The arrival of the inevitable Irish housing market slump/slowdown has coincided with a massive global credit crunch caused by a “sub-prime mortgage crisis” in the US. There’s been lots written in the Irish press about the credit crunch and the effects on the domestic housing market but understanding why the crisis developed in the first place is best explained by this eye-opening BBC article. One amazing nugget in this article relates to the collapse of the housing market Cleveland. The graphs are amazing but the mere fact that “Deutsche Bank Trust, acting on behalf of bondholders, was the largest property owner in the city.” is amazing.
Google dominance of the search market along with their current moves to monetize the average users second click seems to leave other web content producers at a disadvantage. Perhaps there is nothing to worry about but when you own the primary entry point to the web that so many use and when there is so little transparency…
Yet another reason why dumb-pipe wireless networks are required to allow further internet service innovation – T-Mobile (U.S.) disabled access to Twitter via SMS – I wonder will they follow suit with their E.U. networks? Bob Mertz seems to have the most authorative response they have provided to date.
In your email, you express concerns, as you are not able to use your service for Twitter. As you have been advised, Twitter is not an authorized third-party service provider, and therefore you are not able to utilize service from this provide any longer. You indicate your feeling that this is a violation of the Net Neutrality.
T-Mobile would like to bring to your attention that the Terms and Conditions of service…We may impose credit, usage, or other limits to Service, cancel or suspend Service, or block certain types of calls, messages, or sessions (such as international, 900, or 976 calls) at our discretion.
So they are well within their rights to do this because their T&C effectively say ‘bite me’.
I actually think that more of these high profile incidents are required in order to highlight to the masses the control wireless network providers exercise over content that flows over their networks. Meanwhile it will be a rough ride for anyone who depends on mobile web services – slowly those with sense will learn to never dependent on their mobile network to continue to provide access to critical services.
I was going to blog about Google Knol but I got a bit creeped out after reading a bit more about it – more on that some other day. Far more interesting though, yesterday Amazon added another huge web service to their AWS offering – this time an Erlang based SimpleDB (limited beta) sporting both
RESTful(Update: yikes they tunnel through GET – that stinks!) HTTP/RPC and SOAP interfaces – see the Developer Guide and other good related posts (love the title of that last one).
Amazon now provide pretty much have all the infrastructure that a web application might need – hosting, storage, database, message queuing. This stuff is utility SaaS in its rawest form. Nick Carr has a timely piece about what Google are up to in this space. (Update: Joe Gregorio, now of Google, has an interesting megadata view).
This is getting ridiculous – a scam email based on scam emails (how on earth did this get past my GMail spam and Apple Mail spam filters?):
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA/ NIGERIAN SECURITY DEPARTMENT FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA. Attention Beneficiary, This to acknowledge you that we got your contact information was found among the list of foreigner that have been scammed by Nigerian Fraudster. <snip> We are delegated by Central bank of Nigeria from the United Nations to pay 100 Nigerian 419 scam victims (US$1Million) each, you are listed and approved for this payments as one of the scammed victims, get back to us as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your (US$1Million) compensation. <snip>
You have to admire the ingenuity of these guys – they’ve got the bones of a SIP client running on an iPod Touch (not an iPhone).
The problem (why does there have to be a problem?) is if Apple wanted anyone to talk on an iPod they wouldn’t have named it an iPod now would they? Sit back and wait for the Apple hammer to fal. Personally I hope they get something finished before the lawyers turn up, and I don’t even have an iPod Touch.
To further explain why I think that standards like OpenID and OAuth are critical to the evolution of a giant global graph I just had to post a diagram drawn by Francis Shanahan for one of his recent blog posts (click to enlarge).
It should be clear from just looking at this that a) solving this problem would massively improve usability and usage of the world wide web and b) no single company is going to globally solve it with a proprietary solution.
The word ‘open’ has been abused terribly in recent months (I’m looking at you OpenSocial and you AT&T/Verizon) but the recently completed OpenID 2.0 and OAuth Core 1.0 specifications are truly open. They really should be on the radar of every self respecting web developer that works on websites/APIs that require authentication (OpenID) and authorization/access-control (OAuth). Both are integral to any hope we have of evolving the existing world wide web into a truly open social network (or the giant global graph as timbl now calls it)
That said, minimal OpenID implementations won’t solve all authentication headaches. Phishing is a problem so I suspect OpenID enabled sites will need to employ white list providers as Tim and Dare highlighted this a while back.
Now we (the web community that is) need two things to happen.
- We need the big online identity silos like Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live, Facebook and MySpace – the sites whose login page average web users trust – to step up to the plate and act as OpenID providers.
- We need the big API sites like Google Maps/Charts/Base/…, Microsoft Live, Yahoo!/Flickr, Facebook to start working on enabling OAuth access to their APIs.
Note the overlap in the two lists above – yep, those guys own this part of the web. Which will be brave enough to move first? With final specifications in hand, no excuses, please go forth and implement and lets end this www account/data access hell we all live in.
Perhaps past-history now that they have implemented the great off switch but it helps explain why organizations like MoveOn got so riled (btw, here’s a game, find the link in the Facebook/Zuckerberg blog post)