Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I was reading Tim Bray's post on OpenID this morning. It's interesting to start looking at something new, when you begin with someone pointing out the flaws. After watching Simon Willison's screencast on OpenID I decided this seemed pretty cool.

OpenID is essentially a decentralized single-sign-on system. I can sign in to any site that supports OpenID using my new OpenID from this blog. My new OpenID is http://raykrueger.blogspot.com/. That's right, it's just the URL for this blog.

This is why I think OpenID is cool. My 'REAL' OpenID is raykrueger.pip.verisignlabs.com, I set it up at verisignlabs because they are the only provider that uses TLS by default. In Tim's post he points out that a lack of TLS/SSL in this scenario is sketchy at best, and I agree. Encryption is a must.

Ok, so Versign provides the OpenID authentication, but when I log into sites that support OpenId, I tell them my OpenId is
http://raykrueger.blogspot.com/. When they come here to my blog they'll find a simple bit of html in the page that tells them where to go for the real authentication provider. Have a look; right click this page and 'view source', you'll see two tags in the head section of the page that look like this:
<link href='https://pip.verisignlabs.com/server' rel='openid.server'/>
<link href='http://raykrueger.pip.verisignlabs.com/' rel='openid.delegate'/>
This tells the site that I'm logging into that http://raykrueger.blogspot.com/ is not the real provider, and that they should go to versignlabs as the server, and use by delegate openid, raykrueger.pip.verisignlabs.com.

Why go through all this trickery? Why not just use versignlabs as my openId directly? Well, if versignlabs (which is beta) gets dropped, or (god forbid) becomes a paid service, I'm not screwed. I can change providers at any time, just by changing the html tags here at blogspot. If you're interested in setting up this up for yourself, have a look at Simon Willison's instructions.

Maybe we'll have to look into adding support into Acegi Security for it. I wonder what Tim O'Brien over at PresidentFeed thinks about using it there?

Saturday, February 24, 2007


In my recent studies of wine, I was reading about Beaujolais. My wife doesn't like most red wines, but I do. We do agree on Pinot Noir, as it is very low on the red wine scale. Well, knowing Dawn's tendency towards whites, and reading about the characteristics of Beaujolais, I picked up a bottle of 2005 "Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages". It was a big hit, we both really enjoyed it.

Beaujolais is made from 100% Gamay grapes, and produced in the Burgundy region of France. You can read all about it at Wikipedia: Beaujolais

If you like Pinot Noir, if you're a afraid if 'big' red wines, check out Beaujolais. The Louis Jadot 2005 Villages was very good. Lots of cherry and Dr. pepper flavors, with some good tannins to boot.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Google Analytics

Some time back I had considered moving to Wordpress.com. I had thought about doing so I could see statistics and such for the blog. Then I found that I could do it with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is ridiculously easy to setup. You sign in with your Google account, and tell it the domain you want to watch. Then you paste in a little snippet of javascript at the bottom of each page you want to track.

Using Blogger, this is simply done by choosing to 'customize' your template. You click on the 'edit html' link and scroll down to the bottom. Just before the last </body> tag you paste in the snippet. You're done, every page in your blog is merged with this template and will get tracked automatically.

Watch out though! This is where I ran into trouble...
If you switch templates at all you have to paste that code back in there, or you'll lose all tracking for 2 weeks like I did :(

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

President Feed

My friend Tim O'Brien put together a really cool new site called PresidentFeed.com. It is sort of like a live running poll of Presidential candidate approval ratings. You cast your vote for a candidate you like, and you can remove that vote and give it to someone else later if that guy (or gal) does something stupid. On top of that you can also add "thumbs up/thumbs down" ratings to candidates (think Tivo, without the neat sound).

On the tech side it's all ajax web 2.0 style built on Rails. I love the look, I hate the ugly banner add at the top, but hey gotta pay for the hosting somehow.

Tim is also running a blog about it over at http://presidentfeed.blogspot.com. Check it out.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Google Reader

If you haven't checked out Google Reader, you should give it a look. I don't personally have a wealth of experience using other feed readers out there, but I've tried a few. The Google reader is non-intrusive for the most part. Most of the operations you'd want are close at hand and obvious (mark all as read, for example). They use tagging rather than folder structures, though they display your tags as folders. If you tag something as java, you can still tag it as technology; it will show up in both.

If you use Firefox 2.0, and you should, you'll find that they play really nice together. When browsing the web with Firfox you'll see a little 'RSS' box come up in your address bar. That box means that there is a feed for the site your looking at and you can subscribe to it. If you click on that box, Firefox will take you to a page where you chose where to add that subscription. If you choose Google Reader, google will come up and ask you if you'd like to add it to your google homepage (cool in it's own right, but not a good feed reader), or Google Reader. Clicking on Google Reader will take you into Reader, and will show you the new subscription at the bottom of your subscription view on the left (putting new stuff at the top would be better in my opinion). Your new subscription will also be the current view in the reader pane. Up at the top you can choose to label (I was calling it tags earlier, sorry) the current subscription for categorization.

So, if you haven't checked it out before, give it a look, it's pretty nice. Hell, if you don't like it it's not like you have to uninstall it or something :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What about next year?

Well, the Bears just lost the SuperBowl. Our defense played like shit. Our offense barely played, but when they did, they played like even worse shit. Then when they try to put the game in the hands of Grossman to, make something happen, he gives it up. Everyone is going to be blaming Grossman for this, and he definitely deserves a big part of the blame, but not all of it. Our offense barely got on the field because our defense couldn't get off. As a whole, beginning to end, the Bears played like shit. Our defense managed to cut off the big play, but gave up first downs like they were on sale. I've never seen the Bears miss so many tackles, it was really sad to watch. At least Hester tried to get things off to a good start by running back the opening kick off for a Touchdown. Now Hester's Touchdown is a mere side-note.

I'd say there's always next year, but we're going to lose a bunch of guys after this year. This was our chance and they blew it. So, what about next year?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bear Down Chicago Bears

Bear Down, Chicago Bears sung by Lyric Opera's Bryan Griffin
I don't know why he looks like some kind of creepy ogre lumberjack, but hey, he can sing.

The video for this one is really lame, but it's got the 'real' recording of the fight song.