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My Thought Web Known Personal API - Mapping Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:52:40 +0000 Matthew Hailstone

A Personal API could implement a number of features. I would like to address a few features that I feel are core to the concept of a Personal API. First, a Personal API is a publisher or pusher of content to it's own publishing environment or to other publishing products. In order to be a publisher or redirector of content to other environments, another feature of a Personal API needs to be the ability to map content type and structure from one product and/or structure to another. With that mapping capability in place, a Personal API could then offer the owner of the content a rich user experience in which to manage and configure the pushing and pulling of content automatically or on demand. By offering the owner of content the ability to manage and configure the redirecting and publishing of their data, authorization, event logging, and syndication of true ownership accross multiple environments is possible and meaningful in a true identity-based rich experience.

For the Personal API to be able to map content between systems, the media type of the content is important for the Personal API to understand what available publishing or configured mapping options match the content type that is being provided to the API. Also, an identifier, preferably in the form of a URI, into the system of origin from which the content is coming, provides the Personal API the option of retrieving the content when needed in processing an automated push or on-demand push. Then, the Personal API doesn't necessarily need to store the content in a repository independent of the origin. If content is coming through that doesn't have an identifier into a system of origin, the Personal API would need to store the content/data into some repository that would be configured as the default Personal API repository.

Another problem space of a Personal API mapping system is the discoverability of options to which a Personal API can publish content. For example, let's say that I am posting a blog entry. When I post the entry, should I have a plugin in that blog product that allows me to push or publish to my Personal API? If I do have that kind of plugin, should the plugin pull down dynamically choices to which I can immediately publish to that are configured in my Personal API. For instance, let's say that I have mapped in my Personal API: when I receive a request to publish content from a blog, I can push it to Twitter, Facebook, and an LMS (Learning Management System). In the LMS, I have a few courses that have assignments that I can specifically push to that I've configured as well. Should the plugin in the blog dynamically discover all of those options and provide a UI to choose to publish to all environments, or the ability to drill down and publish to a specific course assignment? Alternatively, the plugin could publish the content to the Personal API with the media type and an origin identifier and then the user would have the option to manually push the content to the specific course assigment through the Personal API UI, which is managing all the mappings. The Personal API would have a repository that would keep all available content and/or their origin identifiers that could be retrieved and pushed to any selected/configured mapped environment.

Your Presidential Vote Can Have Even More Weight Mon, 21 Mar 2016 22:14:42 +0000 Matthew Hailstone

Your Presidential Vote Can Have Even More Weight

No matter what your personal political persuasion, the following recommended change in how electors are selected in your state could bring the presidential candidate of your choice more electoral votes in the Electoral College process. There are 538 possible electoral votes. A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to become President of the United States of America. The Constitution of the United States provides each State Legislature to determine how to select electors.

If you believe in the representation each state has in Congress with each state having two seats in the Senate, and a proportionate amount of seats in the House according to each census, then you inherently, in my opinion, really believe in the Electoral College process in how the President of the United States is elected.

Each state has its own voice, and each state has varied interests based on their population, economy, and culture. Some states are more industrial, some states are more agriculture, all have varied business and world trade needs. Because each state deals with its economy and culture in diverse ways, the way the Electoral College is distributed can better represent the interests of each state. If we had a total popular vote (or pure democracy), then only the influence and interests of the states that are more densely populated would be represented. The geographical and demographical interests in each state are also important besides population.

The following two paragraphs are a description of my proposed changes to statutes in each state concerning how electors in each state should be selected.

The 2 electoral votes allocated to the state associated to the 2 seats in the Senate would be determined by the majority votes cast by all who voted in the state (total state popular representation).

The other electoral votes allocated to the state associated with the House District seats in the House of Representatives would each have their own electoral vote. The elector would be bound to vote for the Presidential candidate the district voted for. Each House District boundary would determine by majority which Presidential candidate's political party would cast an electoral vote, or if independent, the elector would be bound to the Presidential candidate the district voted for.

I think that the principles of the Electoral College would be better served by following this process. A House District would have their own voice towards the Presidential Ticket. Nebraska and Maine currently have similar (if not the same) statutes as this proposal. The power for each Congressional District to represent their own interests is very aligned with the principles of the Electoral College.

So, as a reminder, who can change how the electors are cast toward the Electoral College? The State Legislature in each state has been given that responsiblity through the US Constitution. Section 1-6 of Chapter 1 of Title 3, United States Code are of particular interest. From my research, I have found that most, if not all, the states' Constitutions do not designate the process of casting their electoral votes, but that the process is designated in statute. Therefore, each state could convene a special session and change how their electoral votes are cast. Most of the states can call a special session by the Governor. Many of the states and particularly "swing" states have Congressional Districts that are split between Democrat and Republican voters. Some areas of the state lean towards voting Democrat and other parts of the state lean towards voting Republican. Why not let each Congressional District have their own voice independent of the other districts? The two electors associated with the two Senate seats would always be determined by a statewide popular vote, but allowing each district their own voice and vote seems morally right. The fair distribution that the State Legislature deliberates over in creating the boundaries of Congressional Districts would definitely be made more evident. But, the State Legislatures have the responsibility and right to make those alignments.

