Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paragliding history

Finnish paraglider/photographer Jukka Juvankoski found this beautiful video with David Barish who worked at NASA on early paragliders in the 60s.
Jukka's web pages are in Finnish, but his beautiful photography speaks for itself. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Identity Federation is mainstream technology

Looks like standards based identity federation is really getting into the mainstream now. Yesterday saw a full page advertisement from Oracle on the back cover of the 20 january 2007 issue of the Economist. In this ad Oracle listed 12 standards and specifications and compared support for these in its own middleware product with that of a competitor. The interesting part is that the list contained WS-Federation, SAML, and Liberty Alliance specifications.
On a similar note recently heard from a service provider that their customers had been starting to ask for federated access to the services. First time that I hear about such requests, as far as I know usually it has been the large service providers that have convinced their cusomters to federate into their services.

Friday, January 19, 2007

On Presented Personality

With Personality I mean the set of information that a user presents, or has made available, to a web site. For blogs, and many other web sites, it is not so important who the visitor is (identity), but what she is like (personality). The work done in the Liberty Alliance ID-WSF suite of standards make it possible for web sites to get such sets of information, while simultaneously the user/visitor is in control over the information that is actually presented, if any.

All of this works still better if it doesn't require too much infrastructure, and that is possible when browsers , or client software, would be able to present the personal information. This as then the user can be given very efficient and easy to use controls. The Liberty ID-WSF specs were designed to enable this and Nokia did several demos of this technology, together with partners such as AOL, Vodaphone and Trustgenix (now HP). Newer Nokia phones, based on Series 60 v3.0, actually have an ID-WSF stack, that makes it possible, and fairly easy, to buld dedicated ID-WSF clients. But as far as I know it is not yet integrated with the browser and does not yet allow for the phone to be an ID-WSF server (of information).
InfoCard/CardSpace is a somewhat similar idea from Microsoft.

Personalized Blog Views

John Battelle started an interesting thread on "merhandising blogs". In my understanding he suggests that blog engines could provide tools for blog authors such that referal information of blog visitors could be used to personalize the view of the blog. E.g. when a blog visitor enters the blog after having done a search for "car radio's", the user would not only be directed immediately to the relevant blog topic, but sidebars would also list topics related to cars or radios etc.
I think that it could be interesting to personalize blog views for the visitor in general. I.e. not only using referal information about the visitor, but any information that is available. Blogs are a good example of sites where using the visitors personality is useful.