fen's blog

Right Livlihood

I work with CivicActions, and one of the best things about this gig is the lifestyle that it allows me to enjoy. CivicActions is a small but growing band of technology revolutionaries writing free and open source code for progressive organizations and political campaigns.

EEKim Speaks Out on Free Identity

Eugene Kim writes about the social, as well as the technical need for Free Identity. Check it out.

But what are they good for?

Drummond Reed offers some practical answers to dizzy who asked some reasonable questions about i-names. I'd like to add a couple small points. First, I'd like to stress that I agree with dizzy that i-names need services to become useful. Besides the three that Drummond mentioned, we have plans - limited only by our resources - for many more, including:

And now for something completely different...

At a gathering after yesterday's events of Digital ID World, Peter Davis suggested I do a Google search for "XML-dev Monty Python". I was ROTFL while reading the thread of Monty Python-inspired commentary on semantic web goodliness starting here.


Four More "Laws of Identity"

I (along with most if not all of the digital identity crowd) have been following the development (as well as, it appears, the general acceptance) of Kim Cameron's seven Laws of Identity with great interest.

Patterns of Community Development

I've recently returned to the study of design patterns, originally stemming from Christopher Alexander's book, A Pattern Language. While the book concerns itself with patterns in physical architecture, software architects embraced the concept as they saw patterns in the design of software systems. The state of the art in Computer Science has, in only a few short years, embraced the concept of patterns, and with many tools, languages and conferences devoted to software design patterns and languages.

Open source rant

The following is a rant on Open Source vs. Free Software, with Java as the protagonist. While I am pragmatic and appreciate what Java offers (fast development, powerful tools, strong support) I have also voiced at times my concerns over its use, particularly within the non-profit and NGO markets that we have been looking at pursuing.


I haven't blogged for over a month, so here's a random rant to try to kick start this for me again...

Since the Xerox machine, people have been able to make easy copies of "the news," but forgery was tough as (say) the New York Times had a distinctive type face and "feel" to it.

Now with the Internet, it's trivial to make forgeries. (Phishing attacks work by creating convincing forgeries of trusted web sites.) It's deep within my philosophy that anything that can be reduced to bits (what I generically call "software") should be free.

Less Databases

Just came across Chis Ceppi's blog posts on more Less Databases. He suggests that:

...some aggregation of identity information into centralized systems would be a big step in the right direction.

Global Voices

Joi Ito wrote today about Global Voices (blog, wiki) which is "a name, an identity, a watchword to ward away the chills of restricted expression. A place for coordinating ideas; a source for inspiration; an optimistic, collaborative manifesto".

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