Tag: Portland

The Beauty of EAUT (Email Address to URL Translation)

OpenID, as a concept, holds great promise. And Portland—with OpenID proponents like Vidoop and JanRain—is home to some of the most promising thought in the application of that concept.

But the URL thing still trips folks up.

And that’s a known issue. Not everyone wants to use a URL to identify themselves. An email address makes more sense to some folks.

But there’s a problem. An email address isn’t exactly an “endpoint.” And there’s no way to hang other stuff off of an email address, like identity information or helpful code like XFN.

Still, from a usability standpoint, “using my email address to login” is about as common a practice as any on the Web.

So there needs to be a translation. Something that lets people use the credential they want, but allows folks to have the endpoint credential they need.

Roughly a month ago, Portland-based Vidoop released something designed to solve this problem: Emailtoid, a service that allowed folks to use an email address as their OpenID.

I thought Emailtoid showed a great deal of promise. But apparently, it wasn’t good enough.

Now, Vidoop’s Will Norris and Michael Richardson have helped take the concept of Emailtoid a step further by working on the development of a new spec. It’s a spec that may simplify the issue even further.

Introducing EAUT—pronounced “yute“—a distributed email address to URL translation that allows anyone to take the conversion from email address to OpenID URL and hide it behind the scenes of the transaction. With just a little bit of code.

Or, to let Vidoop explain EAUT more clearly:

In basic terms EAUT makes it easy to take an email address and transform it into an URL, making your email work with services like OpenID. The goal with Emailtoid is to demonstrate the technology and provide a fallback solution for a larger, decentralized network based on the EAUT specification.

What’s more, it’s decentralized. Meaning any email address—any email address—now holds the potential to become an OpenID:

EAUT is designed to work in a distributed fashion, so that no one authority controls it. Every email provider can control how email addresses at their domain are resolved into URLs.

So, now that bright and shiny new Emailtoid—instead of leading the charge—becomes the fallback service should this validation fail. According to plan.

Hopefully, the release of the EAUT spec continues to chip away at the barriers that are preventing major providers—providers that serve as relying parties but don’t allow users to login via OpenID—to move into the realm of becoming full-fledged OpenID supporters.

And in so doing, here’s hoping that EAUT helps accelerate the adoption of OpenID, a concept that today may only save headaches for a handful of geeks with innumerable logins, but which may one day serve as an open foundation for credentials and security on the open Web of the future.

Combining the power of OpenID with the ease of email addresses. And making it open and distributed.

This could be a thing of beauty.

To test drive it, try out the EAUT examples. For more information on the spec, see the Vidoop post or the EAUT site.

Platial finds Apple iPhone App Store with Nearby

Platial iPhone iconPortland-based Platial, the mapping site that helps folks tell the backstories about locations that deepen the meaning of “where you are,” just got a lot more mobile, now that Platial Nearby is part of the Apple iPhone App Store.

I got the chance to see a demo version of Nearby at Platial’s iPhone App launch party a few weeks back. And it’s a pretty slick little application. Nearby takes advantage of the location-aware features of the newest iPhone, allowing users to dig into Platial content that is pertinent to both where they are—and where they might like to be.

Like most mapping applications, users can find the typical “publicly available” information about locations. But with Nearby, they also gain the advantage of tapping into Platial user data—the stories about the spot you’re standing. That means litterally thousands of notes, images, tags, and reviews for some areas. Stories of personal experience. And insight. Stories that you don’t usually get, unless you have an actual person or two to guide you.

Long story short, Nearby is a virtual tour guide, providing the backstory for the world around you. And with the iPhone app, you’re getting that story as you walk through that location.

Platial Nearby on the iPod Touch

“This reinforces our mission to create the Peoples Atlas,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, CEO of Platial. “For two years we’ve been collecting information about all kinds of places that are meaningful to people; user-generated content that goes beyond commercial listings and into architecture, activism, street art, playgrounds, local history–things you can’t find anywhere else. We still have a long way to go, but we’re closer now with Platial for iPhone.”

