The Next Stage in the Digital “Identity Wars.”

I’ve been following what is been called the “Identity Wars” for a long time. Here is a post of mine from a few years back on this exact topic. In essence it’s the same space it was then, with Google and Facebook being the prime owners of the “digital you” and Twitter, Amazon and Microsoft trying to move up.  But at least one more major player is about to join in.

This article I think accurately grasps the next stage in this battle, where Apple where Touch ID will grow that into a serious offering for logins across the digital space…websites, apps, even as Apple Pay tries to do the same in the physical payment world.

I keep wishing for a serious, distributed, secure authentication/identity system that no one company owns, and that puts the user in charge of their own Identity directly.

But with the death of both OpenID and then later with Mozilla giving up on BrowserID/Persona, I don’t even see a faint hope of one. Am I missing something? If so, let me know in the comments.

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New “Subatomic Unit” of News

This rings very true to me:

“Wearables could make the ‘glance’ a new subatomic unit of news

I misjudged — I didn’t think nearly radically enough. The quick-hit stream of Twitter or the Facebook News Feed is giving way to a largely agnostic, mostly opt-in “notification layer” on top of the phone screen.

And yet even that notification layer feels larded in the context of the single-most-interesting media-industry detail from yesterday’s Apple presentation: We are about to enter the era of ‘glance journalism.'”

Polltracker Mobile a Finalist in Media Industry News’ Best of the Web Awards

Good news – We heard late last week from Talking Points Memo that the PollTracker iPhone app my team developed with them is now honored as a finalist in the Media Industry News (min) Best of the Web Awards.

This award is “the industry’s top honor in the digital space, recognizing outstanding Web sites and digital initiatives among consumer and b2b magazines.”

We are up for Best Smartphone App of the year. The other finalists are the Ted Conference, Vogue, and NewZoo. So we’ll hear in April…

Opera Kills off it's Browser Engine Development: Now Only 3 in the Marketplace

So yesterday the Norwegian web browser company Opera announced both that they had reached 300 million users of it’s product across all platforms, but the bigger news was that it was going to cease it’s independent Web browser engine development on mobile, in favor of contributing to the open source WebKit engine.

Webkit is the primary engine for iOS Safari web browser, as well as Safari and Chrome desktop. In announcing this the Opera CTO wrote:

“The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need.”

This is the first time a major browser vendor has basically jumped over to a rival’s web engine, killing off their independent Opera web browsing engine named Presto. This builds more momentum behind Webkit (driven now by Apple, Google and Opera) and leaves only three web layout engines in the marketplace, Webkit, Firefox and Microsoft.

When you look at the mobile space, which all of this is really about from Opera’s perspective, it puts WebKit in a decisive lead over Microsoft’s browser, and Firefox, which due to conflicts with the Apple restrictions, is purely on the Android OS today.

Folks are still digesting this, but I think this is likely a mix of inevitable and unfortunate: the browser space needs compatibility and a Webkit-only mobile world gets you that, but I share some of the concerns of Firefox’s CTO and others… but more on that later.