Maryland Considering Digital Signatures


Maryland Digital Signature

Hey… I just read (i got it almost 3 months ago in the mail…) the quarterly newsletter from the Maryland State Board of Engineers. An article in this newsletter caught my eye simply because every firm and government agency I visit is talking about how to streamline plan delivery and recording of said plans.

Here’s a snippet of the newsletter:

Regulations Allowing Digital Signatures to be Published
For several years, the Board for Professional Engineers has been discussing how to implement the use of digital signatures on engineering documents that are submitted to clients and public authorities for permit purposes. This spring, a set of proposed regulations has been formulated, and the Board intends to have them published in the Maryland Register shortly.The regulations are intended to allow for, but not require, the use of digital signatures by professional engineers. They do so by clarifying the definition the definition of “original signature” in Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. §14-4A-02(a)(1). If a professional engineer opts to sign and seal documents with digital signature instead of a handwritten one, the digital signature will be acceptable in Maryland as long as it satisfies the following four requirements:

  1. It contains identification unique to a licensee using it, such as the licensee’s name and license number;
  2. It is under the exclusive control of the licensee using it;
  3. It cannot be repudiated and is independently verifiable; and
  4. It is linked to the document in such a manner that the digital signature is invalidated if any data in the document is modified.

After the proposed regulations are published, there will be a comment period for the public to respond, followed by final action to adopt them at the next open meeting of the Board.

The question is more around defining authenticity it seems. We all like to DIGITIZE our signatures for letters and other transmissions. In this case, it seems the Board is looking more for a DIGITAL signature. What’s the difference? Wikipedia says…

digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or document.

What do think, is this a digital signature?

MDpeseal

Me thinks this would meet three of the four requirements mentioned above. The difference is the fourth requirement – invalidating the signature if the file is modified. To get that level of authenticity, we can create our own PKI or self signed certificate. But this can be duplicated by anyone. What may be a solution is for a firm to create a Coporate PKI. Many states already have a requirement that the firm maintain a Certificate of Authenticity to practice Surveying/Engineering in a given state. Interestingly, Maryland is also implementing this requirement in October 2015. They are terming it a FIRM PERMIT.

So, it seems that the onus of authenticity may shift from the individual to the firm in order to manage the digital stamps. What say you community?

Automatically Adjust Pipe Labels for Pipe Length


Kevin:

Brian nails this… Always good to see tiny user workflows that pay huge dividends!

Originally posted on Civil 3D Plus:

So you have some short pipes and you have some long pipes. Labeling the long pipes is just fine but when you label the short pipes, the text is longer than the pipe so you have to manually edit the label and put those line breaks in or you have to change the style the label is using for one that stacks the different pieces of data. Well NO MORE! Come on now! This is CIVIL 3D we’re talking about!

As long as you have Civil 3D 2012 that is…

Anyways, in Civil 3D 2012 there is a new option in the label style to set a maximum length to a text component. We can use this to specify how long we want the label to be. Now, the trick here is to use an expression for the maximum label length. We have to do this because the length of…

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Civil 3D Wish – Surface definition order


Ever wonder why your surface contours aren’t behaving properly?

image

In most cases, the issue can be found in the order of operations in the surface properties. In the screen grab below, the issue is simply that the outer boundary should be at the end to ensure that data added later will still be limited by that boundary.

SNAGHTML556b41

After having conversations with folks in training classes as well as support calls, I’ve come up with a solution. It would be great if….

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U2’s Bono interview about Christ


Kevin:

So here’s a departure from the normal engineering chatter. I found this interesting not because of the topic but because of how clearly Bono speaks of his faith. I wonder if I have that same clarity of mind, do you?

Originally posted on No Apologizing:

Okay….so I am always on the lookout for how celebrities describe their faith.  I find it interesting.  9 times out of 10 they end up creating a God that does not exist in the Bible.  Then along comes this excerpt from a book where Bono from U2 is being interviewed about his faith.  Actually the interview is from September 2010…but never the less it is an incredible read.  The following excerpt is from the poached egg and can be found at this link.

Christians in a rock band?

 

Bono: My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don’t let my religious world get…

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Part Builder Land Mines


And… I’m back.  I’ve spent that last 2 months working on standardizing a local engineering firm. However, it was only scheduled to be a week and a half.  So what happened? Lots of answers there really. But one that most people can empathize with is Part Builder. A portion of my todo list required that certain parts be built. On the initial proposal, I gave an estimate of time for this task. Yes. I. Missed. That. Goal.

FLARED END SECTION

Through all of the madness, here’s two tidbits that we need to keep in mind…

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iPad Emulator?


Just a quick note.  I came across a helpful tidbit last week regarding Apple products and how to demonstrate various things without actually owning said device. First, why do I need to do this? Well, for starters, Autodesk has become very cloud and mobile centric. As such, it becomes increasingly difficult to both demonstrate and educate firms and employees about these services. Until now.

May I introduce to you ipadpeek.com.

Autodesk AutoCAD 360

Autodesk AutoCAD 360

 

I am now able to provide adequate demonstration/education with having to own or even find a way to project said devices.  Now, i do realize this is completely web based and there are no apps to display.  My primary focus using this tool is to educate people around the Autodesk 360 service as well as Infrastructure Map Server and how we can leverage design information in the field….

 

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