LJ Archive


Self-Sovereign Identity

I always read Doc Searls' column, not to learn anything new but to try to figure out what his point is. In the July 2016 issue, he introduces the concept of “self-sovereign identity” with several obscure sentences, and then, to take fuzzy thinking to a higher level, he quotes Devon Loffreto with a paragraph of absolute gibberish. Here's one excerpt:

A self-Sovereign identity produces an administrative trail of data relations that begin and resolve to individual humans.

And another:

A self-Sovereign identity is the root of all participation as a valued social being within human societies of any type.

Now that's gibberish.

It's ironic that this column appears in a magazine that is so informative otherwise.

Phil Miller

Doc Searls replies: Phil, I try to bring up subjects, and make points, that nobody else does. If some of that effort comes off as gibberish, at least it beats silence.

Lots of original thinkers and authorities on topics don't make full sense. But that doesn't mean what they say isn't worth listening to, or de-bugging. That's why I followed the Devon Loffreto quote by compressing his point down to “only the individual has root for his or her own source identity”.

In a world where surveillance is the norm, I believe that insight can help guide some necessary work. That's why I wrote this piece.

Tiny Internet—Test for CPU Extensions for Virtualization

I'm a bit behind in my reading, so I'm not sure if anyone else has commented on this. In the May 2016 issue of LJ in John S. Tonello's “The Tiny Internet Project, Part I”, he provides instructions on seeing if the computer can support virtualization, but he tests only for Intel's VT. Some individuals new to this may have AMD-based systems (especially if they are using older hardware as AMD is not nearly as popular as it once was). Anyway, it's always better not to assume what the CPU is and do: egrep '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo and instruct users to make sure they have either vmx or svm in the output. Also, don't forget that, again when using older PCs, some may not have 64-bit capability so checking for “lm” in the output also is important, and if it isn't present, to use 32-bit distros. And finally, some virtualization platforms require Execute Disable to be enabled, so users should check for either XD or NX in the output of /etc/cpuinfo.

Mark Dean

John S. Tonello replies: You're absolutely right about AMD. Many of my early machines were AMD-powered, albeit well before 64-bit was widely available. Your tips are great for anyone looking to test their hardware before proceeding with building a “Tiny Internet”. Thank you for sharing!

Photo of the Month

This drawing of Tux was a birthday gift to me from my five-year-old daughter.


LJ Archive