Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

This is the “punchline section” (in my response it is after what is below…the history of collaboration in the identity community):

Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

In 2004-5 the Identity Gang (user-centric identity community) was 1/10 the size of the current NSTIC stakeholder community.  It took us a year of active grassroots effort to develop enough common language and shared understanding to collaborate. NSTIC doesn’t have 5-10 years to coalesce a community that can collaborate to build the Identity Ecosystem Framework. To succeed, the National Program Office must use processes to bring value and insight while also developing  shared language and understanding amongst stakeholders participating.

[Read more…]

No Plancast you can’t have all my Dataz

You know I like social media tools and enjoy using them to share information.

I am also very conscious of the implications of doing so and how public things are when I do. I manage my public persona – the parts of myself that I share publicly on the web associated with my professional work and personal passion – User-Centric Digital Identity.

Today I saw a friend share via Facebook that they were attending a cool panel at SXSW – Demystifying Online Privacy and Empowering the Digital Self

I went over to Plancast where it was listed and also signaled that I would be attending THEN it asked me if I would like to share via Facebook. “sure” I think that makes sense – I learned about it there why not, it is part of my professional public life online.

So then the Terms of Use show up…and you know they are just too extensive. Why to post that I AM going to one event must I give all this information away. It is also a go-no-go proposition. I can’t “Uncheck” things I don’t want to let plancast do. THIS IS really broken. It needs to be fixed. I need to be able to use applications AND have control over how much they can do with my data and how much freedom they have to post.

I ONLY want to give them permission to post this one item…maybe in time I might trust them enough to have full access but that will come in time as I grow to know their service and trust their business practices.

Plancast is requesting permission to do the following:
Access my basic information
Includes name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends, and any other information I’ve shared with everyone.
Send me email
Plancast may email me directly at ·
Post to my Wall
Plancast may post status messages, notes, photos, and videos to my Wall

Access my data any time


Plancast may access my data when I’m not using the application
Access my profile information
About Me, Events, Current City and Website

Identity and Personal Narrative & the Digital Age

One of the things you learn early on when diving into the subject of identity is that it means many things.
The sense of self is one of them.  Today I ran across this article via John Hage’s facebook.  Storytelling 2.0 when new narratives meet old brains.
“We are our narratives” has become a popular slogan. “We” refers to our selves, in the full-blooded person-constituting sense. “Narratives” refers to the stories we tell about our selves and our exploits in settings as trivial as cocktail parties and as serious as intimate discussions with loved ones. We express some in speech. Others we tell silently to ourselves, in that constant little inner voice. The full collection of one’s internal and external narratives generates the self we are intimately acquainted with. Our narrative selves continually unfold. [Read more…]

On Identity and Centralization

I was asked for a quote today to comment on F8 developments and the continuing apparent “centralization” of identity on that platform. It is not new for me to say these things but perhaps more crystallized…..

The turning point of the web becoming more social was mentioned several times today.

The issue at hand is fundamentally about FREEDOM: the freedom to choose who hosts your identity online (with the freedom to set up and host your own), the freedom to choose your persona – how you present yourself, what your gender is, your age, your race, your sex, where you are in the world. A prime example of WHY these freedoms are vital is the story of James Chartrand – you can read for yourself her story of being a “him” online as a single mother seeking work as a copy editor. Having a male identity was the way she succeeded.

We did a whole session at She’s Geeky the women’s technology unconference about women, identity and privacy online. ALL the women in that session had between 3-5 personas for different aspects of life and purposes. Many of those personas were ‘ungendered’ or male. I have not talked to many people of color about their online lives and persona management but should. I imagine that like women they choose for some of their persona not to identify racially.

Your “friends” shouldn’t be locked into a particular commercial context. This is where the work on client-side applications for identity management and social coordination for individuals are key. The browser was never designed to do these kinds of functions and I don’t think trying to make it do them is wise.

We need open “friend” standards where people are autonomous, without their identity tied to a commercial silo – like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, AOL, or any company. This is a vision of a web where I can “peer friend” my friends, and then no entity has power over our relationship. This requires people to be first-class objects on the web. Not easy to do, but essential for us to figure out.

