I’m right now at an Identity Management Workshop organized by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard and the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford. It’s a pretty heady mix of policy and technology discussion, and generally quite fascinating, but one of my favourite parts so far has been Jennifer Martinez‘s overview of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it applies to identity and privacy.

I hadn’t really ever read it in detail, but it’s quite an amazing document, especially considering that it’s been so widely ratified, if not always honoured. One part I especially enjoyed was 29.1:

Article 29.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

That element resonated with me in a number of pleasing ways, and Mozilla is certainly one of them. We serve the community, and work to preserve our right and ability to serve the community, because that community provides a context in which we can serve ourselves, and help to shape the world as we feel it should be. Whether that’s Adam Smith’s invisible hand, a divinely-inspired act of charity, or an artifact of our evolved neurochemistry — that I couldn’t tell you. But I’m sure glad that it seems to work well, and that I’m able to participate in it.

(Edit: Jennifer Martinez is not Jennifer Granick, though they are both very nice people.)

shuffled again

At some point recently, iTunes’ most excellent Party Shuffle feature stopped working for me. It was “locked” on some small playlist, and none of the controls did anything that I could detect with the primitive instruments at my disposal. It was very sad times.

We tried a number of things, including blowing away my preferences, but nothing worked until I found this simple solution on the 5th page of my 8th or 9th Google attempt. All better now, and just in time for yet another trip to the left coast.

And here’s another neat Party Shuffle trick, which exactly describes how I most often want to use the feature: “party shuffle an empty playlist”.

I got yer crypto right here

I am tremendously excited to see that the boys at RHAT have put together mod_nss, a module that uses Mozilla’s NSS to provide SSL services to Apache. Woot!

I don’t know why there isn’t a parade over this, honestly.

in good hands

Today I had the great luck of being able to spend a bit of time talking to Frank Hecker about the role of the Foundation in a world in which we have a Corporation to really focus on product and technology issues. I think there’s a lot of worthwhile work there, and I’m really looking forward to the Foundation being able to devote much more energy to the broader governance and “philosophical” issues of the project, the web, and open source.

What a tremendous time to be involved with Mozilla!

digital concrete

I ran across this article this morning, about how Microsoft is reaching out to other browsers like Firefox and Safari to encourage adoption of InfoCard technologies. The article is certainly true as written, and I’ve written before about some of my involvement in those discussions, but I would like to caution people against reading into it that we have made or announced concrete plans to support InfoCard as a piece of the Firefox platform.

I think that support for rich and user-empowering identity infrastructure is an important element of the future growth of both the web and Firefox, and I think — perhaps somewhat more controversially — that InfoCard’s principles and protocols are a pretty strong basis for that infrastructure, but there’s a big gap between those beliefs and an item in the committed Firefox roadmap.

For better or for worse, my still-forming opinions about technologies do not Mozilla technology policy make.


I lost a week to a horrible bout of insomnia — I cannot recommend it to you, my loyal viewers, even for experimental purposes — and then “lost” most of a week to a great management offsite and HQ visit. So I’m quite a ways behind in putting to bed various post-drafts about, especially, identity and Firefox’s disruptive potential. I’ve blocked off a fair bit of time this week to catch up on those things, as gently egged on by Kim and Frank.

I’ve also had a lot of interesting personal stuff going on, but that’s not really planet material, so it’ll be in another post or few.