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Everything posted by Mr17Hz

  1. As an update: Currently, the only required feilds on SkydiveSecure were Name, Address, Emal, Birthdate, Gender. My purpose of these feilds was from the perspective of a dropzone - who needs this information anyway. Based on feedback; these can change to just: Name and email. Currently, the "Accept subscription" dialog has only a "Accept Deny". This can be changed to: Allow this site administrator access to: [ ] Username/Name/Email only [ ] Information required to jump (emergency contact, USPA membership info, etc.) [ ] Advanced: Let me choose which properties to publish. MemberPortals can have a list of required feilds for membership - perhaps SkydivingMovies only wants your zip code, but a dropzone wants your birthdate/height/weight/emergency contact info. This system would allow complete control over who has what. SkydiveSecure will never use any information except for your email to email you for administrative reasons. Also - I am coming up with a system where you can still provide information only to the site you're registering for - it will never be stored in the SkydiveSecure database - but this does mean that you'll have to re-enter the information for each site. This should eliminate all privacy concerns. In addition, when things are finished and stable - the entire logic flow of the system and data schemas / process / will be published, so that other IT professionals can confirm that everything is happening as stated. This is also my reason for wanting to make the service consortium run. With this changes available in a second phase, does it resolve privacy concerns? It would make the service available to those who wish to benefit from it, but not effect those who do not. Here is something to consider for those who oppose this idea: something like this is likely to happen in the next 2-3 years anyway. Rather than rejecting the idea completely with one liners - now is a great chance to shape the idea into something that you feel is more acceptable. What are your ideas to make it more acceptable? Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  2. It's not advertising because I'm not selling anything. Not only am I not selling anything, but I'm also saying that I want to see the service adminstrated by a not-for-profit consortium of businesses like the USPA and PIA. I created the system and am using it internally for RealSkydiving purposes, but the entire purpose of this post is to try to show a few others how everyone might benefit from it actually becoming a standard. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  3. Dave What Dropzones need is an effective alternative to Skyride. I'm working on it; give me another year and Dropzone’s won't need to turn to broker based sales because commission based online affiliate sales will be possible. Affiliate sales pay advertisers a percentage of sales - but in order to make it happen a system needs to be put in place that tracks sales all the way from the first visit to a website, to an exchange of money. In addition a number of web services need to exist to help provide electronic availability, quotes, and purchase orders... This puts sales in the hands of advertisers but pricing and customer service where it belongs - at the Dropzone. It's all being built right now - and after it's done; we can let business like Travelocity, Expedia, Myspace, Google, Youtube, and just about any other popular travel or social network sites give skyride a run for their money. Skyride may be a unique company in the Skydiving industry, but many other industries have seen the same problems out of other businesses. If you study patterns across other entertainment industries, you’ll see that the solution is a shift from sales brokers to sales agents. In today’s world, tools exist that allow service providers and merchants precise control over sales terms; businesses should not have to give up the right to represent their own customer service department because it is not economically feasible, they just need someone to help them put those tools to use in the industry. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  4. Why doesn't someone shut them down? I'm sure there's gotta be a programmer on this forum who could make a DDOS program that would constantly overload their servers. And I for one would be cool with losing some of my bandwidth to have it run 24-7 on my system... I'm sure there's plenty other members who would run it too... Any takers for writing and running? I can't say that I haven't been tempted - but issuing a denial of service attack is not the solution. Fighting poor ethics with poor ethics just adds to the problem. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  5. I think this is the purpose of putting the emergency contact information on the waiver itself; the waiver can indicate that it is the customers responsibility to check with their doctor if they have any questions or concerns, and that the dropzone may not be held liable. It can also specify that emergency information is collected for the sole purpose of being available to emergency response teams upon request - meaning that the dropzone is not obligated to provide it, but that it's there if necessary. Of course, the DZ can then implement a policy to make the information available right away all the time, not just when requested - they just won't be legally responsible if they don't offer it up without a request. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  6. I have been pondering this question since I first got involved in Skydiving, having narrowly avoided getting ripped off myself. The fact is, that in order to have a significant effect on problems like this, community organizations need to get involved. Sometimes this means the government and law enforcement, sometimes just loosely organized organizations of people willing to do the right thing. I would like everyone to read the thread that I've started on Pay attention to the parts that describe a self enforcing better business type organization, and the positive effect it could have on discouraging outright unethical practices. The BBB is a greate idea, but it has one problem - only a small portion of consumers ever take the time to look up a business to see if it has outstanding complaints. What if dropzones could participate in a volentary system that would cause all new customers aquired online to see BBB type reports BEFORE even registering for that site? Maintaining good business becomes self rewarding and ripping people off because self-damaging. Additionally, the BBB doesn't collect positive information. SkydiveSecure could be in the position to proactively gather positive feedback. Most organizations have not been putting much effort into resolving this issue, or simply don't have the economical influence to make a difference. A system like SkydiveSecure is a very cheap way of making a considerable difference. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  7. By removing a company from access to your information they can no longer request that information from Skydive Secure. They CAN continue to use information that they already have, provided that they kept it. This is no different than every single business you've ever done business with, they will always have any information you provide them - but will never have any new information unless you provide it to them. On a side note - US law does mean that if you remove yourself from opt-in mailing lists, etc - a business is legally oblicated to no longer solicite you. Skydive Secure has the opportunity to help enforce ethical business practices without getting the law involved: By acting as a BBB type service that almost forces new customers to look up BBB complaints before doing business with the customer; this can very quickly isolate unscrupulous business owners into the reality that they will no longer be able to participate in the SkydiveSecure system until they not only change their business practices, but satisfy customers that they've previously treated unfairly. The premise behind this feature creates a self-enforcing system that could take a large step in ridding the industry of businesses like the fictional SkyDried company that I mentioned in my original post. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  8. How much of the emergency contact information entered to you think changes in the course of a year? People change cell phone numbers all the time. By putting information in a centralized database, it makes it really easy to update information when it changes. Many people are in a hurry when they show up at a dropzone - they want to JUMP! Who knows - maybe the ability to update information online in a less pressured environment helps one single person decide to indicate that they're an asthmatic with a sever allergies to multidextrose, a chemical used in tipical IV solutions. Maybe that single skydiver happens to be the next guy that makes a mistake at 200 feet - and maybe having that extra information available before the paramedics even arrives, his live is saved. How long does it take a dropzone that uses a paper based system to look up a waiver for a customer, and how out-of-date is that information? This is just one more example of how SkydiveSecure has the ability to benefit the industry. One life saved makes the tens of thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours that I've personally invested into making this possible all worth every single penny, and every 18 hours session of coding worth it. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  9. Any shopping cart system can be integrated to use this service without a lot of hassle. What I said in my original email is that if a shopping cart service that has a checkout form directly on that website (doesn't redirect to paypal or google checkout, etc); is that the website would still be required to purchase annually a security certificate from a well known root certificate authority, and so these websites would not see the advantage of encryption without still purchasing a security certificate (this is even true of RealDropzone - dropzones will need to purchase a security certificate of their own). In no way am I attempting to tie using the service to having to purchase and use RealDropzone. If another dropzone management software product wants to integrate and do the same thing that I'm doing - that would be just fine, competition drives better products. I would actually help them do so at no cost just to help demonstrate the community advantage of a service like this. Electronic waivers are a cool concept, and only 1 or 2 DZ's DO let you print it out ahead of time - but this will be changing. Skydive Chicago will allow this for 2007 (maybe not at the beginning of the season, but soon); and I've talked to at least 5 other dropzone owners who will be using this system as soon as it is economically feasible - the low cost of RealDropzone compaired to the value gained from it makes it more than economically feasible - but potentially profitable. I'm not trying to sell this system to put it into place, this system is already being put into place, I've already sold the concept to dropzone owners; all I am trying to do by this post is share the possibilities of how the entire community could benefit from a standard system; rather than ONLY dropzones running my software. As many people pointed out, if the USPA were to jump on board it could made the entire system that much better - but even without their support; this is still going live at participating dropzones. SkydiveSecure is by no means the selling point of my software, I don't need others to participate to sell the product; but the fact is that others can benefit from it, and I am willing to help them benefit. I'm looking at the big picture - the skydiving industry as a whole has the ability to benefit. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  10. A shopping cart system will integrate just fine, that's exactly what RealDropzone is. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  11. You were not required to provide any information that Skydive Chicago did not already require before being allowed to jump at the dropzone. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  12. Things that you can do at a dropzone's website that would require logging in: - Posting on the DZ Forum - Uploading pictures to the gallery - Looking at your account balance - Looking at your jump times / dates to assist in filling out a logbook at the end of the weekend. - Fund your jump account. - RSVP for free events, or register for events with registration fees. - Reserve a tandem skydive. - Schedule a previously purchased but unscheduled tandem skydive. - Message a friend you met at the dropzone. - Find out when your last repack was. - Edit the content of a website for an event you're organizing. Or - signing onto the dropzones website from the wireless network directly at the dropzone: - Manifest for a load - View load manifests and slot availability - Organizers can manifest entire groups for a load. If you truely can't see the value in being able to log into a dropzone's website, then you're not the kind of person that would use the website anyway, and it doesn't matter. As far as selling tandem certificates - how long does it take you to check in a tandem student? By collecting their information ahead of time - the check in process can take less than 10 seconds per customer because all that you're doing is verifying information. By giving tandem students accounts, it encourages them to sign on again to leave feedback about their experiences, enables them to participate in second jump discounts through online purchasing. It also enables you participate in customized opt-in email champaigns such as emailing customers you haven't seen in over a year, offering them discounts durring the slow seasons when you're just trying to get the planes flying - or birthday discounts. Having a a community website in which community members identify themselves and build dynamic content is very successful in building a relationship with your customers - rather than considering them a product on an assembly line. I would consider the fact that you've only logged into the USPA website once in 12 years a perfect argument to how badly they need to improve their information systems. Check your watch, it's 2007 already. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  13. Very rarely does operational efficiency lead to reduced pricing for the customer. It generally relates to increased margins for the organization. Exactly! -The neatest thing about this is that the change only has to be made to the root Skydive Secure profile and all of a sudden all dropzones would have this new information without any change on their own website, local software, or anywhere! Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  14. That is because the USPA database is a joke. For what it is worth, I somewhat like where you are going with this idea. I think you might get more support for it if you do better to integrate with USPA. Though, who knows if they want to get involved. The USPA database is a joke. I emailed them 2 years ago about providing a SOAP based web service that could be used to electronically query the data, they indicated that it was not likely to be in the budget and that security considerations were an issue. Security would actualy be considerably MORE secure than the existing system they have. I mailed the USPA with a copy of the original post on this thread - I'm not sure who to contact directly but I sent it to the general mailbox. I would be really suprised if they had an IT guy on staff. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  15. As a data security expert, I do have my own opinions on all of this, but I really don't want to turn this thread into a privacy and data security discussion. The point is that if you don't want to use the service then you don't have to. If you don't want to purchase something online then you can go to the store. If you don't want someone to know your address then you don't give it too them... All of these issues are exactly the same as before; you don't need to use the service. The service benefits people who are already entering information online, already making online purchases, already checking bank statements and paying bills online... Think about it this way, because your neighbor is using online billing with the bank of america and files taxes online, costs to the bank of america and the government are lower. You can still go directly into the bank, send your US Post mail, and fill out your tax forms on paper to be mailed in with receipts; and still enjoy the higher interest rates because the bank has less expenses. Implementing the system won't effect those who don't use it - it's that easy. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  16. For those that are particularly worried about privacy issues, you probably don't fill out any information on websites already, or purchase anything online, and for those people, there is no requirement to use the service. Most profile properties are optional, you only have to provide as much information as you want to... Nothing changes regaurding privacy than what already exists. If you're the type of person that doesn't like filling information in online, this service still benefits you - it saves time for everyone who doesn't mind filling things in on online - lowering USPA membership costs and your jump prices. You're not required to fill out information online - it just means that when you get to a dropzone it's going to take you longer to check in. That's your right. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  17. I would guess you meant 'adds' but therein lies my concern, the 'wealth' generated by selling someone 'personal' information... and record of travel, expenditures, type of equipment, etc. may be of more value than the actual service. And I don't want my life that much of an open book. At least not until 1984 anyway! Skydive Secure does not allow any particular business access to your information unless you allow it. What they do with your information is no different than what they would do with it after they collect it at the manifest office or on your waiver. The only thing that this system changes is that information moves around easier because all you need to do is log in and click an accept button instead of filling out the same forms over and over again. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  18. I am posting this today to introduce Skydive Secure to the community on Aside from a few conversations I’ve had with a dozen or so people, this is my first public explanation of a service that I’ve created to provide to the community at no cost for the purpose of an incredible industry even more incredible. I’ve posted this message first on for the purpose of generating useful discussions and comments, as well as begin to make organizations aware of the service through word-of-mouth discussion. I am a software guy, not a salesman. I will continue to check this thread to reply to any questions that may be had. I would ask that the forum vultures and trolls please reframe from posting without first reading the entire post. Many of you already know who I am and what I do, but for those who don’t, my name is Matt Christenson, and I am the founder a software company specifically targeting the skydiving industry, RealSkydiving Incorporated. Our primary product is a Dropzone management product named RealDropzone™, after it hits the market our efforts will change to focus on improving the options available for ethical online marketing in the industry by creating a number of B2B (Business to Business) web services to assist in allowing for commission based sales, but that’s not what this notice is about. Before I begin describing Skydive Secure and its potential value to the international Skydiving industry, I want to identify that my desire for it is to eventually be a not-for-profit consortium of its own. While currently owned and maintained by RealSkydiving Incorporated, I do not intend to be the “owner” of the service for any longer than what is necessary to get it started. My plan is to turn it into an international not-for-profit consortium that will maintain the service and its policies as soon as it is economically feasible to do so. I created Skydive Secure to solve a few problems I was having when envisioning RealDropzone™. The purpose of my product is to streamline business at Dropzones as efficiently as possible, eliminating time consuming tasks from both office employees and skydivers alike, as well as opening up a number of new possibilities in online marketing – one of the goals in any business is to eliminate double entry into multiple systems, speed up information collection, and eliminate erroneous data. Skydive Secure was created as a core component to a number of time and money saving features. When I began working on Skydive Secure, almost 12 months ago, it was originally going to be a proprietary system for RealDropzone™ users, mostly for economical reasons – but the more I thought about the possibilities that the system introduces – the more I realized how the service could help just about everyone in the skydiving industry catch up with all of those industries that have the advantage of millions, even billions, of dollars being invested into information technology. In addition to the economical advantages provided to businesses of every type, Skydive Secure ads a wealth convenience features to skydivers themselves. I was originally going to wait to bring this to the public until I had proven it with RealDropzone™, around 100 users have already experienced the surface of the functionality it provides. In a recent correspondence with Jan Meyer of Aerosoftware, she mentioned her product Motion Manager, which the USPA is adapting to handle electronic voting. I should mention that Motion Manager was not the topic of conversation, and that I really know very little about the product – except that I think it’s great that we’re seeing this kind of technology in the hands of the USPA. The concept brought up the question for