OAuth, the universal login protocol, was supposed to make life so easy — and now, thanks to Oauth.io, it does.
In the latest @sfbeta On Air interview, Webshell Co-Founder Mehdi Medjaoui tells the story of his life as a rising star in the open source startup universe.
With the power of a simple API, OAuth.io powers integration with over 100 Oauth providers. The process involves three lines of code, and takes about 90 seconds to complete, saving developers headaches, money, and most importantly — their sanity.
Built atop a major open source project, oauthd, Oauth.io relies on this open daemon, built from contributions of developers from across the world. The power of the daemon helps explain why more than 4000 apps already rely on Oauth.io, which streamlines and simplifies what can often be an unwieldy and cumbersome integration process.
Rather than embracing the defensive IP mentality of a proprietary thought regime, Mehdi sees open source as a core strategy to the success of his startup. While acknowledging a more guarded approach may yield better short-term results, Medhi believes that the long-term success of his company depends on the future of the web — and at Oauth.io, he’s jointly invested in both.
More than ten years ago, David Rappo and Warren Konkel met in an IRC chat room to figure out ways to incentivize open source software development. They built a solution called Bountysource, sent it into the wild, and moved along.
But in the way that projects find a life of their own, Bountysource never died — in fact, it kept growing. So last year, Warren and David gathered all their contributors together, and brought the band back to San Francisco. Once a project, now a full-time startup, Bountysource is the continuous crowdfunding marketplace moving open source forward.
The platform-agnostic service adds a financial incentivization layer across major open source repositories — GitHub, SourceForge, and so on. Through Bountysource, companies and individuals place “bounties” to fix bugs, solve features, and start new projects, ranging from a few dollars to a few thousand.
Popular not just with engaged end users and open source geeks, companies like Facebook and Mozilla place bounties on important bugs to drive attention to them — generating fast, low-cost solutions that would otherwise languish or consume the time of an in-house developer.
Bountysource is for more than fixing bugs — it’s a fundraising platform for entirely new projects. They helped fundraise a campaign for NeoVIM, the modern take on the popular text editor — along with HabitRPG, the open source task management system with gamified RPG elements. Unlike platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Bountysource offers continuous crowdfunding, with a funding model that supports the continuous lifecycle of product development.
Some developers love Bountysource because avid users posts bounties on issues that matter to them most. When dealing with dozens, if not hundreds, of potential projects at once — when figuring out what problems to solve can be the biggest problem of all — bounties help developers identify issues that mean the most to their users, while giving users direct input and influence over the direction that a project takes.
In his Wired article, Bitcoin: The Internet of Money, Naval presented his vision for the future of the digital currency, pointing to a number of features and distinct advantages provided by the new platform:
Bitcoins are scarce (Central Banks can’t inflate them away), durable (they don’t degrade), portable (can be carried and transmitted electronically or as numbers in your head), divisible (into trillionths), verifiable (through everyone’s block chain), easy to store (paper or electronic), fungible (each bitcoin is equal), difficult to counterfeit (cryptographically impossible), and can achieve widespread use – many of the technologists that brought us advances on the Internet are now working overtime to improve Bitcoin.
So why not just use Pounds or Dollars? One can use bitcoins as high-powered money with distinct advantages. Bitcoins, like cash, are irrevocable. Merchants don’t have to worry about shipping a good, only to have a customer void the credit card transaction and charge-back the sale. Bitcoins are easy to send – instead of filling forms with your address, credit card number, and verification information, you just send money to a destination address. Each such address is uniquely generated for that single transaction, and therefore easily verifiable. Bitcoins can be stored as a compact number, traded by mere voice, printed on paper, or sent electronically. They can be stored as a passphrase that exists only in your head! There is no threat of money printing by a bankrupt government to dilute your savings. Transactions are pseudonymous – the wallets do not, by default have names attached to them, although transaction chains are easy to trace. It has near-zero transaction costs – you can use it for micropayments, and it costs the same to send 0.1 bitcoins or 10,000 bitcoins. Finally, it is global – so a Nigerian citizen can use it to safely transact with a US company, no credit or trust required.
