fen's blog

Google's Friend Connect vs. Your Privacy

Google is announcing Friend Connect tonight, a service advertised to "help website owners grow traffic by enabling any site on the web to easily provide social features for its visitors." Friend Connect employs OpenID and OAuth which is a good start, but how it puts them together is lacking vision and, disturbingly, may raise significant privacy concerns.

A Community Garden

I just read an excellent article from the New York Times that a colleague sent me (have I mentioned recently that I love working for CivicActions?) that has me once again thinking that I want to grow some vegetables.

Top 5 Reasons to Build an L.E.E.D. Certified High School

By Rob Papke, Mt. Lebanon Council PTA Environmental Chair

Barack, not Hillary

Chances are that if you live in the US, you might be voting February 5th. If you are undecided, or if you are leaning toward a candidate who is not Barack Obama, please read the following.

For those of you leaning toward Hillary Clinton: She is completely disqualified for so many reasons that I will have to give just the highlights here. I'll start with a practical, tactical and strategic argument for my fellow Democrats and independents.

"Yes We Can" Obama Music Video

Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am and director Jesse Dylan, Bob Dylan's son created this "song" - essentially written by Barack Obama. The lyrics are adapted from his "Yes We Can" speech after the New Hampshire primary. "Yes We Can" was inspired by Cesar Chavez's motto for a United Farm Workers hunger strike in 1972.


I remember back to when I was five - starting to become aware of the world around me - and John Fitzgerald Kennedy was president.

Mountaintop Removal Mining

It is troubling that the growing theocracy in this country and connections between church and state has increased in me a distrust of religion - and thus religious people - when the fact is that there are many good religious people and most religions are built upon good ideals such as peace, justice and harmony with each other and with nature.

Last Day for Great Harvest

Mt Lebanon and the whole South Hills is about to lose (IMO) one of its most valuable assets - Great Harvest Bakery located directly across from the Lebanon shops. Tomorrow, Friday the 30th of November, 2007 will be the last day this fine bakery will offer its unique-to-this-area mix of whole-wheat and cracked-grain breads, muffins and other delectable delights. Nowhere else in this area (that I know of, anyway) can one escape the bland, unhealthy white-flour breads and muffins, and as of Saturday, well, I guess we'll just have to bake our own.

Internet Identity Workshop Dec 3-5

Just finished installing OpenID into the IIW MediaWiki - please see http://iiw.idcommons.net/

This was much harder than it should have been, as there are multiple OpenID plugins that claim to work with MediaWiki, and several of these claim to work with the latest OpenID-2.0.0-rc5 but finally the new version 0.7.0 of the standard MediaWiki OpenID extension fit the bill perfectly after dropping back to the v1.2.3 library.

Week Two in Mt. Lebanon

It's my second week here at our new house in Pittsburgh, PA on Roycroft Avenue, and much has changed. Perhaps the best part (for me) is that I'm no longer sleeping on the floor (as I did the first days here). No, the best part for me is that we're now cooking and eating at home. No, the best part for me is how much my five-year-old son Steven loves it here.

Well, OK, there are a lot of "best parts for me." Like the fact that this place is ours, and it's coming together into a wonderfully livable place. What a house!

IIW, Day One

Day one at the Internet Identity Workshop, or IIW2007, began with Eugene Kim - Chairman-elect of Identity Commons ("2.0", now with rounded corners), asking those attending their first IIW to stand up - over two-thirds of the 150 or so people in the room stood up. This is a great trend - the word is getting out!

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