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Showing posts from April, 2010

Why Google can’t out-open Facebook with XAuth

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This post was also published in VentureBeat.XAuth, Google’s attempt to head off Facebook’s domination of online content sharing, is fraught with problems. It appears to be built with good intentions, allowing smaller social services to persist in a Facebook- and Twitter-dominated world. But unlike OAuth, the standard many of those services use today to link publishers’ websites to their services and which allows any website to work directly with any identity provider, XAuth actually stands in between the two and directs traffic. And that spells trouble. I should know. I’ve tried what they’re doing before.

I was the CTO of Sun Microsystem’s Liberty Alliance, where we invented the concept of federated identity, and am the inventor on the patent that covers federated identity. We first attempted to do the exact same thing –stand in between the websites and the identity providers in order to provide a seamless interaction. But no one wanted a single third party in that position — least of …

TV 2.0: Hulu’s flatlining, and the networks are ready to innovate

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This post was also published in VentureBeat, where there is feedback from the founders of TiVo and Brightcove.Hulu — a joint venture of NBC Universal, News Corp., and Disney — has had a good thing going. The ad-sponsored video site carries numerous TV shows through agreements with the broadcast networks. And for the past year, it’s made good money selling ad space on network shows and luring in viewers with its quality streaming. But that’s all about to change.

The Hulu value proposition as a destination for premium online video was always doubtful given that Hulu is owned by content companies that stream the same content from their own websites. Sure, there was a window of time there when it was very difficult to stream good quality video with a modern player, but that window is long gone. The networks now all offer excellent streaming high-definition 1080p players (although some properties such as AmericanIdol.com could definitely benefit from a phone call to Brightcove or Ooyala for…