By Phil Windley

I build things; I write code; I void warranties

I build things; I write code; I void warranties

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A Healthcare Utopia of Rules; Technometria - Issue #65

I have a medical condition that requires that I get blood tests every three months. And, having recently changed jobs, my insurance, and thus the set of acceptable labs, changed recently. I know that this specific problem is very US-centric, but bear with me,…


Verifying Twitter; Technometria - Issue #64

This thread from Matthew Yglesias on Twitter proposing to charge for the blue verification checkmark got me thinking. Matthew makes some good points: Pseudonymity has value and offers protection to people who might not otherwise feel free to post if Twitter r…


The Nature of Identity; Technometria - Issue #63

Cogito, ergo sum.—René Descartes The Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648, created the concept of Westphalian sovereignty: the principle of international law that "each state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, t…


Using OpenID4VC for Credential Exchange; Technometria - Issue #62

In my discussions of verifiable credentials, I usually assume DIDs are the underlying identifier. This implies that DIDComm, the messaging protocol based on DIDs, underlies the exchange of verifiable credentials. This does not have to be the case. The OpenID …


A New Job at AWS; Technometria - Issue #61

I've been dark for a few weeks. Things have been busy. I'm retiring from BYU (after 29 years, albeit with some interruptions) and starting a new job with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The job is in AWS Identity, and involves automated reasoning (formal methods).…


ONDC: An Open Network for Ecommerce; Technometria - Issue #60

I read about the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) on Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View this week and then saw a discussion of it on the VRM mailing list. I usually take multiple hits on the same thing as a sign I ought to dig in a little more.Open Networ…


The Path to Redemption: Remembering Craig Burton; Technometria - Issue #59

When I got word that Craig Burton had died, the news wasn't unexpected. He'd been ill with brain cancer for a some time and we knew his time was limited. Craig is a great man, a good person, a valued advisor, and a fabulous friend. Craig's life is an amazing …


The Most Inventive Thing I've Done; Technometria - Issue #58

In 2007, I co-founded a company called Kynetx with Steve Fulling and realized that the infrastructure necessary for building our product did not exist. To address that gap, I invented picos, an internet-first, persistent, actor-model programming system. Being…


Decentralized Systems Don't Care; Technometria - Issue #57

I love getting Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View each week. There’s always a few things that catch my eye. Recently, he linked to a working paper from Alberto F. Alesina, el. al. called Persistence Through Revolutions (PDF). The paper looks at the fate of the ch…


Fixing Web Login; Technometria - Issue #56

You know the conventional wisdom that the “close” button in elevators isn’t really hooked up to anything. That it’s just there to make you feel good? “Keep me logged in” is digital identity’s version of that button. Why is using authenticated service on the w…


Transferable Accounts Putting Passengers at Risk; Technometria - Issue #55

Bolt is a hired-car service like Uber or Lyft. Bolt is popular because it's commissions are less than other ride-sharing platforms. In Bolt drivers in Nigeria are illicitly selling their accounts, putting passengers at risk Rest of World reports on an investi…


Twenty Years of Blogging; Technometria - Issue #54

Leslie Lamport said "If you think you understand something, and don’t write down your ideas, you only think you’re thinking." I agree wholeheartedly. I often think "Oh, I get this" and then go to write it down and find all kinds of holes in my understanding. …


Using a Theory of Justice to Build a Better Web3; Technometria - Issue #53

Philosophy discussions are the block hole of identity. Once you get in, you can't get out. Nevertheless, I find that I'm drawn to them. I'm a big proponent of self-sovereign identity (SSI) precisely because I believe that autonomy and agency are a vital part …


Decentralizing Agendas and Decisions; Technometria - Issue #52

We held the 34th Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) the last week of April. After doing the last four virtually, it was spectacular to be back together with everyone at the Computer History Museum. You could almost feel the excitement in the air as people met w…


Is an Apple Watch Enough? ; Technometria - Issue #51

Last week, I conducted an experiment. My phone battery needed to be replaced and the Authorized Apple Service Center was required to keep it while they ordered the new battery from Apple (yeah, I think that's a stupid policy too). I was without my phone for 2…


We Need a Self-Sovereign Model for IoT; Technometria - Issue #50

Last week Insteon, a large provider of smart home devices, abruptly closed its doors. While their web site is still up and advertises them as “the most reliable and simplest way to turn your home into a smart home,” the company seems to have abruptly shut dow…


John Oliver on Surveillance Capitalism; Technometria - Issue #49

Surveillance capitalism is a serious subject that can be hard to explain, let alone make interesting. I believe that it threatens our digital future. The question is "what to do about it?" John Oliver's Last Week Tonight recently took on the task of explainin…


Playing with LoraWan and Helium; Technometria - Issue #48

I’ve been interested in the internet of things (IoT) for years, even building and selling a connected car product called Fuse at one point. One of the hard parts of IoT is connectivity, getting the sensors on some network so they can send data back to whereve…


PKI and Censorship; Technometria - Issue #47

Each semester I have my distributed systems students read Rainbow's End, a science fiction book by Vernor Vinge set in the near future. I think it helps them imagine a world with vastly distributed computing infrastructure that is not as decentralized as it c…


Are Transactional Relationships Enough? Technometria - Issue #46

We don’t build identity systems to manage identities. Rather we build identity systems to manage relationships.Given this, we might rightly ask what kind of relationships are supported by the identity systems that we use. Put another way, what kind of online …