fen's blog

FOAF meets XRI

FOAF uses the mbox field as a primary key. Here's a super-simple FOAF record:

Virtual Rights

Jaco Aizenman just wrote me via the Anonymity group of orkut asking for

any comments you may have on Virtual Rights and Virtual Identity.

Details on:

Virtual Rights:

  1. To have a Virtual Identity
  2. Not to have a Virtual Identity

Letting Go

I've been running my web servers off of a machine in my home office for eleven years (since August 1993).

Lessig on IP

I have fought software patents for years, and am equally appalled at the creeping (creepy?) unlimited enforcement of copyright. Staford law professor Lawrence Lessig recently had this to say:

Tuesday sharpened the definition of the ongoing legal struggle to satisfy both proprietary and open source advocates through equitable intellectual property regulations.

Identity Commons

We're trying out new ways of saying what we do. Here's one I sent a friend this evening...

The gist of what we're up to involves returning control over people's identities to the rightful owners - the people themselves. Today, many corporations each own bits and pieces of one's identity, and buy, sell and trade this information for their profit. A huge additional expense is incurred by each of these corps in trying to keep the data accurate and up-to-date, such as when people move, etc.


At the Identity Commons we're building a persistent global and/or local identity infrastructure using the OASIS standard for Extensible Resource Identifiers (XRI).


As I continue to work with Identity Commons, a colleague just pointed me to SharedId which is

... an authentication service that allows web users to share their personal information in a controlled manner with their favorite websites. SharedID is built on the open standards RSS, RDF and FOAF. [sharedid.com]

While this sounds promising, unfortunately SharedId is exactly the wrong thing.

How to Save the World

As you can tell, I'm not much of a blogger - no entries for five months! But when I saw the How to Save the World roadmap I had to say something about it. The 27 steps outlined are so simple and straightforward - it's a shame that we fancy ourselves "civilized" yet the chances of these steps being followed by any organization or government of significant size are minimal.

Dean for President

I just saw Howard Dean speak, and though I've liked him - and have planned to vote for him - for some time now, I'm finally jazzed enough to start telling people about him. He spoke on the economy, foreign policy and education, and then answered questions.


Finally signed on to Henri Poole's excellent Affero service - check it out (and if you're glad I sent you, let me know).

Lots going on, and there's always so much more to do.

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