Nearby is currently available for download from the Apple iPhone App Store. No registration is required, so users can begin using the app right away.

Well, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 version of the firmware.

Have you tried the Platial Nearby app? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Platial is a free online mapping resource where people around the world every day share and discover all kinds of places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video, and stories in one simple interface.

Vidoop execs to be profiled in The Oregonian

VidoopIt’s no secret that I started Silicon Florist as a way to shine a spotlight on the Web startups in town who—for whatever reason—don’t get the proper attention from the local or national media.

There’s cool stuff happening here. And stories that need to be told.

And when the traditional media starts taking notice—like when Oregon Business Magazine covering local Web 2.0 startups—that makes me happy. Because, quite frankly, these folks deserve the recognition.

And now, I have some more good news of the traditional media taking notice. I think. At least I hope.

For in a recent post on OpenID, Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian and Silicon Forest blog mentions:

Meet Vidoop‘s bosses in tomorrow’s Oregonian.

Just a passing mention. But, hopefully, the precursor to some real coverage for one of the most forward thinking companies in town.

I’ll be sure to hit the newsstand tomorrow, in hopes of seeing some decent ink on Vidoop.

[Update] And here’s the article from The Oregonian, “Coffee Break: Vidoop’s bosses.”

OSCON 2008: Sourceforge offers free Open Source tattoos

Open Source tattoosInterested in placing a penguin on your posterior? Or maybe the Debian swirl? Or the Ubuntu circle thingee? Or maybe—just maybe—putting your OpenID somewhere you’re sure to never, ever forget it?

Well, next week at OSCON here in Portland, you may be able to make that dream come true. Because it seems that the nice—or is that sadistic?—folks at Sourceforge are offering to ink you up with your favorite open source icon—for free.

That’s right. Ten lucky winners will get the opportunity to go under the needle to make their ass officially open source. Well, or their arm or leg or what have you:

We are looking for people that are willing to sign up for a tattoo and show it off at the CCA party later on in the week. Only requirements – participants have to be able to meet with Ross Turk, Sourceforge’s Community Manager, at the beginning of the week to get the gift certificate, they have to sign a couple waivers (one for the tattoo parlor and one for Sourceforge), the tattoo has to be open source themed or techy in nature, and they have to show up at the CCA party Thursday night.

I’m not sure exactly which tattoo studio is going to be doing the work, but given that it’s going to be one near the Jupiter Hotel, I’m going to assume that it’s Colorbomb Tattoo with the drawing honors.

Is your interest piqued? You willing to take the pain all for love of open source? Maybe you should contact Ross at Sourceforge and let him know: rturk at corp.sourceforge.com.

And please, oh please, if you’re crazy enough to do this—and (and!) you happen to get picked—do let me know.

What’s that? Tats not your pot of ink? That’s okay, kiddo. There are still plenty of cool things to do in Portland while you’re at OSCON.

Photo credit vonguard used under Creative Commons

WeoGeo outlook cloudy… and that’s a good thing

WeoGeoWell on its way to being Portland-based WeoGeo will be providing its cloud computing expertise to Vancouver-BC-based Safe Software as part of an effort to get more out of Safe’s spatial extract, transform, and load (ETL) capabilities.

And WeoGeo gets something out of it, as well:

WeoGeo will use [Safe] FME technology as the basis for its spatial ETL offerings in the marketplace, providing users with the ability to restructure their spatial data into the required format and data model. Specifically, organizations will be able to author spatial data flows that convert and integrate spatial data using FME Desktop and then push the resulting datasets to the cloud for distribution using FME Server.

Yeah, okay. But what the heck does that mean?

Well, I didn’t know either. Luckily, Directions Magazine explained it to me:

WeoGeo allows users to search, find and download geodata for use in various analytical and cartographic pursuits. The one thing missing: the ability to transform and deliver data in various formats. That’s just some of what Safe Software’s FME Server can do.

