OpenID is not looking good.

I realize I’ve had a lot of anti-technology posts recently, but really they’re more like anti-hype posts. A lot of technologies are hyped like crazy and when you start working with them you realize that it’s a lot of crap. Today’s story is about OpenID, which I recently implemented (but we haven’t published yet) for wishlisting.

If you’ve never used it, the gist of it is that it’s going to give you the ability to log in to any site that supports it, and all you need is a single username and password. Makes sense and sounds compelling, although there was this thing called Passport which tried to do that too. It was never widely supported by websites, even though everyone with a Hotmail account had one. The big reason people point to with regard to Passport’s lack of adoption was that it was totally controlled by Microsoft, and people/companies had trust issues with them watching what sites you join and controlling all of your data.

So, the OpenID standard was created, and the big hype is around how it’s “decentralized” and no single entity controls all of your data, solving Passport’s biggest problem. Except, for most people, it doesn’t. And it introduces some problems Passport didn’t have. And no one seems to be doing anything about them.

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The Myth of MythTV

After nearly 3 years of being a MythTV user, I have finally had to settle on the fact that it isn’t very good. Ironically, it was named “MythTV” because it was supposed to be the solution to the “mythical convergence box.” That box is still a myth.

I’ve been through painful upgrade after painful upgrade. I’ve rebuilt it a few times, and think I’m generally pretty good at troubleshooting it. At no point was I ever really happy with it. Even when it was working perfectly, I could never switch over to it and use it for primary TV viewing. One of it’s fatal flaws was that channel changing is too slow. But, I looked past that because it had so many other strengths.

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Ignite was great again

I posted some photos of Ignite this time. I enjoyed it very much. I’d have to give the “best talk” award to Marcelo Calbucci who’s talk about getting error messages out of AJAX apps was both hilarious and informative. Hillel Cooperman’s talk (founder of about How to Eat Out and Leo Dirac‘s talk about the future of humanity both deserve honorable mentions for being both funny and informative. Those were the three shining stars for me.

After having been to both Ignites, I’d offer the following suggestions to speakers:

  • Be funny. The funnier the better.
  • Keep in step with your slides. The 15 second thing is hard, but it’s intentional. Some speakers were too long-winded, missed slides, and didn’t seem to stick with the spirit of the presentations.
  • Don’t come across as a corporate shill. If you’re hiring, say it only once, preferably at the end of an otherwise informative and entertaining presentation.

Macs suck at a lot of things.

Regretably, I use each of the 3 major operating systems every day (Windows, Mac, Linux). As a result, I’m not particularly expert in any of them. However, I can tell you that they all suck. Each one of them has things that drive me crazy.

Today’s story is about my Mac. Although the Apple commercials would have us believe that Macs are “really good at video” they don’t come with a decent video player. Apple really pushes Quicktime, and Quicktime is awful. It doesn’t come with any of the codecs you’d actually need to play videos on the net, and it doesn’t even try to help you find the codecs for them, like Windows Media Player does. So, many people (like myself) use VLC – a popular media player for Linux, on the Mac. VLC’s UI is terrible, but it can play damn near anything you throw at it.

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No, they're saying "Boo"

I really wish I could have been at the Superbowl this weekend because I came up with a great idea for a sign. It would have said. “No Payton, they’re not saying ‘moooovers’, they’re saying boooo.” It would have been wordy and too obscure for non-football fans, but it would have been satisfying to me. Unlike the Superbowl.

It had an awesome start and looked like it was going to be an awesome game, and then fizzled out as time progressed. Yet again, the best football game of the playoffs was not the Superbowl. In hindsight the Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game was probably the best game. Last year I’d say it was the Steelers upset over the Colts. I guess you could argue 3 years ago, the Patriots-Eagles Superbowl was in fact the best game of the playoffs.

Oh well… congratulations to Peyton I guess.

Superbowl this weekend

I admit it… whenever I see the Colts logo on any promotional Superbowl material it makes me sick a little. They earned it – they outplayed the Patriots – but I still don’t like it.

So, for no other reason than I don’t want to hear about the Colts for the next 6 months, I will be cheering for the Bears this weekend. I think it will be a close game and a fun one to watch… if only they’d blur out the blue horseshoes.