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The truth about identity (part 1 - for bloggers)

Published November 25th, 2006 edit replace rm!

Identity is one of those things that technologists like to solve, and solve, and solve. The reason they keep solving it is that they don’t really go deep and analyse what identity is and what they are trying to solve. Oh, when saying they I should really say we as I’ve tried to reinvent the wheel as well.

So we keep inventing fancy ass solutions like Certificate Authorities, PKI, The Laws of Identity etc.

While out in the real world we have emails, DNS, passwords and cookies that we often look at as temporary solutions until the one Identity system that will rule the world kicks in.

The real reason that none of these identity systems will ever win is that they try to solve problems that aren’t important.

Identity is the information I need for an exchange to take place and be enforced if something goes wrong.

This might sound weird and strange but please bear with me in the following examples…

How lawyers are like programmers

Published August 29th, 2006 edit replace rm!

Rich from Basement.org writes about how lawyers really are like programmers when they write contracts. Here is an example:

“Exception” Handling. Any lawyer will tell you that a primary role of a contract is that of a reference document for when things go bad. If all is well in a business relationship, the contract is seldom ever referred to. But when things go sour, every word or phrase may be picked apart. As such, it’s wise to think through how scenarios would play out against your contract. When coding, a similar premise applies. How much load will this object have to withstand? What if a particular transaction (which is dependent on an outside service) fails? What if the database goes down? Good code insulates itself from or gracefully addresses these “bad scenarios.”

Understanding and preparing for Jurisdictions

Published August 22nd, 2006 edit replace rm!

In my last post Pragmatic contract law for entrepreneurs I covered the basics of contracts.

It was pretty thin though with respects to covering jurisdictions. Jurisdiction basically means, who has the right to decide what happens over a contract in case of a dispute. As I mentioned before the legality of a contract really means the enforceability of a contract. So these are very closely related.

As my last post I need to say that IANAL. I probably should say that this is not intended as legal advice, but that would be another annoying lawyeristic lie. Yes this is intended as legal advice but you must use it at your own risk.

Why you need to think of jurisdiction?

The most important factors of jurisdiction are cost and preparedness. If you feel you need to take things to court then it might cost you a lot of money and take a long time. But then again this can also be a useful threat against another party in a contract.

Pragmatic contract law for entrepreneurs

Published August 17th, 2006 edit replace rm!

I am now sitting in Buenos Aires with my head full of debates back and forth across the Atlantic around Electronic Contracts, Electronic Signatures etc. for Tractis one of the projects I’m working on right now. I thought it might not be a bad idea to write some of my ideas out here publicly to perhaps open a debate a bit and also help other entrepreneurs understand exactly what contracts are and what they really mean to in particular small high tech startups.

As in any such discussion I need to say that IANAL. I probably should say that this is not intended as legal advice, but that would be another annoying lawyeristic lie. Yes this is intended as legal advice but you must use it at your own risk.

I think DHH ideas of pragmatic and opinionated programing really is very applicable to contract law as well. Let the big guys with their legal teams do their stuff and let us small fish worry about our business.

Spam blocking and Free Speech

Published March 30th, 2006 edit replace rm!

Talk.org is all about free speech. But after a few bouts of spam attacks and a bit of adolescent sausage fumbling I need to figure out where to draw the line between censorship and spam blocking.

Believe me it is a very thin line. Do I search for bad words? If someone wants to talk anonymously about the benefits of cXalis vs vXagra. Shouldn’t they have a forum?

I already have a simple technical approach that I am testing bit, by bit. But I need more.

The first thing I will have to revise is the front page. Right now it is just the latest active conversations. This should probably be filtered somehow, similar to Digg differentiation between front page news and their diggall view. What algorithms I will use I am not sure of yet, but we will see.

I am also thinking of implementing an adult flag. Where messages specifically set with an adult flag enjoy fully uncensored posting.

Whatever I do I will keep you posted here and on Talk.org.

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About me

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My name is Pelle Braendgaard. Pronounce it like Pelé the footballer (no relation). I live in wonderful Managua, Nicaragua. I work with Clojure, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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