Directions goes on to opine:

I think these two companies are on to something. The cloud is becoming part of our daily lives – for e-mail, for Google Earth use, for calendars. It’s time to put its reliability, scalability and offsite hardware management to the test in geospatial. I feel pretty confident everyone involved in geospatial is already using applications that run in the cloud and the number they use will only increase in the coming months and years.

So with Safe, all of WeoGeo’s cool data becomes much more usable—and more accessible. And that, alone, makes the WeoGeo existing geospatial data more valuable.

Now, combine that with whatever other geospatial magic they have up their WeoGeo-sleeve and we’re sure to see some cool things coming out of one of our newest startup residents.

WeoGeo creates a one-stop marketplace for the mapping industry. It supplies surveyors, engineers, cartographers, and scientists with the ability to conveniently store, search, and exchange global mapping and geo-content. Geo-content providers can easily list their data for sale, and users can quickly find the data they need.

For more information, see the press release, WeoGeo’s insight on the partnership, and Directions Magazine.

Psst! Beer and Blog will be about secrets. Past it on.

Beer and BlogIt’s Friday. And that means, it’s time for our favorite Portland wrap-up for the week: Beer and Blog.

So what’s the topic?

Well, I’d like to tell you, but it’s a secret.

Most of us have more than a few cards up our sleeves that give us a competitive advantage. I know I’ve got a whole bag of tricks that I’ve built up over the years. Today, we’re going to share some of those sweet secrets with the group. The idea here is not to spill your guts and tell all, rather that if we all share a little somethin’ then we will all learn a lot.

For more information or to RSVP, visit Beer and Blog on Upcoming.

Elemental Technologies sparks $7.1 million investment

Now, I don’t usually write about traditional software companies. But it seemed like this one definitely deserved it.

Portland-based Elemental Technologies has secured more than $7 million in its first round of funding.

Okay. So what’s being funded and why am I writing about it?

Utilizing general purpose, programmable “off-the-shelf” graphics processing units (GPUs), ETI software performs video encoding, transcoding, and filtering at unprecedented speeds while maintaining the highest video quality.

Who’s a-what-uh hunh? Okay. Maybe this will help:

[This technology] allows consumers to format their media up to 10 times faster than existing solutions.

Ah ha! Now you’re talking.

With the growing popularity of services like Seesmic, Vimeo (Portland connection), and Viddler—oh and that little site called YouTube—it’s obvious that video is very much a part of our future existence in the Web world. And while any number of companies have come up with ways to deliver that video content on the Web, there always seems to be one major sticking point to widespread adoption: Encoding video content for posting is excruciatingly slow.

To be successful, we’re going to have to be able to encode and upload video as quickly as we can download it. And Elemental may just be able to deliver.

According to NewTeeVee:

The first product out from Elemental is consumer oriented, will arrive sometime before September and is expected to cost between $30 and $100, depending on the features. The software will allow consumers to take HD inputs such as a Blu-ray disc or homemade HD video and rip it to a computer, iPod or other device five to 10 times faster than existing technologies using the CPU.

No doubt, the infusion of cash will go a long way in promoting this offering—and ensuring that development continues.

Industry-leaders General Catalyst Partners of Boston, Massachusetts and Voyager Capital of Seattle, Washington co-led this $7.1M investment. Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian and the Silicon Forest blog notes:

In Oregon’s venture capital community, [Elemental]’s new investment represents the second big funding round this month. Last week, NexPlanar Corp., a small semiconductor company that recently moved to Hillsboro, announced it had raised $14.5 million in venture capital.

And let’s hope that greases the skids for other Silicon Forest startups looking for some backing.

For more information on the funding, see the Elemental press release on the investment. For more on the company and its technology, visit Elemental Technologies.

