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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Leveraging the Identity Metasystem; Technometria - Issue #34

Yesterday, I noticed the following tweet (since deleted):


Digital Memories; Technometria - Issue #33

In a recent thread on the VRM mailing list, StJohn Deakins of Citizen Me shared a formulation of interactions that I thought was helpful in unpacking the discussions about data, identity, and ownership. His framework concerns analog vs digital memories.In rea…


Zero Knowledge Proofs; Technometria - Issue #32

Suppose Peggy needs to prove to Victor that she is in possession of a secret without revealing the secret. Can she do so in a way that convinces Victor that she really does know the secret? This is the question at the heart of one of the most powerful cryptog…


Identity and Consistent User Experience; Technometria - Issue #31

The other day Lynne called me up and asked a seemingly innocuous question: “how do I share this video?” Ten years ago, the answer would have been easy: copy the URL and send it to them. Now…not so much. In order to answer that question I first had to determin…


Picos at the Edge; Technometria - Issue #30

Rainbow’s End is one of my favorite books. A work of fiction, Rainbow’s End imagines life in a near future world where augmented reality and pervasive IoT technology are the fabric within which people live their lives. This book, from 2006, is perhaps where I…


Token-Based Identity; Technometria - Issue #29

I’ve spent some time thinking about this article from PeterVan on Programmable Money and Identity. Peter references a white paper on central bank digital currencies and one on identity composability by Andrew Hong to lead into a discussion of account- and tok…


NFTs, Verifiable Credential, and Picos; Technometria - Issue #28

Listening to this Reality 2.0 podcast about NFTs with Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman, and their guest Greg Bledsoe got me thinking about NFTs. I first wrote about NFTs in 2018 regarding what was perhaps the first popular NFT: Cryptokitties. I bought a few and…


Ugh! There's an App (or Three) for That; Technometria - Issue #27

I traveled to Munich for European Identity Conference several weeks ago—my first international trip since before the pandemic. Post-pandemic travel can be confusing, international travel even more so. To get into Germany, I needed to prove I had been vaccinat…


JSON is Robot Barf; Technometria - Issue #26

JSON is robot barf. Don’t get me wrong. JSON is a fine serialization format for data and I have no problem with it in that context. My beef is with the use of JSON for configuration files, policy specs, and so on. If JSON were all we had, then we’d have to li…


Toothbrush Identity; Technometria - Issue #25

I have a Philips SoniCare toothbrush. One of the features is a little yellow light that comes on to tell me that the head needs to be changed. The first time the light came on, I wondered how I would reset it once I got a new toothbrush head. I even googled i…


Fluid Multi-Pseudonymity; Technometria - Issue #24

In response to my recent post on Ephemeral Relationships, Emil Sotirov tweeted that this was an example of “fluid multi-pseudonymity as the norm.” I love that phrase because it succinctly describes something I’ve been trying to explain for years.Emil was riff…


Seeing like the TSA; Technometria - Issue #23

I just flew for the first time in 18 months. In that time, Salt Lake International Airport got a new terminal, including an update to the TSA screening area. The new screening area has been touted as a model of efficiency, featuring bin stations for people to…


Life Will Find a Way; Technometria - Issue #22

Last summer, I decided to kill this apricot tree. We weren’t using the apricots, it was making a mess, and I wanted to do something else with the spot it’s in. So, I cut off the branches, drilled holes in the stumps, and poured undiluted Round-Up into them. A…


Clean Sheets and Strategy; Technometria - Issue #21

Suppose you’re in the hotel business. One of the things you have to do is make sure customers have clean sheets. If you don’t change the sheets or launder them properly, you’re probably not going to stay in business long. The bad news is that clean sheets are…


Ephemeral Relationships; Technometria - Issue #20

In real life, we often interact with others—both people and institutions—with relative anonymity. For example, if I go the store and use cash to buy a coke there is no exchange of identity information necessary. Even if I use a credit card it’s rarely the cas…


Smart Property; Technometria - Issue #19

I just listened to this excellent podcast by Vinay Gupta about what he calls "smart property."


Ten Reasons to Use Picos for Your Next Decentralized Programming Project; Technometria - Issue #18

Picos are persistent compute objects. Persistence is a core feature that distinguishes picos from other programming models. Picos exhibit persistence in three ways:Persistent identity—Picos exist, with a single identity, continuously from the moment of their …


Alternatives to the CompuServe of Things; Technometria - Issue #17

In Peloton Bricks Its Treadmills, Cory Doctorow discusses Peloton's response to a product recall on its treadmills. Part of the response was a firmware upgrade. Rather than issuing the firmware upgrade to all treadmills, Peloton "bricked" all the treadmills a…


Building an SSI Ecosystem: Health Passes and the Design of an Ecosystem of Ecosystems; Technometria - Issue #16

In The Politics of Vaccination Passports, I wrote about the controversy surrounding proposals to require people to show proof of vaccination to travel--specifically fly. The worry is that once we get used to presenting a heath credential to travel, for exampl…


Reciprocal Negotiated Accountability; Technometria - Issue #15

In Self-Sovereign Communication, Oskar Van Deventer, discusses the communications layer enabled by DIDs. This is the same layer that I've labeled the self-sovereign internet.