If you submitted an abstract for IBM Connect 2014, Look here to see if yours has already been chosen.
If you are attending IBM Connect 2014, this will give you a taste of what to expect at the conference.
Some of the selections are no surprise. Mat Newman, with his new role at IBM; Gabriella Davis and Chris Miller will be talking about SAML, a big deal for integrating any cloud services with single sign-on; Wes Morgan has two sessions already on the list; Ed Brill will be there to talk about his new baby that is growing up fast: MobileFirst; Kathy Brown will be talking XPages; Chris Whisonant and Mitch Cohen will share a real world example of a smarter workforce. Yes, many excellent speakers are already on the schedule. These are the speakers that people just look for their name when choosing the session because they know it will be good, regardless of the topic. If your abstract hasn’t been selected yet, don’t fret. They have 4 days of sessions that need to be filled and they’re just getting started. Check back at http://ibm.com/blogs/socialbusiness each Monday to see the next round of selected abstracts.
One thing missing so far are sessions that might serve the Kenexa crowd. Last year it was great to see all the new faces that came with the Kenexa enthusiasts, but I am still unclear how the two separate interests will be blended. In either case, The sessions are looking to be great topics.
See you there!
Great news if you are using the Connections Content Manager (CCM). CCM is the version of FileNet with functionality enhanced by IBM Connections. Nice that in the latest release you can now approve files from the mobile app. Read more at Luis Benitez’ blog.
And if you aren’t already using it, read this article to get the Connections plug-in for IBM Lotus Notes too.
Permits issued to people to navigate the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon are once again being honored, at least for the next 7 days. Thank you to everyone who helped right this injustice. The Governor of Arizona offered to have her state pick up the tab to keep Grand Canyon National Park open for the next 7 days and the park service finally accepted the offer. This is great news. Please join me in taking a moment to thank the following people:
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Twitter: @GovBrewer
Utah Governor. Gary R. Herbert Twitter: @governorherbert
Bill Parks (http://billhparks.nrsweb.com/ ) and Gator Crump of NRS (Northwest River Supply http://nrs.com) for a $30,000 pledge to the State of AZ Twitter: @NRSWEB email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga email: Dave_Uberuaga@nps.gov
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Twitter: @SecretaryJewell
Any other representatives you may have contacted on this matter. I contacted WA Senators Patty Murray @PattyMurray and Maria Cantwell @CantwellPress and WA House Representative Suzan DelBene twitter: @RepDelBene
Tom Martin, Friend of The River.
There are two more things we need to accomplish:
1. We need to make sure these parks stay open beyond these temporary accommodations.
2. We need to take the appropriate legislative actions to ensure this never happens again.
Read more on the park openings from Washington Post
The following National Parks are currently open and operating on state funds:
Arches National Park (Utah, open October 11-20)
Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah, open October 11-20)
Canyonlands National Park (Utah, open October 11-20)
Capitol Reef National Park (Utah, open October 11-20)
Cedar Breaks National Monument (Utah, open October 11-20)
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Utah, open October 11-20)
Natural Bridges National Monument (Utah, open October 11-20)
Zion National Park (Utah, open October 11-20)
Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado, open October 11-20)
Statue of Liberty National Monument (New York, open October 12-17)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota, open October 14-23)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona, open October 12-18)
NOTE: These openings are TEMPORARY. The leaders mentioned above have stated they acted in response to our messages to them. If this issue matters to you, make sure you let them know.
Here is the publicly available document defining the deal between Utah and NPS. Whereas it is a legal document and whereas no one associated with law or politics can be brief, it is.. Well read for yourself. No wonder the government is shut down.
To my government representatives at all levels:
There are currently over 1200 people in the Grand Canyon National Park, rafting the river right now.
In the heat of all that is going on with the Federal government shutdown, there is one thing that is happening that just makes no sense. I know there are many people severely impacted by this, but in one case actions are actually being taken that are using more resources than before the shutdown while severely hurting a group of people in a way that is irreversible. I am talking about access to the boat ramp for rafting groups scheduled to raft the Grand Canyon. 50 people a day are arriving at the boat ramp and being denied access.
This is not a simple matter of people going on a rafting trip vacation and this does not impact the closure of the park as is proven by the 1200 people that are currently on the river now and doing just fine.
1. People who are being kept from the river that have pre-paid $2000 to the National Park Service for the access permit. This permit covers the costs of staff who meet them at the boat launch.
2. The park does not need to be open to give these groups access to the river. They only need access to the boat ramp many miles upstream of the Canyon.
3. The park service is currently employing 5-8 park rangers to blockade the road to the boat ramp 24 hours a day. Under normal operations, the park has only 2 people at the boat ramp for no more than a few hours each day to give a safety inspection of the boaters’ gear and a safety briefing before they launch. Working with the permit holders instead of against them would actually reduce the park’s costs. Allowing these people onto the river will have no impact on staffing requirements downstream. Emergency services are required at all times anyway and are exempt from the furlough. (hear the interview linked below)
4. These rafting trips are fully prepared to be completely self-sufficient for the 21 days they are in the canyon. There are currently over 1200 people already in the Grand Canyon, rafting the river. They are out of contact with the rest of the world, they have no way of even knowing what is happening and their presence has NO impact on whether the park is open or closed.
5. Launch dates are given by a lottery 2 years in advance. Some people have been trying to get a permit for over 10 years. For those fortunate enough to win a launch date, they then spend the next 2 years organizing and planning the trip. This includes getting a crew of 16 people together; making special arrangements to get 3-4 weeks off from work; planning travel to/from the Canyon from all parts of the country and even the world; spending $18,000 or more on gear rental and food preparation from one of the outfitters. Note that this is also costing the outfitters $20,000 – $100,000 per day that they can’t launch these groups and this money is unrecoverable. Their margins are very low and just a couple weeks of this could drive them out of business.
6. These groups scheduled to launch have no way of knowing if they will get onto the river on their scheduled date or not with the current situation. They have no choice but to make the trip to Arizona where they are finding out as they arrive that they are being denied.
7. If a launch date is missed, there is no way to give that group a new launch date. This is a necessary park service rule. The river corridor can only support a certain number of people at a time. Launch permits are booked solid every single day for the next 2 years. This is limited by the small number of places suitable for camping along the river. Also, the logistics of getting a group together are immense. For most people, they already have a very tight schedule. Airline tickets are non-refundable, arrangements for time away from work, etc. And the outfitters are booked to capacity many months in advance. It is very unlikely they could reschedule their trips even if that were an option.
Due to the great hurdles and logistics involved in rafting the Grand Canyon, this is truly a one-chance-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. Every day the park service blocks ligitimate access to the river, they are causing huge financial and emotional impacts unnecessarily on more than 50 people. Some of the people who have been turned away have been waiting for a permit since 1995.
Listen to this brief interview by NPR of a permit holder at the blockade.
Short Youtube video showing the scene at the roadblock by one of the rafters.
1. End this government shutdown immediately. Best solution, but also highly unlikely.
2. Get special funding to pay to keep the park open. Governor Brewer of Arizona has been asked to have their state do this. Considering the revenue generated by the 3 million annual visitors to the park, this would seem like an easy decision, but she doesn’t appear close to doing this.
3. Allow the rafting trips access to Lees Ferry boat ramp as usual. Reduce the manpower needed at the boat ramp and allow these groups to proceed without adding any burden to the park.
Now some people may say that getting turned away from a vacation doesn’t compare to the other problems being caused by this shutdown, like Meals on Wheels or domestic violence centers. Everyone would agree there are more life-threatening issues at stake. But there is nothing preventing us from working on finding solutions to as many possible issues as we can at the same time. And this one is such an incredibly easy fix that actually saves money and resources, it doesn’t make sense not to do it.
Call to action:
1. Please contact National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and present this idea to him.
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Phone (202) 208-3818
2. Please contact Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga and urge him to do the same.
3. Please contact Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and encourage her to help at least fund the boat ramp operation if not the park.
Phone (602) 542-4331
4. Please work to get this leadership gridlock resolved.
Wondering what these people are missing? Check out the journal of my trip.
(BULLETIN UPDATE: Time is of the essence for those about to lose their river permits this week. Please contact AZ governor and share your story and concern at how this uniquely impacts river runners. Call their office at 602-542-4331 AND send an email via her website at http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp (scroll to the bottom) AND send a fax to 602-542-1381. She can help, but needs encouragement. Read about it here. Every day that goes by, costs 3-5 trips of 16 people their once-in-a-lifetime vacation.)
