Webcast on Latest progress on IBM Mail Next


Don’t miss the upcoming webcast showing the latest news on IBM Mail Next.  Register here:  https://ibm.biz/BdFES3

Personally I’m interested in the Notes web plugin and how this may make its way into SmartCloud.

Bothell City Council exposed for avoiding due process to build a new $47 Million City Hall without a Public Vote


If you live in the City of Bothell, you will definitely be interested in watching what happened at the City Council meeting on May 20th

It is long, but you need to watch the first 20 minutes and again at about time stamp 2:54:00.
After watching it I am certain you will be motivated enough to visit the next City Council meeting in person and let them know how you feel about what they are planning to do with your money.   The next meeting is Tuesday, June 3rd at 6:00 PM at City Hall.

In summary: First, they are planning on spending $47 Million on a brand new city hall building.  Without a public vote and, as you can see in this video, without even spending an extra hour to review the 200 page document after getting the final price quote.

They already spent about $1 Million to get a design for it. Now they are discussing moving forward to close on a deal to pay Vulcan Real Estate to build this new city hall.  The new building will be 66,000 square feet versus the current 11,000 square foot building.  While we may need new facilities, do we really need something 6 times larger?  They don’t even know what to do with the 4th floor.  It will be vacant!  Do we need to build a brand new facility when there is ample suitable real estate readily available at a much lower cost?  Are there other things of a higher priority that we should be spending our money on first?

Of course, if you were a council member and received campaign funds from Vulcan Real Estate to help get elected to Bothell City Council, then I suppose you would be pushing very hard to award Vulcan this $50,000,000 deal.  Fortunately we have due process that should protect us from conflicts of interest like this, yes? Well apparently not this time.  Normally when the city is considering spending such a huge capital outlay, they put it to a vote by the public as will be the case for the other big item they are planning: a $42 Million bond measure they are going to ask for in the fall to pay for “parks and roads improvements”. Why? because we won’t have enough money after they buy this new city hall.  But that’s another story.

THERE WILL BE NO PUBLIC VOTE on spending this $47,000,000 of our tax money, which, when you divide it up among the 33,000 residents  (correction, 39,000 including those annexed earlier this year who were not informed about this measure at the time they agreed to the annexation) within the City of Bothell, amounts to about $1,500 for every man, woman and child in the city.  Since my daughter isn’t paying taxes, I guess I’ll have to cover her share too.  This is crazy.  They haven’t even found where they will get the funding to cover all of the costs of the current project to revitalize downtown.  And now they are talking about spending an additional $50 Million on one building.  AT THE SAME TIME they will ask for a public vote on a bond to raise $42 Million for additional downtown revitalization projects including turning Hwy 527 through the downtown area into a boulevard (bi-directional traffic in the middle with separate one-way streets with parking on either side).  And those improvements won’t even cover the costs to finish the plans for the park at Bothell Landing.
All of this while our road maintenance is already under-funded by somewhere around $70 million and our existing roads are crumbling and without adequate pedestrian access such as this article describing 195th St / Hollyhills Dr behind the Seattle Times building.

The Call to Action is simple:  Attend the next Bothell City Council meeting Tuesday, June 3 at 6:00 PM.  Sign up for the Visitor Comments which come at the beginning of the meeting.  Speak your position.  Stay for the agenda topic where you will be able to voice your opinion further. Make your voice heard.  Remember that you elected them and they work for you.  Be sure to watch the May 20th meeting to fully prepare yourself.

Last meeting Former Mayor Lamb also received a gavel in honor of “amazing service to Bothell”.  Read this article to learn more about the truth of his character.

Request to repair Bothell road and provide pedestrian access to 1000 homes instead of spending $42M on a Boulevard


Open letter to the Bothell City Council and City Manager:

The 1000 households that live in Morningside, Hollyhills, and Pioneer Hills don’t need a wider sidewalk to connect Pop Keeney to the park at Bothell Landing as you are proposing with AB #14-75 to designate Main Street and the multi-way boulevard as parkways at a cost of $42 Million.   What we need is a safe way for our kids to walk or bike from our neighborhoods to the YMCA or the softball and soccer fields in the North Creek business park that are just half a mile away.

