OAuth 1.0 Public Draft – Another brick in the wall

Others have made such great explanations as to what OAuth is and what it does like Eran Hammer-Lahav’s post so I won’t repeat it.

I will say that OAuth should make the Internet a little bit safer by giving the technical means to remove the need of a certain service asking the user to give his/her username and password to access another service that that user is also using.

OAuth is to credentials delegation what OpenID is to authentication. An open standard for delegating a user’s credentials between services, the same way OpenID is an open standard for authentication.

It is important to note, however, that OAuth is not limited to be used with OpenID only. It CAN be used with ANY authentication scheme both open and proprietary.

After all, some of the main mantras of OAuth were that we don’t want to reinvent the wheel(s) and we want OAuth to play nicely with everyone.

I’m contributing to the working group of OAuth and we just released the first public draft for OAuth 1.0. Take a look, read the spec and share your thoughts and comments with us!

OAuth – another brick in the open standards wall of authentication, credentials delegations and ultimately identity.

VmWare Server 1.0.4 on Ubuntu Server 7.04 (a.k.a Feisty Fawn)

2 days after my previous post about installing VmWare Server 1.0.3 from Canonical’s repository, VmWare released version 1.0.4.

I tried using its built-in install script on a vanilla Ubuntu Server 7.04 (a.k.a Feisty Fawn) and it worked flawlessly.

Aside from certain libraries which it needs to compile the vmmon and vmnet kernel modules (the installation script will tell you which ones are missing and you can get them from the repositories using apt-get), you’ll also need to install xinetd.

All in all, the installation script did all the job and it works fine without patching the vmmon code.

Keep up the good work VmWare Team!

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04), VmWare Server and Authentication problems

If you are going to install VmWare server (a great and free server virtualization product from VmWare) on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04) and you’ve followed this post showing how to do it using Canonical’s commercial repository, make sure to read this post at the Ubuntu Community Docs.

Basically, if you encounter authentication problems at the Server’s Console after installing the VmWare server and until this bug is fixed, you need to edit /etc/pam.d/vmware-authd to contain:

auth required pam_unix_auth.so shadow nullok
account required pam_unix_acct.so

Afterwards, restart the VmWare service and try to authenticate using the server’s console again.

I’m just being the Good SEO Samaritan and bumping this article’s SEO so everyone will see it first (instead of it being buried down somewhere and the search results) :-) .

Google Reader Search is here!

I fired up Google Reader this morning and to my surprise I found a search box:

Google Reader now has search

This is one of the last missing features I wanted Google Reader to have.

I actually have a friend that didn’t want to switch from a desktop feed reader until Google Reader added search. Now he can safely move to it :-)

You can limit your search to all items in all of your feeds, all stared items, all shared items or items from a specific folder. I couldn’t make the search work with some of the search keywords I’m familiar with in Gmail like “from:XXX”, “label:XXX” etc, which I think is very important.

I even used the Google Blog Search syntax of “inpostauthor:Eran” to find all posts written by Eran, but it doesn’t seem to work.

I would have expected that the Google Reader search will use the Google Blog Search engine underneath and just add additional limitation for searches like “All shared items” in which it will perform the search only on that specific set of items. Perhaps it does use it but without some of the query syntax features.

Oh well, I hope the Google Reader search will converge with the syntax of Google Blog Search to make the search feature complete.

All in all this is a great and long requested feature. Great job Google Reader team!

Israeli Shortage in High End Laptops

At Yedda (my day job) we recently ordered 3 new laptops.

Our spec was very specific (that’s how we are ;-) ):

  • Core Duo 2 running on at least 2Ghz
  • 2Gb of RAM
  • 100Gb or more hard drive
  • WXGA+ screen (1440×960 resolution)
  • 14.1″ screen
  • Non shared memory video card
  • DVD burner

The reason we want 14.1″ screens is due to size and weight (some of us, not me, rides on bikes and/or motorcycles to get to the YeddaHQ). We also wanted as high resolution as possible and the WXGA+ seems very good.

Up until now we mostly used Thinkpads so we obviously checked out the new T61.

Aside from the fact that it was a bit costly (which we were willing to accept) there were no T61 machines in Israel with WXGA+ or with a Core Duo 2 running on at least 2Ghz or the machines had an integrated shared memory video card (which is a big no no!).

We checked out the Dell D630 which also had the same configuration, got good reviews and was surprisingly ~$500 cheaper. The only problem was that it had to be specially ordered for us since Dell Israel doesn’t work the same way it works in the USA. Dell Israel brings a certain set of models to Israel and Israelis don’t get the pleasure of having a specific Dell machine built just for them.

Luckily we ordered 3 machines and our supplier was willing to place a special order at Dell UK for us.

The original estimated delivery time was 3 weeks (work weeks, not calendar weeks) which ended up today.

As you can figure out from the title, the machines will not arrive today. It seems that there is a shortage in Israel not just in Dell high end laptops but in other brands as well and I’ve heard people getting a delivery date for December.

The official explanation for the delay in shipment of our Dell machines was that there is a delay in LCD screens in the UK and that’s why the machines are sitting there screen-less waiting for us.

The current expected delivery date out of the UK is the 25th of September. I guess we will just have to wait.