Wow, this is an injustice beyond belief or sanity. When the Federal Government shuts down tomorrow, National Parks will be forced to close. This isn’t just a matter of not being able to go camping. For Grand Canyon river permit holders scheduled to launch during this government shutdown, it means they will be denied access to the river. THEIR PERMITS WILL BE REVOKED. OK, I know there are many things impacted, but the consequences of a closure by even one day are huge for those who have a launch date that is cancelled. Here is why:
If you have a permitted trip on the Grand Canyon, you get assigned a specific date that you must launch. If you are even one day late, you don’t go. It typically costs a minimum of $25,000 in non-refundable gear rental, food, transportation to/from AZ, etc for a standard permit of 16 people. Not to mention they had to make arrangements to be away from work for as much as 4 weeks and spent 1 to 2 years in preparation for the trip. When the park closes, these people will be forbidden access to launch on the river. Not just delayed, but CANCELLED. Did I mention permits are given by a very competitive lottery? You’re lucky to even get one. Permits are given 2 years in advance. So those people are going to be screwed in a very big way. About 3 to 5 groups launch each and every day of the year. That is a huge financial loss and emotional loss to each group of people denied access to the river. In a nutshell, the government is cancelling their vacation and keeping the money.
Keep in mind, these groups are fully prepared to travel the next 21 days fully self-supported with no interaction from the outside world. In fact, it is likely they won’t see anyone else, including park rangers, for the next 3 weeks except occasionally crossing paths with other groups that are rafting the river like they are. For that matter, anyone who is on the river right now has no way of even knowing that the park is closed and no one else will be following behind them. Perhaps tomorrow, someone is planning on hiking in at Phantom Ranch, the half-way point where many trips swap people who only do the upper or lower half. That person will not be permitted to hike in?! Yet there will also be people hiking out who also have no way of knowing what is happening. If someone was coming to pick them up, they won’t even be able to do that. And if the person hiking in was supposed to row one of the group’s rafts, they will be without an oarsman!
I find it appalling that those park personnel could not be allowed to volunteer to work to keep this system operating. If necessary, they would take unpaid leave later, when it could be scheduled and planned for. I would happily volunteer my time to help keep the park open during this Mickey Mouse affair. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option either. I have led 2 trips down the river and both times we launched in October. I keenly know the work that goes into planning and preparing for such a trip, the anticipation, and pure joy of finally being there and pushing off from the bank to begin that amazing journey. My heart goes out to everyone will have such a wonderful experience irreparably scarred as a result of people in Washington DC selfishly setting policies that needlessly prevent the river runners access to the river. A shame on both the park service and the government that they have made no contingency plan to accommodate this need in such circumstances. There is nothing physically preventing those people from launching their trip. It is not being disrupted by a flood or a drought or an earthquake. Simply by political decisions made far away and blind of the senseless impact.
The first time I went down the river, our launch date was October 15, 2008. If you recall, that was one week into the financial crisis. It was also in the heat of a very acrimonious presidential election. And I can say for the month I was on the river, it was also some of the most peaceful, tranquil, contented time of my life. At that time that was possibly the only place I could have been within the borders of this country and still escapee the wraiths known as politics — intangible, bodiless, without form and that which cannot be destroyed or dispelled, yet they sap the life and happiness of everyone they come in contact. Sadly, this time, those people looking for a similar reprieve as I had, will suffer worst from the very thing they were probably most trying to escape.
We, the people, should not tolerate this from the people we elected to lead. Make your voice heard!
Here is a copy of a newsletter published by River Runners for Wilderness that gives a few more details. Visit their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RRFW.org :
Also, you might appreciate this more if you read the river log I have published from my second trip. http://thenotesguyinseattle.com/canyonlinks/ I plan to continue the story again in the next few weeks.
Lees Ferry to Close if Government Shuts Down
September 30, 2013
As a United States Government shutdown looms large, plans are now in place to close all National Parks across the country on October 1, 2013. The closures will impact all recreational opportunities at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona, including the cancellation of all river trips.
According to Grand Canyon National Park officials, river runners who have already launched downstream into Grand Canyon National Park will be able to complete their river trip.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area officials, who operate Lee’s Ferry, note that should the government shutdown go into effect, the closure of Lee’s Ferry will start with a “soft closure” beginning at 8:00 am, with a hard closure from noon on, after which no river trips will be allowed to launch.
Kansas river runner Hilary Esry won the river permit lottery last year for an October 7, 2013 launch date after first becoming interested in running Grand Canyon twenty years ago. “We have friends flying in from as far away as Alaska on non-refundable tickets and have spent over $17,000 so far in NPS fees, food and equipment rental. I have a contract with the Federal Government allowing me to launch, and so far, I have not been contacted from the National Park Service at all about a pending closure of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon” she said. “We expect to be on our own and except for the mandatory orientation at Lee’s Ferry, we do not expect to interface with anyone from the NPS. I can’t tell you how nerve wracking this is for our trip.”