Legal Haze for Social networks. Identity and Freedom of Expression.


The picture pretty much sums the conundrum up.

Is it ok for individuals to promote pot on these social networking services?

Should social networks allow marijuana dispensaries to have organizational presences?

(from an e-mail from Fast Company promoting this article)

The question is, whose laws do social networks have to follow? The Web may seem borderless, but as companies like Google and Yahoo have found in China and, more recently, Twitter and Facebook found in Iran, virtual boundaries do exist. So what’s a company like Facebook or Twitter to do? It will be interesting to see how Silicon Valley finesses this one, particularly because the companies are based in California where the dispensaries are considered legitimate enterprises (at least in the eyes of the law).

I poked around on twitter and found a whole Marijuana movement

along with the Stoner Nation Facebook page and Stoner Nation Twitter and on Blogger and their own site.

Interestingly I searched in Facebook to find the stoner nation page and it was not listed when typed as two words but was when I typed it the way their name is listed as one word – StonerNation .

It is not a surprise to see seems there are many fans of Stoner Nation who are using Facebook accounts without their real names. Like Oregon Slacker , Stoner Stuff, and Drink Moxie.

I think this liminal space between the legal and illegal (at least this is factually the case in california) is quiet interesting. The freedom to express oneself and organize around change is something that is important to maintain on the web – clearly these three people have chosen to weave a line – expressing their opinion and support and involvement around marijuana online and not releasing their “real names” on facebook or twitter where they are expressing support and involvement in movement organizing but making the choice that saying who they are may negatively affect them in their ‘daily life’ – whether it be a small town where they live that would be unaccepting or a profession they hold that would not be understanding. I think these rights and issues go beyond “just” drug use but also extend to sexual and other minorities. The marijuana community is activating right now because there is a ballot initiative here in 2010 to legalize pot and tax it (potentially generating 1.2 billion dollars in revenue annually for the state).

I think a question we all have in building the evolving open and social web is how do we support citizens having the freedom to express themselves online and in social contexts. What are the particulars of online identity that enable this as a possibility and don’t rule the fundamental right of freedom of expression out? I am specifically thinking about the equivalent to anonymously joining a social movement march in the physical world.

SSN’s can be guessed

This just in from slashdot:

“The nation’s Social Security numbering scheme has left millions of citizens vulnerable to privacy breaches, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, who for the first time have used statistical techniques to predict Social Security numbers solely from an individual’s date and location of birth. The researchers used the information they gleaned to predict, in one try, the first five digits of a person’s Social Security number 44 percent of the time for 160,000 people born between 1989 and 2003.

This is from the Wired coverage:

By analyzing a public data set called the “Death Master File,” which contains SSNs and birth information for people who have died, computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University discovered distinct patterns in how the numbers are assigned. In many cases, knowing the date and state of an individual’s birth was enough to predict a person’s SSN.

“We didn’t break any secret code or hack into an undisclosed data set,” said privacy expert Alessandro Acquisti, co-author of the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We used only publicly available information, and that’s why our result is of value. It shows that you can take personal information that’s not sensitive, like birth date, and combine it with other publicly available data to come up with something very sensitive and confidential.”

Basically it means we shouldn’t be honest about our date of birth and home town on Facebook (or any other social network) or we are making ourselves vulnerable to discernment of our SSN’s. I wonder if they can figure out mine? I received my as an adult when I was attending college in California.

I decided to poke around and see what Facebook had up about Identity Theft. I did find a link to this study that created a profile by “Freddi Stauer,” an anagram for “ID Fraudster,”.

Out of the 200 friend requests, Sophos received 82 responses, with 72 percent of those respondents divulging one or more e-mail address; 84 percent listing their full date of birth; 87 percent providing details about education or work; 78 percent listing their current address or location; 23 percent giving their phone number; and 26 percent providing their instant messaging screen name.

Sophos says in most cases, Freddi also got access to respondents’ photos of friends and family, plus a lot of information about personal likes and dislikes, and even details about employers.