I really feel like the State Legislatures have become lame ducks in their influence toward federal issues and power. The seventeenth amendment took away the power of the State Legislatures to appoint Senators. This left the State Legislatures beholden to whatever laws were passed in the federal government, and the State Legislature had to create new statutes to deal with federal legislation accordingly. If the body of the State Legislature felt that the federal government was not creating laws in its interest, they had an influence by appointing Senators from their body. Now, elected officials in the State Legislatures, based on their experience and toil over dealing with laws passed down to them by the federal government, are silenced from influencing the federal delegation. The State Legislature as a capable body now has no pull in the federal government.

But, the ability for the State Legislature in each state to dictate how electors are chosen for the Electoral College is one (if not the last) power provided to it by the US Constitution that is still in force. We should rally our State Legislatures to seriously consider giving each Congressional District their own voice, so that each demographic according to the Electoral College will truly have their own vote in the election of the President of the United States. Does it matter which political party or presidential candidate the district votes for? It does to that district! Let each district have their own voice, whether it aligns with the current major political party in power in the state or not. In Utah, one Congressional District may very well vote Democrat. Utah is traditionally a Republican state, and we are currently a winner-take-all state (like most others). I am willing to let a district have their voice and express their desires toward the Presidential Ticket. Shouldn't all the Congressional Districts in the country have that same opportunity? I definitely think they should!

#selection #provisions #law
Utah 2016 Caucus and Presidential Primary Thu, 10 Mar 2016 07:35:32 +0000 Matthew Hailstone


I feel there is a great need to start sharing information about how Utahns will participate in the 2016 Presidential Primary, their local Caucus Meeting, and the State Primary on June 28th. (Yes, it is a little confusing.)

Please note, you will NOT be voting in the same manner as in past years for the Presidential Primary. The Presidential Primary has been delegated to each Political Party to conduct. In past years, for a Presidential Election Primary (and all other candidate races needing to conduct a Primary), each county would conduct and control the voting for the general public with county owned voting machines/booths and paid election judge personnel for all Political Party positions needing to be narrowed in a primary vote. That is NOT the process this year for the Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 22nd. But it IS still the process for every other primary vote for the State conducted Primary on Tuesday, June 28th. Each Political Party is in charge of defining their own process for the 2016 Presidential Primary.

Here is the State website that gives a great summary and provides a link to each party's website for more information: or

Now, the video (accessible from either site) is great, but it minimizes one particular that is significant for voters to understand in my opinion:

  • Petition Signatures
    • The petition process is contraversial to say the least, but I'm not going to address that debate here. What I think is important for voters to understand is that if you sign a petition for a particular candidate, you cannot sign your name for another candidate in the same race. So, if you commit to sign a petition for one person, it's a done deal. Now, you might say, "That's obvious!", but to many voters when someone comes to the door and asks for their signature, they are more than willing to sign their name without understanding that another candidate in that same race that they may like and/or want more just hasn't come around to get their signature yet. If you know what you want, great, sign the petition. But just remember that when you do so, it's binding, and you've made your decision to ONLY help that candidate for that race get on the Primary ballot through the petition method.

Now, from here forward I'm going to address some specifics of the Republican Party Caucus Meeting and Presidential Primary. The State Republican Party decided to conduct their "Presidential Preference Vote" (essentially the Presidential Primary for the Republican Party) in two possible routes: an electronic vote, and a paper ballot vote conducted at the local Caucus Meeting.

