Some Like It Hot: A Paean To Chillies

This is not meant to be a post about the Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis film by Billy Wilder. I didn’t actually watch it till late 1999, some forty years after it was made. It wasn’t on my bucket list. I was 42 by then, and so I was pretty careful about any new entrants … Continue reading "Some Like It Hot: A Paean To Chillies"

Session ID semantics aligned across OpenID Connect front-channel and back-channel logout specs

OpenID logoSession ID definitions in the OpenID Connect front-channel and back-channel logout specs have been aligned so that the Session ID definition is now the same in both specs. The Session ID is scoped to the Issuer in both specs now (whereas it was previously global in scope in the front-channel spec). This means that the issuer value now needs to be supplied whenever the Session ID is. This doesn’t change the simple (no-parameter) front-channel logout messages. The back-channel specification is now also aligned with the ID Event Token specification. The new specification versions are:

Even Just Two Days Can Be a Vacation

“Summer vacation” this year consisted of just two days—the only two days my two sons could free up to take off with my wife and I. There wasn’t even enough time to go out of town, so finally we had a real “staycation”. The first day we did classic Seattle tourist gigs like Waterfall Garden Park, Pioneer Square, the Underground Seattle Tour (a real hoot), the Seattle Center Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit (mind-blowing), and dinner at the Pike Place Market (Shiro’s new place Sushi Kashiba—fantastic). The second day was even more domestic: together we disassembled one of the icons of the boy’s childhood—the treehouse we spent a whole summer building fifteen years ago (but which now had become a full-blown hazard due to a rotting floor). reed-treehouse.png Yes, there were some sad moments—but all of us sweating together on it (it was a record-breaking Seattle afternoon) made it more of a wake than a funeral. And we left the
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The cash model of “customer experience”

coins Here’s the handy thing about cash: it gives customers scale. It does that by working the same way for everybody, everywhere it’s accepted. Cash has also been doing that for thousands of years. But we almost never talk about our “experience” with cash, because we don’t need to. Marketers, however, love to talk about “the customer experience.” Search for customer+experience and you’ll get 35+ million results, nearly all pointing to stuff written by marketers and their suppliers. Even the Wikipedia entry for customer experience reads like an ad for a commercial “CX” supplier. That’s why a big warning box at the top of the article says it has “multiple issues” (four, to be exact), the oldest of which has persisted, uncorrected, since 2012. Try to read this, if you can:
In commerce, customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a
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Shooting the Bluecut Fire

BluecutFireTo get away from the heat today, into a little less heat and an excuse to exercize, I drove up to Mt. Wilson, where I visited the Observatory and walked around the antenna farm there. As it happened, the Bluecut Fire was also visiting the same San Gabriel Mountains, a few miles to the east at Cajon Pass. Starting at 10:36 in the morning, it was past 10,000 acres with 0% containment by the time I observed it in the mid to late afternoon. Here’s a photo set. If anybody wants to use any of them, any way they please, feel free. The view is to the east, across 10,064-foot (3068m) Mt. San Antonio, also known as Old Baldy. I’d say more, but I’m fighting flying insects back at the house.

Decentralization and Distributed Ledgers

Summary: Some claim that decentralized system that have to be governed aren't really decentralized. This article explains why that thinking is misguided. DNS Last week, I referenced an article in American Banker on the responsibilities of blockchain developers. I focused mainly on the governance angle, but the article makes several pokes at the "decentralization charade" and that's been bothering me. The basic point being that (a) there's no such thing as a blockchain without governance (whether ad hoc or deliberate) and (b) governance means that the ledger isn't truly decentralized. In Re-imagining Decentralized and Distributed, I make the distinction between distributed and decentralized by stating that decentralized systems are composed of pieces that are not under the control of any single entity. By that definition, DNS, for example, is a pretty good example of a decentralized service since it's composed of servers run by millions of separate organizations around the Continue reading "Decentralization and Distributed Ledgers"

Governance for Distributed Ledgers

Summary: Governance in permissioned distributed ledgers provides a real solution to some of the ad hoc machinations that have occurred recently with non-permissioned blockchains. Fiduciary Trust Building This article by Angela Walch from American Banker makes the (excessively snarky) case that distributed ledger developers and miners ought to be held accountable as fiduciaries. Non-permissioned distributed ledgers like Ethereum will continue to serve important needs, but organizations like banks, insurance companies, credit unions, and others who act as fiduciaries and must meet regulatory requirements, will prefer permissioned ledgers that can provide explicit governance. See Properties of Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains for more on this. Governance models for permissioned ledgers should strike a careful balance between what’s in the code and what’s decided by humans. Having everything in code isn’t necessarily the answer. But having humans too heavily involved can open the system up to interference and meddling—both internal and external. Permissioned ledgers also need Continue reading "Governance for Distributed Ledgers"