fen's blog

Against Software and Process Patents

I have watched in great sadness as well as some very real fear for my profession as I've seen software - and worse: process - patents gain hold in this country driven by forces of great wealth and power aimed at maintaining their wealth and power at the cost of innovation. I was in the software labs of the late '70s when things like object oriented programming, bitmapped displays, email, and modern operating system theory were being developed and nothing was even copyrighted.


The U.S. Government is suing Google for non-compliance after the DOJ requested Google users' search records. AOL, MSN and Yahoo all complied with the DOJ requests, which were couched in terms of the fight against child porn. This is being reported by ZDnet, Bloomberg and other sources.

we are becoming our worst enemy

I regularly read SlashDot, which is a geek news site that gives paragraph intros to a linked full story and then people can comment on it. One section of their site, called Your Rights Online recently published this article reporting about a Dartmouth student being visited by the SS after requesting a book that contains information contrary to the state.

Vying for your Attention

The problem with both Root and Attention Trust is that they collect, store and use your data in ways that are not always under your control, and you have no recourse other than to delete your data so they can't use it anymore - assuming they actually delete it.

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.

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