Portland Start-up Index for July 2008: Clicky and Vidoop debut in top 20

Hard to believe, but it’s already time for another Portland Start-up Index from Techvibes.

For July, three new Portland startups have joined the listing, which is based on Alexa and Compete rankings. Clicky debuted at 6, Vidoop at 15, and GreenRenter at 46.

The top five slots remained static, but there was a great deal of movement further down the list. Kryptiq was the highest riser, moving up three slots to 37. Others slid substantially. GoSeeTell dropped 10 slots to 49, (my own) Kumquat dropped nine to 52, and IDP Solutions down eight to the last spot on the list.

Enough analysis. Here’s the list:

  1. AboutUs
  2. Kongregate
  3. Discogs
  4. COLOURlovers
  5. Frappr
  6. Clicky
  7. Jive Software
  8. Splashcast
  9. MyOpenID
  10. Earth Class Mail
  11. Sandy
  12. Platial
  13. Gone Raw
  14. eROI
  15. Vidoop
  16. NetworthIQ
  17. Stikkit
  18. GadgetTrak
  19. Active Reload
  20. Walker Tracker
  21. Grabbit
  22. Attensa
  23. Iovation
  24. Iterasi
  25. Art Face Off
  26. UrbanDrinks
  27. Pibb
  28. ChoiceA
  29. KnitMap
  30. Lunarr
  31. FreeRange
  32. Goboz
  33. Rocketbook
  34. WeoGeo
  35. Jama Software
  36. fmyi
  37. Kryptiq
  38. GoLife Mobile
  39. Picktastic
  40. MomHub
  41. Imindi
  42. VocalNation.net
  43. Cendix
  44. Pheedo
  45. Workplace2go
  46. GreenRenter
  47. Box Populi
  48. Collaborative Software Initiative
  49. GoSeeTell
  50. Avnera
  51. Lightfleet
  52. Kumquat
  53. YourList
  54. Techchex
  55. Worldwide Nest
  56. IDP Solutions

For more on the movement of these sites, including the Alexa and Compete rankings that determine position, see the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index for July 2008.

WordCamp Portland begins drafting plans for September 27

Hard to believe, but WordCamp Portland is only a few months away. So now, it’s the time for planning. And getting folks ready to lead sessions.

That’s why Aaron Hockley has scheduled a WordCamp Portland planning session this Thursday, July 17, at the Green Dragon starting at 6:00 PM. What’s on the agenda?

We’re going to nail down some details on registration, scheduling, speakers, and facilities/logistics. All are welcome; volunteers are needed….

We’re actively seeking those who want to lead a discussion. If you have an idea for a session, please contact Aaron Hockley with your idea. Any topic related to WordPress could be a potential WordCamp session.

WordCamp is a grassroots event centered around using and hacking WordPress, a popular blogging engine and content management system. In fact, you’re soaking in it. Silicon Florist runs on WordPress.

WordCamp Portland will be held on September 27th, 2008 at CubeSpace. For more information or to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, visit WordCamp Portland.

Vidoop scoops up Bob Uva

VidoopPortland-based Vidoop continues to attract leading talent. Their latest hire, Bob Uva, is an industry veteran with an impressive development history. His most recent efforts have been focused on .NET C# distributed application development.

So what does Vidoop gain with Bob’s talents? Good question. And I say that, mostly, because it’s exactly the same question I asked Bob.

“I have been a software developer for twenty-two years, working mostly with the Microsoft stack, everything from Windows 16-bit to 32-bit programming in C, C++ and C#/.NET,” said Uva. “I bring a lot of experience with Microsoft technologies to Vidoop, as well as a desire to help the company realize a larger vision in open web technologies for identity management and security.”

Glad to see the Vidoop team continue to grow even as they ready themselves for a mass influx of Tulsa talent. I, for one, can’t wait to see what this team is able to accomplish.

For more information, see Bob’s profile on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or visit his personal blog. For more on the company, visit Vidoop.

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