Moving from blogspot to TypePad

I'm moving this blog to TypePad, which isn't free like bolgspot, but has a nice feature that allows you to categorize posts. The tricky part will be to select the right categories, of course, but it makes a blog much easier to navigate. For example, maybe you are only interested in posts about user experience, or security, or even non-sequitur posts.

It was pretty painless to import all of the posts to date, including comments, and even to categorize all of the posts so it's already possible to filter on particular topics.

The new home for this blog is here:



European e-Infrastructures Roadmap

I'm participating in a European Commission workshop at the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC) in Helsinki, focused on the European e-Infrastructure Roadmap. (e-Infrastructure is the European analog to the NSF term Cyberinfrastructure.)

I gave a presentation on TeraGrid, including a discussion about cyberinfrastructure and related initatives at NSF and DOE.

Kyriakos Baxevanidis (from the European Commission) gave an overview of the new Seventh Framework (funding) Programme, FP7.

Timo Skyttä (from Nokia) gave an interesting talk about identity management and the Liberty Alliance. He points out that both Liberty and the Shibboleth project have adopted SAML 2.0, an XML-based set of specifications for exchange of authorization and auuthentication information. Skytta showed a number of case studies including the US E-Authentication initiative.

Klaus Ullman (from DANTE) gave an overview of the future of research and education networking in Europe. DANTE's current infrastructure is called GEANT2, a high-speed backbone network that interconnects 30+ national research and education networks (NRENs). There are some nice downloadable PDF maps at the DANTE website. Ullman gave a nice overview of their forecasts in terms of user requirements and how these shape the network deployment plans.

Presentations from this workshop can be downloaded from the workshop agenda page.

(CSC is actually in Espoo, just outside of Helsinki)

Non-sequiter of the week: Saving energy. Today I read in Argonne's daily newsletter that Argonne employees are encouraged to swap out incandesant light bulbs for compact flourescent lightbulbs (CFL's). We had already done this for many of the lights in our home, but the following statement caught my eye. If every household in the United States replaced one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road. Cool. Go for it - replace two!


Making TeraGrid More Accessible

During the past year one of our priorities has been to give users better tools for learning about, and interacting with, TeraGrid resources and services. Diana Diehl and Tim Gumpto (SDSC) have led efforts to make the TeraGrid website easier to navigate while deepening the content. Eric Roberts and Maytal Dahan (TACC) are rolling out an updated version of the TeraGrid User Portal this week with some important new functions. And we have an experimental "crowdsourcing" site where we are inviting the TeraGrid community to collaborate on a next-generation TeraGrid website and watering hole.

The challenge for our team over the next few months will be to bring these three important efforts together into a coherent set of functions - this is a significant focus of our user services working group.