The Grand Canyon National Park web site states there are sixteen river trips scheduled to launch in the first seven days of October. Thirteen of those trips are public trips while three are concession guided river trips. There are sixty-one river trips scheduled for the month of October, twelve of which are concessions trips and forty-nine are public trips.
Officials at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area state that roadwork on the Lee’s Ferry road will continue, as the funds for that project are non-appropriated funds. River runners who have parked their vehicles at the long term parking lot at Lee’s Ferry will be allowed to retrieve their vehicles but this will require a law enforcement escort.
Fishing at Lee’s Ferry, including from the bank and by boat, both public and guided, will not be allowed. The smooth water concessions river trips from the base of Glen Canyon Dam downstream to Lee’s Ferry will also cease operation.
RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. To join, send an e-mail address to email@example.com and we’ll add it to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.
Join RRFW’s listserver to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. It’s as easy as sending a blank e-mail to Rafting_Grand_Canyonfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out RRFW’s Rafting Grand Canyon Wiki for free information on Do-It-Yourself Grand Canyon rafting info http://www.rrfw.org/RaftingGrandCanyon/Main_Page.
See our store offerings and donate at the RRFW Store!
Visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RRFW.org
RRFW is a non-profit project of Living Rivers.
# # #
Summer vacation is over. I was deliberately taking a break from my blog to enjoy the fantastic summer and give focus on the business. While I was quiet on the surface, I’ve been very busy in the background. More on that later, but for now, some useful content…
IBM Connections with Sametime is amazing. It’s like a useful combination of features you will find on Linkedin, facebook, WebEx or GotoMeeting, Skype, dropbox, wordpress and IdeaJam and it’s ideal for any business larger than 1 person. And it is no more dependent on your email client than any of those apps are. But if you use IBM Lotus Notes, as many Connections customers do, you will get even more value with your Notes client by using the IBM Connections Plug-ins for IBM Lotus Notes. There is a version for Windows, Mac, and Linux. So where do you find this cool plug-in? How do you install it? Here are step-by-step instructions. And while you’re in the application catalog, be sure to look around at the other useful plug-ins, like the IBM Connections Desktop Plug-in for Microsoft Windows, or the IBM Connections Widget interface to LinkedIn. Have an iPad? Cool. Be sure to go to the App store and search for the IBM Connections app. In some ways I find it even better than the website. Here is a screen shot of the app. It will give you an idea of the features in IBM Connections:
Now here are the instructions for getting the IBM Connections plug-in for IBM Lotus Notes:
1. Click on this link: http://greenhouse.lotus.com . The following website will appear:
(Addendum: If you don’t already have a Greenhouse account, go ahead and click the Sign Up link now and get the process started. You will need an account before you can complete the download. Among other things it will prompt for an IBM contact. If you don’t have one, mention me and this article. They use this to validate accounts as real people.)
12. After printing and reading the agreement and getting written approval from your legal department, select to accept the license agreement and click Next. It will remind you that Notes must be closed before continuing.
15. Fill in the info for your Connections server. If you want to test it out on Greenhouse to see everything it can do, enter the server URL of https://greenhouse.lotus.com and use your username and password for your Greenhouse account. (You should have had to create one before you could download the plug-in. Don’t have one? Go back to that browser window where you downloaded the plug-in and click Sign Up in the top right corner.)
16. Click on Status Updates, Files or Activities to expand the section and see content from Connections. Note that when it is first expanded it may take a bit longer to load the content. So be patient.
That’s it. Be sure to search for me in Greenhouse and connect with me there and I can share some communities and activities I have already made to demonstrate how they work within connections. And don’t forget to go back and browse all the other cool apps at Greenhouse as well as the iTunes app store for iPhone/iPad apps on Connections, Sametime, and more!
Let me know if this was helpful. I am considering doing these as a video. Would you prefer that format over an article?
ADDENDUM: If you get the following error:
Then recheck the User Preferences. Click on the Advanced button and make sure it is using the Java Form with the authentication URL of:
If that doesn’t fix it, there are several knowledgebase articles on the topic. Search for that error message to find them.
