OpenID According to Simon Willison, OpenID is a simple piece of infrastructure on which smart applications can be built and the buzz around OpenID is growing. This idea has been batted around for some time but the consolidation of ideas and a working version of the system really gives it some legitimacy. I still wonder what the uptake rate will be. If you are still wondering what OpenID is and what it can do for you, think of it as a decentralized authentication system much like Microsoft Passport but much less monolithic.
I can still think of various problems (Tim outlines some of those in his post). However, a good use could be in the WordPress comment moderation system. Since WordPress allows comments from previously authorized commenters, OpenID could be a way to positively identify a “valid” commenter on your blog forever. Of course, if any centralized whitelist type service is introduced in any form, that system could still be poisoned but that would be a weakness of the whitelist and not the OpenID platform. I also fear that since anyone can set themselves up as an OpenID provider, this could lead to a lot of confusion and possible weaknesses in the system. That is a discussion for another day.
At the heart of the OpenID system is the basic premise that only you have control over what shows up on your specified URI. As an example, if you have an LJ account and are setup with an OpenID for that account, you can specify your OpenID URI to login to any website that support OpenID. Once you specify your OpenID URI, you will be redirected to your site which will either ask you to log in or to authorize the website you are visiting to use your identity. (“no password” is slightly misleading)