Facebook users were all too willing to disclose the names of spouses and partners, with some even sending complete resumes. One facebook user divulging his mother’s maiden name—the old standard used by many financial and other Web sites to get access to account information.

Most people wouldn’t give this kind of information out to people on the street but their guard sometimes seems to drop in the context of a friend request on the Facebook site, O’Brien says.

According to Sophos, the results of what it calls its Facebook ID Probe has significance for the workplace as well as personal life because businesses need to be aware that this type of social-networking site may pose a threat to corporate security.

I have tried to search the Facebook blog to see what they have to say about identity theft and apparently they haven’t mentioned it.

Been tweeting for a year now

It is hard to believe but yes I have been tweeting for a year now. It was really two things that got me to try it – I was at a conference the value network cluster presenting about identity and bored out of my mind & Phil Windley talked about how it was helping his team connect and why he found it useful from a business perspective.

It is interesting to watch it grow and change. I basically agree with this article. Social Media “Experts” are the Cancer of Twitter (and Must Be Stopped) They are annoying and not “real”.

I wish that there were tools to pick who you pay attention to developed sooner and embedded in twitter. I now follow over 1000 people (Why you ask? well I opened up my twitter to the public and started following many of the people who followed me. I do it out of respect of listening to those listening to me – to get outside of my bubble of “only people I know”) and wish there was a way to pick out the 25 or so folks in the identity community that I know are blogging – just follow them. Yes you can do this in tweet deck I know but…I have to scroll through all 1000 people listed by handle (not name as displayed in my client). I think we should have a twitter aggregator just like we have a blog aggregator at planet identity. Then i could be sure to read all the tweets.

I think we are still witnessing the tip of the twitter iceburg.

Here is an amazing Data Flow presentation of tweets about the inauguration mapped in time and on a map of the world. (off topic but they have a cool map of the growth of Walmart too).

Web Mobs and Proposition 8

I am Canadian so you can probably guess how I would have voted if I could have on Proposition 8 (the California constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman).
My views are not the point of this post. I am very concerned about what is playing out – online and in real life between the two sides of this issues following the passage of the amendment.

First of all we live in a democracy – the people of California voted for it – albeit by a small percentage but that was the will of the people.

When I look at this I think well the way the NO side wins is by doing all the work the YES side did last time – only better. They go and put an amendment to the constitution on the ballot and then build support for it.

The NO campaign assumed it couldn’t loose, was badly organized, didn’t have a comprehensive strategy for building support for its side across diverse communities throughout California. (The YES campaign was on the ground engaging with the black church community for example – they never saw anyone from the NO side come to their communities to engage them on the issue).

As the vote approach the NO side in a final very flawed move started attacking in television adds those who funded the YES side of the proposition and in particular the Mormon Church.

It was this turn of events that has lead into quite disturbing actions and behaviors by the NO campaign post election.

The blacklisting and subsequent public harassment and targeting of specific people and specific religious groups for their beliefs and support of YES on prop 8 is wrong.

I take this personally, I have and do work with people who are Mormon – (When I played water polo in university and in the Identity field). I respect the LDS church and the people in it – they have good values. Their religion is a very American one too (like Christian Science its origins are on this continent). Watch the Frontline/American Experience 4 hour documentary on the history of the church and their experience as a people/religious group.

A close personal family member I know also voted YES and for all I know could have donated.

When mobs start appearing at places of residence of YES contributors and their businesses. It makes me worried.

I thought about this issue earlier in the campaign when I wrote this post There are a lot of donkey’s in my neighborhood (and I know who they are)

From The Hive:

because she did about 60 gay ‘activists’ went to her restaurant and strong armed her in a scene reminiscent to Nazi Germany. They went down a list of people who gave as little as 100 dollars to boycott, harrass and attack them. They went there to ‘confront’ her for giving a measley hundred bucks based on her personal faith that she has had since childhood. They argued with her and it was reported by local news reporters was a “heated” confrontation.

So is this the America we want? Where if a private citizen wants to participate in the governmental process that they be harrassed and acosted. Their freedom of speech chilled by thugs.

