AOL and OpenID

So AOL uses OpenID. What’s pretty cool is that it adds 63 million OpenIDs thanks to AOL’s large user base (according to AOL). They also said:

We don’t yet accept OpenID identities within our products as a relying party, but we’re actively working on it. That roll-out is likely to be gradual.

OpenID is designed so that you can use provider to store your data, and authenticate to any OpenID enabled service using your own provider. The beauty of this is that unlike other unified login schemes, this one doesn’t form some sort of monopoly. I decided to take and see how far they’ve come. AOL’s rather long standing login page (which really hasn’t changed much since the AOL/Netscape authentication merge happened years ago) has finally been updated. The biggest change is the presence of prefs to allow you to choose what method of login you wish to use. I decided to try OpenID, and used mine. The results I guess aren’t so unexpected:

AOL OpenID

Interestingly, Netscape.com does support OpenID just fine.

OpenID is a really sweet system. Hopefully it will take off and do well. Hopefully there won’t be bias as to who accepts who as a provider.

Windows Ad On A Mac

I see these every once in a while. Advertisers occasionally think it’s clever to make their ad mimic the OS interface in hopes that novice users get confused and click on it. I’m sure this is (sadly) pretty successful despite being rather deceptive. It becomes comical when these ads show up on a Mac since it looks so out of place as shown in this image.

Stupid Windows Ad

You can’t really expect a Mac user to fall for this. It looks pretty strange. The best part is how for Operating System, it says “unknown”.

if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf("Win")!=-1){
    showAd();
} else {
   // Don’t even waste your time.
}

Recycle Old Ink Cartridges

I noticed this yesterday when looking up what model ink cartridges I needed to order. HP will send postage-paid envelopes for ink cartridges to be recycled. I ordered several which should last a while and hopefully will get then in a few days.

They don’t advertise it too well, but it’s not a bad program. So if you have a HP printer send them back. Boxes are available for businesses who go through a lot of ink.

MozillaBuild Fun

MozillaBuild is awesome since it saves a ton of time creating a build environment. The older cygwin based system wasn’t exactly an intuitive process. The downside of the change is those stupid tricks you knew, no longer apply in some cases.

For example a cvs checkout over SSH. Once upon a time you could follow the instructions to have it remember your ssh key so you don’t have to enter a password every 30 seconds. I simply had this in a batch file along with a bunch of environmental variables.

for /f "tokens=1,2,3* delims=; " %%a in (‘ssh-agent -c’) do if "%%a"=="setenv" set %%b=%%c
set HOME=/cygdrive/c/cygwin/home/USERNAME
ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_dsa
start /b /wait cmd.exe
ssh-agent -k
exit

That’s no longer useful. I was able to find a new way to do this thanks to Myk. He did it for MSVC7, I’m using MSVC8:

Add %MOZILLABUILD%\msys\bin\SSH-agent into the MYSYS Shell line in the batch script to launch your build environment. For example:

start "MSYS Shell – MSVC8 Environment" %MOZILLABUILD%\msys\bin\ssh-agent "%MOZILLABUILD%\msys\bin\rxvt" -backspacekey -sl 2500 -fg %FGCOLOR% -bg %BGCOLOR% -sr -fn "Lucida Console" -tn msys -geometry 80×25 -e /bin/bash –login -i

Then in your MSYS shell enter:

ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_dsa

Now you can sit back and enjoy a cvs checkout without needing to enter your password all the time. That makes things a lot easier.

I was strongly considering using my Mac Mini to build, but it’s a rev1, and the thought of using a 4200 RPM drive for something like compiling something like this made me change my mind.

New iProducts

Apple iMac

Apple iMac Aug 2007

So todays announcement was the new iMac. Wasn’t much of a surprise as it was due, and the rumor sites were pretty consistent. The new design wasn’t much of a surprise either. I love the metal, and think it’s great on the G5/Mac Pro. I never really cared for the glossy display, but I don’t think that’s a deal breaker. Lenovo did a poll on screen preference and found the overwhelming majority (86%) preferred anti-glare. It’s definitely my preference. I do however think it matters more on laptops than on desktops since laptops will on occasion be subject to lighting that produces glare, while a desktop is typically setup in a position that wouldn’t facilitate the problem.

