Joel Dehlin

OC Tanner Tech Blog

OC Tanner now has an outlet for its creative and technical types. Come check it out!

Browser Site Stats

Latest browser trends. IE up slightly overal. IE 10 up big. Chrome up overall. Everything else down. Big companies: please kill IE 6 and 7 in your enterprises once and for all.

Unminify CSS

Found a nice tool for unminifying CSS.

Learning Ruby on Rails

I’m the cat, at this point.

Thanks Taddly.

Thinking About Pricing Models for SaaS Companies

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our products are going to change and how we should price them. This article came at a great time. It discusses SaaS startups and gives some ideas on how to think about pricing. Thanks for the forward, Gil.

20% or 2 Weeks

Google has its 20%. Apple now has two weeks

Process, Thinking and Elon Musk

Very interesting interview with serial entrepreneur Elon Musk in Wired. From the interview: “The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.” Thanks to Gil Lee for the link.

Here We Go

If every teenager and her parakeet can create a mobile app company and sell it for $1B, then I can, too. Am I right? Well I’m going to try at least. I started yesterday. Odesk is a service I’ve used before (remember MormonBuckles?).

Donut Crawl: Best Date Ever


About once a week I try to take one of my kids out on a date. It typically consists of something to eat and a trip to the bookstore. It is often the highlight of my week.

Last time Alex and I went out, we noticed that there are six donut shops on the Boston Post Road in Darien and part of Norwalk. SIX! This is about a six mile stretch. Connecticut loves its donuts. We committed then and there to visit each and every donut shop on that section of the Post on our next date.

We’ve been talking about it for weeks. Alex told his friends and they were coveting our future date.

Last night was finally Alex’s turn. Walking to the car, I asked where we were going for dinner before donuts. He looked at me as if I asked him if he knew how to breathe.

Donuts are apparently dinner.

We started off at the department store in Stamford, looking for a new suit for Alex. By the time we finished there (without a suit in hand, since the people at Macy’s forgot to mention that the tailor is only on staff before 5:00pm), it was 8:30 and we had only a half hour to grab our donuts!

We hurried back to Darien. On the way, we contemplated and debated the rules for our evening of decadence. Would we get the same kind of donuts at each place to facilitate a scientific comparison? Or would we ask the counter-person what his favorite two donuts were and get those? Or maybe we would just get what looked best at the time? Such important decisions.

We struck out at the first place—it was a restaurant which didn’t sell donuts. Fail.

The second domicile of deliciousness, Donut Delight, was delightfully open and had a zero wait drive through. When we got to the window, I asked Alex for a decision on the approach. We asked the server what her favorites were: apple crum and Boston Creme. Favorite: Boston Creme

The third haven of heavenliness, Dunkin Donuts, also had a drive-through. We opted for the same approach and ended up with glazed and chocolate covered. Favorite: glazed.

Unfortunately, Speedy Donuts was closed so we continued the “donut crawl.”

Next, we found a Dunkin Donuts in a gas station. We told the attendant what we were doing and I think he was genuinely impressed, if not a little incredulous, with the effort. What a delightful surprise the choco-block and “strawberry glaze covered” turned out to be! Favorite: strawberry glaze covered.

By that time, we were full. But neither one of us were willing to admit defeat. We doubled back toward the Dunkin Donuts in Darien. French Cruller, chocolate bar, and “vanilla-creme covered.” Favorite: French Cruller.

Favorite of the night: Boston Creme, with French Cruller a close second.

Most excellent date. Highly recommended.

Change

About a year ago, I had one of the toughest conversations of my career. I had to let my management know that I would be leaving Church employment this year. It was tough because I revere and love these men and I adore my job, for many reasons. I’ve spent seven wonderful years here, but that’s seven more than I originally intended. This week we formally announced my resignation from Church employment.

Working as the CIO for the LDS Church has been an incredible and humbling experience. I’ve grown, both professionally and personally.

The Church has always used and will continue to use technology to accomplish its mission. I’m honored and grateful to have played a small part.

Joel

New Virus for Macs

Macs have the reputation of being much more secure than Windows machines. The occasional Mac virus does raise its head, though, and this one is interesting and pernicious.


Be careful!

Bed is for Sleeping (and Facebooking)

Ericsson, a worldwide leader in the telecommunications industry, has released a survey which describes various trends in smartphone usage. The survey was conducted in the US, Europe and Japan.

One interesting tidbit in the report: 35% of Android and iPhone users “interact with non-voice applications on their smartphones before getting out of bed. The most common activity here is checking Facebook.” The most common time to use the Smartphone, generally, is the “early evening.” However, the most common time for using mobile phones for social networking is “late evening.”

