The new and slick

I’m probably the last person to talk about it, by has a cool and slick new design [via Scott’s blog].

They also added a cool new feature, client side certificate, so when you install such a certificate on your machine you don’t need to do anything to sign in. It does all that for you!

Just remember to NOT use it on public computers or on computers that are being used by more than one person and do not have a different user names for each person.

Congrats to Scott and all of the fine team at JanRain!

In the transition, one thing was lost though, my personal icon. It wasn’t a biggy cause I uploaded it again. On the other hand if I haven’t read about the redesign of the site I would have probably thought I was hijacked to a different one :-) (not!).

OpenID Vendor Lock-In (sort of)

Continuing my previous post about OpenID and Vendor Lock-In, a reader of this blog named Andrew commented on the previous post about a problem he had with and Zooomr. He has some valid points here which I wanted to highlight in this post (he also had some points that I think can be easily fixed or that are actually a non issue). You can also read my complete answer to Andrew here.

Prior to discovering the whole idea and notion of OpenID Andrew registered to Zooomr. Zooomr’s accounts are actually OpenID accounts which they provide, so every Zooomr user also gets an OpenID account that he can use on other OpenID supported sites.

Zooomr delegates the management of the OpenID to through their affiliates program. (UPDATE: Apparently, this is not true. For some reason I thought it was the case, but it is not)

After Andrew got to know OpenID he wanted to truly own his identity by using his own domain (either use delegation or run his own server, whatever he chooses), but now he could not use his identity in Zooomr since Zooomr doesn’t have the notion of supporting multiple OpenID identities tied to the same Zooomr account.

In fact, he is tied to his OpenID identity in Zooomr for using Zooomr and since he got a Pro4Life account this identity will never die.

In my previous post I’ve suggested a couple of ideas to avoid OpenID vendor lock-in. I now want to add an additional point:

  • Sites should support the ability to associate multiple OpenID identities so that a user can add, remove and switch the identity used to access a certain account in a certain site.

Jyte and claimID, for example, support the ability to add multiple OpenID identities and associate them with a single account of each site respectively. You can then login to these sites with each and every one of the OpenID identities you have associated with your account.

I’m probably the last person to talk about this but Scott Kveton posted on his blog that his company, JanRain and GNR (who manages the .name top level domain) has come into partnership to deliver a solution that encompasses a .name URL for you as well as built-in OpenID delegation support.

Check the details at the site.

You’ll get a 90 days free trial, after which it will cost $10.95/year.

You’ll get a forwarding email address in the form of (if its available) as well as a site in the form of You can forward that site to whatever page you wish.

The best part is that you automagically get to use this URL (which is rather easy to remember. Duh!) as your OpenID URL in any OpenID enabled site.

The OpenID provider for this service is, of course, JanRain’s own MyOpenID.

I don’t know how much similar services for .name domain (minus the OpenID support, of course) cost per year, but I think this is one of the cheap ones.

The only thing I can add to the discussion in the comments section on Scott’s post, is that if GNR will enable other people using a .name solution to migrate to this new service, that would really make things going. Oh, and they should probably also offer an Email box (which might make this solution cost a bit more, but I think its worth it) because the few people that I know of have a real Email box attached to ther .name solution.

I don’t think that I’ll need a .name solution since I own which is more than fine by me, but this is great for anyone who doesn’t want to mess too much with settings up domains, sites and the rest.