me: if USPA members are to vote electronically at the next BOD elections – how will user authentication take place? The USPA does not currently have a user sign-on system on their website, last I used any functionality at all, the best they had was a one-transaction-at-a-time payment form for renewals. This realization is what caused me to decide to go public with this service and it’s capabilities now, instead of later – because if I wait too long to attempt to centralize the industry’s focus with my ideas on an industry portable single-sign-on service, funds may be spend down the wrong path; making it harder to capture as much value as possible in participation. Skydive Secure (which, yes, I will finally describe in a minute) is not completely mature yet – it has past beta testing and is currently in operation in its first phase at, but you won’t be able to see the value unless you look at it from the perspective of participating business and websites. Currently, the only company using Skydive Secure is Skydive Chicago, and it has just been activated this last week; so it’s got some growing to do. I am writing this now in effort to get organizations, businesses, industry websites, and Dropzones thinking about the value and planning for the future when considering new software products, website services, and added online functionality. So what is Skydive Secure? Skydive secure is a single sign-on service for Skydivers, at its surface it is a service that provides a single username and password for skydivers to use to sign on to industry websites, but it’s value to the community goes considerably deeper than what is on the surface. The subscriber based profile model built into Skydive Secure allows customers (skydivers) themselves to maintain personal data. Personal information such as names, addresses, age, jump numbers, timezone preferences, language / preferred locale information, is maintained by the customers themselves directly on the Skydive Secure website. Participating websites, or ‘MemberPortals’, integrate with Skydive Secure so that in order to log on to the MemberPortal, the user signs into Skydive Secure using his or her SkydiveSecureID™. MemberPortals then subscribe to information related to user accounts, allowing everyone to be easily and automatically updated when information, such as a user address changes. Privacy is protected for the SkydiveSecureID™ customer from unwanted MemberPortals accessing their profile information, in order for a MemberPortal to subscribe to SkydiveSecureID™ profile information, the customer must first allow that MemberPortal access by using a form like the one attached, which is displayed seamlessly the first time a SkydiveSecureID™ customer accesses a particular MemberPortal’s website. The SkydiveSecureID™ customer always has complete control over which MemberPortal’s are allowed access to their personal information. Already, you can begin to see value, consider the following Scenario: Skydiver Billy jumps at West Side Skydiving, he registers for the West Side Skydiving website which forwards him to, where he creates his SkydiveSecureID™ profile and is then redirected back to signed in, West Side Skydiving is now subscribed to Billy’s information, which includes his name, address, contact information, membership numbers, emergency contact information, and any special health conditions that may be important for emergency personal to know in the event of an emergency (drug allergies). Billy decides that he’s going to visit a new Dropzone on the east side of town, curiously named East Side Skydiving. Billy goes to, he is redirected to where he is asked if he would like to provide the East Side Skydiving company with access to his personal information. Billy accepts the agreement with a single click and East Side Skydiving’s Dropzone software is automatically updated with his personal information, including emergency contact information and membership numbers. All of this happened with one click of the mouse – no information had to be typed, entered manually at the Dropzone by an employee, read over the phone, or entered into 3 different software packages. A few months later, Billy moves out of his apartment and into his new home, he updates his address on the Skydive Secure website and both WestSideSkydiving and EastSideSkydiving are able to query that new address the next time he signs onto the site. MemberPortals can maintain a log of historic values to protect against a SkydiveSecureID™ member changing his information to fictional values. Let’s say that Billy finds out that East Side Skydiving decides to partner with a company called SkyDried – an online ticket broker with business practices that Billy does not agree with. Billy decides he won’t be a patron of East Side Skydiving anymore, so he goes to and removes from his membership list, at that point East Side Skydiving can no longer query profile changes to Billy’s account – they will only have information that was retrieved while Billy was a customer. The above was a very simple example of how Skydive Secure can make the life of a Skydiver easier, and also make the Dropzone itself more efficient by reducing the amount of office work required at check-in to a mere visual verification of data from a government issued ID, and the signature witness of a pre-filled out waiver. If 30,000 Skydivers save a Dropzone 5 minutes of time from an $8/hr employee at a Dropzone once a year – the Skydiving economy benefits by $20,000 in extra resources. Obviously not every Dropzone and skydiver is going to jump on this system, but