From the NY Times:

The artistic director, Scott Eckern, came under fire recently after it became known that he contributed $1,000 to support Proposition 8…
In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Mr. Eckern said that his donation stemmed from his religious beliefs — he is a Mormon — and that he was “deeply saddened that my personal beliefs and convictions have offended others.”

From the SF Chronicle:

Phillip Fletcher, a Palo Alto dentist who donated $1,000 to the campaign, is featured prominently on a Web site listing donors targeted for boycott. He said two of his patients already have left over the donation.

This is the site of the Anti Gay Blacklist Then there is a blog called Stop the Mormons.

The night Obama won and there was a party in the main street 6 blocks from my house – I had a moment of insight into the future. This was a happy celebratory Mob – it was basically safe. People were texting their friends and telling them where it was inviting them to join. I Tweeted about it so 900 people knew about it and where it was. I also knew that this new technology of texting and presence based real time information creates an increased capacity for mob formation. It made me wonder about the cultural skills and capacities we need to develop to interrupt mob behavior turning bad.

I think what is going on with the blacklists – that are directly targeting people in their private life is wrong. I think targeting specific religious institutions for protest is wrong.

These people and these religious institutions are not propagating HATE they are just not agreeing that marriage can be between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. This is a cultural difference of opinion.

I “get” where many of the gay activists are coming from – but it is not a place that will get them what they want. Many “fled” to the Bay Area to find a community and place where they could be who they were (gay, lesbian, queer, transgender etc). They were raised in conservative churches in other parts of the country that may have been explicitly anti-gay. They likely have strong feelings against these institutions and similar ones. It does not make it OK to the hate these people and act out against them. (If they want to proactively work on cultural change within these communities – Soul Force is doing a good job using nonviolence to work on change.)

We in the identity community need to understand what has unfolded here. The No on Prop 8 groups are using publicly available information. However this used to be information you could get if you went and asked for the paper versions from the court house. So it was public but with high friction to get the information. The web lowers the cost of getting this information (close) to zero – Daniel Solove writes about the change in publicly available information in the Digital Person.

I wonder about how we can balance the need to know who has contributed to political campaigns and propositions while at the same time prevent harassment and the emergence of negative physical and cyber mobs.

Is Zivity Porn or not?

So, This summer there was some what of an controversy about the sponsorship of Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner by Zivity (a porn + social networking site where the men pay and get points to divvy up to women who’s “pin-up” photos are posted – and they can also “friend them”). I noticed this sponsorship when the organizer tweeted about it. I went to the site only to find out that on top of sponsoring they would be sending Photographers to the event to “shoot” us. I saw Zivity taking photos at the Crunchie Awards – (you can see the photos posted on Flickr with the Zivity tag.) This type of party photography just seemed totally inappropriate for a professional networking event.

I tweeted back “I find it ODD that you have a porn site sponsoring your next event and ‘shooting’ the women at the event. why sexualize us?”

Let me state the issue arising about BAGGD and Zivity sponsoring it:

The issue is about a porn company sponsoring a women in technology professional networking event AND having the porn company sponsor the photographers – who would be at the event taking pictures.

Those of us who were upset by the sponsorship and photographing objected to actually having this happen to us – to have our images be taken and tagged by a porn company and therefore implicitly endorsing them.

I had a lot going on this summer and didn’t have the energy to dive into the conversation on the blogs at the time. I did try to reach out to Angie Chang the organizer to meet with her face to face and talk before the dinner. She was unable to meet. Mary Hodder did a great job summarizing our attempted engagement with the organizers about the issue.

Recently Susan Mernitt attempted to write about the difference between, different generations of women and how the uproar about this event was an sample of the divide and a need for a bridge. Both Mary Hodder (comment 1,9) and I (comment 5,10) responded with a long comments about the nature of the issues that the BAGGD, Zivity sponsorship and her article raised for women in technology.

