Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Facebook & OpenId

So, one can login to facebook using an OpenID http://developers.facebook.com/news.php?blog=1&story=246 which at the surface level feels like a great step in the right direction. I feel that it's actually a step that furthers Facebook's Goal of wanting _everyone_ to have a facebook account. Now, I don't fault them for having this goal, but unless they do a bunch more things to open up their walled garden I don't want this to happen.

One large step that facebook could do towards opening up their systems is to allow their users to use http://www.facebook.com/lakin.wecker as an OpenID login for other sites. I really doubt Facebook will ever do this themselves as having this feature would be in direct competition with Facebook Connect. Althought, to be honest, I never understood why Facebook Connect _wasn't_ just an OpenID implementation?

As a developer - if you could support a single authentication system, Say google's Friend connect that includes OpenID, Twitter, Gmail - and it also includes all Facebook users - that would be an obvious choice. It would make Facebook Connect mostly obsolete except for those people who want to support _only_ facebook users.

My best guess is that Facebook is trying to do the opposite - that is, they want to convince developers to _only_ use facebook connect, and convince users to sign up for a facebook account via openid in order to use these facebook only services.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter Spam

The other day I replied to a twitter user that is following a few of my friends. I didn't even think twice about it, a few days later they replied. It was kinda neat.

I was thinking about what had happened and then it hit me! I had just sent an unsolicited message to someone on twitter - and they received it. Uh-oh, I wondered when the spam would start.

Well today, I got my first spam message in a reply form. From these guys:


I'm not making that a link above cause that would somewhat defeat the purpose. If you know how twitter works and want to check it out go for it. I wonder how long until I can't use twitter for all the spam.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

World of Goo - Linux

World of Goo is a GREAT GAME. And it's coming to linux now [1]. I highly recommend it. It's available for the Wii and for Windows/Mac/Linux. I've already bought it for my Wii so I'm not sure if I'll buy it for linux or not. I mean, I want to - and probably will, but I'm broke right now so it's unlikely to happen for a few months. In the mean time I highly recommend the game. Did I mention that already?

[1] - http://2dboy.com/2009/02/12/world-of-goo-linux-version-is-ready/

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Projects Update

So we finally got around to updating our projects page [1]. I'm proud that our projects list contains so many local arts, journalism and education partners. Let me know what you think, both of that page, and the projects!

[1] - http://www.structuredabstraction.com/projects

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Greatest Tennis Players Ever?

I'm sitting here, bleary eyed and somewhat surprised at myself for managing to get up at 2am and then managing to stay up until the tennis match was over, but I'm glad I did. It may not have been as good as the Wimbledon final - but it was great to watch, and I'm glad Nadal beat Federer.

Most of the talk around the greatest tennis players ever surround Roger Federer. Nadal isn't even included. Now, that's fair at this point because Federer has 13 titles to his name, and nadal only has 6. But let's plays "What if" for a few.

What if there were 2 clay court majors in tennis instead of two hard court majors? Let's say the US Open was a clay court tournament. Now let's assume that Rafa won the past 4 years there as well as in the French Open.

That would put Rafael at 10 major titles (including this one). Federer would have 3 less, putting him at 10 as well.

WOW, that would make for an even greater rivalry between these two - they'd be tied for titles and competing for the 1-2 ranking as well.

Man, Rafa has solidified himself as my favorite player. But despite that I will be cheering roger on at the French Open. I think Roger probably deserves the moniker of the greatest ever, and I think that winning at the French open would really help his claim to that title.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Can't wait

I can't wait for the first games that come out which combine a more precise controller [2] (for playing more realistic sports games or shooters, combined with perspective based on where my heads is pointing. [1]

It would mean I could play a reasonable game of tennis and get some real exercise without having to coordinate being in the same physical location as my opponent.

[1] - http://wiihacks.blogspot.com/2007/12/head-tracking-vr-using-wiimote.html
[2] - http://technologizer.com/2009/01/10/truemotions-way-better-than-wii-game-controller/

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Calgary Hackerspace

I've frequently called myself a Hacker [1]. This may immediately disqualify me from ever deserving the title, as one of the rules is that other people must refer to you as a Hacker, not yourself.

However, if there is one group of people that I identify with more than any others - it would be the hacker community. Recently a friend of mine, Paul Brodeur [2] wrote up a compelling request to the people in Calgary to help him setup a Calgary based Hackerspace [3].

I'm doing what he asked, and I'm sending this out to everyone I know. If you're interested, join the google group [4] or the facebook group [5] and figure a way to help out.

Now that I've made the pitch, I feel I need to explain why I haven't joined either group, nor am I likely to attend the meetings or make use of the space. Please don't construe this as an argument against the Hackerspace. I think it's a brilliant idea, and I support them in their effort to make it happen.

I'm a fairly specialized hacker - I deal almost completely in the intangible. I'm not a hardware hacker, I'm not an electronics hacker - I prefer to stay in the realm of math, software and computer graphics. Now, I'm not saying that other specialized hackers like me won't be able to make use of, or enjoy the space. In fact, I feel that it's likely that many (maybe even most?) will find it a welcoming and nurturing environment in which to learn, share, and create.

I already have a Hackerspace - the internet. I spend my days in IRC chat rooms surrounded by people of a like mind who like to learn, share and create. I am very frequently learning from them, helping them, working with them and growing because of the experience. This isn't for everyone - but for me it's where I feel at home, it's where I find myself the most creative.

In addition, I'm not a people person. If you get more than 3-5 other people in the same room as me - and I shut down [6]. I don't say much, I get extremely self-conscious and my mind immediately begins to think of excuses as to why I should be elsewhere. I avoid movie-theatres, shopping malls, food courts, meetings, and coffee shops for this very reason. The hackerspace, if successful, and I believe it will be, is likely to be filled with more people than I'll be comfortable being around.

In closing I should also mention that I'm willing to be convinced or shown how I'll benefit from the hackerspace. I'm also willing to help out to ensure that those who will benefit may realize their dream. However (unless convinced otherwise) I won't be an active participant.

[1] - http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html
[2] - http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulbrodeur
[3] - http://ultramegaman.com/blog/?p=25
[4] - http://groups.google.com/group/calgary-hackspace?hl=en
[5] - http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/group.php?gid=43079798204&ref=nf
[6] - the number is variable and also depends on how well I know them. But if everyone I know came over for my birthday party, even tho I know them well I'd be very uncomfortable in that situation.