the savings and convenience is already noticeable. Taking things to the next step, we can add to the system by allowing MemberPortal’s to create their own SkydiveSecureID™ properties for other subscribers to consume. Consider that the USPA decides to use to handle their online member services; the USPA can add their own property fields, such as USPA Membership Number, a list of license numbers, membership expiration dates, and awards, which become associated with a particular SkydiveSecureID™. The USPA becomes the owner of these properties; they maintain the data internally – which can be wired into their internal databases. Consider the following. Billy hasn’t jumped in a few weeks and decides to spend the weekend jumping at West Side Skydiving, when he attempts to manifest, the employee notifies him that his USPA Membership has expired, and that they have a strict policy of requiring current membership. Billy calls the USPA and provides them with his credit card number and an employee at the USPA processes the order, which updates their database, which updates skydive secure, which updates the system at West Side Skydiving. Billy then manifests himself successfully. Alternatively, Billy might use his PDA cell phone or an internet terminal at the Dropzone to renew his membership on the USPA website. In this scenario, the Dropzone was able to save administrative time in checking Billy’s USPA membership expiration date by manually accessing the web pages they provide for this, as well as receive a confirmation from the USPA that his membership had been renewed – without pickup up the phone or going through any other hassle. There’s more to my story: West Side Skydiving decides to start using the coolest new Dropzone software package on the market, RealDropzone™ (shameless plug), RealDropzone automatically maintains a SkydiveSecureID™ property array that lists how many jumps a skydiver makes, and when. The USPA, being a subscriber, is now able to get an exact number of jumps that that each one of their members makes during the course of a year at all of the Dropzones that run this software – allowing them to release more accurate information in their annual incident analysis, providing the US jumping community with more value. Johnny is in college for information technology and a sport jumper when money allows. His love for the sport has him decide that he’d like to set up a new website called, where Skydivers report malfunctions that they’ve experienced, the equipment they were jumping, any video of the incident, and how they fixed the problem. He wants to build the site quickly but still wants to integrate with Skydive Secure, so he uses the free client DotNetNuke modules that I’ve written that allow websites running DotNetNuke to integrate quickly with little or no development overhead. His website becomes very popular and frequently used, particularly because all other Skydive Secure MemberPortals can query information about statistics… The USPA can look at malfunction rates of their members, Gear manufacturers that integrate with Skydive Secure can encourage customers to register their purchases on their website, enabling them access to profile information published by Other countries member groups can see their own member’s statistics as well. For security measures, users are always redirected to the Skydive Secure website to sign into a MemberPortal’s website. This is done instead of placing Username and Password fields on the MemberPortal’s website itself. This is by design and to solve two different security issues: • Passwords are never entered on a MemberPortal’s website which means that they do not have the capability to capture a SkydiveSecureID™ password to use unscrupulously. This protects MemberPortal’s from each other, as well as protects the privacy of the skydiver. • By usernames and passwords only being entered on the Skydive Secure website, we can help prevent an internet attack known as password phishing (tricking a user into entering their username and password in a “fake” website made to look legit). Users can be warned only to enter their password when they see the URL begin with I should note that will never list the participating businesses on its website. This is to protect competing businesses from each other. The site has been designed in such a way that navigating directly to allows only the ability to sign in and to edit profile and membership information; the site will seem somewhat senseless to someone that navigates directly to it and does not know it’s purpose; this is by design. Entering the Skydive Secure login page from a MemberPortal page will alter the login layout to represent the entry point for that particular session. If a user happens to stumble upon a second website that uses, it will have been due to influences outside of Skydive Secure. This architecture also allows for a unique opportunity to promote ethical business practices, Skydive Secure has would have the opportunity to become a 3rd party service similar to the Better Business Bureau, with the added twist that in addition to accepting complains, positive customer feedback is proactively gathered with automatic surveys being emailed out after tandem appointments. A code of conduct can be created that lists a set of rules that participating Dropzones must follow. Example rules might be: • A Dropzone must communicate refund policies before accepting money for goods, or else offer a full refund upon request. • A Dropzone must clearly communicate its physical location before accepting money for goods. If a valid