Thursday, July 23, 2009

OpenID: Login anywhere with a single id

OpenID Basics
Most websites require a user to login before they can start using their website. So,users are forced to signup at every single website they intend to use.The signup process is usually a time consuming process since email verification is mostly necessary in order to verify the validity of the user.
Yahoo's id can be used across its network (email,groups,answers etc),and Google's id can be used on its network (gmail,gtalk,blogger etc) and Microsoft has Passport (mail,Spaces,and all MS services including Windows itself).
But what about the other majority of internet not owned by Y!,Google or MS? Its where OpenID comes to the rescue.
Started in 2005, OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites.Its designed by the OpenId foundation which provides it as a open source implementation. OpenID can be signed up using one of the OpenID providers. Once signed up,it can be used across the network of websites that support OpenID.OpenID foundation claims that OpenID is supported by more than 50,000 websites.
Some major websites include blogger,wordpress,livejournal,scribd,digg,dailymotion,facebook etc.,and more and more websites are starting to support OpenID gradually.

OpenID offers users ease of use and there is no need to sign up in websites supporting OpenID.
For website owners,the advantage is that more users will be signed up for their website since users dont need to signup separately, and users only need to sign in into OpenID and join the website.
So,users can easily join an OpenId supporting website.Thats a plus for both users as well as website owners.
Moreover, OpenID can be easily implemented by website owners.
And regarding security,the OpenId password will not be submitted to the website, it will be submitted only to the OpenID provider who acts as the middleman in the sign-in process.

Yahoo supports OpenID
Yahoo started to support OpenID in 2008 as a OpenID provider.The implication is that existing Y! ids can be used as OpenID logins (username/password).However, it needs to be enabled separately.
Just go to and login with Y! username/password and enable OpenID.
After that, Y! id can be used to login into any OpenId website.
An important thing to be noted is that the Y! username/password should not be entered directly into any website's login boxes.Enter in the OpenID field.The browser will redirect to Y! authentication servers.Y! username/password should only be entered in Yahoo's login page.
Of course,the user has the option to sign up with any OpenID provider.
Even Google and Microsoft are OpenID providers.

OpenID providers: websites that allow to create OpenIDs (trivially, Y!,G and MS allow creation,but they can't be used for login in their own networks,but usable on all websites implemeting OpenID)
OpenID websites: websites that allow OpenID to be used as a login method (websites that allow users to login)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Estimated worldwide internet users

Infographic from

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Yahoo groups ad container is obscuring mail content

Ever since Yahoo groups adopted the box type advertisements on top of email, users are irritated by the advertisements that hover over the email content rather than flowing with the content.
Yahoo groups adds these advertisements to all emails processed by the groups' system.
So, the email that comes via yahoo groups end up obscured,that is,partly hidden behind yahoo's own advertisements.
Every service need advertisement revenue,but ads should not be over the content.
Ads should not mask the content.The
elements are having absolute positioning values and they hover over the content.
This is predatory advertising.

Notice the green arrow,it points the advertisement.
This screenshot taken at 1600x900 resolution with latest Firefox.

This screenshot taken at 1024x768 with latest IE 8

This screenshot taken at 1024x768 with latest Firefox.

In all the screenshots, the ad masks the content of the email.
It masks images as well as text.
Atleast, this box should have a close or hide button.
Else,it should be positioned relative to the content.

I have contacted Y! groups, lets see if they correct this.
Y! ads spoilt the first ever earth rise photo by placing their ad over the image in my mail,

Y! has responded to my complaint, here is the response from yahoo.

Hello Bharath,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.

I understand that the box in the upper right-hand corner of messages
from your group is covering text within the message. I apologize for
any inconvenience.

The details you have reported have been passed along to the proper
support group for further testing.

In the meantime, if you switch from "fully featured" emails to
"traditional" the box will not show up when you are viewing messages.
There are 2 ways to change this setting:

Option 1:

- Go to any page in the group

- Click "Edit Membership" towards the top of the page

- In "Step 3" select "Traditional" and click "Save"

Option 2:

- Send an email to (Replace
"groupname" with the full name of your group).

- You will receive a confirmation email, reply to the confirmation email
and your settings will be changed.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know. We're
always more than happy to help and we appreciate all feedback that helps
us identify ways to constantly maintain and improve our services.

Be sure to check the Official Yahoo! Groups Blog for more information
and the latest updates about Yahoo! Groups.



Yahoo! Groups Customer Care

Comparison between "Fully featured"(left) and "Traditional"(right) mail delivery.
Fully Featured Traditional

The above mentioned fix suggested by Yahoo groups works.
Change mail delivery to traditional.