SSO Login into Salesforce from Node via samlp SAML IdP

October 4, 2019 § Leave a comment

 

Documenting this in a blog post because it drove us crazy trying to figure out exactly what was involved, even though it was actually easy to implement once we understood all the terminology.

In order for our previously-authenticated users to automatically log into Salesforce, we needed to:

  1. Create a “/sso-url” on our node server for our web app to access
  2. When our web app GETs that URL, create and a return a SAML Identity Provider (IdP) using samlp
  3. That IdP is interpreted by the web browser a redirect to the Salesforce URL (returned by the function assigned to `getPostURL`)
  4. Salesforce just needs to have the IdP certificate and Entity ID in its SSO Settings

Below are additional details on why we needed this.

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Book Review: Quantum Philosophy and the End of Education

March 11, 2019 § 1 Comment

Quantum Philosophy and the End of Education, by Roo Pavan (self-published)

April 1st, 2019

This self-published book by a retired physicist turned tech millionaire has taken the education establishment by storm — and not in a good way. Few people had even heard of this book or its author, Roo Pavan, until President Trump mentioned it approvingly in a tweet. It is doubtful whether our Esteemed Leader actually read the book, but that didn’t stop him from claiming he would use it as the blueprint for education policy in his second term. Like most of the book’s critics, he probably only read the sensationalist claims in the final chapter rather than the surprisingly thoughtful analysis that preceded it.

Which is a shame, because that would have been a conversation worth having. The author’s main thesis is contrarian but hardly new: that Western philosophy in general — and higher education in particular — are more about perpetuating a cultural elite than actually pursuing truth and serving society, though he concedes that those have often been a useful byproduct.

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Solutions to Three of the World’s Hardest Problems

December 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

The Problems

(Drawn from the list identified by Social Capital on December 15, 2018)

  1. Disrupting Programming
    1. Can we enable people who don’t know programming to build applications?
    2. Is there a way to structure, pipe, and manage data better?
  1. Disrupting Education
    1. Can we educate humans in interesting ways so that they learn to think in multi-disciplinary ways?
    2. Can we educate people in small, continuous ways so they keep learning throughout their lives?
  2. Disrupting Urban Transport
    1. Can we build new transportation methods that enable us to take someone form point A->B faster?
    2. Is there a way to build better, cleaner cities?

The Solutions

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Three Steps to Startup Success (in 15 syllables)

August 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

  1. Own a big problem.
  2. Make measurable progress.
  3. Together.

 

References

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A Spirited Defense of Consciousness

August 12, 2018 § 1 Comment

Dear Scott,

I finally found some deadlines to force me to put forward an account of consciousness. 🙂 Here it is.

SC-1_Creation

The 3+1 Model of Consciousness

While rather simplistic, I have found it a useful model for clarifying my own thinking. The key innovation is defining Spirit as “the ability to reflect on our thoughts feelings and desires in order to decide what kind of person we want to be.” I equate Spirit with the interiority of your Ghost in the Quantum Turning Machine, while the boundary of the triangle defines the Digital Abstraction Layer. I sometimes use the terms self-awareness, attitude, and willpower as loose synonyms for Spirit.  I also plan to name you as both Prophet and Chief Skeptic of my newly-formed Cult of the Digital Abstraction Layer!

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How to Print Mac Scientific Posters onto Multiple Sheets of Paper

August 7, 2018 § Leave a comment

There are many ways to create scientific or other large-format posters on the Mac, but printing them out on similar-sized paper at FedEx can cost $100.  If you’re not going for tenure or selling expensive jewelry, here is a low-cost alternative using an ordinary home printer, a few dollars of posterboard.  and the $5 Mindcad Tiler from the Mac App Store.

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Sunday School 2.0: Shark Tank for Spiritual Growth

July 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

The purpose of Sunday School 2.0 is to create an adaptive architecture of participation where everyone can experience what it feels like to be children of God, including:

  1. The Security of unconditional love
  2. Service to those outside
  3. The Struggle to create something worthwhile

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