This is not about is porn good or bad? The issue is about where is its presence appropriate and where is it completely not appropriate. We have generally accepted social norms and now have legal regulation that it is not ok to have pornographic pictures posted in the workplace. I just don’t get how the BAGGD organizers thought it was appropriate to have a porn company sponsor and take photos at an event for women who work in technology. (They get that the Spock snafoo at Web 2.0 expo 2 years ago was not ok.) I don’t care if one of the 5 people who founded the company is a woman. It is porn and I don’t want to have to deal with the company taking my photo in the context of my professional work life and making women feel that they have to “be ultra-beautiful” to attend a networking event for women related to their day jobs in tech.

Several women spoke with Mary Hodder (who blogged about the issue before the event) directly saying that they “didn’t feel/look good enough to go.”

So some argue that the Zivity site is not actually porn (including the company – the have a motto “It’s not Porn it’s Pinups”). So this question is it or is it not porn is another layer of the debate. So yesterday when Jonathan Eunice tweeted this –

So, Zivity? Attractive girls taking their clothes off? How’s that gonna wo… Oh… Wait… I see. Getting it now.
I just had to ask him what he “got” about it – because of this ongoing is or is it not porn question.

@jonathaneunice what are you getting about Zivity? that it is actually porn even thought it says that it isn’t?

The conversation continued with side comments from Kevin Marks and Sillicon Calley……

BTW for those of you wondering about “why twitter” this is one of the reasons I like it — interesting conversations happen. For those of you not familiar with norms of twitter conversation @person’sName is a way in the medium to indicate who you are talking to. This whole conversation is public on twitter – you could go search for it and stich it all together – I also asked Jonathan if I could blog it before posting this.

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman Zivity is clearly porn–tho’ of soft, “artfully photographed” variety. Of course, so are many photos in mainstream mags.

JonathanEunice: Porn = images intended to stimulate desire. So Zivity, yes, but also much of Travel & Leisure, Maxim, Vogue, Architectural Digest, etc.

IdentityWoman: @jonathaneunice – that frame “Porn = images intended to stimulate desire.” is a good one to consider. What about “beauty without context”

JonathanEunice: Food porn, furniture porn, travel porn, fashion porn–we are awash in it. It all screams: Buy this! Be that! Want that!

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman Is SuicideGirls or Zivity different from W, Vogue, or GQ? More nudity yes, but worse self-esteem? I’d wager better. YMMV.

SiliconCalley: @identitywoman i hate the word porn, its too subjective. some people think that paintings of nude women are porn, some think its art

SiliconCalley: @identitywoman i don’t think zivity is porn, if it was the business model wouldn’t work. who wants to pay to connect to a model in porn?

IdentityWoman: @siliconCalley – I would ask it the other way – who DOESN’T want to pay to connect to a model in porn? seems like an obvious evolution

kevinmarks: @IdentityWoman isn’t porn in the eye of the beholder, not the intent of publisher? Some people get excited by pictures of feet on Flickr

SiliconCalley: @kevinmarks re: zivity touché! you are so wise.

SiliconCalley: @identitywoman porn for most people is a very private thing, and i don’t think that people usually want to be “social” with porn.

SiliconCalley: speaking of zivity…would anyone like an invite?

JonathanEunice: @jonathaneunice so what is the issue? @siliconcalley thinks that Zivity isn’t porn cause it is “social” and porn is private.

JonathanEunice: Just with client in my “CTO on demand” capacity. So back to the porn discussion…

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman I don’t think beauty needs any further context. But beauty (or Beauty, if you’re a Platonist) isn’t the issue here.

JonathanEunice: @IdentityWoman The issue here: 1. images and 2. asymmetry.

IdentityWoman: @jonathaneunice issues being 1) the images are about sexual desire 2)the guys linking to women are not also posing with their cloths off?

JonathanEunice: Images add distance, objectify. Thus beauty without interaction. Leading to asymmetry.

JonathanEunice: She is publically naked, I am not. She is identifiable, I am anonymous. That imbalance, I think, gets to heart of porn-iness.

JonathanEunice: In the spirit of oversharing: I prefer au naturel beaches. But much more symmetric. I am equally naked, exposed. Also, present, not distant.

