Confused about how the emerging identity standards and systems fit together and which to work with? You're not alone. There's a lot of talk – and quite a few demos – of interoperable identity systems, but how do you know how well they really fit together? That's what the ITU focus group on identity management was set up to thrash out: read what the chairman told me about the group at Dev Reg
Just before AOL and Digg blessed Open ID, Microsoft did too, so I talked to Kim Cameron about what it meant. A short portion of the conversation is on the Developer Register as Identity brings Microsoft and Internet 2.0 together.
But please, don't tell me things like 'I won't trust CardSpace because I don't trust IE' without A going and reading up on the security background of CardSpace 2 being prepared to tell me what you think the security problem is. Want to complain about Microsoft technology? Make sure you know as much as I do about the way this is designed (or preferably more and you can teach me something)
Another identity piece for the Developer Register, this time on an interesting project that combines Novell's directory experience with open source and the identity metasystem that Kim Cameron has been championing. I had some fun with the name too (Bandit).
Unmasking Novell's identity plans
Last week's Digital Business section of the FT had three of my pieces, all on the same page:
Finding room for photos and songs
Digital photos, MP3 and iTunes music, video clips, e-mail, downloaded bank statements. You might already have a terabyte (1,024 gigabytes) of data at home, scattered across different hard drives, DVD backups and memory cards – and you’ll have more soon.
Read more about 1TB NAS
A little (robotic) help from your friend
Ageing populations, rising healthcare costs, an increasing number of people who refuse to retire – and the robot vacuum cleaner that might help.
Read more about iRobot
Audio files: no longer too big to store nor too hard to search
We talk far more than we type. Podcasts, online video, internet radio, recordings of meetings and phone conversations – so much information today is contained in audio files. But how to index it, search it and access it?
Read more about audio searching
I expected my first piece for Tom's Hardware to be for the new UK site, where I'll be writing about home entertainment, MP3 players, media centres and other fun topics. As it happened, it was a review of the Nokia 770 Internet tablet with the new version of the OS that I collaborated on with sbisson, commissioned by the US parent site, though it's appearing on both so I'm boosting the local traffic in my link!
Rather sadly, PC Advisor will not be having an Office Advisor column for me to write any more, due to some changes in the title. I shall miss writing these pieces as I've found such a lot of useful tips and tools myself, but I count Office (both Microsoft and more generally office software) as one of my key areas so I'm sure I'll carry on covering similar topics elsewher, including possibly some more specific tutorials in PC Advisor's workshop section.
Higgins is one of the interesting individual developments in identity that will go to make up an identity metasystem; enough small pieces and I won't have to call it Kim Cameron's idea for an identity metasystem, or designate it in any way because it will be widespread enough to really be a metasystem. Breaking identity up into little pieces tightly managed is one of those ideas it's easy to dismiss because it's a big thing; everyone has to play if it's going to work because it has to work with everything. It's like my childhood reaction to learning about communism; 'what a nice idea, it's a shame people aren't actually like that' (a hardened cynic by the age of 11). TCP and printer drivers were big ideas; one of them won because it was obviously a better solution, one because it made things easier for users and developers. (Guess which I think is which!). There are enough people and pieces and players and financial penalties coming together that we might get Identity 2.0. I'll be writing more about this for DevReg, covering Intel Research's project and what PGP is up to these days.
SNARF is one of those nifty tools that can dig you out of a hole (I'll point it at the email I skimmed whilst travelling in case I missed anything crucial) but it's only a prototype done to find out what people need. The nice thing about that is that if baby steps are useful, bigger lessons might be another big shift. The principle I took from my AI degree was that we don’t know enough about why we work the way we do to emulate or simulate it usefully, but we do know enough to start making interfaces that make it easier to work the way we do.
Marc Smith is hugely fun to talk to and a joy to interview, because he comes out with lines like No one is giving me more heartbeats per day or more minutes; there is no Moore’s Law for humans. I am not becoming twice as intelligent and half as cheap; if anything the cost is going up and I’m slowing down."