While there are many roads within the city that are in great disrepair, I want to bring this one to your attention that is in exceptional need of repairs and improvements.
195th St / NE Hollyhills Dr connects nearly 1000 Bothell homes to the rest of the city.  This road is the only connection between these neighborhoods and the rest of the city for pedestrians and the primary route for all traffic going into Bothell from these neighborhoods.  Specifically, it has two problems:

First, this road is very badly broken and potholed. The roadway is so badly broken it sounds like a gravel road when you drive on it.   It is so deeply cracked that it is now further susceptible to freeze cracking and heaving which is greatly accelerating the destruction of this roadway.

Second, and an even bigger hazard is that there is no sidewalk beside this road one side has no shoulder while what little shoulder there is on the other side is either saturated mud in the winter or overgrown with chest-high weeds and blackberry vines in the summer.  Also there is one section where a jersey barrier forces pedestrians into the right-of-way even if the blackberries and mud do not. This is especially dangerous given the 2 blind curves and that it is on a steep hill.  This is a very popular bike route but with no safe passage for bikes moving slowly up the hill in the lane of traffic and the cracks in the road make it very unsafe for fast-moving bikes going downhill.  See the photos below.  One is of a mother pushing her baby stroller on this road approaching a blind curve.  This is the only route from the Hollyhills, Morningside, and Pioneer Hills neighborhoods into the City of Bothell including access to the YMCA and the 4 ball fields in the North Creek business park at the bottom of the hill.  Today when my daughter and I go the the Y, we have to drive the half mile because there is no sidewalk and no shoulder on Hollyhills Drive behind the Seattle Times building.  The Hollyhills neighborhood is low income neighborhood, so many of those residents don’t even own a car. They don’t have a choice. You can see them risking their lives walking down that road.  Not because they want to, but because they have to. NOTHING has been done to the roads in these neighborhoods for at least 15 years. It is time to spread the wealth.  There are now 39,000 residents in this city. Until you fix what is broken, you don’t need to spend one more dollar on that one square mile of downtown.

Please get this roadway repaired and add a sidewalk and bike lanes.

Dangerous Hollyhills Dr behind Seattle Times building

Dangerous Hollyhills Dr behind Seattle Times building

 

Ditch on one side, blackberries on the other. Runner in the road.

Ditch on one side, blackberries on the other. Runner in the road.

Mother pushing baby stroller on Hollyhills Dr

Mother pushing baby stroller on Hollyhills Dr

Readers, you should watch the May 20th recording of the Bothell City Council, in particular, go to 2:54:00 to hear Council member Tris Samberg put things in perspective on the latest bond proposal.

You may also be interested in reading about our former mayor who is still on the city council and still controlling your money after proving his lack of morality, propriety, and judgement.

Here’s to my friend Tim Tripcony


Tim, your passing is felt around the world, even here in Washington state. Your genius only eclipsed by your humble nature.   So much more I want to say, but I’m without words.

Follow Scott Hooks for more info.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140512170336-24024491-tim-tripcony-you-will-live-on-in-our-hearts

TimTripcony

IBM Connections in the Cloud New Service Update!


So you aren’t a computer geek, but your job involves collaborating with others.  Do you use email?  Maybe share files and other content with people inside and outside your organization?  Maybe at work you bounce between email, calendar, todos, onenote, Sharepoint, Dropbox, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Skype, AIM, Google Apps, Yammer, SurveyMonkey, Yahoo Groups (or some other discussion forum), Google+,  WordPress, LinkedIn.  Then you use email to tell everyone about things like when a task is due or when you have completed one.

You really NEED IBM Connections.  The only company to provide One Single, Seamless Ecosystem to do it all.  Not a piecemeal collection of disparate products.  Not a collection of products thrown together by company acquisitions and then rebranded as if from one company. Gartner even puts IBM’s social software ecosystem at the top of the class.  IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.
And the best way to do this is with their Cloud version.  ASK YOUR IT DIRECTOR OR CFO ABOUT IBM Connections and IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.

By the way, Connections in the Cloud (IBM SmartCloud for Social Business) is getting an update of features that will be available in the on-premises version later this quarter.  Software releases now follow cloud releases.  This trailer is cool:

Check out the IBM Social Software Product Manager, Luis Benitez’ article   for more details including a link to sign up for the webcast to see what’s new in the May update.
See his slideshare post of the new features too.    (Be aware that the second slide in the deck is a link to the video above. Don’t miss the rest of the slides.)
Visit http://collabserv.com for a free trial account.

