October 2005

Why can’t we ensure that Saddam Hussein is given a fair trial? Assume that we don’t care at all about actually being fair and we just want a conviction and execution, can’t we get that and also make the process appear fair? Isn’t it a certainty that he’ll be convicted, regardless? How does it interfere, really if we:

*Delay the trial until the country is more stable and the court has had a chance to try at least one or two other cases, demonstrating its competence and impartiality?
*Suspend the rule that if convicted, Execution must happen within 30 days, no time at all for an appeal.
*Give the lawyers the full set of court rules
*Tell the lawyers the charges against their client
*Give the lawyers access to all the evidence against Hussein
*Give the lawyers the time they need to meet with their client

Failure to follow basic rules of fairness in such an important case shows a criminal disdain for due process and a preference for expediency over principle. But failure to even try to make it look fair shows a fundamental incompetance in pursuing the stated goal of spreading freedom to the Middle East.

Obsessed with Murakami. Here’s the things he’s obsessed with: wells, well-dressed women, ears, smoking, ironing, making light lunches, waiting, being average, cats.

As regular readers may have noticed, my blog was down for a couple of days. But its back now, hopefully to stay. Its going to take me a little while to get everything moved over, so please bear with me. In the meanwhile, you can read my latest Wired News column, Don’t Let Fear Kill Muni Wi-Fi.

Most of yesterday I was a “Workshop on ID Management”. The discussion, driven mainly by well-intentioned privacy likers ensconced in commercial firms, centered around how people (consumers) _want_ to share their private information with companies so that companies can provide them better service, like wouldn’t it be great if Budget Rental Car Co. knows that I prefer to drive a Porche? Sharing that information would benefit everyone. All we need is a “user-centered” infrastructure that allows me to share what information I want, and allows the firms to ascertain that the shared information is accurate. My computer will make sure they get true information about me, and then I can rent a Porche. Ah, the brightness of the future.

But I can’t criticize, because my bi-weekly Wired News column is now posted: Free The Cellphone. Its not building houses for people in New Orleans, fighting for democracy in China, or saving lives in Africa, but its digital civil liberties, damn it!

More on ID Management later. Meanwhile, you can watch this fun presentation from Dick Hardt.
Les Pyjamas Du Chat (originally on Accidential Moron, which is now defunct). The video stars me, costars Mr. Boodles, and was produced by Brad Stone, music direction by Kris Kosach, and directed by Alex Wellen.

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