There Are Still Frontiers

There are still frontiers out there, if you know where to look.

A friend of mine, who was doing fun pioneering work in computers and networks in the wild and wooly days of the 1980s and early 1990s lamented once, “I wish you had been around then, it was so different.  It wasn’t like now, now it’s a business.”

Although enterprise computing is now run like a business, there are still frontiers, there’s still room to explore if you look in the recesses of the IETF / ISOC repositories, Google mailing lists and GitHub, interesting people’s YouTube channels and Twitter feeds.

Take for example Moxie Marlinspike – he’s trying to solve a real problem with the current state of SSL and Certificate Authorities, and he’s doing amazing things there.

There are the tens of thousands of active participants in international higher education identity and access management, figuring out how to federate access to campus resources like wireless networks, web applications and research cyber infrastructure.  They are paving the way for a future when we don’t have to remember more than one password- or even any at all.

There are still frontiers at the fuzzy edge of the network, and I’m excited to see them and be able to participate in them, even just a little.

InCommon Silver With Active Directory Domain Services Cookbook Feature-Complete

For more than a year, I’ve been leading an effort within the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC – the academic wing of the Big 10, plus The University of Chicago) and a number of other InCommon participants, to define an approach to mitigating risk within Active Directory Domain Services, with the goal of achieving InCommon Silver assurance. The work on that cookbook is now largely complete. You can take a look at it here:

Whew.  That took a while to do.  I hope that at some point some school actually achieves Silver using it.