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Digital Identity

Spam or not spam — I cannot tell, dear United Healthcare

Occasionally I get e-mail that looks like this. I cannot tell whether this is spam or a just very badly made actual e-mail from United Health, my health insurer: Here's the evidence: Sender: uhcenews@unitedhealthcare-hmhb.com. Looks very suspicious, as anybody can register a domain like that. Googling the e-mail address produces 18 hits, on mostly strange…

Ten years later, Paypal is already using personal URLs for money transfer

LID turned 10 years a little while ago. Back in the days, the revolutionary idea was: everyone could have one (or several) user-specific URLs they could print that URL on their business card and all sorts of interesting services could be attached to that URL, such as: single-sign-on into any website standardized transfer of personal…

Drowning in unmanaged personal data

[caption id="attachment_2599" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo by Walter Benson on Flickr[/caption] I don't know what changed, but in recent months, I've started to feel overwhelmed by the amount of personal data that I have an interest in, that I'd like to keep, and that is entirely unmanaged by either me or anybody else. Here are some…

We Want Root

When you buy an iPhone, do you actually get to own it? Apple is doing its darnedest to make changes impossibe that you might want to do but that they don't approve of, even after you paid a lot of money for the device. Does not sound like ownership to me. It wasn't always that…

How GnuPG Works

I first used GnuPG 21 years ago, to securely communicate from Germany with my US-based girlfriend at the time (who became my wife of by now 17 years). That was before the web (I discovered it in December 1993), and connectivity was over a modem, "somewhere" in the company that paid my salary. This modem…