  • Electronic Voting
    • Yes, it's amazing. In Utah (and Utah only), you can vote for your Republican Presidential Candidate of choice this year through the World Wide Web (a.k.a. the Internet). But in order to do so, you need to pre-register through the Eventbrite website: ON or BEFORE Tuesday, March 15th. Also remember, if you register to participate in the Presidential Preference Vote online, that is the ONLY way in which you will be able to vote in the Presidential Primary. You will be able to vote electronically anytime between 7AM and 11PM ONLY on Tuesday, March 22nd.
    • Now, even though you pre-register to participate in the Presidential Preference Vote, you can also attend your local Caucus Meeting and participate in electing your local Precinct Officers and State and County Delegates.
  • Paper Ballot
    • You can also choose to use a paper ballot. There are more options here and it can get a little confusing, but I'll try my best to clarify what is possible.
      • Caucus Meeting Walk-in
        • You can simply walk into your local Caucus Meeting, and if you are a registered Republican and can validate yourself with a Photo ID and with the same ID or a Utility Bill statement with your address, verify your current address within the Precinct, you will be provided some kind of "credential" (a name tag, wrist band, etc) that signifies that you can participate in the Caucus Meeting and can participate in the Presidential Preference Vote.
      • Absentee Paper Ballot
        • You can also pre-register to cast a vote for the Caucus Meeting on the Eventbrite website, print out your ballot, make your choice, make a copy of your Utah Drivers License (front side only), put your marked ballot in an envelope, seal the envelope, write your signature across the sealed portion of the envelope, give your sealed/signed envelope to someone to take to the Caucus Meeting and cast your vote in your stead. Note: Individuals that are bringing absentee ballots for others may only bring UP to THREE absentee ballots. If they have more than three, they will be required to choose and only submit three to be accepted. Second Note: Absentee ballots will only contain Precinct Officers/Delegates candidates that have also pre-registered online and submitted their names to be on the list. There may be others at the Caucus Meeting vying for certain positions that wouldn't be on the absentee ballot printed before the meeting.

Whew... Ok. There's alot to the above. Hopefully, I've given you a simplified gist of what the available processes are to participate in the Presidential Preference Vote and how that vote will be conducted at the Caucus Meeting.

Now, there is one more item I want to emphasize (and thank you for those who are still reading this). My fear is that there will be many people who will be going to their usual community center or local school building expecting to find election judges and the normal voting booths on Tuesday, March 22nd. They will not find what they are looking for, and if they are persistent, they will find out that they can go to their local Caucus Meeting that evening and cast their Presidential Preference Vote using the Paper Ballot method described above. This means that there will be an unusual amount of participants at your local Caucus Meeting. Not that this is a bad thing, but just take NOTE that the Caucus Meeting has a prescribed agenda and way to conduct the meeting and the business of the meeting. The Presidential Preference Vote will be the LAST item on the agenda. You CANNOT change the agenda of the Caucus Meeting. This is actually preferrable, because it will take a lot more time to credential the potentially larger than usual influx of participants in the Caucus Meeting. Those that are current Precinct Chairs are doing the best that they can to organize and prepare the places of the Caucus Meeting to accommodate the masses. Having the time to credential everyone that would like to participate in the Paper Ballot method at the Caucus Meeting is important to ensure as many as would like to participate are able to.

So, here are the dates for the Republican Party Primary that you need to keep in mind:

  • Tuesday, March 15th
    • This is the deadline to pre-register to participate in the electronic vote of the Presidential Preference Primary. You can still participate in the Caucus Meeting for the election of the Precinct Officers and State/County Delegates, but you will NOT be eligible to participate in the Paper Ballot method described above.
  • Tuesday, March 22nd
    • This is the Caucus Meeting date. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM and will probably be pretty lengthy, so be prepared for that to happen.
  • Tuesday, June 28th
    • This is the Primary Vote for all other races except the Presidential race. This will be conducted as usual with your normal community center or local school with the election judges and county voting booth/machines.

For your convenience as well (because I know you really want to keep reading about this after this lengthy post), I have compiled some web links that provide some more depth to all of this above.

Now, I know there is probably a lot of information that I haven't provided. Hopefully this is a helpful summary and empowers you to find and understand the other details that can be found.

This is such a pivotal year and election for our country (in my opinion). I hope that this also provides you the information to determine the scope in which you feel you'd like and are able to participate.

God bless you all in your personal lives, and may God bless this wonderful nation, even the United States of America!

Another initial thought Sun, 28 Feb 2016 02:10:55 +0000 Matthew Hailstone

My new blog is inspired by the concept of Domain of One's Own . We at BYU are also working on the concept of a Personal API (PAPI). Phil Windley​  explains this well in his blog: Many feel the IT industry is undergoing a new era. This is an exciting time to be a developer and in IT. Amazon AWS is a great representation of this shift. I'm new at blogging and sharing my thoughts openly, but my personal philosophy on this type of sharing has changed. This change in philosophy has been influenced by the talk by President Worthen at BYU's University Conference address last August and the belief that all of us has the opportunity to make the world a better place by sharing and uplifting one another. Domain of One's Own is letting me do this in the framework of the ideology that I own my own ideas and publish them from a site that I syndicate as my very own. I look forward to hearing from each of you and experiencing this together. :)

My Reason for Blogging Sun, 28 Feb 2016 01:44:32 +0000 Matthew Hailstone

My pursuit of happiness has taken me along many paths for which all of them I am eternally grateful. Now is my turn to share the web of thoughts of which I have been blessed to obtain through those paths. I hope they will benefit all who read them. My intent will always be to edify. Enjoy!