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Showing posts from January, 2008

OpenSocial 0.7 and makeRequest

We're converging towards 1.0! There's one particular thing I want to quickly highlight: makeRequest. This goes beyond the old IG_Fetch API to allow arbitrary HTTP requests to arbitrary URLs, with full use of headers, POST data, response codes, etc. This effectively means that properly installed gadgets can talk any protocol to any server on the Internet. Now that's open.

There are controls of course. The container validates that the request is coming from a properly installed gadget, and poorly behaving gadgets can be rate limited or shut off if necessary.

You can also pass certain headers which are awfully useful. For example...
Authorization: OAuth realm="",

OpenID and Friends

Johannes retconned a nice title onto our panel discussion yesterday: OpenID and Friends (where the friends include OAuth, OpenAuth, OpenSocial, etc.) The panel in fact might have been a little too friendly -- maybe we needed somebody (Ben?) debating with us about phishing attacks to shake things up a bit. It was great to talk with Shreyas, Johannes, Nicolas, and George about issues and next steps. We all have a variety of goals, all of which are advanced by OpenID adoption and use.

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated

Cool: Blogger has been nominated for the "Best Web Application for Weblogs" category in the 2008 Bloggies. Parenthetically, PostSecret has already run away with the "Blog Nominated in the Most Categories" category, which is great because (a) it's awesome and (b) it's on BlogSpot, so if it wins we all bask in reflected glory. Or something.

Microsoft,, Chalk, and Cheese

It's great to hear that Microsoft is joining I think this group has potential; if nothing else, it's a useful forum for interested parties such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to openly discuss policies that will benefit all of our users.

I was a bit disturbed to find some spin in Dare Obasanjo's commentary, though. He says:
... The fact that when interoperability happens, it is in back room deals (e.g. Google OpenSocial, Microsoft’s conversations with startups, etc) instead of being open to all using standard and unencumbered protocols is similarly troubling.Whoa, let's deconstruct. This associates OpenSocial and Microsoft's "strong-arm" tactics by putting them in the same list, trailed by 'etc' to imply that these are just a couple of typical examples. Slap parentheses around it, and label the whole list "back room deals". Maybe no one will notice that you've just conflated chalk and cheese:

The chalk: Ope…

Identity Conflation = Profit!

True story: I was just contacted by a company looking to pay an outstanding invoice to "John Panzer" for consulting work; they had lost the original contact information and found me on the Internet. I hope the John Panzer doing consulting in New York gets paid properly; it sounded like pretty good money!

Blogger now an OpenID Provider

Yesterday, in addition to launching Blogger in three new languages, we pushed out a draft feature: Your blog is your OpenID. Technically, this means that Blogger is both an OP and an RP; we've accepted OpenID signed comments since December.

We've implemented OpenID 1.1 so far, so we should be compatible with all OpenID 1.1 RPs. Please test it out (see instructions for opting in) and let us know if you see problems.

It's also great to see Yahooannouncing that they'll be an OpenID 2.0 Provider. I hope they implement RP support soon too, at least for things like Flickr comments.

Episode V: The Writers Strike Back

Striking writers, with plenty of time on their hands, are starting their own companies Silicon Valley-style to bypass old guard distribution networks. It'll be interesting to see how ventures such as Virtual Artists and others (Striking writers to launch online video co.) play out. Most amusingly, since the producers' position is that online media is an "unproven and untested market", they're going to have to publicly pretend that these ventures don't scare the living crap out of them.

Moving on to

I've decided to take the plunge and move on to publishing at, powered by Blogger.  Since I'm the tech manager for Blogger it seems only fitting, and we've recently been adding a whole host of cool features that make it more and more attractive (OpenID commenting being just the latest). 

I also have a semi-new Feedburner blog feed; some people were already subscribed through this feed, so you may notice no disruption in service as I re-point it at just a moment... there! (  Feel free to re-subscribe there, if you are in the mood.

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Warumungu Norms, Privacy, Facebook, and Useful Friction

We could learn something from the Warumungu. Wendy Seltzer's Mukurtu Digital Archiving: digital "restrictions" done right is about DRM, freedom, and controls; I think it's also about privacy. What's private, and what's public, and what's semi-private are culturally determined no less than the Warumungu rules around who is allowed to see what artifacts:
...the Warumungu have a set of protocols around objects and representations of people that restrict access to physical objects and photographs. Only elders may see or authorize viewing of sacred objects; other objects may be restricted by family or gender. Images of the deceased shouldn’t be viewed, and photographs are often physically effaced. When the Warumungu archive objects or images, they want to implement the same sort of restrictions.With an interesting twist:
People can also print images or burn CDs and thus allow the images to circulate more widely to others who live on outstations or in other ar…