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Tim Callan | 10 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

VeriSign Naming and Directory Services (VNDS), the division of the company that operates the com/net registry -- and does a great many other things as well -- has been renamed to "VeriSign Information Services". It's more than just a new name, of course; it's a reflection of the broadened scope the division has in providing its part of the "Intelligent Infrastructure" services that VeriSign provides as a whole.

Tim Callan | 29 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Byrne Reese from SixApart is pursuing an idea as he works toward a formal specification for TrackBacks to submit to the standards process: are trackbacks and pings really the same thing? In talking to him a week ago, my reflexive answer was: “Sure, the only things that are different are the endpoints.” Having thought about it some more, I’m convinced that pings and trackbacks are in fact synonyms.

 

Or at least they should be. In practice, things are more difficult. First, while there is no single ping format specification, Dave Winer’s format  (URLs over XML-RPC ) is the de facto standard. (Note: Atom can and does work via XML-RPC, it’s a replacement for the XML document structure, not the transport). Second, while conceptually analogous, the current spec from...

Tim Callan | 28 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Dave Winer points to Johannes Ernst’s recent post summarizing all the good things happening around URL-based identity. From talking to Dave, he seems to be leaning the same direction as many other are lately: URLs are the natural building blocks for user-powered identity on the Net. It’s a great boost to the project if Dave and OPML can find adopt a common framework for identity.  There’s more discussion happening around this later this week, so we’ll have to wait and see, but given my last conversation on this with Dave just before Thanksgiving, I’m quite encouraged.

Tim Callan | 28 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

I just heard from my cable company, who is also my ISP, that they are retiring their Usenet servers this month. AOL dropped support for Usenet nearly a year ago. Microsoft.public.* groups are dwindling. ISPs across the net are dropping Usenet from their feature list. Now if I want to boot up TIN and read comp.lang.ruby, well, I guess the days of using TIN are over, and I’ll just have to point my browser at groups.google.com.

 

Never mind that reading Usenet via Firefox and Google isn’t the same experience at all.  It’s not just the ads trying to be inconspicuously conspicuous over at the edge of the page. There’s no way to cycle through messages on groups I’ve subscribed to. No automatic quoting for splicing my comments in reply to someone else’s. I could go on. If you’ve been...

Tim Callan | 07 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Johannes Ernst has taken another swing at the YADIS (Yet Another Decentralized Identity Interoperability System) with Brad Fitzpatrick and David Recordon of SixApart. Johannes is the head of Netmesh – the people behind LID – the Lightweight Identity System. Brad and David are the driving force behind OpenID, an even lighter-weight identification system than LID. Both LID and OpenID focus on the URL as the anchor object for an identity, and in past months have worked to find an abstraction layer that would allow sites and organizations that consume identity to use a single means of discovery to...

Tim Callan | 02 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Can a tag have a ‘spin’? I’ve spent a lot of time tagging lately, and have found that I need a way to reflect positive/negative spin on items I’m tagging. For example, I was looking through my tags (and others) for items that labeled “ajax”, and specifically for items that focused on the problems or shortcomings of AJAX.  I wish I had tagged all my ajax resources with something like this: “ajax+1” for positive articles, “ajax-1” for negative articles, “ajax” for “no-spin”. Or maybe, “-ajax”, “+ajax”, and “ajax” would be a cleaner syntax. As a long-time C++ programmer, I like “ajax++” and “ajax- -” a lot, too.

 

In any case, it seems too fine grained to split my AJAX tags up into “ajax” and “negative”, “ajax” and “positive”, etc. That sort of works, but...

Tim Callan | 27 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Tom Forenski gives voice to a growing sentiment in the blogosphere: search engine crawling for many sites is a net negative. The bandwidth and computing costs of servicing crawlers are often hard to justify in light of the identifiable traffic they bring.

 

The problem is much more pronounced in the blogosphere than in the wider web. If a user navigates to http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/ once, initial from a Google search page, and returns via bookmark 15 times over the next month, the traffic from Google would show as 6.25% of this user’s traffic. If the user in question returns another 15 times over the next month, the Google referral traffic for that month drops to zero, and the two month share is reduced to just over 3%.  The specific figures...

Tim Callan | 25 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but early this morning, around midnight eastern standard time, the home page of recent pings for Weblogs.com stopped displaying new pings. Inbound pings continued to be accepted and recorded throughout; the problems encountered affected the service’s ability to publish the received pings out to subscribers.

The problem was diagnosed and remedied early this morning. If you click on the “hourly” update links for early this morning (at the bottom of the weblogs.com home page), you will see a large number of pings published at the 7am hourly update (WARNING: this is a huge file).  These are the accumulated pings that were received while the “output” side of the service was having problems.  Systems and subscribers that have been consuming changes.xml and shortChanges.xml during this period should be up to date....

Tim Callan | 17 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Today, VeriSign announced the acquisition of Moreover.com. For almost a year, we’ve been thinking, watching and discussing (internally and externally) what’s been happening in the blogosphere. By early spring, several trends emerged that were important to us:

  • rapid, sustained growth of blogs
  • convergence of mainstream news and corporate data with feed-based publishing
  • increasing levels of spam in the blogosphere

The blogosphere was growing fast, and would soon outgrow its own infrastructure, and at the same time it was beginning to transcend the term “blogosphere” and establish itself as the new framework for Internet publishing for all kinds of information and content. In short, the blogosphere was going...

Tim Callan | 13 Oct 2005 | 0 comments

Dave Winer points out that BART now offers an RSS Feed. Here's a screenshot of a recent Yahoo! render:

bart_rss_is.gif

That's progress, I guess. But here's the type of info I wish BART would stream in an RSS feed:

bart_rss_should_be.gif

BART has a stream of events and information that is of interest to BART riders that they should surface through RSS. I'm not interested in subscribing to a BART email list, but I would like to have a BART feed with the latest "traffic tips" to check before I head home. If I'm up in the morning and I see entries of significant delays on the Pleasanton-Daly City line, I might decide to drive into the city -- parking hassle and all -- rather than ride BART.

It's...