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Archive for September, 2008

Netflix to Roll Out API Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

netflix-logoWe just recieved word from multiple sources that Netflix is planning on rolling out an API tomorrow that allows access to the company’s database of over 100,000 movies. This is to include the ratings data (which is, apparently, up to over two billion ratings on file increasing at the rate of two million movie ratings per day).

The API will be free and open to commercial use, so if you decided to make an Android or iPhone app, you’re more than welcome to sell it. The API will come in three flavors: RESTful, Javascript and ATOM, with standard OAuth security.

The developer site currently requires authentication, but is going to be live tomorrow morning. All API specs and documentation should be available there. Once the specs are live, we’ll take a look at them in depth and report back any interesting details and opportunities we see.

Related Articles at Mashable | All That’s New on the Web:

Netflix Hack for DRM-Free Movie Downloads
Netflix Streaming Doesn’t Work on Macs. That’s Bad.
Amazon to Acquire Netflix?
Netflix To Lift Limits For Online Viewing
TrustedOpinion Funded & Integrating Netflix Direct Recommendations
Netflix is a Pain in the A** for the Post Office
In WSJ Interview, Netflix CEO Charts Diversification Of Digital Downloads

How to Connect Your Email Address to Your OpenID Account

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

OpenID is an excellent solution for establishing a single identity for all your online accounts, but many people haven’t even tried it yet. For some, the concept of using a URL address for a login ID instead of the traditional email address is still completely foreign.

However, Email to ID could be what the doctor ordered and what these creatures of habits need. It could also be what OpenID needs in order to expedite wide-spread acceptance as the single sign on identity standard. You can now link your email address (or several of them) to your OpenID and then use that email address (any of them) to log into any online service that supports it! The beauty rests in the simplicity of it all. Best of all, it’s all free and easy to do.

First, a little background information on this process

Email to ID is based on the EAUT (Email Address to URL Translation) protocol that allows standard email addresses to be transformed into URLs for services like OpenID. As far as concerns regarding security and who controls everything, EAUT was designed to work in a distributed fashion, so that there isn’t a single authority in charge of everything. Each email service controls how email addresses at their domain are resolved into URLs. 

Even though EAUT is designed to be decentralized, it will take time for email providers to add support. In these cases, a fallback service can be used which can translate ANY email address to a URL. Relying parties can use any fallback service they wish, but Email to ID is recommended.  The need for a fallback service will decrease as more email providers support EAUT natively. 

Why a fallback service like Email to ID?

Emailtoid was designed as a technology prototype to act as a temporary solution to a usability problem in OpenID. Email to ID always defers to the email providers first and only falls back to the local resolution service if the email provider does not support email-to-OpenID resolution. 

What’s important for Email to ID’s long-term Success?

There are a couple of things that need to happen in order for Email to ID to become a normal part of our online experience. First, OpenID needs to formally and officially support the EAUT protocol . Second, all email providers need to get on board and support OpenID and EAUT. It’s not only good for their members but for them as well so it’s really a no-brainer. The same is true for all online services and their stance regarding OpenID support – the more services that embrace OpenID, the better for us all.

How to do it

Here’s how easy it is to connect your email address with your OpenID account. It literally takes a couple of minutes. When completed we will show you how to use it with a site that supports EAUT such as Magnolia.

1. First, you’ll need an OpenID account. You might already have one because many services like AIM and LiveJournal include an OpenID for members. You can check here. If you don’t already own one then just create one from any of the official OpenID providers on that page. Popular providers include and VeriSign’s Personal Identity Provider

2. Go to Email to ID and add your OpenID account along with the email address you want to associate with it. You can add multiple addresses if you want. You’ll receive an email with an access key you can enter to complete the connection or you can simply click the link in the email. Either way works fine.

That’s it, really. It’s that easy. Enter the email address and OpenID account and they’ll be connected. You can just as easily disconnect them or add another email address or change the OpenID provider should you want to do so. It’s very flexible and puts you in control.

How to use your new email to ID account on a service

Now that you’ve linked your email address with your OpenID account, you can use your familiar email address on any site that supports it. In this example, we’ll use the popular social bookmarking service, Magnolia.

1. Go to the Magnolia sign in page and enter your email address in the OpenID box instead of the usual OpenID URL. 

2. You’ll be redirected to a confirmation page on your OpenID provider’s site. Click continue to complete the transaction. 

3. That’s it. You’re done. No need to enter tedious profile information or even a password. Just create the screen name you want and the email address and you’re done with the sign-up process in a fraction of the time that it usually takes. Email to ID and OpenID handles all of the dirty work for you.

Final thoughts

You’ve just gotten a glimpse of what could very well be the future of online registration thanks to the OpenID single sign on identity system along with the Email to ID URL translation based on the EAUT protocol. As mentioned earlier, in order for this much improved process to become a common standard and available everywhere online more services need to support OpenID and EAUT. The good news is that increasing new services are in fact supporting OpenID. To keep up with all of the new additions to this list go to the OpenID Directory or subscribe to its RSS feed which updates constantly.

