07 June 2010

Old, meet New: PCITF - the Payment Card System as Trust Framework

Contrary to what the proponents of "unfettered capitalism" say, business requires rules, regulations, and laws.  Alan Greenspan, for example, points out that at a minimum, all capitalism requires the concept of private property, embodied in law.
To build a public identity system that is also a business, requires a framework, too. In March, 2010, at RSA Conference 2010, a basis for frameworks, the Open Identity Exchange was announced:
"Industry leaders Google, PayPal, Equifax, VeriSign, Verizon, CA, and Booz Allen Hamilton today announced the formation of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), a non-profit organization dedicated to building trust in the exchange of online identity credentials across public and private sectors. OIX also received initial grants from the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) and Information Card Foundation (ICF) to advance assurance for open identity technologies."

The key concept of the OIX is the trust framework.  In the words of OIX, "In digital identity systems, a trust framework is a certification program that enables a party who accepts a digital identity credential (called the relying party) to trust the identity, security, and privacy policies of the party who issues the credential (called the identity service provider) and vice versa."
The payment card industry, PCI, has just such a trust framework, their operating rules, that map perfectly into the OIX trust framework concept.  Since the PCI (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB) is one of the most financially successful systems in the world, this validates the value of the OIX trust framework idea.

At IIW 10, I gave hosted a session on this.  I put the slides on slideshare.net.   They include some background on the payment card system in case you are new to it and I included a few slides on the EMV smartcard.  EMV is important because it provides a tamper-resistant security module in the smartcard that holds secrets.  EMV could be the basis for strong authentication that will help us finally build trustworthy identities on the Internet.

03 June 2010

I Always Wondered...

I have no idea if any of these are true, but they sound believable!
        1.  Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?
        A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in   Europe were made of a dense
orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this
clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter
misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig. And it
caught on.
        2.  Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars
have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?
        A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins
containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small
quantities of the precious metals.  Dimes, quarters and half dollars are
notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't
notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to
        3.  Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while
women's clothes have buttons on the left?
        A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn
Primarily by the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids,
dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right! Since most people are
right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on
the left.  And that's where women's buttons have remained since.
        4.  Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?
        A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or
write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented
an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the
kiss eventually became synonymous.
        5.  Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called
'passing the buck'?
        A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called
a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If
a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would 'pass the
buck' to the next player.
        6.  Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a
        A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by
offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was
safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his
drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it
simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then just
        touch or clink the host's glass with his own.
        7.  Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the
        A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage
lighting by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light.
In the theatre, performers on stage 'in the limelight' were seen by the
audience to be the center of attention.
        8.  Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use 'mayday' as
their call for help?
        A: This comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning 'help me' -
and is pronounced 'mayday.'
        9.  Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?
        A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they
attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on
cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.
        10.  Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?
        A: In   France , where tennis first became popular, a big, round
zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called  'l'oeuf,'
which is French for 'egg.'  When tennis was introduced in the US ,
Americans pronounced it   'love.'
        11.  Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?
        A. When Mary, later Queen of Scots, went to France as a young
girl (for education & survival), Louis, King of France, learned that she
loved the Scot game 'golf.' So he had the first golf course outside of
Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly
chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a
military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she
returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took
the practice with her.  In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day'
and the Scots changed it into 'caddie.'

01 June 2010

Cognitive Surplus

Wired Magazine has a killer interview with Daniel Pink and Clay Shirky.  Clay is one of my heros, and after reading this, I think I need to learn more about Mr. Pink.

Clay has been talking for awhile about where we all find the time to do stuff on the Internet: we don't watch as much TV. Americans watch on the average 200 billion hours of TV a year.  Yeah, take a minute and just think about that number.  Remember, a normal 9 to 5 job is about 2000 hours a year, so that is about 400 million 9 to 5 jobs per year - about the population of the U.S. if you include every man, woman and child.  Yeah, just think about it.

Clay has coind the term, cognitive surplus.  Great phrase.

Check out the interview.  It is short, has very high signal to noise ratio, and has some great quotes.  Plus you find out what both their favorite Gilligan Island episode was. (It was mine, too.)  Cognitive Surplus: The Great Spare-Time Revolution

There's hope, friends.  Carpe diem!  Moving from consumption to sustainability.