April 16th, 2007


IBM Identity Mixer

I like the idea of disclosing just as much about myself as I want and no more; of proving membership of a class rather than having my personal membership of the class validated, of proving I'm over 21 rather than giving my exact age. I'm certainly getting enough experience of providing identity claims as part of dealing with my mother's estate. I'm already very interested in the various Identity 2.0 systems that are coming through and the Identity Mixer is the first thing IBM has contributed to the new wave. Higgins and CardSpace are often perceived as competition and there are tensions between IBM and Microsoft that make them different directions, but for the developer and for the end user they're going to be pieces that sit side by side and get mixed up. Roll on the abstraction of identity functionality for the Internet.

Age, shoe size: IBM thinks you should only disclose as much of your identity as you want; read the rest of my piece on Developer Register

How your mobile phone will replace your wallet

First of a little backlog of articles that have come out recently...

If you've used an Oystercard on the London tube, you've used what is called Near Field Communications (NFC). You get the card near the reader rather than having to make physical contact. Such contactless tickets or passes are common in Europe; key fobs, for example, open office doors across the UK. In Hong Kong you can use the same Octopus card to pay for bus, train and ferry journeys or to buy a cup of coffee or an ice cream when you get off the bus. And anything that's small enough to build into something the size of a credit card can be built into a device you already own, a device you already carry with you every day - your phone.

In some surveys people claim they'd be more worried about leaving their phone at home than leaving their wallet behind; with NFC, your phone can be your wallet. It can be your train ticket, your library card, your supermarket loyalty card, your gym membership, your cinema ticket, even your credit card. According to Nokia's Gerhard Romen, "touch becomes the new click".
And if you want to know why France will get it before we do, read my piece at TechWeb


Microsoft: why HD DVD can beat Blu-ray

Note to all my Blu-ray fan friends; I wrote this reporting Microsoft's views, not my own. But the interactivity I've seen on HD DVD titles has been superior. What Blu-ray interactive features will blow me away?

read Microsoft's facts, figures and HD DVD fandom, courtesy of the eloquent and convincing Kevin Collins, and see some of the interactive features that did impress me

Windows Vista reviewed

Back when Vista was first released, sbisson and I reviewed it for PC Plus. By the magic of syndication, you can read it most easily on the TechWeb site. Here's what we think of the four versions anyone can go out and buy; click through for all the details.
Windows Vista Home Basic
The cheapest version of Vista is limited in scope
Windows Vista Business
Full networking capabilities, but no entertainment
Windows Vista Home Premium
The best value version of Vista includes Media Center
Windows Vista Ultimate
The most comprehensive version of Windows will cost you...
food cooking tomato

I'm going to be 40

Poll #967443 Birthday lunch

Simon reminded me this morning that it's my 40th birthday this Saturday and I thought it would be nice to meet up with friends for dim sum as a lunch into late lunch into afternoon tea thing. We have tickets for Loudon Wainwright in the evening, though later afternoon/early evening drinking might occur too... Whether you can make it or not, where is your favourite dim sum restaurant in central London?

New World
Ping Pong
Somewhere else

Somewhere else being...

If you're free on Saturday when would suit you?

I'll roll up whenever I can

If you're likely to come along, how many people will you be? Multiple personalities have to share a chair...

I also like the idea of a one-month-after get-together; we plan to be in the Bay Area weekend of May 19th and I know there must be nice dim sum places there too ;-)

Things I like about Windows Vista

In no particular order, and as the Vista reviews I've linked to are from before there were many ReadyBoost USB sticks about, these are a few of the things I personally value about Vista

graphics drivers out of kernel; if the graphics driver crashes, the PC doesn't
performance monitor; I can see how badly the Sonic application I can't get rid of is making things
ReadyBoost; I can upgrade any laptop and get extra battery life very cheaply
RSS in the platform - any RSS app can see the same list of feeds, so I finally have a list of blogs I actually read
GPMSC - the management console for Group Policy; I'll like it better in SP1 when I can keyword search it but now it's the official tool it's a better way to keep on top of the 3,000 things I can control by policy
search from the Start menu; I don't browse directories or program group flyouts any more, I type three letters or two words and get the file or the Google results I want
photo tagging in PhotoGallery; I use the Sidebar photo widget to have photos flipping and when I see a nice one I tag it - the auto fix is also the easiest I've used and gives surprisingly good results to the point that I've used it for work images
Way better wireless networking

That's not any kind of definitive list - I'm not back up to speed by any means. And there are things that bug me; there is an oddity about network authentication and offline files on this machine that I can't track down. But being able to recover previous versions of a file from the server without bugging Simon to open the backup is very neat. I am waiting for a decent tablet PC so I can make full use of flicks and the improved handwriting recognition. But I like Vista to the point that when I finally got my hands on a UMPC after eagerly awaiting it for months, my first thought was that I didn't actually want to use it without Vista on. And I wish there was more hardware that supported the niftier Vista features like Sideshow, that we could crack open the Lumina to put in more memory and take it to Vista and that my little Tosh didn't have some deep-seated incipient hardware failure so I could upgrade it. But Ultimate should still be cheaper.