Friday, February 1, 2008

Yahoo! and OpenID

stripes and stones, originally uploaded by The Chromatic Orb
Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Processed from RAW with Bibble Pro on OpenSUSE

Originaly posted this article to a discusson on the Utata group on Flickr.

OpenID is succeeding as an Open Standard for web authentication. The principle behind this is that you don't need to have username and password on hundreds of website, you jut neet to log on to one. This site will be your OpenID provider.

When you want to login to a site using OpenID, the site redirects you to your OpenID provider, where you authenticate, if you haven't so already. On successful login it replies to the original site that you are authenticated and you're allowed in.

This way you just need to maintain one set of username and password for multiple sites. There are many sites already supporting OpenID login and also many providers. As an example, you can use OpenID to authenticate comments on blogs even if you don't have an account.

Yahoo! becoming an OpenID provider means you can use your Flickr account URL ( as login to sites supporting OpenID. However you cannot (at least not now) use OpenID to login to Flickr or any other Yahoo! site. This is of course what we really need, not just another provider.

FYI, Google also announced that you can now use your Blogger URL as OpenID identity. You can also now use OpenID to authenticate comments there.

Even Microsoft will use OpenID with CardSpace.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Plastic fantastic

flying pottery, originally uploaded by ChromaticOrb
Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Processed from RAW with bibble pro on ubuntu linux

This one became one of my personal favorites. It was taken using the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and really defines the lens' nickname of 'plastic fantastic'. For less than €100 the 50mm f/1.8 is a bargain and the image quality is amazing.

The lens body is all plastic, including the mount, which means you run the risk of it becoming loose after too many times changing lenses. But the glass quality really makes up for the body and allows for sharp and colorful pictures. With an aperture of f/1.8 you can shoot in low light situations or go for shallow depth of focus. Of course this is not a very fast or precise lens and focus can be quite difficult to reach, specially in crop frame cameras, like my EOS 350D.