Helping my friend the best I can. His story will move you.


Brian Steele is my good friend and one of the best managers I have ever worked for.  I remember the day when he quietly explained to me that they had just learned his son Cullen had Pulmonary Hypertension.  I never heard of it before and asked  “Is it bad?”  “Yeah, it’s bad.” he said.  Watch this video and learn Cullen’s story.

At the time Brian mentioned it, I didn’t fully appreciate what it all meant or the impact it would have on him and his family.  Since then I have come to understand much more and to be very thankful for the health of my own daughter.  Please take a moment to learn what this is and share it so that others can be aware of it. Early detection is crucial.  Cullen will need a heart and double lung transplant.  If you find you can help Cullen and his family, please do so at http://www.cota.donorpages.com/PatientOnlineDonation/COTAforCullenS
Follow his story at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cullensteele
Also, educate your family about organ donation at http://www.organdonor.org

SmartCloud Demonstration at Seattle Technical Forum Meetup, Redmond, WA


If you are a CTO, IT director, computer professional or enthusiast of cloud computing technology, you won’t want to miss out on this meeting of the Seattle Technical Forum meetup group.

There will be 3 presenters at this meeting speaking on the following topics:

- Google Cloud Platform: Top 10 Edition
- Properly securing your cloud infrastructure
- SmartCloud – IBM’s Biggest Little Secret

I will be presenting a demonstration of SmartCloud for Social Business with IBMer David Bell.  This will show off what is sure to be tagged as “The next Facebook”, business style.
You can find the details here.

Even if you can’t attend, you can create a free 60-day trial account at http://collabserv.com

SmartCloud Tip #04: Special considerations for Soft Deletions with MMR


The SmartCloud administration panel has a setting for how long deleted messages are in the trash.  From the administration screen, in the left navigation click on IBM SmartCloud Notes, Click Account Settings…
SmartCloudSoftDeletions

Click Email Management.

SmartCloudSoftDeletions2
This setting overrides the setting in the database properties – advanced tab – soft deletions.
NotesSoftDeletions
However…

If your users are using Managed Mail Replicas (MMR), then they have a local replica and the Notes client will still process soft deletions on that local replica according to the database setting.  So if the database setting is set shorter than what you have in the SmartCloud admin settings, the trash will be emptied locally and then replicated to the server and it will appear as though the server setting isn’t working.

Normally the administrator could change this database setting, but not for mail files in SmartCloud because no one has manager access to the database, not even to the local replica.

To avoid this problem, simply make sure to set the value of the soft deletions database property to something longer than the time you have set in SmartCloud up to 2160 hours (90 days) before you migrate the mail file to SmartCloud. Don’t exceed that as excessively high values create other problems.  Also do this to the mail template you are using for new users.

The beauty of cloud-based software is the speed that updates are deployed and I expect this will change soon.  IBM is working on refinements to managing the soft deletions with MMRs, but it is still best to deal with this pro-actively before migrating.

Read these articles for more tips on preparing mail files for migration to SmartCloud Notes:
SmartCloud Tip #02: Best Practices to get mail files ready to move to SmartCloud
SmartCloud Tip #03: Important Details to Setting the ACL on your Mail Files

Wealth is not measured by how much you have, but by how much you give


Please visit my official Donor Page to help the YMCA kids

This time of year I am normally helping out at my YMCA with their Partners With Youth campaign, sitting in a phone bank with other volunteers, calling people in the community asking for donations to help their cause.

Phone bank volunteers working hard

Phone bank volunteers working hard

This is a charity that helps provide funding for kids whose family can’t afford to put them into programs like before and after school care, swim lessons, or summer camp. In some cases this care is vital in making it possible for their parents (or parent) to be able to go to work. In other cases it makes it possible for kids to get to continue in those programs while their families get past a brief challenging time, like unemployment. One thing I like about this program is that it helps people right here in my neighborhood and community. Also that they are so efficient with the money. Over 95% goes directly to the need. I have been giving to this charity for many years. Then a few years ago, I found myself on the receiving end. My daughter has been going to the Y summer camps since about age 6. She just loves it and it would have been hard to tell her one summer that she couldn’t go. Fortunately Partners With Youth was there for us.