complaint is received, researched, and confirmed to be true and unresolved – that negative mark would show up on the new user registration form for that dropzone’s website until such time that the difference was settled. The entire premise of this system is that no Dropzone would ever sign up for the service if it did not intent to follow these simple ethical business guidelines – the threat of having an unsettled complaint would jeopardize business drastically because for as long as a Dropzone participates as a MemberPortal of Skydive Secure – it would never want a single unresolved complaint. Off hand, I can only think of around one company, and a few hundred websites that this might negatively affect. In order for Skydive Secure to be accepted by the industry, it must be a free service, or very close too it. The site has been designed to keep operating costs at a minimum, Hosting fees are likely never to exceed $4,800 using leased servers to avoid unexpected hardware costs, two servers are being used to support redundancy as well as allow for software updates without downtime. RealSkydiving will continue to provide developer resources when necessary, as we see value from the project. All Skydive Secure side development will always be done at no cost to the implementer, however remote side integration is the responsibility of the MemberPortal. Donations will graciously be collected to cover hosting fees and RealSkydiving Incorporated will cover the remaining costs. RealSkydiving has designed client side components for the DotNetNuke content management system (CMS). DotNetNuke is the CMS chosen to host RealDropzone™’s web components. These DotNetNuke components are available free of charge. For information on DotNetNuke, visit While integration on the client end may require custom development, documentation will be provided so that any seasoned software developer can perform advanced integration. In addition, client packages will be provided for free for simple integration, there is a DotNetNuke client module already available. For example, if a 4-way team wanted to enable Skydive Secure authentication on their team website and forums, a non developer could set this up without too much trouble. Skydive Secure also offers a number of advantages to websites by handling many features that might otherwise need to be developed for. Integration using existing client components is fast and easy, and brings with it all of the following features: • Skydive Secure is hosted as a secure encrypted website, eliminating the need for client certificates on MemberPortal sites interested only in encrypted login. (sites accepting credit cards will still need a certificate) • Email validation requires a user to login using a verification code retrieved through their email address. • Username retrieval and password resetting features are implemented in a way that provides users ease of retrieval in a way that protects against hackers. • Hacking attempts are proactively monitored and accounts are locked accordingly to ensure customer security. • CAPTCHA will be included in Phase 2 of the registration process, and in certain login situations. CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is the feature that you’ve seen that requires users to type a string a graphic image that is difficult for computer bots to read. CAPTCHA helps significantly reduce spam bot activity on websites. • Skydive Secure already has custom registration forms to query skydiving industry information. No custom data collection forms need to be designed for any MemberPortal sites. • Allow seem-less moving from partnered company sites maintaining login (from a dropzone to that dropzone’s pro-shop or tandem video shop) • Because during a single browsing session you only need to sign in once, if a user visits a Dropzone’s website ( and follows a link to the USPA website – the user is automatically logged into the USPA website. This means that a large portion of what used to be anonymous hits to the USPA website can now be tied with an individual user – giving the USPA a better idea of who is visiting their site, and how regularly. Advantages go beyond web use; we plan to have self manifesting kiosks at Skydive Chicago before the end of the season. Skydivers will use their SkydiveSecureID™ login and password to manifest themselves. In the future, RFID login tokens may be assigned to speed up the authentication at these terminals, as well as allow for automatic tracking of who is on a plane, and who has entered the packing area after landing (quickly identifying individuals who may have landed off) A few technical details: Integration through Skydive Secure is done through SOAP web services; allowing any hosting platform or server language to integrate with it, we could assist in creating client components for languages we’re unfamiliar with by providing the API (application programming interface) specification, or create client components for platforms that we’re already familiar with. I firmly believe that the value behind a service like this being implemented is immeasurable. It benefits membership organizations, manufacturers, Dropzones, software packages, and skydivers themselves. Skydive Secure is not a pipe dream; it is a technology that is currently in use. RealDropzone™ is already consuming the service, we’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars in resources, months of development time architecting, coding, testing, and implementing the solution to be flexible and secure. I would love to see other companies, organizations, and individuals interested in integrating with this service, specifically well known organizations that are required to maintain their own membership information such as the USPA. Organizations like, Skydive Radio, Rigminder, and other useful industry websites could benefit from integrating as well; and participation may help convince organizations such as the USPA to participate. I would appreciate anyone in an influential position in the industry contacting me at [email protected] to discuss how we might join together to bring the Skydiving industry into the next century of data management. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  19. Matt, what's up with the SDC forums? I can no longer login. Try a second time - let me know if you're still having problems, I was just updating security settings and that may have been the cause - although I'm not sure why it would have effected non admin accounts. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  20. Canopy Piloting information is still being drafted, you'll find it on the same information page. I've also added a forum to the Skydive Chicago forums specifically for discussion about the Nationals event. A lot of locals read the forum, as well as SDC staff, so you're more likely to get answers about accomidations an well as event coordination on there. SDC is working on a skeletin staff until they open for the season in two weeks - at that point you'll get answers more quickly. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  21. I've got a rough draft but need to have it confirmed before I post it - check back in a week and we'll have something up. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  22. 2007 USPA Nationals registration is online at You can also find information related to local hotels (I would recommend booking sooner than later - there are only so many hotels close by in Ottawa) If there is any information that is missing but would be helpful, please let us know. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  23. I don't know the answer to this - but if it is - they're doing something drastically wrong. Almost *ALL* magazines are paid for entirely by advertisers. The *only* reason most magazine companies charge for magazines is because advertisers *require* them to charge shipping and handling fees so that they know that the magazine is only being sent to people that WANT them. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  24. I don't know - but this question has an expiration date to it, as there are new members each year. You're clearly not paying any attention to political issues. I never once mentioned the price of oil. The new FAA fee plan would increase tax prices on turbine aircraft fuel in efforts to fund their new air traffic control systems - a variety of homeland security 'enhancements' - increase the cost to pilots for maintaining licensing - and all sorts of other increases that are "targeted" at big airliners but could cripple skydiving in the US if the bills are not changed to accomidate non-transportation flights. How many staff do you think it would take to setup programs to sent each new tandem passenger a complementary introductory Parachutist magazine, hold marketing related group meetings more often than once-per-year, add value to those meetings causing more dropzone owners to actually show up, or gain national publicity through press releases? The USPA is a not-for-profit organization - there are not shareholders that take the extra cash available and pocket the money at the end of the year. I'm sure there are plenty of things they could do that would improve the overall economy in this vertical industry - if they were not always concerned about not spending money. This post wasn't targeted at any specific issue - I was really more interested in hearing about what people felt in general - because each time a specific issue comes up - the idea of raising member prices seems to be avoided. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.
  25. I've noticed a lot of conversations lately about how membership groups outside of the US are charging considerably more than the USPA to provide the same type of services. Most people take the attitude that higher rates are bad - I'm not so sure I agree. *IF* a governing organization is spending money wisely - every dollar spent is well spent. Consider that everyone in the sport pays an extra $20 for membership next year: That’s just a single jump, but the USPA has to potential to not only prevent those prices from going up (have you read about the proposed $0.70 per gallon tax increase?) and also lower those prices by driving new tandem students to the sport, and encourage more people to enter the sport as fun jumpers. If the USPA collects $20 extra from each member = that's around $600,000/yr. Now consider the economical impact that $600,000.00 worth of resources could have on the entire Skydiving community as a whole. If the USPA could prevent jump tickets from going up in price by just $1 each on average next year – all that means is that each member would need to make an average of 20 jumps before the entire US skydiving economy would benefit. I have heard a lot of people complain about the level of output that has been received by the USPA, I can’t say that I disagree – but I have noticed that everyone in the USPA seems to talk about doing everything they can to avoid membership prices. Why, I wonder? I’m much more concerned about seeing output than I am saving $20 a year. Matt Christenson [email protected] - A new breed of dropzone manifest software.