Here are some links I referenced in our best practices session Be a Domino Detective: Hunting the Gremlins at IamLUG:
MTBF 8.5.x – Mean Time Between Failures Sandbox app updated for Domino 8.x – Credit to John Paganetti
and the update of MTBF for Windows 64 bit OS
Details about my tips on client fault reports:
The Single biggest cause of Lotus Notes client crashes and how to avoid them
And some links for our Tuesday session:
What’s in it for me? How Your Life as an Administrator will Improve When Your Company Moves to the Cloud
SmartCloud leads IBM to dethrone Microsoft on CNN’s “Four Horsemen of Tech” list
If your company is considering moving their messaging to the cloud, especially if they are considering Office 365, or you are wondering what all the rush is to adopt Social Business, visit our company website for Divergent Solutions LLC at http://www.divergentnw.com/
or send an email to info@divergentNW.com
Lotus IBM professionals, have you made plans to attend IamLUG? Perhaps you never get to attend Lotusphere / IBM Connect because it’s so expensive for the travel and the conference fee? This is your chance to get all of the meat of the Big conference without all of the fluff. You won’t get an evening trip to one of the theme parks. You won’t have all the hoopla and grandeur of the Opening General Session or the intellectual entertainment of the Closing Session. But you’ll get all the same great, useful insightful presentations from many of the same speakers. And the cost is…
You just have to get there. Costs would include travel to/from St Louis, a ride from the airport to the hotel, Room for 2 nights at $100/night. (Split it with someone else attending and that’s $50/night!) Eat cheap while you’re there and you can get 2 days of intense professional development for next to nothing. Throw in the extra day of TackItOn sessions for just $500 and you get a complete trip of 3 days of training for a fraction of the cost of IBM Connect. Do whatever it takes to be there. When it comes to conferences outside of Lotusphere/IBM Connect, it doesn’t get any better than this. Did I mention many of the same speakers who presented at IBM Connect this year will be at IamLUG sharing all the now-released version of Notes 9 Social Edition?
Actually, there will be at least one new presenter: me. Yes, for the first time I will officially have my own microphone. In the past, you may have seen me at a mic in the audience at Lotusphere/Connect, asking pointed questions during the “Ask the Product Managers” session or in the “Ask the Developers” session when I was made an honorary developer and brought on stage, handed a laptop, and put to work. Well I finally decided to put my mouth where my blog is, to step up to the podium and give back to the community live and in person. I’m diving in with both feet too. I submitted two abstracts and they were BOTH accepted. This will be a true test of my Toastmasters training. If you’re in the audience, be kind, please.
Both sessions are on system administrator topics. The first session, “Be a Domino Detective: Hunting the Gremlins” is all about finding the problems hiding in your systems. I am so lucky to be sharing the stage with Kim Greene, a seasoned presenter! She will be hunting the gremlins that are constantly at work gnawing at your system’s performance while I will be hunting the ones that are quietly lying in the shadows, waiting for the worst time to jump out and bite you. I’m hoping this session will be both fun AND educational.
The second session, “What’s in it for me? How Your Life as an Administrator will Improve When Your Company Moves to the Cloud” is intended to provide a bit of insight into what you can expect as a system administrator if you migrate to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. Really, the cloud can be your friend, not the end of your career. Speaking of friends, I will be co-presenting this session with my longtime friend and administrator of a broad range of systems, Greg Walrath. I look forward to seeing you in the audience!
This user group conference has grown dramatically in just 4 years. Most of the speakers you have seen many times before and know them for their expertise. IBM will even be there presenting an entire track on Social Business. This one is truly becoming one of the biggest and best. I am humbled to get a chance to share time at the podium among such rock stars in our profession. It will be fun! See you in St. Louis!
A web resource by the Federal government to educate managers and employees about effective telecommuting
In light of all the recent controversy Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has stirred up over telecommuting, you may be interested in checking out this online resource by the U.S. Government. It has training materials if you are a telecommuter or if you manage telecommuters or if you are a telecommuter coordinator.
One trend I have noticed in the computer industry is that, when it comes to working remotely, companies tend to be much more tolerant of it for software developers than system administrators, even though both are equally possible remotely. In fact, it is becoming rare that the data centers housing the servers that administrators manage are even located in the same location or region. This is especially true with the rise in cloud computing and server virtualization.
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Passport Advantage website has a new look. (if the link doesn’t work, it’s because of the redirect to www-XX that IBM loves to do. No one there seems to have figured out that messes with bookmarks.. Try http://www-3.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/ ) I have not yet had a chance to explore it in detail. It looks like some (but not all) of the old issues have been cleaned up and it sports the new IBM website skin. I will post a more detailed review later. Meanwhile, take a moment to have a look. For comparison, see my article reviewing it almost 2 years ago. I’m anxious to see what was done that took 2 years of business justification and web development to accomplish. Go take a look for yourself and post your first impressions here.