Yahoo Users, You’ve Got OpenID

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As promised, Yahoo has launched its new OpenID provider service. Yahoo’s 248 million worldwide users now have a way to login to any site that supports OpenID. To get started, just head over to the new OpenID page and set up your OpenID preferences.

To use your newfound OpenID powers, check out the ever-expanding list of OpenID consumer sites — Ma.gnolia, Technorati and Blogger are just a few of the places where you no longer need to worry about remembering your username/password combo.

At the moment, Yahoo is an OpenID provider, not a consumer, which means that those of us who already have OpenIDs still can’t use them to login to Yahoo services. But even if Yahoo’s OpenID support is disappointingly one-way, it triples the number of potential users. Yahoo’s OpenID support will likely drive not just adoption among other sites, but also other potential OpenID provider services from the likes of Google, Microsoft and more, which will now be feeling greater pressure to support the decentralized identity system.

First look: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) alpha 4

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Ubuntu 8.04 alpha 4 was officially released today and is now available for testing. This alpha offers an early look at some of the features that will be included in the final 8.04 release, which is scheduled for April. Codenamed Hardy Heron, Ubuntu 8.04 will be the second long-term support (LTS) release, which means that it will be supported on the desktop for three years and on the server for five years.

Arstechnica tested alpha 4 and were very impressed with some of the hot new features.

Sentenced to death For Internet Download

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A young man, a student of journalism, is sentenced to death by an Islamic court for downloading a report from the internet. The sentence is then upheld by the country’s rulers. This is Afghanistan – not in Taliban times but six years after “liberation” and under the democratic rule of the West’s ally Hamid Karzai.

The fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has led to domestic and international protests, and deepening concern about erosion of civil liberties in Afghanistan. He was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohamed.

Mr Kambaksh, 23, distributed the tract to fellow students and teachers at Balkh University with the aim, he said, of provoking a debate on the matter. But a complaint was made against him and he was arrested, tried by religious judges without – say his friends and family – being allowed legal representation and sentenced to death.

Bionic Arm Might Go Into Clinical Trials

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The bionic arm project sponsored by DARPA is nearing completion, and might undergo clinical trials. ‘The arm has motor control fine enough for test subjects to pluck chocolate-covered coffee beans one by one, pick up a power drill, unlock a door, and shake a hand. Six preconfigured grip settings make this possible, with names like chuck grip, key grip, and power grip. The different grips are shortcuts for the main operations humans perform daily

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