This site uses OpenID for user verification. That basically means that if you want to leave comments here under the same identity each time, you can do so by signing in with your OpenID either at the top of the page or when writing a comment.
OpenID is a growing standard way of keeping a single identity with you on the internet so you don’t have to register at a billion different websites. Since it’s decentralised, it’s also nice in that there’s not some strange entity like Microsoft controling your identity through an MSN Passport or something. I know a bunch of people who use LiveJournal for example, which supports OpenID, so they can use that LJ address to log in here instead of getting a new username which only works on Booberfish.com. If Xanga or Facebook used it, then I’d have all my internet friends covered, but they don’t, so too bad for them.
To log in with your OpenID, you have to log into your provider’s site first. What I do is open a new tab in Firefox and login to LiveJournal there. Then, back in the other tab at the site I want to sign into, I just type in my URL, verify with LJ that I want the site to know who I am, and off I go. Actually, that’s a lie. That’s how I’d do it if I still used LJ, which I don’t.
Yes, WordPress (the blog platform I use) does let me have people register, but there’s not really much point to it. To help me sort through all the spambots who submit automated registrations, my policy is to delete any users that are not signing in with OpenID.
If you don’t have an OpenID and want to use it here, then you’ll just have to sign up for one somewhere else. There are many providers other than LiveJournal! If you operate your own website like me, I highly recommend the very simple phpMyID by CJ Niemira. Hosting your own ID provider avoids the third party business (like LJ) that OpenID is meant to avoid, and it’s too simple not to do. PhpMyID is better than LJ since you don’t have to login in advance and there aren’t any cookies lying around possibly public computers to expose your identity.
OpenID is implemented here with this wordpress plugin, plus quite a few modifications to the wordpress code to remove the regular registration stuff.