IdentityWoman: @jonathaneunice – thanks for that (over)sharing. It makes the point about presence and embodiment rather then distance and

JonathanEunice: There’s a vast difference between looking at pictures of selected, carefully made up, airbrushed women (= porn) and…

JonathanEunice: …being with genuine, come-as-you-are nude women when you’re also nude. Isn’t that the diff btwn ‘nude’ and ‘naked’ (or ‘nekkid’)?

JonathanEunice: Today’s irony: Despite the porn diacussion, yet again asked to have drinks “with the girls” after work.

JonathanEunice: A simple Zivity joke turned into serious discussion. Pity the poor jokster!

JonathanEunice: I did. Very classy high quality photography. But at root still pics of naked chicks. High end porn still porn IMO.

The Creepy Data

So Auren Hoffman e-mailed me regarding a blog post he just did about men and women and social networking. This subsequently pointed to his ‘research data’ which he does not disclose the way it was acquired.

There are three names for this company (more details can be seen in this post). One of them UpScoop gets users to enter their user-name and passwords for all their social networks – then “upscoops” the contact information of their friends and ‘scrapes’ all data it can see by logging in as those users. It then creates a database keyed to e-mail addresses for those users. This is an “opt-out” system – everyone is in it until they opt out – basically the ‘credit rating’ like system for social networks.

Then what happens is campaigns and social movement sites are approached by Trust Fuse to run the e-mail addresses they gather from supporters or those who want more information against their giant data base of e-mail addresses and it returns information about the person – their ‘real name’ their ‘age’ their ‘profession’ or what other information they are collecting (they make a point of NOT collecting sexual orientation information – this makes me feel soooo much safer about this ‘opt-out’ system).

I have had a conversation with leaders of a major social movement building organization and they have been approached by RapLeaf/UpScoop/TrustFuse to pay to run their e-mail addresses through their API.

I don’t think this model is respectful of human dignity in the online world.

I hope that Auren and people from his company can make it to both the Data Sharing Workshop and Summit & the Internet Identity Workshop.

Olympic Athletes have ‘right to blog’ (with restrictions)

I have a posts in the wings about my experience of ‘security’ at Olympic like events – I participated in ‘the system’ for a few years of my life while on the Canadian National Water Polo Team.

I just found on slashdot. The restrictions they are putting on athletes freedom of speech. I was forced to sign a big legal agreement about what I would and wouldn’t do before i could attend the Pan American Games as an Athlete.

Is it the tone of things to come? Will people who attend certain kinds of events be forced to sign away their right to write about them to attend?

The IOC has given athletes the right to blog at the Beijing Games this summer, a first for the Olympics. They’re allowed, as long as they follow the many rules it set to protect copyright agreements, confidential information and security. The IOC said blogs by athletes ‘should take the form of a diary or journal’ and should not contain any interviews with other competitors at the games. They also should not write about other athletes. Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic events. Athletes must obtain the consent of their competitors if they wish to photograph them. Also, athletes cannot use their blogs for commercial gain.”

That part at the end is just insulting to athletes too. If they made any money it wouldn’t be ‘that much’ and after a life time of sweat and training for the love of their sport. It would be a small gift. The whole system is set up to make money off athletes – they (the IOC) sells their performance to corporations to used to promote their products and services (worse still junk food (McDonalds) and sugar water (Coke) to the worlds children). Then some of that money goes to the National Olympic Committees. It bearly makes it back to the athletic programs that need money to train and prepare for the games. The budget of my National team was lower then that of my college varsity team. Mean while as an athlete – you make below what you would in a minimum wage job with the stipend they give you. I trained in Montreal and so couldn’t really supplement that with ‘work’ as I didn’t speak French and besides training takes up your life.

Outside Digital Realm: Food Shortages Expected this year

A friend of mine sent me this article. Granted it is from a website with a left leaning perspective – it draws on information from UN, US and other government agencies from around the globe. I am posting it because sometimes I think we forget we live on a planet, with weather, that grows food.