The research also indicates what we already know, that apps (not devices themselves) are the key driver of increased smartphone usage.

I found these charts interesting (hyperlink expired). The first shows Internet usage prior to the Smartphone. The second shows Internet usage after the advent of Smartphones.

Yikes.

This same digital dependence is moving to tablets as fast or faster than it moved to smartphones.

Read the entire report here.

Making Engine Jets with Tribal Leadership

My friend Christian forwarded me this article from Fast Company magazine. It details a very unique jet engine factory at GE, where a familial (or tribal) culture has developed and the results are astounding. This factory is the highest producing, highest quality jet engine factory at GE, and yet no financial bonuses are used and there is one manager for the entire factory (no middle management layer).

The question is how a company can create or foster a culture like this. GE apparently hasn’t been able to replicate it themselves.

The article is worth reading.

Have you ever worked in an environment like this?

Amazon Cloud Storm

Yuck. Cloud certainly isn’t a panacea.

Gamification

Sounds like a silly word, but “gamification” is garnering buzz. The idea is that an enterprise can smooth difficult change issues like innovation, training, new processes, and so forth, through the use of gaming mechanics. Gaming mechanics include things like leader boards, points, clear goals, and real-time feedback.

In August of 2010, gamification wasn’t on the list of Gartner’s big changes to the world of work in the next 10 years.

Now, Gartner is talking a lot about it, but on both sides of the issue: Here and here are a few examples.

What do you think? Is there a place for game mechanics in the work place?

Open Source Data Center

Facebook is going green and sharing with the world. A PUE of 1.07 is pretty amazing.

Dropbox Security

I’ve often wondered about the security of Dropbox. This article discusses it. Net-net is that the security seems to be awful. There is a file on your computer which, if someone gets access to, allows them to access you dropbox without authenticating. Malware could be written to grab this file. Or someone could just nick it.

The article recommends the following:

  • Don’t use dropbox
  • If you do use dropbox, encrypt all of your files
  • Remove old systems from your list of authorized systems

Libyan Domains

Domains like Bit.ly, Ad.ly and Letter.ly leverage the country of Libya’s domain extension (.ly) to create cute names.

These domain names may be at risk.

Mormon Community Development

Here’s an article on our mobile community development efforts. My dad helped build chapels when he was young. Now people are helping build apps.

I love my job.

THANK YOU to all who have helped or will help. If you have design, development, QA or project management skills, please come join us!

Microsoft Leaves Kinect “Open”

Seven or eight years ago, Microsoft donated the source code for a project I worked on to the open source community. The game was called Allegiance and it has been amazingly and admirably kept updated and enhanced by a group of volunteer testers, developers, designers and artists at FreeAllegiance.

When Microsoft released Kinect—a new system which lets people interact with the Xbox without a controller—a hacked version of the source code was posted on the Internet within a couple of weeks. See this Inc.com article. In the past Microsoft might have screamed, threatened, sued, or all of the above. Instead, they went to NPR and lauded the effort. Rapidly, people jumped on the bandwagon and have been enhancing the product.

We’ll see if the interest is sustainable, but great move on Microsoft’s part. Great to see some examples of openness!

Google and Microsoft: Search Wars Heating Up

Things are getting ugly in the search wars. Google is claiming that Microsoft steals their search results. Microsoft is accusing Google of abusing the use of private data.

Intrigue. Drama. Search is so fascinating!

Egypt Cuts Off Internet to Entire Country?

If this is accurate, wow.

Cutting off the Internet to an entire country? I have a hard time believing it’s actually true.

Creepy Google Gmail Security Hole

There aren’t a lot of details, but apparently Gmail had a security hole where a web site could grab your email address if you were logged into Gmail at the time you went to the web site. I assume the vulnerability is a weak SSO token on the computer or maybe something stupid left behind in a cookie. Whatever they’re doing, yikes!

Google has reportedly fixed the problem.

Liquid Zoom

According to Gizmag, Samsung has filed a patent for a new type of lens made of liquid. The principle is similar to that of looking at magnified images through a glass of water. Layers are created using different liquids and shapes of the layers may be changed using a small electric current. No moving parts – so faster, more efficient and less prone to break. This is particularly useful for adding optical zoom to small devices like cameras.

Is HTML 5 Killing Silverlight?

Microsoft is shifting its strategy on Silverlight. It’s coming out in support of HTML 5, but maintains that it will still support Silverlight—especially it’s “streaming media” capabilities.

Is HTML 5 ready for prime time? Thoughts?