Monthly Archives: September 2011

So RIM buys Gist and Gist deletes my account?

After years of using the cloud contact management dashboard service Gist, I found my account and all data gone.  After using the service of Gist since early beta, updating accounts, contacts and building an actual contact dashboard, today I find not even an active account.  Poof.  Here is the scenario:

  • Aug 24, 2009 I get invited to a new service and screencast it.  One of the highest viewed screencasts I have.
  • Oct 14, 2009 I write about possible competitors in my blog archives
  • Somewhere in 2010 I think I activate the Gist plug-in for Google Apps and mail.  Yes Rapportive comes along and beta it in function and look, but I leave both in place.
  • Dec 2010 I write about RIM moving to buy Gist
  • Mar 23, 2011 I screencast and compare Plaxo to Gist and say that Plaxo didn’t beat them in contact management.
  • May 30 2011 I mention on my blog that Gist is ceasing support in Google Apps after the RIM purchase
  • Somewhere in June I got an email saying I hadn’t logged on to Gist.  Well I was using the Google plug-in and didn’t need to hit the dashboard.  That email didn’t make it to the Priority Inbox for TheSocialNetworker.
  • I log in today to merge another contact list and the account is gone.

So what does this mean?  RIM is purging old users from the system in preparation of something new inside the BlackBerry devices? Gist is scaling back after the purchase and is cleansing some data?  Somewhere along the way they had a Terms of Service you must log into your cloud data every couple months via the site to keep it active?

I do not know the answer to any of these but I am debating importing data into the service again at this point.

Book Review: Securing the Cloud by Vic Winkler

As someone that works for a cloud provider, I anticipated finding this book, Securing the Cloud: Cloud Security Techniques and Tactics by Vic (J.R.) Winkler,  boring or not to contain any insight I would carry forward. I found out I was wrong just in the first two chapters. The goal of the book is not to tell you what cloud provider or form of solution to pick, but how to get to that choice.

The author works hard to simplify and break down each general area so the Securing the Cloud book coverseasoned IT professional or the CIO can easily digest each section. The structure and flow of the book takes you from the initial introduction to exactly what cloud computing and offerings exist and then blends into the differences in architecture before addressing security.

Legal aspects are not a deep topic in chapter 3. Each subsection could almost be a book of it’s own if someone wanted to write the very specific nuances each area required like HIPPA and EU Safe Harbor. Instead, the author highlights key and common risk issues and what should be evaluated and asked of yourself and the provider.

The middle chapters 4-6 work through the architecture, data security techniques and techniques for deployment in a secure fashion. Even though the chapters are about 30-50 pages each, the detail was perfect. I found the summary to be the place I started to understand what I was about to cover and then I read the chapter. It might be a personal preference but I like a higher overview right away to get a feel for where we are headed and stop points I can take.

Chapter 8 builds a checklist you need to begin the cloud provider selection process. Standards, verifications and even plain old claims are addressed. The author does well providing some basic criteria to start your own investigation into choosing a provider.

The two end chapters anticipate you have chosen a provider and now want to begin the basics operating your cloud security and architecture. These chapters are shorter than the middle ones where the meat of the book is anyway.

Overall I plan on reading this book again and making more bookmarks and notes. I wish I had gotten the digital version to make that whole process easier and I can see where the author can take subsections and additional writings as the interest in the cloud continues to grow for companies.

I suggest you get your hands on this now before making the leap into cloud technology to save a lot of time and effort after the fact.

Disclosure: the links for the book are all Amazon affiliate and I was not compensated to write any form of review for this book.