Alex Barnett blog


September 2007 - Posts

Green Cards and New House

A couple of personal bits of news, both good :-)

In the House

First, we moved into our new home in Sandy, Utah. Everything is working out great - just having fun trying to remember where the light switches are in the dark. Big thanks to Kevin Strong and Robert Piester for helping us in making it all happen.

Kevin was our "realtor" (estate agent in UK-speak) for the deal. He relocated to Utah from southern California in 1983 and has been a real estate associate since 1985 - 22 years in the local property game. Kevin knows the local Salt Lake City extremely well. We found him via the web (his website told us enough to know we should at least contact him) and was very helpful and professional, providing us with great advice and his patience throughout the search, as well his superb negotiation skills during the offer and closing process. If you're looking to sell / buy in the SLC area, we can recommend him without any hesitation. Thanks Kevin!!

Also, a big thanks to Rob Piester of Planet Financial, a neighbor from our time in Redmond, WA who did a great job in providing us advice and good rate for the mortgage. Thanks Rob!

Welcome to the United States

Second, our Green Cards arrived in the post this week!! Whoohoo!

That's pretty big news for us and we're relieved it all came through ok. What does it mean? It means we can live here with all rights except for voting. To gain voting rights I would need to apply for citizenship and can't do that for another five years, so no need to choose now, but I'll certainly consider it assuming I'm still here in that time (I imagine I will be). I can't say I feel any more "American" yet, but a Green Card is certainly a step in that direction. Physcologically, I feel I may have more of a stakeholding in the concept of a great US of A. To date, I've generally stayed away from the topic of politics and other "unmentionables" at the dinner table and elsewhere, but with the status change I may be a little more vocal in this respect in the future :-) ...Also, I want to thank both Microsoft and Bungee Labs for their support during my application for Perminent Residence status.

Posted: Sep 24 2007, 09:12 PM by alexbarnett | with 4 comment(s)
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Presenting at AJAXWorld, Santa Clara

This coming Monday I'll be presenting at AJAXWorld in Santa Clara, 10:10 - 10:55am

One of the demos I'll be showing off and demonstrating how to build is and deploy this Flickr / Google Maps using Bungee Connect to program against their REST(ish) service APIs. I'll also demo a Microsoft Exchange plus Salesforce mashup (it's a pretty slick example of what you can do with AJAX + SOAP web services integration)...and one other very cool demo app that I can't discuss here, just yet - you will just have to be at my presentation see it (and hear it).   :-) 

If you're going, let's catch up!

LibraryThing again

I ended the day re-visiting my LibraryThing. Glad I did...I had forgotten how damn good it is.

Time to update my catalog with about a year's lot of books. Worth doing since I can get my data out and re-use elsewhere. Otherwise, why would I bother?

Podcast with John Musser of

A couple of weeks back John Musser of joined me and Ted for a chat to discuss the state of web APIs and the API trends as he sees them.

We've now recorded the conversation and published as the first of a newly launched Bungee Line podcast series.

Topic covered include Facebook APIs, Amazon's recently launched Flexible Payment Service (FPS) , Google Base, Microsoft's Astoria and relational-data-in-the-cloud programming models and services, SaaS models and API SLAs, REST vs SOAP,  "Closed is Still the Old Closed" and plenty more.

Thanks to John for his time.

Enterpise mashups with

In San Francisco this morning for conference, Dreamforce 07.

Am here (along with Ted, Brad and Lyle from Bungee Labs)...we're frankly wowwing a few customers and developers with a couple of cool videos, demos and real-world apps created on Bungee Connect.

  • Here's a demo of Microsoft Exchange mashed up with
  • Check this video - extended with an Bungee app integrated into the Salesforce UI

We're getting some Bungee Connect Early Access Beta sign-ups based on what devs are seeing (sign up here)

If you want to meet up, let me know.

Dan Farber is covering the Dreamforce event here.

My data - let me use as I choose

I read Chris Messina's post this morning, "A Bill of Righteous Intent" where he discusses the draft manifesto: A Bill of Rights for Users.

I liked what I read.

The manifesto supports the concept of what I've been calling "my data". In short, my data is mine because I generated it. Because I generated it, I should control it and I should be able to use as I choose.

A couple of weeks back I wrote Closed is still the old closed summarizing my latest thinking on this topic. Clearly, I support this direction.

P.S. I have an idea to propose. For a while now I've been tagging posts / content that I've come across with the "my data" tag - you can browse these on my "mydata" tag on as an example. I propose that if you are interested in this topic or writing and/or tagging content that discusses this overall idea then use the "mydata" tag. It makes it easier for those interested to follow the conversation and find useful resources on the topic. Just an idea.

The Banality of Social Networking

There is a fine line between extracting the potential goodness of social networking and drowning in its banality. This video by J.W Sass portrays the misery of the latter.

via Brian Johnson.

E-Learning 2.0

What happens to education, learning processes and knowledge sharing when you combine learning objects, MUDs, RSS, podcasting, tagging, social networking, social media, network effects, AJAX, REST, web APIs, interoperable ID systems and open courseware? Answer: a lot...In this video recording of a presentation given by Stephen Downes at the International Conference on Open Courseware and eLearning in Taipei, Taiwan, June 13, 2007, Downes shares his vision of the resulting phenomenon - E-Learning 2.0. Slides are here.

New concepts explicitly introduced to me in this video include: learning networks and learning mashups. If you're familar with "Web 2.0" concepts you can skip to half way through the video to get into relevance of these to E-Learning.

(thanks to Thomas Vaner Wal for the link to Downes' homepage)

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