That time has past, and since then I have been able to resume contributing my time and money to the program. This year my business has been very successful. But my work has taken me on the road a lot and with all the travel I have not been able to help out working the phones to call for donations. So instead I will leverage what small influence I have in social media to try to help these kids. Please visit my official Donor Page and make a contribution. Even if it is just $5, it makes a huge difference. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” How to I make my donor goal? One dollar at a time. On behalf of the kids you will help, I thank you!

SmartCloud Tip #03: Important Details to Setting the ACL on your Mail Files


When you move to SmartCloud Notes, you get many great benefits, but of course there are a few tradeoffs.  One of those is giving up Manager access to the mail files.  Whether you’re the mail file owner or the system administrator, the best access you’ll ever have is Editor.  And unless you explicitly configure it otherwise, by default only the mail file owner will have any access at all. This is actually great for enforcing best practices. Users should never have more than editor access anyway, and in countries like France, the law prohibits administrators from accessing a user’s mail without their permission. Yes, the owner can always use delegation to grant others access to their mail file, but that only works if they are available to give that access.  That doesn’t help for employees that are out sick or no longer employed at your company.

If you want anything other than the default, you need to plan ahead because once the mail file has been migrated, you can’t change the ACL. This means adding certain groups and roles to the ACL of the existing mail files as well as to the template for any future mail files.

There are typically 3 groups you will want to add to the ACL. The first is your administrator group. Without this, administrators can’t perform some basic administrator tasks, like opening the mail file to do troubleshooting.

The second group that may need access are support personnel who may need access to the mail files, but should not be included in your administrator group. For example, this may be regional administrators, or designated people on the help desk, or HR, or the legal department. How you organize these groups will vary depending on the organization and size of your company. Note that you need a different mail template in SmartCloud for each different ACL. For example, you will need a different template for each region if each region will have a different group of regional administrators.

The third consideration is providing access for your application servers in the event you have applications that run agents that directly touch the mail files.  Keep in mind that no agents can run on directly on the SmartCloud mail servers so any agents will need to be run on a server you maintain on site. Typically databases use mail routing to get things into your mail file, but I have encountered a few applications that add entries directly to the calendar.  The process of assigning access to these groups is simple, but must be done in advance of migrating the mail files into SmartCloud and also requires modifying the ACL of your mail template that will be posted in SmartCloud so future accounts created in the cloud will have them.

First, create a role called ExcludeDelegate in the ACL of the mail files, then create the three groups mentioned above as you need and apply that role to them. (More on exactly how to do this later.) The following screen shot was taken from the database catalog and shows these ACL entries framed in red boxes.  Note that regardless of what level of access you give these groups in the mail file on site, it will not have more than Editor when it is moved to the cloud. But if those entries do not have the ExcludeDelegate role applied, they will be removed entirely from the ACL upon migration.

Entries needed in SmartCloud ACL

Entries needed in SmartCloud ACL

So how do you get these settings applied to all of your mail files in advance? You could add the entries using the administrator client.  On the files tab, select a set databases then right click and choose Access Control – Manage.  A dialog box displays that allows adding, modifying, or deleting ACL entries. It also allows creating roles.  But the ability to actually applying those roles to ACL entries is missed. (I say BUG, IBM says “functioning as designed”)  So the only way to assign a role to an ACL entry via the Administrator UI is to manually open each database one at a time and add the role to the entry.  Not exactly convenient when trying to assign the [ExcludeDelegate] role to entries in hundreds or thousands of mail files before migrating them to SmartCloud.

Footnote: An SPR# GPKS6TNBN4 is a request to fix the admin client to mass-update roles in ACLs. Read this article for more details:
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21264880
Please take a moment to open a ticket with IBM technical support and request that your company be added to this  SPR. The more companies that request an enhancement, the more urgent they consider it.

Meanwhile, you can accomplish this using third party tools, such as Ytria EZ ACL tool, a module in the suite of useful admin tools. (Contact me for a discount code) or you can write an agent to accomplish this task.

Prepare your environment with these steps well in advance of migrating and things will be much less complicated at the time of migration.

If you found this tip helpful, you might also be interested in my other tips:
SmartCloud Tip #01 Using the Notes admin client to compliment the SmartCloud web admin screens
SmartCloud Tip #02: Best Practices to get mail files ready to move to SmartCloud

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