Silicon Valley knows a platform when it sees it, and is aflame with Bitcoin. Teams of brilliant young programmers, entranced by the opportunity, are working on Exchanges (Payward, Buttercoin, Vaurum), Futures Markets (ICBIT), Hardware Wallets (BitCoinCard, Trezor, etc), Payment Processors (bitpay.com), Banks, Escrow companies, Vaults, Mobile Wallets, Remittance Networks (bitinstant.com), Local Trading networks (localbitcoins.com), and more.
GaymerX2, the LGBTQ-focused gaming convention in San Francisco, secured over $12,000 in Kickstarter pledges in less than a day, easily surpassing their fundraising goal of $10,000 — with a month still to go.
The event follows last year’s GaymerX convention, which drew over 2,300 gaymers from around the world. This year’s convention promises an even bigger event, with three times the square footage at the InterContinental, a centrally-located downtown venue.
As with many fandom conventions, GaymerX2 offers a wide variety of attractions and spectacles, including live musical performances, celebrity appearances, and a rumored demo of Read Only Memories, the queer cyberpunk adventure game developed by in-house studio MidBoss Games.
The convention, along with the game — not to mention a YouTube video series — stem from the prolific, visionary mind of founder Matt Conn, whose efforts have galvanized widespread awareness of the queer gaming community, bringing a tangible sense of community and solidarity to a group whose members often express feelings of marginalization in both the gaming community and the world at large.
Fans and allies can back the GaymerX2 Kickstarter for as little as $1, with early bird convention tickets starting at $59.
In what might be a Silicon Valley first, Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, won two startup awards on the same night, highlighting both the achievements of his role at the company’s helm, and the controversies created in the process.
Inside the Davies Symphony Hall, Costolo won “Best CEO,” the Best Actor equivalent of The Crunchies, Silicon Valley’s lavish annual award ceremony co-organized by TechCrunch, GigaOM, and VentureBeat. Costolo’s newest accolade emerged from fierce competition, in which he edged out Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer, and runner-up-winning Travis Kalanick of Uber.
“This is really a team award,” said Costolo, in a gracious and brief acceptance speech. “It’s just such a delight to be able to get up in the morning and come to work with such enthusiastic, and creative, and courageous people. It makes it fun, it makes it exciting, and it never gets old, so thanks very much — I really appreciate it.”
Today marked the seventh year of The Crunchies, and the first of another event: The Crappies, organized in protest by the San Francisco chapter of Jobs With Justice. Playfully adorned with hand-written, paperboard signage, The Crappies organizers “awarded” individuals and companies for actions deemed problematic and harmful to the city and its myriad communities.
Dick Costolo was among the dubious cast of Crappies prizewinners, receiving the award for Best Tax Evader. The award references the company’s decision to relocate to the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood in the now-termed “Twitter building.”
In agreeing to the move, Twitter accepted a payroll tax credit pioneered by Mayor Ed Lee. The credit, misleadingly called the “Twitter tax break,” in fact extends to any company that relocates to the Mid-Market neighborhood, a trending district that incorporates areas of Civic Center and the Tenderloin, along with stretches of SoMa from 6th to 10th Street.
In guise of the real Costolo, local nonprofit worker and activist James Chionsini, playing a rather convincing Fake Dick Costolo, accepted the award. Chionsini’s last tweet, dated from almost a year ago, rings today with newfound prescience:
@twitter i work at a non profit at 5th and mission with seniors and the landlord is jacking our rent to attract tech firms. thanks a lot
The Crappies have followed a wave anti-gentrification protests across the Bay Area, where private buses transport Google workers to and from the company’s Mountain View headquarters. The protests, widely covered in both tech and mainstream press, highlight the tensions rippled by the wave of a tech economy that fails to lift all boats.
“San Francisco is in a crisis,” decries Jobs With Justice. Median rental prices recently topped $3,000 for the first time in history, situating the City by the Bay as the country’s single most expensive place to live.