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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dallas, Texas : Iconic && !Ironic

My wife and I have moved back and forth from NYC to Dallas a couple of times. Culture shock is an accepted risk. NYC is iconic, but is aware of and amused by it. Dallas is iconic with a complete and total lack of irony. I took the picture above a couple days ago from a spot just down the block. My New York mind[1] is thinking something along the lines of "What a hoot, there's a frigging oil well in a suburban neighborhood[2], do these people even know they're parodies of themselves?" while my Texas mind is thinking, "Whoa, an exploratory rig, bet they're looking for Barnett Shale natural gas, better help my in-laws check their deed for mineral rights."

No real point, other than to say I'm leaning toward the Texan view of things at the moment. It allows me to accept that the vast quantities of toxic drilling mud are somebody else's problem and just enjoy the view of the frigging oil well in a suburban neighborhood.

[1] New York seems to dominate our family stories, although we didn't really live there that big a percentage of the time. Claiming a "New York state of mind" is maybe a might presumptuous, but makes the blog entry easier to write.

[2] It's actually in a field right next to the neighborhood. The field previously held a small herd of cows, which was nicely, if quietly, doing its part to make Texas proud. Right before the rig went up, there was a sign indicating that a small evangelical sect was going to put up a church. Yes, the field will have held cows, rigs and fundies within the space of a year. If I weren't in Texan-mode, I might find that smirk-worthy, but I am so it's just normal.


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Monday, March 12, 2007

OpenID and FOAF/hCard : Live from SXSWi

I've escaped the SXSWi madness for a bit and am sitting in Halcyon, a ratty-couch-and-coffee-with-wifi cafe on 4th street in Austin, ruminating on OpenID.

Chris Messina set up a great lunchtime get-together after an OpenID panel failed to materialize. It was a good scene. The discussion was wide-ranging, but I especially liked the bit about skipping the non-security-hole-related OpenID 2.0 complexity and using existing (pseudo) standards like FOAF/XFN and hCard for profile exchange. Among other cool things, it means the range of exchangeable things can expand without any changes to OpenID.

It isn't glorious, it won't sell into the enterprise and it won't result in many patents, but keeping things as simple as possible and focusing on the smallest useful solution is the way to keep OpenID from turning into another WS-* debacle.

I started a bit of a rant on the subject during lunch, but Chris shut me up by suggesting that demonstrating an implementation would probably be the most effective argument against the 2.0 complexification. I'd follow that up with a request: if you're at all interested in the subject, please read the current set of specs, sign up for the OpenID specs list and make your (informed) opinion known. There's enough time to head 'em off at the pass, but quick action is vital before the drafts calcify.



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