Related Articles at Mashable | All That’s New on the Web:

The Daily Poll: How Often Do You Use OpenID to Login?
Another Victory For OpenID: Yahoo Announces Support
Blogger’s OpenID Support Now Official
Wikispaces Adds OpenID Suport
Blogger Beta Gets OpenID Support
Wetpaint Adds OpenID Support
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM and Verisign Join OpenID Foundation

25+ Resources for Carpooling

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

From gas prices to the environment and being able to use the carpool lane, there are many reasons to start carpooling. The question is, how do you easily find people that happen to be driving to the same destination as you?  Luckily, as with almost everything in this day and age, there are Web apps to help you with this very query.

For a double whammy of savings, make sure to check out our list, Check Gas Prices Online: 11 Handy Tools to find the cheapest gas for you and your carpooling buddies to split.

General – Avego is a service accessible via the iPhone or an average cell phone that allows you to get rides at a moment’s notice. The service uses GPS to allow drivers and riders to find each other.  Via the GPS function you get exact directions indicating where to pick up and drop people off, and also get a running tally of how much the ride costs.  After the ride is over, both the driver and passenger can rate one another. – Offers up international carpooling opportunities for people mainly in the USA, Canada and Europe. – CarpoolWorld has been around since 2000, and continues to provide matching services for those looking for drivers and passengers. Also offers the ability to set up carpool groups for your company, club, sports team or just about anything else you can think of. – A carpooling site designed to get your children around to their activities. One person starts it, they invite people they trust, and then a calendar is created. Reminders are sent via email and text message. – Assists you in finding rides for daily carpooling, cross-country travel, running errands, or even to special events & club meetings. – A ride sharing system that charges $.99 for creating a post as either a driver or passenger, and allows you to post reviews of the experience after it’s over. – A social network style carpooling site that makes sure everyone pays their share of the expenses. Each mile of a proposed trip is calculated at $.50, then split between the number of people and then GoLoco receives a 10% share of the transaction. – A service focusing on corporate websites to allow your employees to find people they can share rides with, providing them with public transit schedules, and more. – Assists you with finding carpooling partners for work, long distance trips, events and more. Works for members in Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA. – NuRide offers sponsored carpooling. Set up your ride, confirm that it actually occurred, and you can earn points towards rewards such as gift cards, discounts and more. All members must belong to a company or organization so as to remove some of the anonymity. – Sign up for carpooling for work, long trips, to events and more. Focuses heavily on reducing your carbon footprint on the Earth. – A car pooling site with a social networking structure. Give it a try by entering the zip code where you live and the one for your office to see if there are any members who match up with your needs. – Use the RideAmigo’s RideMatcher system to enter your trip or commute, and find people with a matching schedule that you can share a ride with. The service also shows the environmental impact reduction of the people sharing a ride. Also offers a corporate version, which restricts results to people within your company.

RidePro – A white label solution for companies and cities looking to set up their own carpooling site. – Enter the route for your proposed road trip and find people to share the ride with and split the costs. Has lots of international members, and it’s easy to spot who has the vehicle and who is looking for one. – Billed as a commuter advocacy site, TrafficBulldog offers up news and suggestions on reducing traffic congestion via carpooling and other suggestions. – Zimride offers carpooling for just about any distance you can think of in the USA. They have a Facebook application and have already built an app to be released to work with Android.

Region Specific – The San Francisco based site provides a ride share area where you can find other commuters to pool with in the Bay area.  Carpoolers get free bridge tolls during peak hours, and if you start a Vanpool, you can receive up to $900 in gas cards. – Offers carpool matching for France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. – Canadians get their own carpooling site with  Find rides, read up on carpooling etiquette, and other general tips. – A carpool site focusing on Oregon and SW Washington. – Carshare is a directory of carpooling services for the UK that you can look up by region or by just looking for ones that serve the entire country. – Focuses mainly on carpooling in the UK, but also offers up the chance to find walking and biking buddies. – Carpool matching service specific to the Atlana, GA area of the United States.

RideArrangers – In operation since 1975, RideArrangers is a program in Denver, CO focused on matching up people for carpools. – RideFinders is specific to the St. Louis area and provides an interesting incentive in the form of up to six free taxi rides a year.  These can be used in case you have unforeseen circumstances that keep you from meeting up with your ride. – Set up carpooling for work, school and trips for people all across Australia.

Related Articles at Mashable | All That’s New on the Web:

Zimride Launches Carpooling Network for Facebook
PickupPal Pushes Green with Carpools to Concerts
Zilok Pushes Green Lifestyle with US Launch: Video Interview
Edenbee or Not to Be? Climate Change Social Network Steps In To Help

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