begins at home, they say

It’s time for Child’s Play again, and this year our very own Sick Kids is in on the action.

If you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, all 5 of you who read these blog who think about such things, please don’t give me more things that I will have to move. Click and click and make a scary time for a child a little more comfortable.

getting my brag on

On Monday morning I flew to California for a workshop and a bevy of meetings, as I do on a fair number of Monday mornings lately. While I was in a meeting Monday afternoon, my wife was busy buying us a house. She was ably assisted by our great agent and the inestimably friendly other Mike, but I was tremendously proud that she was able to juggle the large sums of money, competitive bidding strategy, myriad paperwork and general waiting-and-wondering without missing a beat. If ever you have to buy a house while travelling, I highly recommend her services. (That link to will probably rot relatively quickly; I’ll have to get Madhava to take some photos of the new place to replace it.)

On Tuesday, she put all that behind her, donned her Super Librarian hat, and taught a few hundred lucky U of T med students about how to properly search, research, and I suppose reresearch, as part of their Determinants of Community Health class. By all accounts — admittedly, relayed through a somewhat giddy Tyla — she did a bang-up job, which of course surprises nobody but possibly her. And all that on what some might consider to be rather short notice.

I couldn’t be prouder, I have to say. And she’s all mine! Nyah-nyah.

or maybe not paranoid enough

In 1996, I watch Peter Gutmann present a paper about how extremely difficult it is to delete data from hard drives such that it is deleted for keepsies. I remember the discussions with Marcus and others afterwards that centered around how incredibly doomed we were, as security professionals.

It might be that time again. I sort of hope I only have one of these doomed moments once a decade.

paging dr. mercator

My favourite email tidbit from today:

Mike, I’m afraid the promotions we run in the Americas Division are not applicable in <Vendor> Canada. Also, we’re not allowed to ship outside of the United States (not even to Canada). My apologies for any confusion the prior e-mail might have caused.

10/12 x 29

Buggles, John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams, .38 Special, Survivor, Bon Jovi, Outfield, David Lee Roth, Van Halen, Bruce Springsteen, Asia, Heart, Billy Idol, Bruce Hornsby, U2, Phil Collins, Cyndi Lauper, The Romantics, The J. Geils Band, The Alarm, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, ABC, Duran Duran, a-ha, David Bowie, Rick Springfield, Wang Chung, The Hooters, The Outfield, Whitesnake, Blue Rodeo, Berlin, The Alarm, The Cars, Chicago.


Happy birthday, honey.

pitiful attempt

On Monday night, after reflecting on a conversation with my new doctor, my upcoming travel schedule, and the fact that I never took the vacation I originally planned for August, I decided that I’d try to take the rest of this week off.

Tuesday already had a Lightning phone conference scheduled, and I was also roped into a last minute review and a Business Week call.

I’m not very good at taking vacation, though you should presume that your mail is among the ~250 unread, non-bugmail messages awaiting my attention already.

Wednesday was better, though, in that I didn’t check my email until I got some urgent-sounding requests to submit information for payroll and benefits (yeah, that sure gets my attention!), and mostly spent the day playing video games and watching TiVo goodies. Eventually, I had to put pants on and go see some houses with my wife and our excellent agent. And then head up to Beltzner’s for Leafs and Veronica. I’m sure they were all glad that I did the pants thing too.

Tomorrow? More slackassery, a bit of Miriam-visiting and some tasty La Palette. I should have this vacation thing all figured out just in time to drive to Ottawa for Canucksgiving, and then fly to California for the week. Rule.


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!

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