Severe Food Shortages, Price Spikes Threaten World Population

Worldwide food prices have risen sharply and supplies have dropped this year, according to the latest food outlook of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The agency warned December 17 that the changes represent an ³unforeseen and unprecedented² shift in the global food system, threatening billions with hunger and decreased access to food.

The FAO¹s food price index rose by 40 percent this year, on top of the already high 9 percent increase the year before, and the poorest countries spent 25 percent more this year on imported food. The prices for staple crops, including wheat, rice, corn and soybeans, all rose drastically in 2007, pushing up prices for grain-fed meat, eggs and dairy products and spurring inflation throughout the consumer food market.

Driving these increases are a complex range of developments, including rapid urbanization of populations and growing demand for food stuffs in key developing countries such as China and India, speculation in the commodities markets, increased diversion of feedstock crops into the production of biofuels, and extreme weather conditions and other natural disasters associated with climate change.

Because of the long-term and compounding nature of all of these factors, the problems of rising prices and decreasing supplies in the food system are not temporary or one-time occurrences, and cannot be understood as cyclical fluctuations in supply and demand.

The world reserves of cereals are dwindling. In the past year, wheat stores declined 11 percent. The FAO notes that this is the lowest level since the UN began keeping records in 1980, while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported that world wheat stocks may have fallen to 47-year lows. By FAO figures, the falloff in wheat stores equals about 12 weeks worth of global consumption.

It continues….

Face Book and the Creepy Ex-CoWorker + Yahoo and PDF Adds!!!

Columnist Cory Doctorow describes how Facebook and other social networks have built-in self-destructs: They make it easy for you to be found by the people you’re looking to avoid.
…..ON Information Week

From SlashDot

A new channel (is being) opening up between advertisers and our eyeballs: PDFs with context-sensitive text ads. The service is called “Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo” and it goes into public beta today. The “ad-enabled” PDFs are served off of Adobe’s servers. The article mentions viewing them in Acrobat or Reader but doesn’t mention what happens when a non-Adobe PDF reader is used.

To both of you I say…

Sex offender mixup on MySpace and AmeriTrade Spam

Last week there were some interesting identity developments.

summary: Ms. Jessica Davis had her Myspace profile eliminated because it matched a name in a sex offender database. She tried to resolve it with Myspace but they were very unhelpful. She went to the press after learning about a new information sharing agreement between MySpace and states attorney generals. She is planning to go into law and public service and did not want to be in a position for the rest of her life defending her innocence because they put her in some database.

AmeriTrade Spam: “On April 14, 2007, I signed up for an AmeriTrade account using an e-mail address consisting of 16 random alphanumeric characters, which I never gave to anyone else. On May 15, I started receiving pump-and-dump stock spams sent to that e-mail address. I was hardly the first person to discover that this happens. Almost all of the top hits in a Google search for “ameritrade spam” are from people with the same story: they used a unique address for each service that they sign up with, so they could tell if any company ever leaked their address to a spammer, and the address they gave to AmeriTrade started getting stock spam. “

Genetic Non-Descrimination bill in house

From Slashdot….on New Scientist.

Soon it will be illegal to deny US citizens jobs or insurance simply because they have an inherited illness, or a genetic predisposition to a particular disease.

On 25 April, the House of Representatives voted 420 to 3 to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The Senate is expected to endorse the act within a few weeks, which is also supported by President Bush. “I am so stunned by the majority,” says Sharon Terry, president of the Genetic Alliance, a charity lobbying for the rights of people with inherited illnesses.

“Clearly the House finally understood the incredible significance this has. The American public can now access genetic tests, feel safe about their genetic information not being misused and participate in research that involves genetic information.”

This is all good news. I also got me wondering about a form of discrimination that I think about regularly and face it is what I call “where I happened to emerge out of my mothers womb.” This fact my place of birth has incredibly little do with who I am the content of my character who I am where I fit in my social context how much I contribute to the society I live in but is regularly requested by institutions.

Flickr SUCKS

They are forcing us to merge our identities. I thought they decided not to do this. They let us keep our old way of logging in.
I joined FLICKR not YAHOO.
I really don’t care that they got bought. I do care that my login is being merged.
Does anyone know a good alternative to Flickr/Yahoo that uses openID?