Apple Keyboard

Apple Keyboard Aug 2007

Also new is the revised Apple Keyboard. This was leaked a little early. Gizmodo did a good breakdown on the changes to the key layout. I think the most surprising move was eliminating the Apple logo in favor of the word “command”. My guess would be the feel of the new keyboard is very similar to modern Apple laptops (Gizmodo says it does), but not as cramped. If that’s really the case, given the construction of this keyboard it could be a very comfortable keyboard.

Surprisingly Apple lists the keyboard’s requirements as:

  • Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later
  • Keyboard software update

For a keyboard? This sounds a little strange. I’m virtually positive if you plugged it into any computer it would work fine, but some of the special keys may not be mapped correctly. I’m almost positive it will work fine in Windows XP/Vista as well, since Apple has Boot Camp. I suspect Apple will at some point ship Windows software for the keyboard for users who want to use Windows in Boot Camp, as well as those who just want the Apple Keyboard. My guess is that it’s either just not ready yet, or they want to gauge interest.

iLife ’08

iLife ’08 looked pretty good, but I’m not a heavy user, so it didn’t impress me as much as I guess it should have. Organizing photos by events is extremely handy and seems very well done. iMovie also has quite a few enhancements that should make movie editing much easier.

iWork ’08

iWork ’08 impressed me a little more. So much like Office, yet so much more polished and eloquent. What’s impressive is that the final results look so good, and the process to get those results seems intuitive. Numbers in particular looks really great. Will this eat into Microsoft Office’s market share? No. Will it make life easier for many Mac professionals who want to make some nice looking documents? Absolutely.

Overall

One thing I thought was noteworthy is Steve apparently mentioned that the keyboard photos were leaked online. Considering Apple’s tight lipped history, that was somewhat interesting. Still no sign of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. He didn’t spend any real time on it, barely a mention. Considering it’s August, and the last big event before October, this was a little surprising. I’m wondering if this could mean a further delay.

My predictions from yesterday weren’t to bad, though they were mostly obvious. The only thing I was a little surprised about was the missing update on Leopard. I still think the Mac Mini will see a speed bump by the end of the year.

Mac Rumors notes that according to the Apple press release for the iMac, Airport Extreme now has Gigabit Ethernet (something that was sadly missing). No mention elsewhere on the site. I wonder if this is official, or just something that slipped out. It’s looking better and better.

Edit: According to CNet, the Mac Mini did get an speed bump! That means another prediction was right.

Product images courtesy of Apple.

Bug Bounty

Robert Kairo just announced a bug bounty program for SeaMonkey. The largest bounty is $1000 and the total for the bugs in the program is currently at $2700. Check the site for more information if you’re interested.

This is similar to bounty program Mark Shuttleworth did a few years ago. The Mozilla Security Bug Bounty Program is also available with $500 and a T-Shirt for a valid security bug.

Fake Steve Revealed

What do Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and just about anyone in tech have in common besides using computers? They all read The Secret Diary of [Fake] Steve Jobs. Fake Steve has been a cult icon the tech community, especially bloggers within the tech community. There has been an ongoing search for who the mystery blogger is. Fake Steve hinted last night that something was happening today, and it couldn’t be Apple related since it’s Sunday not Tuesday.

The New York Times revealed it’s Daniel Lyons of Forbes.com. His personal blog is less humorous but still pretty interesting (there’s another feed to keep tabs on).

Thankfully, since we all knew he was a fake, even though we now know who he really is, it will still be entertaining. And yes, Fake Steve does intend to continue but notes Forbes.com will be a new sponsor. He’s got a book coming out too. After this publicity I’m guessing it will do very well.

[Hat tip: Photo Matt]