an open source password scheme so that you can use the same userid/password on many different sites. There are also schemes to automatically log you in on selected sites. Once I have logged into OpenID, openid.org knows my IP (Internet Protocol). That means I am effectively logged on to any site that accepts OpenID. My IP is all they need, (or perhaps my URL (Uniform Resource Locator) http://roedy.openid.org). Nobody else can use my URL since they have a different IP. My IP acts like an automatic temporary password. I don’t need to keep respecifying my password.
Sadly openid.org itself is shutting down. They did not renew their SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. You need to get your OpenID from someone else. Without a core, the whole OpenID idea will probably collapse.
If you have a Google gmail account of the form firstname.lastname@example.org you can use an OpenID of the form http://www.google.com/profiles/xxx
If you manages any Blogger blogs, you can also use their names as OpenIDs.
facebook seems to be supplanting OpenID. OpenID is almost defunct. Unfortunately, when you login with facebook the site will use much more of the facebook information than they have any logical right to use. They will typically also acquire the right to post stuff on your wall and pester your friends. It is thus better to set up individual accounts or use Google for a global logon ID.
Google, WordPress, blogger, Yahoo, Flickr etc. all act as OpenIDs.
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