesting to talk with my hosts after the brief, because the same reform-minded elements who invited me today invite me everywhere else I go in the national security community. As with all cannibalizing agents, they tend to think horizontally and plan adaptively. Never ones to wait on the perfect plan, they more interested in moving ahead and letting the chips fall where they may. But alas, that is always the problem for such reformers: the heavies on top want to see everything clearly before committing, less they lose budgetary control of the process. So again, the enemies of performance tend to be centralization and greed, whereas the proponents of reform tend to favor networking and sharing without reference to cost capture.

As with all organizations thinking, one of the best tools to making it lean is to start with figuring out everyone’s motivations, personal and professional. Those are usually much more useful to know than their official job descriptions.


Here’s a little tip for you: don’t use ProtectionDomain’s toString() while in a Policy. There’s security checks that go in toString() there, so you’ll get stuck in a recursion if you’re not careful. And, as one of my rules of thumb goes, “be careful to avoid doing things where you have to be careful.”

That might get you into some recursive problems too, just hit that Ctrl-C ’till it stops.

More Polling of the American Voter

The NYTimes has an overview of a new voter poll:

Among the disputed results of the Election Day survey of voters was the finding that moral issues were critical in determining the outcome.

That survey found that 22 percent of respondents called it the most critical issue in making their decision. Some pollsters criticized the way the question was asked because it was presented as a general category, without any kind of explanation, along with a list of six other specific issues, including Iraq and health care.

In this poll, when allowed freely to name the issue that was most important in their vote, 6 percent chose moral values, although smaller numbers named issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. On a separate question in which voters were given a choice of nine issues, 5 percent chose abortion, 4 percent chose stem cell research and 2 percent chose same-sex marriage.

And, yes, I realize that polls, “stuh-tistics,” and all that can be inaccurate, off base, and occasionally correct. We could probably pick this apart like a frog until the only thing left was that nasty death-smell and bunch on pink flesh.

If the numbers can be trusted, from looking at the raw data, it’s still safe to say that us Americans are pretty well split: we’re an indecisive lot in aggregate. There’s some other interesting questions, and answers, in the poll results:

If people who chose to invest their Social Security taxes in the stock market lost their money, should it be the government’s responsibility to make up the losses, or should this not be the government’s responsibility?

To which (if I’m reading it right), 81% said, “no, we’re fine leaving them fucked.” Nice folks, those polled-folks. Real nice. You have to have someone to give your spare change to on the street corner…how else would your windshield get washed at every intersection? It’s just simple eco-o-nomics, bub.

Meanwhile, here’s the number I was looking for (which the article omits):

Do you think defining marriage as a union only between a man and a woman is an important enough issue to be worth changing the Constitution for, or isn’t it that kind of issue?

Important Enough: 40. Not that kind of issue: 56

While people don’t want Constitutional amendments, those 11 anti-homosexual referendums that passed show that people sure want something. And why not? Gosh, those folks are scary. I’m not even sure they’re people, so why should we give them the same rights as everyone else? Oh, that’s right, because it’s “a man and woman,” and if it were otherwise, America would suddely explode. I mean, blow-up real good like. KAA-FUCKIN-BOOM all up in your face!

Well, I mean, it used to be man and many women. And now it’s many different men and women if you can afford the divorce. Oh, and why wait? You could go get married right away at a drive-thru in Las Vegas! Yay! The holy sanctuary of marriage! It’s so Holy and Good! Only $19.95 at The Marriage Barn! (Inquire about our $59.95 DIY divorce kit.)

Woo-doggy, it’s enough to make you long for those Old Timey days when you could just go give a few pure-white sheep to a woman’s father and get her hand in marriage. Since when was a woman worth more than a few head of mutton? Hell, a couple of pork-chops should do in most cases, right? And if you don’t like that, pops, how’s about I get my people and my God here to smite down your whole outfit? How ’bout them grits? You want those chops with the mint-jelly? Good times, great traditions! Let’s celebrate ’em all! Why leave that whole first volume out?


What does the phrase “moral values” mean to you?

Ethics 20
Beliefs/Belief in God 18
Being good 15
Ten Commandments 6
Traditional family structure (man,woman,kids) 6
Acting in moral/Christian way 4
Honesty 3
Attend religious services 1
Kindness 1
Tolerance 1
Availability of birth control 1
Other 6

Shocker there about “tolerance” and “kindness” being so low. Yeah, big fucking shocker. “Being good” is an “interesting” one because it’s just a rephrasing of the question: “OK, wise-guy, then let’s do it again. What does the phrase ‘being good’ mean to you?”

Tell you what though, except for honesty (which I’d put near the top), that list is about exactly the opposite for me. But, as I’ve said before, I’m a Godless-nihilist, so when it comes to so Jesus-values I’m lame-legged before the gates even open. I’ll never catch that robe’it jack-rabbit.


As most of you know — some a little too much more than others — I’m a big fan of the vodka, with lime in most cases, and no ice (FEERRRCHRISSAKE!).

I was just talking with Robert about the fire-water on Friday, trying to encourage him to try it straight, without all those nasty mixers. I recommended Bourbon (a little Knob Creek or “Marky-Mark”, as our man Mason once called it) at first, and then we got onto the subject of vodka. Or maybe it was the other way around.

Anyhow, there just happens to be a mid-sized article in this month’s Atlantic about vodka, in particular about the “artesian” vodka, Hangar 1. Now, I’ve never tried, or heard of, Hanger One, but the article makes it sound good. The beginning has an overview of vodka which does away with all of the untrue notions most everyone I talk to has about vodka, e.g.,

  • Vodka is “tasteless,” so all brands are the same. Man, that’s just not true at all. But, I would be willing to admit vodka is kind of like bread: it all has that bread taste, and it’s easy for many loafs to taste the same, but you can get plenty of variety if you want to.
  • Vodka is only in it’s true form if it’s made from potatoes. Most vodka is made from grain, and there’s even some (it turns out) made from grapes (which the article points out makes it technically brandy, or some shit, but I just say to that, “NO FRICKIN’ ICE LIKE LAST TIME!”).
  • Vodka isn’t drunken straight. While Kummer keeps saying he might like this-or-that vodka with some fancy-pants club soda or ice, he comes back to having it straight out of a sense of duty to the vodka, like it’d be an insult to the booze if he made it hang-out with some other fluid.

After reading the article, I’ve got the urge to find out how much a bottle of that Hangar 1 is (probably way, way too much) and, maybe, make the yearly “bourbon book” a vodka book.

(Hmmm… I see that The Atlantic isn’t too friendly about providing the full-text on line. Oh well. Maybe they’ll put it there after a few months. Even for them smart-heads, it’s C.R.E.A.M., I guess.)

Thomas Barnett's Globalization Talk

The Nov. 5th Gillmor Gang reminded me about Thomas Barnett’s presentation about world strategy, globalization, and a realist view of “how it is” on ITConversations (from Pop!Tech). Most of you will really like it, esp. the
Commanding Heights set. It’s good stuff, and there’s a whole slew of more content on Barnett’s site.

As Udell smartly points out in the Gillmor gang, there’s a whole lot of IT-lingo in it, but it’s not really about IT at all. Listening to the summarized version of it again, it’s also weird how cyberpunk-world it sounds: I guess globalization and rapid technology adoption is one of the core pillars of cyberpunk.

Anyhow, Barnett’s talk is damn good, and funny as hell. You outta listen to it.

And, once again, as if to proove weblogs and RSS have taken hold, he has a weblog and a feed. BUUHH-DAAOOW!

2 Weeks Vacation

I’m on vacation for two weeks plus 3 days (with the usual Thanksgiving in the middle). With the day off, I have the chance to find out what the dogs do all day:

I’m pretty sure Yeti isn’t supposed to be on the couch, but he looks so happy. Have I mentioned that having two large dogs really makes keeping the house in a livable state extra hard?

Anyhow, I’ll be off from today (Nov. 19th) thru Dec. 7th. If you’d like to have lunch sometime, send me an email or give me a call. I’ll be spending about 90% of my time working on The Book, but I’m always ready to go eat a good lunch with friends.

(That fote’s for Brandon…I know how much he longs for more pet-photos.)

"Get familiar with Cannibalism"

I got the newest Hunter Thompson book in the mail the other day, and I’ve been reading it with great pleasure. As Matt said when he looked at the fote on the back cover, “still trying to look cool.” Yup, shore ’nuff.

It’s just his columns from’s Page 2. For whatever reason, I haven’t been reading them over the years despite being a complete HST-nut.
I’m something of a web-content snob, and I could never get into that clunky layout has.

But, Jesus, as if to prove that RSS has taken over the world, HST’s column has an RSS feed. I recall an interview from the mid-90’s where HST said the internet/web was untrust-worthy, because you never really knew who the author was. True indeed. Just like them fancy newsprint things, not to get all
Berkeley mindfuck on you

Anyhow, here’s the last section of a column on the 2000 election re-count that had me thinking, “ahh, good old Thompson. Yuh!”:

There is a Presidential Election, right on schedule, but somehow there is no President. A new Congress is elected, like always, but somehow there is no real Congress at all — not as we knew it, anyway, and whatever passes for Congress will be as helpless and weak as Whoever has to pass for the “New President.”

If this were the world of sports, it would be like playing a Super Bowl that goes into 19 scoreless Overtimes and never actually Ends. … or four L.A. Lakers stars being murdered in different places on the same day. Guaranteed Fear and Loathing. Abandon all hope. Prepare for the Weirdness. Get familiar with Cannibalism.

And, of course, the book has the column from which one of the blog-epigraphs comes from:

The rest of the year will
be marked by three distinct
trends — or Drifts, or
Developments, Plagues, Fads,
Fashions & certainly inescapable
These will be the Primary
Drive — energies behind
everything else that happens in 2001.

I’m still eagerly awaiting books of letters from the 80’s and 90’s, but, what the hell (as Thompson so often says), this is good stuff for now.

(I realize those quotes are at the bottom of the weblog, and thus, not technically epigraphs, but I couldn’t figure out what the word for quotes, etc. at the end are.)