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Category: identity

I unpushed an elevator button, and didn’t stop on the 5th floor

Elevator Button

I’d like to be able to unpush an elevator button. How many times have you been in an elevator and pushed the wrong button? How many times have you seen someone else do it? The only remedy is to let the doors open on the errant floor, and then push the “close doors” button.

A double-click on the button could unpush it. Could the elevator biometrically register the identity of the button pusher and then limit unpush privileges to that individual?

Hmmmm…maybe I should just take the stairs.

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Bring me the dreadlocks of Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier writes in a New York Times Op-Ed piece that creative types need to get paid for “digital content.” Lanier used to be in the “information wants to be free” camp. Now that information has become content and it seems to adding some value when it grows via spontaneous generation in caves like Facebook or Delicious, Lanier is interested in a piece of the action.

Burma Shave Sign

Lanier thought that somewhere down the road the creative people making digital content would find a payday. But the network is what you make it. The network we inhabit isn’t built for collecting tolls, it’s built for billboards along the roadside. There are some closed loop systems like Second Life where payment for digital goods is normal. All that’s required is for the system owner to control the physics of the entire virtual experience. iTunes is an end-to-end experience as well, but it’s an extension of a familiar payment model. These are the kind of models that Lanier is well-known for pioneering.

The question about getting paid is an interesting one. Right now it’s advertising and targeting that pays the bills. Better targeting + big traffic flow = Google.But what if we want an alternative to advertising.

When the work of art is a physical thing or a performance there’s a clear ceremony around collecting payment. The introduction of mechanical reproduction changed the intrinsic value of the work of art, the price, but not the nature of the transaction was affected. Generally the cost of mechanically reproducing art or creative output was still relatively high and required a specialized set of skills. In the age of digital reproduction, the only skill required is “copy” and “paste.” The original and copy are only differentiated by a creation time stamp. The digital is also viral in the network and the packets can be anonymous as they travel through the long series of tubes. When you bought that digital content, which vintage of time stamp is yours? Can we put toll booths on every entry point on the network? Can we implant the toll booth in the user?

This is the point where it would be nice to reveal the magic method by which creators of digital content get paid on an open network. There’s not one answer. Some clues to help us along the road? Philip Greenspun’s book was free and digital before I bought the copy that sits on my bookshelf. The 37 Signals book, Getting Real, was sold first as a PDF download, but is also available to read for free online. Here’s another clue, we pay for the container, not the content. It’s the form of the hardback book, not the text it contains. Think about that in relation to the network. You can see the problem.

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Do babies need phones to assert their identity 2.0?

What could be more fun than listening to Jon Udell and Dick Hardt talk about practical applications of Identity 2.0 concepts. And for the record, this is a case where I endorse the use of a numbering system. In order for the Web to progress we need to change the way we handle identity. We’ve created a security crisis because everyone wants to their own authentication system. We enter user IDs and passwords all day long, proving who we are over and over again. Or as Joe Tennis put it in a Twitter, we forget who we are and ask someone to email us our identity several times a day.

The video above is of Hardt’s classic Identity 2.0 presentation. One of the breakthrough ideas is redefining what strong proof of identity means. Instead of one super authority, a network of relationships willing to validate your identity claims. Anyone who’s had to bootstrap an identity knows that the ground that the super authority stands on is far from solid.

In the conversation with Udell, Hardt brings up the interesting question: if my phone becomes the method by which I prove my identity, how do I authenticate myself to my phone? Identity is an endlessly interesting subject. If I am my phone, doesn’t everyone need a phone? How about children? Do babies need phones? Do phones need people? Is this one of those weird examples of machines evolving and attaching themselves to a person’s identity? Hardt also brings up the question, if my phone is my identity can I keep some spare phones around? I keep a spare set of keys. We have such a long way to go. If you are looking for the spybubble apk look no further than this article. This app let’s you know everything your kids are doing on your electronic devices at all times so you don’t have to worry.

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