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Identity and Authentication Services
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Tim Callan | 13 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Over on the OpenID mailing list, I made some comments outlining concerns about OpenID/YADIS/LID and the prospect of managing directional identity. Drummond Reed emailed shortly after I posted my thoughts, pointing out that he had covered this topic in depth on his blog back in December.

So he has. And, suprise, we came up with essentially the same solution. My suggestions were largely informed by the Sxip approach to the problem of directed identity, so I suppose its fair to say that I've essentially just been agreeing with Dick Hardt and his team, as well as Drummond and his: a robust single sign-on technology -- even a lightweight one -- should support on-the-...

Tim Callan | 13 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Via Kim Cameron's blog, an article -- ostensibly legit -- about a Cincinnati company that is implanting RFID tags in some of its employees. The thinking is apparently that "tagging" employees adds additional security, enabling better monitoring of where people are, or aren't in secure environments.

RFID chips in humans are a good example of omnidirectional identity, something I discussed in a recent post. In this case, it seems quite ill-advised for humans to equip themselves with an omnidirectional identifier that anyone with a proximal reader can detect, without the consent, or even knowledge of the bearer. This is a feature, not a bug, in many commercial contexts -- say when you're a tracking a flat screen TV through the supply chain. But as the recent...

Tim Callan | 10 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

David Sifry of Technorati posted his latest State of the Blogosphere, asserting that growth rates in the blogosphere remain vigorous. Umbria has an interesting (if somewhat short) report on splogs, which you can download here - email and name registration required to download this PDF.  Matt Galloway surmises that combined, these two reports might indicate contraction in the blogosphere. Intuitively, I think that's not at all the case, but I do think that Matt is pointing at a phenomenon that is under-examined: the growth rates for splogs are...

Tim Callan | 10 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Edgeio Screenshot

Keith Teare gave me a look at the service he's getting ready to launch – edgeio. In addition to being a good example of the new breed of web apps visually and interactively, edgio is an example of what I think is an important trend in the blogosphere. Edgeio is a search and indexing tool that aggregates content from the blogosphere in such a way that your blog can be used in new and interesting ways. In the demo, the emphasis is on classified ads, but Keith hastens to point out that the edgeio platform is designed for a wide variety of content types and applications.

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 SixApart is a...

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 reading...

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 breaks down...