2. On March 20th, 2007 we’ll be discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr.

We’re making this change now to simplify the sign in process in advance of several large projects launching this year, but some Flickr features and tools already require Yahoo! IDs for sign in — like the mobile site at or the new Yahoo! Go program for mobiles, available at

If you still sign in using the email-based Flickr system (here), you can make the switch at any time in the next few months, from today till the 15th. (After that day, you’ll be required to merge before you continue using your account.) To switch, start at this page:

Complete details and answers to most common questions are available here:

If you have questions or comments about signing in with a Yahoo! ID, speak up!

Who are you?..if you are astroturfing it matters

I was just send this link to a post and its 6 updates that describe the fate of uncovering an cable company astroturf blog. The guy who founded the astroturf blog used his real name originally and then changed it. It was relatively easy for the sleuth to figure it out who was really behind the blog by googling the first names on the post.

Reading this story I am not surprised the cable companies or powerful corporate interests want to end net neutrality because when people are free to speak there minds they uncover the truth and speak it.

IMSafer – filtering kids IM to find the bad conversations

I just went to Tech Crunch and saw this post on IMSafer that fliters kids IM messages and shares questionable ones with parents. It looks like a reasoned approach that kids and parents can live with. I know that if I was a kid out there on the wild open web this would make me feel a bit safer. The relationship that I had with my parents would have meant I would have accepted the tradeoff that it makes.

My phone number is my number…not the phone compaines

I just got this note from a friend…it sucks. The government is ours not the phone companies but some how they are doing this.

REMINDER….16 days from today, all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS! To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list.

It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five(5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number. HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS 0r go to:

Register your home phone and your cell phones…follow instructions.

What if you don’t have home phone? Anyways.

UPDAT: Paul Madson wrote to tell me he thinks it is a hoax pointing me to’s page on the subject. Oh well. it could be true and I have heard rumors that the cel phone companies want to make a directory.

Where is ‘the line’ – the freedom to socialize

Ohan Pinto picked up on my post about the proposed law by the suburban caucus to ban access to social networking sites in Public Libraries and Schools. (oh and my name is spelled Kaliya – not Kalia) She said this:

I am not against social networking, but I have kids, and I am concerned… especially when I’m aware that kids today do things without thinking of the consequences. I do not see this move as a bad move by the feds. It may very well turn out to be good. This post by Michael Miller on Warning children about online dangers gives a nice insight on the real dangers of social networking sites and how “minors” can get exploited.

One needs to draw the line somewhere….

That “somewhere” is not by inhibiting the freedom to organize and gather in online space – by people using . Adults who don’t have access to computers at home go to libraries to surf the web, get email an social network. Increasingly online networking tools will be used to organize to make change – they are places where people gather and the 1st amendment applies

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Dana Boyd has done a lot of ethnographic research with young adults to understandwhat they are doing in online space. She has this to say about the legislation. If you are concerned about your children’s behavior get involved in their life enough that they share what they are up to and you have open communication channels to share with them what is and is not acceptable. One of the critical parts is an ‘autonomous’ space – they are connecting and communicating with one another as peers – see her Bill O’Reilly Interview.

To MS we are just customers

It seems to me that their language regarding those of us who use their stuff – customers. Individuals who buy stuff most notably not creators.

All the people who come to your website are coming there to ‘do business with you’ according to the browser guy. Not to join, participate, cooperate, create, etc.

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GOP Phone Home

From the everyone-has-an-angle dept: Minnesota GOP’s CD Raises Privacy Concerns
ThinkProgress blog is reporting that the Minnesota Republican Party has been distributing a new CD about a recent proposed amendment. The CD poses questions about some of the hot-button issues like abortion, gun control, and illegal immigration. The problem with this CD, however, is that it “phones home” to the Minnesota GOP, without making it clear that your name is attached. So, if you take a look at the CD and take time to answer the questions, beware. Once you are finished they will know not only who you are, but where you stand on the issues at hand.