“Conversational computing” is a growing high-tech field that is solving interaction inefficiencies (finger-typing on tiny screens) but are also opening up new dimensions of relating to our devices that can reinforce social/cultural stereotypes.
Do you like your Digital Assistant from Google, Apple or Amazon to be female? Male? Educated-sounding? What does that mean, even? In the English-speaking world, for example, are British accents (think Jarvis) more educated than Southwestern American?
The teams behind Google Home, Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Viv, Amazon’s Echo with Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana—all need to balance their users’ gender, cultural and emotional biases. Whew.
Good reading here at NYTimes, article by Quentin Hardy.
Google Assistant “is a millennial librarian who understands cultural cues, and can wink at things,” said Ryan Germick, who leads the personality efforts in building Google Assistant. “Products aren’t about rational design decisions. They are about psychology and how people feel.”
Good read: 8 tips from Dave Cancel
If an investor tells you that you can’t build a real business on $20/month, direct them to Constant Contact.
Their average selling price is $37/month, they have 375k customers, they are on target to do $170 million+ in revenue this year, and they are a publicly traded company (AKA liquidity event).
SAAS (Software as a Service) startups need to focus on getting on past what Gail calls the slow ramp of death. When selling low-priced subscriptions you make your money in subsequent years — not up front.
The slow ramp of death is even harder to get past at an average selling price of $37/month; 1000 customers at that price brings in enough revenue to pay a small handful of employees.
Excellent article from ListHunt. Best advice: Chase engagement, not vanity metrics.
View at Medium.com
Read about examples of garbage posing as legitimate accounts that fill your analytics with false numbers
From an excellent Ars Technica article: Choosing between MySQL and NoSQL.
“For 30 years in the IT industry, we’ve had traditional development models,” Gnau said. “We grab users, put them in a room, get their requirements, build out the design, look for data to find structures and reporting, implement and hand it back to users. It was a traditional waterfall approach. Even agile development starts with requirements and winds up with results.
“In Hadoop, you need to challenge that and turn it around. Data is not structured. Users may not know what the requirements are. It’s an inverse process—you land the data, find data scientists to find relationships that are interesting and appealing, and turn that into requirements that yield a system. It’s the opposite approach to a traditional process.”
Google blocks Thunderbird from checking gmail if a certain setting is turned on via Google’s account security settings screen.
Some devices and apps use insecure sign-in technology to access your data.
Choosing Disable prevents these less secure devices and apps from accessing your Google Account.
Choosing Enable increases your chances of unauthorized account access but allows you to continue using these less secure devices and apps.
Mozilla explains the problem here:
From the NYTimes Bits blog:
Apple on Sunday released a web tool to address a problem that has affected some iMessage users: When they switched to a non-Apple smartphone, like an Android device, they could no longer receive messages from iPhones.
When someone with an iPhone switched to a different smartphone, like an Android phone, the phone number would remain attached to iMessage, which is usable only on Apple devices. So when iPhone customers tried to send text messages to that number, sometimes those messages would never make their way to the intended recipient.
Apple’s new tool, which many spotted on the web over the weekend, allows a former iPhone user to enter a phone number to detach it from iMessage. When a phone number is entered, a text message returns with a confirmation code, which also must be entered into the web tool.
October 2014 brought with it a new cyber-attack method to the Internet: POODLE, the ‘Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption’ attack. The attack is against the SSLv3 protocol, which powers the HTTPS secure browsing system we’re all used to.
What can you do?
1. Check your browser:
Then disable SSLv3 support in your browser(s):
Firefox was the easiest to change. Safari has no known fix yet, and Mac Chrome requires a command line tweak to modify. Even the Chrome Canary build is still vulnerable.
2. Check to see if your web server is vulnerable:
Then ask your hosting company to disable SSLv3 on the server: